Crosswalk Talia

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COLUMBIA - Russell Elementary students gathered at the ARC Wednesday morning to celebrate National Walk to School Day.  Wednesday was special because the school's crossing guard Ralph Bowers was the Grand Marshall of the Walking School Bus. Bowers led the students who walked to school this morning in a red convertible.

Bowers has been the Russell Elementary crossing guard for 15 years and Wednesday marked his last day.  Heart problems forced him into retirement.

"I'm just going to miss the kids, they're all so wonderful," said Bowers after leading the 135 children to school.

When the walking school bus arrived at Russell, all the students gathered into the school gymnasium to hold a goodbye ceremony for Bowers. Different grades had gifts to give him, but he said the coolest of all was his stop sign, signed by every Russell Elementary Student.