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Articles/News with Arizona tag

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In retirement, Ron Latko launches consulting career
July 8, 2014
Soon after May 22, his last day working as director of transportation for Mesa Public Schools, Latko officially started Latko Consulting Inc. He plans to use his extensive knowledge in alternative fuels and expertise in pupil transportation to help school bus companies and propane companies improve sales, and assist districts across the U.S. in becoming more efficient and saving money.
Driver hailed for response to school bus fire
May 15, 2014
Fire officials in Mesa, Ariz., praise a school bus driver for her decisive actions to keep her special-education passengers safe when her bus caught on fire. The driver had reportedly noticed a small amount of smoke while she was driving, and she quickly pulled over and helped her passengers evacuate.
Ron Latko to retire from Arizona school district
May 6, 2014
Latko, who has served as director of transportation at Mesa Public Schools for eight years, will retire at the end of this school year. He reflects on his career and tells SBF what lies ahead for him: school transportation consulting work.
Teen helps bus driver who collapses at the wheel
January 31, 2014
Jesse Hermanson and an aide are on the bus when driver Lee Plante loses consciousness while making a U-turn, sending the bus through a brick wall and into a backyard. The teen says he saw Plante halfway out the bus doors, and his thought was to “call 911 and release the emergency switch because the doors kept pinching him.”
Propane video series includes school bus edition
January 28, 2014
The "Straight Talk" videos from the Propane Education & Research Council feature stories from five managers who use propane autogas in significant portions of their fleets. First up is Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools.
Bus assistant reflects on 42-year career at Arizona district
December 17, 2013
Sarah Guilford began working at Washington Elementary School District #6 in Phoenix in one of the school cafeterias, and she became a bus driver three years later. She now works part time as a bus assistant, and she discusses with SBF changes to the industry over the years and her experiences with students.
District holds safety competitions during in-service
November 6, 2013
During its week-long training, Glendale (Ariz.) Elementary School District No. 40’s transportation department not only has outside speakers come to the facility and offers sessions on a wide range of topics, the drivers and bus monitors also participate in competitions to test their skills. Here, the manager of transportation provides the details.
District’s ‘Safety Town’ teaches students bus, life safety
October 8, 2013
Arizona-based Dysart Unified School District’s third annual event will be held this week, with transportation department employees and high school students providing information to approximately 900 kindergartners in such areas as bus evacuation drills, distracted driving and CPR.
District honors fallen firefighters with bus license plates
September 13, 2013
Prescott (Ariz.) Unified School District’s buses will feature license plates that carry the names of 19 Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew members who lost their lives while battling a wildfire in June. The district’s transportation director says she received approval from the state Department of Public Safety on the plates.
U.S. education, transportation chiefs to ride school bus
September 6, 2013
Staff members at the Tucson (Ariz.) Unified School District bus depot will be joined by two very high-profile visitors on Wednesday morning: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The duo will discuss the importance of bus drivers in school safety, and they will ride along on a yellow bus.
Arizona district adds 61 Blue Bird propane buses to fleet
June 4, 2013
Mesa Public Schools has purchased 55 Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses and six wheelchair accessible buses to increase its propane bus total to 89. The district, which has a goal of operating the nation’s first all-propane yellow bus fleet, expects to save $4.43 million in operating costs over a five-year period.
My journey to become a certified school bus driver — part 5
May 28, 2013
Bill Lehman is a school bus driver for Queen Creek (Ariz.) Unified School District #95. In this five-part series, he shares his longtime desire to become a bus driver and the path that brought him to the industry. In this final segment of the series, Lehman writes about taking the commercial driver’s license test, and the emotions he felt upon passing and returning to the district’s bus yard.
My journey to become a certified school bus driver — part 4
May 23, 2013
Bill Lehman is a school bus driver for Queen Creek (Ariz.) Unified School District #95. In this five-part series, he shares his longtime desire to become a bus driver and the path that brought him to the industry. In this segment of the series, Lehman writes about undergoing more behind-the-wheel training and becoming familiar with the components inside and underneath a school bus.
My journey to become a certified school bus driver — part 3
May 21, 2013
Bill Lehman is a school bus driver for Queen Creek (Ariz.) Unified School District #95. In this five-part series, he shares his longtime desire to become a bus driver and the path that brought him to the industry. In this segment, Lehman writes about passing the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division air brake test, obtaining his CDL permit and undergoing behind-the-wheel training.
My journey to become a certified school bus driver — part 2
May 16, 2013
Bill Lehman is a school bus driver for Queen Creek (Ariz.) Unified School District #95. In this five-part series, he shares his longtime desire to become a bus driver and the path that brought him to the industry. In this segment of the series, Lehman writes about interviewing for a position at the district and the preliminary steps needed to become a school bus driver.
My journey to become a certified school bus driver — part 1
May 14, 2013
Bill Lehman is a school bus driver for Queen Creek (Ariz.) Unified School District #95. In this five-part series, he shares his longtime desire to become a bus driver and the path that brought him to the industry. In this segment of the series, Lehman writes about his first experiences on a school bus as a student.
Bill aimed at protecting students on private roads approved
April 15, 2013
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs into law House Bill 2170, which amends the current law to state that school bus drivers must engage their bus’ stop arm and flashing lights while students are boarding or disembarking on a private road or driveway. Officials say the bill will take effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends.
Man boards bus, leaves loaded gun magazine
April 8, 2013
Jeremy West follows a student on the Arizona district’s bus, and he convinces an adult bus aide that he is accompanying the student. After West leaves the bus, another student finds a fully loaded 9 mm magazine on the seat where West had been sitting. Police arrest him on Thursday, and the district is making changes to its policy on allowing parents on school buses.
Bill would require motorists to stop for buses on private roads
February 7, 2013
Current Arizona law requires motorists to stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students on public highways. A bill under consideration in the state Legislature would amend the law for it to apply to private roads and driveways as well, but it would not apply to a bus that is stopped in a parking lot.
Letter: Reactions to the school bus shooting, abduction
February 1, 2013
After the Jan. 29 incident in Alabama in which a man boarded a school bus, fatally shot the driver and took a 5-year-old student hostage, a director of transportation in Arizona wrote this letter to his staff to address any concerns about their safety.
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