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Articles/News with Washington tag

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First Student names area GM for Alaska locations
May 20, 2015
In an expanded role, school transportation veteran Bill Noftz will also continue to be responsible for the performance of First Student’s Washington state locations.
Driver accused of slapping autistic student resigns from city council
May 4, 2015
Jeanette Burrage resigned from the Des Moines (Wash.) City Council after being charged with fourth-degree assault. She allegedly slapped a 6-year-old student across the face after he raised his hand as if to strike her.
School bus salesman creates video ‘shout-outs’ for special-needs kids
April 6, 2015
Some YouTube videos created by Erick Vandersnick at Northwest Bus Sales in Washington state not only sell buses but also reach out to kids with special needs who are fans of the vehicles.
2 windows shot on school bus
March 13, 2015
A school bus was damaged by suspected BB gunfire near a Seattle elementary school on Thursday, police say. No one was injured.
Students, bus driver injured in fatal crash
March 5, 2015
A truck apparently collided head-on with a car, then careened head-on into an Orondo (Wash.) School District bus, injuring some students, the bus driver and the two truck occupants. The driver of the car was killed.
Stop requirement dropped for buses at Tacoma rail crossing
February 4, 2015
Tacoma (Wash.) Public Schools officials say that vehicle crashes have occurred when buses were required to stop at the crossing, which trains use infrequently and at low speeds.
Special-needs kindergartner left alone on bus for 7 hours
December 31, 2014
A driver for North Thurston School District in Lacey, Washington, resigned last month after admitting to not completing a check of his bus. The 6-year-old boy was supposed to be dropped off at a day care center, but was found later that evening asleep on the bus.
Tree falls on bus in storm, no one hurt
December 15, 2014
Ray Johnson, a bus driver for Longview (Wash.) School District #122, was driving on a rural road with four students on board when strong winds knocked a tree on top of the bus. He was able to call for help in time and students were safely transferred to another bus.
District staff removes graffiti from 25 buses
November 20, 2014
Employees of Peninsula School District in Washington arrived on Monday morning to find the vandalized buses. They scrambled to clean the buses and were able to get them in service fast enough to stay on schedule.
Journal ranks Zonar among Seattle’s top big data software companies
November 13, 2014
The Puget Sound Business Journal placed the company second on its list of big data companies. This recognition comes on the heels of Zonar putting over 300,000 telematics units in operation.
District asks voters to fund school bus replacement
October 28, 2014
Arlington (Wash.) Public Schools leaders are looking for support for a two-year levy on the Nov. 4 general election ballot expected to generate $1.5 million each year to replace old school buses. Nearly half the district’s fleet is at least 13 years old and fully depreciated.
First Student names area general manager for Washington
July 14, 2014
Bill Noftz will be responsible for the overall performance of the school bus contractor’s Washington state locations, including financial results, operational performance, safety, fleet and maintenance. Noftz has more than 25 years of experience in the school transportation industry.
Pepper spray on school bus disrupts trip to volcano
May 21, 2014
The bus was en route to Washington's Mount St. Helens. After a student discharged pepper spray, the bus driver began to have trouble breathing but was able to pull over safely "before she became overwhelmed," according to the Washington State Patrol.
Bus driver inspires reading program, wins award
May 15, 2014
Carlyn Kraft, a bus driver for the Pasco (Wash.) School District, has read to the students who ride on her bus and has brought them books for several years. The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia found out and plans to launch a “Books on the Bus" reading program in her honor. Kraft also receives the 2014 Literacy Champion Award.
School bus driver fired after crashing into ditch
May 5, 2014
Bus surveillance footage from the April 21 incident in Orting, Wash., clarifies some key details about the crash, which was initially reported in the media to have been caused by a bee distracting the bus driver. District officials say that based on their review of the material, the driver has been terminated.
Transportation veteran made mark in training, new facility
May 5, 2014
Sharon Schalk was a driving force in training Washington's school bus driver instructors, and she pushed for funding for a much-needed new transportation facility at her district. She died on April 25 after being diagnosed with cancer a few months earlier.
School bus driver strike averted in Seattle
March 4, 2014
Teamsters Local 174, which represents more than 450 school bus drivers in Seattle, had said it was prepared to strike since mid-February. On Saturday, the union ratifies a new contract with First Student.
Industry veteran turns 90, reflects on career
February 19, 2014
Web Exclusive: Washington's Anton Neyens has been retired from pupil transportation for more than a decade, but on Sunday, he celebrated a milestone: his 90th birthday. Here, he discusses the progression of his career, from automotive technician to pupil transportation manager to school bus salesman.
Seattle district approves busing cuts, arrival time changes
February 10, 2014
Seattle Public Schools’ board members sign off on a transportation plan for 2014-15 that includes shifting bus arrival times back by about 10 minutes (a previous proposal called for adding 10 minutes to the start time of middle and high schools). Also, board members approve ending transportation service to option school students who live outside that school’s middle school attendance area, among other measures.
Cooperative helps districts save money, time
February 6, 2014

Walla Walla (Wash.) School District won matching funds from the state to obtain funds for a facility to support a cooperative that serves three school district transportation departments, and it hasn’t cost taxpayers additional tax dollars. The Southeast Washington Transportation Cooperative provides vehicle maintenance at a fraction of the cost of local shops as well as a driver training program that saves districts staff and time.

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