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.

Gov. Kasich moving forward with Ohio Turnpike lease plan 2012.10.17

Written by David Green.

It wasn’t good news to Fayette mayor Ruth Marlatt. Not at all.

When she learned earlier this month that Ohio Governor John Kasich is moving closer to leasing the Ohio Turnpike, her concern about the decision’s impact on Fayette only increased.

Marlatt first spoke to village council members about the issue in February, and in May council voted to join many other communities in northern Ohio by sending a letter of disapproval to the governor.

Kasich spoke about leasing the turnpike to a private firm early in his term as governor. On Oct. 4, he announced in Cleveland that a decision would be made within the next 30 days.

Kasich said during the Cleveland speech that more than a billion dollars would be raised over time by the sale, and those funds could be used to pay for infrastructure needs for a decade. He told business leaders in Cleveland that the bulk of the money would be used for projects in the northern part of the state.

A Texas consulting firm was paid $2.85 million to complete a feasibility study of the proposed sale, according to the Columbus Dispatch, but the results of the study have not yet been released.

If the turnpike isn’t leased to a private firm, Kasich might instead issue bonds against the roadway or have ODOT take over operations.

Critics of the lease plan claim that a similar move in Indiana left its toll road with higher fares and poorer maintenance. Marlatt spoke about the concern of increased traffic on U.S. 20 passing through Fayette as more truckers would look for alternatives to higher fares. The loss of some local jobs is also anticipated.

Ed Kinston of Pioneer, a former turnpike commission member, has said that the interest in a decision to lease the highway would likely focus on the revenue earned rather than the effect of the move to communities along the road.

Some critics have described the plan as short term gain followed by long-term problems, but Gov. Kasich believes action is needed to pay for road and bridge projects.

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