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

  • 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.

Council votes against optional roof inspections 2013.01.30

Written by David Green.


A tie-breaking vote by mayor Keith Pennington blocked a motion to make roofing inspections optional in Morenci. 

A change in state law allows municipalities to decide if inspections for residential re-roofing projects should be required, and council member Brenda Spiess made a motion that would have ended the city's mandatory inspections.

"The building code is not changing," she said. "The only change is that we're not going to send someone out to look over your shoulder."

Her motion would have made an inspection optional if the sheeting underneath shingles were not disturbed.

Council member Robert Jennings asked how the City would know if the sheeting was disturbed unless it was inspected. It would be no different than the current situation, answered council Tracy Schell. There are dishonest people and dishonest contractors.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder had an example of that from a roofing project near city hall. She said that building inspector Kevin Arquette saw a crew from Hamtramck, Mich., roofing a house without a permit and taking shortcuts that violated city code.

She asked if Arquette should ignore problems if the new proposal were accepted, but she received no answer.

Schell said she would want to pay for an inspection if she were getting a new roof, but a contractor might not think it was necessary if he were working on his own property. She emphasized that it should be a matter of personal responsibility.

Roofing work is expensive, Arquette said, and people cut corners to save money.

"I think it would be a real step backward to make it optional," he said, adding that inspections are there to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens.

Residents who don’t choose to have an inspection would pay more in the long run, Jennings suggested.

"That’s their choice," Spiess said.

Audience member Colleen Leddy suggested that council should be concerned about the condition of housing in the community. With an inspection, she said, there's a much greater chance of having the work done correctly.

Audience member Kim Valentine, a contractor, was asked for his opinion and he favored the optional plan. He thinks people should pay for an inspection, but he doesn't want someone telling him what to do.

Arquette said he could see obvious code violations from the front door of City Hall. If inspections are optional, he asked if he should ignore the problem.

“I don’t think it’s in the scope of my work to ignore obvious code violations,” he said. “There’s some liability here somewhere.”

Schell said she wasn't familiar with the roofing process and asked what could be done incorrectly in putting on new shingles. Arquette quickly came up with nine potential problems.

Schell and Berger were joined by Greg Braun in supporting the optional plan. Jeff Bell, Rebecca Berger and Jennings were opposed, and Pennington's vote stopped the proposal.

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