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City receives new truck

The Bonne Terre City Roads Department has received a new truck just in time for winter weather.

Bonne Terre Public Works Superintendent Shawn Kay said they received a 2018 Dodge 3500 from Auto Plaza in Farmington and it replaced a 1980 one ton truck with an older model engine in it.

“This new truck came with a Meyer V-plow and a Saltdogg spreader,” Kay said. “The plow adjusts and it will be very helpful for us to get down the more narrow streets from the older sections of town. The lettered streets and some on the north end of town as well. It has always been a struggle for us to get the larger truck down the streets.”

Kay said a lot of homes in town don’t have off-street parking so this will allow them to be able to dodge in and out of the cars parked on the street.

Bonne Terre City Administrator Jim Eaton said it is a one ton dually, four-wheel drive dump truck with a snow plow in the front and a salt spreader on the back.

“It will be used primarily in the winter for snow and ice removal and treatment,” said Eaton. “Then in the summer it will be used as a smaller dump truck. The real benefit is we have smaller streets and this smaller truck will allow us to get down those streets.”

Eaton said with a larger dump truck, there just wasn’t enough room to negotiate the streets. He added in addition to this truck, they have purchased a new trash truck.

“Our older one needs to be retired to an as-needed basis," he said. "The other old one is being traded in, so we will end up with a new trash truck and we will also have a backup.”

Eaton added the real benefit of the new trash truck is it will be equipped to lift the large rollback trash bins.

“It’s those large trash bins, probably 90 gallons, that families use, that will be able to be lifted and dumped by the new truck,” said Eaton. “We hope to get the large trash bins and sell them to city residents at our cost. I’m told our cost is very low and people will probably be interested in getting one.”

The city will be selling the trash bins in the near future and anyone who is interested can contact city hall at 573-358-2254.

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Preparing for bad weather

The St. Francois County Road and Bridge Department has been out pre-treating the roads in anticipation of the winter weather that is being predicted in coming days.

Road and Bridge Supervisor Clay Copeland said they were actually prepared this past weekend for the winter weather and they did get a little, but it was nothing major.

“We have all of our trucks ready and outfitted,” Copeland said. “We are ready to go for tomorrow and if snow would hit right now, we are ready. We have been out (Monday) pretreating, because some of the reports we are getting says it may start around noon (Tuesday).”

Copeland said they went out with half of their fleet on Monday to pre-treat the hills and curves in the worst areas.

“We didn’t pre-treat the whole road, we really don’t have the resources to do that like the state does,” Copeland said Monday. “When we know a bad storm is more than likely coming, then we will go pre-treat the hills and curves and that is what we are out doing today.”

Copeland added if the weather hits, they are ready and will have their trucks and staff waiting to start running the roads. He said they are anticipating having to work all night and if they end up doing that, they will be ready.

“It all depends on the severity, what they are calling for and what actually happens, as far as working the crew the entire night or breaking them up into two groups,” Copeland said. “We have worked the entire crew all night before and then they just checked things through the day.”

Copeland said they can only drive a certain amount of time. He explained it’s a federal mandate that the driver can only drive 14 hours and then they have to be off for 10 hours.

“If we know it’s going to be a major storm where will be working around the clock for days on end, then we will split our crews. If not, then we won’t,” said Copeland. “It’s guidelines we have to go by and we can’t have a guy behind the wheel of a truck for more than 14 hours."

“As with any winter storm, if you can stay home, stay home,” said Copeland. “Let us do our job and let us get the roads taken care of, because a lot of times our biggest hazards in trying to get these roadways cleared is dealing with traffic.”

He stressed everyone should watch the news and see what the forecast is calling for and if they don’t have to be out, stay home.

“We watch the forecast ... closely and as it gets closer we decide what we will do,” said Copeland. “This time of year we monitor multiple weather news sources and sometimes there are conflicting forecasts, but we just try to prepare a few days out and then see what happens when it comes.”

Copeland added they have some trucks sitting inside that weren’t out pre-treating Monday afternoon and the truck are loaded, outfitted and ready to go. 

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Several injured in crashes

Several people were injured and one died in accidents throughout the area over the weekend.

One woman died and three children were injured in a one-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon in Iron County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol report, at 4:32 p.m., Heather Sapaugh, 32, of Salem, was driving her 2000 Ford Explorer westbound on Highway 32 seven miles west of Banner when she lost control on the ice-covered roadway. The Explorer went off the road, overturned and Sapaugh was ejected.

Sapaugh was not wearing her seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene by Iron County Medical Examiner Thomas Stauder at 6:56 p.m. Her passengers, Lucy Sapaugh, 2, Jessica Stringer, 13, and Timothy Tennyson, 10, all of Salem, were all wearing their seat belts and were taken by ambulance to Iron County Medical Center in Pilot Knob with minor injuries.

Early Saturday morning a Sullivan man was injured in a one-vehicle crash at 2:05 a.m. on Highway 185 in Washington County.

According to the report, Tyler Fisher, 21, was driving his 2002 Ford Explorer southbound on Highway 185 south of Route A when the vehicle went off the right side of the road, returned to the road, began skidding and then overturned.

Fisher was not wearing a seat belt and was taken to Mercy Hospital St. Louis by Washington County Ambulance with moderate injuries.

Fisher is being charged for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

In an unrelated accident in St. Francois County, one man was injured in a one-vehicle crash Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. on Route K.

According to the report, Roy Spangenberg, 68, of Imperial, was driving his 2002 Jeep Liberty too fast for the road conditions westbound on Route K at Saffell Road when the vehicle slid across the center of the roadway and went off the left side of the road.

Spangenberg’s Jeep struck a rock bluff, which caused him to spin and return to the roadway. He then went back across the road and hit another rock bluff.

Spangenberg and his passenger, Edith Spangenberg, 55, also of Imperial, were both wearing their seat belts and were both taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center by Washington County Ambulance with moderate injuries.

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Dept. seeks firefighters

The Park Hills Fire Department is currently looking for additional volunteer firefighters, according to Fire Chief John Reeves.

The department hopes to add the volunteers in the near future to maintain the number of volunteer firefighters, which Reeves said is usually 20 to 25. Right now, the department has about 18 volunteers, which he said is a little low.

Reeves said there are no qualifications required for beginning volunteers, apart from a willingness to work as part of the department’s team. New volunteers will receive weekly training from the department in addition to occasional special training from outside the department.

“We’ll teach them the way we do things,” Reeves said. “There are all kinds of classes we can send them to. It’s mainly just the willingness to be there and to help out.”

While firefighting is an essential part of the job, Reeves said that the duties of a volunteer firefighter are varied and can include any number of things.

“It’s sort of hard to say,” he said. “It can be anything from running medical calls to a house or commercial fire. There is a wide range of things.”

To become a volunteer firefighter with the Park Hills Fire Department, individuals must be at least 18 years old and must also complete a background check.

For more information, call Park Hills City Hall at 431-3577.

Light snow, sleet possible

The Parkland will be experiencing some winter weather tonight into Wednesday morning. The question at this point is how much precipitation there will be and in what form it will fall.

In recent days the National Weather Service (NWS) has forecast a combination of sleet, freezing rain and snow beginning in the region at about 5 p.m. Tuesday and continuing into the overnight hours before moving out of the area sometime early Wednesday morning.

Here’s the official NWS forecast tonight into Wednesday morning:

“A 20 percent chance of snow after 5 p.m. Conditions will be cloudy with a high near 33 and a north wind of 6-9 mph. As the evening continues, freezing rain is likely, possibly mixed with snow and becoming all freezing after midnight. With a low around 22, new ice accumulation of a tenth-of-an-inch is possible. New snow accumulation of around an inch or less is expected.”

As of Monday night, however, weather models indicated that the Parkland will most likely receive some light snow with little to no freezing rain or sleet expected to fall. The one place where the NWS forecast and the weather model seem to agree is that snow accumulations in the region are expected to be about an inch or less.

Depending on how much precipitation falls and how much of it falls in the form of ice — if any — will obviously have a significant effect on road conditions when motorists start heading to work and kids to school Wednesday morning.

Not to sound like a broken record, but as everybody knows, Missouri weather is highly unpredictable and what parts of southeast Missouri end up receiving snow, sleet or freezing rain can change quickly.

For the latest NWS outlooks, watches and warnings, check out the Daily Journal website at