Morenci to buy two new school buses 7.29.09

Written by David Green.

Morenci school superintendent Kyle Griffith saw the deal as an offer too good to refuse: two school buses for the price of one.

Morenci joined a consortium of eight Lenawee and Jackson county schools to take advantage of a U.S. EPA grant through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program.

With a 50 percent local match, the districts will share $1.79 million to retrofit existing buses to meet new emission standards and to buy new buses.

Morenci will use its share to acquire a pair of buses.

“We’re very fortunate,” Griffith said. “Our bus replacement schedule has been put off [due to financial conditions] so we went for the half-off deal.”

Griffith said the district will save about $80,000. The school’s two buses most in need of replacement will be exchanged.

The grant is similar to the federal “cash for clunkers” program in that the old vehicles cannot be sold but instead must be scrapped.

Griffith initially thought the program was strictly for the purpose of buying propane-fueled buses, but now he believes the district might have the choice of propane or new fuel-efficient diesel models.

“It’s a good problem to have,” he said about the decision the board must make.

Board members will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

The participating districts will purchase a total of 12 new buses and 41 diesel particulate filter and closed crankcase ventilation retrofit technology systems.

Participating Lenawee County districts are Morenci, Blissfield, Deerfield, Britton and the LISD. Jackson County schools include Columbia, Grass Lake and Hanover-Horton.

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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.

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