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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  • Front.ropes
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Fayette village council 2011.09.21

Written by David Green.


Fayette village council members met in a special session Sept. 14 to hire a pair of village workers.

Tom Clemenson was hired to serve as the village maintenance coordinator at a pay rate of $14.45 an hour. Matt Moats was hired as a maintenance employee at a rate of $13.45.

Clemenson replaces Scott Wagner who is now working for the City of Defiance, however, Clemenson will fill a new position that covers both village utilities and roads. In the past the utility director was a separate job.

Moats was hired to fill an impending retirement.

Council will consider hiring another part-time worker since the list of available people has dwindled.

SIDEWALKS—The Sidewalk Review Board proposes an assessment to fund sidewalk repair, tree removal and curb replacement.

The committee is made up of representatives from council’s public works committee, the zoning board and citizens who have already repaired walks or live in the area targeted for repairs. The board has walked through town to look at the condition of sidewalks and discussed future needs. The assessment proposal is the first recommendation from the group.

Ten dollars would be assessed on each tax bill ($20 a year) for a sidewalk replacement fund and $5 on each bill for tree removal. Mayor Ruth Marlatt, reporting for the review board, said that an estimate should be made to determine how much money would be generated.

Money saved over a two-year period would be used for the next phase of sidewalk repair, scheduled in 2013. The following phase of repair would come two years later.

“How can you assess people who have already put their sidewalks in?” asked councilor Mat Johnson.

That’s an issue that was discussed, Marlatt said. One suggestion was to wait until the first round of repair is complete before starting the assessment. Village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver suggested not assessing those who have done sidewalk work.

An on-going assessment would make sure there are always funds available for sidewalks, trees and curbs.

“I think it’s a shame that those people with nice yards are going to get slapped for it,” councilor Julia Ruger said. 

A village ordinance already requires sidewalk repair, she said.

“Just start fining these people and they’ll finally get the hint.”

The proposal will be reviewed by council’s finance committee.

GAMBLE—The resurfacing and widening of Gamble Street to the school is still on hold, but work might get underway the second week of October.

Village administrator Amy Metz told council at the Sept. 14 committee of the whole meeting that the contract did not list a start date. She added Gerken Paving has overextended itself with jobs in the county. The Fayette project was originally eyed for completion before the start of school.

Metz said the village was fortunate to get a bid on the small job. The work should be completed within two weeks, barring weather delays.

At the Sept. 28 meeting, council will decide if the village should pay an additional $4,200 to have the road widened to 22 feet, one foot more than the current plan. Twenty-two feet is the recommended width from ODOT.

During construction, traffic flow will be limited to a west to east direction. Vehicles leaving the school will travel east to County Road 23.

Metz the school is insisting that buses be allowed to travel in both directions along the one lane of traffic that will be left open.

DOLLAR GENERAL—Metz said she would contact the owner of the Dollar General property about the lack of lawn maintenance. She said a property owner leases the land to the store owners.

SPEED—Metz told councilors they must make a decision about two suggested speed limit changes from ODOT.

The first would increase the speed on W. Main Street from 35 miles an hour to 40, starting at Cherry Street.

The speed on South Fayette Street, from Mill to the trailer park, would also increase from 35 miles an hour to 40. At the southern end of that stretch, the current speed limit is 50, increasing to 55.

Councilor Mike Maginn suggested that if the speed increases to 40, then many drivers will travel at 45 miles an hour.

Police chief Jason Simon said that he doesn’t expect the change to be an issue on Main Street, but the increase on Fayette Street might not be welcomed.

Councilor Diane Brubaker noted that many children are walking along South Fayette with the new school location.

“ODOT won’t make the change unless council wants it,” Metz said.

HALLOWEEN—Council decided to schedule trick-or-treat hours from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31.

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