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.

Imagination Library 01.20.2010

Written by David Green.

Sitting on the lap of your mother or father, listening to a book being read—it’s a warm, cozy activity that many adults remember with fondness.

Count Dolly Parton among those who treasure the memory. Her Dollywood Foundation has delivered millions of books to children across the country in hopes that they, too, will enjoy reading time on a parent’s lap.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library has arrived in Lenawee County through an effort by the Lenawee Community Foundation.

Any child up through age five is eligible to receive a free hardcover book every month of the year. When a child is enrolled, the Dollywood Foundation first sends a copy of “The Little Engine that Could.” At the end of a child’s eligibility period, “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!” arrives at a child’s home.

Parton’s project started in 1996 in her home area of the Smoky Mountains, but in 2008 she made the Imagination Library a nation-wide effort.

Sue Hammersmith and Shelley Hickman of the Lenawee Community Foundation started organizing a local Imagination Library in 2008. They spoke with service groups and individuals raised $46,000 for initial funding, plus a $5,000 endowment fund. Earlier this month, more than 460 children were enrolled.

The cost of the program is $30 a year for each child, although no families are charged a fee. Donations are gratefully accepted from those able to give.

The Lenawee Community Foundation is working in partnership with the county’s six community libraries, including Morenci’s Stair Public Library, in addition to the county library and its five branches.

Parents can enroll children at any library. The cost of the books are paid through donations in local communities; the books are mailed to children directly from the Dollywood Foundation.

It’s not only the enjoyable experience for children that Hammersmith is looking for through the effort. She also expecting to see academic improvements among children involved.

“We believe the Lenawee Imagination Library can increase school success by helping to prepare children to learn in kindergarten and beyond,” she said.

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