The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.

Broadband project 2012.09.26

Written by David Green.

TDS cableBy DAVID GREEN

Construction continues south and southeast of Clayton in a project that will bring high-speed internet service to unserved households.

Communication Corporation of Michigan (CCM), a subsidiary of TDS Telecommunications, received a Rural Utilities Service grant of $1.2 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, part of an effort to expand broadband service in many areas of the country. TDS will add $400,000 to the project cost for work near Clayton and Augusta, Mich. In total, about 300 households will gain broadband service.

Engineering consultant Jeff Wells said Thursday, the eighth day of the project, that a construction crew first began boring south from the Clayton office toward M-34. A cable-burying plow is used in most areas, while a smaller directional boring machine is used in tough terrain or in areas with other buried utilities.

At this stage of the project, an inner duct was laid nearly four feet underground, along with an orange warning ribbon positioned about a foot above the duct. Later, when all duct work is complete, communications cable—either copper or fiber—will be placed inside.

Last week one crew was making its way north on M-156 from Medina Road—the southern boundary of the project—while another crew worked to the east along M-34. In total, about 7.5 miles of cable will be laid in the Clayton area.

TDS serves residents in Clayton and areas north, west and southwest that already have access to cable television service. Federal grant guidelines prohibit those areas from being part of a federal “stimulus funds” project.

The further a signal travels from its source in the central office, the weaker it becomes. Wells said the project will reduce the effects of the signal drop by including five, small “wire centers” on concrete pads that shorten the length of cable through which the signal passes. The project also includes upgrades to the central office in Clayton.

Some residents along M-34 will have the option for a fiber connection—the fastest speed available—but even those served by a copper wire should see a vast improvement over their existing service, Wells said.

CCM was awarded the funds about two years ago, but completion of the project is a lengthy process due to the many steps involved, including engineering, environmental studies and seeking bids.

The contracting firm—R. Roese Contracting of Kawkawlin—has 45 days to complete its job. Once the connections in the wire centers are complete, the system will be powered up and allowed to "cook" for a while to make sure it’s operating correctly.

“It should be fully functional by the summer of 2013,” Wells said, if not a little earlier.

Wells knows that not everyone supports the federal stimulus projects, but he says TDS believes that developing internet infrastructure is important to the nation and a smart investment. Besides that, it’s funding a lot of jobs that, in turn, spread dollars to local businesses in the area.

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