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.

Morenci school maintenance projects to begin soon 7.30

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Bids are scheduled for approval next week for maintenance projects at Morenci’s high school and elementary school buildings.

All the projects are expected to begin this summer, said superintendent of schools  Kyle Griffith, with the exception of flooring replacement in certain elementary school classrooms. That work will have to wait until the next school year ends due to a lack of time.

Griffith initially thought that some projects would be underway by now, but the process has taken more time than expected and he’s not about to rush into the process.

“We are fortunate that the bond passed and we will proceed carefully with the use of these funds,” he said. “We would rather have a few delays along the way in order to make suer everyone is on the same page.”

After voters approved the bond, several behind-the-scenes efforts got underway.

“There are a lot of steps to be taken before a project of this nature can begin,” Griffith said.

The school board first sought authorization to issue bonds for $1.4 million and then put the bonds out for sale. When that was accomplished, bids were let for the various projects at the 50-year-old elementary school and the 40-year-old high school.

Work at the elementary school includes upgrading the waterline, replacing corroded exterior doors and plumbing fixtures, repairing the roof, replacing windows in the gymnasium and repairing the parking lot.

After the gymnasium floor is replaced this summer, classroom materials will be stored in the gym the following summer when work gets underway in those locations.

At the high school, exterior doors and shower fixtures will be replaced, bleachers will be repaired and the alternative education/wrestling facility will be completed—a building approved by voters in the middle school construction bond.

Several technology upgrades are also included in the project, along with the replacement of the running track.

Rather than seek new tax money for the maintenance projects, board of education members asked voters to keep the existing millage rate from the middle school project in place for five years.

The millage rate was scheduled to begin shrinking in the next year due to refinancing of the bond in 2003.

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