Iowa cell phone users will be among the country's first to call 911 and be pinpointed immediately by a dispatcher. Officials say that by the end of 2004, about half of the state's 125 dispatch centers will have the technology upgrade. The system uses global-positioning technology to pinpoint callers instead of relying on the nearest cellular tower. -- USA Today

The Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph in Daviess County, Ky., gave real-time Internet updates on a flatboat trip they made down the Ohio River in August. The five-day trip from Louisville to Owensboro re-created a journey made 130 years ago by five nuns who left Louisville to start a school in Maple Mount, Ky. -- USA Today

Tim Thurston of the Maine Department of Conservation spends his spare time using GPS and depth recorders to measure contours of state lakes and their depths. He makes detailed maps of lake bottoms for recreational boaters and anglers who seek fish in waters with sizeable variations in bottom configuration. Maine's 2,763 lakes and ponds, totaling more than 1 million acres, haven't been measured since the 1930s and 1940s. -- Kennebec Journal online

The Nebraska Medical Center offers cardiology and internal medicine patients their medical histories on CD. It includes a list of the patient's medical conditions, allergies, medications, recent laboratory results and X-rays, as well as office progress notes, inpatient admission notes, surgical notes and discharge summaries. The free CD can be updated after clinic visits, lab tests or hospital stays. -- The Nebraska Medical Center

Monmouth University received a U.S. Defense Department contract to design a Center for Rapid Response Database System. The center will create and manage technologies to help central New Jersey better monitor, anticipate and respond to bio-terror incidents and other potential large-scale health threats. The center will gather and analyze statistical health data, and create models and simulations for first responders.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation launched the final pilot site of the Hudson River "Riverscope" Project, which will link monitoring sites along the river from Staten Island to Troy. The system will develop real-time data using robotic instrumentation to measure conductivity, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH and other data.

South Carolina is piloting a system to let Charleston-area crime victims remotely speak to the state parole board. Trident Technical College will supply teleconferencing equipment and space every week. Inmates already use teleconferencing for parole hearings. -- Charleston Post and Courier

Utah successfully completed Phase I of the Utah Wireless Integrated Network, a statewide, wireless voice network that enables disparate radio systems used by civilian and military responders to communicate with each other. The finished network will include both voice and data components. Phase II will focus on data interoperability and is scheduled for completion in early 2005.

Miriam Jones  |  Chief Copy Editor