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Newton County School System bus driver Tracy Pirkle prepared for the new school year Wednesday by making sure her bus was clean and the fuel tank full. The tank holds 100 gallons of diesel fuel, and Pirkle said with a longer route this year, she expects she'll be stopping by the fuel station at least once a week. A staggered schedule for elementary, middle and high school students has been implemented this year, making it possible to have fewer buses on the road. Pirkle has been a school bus driver for 13 years. About 19,000 students are expected to attend Newton County schools this year.

Tease photo

Ready to roll

Newton County School System bus driver Tracy Pirkle prepared for the new school year Wednesday by making sure her bus was clean and the fuel tank full.

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