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.

Foundation awards mini-grants 11.11.09

Written by David Green.

The Morenci Education Foundation’s school mini-grant program is nearing the $40,000 mark in total grants with more than $3,700 distributed last week.

In eight years, the foundation has funded 110 projects and equipment requests for Morenci teachers and staff.

“We began awarding mini-grants in the fall of 2002 when we awarded three for a total of $1,200,” said foundation president Bill Van Valkenburg. “Our most prosperous year was 2007 when we were able to award 27 totaling over $9,000.”

The major fund-raiser for the mini-grant program is the annual Father’s Day golf tournament, but the profit was down this year.

“Typical of so many charitable organizations, we lost a significant number of sponsors because of businesses decreasing their giving because of the slow economy,” Van Valkenburg said. 

 Because of this, the grant total shrunk to about half of the previous year, but a variety of needs were met, ranging from a $40 request to one costing $1,335.

“We are, however, very grateful for all those businesses, families and individuals who support us,” Van Valkenburg said. “I just wish we had more to give as I know the mini-grants are very helpful to teachers in the classroom.”


2009 Mini-Grants

High School

• 25 Spanish-English dictionaries, $150;

• Photoshop upgrade for yearbook staff, $150.

Middle School

• Resistance bands for physical education class, $396;

• Adventure Education at Somerset Beach for sixth grade resource room, $300.

Elementary School

• Production of the musical “Annie, Junior,” $850;

• Audio enhancement system for Liz Jarrell’s first grade classroom, $1,345;

• A weather station for Melissa Elliott’s first grade classroom, $40;

• Listening center materials for Paula Grieder’s kindergarten classroom; $250;

• Michigan history lighthouse project for Lori Garrow’s fourth grade classroom, $157;

• Materials for the Handwriting Without Tears program for Brigell Vernier’s kindergarten class, $100.

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