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 superintendent Russell Griggs reducing time in office 01.19.2011

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette Superintendent of Schools Russell Griggs is hoping to be a little less visible this year.

The retired school chief who works on a part-time basis intends to spend fewer hours in the office and accomplish more tasks via the telephone and e-mail.

Griggs said he intends to travel more and spend more time with his wife while increasing the use of remote communications for school business.

“With the looming doom from the state budget we need to look everywhere for reductions,” he said.

Griggs directed a lot of his time in the past year to the wind turbine project, but that commitment will shrink mostly to quarterly reports to the Department of Development that helped fund the project through a grant.

His new work schedule that he presented to the board of education Jan. 11 will save the district an additional $22,212 in salary and retirement costs.

A fact sheet that he gave to the board shows that the previous superintendent cost the district $120,000 annually. Griggs joined the district for the 2007-08 school year as a part-time superintendent .

In his first full year (2008-09), he reduced his hours and his pay dropped to $90,000, including benefits. The following year it fell to $64,000 and then $55,000.

For the 2011-12 year he proposes a salary and benefit package of only $33,000. The daily rate has remained constant at $335 while his hours spent on the job continue to fall.

His new schedule calls for his services to be provided over 120 days, although not always in the school office. He’s asking the board for a communications stipend of $125 a month.

Griggs will remain available to receive phone calls and he expects to end up donating time beyond the 120 days.

Griggs has warned the board in the past to consider its options in the future when he “fades away” completely because the district’s costs are likely to increase significantly at that time.

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