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.

Kiwanis-Rex Riley winners from 10 years ago 02.02.10

Written by David Green.

As the second Wednesday of February approaches—the day of the Rex Riley-Kiwanis Soup and Pie fund-raiser—the Observer takes a look back at the scholarship winners from 10 years ago.

In 2000, seven Morenci graduates received financial help from the scholarship fund.

Lynette VanBrandt Black—The class valedictorian earned a degree in environmental science from Calvin College. She led environmental education programs for children through adults while serving as an Americorp worker for two years.

The job included some habitat restoration projects and Lynette says she learned a lot during her two years.

She married Grant Black and he landed a job teaching at Indiana University, South Bend. Lynette began working for the Soil and Water Conservation District office in Eklhart, but she gave it up before her first child was born.

“That’s my new job,” she said.

She’s hoping to take part in volunteering opportunities when she’s able and she and her husband remain active in various church ministries.

Ashley Phebus—The class salutatorian attended Defiance College and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice. While a student, she worked as a security guard at Sauder Woodworking and remained at Sauder until 2005 when she was hired by Paulding County Job and Family Services as an ongoing caseworker Children's Services.

“I worked directly with families who had been identified as having issues of neglect and/or abuse in the home,” she explained.

In 2008 she took a position as a Corrections Officer at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, then became probation officer with the Defiance County Juvenile Probation Office in 2009.

She’s also nearing the end of a master’s degree in criminal justice administration through Tiffin College.

She’s hoping to find a job offering more administrative/supervisory dutieAs the second Wednesday of February approaches—the day of the Rex Riley-Kiwanis Soup and Pie fund-raiser—the Observer takes a look back at the scholarship winners from 10 years ago.

In 2000, seven Morenci graduates received financial help from the scholarship fund.

LYNETTE VanBRANDT BLACK—The class valedictorian earned a degree in environmental science from Calvin College. She led environmental education programs for children through adults while serving as an Americorp worker for two years.

The job included some habitat restoration projects and Lynette says she learned a lot during her two years.

She married Grant Black and he landed a job teaching at Indiana University, South Bend. Lynette began working for the Soil and Water Conservation District office in Eklhart, but she gave it up before her first child was born.

“That’s my new job,” she said.

She’s hoping to take part in volunteering opportunities when she’s able and she and her husband remain active in various church ministries.

ASHLEY PHEBUS—The class salutatorian attended Defiance College and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice. While a student, she worked as a security guard at Sauder Woodworking and remained at Sauder until 2005 when she was hired by Paulding County Job and Family Services as an ongoing caseworker Children's Services.

“I worked directly with families who had been identified as having issues of neglect and/or abuse in the home,” she explained.

In 2008 she took a position as a Corrections Officer at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, then became probation officer with the Defiance County Juvenile Probation Office in 2009.

She’s also nearing the end of a master’s degree in criminal justice administration through Tiffin College.

She’s hoping to find a job offering more administrative/supervisory duties—something located in a warmer climate.

MOLLY McDOWELL—Molly studied art and education at Siena Heights University and was hired to serve as the junior and senior high art teacher in Reading, Mich.

Budget cuts resulted in a layoff so Molly started graduate work, with plans to earn a master’s degree in special education.

“Optimism is one of my strengths,” she said, “so I must point out that being laid off has given me the wonderful experience of being a stay-at-home mom.”

She and her husband Brian Shaffer, have two children: a daughter, Rowan, 3 -1/2, and a son, Beau, 2-1/2.

“They enjoy the luxury of every day being a ‘snow day’ with mom,” she said.

The family moved from Wauseon to Morenci about a year ago and Molly says the community has everything a toddler could want, between the park, library and Rex.

“I would like to thank the Rex Riley Foundation for the belief they showed in me 10 years ago, and I promise them that I am actively seeking work that will put my education to good use.”

CARRIE MORAN HARSH—Carrie earned an  associate’s degree from Northwest State Community College in applied science as a registered nurse and now works as a charge nurse on the oncology floor at Flower Hospital.

“I have specialized in chemotherapy and oncology and have many certifications including advanced cardiac life support, chemotherapy and biotherapy administration and heart monitoring,” she said, “and I am on the Rapid Response Team.

She has been married to Chuck Harsh for seven years and they have a 3-year-old, Lauren.  Another baby will be arriving in August.

“I continue to live in Morenci and attend Morenci First Baptist Church,” she said. “My future plans include going back to school to become a nurse practitioner specializing in oncology.”

No response was received from Aaron Hughes, Joel Erway and Valerie Kruse.

VALERIE KRUSE—Valerie Kruse attended Central Michigan University for two and one-half years before transferring to Washtenaw Community College to obtain a degree in nursing.

“I am currently a registered nurse with hopes of returning to either Eastern Michigan University or Kent State University this spring to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.”

Valerie works at the Veteran’s Hospital in Ann Arbor and lives in Tecumseh, althgough she hopes to soon purchase a house in Adrian.

AARON HUGHES—After earning a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Michigan State University, Aaron began work as a veterinary technician. He’s also attending to classes at MSU to earn a teaching degree for high school biology.

“My future plans are to find a job as a high school biology teacher, go on lots of hiking/backpacking trips all over the U.S., and possibly create a wildlife sanctuary for injured/old animals.”

He’s enjoying life in East Lansing, but he would like to migrate to a warmer climate in the future.s—something located in a warmer climate.

Molly McDowell—Molly studied art and education at Siena Heights University and was hired to serve as the junior and senior high art teacher in Reading, Mich.

Budget cuts resulted in a layoff so Molly started graduate work, with plans to earn a master’s degree in special education.

“Optimism is one of my strengths,” she said, “so I must point out that being laid off has given me the wonderful experience of being a stay-at-home mom.”

She and her husband Brian Shaffer, have two children: a daughter, Rowan, 3 -1/2, and a son, Beau, 2-1/2.

“They enjoy the luxury of every day being a ‘snow day’ with mom,” she said.

The family moved from Wauseon to Morenci about a year ago and Molly says the community has everything a toddler could want, between the park, library and Rex.

“I would like to thank the Rex Riley Foundation for the belief they showed in me 10 years ago, and I promise them that I am actively seeking work that will put my education to good use.”

Carrie Moran Harsh—Carrie earned an  associate’s degree from Northwest State Community College in applied science as a registered nurse and now works as a charge nurse on the oncology floor at Flower Hospital.

“I have specialized in chemotherapy and oncology and have many certifications including advanced cardiac life support, chemotherapy and biotherapy administration and heart monitoring,” she said, “and I am on the Rapid Response Team.

She has been married to Chuck Harsh for seven years and they have a 3-year-old, Lauren.  Another baby will be arriving in August.

“I continue to live in Morenci and attend Morenci First Baptist Church,” she said. “My future plans include going back to school to become a nurse practitioner specializing in oncology.”

No response was received from Aaron Hughes, Joel Erway and Valerie Kruse.

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