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.
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Morenci city council 2011.06.22

Written by David Green.


Morenci city council members are seeking additional information before making a decision on whether or not to sign onto the Lenawee County Hazard Mitigation Plan.

An employee of the Region 2 Planning Commission is working with government units in Lenawee, Hillsdale and Jackson counties to reduce potential hazards.

A survey last fall sought information on the leading hazards in each community and township to identify hazards with the greatest potential of causing a negative impact on residents and property.

A letter from Region 2 points out that implementation of the plan is voluntary. Agreeing to participate in the plan still does not obligate a community to put the plan into action. Participation does enable a community to be eligible for funding for specific projects through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant program.

General strategies of the Region 2 plan include:

• enhanced public information and education to create a more informed public;

• the incorporation of hazard mitigation planning in community master planning, assuring a review every five years when communities review and update their master plan;

• planning for debris clearing management, and establishing staging areas for debris and snow;

• promoting mutual aid agreements to avoid duplicating services.

Specific mitigation strategies were developed for each of the 13 potential hazards identified for Lenawee County, including extreme temperatures, winter and summer storms, flooding, drought and hazardous materials incidents.

Burying electric and telephone lines is recommended to address hazards such as ice storms and lightning. Fighting potential losses from hail include the use of window shutters, laminated glass and hail-resistant shingles.

To prepare for wind storms, the “use of appropriate wind engineering measures and construction techniques” is suggested, along with anchoring manufactured homes and exterior structures. Construction of concrete safe rooms is recommended in homes, and shelter areas are recommended at mobile home parks, fairgrounds, shopping malls, etc.

Each strategy was analyzed to determine cost, benefit and implementation potential. Top priorities are:

• installing smoke detectors;

• identifying flood plains;

• developing local ordinances regarding hazardous materials;

• making an inventory of hazardous materials.

Medium priority is listed for:

• identifying shelters for snowstorms;

• increasing public awareness of Miss DIG;

• installing lightning protection devices;

• enforcing local building codes to prevent structural fires;

• identifying structures in flood plains;

• promoting the importance of wetlands as natural retention basins;

• developing water rationing plans;

• training for hazardous material handling.

Morenci mayor Keith Pennington mentioned several questions he has about the program, such as learning if the program would require standards in excess of the city’s existing regulations for building codes, for example.

PARKING—Morenci’s parking lot renovation project is expected to begin in mid-July. Mayor Pennington said that demolition of the Dunbar building will likely be complete by then and the city will consider tackling the entire project—on the south side of the business district and also north of Johnson’s Hardware—at one time to save some money. Due to a delay in the Dunbar demolition, the city’s engineering firm expected the project might have to be done in two segments.

Pennington was told the project should be completed within eight weeks.

COMPUTERS—Council voted to accept a one-year contract for computer maintenance service with IT Services at a cost of $2,000. In addition, the firm will provide off-site data storage for $500. The contract covers all the city’s computers with the exception of the library. The library could be included in the contract for an additional $1,000 per year.

CONTRACTS—Approval of employment agreements with department heads was tabled due to a question with one of the contracts.

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