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Archive for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Former governor to speak in Lawrence

February 11, 2009

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Former Gov. Bill Graves will be back in Kansas this month to discuss the economy’s effect on the transportation of goods.

Graves — who is president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations — is scheduled to deliver a lecture, “Transportation at a Crossroads,” at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Lied Center.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Anderson Chandler Lecture Series, organized by Kansas University’s School of Business. No tickets are required for Graves’ lecture.

Graves became leader of the ATA soon after ending his second term as Kansas governor, in 2003. The group is the national trade and safety organization of the U.S. trucking industry, and represents motor carriers before all branches of the government.

Graves has some family background in trucking. His father and grandfather, after losing their farm during the Great Depression, founded Graves Truck Line in 1935 and built the company into one of the largest regional motor carriers in the country.

Graves himself worked in the family business, and referred to a principle of Graves Truck Line — stack ’em “high and tight” — when discussing budget plans as he campaigned for governor.

According to organizers of the upcoming lecture, the ATA is advancing several safety initiatives under Graves’ leadership. Among them: a proposal that would require all new heavy trucks to be equipped with speed limiters, and support for a government proposal that would test the use of onboard recorders.

As governor, Graves signed into law a 10-year, $13 billion comprehensive transportation program for improving highways, railroad infrastructure, airports and public transit service in Kansas.

The lecture series began at KU in 1997 and is made possible by Anderson Chandler, a graduate of KU’s School of Business. Chandler is chief executive officer, president and director of Fidelity State Bank and Trust Co. of Topeka and vice president and director of First Bank of Newton.

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