Jeffco Fifth Grader Run Over By School Bus
Boy In Critical Condition
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 29 (UPI) -- A middle aged Swedish couple were kicked off a bus and charged with sexual harassment for allegedly committing sex acts while aboard the vehicle.
Passengers on the bus traveling from Huskvarna to Ljungby in August 2009 said the couple, who boarded the vehicle in Stockholm, were engaging in sexual activities in full view of other people, The Local reported Thursday.
The pair, a female musician and a male real estate agent, were kicked off the bus in Ljungby and arrested on sexual harassment charges.
The couple denied engaging in sexual acts while on the bus.
"I don't understand anything. We did not have sex. She stroked me on my tummy just inside my shirt," the man said in a statement.
April 30, 2010 (HINSDALE, Ill.) (WLS) -- Classes have been canceled at Hinsdale Middle School after a charter bus hit a phone pole, which led to a power outage.
The pole landed on top of the bus, and the power lines burned a small section of the roof.
No children were injured. They were headed on a band fieldtrip to Branson, Missouri.
The accident knocked out power to more than 600 homes and business.
ABC7 was told the students would continue on their trip after a new bus arrived.
A judge has given disabled bus riders in Nassau County another last-minute reprieve from major cuts to the Able-Ride paratransit service, but MTA officials say the changes are inevitable because Nassau County refuses to support its own ailing bus system.
A group of disabled bus riders in Nassau sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority earlier this month with hopes of stopping the agency's...
One of the drivers was pinned inside the bus, but has now been freed and taken by a U. S. Park Police helicopter to the hospital, according to DC Fire/EMS.
Ohio Drive remains closed. Be prepared for delays in the area.-- Theola Labbe'-DeBose
PUNTERS in Frimley Green had a lucky escape after a bus came off the road and went crashing through the wall of a pub garden on Monday April 19.
People had been enjoying the weather and a spot of lunch at the Rose and Thistle when the number 48 to Farborough careered off Guildford Road at around 1.45pm.
There was only the driver and a passenger onboard, who both had to be let out of the emergency exit at the rear of the vehicle by the fire brigade.
The crash caused a 6ft brick wall to collapse onto a table in the pub’s garden.
However Annie Cowell, the Rose and Thistle’s landlady, said there was no one sitting at the table as she had forgotten to return the chairs she had removed from it the day before.
“On Sunday the sun had moved so I moved the chairs from the table into the car park for some of my customers,” she said
“I planned to move them back in the morning but forgot. If I had some one would have been sitting there, it is a favourite table with the customers. It was pure fate.”
A Mossyrock school bus driver is accused of standing on a disabled 7-year-old boy to keep him from moving around the bus. And the boy's mother wants the driver to be charged with assault.
Gage Hagedorn is a typical energetic second-grader, but he needs a little help getting around. He was born with serious medical complications that force him to rely on crutches to get around.
His mother admits the boy was getting a little rambunctious on the day of the incident. There was a dispute between the boy and other kids on the bus, and surveillance footage captured the boy crawling under a seat.
Susan Hagedorn says that's when the bus driver stepped on Gage Hagedorn to stop him from going any further.
"She put one foot on him and held him to the floor. And it did not happen once, but twice," the mother said. "The first time it happened, Gage did not cry. The second time it happened, it was very loud and clear that he was crying from the bus driver standing on him to hold him down."
Susan Hagedorn was shown the video footage by the school district. KOMO News' request for a copy of the footage was denied by Mossyrock School District Superintendent Karen Ernest, who also refused to comment.
But Susan Hagedorn was told by the district's transportation director that the bus driver has been placed on paid administrative leave. That's not enough to ease the concerns of the boy's mother.
"I would like the bus driver charged with assault, and I would like to see her not driver a school bus for children," she said. "It broke my heart to know that a school official who's there to serve and protect our children had the audacity to stand on my son to hold him to the floor."
The Lewis County sheriff's Office is investigating.
Susan Hagedorn kept her son home from school on Friday. She said she plans to drive him to school herself every day next week until she learns more about how the district plans to handle the incident.
At a public meeting last week about the Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls, City Councilor De Knudson shared a plea from a citizen.
"Please look at history of buses/inspections," it said.
The center uses at least two vehicles to transport dozens of schoolchildren to programs at the facility on North Main Avenue. For employees and at least one of its after-school programs, they have been an ongoing concern for years.
On a field trip during a summer camp operated by the center, a school bus driver from another town "threatened to turn the MCC in for endangering kids" because of the condition of its bus, a staff member stated in a 2008 report obtained by the Argus Leader. The employee was extremely concerned about safety, according to the report compiled that year by a private consultant working with the Multi-Cultural Center.
"One of the drivers made a comment once, 'I would hate to know how many laws we break each day,' " the report states.
A separate study this year, by the University of South Dakota Government Research Bureau, did not cover bus safety but was critical of the center's management.
Concerns that the buses have not been inspected have been resolved, says Doug Barthel, the Sioux Falls police chief and a member of the Multi-Cultural Center board.
"As a board member, I do know the buses have been inspected and any issues were brought up to standard," he said. "As a board member, we're very satisfied that the buses have been put into proper order and they are safe."
The South Dakota Highway Patrol was involved in those inspections, as they are with other vehicles used by churches and other nonprofit groups. The Highway Patrol inspected one of the Multi-Cultural Center's two vehicles in late February, and the other one in early March, said Terry Woster, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.
Maintenance isn't the only concern involving the buses. Discipline problems have been an ongoing issue.
In 2006, one of the tutors in a reading program at the center identified transportation of the children as a major problem.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is linked most closely in the popular consciousness with aviation security, but its mandate also extends to protecting rail and transit systems -- a job that needs to get more attention from the agency, according to senior senators from both parties.
At a Thursday hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the TSA, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) noted that the agency has yet to finish a rail security risk assessment and strategy outline that Congress ordered up by 2008 at the latest.
"Get going" on strengthening TSA's surface transport security work, Lautenberg told David Heyman, assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). "This is an outrage that it's taken so long. This is like the traffic cop standing on the sidewalk and watching the traffic go by [not thinking] about when he ought to interrupt the flow to keep the cars from crashing into one another."
The commerce panel's senior Republican, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), also raised pointed questions about TSA's policy of conducting inspections at the top 50 U.S. transit networks once every three years.
"Does that seem like enough supervision," Hutchison asked, "if the transit agencies know that once an inspection is done, they won't be inspected for three years?"
Heyman described the inspection schedule as "in sync with the granting cycle" that TSA uses for rail security funding. "There are about 5,000 transit sites across the country, and given the limited [number of] inspectors, that's the tempo of operations I think that can be sustained at this point," he told Hutchison.
The DHS is the parent agency of TSA, which has lacked a permanent leader since the White House's second nominee for the post in two months withdrew his name from consideration amid media scrutiny.
The little blue ORCA smart card now is a common sight around the Puget Sound. About 470,000 customers have been issued an ORCA card since the system launched last April, and it gets used on about 200,000 daily transit trips.
The ORCA, which stands for One Regional Card for All, was meant to bring the convenience of modern technologies to our transit system. It is intended to replace various passes, tokens and paper transfer slips between partner agencies, which includes Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit and Washington State Ferries. That helps transit agencies, who previously had to redistribute about $100 million per year in regional fares.
The card costs $5. Those who qualify for reduced fares can buy one for $3. You can store between $5 and $300 on the card's "e-purse," as well as a regional transit pass.
Many people appreciate no longer having to fumble through change while boarding the bus. As with any new system, there have been glitches. Sound Transit, which oversees the ORCA system, is listening to feedback and tweaking the system to improve how it functions. Below are a few frustrations that people shared with seattlepi.com.
Before ORCA replaced paper transfer slips, Stanley Green could ride buses from North Seattle to a destination in Tacoma by paying one fare and transferring between three buses.
As long as he transferred between each bus within two hours, he was good to go. Drivers would hand him transfer slips between each ride.
ORCA now calculates and deducts the value of transfers and keeps track of that two-hour window down to the minute. But there is an anomaly if you transfer between buses inside the downtown Seattle Ride Free Area, as Green has learned. And it creates situations where his two-hour window expires before he makes all his transfers. The reason: If you catch a bus inside the downtown zone, you don't pay until the end of your trip. Outside of downtown, you pay when you board. So, if you ride a bus from outside downtown and transfer inside the Ride Free Area, your two hours are still being counted from when you caught the first bus because you don't tap your card again until you alight the second bus. If either bus is slowed by rush-hour traffic, your two hours might be over before the trip ends and you'll be charged another fare.
"I have had several experiences of having to pay a second full fare, even though I am boarding the next vehicle within two hours of having paid the first fare with ORCA," Green says.
"It's a de facto fare increase."
Sound Transit is aware that situation can arise and has developed a remedy for it, said Geoff Patrick, an agency spokesman.
"It's not a frequent occurrence, but it's happened enough that we've acknowledged it's an issue," he said.
To avoid that from happening, bus drivers have been instructed to allow riders to tap their cards earlier in the trip if coming from inside the Ride Free Area.
"If a rider has an issue within a two-hour window, they can wait until after the bus has exited the Seattle Ride Free Zone and then tap their card. If they're headed south anywhere along the busway on Royal Brougham or Lander (Street) or one of those stops, riders can go up and tap their card and avoid having to wait the entire duration of the trip," he says.
"We want to provide that transfer credit within two hours, so that means when they got the bus, and not when they get off the bus," he says.
John McKinney frequently rides Sound Transit buses from Tacoma to Seattle and isn't too impressed with ORCA. That's because he has an ORCA horror story.
He loaded $26 onto his account last August but didn't need to use the card again until about six months later. But when he tried to take a bus in February from the Tacoma Dome station to catch a flight at Sea-Tac Airport for business, the card wouldn't work. The electronic reader kept flashing "insufficient funds," he says.
It was 4 a.m. outside the Tacoma Dome station and the Sound Transit driver wouldn't cut him any slack. He tried to explain that his account should have had plenty of credit, but he was told to get off the bus. He called his girlfriend for a ride and nearly missed his flight.
He later learned the card had been frozen because he didn't tap it against an electronic card reader within 30 days of putting money on his account, as ORCA requires. After contacting customer service, he was sent a letter assuring him the account would be unfrozen after March 1. But it didn't happen. He called again and was told he needed to tap the card at the office where he purchased it -- a Pierce Transit office in Tacoma. That didn't work either. Customer clerks at the Pierce Transit office said he needed to call the ORCA customer service number. Frustrated, he did, and a customer service representative finally fixed the problem. That was three weeks after the ordeal began.
"Hopefully my experience hasn't happened to too many people," he said. "I think as long as you're really careful with what you're doing and make no mistakes, everything should be fine. But if you make a mistake like I did, it creates hassles for months."
He'd like to see improvements in ORCA customer service and wonders why Sound Transit couldn't program the system to e-mail ORCA users when their card is about to be frozen. Also, he thinks the bus driver could have given him some leeway.
ORCA users are required to tap the card after loading their e-purse via online. Many first-time users forgot or didn't realize that. It was one of the most common complaints about the ORCA system, Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick says.
Sound Transit has since changed ORCA policy to allow users up to 60 days to tap their card, he said. The window was extended in March due to customer feedback, he said.
A time limit, however, is necessary to keep the system functioning, Patrick said. Tapping the card allows ORCA to download any changes to your account -- such as money loaded to your e-purse -- to the card's microchip. After you put money in your ORCA account, the system essentially waits to make contact with your card. If too many transactions were pending at once, the system would bog down, Patrick said.
"The way the system works -- at any given time, there are thousands of pending transactions that need to be loaded onto people's cards. If you had no limit, what you would have is a system-wide deterioration of the performance. Therefore we emphasize that if you paid online or by credit, you have to tap within (60 days). You can't wait for three or four years before you use the card again," Patrick said.
Another common source of confusion, Patrick said, is that it can take up to 24 hours to process if you load money into your ORCA card online. To avoid waiting, you can replenish your account via ticket-vending machines, which are placed at Sound Transit light rail transit stations or customer service offices.
Customers whose accounts are locked should call the ORCA customer service line at 1-888-988-6722, Patrick said.
As for McKinney's suggestion about e-mail alerts, Patrick said Sound Transit is considering that option for the future. "It's something we want to take a look at," he said. It could be possible for a number of issues, including to notify people when their transit passes are about to expire. There were other more immediate issues that had to be worked out first, he said.
As for McKinney's poor experience with customer service, Patrick said he couldn't speak to exactly what happened. "Clearly that represents a glitch in our response and one we owe him an apology for," he said.
As for the bus driver not allowing McKinney on-board, Patrick said each operator has discretion and can decide to allow some leniency.
David Wong recently took Sound Transit's Route 550 bus between the Rainier Avenue stop and the International District transit station. He noticed the driver still had the meter set for two zones, instead of one. The driver reset the meter when Wong pointed it out. But when he paid, an extra 50 cents was mistakenly deducted from his e-purse, even though his monthly pass should have covered the fare. (His fare was $1.50 and his pass covers up to $2). He reported the error and asked that 50 cents be credited electronically to his account. ORCA acknowledged the error, but instead mailed him a ticket for a free bus ride. The money couldn't be credited to his account because a $5 minimum must be deposited into an ORCA account.
The same thing happened to him twice more since he first contacted seattlepi.com.
"I assume this means the glitch that affected me is still taking excess money out of other riders' Orca card e-purses," he said.
He'd like to if Sound Transit is fixing the problem and whether it's a widespread issue. He's also frustrated that his card can't be reimbursed. The free bus ticket sent to him is only good on Metro Transit and it seems like it would be cheaper just to electronically credit him, he said.
"I'm not a novice at riding public transportation. I've been riding Metro since I was a kid. I have stored-value cards from several other cities that implemented the system before Orca, including London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Chicago, and Urumqi. I understand how these things work. I just feel that, in addition to the glitches in calculating fares correctly, Orca has a lot of room for improvement," he said.
Sound Transit has no information to suggest ORCA overcharges are a large-scale problem, Patrick says. But it can occasionally happen if a bus driver forgets to reset the electronic card reader while within a zone.Sound Transit is working with ERG, the system vendor, to enable refunds of less than $5 to be credited directly to customers' ORCA cards. "But for the moment, the approach we take is to offe
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41) -- No one likes to get the word he or she is losing a job.
Over the weekend, several bus drivers and transit authority maintenance workers got certified letters telling them they're on the chopping block. Monday, TARC board members and the chairman got an earful.
Erica Levy is a driver who's upset.
"I left a great opportunity to come here -- I did," she said. "I'm not just any crap off the street -- that's walking off the street. I actually gave up a position to come here. I actually really liked this job -- I really did. And I felt so small...that you would mail me a letter like I really didn't matter."
Like her colleagues, she's hurt because they didn't get the word face-to-face from transit authority bosses. Thirty-nine transportation department workers -- mostly drivers and six maintenance workers -- will be fired or given the option to work part-time.
"You know, it's ugly," TARC Director Barry Barker tells Fox 41. "We don't want to be put in this situation. We're putting 40 to 50 people out of a job."
TARC says it has to be done. Today the board also approved the elimination of four routes, and changed or altered several others. The transit authority increased express fares by a dollar, to $2.50 one way, and increased senior and disability fares by fifty cents on express routes.
The new schedules take effect June 6. The fare increases July 1. The employee layoffs, June 6.
LICKING COUNTY, Ohio—A Heath man who is accused of raping an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s is indicted on three charges.
NBC 4 reported with the FAST FACTS from the Licking County sheriff’s office.
The Licking County prosecutor’s office indicted 71-year-old Donald Gary Moore on first-degree rape, third-degree sexual battery and fourth-degree gross sexual imposition charges.
Moore is a former bus driver for the Licking County Aging Program. He no longer works for the program.
It is alleged Moore raped a 71-woman in his bus five times between Dec. 1, 2009, and April 15, 2010.
A witness was in the area of the Licking Springs nature trail, 1539 Columbus Rd. in Granville, Thursday, April 15.
The witness called the Licking County sheriff’s office and reported seeing a topless elderly woman in a van in the area of the trail.
In an interview with a detective, Moore admitted to multiple acts of sexual conduct with an elderly female who has Alzheimer’s disease, according to the sheriff’s office.
Moore was arrested at his Heath residence and transported to the sheriff’s office Friday, April 16.
Moore initially was charged with rape, a first-degree felony.
Police say a Cumberland County school bus driver was drunk while driving 18 middle school students Friday afternoon.
Charles Wynn, 49, of the 1800 block of Windlock Drive, was driving a bus from Lewis Chapel Middle School when it was rear-ended by a Ford Expedition on Pritchett Road at 2:49 p.m, authorizes say.
Police did a breath test on Wynn at the scene and found his blood alcohol level to be 0.2, more than two times the legal limit of 0.08. The test was given at the scene because Wynn smelled of alcohol, according to arrest papers.
The bus driver blew a 0.18 at the jail when he was processed, according to court documents.
Wynn was charged with driving while subject to an impairing substance, operating a school bus after consuming alcohol and driving while impaired while operating a commercial vehicle, according to police. He spent Friday night in jail on $3,000 secure bond.
Al Miller, assistant director of transportation for the Cumberland County school system, said 18 students were on the bus. Two students were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center with complaints of discomfort, Miller said. Three were taken by their parents to be checked out, Miller said, although none had any visible injuries.
Police released the remaining children into the custody of their parents before school system staff arrived on the scene, Miller said.
The driver of the Expedition that hit the school bus also was charged. Travis Hunter, 29, of the 6600 block of Flintshire Road, was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and operating a vehicle with a revoked license, according to Fayetteville police.
Superintendent Frank Till said the county has zero tolerance for the behavior of which the bus driver is accused. Till said Wynn was a substitute bus driver for the county. He also is a custodian at Seventy-First High School.
Till said Wynn's job status will be reviewed.
"Clearly, the person was wrong for this," Till said. "If the police hadn't caught him, we would have under our procedures," meaning the systems random drug screenings, Till said.
Till and Miller could not say how long Wynn had been driving school buses for the count