The Missouri State Highway Patrol recently released the results of its 2014 school bus inspection, with mixed results for Callaway County schools.
South Callaway R-II was the only district to receive a perfect 100 percent, followed by North Callaway R-I with 95.8 percent, Fulton with 93.5 percent, Missouri School for the Deaf with 87.5 percent and New Bloomfield R-III, which contracts its bus service out to Durham School Services, with 66.7 percent.
North Callaway had 23 of 24 buses pass inspection and no buses designated out of service. In a letter to the Fulton Sun, North Callaway Transportation Director Doug Kee said the one fault found in his fleet was a minor issue that was corrected the same day as the inspection. He noted this is the 19th time the district has received the highway patrol's Fleet Excellence Award - given for scores of 95 percent or higher.
"Each of our buses is inspected every month using a checklist of over 300 items," Kee wrote in the letter. "Our mechanic Jason Pierson has done a tremendous job this year, not only performing routine maintenance, but performing all repairs in house resulting in substantial savings in labor costs."
Fulton had 30 of 32 buses approved, with one bus receiving a repair the day of the inspection and another being designated out of service.
"One bus came in and had a tail light out and it got fixed immediately, and the other had a rock screwed into the tire," Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said. "I was disappointed we didn't get 95 percent, but ... I felt really good about the bus inspection. Considering some of those buses are over 10 years old, I'm pleased with it."
Missouri School for the Deaf had seven of eight buses pass inspection, with one not passing, but none being designated out of service. No one with the district was available to comment by press time.
New Bloomfield had eight out of 12 buses approved, one not approved and three designated out of service. No one with the district was available to comment by press time.
South Callaway had all 22 of its buses pass inspection. No one with the district was available to comment by press time.
Katherine Cummins can be reached at (573) 826-2418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.