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Parents ask for better communication following incidents at R-P


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Oct 19th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Education

Just one week after a local publication printed an article highlighting Ready Bus drivers’ irritations with motorists ignoring the stop arms and flashing lights of stopped buses, a bus serving the district was involved in an accident north of Hart township on Highway 43. At approximately 3:45pm, October 12, Brian Moore, 53, of Winona, rear-ended the bus at more than 50 mph. At the time, the bus carried 25 students, aged 7-13, including five who sustained minor injuries. Moore was uninjured.

According to R-P Superintendent Chuck Ehler, Ready Bus Company driver Tim Wilkemeyer saw the incoming impact and quickly instructed the child preparing to exit the bus to sit immediately. After impact, Wilkemeyer was able to pull the bus to a grassy area well off the highway and conduct a check of the students. Rushford Ambulance Service, fire and police departments, along with state highway patrol all responded to the scene.

Parents Tony and Jessica Heiden, who had two children, aged 5 and 7, on the bus were thankful, but concerned over what they believe was a lack of communication from the district. “I’m not sure you were aware of what we were going through. It was very nerve wracking,” stressed Jessica Heiden, whose children arrived home more than an hour after the usual time.

“Those are valid concerns. I understand your frustrations,” responded Ehler. “I sure am empathetic to what was going on in your mind.” According to Ehler, the district did what it could to notify parents, but was limited on information. Having chosen not to go directly to the scene and create further confusion, a command center was setup at the school and staff had multiple phones going trying to both gather and give the needed information.

A second Ready bus was sent to the scene and began taking the remaining students home at 4:45pm, the highway patrol reported the details to Ehler at 6:30pm, and the last of the five students transported for medical care was released by Winona Health at approximately 8pm.

Tom Ready, owner/operator of Ready Bus Company, was also sympathetic to the Heidens’s concerns. “We train drivers on situations like this. Our main concern is worrying about a shock situation and getting a handle on all the people, making sure no one wanders off,” he insisted. “I know you’re concerned. We worry about the people on our buses. We will work hard to make that better for you.”
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Red Ribbon Week promoted in Chatfield

Fri, Oct 12th, 2012
Posted in Chatfield Education

Chatfield students MaKayla and Mariah Pederson promoted this campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal drug use and the abuse of alcohol at the council’s October 8 meeting. Red Ribbon Week is to be October 23-31 in Chatfield. The na ..... 
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The Fillmore Central High School Band

Fri, Oct 12th, 2012
Posted in Preston Education

The Fillmore Central High School Band Department will have 8 students proudly represent its school at the 2012 Three Rivers Honor Music Festival. The event will be held at St. Charles High School on Monday, November 5th, 2012. Students are selected ..... 
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Fillmore Central Dollars for Scholars changes its name

Fri, Oct 12th, 2012
Posted in Preston Education

As of October 1, 2012, Fillmore Central Dollars for Scholars has a new name - Fillmore Central Scholarship Foundation. The local scholarship committee was recently informed that the annual fee to be affiliated with Scholarship America would be ra ..... 
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R-P continues working towards new elementary facility

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Oct 5th, 2012
Posted in Peterson Education

At the September 17 board meeting, Dean Beeninga, of architectural firm ATS&R, and Gary Benson, of ICS Consulting, were on hand with updates on the proposed early childhood through grade 5 facility. A “Review and Comment,” required by the Minnes ..... 
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R-P continues working towards new elementary facility

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Oct 5th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Village Education

At the September 17 board meeting, Dean Beeninga, of architectural firm ATS&R, and Gary Benson, of ICS Consulting, were on hand with updates on the proposed early childhood through grade 5 facility. A “Review and Comment,” required by the Minnes ..... 
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R-P continues working towards new elementary facility

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Oct 5th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Education

At the September 17 board meeting, Dean Beeninga, of architectural firm ATS&R, and Gary Benson, of ICS Consulting, were on hand with updates on the proposed early childhood through grade 5 facility. A “Review and Comment,” required by the Minnes ..... 
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College News

Fri, Sep 28th, 2012
Posted in All Education

President’s List Western Technical College: Ralph Schneekloth and Lacey Spalla of Mabel; Michael Kenitz of Rushford; and Anastassia Novikova of Spring Grove Graduations Western Technical College: Hannah Hall of Canton in the Emergency Medical T ..... 
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Fillmore Central School Board approves winter coaches

Fri, Sep 28th, 2012
Posted in Preston Education

Coaches for winter sports were approved at the Fillmore Central School Board meeting on September 25, 2012. Athletic Director Chris Mensink informed the board of the choices and the numbers for each sport. According to Mensink, there are 53 boys ..... 
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