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 board hears request for school equestrian club 2013.04.17

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci Board of Education members are expected to vote next month on a proposal to allow an equestrian team to function as a school club.

Morenci teacher Michelle Reincke spoke to a school board committee last week about establishing the club as a team sport for the fall season. Three regular meets are planned in September at the county fairgrounds and additional regional and state tournament meets are available to those students who qualify.

The cost is $70 per student, Reincke said, which could be covered by fund-raising activities or by the participants themselves. Students must have their own horse or the use of a horse and must find their own transportation to the fairgrounds.

Students can practice skills on their own to some extent, she said, but team practices are also essential in order for the horses to interact with one another.

Three students are interested in starting the team and Reinke also knows of three middle school students who are interested. The middle school program has only one meet in the spring whih costs $30.

The program would operate at no cost to the district and would benefit from volunteer coaches, including school finance director Erica Metcalf.

Metcalf explained that equestrian events are judged entirely on the skills of the rider and not of the horse. Participants can choose up to eight events for competitions.

Reincke said the students she's spoken with have expressed an interest in working with animals for a career and she believes an equestrian club would serve to support their interests.

FINANCES—Metcalf said last week she was still waiting for information from local taxing units before giving the board a final financial report before actions are taken to trim the budget. Superintendent Michael Osborne intends to present a suggested list of cuts to the board this spring.

A list of maintenance, repair and upgrade needs should be completed soon, also, when the costs of various projects are assembled. The board expects to spend the funds remaining from the middle school construction project to make upgrades to the school's technology system. 

Other projects addressed will depend on the outcome of the May 7 bond vote. District residents will be asked to extend the existing school bond. Passage of the levy would make $2.9 million available for projects without costing taxpayers any more than they currently pay.

BEST PRACTICES—School districts must meet at least seven of eight "best practices" as required by the state in order to obtain full funding. 

Metcalf is confident the district met the requirement which will lead to an additional $52 per student—substantially less than what was given a year ago, she said. 

It's not exactly a gain in funding, added board president Scott Merillat. The state government took money away several years ago and now districts are eligible to get a portion of the funds back again by meeting requirements.

The state is requiring practices such as changing the medical benefits plan to make employees pay a greater portion; offering the Schools of Choice option that allows out-of-district students to attend school with no tuition charged; seeking competitive bids for non-instructional services; monitoring academic progress twice a year; offering an on-line instructional program; providing school data on-line; offering opportunities for students to earn post-secondary credits while in high school; and offering a physical education and health education curriculum in accord with state guidelines.

Most of the requirements were already in effect in the district.

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