The 50 States

The 50 States

A GCN/State & Local Exclusive

What's up in your agency? For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2145 or e-mail [email protected] For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail [email protected].

By Claire E. House and Trudy Walsh

GCN Staff


IN TOUCH. Jefferson County's Express Lane touch-screen kiosk system taps the county's JeffCo InTouch Web site to let citizens renew vehicle registrations and check other county information.

Jefferson County, Ala., residents can renew vehicle registrations and get nformation about other county services at kiosks.

The kiosks, from Openshaw Media Group Inc. of Birmingham, use Openshaw's OpenAccess Solutions software to deliver the county Web site, at www., to the kiosks. The site runs from a county server hosting Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0 under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.


BALANCING ACT. Gov. Tony Knowles recently asked Alaskans for help through his Web site, at Knowles posted a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel 95 and 97 that residents can download to try to balance the state's budget.

Knowles invited Alaskans to 'take the driver's seat. Juggle the numbers and send your comments and suggestions to me' at a dedicated e-mail address: [email protected]


BOOSTER SHOT. The Tucson Unified School District recently deployed McAfee Total Virus Defense software across the school district's network. School officials will deploy 12,000 nodes of the antivirus software on desktop PCs and servers.

The software will help school officials distribute virus updates quickly to all 113 district schools. With a student population of 63,000, the district has one PC for every five students.


JUST THE FACTS. Arkansas' Year 2000 Project Office found a way to dispel rumors and spread accurate information about the approach of the year 2000 through its Web site, at

The site provides links to late-breaking year 2000 stories and federal resources.

The site has been receiving about 200 visits a week since April, project manager Art Paschke said.


FLEET STREET. The California Highway Patrol recently adopted FleetAnywhere fleet management software from Peregrine Systems Inc. of San Diego. CHP officials will use the software to track and manage maintenance, repairs and warranties for the Highway Patrol's fleet of 4,500 cars, vans and motorcycles. FleetAnywhere will access an Oracle8 database on a Unix server. Users will access the software through a Windows 98 or NT interface.

The FleetAnywhere system should be up and running by March.


IT SCHOLARSHIP. The Mile High Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals recently created an endowment fund to honor Columbine High School technology and business instructor Dave Sanders, who was killed during the school shooting on April 20. Besides his teaching duties, Sanders ran the computer lab at the school.

The Dave Sanders Memorial IT Scholarship Fund will provide money for books and tuition to Columbine graduates who major in technology and will give grants to Jefferson County high school teachers to pursue advanced studies in technology.

For more information on the fund, visit the AITP Web site, at


ON THE ROAD. The state's Information Technology Department has accepted bids for a fleet management and inventory system for the Administrative Services Department. The system will replace the current mainframe system with one running under Windows 95 or NT.

The system will support data related to accounting, purchasing, vehicle assignment, vehicle maintenance, accident tracking, reservations and employee tracking.


GREAT TIMING. The state Superior Court has begun testing the Automated Sentencing Order system, which will give law enforcement officials sentencing data within minutes of a judge's decision.

Through the system, clerks at all state and county courts will enter sentencing information into courtroom PCs, Superior Court administrator Thomas J. Ralston said. Judges then will certify the information online for transmission to systems accessed by prison, probation and parole, legal and police officers.


TITLES TODAY. The state Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department has hired Cylex Systems Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla., to electronically manage automobile titles and related documents for its Motor Vehicles Division.

The setup replaces the state's microfilm unit and its staff of 45 clerks, said Glenn Turner, division chief of staff. Cylex stores documents in an Oracle8 Release 8.04 database that division staff members access through Cylex client software via Web browsers.


E-GOV HANDLERS. The cities of Conyers and Canton have outsourced networking services and Web development and maintenance to VC3 Inc. of Columbia, S.C.

For each city, VC3 first standardized the network infrastructure and connected all agencies, company regional manager Artie Shokoohi said. VC3 is developing Web pages for each city that will soon provide access to municipal information and by year's end will allow transactions such as payment of taxes and traffic citations.


RING OF FIRE. The state Education Department selected Internet security firewall servers and uniform resource locator filtering software from Fujitsu Systems Business of America Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., for the state's primary and secondary public schools.

The department will use Firewall-1 software from Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. of Redwood City, Calif. The software will run on IP 440 and IP 330 servers from Nokia Corp. of Sausalito, Calif., said Brian Bertacini, director of corporate sales for Fujitsu.

Department officials also will provide the schools with Websense URL filtering software from NetPartners Internet Solutions Inc. of San Diego.


MEDICAID MIGRATION. The state Health and Welfare Department recently upgraded its Medicaid Management Information System operating system to SunSoft Solaris 2.6.

The $14 million information system, which processed 4.7 million Medicaid claims last year, runs on a Sun Microsystems Ultra Enterprise 4000 production server. MMIS has been
up and running for 18 months, said Paul Combs, Medicaid automated systems manager.


SCHOOL NET. The General Assembly in May unanimously approved legislation to create the Illinois Century Network. The $25 million network will link and expand data, voice and video communications among schools and libraries.

Project funding will come from the fiscal 2000 budgets of the state boards of Higher Education and Education. The state's Central Management Services Department will work with the education community to integrate the network with state systems.


BEEP BEEP. The state Transportation Department is building the high-tech Gary Traffic Management Center, which will let traffic managers monitor traffic conditions in real time.

Center workers will share traffic information with transportation officials and motorists via highway advisory radio stations, dynamic message boards, pagers and the Internet. The center is slated to be up and running by next fall.


EPOWER PILOT. The state Transportation Department recently selected ePower change management software from Universal Systems Inc. of Chantilly, Va., to automate its material safety data sheets in a pilot program. Required by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the data sheets are shipped with any potentially hazardous materials.

Department officials are scanning the 600 or so data sheets on a monochrome scanner from Fujitsu America Inc. of San Jose, Calif. The M3097E+/G+ scanner has 200- to 400-dot-per-inch resolution. The ePower software will run on a network under NT 4.0 and will access records stored in an Oracle8 database. Transportation employees will be able to view the data sheets via the Internet, said Sara Flanagan, project manager for the Electronic Records Management System.


WAN IN A MILLION. More than 40,000 e-mail messages a day travel over KANWAN, the state's WAN. The network staff recently adopted EcoScope Version 4.0 from CompuWare Corp. of Farmington Hills, Mich., for trouble-shooting network applications.

Network planning manager Dave Timpany said he uses EcoScope for network traffic analysis. The KANWAN team runs the software under Win9x and NT.


TIP-TOP FORMS. The state's Division of Printing and the Forms Committee of Empower Kentucky, a state project to re-engineer business processes, have begun a forms management pilot to ease and promote the use of electronic forms throughout the government.

The division uses OneForm software from Amgraf Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., to develop e-forms for agency use. Internet forms are next on the pilot's agenda, division director Pam Burns said.

You can learn more about the program via the Web, at


BIG WAN ON CAMPUS. The Education Department recently awarded a contract valued at $5 million to View Tech Inc.

The Camarillo, Calif., company will design and build an Integrated Services Digital Network WAN to link Louisiana's 28 state college campuses.

The WAN will offer voice, video and data network services to the state's interactive distance-learning program.


CARRY-ALL. State Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit personnel access and enter inspection data via 120-MHz Stylistic 1200 pen tablets from Fujitsu America Inc. of San Jose, Calif. The tablets have 16M of RAM and 1.2G hard drives and run Windows 95 with Pen Services 2.0.

Inspectors now download state data into the tablets via 56-Kbps modems, but they will access the information in real time after the state expands wireless connectivity, said Wayne Gallant, management information systems director for the Public Safety Department.


COVERING BASES. In a May briefing, Gov. Parris Glendening announced several year 2000 initiatives and reported that the state, which is well into the testing phase, will be ready for the new year.

Glendening signed an executive order creating three year 2000 task forces to handle public information and ensure technical preparedness and backup measures. He also announced a toll-free hotline for citizen inquiries.


BANDWIDTH PLAN. The state is taking steps to develop the Massachusetts Community Network, which would bring high-bandwidth data services to schools, universities and state and local governments.

Legislation introduced into the General Court would create a board to oversee and set network policy, establish a network trust fund and add $10 million to the $5 million appropriation already approved, said Ray Campbell, general counsel for the Commonwealth IT Division.


TOUCH CONTROL. The year-old, state-of-the-art Byron Center High School in Grand Rapids has installed distance-learning products from Sony Electronics Inc. of Park Ridge, N.J., and Innovative Communications Inc. of Grand Rapids.

Each of the school's 30 classrooms has at least two TV monitors, two video cameras, an overhead document camera, a VCR and an audio tape deck from Sony, as well as an Internet-connected PC. Innovative Communications' touch-screen Classroom Resource Management System lets students and teachers control the setup.


MASTERING SECURITY. Midwest Systems of St. Paul, Minn., recently won a master contract to deploy several Internet security products, including Sidewinder Internet firewall software from Secure Computing Corp. of Roseville, Minn.

The contract established Midwest Systems as sole vendor of the security software. Minnesota network officials said that the increased network security was motivated in part by the recent Melissa virus outbreak.


TRAUMA UNIT. The state Health Department's Emergency Medical Services Division recently accepted bids for a system to hold data on trauma patients.

At the local level, the system will support processes and record-keeping. At the state level, the division will use the data to identify trends and to support injury prevention programs.


MAPPING MO. Transmap Corp. recently mapped 230 miles of roads in Kansas City. The Columbus, Ohio, company created a digitized inventory of traffic signals, signs and pavement markings for the city Public Works Department.

Transmap officials took pictures of highways with a digital camera from Pulnix America Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., that was mounted on a truck equipped with an Ashtech Model Z12 GPS receiver from Magellan Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., to pinpoint locations. The Transmap team built a geographic information systems database out of the Joint Photographic Experts Group images that was compatible with the MGE GIS database from Intergraph Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., that the city already had, said Kurt Novak, Transmap president.


LIBRARY LINKS. The Gates Learning Foundation, led by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, last month donated $1.6 million to the state's public libraries. The money will be used to set up Internet connections, buy PCs and software, and provide computer training for all 110 Montana libraries.

The foundation has awarded more than $24 million in grants to 1,600 libraries in 29 states.


ROADS SCHOLAR. Engineers with the state Roads Department decided to use the civil engineering software suite from Geopak Corp. of North Miami Beach, Fla., a subsidiary of Bentley Systems Inc. of Exton, Pa., for a 10-mile, $55 million highway reconstruction project between Lincoln and Omaha. Plans include widening Interstate 80 from four to six lanes.

The engineers will begin using the software in the fall for road design and cross-section plotting, said Bill Wehling, computer applications engineer for the Roads Department.

Engineers will run the Geopak suite on standalone TD Series PCs from Intergraph.

The PCs range in speed from 166 MHz to 450 MHz and have 6G hard drives, Wehling said.


MAIN MAN. Litton PRC recently won a contract valued at $18 million to modernize the Las Vegas Police Department's identification system.

The Las Vegas Metro Automated Identification Network will combine fingerprint and mug shot ID systems to identify criminals.

Another piece of the contract is ID authentication for gaming industry employees.

Nevada law requires casino employees to undergo rigorous background checks.

The MAIN system is designed to streamline this process and reduce some of the administrative workload for law enforcement agencies.


SEARCH TOOL. An Office of Business and Industrial Development Web page lets businesses search the Community and Economic Development Web Crawler using a search engine from Mainstream Electronic Information Services Inc. of Merrimack, N.H.

The tool links businesses with development resources and community information so they can research opportunities for expansion or relocation in the state, Mainstream officials said.

The site is posted at


BUILDING BUDGETING. After a May 1997 state Supreme Court ruling found that facilities in 28 of New Jersey's 600 school districts were underfunded, the Education Department turned to a Web system to come up with an investment plan.

The system, from Vanderweil Facility Advisors LLC of Boston, let personnel at more than 400 schools submit facility data through a password-protected Web site, company marketing adviser Peter Cholakis said. The Education Department then used the data to create the investment plan.


HANTAVIRUS HUNTERS. The Epidemiology Office is coping with an increased number of hantavirus cases. As of last month, four people in the state had died of the mouse-borne disease this year, the same number as in all of last year.

The office has upgraded its computing firepower this year to track the disease, which is fatal in almost 45 percent of cases. The office recently upgraded its network to Novell NetWare 5.0 and added several Dell PowerEdge 2300 Pentium II servers, said Richard Manderville, systems analyst supervisor.


TRAIN THYSELF. The New York City Board of Education recently signed a deal of just under $100,000 with Enterprise Training Solutions Inc. of Ardsley, N.Y., for computer-based Microsoft Office training products.

Board employees can choose between a basic course and one that focuses on multimedia project development, company vice president Steve Fried said. The company will distribute the courses via CD and board networks.


EASIER ACCESS. Employees in the state's Human Services, Transportation and Corrections departments and in the Office of State Comptroller and the Employment Security Commission will use software from Systemware Inc. of Dallas to access and manipulate mainframe documents from their PCs.

The company's X/PTR, X/TND and X/NET tools will let PC users index and view mainframe documents and create reports. Users also will be able to use the system to organize documents for workflow setups.


SATURATION POINT. President Clinton declared 34 counties disaster areas this spring after flooding. The North Dakota Emergency Management Agency posts reports about the flood weekly, at to get information about the disaster out to the media and the public, said NDEMA public affairs officer Major Pat Richards.

The site gives the latest information on injuries, crop damage and volunteer citizens groups.


JOB HOOKUP. The state's Bureau of Employment Services' extensive Web site recently added a page with direct links to area employers' job information Web pages.

The page has been so popular with employers that it already needs a redesign to accommodate them, webmaster Joseph Goodwin said. The page is at


PULSE OF TULSA. For 12 years, the city of Tulsa tracked its water, sewer and other Public Works Department data in Computervision software from Parametric Technology Corp. of Bedford, Mass., said Rick Lisenbee, engineering graphics and information systems coordinator for the city. Everything worked fine, Lisenbee said, until Engineering Division officials decided to expand into orthophotographs and terrain models.

Engineering officials decided to migrate to Bentley Systems Inc.'s MicroStation and ModelServer software to integrate the city's public works data.

Tulsa officials will use the Exton, Pa., company's software to integrate data on water, sewers, streets, code enforcement and permits, all of which will be stored in an Oracle8 database, Lisenbee said.

The Bentley products run under Windows NT 4.0, and the Engineering Division had all Sun Microsystems Sparcstations. The division bought new Compaq 450-MHz Pentium PCs with more than 300M of RAM and used the Sun systems as servers.


OPERS OPUS. Complete Business Solutions Inc. recently won a contract valued at $2.25 million from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System.

The Farmington Hills, Minn., company will help design and develop a pension administration system for 146,000 employees and 114,000 retirees.

The client-server system will replace OPERS' outmoded mainframe system and should be completed by June 2000.


BOUND TOGETHER. Four other state governors recently signed an agreement with Gov. Tom Ridge to share information about the year 2000 computer challenge and promote public awareness of the problem within their states.

Joining Ridge were the governors of Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. The proclamation followed a December summit hosted by the Ridge administration and the state Public Utility Commission for utility and telecommunications regulatory officials from nine states.


READY OR NOT? The state late last month closed bids on an Office of Library and Information Services request for proposals for consulting work to evaluate the state's year 2000 contingency plans.

The consultant will review the emergency management, contingency and business redemption procedure plans of state agencies as they relate to infrastructure components, internal systems and external effects.

Rhode Island expects to select a vendor late this month.


SCHOOL'S IN. The state Education Department is beginning a five-year project with National Computer Systems Inc. of Minneapolis to implement a statewide system for data on administration, students, special education, curriculum and facilities.

Through the project, which will cost up to $30 million, the board will be able to combine student data from the state's 86 school districts to measure success and identify trends. Schools will receive computer-based and on-site training through the project.


SMOKE AND MIRRORS. Visitors to the South Dakota Geological Survey earthquake Web page who click on a red dot in a map of the seismically charged state that represents a quake are linked to a zoomed-in area showing the date and magnitude of the temblor.

Intern Christine Breen used what she called visual trickery to create the site. Breen used ArcView 3.1 from Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. of Redlands, Calif., to set up the map. Then she linked the map to a more detailed map in GIF that shows specific information about each earthquake.

You can see what's shaking in South Dakota, at


TORCH BEARER. The Chattanooga Police Department has been ramping up its use of technology since police chief Jimmie Dotson came on board 20 months ago and made it a priority, said Sgt. Brian Bergenback, public information officer.

The department bought 76 PCs this year and is planning to adopt a computer-aided dispatch system, an integrated record management system and a link with a state system that identifies guns and bullets.


DEEP IMPACT. The Texas Library Connection [GCN/State & Local, August 1998, Page 8] recently upgraded its Impact/Online library software from Auto-Graphics Inc. of Pomona, Calif., to include Z39.50 capabilities, the international library standard for online cataloging and searching. The standard is used by organizations such as the Library of Congress and the National Library of Medicine's Medline.

Texas has customized the standard to its needs, said Lee Ireland, Auto-Graphics' marketing vice president.

TLC, launched four years ago, provides online library services from its Web site, at
technology/TLC/, to students in 3,500 Texas schools.


GEEK MAJORS. Utah is one of the few states where there is no shortage of IT majors.

The CyberEducation report recently released by the American Electronics Association revealed that the number of IT degrees awarded dropped 5 percent in the United States in the 1990s.

In Utah, however, the number of IT degrees jumped 16 percent over the same period.


SEQUEL SYSTEM. The state Taxes Department closed bids on July 6 for a request for proposals to design Phase 2 of the state tax system, which runs Advantage Revenue System from American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va.

The first phase implemented the system's business trust tax component, said Linda Bullard, tax information systems director. Phase 2 will encompass personal income tax, corporate income tax, property transfer tax and miscellaneous tax billing.


LAND IN HAND. Fairfax County is testing a system for online subscription access to the county's digital land documents.

The system, designed by Performance Engineering Corp. of Fairfax, Va., holds more than 10 million land record documents dating to 1983 and takes in 1,100 more daily, county project manager Joan Dumas said.

The county stores records as TIFF files in an Oracle8 database and will charge $250 a month for the service. Likely subscribers will include title examiners and other real estate professionals and researchers, Dumas said.


WISH YOU WERE HERE. You don't have to go on vacation to send postcards to your friends and family. You can make your own free postcards of Washington, at

The site lets you choose one of more than a dozen color photos of the Evergreen State's scenery. Then you can preview your postcard and add a personal greeting. The site sends a free e-mail to the recipient that includes a Web link to view the postcard.

The Information Services Department created the site in Microsoft Visual InterDev Web editor.


CITY SCOPE. Through the DC Atlas GIS, District employees can check out maps of wards, streets, enterprise zones, historic preservation districts, census tracts, zoning and land use, as well as locations of schools, fire stations, police stations and hospitals.

The system uses Map Objects Internet Map Server from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif. Users access the maps through the city's intranet, GIS program manager David Seidman said.


TECH TEST. A report evaluating West Virginia's 8-year-old Basic Skills and Computer Education Program found that instructional technology is responsible for up to a third of students' gains on skills achievement tests.

The Milken Family Foundation of Los Angeles report found that technology access, teacher training and supportive attitudes about technology by teachers increased student performance. Visit for more information.


SITE FOR TWO? The state Natural Resources Department's State Parks Division has launched a reservation system for 4,600 campsites in its 42 state parks.

Through the system, from ReserveAmerica of Ballston Spa, N.Y., people can view campsite maps and enter reservations via the Web or over the phone through a ReserveAmerica call center, State Parks marketing manager Kimberly Currie said.

Parks then access the data via the Web. The reservation site is at


SMART CARD CARE. Cheyenne is one of three test areas for the Health Passport Project, a regional pilot program that will provide health care smart cards to parents. The other test areas are Bismarck, N.D., and Reno, Nev. More than 25,000 Health Passports will be issued to track health services ranging from the Women, Infants and Children Program to immunization records.

Each card is equipped with a computer chip that stores information. Health care providers run the cards through a card reader. Each cardholder will be issued a personal identification number.

The program is sponsored by the Western Governors Association, a consortium of governors of 18 states that addresses policy and governance issues. Siemens Information and Communications Networks of Boca Raton, Fla., supplies the cards and card readers.


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