National Technology Snapshot

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

by / July 31, 1998

Gov. Fob James announced that the Alabama Emergency Management Agency will administer more than $282,000 in funding to assist local communities across the state in purchasing high-tech emergency outdoor warning systems, which can give residents adequate warning of tornadoes and other dangerous weather conditions.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working with Silicon Graphics and the state to install a four-way Origin2000 data server on a shipboard network that will receive data on the uncharted portions of Alaska's coastline.


Gov. Jane Hull helped deliver 40 Motorola computers and educational software to children at Granada Primary and Granada East schools in west Phoenix. The computers were donated by Motorola Computer Group, MicroAge and Jostens Learning.


More than 2,050 public schools, universities and state offices are experiencing faster Internet access and data transfers this month as a result of a new, statewide contract awarded to Southwestern Bell Internet Services.


The city of Riverside is using Laserfiche Document Imaging to scan records from the city clerk's office, the Planning Department and the Department of Public Works. The installation followed a decision by the city to outsource municipal information services to Business Records Corp.


The Broomfield Police Department is equipping 20 of its vehicles with Premier MDT, which automatically reads vital information to officers through built-in speakers in a PC or patrol car. The police department also recently contracted with SCA to provide a mobile data communication system.


Rock Regan, the state's chief information officer, said the state will save approximately $500,000 annually as the Department of Information Technology and other state agencies take advantage of deregulation and the increasingly competitive telecommunications market.


The state is working with Paradigm4 to streamline the background checks on criminal suspects. Paradigm4 will provide the state with a criminal justice information system central repository, message switch and Web server.


Broward County is working with Unisys to implement a integrated justice information system. The project consists of an integrated court-case management system, an integrated jail-management system and a data-exchange system that will allow information to be shared between the circuit court, clerk of courts, and the Broward County Sheriff's Office and jail.


Oglethorpe County Middle School recently launched a program that allows students to get hands-on experience with modern technology. The technology lab is part of a standard program that introduces students to radio and television production, computer-aided design and desktop publishing.


The University of Hawaii is working with Silicon Graphics to provide a 16-processor Origin2000 supercomputer and an Origin200 server for the university's new environmental project. The Origin system will improve the interpretation of weather patterns along the Pacific Rim.


Gov. Phil Batt announced a major gift to the Western Governors' University from AT&T. The $500,000 grant will help build the online-education project.


The Department of Transportation recently enhanced its Web site. The new site features expanded services and links to weather and travel information.


The state began a long-awaited project to replace its outdated public-safety voice radio communications network. The new, highly integrated system will replace numerous independent systems that have seriously deteriorated since they were first installed -- some more than 25 years ago.


The city of Manning is working with Pioneer Holdings LLC to provide communication services to the city. Pioneer will provide local and long-distance services, high-speed Internet access and security monitoring to the city.


Four local school district superintendents made a presentation to the State Board of Education on the disparity among local school districts in Kansas and the ability with which they can offer quality educational experiences using instructional technology.


The commonwealth's Student Technology Leadership Program received the Five-Year Achievement Award from Compaq at the statewide Kentucky Education Technology Conference. The award was presented in recognition of Kentucky's long-term dedication to the promotion of student technology leadership.


A $3.5 million grant awarded by the Gates Library Foundation will give every Louisiana resident the chance to surf the Internet at a public library. Louisiana is one of only six states to be part of the Statewide Library Partnership Grant. The program provides funds, technical assistance and training to public libraries across the state.


Maine's Legislature enacted LD 1725, an act to authorize the governing bodies of school administrative units and applied technology regions to enter into multi-year, interlocal agreements to purchase customer premise technology equipment.


State School Superintendent Nancy Grasmick and Department of General Services Secretary Gene Lynch organized the delivery of 225 computers and related equipment and over 50,000 pieces of software to Waverly Elementary School in Baltimore City. The donated hardware and software will be made available to schools and community organizations in the city in a public/private partnership called Operation Reboot.


The commonwealth Attorney General's Office reached a significant technological milestone recently with the successful migration of its case-management system from a Wang system to a network environment. The new system will be more efficient and user-friendly.


The state established the nation's first on-site Year 2000 Software Factory. The factory is designed to quickly and efficiently address the year-2000 conversion requirements across the state's agencies.


The state is building a data distribution node to allow the Department of Transportation and traffic management agencies in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Hennepin County to automatically share realtime, traffic-related information. Orion Oracle


The Yazoo Mississippi Delta (YMD) Joint Water Management District has purchased ER Mapper to meet its image processing and mapping needs. ER Mapper will help YMD and the region's farmers to conserve water, increase crop output and preserve the environment.


Gov. Mel Carnahan presented the Governor's Technology Award to DST Systems of Kansas City. Gov. Carnahan noted DST's rise to become the largest provider of automated record keeping and accounting for mutual-fund companies in the country.


A group of Billings Public School educators received a grant from the Montana GIS Users' Group to develop a K-12 curriculum to bring GIS into the classroom and tie it to existing statewide curriculum. The educators are now pursuing a proposal to plot the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Montana GIS News


Gov. Ben Nelson announced he appointed Henry (Hod) Kosman of Scottsbluff to serve on the newly created Nebraska Information Technology Commission. The commission will focus on realizing and creating the most value from public and private investment in information technology.


The state Department of Personnel just launched a Web page. The site contains information on how to apply for a state job.

New Hampshire

Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and the Public Utilities Commission plan to hold a series of public forums about telecommunications in New Hampshire, with an eye toward planning for the future of telecommunications technology in the state.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is working with MFS Network Technologies on an E-Z Pass electronic toll-collections system for 700 lanes. The agreement covers installing and maintaining the system's 400-mile fiber-optic backbone for 20 years.

New Mexico

The city of Santa Fe is working with Media Entertainment on a wireless Internet service. The new service will include traditional Internet access minus the telephone lines. Santa Fe is the first small city targeted for the service.

New York

The state Office for Technology recently announced plans for data-center consolidation. The plans call for bringing together 24 state-agency data centers into one data center within three years. Open Forum

North Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Institute for Academic Technology is working on a new international cooperative effort involving metadata. The project will aim to accurately and thoroughly label information posted on the Internet so that users can find it easier and faster.

North Dakota

A new telecommunications tax law is causing confusion in the state. Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh said there are so many questions about the new law that the state Legislature needs to revisit the issue when it returns next year. The biggest legal question is whether the new state tax can be assessed against companies providing access to the Internet.


An initiative of the Ohio Business Roundtable and the Ohio Department of Education recently documented that only one in 14 Ohio high-school seniors is prepared to perform most skilled entry-level jobs. The study also found that, among various skill areas, applied technology and locating information were the lowest ranking.


Gov. Frank Keating recently signed HB 2863, a bill that now allows universities and colleges in the state and their faculty members to profit from research. "Now Oklahoma's best and brightest professors and faculties from our universities can share technology with Oklahoma's private-sector businesses," said Keating.


The Portland Police Department joined with a communications firm and a residents' patrol to establish a Cellular Watch Citizens Patrol program. The program has improved communications between and among community members, fostered community cohesion, and improved crime prevention at the local level. Nation's Cities Weekly


The Penn Hills Police Department rolled out a powerful mobile technology that provides local law enforcement with an opportunity to improve officer and public safety. The system will provide multi-county coverage and enable law enforcement officials to access
information faster while operating in the field.

Rhode Island

The Department of Education recalled its guidelines for the Incentive Fund for Excellence in Technology because the fiscal year 1999 budget did not include funding for the program.

South Carolina

Residents in Aiken can now apply for a new business license on the city's home page. All reviews of applications are e-mailed to the proper city department, which gives approvals, notes restrictions and then e-mails them back to the license department.

South Dakota

Gov. Bill Janklow recently announced the names of the 58 state-university faculty who will receive the Awards for Teaching with Technology. The awards are designed to help South Dakota public-university faculty develop skills in using computer technology in their classroom instruction.


The state is using Finalist software from LPC to process mail for state agencies. The state also consolidated all of its outgoing mail processing, saving taxpayers $2 million annually.


Harris County is working with Bi-Tech Software on a financial accounting system and payroll/ human resource system with an integrated fund-accounting system.


Gov. Mike Leavitt recently joined leaders from hospitals, police departments, banks, governments and other entities to announce the Governor's Coalition for Year 2000 Preparedness. The coalition will seek broad participation of groups whose computer systems are important in delivering and maintaining public services and information.


A Bennington tech center director is suing the area school board and superintendent for not renewing her contract because, she says, she was critical when testifying before a House committee. Mary Beth Moore testified that she was "frustrated" with the way her department was being constrained and that she wanted the state to implement a pilot project to improve technical centers around the state.


The Richmond Metropolitan Authority is working with MFS Transportation Systems to implement an electronic toll-collection system called Smart Tag. The project includes computers and communications upgrades.


Residents of King County can find bus and ferry schedules, as well as realtime traffic information, with ObjectSoft's new kiosks. The county is installing eight such kiosks in various areas of the county.

West Virginia

Gov. Cecil Underwood, the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority recently announced distance-learning awards of $173,695 for 25 sites. The schools will use the grants to provide classes in advanced placement, foreign language, math, science and elementary content.


Gov. Tommy Thompson announced that Cisco Systems has chosen the state as the newest place to set up one of its Networking Academies. Cisco is donating equipment, curriculum and training valued at $18 million to Wisconsin's technical colleges and the University of Wisconsin-Stout.


Gov. Jim Geringer and Superintendent of Public Schools Judy Catchpole signed legislation approving funding for US West !nterprise Networking to design, construct and manage a multimillion-dollar statewide, high-speed data network that will connect all Wyoming public schools to the Internet and an education-focused, statewide intranet.

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