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Bus Donated For Emergency Use

Keith Morgan

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha County emergency responders will have a vehicle capable of carry multiple victims in the event of a mass casualty incident thanks to help from the local school district.
School board trustees agreed Sept. 8 to sell a surplus school bus to the Yalobusha Emergency Management Agency after receiving a request from EMA Director Frank Hyde.
Superintendent Kim Chrestman explained to board members that Hyde asked if the district had an old school bus that would still run and wasn’t needed, that could be sold to EMA.
The bus will be modified using an AmbuBus conversion kit, “turning a school bus into a semi-ambulance,” said Chrestman.
He added that ambulances carry one or two people, whereas an AmbuBus can carry over a dozen.
The bus, identified as #26, was going to be used for parts, Chrestman said, and was already missing a couple of components, such as the alternator.
Board members unanimously approved the sale for $10, which was donated by the superintendent.
Among other actions at the Sept. 8 meeting, trustees:
• Accepted several technology donations from the community.
Chrestman said that board approval is needed on donations of over $500. “We want to thank the people who have given the small ones as well.”
The donations are from Trustee Casey Washington’s challenge to the community to help provide iPad devices to Davidson Elementary School.
• Approved a request by Water Valley Band Director Keith Morgan for the band to travel to Orlando, Florida in the spring to march in the Disney World Main Street Parade.
Morgan said that several of his current band parents were in the band when Director Stanley Crow took the group on the same trip more than 20 years ago. “They talked about how much they loved going to Disney World and marching in the parade.”
• Disposed of several surplus items including a bed frame, which caused some head scratching among board members. “Why do we have a bed frame?” asked Trustee Pierce Epes.
Chrestman said that he believed it was given to the school nurse, but it no longer works.
• Heard the Superinten-dent’s Report.
Chrestman said that plans are in the works to inform parents about the Mississippi Literacy-Based Promotion Act as required by law. “This year, students in the 3rd grade will be tested on a 3rd Grade Reading Gate assessment.  If students do not pass the assessment at the level set by the Mississippi Department of Education, they will be retained in the 3rd grade.   This includes Special Education students.”  
Chrestman continued that on Friday, Sept. 19,  the “GO JIM GO” Lebonheur Hospital Fundraiser termed “Coins for Kids” will conclude.  “Channel 3 newsman and meteorologist, Jim Jaggers, will visit our school to collect our proceeds for Lebonheur.”
“Finally,” Chrestman said, grinning broadly, “Principal Glenn Kitchens has been labeled a jinx by the other administrators, office staff and teachers after the school experienced a major water leak this past week.”
The leak sent Chemistry and Physics students scrambling to other classrooms for the day and all students to different restrooms until repairs could be made.  “Remembering the cold morning back in the winter when a similar leak happened at Davidson Elementary School while Kitchens was serving as interim principal there, several suggested that he may need to go elsewhere and take these types of events with him,” Chrestman added.
Clean up was handled as quickly as possible and thanks to the janitorial staff, SRO Steve Story and Mr. Blue Devil himself, Jerry Holt, for assisting the principals in getting the flood under control, said the superintendent.  “Repairs should be complete within a couple of weeks and hopefully life will be back to normal for the students in that area of the building.”  
• The next school board meeting is planned for Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the district office on Market Street.

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