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Articles/News with Iowa tag

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Former director pleads guilty to records tampering
March 14, 2014
Douglas Wessling will reportedly receive two years of probation and an order to pay a $1,000 fine for the crime, which is an aggravated misdemeanor. In the fall, he resigned as transportation director from Iowa's Galva-Holstein Community School District after state inspectors found that buses in the fleet that had issues had not been repaired, despite Wessling notifying the state otherwise.
Iowa bill would require seat belts on new school buses
February 14, 2014
School buses ordered for purchase on or after July 1, 2014, would have to be equipped with the belts, and drivers and passengers would be required to use them under the legislation that was recently introduced. A violation of the seat belt requirements would result in a $50 fine.
Student detection systems allowed on Iowa school buses
February 13, 2014
State director Max Christensen says that the technology is now permitted on Iowa’s school buses, but it’s not required. Sensor-driven or video-based student detection systems are permitted, with no strict criteria set, which Christensen says opens the field to new ideas in developing more advanced and better designs.
Driver who left child on bus expected to resign
January 2, 2014
Dan Danielson, who is also the transportation director at Algona (Iowa) Community School District, allegedly left Logan Cavin, a 4-year-old student, on a school bus for several hours on the morning of Dec. 19. Cavin was discovered at the school district's transportation facility at about 1 p.m. by another bus driver.
Iowa officials caution against falsifying bus repairs
November 19, 2013
The warnings come after the arrests of two district transportation officials who allegedly lied to the state that problems with buses in their fleets had been repaired. In September, the state Department of Education’s transportation office hired a third school bus inspector, which has enabled the department to do call-back inspections on buses with serious deficiencies.
3rd school bus inspector hired in Iowa
September 5, 2013
The addition of a third inspector was enabled by recent legislative approval to increase the state school bus inspection fee from $28 to $40 per vehicle. Tom Simpson, previously the transportation director for Humboldt (Iowa) Community School District, is appointed to the new inspector position.
Iowa school bus sprayed by crop duster
September 3, 2013
The superintendent of Belmond-Klemme Community School District says that at least seven students were on the bus when it was sprayed with what he believes was insecticide, and about 25 more students were then picked up. The district contacted parents, and students were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
Iowa district moves to stop ineligible bus riders
August 15, 2013
Waterloo Community Schools will mail postcards with bus stop information to all eligible riders instead of printing it in a local newspaper to help prevent students who do not qualify for service from catching a ride. The district’s superintendent says a “significant” number of students who don’t qualify for service ride at no cost, and one of the district’s goals is to reduce routes and save money.
School board approves 3% bus fee hike
July 11, 2013
The fee will be higher starting with the upcoming school year. The South Sioux City (Neb.) district is looking for a way to balance its transportation budget; it was only reimbursed by the state for half of the nearly $570,000 that was spent on busing last school year.
Iowa school bus tech takes state title
June 19, 2013
Kevin Settle of Western Dubuque Community School District wins Iowa's fifth annual "Best of the Best" competition for school bus technicians. He advances to this year's national competition, to be held in Seattle in September.
Iowa school bus inspection fee increases from $28 to $40
June 14, 2013
The state’s Legislative Rules Committee narrowly approves the increase, which will enable the state Department of Education’s Office of School Transportation to hire a third inspector. State director of pupil transportation Max Christensen tells SBF that his office is immediately going into “hiring mode.”
Update: Body of missing Iowa teen found
June 11, 2013
Authorities confirm that a body discovered in the Des Moines River on Friday is that of 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard, who was abducted after she and another girl got in a stranger's vehicle at their school bus stop on May 20.
Teen still missing after taking ride from stranger
May 28, 2013
Kathlynn Shepard, 15, and a 12-year-old girl were lured into a man's truck shortly after exiting their school bus last week in Dayton, Iowa. The 12-year-old was able to escape, and the suspect was found dead, but Shepard is still missing.
2 bus drivers die in Iowa, New Mexico incidents
April 11, 2013
An Iowa school bus driver passes away after suffering a medical emergency during his route, but officials say that he pulled the bus over safely and no students were injured. The incident follows the death of another driver in New Mexico, where a bus went off of a road and down an embankment.
Iowa testing student detection systems for school buses
April 1, 2013
A system from Rostra Precision Controls Inc. and a system from National Patent Analytical Systems Inc. are undergoing evaluation for potential installation on school buses in the state to help prevent danger zone injuries and fatalities. The installation of such a system is a goal of the Smile BIG Foundation, which was founded in honor of Justin Bradfield. Bradfield was killed in a 2011 danger zone accident.
New school bus inspector hired in Iowa
March 15, 2013
Joe Funk takes over duties for inspecting school buses in the western region of the state. He joins inspector Verlan Vos and replaces Owen Freese, who recently retired from the position. A school bus inspection fee increase that is awaiting final approval will allow the Iowa Department of Education to hire one more inspector.
Police: Snowballs lead to two-bus crash
March 5, 2013
Students in Sioux City, Iowa, pelt a school bus with snowballs as it leaves a high school, according to police. The school bus stops suddenly, and a transit bus is unable to stop in time and rear-ends the school bus.
Iowa bus inspection fee to increase, pending governor approval
February 5, 2013
The state Board of Education approves the proposal to increase the fee from $28 to $40, which will enable the state to hire an additional school bus inspector. As the change awaits approval from the office of the governor, state pupil transportation director Max Christensen tells SBF that “the increase is vitally important to keeping a viable school bus inspection process in the state of Iowa.”
Iowa study probes stop-arm safety measures
January 4, 2013
The report, required by last year's "Kadyn's Law," analyzes ways to potentially reduce illegal passing of school buses, including stop-arm cameras. Researchers find that home-side loading should be encouraged as a best practice but not required.
Veteran Iowa school bus inspector retires
January 2, 2013
Owen Freese, a longtime inspector with the Iowa Department of Education, stepped down from his post on Dec. 31. He will now serve as executive director of the Iowa Pupil Transportation Association.
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