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Mapping government IT

by / September 3, 2003
In Murphysboro, Ill., Southern Illinois University students, historians and environmentalists are using ground-penetrating radar to find forgotten graves at the Bostick Cemetery. This is all that remains of a large black settlement -- many of whom were slaves and Civil War veterans -- that formed shortly after the Civil War. -- USA Today

Hawaii created a second cyber-crimes task force in June in response to rising fraud and identity theft on Oahu. The task force will likely include members from federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as state department and diplomatic security agencies. Hawaii was second to Washington, D.C., in per-capita computer fraud complaints last year. The force will handle complaints and collect data on cyber-crimes. -- The Honolulu Advertiser

A Minnesota fisherman caught a lake trout and discovered a finger-sized computer in its belly. He returned the miniature computer to the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. Scientists recovered 19 months of data from the computer, which recorded water depth and temperature every 15 seconds since the commission implanted it in 2001. It will tell researchers what kind of habitat lake trout favor. -- Duluth News Tribune

For the first time, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality planned to use DNA tests during the summer to help determine the cause of high bacteria levels in Johnson Lake. Tests showed too much bacteria last year. -- KLIQ News

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Ore., received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to bring high-speed Internet access to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. The nearly $700,000 grant also will help pay for a community center with computer stations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association are investigating options for a computerized animal ID to help ensure the integrity of the state's animal industry. Options include implanting microchips and taking retinal scans. Along with identifying animals, the devices can help track the animal and how it is fed. The voluntary program could be in place within nine to 15 months.

The Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., is considering using bar codes and radio-frequency wristbands to track patients through the emergency room system. The average emergency room visit at the center lasts 8 hours. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gave the hospital $275,000 to study how to expedite the process. -- The Commercial Appeal/

Two all-terrain wheelchairs, equipped with polyurethane balloon tires, now allow disabled visitors better access to the oceanfront at Virginia Beach, Va., for free. City officials began a pilot program allowing disabled visitors to borrow the chairs for up to half a day, or longer if no one else is waiting to use them. -- USA Today

Students at Bluefield State College in West Virginia won an international robotics competition and a $70,000 development grant from the U.S. Air Force. Bluefield's robot, Vasilius, uses stereoscopic vision, differential GPS and various sensors to decide where to track moving objects and navigate courses while avoiding objects in its path. The military is developing robots to defend against chemical and biological weapons.

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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