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 2011.10.26

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Since May, the Fayette Board of Education approved budget cuts of nearly $327,000. During that same time, state support increased by only $40,000.

This points to the importance of the millage renewal request on the Nov. 8 ballot, superintendent Russ Griggs said at the Oct. 17 school board meeting.

Despite cuts in staff and salaries, the district desperately needs to maintain existing revenue to stay afloat.

Griggs said his main point to voters is that the levy is not a new tax, but only a renewal of what’s been paid for many years.

“It’s absolutely essential to the operation of the district,” Griggs said. “Failure to renew the levy would be catastrophic for the district. Even with passing the levy, due to decreasing revenue from the state, operation of the school district is going to be difficult financially, at best.”

District treasurer Kelly Bentley pointed out that Fayette’s average teacher salary and administrator salary is significantly below the state average, along with per-pupil spending.

“I think that says a lot for our district that we’re trying to be as conservative as we can,” she said.

Bentley told the board that an earlier projection called for Fayette to be one of 10 schools in the region to show a negative balance in 2013, but due to the staff cuts, the district should remain in the black until the 2014 school year.

Bentley said the district received a bonus of $17 per student from the state for achieving the “excellent” academic rating.

GIFT—The district is to receive 10 percent of the Nora (Nash) Smith trust for student scholarships. Smith graduated from Fayette in 1952 and then left the area. The amount is not yet known.

INSURANCE—Insurance costs will increase nine percent for the current school year. Despite a decision by staff members to pay more of the cost, the district will still pay an additional $26,000. That cost would have been much higher without the help from staff members, Bentley said.

DONATIONS—The Parent Support Group for the Class of 2012 donated $598 to purchase graduation caps and gowns.

The Fayette Athletic Boosters donated $4,900 to buy uniforms that will be worn by the cross country and track and field teams.

PLOWING—The board voted to accept a three-year contract with Jeff Keefer for snow removal. The contract calls for an increased cost due to the price of diesel fuel.

STAFF—Veronica Molina was approved as a substitute employee for several positions. Carolee Hartman resigned from her full-time bus driver job and was hired as a substitute driver.

Wendy Adams was hired to fill the dish washer preparation position for three hours a day.

Brian Keefer, Rodney Kessler and Heath Armstrong were approved as volunteers with the boys basketball program. Carrie Ueberroth will serve as elementary school student council advisor.

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