ARTBA Foundation Announces Financial Assistance to 11 Children of Fallen Highway Workers

Eleven children of highway workers who were killed on the job will receive college financial assistance for the 2017-18 school year from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation’s (ARTBA-TDF) “Lanford Family Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship” fund.

The scholarship program was established in 1999 with a gift from two Roanoke, Virginia, highway contractors and their companies—Stan Lanford (1999 ARTBA chairman) of Lanford Brothers, and Jack Lanford (1991 ARTBA chairman), with Adams Construction Company. About 100 highway workers are killed annually in roadway construction and maintenance accidents, and thousands more are seriously injured.
Over the past 17 years, more than 130 scholarships have been given to students from 25 states to pursue college and technical training. The 2017 class includes:

Caitlyn Rains, Proctor, Ark.
Caitlyn’s father, James Rains, was killed in 2013 while working in a night construction zone for APAC Tennessee. Caitlyn plans to study physical therapy at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
Misty McNeil, Kountze, Texas & Amy McNeil Graves, Lumberton, Texas
Misty and Amy’s father, Jeffrey McNeil, was killed in 2005 while working for the Texas Department of Transportation. Misty plans to study radiologic technology at Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont. Amy is studying nursing at Lamar State College in Orange.
Kaitlyn Henry, Dennison, Ohio
Kaitlyn’s dad, Gary Henry, was struck by a construction vehicle and killed in 2013 while working on a state highway construction project on Interstate 270 near Columbus, Ohio. Kaitlyn will be a senior at Ohio University and is an intervention specialist major.
Andrea Pair, Spiro, Okla.
Andrea’s father, Shannon Pair, was struck and killed while working for Time Striping Inc., in 1998. Andrea will be a senior at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. She studies biochemistry.
Victoria Markle, Port Charlotte, Fla.
Victoria’s father, John Markle, was struck and killed on Florida’s I-75 in March 2016 while working for Ajax Paving Industries. Victoria will be a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers where she studies journalism.
Cirar Butler, Gunnison, Miss.
Cirar’s father, Henry Butler, Jr., was killed while driving a Mississippi Department of Transportation work truck during highway repairs in 2014. Cirar will be a sophomore at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, and studies physical therapy.
Kristen Jares, West, Texas
Kristen’s father, Gregory Jares, was killed in 2001 while working for the Texas Department of Transportation. Kristen will be a sophomore at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton where she studies exercise physiology.
Standra Jones, Jr., Gaston, S.C.
Stan’s father, Standra Jones, worked for the South Carolina Department of Transportation. In 2007, he was struck and killed while taking down work zone traffic controls on I-26 in Lexington County. Stan will be a junior at Clemson University and majors in engineering.
Willie Blevins, Commerce, Ga.
Willie’s mother, Kathy Blevins, worked for the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation. She had just finished painting turn-lane lines when her vehicle was struck and she was killed in 2004. Willie will be a junior studying pre-veterinarian at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.
Emily Jones, Billings, Mont.
Emily’s father, Richard Jones, was killed in a car accident in 2013 while working for Direct Traffic Control. Emily will be a senior at Montana State University and majors in criminal justice.

The ARTBA-TDF is interested in receiving contact leads on students who could benefit from the scholarship program. Please share them with ARTBA’s Eileen Houlihan at or 202.289.4434.

For more than 30 years, the ARTBA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity, has worked to “promote research, education and public awareness” about the impacts of transportation investment. The Foundation supports an array of initiatives, including educational scholarships, awards, professional development academies, a transportation project safety certification program, roadway work zone safety and training programs, special economic reports and an exhibition on transportation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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Wells Fargo Reports: New Home Sales Decline Following a Strong First Quarter

New home sales fell 11.4 percent in April but sales were revised up for the prior three months. Even with the drop, sales remain up solidly on a year-to-date basis and homebuilders continue to report strong demand.

New Home Sales Are Stronger Than They Seem

New homes sales fell 11.4 percent to a 569,000 unit pace. April’s 750 11.4 percent drop in new home sales was much larger than expected but presents less of a change than the headlines suggest. April’s decline was 600 largely due to seasonal influences. Warmer than usual weather pulled the spring selling season forward into the first quarter, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Sales were revised significantly higher for each of 450 the three previous months and remain comfortably above their year-ago pace. On a year-to-date basis through April, new home sales are running 300 11.3 percent ahead of the first four months of 2016. Moreover, new home sales have been stronger than their year-ago level every month this year, 150 including April following its big drop.

Sales fell in all four regions during April, with the largest drop occurring in 0 the supply constrained West, where sales plummeted 26.3 percent. Sales also fell 13.1 percent in the Midwest, 7.5 percent in the Northeast and 4 percent in the South, which accounts for the largest proportion of new 600 home sales. But even after those declines, sales through the first four months of this year remain above their year ago pace in all four regions. New home sales in the Midwest through April are up 450 25.6 percent from the first four months of last year and sales in the Northeast are up 14.8 percent. Those two regions were the parts of the country most impacted by this year’s unseasonably mild winter weather.

Mild weather was less of influence in the South and West, where new home sales through the first four months are up 10.1 percent and 7.0 percent year 150 over year, respectively. Supply constraints are a far bigger issue in these rapidly growing regions. While mild weather has generally allowed for more construction in the South and West, builders are running up against 0 shortages of developed lots and having increasing difficulty finding skilled construction workers.

The overall inventory of homes available for sale rose from 4.9 months in March to 5.7 months in April. The increase, however, was almost entirely due to April’s drop in sales. The number of homes available for sale rose by just 4,000 in April to 268,000 and most of that increase was in homes where construction had not yet been started. The number of competed homes available for sale was unchanged at a relatively low 59,000. Builders Remain Optimistic

Our optimistic take is backed up by the most recent homebuilders’ survey, which reported that builder optimism rose in May. Homebuilders have shrunk their businesses to fit today’s more modest overall sales pace. For many builders they are seeing all the business they can handle right now. With inventories low, they are also enjoying more pricing power.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Association of Home Builders and Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Securities Fargo Securities

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