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.

Stair Public Library chosen for pilot science project 2012.06.13

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

When Stair Public Library director Colleen Leddy read about a new program emphasizing science in small rural libraries, she wanted Morenci to be involved.

She sent an e-mail to the directors of the program and expressed her desire to join in. That was still early in the planning stages, but she was told that Morenci would be kept in mind.

Earlier this month she learned that just 20 libraries in 15 states were chosen to participate in a pilot project and Stair was one of them.

A $2,500 grant from the National Science Foundation will pay for training and implementation of the program. After completion of the pilot program, the experiences of those 20 libraries will be examined before the program is expanded to 100 additional rural libraries.

“Pushing the Limits: Making Sense of Science” is described as a four-part reading, viewing and discussion series for adults.

The program will explore the ways that humans have always strived to push the boundaries of their world.

“We want to be stronger, smarter and more aware,” said Linda Crowe of the Califa library consortium, one of the organizers of the program. “Using science we bring those dreams to life.”

Sometimes great new advances in science and technology make the difference, Crowe said, and other times it’s the science of the everyday.

“In either case, we are all finding ways to push the limits every day,” she said.

The program will explore these ideas by blending a book club model using popular novels with a science café discussion group.

The science café is patterned after a NOVA ScienceNOW project that brings science to unexpected places with the intent of reaching people from a variety of backgrounds. A short video clip is followed by a discussion led by a scientist. Adrian College professor Adam Coughlin has agreed to serve as Stair’s program leader.

Coughlin’s role won’t be to lecture to participants, but rather to create a discussion among people who might not typically discuss science issues.

“The overarching theme is one of real people, real stories and real science,” Crowe said.

Leddy participated in a focus group last year in Texas that gave organizers the opportunity to speak with librarians about the program and learn what would and wouldn’t work.

When it came time to apply for participation in the pilot project, Leddy submitted an application that was well received.

“Your plan for Pushing the Limits...looks terrific!” she was told. The selection committee was impressed with her experience in public programming and pleased with her goal of increasing library usage. 

“Your three letters of support show potential for good community involvement and for getting the word out to people who are not currently library patrons. Your scientist shows sincere interest in the project, and his research interests as well as current scientific specialty looks very promising.”

In addition to funding from the National Science Foundation, the planning team consists of library professionals, scientists and filmmakers from Dartmouth College, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Califa Group, Dawson Media Group and Oregon State University.

Crowe points out there are more public libraries in the U.S. than there are McDonald’s restaurants, and nearly 80 percent of them are in communities with populations of 25,000 or less.

“All communities need and deserve good programs to engage and bring people together,” she said.

Leddy looks forward to the discussions ahead.

“Some of our most interesting and enriching programs at the library have been people simply talking and discussing issues,” she said.

The Living Library, Prime Time, [email protected], guest authors and book discussions have each led to good interaction.

“The STEM topics—science, technology, engineering and math—involve everyday issues that people can relate to and have an opinion about,” Leddy said.

The next step for her is a training session in Portland, Ore., this fall. The program will get underway in 2013.

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