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 2013.03.13

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette Local Schools will soon advertise to fill a new position in the school—the Director of Digital Academy and Student Services.

Superintendent Erik Belcher told board of education members Monday that he sees several duties for the administrative post. 

He wants the new full-time employee to oversee students taking on-line courses and be available to offer assistance. At this time, the courses are offered for students in need of credit recovery—those who have fallen behind in course work from an inability to comprehend the material or those who have missed classes due to illness.

The director would investigate expanding on-line class offerings for all students, with the eventual goal of helping students earn college credits while still in high school.

Belcher would also like the new person to explore co-op working experiences for students who are not attending vo-tech school; to consider opportunities for gifted students; and to become proficient at competitive grant writing.

Finally, the director would make contact with local families that are engaged in home schooling or in virtual schooling via the internet.

"I'm looking for blended learning opportunities," he said, by offering those students the opportunity to attend public school for part of the day to, for example, take a chemistry class, join the band or take advantage of physical education classes.

Belcher said there are more than 40 families with children who could spend part of the day in the public school.

"I view the school as a vital part of the community," he said, "and those students are still our people."

The district would receive state funding for the portion of time the students are in the public school and this could bring in additional revenue to the school.

Belcher said the district is expected to save money through cuts and attrition, and that would cover the costs of the new position.

"We're not just spending more money," Belcher said. "I want to invest part of our savings in the future."

He would like to hire an administrator to fill the role as soon as possible, although he realizes it might not be until Aug. 1 if the successful candidate is already under contract with another district.

The board approved the new position by a 4-0 vote, with Deb Leininger absent.

• RELEASE TIME—Board of education members approved an optional church release time scheduled for about 45 minutes at the end of the school day, one Friday a month. When a waiver is signed by parents, a student will be transported by bus to one of the area churches participating in the program. “Good moral lessons" could be learned at the sessions, Belcher said.

• ATHLETIC FIELDS—The board approved a contract with the Buehrer Group architectural firm for work on future outdoor athletic facilities, at a cost of $6,900.

The contract calls for updating the overall master plan, preparing bids, distributing documents, conducting a bid meeting, preparing award contracts, and providing construction administration services, when requested by the board.

• MEMBERSHIP—The board approved membership in the Ohio School Board Association at a cost of $3,097, based on enrollment.

• FINANCIAL—Sammy Stamm and Company was hired for a two-year contract to compile the district's financial statements for auditing. The cost will remain the same as last year at $2,000 a year.

• INTERNET—Board members approved a service agreement with the Northern Buckeye Education Council for internet access through June 30, 2016.

• COACHES—The following coaches were hired for spring season sports: varsity track, Paula Stambaugh and Andy Van Zile; junior high track, Adam Ohlemacher and Dave Conklin; varsity baseball, Ryan Colegrove and Bruce Miller.

• PERSONNEL—The board accepted the resignation of bus driver Cheryl Shaffer effective Jan. 22, 2013. Brian Fether was approved as a substitute bus driver, pending completion of licensing requirements.

• CLOSED—The board met in a closed session to discuss personnel issues.

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