the GT National Technology Snapshot

the GT National Technology Snapshot

by / November 30, 1999
The state Department of Transportation looks forward to finishing laying 30,000 feet of fiber cable and installing 25 video cameras in 2000 in Tuscaloosa -- part of a series of traffic-control projects that date to 1986.

State employees now have a new resource for finding the latest information on their bargaining-unit contracts: the new Alaska Department of Administration Labor Relations Web site .

Maricopa County's Planning Department Web site won an award from the American Planning Association in early August, based on the site's performance in several judging criteria: innovation, quality, implementation, comprehensiveness and significance.

Bill Gates funded a recently completed $4 million project to give Internet access to Arkansas' public libraries. In six months, 210 libraries across the state received at least one new computer along with Internet access, technical support and a Microsoft software package. Arkansas was among the first states to receive the grants, along with Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Gates' foundation is working state by state, with a goal of giving new computers to 9,500 public libraries by 2003.

Thirty education institutes and companies will share $6 million in matching grants to assist in the future development and creation of new, high-wage, high-skill technology jobs in California. Gov. Gray Davis' Press Secretary Michael Bustamante said the grants will help promote high-wage jobs in the state by ensuring that companies increase economic growth and global competitiveness. A complete list
of recipients is online governor/080699.html>.

A federal appeals court in Denver ruled in August that telephone companies' free-speech rights outweigh customers' privacy interests. The ruling allows phone companies to use personal information it has collected to try to sell you things. A three-
judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned federal rules that required a phone company to get customers' permission before using their
personal information to target them for sales pitches. The case was brought by US West, which serves Colorado and the surrounding Plains and Rocky Mountain states.

The state's Office of Policy and Management received a $520,000 grant from the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs. The money will be used to automate processes for more efficient crime-fighting and administration of justice.

Wilmington officials are developing a program to fight crime by installing a network of street-surveillance cameras. By early next year, as many as 68 cameras will cover much of downtown. Major employers -- such as the DuPont Co., MBNA America Bank, Wilmington Trust Co. and Hercules Inc. -- will integrate their approximately 50 cameras into the network. USA Today

Stan Smith, a former executive at Huizenga Holdings Inc., was named to the state's Information Services Technology Development Task Force. The task force's purpose is to attract high-tech companies to Florida. USA Today

Georgia's University System Board of Regents, in September, approved the system's $1.638 billion fiscal-year 2001 budget. The budget contains $14.2 million in technology requests that include funds for master planning, a statewide online learning initiative, an enhanced electronic library, campus-network upgrades and faculty and staff technology training.

Hawaii's high-tech industry is showing signs of significant growth, according to the High Technology Development Corporation's 1998 High-Tech Business Survey conducted by Mattson Sunderland Research and Planning Associates, Inc. "Hawaii is attracting more high-technology companies," said Gov. Ben Cayetano. "Ten years ago, there were just 166 technology companies. Today, there are 629 technology companies [in Hawaii]."

For the first time since statehood, Idaho is compiling a complete inventory of the land it owns, where that land lies and whether the state
is getting the most out of its real-estate investments. About 5 percent of the state, or 2.7 million acres, is state-owned. When the system is in place, computer users will be able to call up detailed images of state-owned property. USA Today

A new feature on the state's Web site makes available state licensing records held by doctors, nurses, cosmetologists and 43 other professional groups. Internet users may quickly and easily search for licenses by either the individual's name or license number. Also on the site are a complaint form, a monthly news release announcing professionals who have been disciplined, a change-of-address form which professionals may e-mail, and laws pertaining to professions regulated by the Department of Professional Regulation.

The Indiana GOP used the party's Web site for an online presidential straw poll in August. The party called the poll unscientific, but fun. Indianapolis Star/News

Gov. Tom Vilsack announced that as of Aug. 2, all of Iowa's large-system computer programs were Y2K compliant. Vilsack said this effort required the evaluation and conversion of approximately 28 million lines of computer code.

Southwestern College, a private liberal-arts school in south-central Kansas, is among the few in the nation to supply all its freshmen with laptop computers. The college also provides wireless Internet access. Southwestern charges students a $960 technology fee to lease the laptop. USA Today

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture unveiled a new Web site in August that allows the state's farmers and general stores to list their wares -- fruits, vegetables, livestock, hay, log houses -- for free. Lexington Herald-Leader

Baton Rouge's Web site recently added an emergency-medical-services link that provides information on operations, the 911 center, training, prison medical services, local hospitals, relevant links and other data.

The Maine Science and Technology Foundation has awarded $2.5 million in research-and-development grants to 17 companies, schools and organizations to stimulate economic growth in the state. The money is part of $3.5 million for grants that went to the foundation from the $20 million research-and-development bond voters approved last year. Bangor Daily News

State police say they'll be ready for Y2K blackouts and disruptions on Jan. 1. Leave has been canceled for all 2,500 state police officers and hand-operated gas pumps will be available in all barracks. USA Today

The state Department of Transitional Assistance has developed a new Web site that includes program regulations and descriptions, caseload demographics and press releases. The department is responsible for administering public assistance programs in the state.

Detroit's Information Services Technology Department lost another leader as Interim Director Carl Bentley left his post in October to run the IT department in Tacoma, Wash. Bentley became interim chief in July after K. Nicole Fontayne-Mack left to become the chief information officer for Broward County, Fla.

Hennepin County received a Public Technology Inc. grant for a project that will address the lack of educational, marketing and public outreach support for E85 -- a federally designated fuel that is part ethanol and part gasoline -- fueling sites in the Twin Cities.

The Mississippi Municipal Association Web site lists information on all the state's communities, from Abbeville to Yazoo City. Data includes city-hall addresses, relevant Web sites, size and population, dates and times of town meetings, date of next scheduled election, number of city employees, a list of town officials and tax information.

One online form allows users to request background information
on caregivers for children, the elderly or ill. From one site , one can request state criminal-background checks, conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol; child abuse/neglect records, maintained by the Division of Family Services; family foster-care licensing records, maintained by the Division of Family Services; the employee disqualification list, maintained by the Division of Aging; the disqualified registry, maintained by the Department of Mental Health; and child day-care licensing records, maintained by the Department of Health.

A problem with the $16.5 million system that maintains Montana's financial records shortchanged 419 state employees in their paychecks in September. The problem was corrected in October, state officials noted. Helena Independent Record

The University of Nebraska's new technology center officially opened in late August. The Peter Kiewit Institute of Information Science, Technology and Engineering will train workers to fill information technology and engineering job vacancies. USA Today

The Department of Information Technology has put the state's phonebook on the
Internet and plans to update it monthly. Any specific agency or state worker's office phone number can be found it on the state Web page . Tahoe-Carson Area Newspapers

New Hampshire
Gov. Jeanne Shaheen was named in August to the National Governors' Association's Information Technology Task Force, which is examining the potential of information technology for states, their citizens and their customers.

New Jersey
The state Office of Educational Technology announced the grant recipients from the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund. Recipients will use the money to develop Web sites, provide e-mail for every teacher, extend technology resources to the community and develop technology-infused, curricula-based activities. Approximately $5 million was awarded to 53 school districts that are partnering with additional public and private schools and community agencies.

New Mexico
The state's Local Government Division, in collaboration with New Mexico's seven economic-development districts, now has its own Web site . Users can access information about economic-development issues, planning and other state programs and local concerns.

New York
General Composites, a high-tech manufacturing company in the Adirondack Park, is expanding and creating 124 new engineering and production jobs -- the largest single job expansion in the Park in nearly 20 years. The expansion was credited in part to Gov. George Pataki's pro-growth policies of lower taxes and reduced red-tape, paving the way for increases in private-sector investment and job growth.

North Carolina
Members of the state House and Senate are considering using laptop computers to streamline the paper-heavy lawmaking process. Some of the $3 million set aside four years ago to renovate the chambers will likely go toward rewiring lawmakers' desks by 2001. Some protest that this would give lobbyists access to lawmakers during votes, or that bored legislators might play solitaire rather than pay attention to the debates.

North Dakota
Gov. Ed Shafer co-hosted the Internet broadcast of the National Governor's Association meeting in September. The webcast was available in streaming video> and dealt with such agricultural issues as crop insurance, risk management, bioengineering and value-added production.

Ohio University is installing 2,150 computers and Internet service in thousands of dormitory rooms. By fall 2000, a computer and printer will be in each of the 4,111 residence-hall rooms, officials said.
USA Today

A blue-ribbon task force on telecommunications unanimously recommended in August that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission proceed with rulemaking on IT regulation. The government/
industry panel has moved closer to agreement on such key issues as price caps and improving the state's IT infrastructure. The Daily Oklahoman

The Oregon City/County Management
Association has established a broadcast e-mail list via an Internet service . The private list, limited to staff and members of the association, is intended to facilitate communication on issues relevant to the group's membership. LOCal Focus

The state finalized an outsourcing deal with Unisys to consolidate up to 20 state agencies' data centers into one centralized data center and provide ongoing management and operational support.

Rhode Island
Providence police on patrol are using computers that allow them to search FBI crime records faster than ever. The federal system provides access to mug shots and fingerprints, databases on stolen articles, criminal histories and gang and terrorist members. USA Today

South Carolina
State Attorney General Charlie Condon announced a new Web site com> to report impending school violence and an accompanying phone line.

South Dakota
Gov. Bill Janklow is bringing training on the design, building and maintenance of computer networks to the state's universities, technical institutes and high schools. Cisco will train instructors at 10 regional academies.

Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe announced in August the formation of a task force to consider improvements to the city's Web site , including putting more applications online.

For many people worried about Hurricane Bret last summer, weather updates were only a point and click away. Dozens of Internet sites provided Doppler-radar images, satellite pictures, forecasts and weather warnings that showed where the storm was heading and where it was hitting hardest. The National Weather Service's Web page received 3.4 million visits over two days after the hurricane reached land -- a jump of about a million hits. San Antonio Express-News

Settling into his added role as head of the National Governors' Association, Gov. Michael Leavitt called for "networked governance," using the Internet and other technology to centralize government transactions without surrendering local autonomy.

The state received a $513,375 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help computerize the state's criminal-history records. The state has received a total of $4.5 million in Justice Department grants for the project.

The Virginia Democratic Party's Web site has a new contributions feature to accept donations via the Internet. The site uses a secure server, meaning personal information, such as credit card numbers, cannot be obtained by outside sources. The state Republican Party also accepts Internet contributions, but not through a secure server. USA Today

King County, which includes Seattle, launched a newsletter over the summer that is available online and can be sent right to your e-mail box. The first edition of KingCounty@Work is online>, and covers everything from criminal justice to salmon restoration. Subscribe by e-mail .

West Virginia
Slated for the end of October, the West Virginia GIS Forum promised a look at spatial technology in the Mountain State, with objectives that included promoting GIS use and cooperation among government, education and the private sector.

Hoping to pump up interest in the presidential election, the state Republican Party conducted a straw poll on its Web site . Voters went online to choose their favorite Republican presidential hopeful. The poll began in mid-September and was to end Nov. 7, exactly one year before the presidential election.

The state is working on posting information about high-risk sex offenders. Courts will determine whether a sex offender is high risk. If so, the state Department of Criminal Investigation will post the information. At press time, the department was about to put the first five offenders online, linked to the state attorney general's page .

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