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.
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    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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Ideas suggested for city improvement 2012.01.25

Written by David Green.


Morenci mayor Keith Pennington has no shortage of ideas to work on for 2012 after hearing suggestions at the council meeting Monday night.

The mayor asked department heads and council members to come up with at least three priorities to work on for the year.

Brief overviews of the suggestions were given at the council meeting and priorities will be set at a later time.

Police chief Larry Weeks:

1. Enhance community involvement through an improved city website. Include tax records, a staff e-mail list and other documents.

2. Continue discussion of the police department space problems and ways to improve the situation.

3. Give consideration to the disrepair in many areas at the EMS building that is being given to the city from ProMedica. Some needs could be quite expensive.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool:

1. Tackle a water main project on Locust Street from East to Page.

2. Tackle a water main project on W. Chestnut from Salisbury to Clark. There are some dead ends on west end water lines that need to be looped into the system.

3. Evaluate seal coating of a street done in the past and discuss if it should be done in other areas.

Library director Colleen Leddy: 

1. Provide someone to do an interior and exterior audit of the library building to evaluate maintenance needs.

2. Remain aware of proposals to form a district library—either county-wide or Morenci’s own—and support the library board’s decision.

3. Include the library in the city’s information technology maintenance plan.

Fire chief Chad Schisler:

1. Consider improving the west side water system.

2. Print fire safety messages on water bills.

3. Place an LED marquis sign in front of the fire hall to announce community events.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder:

1. Stay in contact with state officials regarding the second phase of the industrial park to complete the road through the park.

2. Stay in contact with the potential donor for the walking trail along Bean Creek.

3. Review the city’s employee handbook.

Building inspector Kevin Arquette:

1. Council should consider updating the fee schedule for inspections and become familiar with code updates to allow him to do his job.

2. Get the rental inspection program up and running for the five-year plan.

Councilor Jeff Bell:

1. Improve the city website and make it more interactive.

2. Review the employee handbook and clarify some gray areas.

3. Examine the zoning fee schedule.

Councilor Tracy Schell:

1. Take advantage of low housing costs and work to increase home ownership in the city.

2. Come up with a plan to market Morenci.

3. Review and update the city charter.

Councilor Robert Jennings:

1. Make changes at Stephenson Park, such as creating more parking along the street; removing unused grills; moving the unused shuffleboard seating to the basketball court; placing trash cans in holders that are fastened to the ground.

Councilor Brenda Spiess:

1. Review employee compensation in light of changes at the state level.

2. Create a capital improvement fund to tackle projects such as street lights at the industrial park.

3. Take a city-wide audit of facilities to evaluate maintenance needs.

Councilor Rebecca Berger:

1. Consider increasing the pay for elected officials.

2. Evaluate street repair needs.

3. Make the appearance of rental homes more acceptable, including lawn care and snow shoveling.

Mayor Pennington:

1. Form a committee to think about what would be needed to make Morenci more of a destination location. This is needed in order for merchants to continue their businesses.

2. Start a discussion about an aesthetic code for the downtown, in an effort to preserve our traditional character.

3. Investigate obtaining energy efficient street lighting.

4. Be aware of the “institutional knowledge” possessed by the city’s long-term staff members. For example, does more than one person thoroughly know the operation of the water system and the location of underground infrastructure? Create a guidebook that shows how to run the city.

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