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.

Students attend Girls' State 7.7.2010

Written by David Green.

Fayette: Thirty-nine new friends and a lot of new knowledge about how government functions.

That’s how Fayette High School junior Katie Knisely described her recent experience at Buckeye Girls’ State. The annual event took place June 13-19 at Ashland University.

Katie was appointed nurse for Lucy Hayes city, named in honor of the wife of President Rutherford Hayes, and she was elected to the city council.

Within the fictional city, Katie obtained a vendor’s license and opened a candy store. She was also named “most artistic” within her county for her efforts at decorating doors. As a council member, she helped create an array of rules and regulations to help the city function.

“It was really fun and I learned a lot about voting and the way that government is run,” she said. “The week went really fast, but you did learn a lot.”

The American Legion Auxiliary Buckeye Girls’ State program is designed to educate citizens in city, county and state government functions and operations. Delegates also learn the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Nine hundred girls participated in the week-long program.

Morenci: Three Morenci students attended the Legion Auxiliary’s Girls’ State last week at Michigan State University.

Elaina Pruzinski, Lesley Kazmierczak and Hayli Cox were chosen to represent Morenci. The cost of participation was paid by Rural Urban Insurance Agency, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce, Pennington Gas Company, General Broach and Morenci Legion Auxiliary Unit #368.

Elaina represented her city with the Girls’ State Press Association, writing stories about events for the daily newspaper, Politically Speaking. She was one of 12 delegates serving with the press corps.

“I’m really glad I got to go,” Elaina said. “It was a really good experience and a lot of fun.”

She said it was interesting to see how government functions and she enjoyed the interaction with other girls from around the state.

Once Lesley Kazmierczak was elected to city council, she thought she might want to go a step farther and she ran for mayor. She didn’t succeed there and she then tried for county medical examiner. In the end she remained a city councilor and that, she found out, was enough.

“It ended up being a huge job in itself,” she said.

The council took most of the week to work through various issues and decision-making. When Girls’ State wrapped up, her city’s budget stood with more than $1 million.

She enjoyed getting to know other delegates and she really liked the convention when her party members went over the planks of their platform.

But enough is enough; she really would have appreciated a little more free time.

Hayli Cox was elected to the county board, presiding over about 150 people, and later was elected to House of Representatives. That wasn’t the end; she was then chosen Speaker of the House.

Her familiarity with the way bills are written and moved through the house helped her advance, she said.

“I had to do a lot of teaching,” she said, to help other representatives understand the process.

The first couple of days brought a lot of hard work, but the girls were told that it would get better. That was good advice.

“After that,” Hayli said, “it just started to get fun.”

She sees the week as a good simulation of how government works and she recommends the experience to next year’s juniors.

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