October 8, 2015

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Northwest District
Rosecrans to Receive New Runway

The pilots and airmen who use the 13/31 Assault Strip at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in St. Joseph will soon have a new runway thanks to joint efforts of the Air National Guard, Buchanan County, the City of St. Joseph, the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce and MoDOT. Rosecrans is home to the 139th Airlift Wing and is the headquarters for the Missouri Air National Guard.

The pilots using the current 13/31 Assault Strip have to contend with D cracking. The cracking could cause fragments of the runway to break off and bounce into the engine of the aircraft using the runway, resulting in damage to the machinery or worse. The damage to the concrete means pilots may only use the current runway for day operations.

The new runway will be 75 feet wide and 5,000 feet long with the capability to handle night operations. The Air National Guard is providing approximately 65 percent of the funding needed for this project. MoDOT is providing Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program funds for the remaining costs with the City of St. Joseph providing local match for the FAA funds, as well. Construction should take approximately four months with most of the work planned for this spring.

A ground breaking was held Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, on the current runway with many community and civic leaders in attendance and one of the 139th's aircraft as the backdrop. Representing the Air National Guard were the service men and women and civilian employees who work full-time on the base as well as Missouri's Adjutant General Major General Stephen L. Danner, Assistant Adjutant General Colonel Gregory Champagne, and 139th Civil Engineer Commander Colonel Grace Link. Several city council members, all three Buchanan County commissioners, St. Joseph's mayor, and MoDOT's own Aviation Senior Construction Inspector Tamara Pitts participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.

Service men and women stood in formation for the duration of the ceremony at the 13/31 Assault Strip.
Major General Stephen L. Danner
Major General Stephen L. Danner spoke to the attendees about the importance of the 139th Airlift Wing, Rosecrans Air National Guard Base and the new airstrip.
Colonel Link and Tamara Pitts
Aviation Senior Construction Inspector Tamara Pitts has worked closely with the Air National Guard's 139th Civil Engineer Commander Colonel Grace Link to bring the airstrip project to Rosecrans.
Breaking Ground
County commissioners, city council members, representatives from the Air National Guard and MoDOT"s Tamara Pitts break ground for the new airstrip.
Tamara Pitts being interviewed by local media
Aviation Senior Construction Inspector Tamara Pitts is interviewed by KQ2 reporter Emily Wearing.
Tamara Pitts and local government officials
St. Joseph Mayor Bill Faulkner, Presiding Commissioner Harry Roberts, Eastern District Commissioner Dan Hausman and St. Joseph City Council Member Kent O'Dell chat after the official ceremony finished.
Diversity and Inclusion Conference

Almost 100 supervisors and leaders from across the district gathered at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph on Thursday, Oct. 1 for the MoDOT Regional Diversity and Inclusion Conference. Dr. Tim Crowley and Dr. Marlo Goldstein Hode presented at the conference which challenged employees to examine their own unconscious bias and through that self identification, understanding and respect, create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Roadside Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Lytton said one thing he took away from the conference is that people aren't as they appear and one must get to know a person without making assumptions about their culture or background. Dr. Crowley had one participant at the front of the room and asked others to guess the participants ethnicity. Lytton knew the participant well and was surprised that so many inaccurate guesses were given without anyone correctly identifying their ethnic heritage.

Risk Management Technician Danielle Lankford was also surprised by an exercise. Dr. Hode asked each participant to pair up with someone they did not know and guess traits about the other person. Lankford said it was interesting to hear someone you'd never spoken to before pick out traits, both accurately and inaccurately, based simply on what they observed.

Written exercise during the morning session
Dr. Hode asked participants to complete an Identity Map with given traits - those you're born with, chosen traits - those you choose to do, and core traits - personality traits.
Dr. Hode
Dr. Marlo Goldstein Hode asked the group to examine their core identity and their own biases that they bring to the table.
Dr. Crowley
Dr. Crowley also talked about recognizing our own bias and bringing respect to relationships to aid diversity and inclusion.
Afternoon session
After lunch, Dr. Crowley kept the participants laughing as the afternoon sessions began.
Lunch allowed for employees who may not get to sit and chat due to their distant work locations to get to know one another.
Kathy Tripp and daughter Alex
The venue for the conference provided a unique opportunity for Senior General Services Specialist Kathy Tripp whose daughter Alex was able to stop by between classes for a quick chat.
Josephine Expo
Now in it's 11th year, the Josephine Expo is a day for area women to shop, learn about local vendors, organizations and home-based businesses. There are also food vendors and entertainment, making this an annual kick-off to the holiday season for many attendees. ]

The expo is an extension of the monthly Josephine publication from the St. Joseph News-Press. This year's expo was held Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. The Northwest District had a booth at the expo to let the community know about career opportunities, hand out maps, sign people up for traffic alerts, inform them about new flashing yellow arrow signals coming to St. Joseph and take a couple of customer concerns.
Lisa Kellison and Britney Richardson are ready for the expo to begin
Senior Customer Service Representative Lisa Kellison and Human Resources Specialist Britney Richardson all set up and ready for the expo to begin!
Barb Holland and Angie Downey staff the booth
Senior Human Resources Technician Barb Holland and Senior Human Resources Specialist Angie Downey ready with information and assistance for expo attendees.
Learning about traffic signals
Many younger visitors were captivated by the working flashing yellow arrow traffic signal that was part of the Northwest District's booth.
Little Miss East Hills visits the MoDOT booth
Little Miss East Hills Madison Brim visited the booth with her family where Senior Human Resources Specialist Angie Downey helped everyone pick out a piece of candy.

For more info

Marcia Johnson
Communications Specialist
Northwest District

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