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.

Fayette school wind turbine out of service 2011.11.23

Written by David Green.

Every time the wind blows hard, the frustration bubbles up again in Russ Griggs’ mind.

The Fayette superintendent of schools was successful in obtaining grants for the installation of a 250kW wind turbine that was dedicated last December.

The generator began kicking out electricity a few weeks later and by spring the district was seeing a large decrease in its utility bill.

And then it came to a halt in early October, with the brisk fall winds starting to blow.

“Of course we didn’t have this problem in the summer when the wind wasn’t blowing,” Griggs told the school board Monday.

Now, when the turbine could be operating at its best, a malfunction has taken it out of service.

An internal drive was removed Oct. 12 and sent to New York for repairs, but that wasn’t the source of the problem.

A large crane was brought in from Cleveland on Monday and removed the 3,300 pound generator that was taken to a company in Bryan, Ohio, for maintenance. Damage in the sealed unit won’t be known until it’s opened for inspection.

Damage to the drive and generator was caused by a short circuit and the turbine won’t go back into operation until the source of the problem is tracked down. It’s presumed that one of the generator cables in the tower is shorting out.

Engineers will determine if the problem is with the cable itself or the manner in which it was installed. Griggs is hoping the turbine will be back in operation before the end of the year.

The only good thing about the problem, he said, is that the unit comes with a one-year warranty and the district purchased an extended five-year warranty.

“My wife tells me to quit stressing out every time the wind blows,” Griggs said.

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