National Technology Snapshot

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

by / September 30, 1997
Huntsville uses ISDN and Sensormatic Electronics Corp's Robot HyperScan long-distance picture transmission system to keep an eye on 44 schools from a central monitoring station. The system has aided school security officers in confiscating weapons and capturing burglaries and fights on video.

An E-Rate Implementation Working Group is putting together recommendations for the federally required approval of technology plans as part of the E-rate (education rate) application process.

The Department of Transportation is investing over $20 million in technology to improve the safety and convenience of traveling in northern Arizona. Using an intelligent transportation system, the state will make information about road closures and weather available through traveler information kiosks and the Internet.

The state is now using the services of Midwest Payment Systems to provide electronic benefits transfer services to its residents.

The Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency is using a new application that provides remote access to a digital warehouse of maps and city data. "Virtual City" was developed in conjunction with Internet consultants from the Dames & Moore Group.

The state implemented the Bid Information and Distribution System, an Internet-based service that opens bidding information to any business interested in selling goods and services to state agencies.

The state is working with EDS, Unisys and Xerox, in response to Gov. Rowland's initiative, to bring the state's computer systems into the 21st century.

The state added an "elected officials contact list" to their Web page. The list includes e-mail addresses for most elected officials.

The county of Hillsborough contracted with SCT Government Systems for the full complement of BANNER Courts System software products, project management and systems integration services.

The Atlanta Bureau of Management Information Systems installed a UNISearch System from Com Squared Systems Inc., which allows Atlanta police to access records quickly and easily.

The city and county of Hawaii recently re-instituted its realtime, closed-captioning program for all of its televised council and committee hearings. The program allows access to the county's proceedings to 75,000 hearing-impaired citizens. County News

A law introduced by State Treasurer Lydia Justice Edwards has passed, mandating that fee payments of $100,000 or more be sent by automated clearinghouse. This law expanded the 1989 law, for the electronic payment of taxes, to include fees.

NAST Review.

The Comptroller's Office recently implemented the Statewide Accounting Management System in conjunction with American Management Systems. SAMS makes Illinois one of the first states to implement a fully, year-2000 compliant financial management system.

Indianapolis is working with ESRI and UGC Consulting to help improve the city's return on its GIS investment. The project will result in the rapid deployment of ESRI technology onto the desktops of employees city- and countywide. ESRI ARC News.

The Department of Transportation, in cooperation with American Management Systems, has implemented the first phase of a system to improve permit issuance for oversize vehicles in the state. The system, called EZPermit, will enable the state to electronically issue more than 75,000 permits for over-dimension loads to commercial motor carriers every year.

The state Bureau of Investigation selected Printrak International Inc. for its next generation automated fingerprint identification system technology.

The state police selected Printrak International Inc. to provide an enhanced version of its automatic fingerprint identification system. The enhanced version is able to run unattended because it does not require operators to manually live-scan tenprint entries.

The state is developing processing interfaces for the implementation of Midwest Payment Systems' electronic benefits transfer services.

Maine was one of 10 states to adopt new wireless E-911 laws. The state will also include immunity provisions to ensure that wireless carriers are not held liable when a call is mishandled.

Harford County is using LaserFiche optical character recognition software to keep track of criminals and store mug shots.

The commonwealth is conducting a pilot program with GTE CyberTrust Solutions Inc. to enable state financial institutions to securely post interest rate updates via the Internet.

The Department of Management and Budget completed an assessment of how the state should deal with year-2000 issues as they relate to the state's computer systems. State departments and agencies will now use these assessments to finalize detailed plans for fixing their systems.

The Department of Transportation contracted with Lockheed Martin Federal Systems Inc. to help build an intelligent transportation system.

The Department of Transportation is working with HELP Inc. to install PrePass, an electronic weigh station bypass service, in its Orange Grove inspection station.

Gov. Mel Carnahan announced that six communities will join Missouri Express, an information network designed to give Missouri communities Internet access.

The legislature passed a law creating funding mechanisms to pay for wireless enhanced 9-1-1, which allows a wireless caller's 10-digit phone number and location to appear on an emergency dispatcher's computer screen.

The Department of Labor is simplifying and expediting the process for benefits payment by installing an Interactive Voice Response system from Periphonics.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority launched a Web site that will serve as an online resource for both business and leisure travelers, convention planners and travel agents.

New Hampshire
State schools can apply for $950,000 in new federal money this year to buy computers, improve teachers' training in computer technology and help student learning under the state's Technology Literacy Challenge grant. The Boston Globe.

New Jersey
Monmouth County selected PlanGraphics Inc. to provide quality assurance and quality control services in support of their county GIS land base development project.

New Mexico
The state Treasurer's Office implemented a new automated accounting system that allows for rapid calculation and distribution of interest. Employees are able to get online, realtime access to accurate financial information to measure the growing needs of the state.

New York
The New York State Police and the state Department of Environmental Conservation's Office of Public Protection were awarded $5.5 million in grants by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The grants will help DEC and the state police purchase laptop computers.

North Carolina
Greensboro is partnering with cellular phone and PCS providers rather than fighting them. The city is selling new tower space on city property or offering co-location of PCS or cellular antennas on city-built towers at reasonable prices. PTI Prism

North Dakota
Helen Schatz, treasurer of Burleigh County and a member of the National Association of Counties' Information Technology Committee, participated in a panel to discuss the future of technology at NACO's annual conference. County News

The Rehabilitation Services Commission awarded Software AG Americas and Digital Equipment Corp. a $3 million contract to provide software and hardware upgrades to the state's vocational rehabilitation services.

The state received a grant from the National Science Foundation to help defray the costs of linking to the Backbone Network Service (vBNS), a network that links the NSF's supercomputer centers and up to 100 universities nationwide. Newsbytes

The Department of Corrections selected Dictaphone's ProLog system -- a digital communications recording system that permits easy identification and retrieval of recorded conversations -- for installation into nine correctional facilities operated by the state.

Beaver County selected PlanGraphics Inc. to conduct a GIS requirements study. The study will result in recommendations to the county about proceeding with system implementation.

Rhode Island
The Administrative Adjudication Court licensed SCT's BANNER application software to support its mission to automate statewide traffic court administration.

South Carolina
Dorchester County licensed additional BANNER software and services from Systems & Computer Technology Corp. for finance, human resources, property tax and court applications.

South Dakota
Gov. Bill Janklow's Technology Academy received an "A" from Pierre teachers Deb Ruen and Karen Froelich. The teachers completed a computer skills workshop and began two weeks of technology/curriculum integration.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission of Nashville-Davidson County selected PlanGraphics Inc. to provide database translation and computer systems integration services.

All Bedford fire emergency vehicles are now equipped with OPTICOM, a new signalization system that allows emergency vehicles to change signal lights along their path to emergencies. IG Newsletter.

Department of Transportation Executive Director Tom Warne challenged an ITS seminar to find creative solutions to transportation problems in Utah. With the imminent construction of light rail, the reconstruction of a major freeway, and the Olympic Games coming in 2002, Salt Lake City has significant challenges ahead, said Warne. ITS America News

Bennington County issued an RFP for a new integrated criminal justice system. The RFP required bidders to assess the current state of technology in use by criminal justice agencies in Bennington County and to make recommendations for hardware, software, telecommunications, etc. that would comprise the new system.

The Newport News School system selected SMAC Data Systems as their exclusive provider of computer systems and information technology services.

Everett-area elementary schools received a wireless local area network that will enable them to have instant access to server-based reference materials while at their desks. The LAN was donated by Intermec Corp.

West Virginia
The state will be impose a monthly surcharge of 75 cents on wireless customers. The surcharge will help fund new E-911 services mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.

Waukesha County Register of Deeds and Planning purchased a Modular GIS Environment suite from Intergraph Corp. The software will allow the county to maintain parcel maps in-house rather than relying on outside agencies and conversion companies.

The Department of Transportation is equipping a third weigh station with the PrePass weigh station bypass service. Using an in-cab transponder, PrePass allows trucks in the state to be weighed electronically.