Fuel prices behind 4-day school week, more police on foot

As fuel costs across the country continue to soar, so do the creative methods that governments, school districts and others come up with to deal with them.

One school district in rural Minnesota is eliminating Monday classes and adopting a four-day schedule next year.

A police department in North Carolina is ordering officers to get out of their patrol cars and go on foot patrol for 15 minutes every hour.

And in the tiny town of Cardwell, Mo., officials are scheduled to vote today on an ordinance that would allow residents to legally drive their golf carts on city streets.

All in the name of fuel conservation.

It’s happening in big cities and small towns. Some changes are dramatic, like school districts eliminating road trips for athletic teams — or athletic teams themselves. Others are more subtle, like the Overland Park Police Department buying a pair of hybrid vehicles.

At the end of the day, though, the motive is always the same.

“The bottom line is that we’re concerned about fuel consumption and fuel conservation,” said Jim Weaver, public information officer for the department. “Just like everybody else.”