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Articles/News with Virginia tag

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District aims to get parents on board with new bus code of conduct
August 1, 2014
Danville (Va.) Public Schools’ new conduct policy for its school bus riders seeks to better inform and involve parents. Michael Adkins, director of transportation service, explains how the policy was developed and how it was tested on four buses — which he says experienced “dramatic changes” in student behavior.
Some Virginia part-time bus drivers to get pay bump
July 10, 2014
The Roanoke County School Board approved a market adjustment to part-time driver pay, increasing the hourly rate for drivers by $3.50, and a $150 attendance bonus for drivers. The initiatives were approved as part of an effort to compete with surrounding school systems as well as fill bus driver vacancies after months of controversy over part-time driver benefit cuts.
Three adults arrested in school bus theft
July 3, 2014
The adults, along with two juveniles, allegedly took the school activity bus from the Richlands (Va.) High School campus and drove it onto the athletic field of Southwest Virginia Community College. Officials are looking into how one of the adults apparently obtained the keys used to operate the bus.
Districts are in the transportation business
April 28, 2014

School districts’ primary responsibility is to educate children. But that doesn’t mean it’s their only responsibility. Pupil transportation is still a part of the overall service that the district provides for the public.

Mutual respect strengthens driver-technician relations
February 25, 2014

Clear communication is also essential to a solid working relationship between these groups of employees. In-service or safety meetings provide an opportunity for growth in these areas by allowing drivers to learn about their buses and ask the techs questions. Drivers must also be proactive in reporting maintenance concerns.

Virginia association offers scholarship in memory of Sonny Merryman
February 14, 2014
The founder of school bus dealership Sonny Merryman Inc., who passed away in December, provided hundreds of students in Virginia with scholarship assistance. The Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation offers a $2,500 scholarship that is available to seniors at public schools in Virginia who have a parent or grandparent currently or formerly employed in the public school pupil transportation field within the state.
Virginia legislator calls for school bus seat belt study
January 6, 2014
Del. Scott Lingamfelter introduces a resolution that calls for the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the effectiveness of requiring seat belts on school buses in Virginia. Among other tasks, the commission would have to consult and summarize the findings of past and current studies on the effectiveness of requiring seat belts on school buses and solicit input from each local school board on the effectiveness and cost of requiring the belts on every yellow bus.
Virginia dealership founder Sonny Merryman passes
December 10, 2013
Merryman, who died on Saturday at age 89, launched his school bus business in 1967 when Thomas Built Buses was looking for a new dealer in Virginia. Today, Sonny Merryman Inc. has three locations and more than 125 employees in the state.
Power line falls on school bus during accident
November 27, 2013
Authorities in Newport News, Va., are continuing to investigate the crash, in which a 17-year-old driver struck a guide wire that was supporting a utility pole, which caused the wire to fall into the path of a school bus, and then the wire ultimately fell across the bus. Officers had the 31 students and the driver remain on the bus until the wire was removed.
2 school bus drivers arrested after fight
November 19, 2013
At their bus depot in Portsmouth, Va., the two drivers allegedly engage in a verbal altercation that turns physical, including one of the women hitting the other several times with a stun gun. No children are present during the incident.
2 dogs shot by police near school bus stops
October 17, 2013
Richmond (Va.) Police Department officers respond to the scene after receiving a report of a dog bite with injury. While waiting for Animal Care and Control to respond, the dogs continue to run in the area where children are gathering at the bus stops, and they charge at an officer, who fires twice, killing one of the dogs.
Child’s thank-you note makes bus driver feel appreciated
October 10, 2013
Alan Boyle, a bus driver for Virginia's Henrico County Public Schools, receives a note of appreciation from one of his passengers and contacts a local news outlet to share it. Boyle tells the news outlet that his “thankless” profession faces constant criticism, but the note makes him feel special.
District cuts vehicle breakdowns by 50%, crashes by 35%
October 3, 2013
These improvements at Virginia's Prince William County Public Schools started by investing more time in maintenance and money in better equipment for its school buses, which also led to an overall reduction in costs.
54-year Virginia bus driver still going strong
September 18, 2013
Bedford County Public Schools driver James Bryant started his career in 1959 and has no plans to retire. He tells SBF he looks forward to greeting his passengers every day, and he has had few discipline problems, which he attributes to treating students with respect.
Virginia official moves districts, takes transportation job
July 1, 2013
Josh Davis, chief operating officer for Albemarle County Public Schools, is transitioning this month to become the director of pupil transportation for Henrico (Va.) County Public Schools. In the position, Davis will be responsible for pupil transportation in a school division of approximately 49,000 students across 71 elementary, middle and high schools.
Carter Machinery Co. joins Blue Bird dealer network
June 14, 2013
The company will serve the school bus manufacturer’s customers in the state of Virginia. Carter Machinery already supports more than 45 school districts, and Blue Bird officials say the company will provide a high level of support to its customers through its network of eight on-highway repair facilities.
Officer back at work after gun fires on special-needs bus
May 31, 2013
The Winchester, Va., police officer had been placed on paid administrative leave, but he resumed his duties after investigators determined that the gun discharging was not his fault. The officer had calmed a disruptive student on the bus and was sitting next to him when the student reached into the officer's holster and squeezed the trigger with his finger, according to police.
Charges dropped for boy who brought fake gun on bus
February 28, 2013
The 10-year-old flashed an orange-tipped replica gun to another student on the school bus, and he was arrested the next day after another bus passenger reported him. Three weeks after the incident, prosecutors say they “did not feel it was appropriate or productive to proceed with criminal prosecution.”
Mom ordered to serve jail time for assaulting bus driver
February 19, 2013
A judge sentences Bethany Rudd to 10 days in jail for the December incident in which she boarded her son’s school bus and allegedly hit driver Helen Gibson in the face. However, the judge allows Rudd to file for an appeal, enabling her to avoid jail time for now, and she is due back in court in April for the assault and battery charge against her.
LaHood celebrates ‘Love the Bus’ in Virginia
February 13, 2013
Outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visits Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington on Tuesday, where students sing and rap for him. LaHood tells the children, “I want you kids to thank your drivers when you go home today. They care a lot about getting you to and from school safely.”
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