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.

Isobar look at January weather 2012.02.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

With January gone and a week into February, we’ve somehow survived what many forecasters were calling a brutal winter.

Cold temperatures, deep snow, plenty of misery.

A headline-grabbing forecaster from snowday.com predicted cities would be buried with snow. Another from Accuweather said people of Chicago would want to move after this winter.

“I think the only ones who want to move,” said George Isobar, the Morenci climate observer for the National Weather Service, “are those with snowmobiles and skis who are looking for some good winter weather.”

January finished up 4.7° warmer than average and snowfall, at 6.5 inches, came in a little on the light side.

“We’ve had many Januarys with less snow,” Isobar said. “Last month’s just stands out in contrast to the big predictions. Our average is about nine inches.”

The ground was covered with snow on only nine days last month—the deepest just three inches—which is a little unusual.

“Many years if we get two or three inches, it’s going to stick around a while, but we never had ground cover more than four days in a row,” Isobar said. “It just kept warming up too much.”

Total precipitation finished at 2.4 inches, about a quarter inch above average.

“We even had a couple of thunderstorms last month,” Isobar said. “We had a little freezing rain only on Jan. 13.”

January finished with only three days in single-digit temperatures, with a low of zero. On the other end of the scale, there were three days in the 50s, with a high of 55°, and 13 days with a high in the 40s. 

“There were just four nights where the temperature stayed at or above freezing,” Isobar said, “so we still had plenty of cold.”

It looks like more of the same, Isobar said.

“We’re on a roll right now with 15 consecutive days above average,” he said. “For the next week, the current forecast calls for most days to rise above freezing. It’s not going to be warm, but it certainly won’t be as cold as it often is this time of year.”

The final day of January proved to be the most above average at 24° higher than normal. The high temperature for the month was recorded that day at 55°. The low temperature of 0° recorded Jan. 20 came on the coldest day—16° below the average.

“We didn’t come even close to a record,” Isobar said. “The high of 71° was set in 1890 and matched in 1950. The low of -20° came in 1984.”

FEBRUARY—As Isobar mentioned earlier, there’s no “real winter” on the horizon. 

“We’ve had a half dozen or so Februarys in the last 30-odd years with snowfall measuring above 10 inches, and that could potentially come in one big storm,” Isobar said.

“So even though there’s only light snow in the forecast through the middle of the month, we still have half the month remaining to turn wintry.”

Or, on the other hand, perhaps this most horrible of winters will continue in shades of green and brown without much of the white.

“I’m hearing reports of trees budding and flowers poking up,” Isobar said. “It feels a lot more like March than February.”

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