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.

School bond projects 2.27

Written by David Green.

Griffith pointed to a problem with the elementary school water line as a sample of needs that can’t be neglected. The district paid top dollar for emergency repairs last year, he said, rather than fixing the problem so it won’t happen again.

Other needs include—

Elementary school: Replacement of cracking tile held in place by asbestos adhesive; installing energy efficient windows in the gymnasium; replacing exterior doors that are showing corrosion; replacing corroded plumbing; replacing aging toilet fixtures; repairing areas of the roof; paving the front circle drive.

High school: Addressing mechanical issues with the bleachers; replacing exterior gymnasium doors where corrosion has resulted in rotten wood on the gym floor due to water damage; sanding and refinished the gym floor; replacing several exterior doors due to corrosion; replacing the water pressure tank; replacing shower fixtures in locker rooms.

The middle school bond called for construction of a multi-purpose building for alternative education, physical education, wrestling practice and storage. The structure is completed, but still isn’t in use due to a shortage of funds to finish the interior.

District-wide: The running track has exceeded its estimated life span, but it continues to deteriorate. Nearly 70 cracks  break up the surface, in addition to several areas where the rubber surface is missing. Time and money is spent every year patching the surface in an effort to prevent injuries. The bond would cover the cost of a new track. With a properly laid foundation, only the top surface would need to be replaced in the future. The facility is used frequently by district residents, as well as for athletic events and physical education class.

Griffith said that more than $20,000 is spent annually on a variety of upgrades and maintenance for computers, software, internet service, etc. Bond money would pay for new technology equipment, proper wiring and maintenance of the existing equipment.

“What we have and how we apply it is adequate,” Griffith said, “but it always needs updating.”

New funds would also cover instructional needs such as smartboards, projectors and increased long-distance learning opportunities.

The board will also explore energy-saving initiatives and perhaps take what Griffith calls some simple steps to make the district a shade of “green”—both for cost savings and for student involvement.

“We won’t approach it just because it’s trendy,” Griffith said. “It has to make financial sense.”

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