Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

Trucker Howard Kirk of Texarkana, TX, would like to send out some ROSES to a young woman named Catom Morris. She is a security guard at the Georgia Pacific paper mill in Crossett, AR, where Howard sometimes makes deliveries.

Howard has a friend who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and wanted to go visit family in Alabama but he didn’t have the money. Howard was telling the story at the guard shack while they were checking him in. When he came back, Catom handed him an envelope with $300 in it to give to his friend, a man she doesn’t even know.

Howard was stunned by this act of kindness and so are we. That probably wasn’t a small amount of money for her. Those guards at the gate most likely don’t make a fortune. So, Howard, thank you for sharing this with us. ROSES to Catom don’t seem like enough, but we’re happy to hand ’em out.

It’s been four years since truck driver Jason Rivenburg was killed for the $7 he had on him while he was parked in an unlit and abandoned gas station in St. Matthews, SC.

In light of that tragic anniversary, we have to give out some ROSES to his widow, Hope Rivenburg, who wanted to make sure no other trucker suffered the same fate as her husband. Since his death, Hope has worked tirelessly to get Jason’s Law passed by Congress.

She succeeded last year when it was included as part of the latest highway law, known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century – or MAP-21. The law dedicates federal money to help construct, improve or reopen commercial parking facilities along the National Highway System.

You know that old saying about life, lemons and lemonade? Well, the lemons don’t get any more sour than the ones Hope was handed, but we’ll raise a cool glass to her for making the best out of an absolutely awful situation.

RAZZBERRIES to the driver in Spartanburg, SC, who stole 450 cases of Girl Scout cookies – worth nearly $19,000. Police say 37-year-old Christopher Morton, who drives for Carey Moving and Storage, confessed to stealing the cookies.

Morton has since been fired from the company, which has been delivering the cookies for 40 years. Gives a whole new meaning to the name Cookie Monster, doesn’t it?

RAZZBERRIES to lawmakers in Ohio, Idaho and at the federal level who can’t seem to get it through their heads that longer and heavier trucks are a bad idea. Period.

Earlier this year saw the push for efforts to allow bigger trucks on highways at the state level in Ohio and Idaho, as well as a renewed push for the same idea in Congress.

OOIDA has urged its members across the country to speak out against this push. The Association successfully fought an effort to get heavier truck language into the highway bill last year. Looks like it’s time to get those phones ringing again until the folks on the other end get the idea.

We don’t know what these people are thinking. An increase in truck sizes and weights will only bring with it an increase in safety hazards as well as an increase in damage to our already strained roads and bridges. Of course the only real increase that proponents of this push are concerned about is the increase in the pocketbooks of large carriers.

The town of Warner Robins, GA, is certainly deserving of some RAZZBERRIES for initiating a ban on trucks parking for more than two hours on private property within city limits earlier this year.

And they did it without any public hearings and without listening to the truckers who showed up at the city council meeting to protest. Well, guess what? Those truckers kept right on talking anyway and the city council has reversed its decision.

Rather than make this all RAZZBERRIES, we’re giving out ROSES to each and every trucker who phoned and emailed those city council members until they got the hint. The city attorney said the council was basically forced to reconsider after they were flooded with emails and phone calls from truck drivers.

One council member even admitted that the council might have been “a little overzealous in putting the ordinance in place without talking to the trucking community.” Gee, you really think so? LL


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