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.

Jamie DeVoe to speak at U of M 2.18

Written by David Green.

Morenci Area High School band director Jamie DeVoe can add the title Guest Lecturer to his name—at least for one day in April.school.m.devoe.jpg

Mr. DeVoe is enrolled in the University of Michigan’s summer master’s program and one of his professors, music education chair Dr. Marie McCarthy, became interested in the Music Appreciation class he teaches in Morenci.

Dr. McCarthy was looking for a good music class for her undergraduate students to observe in their Secondary General Music course and those classes are often hard to find.

“The difficulty of finding a class like that in high schools around here is because most band/choir directors teach only band and/or choir—many times both—and don’t offer a class like music appreciation,” Mr. DeVoe said. “I’ve taught it since I started here almost three years ago. It was added to replace the choir class that was dropped before I was hired.”

Dr. McCarthy sat in on a class session in Morenci and talked to Mr. DeVoe afterwards. She decided the drive from Morenci was too far for her undergrads to visit for a practice teaching session, so she chose the next best thing—inviting Mr. DeVoe to Ann Arbor to speak to her class.

“She wanted to use my class as an example and use some of my ideas, and she asked me to be a guest lecturer in her class in April,” Mr. DeVoe said.

He views his Music Appreciation class as a supplement to the band program. Band is still the best place to learn about music, he said, but this offers students more to consider.

“I wanted to teach a class where kids learned about what I call ‘musical common sense’ and get them to listen and learn about music they may not typically listen to,” he said.

Mr. DeVoe presents a variety of musical styles, going chronologically from the beginning of “Western” music to the history of rock and roll.

“We have a listening assignment each day that covers listening skills, the history behind the music, and how it relates to society at the time,” Mr. DeVoe said. “I try to incorporate general world history and political aspects of the time, as they usually coincide quite closely.”

His goal is to broaden musical horizons, and he’s successful with many students. Some will leave class with an appreciation of musical styles they initially thought they wouldn’t enjoy. He’s even made some CDs of classical music and jazz to share.

“The majority probably still don’t like a lot of it, but hopefully they understand and appreciate that they wouldn’t have the music they do now if it weren’t for the hundreds of years of musical development we talk about in class.”

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