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.

"Vote Yes" committee supports Morenci bond proposal 4.2

Written by David Green.

Morenci’s “Vote Yes” committee is looking for volunteers to help work toward passage of the May 6 bond proposal for school maintenance.

The committee will meet at 7 p.m. April 10 at Stair Public Library to discuss plans for a campaign hoping to ensure voter approval.

Committee members are Adam Johnson, Carrie Dillon, Penny Baumgartner and Joe Farquhar.

Farquhar said he and Johnson recently toured school facilities and came away even more convinced of the need for maintenance work. The elementary school is now more than 50 years old and the high school has been in operation nearly 40 years.

“Probably the biggest thing that surprised us was the condition of the elementary school bathrooms,” Farquhar said.

The most noticeable problem is the stalls rusted through at the bottom, he said. Plumbing problems at the school include classroom sinks that need to be replaced, but removal will take a special effort due to an asbestos wrapping.

The parking area in front of the school is a lot worse than he realized, Farquhar said, and needs to be rebuilt.

Farquhar said the showers in the high school are the original units and not in good repair.

“The track is in hideous condition and people should realize that it’s not just for the track team,” Farquhar said. “Gym classes and a lot of community members also use it.”

One coach from a league school said he doesn’t want his team competing there this year due to the cracks, bare spots and dips in the surface.

Farquhar said it needs to be rebuilt correctly with drainage so the subsurface will last longer.

Farquhar said he was inquisitive about the finances behind the bond proposal, so he traveled to Lansing with school officials to meet with a panel of bankers, attorneys and representatives from the state treasurer’s office.

“All of this is audited down to the last screw,” he said. “I think the bond is an excellent opportunity. The board of education really did its homework on this.

“You can go on giving the same amount of money you have been giving and get a lot accomplished.”

Taxpayers are being asked to hold the existing middle school bond millage at a steady rate for the next five years to allow $1.4 million worth of maintenance projects. The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an average of $40 a year for five years.

If the bond fails, taxes paid on the middle school bond will begin to decline this year.

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