National Technology Snapshot

A 50-state roundup of information technology news and events.

by / March 3, 2001 0
Alabama

The University of South Alabama won a $200,000 federal grant to set up a telemedicine program in Baldwin County. Equipment was installed at Thomas Hospital during the end of December. The state plans to expand the program to other rural counties that may not have doctors to perform some examinations. -- Mobile Register

Alaska

Ilisagvik College in Barrow is setting up a program to train computer technicians to maintain the technology that links the isolated North Slope with the rest of the world. The school has obtained $1.2 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and Microsoft to develop a program. -- USA Today

Arizona

In December, Gov. Jane Dee Hull announced a new telecommunications agreement that will provide increased telecommunications and bandwidth in rural Arizona. The agreement will facilitate services to residents in 39 rural communities throughout Arizona within 12 months.

Arkansas

Arkansas businesses can now file sales- and use-tax reports on the Internet. Business owners just enter sales information and the system calculates the tax for them.

California

Irvine city officials are donating 65 outdated computers to Hermosillo, Mexico, Irvines sister city. The computers will be set up at Hermosillos youth center and municipal library to benefit residents there. -- Los Angeles Times

Colorado

Information about the Fort Collins Cultural Development & Programming and Tourism Accounts (Fort Fund) can now be found on the Internet. Fort Fund is used to support artistic, cultural, educational, ethnic, historical and recreational events that promote tourism in Fort Collins.

Connecticut

In December, Gov. John G. Rowland announced the first recipients of the Connecticut Innovations Technology Scholar Awards program. The program combines earned scholarships, internships and leadership training to support Connecticuts science- and technology-based workforce needs.

Delaware

State environmental officials are considering a recycling program for obsolete home computers, which take up space in landfills and contain toxic materials, including lead and mercury. Officials said a pilot program in October was successful, with 400 families and businesses dropping off about 800 computers. -- USA Today

Florida

In December, the Department of Law Enforcement launched an online law enforcement records system that allows people to check if the goods they want to buy are stolen or if someone they know is wanted.

Georgia

Conyers is now posting incident and accident reports on its Web site. To access accident reports, residents need to have a case number and drivers license number. Because officers already file their reports on their laptops, the delay time between accident and online access is expected to be minimal. -- The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

Hawaii

The 11th annual meeting of the International World Wide Web Conference will be held in Honolulu in 2002. It is expected to draw about 1,500 Web developers to discuss the latest in technology and standards. -- USA Today

Idaho

Residents can now search for the current status of an Idaho business, then purchase and print a Certificate of Existence from the Secretary of States Office online. If needed, a certificate with an original signature can be mailed.

Illinois

In January, Gov. George H. Ryan launched Illinois newest high school, the Illinois Virtual High School. The new school is providing expanded opportunities for high school students in public and non-public schools through Internet delivery of classes.

Indiana

Indiana residents can now compare the quality of care at most federally certified nursing homes online. The Long-Term Care Facility Report Cards calculate a score for each nursing home based on each of the last three standard health surveys, which are performed by Department of Health staff.

Iowa

In January, Gov. Tom Vilsack and Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson proposed the development of a long-term plan for the Iowa Telecommunications Network (ICN). The plan includes strategies that clearly define the use of ICN for high-quality distance learning and telemedicine.

Kansas

Kansas travelers have a new resource to check highway conditions during harsh winter weather. The Kansas Department of Transportations road conditions Web site, which was launched in December, provides updated information on the conditions of all state and interstate highways in Kansas.

Kentucky

New software unveiled in Jefferson County District Court in December will allow judges to instantly access a defendants criminal history during court proceedings. The state will spend $4 million spreading the new system to the rest of Kentucky, starting with Fayette County and Covington. -- The Cincinnati Enquirer

Louisiana

Maps identifying the homes of 200 convicted child molesters living in St. Tammany Parish will soon be available on the Internet. Sheriff Jack Strain says the program can also generate mailings to alert residents when sex offenders move nearby. -- USA Today

Maine

A state task force studying technology in schools wants to provide medium-grade laptops to all seventh and eighth-grade students beginning in 2002. The computers would belong to the schools, which would allow students to check them out. -- Portland News Herald

Maryland

A $4 million computer system intended to track Montgomery County students has "no practical use" and must be scrapped while the school district develops a replacement for a 25-year-old system now in use. Information officers are developing a new student-data system, which could be working by 2005. -- The Washington Post

Massachusetts

In December, Consumer Affairs Director Jennifer Davis Carey announced the launch of a new bank fee Web site by the Division of Banks. The site contains deposit account and fee information voluntarily provided by more than 300 participating Massachusetts banks and credit unions and has direct links to the financial institutions Web sites.

Michigan

Motorists in Wayne County can now sign up for a free e-mail service that reports possible delays on more than 1,000 miles of major streets and freeways. The service was launched on a trial basis in 1999 and was expanded last December to include more information. -- The Detroit Free Press

Minnesota

Police, judges and other authorities want $41.5 million for the CriMNet initiative, which would rebuild the court information system and link law enforcement agencies in the state. -- USA Today

Mississippi

The Governors Commission on Electronic Government released its first report outlining the implementation of electronic government in December. The Commission recommended that the state create an Internet Web portal for government information and services and work together with private industry, educators and civil leaders.

Missouri

The St. Louis County Municipal Court launched a new e Illinois Virtual High School. The new school is providing expanded opportunities for high school students in public and non-public schools through Internet delivery of classes.

Indiana

Indiana residents can now compare the quality of care at most federally certified nursing homes online. The Long-Term Care Facility Report Cards calculate a score for each nursing home based on each of the last three standard health surveys, which are performed by Department of Health staff.

Iowa

In January, Gov. Tom Vilsack and Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson proposed the development of a long-term plan for the Iowa Telecommunications Network (ICN). The plan includes strategies that clearly define the use of ICN for high-quality distance learning and telemedicine.

Kansas

Kansas travelers have a new resource to check highway conditions during harsh winter weather. The Kansas Department of Transportations road conditions Web site, which was launched in December, provides updated information on the conditions of all state and interstate highways in Kansas.

Kentucky

New software unveiled in Jefferson County District Court in December will allow judges to instantly access a defendants criminal history during court proceedings. The state will spend $4 million spreading the new system to the rest of Kentucky, starting with Fayette County and Covington. -- The Cincinnati Enquirer

Louisiana

Maps identifying the homes of 200 convicted child molesters living in St. Tammany Parish will soon be available on the Internet. Sheriff Jack Strain says the program can also generate mailings to alert residents when sex offenders move nearby. -- USA Today

Maine

A state task force studying technology in schools wants to provide medium-grade laptops to all seventh and eighth-grade students beginning in 2002. The computers would belong to the schools, which would allow students to check them out. -- Portland News Herald

Maryland

A $4 million computer system intended to track Montgomery County students has "no practical use" and must be scrapped while the school district develops a replacement for a 25-year-old system now in use. Information officers are developing a new student-data system, which could be working by 2005. -- The Washington Post

Massachusetts

In December, Consumer Affairs Director Jennifer Davis Carey announced the launch of a new bank fee Web site by the Division of Banks. The site contains deposit account and fee information voluntarily provided by more than 300 participating Massachusetts banks and credit unions and has direct links to the financial institutions Web sites.

Michigan

Motorists in Wayne County can now sign up for a free e-mail service that reports possible delays on more than 1,000 miles of major streets and freeways. The service was launched on a trial basis in 1999 and was expanded last December to include more information. -- The Detroit Free Press

Minnesota

Police, judges and other authorities want $41.5 million for the CriMNet initiative, which would rebuild the court information system and link law enforcement agencies in the state. -- USA Today

Mississippi

The Governors Commission on Electronic Government released its first report outlining the implementation of electronic government in December. The Commission recommended that the state create an Internet Web portal for government information and services and work together with private industry, educators and civil leaders.

Missouri

The St. Louis County Municipal Court launched a new Web site in January. Docket schedules, location, office hours, job vacancies and more information can now be found online.

Montana

Cascade County launched a new Web site in December. The site contains information about elected officials, county departments and local links of interest.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI) launched a new Web site in December. The site contains information about upcoming events, services the NCBVI offers and links to other related sites.

Nevada

Southern Nevada residents who want to testify on legislation will find it easier to do so with the $35,000 expansion of the videoconferencing system. Now three separate meetings can be videoconferenced simultaneously, allowing residents in both parts of the state to testify or otherwise participate in the legislative process.

New Hampshire

In January, ValleyNet presented the Piermont Village School with a check for $1,548, proceeds from the recent ValleyNet Computer SwapMeet. The money will be used for the schools technology fund. An additional $1,548 will be awarded to the UVCIA Scholarship Fund.

New Jersey

During a conference in December, Gov. Christie Whitman announced plans to create a program to install video cameras in all municipal police cars. The program would be phased in over three years and would use funds from a variety of sources to install cameras in about 5,000 vehicles throughout the state.

New Mexico

Specialists in the field of nuclear pharmacy are trying to boost the numbers of practitioners in this uncommon field. Beginning in March, people can study the specialty through an online program offered through the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy. -- Albuquerque Journal

New York

In December, Gov. George E. Pataki announced the launch of a new Web site. The new site provides a comprehensive list of available high-tech job opportunities, using a combination of job data from the Labor Department and new employment opportunities entered by participating private-sector employers.

North Carolina

Gov. Jim Hunt appointed five members to the North Carolina Rural Internet Access Commission in December. The 21-member commission advises and makes recommendations regarding efforts to provide rural counties with high-speed broadband Internet access. The commissions goals include increasing the ownership of computers, Web devices and Internet subscriptions.

North Dakota

A computer program is helping deaf students get more out of school. The program, designed by computer programmers at Minot State University, enables deaf students to read their instructors lectures moments after they are spoken. -- USA Today

Ohio

In December, Gov. Bob Taft and Lt. Gov. Maureen OConnor officially launched the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles new online and telephone vehicle registration renewal service. Motorists whose current registration expires within 90 days are now able to register electronically if the vehicle is not leased.

Oklahoma

In January, Congress passed a bill containing $1.42 million that will be used for Oklahomas proposed technology-based virtual training system. The federal funds will be used to purchase file servers and software, employ three network technicians and develop online course content. The new system will offer online coursework enhanced by videoconferencing.

Oregon

Water Environment Services, a department of Clackamas County, launched a new Web site in December. The site includes an explanation of the departments service, directions for direct deposit billings, available documents, public awareness efforts and details on the Endangered Species Act.

Pennsylvania

In December, Secretary James M. Seif announced awards of more than $30,000 to nonprofit organizations for geographic information system software. The grants are awarded quarterly under a cooperative agreement between DEP and the Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. to support the organizations environmental and educational missions.

Rhode Island

A new service offered by McKeevers IGA in Warwick, R.I., allows residents of four towns -- Warwick, Cranston, East Greenwich and West Warwick -- to shop for groceries online. According to the stores owner, more than 1,200 items are available through the Web site. The service carries an $8 delivery charge. -- The Warwick Beacon

South Carolina

The Beaufort County School Districts Learning with Laptops program is set to receive $1.8 million from the new federal budget, the school district announced in January. The money will come from the U.S. Department of Educations $46.3 million reform budget for schools and universities. -- The Island Packet

South Dakota

Gov. Bill Janklow met with the 12 members of the newly created South Dakota Math, Science and Technology Council in late December. The councils duties include encouraging more interest in math, science and technology at all levels of education and identifying ways to create jobs in those areas.

Tennessee

Parents looking for childcare can now access general information about it, including addresses, hours of operation, type of facility and capacity online. In December, the Tennessee Department of Human Services launched a new directory featuring a listing of all licensed and registered child-care providers in the state.

Texas

Eighth-grade students at Curtis Middle School in Allen are creating autobiographical movies using family snapshots, computer scanners and photo presentation software. The project is one of many undertaken by students in Students Helping Integrate Future Technologies -- a class that trains students to assist teachers and peers with integrating instructional technology in the classroom. -- The Dallas Morning News

Utah

In January, the state Division of Information Technology Services selected Alpha Computer Solutions Inc. to provide Internet training for all state government branches. This contract makes Alpha the single largest supplier of computer training to the state government, covering more than 120 different training subjects.

Vermont

Vermont schools must install Internet filtering systems to keep students and staff from finding pornographic Web sites or risk losing thousands of dollars in federal funding. The Childrens Internet Protection Act directs all schools and libraries that dont restrict access to objectionable Internet sites to have a policy in place by mid-April. -- Rutland Herald

Virginia

Gov. Jim Gilmore in December announced the launch of a new anti-drug Web site for the Substance Abuse Reduction Effort (SABRE) program. The SABRE Web site features links to more than 100 state and national agencies, substance abuse programs and resources.

Washington

People waiting at Metro bus stops in Seattle can now find out when their bus will arrive. With a Web-equipped cell phone, they can log on to to track their bus. -- USA Today

West Virginia

In January, the State Board of Medicine approved the concept of posting doctors profiles online. It will include demographic, license and certification information, medical degrees, criminal convictions, adverse disciplinary actions and medical malpractice. -- The Charleston Gazette

Wisconsin

In December, Gov. Tommy Thompson announced that TEACH -- Technology for Educational Achievement --is awarding $7 million to organizations throughout the state to train teachers in grades K-12 to use the latest technologies available. A total of 14 grants are being distributed over the next two years to groups across the state.

Wyoming

Secretary of State Joseph Meyer announced in January that Peggy Nighswonger, Wyoming state elections director, was selected to serve on the National Task Force on Elections Reform. Nighswonger is one of 30 individuals chosen from a large pool of applicants by the National Election Center. The task force will analyze problems that became publicly identified in the 2000 election and will make recommendations about what actions Congress and state legislatures might take regarding improvement of the election process.