National Technology Snapshot

A round-up of information technology news and events from each of the 50 states.

by / October 31, 1998

The University of South Alabama is developing a project that will improve health care for rural areas in the state using a network of interactive TV video stations. Mobile Register


Year-2000 readiness assessments for state court facilities are on schedule. Testing was completed in September, and by March, 33 key computer systems will be Y2K-compliant.


The Pima County Sheriff's Department equipped 16 patrol cars with the LoJack retrieval system, allowing officers to track stolen vehicles. The Arizona Daily Star.


The state selected Viisage Technology Inc. to provide 158 locations with a new digital driver's license system that uses biometrics technology.


Orange County opened the Eastern Toll Road, a 24-mile high-tech road that uses the FasTrak electronic toll system and cash.


Boulder County selected Oracle Public Sector Financials to reduce mainframe operating costs, improve reporting and better manage taxpayer money. The new system is also Y2K-compliant.


The Connecticut Board of Parole went online at .


The state received nearly $200,000 to enhance its crime lab and purchase upgraded equipment for its AFIS system.


The Manatee County, Fla., School District selected J.D. Edwards' advanced financial and accounting systems to automate its financial, human resources and procurement operations.


The Department of Medical Assistance awarded a contract to MTS PeopleSource to assist in the planning, packaging and testing phases of the department's Y2K project.


Waikiki installed six police/information kiosks on streets that have heavy pedestrian traffic. Each kiosk will be monitored by a police officer or volunteer, and will help deter crime and provide information to tourists. Honolulu Star Bulletin


The Information Technology Training Program is now online at . The site provides professional development training for state IT officials.


Attorney General Jim Ryan proposed a plan to implement VINE (Victim Information Notification Everyday), a 24-hour hotline allowing anyone to check the status of criminal cases. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that at least $1 million will be needed to implement the system.


The Indianapolis City-County Council approved a $12.6 million fund to address Y2K problems over three years.


The Woodbury County Information and Communications Commission purchased HTE software, which includes mobile data terminals that provide officers instant access to mug shots and incident reports.


The Department of Aging selected CTA Inc. to develop the Kansas Aging Managing Information System. KAMIS will be a Web-based central repository of information on programs and services designed to assist the state's senior population.


Henderson County will explore the possibility of implementing a fiber-optic communications network to improve its electricity distribution system. The new network could also open the door to other possibilities, such as video court hearings and faster Internet services. Gleaner News Online


Julian Dufreche, mayor of Ponchatoula, was elected president of the Louisiana Municipal Association. One of his goals is to continue working with the Louisiana Congressional Delegation on tax issues related to commerce on the Internet. Louisiana Municipal Review


A computer malfunction in Lewiston caused chlorine levels in drinking water to fall to unsafe levels. The city installed an alarm system that will automatically notify an on-call supervisor. Newsbytes.


With portable computers, the Maryland-National Capital Park Police Department now has instant access to criminal databases. The databases are linked to Bell Atlantic Mobile's AirBridge wireless data network.


The Department of Health selected Applied Geographics
Inc. for GIS training and technical support to the Environmental Health Section.


The 1998 Michigan School Report is online at , allowing users to examine trend data for any individual school or school district.


The city of Mankato is building a new technology-training facility called Technology Plus -- a training center and equipment resource. Technology Plus is scheduled to be completed by 2000. Nation's Cities Weekly


The University of Mississippi Medical Center is using telemedicine to see and treat inmates at the state Department of Corrections.


The Kirkwood School Board in September approved a $51,684 technology grant application for scanners, laptop computers, a digital camera and a video-editing computer. The district will provide an additional $25,000 for technology equipment if the grant is approved.


A new state-of-the-art fiber-optics route will extend from Billings to the North Dakota border. The new route, constructed by AT&T, should attract more business and educational opportunities to Montana. Newsbytes.


The Department of Education's Education Technology Center purchased access to TESS, a database containing over 20,000 entries on educational software. Nebraska teachers can access the database at .


Las Vegas plans to next summer implement the Las Vegas Area Computer Traffic System, using 40 cameras placed at intersections throughout the urban area. The moving cameras can identify potential problems, allowing the system to adjust traffic signals accordingly.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire enacted a bill that will allow UCC financing statements to be filed electronically, provided that they include an electronic signature. HB 382 also requires the secretary of state to implement a statewide consolidated computer database for UCC financing information by July 2001.

New Jersey

Gov. Christine Tod Whitman signed an executive order creating an Office of Information Technology. The organization will replace the current Office of Telecommunications and Information Systems.

New Mexico

The Taxation and Revenue Department's Internet filing system was showcased at the National Governors' Association's annual meeting. With this system, New Mexico was able to speed its tax-processing time.

New York

The state local information project, "Tying a Sensible Knot," won one of 10 1998 Outstanding Achievement awards from NASIRE. The project was the first attempt in the United States to analyze and document successful practices in intergovernmental information systems.

North Carolina

The city of Charlotte awarded a $4 million Y2K contract to CACI International to apply its Restore 2000 conversion system to the city's databases and operating systems.

North Dakota

The Tax Department is working on a project that will connect the department's remote offices through a wide area network. This will give employees access to a high-speed database and improve taxpayer assistance.


School administrators in Columbus will present a proposal to the Board of Education for the largest computer acquisition in the district. The plan includes leasing 5,000 computers this year, and up to 10,000 more in 1999. The Columbus Dispatch


Oklahoma State University now offers courses toward a master's degree in science and technology management via two-way television, videotape and the Internet.


The Bureau of Licenses in Portland was unable to cash hundreds of checks from local businesses because of a computer glitch. The bureau was able to manually process checks over $1,000, but other checks that came in by the April 15 tax deadline were not cashed for months. The bureau collects $85 million per year in business taxes. An official told Newsbytes that they are finally caught up.


Pennsylvania ranks fourth in a new study released by the Progress & Freedom Foundation that examines how state governments
are using digital technologies to improve operations. Last year, Pennsylvania was ranked 31st overall.

Rhode Island

City departments in Providence can now post bids for new equipment and projects online on the new "Invitation to Bid" site .

South Carolina

South Carolina Education TV received a $3.5 million grant to complete the network of distance-education learning centers around the state.

South Dakota

South Dakota is using Cabletron's SmartSwitch 9000 and Spectrum to provide realtime government information -- legislative voting, bill amendments and current issues -- via the Web.


Tennessee redesigned its Web site . A new banner page serves as the entrance to the state site, and a topic bar features current state issues and initiatives.


Fort Worth implemented the Fort Worth Business to Business Information System (BBIS), an Internet-based service that allows businesses owned by minorities and women to market their services to each other for free. BBIS is accessible at or the Fort Worth home page .


The University of Utah installed Periphonics Interactive Voice Response, which allows students to register for classes, access grades or obtain general class information via telephone.


Three vocational centers -- The Technical Center in Springfield, a joint proposal of the Burlington and Essex technical centers, and the Randolph Area Vocational Center -- were awarded $150,000 each to improve academic quality. These centers are considered "one-stop shopping" education facilities that prepare students for jobs and for college.


The Virginia State Police selected NEC Technologies to upgrade its core automated fingerprint identification system. The $3.5 million upgrade will streamline operations, improve database searches and allow future enhancements.


Snohomish County now has a division to tackle Y2K. The new division will be housed under the Information Services Department and will inventory, evaluate and replace affected software. County News

West Virginia

The Historic Preservation Office's Cultural Resource Survey received a $64,000 grant to input all statewide cultural resources in a computer program linked to the Division of Highways.


The state received $300,000 from the federal government for new equipment and to train investigators in catching people who use the Internet to distribute child pornography.

The state selected the Titan Corp. to provide Y2K services for all its computer systems.


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