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.

Stair Library has a "branch office" at the middle school 2011.12.07

Written by David Green.

school.M.branch libraryStair Public Library director Colleen Leddy remembers the day she had a flash of ingenuity that would expand the reach of Morenci’s library. She would place a selection of the library’s books at the school for students to check out.

That day sticks in her mind because she later read an article in an American Library Association periodical about a public library taking that same approach at a school—an article that was published the same day she came up with the idea.

Maybe it wasn’t an original idea after all, but she still thinks it’s a great one.

The classroom of Morenci Middle School teacher Sally Kruger has served as a library of sorts for years, with the walls of the classroom lined with books for young readers.

Students from grades five through 12 are often perusing the books from her collection, which is nearly entirely fiction.

There’s now a shelf in her room designated for purchases made and owned by Stair, but circulated through Mrs. Kruger, who happens to be president of the Stair Public Library board of trustees. She calls the shelf Stair’s branch library.

“Kids were really excited when I told them it was coming,” Mrs. Kruger said. 

There are only 21 books in the collection so far, but several more are waiting to be processed and others are on order. Many are books that Mrs. Kruger wouldn’t have ordered herself, so the new arrangement is expanding what’s available at the school.

“We’re reaching some kids who don’t have library cards,” Leddy said, “and maybe some kids who don’t have transportation to the library.”

She’s hoping the arrangement will eventually lead to some new patrons at the library.

The books are not only for students to  check out at the school. They show up on Stair’s catalog of books and any request can easily be brought to the main library for a patron.

In the age of the internet, are students still interested in reading books? Mrs. Kruger says they are.

“There are still many kids interested in reading,” she said, “but you have to be excited about reading with them.”

The middle school library is not up to date in book purchases, Mrs. Kruger said, and her collection of 3,400 titles offers students a contemporary selection.

There is some order to her library, with books grouped into, for example, the “guys shelf,” an area with series books, the quick read collection and the Schaffner shelf—a selection that students in Mrs. Schaffner’s social studies classes can put to use.

Now, with the Stair collection, there’s one more option for students to fill their need for a good book.

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