School-bus driver prevents tragedy

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Car whizzes past stop signal, flashing lights

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY - Bruce Chinn received an e-mail note from a witness to a near tragedy, Tell City-Troy Township School Board member Larry Bryant reported at a regular meeting Tuesday.

The assistant to the superintendent missed most of the meeting due to other business, and passed the note to Bryant. He said quick action on the part of bus driver Tim Rogier that morning helped prevent a child from being hit by a car.

Rogier's bus was stopped at 29th and Tell streets shortly before 8 a.m. Rogier had the bus' stop arm extended and warning lights flashing, and "was getting ready to give a hand signal to a student waiting on the north side of Tell Street when he noticed a westbound vehicle approaching."

It was obvious to Rogier that the vehicle was not going to stop, so he used his horn and waved to stop the student from crossing, the note continued.

"The vehicle did, in fact, proceed (past) the stop arm without attempting to slow down," Bryant read. "The vehicle in question was later located and the proper action was taken (by police)."

"We appreciate Mr. Rogier's intervention," Bryant said, noting that once a bus stops for them, it could be difficult to stop students intent on boarding.

Schools Superintendent Ron Etienne said Thursday students are expected to await a hand signal from their driver if they have to cross a street to board their bus.

Budget Business

The board also conducted hearings on the budget and capital-projects and bus-replacement plans for next year. No one attended the meeting to express concerns, so the board is expected to approve them at their next meeting.

A tax-neutrality resolution adopted by the board is an annual requirement for funding retirement bonds, Etienne reminded them. School corporations have been required since 2005 to offset their levies with capital-improvement or bus-replacement funds, or both, he explained Thursday, which reduces the corporation's taxing capability.

The board also conducted a first reading of a revised policy on what Etienne said will be more-extensive background checks for employees required by a change in law. Bryant said he learned at a recent Indiana School Boards Association meeting the inquiries will go back as far as records exist for every county a prospective employee has lived in.

Etienne told the board he was taking quotes for paving a parking lot used as a practice site by the high-school marching band and an entrance to the bus parking lot. The work will also include installation of a pole-vault pit and runway, and is expected to cost $70,000 to $80,000, he said before securing the board's authorization to accept the lowest suitable bid.

People Come, People Go

In personnel business, the school board learned about the resignations of Cheryl George from her position as Spanish Club sponsor, and Bryan Taylor as junior-high basketball and track coach.

They approved the employment of Beth Lasher as yearbook sponsor at William Tell Elementary School and the addition of a third person to that school's day-care program, where a price hike from $2 to $3 per hour was also necessary "because it's becoming so crowded," Etienne said. The program is required to be self-sufficient, he explained.

In junior-high personnel actions, the board also OK'd the service of Kyle Miles as spell-bowl coach, Jennifer Chestnut as girls cross country coach, Zach Avallone as boys cross country coach and Spencer Sandage as volunteer cross country coach.

Art Schlichter's offer to serve as assistant high-school football coach was also approved.

Construction Almost Done

Etienne said he was still awaiting the delivery of 30 lockers to complete part of a summertime renovation effort intended, in part, to give each high-school student his or her own secure storage space.

Regarding other work, the superintendent said a contractor was expected to go through the building today to form a punch list of items remaining to be completed.

Board member Tom Holm recognized an unidentified audience member at the back of the auditorium that serves as the board's meeting location.

Holm has noted at the conclusion of a number of meetings that public interest in their actions is nonexistent.

"Thanks for coming," he told the visitor. "I can't see who you are back there, but I appreciate your being here. This is our budget meeting ... and should be one of our more important meetings of the year, and I guess they're trusting us to take care of it."

Chinn said he was late to the meeting due to a commitment with the Tell City census committee. He encouraged everyone in Tell City to complete census forms when they become available because each one brings approximately $400 in funding to the city.