Muddy mess strands school kids -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Muddy mess strands school kids

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October 25, 2002

Mitchell County - When it rains, Mitchell County residents get angry. Their dirt road floods and turns into a muddy mess.

The road is so muddy, the bus driver refuses to go down the path, leaving kids stranded at the highway.

It's even tough for the mail man. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor Mud, can keep John Autrey from making his mail rounds. He says, "It's hard. You have to be careful with boxes. You get stuck and in ditches."

But, the muddy Mitchell Road keeps the bus driver from delivering kids. Parent, Teressa Melton, says, "She says she cannot come down it because it's not passable. My problem is dropping my son off at highway being by himself."

Nine-year-old Will Melton is normally dropped off at his grandmother's house on Big Creek Road, but too much rain on a dirt road gives him a hike. Teressa Melton explains, "It really doesn't seem far for us, but for a child walking in the rain, that's too far."

When Mitchell Road is a muddy mess the bus driver drops Will off at Stage Coach Road. He still has a half a mile to walk before his grandmother can pick him up. His mom says, "He's muddy, shoes covered, pants just muddy."

Will's uncle says they've been fighting with the county for three generations. Big Creek Road is paved up until the Mennonite Church. Richard Griner says, "If the county can pave road for private school, why can't they pave road for public schools? That's the big problem, right there."

The county has a priority paving project list. County Administrator Bennett Adams says Mitchell County Road is scheduled to be paved in 2003, Big Creek Road in 2004. The county is six to eight months behind schedule.

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