Winter’s warning shot

KIM TIMLIN OF HEAD START makes her way across Pine St. last Friday afternoon after checking on a Tracy Area High School student who had slid off the road and part way into the ditch. Last week’s storm featured a bit of snow and a lot of very strong winds, causing icy roads and low visibility all over the area. Photos / Per Peterson

Bus drivers don’t miss a beat during season’s first winter storm

By Per Peterson

Last Friday’s winter storm was a headache for Tracy Area School District bus drivers, but the morning went off without a hitch. Well, almost.

“The only mishap was a dog getting on my bus,” said driver Liz Polkow. “It was a puppy, and the guy was chasing him all around my bus, so I eventually opened my door and let him on because he wanted to follow the kid anyway. I figured it was better than having him keep chasing the dog around the bus.”

This is Polkow’s first year of driving bus, and she was proud to have completed her route on time.

“I’m really excited about that,” said Polkow, whose route goes all the way to about 7 miles north of Slayton. “It was a challenge, but I felt more stable compared to driving in my car. It stopped a lot easier and had a little more traction. I have other training that kind of factored in.”

Polkow said she didn’t feel nervous hitting the icy roads for the first time.

“These guys were very encouraging, gave me a lot of good advice beforehand,” she said. “They’ve always been very supportive, so I felt they’d be there for me if I had to holler for help.”

John Brandt, the transportation manager for 4.0 School Services, which serves the Tracy School District, endured his first winter storm of the season Friday, as snow and strong winds combined to make Friday-morning travel for his drivers a headache.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.