Morenci city council 03.30.2011

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council members heard a second reading of a proposed ordinance change to allow the sale of liquor on Sundays.

The measure was introduced to council as three readings to allow public comment on the issue. Council is expected to vote on the proposal at the April 11 meeting.

City law currently prohibits the sale of liquor on Sundays, but a recent change in state law cleared the way for Sunday sales. If council were to approve the change, the city would conform to state law.

Bob Borchardt, a co-owner of Borchardt Brothers Market in Morenci, urges councilors to make the change.

“I hate to see sales leave the city,” he said.

As Morenci’s only outlet for liquor sales, Borchardt Brothers would be required to purchase a Sunday sales permit annually.

SKELTON CASE—Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks told council that he bought a $1,000 package of advertising time on television station WLMB at the Skelton brothers auction.

He intends to use it to develop a commercial that would feature general information about the missing Skelton brothers and to give advice for searching for the boys with warmer weather approaching.

Weeks said Channel 13 in Toledo will help with production of the video to save the $500 production fee that would have been charged by WLMB.

When completed, he intends to transfer the video to YouTube and to speak with other broadcasters about using the information as a public service notice.

“I’m excited about it and I think it could prove helpful,” said the chief.

He looks forward to spreading information about the case in a manner that’s framed by the police department.

SOFTBALL—Council voted 4-1 to approve an alcohol permit for a softball tournament scheduled April 23. Mayor Keith Pennington opposed the permit. Art Erbskorn and Joe Varga were absent from the meeting.

Rob Bucklew told council he expects to have up to 10 teams compete in a tournament that will end by midnight. He said that proceeds from the event will go back to members of his softball team to pay for trips to tournaments over the summer.

Bucklew said the alcohol permit is essential to attract teams to a tournament, and he pointed out that tournaments bring a lot of cash into the community.

Alcohol permit requests are generally routine matters for council to consider, but this one was discussed further because some people didn’t see the benefactors as a non-profit group.

Mayor Pennington acknowledged that tournaments are good for local businesses, but he pointed out that most tournaments are run as fund-raisers for a project rather than going back into the pockets of the sponsoring team members.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder reminded Bucklew of a $50 clean-up fee that is returned if city workers are not required to clean the area afterward. There is also a fee charged if the field lights are used.

Bucklew said he intends to sponsor additional tournaments over the summer and he would also like to organize an adult league.

WATER TOWER—Council voted 5-0 to hire Nelson Tank and Engineering at a cost of $1,900 to clean and inspect the east side water tower.

A report from the company will determine what steps should be taken to refurbish the tower and keep it in good structural condition.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.