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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Oakshade Dairy seeks renewal of permit to operate 03.23.2011

Written by David Green.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is accepting comments on a draft Permit to Operate (PTO) for Oakshade Dairy, LLC, located in Chesterfield Township, at 15710 County Road 14 west of Lyons.

The farm is the former Chesterfield Dairy that closed in a bankruptcy proceeding and was purchased last August by Chris Weaver of Bridgewater Dairy in Williams County and Tim den Dulk of Coopersville, Mich.

Written comments or a request for a public hearing will be received until April 15. Bill Schwaderer of the ODA’s Livestock Environmental Permitting Program said that at least 20 requests for a hearing from the public or one request from a public official are needed before a hearing would be scheduled.

Comments must be submitted to the ODA’s LEEP office at 8995 East Main St., Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.

Copies of the Oakshade Dairy draft Permit to Operate can be reviewed at the Fulton Soil and Water Conversation District, Suite B, in Wauseon. Call 419/337-9217 to make an appointment.

This draft Permit to Operate (PTO) is a renewal application for the expiring PTO that was issued by the Ohio Department of Agriculture on July 8, 2005, and was valid for five years. The PTO would also be valid for a five-year period, at which time the owner would be required to apply for a renewal permit.

Schwaderer said the facility previously faced two notices of deficiency for freeboard clearance (too much manure in a storage basin), but both problems were cleared during followup visits by ODA staff.

A notice of adjudication was issued May 15, 2009, for a manure violation, but the farm went into bankruptcy, Schwaderer said.

Faulty irrigation equipment was blamed for a manure spill in 2009 that fouled a portion of Little Bear Creek, a tributary of the River Raisin.

Schwaderer said his agency reviews the record of the new owners and he’s confident they will operate the farm safely.

“The Weavers have an excellent reputation in Ohio at Bridgewater,” he said.

The existing facility has a design capacity of 1,750 mature dairy cows, which will remain the same under the new permit. The current operation has several manure storage structures. One concrete basin has a storage capacity of 572,175 gallons of manure. Three manure storage ponds are available to store a combined 26.2 million gallons of liquid manure. One solid stacking pad can store approximately 3,700 cubic yards of separated solids for bedding. Approximately 561 days of liquid manure storage and 1,319 days of solid’s storage are provided.

A complete Manure Management Plan is provided in the draft PTO that demonstrates the use of the nutrients contained in the manure. The dairy produces approximately 17.6 million gallons of liquid manure and 412 tons of solid manure annually.

An Emergency Response Plan is also contained in the draft PTO.

Finally, an Operating Record is included in the draft Permit to Operate that includes all forms and information that must be maintained by the facility to show compliance with ODA’s rules and the permit. These records include inspection of the manure storage structures, groundwater sampling, manure characterization, land application, insect and rodent control, distribution and utilization of manure, and mortality management. These records are inspected by the department a minimum of twice annually.

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