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Ladyvol  (Level: 202.8 - Posts: 5434)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 6:45 PM


A school system is forced to close early on Monday, but not because of weather. Rhea County schools shut down this morning after an extreme odor seeped into the high school, making some students sick.

Many parents we talked to say they would have never guess that a local fertilizer could actually get in the way of their kids education. But, that's exactly what the school system says happened.

The school superintendent says 17 loads of manure were spread in a field nearby, and that smell got sucked into the ventilation system of the high school causing quite a stink among students.

Garrett Rader says when he and the other students came to Rhea County High School today they were hit with a foul odor. "I went to second period and got out there and it just smelled so bad, we didn't know what it was."

And neither did the school system, but once kids started getting sick over the stink, the superintendent decided to cut classes early. Superintendent Dallas Smith says, "The odor outside is something unreal as well, we had to get the kids out of there so we had to shut the whole system down."

The students came out covering their faces and waving away the smell, obviously overwhelmed by the odor. Parents who came to pick them up, were just as shocked by the scent.

Alan Brooks says, "I noticed the smell, soon as we opened the door I could smell it, smelled like manure."

Which is exactly what it was, 17 loads of chicken manure spread about a half mile from the school. And when the wind blew Monday morning, it sucked the scent through the vents and trapped it inside the building.

We found the field where the odor actually came from and we talked to Brian Smith who lives across the street and he tells us his neighbor used the chicken manure on his land for the first time this year because the price of fertilizer has gotten too high.>

Smith says, "Fertilizers like 12, 13 hundred dollars a ton, and a field this size, 15, 20 tons, you save quit a bit."

Smith says it's only about 150 bucks a load for this chicken manure, but add the price of the pungent poop on the school nearby, and it's just not worth it. "They said it was an odor and I figured where it was coming from, right next door."

Leaving students thrilled about time off. Rader says, "The whole class just cheered, we were having fun."

And adults perplexed over the reason. Smith says, "This is one of those that you never expect, ever!"

Melba Frederick was at the school picking up her daughter. She adds, "It will be one for the records for sure!"

We did talk with the Sheriff's Office who went out to investigate the issue, they say the farmer has done nothing wrong, and the wind just happened to blow in the wrong direction.

The school system says they have turned off the heat so that the odor is longer being drawn into the building. They are also trying to air out the school using fans. They say they're planning to have school like normal on Tuesday, but will check the situation in the morning to make sure the smell is gone.
Only in Rhea County folks, would something like this happen....

Collioure  (Level: 102.3 - Posts: 9952)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 7:05 PM


Ladyvol  (Level: 202.8 - Posts: 5434)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 7:19 PM

A semi truck load of Glade....

Oldcougar  (Level: 217.3 - Posts: 1935)
Mon, 9th Feb '09 9:05 PM

On the plus side the chicken manure is healthier for the land than the chemicals but the smell is powerful. I pity those in the area

Salzypat  (Level: 154.4 - Posts: 5295)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 12:39 AM

I hope those kids never have babies .... !

It may be chicken poop, but it smells like money considering the cost of fertilizer.

Kissypoo  (Level: 23.9 - Posts: 2)
Tue, 10th Feb '09 8:13 AM

When I was pregnet with my son,I didnt have a car and was forced to walk to work On my route I had to pass a chicken farm.Well the smell of chicken crap in the morning when mixed with severe morning sickness made for and interesting start to each and every day.

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