Well, I guess it is officially Spring, but don’t rush outside with your shorts and flip-flops just yet, we are still experiencing winter weather and probably will for the next several days.
Didn’t that ground hog indicate an early Spring? Last Saturday the Missouri S&T St. Pat’s Board and the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 105th Annual St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown. In spite of cool temperatures and gusting winds, groves of people turned out to watch the parade.
The Rolla Police Department was once again tasked with crowd and traffic control and most of our officers, VIPS volunteers, reserve officers and police explorers were on post. There were no major issues but there seems to have been an increase in violation of Rolla City Ordinance 4033, which states persons participating in a parade may not distribute gifts, merchandise, literature, hand-outs, candy or other materials from moving vehicles or parade floats during the parade.
Participants may assign walkers to hand or toss items to spectators along the parade route. Walkers shall only distribute gifts, merchandise, literature, hand-outs, candy or other materials as far off the road as possible to avoid children and other spectators from running into the streets and so long as such activity does not draw spectators into the streets. This new ordinance was enacted in an effort to keep children from darting out into the parade route to retrieve items thrown during the parade. This year officers along the route reported a large percentage of both drivers and passengers in vehicles violating this ordinance by throwing objects from moving vehicles into the crowd.
This year officers only warned the violators of this ordinance, but the next parade may require enforcement of this ordinance. We realize that the parade atmosphere includes candy and gifts to spectators, but we also understand why the ordinance was enacted and we are obligated to enforce ordinance compliance. If you or your business plan to participate in future parades please keep this in mind.
This next entry is from the desk of Cpt. Jason Smith who writes: Tuesday, Phelps County Emergency Services Board Chairman Paul Rueff and I attended the Missouri Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Awards Banquet at Osage Beach, Missouri. Our very own Central Communications Chief Paula Volkmer was named the 2013 911 Director of the year for the State of Missouri. Paula started her dispatching career over 30 years ago working with nothing more than an antiquated radio, telephone, notebook and a pencil.
Over those 30 years she has helped shape our own Central Communications into a state of the art 911 communications center. Aside from her expertise in the communications field, Paula is extremely humble, caring, unselfish and such an integral part of our team, which makes this award even more fitting. On behalf of our agency, we could not be any happier for her and she has once again made us extremely proud! Congratulations Paula for a job well done! Captain Jason D. Smith.
Page 2 of 2 - For those of you who have students in the Mark Twain Elementary School or motorists who frequently travel Salem Avenue during school hours, need to be made aware of a new ordinance enacted which prohibits motorists who are traveling east on Salem approaching Holmes Drive from making a left turn onto Holmes while students are entering or leaving school.
The times this ordinance is in effect is from 7:45-8:15 a.m., then again from 2:45-3:30 p.m.. In addition if you are traveling south on Holmes Ave approaching Salem, you may not turn left onto Salem Ave, during these same times. Please pay close attention in this area as traffic flow has changed from what it was in the past. These changes are designed to get vehicles safely out of the school zones, while keeping our children safe in the crosswalks.
In closing, I would like to remind you that the Rolla Public Schools are closed for Spring Break and if weather permits, there may be increased activity in the neighborhoods with students participating in outdoor activities. Please use caution when traveling through neighborhoods and the community and be wary of this type of activity.
Have a great week!