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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2007
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Athens fires bus driver, buys more school buses

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — After a 38-minute closed-door meeting Thursday to discuss the good name and character of an employee, school officials terminated a bus driver for an unspecified reason.

Information about the driver, Stevie Burks, surfaced after he was hired.

Athens Superintendent Orman Bridges Jr. said Burks did not commit any infractions while at Athens, and the termination was not for job performance.

"He hasn't even driven a bus yet," Bridges said.

The system started its busing system in August and has had to add drivers as more students ask to ride.

Burks will remain on paid leave until the termination becomes effective Oct. 1.

The Athens City Board of Education also hired two new drivers at its meeting. They are William Bruce Walters and Emmett Higginbotham.

To address the growing number of students riding, the board also accepted a bid from Alabama Bus Sales for three buses at $73,636 each.

Custodian of Funds Bob Hagood said busing has helped increase the overall student population. The system has grown from 2,873 students last year to 2,990 so far this year.

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