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Concerned grandparents address lack of bus stops

By Staff | Oct 19, 2011

A group of concerned grandmothers addressed Tyler County Board of Education Monday evening, speaking about problems concerning the lack of a scheduled bus pickup near their residences on Braden Run Road.

Linda Norris told board members, “We’re grandparents, raising our grandchildren. I’ve been trying to address this problem for three years.”

“When I moved to our present address, I called the bus garage,” said Norris. “I was told the bus would pick up the children.”

The students in question live on Braden Run Road, but have to be transported by their family members to the bus stop. There is no shelter at the stop.

“I have a grandson who has allergies,” said Norris. “The kids are out in the rain and cold weather. Sometimes the bus is late, and they have no place to get out of the weather.”

“The bus used to come and pick up the children, at one point in time,” said Ida Barnhart, who also lives on Braden Run. “They would turn around in my driveway.”

“I am willing to meet you halfway,” added Norris. “I have never gotten a response as to why the bus will not come to pick up the children. I’m not getting any answers.”

Superintendent of Schools Robin Daquilante told the group she would investigate the matter. “I’m not familiar with that route, but I’m not making excuses.”

“I’ll speak to Mr. Smith about it,” she added. “Time could be an element as to why the bus does not make the run. Also, we consolidated several routes this year.”

“Thank for for coming in and voicing your concerns,” added Board President Linda Hoover. “Sometimes we don’t know about these situations. We will be in touch with you about the problem.”

Veronica Wilcox, newly appointed WVU Extension Agent for Tyler County, introduced herself to board members and thanked them for their previous support of the agency’s endeavors.

“I was picked specifically to come to your county,” explained Wilcox. “The Extension Agency wanted someone with a very strong 4-H background.”

“Our goal is to strengthen the 4-H program in Tyler County,” said Wilcox. “Other agents have been more adept in the agricultural aspect of the agency. In a county this size, the 4-H program can a strong and viable asset to the community. I hope to expand the scope and build a firm foundation for 4-H’ers here.”

The board welcomed Wilcox to the county and said they looked forward to participating in the growth of Tyler County 4-H.

“We have a strong FFA program here in the county,” said board member Jimmy Wyatt. “We can build a working partnership between the two clubs.”

Wilcox agreed that partnering with the FFA program would be beneficial and said she’d been in contact with the FFA advisor Leon Ammons.

Amanda Kimble, Director of Child Nutrition, Support Services, and Safety, presented board members with information concerning a needs project grant proposal. The project concerns a school-wide upgrade to heating/air conditioning.

“It’s a pretty big project,” said Kimble. “I submitted the proposal i November of last year, which will be interviewed in March. We will know the decision in April.”

The grant funding is over 1 million dollars, added Kimble. “What we are asking the board for is a ten per cent match in funds, which is required to secure the grant.”

The anticipated project will include upgrades to the existing HVAC system, which is almost 20 years old. Installation of air conditioning is also planned for the gymnasium and a dry storage unit in the Home Economics department.

“One project alone would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” explained Kimble. “With the grant funding, we can make improvements across the board. It’s a necessary undertaking.”

The board approved a ten per cent match in funds if the grant is approved.

Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee next spoke to the board concerning an update on the Donovan Adams trust fund.

Donovan Adams bequeathed a sum of money from his estate to the Tyler County school system, to be used for scholarship awards. The amount of money is not yet known, according to Furbee.

Mr. Furbee has been working with the administrators of the estate’s financial holdings to determine the details of the trust.

“I filed a counterclaim to amend the language of the trust instrument,” Furbee informed the board. “Some details in the original document were a little too restrictive.”

“Whatever money, if any, that is available from the estate, is specifically to be used for a scholarship,” he added.

“There will be hearing on Oct. 27, and we will know more at that time,” Furbee continued. “I would ask the Superintendent to be present at the hearing, if possible.”

Superintendent Dacquilante confirmed she has made plans to attend. “I have it marked on my calender,” she told Furbee.

In other matters, the TCHS 2012 high school baseball schedule was voted on and approved by the board. Also approved were personnel requests for professional leave. Terri McCoy and Pam Stollings, TCHS guidance counselors will attend a seminar focusing on bullying in Columbus, Oh., on Dec. 7.

The resignation of Kim Starkey, substitute teacher, countywide, was accepted, effective immediately.

Several employments and transfers were voted on and approved as well. Payment of bills was authorized and the meeting was called into a brief executive session by board member Jimmy Wyatt.

All board members were present at the meeting.