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 11.18.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The estimated cost of a wind turbine at Fayette school’s campus came in much higher than expected, but superintendent Russ Griggs isn’t convinced the cost will run that high.

Griggs told school board members Monday that the district’s construction manager pegged the cost at $1.2 million, which is 20 percent above previous estimates.

The same construction firm estimated the cost of the new school much higher than the actual, Griggs said, and he wonders if the same thing will happen with the turbine.

Griggs said the district has a million dollars to devote to the project through a grant and leftover construction funds.

“We want to push it to a bid to see what the real numbers would be,” Griggs said. “I don’t think you really know until you push it to a bid.”

If the numbers still come in high, he said, alternatives could be considered such as a smaller turbine.

“I don’t want to give up on this,” he added.

He and treasurer Kelly Bentley are expecting a conference call with the construction manager to review funding sources and come up with solid figures.

Estimates for demolition of the old school buildings also came in high, Griggs said, and up to $200,000 remains in that fund. He would like to convince state officials to move that to the turbine fund.

Board member David Brinegar asked about the time needed to put a turbine into service.

Once the foundation is complete, Griggs said the tower and turbine can be erected in a day and the system commissioned within a week.

NEW TRUSTEE—The board will discuss the appointment of a new member at the Dec. 14 meeting, to take the place of the retiring Paula Schaffner. No one sought to fill the post in the recent election.

Any district resident willing to serve on the board should submit a letter of interest by Dec. 7. The board will discuss candidates at the Dec. 14 meeting (one week earlier than normal due to the holiday break) and appoint a new member in January.

The new trustee will serve a two-year term. After that, the position will return to the regular four-year term of office.

Griggs reminded the board that they wouldn’t be required to select someone from those who applied. They could go outside that pool of candidates to fill the position.

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