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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Fayette village council 2012.01.04

Written by David Green.


Fayette village council members emerged from a closed session last week and voted to hold salaries for employees at the 2011 rate.

Council met in a closed session for about 45 minutes, but before it ended, mayor Ruth Marlatt was asked to leave the room. Last month, Marlatt was not allowed to attend a closed session at all.

Council member Rodney Kessler called for the closed meeting to discuss a personnel issue, stating the meeting was for “all elected officials, and then we’ll go from there.”

When councilors came back into the public meeting, Mayor Marlatt explained that no salary increases would be given to start the new year. The motion to increase salaries was tabled and would be discussed again after three months.

“It’s being postponed mainly because of what happened when Roberta was here,” councilor Julia Ruger said, referring to Roberta Acosta from the Rural Community Assistance Program.

Acosta spoke at the Dec. 14 committee-of-the-whole meeting and told council members that funding possibilities for the sewer separation project took a turn for the worse.

“We want to see where we are in three months,” Ruger said, noting that the long-term sewer control plan remains a worrisome issue for council.

Marlatt said it’s not that council doesn’t want to give pay increases.

Village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver said the salaries of most employees come from the general fund and are not affected by the sewer project.

The salary increase would have resulted in  three percent raises for Zuver, Dee Potter and police officers.

PARKS—Nicholas Ramos was hired to serve as the park director for 2012. The park board will determine his salary.

BLEACHERS—Fayette’s park bleachers could be in for an overhaul if council accepts a proposal from Pioneer Boy Scout Joseph Stough.

For an Eagle Scout project, Stough would like to direct an effort to disassemble and repair the bleachers and paint them in the school colors.

Stough said he will undertake fund-raising to pay for the work.

Marlatt said the project sounds beneficial to the community and she would present the plan to the park committee.

ZONING—Suzette Boesger was appointed to fill a vacant position on the zoning board.

AUDIT—Council approved an expenditure of $400 for assistance with the annual audit. Zuver said the auditing firm of Perry and Associates was assigned to handle the village audit. She was pleased with the news since that firm was her first choice.

AUTOCON—Council approved a contract with Bergren and Associates for the water plant automatic control system.

INSURANCE—The Hylant Group (The Ohio Plan) was selected to serve as the village insurance carrier.

SOLICITOR—A motion to hire Tom Thompson as the village solicitor for 2012 did not come up for a vote. Instead the issue will go to the Government Affairs committee.

SEWAGE—Heavy rains increased the amount of sewage pumped in recent weeks. Average daily water use was 134,000 gallons, said interim village administrator Tom Clemensen, while daily sewage pumped averaged 280,000 gallons.

Cleaning sewer lines and connecting residences to the new NW Fulton Project line has been delayed by wet weather.

TAX REVENUE—Income tax collected so far this year stands at $307,500, Clemensen said. Last year’s collection ended at $283,100. The increase, he said, is likely due to the expansion at the TRW plant.

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