Return of CPRN Staff Member, Grant, Lucas Homecoming Court


CPRN Welcomes Senior Transportation Planner Again

The Richland County Regional Planning Commission (RCRPC) once again welcomed Pong Wu as the senior transportation planner. Pong has over 20 years of experience in public agencies and private engineering consulting firms in transportation planning, modeling, traffic simulation and GIS analysis. He received his Masters in Urban / Regional Planning with a Focus on Traffic and Transportation from the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Kansas (KU).

His areas of expertise are forecasting travel demand for long-term and short-term plans; traffic impact, corridor congestion simulation modeling and LOS analysis, road safety and accident data analysis, traffic data collection and traffic volume forecasting, land use analysis and socio-economic trends, air quality and emissions analysis for environmental compliance and application for CMAQ funding with EPA Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES), etc.

He was invited by the Kansas University Transportation Center (KUTC) as a visiting scholar for highway design, construction, and finance-related research. After graduation, Pong worked with HDR Engineering as a traffic / transportation planner, and after HDR Engineering, he joined the Metropolitan Planning Organizations of Oklahoma and CPRN before moving to Louisiana. Pong returned to CPRN this month.

FIRST School receives a gift from the Gorman Fund

The Richland County Foundation awarded a Gorman Fund grant to Chris Jones of the FIRST School west of Lucas for $ 1,500 for a student songwriting workshop.

On February 4th, artist Anne E. DeChant of ’90s band Odd Girl Out will give a class to teachers at FIRST English / Language Arts on how to write songs. From there, the teachers will instruct the students, who will then compose their own lyrics. These will be sent to DeChant and another fellow musician, who will then put music on the lyrics and record them for the students.

Jones, teacher and transition coordinator at FIRST, said students will get a physical copy of their own song.

“I’m really excited about this project because each of the kids will be able to hear their words in a professionally produced recording. We are planning a listening night for April 12, 2022, ”Jones said. “At this point not all of the details are worked out, whether it’s in person or through Zoom, but we know it’s going to make a big impact on the students. “

Lucas 2021 Homecoming Court

Lucas High School Homecoming Court: Front row (left to right) - Ryan Culler, Madison Bland, McKenzie Gerhart, Grace Krupa, Dominic Franello, Lynae Cook, Natalie Nolen, Emily Frey and Madison Boyer.  Back row (left to right) - Dominic Rannigan, Grant Barrett, William (Zeke) Zirzow, Eric Barrino, Andrew Smollen, Keaton Day and Robert Grover.

LUCAS – Lucas High School announces its 2021 reunion tribunal. The core tribunal members are Ryan Culler, Madison Bland, McKenzie Gerhart, Grace Krupa, Dominic Rannigan, Grant Barrett, William (Zeke) Zirzow and Eric Barrino.

Underclassmen court attendants are Natalie Nolen, Emily Frey, Madison Boyer, Andrew Smollen, Keaton Day, and Robert Grover. Dominic Franello and Lynae Cook are selected as future king and queen.

The court presided over Friday’s return match against Canton Central Catholic.

Patrol Captain Kemmer promoted to major

COLUMBUS – Michael D. Kemmer was promoted to Major by Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol Superintendent. Kemmer will be leaving his assignment with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations to become the Commander of the Bureau of Planning, Research and Development.

Kemmer joined the patrol in May 1997 as a member of the Academy’s 129th Class. He received his commission in November of the same year and was posted to the Mansfield Post. He was twice selected as Post Trooper of the Year. In 2001, he was also selected as District Trooper of the Year and won the Ace Award for Excellence in Combating Auto Theft.

In 2006, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to the Delaware Post to serve as assistant post commander.

In 2012, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and transferred to the Bucyrus District Criminal Patrol Unit to serve as a commander. In 2013, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant of the General Staff and transferred to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Criminal Patrol Unit. In 2017, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and remained in the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Criminal Patrol Unit.


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