THE 50 STATES

THE 50 STATES<@VM>THE 50 STATES: MONTANA to WYOMING

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

By Claire E. House and Trudy Walsh
GCN Staff

ALABAMA

TEACHING TEACHERS. The Jasper school system is launching Technology Literate Teacher, a two-year training program, to get its teachers up to speed on technology.

The program will train and test instructors in computer operations, classroom instruction, communication, professional development and productivity. Each category has four levels: basic, intermediate, advanced and trainer.

A committee of teachers and technical staff members determined the skill sets for each category and level.

ALASKA

A REAL CATCH. US West Inc. of Englewood, Colo., and NBTel Global Inc. of Saint John, New Brunswick, recently teamed up on a two-year contract to provide an online licensing system to the Alaska Fish and Game Department. The site, at https://admin.adfg.state.ak.us/licpur.html, lets visitors buy fishing and hunting licenses, plus waterfowl stamps.

It provides security for credit card payments using the Secure Sockets Layer protocol plus VeriSign digital certificates from VeriSign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.

ARIZONA

MINI GSA. MicroAge Technology Services recently won a three-year contract valued at $50 million per year. The Tempe company will provide hardware, software, help desk support, project management and other services to the state's 35,000 employees.






The Bloomington, Ind., Web site uses RealNetworks technology to show live broadcasts of CityCouncil meetings and to provide an archive of past meetings.



Company officials described the contract as a miniature U.S. General Services Administration schedule, 'empowering all state agencies to buy Apple, Compaq, Dell, IBM and other desktop products and servers' and services.

ARKANSAS

AND THE WINNER IS. Arkansas officials presented Electronic Data Systems Corp. with the Arkansas Quality Achievement Award for the company's work on the state's Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS).

The prize is presented to organizations that meet business performance objectives in areas such as patient and provider satisfaction, market knowledge, planning, and process management. The Medical Services Division uses MMIS to process more than 18 million Medicaid claims each year.

CALIFORNIA

DIGITAL DO. VeriSign Inc. recently became the first Certificate Authority for the Golden State.

The company will provide digital certificates to residents so they can conduct secure Internet transactions with the state government.

Bill Jones, California's secretary of state, digitally signed a certificate he presented to VeriSign's president and chief executive officer, Stratton Sclavos, commemorating the first transaction conducted under the state's new digital signature rules.

COLORADO

READY FOR PRIME TIME. Pueblo County has saved more than $900,000 in phone charges during the past five years by replacing its private branch exchange systems with US West's Centrex Prime system.

The company's higher-bandwidth system offers voice, video, image and data connections to the county's offices, including tax assessment, budget and finance, elections, public works, and social services.

CONNECTICUT

COLLEGE CREDIT. The East Haven Police Department was in need of year 2000-ready computers but had a limited budget. So it turned to Gateway Community-Technical College's Office of Business and Industry Services, which serves government, business and community college employees.

The college bought 17 450-MHz Dell OptiPlex PCs, two for use as servers and 15 for tracking crime.

The college also trained the Police Department's network administrator, webmaster and general users'all for less than $100,000, office director John A. Vincze said.

DELAWARE

EVERYONE COUNTS. The Economic Development Office has launched a Web site, at www.state.de.us/dedo/census, to involve Delaware residents in collecting data for Census 2000.

'The census count is the single most important compilation of information the United States has, and we in Delaware must commit to do all that we can to assist in this vital survey,' Gov. Thomas R. Carper said.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

PUPIL PORTAL. Hine Junior High School is piloting the intranet-accessible D.C. Public Schools Education and Youth Services portal. Through the portal, administrators and counselors can access student data such as test scores and attendance records, principal Bennie Adams said.

The system uses Sequoia XML Portal Server software from Sequoia Software Corp. of Columbia, Md., to pull and compile data from multiple databases. FutureNET Solutions Inc. of the district is handling integration, training and support, and i3solutions Inc. of Sterling, Va., is building the portal. The district plans to deploy the portal citywide and ultimately provide access to all teachers, with varying security levels.

FLORIDA

CRUEL IRONY? A Florida Supreme Court justice caused an international stir and a server shutdown when he included gory photos of an electrocution in a dissenting court opinion posted on the court's Web site in October.

'We've posted all our opinions on the Web since 1996, and we do not censor,' public information director Craig Waters said.

The number of hits destroyed the program that tallies them, Waters said. The court upgraded its server as a result. Waters said many of the 1,000-plus e-mail messages he received from the public supported the justice's action, calling it a crime deterrent. But, Waters said, the opinion was pushing for an end to electrocutions in Florida as cruel and unusual punishment.

GEORGIA

CRIME FIGHTERS UNITE. For $17 million, Hitachi Data Systems Corp. will build the Fulton County Comprehensive Justice Information System, a relational database setup that will let County Court officers better manage case workloads.

The countywide system will run Oracle Corp. databases and applications, and Hitachi hardware and storage systems. After the courts, the Police and Sheriff's departments, and the District Attorney's Office are linked, CJIS will minimize redundant data entry, speed up turnaround of information requests and track court operations.

HAWAII

HAWAIIAN EYE. Hawaii officials recently redesigned the Aloha State's Web site, at www.state.hi.us. Gone is a cartoon of Gov. Benjamin Cayetano. Amid a background of yellow hibiscus flowers, the new site features links to agencies, rulings, directories and year 2000 information. The page view fits on a computer screen, so visitors don't have to scroll down for information.

IDAHO

STATEWIDE PORTAL. The Administration Department's Purchasing Division announced its intent last month to award a contract to National Information Consortium Inc. of Overland Park, Kan. NIC will provide the division with an enterprisewide state Internet portal called Access Idaho.

Idaho officials described the contract as budget neutral, which means the company will make its profits from selling services to vendors and the contract won't cost the state anything. NIC officials said they might have the project online by next month.

ILLINOIS

OPEN WIDE. Unicon Conversion Technologies Inc. of Mission Viejo, Calif., is converting the state Veterans Affairs Department's applications written in Wang VS Cobol to Open Systems Cobol.

The department's three nursing homes run customized business and medical software apps containing nearly 750,000 lines of source code. The conversion will unbind the applications from proprietary hardware and let them run under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 over an Ethernet network.

INDIANA

CABLE CHANNEL. Bloomington is broadcasting a local cable meeting channel on its Web site, at www.bloomington.in.us. The channel, run by the Monroe County Public Library, shows the meetings of local organizations such as city councils and school boards.

HoosierNet Inc., a nonprofit community network, handles the setup. A regular cable TV line plugs into a VCR for backup taping. The VCR then links to the video capture card of a 400-MHz Dell PowerEdge 2300 running Red Hat Linux 6.1 from Red Hat Inc. of Durham, N.C. The RealProducer Plus suite from RealNetworks of Seattle streams the video for viewing through the company's RealPlayer freeware. HoosierNet also archives broadcasts.

IOWA

GO WITH THE FLOW. The Human Services Department is using a workflow and imaging system from Eastman Software Inc. of Billerica, Mass., to migrate its paper-based child support recovery process to an electronic format, saving the images as .tif files.

Five child support offices connect to an Eastman optical storage jukebox in Des Moines over the department's Ethernet WAN. Each office runs the imaging software on a Compaq ProLiant 5000 Pentium III server with 256M of RAM.

'Two people can work on the same case simultaneously,' said Jon Neiderbach, management analyst for the Bureau of Collections' Child Support Unit. 'Before we switched to the imaging system, the file would be tied up with one person.'

KANSAS

LIQUID ASSET. Smack-dab in the middle of the country, Kansas is not the first state you'd think of as a boater's paradise. Yet the Sunflower State recently put its boating permits online to speed service to the state's 100,000 registered boaters. The state has 25 federal reservoirs, some of which are thousands of acres in size.

As of this writing, the site, at https://www.ink.org/cgi-big/hunt_online/online_sales.cgi, had sold more than $123,000 worth of hunting, fishing and boating licenses since it went online Sept. 1.

KENTUCKY

DRIVING FORCE. The state Transportation Cabinet has hired Complete Business Solutions Inc. of Farmington Hills, Mich., to design a Web-accessible vehicle registration and titling system. Contracts for implementation and maintenance are not yet final, but the project will cost an estimated $2 million.

The system will let citizens register cars, boats and other vehicles through the Web, and it will help Kentucky assess vehicle taxes, support insurance compliance, process apportioned registrations, manage inventory, maintain financial records, and process dealer and other licenses.

LOUISIANA

BLOCK PARTY. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department recently honored Louisiana's Administration Division Offices with HUD's 1999 Best Practices award.

HUD applauded the Community Development and Information Services offices for piloting a project to transmit Community Development Block Grant data from the Community Development Office database to HUD's Integrated Disbursement and Information System database using electronic data interchange.

MAINE

NO PARKING. During snowstorms and other severe conditions, Portland bans street parking from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. so it can maintain the streets. The city's Public Works Department set up an e-mail and paging notification system to help get the word out.

Residents enter an e-mail address into a form in the department's Web site. Public Works' Novell GroupWise system then confirms the request and adds the address to the notification list.

The department sends pager notification manually but plans to soon let the computer do the notifying with AlphaPage from InfoRad Inc. of Cleveland, communications coordinator Peter DeWitt said.

MARYLAND

KEEPING WATCH. Bowie High School is monitoring student computer use with Silent Watch from Adavi Inc. of Dunkirk. Silent Watch lets administrators monitor the contents of up to 49 users' screens at any moment.

Although Bowie High career and technology teacher Silvia Shaw sometimes uses the program to make sure students are working on appropriate tasks, her main objective is to assist students if they get stuck on assignments, she said.

The program can block content by keyword, phrase or Web address, and it can prompt audible alarms to an administrator's PC. It records every keystroke taken and Web address visited by users for a specified amount of time, and it clocks idle time.

MASSACHUSETTS

CITY CENTRAL. Cambridge city agencies are handling customer service'and will be handling a whole lot more'with a centralized system running Hansen Version 7 enterprise software from Hansen Information Technologies Inc. of Sacramento, Calif.

The city's Public Works Department manages work orders and is compiling data on all the city's assets through the system. Next will be a citywide permitting module, Public Works project manager Martha Bavaro said.

Cambridge plans to add other applications to the system, which runs under Unix on a Compaq Alpha 4100 server, stores data in an Oracle8 database and runs reports with Crystal Reports from Seagate Software of Scotts Valley, Calif.

MICHIGAN

FILE BY PHONE. Beginning this month, Michigan residents can file state taxes by phone through a system from Frank Solutions Inc. of Denver.

The company's TelePath voice response software runs under Windows NT 4.0 on a 550-MHz Compaq ProLiant 1600 server that can handle 144 calls simultaneously.

The server communicates with a state-owned IBM mainframe that holds data and system rules, Frank sales director Greg Trainor said.

MINNESOTA

GET SMART. Gov. Jesse Ventura recently signed a document digitally using a smart card from DataKey Inc. of Burnsville.

DataKey's cryptographic smart cards store digital signatures on a plastic card. DataKey partner ID Certify Inc. of Seattle will provide digital signature certification and repository services to the state.

MISSISSIPPI

GOING ELECTRONIC. The state is looking for a vendor to develop and manage an electronic benefits transfer system encompassing EBT processing, settlement and reconciliation; card production and distribution; point-of-sale links; and a call center and help desk.

The state annually issues $19 million in food stamp benefits over the counter or via mail, and $1.5 million in temporary assistance for needy families benefits by mail. It plans to first run a pilot in Rankin County and expand the program state-wide if the Legislature approves funding.

MISSOURI

BIG MOVE. The Transportation Department recently completed an e-mail system migration from IBM Profs, a mainframe messaging system, to Lotus Notes Version 4.5.

DOT officials used Missive Version 3.5 from Wingra Technologies of Madison, Wis., to connect the two messaging systems. DOT officials ran Missive under AIX Version 3.2.5 on an IBM 570 server with 64M of RAM. All 3,000 DOT employees are now using Lotus Notes Version 4.5 and will move to Version 5 soon.MONTANA

PAYROLL BLUES. Montana's new $16.5 million payroll system from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., has been plagued with problems, Administration Department officials said.

Recently, 419 employees were shortchanged in their paychecks because of a glitch.

One of the reasons Montana officials decided to switch to PeopleSoft from its 1970s-vintage mainframe system was to prevent year 2000 problems, department officials said.

NEBRASKA

PERMIT PROFITS. In its first year of issuing hunting and fishing licenses online, the Game and Parks Commission sold $1.4 million worth of permits over its Web site at www.hawk.ngpc.state.ne.us/license/permits.html.

Commission officials used iHTML, scripting tools from Inline Internet Systems of Mississauga, Ontario, to build the site, which accesses a Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database. CyberCash Inc. of Reston, Va., processes credit card information, protecting data with the SSL protocol.

NEVADA

BUS TRANSFER. Gov. Kenny Guinn was among the first to try out the Computer on Wheels, a school bus that nonprofit group Classrooms on Wheels converted into a rolling computer lab for adults. Guinn was joined by Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt.

Gateway Inc. donated and installed seven Essential 400c PCs with 400-MHz Celeron processors and 64M of RAM, equipped with Lifetime Library software from Learning 2000 of Franklin, Tenn., Windows 98 and Corel WordPerfect.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

TOWN MEETING. Gov. Jeanne Shaheen joined President Clinton and four other officials for an online town meeting last month. During the Town Hall Voicechat, sponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council and the Excite@Home Web service, residents could view proceedings via the Web and submit questions for the officials.

Other participants were San Jose, Calif., Mayor Ron Gonzales; Bethlehem, Pa., Mayor Donald Cunningham; Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; Wisconsin state Rep. Antonio Riley; and DLC president Al From. Visit www.excite.com/townhall for more information.

NEW JERSEY

RE-UP. Starting next month, an IBM Corp. system will let New Jersey drivers renew vehicle registrations either through an interactive voice response phone system or via the Web, by credit card payment.

State data and business rules are on a server that connects through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators' AAMVAnet network to IBM RS/6000 servers running AIX.

The Web server will run IBM WebSphere, and the IVR server will run IBM CorePoint.

The IVR server will also run IBM ViaVoice voice recognition software to collect information verbally.

NEW MEXICO

FOLLOW THE SUN. The Education Retirement Board Web site recently went up at www.era.state.nm.us.

The site offers a benefits calculator, forms, news and contact information for the state's retired teachers. It also explains the New Mexico flag's sun symbol created by the Zia Pueblo.

The symbol points in four directions representing the four sacred obligations: to develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit and a devotion to the welfare of others.

NEW YORK

DATA HOME. The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's Bureau of Housing Services took part in a Center for Technology in Government project that developed a prototype system to compile aggregated data on the state's homeless population via the Web.






Teachers at Maryland's Bowie High School use Silent Watch, which lets them view what is on any student's screen at any time; it records keystrokes and blocks content.



The Homeless Information Management System prototype took data from state, city and nonprofit providers and placed it into an Oracle Express database. Government and nonprofit users could tap demographic data on certain populations to help determine ways to help them.

BHS is seeking funds to further develop the system, CTG project director Theresa Pardo said.

NORTH CAROLINA

DATA GATHERING. The State Treasurer has developed three Web applications that rely on IBM's SecureWay software suite to cull data from various sources:

' A state agency's human resources workers can access password-protected retirement data for the agency's employees from a database of 400,000 people.

' Employees who left the state, took their retirement benefits and then returned can visit the Web to calculate their retirement buy-back fee.

' Agency officials can tap into password-protected data from an Oracle Corp. database of imaged checks issued by that agency.

Web site manager Doug Piner wrote the applications in Hypertext Markup Language and Java.

NORTH DAKOTA

BUILDING TRUST. The Information Technology Department chose Entrust PKI software from Entrust Technologies Inc. of Plano, Texas, to create a secure online environment for state employees. State network officials will use Entrust's digital keys, certificates and encryption products to secure the state's e-mail and Web applications.

North Dakota officials said the products will help the state build a foundation for additional security features, such as virtual private networks.

OHIO

NEXT-GENERATION VOTING. About 2,400 students in nine Clark County schools took to the virtual polls last month through a program called Kids Voting. VoteHere.net of Kirkland, Wash., set up the Web voting system. The company first entered student registration data into a database, business development director Peter Adlerberg said.






Gov. William J. Janklow, left, and friends ring in the holidays on the South Dakota Web site at www.state.sd.us/governor/
xmas99/xmas99.cfm
.


On election day, students gave school poll site workers their names and received a disk and a personal identification number. The students inserted the disk into a PC, which verified their registration and brought up the Ohio ballot via the Web.

OKLAHOMA

MAPPING THE WAY. Two Transportation Department employees, Jay Adams and Tim Callahan, won an award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials for building a geographic information system.

Adams and Callahan used GIS software, including MGE Segment Manager, Basic Nucleus and InRoads Survey from Intergraph Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., to combine 20 legacy databases into one comprehensive GIS.

The new system has helped DOT submit highway data to the Federal Highway Administration faster and more accurately, officials said.

OREGON

FAST ALERT. Lane County's Community Emergency Notification System (CENS) alerted 1,646 homes, businesses and government agencies in about three minutes over four trunked lines.

The computer-generated emergency warning system ran on US West's Emergency Preparedness Network (EPN), a reverse 911 system.

CENS accessed residents' numbers from a database maintained by SCC Communications of Boulder, Colo.

SCC analysts used software from Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. of Redlands, Calif., to create a digital map of the area covered by EPN, correlating every phone with its location.

If, for example, there is a toxic spill in the southwest corner of town, the network will alert residents in that area, SCC officials said.

PENNSYLVANIA

SPRAWLING SYSTEM. The commonwealth has inked a $95 million deal with M/A-COM Inc. of Lowell, Mass., for the Statewide Public Safety Digital Radio Communications System. M/A-COM will supply infrastructure equipment for the digital voice and data radio communications network, which will run over the company's OpenSky Wireless Internet Protocol.

The network, scheduled for completion in 2001, will run from network control centers, regional control centers and several hundred base stations. Users will include public-safety, environmental-protection and transportation agency employees.

RHODE ISLAND

CLAIMS TRACK. The state's Labor and Training Department is rolling the MI3 MS 3000 document imaging system from Minolta Information Systems Inc. of Mahwah, N.J., to its five agencies.

The Temporary Disability Insurance, Overpayment Unit, Call Center, Worker's Compensation and Rehabilitation Center agencies will file and access claims records within the system, said Rick DeBerardis, Northeast sales manager for integrator AMS Imaging of Warwick.

SOUTH CAROLINA

SAT CATS. Twenty high schools will receive about 500 notebook PCs next month through a state Education Department pilot aimed at improving students' Scholastic Assessment Test scores.

The Legislature this summer allocated $1 million for the project, most of which will go toward PC buys under existing state contracts, SAT Improvement Committee chairwoman Marjorie Claytor said. Each school will buy and install the SAT preparation software of its choice.

SOUTH DAKOTA

HOLIDAY CHEER. The Governor's Office worked with South Dakota Public Broadcasting to set up a live Web cam to show the Christmas tree and holiday celebrations at the Capitol in Pierre.

The site, at www.state.sd.us/governor/xmas99/xmas99.cfm, will show the tree and celebrations until Dec. 26.

TENNESSEE

ONE BIG MAP. The state's Finance and Administration Department has accepted bids for management and data conversion services to create a digital statewide map for use in geographic information systems.

The map will incorporate digital orthophotography, digital surface data, parcel data and planimetric data. The project will also use data sets of municipal, county and public utility agencies. The state ultimately wants a seamless digital parcel layer that could tie into assessment databases.

TEXAS

ON GUARD. Logicon Inc. recently won a six-year contract valued at $80 million from the Protective and Regulatory Services Department.

The Herndon, Va., company will provide the department with network monitoring, help desk, disaster recovery and other services. The department has 6,000 employees in 275 offices throughout the state, charged with protecting the physical safety and emotional well-being of children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

UTAH

OLYMPIC SPONSOR. Salt Lake City's Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Games recently selected Gateway Inc. as its computer hardware sponsor. The committee is made up of local civic, business and sports leaders who are appointed by Mayor Deedee Corradini and Gov. Michael Leavitt.

Gateway will supply the committee with more than 5,000 PCs to help track official event results, statistics and standings for Olympic officials, athletes, coaches, spectators and the media. When the Games are over, Gateway will donate the PCs to local schools and community associations.

VERMONT

ROLLING ALONG. Hudson Microimaging of Port Ewen, N.Y., is microfilming and digitally indexing 110 cubic feet of election, corporate and political-action records for the State Archives.

The records system runs VersaImage from Image Vision Corp. of Ridgefield Park, N.J. Hudson Microimaging scans the records and keys indexing data, which is recorded at the bottom of the film, company sales manager Paul Dunkel said.

Users search a database for the documents they need and place the film roll into a reader, and the system goes to the exact spot on the roll.

Users can then capture the images digitally for printing, saving or transmitting via e-mail.

VIRGINIA

SIGN HERE. The state's Council on Technology Services has adopted a report from a council workgroup recommending a seven-point plan for digital signature use in state government.

The plan is intended to enhance the security of electronic transactions to boost electronic commerce and economic development.

'Digital signatures are key to making government responsive to the information economy,' Technology Secretary Don Upson said.

Check out the details at www.sotech.state.va.us/cots.

WASHINGTON

ADULT ACCESS. The Aging and Adult Services Administration last month agreed to use OC://WebConnect Enterprise Server products from OpenConnect Systems Inc. of Dallas to give social service workers access to mainframe-hosted Medicaid information over the state intranet.

Administration officials will install 250 OC://WebConnect Pro concurrent user licenses.

WEST VIRGINIA

ANTE UP. The West Virginia Lottery is upgrading its system that collects data from 4,500 video lottery terminals at four racetracks. The system, from International Game Technology of Reno, Nev., will initially poll a modem device at each site daily via a dial-up link.

The lottery plans to go online by May by changing the system connections to a private-line service that will transmit data continually rather than once daily, systems manager Pam Lopez said.

WISCONSIN

FORM RANKS. The state's Administration Department is moving and shaking its electronic forms catalog. It has upgraded the format to FormFlow 99 from JetForm Corp. of Ottawa, and it is moving from a 16-bit client-server system to a 32-bit browser system that agencies can access through the state intranet.

The forms catalog, which contains about 50 statewide forms and 50 individual program forms, continues to grow, data forms and records coordinator Joyce Endres said. Agencies can use the standard templates as is or alter reusable objects within them to fulfill specialized needs.

WYOMING

HIGH RISK. The Criminal Investigation Division recently posted a Web site of sex offenders who are considered likely to commit additonal sex crimes.

The site, at www.stat.wy.us/~ag/dci/so/so_registration.html, posts names, addresses, dates and places of birth, dates and places of conviction, crimes, photographs, and physical characteristics of sex offenders who have been classified by the District Courts as being at high risk of committing further sex crimes.

Each of the approximately 700 sex offenders who were in the state's system since the Sex Offender Registration Act went into effect July 1 had to have a court hearing to determine whether the offender was at low, moderate or high risk of committing another sex offense. Only high-risk offenders are posted on the Web site.

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