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


CLASS ACT. Birmingham is pushing through a plan that would furnish each classroom with three Internet-connected PCs. The plan calls for 2,400 notebook PCs'one for every teacher, principal, counselor and librarian'8,000 PCs for students and 2,300 printers.

The city is assessing bids. The school district wired all 75 schools last year, using $13.9 million it received through E-Rate, a federally provided discount to schools and libraries for acquiring telecommunications and Internet access services.


VIRTUAL VESSEL. The Education and Early Development Department recently released a request for proposals for a ship simulator. The Vocational Technical Center in Seward wants to use the simulator to train and certify Alaskan mariners. RFP requirements include Global Positioning System navigation simulation, radar software, the capability to simulate 3-D coastline and sky images, monitors with a minimum resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels per inch, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000, and Pentium III processors or better.


A LA MODEM. The Transportation Department recently bought about 100 HideAway modems from Telenetics Corp. of Lake Forest, Calif. Department officials plan to use the battery-powered, 14.4-Kbps modems to exchange data with traffic-counting devices as part of the state's Highway Performance Monitoring System, a federally mandated program established in 1978.


TIME TO CHAT. Gov. Mike Huckabee held his first Internet chat session on Jan. 5. From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., the governor fielded more than 600 online questions, such as 'What will you do if Bill Clinton goes back to Arkansas after his term as president is over, and he says he wants the governorship back?'

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee last month answered 632 questions in his first online chat session. At his side is his daughter Sarah.

Huckabee's reply: 'I thought Bill Clinton just moved into a house in New York'I doubt he'd meet our residency requirements!'

The governor called the cyberchat a 'wonderful success.' Transcripts are available at


DIGITAL DIVERSITY. The Golden State's recently redesigned Web site, at, offers visitors a choice of versions: Flash, for surfers who have a Flash plug-in from Macromedia Inc. of San Francisco; Java, for those who have JavaScript browsers; standard, for visitors with browsers without JavaScript; and text-only, for those with slower Internet connections and older browsers.


CEREAL NUMBER? At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, a computer at Colorado's Year 2000 emergency operations center flashed an odd date: Feb. 6, 1939.

'People had a lot of conspiracy theories, like the date added up to the number of Crunchberries in a box of cereal,' said Dave Holm, chief of operations support services for the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.

The computer was a Motorola Inc. Pentium 100 PC, part of the state's computer-aided dispatch system. The mysterious glitch didn't affect communications or the dispatch system, Holm said.


TECH ED. Gov. John Rowland based part of his suggested budget on a study by Lt. Gov. Jodi Rell that recommended 19 initiatives for boosting computer readiness in schools and libraries.

The recommendations include wiring all classrooms to the Internet by 2004, making students well-versed in technology by the sixth grade, and developing a voice, video and data network for schools and libraries.

They also include technology requirements for teachers and incentives for businesses to donate PCs.


TECH WATCH. Ten high school students interested in careers in information technology were techies for a day early this month when they visited the Office of Information Services and observed state IT pros at work.

State Rep. Nancy Wagner prompted the activity as part of the state Education Department's School-To-Work program, OIS organizational effectiveness director Brian Callahan said. The program joins schools with state agencies and businesses to promote work force readiness among its graduates.


DUELING SYSTEMS. A report from the City Council's Government Operations Committee said the district government had spent almost $16 million installing two systems that handle the same procurement tasks.

The report on the redundancy followed a six-month investigation and said the city had mismanaged procurement reforms for the past two years. Among other recommendations, the report advised Mayor Anthony Williams to direct the city's procurement officer and chief technology officer to choose one of the two systems.


NEW HAT. Florida has its first statewide chief information officer: Roy Cales, whom Gov. Jeb Bush appointed to the position late last year. Cales was formerly CIO of the state's Executive Office of the Governor.

He will oversee the State Technology Office and report to Bush.


CHEMICAL REACTION. Columbia County has an 18-mile stretch of interstate highway over which trucks carry chemical materials for nearby industrial plants, Emergency Management Agency deputy director Scott Sherman said.

So it is one of four counties in the state using software developed at the U.S. Energy Department's Savannah River Site, a former nuclear weapons facility in Aiken, S.C., to create tracking models of chemical accidents.

The program runs under NT and incorporates meteorological data collected at select sites and sent via the Internet to users. Data includes temperature, wind speed and wind direction.


ALOHA ACCESS. Gov. Ben Cayetano last month announced that the state has formed a partnership with the Hawaii Information Consortium Inc. to develop an Internet portal for all government services in the state.

California's redesigned Web site, at, offers easy access via all kinds of browsers: Macromedia Flash-enabled, Java, standard and text.

HIC of Honolulu is a subsidiary of National Information Consortium Inc. of Overland Park, Kan.

The portal will offer residents and businesses a way 'to file taxes, register business and apply for licenses at any time of the day or night,' Cayetano said.


RAMP-UP IN NAMPA. Nampa officials recently awarded a one-year contract valued at $700,000 to Systems Consultants Inc. The St. Louis company will provide the growing city of 50,000 with financial, payroll, human resources and utility management software, including installation and support.

The city will run SCI's software under NT on the city's 550-MHz Aquanta Pentium III enterprise server from Unisys Corp.


FOUR TO ONE. The Chicago Revenue Department is replacing four systems with the $4 million Integrated Revenue Information System from Keane Inc. of Boston. IRIS will track business licenses and taxes, revenue director Hugh Murphy said.

The city expects the consolidation to improve customer service, enhance revenue collection, reduce costs, increase levels of compliance and improve decision-making.


A PLACE TO TURN. Indiana residents who need safety information can visit the Safety Net section of the Access Indiana Information Network, the state Web site.

Safety Net aggregates links to information from 13 state agencies about safety topics related to children, pets, consumer products, the home and workplace, recreation, and transportation.

The site is at


E-DISCLOSURE. The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board recommended that Iowa candidates file their campaign finance reports electronically so voters could view them online.

Candidates for elected office can request a Microsoft Visual FoxPro 6.0 spreadsheet from the site, at


CLASSY DELIVERY. Inc. of Lincoln, Neb., recently announced a licensing agreement with the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center in Greenbush. The agreement lets the center deliver 30 classes to 70 students in Kansas public high schools over the Internet, said Mike Bodensteiner, Greenbush program director. provides the Internet delivery, Bodensteiner said, and Greenbush supplies the teachers, courses and administration. Classes range from

English and oceanography to subjects for homebound and advanced students.


LICENSE LINK. Kentucky entrepreneurs seeking state licensing information can visit the new One-Stop Business Licensing Program on the Web, type in their business category and get lists of all the licenses they will need to get going and links to any application forms available online.

Secretary of State John Y. Brown III's office developed the site, at, in Visual Basic 6.0. Microsoft SQL Server 7.5 provides the data repository and search engine.


AN ARRESTING SITE. The State Police Department recently revamped its Web site, at Web developer and graduate intern Tim Swann used Microsoft FrontPage 98 to revamp the site. It now uses frames as navigational links.

The office of Kentucky Secretary of State John Y. Brown III gives entrepreneurs licensing information through a searchable site at

Department officials also spruced up the kids' page with a movie about Officer Buckle the Panda Bear, who sings a tune about seat belt safety.


READY TO GO. Sites within two state school districts have gone live on the new Maine Distance Learning Network, which will link to 52 sites by April.

The asynchronous transfer mode network will ultimately link 170 Maine locations for distance learning, communications and resource sharing.

For more information, visit


PAY UP. Baltimore's Treasury Management Bureau is installing the Unisys Corp. [email protected] Revenue system to handle the more than 1 million documents and payments the bureau processes annually.

Using TMS Image from J&B Software of Blue Bell, Pa., the system will process property tax, water bill, parking fine and other city tax payments on paper checks. Employees will be able to store and access images of payments and related documents from their PCs.


HEALTHY NEW YEAR. The state Mental Health Department last year overhauled its systems in part to prepare for year 2000 work but also to standardize systems for better manageability.

Through the IT Infrastructure Standardization project, the department upgraded 37 LANs and 2,500 PCs, trained 3,100 users on new software, and migrated 400 applications that included in-house, vendor-supported, user-developed and off-the-shelf software.


TRAFFIC STOP. Detroit area travelers can get traffic information over the Web at through a partnership of the Michigan Transportation Department and SmartRoute Systems of Cambridge, Mass.

SmartRoute taps DOT's Advanced Traffic Management System, which receives data from cameras, loop sensors, public- safety agencies, counties, towing companies, trucking companies and the media.


ON THE ROAD. Gov. Jesse Ventura took a two-day bus tour through rural Minnesota last month. The governor spoke in Windom about his telecommunications strategic initiative. Ventura said he wanted to encourage competition among phone, cable and Internet providers so 'everyone in Minnesota has access to state-of-the-art, high-speed technology.'

Ventura quoted a letter from Keith Anderson, a union president at Toro Co. of Bloomington. Anderson wrote that the 'information superhighway is the railroad of the future. Those towns with stops on it will thrive, those without a stop will wither away.'

'I couldn't agree more,' Ventura said.


TREES, PLEASE. The town of Madison plans to incorporate geographic information system technology into its Ribbons of Green project, which is aimed at protecting trees in the area, alderman Donna Yowell said.

Using aerial photography, project workers have inventoried the trees that typically line streams and property borders of the farmland-rich community of 15,000.

Officials plan to plug the information into a GIS to help planners and developers maintain the inventory, which helps prevent floods, protect wildlife, raise property values and beautify the area.MISSOURI

BRANSON BOTTLENECK. Did you spend your last trip to Branson, the state's entertainment capital, worried that you wouldn't make it from Andy Williams' show in time to catch Yakov Smirnoff's act? Worry no more. The Transportation Department has teamed up with Castle Rock of Leesburg, Va., to form Branson TripUSA.

Faster than Wayne Newton can sing 'Danke Schoen,' visitors can click on to see a real-time update of traffic conditions and construction delays in downtown Branson. In addition to Web information and travel planning, Branson TripUSA next month will offer 39 interactive kiosks placed throughout the city. The kiosks will let visitors buy tickets for Branson events and scope out traffic and highway advisories.


INTERNET INPUT. The Attorney General's Office last month added a section of proposed ballot measures to its Web site, at

The move gives voters information about proposals that are still in the formative stages, Attorney General Joe Mazurek said. The site also gives residents a way to e-mail comments on the proposed measures and the attorney general's draft statements before they become final.


NO-WAIT WIRELESS. The Lincoln Police Department is using PacketCluster Patrol software from Cerulean Technology of Marlborough, Mass., to access in seconds 21 years' worth of criminal data, including information on suspects, arrests, and gun and vehicle registrations.

Officers will use Toughbook CD-25 and CD-27 notebook PCs from Panasonic Personal Computer Co. of Secaucus, N.J., to access the criminal data. The 255-MHz notebooks with 32M of RAM will access the Cerulean software over the wireless Enhanced Digital Access Communication System, an 800-MHz trunked radio system from Ericsson Inc. of Sweden.

'We used to have to wait up to 20 minutes for warrant and arrest information from dispatchers,' Sgt. Todd Beam said. 'Now officers can get this information in real time and make on-the-spot arrests.'


QUICK SILVER. Gov. Kenny Guinn last month announced plans to develop an electronic government portal called Silver Source. Guinn will issue an executive order to create an e-government coordinating council made up of representatives from business and the IT Department. Guinn also has set a goal of having all government forms available via the Internet by April 30.


BENEFITS MAGIC. The state's Health and Human Services Department has developed wired wizard software, based on a National Council on Aging benefits screening application.

Oklahoma State Rep. Fred Perry plans to sponsor a bill that would add the state's Web address,, to license plates.

Community agencies and nonprofit institutions can use the software to determine a person's or family's eligibility for more than 70 social services programs.

The software runs under Windows 9x and NT. Version 2, coming out this summer, will be able to use Web technology and comply with Open Database Connectivity standards.


SMILE, YOU'RE CAUGHT. Wintriss Engineering Corp. of San Diego will provide the state turnpike with a fiber-optic version of its OPSIS 1300AS Megapixel Camera System developed for the area's Regional Consortium for Electronic Toll Collection.

The cameras will capture images of toll violators and transmit them through the system at 330 Mbps through Wintriss' PCIHotLink Host Interface Board.

The consortium will pay nothing for the system but will split the fines collected with the company.


IN A FIX. Everybody's favorite non-event, the year 2000 computer rollover, did cause a ripple of trouble in the Motor Vehicle Division that was quickly resolved.

A law that raised the minimum driving age from 15 to 151/2 went into effect Jan. 1. MVD officials installed new IBM DB2 software that reflected the new legislation during the last week in December, not realizing it would overwrite the existing year 2000 fix, said Mylene Lucero, bureau chief for the Information Systems Bureau.

Although MVD did have a few problems with driver registrations and titles that would not accept the year 2000 when offices opened on Jan. 3, Lucero and her team had fixed the problem by midday, she said.


GET SMART. The state Higher Education Services Corp. has launched a Web site called NY Mentor, a 'statewide online highway to college,' Lt. Gov. Mary O. Donohue's office said.

The site walks New York students and their parents from middle school through college, providing information about topics such as career opportunities, college selection and applying for admission and financial aid.

The site is at


SIGN ONLINE. Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall announced last month that Arcanvs Inc. of Salt Lake City has become the first digital signature certification authority to be licensed in the state.

Marshall's office developed the rigorous approval process over the past year. Under the North Carolina Electronic Commerce Act of 1998, digital signatures are as binding as handwritten signatures for North Carolina businesses, agencies and residents.


OUR MAN IN FARGO. The Fargo Public School District awarded a contract valued at $2.4 million to Vicom Inc. and subsidiary Corporate Technologies USA Inc. The Minneapolis company will install a metropolitan area network with an ATM backbone throughout the Fargo school district. Scheduled for completion in August, the MAN will use a 9600 series PBX from Fujitsu America Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and network equipment from Nortel Networks of Simi Valley, Calif.


DATA PATROL. Hamilton County is using an $11.2 million U.S. Justice Department grant and $5 million in matching county funds to finance a mobile computing system for police officers in the field.

The IBM Corp. system will by November let officers in the county's 650 patrol cars access law enforcement databases and transmit reports.

The system will link users via an intranet and run IBM FormRunner, IBM SecureWay Wireless, Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino Web Server software.


INFORMATION HIGHWAY. State Rep. Fred Perry wants to file a bill that would add the state's Web address,, to every Oklahoma license plate. Oklahoma would be the second state, after Pennsylvania, to put its Web address on license plates.

Perry said the uniform resource locator 'would create nearly 3 million 76-square-inch billboards, driving around the country, promoting a positive and forward-looking image of our state.'


FRONT BURNER. Now that the year 2000 dust has cleared, state CIO Don Mazziotti can roll up his sleeves and dig into other projects.

First on his list is a statewide virtual private network that would deliver broadband voice, video and data to state agencies. Mazziotti and his team are also preparing to launch two pilot electronic commerce programs, one based on an Oracle Corp. database and one using ColdFusion from Allaire Corp. of Cambridge, Mass.


WHAT'S IT WORTH? Erie County has awarded Cole Layer Trumble Co. of Dallas a $4.4 million contract to reassess 120,000 parcels of real property and provide assessment administration software and training to county workers.

CLT's Integrated Assessment System will let the county manage assessment, perform tax billing and collection, and enforce delinquent tax payments.

The system has an Oracle relational database and will allow public access to data via the Web.


JUST IN CASE. The state Emergency Management Agency plans to adopt Meteorological Information and Dispersion Assessment System Anti-Terrorism (MIDAS-AT) software from PLG Inc. of Alexandria, Va., pending funding approval, counter-terrorism program manager John Aucott said.

MIDAS-AT maps out real and potential chemical, biological and radiological attacks to help emergency responders make strategic decisions. It can model building interiors, as well as exteriors such as city streets and subway lines, and it uses real-time weather data in calculating likely spread areas.


THE ONCE-OVER. The state Revenue Department has hired PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP of New York to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the department's current setup.

The department is looking for recommendations to restructure both its business processes and computer systems so that it can best take advantage of the latest technologies such as the Internet and interactive voice response, office services division administrator Jan Key said.


GOING DIGITAL. US West Inc. of Englewood, Colo., will install $17 million worth of network and video equipment in the state's schools as part of the Digital Dakota Network (DDN), a statewide data and video intranet that is slated for completion by September. In a statement, Gov. Bill Janklow said the new technology will give every student in South Dakota 'access to the best learning opportunities in the world right in their own schools.'

The DDN will link state school districts to the Internet and real-time broadcast quality video over ATM switching centers, which augment the existing statewide frame relay data network. VTEL of Austin, Texas, Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and 3Com Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., are providing US West with data networking and interactive video equipment.


READY TO GO. The Tennessee Information Infrastructure project is under way after a state review board denied a protest by losing bidder SCB Computer Technology Inc. of Memphis, Tenn. [GCN/State & Local, August 1999, Page 9].

BellSouth Corp. of Atlanta and Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver are four months into work on the five-year, $136 million TNII contract. TNII will consolidate three major state communications networks.


GANGING UP. The Carrollton Police Department is using GangTracker software from Bryte Software Design. The Irving, Texas, company created the software in Lotus Notes.

Officers can store and share information about gang members, including photos, addresses, tattoos, vehicle information and relatives.

'We want to expand it to the entire juvenile justice system,' said Lt. Danny Galloway. 'We also hope we can tie it into our AFIS digital fingerprint system.' The department is running GangTracker on a Windows NT server. The typical department PC configuration is a Pentium Pro 200, Galloway said.


DEADLY ACCURATE. Genealogists, rejoice over this paradigm graveyard shift. The Utah Cemetery Inventory Project, a program of the State Historical Society, is building a searchable online database in Oracle8 of all the cemeteries located in the state.

Visitors to the site, at, enter in a last name, cemetery, range of years, county or any data combination. The site then shows name, cause of death, relatives, and in many cases even directions to the burial plot.


GUESS AND LEARN. The state Economic Development Department's Web site, at, educates businesses about advantages of locating in the state through the interactive Who Would've Thought game developed by Mark Ray, senior brand manager at Kelliher Samets Volk of Burlington, Vt.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency plans to add MIDAS-AT to its antiterrorist arsenal. The software projects the spread of airborne toxins in the event of a terrorist attack.

As a player answers questions on state trivia, an animated hiker treks up or falls down a mountain, depending on right or wrong answers. On reaching the summit, the site visitor can enter data to receive a Think Vermont bumper sticker.


LEGAL EAGLES. Visitors to the new Virginia Regulatory Town Hall Web site can track state regulatory action from introduction to approval and check out regulatory documents, economic impact assessments and meeting notes.

The site, at, also lets visitors sign up for an automatic e-mail service that notifies the recipient of all actions, changes and meetings scheduled for a particular regulation.


Y2K HANGOVER. In the Evergreen State, the year 2000 date code problem was not so much a bug as it was a tequila worm. The Liquor Control Board's 15-year old sales and inventory system ran into trouble the first week of last month, board officials said.

Clerks in 157 state-owned stores reported that they couldn't access inventory databases or track retail sales. And credit card transactions took too long. Twenty-four stores were closed for at least part of the day on Jan. 3, officials said.

Liquor operations were not on the critical list, officials said, and so were not monitored by the state's Year 2000 Coordination Center.


DIGITAL DETAINMENT. The state Regional Jail Authority is installing a jail management system from Venture Technologies Inc. of North Billerica, Mass., in the state's 10 regional jails, three of which are under construction.

The system will include bar coded bracelets for the jails' 16,000 inmates, fingerprint and photo imaging, and an application to handle the state's per-diem billing of prisoner jurisdictions, authority executive director Steven Canterbury said.


POWER TO THE PEOPLE. Human resources representatives in Wisconsin's 1,250 agencies, insurance carriers and centralized personnel staff can now track and monitor insurance coverage over the Web.

The state's 210,000 employees will begin accessing the site later in the year to verify coverage, change coverage elections and check claims status.

The application, developed by Wisconsin Info-Tech Services, runs under IBM OS/390 on an IBM S/390 G5.


ROAD TO PROGRESS. The Transportation Department recently awarded a contract valued at $500,000 to Meyer Mohaddes Associates Inc., a subsidiary of Iteris Inc. of Anaheim, Calif.

MMA will help the state formulate the Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Plan Project in three phases.


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