The Gt National Technology Snapshot

The Gt National Technology Snapshot

by / September 30, 1999
The University of South Alabama's College of Medicine and BellSouth flipped the switch in June on the area's first comprehensive distance medical network. The $3 million Southwest Alabama Rural Telehealth Network will help medically underserved patients in rural areas receive medical testing and diagnoses over a high-speed video-conferencing
and data network.


Vowing to carry out his commitment to improve government service through the use of technology, Gov. Tony Knowles recently unveiled the state's new Online Public Notice System. Citizens will now be able to access many services online.


The state immunized only 46 percent of its children in 1994. But that was when the Arizona State Immunization Information System was launched. By January 1998, immunization of children was up to 78 percent. The Arizona Republic


At its annual meeting in late June, the Southern Growth Policies Board appointed Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee chairman. The board represents 14 states and Puerto Rico. In this position, Huckabee will serve as chairman of the Southern Technology Council and the Southern International Trade Council for the next year.


Net at Two Rivers (N2R), a nonprofit organization based in Sacramento, is designing and building a Web site for its "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" (FYBR) virtual-mentoring project. N2R is the nation's first regional community electronic network to specialize in job- and life-skills mentoring via the World Wide Web.


People interested in working for the city or county of Denver may now apply for jobs online. Applicants may visit the DenverGov Web site and click on the "citizens" icon for employment information.


Gov. John Rowland signed legislation in June that lets small companies carry over their net operating losses on their corporate income taxes for 20 years and creates a research-and-development tax credit exchange. The legislation was designed to attract high-tech companies.


In June, State Police caught its first suspect with a custom-built "bait" car, an "average, nondescript" car left running. But once a would-be thief gets in the car and puts it into gear, he gets a rude surprise. The car stalls. It's rigged to shut down before the thief can even get it out of the parking lot.


A 10-year-old imaging system and a new case-management system are bringing several courtrooms in Brevard County, Fla., closer to the Digital Age. The first electronic document-management system in Florida went live in July and will link to the clerk's system by January.


The state's Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) has created GeorgiaPage to provide users with a new way to reach out and page someone. GeorgiaPage allows DOAS paging customers to use the Internet to send messages either through regular e-mail, online service providers or through the DOAS paging Web page.


A $6 million, public-private partnership between the University of Hawaii, the state and the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation was unveiled in July. The partnership will establish a new Hawaii Institute of Biogenesis Research at the University of Hawaii.


The state has begun the process of changing its presence on the Internet. This summer, the state issued a request for proposals (RFP) to search for a contractor to build a portal for the state, to be called "Access Idaho."


Illinois State Police will distribute a $1.5 million grant to local police agencies to support juvenile justice reform. The grant money will be used to buy live scan equipment -- advanced technology that captures and electronically transmits fingerprints.


Indianapolis is implementing an integrated technology system for automated land development that includes permitting, electronic document management, GIS and inspections.


A $700,000 drug-dispensing robot introduced in June at North Iowa Mercy Health Center in Mason City is expected to reduce errors and free up pharmacists to spend time with patients. The robot will fill more than 1,500 prescriptions daily. USA Today


A University of Kansas School of Business Web site received a top rating by Lycos, the Internet search-engine company, which rated the top 5 percent of all Web sites in several categories. KU's International Business Resource Connection (IBRC) Web site topped the international- business category.


Glasgow is calling itself "the most wired small town in Kentucky." Residents are linked through a high-speed broadband network, and the town has an enthusiastic Web site that has been online since 1995 (or, in Internet terms, "practically forever.")


The state is piloting an electronic funds transfer (EFT) program for vendor payments, and four vendors were selected to participate in the pilot that began June 1. Programming changes were completed in April and testing of the process was completed in May.


Central Maine Power, the state's largest electrical utility, reported it has achieved full Y2K compliance. USA Today


The Commerce Department's Census Bureau this summer inaugurated the first of four data-capture centers in preparation for the processing of more than 120 million Census 2000 questionnaires next year. The centers will have optical character scanners that read handwritten responses, census officials said. The center is located just outside Baltimore.


The commonwealth's Department of Revenue has collected more than $2.2 million in delinquent child support through its launch of a first-in-the-nation Web site, which lets Massachusetts team up with insurers to track down parents who are trying to collect insurance settlements.


Gov. John Engler announced in June the release of nearly $5 million in grants to 43 Michigan cities and counties for local juvenile justice services. Also, Engler notified 74 teams of educators via e-mail that their innovative ideas on technology had earned them a piece of a $500,000 award, part of Engler's $30 million NextDay grant program to advance the use of technology in Michigan schools.


The Minnesota Office of Technology, NEC Computer Systems Division, MnSAT and JDL Technologies awarded CyberLibrary grants to five Minnesota school districts. Installation at grant sites will occur through the end of the school year.


Internet taxes, Y2K compliance, sustainability and other timely issues were discussed when the National Association of Counties held its 64th annual conference July 16-20 in St. Louis. Speakers included Mary Matalin, James Carville and U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman.


Phase two of the state's Government E-Commerce Network and Imaging Environment (GENIE) project is scheduled to begin in October. A new workflow/imaging process developed by outside consultants will be made into an application that will integrate accounting transactions into the statewide automated accounting system.


Following the April rollout of the first half of a statewide enterprise resource planning project, state officials rolled out the second half at the end of June, just in time for the state's turnover to fiscal year 2000. The new system is a result of MT PRRIME: the Montana Project to Reengineer the Revenue and Information Management Environment.


The Nebraska State Patrol is joining nearly a dozen agencies and companies to conduct a three-month study of a communications system known as the Nebraska GPS-Messaging and Voice Communication Demonstration. The study will integrate global positioning with radio, phone and satellite-communications technologies.


The state implemented a year-2000 compliant human resource/payroll system that will serve 14,000 state employees. The implementation of the human- resource/payroll component represents the completion of all Y2K-critical projects within the larger integrated financial system project.

New Hampshire

The state's Department of Environmental Services has developed a Y2K-management plan, available on the Internet, dealing with potential millennium bug problems in the areas it supervises -- wastewater treatment, dams, air-pollution control, etc.

New Jersey

The state is spending $1.6 million to design and implement the software for a "smart highway" computer system that, like systems in New York and Connecticut, will give instant notice of traffic problems. USA Today

New Mexico

The state's Economic Development Department has added ePortNM to its Web site to make it easier for businesses to relocate and expand in the state. The new feature is a searchable database of state business licenses, permits and applications. The database currently contains 326 of the licenses, permits and certifications issued by the state -- 141 of those are available for downloading.

New York

New York's Empire State Development (ESD) has launched an aggressive advertising campaign, including the development of a Web site, to lure semiconductor manufacturers to the state.

North Carolina

North Carolina's Leveraged Management of IT Assets (LMITA) study is more than halfway complete. The study is being conducted by outside consultants, who were given the task of formulating a plan for improving the state's management of IT assets. The study is on the Web.

North Dakota

Burleigh County Commissioner Helen Schatz recently concluded a one-year term as chairwoman of the IT committee for the National Association of Counties. Schatz spent more than 20 years as the county's treasurer until winning a seat on the commission last November.


State Auditor Jim Petro proposed in June the creation of a statewide computer link allowing police and welfare departments to share data. He said it would help catch crooks and stop fraudulent welfare payments. USA Today


Gov. Frank Keating signed HB 1325, the Y2K Protection Act, this summer. It prohibits class-action suits and tort claims against government and business arising from Y2K if there were reasonable efforts to protect the computer system.


The Oregon Institute Of Technology announced that a new bachelor's degree program in information technology, focusing on database programming, started in September. The degree was added to the OIT menu of offerings without adding faculty or staff. All required classes, except for two math classes, are already taught at the institute.


The commonwealth plans to spend $398,000 in the coming year to provide online access to campaign-finance reports for all state-level candidates and political committees. In the current fiscal year, $65,000 was allocated to computerize reports for statewide candidates such as Superior Court judges. USA Today

Rhode Island

Gov. Lincoln Almond announced in July that a new computer program designed to help Rhode Island's senior population learn what federal and state benefits they may be eligible for had been installed in a majority of libraries across the state.

South Carolina

The Charleston County Web site won the Best of Class award in the Computer Media category of the Awards of Excellence given out by the National Association of County Information Officers. County News

South Dakota

The FAA is giving $135,000 to Sisseton to reconfigure part of its airport to meet requirements for a global positioning system runway approach. USA Today


Students at the state Board of Regents' 29 university and 27 technical schools will be able to register, chat with professors and buy textbooks using their home computers by spring. A Utah firm will integrate the programs with a free Internet system. In exchange, companies will be allowed to post ads aimed at students. USA Today


The Texas Department of Information Resources created a Y2K product notice Web site in June, at which state residents can find Y2K information.


Utah's Information Technology Services has a new section called Web Software Services, which was designed to create new Web-based applications and to Web-enable legacy applications, as well as those applications currently on the mainframe.


"We are building a roadmap to the 21st century," author and former state legislator Tom Bonnett said at the National Association of Counties annual convention in July. "And the bridge we are crossing is a digital bridge." Bonnett was among a quartet to address attendees on the topic of taxing online sales.


Gov. Jim Gilmore signed an executive order increasing membership of the Governor's Commission on Information Technology to approximately 40 business and government leaders. The governor also named Virginia's attorney general to the commission.


Information on fertilizers approved for distribution in the state is now available on the Internet. Access to the information, mandated by the Fertilizer Regulation Act of 1998, can be found on the state Department of Agriculture's Web site. Information on almost 2,500 fertilizer products is in the database.

West Virginia

State technology investments are beginning to pay off, Gov. Cecil Underwood told delegations from 14 states and Puerto Rico at the Southern Growth Policy Board's annual conference at the end of June. The theme at this year's conference, which attracted 350 guests, was technology.


According to Gov. Tommy Thompson, the state's chartered financial institutions are 100-percent Y2K compliant. Thompson said in late June that some 700 state depository institutions have met or exceeded guidelines established by financial regulators for Y2K readiness. For more information, visit the Department of Financial Institutions' Web site.


The University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Business Council have created a partnership, called The Small Business Innovative Research Program (SBIR), to assist Wyoming technology companies acquire federal grants to get their innovations to the market.