The 50 States

The 50 States<@VM>The 50 States: Montana - Wyoming

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

By Claire E. House and Trudy Walsh

GCN Staff


MANAGED CARE. The Human Services Department has signed a $2 million contract with Complete Business Solutions Inc. to implement a child care program management system.

The CCMS/2000 system will support payment processing, eligibility determination, provider management, resource listings and referrals for recipients who are eligible for child care benefits. The Farmington Hills, Mich., company's contract is for two years.


PARENTAL GUIDANCE. The Division of Family and Youth Services recently debuted its Foster a Future site on the Web, at The site, which provides contact information and frequently asked questions about becoming a foster parent, features animated graphics in Flash Player from Macromedia Inc. of San Francisco.


TALK THE TALX. Phoenix officials awarded a contract valued at $700,000 to Talx Corp. The St. Louis company will provide an intranet site and interactive voice response system for the city's payroll, human resources and benefits programs.

The Erdas OrthoBase window lists Rankin County, Miss., land images ready for orthorectification by vendor GeoGraphix. Erdas Imagine, in background, holds a raw scanned image awaiting interior orientation, the next step in the process.

The Talx system, called Employee Central, works with the human resources management software that the city already uses, from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif. Employee Central captures data that workers enter either through the city's intranet or by telephone. The system stores data in an Oracle7 database.


DOUBLE TROUBLE. Several state residents recently received duplicate unemployment checks because of a computer error, Employment Security Department officials said.

The problem resulted from a printer error, communications officer Stacey Hoover said. 'The print run stopped in the middle, then they ran the whole batch of checks again. The extra checks didn't get voided,' she said.

The department printed the checks on an IBM 3900-D02 advanced function duplex printer that can turn out 300 pages per minute in monochrome at 240-dot-per-inch resolution. Several recipients of the extra checks reported the error to department officials.


SURF SHOP. The General Services Department has introduced a system that notifies businesses via the Web about contract opportunities. The Subscription Outreach Service delivers state contract advertisements to businesses registered with General Services' Office of Small Business Certification and Resources.

'We do the surfing so you don't have to get your feet wet,' said Pete Dufour, spokesman for General Services.

SOS searches hundreds of state construction, service and commodity contract notices on the state's contracts register database, which publishes contract data on the Web.

The service costs $40 for three months, $65 for six months and $95 for a year. Businesses enroll, create profiles and pay for the service over the SOS Web site, at sos_jump.asp.


CLOSING THE GAP. In just a month, Colorado's reinstated background check for firearm permits denied 143 requests that would have been approved by the FBI system.

The state brought back the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's background check in August after having turned the task over to the FBI. The FBI's database lacked most of the 50,000 restraining orders in the state [GCN/State & Local, August, Page 6].

The 143 permit denials occurred between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31. Gov. Bill Owens said he was 'pleased that the state is able to fill a gap that the federal background check system doesn't fill.'


CAR 54 ' ? Intergraph Public Safety of Huntsville, Ala., will develop and install a computer-aided dispatch system for the State Police as part of the statewide radio infrastructure contract held by Motorola Inc.

In addition to dispatching, the system will handle records, field reporting, mobile computing and vehicle location tracking. It replaces a 30-year-old paper system and will roll out gradually to 21 dispatch offices statewide.


STUDENT FOCUS. The Education Department has chosen Pentamation Enterprises Inc. of Bethlehem, Pa., to install a comprehensive pupil accounting system for the state's kindergarten through 12-grade schools.

The system will record student data such as attendance, course enrollments and assessment information, department spokeswoman Robin Taylor said. Replacing various systems, it will let users across the state share data and easily pull information that previously had to be requested separately from each district.


GETTING THE SIGNAL. D.C. Lottery outlets are going wireless. OAO Corp. of Greenbelt, Md., is building a 900-MHz radio network to wirelessly link 580 retail agent sites to the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board headquarters.

Each retail location will receive an antenna that can send and receive signals to and from one of three satellite towers around the city, OAO project director Georgia Bailey said. The terminals and centralized system are from GTech Corp. of West Greenwich, R.I.


SAFETY NET. By posting evidence on a secure Web page, the Largo Police Department is helping protect victims of domestic violence.

Police officers submit photographs, video and written reports to the records department, which digitizes the items and 911-call tape via an SGI O2 Unix workstation running Irix 6.3.

A program that systems administrator Dave Richards wrote categorizes the elements by case number and builds them into a Web page for authorized access. State's attorneys review the information for bail recommendations, and the center contacts victims to offer assistance.


A BIG HIT. With the help of BellSouth Business of Atlanta, DeKalb County in August launched an electronic commerce application for the county's 600,000 residents.

The system's Web site received half a million hits within two weeks of its debut, said Jeanette Rozier, clerk of Superior Court. Users can access deed records and pay property taxes and motor vehicle fees online.

System data resides in an Oracle Corp. database kept by the county. Vendor of Atlanta maintains the application on a Web server at its site.


TAX EVADERS. American Management Systems of Fairfax, Va., recently won a five-year, $50 million contract with Hawaii's Taxation Department. AMS will work on the Integrated Tax Information Management System, a project that will streamline the state's tax administration process. ITIMS will flag individuals and businesses that are underreporting or not filing taxes.

This is a performance-based contract called 'benefits funding.' ITIMS will fund itself through increased tax revenue. AMS will receive payment only after results are achieved and missing tax money is collected.


BLAINE'S GAIN. Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., gave almost $100,000 in software and support to the Blaine County Board of Commissioners. The grant included ESRI's ArcInfo, ArcView and MapObjects packages, plus 18 vendor certificates for planning, zoning and permit tracking.

'We're just thrilled,' commissioner Mary Ann Mix said. The county is starting to work on a geographic information systems project with Sun Valley.


THAT'S THE TICKET. At the Chicago Revenue Department, automation is the name of the game. The city's parking enforcement agents enter violation data into handheld AutoCite computers from Enforcement Technology Inc. of Irvine, Calif., for the 1 million tickets they hand out annually. The agents then download the data into a centralized system each evening.

Meanwhile, the Revenue Department uses ReadSoft from Readsoft AB of Sweden to perform optical character recognition on the 2.5 million parking tickets that Chicago police officers write annually. The system then sends out notices, department director Hugh Murphy said.


VITAL SIGNS. The Marion County Health Department has launched a document management system for the 250,000 vital records and related documents it processes annually. Department users who work with vital records can access the system, and interested parties such as department epidemiologists have view-only rights, administrator Julie Bishop said.

The system, from ManTech Advanced Systems International Inc. of Elkridge, Md., runs OnBase document management software from Hyland Software Inc. of Rocky River, Ohio, for records and data input. The county plans to index about 300,000 microfilmed records with Ascent Capture from Kofax Image Products of Irvine, Calif., Bishop said.


ARMED AND READY. Iowa's systems have been ready for year 2000 since the summer, but Sioux County sheriff Jim Schwiesow is taking no chances. As reported in the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 9, Schwiesow wrote to 450 gun permit holders in the county asking them to be part of a standby law enforcement team in case the year 2000 situation brings a 'complete breakdown of social order.'

From a county systems standpoint, Schwiesow's fears would seem unfounded. Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Judy Plendl said the county systems are 100 percent tested and 2000-ready.


WRAPPED UP. Olathe officials are set for 2000. They finished their year 2000 assessment and remediation work with Formal Systems America Inc. in June. The Cherry Hill, N.J., company used its NXL2000 software tools to remediate the city's Natural code, which runs on an AS/400. Formal Systems' NXL2000 software runs on a Sun Microsystems Enterprise 6000 server.


STOP AND GO. Through terminals that receive satellite data, travelers at Kentucky rest stops stay informed about road and weather conditions.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet sends information on road conditions to Data Transmission Network Corp. of Omaha, Neb., via File Transfer Protocol. The service then adds mapping, weather condition and missing-child information and beams data screens to 27-inch monitors at the rest stops.

Seven dollars and a Web browser are all it takes to get certified copies of marriage certificates in Clark County, Nev. The Marriage Capital of the World Web site, at, lets visitors search through a database of thousands of

The cabinet has tied the service into an intranet so cabinet users can access DTN's weather data, highway operations branch manager Chuck Knowles said.


TAX GUMBO. Scan-Optics Inc. is working with the Revenue Department on a document management contract valued at $4.9 million. The Manchester, Conn., company provided the department with two of its Series 9000T scanners. Each scanner can process 30,000 documents in an hour. Officials are using the scanners with Scan-Optics TaxExpress software to automate the tax process.

Department officials also use Scan-Optics VistaCapture software to capture information on tax returns and send it to the department's mainframe. TaxExpress and VistaCapture run on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 platforms.


SPANNING TIME. Thanks to ThumbsPlus 3.0 from Cerious Software Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., about 50 Bridge Management Systems users can find through their PCs digitized images of hard-filed images and records for the state's 3,565 bridges.

Users call up Joint Photographic Experts Group photo and record images for each bridge through the ThumbsPlus viewer, which works much like that of Microsoft Windows Explorer but shows a thumbprint view of each file image.


ONLINE BARGAIN. Vendors who want to find business opportunities with the state can subscribe to the Office of the Secretary of State's Contracts Weekly Online for $79 a year, which is $46 less than the 5-year-old print version.

More than 350 state buying officers submit procurement needs via the Web in a form developed with Microsoft Visual InterDev, office information technology director Jennifer Whitted said. The system deposits data into a Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 database for vendor access and for use in producing the publication's print version.


A STRONGER HERCULES. Boston is upgrading its VisionBase 880R eight-way server from Hitachi Data Systems Corp., which handles the Web site's nearly 4 million hits per month. The site's Microsoft Active Server Pages handle parking ticket, vehicle excise tax, property tax and animal license payment transactions.

The server, from Hitachi Data Systems Corp., has eight 400-MHz Pentium II Xeons that the city will soon replace with 500-MHz Pentium III Xeons, and it is receiving a motherboard upgrade. Dubbed Hercules by the city, the 880R runs Windows NT 4.0. It connects to the Web and to 25 citywide kiosks linked via asymmetrical digital subscriber line.


NO HACKERS. The State Police's Web-accessible Sex Offender Registry is 'totally hack-proof,' said an official of vendor Datamaxx Applied Technologies Inc. of Tallahassee, Fla.

Data resides in a Unisys Corp. relational database management system on a Unisys A18 mainframe. Users visit the registry's Web page, at, and search for sex offenders by ZIP code. Datamaxx's CyberLinxx Server software transmits the request to the mainframe using the Poll/Select Protocol over the two-wire direct interface.

The mainframe handles the request as if it came from an authorized mainframe terminal, and hackers are blocked because TCP/IP transactions cannot travel over Poll/Select, Datamaxx vice president of R&D Jonathan Waters said.


DULUTH DRAGNET. The Duluth Police Department went online recently, at Sgt. Mike Moyle debuted the site by posting a fictitious incident report, giving the incident location as 'The World Wide Web.'

The site is the brainchild of police chief Scott Lyons. Sgt. Mike Moyle created the site in Hypertext Markup Language 3.2. A frames-aware browser is required to use the site.


ENHANCED 2-D. The Rankin County Tax Assessor's Office wanted to update its parcel mapping data, but 3-D digital orthophotography was out of its budget range, tax assessor Barbara Collier said.

So vendor GeoGraphix Inc. came up with a solution. The Denver company took new aerial photographs and, using a triangulation process in Imagine OrthoBase from Erdas Inc. of Atlanta, matched them with U.S. Geological Survey digital elevation models to make 'pseudo-ortho images' and capture accurate parcel data, photogrammetrist Sally Rochelle said.


ONLINE FILING. The Revenue Department is accepting proposals for a system to let an estimated 80 percent of Missouri citizens file individual income taxes via the Internet next year, at no charge. New residents and those with tax credits will still have to file by paper, tax program coordinator Jerry Wingate said.

The contractor will develop and maintain a Web site to allow either online federal-state filing to the federal government through the contractor or direct filing of Missouri returns to the state. Filers will need to print return copies, signature forms and payment vouchers.

Revenue plans to allow credit card payments by 2001, Wingate said.


WINNING TECHNOLOGY. The State Lottery has installed $400,000 worth of lottery validation terminals from Continuum Technology Corp. of New York, a subsidiary of UniComp Inc. of Marietta, Ga.

Lottery ticket vendors use the terminals, which have a keypad, reader and printer, to print and validate lottery tickets and dial through to the main server. The terminals run Motorola 68331 32-bit processors and have 512K of memory expandable to 1M.


LOTUS POSITION. The State Patrol has loaded Lotus Notes Version 4.6 on desktop and notebook PCs in 29 offices throughout the state, said Suzy Fredrickson, an applications developer with the State Patrol.

Officers and patrol employees use Notes for time sheets, accident reports and evaluations, Fredrickson said.


ELVIS-CHAPEL.COM. A Web browser and $7 are all it takes to get certified marriage certificate copies in Clark County.

The Marriage Capital of the World Web site, at, lets visitors search through a database of thousands of marriages performed in the county, including celebrity weddings such as that of Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra. The Recorder's Office accepts payment for the certificates by credit card over a secured server. The county Web site averages 1 million visits each month.


GETTING INPHORMED. The Health Department early this month rolled out the Integrated Network for Public Health Official Records Management project. The department had awarded a contract valued at $750,000 to DynCorp Management Resources, a subsidiary of DynCorp. The Reston, Va., company provided the department with project management services for INPHORM.

INPHORM provides 800 public health employees with data on billing, client records and scheduling over a secure LAN. Workers access INPHORM under Windows 95 or NT using a password.


HEAD OF THE CLASS. Amid a state teacher shortage, the state arm of the National Education Association in August launched New Hampshire's first consolidated resource for educational job posting and hunting, at

NEA-New Hampshire communications coordinator Carol Carstarphen checks job postings transmitted online to head off pranksters. NorthEast Internet Publishing of Portsmouth developed the site using ColdFusion 4.0 from Allaire Corp. of Cambridge, Mass., and HotMetal from SoftQuad Software Inc. of Toronto.


LINKING UP. One Ease E-Link, the state's integrated social services system initiative, will use the Factors/SA and HelpWorks software suite from Peter Martin Associates of Chicago to handle shared case management and benefits eligibility screening.

As a one-stop shop for citizens, the system ties together state and local agencies, nonprofit associations and businesses providing social services [GCN/State & Local, November 1998, Page 12]. Local Design Solutions Inc. of Morristown, N.J., designed the system and, along with an alliance of Sun Microsystems Inc. and America Online Inc., built it in Netscape Directory Server from Netscape Communications Corp.


FILL 'ER UP. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's New York City Transit agency has awarded Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. of San Diego a $17.8 million contract to build MetroCard refill machines to complement the larger MetroCard vending machines now in use.

The new machines will add value to existing MetroCards. They will accept only credit and debit cards, which riders use for more than half of MetroCard purchases. NYCT plans to have 1,000 running by next fall, out of a total of 2,594 ticketing machines.


SUPREME FILING. Attorneys can now send briefs, petitions and motions to the state Supreme Court via the Internet over a system from IBM Corp.

Authorized attorneys access the system at, appellate court information systems director Bob Northrup said. They then convert the word processor-originated documents into Portable Document Format files and submit them over the Net. The public can check out these and other scanned court records at the site.

Documents reside in a Lotus Notes Release 5 database running on an IBM RS/6000 under AIX. IBM is developing a driver that would print the documents as Adobe PostScript files and upload them automatically, Northrup said.


PUBLIC ENEMIES. Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp has been mulling over posting a list of sex offenders on the state's Web site. The official sex offender registration list, however, is not a public document and won't be on the Web anytime soon, said Bob Helten, manager of the information services section in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

But Heitkamp was discussing posting the larger, nonregistered list, which includes people who may not be officially registered because they have not been found or are in the prison system, Helten said. A roadblock to posting the list is the need to update it daily so the public would receive complete, accurate information, he said.


SERVER POD. The state's research community will be able to expand its computing power via an SGI 128-processor Linux cluster housed at the Ohio Supercomputer Center. Users will access the Beowulf cluster through the center's OARnet regional communications network.

The South Dakota State Fair hosts a virtual postcard feature at

The system will run the SGI Linux Environment with Red Hat Linux 6.0 on 32 SGI 1400L servers. Each server will have four 500-MHz Pentium III Xeon chips, 2G of RAM and a 9G hard drive. The center plans to bring the cluster live around Thanksgiving.


FIRST FINALIST. Oklahoma's First-response Information Resource System Using Telecommunications (OK-FIRST) Project recently was named a finalist in the Innovations in American Government Awards. Sponsored by the Ford Foundation and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the program gives $20,000 grants to 25 innovative public programs.

Developed by Oklahoma Climatological Survey analysts, OK-FIRST gives local emergency workers immediate access to weather information. Using 32 multimedia Gateway Pentium PCs, OK-FIRST links to OneNet, the Sooner State's high-speed voice, video and data network, and redistributes data from the federal government's network of Doppler weather radar (GCN/State & Local, June 1998, Page 8). The result is real-time access to weather data for emergency management, fire and police officials.


SPRUCED UP. The Human Resources Department's Senior and Disabled Services Division recently upgraded its Windows 3.11 operating system to NT 4.0. Tangent Computer of Burlingame, Calif., installed new video cards, sound cards, CD-ROM drives, extra RAM and 17-inch monitors in the division's existing PCs.

The division already had 200- and 300-MHz Pentium PCs, so officials decided to upgrade what they had, said Jan Greenwell, technical support manager for the Office of Information Services.


AUTO INOCULATOR. The state is rolling out Total Virus Defense to all 45,000 of its desktop PCs. The antivirus suite, from Network Associates Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., consists of VirusScan detection and cleaning, and GroupShield for Microsoft Exchange server protection.

The company will also provide telephone support and regular Web updates for administrators.


WELFARE INROADS. The Administration Department has awarded a $5.25 million contract to Network Six Inc. of Warwick, R.I., to support the state's InRHODES computer system. The one-year contract could be extended up to three years.

InRHODES holds data for the child support enforcement program and various public assistance programs, such as Food Stamps and Medicaid eligibility. Users at the Human Services and Administration departments, as well as the Division of Taxation's Child Support Enforcement group, tap the system.


BACKGROUND CHECK. Citizens can verify state licensee data through the Labor, Licensing and Regulation Department's Web site, at

Two or three times a week, LLR's manager of information services, Jerry Brown, runs a program written in Microsoft Visual FoxPro to extract data from the 39 boards' databases. He then posts licensee data for the 15 participating boards in an SQL Server 7.0 database on the Web server.

The project is still in the pilot stage as LLR develops a policy on what data about licensees it will disclose, Brown said. The department plans to consolidate all board data.


CYBERFAIR. There was no need to feel blue if you couldn't make it to the State Fair in Huron. The fair had a virtual midway of a Web site, at Surfers could send postcards to their friends, see Willie Nelson on one of two live Web cams and check out the results of the 4-H Club's rabbit judging contest. The fair ran from Aug. 31 through Sept. 6.


INTRANET LINK. The Shelby County Board of County Commissioners has begun going paperless. CIMS Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., tied a document management system into the county intranet for Web browser access by board members scattered around town.

Board staff members use DocuPact from InterTech Information Management Inc. of Atlanta to scan and index legislative agendas, minutes and other documents into the system. The county also is scanning all legislative documents dating to 1986. Shelby plans to add workflow capabilities, said Greg Lord, business analyst for the IT Department.


SPENDING TO SAVE. The General Services Commission recently awarded a five-year contract valued at $250 million to AT&T Corp. The telecommunications company will build and manage the backbone network for TEX-AN 2000, a statewide communications network.

AT&T Solutions will design, build and operate the TEX-AN 2000 backbone network, which will provide voice, video, data and Internet services over a hybrid asynchronous transfer mode and frame relay data network to 250 state agencies and 4,500 other sites, including cities and school districts. Some analysts estimate TEX-AN 2000 could result in annual savings of $10 million to $16 million.


LAST MILE. Gov. Mike Leavitt last month announced a plan that would let the state trade ribbons of land along its 870 miles of interstate highway'the so-called right-of-way strips'for telecommunications services such as fiber-optic cable.

It won't cost taxpayers. The tab would be paid by telecommunications companies. Telecom providers could still have the option of buying or leasing privately owned rights-of-way.

Officials said the plan will help create opportunities for delivery of broadband data services to the last mile.


COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT. West Hill Energy and Computing Inc. of Chelsea, Vt., has inked a contract with the Public Service Department to upgrade the Consumer Affairs Tracking System. West Hill initially developed the system in the mid-90s using CA-Clipper from Computer Associates International Inc.

Public Service employees receive comments, complaints and information requests from citizens. They file and track the inquiries on the system, which runs under Windows and holds data in dBase-formatted files. The system will generate reminders, track metacases and let users access an electronic policy library, West Hill president Al Bartsch said.


GREEN MACHINE. Gov. James S. Gilmore III announced in August that the Environmental Quality Department will receive a $500,000 grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to streamline environmental reporting and make it accessible via the Internet.

Through the One Stop Reporting Program, environmental-permit holders will submit data electronically to a centralized database within EQD. EPA and the public will then have one place to go for information about permits, environmental monitoring and hazardous chemicals.


NO PUFFERY. The Health Department last month launched a smoking-prevention Web site, at The site includes material on topics such as 'Helping You Quit' and 'If Your Child Smokes,' plus a narrative account of a parent's death from smoking-related emphysema. 'Our whole goal is to keep it interesting and fresh,' said Lisa Lafond, a tobacco prevention specialist.


SENIORITY SYSTEM. Through its Senior Initiative, Microsoft Corp. has donated $125,000 in hardware, software, curriculum and consulting to help West Virginia's senior citizens become technology users.

The Bureau of Senior Services will oversee the program, and the Marshall Technology Institute will administer the initial training phase. The grant includes 40 Dell Computer Corp. PCs running Windows 98. Within its first year, the program is expected to help about 2,000 seniors learn how to use computers.


MAKING HISTORY. The State Historical Society of Wisconsin is automating its circulation-holdings data and tying it in to the University of Wisconsin library system with the help of Voyager software from Endeavor Information Systems Inc. of Des Plaines, Ill.

People can peruse the society's holdings via the Web, and registered users can check out their account status and renew materials online, circulation librarian Laura Hemming said. The society spent more than two years creating records for the most-circulated parts of its collection, and it adds nonrecorded holdings as they are checked out.


THE LAST PAYDAY. The Auditor's Office will run the last payroll of this year two or three days early so that 8,500 state employees will be sure to get their paychecks on time.

The state recently spent $2 million on a new payroll and human resources system and worked with American Management Systems to ensure its readiness for year 2000. The new system runs on an enterprise server with a front-end graphical user interface component.

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