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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Fayette school board 2013.03.13

Written 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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015