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.

Ohio Turnpike won't be leased 2012.12.19

Written by David Green.

Ohio will retain ownership of the Ohio Turnpike, to the relief of residents in the northern part of the state who feared the 241-mile highway system would be sold or leased to a private firm.

When Ohio Governor John Kasich announced two years ago that he was considering the sale or lease of the road, civic leaders and others across the top portion of the state bombarded the governor with letters urging him to reject the plan. Fayette village council voted in May to send a letter protesting the move.

Last week the governor announced that he would not lease the turnpike and instead he would help plug a $1.6 billion transportation budget shortfall by issuing bonds against future toll collections.

The plan is expected to raise $1.5 billion from bonds and bring another $1.5 billion in federal and local funds. A backlog of transportation projects will be addressed, prompting Ohio Transportation Director Jerry Wray to state that 20 years of projects would be rolled into six years time.

In addition, the governor says the plan will create 65,000 jobs and not result in any turnpike employee layoffs. The Ohio Turnpike Commission will be revamped and work closely with the Department of Transportation. Tolls are expected to remain lower than if the highway had been leased.

Ninety percent of the new funding is expected to go toward northern Ohio infrastructure projects, including the turnpike.

The Kasich administration lists a variety of reasons for the large budget shortfall, including the national economic decline, higher fuel prices, more fuel efficient vehicles and constantly increasing costs of construction.

Community leaders in northern Ohio feared a loss of jobs and decreased wages if the turnpike were sold or leased. Concern was also expressed about potential increases in local traffic as truckers sought to avoid high turnpike tolls.

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