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.
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    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.
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    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.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • 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.

Dee (Potter) Lawrence retires from Fayette village office 2013.01.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Call her the Face of Fayette, because anyone walking into the village offices during the past 28 years was met with a smile from Dee (Potter) Lawrence.

dee.potter.l"I was hired in September 1985 and Phil McKinney was hired in October," she said.

Dee served as tax administrator to handle the village income tax and also as utility clerk for water and sewer billing. Phil was the village clerk. That was back when Leonard Morr served as the village administrator—a much different time.

"We didn't have computers," Dee recalls. "We did everything by hand. I kept all the records in a big black book."

She remembers the day in 1991 when a computer was first brought into the office.

"There was just one computer that Phil and I had to share with [administrator] Dennis Richardson," she said. "All three of us had to take turns."

When the village office first got a fax machine, Dee was skeptical. "What in the world will we ever use that for?" she wondered.

Envelopes were labeled with an Addressograph machine. Postcards for billing were all written by hand.

"When I tell that to people today, they think I'm crazy," Dee said.

There's a job in the office that still requires the use of a typewriter and she was using it just recently when a much younger Fed Ex man stopped in for a delivery.

"Is that a typewriter?" he asked. "I've never seen one before."

There's no hesitation when asked what she most enjoyed about her job: the people. 

"I loved being downtown and meeting with people," Dee said. "The village office was the place to go for information."

One of the most common questions: "What's the phone number for the library?" Fayette Library would have been easy to find in a phonebook, but Normal Memorial Library didn't register in the minds of many residents.

It wasn't just local citizens coming in to pay a water bill or to report a growing pothole, travelers often stopped in, also, when driving along U.S. 20.

"People would to stop in and tell me that they used to live here," she said.

Her most unpleasant task was ordering water to be shut off due to unpaid bills. "I hated to have to do that," she said.

What about the complainers?

"Most everybody could be defused," Dee said. "I would say, ‘Let's see what the problem is. We can figure this out.’"

The other village office staff members who took her place at the front desk when she was out knew that Dee had the best chair in the place. That chair is no longer there; it went to her home office. Eight or nine years ago when her son-in-law stopped by one day, he saw the old chair she had to use and he bought her a fancy new one. She wasn't about to leave that behind.

If her first week of retirement is any indication, non-working life will be every bit as busy as when she was in the office.

"Al and I haven't had a moment's peace," she said. “Remember that saying? Once you retire, you wonder how you had the time to work."

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