The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Fayette school board 2011.08.17

Written by David Green.

What a difference a year makes.

Last August the Fayette school district started off the year with the smallest kindergarten class in recent memory—only 19 pupils.

This year, 43 students have enrolled, with the possibility of two more.

The influx of students is resulting in two kindergarten sections this year, principal Dr. LuAnn Boyer told board of education members Monday. In fact, the kindergarten class will be second only to incoming seventh graders, a class that started off in 2010 with 51 members.

Boyer said that enrollment continues to fluctuate from day to day, but as of Monday the elementary had gained seven compared to last year.

Boyer said the pre-K enrollment will be larger this year with the combination of the Head Start classroom and the Education Service Center (ESC) preschool. Several years ago the ESC class was moved to Pulaski due to a lack of classroom space.

Secondary school principal Dan Feasel said that enrollment is close to last year’s level.

REPORT CARD—The preliminary district report card shows the district earning “excellence” standing, although report won’t officially be released until Aug. 24.

Feasel said the keyword for teachers this year is “rigor.”

“That’s not necessarily making something tougher,” he said, “but to answer things more thoroughly, to be more in depth.”

He believes it will benefit students on the state test.

HIRING—District resident Audra Roesti was hired to serve as the half-time family consumer science teacher. The position was reduced from full-time for the coming school year due to budget troubles.

Roesti has helped with school projects through her employment at the Fulton County Health Department.

By her request, Sue Repp’s hours will be reduced by 15 minutes to six hours a day for her food service job. Chris Hylander was hired to fill a vacant food service position at 6.25 hours a day.

Cinda Metcalf was hired as a substitute teacher.

SUMMER SCHOOL—Classes started Monday for elementary school students. Twenty-one students who didn’t achieve proficiency on stating testing were invited to attend, Boyer said, 12 of them showed up Monday.

The cost of the program is paid through the 21st Century grant.

DOUBLE DUTY—Fayette superintendent Russ Griggs is again working part-time with the Swanton district. The Swanton school board understands his prior commitment to Fayette and accepts that duties with Fayette take top priority, he said.

Griggs said he initially thought the Swanton job would be short-term, but the arrangement could last the entire school year if Swanton doesn’t act to fill the position.

TURBINE—District treasurer Kelly Bentley said the January to June comparison of electrical costs shows a savings of $12,877 or 31 percent from the previous year.

She said this is most accurate comparison made so far on the cost benefits of the wind turbine.

PARKING—Work is being arranged to repair a portion of the parking lot where buses stop to unload students. Board member Kirk Keiser asked if the work wasn’t done correctly.

Griggs said it followed the specifications, but due to poor planning, the area should have been built with reinforced paving.

He’s hoping to have Gerken pave the area when Gamble Road is repaired, but that date is still unknown.

TRANSPORTATION—Kelly Hartman was hired to transport a special needs student for the afternoon route from a Wauseon school with a pay rate of $25 a day.

PRESCHOOL—The district will serve as the fiscal officer for the Northwest Ohio Community Action Commission for a fee of $1,600.

POSTERS—Students Caleb Sager and Aubrey Lemley received certificates from the Severe Weather Awareness poster contest.

VOLUNTEERS—The following volunteers were approved for athletic programs: Jason Nicely, varsity girls basketball; Andy Van Zile, freshman boys basketball; and Amy Kessler, seventh grade girls basketball.

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