On a chilly Thursday morning this past February, Rio Metro’s Valencia County staff was greeted to a special delivery of Blake’s Lotaburger breakfast burritos and hot coffee. And the person delivering? None other than KOB 4’s beloved weatherman, Steve Stucker. The delivery was part of KOB 4’s Morning Shift Salute, where Stucker delivers breakfast to workers who get up early, do their jobs well, and work hard at what they do.
“I told them that we have a good team,” said Denise Kurtz, a dispatcher for Rio Metro’s Valencia County office. Kurtz is the person who nominated her colleagues for the Morning Shift Salute. “Our drivers are out from three in the morning to nine at night. They get people to work and to the train safely. I wanted to do something special for them.”
On the morning of the breakfast, Kurtz was hard at work herself, answering phones, communicating with bus drivers by radio, and taking reservations for the dial-a-ride service. Although she had been at work since 3 a.m., she was able to handle all of these tasks at once without even batting an eye. Kurtz deserved the acknowledgement just as much as the colleagues of whom she speaks so highly.
When Stucker arrived on that February morning, he had bags of bacon and green chile breakfast burritos in tow, as well as a giant container of coffee. After he handed out burritos and offered to pour everyone a cup of coffee, Stucker visited with the staff, asking questions about their jobs and themselves.
Also in attendance was Justin Lawless, Senior District Manager for Blake’s Lotaburger. Blake’s has been partnering with Stucker and KOB 4 on this project since last October. “We are out making deliveries once or twice a week,” said Lawless of their Morning Shift Salute partnership.
The Rio Metro staff in Valencia County consists of dispatchers, drivers, service workers, and transportation managers. The Village of Los Lunas maintenance staff is also embraced as part of the team, as they take care of the vehicles.
“Our staff works really hard here,” said Elizabeth Carter, Assistant Transit Director. “They work early. They stay late. Last year they carried about 56,000 passengers in the Los Lunas area.”
Thanks to KOB 4, Steve Stucker, and Blake’s Lotaburger for making the trip to Los Lunas on a chilly winter morning to recognize this hard working group of individuals.