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Chris Darling is director of operations at Fort Dodge Community School District, where he has overseen the transportation, maintenance and custodial departments.
Veteran Iowa director Chris Darling to retire
June 14, 2012
Chris Darling, director of operations at Fort Dodge Community School District, will leave his post next week after 21 years with the district and more than 27 years in the industry. He discusses his career with SBF, including changes he implemented at the district. Friend and colleague Max Christensen, Iowa’s state director of pupil transportation, weighs in on Darling’s contributions to the industry.
Tags: Iowa
Security consultant to present at NAPT Summit
June 13, 2012
Bret E. Brooks is a senior consultant with Gray Ram Tactical LLC who has worked in the security and safety fields since 1998. He is also a former SWAT team member and a full-time police officer, and he has worked with school districts for nearly a decade.
PSBA cites safety stats to counter bus funding proposal
June 12, 2012
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett proposes providing school bus transportation funding with a new student achievement block grant rather than through the state’s current reimbursement funding formula. The Pennsylvania School Bus Association says this could cause some school districts to reduce school bus service. It points to the state’s safety record to underscore the importance of maintaining the service.
Feds issue "Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving"
June 12, 2012
Calling distracted driving "an epidemic," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood outlines steps to pass more laws, address technology and help stakeholders take action. He also announces $2.4 million in support for enforcement projects in California and Delaware.
Pa. district to consider hiring bus consulting company
June 12, 2012
The proposal is put before the North Penn School District board after two key transportation personnel leave the department, and the district is unable to fill the vacancies. Superintendent Curt Dietrich says utilizing a company’s management services would enable the district to “tap into their expertise.”
Teen allegedly steals bus, drives to another terminal
June 12, 2012
The 15-year-old reportedly breaks into the office at a Johnson School Bus Service terminal in Wisconsin and takes the keys to a bus. He then drives the bus 30 miles to another Johnson terminal, where he tells police who find him that he was careful and stopped at railroad crossings along the way.
First Student completes safest year ever, officials say
June 12, 2012
The company travels more than 250,385 miles between preventable collisions in fiscal year 2011-12, and the chance for injury on or around a school bus is one in 7,690,000 million miles driven. This achievement is attributed to employee training and face-to-face safety conversations. In other news, the company is awarded a new five-year contract with Xenia (Ohio) Community Schools.
Stock Transportation driver honored for service excellence
June 11, 2012
Donna Graves is named the 2011-12 School Bus Driver of the Year by the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations. Graves, who has worked for Stock Transportation for more than 12 years, was nominated by Shatford Memorial Elementary School, where she transports students.
Former transportation director gets prison time
June 11, 2012
Authorities say that John Wansacz Jr. admitted to using his official position to steer school district transportation contracts to a company in which he had a financial interest — and from which he received payments of more than $70,000.
Authorities respond after white powder found on bus
June 7, 2012
Firefighters report to a bus carrying elementary school students after a balloon containing the substance breaks open as the students are playing with it.
Fla. district conducts stop-arm running count
June 7, 2012
During a 29-day pilot period, cameras on just one of Volusia County Schools’ 229 buses capture a total of 71 violations. Eight out of every 10 violations occur between 1 and 3 p.m., with 67% of the violations occurring on either Tuesday or Wednesday of each week.
Driver resigns after crashing bus into house
June 7, 2012
In the May 23 accident, Jack Thomas, who was not wearing his seat belt, falls out of his seat after making a turn and is unable to maintain control of the bus. It careens off the other side of the road, goes through a fence and into the house’s garage.
Researchers studying new way to make tires
June 7, 2012
The team at Michigan State University’s biochemistry and molecular biology department believes that a manmade version of isoprene, a gas, could provide an alternative source for synthetic rubber production. The researchers have made bio-isoprene using an enzyme and bacteria.
Tags: tires
Durham School Services wins R.I., Minn. contracts
June 7, 2012
Under a three-year agreement with the Burrillville School Department in Harrisville, R.I., the company will operate 27 home-to-school routes and 34 buses beginning with the 2012-13 school year. Durham’s contract with Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Independent School District 191 in Burnsville, Minn., is reportedly the company’s first in the state, and it will operate 100 buses for the district.
Brake pads offer stopping power, increased lifespan
June 7, 2012
Bosch's new series of QuietCast medium-duty premium disc brake pads are also designed to give vehicles quiet stops, low dust and great pedal feel, according to the company.
Tags: brakes
Decision not yet reached over Hawaii bus cuts
June 7, 2012
A Hawaii Department of Education proposal eliminating the need for 190 out of the 513 school buses statewide to save money is not approved by the state board of education, as officials say it could increase staff workload, and student tardiness and absenteeism. The issue will reportedly be revisited at an upcoming board meeting.
Tags: Hawaii
Greg Hutchison, plant manager, Denis Gallagher, Student Transportation Inc. founder and CEO, and John McKinney, president of Navistar Global Bus and IC Bus, celebrate the completion of IC Bus' 100,000th school bus at the Tulsa, Okla., plant.
IC Bus completes 100,000th school bus at Tulsa
June 5, 2012
The school and commercial bus manufacturer and parent company Navistar Inc. celebrate the production milestone on Tuesday at the Tulsa, Okla., bus plant. Officials say the bus will be presented to school bus contractor Student Transportation Inc.
Teens charged for stealing school bus
June 5, 2012
Two teens are charged with grand larceny in the theft of the bus and malicious injury to personal property for damaging a second bus. Authorities pursued the bus after a deputy spotted the vehicle and it failed to pull over. The bus then crashed into a building.
Scholarships offered for NAPT conference, field trips
June 5, 2012
The scholarships from Peter Lawrence, director of transportation for Fairport (N.Y.) Central School District, Zonar Systems and National Association for Pupil Transportation Past President Dr. Linda Bluth are available through the association.
Calif. district considers increasing bus fees
June 5, 2012
Under the proposal before the Temecula Valley Unified School District’s board, annual round-trip bus passes would rise from $520 to $550, and one-way passes would increase from $260 to $275. Officials say this could bring in an additional $25,000 for the district, and they are also recommending a move to streamline bus routes, which would save about $100,000.
Tags: bus fees

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