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.

Morenci school audit presented 2011.11.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

When Morenci auditor Philip Rubley makes his annual appearance at the Morenci Board of Education meeting, he generally has some positive words to say despite dwindling financial resources.

This year was different. 

Rubley told the board that if something doesn’t change, the district is going to be out of cash within three years.

Rubley said the district has fallen short more than $400,000 during the past three school years, including a shortfall of $215,000 in the year of his report.

“The news tonight is that you’ve used up about 25 percent of your equity in one year,” he said. “So at this current rate, unless you can curb that, you’ve got two and a half years or so at this pace and you’ll be out of money in the general fund.”

Projecting finances into the future, the district doesn’t have a lot of room to operate without one of two things: an influx of revenue or additional cuts in costs.

Rubley said the food service fund continues to remain strong, unlike most school districts. It’s generally a problem area, he said, but Morenci has done remarkably well in recent years.

It needs to stay that way, he pointed out, of else the general fund would have to cover any shortfall.

He also praised Erica Metcalf’s auditing practices and noted she was within $2,500 of finishing the year where her budget predicted it would be.

“You have a very good accounting system,” Rubley said. “One of the best that we review.”

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