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.

Fayette school board to consider cuts 12.24.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Ohio school superintendents are expecting cuts in state aid, but the question remains about how severe the reductions will be.

Fayette superintendent Russ Griggs gave board of education members a preview of what the district could face.

Griggs told the board at the Dec. 15 meeting that the district should have a cash surplus of $131,677 at the end of the 2010-11 school year, based on current projections.

Griggs said he feels fairly comfortable with a forecast two years down the road, but anything beyond that extrapolates too far into the future.

State aid cuts, however, will change the district’s financial package severely. If the state were to cut funding by five percent—and the board did nothing in response—the 2010-11 balance could end up $500,000 in the red. A 10 percent could result in a $760,000 shortfall. Neither of those situations are legal under Ohio law, Griggs said.

“I am concerned with the projected deficit,” Griggs said after the meeting, “and I must present to the board a plan to balance the budget based on the levels of cuts we might receive.”

Griggs added that the district will receive less income tax revenue due to falling housing prices and probably an increase in delinquent property tax cases due to the economy.

It’s a not a pretty picture, he said, but noted that Fayette is certainly not alone. Griggs will present some possible cuts to the board at the Jan. 12 meeting.

Griggs said he’s had to deal with similar situations in the past and made it through.

“I don’t want to minimize this as though it’s not serious,” he told the board, “because it is serious.”

organizational—The board’s annual organizational meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. Jan. 12, one week earlier than the usual monthly meeting date. The regular meeting will follow.

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