THE 50 STATES<@VM>THE 50 STATES: Missouri - Wyoming

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


STORAGE PLANS. The Birmingham Planning Department is using LaserFiche from LaserFiche Document Imaging of Torrance, Calif., to scan and store building plans in electronic folders searchable by word or phrase.

The department, which uses LaserFiche WebLink to post plans on its intranet, will allow public access to the blueprints via the Web later this year, said Andre Betas, department database administrator.


CHECK YOUR OIL. A computer error recently delayed Permanent Fund Dividend checks for about 3,000 people. Eligible Alaska residents each year get a percentage of the state's oil royalties, which this year amounted to $1,769 per person.

The problem was corrected within five days, said Nanci Jones, director of the Permanent Fund Dividend Division. It was a math logic error, she said. 'When the operators were telling the computer to point to one bucket to do the math, they were pointing to the wrong bucket,' Jones said.


PLAN TO SCAN. The Motor Vehicles Department recently adopted PDF417 scanning technology from Symbol Technologies Inc. of Holtsville, N.Y., at 50 offices throughout the state.

Curtis Wolfe is the new director of North Dakota's Information Technology Department.

The PDF417 can encode more than 1 kilobyte of data in a symbol the size of a postage stamp.

MVD workers use the scanning technology on Symbol's LS 6000 series bar code scanners to encode vehicle registration renewals, vehicle title documentation and driver's licenses.


ARKANSAS INC. Arkansas companies can file their articles of incorporation over the secretary of state's Web site, at When corporations sign up, the secretary's office assigns them a log-in name and password. Users of the Web site can download an Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format form, then submit it over the Web site to the secretary's office for processing. The site is secured with Secure Sockets Layer encryption and a separate firewall.


WALK THE PLANK. Gov. Gray Davis recently signed an executive order that requires all state agencies and organizations that do business with the state to use only legal, licensed software.

According to officials in the Business Software Alliance, an association of software developers, the use of pirated software costs the United States $2.8 billion each year.


TAKING LICENSE. Aurora, a suburb of Denver with a population of 250,000, is installing Amanda and License+, license application tracking and data management software from CSDS Systems Inc. of St. Louis.

The client-server system will help the city issue permits, zoning approvals and fee notices. Data is stored in an Informix Version 7 database from Informix Corp. of Menlo Park, Calif., on a Hewlett-Packard Co. Unix server. Amanda and License+ run under Microsoft Windows 9x and Windows NT.


SEALING THE CRACKS. The state Information Technology Department is accepting proposals for the Offender Based Tracking System. The system will give law enforcement agencies a comprehensive file that tracks each offender through the average 52 activities between entering the criminal justice system and exiting it.

Files will hold information such as criminal histories, probation records, victim data and bail terms. The system will help executive and judicial branch agencies make better-informed decisions about offenders, department spokeswoman Nuala Forde said.


BACK IN SESSION. An improved Delaware Legislative Information System will greet General Assembly members for the full session this month. The upgrade went live just as last year's session ended in June.

The internally networked and Web-accessible system lets legislators and the public access and track bills, amendments, committee meetings and other legislative information, system director Ann McLaughlin said. Users also can sort data for reports.

Site data is refreshed every 15 minutes in a Lotus Domino 4.64 database running under Windows NT.


SCREEN SCENE. The Police Department is rolling out 70 touch-screen kiosks that will train, test, and maintain training and certification files of recruits and the department's 3,500 officers.

Computer-based training applications developed in-house will run on top of WiseWareNT/98 on Wise Station Learning Kiosks from Wise Interactive Studies Enterprise Inc. of Grand Prairie, Texas.'The kiosks will be in a main training area and in precinct offices, said Sgt. Duane Buethe, training administrator.

Among the $250,000 system's features is random question generation to quell cheating, Buethe said.


SYSTEM FLOW. Venice city engineers rely on StormTrac from StormTec Inc. of Sarasota to comply with federal laws regulating stormwater management and reporting.

The system, which has a Lotus Notes base, lets staff members access regulation and permit information, coordinate activities, and report data about pollution prevention, detection, cleanup and education.'It walks them through requirements for compliance and annual reporting, and it lets supervisors track project status.


PATH BEATERS. The Pathways Community Network, a group of 28 government and nonprofit social service organizations in Georgia, is helping the homeless and working poor through its intranet application.

Sage Software Inc. of Irvine, Calif., developed the application using SilverStream Application Server from SilverStream Software Inc. of Burlington, Mass.

The organizations use the system to share information about the disadvantaged'with their permission'and optimize case plans. The system's Oracle8 database holds information about 100,000 people.

Pathways settled on an intranet system for its scalability and durability, executive director Bill Matson said.


BID BUSINESS. The Judiciary Department's Fiscal and Support Services Division recently released an invitation for bidders to submit proposals to furnish, deliver, install, make operational and maintain an IBM Multiprise 3000 Model H30 server, peripherals and OS/390 operating system.

Potential bidders can download the required forms at


THAT'S AN ORDER. Gov. Dirk Kempthorne recently signed an executive order that creates an Idaho Science and Technology Advisory Council.

He appointed Bill Shipp, deputy general manager of Bechtel Idaho of Idaho Falls as the state's first science and technology adviser.'

Shipp will head the advisory council and help create a strategy for the state's science and technology R&D. He will advise Kempthorne on science and technology issues.


ED TECH FORCE. The U.S. Education Department has granted $1.9 million to EdGrid, a project of the State Board of Education, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

'Our main goal is to find ways we can infuse technologies into colleges of education,' said Bill Conrad, ISBE associate superintendent for learning technologies.

The group plans to solicit white papers about how to best instruct teachers to use technology in their work. It hopes to ultimately be the authority for colleges seeking to arm their graduates with knowledge of and proficiency in high-tech instructional strategies and products, Conrad said.


CRUISE CONTROL. The state Transportation Department has awarded HNTB International of Kansas City, Mo., the prime contract for an Indianapolis-area Advanced Traffic Management System and facility.

Sensors on interstate routes will monitor traffic flow characteristics such as speed, volume and weather, said Jay Wasson, DOT intelligent transportation systems engineer. Closed-circuit TV cameras will verify potential problems.

Data will come through a traffic management center, which will use dynamic message signs, highway advisory radio, alphanumeric pagers and eventually the Internet to disseminate information. The system began a gradual rollout that will end in 2002.


NO-FAULT NETWORK. ADC Telecommunications recently won a one-year contract valued at more than $1 million to manage the Iowa Communications Network, a statewide fiber-optic network.

The Minneapolis company will provide fault management and circuit configuration management for ICN. A portion of the project was paid for by Iowa's Year 2000 Program Office.


TOP TIER. The Social and Rehabilitation Services Department recently awarded a three-year contract valued at $17.4 million to Tier Technologies Inc. The Walnut Creek, Calif., company will provide systems integration and app design and development to the Kansas Child Support Payment Center.

The Kansas department will use Tier's Very Intelligent Payment Recognition System software to process hundreds of thousands of child support payments. VIPRS runs under Windows 98.


MULLING E-MALLS. Louisiana recently issued a request for information for an electronic mall. Officials will contract with an electronic commerce service provider that will create an e-mall operated by state agencies.

The provider will be expected to design and implement an e-commerce site where citizens could buy publications, maps, licenses and permits. The winning provider will also deliver tools that will let agencies remotely configure and manage their sites, and will support secure credit card processing.


CHECK IT OUT. The Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual Library, an online reference service for colleges and universities, kindergarten through 12th grade schools, technical colleges, public libraries, and state libraries, has signed on for a subscription to 15 online databases from Ebsco Publishing of Ipswich, Mass.

Control room supervisor Tim Caison monitors the status of the Hampton Roads, Va., bridge and tunnel system from Modcomp Inc. Caison can click on a graphic of the facility to control individual signals and other traffic equipment.

The databases contain full-text items from more than 4,300 books and publications.

Subject areas include humanities, social sciences, education, business, consumer health, medicine, nursing and psychology.


THE MAINE SITE. The Education Department is launching a Web site this month that will provide state educational data.

The site will include aggregated Maine Educational Assessment Test scores, high school graduation rates, staff education levels, per-pupil expenditures and property tax levies, Management Information Systems team leader Jim Watkins said.

It will pull information from an Oracle8 database that draws from other databases. MIS wrote the site in Hypertext Markup Language.


ACCESS INTEREST. The state Assessments and Taxation Department's Web site, at, provides access to property data for more than 2 million accounts in the state.'

Maryland assesses property within'the state and hands the data over to the counties, department chief information officer Donald Lee said. '

The state holds the data at its data center in an IBM DB2 database. IBM developed the Web interface.

The site also accesses business filing data and a trade name registry.


GRANT TRACKER. The 270 adult education programs in the commonwealth tap into the System for Managing Accountability and Results Through Technology over the Internet to record and track grant money, and to handle administrative tasks such as tracking student attendance and running reports.

The Education Department's Adult and Community Learning Services cluster developed the program using Sun Microsystems NetDynamics, Java and HTML, software developer Steve Baturin said. Data resides in an Oracle7 Release 7.3 database.


A LITTLE HELP. The Office of the Michigan Information Network sponsors a program that trains state school and library officials how to apply for federal E-Rate discounts and funding for telecommunications and Internet access.

A group of representatives from school districts and cooperatives visits MIN annually to go over the complex application materials. The representatives then help their communities' schools and libraries fill out the paperwork. Michigan schools and libraries received $76.8 million in E-Rate funding last year.


MEDICAID RFP. The Human Services Department's Health and Continuing Care Strategies Division recently issued a request for proposals for a vendor to make programming changes to Minnesota's Medicaid Management Information System.

The project goal is to extend disability health options to adults under 65 who have disabilities and are eligible for Medicaid.


GROUND SPACE. Through an agreement funded by the Mississippi Space Commerce Initiative, university students and faculty in Mississippi can use Erdas Imagine geographic imaging software from Erdas Inc. of Atlanta for any educational or academic research project.

MSCI, a partnership of the state and NASA to boost Mississippi's remote-sensing industry, received discounted licenses through Erdas' Higher Education Annual Kit program.

SHOW ME TECHNOLOGY. Fifty-one Missouri libraries recently received federal grants amounting to $505,000 to install adaptive computer equipment, said Nancy Howland, Missouri State Library's federal grants coordinator.

Libraries bought 21-inch monitors, adaptive keyboards and foot switches, and screen magnification hardware and software.

The libraries could choose vendors, Howland said. The grants were administered through the federal Library Services and Technology Act.


YOU ARE HERE. Visitors to Helena, the state capital, won't have any trouble finding the boiler plant or the old livestock building anymore thanks to an interactive map posted on the state Web site at

A click on the map takes visitors to a photo of the building and an office directory. Capitol Consulting, a Web development company in Helena, built the site in HTML using Microsoft FrontPage.


VINE ONLINE. The Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system went live last month. The system notifies crime victims when an offender is released from or escapes from prison or jail, or is transferred to another facility [GCN/State & Local, January 1999, Page 7].

All 10 Nebraska Correctional Services Department facilities participate in the VINE system. Nebraska's 93 counties are expected to be using VINE by the end of this month.

The VINE application, developed by Vine Inc. of Louisville, Ky., runs on 120-MHz Pentium PCs under Windows 95 at the Correctional Services Department.


HACK JOB. A hacker recently shut down Secretary of State Dean Heller's Web site, at, for five hours. Although the identity of the hacker is still being investigated by Heller's office, the hacker sent an e-mail message that said, 'I love Las Vegas.'

Representatives of Heller's office said the hacker came in through a portal in the site that had been inadvertently left open.

The site has since been secured, officials said.


GIS KIT. Local governments in the state will be able to get a municipal geographic information systems kit through a program that joins the University of New Hampshire's Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System, the Office of State Planning, and Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif.

The kit will include training, discounted ESRI software and data from GRANIT databases, university GIS manager Fay Rubin said.


THE FAST LANE. The state last month launched the regional E-ZPass system at two locations on the Garden State Parkway: the Hillsdale toll plaza and the Paramus ramp toll site.

The system is from MFS Network Technologies of Omaha, Neb. Each user receives an automobile tag with an individual bar code, which a laser reader picks up as the car drives through the E-ZPass lane.

The system then debits the user's account, prepaid with credit card, check or cash.


SAFE, NOT SORRY. Santa Fe residents' concerns about the year 2000 computer problems went down the drain after the city spent about $1.3 million on a backup generator for its wastewater treatment plant.

About 300 residents signed a petition last year asking for a generator for the sewer plant. The plant's systems and embedded chips had all been tested and fixed, but city officials opted to install the diesel-powered generator.


FRAUD BUSTERS. A data warehouse lets users at the state Attorney General's Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit look up individual records and query data from millions of claims to investigate possible fraud.

The system stores data in an Oracle8 Enterprise Edition database running under Compaq Tru64 Unix on a Compaq AlphaServer 8400 with five ES 10000 Enterprise Storage Arrays that hold 3.7T of data.


COMM FOR ALL. Through a four-year, $20 million contract with Sprint Corp.

for frame relay services, a Health and Human Services Department program will continue to help deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-disabled people communicate over long distances.

The Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing transmits 100,000 calls a month between text telephone and standard telephone users.

New features under the contract will include speech-to-speech relay service for customers with certain speech disabilities and services for Spanish-speaking customers.


MAN WITH A PLAN. Curtis Wolfe was recently appointed director of the IT Department.

As a consultant, Wolfe had produced a technology review of state agencies, which led to legislation in 1997 that required a statewide technology plan for all agencies.


PEOPLE'S COURT. Lorain County court dockets are available on the Web through the Court-Connect application from Manatron Inc. of Kalamazoo, Mich. The app provides an interface to data from any other court system, the company said.

'Our Court-Connect Web site contains the same information as the public-access terminals in our offices, saving users a trip to the courthouse,' said Donald J. Rothgery, county clerk of the Court of Common Pleas.

Rothgery said the site, at, will be useful to the legal community and media.


WILL ON THE WEB. The newly built Web site offers visitors directions and an overview of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, a state-funded museum established in 1938.

Washington, D.C., police officers Abner Joje and Helen Andrews try out a training program developed by the metropolitan Police Department and deployed through software and touch-screen kiosks.

The Claremore museum also provides interactive Mitsubishi touchscreens that guide visitors through the 16,652-square-foot museum.


LAGRANDE DESIGNS. The LaGrande School District recently chose Asante Technologies Inc. of San Jose, Calif., to deploy Fast Ethernet switches and hubs, including 85 Asante IntraSwitch 6216M 10/100 managed switches.

Union County voters approved a bond measure to finance the deployment of a high-speed network for the northeast Oregon school district's seven schools, 2,600 students and 700 employees.


HAND IN HAND. The state recently became the first to partner with Micro-soft Corp. to train high school students on Microsoft Office 2000 through the Microsoft User Specialist program.

The program will certify an estimated 20,000 students and 1,000 teachers. Schools will receive $4 million worth of free training manuals, software and certification exam vouchers for students.

Also, Microsoft, the state and Pennsylvania State University will open an eletronic commerce center intended as a best- practices demonstration center. Microsoft will provide software and a technical staff.


A TRUE INTERFACE. The state Corrections Department is tying imaging files into its inmate management system through Systems Integration 3000 from Digital Descriptor Systems Inc. of Langhorne, Pa.

When an officer queries an inmate's record, the browser-accessed interface references separately held images of the inmate's mug shots, scars, tattoos and the like, DDSI vice president of sales Michael Ott said.

A Microsoft SQL Server database specifies links of images to inmate files.

The application works with any Open Database Connectivity-compliant database and can tie into various types of media files.


NEXT GENERATION. The Natural Resources Department is upgrading its discontinued Unisys Corp. V380 mainframe to a Unisys NX5620-31.

The new mainframe will increase by 50 percent the storage space for the department's accounting, payroll, human resources, equipment inventory, game and fish licensing, watercraft registration and field biologist support systems, which hold data in Unisys DMS2 databases running the Master Control Program operating system.

The department plans to allow direct access to some of its mainframe data via the Web by May, IT officer David Busby said.


FOUR-WAY STOP. Sioux Falls' Traffic Department took no chances with the stoplights on New Year's Day. The city set up 17 gas-fueled generators at the 17 busiest intersections and a standby generator to operate a gas pump.

Officials also designed a contingency plan of using portable stop signs to set up four-way stops at about 144 intersections.

Although the city's traffic lights were ready for the year 2000, officials had concerns about the electric power.


SIGN ME UP. The Labor and Work Force Development Department's Employment Security Division hired Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., to develop a call center for receiving unemployment insurance claims. Callers will go through an interactive voice response system for preliminary information and then will be transferred to state operators.

The center's system will run on a state network and will tie into the department's mainframe for data access and update. A spring pilot launch is planned, division administrator Chris Betts said.


ON THE JOB. The Texas Work Force Commission is using an IBM S/390 server to handle traffic on the Hire Texas Web site, an online job search system for Texans.

The Web site, at, plays matchmaker to employers and job seekers. More than 1,600 employers have registered with the site, and more than 300 job seekers submit applications over the site each day.


NO SUBSTITUTE. The Jordan School District recently adopted an automated phone system that ends the daily mad scramble for substitute teachers.

A teacher dials into the system to request a substitute. Each substitute has entered a profile of what they can teach and when. The system starts calling substitutes, and an automated voice gives the substitutes a choice: 'Press one to accept this position, two if you're not interested.'

'We used to have three people who would start calling people at 5 in the morning to find substitutes,' said Michael Heaps, information systems manager for the Jordan School District. The system runs on four Pentium PCs under Windows NT 4.0.


GLAD TO MEET YOU. The Buildings and Services Department recently launched the Guilford Welcome Center, complete with a trio of computer services for travelers.

Three kiosks run a mapping program that lets travelers touch the screen to select their destinations within the state. They can get printed directions, as well as information about lodging, attractions and restaurants'even down to the menu, Information Center Division director Dick Foster said.

One PC takes travelers to the state's Tourism and Marketing Department Web site, and another takes them to an Internet program that can map destinations anywhere in the world.


REMOTE CONTROL. The Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel has a new traffic management system from Modcomp Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., that gives operators a point-and-click interface to control variable speed limit signs, variable message signs, lane use indicators, and sensors for vehicle speed, count and weight.

The system receives data from sensors via hardwired modem connections, notifying operators of potential alarms, Transportation Department computer systems engineer Morris Pearson said.

Its supervisory control and data acquisition software is from Intellution Inc. of Norwood, Mass. The system runs under Windows NT 4.0 and holds data in Microsoft SQL Server 7.0.


RIOT CONTROL. Seattle wasted no time in putting up a Web site to dispel rumors and keep the public informed during the riots surrounding the World Trade Organization meeting last month. Almost two weeks before the meeting, the city's Web team put up a site at

'So we were extremely prepared when the riots broke out,' said city Web content coordinator Dana Hedberg. Mayor Paul Schell posted his responses to citizens' queries about the meeting and subsequent riots less than a week after the riots first began.


LOOKING FORWARD. The state's Science and Technology Advisory Council laid out its 1999-2000 strategic plan at a conference in late November.

The plan recommends several funding initiatives to boost IT use, commerce, training, education and business opportunities in the state. The specifics of the report are available at


NEW HORIZONS. With year 2000 fixes behind it, the Circuit Court Automation Program can move forward with new initiatives, CCAP director Jean Bousquet said in a Justice Information Systems Bureau newsletter.

Plans for this year include developing and deploying CCAP browser interfaces to a variety of state and local justice agencies.

The program's Simple Transaction Exchange Protocol will let the agencies focus on internal database and application requirements, and will let CCAP handle program software and Internet transmission details.


E-DEGREE. Gov. Jim Geringer last month accepted a grant for $94,000 from of Denver, an applications service provider that develops online courses for colleges and universities.

The University of Wyoming will use the grant to offer its first completely online degree program.

Students can receive a bachelor's degree in business administration at without ever having to travel to the main campus in Laramie.

Classes start Jan. 19 for the spring semester and end May 12.


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