Line One
Roses & Razzberries

ROSES to Greg Bondi, a Gulfport, MS, truckdriver, whose steady broadcasting via CB resulted in the recovery of a kidnapped toddler. Bondi, an 18-year truck driving veteran and father to a toddler himself, is credited with saving 22-month-old Emily Ellen Propps. FBI agents found her at a Texas truckstop after a trucker told Bondi he had seen a family matching the abduction suspects' descriptions.

Most third graders don't get to visit New York City. But, with the help of Trucker Buddy, third graders at Adams Elementary School in Spokane, WA, are able to see the Empire State building, travel down Wall Street and experience the traffic on Long Island. The scenic view is provided by a video camera strapped to the dash of Tom Smith's Wal-Mart tractor. ROSES to Tom, who was recently named Trucker Buddy of the Month. He became a Trucker Buddy in 1996, and has been an enthusiastic participant in the program since he sent his first letter to his West Coast class.

ROSE to "CBS Sunday Morning" for the in-depth coverage of Alabama trucker Richard McGrew and his photographic hobby. McGrew has self-published a book of photos named "The America You May Never See!" a chronicle of his 11 years on the road behind the wheel of a big rig. A CBS news crew traveled with McGrew videotaping him whenever he stopped to snap a scenic photo. McGrew spent $28,000 to publish 5,000 copies of the book that he sells mostly from his truck cab.

OOIDA members are reporting that among the DOT inspection operations, the crew at the Indiana I-94 eastbound scales is among the most professional in the business and deserving of a ROSE.

An OOIDA member from Ohio alerted Land Line to the "fuzzy truth" in a campaign ad aired by WMJI 105.7 FM. The ad was sponsored by the ex-mayor of North Olmsted, Ed Boyle, who conducted a hot race for the state Senate. Boyle claimed the highway running through North Olmsted has the most hazmat accidents in the nation. A ROSE to Fire Chief Ed Brock who says, "Ohio is third in hazmat traffic and there have been only seven incidents, only one involving a truck." Brock has been collecting hazmat statistics for several years.

Two boys were home alone in Collinsville, OK, on Oct. 13. Ryan Cooper was in a hot spot - literally. A fast-moving grass fire was closing in on the teenager and his younger brother, Randall. Ryan, who was upstairs, couldn't hear Randall yelling to him to run, but he did hear the louder voice of a man calling for the boys to get out of the house. The voice was a famous one, in fact. ROSES to Garth Brooks, who came to alert them to the danger. Brook's in-laws live nearby and with minutes to spare, the country music superstar and a friend drove the boys to safety through smoke and flames as high as the house. Firefighters arrived on the scene and doused the fire two feet from the Cooper residence.

ROSE to Ken Leiser who writes a travel column in The St. Louis Post Dispatch. In a recent piece, Leiser took issue with a reader's letter that assailed the columnist for failing to list trucks as a major culprit in a previous column on highway accidents. The reader claimed that trucks exceed speed limits, stay in the left lane and intimidate car drivers. Leiser, however, refuted the charges with government statistics and countered with a fair look at today's professional truckers.

ROSE to Grant Smith for being the kind of professional driver you want sharing the road with your family. Smith was hauling a load of cars to the Ottawa, Canada, area when he noticed a mini van swerve over the centerline into his lane, out again and back into his lane. Smith was able to pull onto the shoulder just in time. Police say his action "no doubt saved the life of the woman driver. He managed a corner-to-corner accident instead of a head-on collision. If it hadn't been for his quick reaction, this accident would have been a fatality."