January 30, 2014

Most local schools still closed Friday

Dalton system back

By Christopher Smith

— Schools in the Whitfield County Schools and Murray County Schools systems are closed Friday, officials said, while Dalton Public Schools officials decided to resume classes.

This will be the third full day of canceled classes for Whitfield and Murray public schools after a midday dismissal on Tuesday following snow and ice that made area roads treacherous. School officials said makeup days are being discussed, but didn’t have official dates to announce on Thursday.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures rose above freezing Thursday afternoon, thawing most of the ice and snow. The forecast anticipates a low of 18 degrees early Friday morning with a high of 49 degrees by the afternoon.

Mike Tuck, administrative services director for Murray County Schools, said the main reason for canceling school another day was concern that “rural roads that are unsalted” could become icy during the night.

The same goes for Whitfield public schools. Eric Beavers, Whitfield schools communications director, said the reason for another missed day is that some rural roads are expected to still be “unsafe” for bus transportation.

Claude Craig, director of Emergency Management for Whitfield County, said there were no roads expected to be closed Friday.

“(But) we do have roads that still need attention out in the county,” he said. “I’m not aware of any roads inside the city that need help.”

Pat Holloway, communications director for Dalton Public Schools, said the evaluation by Craig’s office that roads are mostly clear was the reason city school system officials decided to resume school on Friday.

“Everyone should be able to get to school,” she said. “Dalton seems pretty clear now.”