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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • 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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Fayette enrollment drops 11.07

Written by David Green.

There’s certainly no lack of variation among the class sizes in the Gorham Fayette school district this year.

The small 23-member senior class is only half the size of this year’s third grade with 46 students. In between are two other classes in the 20s and one other in the 40s, with an average class size of 34.

Total enrollment hasn’t varied much in recent years, said superintendent of schools David Hankins, although the district did experience a drop of 19 students from a year ago. That translates into a decrease in state aid totaling $105,735, at $5,565 a student.

This year’s senior class is exceptionally small at 23 students. Just last May, 40 students received diplomas. But with a kindergarten class of only 27, don’t look for any big increase once the seniors are gone.

As part of the new school construction project partially funded by the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC), the district was furnished with enrollment projections for the next 10 years, starting with the 2004-05 year. So far, the actual numbers are well below the projection.

For the current school year, the OSFC prediction called for 512 students. That number was projected to increase to 544 for the 2014-15 year.

Those projections were used in designing the new school, which leaves the district in good shape for additional students.

“We actually have some room for growth,” superintendent David Hankins said. “Each classroom is built for 25 students and will hold 30 easily.”

Hankins said Fayette was one of few districts funded by OSFC recently that was given a projection for a significant increase.

Nearly 13 percent of the student body is involved in the “open enrollment” option, allowing a student to attend school tuition-free in a district other than where they reside.

Thirty-six Fayette students take classes in other districts and 20 students from other areas attend school in Fayette.

Students often leave to obtain curricular opportunities not offered in Fayette, Hankins said, but he noted the reasons for leaving are varied.

For those attending classes in Fayette from other areas, some students prefer the small school setting, he said. In other cases, families have moved out of the district, but students want to continue their schooling where they started off.

Gorham Fayette Schools
2007-08 Enrollment

Kindergarten 27
1st grade    43
2nd grade    35
3rd grade    46
4th grade    34
5th grade    34
6th grade    37
7th grade    31
8th grade    31
9th grade    38
10th grade    29
11th grade    30
12th grade    23
Total grade    438

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015