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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Wind turbines discussed at meeting 2012.07.11

Written by David Green.


Many people attending the June 27 public meeting at the Morenci American Legion Home were hoping to hear from both sides of the wind turbine issue.

But, as advertised, the meeting was sponsored by the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition—a group dedicated to informing the public of “the potential impacts from the construction of industrial wind turbines.”

The two speakers outlined potential problems with land leases and listed problems residents might have living near a turbine. No one in the audience challenged any of the points made during the presentation.

Township resident Matt Simpkins, however, said he wasn’t pleased with what he saw as a negative approach to the issue. He thinks some attention should be paid to what might be gained from having turbines and the economic stimulus a wind farm could provide.

Addressing the two speakers—Kevon Martis from Riga Township and Toledo attorney Josh Nolan—Simpkins asked, “Why don’t we hire you guys and say, ‘We want them in our township.’ Write an ordinance that can help our township and we’ll pay you money to do this.”

Are there any areas in the township, Simpkins asked, where turbines could be placed where it wouldn’t affect anyone’s property values?

“I would say yes,” Martis answered. “If you adopt an ordinance like Riga’s that you don’t need to pay us for.”

Simpkins said that would force turbines out of the township, but Martis said that isn’t true, that it’s the only way to treat your neighbors.

“Your question is, Can you hire me to work on a pro-wind turbine ordinance?” Martis said. “No, I don’t do this for hire. I do this for free.”

Martis claimed that a pro-wind ordinance is already in place in Seneca Township and it faces a vote of the people in August.

“I’m not here to tell you what to do with your township,” he said. “I’m here to tell you what Riga’s experience is and what we found out after four years of exhaustive research.”

Martis cautioned to take developers’ claims with a grain of salt.

Simpkins said he signed a petition to bring the issue up for a vote, but he wanted to hear some positive aspects of wind power. He wanted a more open-minded discussion to help people decide.

Martis wasn’t offering anything about the good side of turbines, and he said later that the negatives far outweigh the positives.

Medina Township resident John Van Havel, Jr., pointed to a statement on the flyer advertising the meeting and asked how Seneca’s ordinance fails to protect residents.

Martis quoted studies saying the noise level should be 40 decibels or less and said that Seneca’s is set at 45 to 50.

“That’s it?” Van Havel asked.

Yes, Martis said, the World Health Organization says it’s too loud.

What happens if voters reject the ordinance as written?

The township board could ask the planning commission to come up with a new ordinance, Martis said, or the board could do it on its own.

Another audience member asked why there’s no suggestion made to visit a wind farm. Martis said he highly recommends it, but he cautioned that the odds are in favor of a well-behaving turbine.

Martis said a planning commission member from Merritt Township near Bay City spent three nights in a house near a turbine and it wasn’t until the third visit that he declared, “Nobody should have to live like this.”

Martis said he isn’t asking anyone to blindly accept what he has to say, but he also cautioned against blindly accepting the word of anyone who has a financial stake through a lease for wind development.

Clyde Barron said that he drove to the Paulding, Ohio, area to get a first-hand look at a wind farm. 

“I’d never seen one before other than the [single unit] at Fayette and I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “When I got to it, I was overwhelmed.”

He stopped to talk to someone who was mowing his lawn and asked him what he thought about the turbines since he lived close by. The man said the closest turbine was about a thousand feet from his house.

“What do you think about living underneath them?” Barron asked.

“You don’t want these,” the man said.

Barron said he drove down one of the service roads and stood in a position with a turbine upwind and another downwind. That’s when he formed his opposition to turbines.

“It’s going to change things in a major way,” Barron said. “I know it all sounds negative, but unless you drive out and experience one, I don’t think you really know what we’re in for.”

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015