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Tyra Graham is the new Miss Sweetheart

July 20, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tyra Graham
Miss Sweetheart and Runners-Up
Miss Sweetheart Extreme Queen, Congeniality, Photogenic, Peoples Choice

The 2011 DeKalb County Fair Miss Sweetheart is 12 year old Tyra Graham, the daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville. The pageant was held Wednesday night during the fair in Alexandria.

Graham succeeds the 2010 Miss Sweetheart Jailyn Bolding, the 13 year old daughter of Lori Hendrix and Brad Bolding of Dowelltown.

The first runner-up in the pageant was Santana Nicole Ferrell, the 11 year old daughter of Melissa Ferrell of Dowelltown and Chris Ferrell of Smithville.

Madison Elaine Colwell was the second runner-up. She is the 10 year old daughter of Gabriel and Heather Colwell of Smithville.

Ten year old Sarah Anne Colwell, daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville was the third runner-up.

Fourth runner-up went to Abigail Hope Taylor, the 10 year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville.

The title of Miss Congeniality went to Hailey Nichole Moseley, the 10 year old daughter of Jason and Danielle Moseley of Liberty.

Addison Oakley, the 10 year old daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley of Liberty, was named Miss Photogenic

The Extreme Queen crown went to Kerra Nicole Blackwell, the 12 year old daughter of Brian and Candra Neal and Russell Blackwell of Smithville. The award is sponsored by the Extreme Looks Design Team Salon.

The first ever Peoples Choice winner for this pageant was Kelsey Murphy, the 11 year old daughter of Tammy Horsley and Joey Murphy of Smithville.

Rounding out the top ten in the pageant were Addison Oakley, the 10 year old daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley of Liberty; Hannah Renea Walker, the 12 year old daughter of Scott and Misty Walker of Smithville; Kayla Jayne Belk, the 11 year old daughter of Chrisanne Belk of Smithville; Shaunta Rose Koegler, the 10 year old daughter of Brian and Leticia Koegler of Smithville; and Destiny Danielle Franklin, the 12 year old daughter of Charlie and Jennifer Ware of Smithville.

The pageant featured 29 contestants.

(Top Photo: Miss Sweetheart Tyra Graham)

(Second Photo from Top: left to right, 4th runner-up Abigail Hope Taylor, 2nd runner-up Madison Elaine Colwell, Miss Sweetheart Tyra Graham, 1st runner-up Santana Nicole Ferrell, and 3rd runner-up Sarah Anne Colwell)

(Bottom Photo: left to right, Extreme Queen Kerra Nicole Blackwell, Miss Congeniality Hailey Nichole Moseley, Miss Photogenic Addison Oakley, and Peoples Choice Kelsey Murphy)

Michael Barry Named County Director of UT Extension Service

July 20, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
April Martin and Michael Barry

DeKalb County has a new director of the local UT Agricultural Extension Service.

Michael Barry has taken over from longtime director and county agent Steve Officer, who retired from the position effective July 1. Ron Rogers, who also served as a local county extension agent for many years, has also retired.

Barry comes to DeKalb County from the Warren County Extension Office, where he served for fourteen years. He began his career with the extension service in 1994 at White County, before transferring to Warren County three years later.

A native of Whitehouse, Barry attended MTSU where he earned his Bachelor's degree. He then furthered his education at UT-Knoxville where he earned his Masters degree.

He is the father of one son, a 13 year old

As the newest local county extension agent and director, Barry will be working with adult and 4-H agriculture programs. "I am glad to be here in DeKalb County," said Barry. "

Others in the local office are Extension Agent April Martin, who is responsible for family and consumer science areas where she does adult and 4-H work; TNCEPT coordinator Mary Sanders, and Administrative assistant Jo Ellen Huffman.

"If you have any needs with the extension office, give us a call at 597-4945 or stop by our office on Market Street," said Barry.

TDOT Applies for Permits Pertaining to Sligo Bridge Project

July 20, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District is receiving public comments through August 8 on the Tennessee Department of Transportation's application for permits in regard to the construction of a new Sligo bridge and the demolition of the old one.

Scott Fanning of the Regulatory Branch of the Corps of Engineers Nashville District explained the reason for the public comment period in the following audio clip:

Federal and or state approval is required in order for the proposed construction work to be done including water quality certification from the State of Tennessee in accordance with the Clean Water Act . The Corps of Engineers Real Estate Division must also approve an easement on government lands and waters which is this case totals 7.9 acres and a temporary work area license containing approximately 2.45 acres.

Funds for the replacement of Sligo bridge are included in this year's state budget and bid letting is expected this fall. The existing bridge will remain open while the new bridge is under construction. The new bridge, which will be located about sixty feet to the north of the existing bridge, is to be comprised of two- 12 foot wide travel lanes with 10 foot wide shoulders.

After construction of the new bridge, TDOT proposes to demolish the existing Sligo bridge, which is a seven-span structure consisting of five high steel truss spans and two concrete approach spans with concrete substructures. The total length is 1,374 feet and the width is 27.2 feet. Removal of the existing structure would take both abutments, Pier 1, and Pier 6 one foot below natural ground elevation. Piers 2 through 5 would be removed to an elevation no higher than 600 feet above mean sea level (MSL). Ordinary high water elevation for Center Hill Lake is 648 feet above mean sea level and the normal minimum pool elevation is 618 feet above mean sea level. The existing concrete deck would be removed from the site. Other debris from the demolition which rests below elevation 600 would be left in the lake. This would include steel trusses, concrete and reinforcing steel from the demolition of the piers. Fanning said this proposal might be of some concern to the Corps.

The proposed bridge replacement impacts the lease area for Sligo Marina as well as other outgrants. Access to Sligo Marina will be available during construction however, there will be intermittent closures during the winter. The temporary work/staging area is currently leased to DeKalb County. This area is used as a launching ramp with related parking and the county has no objection of use of this tract during construction. Two locations will serve as encapsulation sites for pyrite. One is approximately 19.6 acres that TDOT acquired on the east side of the river and drains into Blue Springs Creek and the other is approximately 5.7 acres located on the west side of the river at the DeKalb County Landfill and drains toward Falls Creek.

The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts of the activity on the public interest. A permit will be granted unless the District Engineer determines it to be contrary to the public interest.

Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a hearing.

Written statements received on or before August 8 will become a part of the record and will be considered in the determination. Any response to the notice should be directed to the Regulatory Branch, Attention Scott Fanning at Nashville District Corps of Engineers, 3701 Bell Road, Nashville 37214. Phone 615-369-7521 or email scott.fanning@usace.army.mil.

Carlee Elizabeth West Wins Little Miss Pageant

July 19, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Carlee Elizabeth West
Little Miss and Runners-Up
Extreme Queen, Congeniality, Photogenic, and People's Choice

Carlee Elizabeth West won the Little Miss Title of the DeKalb County Fair Tuesday evening.

West, the six year old daughter of D.J. and Megan Stewart of Smithville, succeeds the retiring Little Miss Kenlee Renae Taylor, the six year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville .

First runner-up in the Little Miss contest was Sydney Keegan Pardo, the four year old daughter of Tony and Whitley Pardo of Smithville.

Second runner-up was McKenzie Faith Sanders, the six year old daughter of James and Misti Sanders of Smithville.

Six year old Arista Isabella Rigsby was third runner-up. She is the daughter of David and Tyroma Rigsby of Lebanon

Fourth runner-up went to Hannah Trapp, the six year old daughter of Jeremy and Jenny Trapp of Smithville

Meanwhile, four year old Avery Agee was crowned Extreme Queen, an award given by Extreme Looks Design Team Salon. Agee is the daughter of Joey and Casey Agee of Dowelltown.

Five year old Kyleigh Marie Ramsey was named Miss Congeniality. She is the daughter of Dewayne and Candy Ramsey of McMinnville

The Miss Photogenic title went to four year old Annabella Eleni Dakas, daughter of John and Mandy Dakas of Smithville.

Six year old Tori Summers, daughter of Robin and Leighann Summers of Smithville, received the pageant's first ever People's Choice Award.

Rounding out the top ten were Kylee Raegan Cantrell, the six year old daughter of Paul and Michelle Cantrell of Smithville; Malanna Suzette Brown, six the year old daughter of Heather and Talmadge Brown of Sparta; Ansley Faith Cantrell, the five year old daughter of Tony and Amee Cantrell of Smithville; Addison Roller, the six year old daughter of John and Chana Roller of Smithville; and Katherine Dell Gassaway, the six year old daughter of Kelly and Julianna Gassaway of Smithville.

More than thirty contestants were entered in this year's pageant.

(Top Photo: Little Miss Carlee Elizabeth West)

(Second Photo from Top- left to right, 3rd runner-up Arista Isabella Rigsby, 1st runner-up Sydney Keegan Pardo, Little Miss Carle Elizabeth West, 2nd runner-up McKenzie Faith Sanders, and 4th runner-up Hannah Trapp)

(Bottom Photo- left to right, Extreme Queen Avery Agee, Miss Congeniality Kyleigh Marie Ramsey, Miss Photogenic Annabella Eleni Dakas, and Peoples Choice Tori Summers)

Little Mister Title goes to Holden Craig Trapp

July 19, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Holden Craig Trapp
Little Mister and Runners-up

Six year old Holden Craig Trapp of Smithville was crowned Little Mister of the DeKalb County Fair Tuesday evening.

Trapp, son of Amanda and Tony Trapp, succeeds the 2010 Little Mister, Trevor Matthew Kirby, the five year old son of Cyndi and Clent Shehane of Smithville. Trapp also received the distinction of being Mister Photogenic.

First runner-up in the Little Mister contest was Dylan Bogle, the four year old son of Chris and Shana Bogle of Smithville. Bogle also received the pageant's first ever People's Choice award.

Four year old Joseph Bristol Redmon, son of Joey and Brittany Redmon of Dowelltown was the second runner-up. Redmon was the pageant's Mister Manners.

Third runner-up was Landon Speaks, the five year old son of Justin and Donna Speaks of Smithville.

These four boys were the only contestants in the pageant.

(Top Photo: Little Mister and Mr. Photogenic Holden Craig Trapp)

(Bottom Photo: left to right- 3rd runner-up and Mr. Manners Landon Speaks, 1st runner-up and People's Choice winner Dylan Bogle, Little Mister and Mr. Photogenic Holden Craig Trapp, and 2nd runner-up Joseph Bristol Redmon)

Katie Sue Haggard Crowned Fairest of the Fair

July 18, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fairest of the Fair Katie Sue Haggard
Fairest of the Fair and Runners-Up
Extreme Queen, Photogenic, Congeniality and People's Choice

17 year old Katie Sue Haggard of Smithville is the 2011 Fairest of the Fair.

Haggard, daughter of David and Vicki Haggard, succeeds the retiring Queen Amanda Bee Martin of Smithville, the 21 year old daughter of Lynn and the Late Freddie Martin. In addition to being named Fairest of the Fair, Haggard was also chosen Most Photogenic.

Fairest of the Fair Contestants from dwayne page on Vimeo.
17 year old Victoria Dawn Tatrow of Smithville was named first runner-up. She is the daughter of Corey and Vickie Funk and the late Shanna Tatrow.

16 year old Tessa Thomas, daughter of Judy and Troy Thomas of Smithville was named second runner-up in the pageant. She also received the Extreme Queen honor, presented by the Extreme Looks Design Team Salon.

Third runner-up went to Tiffany Celestino, the 17 year old daughter of Tammy Horsley of Smithville.

17 year old Stephanie Carmen Rackley of Smithville, daughter of Will and Angie Meadows and Gordon and Jessica Rackley was named fourth runner-up. Rackley also received Miss Congeniality and the pageant's first ever People's Choice award.

These five contestants were the only entries in this year's pageant.

Meanwhile, there was no cash winner Monday night. The money from Monday night will be given away on Saturday night which means at least $2,000 will be given away Saturday in increments of $1,000 each.

(Top Photo: Fairest of the Fair Katie Sue Haggard)

(Second Photo from Top: left to right, 3rd runner-up Tiffany Celestino, 1srt runner-up Victoria Dawn Tatrow, Fairest of the Fair Katie Sue Haggard, 2nd runner-up Tessa Thomas, and 4th runner-up Stephanie Carmen Rackley)

(Bottom Photo: Extreme Queen Tessa Thomas, Fairest of the Fair and Most Photogenic Katie Sue Haggard, and Miss Congeniality and People's Choice Stephanie Carmen Rackley)

Rodeo Highlight at Fair Monday Night from dwayne page on Vimeo.
The following events are scheduled for the remainder of the week at the fair:

Tuesday, July 19th: Visit from WSMV's Snowbird; the Little Mr. and Miss Pageant for contestants ages 4-6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion with a concert by The Springs to follow; Go-Cart Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; and a Horse Show at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Take a stroll down Memory Lane and enjoy nightly entertainment at the Memory Lane Stage in Memory Village, sponsored by DeKalb Community Bank. The DeKalb County Fair Memory Lane Stage Line-Up for Tuesday is as follows:
6:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.: Born for This-Zachary Allen
7:45 p.m.-8:45 p.m.: Kingdom Reign-Zachary Allen

Kids Enjoying Water Ball at the Fair from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Wednesday, July 20th: Little Miss Princess Pageant for contestants ages 7-9 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Miss Sweetheart Pageant for those ages 10-12 at the Lions Club Pavilion; Four Wheeler and Motorcycle Racing at 6:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 21st: Senior Citizen Day activities at 9:00 a.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion; 4-H Chick Chain Show at 5:00 p.m. at the Tot Kelly barn; Junior Goat Show at 6:00 p.m. at the Tot Kelly barn; a Baby Show at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Vintage Fashion Show at the Lions Club Pavilion; and Mud Drag Racing at the T.C. McMillen Arena at 7:00 p.m.; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Cattle Show from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Friday, July 22nd: Toddler Show for contestants 13 months to 47 months at 6:00 p.m. followed by DeKalb Idol Final Competition at the Lions Club Pavilion; a Super Truck and Tractor Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena; and a Demolition Derby/Lawn Mower Derby at 7:00 p.m. at the Grandstand; $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 23rd: Horseshoe Tournament at the Tot Kelly barn at 1:00 p.m.; Gospel singing at the Lions Club Pavilion at 6:00 p.m.; Super Tractor and Truck Pull at 7:00 p.m. at the T.C. McMillen Arena: and a $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Train Ride from dwayne page on Vimeo.

One thousand dollars in cash will be given away each night, Monday through Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at the Lion's Club Pavilion and you must be present to win. If no one presents the winning ticket within three minutes, the money will be saved and given away on Saturday night in increments of $1,000. Your fair admission ticket is your ticket for the cash drawing.

Calf scramble at the DeKalb County Fair from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company. Unlimited rides will be available each night for $18.00. Wednesday will be Discount Ride Night- Arm Bands Only for $14.00

Admission to the fair is $3.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is Free!

Every night is T-shirt night! Wear any DeKalb County Fair T-shirt from ANY YEAR and ask for your ticket to win the newest fair T-shirt during the cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion. Request tickets at the gate.

Sign up to compete in the DeKalb Idol competition through Thursday backstage at the Lions Club Pavilion from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The registration fee is $10.00. The final competition will be Friday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m. following the Toddler Show at the Lion's Club Pavilion. You could win a $300 cash prize and a $100 People's Choice Award.

For more information, call 529-FAIR or visit on-line at www.dekalbcountyfair.us.

Melanie Grace Rush Named Junior Fair Princess

July 18, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Junior Fair Princess Melanie Grace Rush
Junior Fair Princess and Runners-up
Extreme Queen,Miss Congeniality, Photogenic, and People's Choice

The 2011 Junior Fair Princess of the DeKalb County Fair is 16 year old Melanie Grace Rush of McMinnville, daughter of Susan and Greg Rush.
CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO GALLERY FROM MONDAY'S EDITION OF THE DEKALB COUNTY FAIR
http://www.wjle.com/videos/fair2011

Rush was among 32 young ladies who competed for the crown on the opening night of the DeKalb County Fair on Monday night.

Rush succeeds the retiring Junior Fair Princess, 17 year old Victoria Dawn Tatrow of Smithville, daughter of Corey and Vickie Funk and the late Shanna Tatrow.

The first runner-up was Taylor Cantrell, the 15 year old daughter of Jeff and Deborah Cantrell of Smithville.

Second runner-up was 15 year old Brittany Nicole Wilkerson, daughter of Sean Wilkerson of Lebanon and Michelle Cantrell of Smithville. Wilkerson also received the first ever "People's Choice" award for this pageant.

14 year old Haley Marie Hale was the third runner-up. She is the daughter of Chad and Melissa Hale of Smithville

The fourth runner-up was Amy Lynn Hastings, the 16 year old daughter of Paulette and Tom Clark and James and Lana Hastings of Liberty.

The "Extreme Queen" sponsored by the Extreme Looks Design Team Salon went to 15 year old Lauren Ashley Medlin, daughter of Greg and Teresa Medlin of Smithville.

15 year old Shauna Faith Taylor, daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville, was named Miss Congeniality.

16 year old Makayla Shea Funk, daughter of Amie Funk of Dowelltown received the Most Photogenic honor.

(Top Photo: Junior Fair Princess Melanie Grace Rush)

(Second Photo from Top: left to right, 3rd runner-up Haley Marie Hale, 1st runner-up Taylor Cantrell, Junior Fair Princess Melanie Grace Rush, 2nd runner-up Brittany Nicole Wilkerson, and 4th runner-up Amy Lynn Hastings)

(Bottom Photo: left to right, Extreme Queen Lauren Ashey Medlin; Miss Congeniality Shauna Faith Taylor, Most Photogenic, Makayla Shea Funk, and People's Choice Brittany Nicole Wilkerson)

New DCHS Science Lab Expected to Be Ready By Mid-September

July 18, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Latest look of DCHS science lab. New lab stations will be located where pipes pr
New DCHS science lab stations will be located where pipes protrude up

Smithville Elementary School, which received primarily roof damage from storm winds on the last day of school, May 26 should be ready to re-open on the first day of School August 1. However, the DCHS Science lab, which has been under renovation since school has been out for the summer, will not be completely ready until possibly mid-September.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby updated the Board of Education on both projects Thursday night. As for the DCHS science lab, while the water, gas, electric, and drainage lines have been re-configured for eight new lab stations (to acommodate up to four students per station), and a lab station for the teacher, the new furniture and lab components will not arrive until mid-September. "When we started and ordered everything, it was not in writing but it was said that if everything went as planned, everything (furniture and lab components) would come in right before school started. But very few times do things come in as they are supposed to come in. Therefore, the email that I received this week said that all the things we have ordered are due to arrive now September 13. That is not what we wanted to hear. Hopefully it will be earlier than that but we were already anticipating not using that room at the very beginning of the year. This has just pushed it back a little further than what our anticipations were to begin with. A lot of work has gone into that (science lab) and we will be ready to do the floor on Tuesday. So when you open the door to that particular classroom, it will look like a brand new school," said Willoughby.

Meanwhile on the Smithville Elementary School Project, Willoughby said "The insurance people told Earl (Jared), Maintenance Supervisor, today (Thursday) that it (elementary school) would be ready by the time school started. I would like to have a little more comfort there, but they did promise to have it ready by the time school started. Our insurance company and the underwriters had a disagreement on how much it would cost to fix it. Our insurance company went ahead and said we're going to go ahead and fix it and we will take up the disagreement later," said Willoughby.

DeKalb County Fair Opens Monday Night

July 17, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Fair Opens Monday Night

The DeKalb County Fair in Alexandria opens Monday evening, July 18 through Saturday July 23

This year's theme us "DARE2FAIR..It's a Sweet Ride "

CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO VIEW A PHOTO GALLERY OF EXHIBITS THIS YEAR IN THE KENNETH SANDLIN CENTER

More Pictures

The following events are scheduled Monday night:
National Anthem at 5:45 p.m. at the Lions Club Pavilion; Cattle Show at 6:00 p.m. at the Tot Kelly barn; Rodeo at the T.C. McMillen Arena at 6:30 p.m.; Junior Fair Princess Pageant for contestants ages 13-16 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Fairest of the Fair Pageant for contestants ages 17 to 20 at the Lions Club Pavilion. $1000 cash giveaway at 9:30 p.m.

Take a stroll down Memory Lane and enjoy nightly entertainment at the Memory Lane Stage in Memory Village, sponsored by DeKalb Community Bank. The DeKalb County Fair Memory Lane Stage Line-Up Monday night is as follows:
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Donny Barthelemy
7:45 p.m.- 8:45 p.m. Burden Rock Band

One thousand dollars in cash will be given away each night, Monday through Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at the Lion's Club Pavilion and you must be present to win. If no one presents the winning ticket within three minutes, the money will be saved and given away on Saturday night in increments of $1,000. Your fair admission ticket is your ticket for the cash drawing.

Visit the food booths and view exhibits in the Kenneth Sandlin Center and Commercial building.

Rides on the Midway will be provided by the Family Attractions Amusement Company. Unlimited rides will be available each night for $18.00. Wednesday will be Discount Ride Night- Arm Bands Only for $14.00

Admission to the fair is $3.00 per person. Children age four and younger will be admitted free! Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is Free!

For more information, call 529-FAIR or visit on-line at www.dekalbcountyfair.us.

School Board to Purchase School Bus Tracking System

July 16, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kelly Lee
Zonar School Bus Inspection and Tracking System

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night voted to purchase a Transportation Software program from Zonar Systems to better keep track of school buses, monitoring where they are located at all times, and recording excessive idle times, excessive speeding, etc. in order to cut down on fuel costs and to speed up repairs. It also automates and verifies bus inspections.

Kelly Lee, a representative of Zonar, addressed the board of education Thursday night. According to Lee, this GPS/Cell phone based tracking system simplifies the entire pre and post trip inspection process of a school bus. It is easy to use and captures and stores fleet performance data. The cost is $27,127. "Its basically a cell phone based system that we use to monitor fuel costs and excessive idle times, excessive speeding, and location reporting., " said Lee.

"We use what we call a zone based system that can tell where the bus is at as far as school zones and where the bus is at as far as drive out or drive home. Anything to do with where the vehicle is at during all times, we can tell you where its at. Is it running? Is it using excessive amounts of fuel? Is it speeding? Primarily is it speeding in school zones or anywhere where there is a reduced speed zone? It can tell you that," said Lee.

" If it (bus) leaves a location its not supposed to leave, it can tell you that. Totaling fuel mileage, totaling hard braking, it (system) can do all that. Also part of the request is an inspection system that ensures that all of the drivers do an entire physical inspection on the whole bus and that every inspection they do, whether it be a special needs bus or a straight bus, that everybody is doing the same inspection and a physical walk around of the vehicle. Pre-trip, post-trip, student/child check, anything like that, they (bus drivers) have to do a physical walk around of the vehicle. Its all paperless. Its all accessible on the Internet and if any driver gets pulled over by the DOT (Department of Transportation), we (Zonar) are approved in all fifty states for the DOT to view up to thirteen inspections on the system," according to Lee.

"Its cell phone based so there are situations where you won't have cell phone service but in an event where you don't have cell phone service, the system is still actually working and once you get into an area where you do have cell phone service, it recovers all the information. So none of the information is lost and its all gathered.," said Lee.

"We've got a system that we've worked with in Chicago called Freeport School System and they saved 21% on their fuel last year alone. When you're talking 21% of a fuel bill at four dollars a gallon, its a pretty hefty number. I guarantee you that the system will pay for itself or we will take it back. Part of the quote is to have two people come in and train for two days on how to use the system and if you utilize the system I can promise you, from a savings standpoint, you're going to pay for the system and when you're ensuring that every driver is doing a physical inspection every day and you know how long it has taken them in each area, and in each location you know exactly what they're riding in and you don't have to rely on a hand written inspection, you know you can view it at any time, just the safety in that alone is worth that. From the day you get the system or even a year from then, if you get a call from someone who says a certain bus was speeding in our neighborhood a year ago, all you have to do is get the address, plug it in and we can know how fast that bus was going and what time it went through there. All the information is valid based on our GPS software," according to Lee.

Meanwhile on another issue, the school board members discussed but tabled for now a proposal to offer basic life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment coverage for all employees at a monthly cost of $710 to the school system. Under the plan, each employee would be covered for a flat $10,000 for Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage. The cost per employee per month is $1.44 for the Life coverage and 17 cents per employee per month ($1.61 combined for the $10,000 of coverage), based on the census provided there are 457 employees who would be covered equating to a monthly cost of $710.66 (Basic Life and AD&D combined). These quoted rates are guaranteed for three years.

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