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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Freezing rain; icy road; salt trucks on patrol

Monday, 17 February 2014 04:27 Published in Local News
 
   Freezing rain is taking it's toll on area roadways.  Icy conditions caused dozens of crashes Monday morning.
   Icy conditions are blamed for four accidents in a five-mile stretch of Interstate 55 before 7:00 a.m.  Police say two people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after a three-car crash at I-55 and Lindbergh.  Police also say a car slid on the ice and struck an emergency vehicle working that accident.  
   Police say most of the accidents were caused by drivers going too fast for the slick road conditions.
   MoDOT District Engineer Becky Allmeroth says crews began pretreating area roads at midnight. Allmeroth says if motorists in these areas can delay travel until late morning it will help.  
   MoDOT crews are using a combination of salt brine, rock salt and beet juice to improve areas roadways during this storm.
   With warmer weather on the horizon, St. Louis City Streets Director Todd Waelterman says crews will have to be ready to switch gears, literally overnight.  Waeltermann tells Fox 2 News that today's winter weather will quickly be replaced by Pothole season. 
   "You know the roads have opened up considerably, and with the warmer weather, you're going to see a lot of movement of this pavement," Waelterman said.  "So it is going to be pothole week."
 

Command change coming at Whiteman Air Force base

Monday, 17 February 2014 04:24 Published in Local News
   KNOB NOSTER, Mo. (AP) - A leadership change is in the works at Whiteman Air Force Base.
   Brig. Gen. Glen Vanherck is to take command of the 509th Bomb Wing during a ceremony Friday at the west-central Missouri base. He will be succeeding Brig. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, who has led Bomb Wing since June 2012.
   Vanherck currently is the commander of the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. He grew up in Bismarck, Mo., and is a graduate of the University of Missouri.
   The 509th Bomb Wing is the Air Force's only B-2 Spirit stealth bomber unit. The B-2 stealth bombers can fly from Missouri to targets anywhere around the world.
 
   Questions are being raised over the way a Sunday morning fire was handled at the Bridgeton Landfill.  The smokey surface fire broke out in the southwest corner of the dump after a mechanical failure allowed gas to build up.  
   Technicians who monitor the facility are supposed to call first responders when there's an emergency.  Pattonville Assistant Fire Chief Matt Lavanchy tells Fox 2 News it was concerned residents who called 911 Sunday morning, not landfill monitors. "I don't know what happened or what their thought process is," Lavanchy said.  "I can only tell you we were not notified the way we should have been."
   Landfill technicians were able to put the fire out fairly quickly and no evacuations were ordered.
   Residents concerned about their safety also called their state representative, Bill Otto Sunday morning.  He tells Fox 2 News that the way the landfill is being handled isn't fair to the people who live nearby.  "They deserve the right to live in their home comfortably and safely, and know that every morning, they don't have to look out the window to see if something's going on," Otto said.
   The landfill owners released a statement Sunday that said in part they plan to "conduct an after-action review of the entire incident to include notification of and coordination with first responders."
 

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