Klamath County, Ore. – Klamath County school busses cover more than 1,300,000 miles in the course of a school year – and the winter months pose special challenges.
Shawn Snoozy is the Transporation Supervisor for the Klamath County School District. “We run 80 drivers, about 60 busses, out of the 90 busses we use daily.”
Snoozy’s school district covers about 6,000 square miles. “It’s a huge area. Gilchrist has a lot different road conditions than we do here. Merrill, Malin, Lost River, Bonanza, and even Keno can have quite a bit of different road conditions.”
A decision was made Sunday night following weekend storms to open Klamath County Schools an hour late Monday.
“The road conditions were going to be a little bit icier.” Explains Snoozy. “It was nice just to have it light outside before we started our day.”
Recent forecasts have Snoozy keeping a close eye on weather and road conditions. “Tuesday, tomorrow night and Wednesday, looks like we’re supposed to get a few inches of snow.”
And any decision on keeping schools open or closed with hinge on one factor.
“Safety is the number one concern all the time.” Snoozy states. “We’re always looking at the roads, road conditions.”
Klamath County is somewhat unique in that it has separate districts for Klamath Falls City, and Klamath County schools.
Each district has its own school bus division.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.