New Castle News

Local News

February 5, 2011

Two-hour delays, closing school a tough call

NEW CASTLE — Shenango Area School District Superintendent Eugene Thomas has his own method of determining what weather conditions are like.

He takes a drive.

At 3 a.m. Wednesday, Thomas navigated icy sidewalks and driveway to get to his vehicle. Then he traveled on roads in the township to help decide whether classes should be canceled or delayed that day. Students didn’t get a break but school had been canceled the day before.

For all school administrators across Lawrence County, the bottom line this time of year is students’ safety.

In the past, area radio and television stations were parents’ and students’ best friends. Now automated phone systems and computers are the turn-to implements for relaying and receiving the latest information.

“Any delay or cancellation is not popular because families have to consider getting child care and we lose instructional time,” said Thomas. “This is one of the most important decisions superintendents make during winter weather and we need to consider the safety of the kids.”

Snow and cold temperatures have been a common theme this winter.

The proliferation of two-hour days is occurring “because it’s an opportunity to allow road crews to get out in the morning and to get our buses running,” said George Gabriel, superintendent of the New Castle Area School District.

Administrators say they must consider busing routes and single digit temperatures for those who do wait for a bus or walk to school.

“It’s not a healthy situation,” said Gabriel, who recalled having to walk to school.

He added that, “It’s a different generation now with different situations and society has changed.”

Gabriel said he is aware that two-hour delays can cause problems to families and is sympathetic to those issues, “but nothing is 100 percent foolproof and we need to question what is the best scenario and what is safe.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NicholsonOffice.jpg County to buy new office for Nicholson

    Before the end of the year, the Lawrence County commissioners plan to move District Judge Jennifer Nicholson into new offices.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • PortersvilleSS.jpg Portersville Steam Show summer event arrives

    The Portersville Steam Show will stage its summer event Thursday through Sunday at its show grounds.


    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veteran.jpg Veterans seminar to view technology

    A veterans benefits seminar has been set for Friday. The program will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the commissioners room of the Lawrence County courthouse.


    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Part-time guard position created

    The Lawrence County Salary Board created a part-time temporary court guard position Tuesday.


    July 30, 2014

  • JaredGustafson.jpg Mohawk senior Jared Gustafson elected nation FCCLA officer

    A Mohawk High student was elected to national office at a leadership conference in Texas. Senior Jared Gustafson now is the 2014-2015 national vice president of parliamentary law for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.


    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • PipeDreams.jpg Concert to feature sounds of ’60s

    This week’s Friday Night Live at Riverwalk Amphitheater will feature a 1960s theme. Entertainment will be provided by Pipe Dreams. The group performs a tribute to the British Invasion and American rock ’n roll with music from The Beatles, Stones, Doors, Monkees and hits from Motown and Philly.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Environmental groups oppose forced pooling

    An effort by local landowners to have forced pooling declared unconstitutional is getting some outside support. Two environmental groups — Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Mountain Watershed Association — have filed a friend of the court brief with Commonwealth Court. They are asking that the court review forced pooling, which is part of a 1961 Oil and Gas Conservation Law, before scheduled hearings take place.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CashMob.jpg Cash Mob returns Saturday to downtown

    The New Visions Destination Downtown Action Team will host a cash mob Saturday in downtown New Castle.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • wampum_gazebo.jpg Wampum Homecoming draws near

    The 22nd annual Wampum Homecoming Weekend is scheduled for this weekend. It is sponsored by the Wampum Area Business Association.


    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg City imposing new regulations for vendors

    The city of New Castle is tightening regulations and imposing new ones for mobile food and transient vendors.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo