THE 50 STATES

THE 50 STATES<@VM>THE 50 STATES: Maine to Wyoming

What's up in your agency?

For governments east of the Mississippi, call Donna Young at 301-650-2145 or e-mail dyoung@gcn.com. For those west, call Trudy Walsh at 301-650-2238 or e-mail twalsh@gcn.com.


Visitors to Alaska's Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel Web site, at www.dot.state.ak.us/
whittiertunnel/virtualdrive.htm
, can take a virtual drive through the 2.5-mile tunnel.



ALABAMA

HI, DAD. The Public Health Department has posted information on its Web site to help Alabama-born adoptees get copies of their original birth certificates.

An Alabama law that took effect Aug. 1 lets adoptees over the age of 19 see sealed records that name their biological parents. The site, at www.alapubhealth.org, also lets birth parents place information about their willingness to be contacted and medical history with
their adopted child's original birth certificate.

ALASKA

TUNNEL VISION. North America's longest highway tunnel, the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, recently opened for automobile traffic. Anderson was a former mayor of Anchorage and the Army engineer who led the construction of the original 2.5-mile railroad tunnel in the 1940s.

The Transportation Department worked with HDR Alaska Inc. of Anchorage to build a Web site using Microsoft FrontPage that lets visitors take a virtual drive through the tunnel by clicking on hyperlinks at www.dot.state.ak.us/whittiertunnel/virtualdrive.htm.

ARIZONA

WISH YOU WERE HERE. The Office of Tourism offers visitors a chance to send free virtual postcards of Arizona scenery to anyone with an e-mail address.

Arizona tourism officials worked with the Arizona Republic newspaper in Phoenix to build the site, at www.arizonaguide.com/postcards, using ColdFusion Version 4.5 from Allaire Corp. of Cambridge, Mass.


Arizona's Office of Tourism Web site, at www.arizonaguide.com/postcards, lets visitors send free virtual postcards of Arizona scenery.



ARKANSAS

MOBILE MANSION. Gov. Mike Huckabee and first lady Janet Huckabee recently moved into a mobile home while the governor's mansion is renovated to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The $100,000 trailer home has at least two fiber-optic cable connections, said Gary Underwood, spokesman for the governor's office.

Huckabee likes to catch up with his e-mail on a Gateway 433-MHz Solo 9300cs Deluxe notebook PC with 64M of RAM and Celeron processor, Underwood said.

CALIFORNIA

BUSY BEE. The Sacramento CITeCenter Internet portal last month began accepting online parking ticket payments. Citizens can pay tickets online at www.citecenter.com or www.sacbee.com, the Web site of the Sacramento Bee newspaper, one of the sponsors of the CITeCenter portal.

Hansen Information Technologies Inc. of Sacramento worked with officials from the city and the Sacramento Bee to develop the site, which uses digital certificates, the Secure Sockets Layer protocol and 128-bit encryption to secure online payments.

COLORADO

MERIT SCHOLAR. Jeff Hulse, a graduating senior at Columbine High School, was the first person to win the Dave Sanders Memorial information technology scholarship. The scholarship was established last summer by the Mile High Chapter of the Association of IT Professionals in memory of Dave Sanders, a teacher at the high school who was killed during the school shooting on April 20 last year [GCN/State&Local, July 1999, Page 4]. Sanders ran the computer lab at Columbine.

CONNECTICUT

SMART MOVE. The Information Technology Department is establishing a new data center to consolidate its systems and has hired Meta Group Inc. of Stamford to help implement the state's enterprisewide technology architecture plan. The department has a $12 million budget to create a data center in the old Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. building in Hartford.

Rock Regan, Connecticut's chief information officer, said the ETA plan arose from the need for departments to share information across state systems.

'The current systems weren't designed to talk to each other because agencies were used to protecting their own information. Information is power,' he said. 'But now there is a need for rapid sharing of information.'

Regan said the ETA plan will be completed by the end of the year.

DELAWARE

RIGHT DIRECTION. The Labor Department launched Career Directions, an interactive Web site, to assist job seekers. The site, at delawareworks.com, uses geographic information systems to create maps with directions to job sites, including public transportation routes.

The maps also point out educational institutions, child care centers, businesses and training facilities within three miles of a user's home or workplace.

Officials used ArcView GIS from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., to build the database. They constructed the site using ESRI's MapObjects, MapObjects IMS and RouteMap IMS, which run under Microsoft Windows NT.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

EASY RIDER. The Motor Vehicles Department is using digital technology for driver's licenses to make the renewal process easier for drivers and help prevent fraud. DMV is using a capture station application that was customized by Polaroid Corp. of Cambridge, Mass., and runs under Microsoft Windows NT.

The system keeps digitized photos, signatures and fingerprints permanently on file so drivers can renew licenses either online or by mail. The digitized licensing system links with the DMV's legacy database, but the agency is contracting with Deloitte Consulting of New York to upgrade it.

DMV will implement the new system next year; it will run PowerBuilder Enterprise from Sybase Inc. of Emeryville, Calif., and IBM's DB2 Universal Database.

FLORIDA

EMPOWERED. The state is partnering with PowerUP Inc., a nonprofit organization in McLean, Va., to set up 25 computer labs in communities throughout the state. Florida Senate bill 406 provides $500,000 to bring computers and the Internet to children in underserved cities.

Each lab will be equipped with at least 10 Gateway 650-MHz Pentium III GP7 PCs with 64M of RAM. America Online Inc. is donating educational software, and Intermedia Communications Inc. of Tampa will provide lab wiring services. Universal Studios Orlando is giving $10,000 plus employee mentors.

GEORGIA

TOP BILLING. The Fulton County Tax Assessor's Office adopted Imagine 8.4 geographic imaging software from Erdas Inc. of Atlanta to help generate more accurate maps for appraisals. The county, which includes Atlanta, has experienced a 38 percent increase in the appraised value of taxable land.

The software runs under SunSoft Solaris.

HAWAII

OFFENDERS ONLINE. The Criminal Justice Data Center (CJDC) last month posted its database of registered sex offenders at www.ehawaiigov.org/HI_SORwww.ehawaiigov.org/HI_SOR. The site includes offenders' photos, convictions, addresses, employers, and vehicle model and year.

CJDC officials worked in a partnership with the Hawaii Information Consortium of Honolulu, a division of the National Information Consortium of Overland Park, Kan.

IDAHO

DIGITAL DEAN'S LIST. Idaho tied for third in the nation in the recent Digital State survey of technology progress.

In the category of digital democracy, Idaho received a score of 90.5 out of 100 points in the survey by the Center for Digital Government of Sacramento, Calif., in conjunction with the Progress and Freedom Foundation of Washington, D.C., both independent research groups.

The state won praise for informative Web sites maintained by the Administration Department, the Legislative Services Office and the judiciary branch, and the state's official Web portal, at www.accessidaho.org.

ILLINOIS

CLICK AND TRACTOR. Tech Town 2000 at the Illinois state fair showcases online services available from the state government.

The exhibits highlight Illinois' new state homepage, the state's labor recruitment system called Illinois Skills Match, online professional licensing by the Professional Regulation Department and assistive technology for the disabled, as well as several other state information technology projects.

Illini can view the state fair action through several webcams, including www.state.il.us/iisvideo/webcam/tech.htm.

INDIANA

CONTRACT WATCH. The state is offering a direct e-mail service that notifies subscribers about upcoming bids for the departments of Transportation, Administration and Public Works, and the State Armory Board and Hoosier Lottery.

The service sends subscribers, for $35 per month, the agency name, a link to the agency's Web site where they can access the request for proposals, the name of the project, a brief description, and the closing date and time.

The state uses BidWatch, a customized application developed by Indiana Interactive of Indianapolis, for the e-mail service.

IOWA

RULES OF THE GAME. The Information Technology Department is developing a document management system that will largely automate the rulemaking process and let state employees conduct sophisticated searches of the state's administrative rules.

The Administrative Rules Terminal is available on the state intranet. ART uses a search engine built by ITD computer specialists and programmers from RSM McGladrey Inc. of Davenport. ART, which runs Lotus Domino under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, resides on a 500-MHz Pentium III Compaq ProLiant 5500 Server with 256M of RAM and an 18G RAID storage subsystem.

KANSAS

FAMOUS KAMIS. The Department on Aging recently launched the Kansas Aging Management Information System to track data about 56,000 elderly Kansans who receive in-home care or community care services.

KAMIS is a Java client-server system running over the state's established frame-relay network, the Kansas Wide Area Information network, said Steve Johnson, director of information services for the department.

KAMIS runs on a 300-MHz Sun Enterprise 450 workgroup application server with an UltraSparc II processor and 128M of RAM and a 250-MHz Sun Enterprise 3000 midrange database server with an UltraSparc processor and 256M of RAM that accesses an Oracle8 database. The system links 11 area offices throughout the state.

KENTUCKY

MONEY TALKS. The Office for Technology has adjusted the rates it charges state agencies for computer and telecommunications services. The changes represent an increase of about 7 percent compared to last year's fees.

But officials in the governor's office said the actual cost to agencies would change little because the state has eliminated a support services charge it previously levied.

The office charges agencies $44 to $52 an hour for most support services. The agency provides a firewall analyst for $80 per hour and administers a firewall server for $1,625 per month. It charges $24 monthly for local telephone service and 7 cents a minute for long-distance service.

During fiscal 2001, which began in July, the office expects to take in about $56 million based on the new rates.

LOUISIANA

BAYOU BUYERS. The Administration Division's Office of State Purchasing plans to award a contract in mid-October for Hewlett-Packard Co. PCs, and related peripherals and support, including monitors, keyboards and system configuration. Louisiana officials estimate the value of the contract to be $11.8 million. Bids were due last month.MAINE

TIME TRAVELING. To reduce staff travel time for meetings and training, the Human Services Department joined the largest telemedicine network in the nation: Maine Telemedicine Network, which was started in 1997 with funds from the federal Health and Human Services Department.

State officials have installed Polycom ViewStation teleconferencing equipment from Proxima Corp. of San Diego in seven offices throughout the state.


Baltimore-Washington International Airport's expansion will include installation of a new parking management system.


MARYLAND

FULL LOT. The state plans to spend $10 to $15 million on new management information systems as part of its recently announced $1.3 billion expansion of Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Ron Grubb, spokesman for BWI, said the budget includes systems to manage parking spaces more efficiently.

Grubb added that the budget will include a system to manage the people movers the airport plans to install. The state has not yet chosen vendors for the new systems.

MASSACHUSETTS

HITCHCOCK THRILLER. The Public Health Department is using its Web site, at www.state.ma.us/dph, to list communities where birds are being tested for the deadly West Nile virus and to display the test results.

Concerned citizens dropped off hundreds of dead birds at the department's offices, amid an atmosphere of panic, following the discovery early last month of two infected crows in the Jamaica Plains Willow Pond area. State health officials hope to defuse the public alarm by publishing the detailed health information on the Web.

MICHIGAN

TELL IT TO THE JUDGE. Kent County has launched a $4.85 million, 32-month upgrade of its criminal justice systems. The new Justice Network will replace stovepipe systems used by eight county agencies, including the courts, the correctional facility, the probation department, the police and the prosecutor's office.

Project manager David Schut and his team are completing the technical requirements for JNET. He said the client-server system will use a dual-processor Hewlett-Packard HP 9000 server with at least 1G of RAM, a 6G hard drive, HP-UX and an Oracle8 Release 8.1.5 database.

MINNESOTA

ORGANIZED CRIME. The Public Safety Department is consolidating all database systems for criminal justice agencies. At each criminal justice office, the state is installing Linxx-2010 software from Datamaxx Applied Technologies Inc. of Tallahassee, Fla., running under Microsoft Windows 9x. Criminal justice personnel will use the software to query or update databases.

Steve Correll, director of criminal justice information systems for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said the state's old system involved several brands of software and hardware, and complicated interoffice communications.

The new network will let all criminal justice offices connect with the FBI's National Crime Information Center.

MISSISSIPPI

DIXIE CLICKS. Six counties are on the path to electronic government, with a push from the State Auditor's Office.

Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties, all suburbs of Jackson, have selected EzGov.com of Atlanta to build e-government sites for collecting property taxes and registering automobiles. The systems are scheduled to begin operating at the end of the month.

Hancock, Jackson and Harrison counties on the Gulf Coast have hired GKR Inc. of Ridgeland to provide e-government services this fall.

MISSOURI

SHOW ME THE MONEY. The Missouri Lottery discovered a new way to market its retail promotions: run a contest on its Web site. Last month, the Luckytown World Traveler Web promotion let Internet users enter an online contest to win $25 worth of scratch-off tickets.

The contest marked the first time the state has used its Web page to offer online entries for weekly drawings, said Julie Beck, Web coordinator.

MONTANA

FIRE LINE. The Office of Public Instruction built its Fire Recovery Information Web site in one day. The site, launched last month, provides Montana residents with contact phone numbers and addresses, and information about what to do during and after a fire. The site is at newslinks.state.mt.us/recovery.shtml.
Steve Meredith, administrator of Internet services for the Office of Public Instruction, said he built the site from information sent to him via e-mail from several of the state's public information officers.

Meredith uses a Macintosh 9600/300 Power PC from Apple Computer Inc. as a server.

To run the site, Meredith is using Dreamweaver Ultradev 1.0 software from Macromedia Inc. of San Francisco, and Webstar 4.2 from StarNine Technologies Inc. of Berkeley, Calif.

NEBRASKA

WEB WORK. Schools in isolated areas are turning to the Web to help students with homework. Teachers at Cody-Kilgore Elementary School in Kilgore recently began posting homework assignments on the Web with Achieve.com, an academic Web tool developed by Achieve Communications Inc. of Broomfield, Colo.

School administrators assign each student a password. Teachers post lesson plans, homework assignments and the student handbook.

NEVADA

MORE SERVICES. Las Vegas officials awarded an electronic-government contract valued at $5.2 million to Hansen Information Technologies Inc. of Sacramento, Calif. The company will deliver a city management system that offers utility billing, permitting, code enforcement and other services to the rapidly growing city of 400,000.

The services will run over the city's own Web site, at www.ci.lasvegas.nv.us. Using ArcView and ArcInfo geographic information systems software from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., city officials will tie the services Hansen provides to a digital mapping component, said Pat Dues, project officer in the city manager's office.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

TRIAL AND ERROR. In a first, the state is placing trial documents and other information on its Web site, at www.state.nh.us, about Chief Justice David Brock's impeachment. The state's House of Representatives voted 253 to 95 in July to pass four impeachment articles against Brock.

NEW JERSEY

WEB SUIT. The Administrative Office of the Courts will implement electronic filing for all 21 counties by next month for the Civil Practice Division's Special Civil Part. The Special Civil Part handles about 430,000 cases annually, including claims up to $2,000, tenancy disputes and claims for damages between $2,000 and $10,000.

The court site, at www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil, runs under Microsoft Windows NT and uses Microsoft ActiveX to interact with the state's database.

Officials are building a new Web site, using IBM WebSphere 3.02 application server software, which will let users file divorces and lawsuits online. They expect the new site to become accessible next year. Eventually, the state plans to have all court records available on the Internet.

NEW MEXICO

MAGNETIC STATE. New chief information officer Bob Stafford lists 'internetting the state' as his top priority, deputy CIO Marcia Martinez said. Stafford plans to create a multiagency network portal, dubbed MAGnet.

NEW YORK

CYBERSCHOOL. The New York City Board of Education is venturing into online training for the city's 78,000 teachers. The school system will produce a Web site where teachers can access online courses 24 hours a day. The courses will be for teachers who are seeking higher degrees but are not intended to replace professional development courses.

NORTH CAROLINA

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. The state plunged into electronic government with the release of its new portal NC @ Your Service, at www.ncgov.com. The site provides online services for community residents, local businesses and government employees.

The state hired Andersen Consulting of Chicago and Yahoo Inc. to help design the site. The state used Yahoo's Portal Builder, which runs under Microsoft Windows NT and taps a SQL Server database.

NORTH DAKOTA

WHASSUP, KOSOVO? Officials in Gov. Ed Schafer's office took down the 'Messages to Kosovo' Web site, at www.ehs.health.state.nd.us/gov/kosovo, late last month.

Soldiers from the North Dakota National Guard's Company B went on a peacekeeping mission to Kosovo last year and returned home early last month.

Schafer recommended developing a Web site where friends and family members could send messages to their loved ones in Kosovo. North Dakotans posted more than 3,000 messages on the site, said Sarah Manns, assistant communications director in the governor's office.

OHIO

KUDOS. The Education Department won the RealWare Award for Best Business Intelligence Application for its Interactive Local Report Card Web site. The department partnered with MicroStrategy Inc. of Vienna, Va., to build the site, at www.ode.state.oh.us.

The site provides online access to school performance and accountability data, including academic performance, teacher qualifications, class size, expenditures, attendance and graduation rates. Data is stored on an Oracle8 database. The state built the site with the MicroStrategy 6.0 Web development suite, which runs under Windows NT.

OKLAHOMA

MAKING THE GRADE. The Education Oversight Board's Office of Accountability lets Oklahomans check out schools' report cards on the Web. But these report cards don't assign letter grades. The office delivers statistical data on the Web, at www.schoolreportcards.org, for every school in the state, and shows each school's rankings, staff information and test scores compared to other Oklahoma schools.

Webmaster Yu-Chao 'Jerry' Hsieh built the site using Hypertext Markup Language and Microsoft Active Server Pages script. The school data is stored in a Microsoft Access 97 database.

OREGON

LED TO THE CRIME. The state police's Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) tracks criminal histories and stolen vehicles as state coordinators for the FBI's National Crime Information Center. Oregon state police run LEDS' custom software, written in C++ by Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, on two clustered Compaq ProLiant 5500R servers each with a Pentium III Xeon processor and 256M of RAM.

PENNSYLVANIA

BIG BROTHER. The Philadelphia Police Department relied on mapping software to help keep order in the city during last month's Republican convention.

The department's five-member mapping team produced custom-tailored maps using ArcView software from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif. The maps served as visual aids for more than 10,000 police officers to help with crowd control, parking and planning for any attempts to disrupt the convention.

RHODE ISLAND

HELPING HAND. The Human Services Department's Office of Rehabilitation Services and several state agencies are partnering with TechAccess, a nonprofit agency, to sponsor Access for Lifelong Learning, an assistive technology conference, on Nov. 16 in Warwick. The focus of the conference is effective use of assistive technology in elementary and secondary classrooms.

The conference is part of the state's Assistive Technology Access Partnership initiative created through the Rhode Island Tech Act grant. The conference will feature a panel of assistive technology experts from state agencies, as well as vendor displays.

SOUTH CAROLINA

HOT SITE. The state this fall will launch a user-centric Web portal for electronic-commerce services, including online vendor registration, said Jim MacDougall, director of special projects for the Office of Information Resources. The state is using Haht Site 5.0, a tool set application integrator and server, from Haht Commerce Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., to develop the site.

SOUTH DAKOTA

SOCIAL INSECURITY NUMBER. A software problem caused the Motor Vehicles Department to put unencrypted Social Security numbers on about 800 driver's licenses. The numbers were supposed to be scrambled in a bar code on the license, said Cynthia Gerber, director of the state Driver Licensing Program.

A problem with the Polaroid imaging software rendered the Social Security numbers machine readable. Polaroid officials declined to comment on specifics about what caused the software problem, but they did say the problem was fixed within a day of when it first cropped up.

TENNESSEE

OPEN SESAME. The Finance and Administration Department's Information Resources Office has tapped National Information Consortium USA Inc. of Salt Lake City to provide portal services.

NIC will build large parts of Tennessee's electronic-government system. The company will create the system's interface; the state will continue to run back-end databases that support functions such as driver's license renewal.

Tennessee will defray the costs of the new portal with transaction fees charged to users. Driver's license renewal will be the first service available through the Web. State and NIC officials last month were negotiating final details of the contract, which is scheduled to start this month.

TEXAS

TIERS PLAN. Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego won a $1.5 million contract from the Human Services Department. SAIC will provide system engineering and integration, training and help desk services for the Integrated Eligibility Redesign System.

TIERS is the department's effort to consolidate an outmoded jumble of systems that determine client eligibility for social services benefits into one integrated client-server system.

UTAH

YOUNG INNOVATORS. The second-graders' multimedia project at Cottonwood Elementary School in Holladay was cited as one of the state's top 10 most innovative programs by the Utah Education Network, the organization that runs the state's educational network.

Students used HyperStudio graphics software from Roger Wagner Publishing Inc. of Torrance, Calif., on a Windows 98 platform to create multimedia reports on animals.

VERMONT

VISION QUEST. The Finance and Management Department launched its Vermont Integrated Solution for Information and Organizational Needs project to consolidate its systems, and hired Andersen Consulting of Chicago as its implementation partner. The new system will run PeopleSoft for Financial software from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., under HP-UX on a Hewlett-Packard Corp. server with an Oracle8 database.

Bill Laferriere, director of communication and information technology, said the new system will replace an application written in Cobol that runs on an IBM Corp. server under VSE.

The upgrade allows the department to provide better financial forecasting, Laferriere said.


Conflict over wireless communication towers may spur a lawsuit by Fairfax County against Virginia.



VIRGINIA

GOOD INTENTIONS. The commonwealth's Transportation Department could have a lawsuit pending if it tries to build more wireless transmission towers along highways in Fairfax County. The county board of supervisors has voted to have the county attorney take legal action if construction is not halted.

The state's Supreme Court ruled last year that Fairfax County and other local governments had zoning approval rights over proposals to build cell towers. But the Transportation Department subsequently announced that it would own all future towers built on highways, making the towers public facilities and not subject to local approval.

WASHINGTON

BYTE OUT OF CRIME. The Attorney General's Office launched a Consumer and Criminal Justice Clearinghouse site, at www.wa.gov/ago/clearinghouse. The site offers tips for safe surfing, what to do if you are a victim of cyberfraud and advice on avoiding online scams.

WEST VIRGINIA

LUCK OF THE DRAW. Complaints from lottery retailers about slow computer response time spurred changes in the state's new online system.

Lottery officials switched in July to Integra lottery terminals from Automated Wagering International Inc. of Atlanta because they can print and validate online tickets and validate instant tickets. Previously, retailers had to use two machines for each function. But the new terminals' poor printing quality and delays in dispensing tickets combined with errors by retailers to stall the system conversion.

A spokesman for AWI said the company upgraded the Integra software last month and continues to make coding improvements.

WISCONSIN

MOLDY OLD CODE. Problems upgrading a registration and tag renewal system'originally written and repeatedly revised in assembler language'have choked the state's Transportation Department. Officials are digging out from under a backlog of 40,000 delayed tag applications.

The legacy system is written in BAL, a 25-year-old IBM assembler language, information systems supervisor Steve Borth said. The department is migrating to a DB2 database and a renewal application written using Cool:Gen, a computer-aided software engineering tool from Computer Associates International Inc.

Hosted on the state's IBM mainframe under OS/390, the new system will be tapped by users from PCs running Microsoft Windows NT. The legacy code also runs on the IBM mainframe.

WYOMING

COMP SITE. The Employment Department plans to build a workers' compensation Web site on which medical providers, injured workers and employers will be able to access claim information.

Currently the state fields inquiries by phone or mail, said Beth Nelson, Employment Department director. 'The Internet is the way to go. The new site will reduce the flood of phone calls our office gets daily,' Nelson said.

The new site will reduce the number of hours state workers spend responding to duplicate claims, because medical providers can check claims status online, she said.

Work on the site is slated to begin next July, pending funding approval.

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