The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
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    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
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    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
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    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Morenci school enrollment falls 10.07

Written by David Green.

Student enrollment numbers didn’t improve much for the Morenci school district since the start of the school year, leaving the district with 37 students fewer than estimated in the 2009-10 budget.

 Early in the school year, enrollment showed a decrease of 58 students, including a drop of 20 students figured in the budget. When the official count day arrived Sept. 30, the situation improved only by one student.

Any students missing school on the count day with an unexcused absence must return within 10 days in order to be added to the official count for state aid purposes. Anyone with an excused absence must return within 30 days.

Absences could make a small difference, said superintendent Kyle Griffith, but the district is likely to face a cash shortfall of well over $200,000.

State aid is an entirely separate issue, he said.

“We budgeted on a $110 [per pupil] loss, which should help us, but we still have to wait to see what the state does,” he said.

Some legislators are calling for a cut of double that amount. State government is now working during a 30-day temporary budget period until a final, long overdue budget is approved.

Griffith said Morenci administrators met last week to discuss options for reducing school spending to deal with the cash shortfall. Twenty-one layoff notices were issued last month in preparation for making changes prior to the second trimester starting in late November.

Griffith noted that total enrollment of 786 includes two special education students from other districts who attend class here. Their state aid will return to their home districts.

Morenci sends 10 students to special classes in Addison and their state funding stays with Morenci. The total of students here is 786, but the total figuring into Morenci’s state support is 794.

Morenci’s graduating class in 2007 included 49 seniors—the smallest Morenci class since the mid-1950s. This year’s junior class has only 43 students and the fifth grade class stands at 47. The fourth grade class is the largest with 73 students.


E.S.     - 327  
M.S.     - 227
H.S.     - 223 

DK - 15                                           
K  - 55                                      
1   - 53
2   - 62                 
3   - 69
4   - 73                                     
5   - 47
6   - 63
7   - 63
8   - 54
9   - 67
10 - 54
11 - 43
12 - 59
Alt -  9
 TOTAL  - 786

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