The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
  • Front.homecoming Court
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  • Front.ropes
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Fayette's comprehensive plan 10.27

Written by David Green.

Part I of a two-part overview of Fayette’s proposed comprehensive plan



Fayette village council members got their first look last week at a proposed comprehensive plan for the community. 

Council members and the Fulton County Regional Planning Commission would both have to adopt the plan, but village administrator Amy Metz expects some changes to occur before it becomes Fayette’s official planning document.

Regional planning director Steve Brown gave council an overview of the draft at the Oct. 19 meeting, noting that Fayette approved a land use plan in the late 1970s, and is the only community in the county without a comprehensive plan in place.

“A comprehensive plan is a living document,” Brown told council. “The key is to not let it sit on the shelf.”

Brown said village officials should become familiar with the plan and review it on a regular basis. Too often, a comprehensive plan is completed, adopted and forgotten. 

Use it as a guideline for making decisions about zoning and other policies, he said, and renew it every five years.

Brown said that census data was used to create the plan in conjunction with a survey given to several village residents. A survey of village services conducted through the village office also furnished data to Brown and his assistant, Bowling Green State University graduate student Seth Brehm.

POPULATION—Brown said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the population of 1,340 decline when results from the 2010 census are released.

“Fulton County is expecting a decline for the first time since the 1930s,” Brown said. 

Projections made in 2007—before the national economic crisis—called for a slight decrease in Fayette’s population, despite increases in the county’s other six incorporated villages.

HOUSING—Fayette mirrors most of the nation in housing a mobile population. During the 1990s, 64 percent of the village’s 520 housing units had new occupants. From 1970 to 2000, 88 percent of Fayette’s residential units had new dwellers.

The median price of a Fayette home was listed at $67,300, compared to $112,600 in Archbold, $77,800 in Morenci and $85,200 in Pioneer.

Brown noted that 34 percent of Fayette’s housing is made up of rental units.

EMPLOYMENT & INCOME—Statistics from 2000 show that nearly half of Fayette workers are employed in manufacturing, although Brown said the trend is now toward services.

Fayette had the lowest median household income at $28,000, with Wauseon the next lowest at $39,600. The national average was about $42,000 in 2000.

The poverty rate stood at 9.7 percent in 2000 and unemployment rose to 14.7 percent in 2009.

Brown said Fulton County might acquire LMI status (low-to-medium income) when census data is released.

An industry employment projections report for the past decade shows that agriculture is the fastest growing industry in the Toledo Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Fulton County.

Agriculture rose 42 percent, ahead of social services at 38.4 percent and air transportation at 35.9 percent. General merchandise stores showed the greatest decline at 20.3 percent, followed by railroad transportation (19.8 percent).

Brown said Lucas and eastern Fulton counties are known as one of the premier greenhouse areas of the entire country.

“We’re starting to push agricultural services,” he said.

EDUCATION—Brown said the community’s school system is great, but students tend to take their education and leave the area. He also noted a deficiency in residents with college degrees. About 13 percent of Fayette’s residents have earned a bachelor’s degree, below the county average of about 21 percent.

• Part II of the story next week will cover goals and recommendations.


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