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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Ruth Hutchison leaves library board legacy 2012.02.01

Written by David Green.

Ruth.HutchisonBy DAVID GREEN

When Mike Figgins looked around the table at the last Board of Trustees meeting for Fayette’s Normal Memorial Library, he knew someone was missing.

He did a quick check of the faces and discovered everyone was present. He also quickly realized his error. There was a person missing, but she was no longer part of the group.

For the first time since 1958, Ruth Hutchison was not seated at the table. For the first time since 1968, she wasn’t serving as president of the board.

“I’m 83 years old now and I have four more years on my term,” she said, “but I just assumed that I would let somebody else take it.”

Sarah Schrock agreed to take over the presidency and Jeanne Johnson was accepted as a new trustee. That sounded good to Ruth. She’s comfortable with the changes made and she feels good about her decision to retire.

Ruth was invited to join the board in 1958 by her neighbor, Lucille Violet, who taught English at the school.

“She knew I used the library and liked to read,” Ruth said.

At that time, the library was still part of the school and village residents were invited to check out books there. In the 1960s, state officials decided that schools needed to have their own libraries, leaving Normal Memorial in need of a new home.

Ruth, as vice president, went to a lot of meetings with the board president, Mr. Roberts, to explain the change and the need for a new facility. It was difficult for many people to understand, Ruth remembers.

They got the message across and voters approved a levy for a new library.

There were other tough decisions to follow, such as the creation of a children’s library in 1988. The south side of the library was originally designated a community center, but crowded conditions forced the board to consider a change.

Board member Kathy Fix remembers pushing hard for a children’s library, and when Ruth gave her support for the change, the remainder of the board followed, Kathy said.

More recently, Ruth recalls the difficulty of trimming hours and pay when state funding was cut in 2009.

“It was so hard to do that,” she said. “The staff has no idea how hard it was.”

Ruth speaks highly of the board members she’s worked with over the decades and feels blessed by the diversity of skills. A  lawyer, a banker, teachers and a school administrator, etc., have all contributed their knowledge.

The current board returns the praise.

“Ruth has been an invaluable wealth of information to the library board,” said Deb Rupp. “Her knowledge of past library and staff history, familiarity with the people of the community and connections with the students at school have all contributed to making her one of our greatest resources.”

Mike Figgins describes Ruth as dependable, thorough, and always capable of getting business accomplished.

“She’s been fun to work with,” said Kathy Fix. “What a wonderful legacy of service. We’ll miss her tremendously.”

Sometimes when Ruth talks to a person associated with another library, she realizes how fortunate she’s been with her board colleagues.

“It’s been a pleasant, interesting journey,” she said.

When the second Wednesday of the month comes along, she just might automatically go outside and get in her car before realizing she doesn’t have to be there anymore.

It’s going to feel a little funny, she says.

• Ruth was honored with a retirement dinner Tuesday night at the Opera House.

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