Connecticut's judicial branch is creating a new online system that officials say will give law enforcement personnel immediate access to conditions governing protective and restraining orders. The system will help law enforcement officers decide whether to make an arrest on the spot. -- Hartford Courant

The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory is working with the state's universities and Idaho-based environmental companies to help Malaysia develop a comprehensive strategy to assess and manage contaminated industrial areas. Scientists will provide technical direction to Malaysia on cleanups and waste management. -- The Idaho Statesman

An Illinois inventor has a patent pending for his Populex Election System. The system combines touch-screen computer voting with commonly used paper ballots and optical-scanning voting machines. The system was tested in May, when it was used to receive and tally votes in a Carpentersville, Ill., high school's student government elections. -- The Daily Herald

One hundred and twenty students from third grade to high school in Wayne Township, Indiana, are exploring potential classroom uses for Palm Pilots. The devices plug into a collapsible keyboard, and students use the Palms to write projects and science experiments and for taking notes in class. -- The Indianapolis Star

Students at Iowa State University are shopping for teachers before they enroll in classes. A new Web site lets students grade teachers on subjects such as the volume of homework assigned and English-speaking skills. Students can read anonymous teacher evaluations from their counterparts. The system began as a computer-engineering student's side project. -- Des Moines Register

Michigan Gov. John Engler debuted a new online wire service through the state's Web portal. The MI Newswire will provide better access to press releases from nearly all state departments and agencies.

Five polling sites opened for early voting in mid May in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 508 voters used new touch-screen voting machines to cast their ballots. Early voting runs through June 1. Bernalillo County officials say they were surprised and pleased with the large voter turnout. -- The Albuquerque Tribune

The Cincinnati Public School District is working to transform low-performing schools. The Ohio district's first experiment in this area resulted in the Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School. The school was wired with computer equipment so students could learn the latest in information technology, along with standard subjects. -- The Cincinnati Enquirer

Grand Strand, South Carolina, police prepared themselves for the fourth-largest biker rally in the country in May. Police used high-tech, computer-aided analysis to study everything from motorcycle crashes to party hot spots. When the bikers left, officials monitored traffic to learn how to handle hurricane evacuations. -- USA Today