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News Release
Allen Blair
Information Officer
District 9
606.845.2551 Office
606.748.3716 Cell 
Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 equipment operators earn trophies at state equipment ‘Roadeo’ competition
                                            Two operators advance to regionals
 
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2013) – In a repeat of last year’s performance, state highway crew members in northeast Kentucky recently outscored snow plow and mower operators from across the state to earn trophies in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Equipment “Roadeo” competition.
 
The annual Olympic-style Roadeo serves as a showcase of equipment operators’ abilities while providing an opportunity to train and hone skills used every day in maintaining the Commonwealth’s highways.
 
At the state competition held Aug. 20-21, ten operators from Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 competed in individual events that included driving courses and equipment challenges. Two took home trophies:
 
·         Todd Plank of Rowan County placed first in the tandem-axle snow plow road obstacle course, which tests highway equipment operators’ skills in driving while operating a plow blade.
 
·         Jesse Smith of Nicholas County placed first in the tractor mower competition for maneuvering a tractor with an attached mowing deck through an obstacle course and around tight turns, in forward and reverse. Smith also placed second in the single-axle snow plow competition.
“This competition challenges our equipment operators and puts them up against the best in the state,” said Chief District Engineer Bart Bryant. “Placing first is a recognition of the tremendous skill and dedication we see each day as our crew members work to maintain the state’s highways. We are proud of their accomplishment.”
Roadeos, which are open to any Transportation Cabinet employee who has a commercial driver’s license, take place each summer in highway districts throughout Kentucky. Equipment operators compete among their peers in several skill contests, and participate in safety talks and other training. Top finishers at district level competitions then advance to state finals.
First place state winners – including Plank and Smith from District 9 – will advance in September at the national-level skills competition, which is being hosted this year by Kentucky. They will compete against top operators from West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, the Carolinas and other states during the Southern Regional Equipment Operators Safety and Training Conference, Sept. 9-11, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
 
GROUP PHOTO: Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 crew members at the KYTC State Roadeo competition, from left: Addie Thomas of Rowan County, James Hickerson of Fleming County, Mark Rath of Mason County, Jesse Smith of Nicholas County with his two trophies for the tractor mower and snow plow competitions, Mark Florence of Fleming County, Todd Plank of Rowan County with his trophy for the snow plow competition, Ronnie Thompson of Fleming County, Jimmy Jones of District 9 equipment in Flemingsburg, Duane Dehart of Rowan County, William Hendrix of Fleming County, Bryon Mitchell of Fleming County and Rick Rogers of District 9 bridges who organizes the district roadeo competition. Not pictured: Eddie Rice of District 9 equipment and Steve Stacy of Nicholas County.

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