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Rural Roads Prove To Be Tough Terrain For Snow-Day Decisions

GRAVETTE, AR -- Dr. Richard Page, superintendent of Gravette schools, ditched his desk for a driver's seat Tuesday afternoon.
GRAVETTE, AR -- "The main roads, we believe, will be OK, "says Dr. Richard Page, Superintendent of Gravette schools.

"It's going to be a lot of the side roads that we're most concerned with."

Snow and ice mixed with a little sunshine can melt away hope for canceled classes.

But making that decision isn't always easy.

"I think it's a little bit more challenging particularly in the rural areas," Page says.

For example, Gravette.

A town home to just under 1,900 students across 150 square miles.

Before the final call is made, Page relocates from a desk to a drivers seat.

"I have a little bit of 4-wheel drive on my vehicle," Page says.

He spent Tuesday testing the terrain.

"The roads are still covered here," Page says driving down an icy street.

"This would not be a safe road to drive on."

In some spots, tires met the pavement with no problems.

But the farther northeast he traveled, asphalt disappeared under slush.

"All of this is the Gravette school district," Page says pointing forward from behind the steering wheel.

"The sun will go down in about 30 minutes and the temperature will start dropping."

The fear of a freeze, keeping school doors closed and playgrounds empty.

For at least one more day.

"Buses are the safest transportation," Page says.

"But we still don't want them out taking chances when it's unnecessary."

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