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 school board 2011.07.20

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The Fayette Board of Education will seek the renewal of a seven-mill operating levy for an additional five years. Voters will decide the fate of the request at the November 2011 election.

Board members earlier voted to seek a renewal, but the final “intent to proceed” was to be voted on Monday at the regular July meeting. With only three board members present, the vote was postponed and a special meeting scheduled at 7 p.m. July 25.

The measure is only a renewal, explained superintendent Russell Griggs, and represents no new tax revenue. However, the levy is very important to the district’s operation since it brings in nearly $300,000 in the first year of collection, based on the current assessed valuation of the district.

The seven-mill levy provides operational funds in addition to the base 20-mill levy. 

If renewed, the levy would take effect in 2013.

REBATE—The board voted to accept a rebate proposal from First Energy that will give the district about $14,000 (80 cents per kilowatt hour). In addition, the district should have an annual savings of about $4,000 in electrical costs.

In order to receive the rebate, the district will replace several light fixtures in the school and exchange existing light bulbs for high efficiency bulbs.

Griggs said it might seem odd to replace fixtures in a school that opened only three years ago, but many of the fixtures are eight or nine years old and upgrades in efficiency have occurred over that time.

Griggs also expects some people to question the $40,000 replacement costs that will lead to annual savings of $4,000 a year, but he said there’s more to it than that.

The new gymnasium fixtures, for example, will result in a reduced rate of bulb replacement, he said, along with a savings in time for the custodial staff.

“Long term, it’s just good business,” he said, “and the rebate is not taxpayers’ money. I think you should take advantage of incentives to improve your bottom line.”

CONTRACT—The district’s support staff (OAPSE) agreed to continue their existing contract for another year, with no increase in salary or benefits.

WAIVER DAY—The state education department granted a waiver day for the district Sept. 12 when teachers will attend a county-wide in-service session in Wauseon. Well-known education speaker William Daggett will present the program.

Classes will be canceled for the day, but through the waiver, the day will not have to be made up later.

PERSONNEL—Board members accepted the resignation of food service worker Jennifer Schaffner.

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