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Schools to reopen with new bus routes

BY LAUREL BLACKlblack@paducahsun.com

Paducah schools have altered their bus routes in an effort to keep students safe on the city's slick streets.

Some buses for Paducah Tilghman, Paducah Middle, and Clark and Morgan elementaries will use alternate bus stops beginning Monday. The changes will remain in effect until bus drivers and school administrators determine the usual routes are safe to drive, transportation director Steve Spraggs said.

"There may be a little inconvenience here, but it's what we need to do to go back to school," he said. "Most of (the stops) are not terribly far; it's just going to be different."

Spraggs said administrators decided to move stops in areas with hills, tight turns and narrow streets - such as those on the west end of Paducah and in the Forest Hills neighborhood - to more level roads. Not all bus routes have been affected.

He added that other drivers should be aware that school buses will be stopping on main roads more frequently.

If a stop does not appear on the accompanying list, it has not been changed.

Superintendent Randy Greene said the administration considered other options, such as delaying the start of school for two hours, before settling on the route changes. A delay could have caused snags in traffic due to the greater number of cars on the road later in the morning, he said.

Greene said parents who drive their kids, as well as teenagers who drive themselves to school, should exercise caution.

"Some of the roads are really slick and they really can be dangerous. I just want the parents to be in tune with that," Greene said.

Road conditions likely won't improve until later this week, according to National Weather Service forecaster David Blanchard.

He said today's temperatures may rise above freezing for a short time, but another cold blast is expected this evening.

"If you have snow that's been compacted into ice, it's probably going to stay there through Tuesday or Wednesday," he said.

But temperatures could warm into the 40s on Friday and Saturday, he added.

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

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