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 library seeks levy 12.23.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s Normal Memorial Library board is moving forward with a levy effort in hopes of increasing revenue following state cuts.

As a school district library, permission for the levy must come from the Fayette Board of Education, and approval was given at the Dec. 14 meeting.

The next step, explained school treasurer Kelly Bentley, is for the county auditor to approve the issue. Finally, the levy request will return to the school board for placement on the May 4 ballot.

The library board seeks a five-year, 0.75-mill operating levy in the May 2010 election. If approved by school district voters, the first collection from the levy would come in May 2011.

Library board president Mike Figgins explained to the school board in October that the levy would bring in about $30,000 annually and cost a typical homeowner less than $15 a year.

The decision to ask for levy approval followed a large reduction in state allocations to libraries. Fayette’s state aide is expected to come in $41,000 less than the 2008 level of $152,500.

In mid-September, Normal Memorial Library trimmed 20 hours from the weekly schedule, with evening hours offered only once a week and no Saturday hours. Some Saturday hours have been restored because of a new school program at the library.

Library director Sally Canfield told the school board that the reduction in hours is especially difficult for patrons during tough economic times when internet service is important for job searches. Due to layoffs, many area residents have been forced to cancel their home internet connection.

The vote will be the first attempt for a levy by the Normal Memorial Library board.

BOARD MEMBER—The board met in a closed session to interview two people who expressed interest in serving on the school board. No one filed to replace the retiring Paula Schaffner in the November election so board members will appoint a new member in January.

CUSTODIAL—The board voted to bring back part-time custodian Dana Hanna to clean up after athletic contests and perform other duties.

She was laid off in June due to a budget  shortfall, but hiring her on a part-time basis will save the district money rather than paying full-time custodians at an overtime rate.

Hanna will work 20 hours a week through the end of June.

FUNDING—The Ohio General Assembly came to an agreement with Governor Ted Strickland late Thursday to address the state’s $851 million shortfall. This cancels the threat of cuts in education spending.

“This is a great relief to school districts in Ohio,” Fayette superintendent Russ Griggs said. However, he added, it doesn’t address any future budget problems that might arise.

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