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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

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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