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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Michigan drivers can avoid some points on license 2011.08.17

Written by David Green.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has announced a new state program that allows some Michigan drivers to avoid points for minor traffic violations by taking an on-line Basic Driver Improvement Course.

Under a state law that became effective Dec. 31, 2010, motorists ticketed for offenses such as speeding, improper passing or disobeying a stop sign may qualify to have points from the citation kept from going on their driving record by completing a course and paying court fines and costs. Only those who meet several restrictions will receive notification of eligibility to participate in the program from the Department of State.

The first notices to eligible drivers were mailed last month, Johnson said, and they have the option of taking a course on-line or in a classroom. There are currently 10 course providers approved by the state that offer the required defensive driving curriculum.

“This program offers a strong incentive to those who have received a traffic violation to improve their skills and become safer drivers,” Johnson said. “It gives them the pointers they need and takes away the points they don’t.”

“These drivers are still being held accountable, but in a way that safeguards against future violations,” Johnson added.

Eligible drivers have 60 days to arrange for and pass the course and may retake it as many times as necessary within that time. The provider electronically notifies the Secretary of State whether drivers pass or fail. If they ultimately do not pass, the points go on their record. If they pass, the Department of State will not add any points.

The fee for the course is determined by the provider, with the total not to exceed $100. Drivers are still responsible for paying fines and court costs involved in the traffic violation. The course may only be used once to avoid points.

A driver is not eligible if he or she:

• is in the 60-day period of course eligibility for a previous ticket.

• has already avoided points under the program.

• has a restricted, suspended or revoked license or was not issued a Michigan license.

• has three or more points on his or her record.

• held a commercial driver license or was operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the ticket.

• received a ticket that is not eligible for the program.

The law, sponsored by Sen. John Pappageorge (R-Troy), also requires an approved sponsor to conduct a study every five years measuring the effectiveness the successful completion of the course has in reducing collisions and moving violations. The Secretary of State must then report those findings to the Legislature.

For more information about the Basic Driver Improvement Course program as well as branch office locations and services, visit the Secretary of State website (www.Michigan.gov/sos). Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888/767-6424.

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