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.2 2012.01.11

Written by David Green.

Morenci continues to move toward the top of the list for funding to replace the East Main Street bridge.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder learned last week that the city was not chosen in the current funding cycle, but she was told the city was number five on the list of 60 applications. Only the top three were chosen.

The state inspector has observed the condition of the bridge over recent years and pointed out some deterioration and the eventual need for replacement. the bridge was constructed in 1941.

City superintendent Barney Vanderpool said the weight limits were not changed last year, but he expects they might be lowered again after the next inspection.

If the city receives funding next year, replacement would be scheduled in 2015.

BEER AND WINE—City council voted 5-2 to approve a license for the sale of beer and wine by the Dollar General store. Store employees trained in the sale of alcohol, said a district manager at the council meeting, and monitored closely.

Police chief Larry Weeks said the application first passes through his office, but also needs council approval. He found no reason to reject the application.

Mayor Keith Pennington and council member Robert Jennings opposed the license for the store.

ALPINE—Council voted 7-0 to reject an offer by the Economic Development Corporation of Lenawee (EDC) to sell the former Alpine Engineering buildings on Salisbury Street. The city is trying to obtain repayment of a $23,000 loan made to the EDC for environmental work that was completed at the buildings in 2006.

After Alpine moved to Hudson, the EDC had no income from the property and has a large unpaid loan to United Bank and Trust for the purchase of the buildings.

EDC has offered the city a $2,000 payment and a one-year extension on the loan. The group is now offering to sell the property to the city for an additional $50,000, but council rejected the offer.

FIRE DEPARTMENT—Morenci Fire Department members met Jan. 8 to elect officers for 2012.

Officer chosen were Brad Lonis, C2; Bronson DiCenso, C4; Steve Olmstead, C6; Duyane Dickerson, head engineer; Cory Holt, second engineer; Delbert McClain, third engineer; Cory Sallows, fourth engineer; and Farra Ryan, secretary.

Chad Leahy was approved for membership with the department. Nick Fenner resigned from the department.

PROJECTS—Mayor Pennington has asked council members for ideas to use as goals in the coming year to improve services to citizens.

He also intends to schedule a tour of the city’s buildings and grounds. To physically see what may come up during council discussions should help with decision-making, he said.

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