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Forum Your Non-Stop Source for News in Nodaway County maryville Daily Online at: F Online Volume 104 • Number 53 • Wednesday, March 19, 2014 • PO Box 188 • 111 E. Jenkins • Maryville, MO • 75¢ Smoke leads to alarm, evacuation at school By TONY BROWN News editor It’s in here somewhere TONY BROWN/DAILY FORUM A maintenance technician examines HVAC infrastructure installed above the ground-floor ceiling at Maryville Middle School on Tuesday after an apparent oil leak caused smoke to drift into the corridor and an adjoining classroom. The school was evacuated for about 20 minutes after the smoke was spotted, but classes resumed shortly afterward. Students and staff at Maryville Middle School were evacuated shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday after smoke began drifting into a classroom and adjoining corridor. Principal Kevin Pitts said when he became aware of the situation he immediately activated the school’s emergency response plan and ordered all students to leave the building before notifying Maryville Public Safety, which immediately dispatched its main pumper truck to the scene. Pitts said the affected classroom, E130, a special services room located on the ground floor to the west of the school’s main entrance, was empty at the time of the incident, and that the evacuation proceeded without mishap. In fact, nearly 200 of the school’s approximately 440 students were out of town Tuesday taking part in a field trip to a children’s literature festival at the University of Central Missouri in War- rensburg. About 260 children were in the school, which is located on Route V west of South Main Street, when the alarm sounded. Minutes after the building was cleared, Maryville firefighters and R-II School District maintenance personnel tracked the source of the smoke to some HVAC infrastructure located above the ceiling tile in the affected corridor. The exact cause of the smoke was not immediately determined, but Pitts speculated that oil had leaked from a compressor or other climate-control device. R-II Superintendent Larry Linthacum arrived at MMS from his nearby office on the Maryville High School campus moments after the alarm sounded as did district maintenance superintendent Ron Wilson. The students, many of whom had left the building on a chilly March morning without a jacket or sweater, were let back into the gymnasium about 10:15 a.m. and soon returned to class. TONY BROWN/DAILY FORUM Taking every precaution Maryville Middle Students stand on the school’s south lawn after being evacuated Tuesday morning as a classroom and adjoining corridor began to fill with smoke. Firefighters and maintenance staff quickly isolated the problem, which may have involved an oil leak in the HVAC system. Students returned to class without incident. Brown recognized for Red Cross service By TONY BROWN News editor When folks are in trouble following a severe storm, fire or other calamity, Shoba Brown is there to help. From flood-ravaged North Dakota in 2009 to the battered streets of New York following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 — to right here in Nodaway County after families have found themselves in crisis after a home-destroying blaze or devastating windstorm — Brown, a longtime Red Cross volunteer, has has been on the scene offering comfort and resources in the midst of turmoil and loss. Brown, a well-known civic figure in Maryville and the widow of the late politician and educator Everett Brown, joined the Midland Empire Chapter of the American Red Cross in 2005. Since then, for nearly a decade, her willingness to serve in the wake of disaster has taken her to all over the country. After Sandy roared over much of the East Coast in the fall of 2012, Brown and fellow Red Cross volunteer Janet Crane of Hopkins climbed by themselves aboard an emergency response vehicle — an ERV in disaster response lingo — and drove more than 1,200 miles to Middletown, N.Y., where they screened evacuees and helped find shelter for people fleeing heavily damaged neighborhoods. The two women also used their specially equipped van to distribute relief supplies and transport food to field kitchens. “We just got here and hit the ground running,” Brown told the Daily Forum during a phone interview while still at the scene of the disaster. “As soon as we arrived it was ‘do this and do that.’” And two years later, it is Brown’s ability to “do this and do that” when the chips are down that has led to her being recognized this week as an “exemplary volunteer” by the national American Red Cross in a program carried out in conjunction with the Weather Channel. According to Teresa Cobb, Red Cross volunteer specialist for the Kansas City Region, Brown was interviewed by the Weather Channel on Monday about her experiences with the historic relief organization, a conversation that is to be aired later this month. Cobb said Brown has been dispatched to 29 disasterrelated events over the past nine years — the equivalent of nearly 400 working days. See BROWN Page 5 OFFICE NUMBER 660-562-2424 Super responder RED CROSS PHOTO Local resident Shoba Brown, shown here standing at the door of an emergency response trailer, is being honored by the national office of the American Red Cross and the Weather Channel for her nine years of volunteer service to the historic relief organization. As a member of the Red Cross’ Midland Empire Chapter, Brown has responded to 29 disaster-related events, including Superstorm Sandy in New York. INSIDE Record....................... 2 Opinion..................... 4 Lifestyles................... 6 Sports.................... 7, 8 News............ 3, 5, 9, 12 Classifieds............... 11 OUTSIDE Today High: 52° Low: 30°

3-19-14 Maryville Daily Forum

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