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.

Morenci city council 2011.08.24

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council members voted Monday add a part-time office position at city hal. The post will be filled by the person who’s been helping out at city hall on an on-call basis.

Council voted unanimously to hire Leasa Slocum to the permanent part-time position of office assistant. She will work 24 hours a week at a starting wage of $8.75 an hour, starting Nov. 2.

Slocum, who serves as a city council member, was absent from the meeting. She isn’t seeking another term on council and the job will begin as her elected term ends.

Eight qualified candidates were interviewed, said council member Tracy Schell, but Slocum’s previous experience in the office made her the best choice.

In the fall election, Jeff Bell, Brenda Spiess and Rebecca Berger filed petitions to fill the three seats that will be vacated by Slocum, Jason Cook and Art Erbskorn.

Council is currently accepting letters of interest to fill a councilor position recently vacated by Joe Varga who resigned due to a change in his work schedule.

Mayor Keith Pennington thanked Varga for his service with the city, and he also expressed appreciation to Sue Snyder who has served as Town and County Festival committee chair for five years.

PROPERTY—Council voted to accept the updated International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) that the city uses. The update covers changes made in the 2009 edition of the document.

The city follows the IPMC with the exception of the section pertaining to grass and weed regulations. The city has its own ordinance for that.

PARKING LOT—Council learned that Consumers Energy will move a utility pole in the new North Street parking area at no cost to the city. A clause in the easement calls for the utility company to move a pole in the case of construction.

At the advice of the city engineer, council hired TTL Associates for quality testing of the parking lot project. The engineer will determine what tests to order.

TRAINING—Morenci Area EMS coordinator Larry Weeks will seek a grant to help pay for EMT training in Morenci.

AMBULANCE—Council accepted the bid from LifeStar Rescue for a new ambulance. LifeStar was the only company of four that were contacted to return a bid.

The ambulance will be paid for by a $130,000 federal grant plus funds from Morenci Area EMS savings ($145,33 total) without taking out a loan.

Weeks noted that he’s seen prices range from $160,000 to $180,000 for recent ambulance purchases in the area. One difference in the lower cost of Morenci’s new vehicle is the choice of a gasoline engine rather than diesel. That cut the cost by about $20,000.

Weeks said gas engines are not typically used by Lenawee County agencies, although they’re quite common in many areas including Fulton County.

VIDEO—Council approved a budgeted purchase of new in-car video systems for two police cruisers. The two units cost $10,175. The police equipment fund will be used to cover the installation cost.

SEARCHERS—Weeks said the Shiawassee County Search and Rescue group was in town for the seventh time since the initial training session. The volunteers were again unsuccessful in tracking down any clues in the case of the missing Skelton brothers.

AID—Council approved a request by fire chief Chad Schisler to accept the updated county mutual aid agreement.

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