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Quad City Herald
Brewster, Washington
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March 5, 1998     Quad City Herald
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March 5, 1998
 

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School bus drivers - keeping our children safe con't from page 1 "People don't realize, you don't just get behind the wheel and drive," Pmeros bus driver Keith Zweigle said. "I don't think the rest of the school district or area realize the responsibility we have," Brewster bus driver Elsie Mathews said."Each one of those kids we haul is worth about two million dollars in a lawsuit. The "You can't drive school bus and not like kids," - Keith Zweigle welfare of those kids come fast, if you lose that, you'velost everything, driving school bus, anyway." Bus drivers are usually the first ones up on a school day. Zweigle and fellowPatea'osbusdriverShaneRandall, for example, begin their day at 6:00 am. Randall drives what is called the Methow run. The drive takes the seven year veteran of the Pateros School District up the Methow as far as Gold Creek. The trip usually takes about two hours and is 47 miles long. School bus drivers don't just drive their routes in the morning, in the afternoons these same drivers willonceagainload up the kids and carefully repeat theirmoming drive. In some cases, as in Brewster's most experienced driver Eva Stotler, that could add up to over 100 miles a day just transporting children to and from school. Stotler has been with the Brewster School District's transportation department for 33 years. Eva earned a whopping 130 dollars a month back in 1945 and only had to worry about five kids riding her bus. Today, Eva still drives the same route but with a few changes. She transports 61 to 79 kids each day and receives a couple more pennies in her pay check. The biggest change "1 enjoy watching the kids grow up," -Bev Waggner Eva sees over the years - "Overall, the kid's art it udes, for the simple reason when I started, if a kid didn't behave we could stop and let the kid off anywhere on the route. Now we can't touch them, they cancurseandswear at us for the whole route," Stotler said. School children stand in front one of the first school bus in the area around 1925. Students Include (left to rig ht) Doug Sines, Don Sines, Philip Sines, Ruth Sines, Georgia Alexander, Rose Renner, Bob Alexander, Flossla Rennet, Hazel Crossland. W.G. Alexander (not pictured) was the bus driver. Ouad Ci Hnrald March 5. 1998 Paga 5 Win. E. Vallance photo Betty Mathews awaits for 'her' children to climb onto the bus and head home from a day at achool. "A lot of time it only takes one kid The one thing that all the bus drivers bad along with it, bus driving is no to distract you," Zweigle said. seem to have in common is their love different. Tobecomeabus driveryou fwstmust obtain a ,,] commercialdrivers don't think license with a the rest of passenger and air b r a k e the school en,,ments.Atso district or bus drivers are required to have area rea/ize a full physical,earn a first aid card and the take yearly in- restgonsibi/itv services. Once you r- ""--,/ havereceivedyour we have," CDL you still must "Elsie complete a twenty hour school bus Mathews driving course. Of that 20 hours ten is classroom instruction pertaining to laws that apply especially to school bus operation. The other ten hours is demonstrating bus driving skills to a certified instructor. The annual in-services last three hours and keep the drivers current on laws and safety issues. Before each driver climbs into their bus for their routes they first must do a pre-mn safety check. The drivers check everything from the air pressure in the tires to the warning signals on both ends of the bus. for the children. "I like the kids, they're all my grand kids, every last one of them, good ones and had ones," Stotler said. "You have to like kids," Elsie added. "Anytime it gets to be a drag and you don't feel like getting up and going to work, its time to change jobs." "You can't drive school bus and not like kids," Keith Zweigl.e said. "I think we have a good rapport with the kids." "I enjoy watching the kids row up,". Brewster bus driver Bey Waggner said. "For example I use to have Gregg McMillian on my route and now he's a teacher and high school football coach here." "That's when it's really fun, when you start picking up kids of the kids you use to haul years before," Stotler added. "What is rewarding to me is if someone gets smart with me or difficult, those other kids will be right there backing me up," Betty Mathews said. Of course every good thing has its "We need to get people more aware of the bus's lights and stop paddles;" Zweigle said. "Motorists just don't seem to pay any attention." Brewster driver Elsie Mathews echoed Zweigle. "Inconsiderate drivers that go through our stop signs." Children that don't behave and their parents don't stand behind us, is what Bev Waggner dislikes. All the bus drivers voice their concern about the vandalism the buses take when they "Motorists just don't seem to pay any attention." . Keith Zweigle are not in use. Despitethoselittle problems that occur in this job it was well noted by the amount of service and years these bus drivers have put in that bus driving is more than just a job. it is a way of life. So next time your childrenarrivehome safely from a ball game, or any after school function or just from school it was because someone cares enough about our kids to get them there and back safely. So go find the school bus drivers and just tell them thanks for a job well done. Planning meeting scheduled today for town celebration Fourth of July celebration replaces Bonanza Days Brewster Chamber of Commerce members will sponsor a meeting at noon today, Thursday, March 5, forall peopleinterestedin planning the town's FourthofJulycelebmtion.The meeting will be at the Mi Casita Restaurant. Chamber members will be working in cooperation with the Bcwsterchapter of Sons of the American Legion, who have sponsored a fireworks show the past three years. The festivities will include an evening parade. The Fourth of July celebration will take the place of Bonanza Days; what was Bonanza Days weekend will be devoted to basketball, softball, volleyball and any other sports people want to add. It will be calledAll-Sport Weekend. In other business at thegeneral membership meetingTuesday, March 2, David Lindeblad of Wenatchee Valley College talked about the college and its mission. Lindebladis the deanofthe college's North campus in Omak. The North campus was started about 25 years ago; its student body has grown to more than 800 students for the fall 1997 quarter, attending classes on campus and throughout Okanogan County and Bridgeport. About one-third of those students are enrolled in basic education classes, improving basic skills in math and St. Patrick's Day 20/0 off any printed job in 00.GRI'EN Ink Special ends March 17, 5:00 p.m. AG SUPPLY COMPAN Quad. City 00.H.erald '(509) 689-2507 1 800 201 2507 Fax (509) 689 2508 525 Main Avenue, Brewster English and social studies.About one- thirdif the students are taking classes with the intention of transferring to a fouryearcollege;WVC-North students have transferred to every public and private four-year college in the state, Lindeblad said. The remaining one-third of the students are taking vocational classes. The college offers health care training, including licensed practical nurse (LPN) and registered nurse courses, as well as Lab technicians, nurse's aides and a new program for certified medical assistants, which fill a niche between aides and LPNs. College officials have instituted a new program to teach the business principles of orchard management. There is an active and ongoing technical business management program, as well as office technology courses and separate classes in computers. The college's student body reflects the community around it, Lindeblad said; there are traditional students in their late teens and early 20s, but there are also a lot of students who are returning to college after being on the job. Some are training for new careers, while others are juggling a job and school. Last year the Washing ton Legislature' allocated some money for a study of higher education in Okanogan County. The study team already has discovered thai the county's residents want more technological training and classes in their communities. In addition, there are many young people in Okanogan County who want to go to college, but i i ANKLE OR FOOT PROBLEM? Dr. Frank Cobarrubia is a Physician / and Surgeon specializing [ I In ANKLE & FOOT disorders. ``> Located in Chelan - 682-0232 Services also available @ Okanogan Douglas Hospital - 689.2517 Heel Pain Broken Bones Ingrown Nails * Bunions -- i $PRUCF. UP FOA SPRiNG w. .................................................................................... ;8;,, ....... ...... Ace Quality Kw!kset Ent .ry } Touch Flat Latex Lock or Singm   Wall& Trim Cylinder Deadbolt t' 002397 4 Cu. Ft. Akro "Mr. Brush Wheelbarrow Step" Floor Mat Hurry /hile Supplies Last Duri See Your Helpful Hardware Folks PATEROS ACE HARDWARE & PAINT PATEROS MALL 923-2622 who stay home for family and monetary reasons. People in the county wantT-.- and should have---the opportunity to start college careers closer to home, he said. Lindeblad said he wants to establish a closerrelationship with local school districts; he would like to see a bigger campus in Omak and permanent, satellite campuses in communities throughout the county, rnaybeoperated in conjunction with the local school districts. He said the college's administrators wanted to know the opinions of the people in the communities they serve, what WVC was doing right and how it could improve. He asked anyone who wanted to talk about WVC and highereducationinthecountytocontaet him at the campus in Omak. i t i . , H COPIES cOp,Es QUAD CITY COPIES COPIES HERALD COPIES 689-2507 COPIES 1-800-201-2507 COPIES I I No Job Too Small Whites Construction Co. 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