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.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    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.
  • Front.code.2
    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.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.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Thunderstorm results in damage 2011.06.02

Written by David Green.

storm_johncoxBy DAVID GREEN

A fast-moving thunderstorm Sunday afternoon left Morenci littered with fallen trees and wires. At least two residents reported seeing rotation in clouds passing over, but there was no confirmation of a tornado.

A tornado warning was posted for Lenawee County before 5 p.m. Sunday, predicting that a severe thunderstorm showing some rotation would strike Morenci around 5:10.

The storm hit right on schedule and soon reduced visibility to near zero with blowing rain, leaves and seeds. Large limbs and trees began falling, leaving the most damage since a severe thunderstorm hit the town in May 2000.

Merlin Avis of 201 E. Locust St. said he and a neighbor both spotted a funnel cloud overhead as the storm passed through. That area of town was heavily damaged.

Starting at the intersection of N. Summit and Locust, two trees fell across Summit Street. Down the block past the Avis house, a tree was flattened and another went down at the next residence. Across the street, two large limbs fell and a utility pole snapped, dropping wires onto the ground.

Additional trees and limbs went down in the neighborhood as the storm continued east. A porch was smashed by a falling tree one block to the north on Union Street and a large maple tree toppled onto the Anne Johncox residence on Burley Street.

Morenci fire chief Chad Schisler said the damage showed the characteristics of a straight line wind and not of a tornado.

Driving was difficult with detours throughout the city, but Morenci fire department members responded to the damage quickly, clearing streets where possible and blocking streets where wires had fallen. Chains saws were heard throughout the city during the next few hours and again Monday.

“We worked until 2 a.m. to make sure roads were passable for a fire truck,” Schisler said. “That was our main concern.”

The department worked in cooperation with a single Consumers Energy repair person.

“He did an awesome job,” Schisler said.

Although power wasn’t restored to all customers, he helped clear streets of fallen wires.

The initial estimate Sunday night by Consumers placed the number of outages across the state at about 108,000, including 4,700 customers in Lenawee County.

Consumers repair trucks were still in town Tuesday night working to restore power to several Morenci customers.

Before the storm reached Morenci, winds knocked over several trees and dropped large branches at Harrison Lake State Park southwest of Fayette. Several camping units were damaged, but no injuries were reported.

Morenci climate observer George Isobar measured three-quarters of an inch of rain from the storm, almost as much as as what fell in a storm early Sunday morning. Isobar said that small hail also fell during Sunday’s storm.

Total precipitation for May stands at 7.04 inches, making this year the second wettest May since current records were kept in 1976. 

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