THE 50 STATES
THE 50 STATES<@VM>THE 50 STATES: Maryland to 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 301-650-2145 or e-mail [email protected].
TEACH ME. Public school teachers are receiving free Internet training through a program called MarcoPolo from the WorldCom Foundation, a tax-exempt charity operated by WorldCom Inc.
Almost two-thirds of Alabama classrooms and 80 percent of school libraries are connected to the Internet.
The state's goal is to prepare at least one teacher in each school district as a MarcoPolo trainer during this school year.
TRAINING TROUBLE. David Grove, a database specialist with the Health and Social Services Department, recently protested a division policy that requires any information technology employee who receives at least $501 worth of training to commit to two years of additional state employment or else reimburse the state for the training expense.
Grove refused to sign a recommit form recently after receiving IT training. 'It's unfair for the state to require a two-year work commitment from employees in exchange for a $501 commitment from the state,' Grove said. 'That's indentured servitude.'
STACKS OF IMACS. About 1,000 sophomores with a 'C' average or better in the Phoenix Union High School District are getting brand-new iMac PCs and Hewlett-Packard ink-jet printers for home use, said Jim Cummings, the school district's public information officer. The U.S. Education Department funded the $1.2 million program. To be eligible for the program, students also must have no unexcused absences or disciplinary offenses on their record. The students' parents also are required to take at least four hours of training on the iMac, Cummings said.
TIME TO UPGRADE. State representatives and senators recently upgraded to Solo 9300cl Deluxe notebook PCs from Gateway Inc. The 7.8-pound, 450-MHz PCs come with a Pentium III processor, 64M of RAM, a DVD drive and a Windows 98 operating system. Each PC costs taxpayers $2,649. Arkansas legislators last got new PCs in 1996.
This 1931 photo of switchboard operators in the Vermont State House forms part of the State Archives' Web collection.
NEW ECONOMY HIGH. Gov. Gray Davis last month participated in a town hall meeting with students and faculty at High Tech High School in San Diego. The school opened in September with an inaugural class of 200 students chosen from 1,000 applicants based on their interest in information technology.
A visitor to the high school would think he was in a dot-com think tank. Students work in PC-equipped cubicles instead of desks. The dress code is business casual.
Housed in the former Naval Training Center, the high school's renovations, hardware and furnishings cost more than $6.5 million.
DIGITAL DONATION. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a $3.4 million grant to Colorado's public libraries for Internet connections, training and new PCs. Microsoft Corp. also will donate software to each library that receives a grant.
To be eligible for a grant, a library must serve an area that has more than 10 percent of the community living at the poverty level, based on Census Department data from 1990.
CYBER STATION. Jerry Hall, retired senior, is designing the Wethersfield Police Department's new Web site. He is using Microsoft FrontPage 2000 and will link the page to the town's Web site, at www.wethersfieldct.com.
Residents can register their e-mail addresses on the site and receive alerts of neighborhood crime watch information. The department's site resides on a 166-MHz Pentium Compaq PC server with 64M of RAM running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.
SAY AAAAH. The state has signed a $79 million multiyear contract with EDS Business Process Management Inc. of Plano, Texas, to design and operate its new Medicaid system.
The Delaware Medicaid Management Information System uses an IBM DB2 database residing on a Sun Microsystems Enterprise 4500 server with 4G of memory and running SunSoft Solaris.
In addition, the state is using PowerBuilder 7.0 from Sybase Inc. of Emeryville, Calif., to build its front end for online user access by Medicaid clients and health care providers.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
TECH HIGH. Mayor Anthony Williams unveiled the Partnership Technology High School project with the District of Columbia Public Schools and private technology businesses.
The city is renovating the 50-year-old, now losed McKinley High School to serve as an academic technology school focusing on education for high-tech careers.
The school will also be a center to provide community members with skill development and job-training opportunities. It is slated to open next September.
FLUNKED OUT. Broward County Education Technology Services executive director Joseph Kirkman resigned after an angry school board agreed to pay out another $5 million on a computer system that is 40 percent over budget and months behind schedule.
'It's alarming,' Board Chairwoman Darla L. Carter said. 'The board was not informed about the delays and other problems until nine months into the project.'
The district contracted last December with SAP America Inc. of Newtown Square, Pa., to upgrade its payroll and human resources systems for $12.5 million.
Two major blunders caused the system's costs to escalate over $17 million: Kirkman disagreed with SAP about the implementation methodology, resulting in a three-month delay and additional billing; and SAP surprised the school board one month into the project with the news that the district's IBM S/390 mainframe might not support SAP's software.
When the board learned that the SAP software hadn't run live on the S/390 as SAP had said, it bought three 700-MHz Pentium Dell 6400 PowerEdge Series servers with 4G of RAM running Windows NT.
PEACHY REVENUE. The state earned $37,530 by auctioning six truckloads of surplus copy paper online through Liquidation.com Inc. of Washington.
The paper, originally listed at $4,200 per truckload, received 19 bids over two weeks, and eventually sold for $6,950 per truckload. Liquidation.com took a 10 per cent commission, leaving Georgia with $6,255 for each.
Michael Pittman, spokesman for the Surplus and Supply Office of the Administrative Services Department, said the state is experimenting with selling other capital assets, including old police cars and a boat, through the Web auction services of Govworks Inc. of New York and Bid4assets.com Inc. of Silver Spring, Md.
BON VOYAGE. The State Archives is migrating its automated catalogue system to a Voyager library information system from Endeavor Information Systems Inc. of Des Plaines, Ill. Voyager runs on Microsoft Windows NT and Unix and stores information in an Oracle database.
MORNING AFTER. Managers of the Secretary of State's Web site planned to post unofficial election results the morning after the Nov. 7 election. Webmaster Pat Herman expected to download the election results directly from the Associated Press news wire into Hypertext Markup Language tables, which she planned to post at www.idsos.state.id.us/elect/results.htm.
TODDLIN' MAPS. Students at the Near North Montessori School in Chicago carried out a mapping project with the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission. The seventh- and eighth-grade students conducted research to fill holes in the commission's historical census data for about 90 communities.
The students entered the data in ArcView from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif. They used Apple Power Macintosh G3s with 128M of RAM and Pentium III PCs with 128M of RAM, 6.8G hard drives and Microsoft Windows 98.
ICE-T. The Transportation Department has equipped four new anti-icing tanker trucks with computer-controlled spray systems. The trucks, which cost $125,000 each, carry 4,000-gallon stainless steel tanks that can spray up to three lanes at once. The computer system ensures even spraying of a corn byproduct that reduces the amount of salt required to clear road surfaces.
DISPUTED BET. The Iowa Lottery Board has come under fire for rolling out the first scratch lottery game on CD-ROM. The Treasure Tower game requires users to buy scratch tickets, then play a CD-ROM interactive game that lasts 15 to 20 minutes.
The Truth about Gambling Foundation, a Burlington anti-gambling group, has condemned the Treasure Tower game and called for it to be regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission because of its similarities to slot machine gambling.
Ingenio Filiale de Lotto-Quebec of Montreal developed Treasure Tower. To run it, users need at least a 166-MHz Pentium, Microsoft Windows 95 and an 8X CD-ROM drive.
SWIMMING POOLS, MOVIE STARS. The Kansas Geological Survey plans to develop a suite of Web tools to help oil exploration companies find crude. State geologists and computer scientists will develop computer models of the rock formations that produce petroleum.
The Geo-Engineering Modeling through Internet Informatics project will include a tutorial to help oil company executives use the software.
Researchers will use the survey's distributed system, which runs on a Sun Microsystems Enterprise 2 server with dual 300-MHz Sparc II processors, 1G of RAM, 180G of RAID Level 5 storage, SunSoft Solaris 2.6 and Oracle8 Release 8.1.7.
GET THE MESSAGE? The Governor's Office for Technology is offering state officials the opportunity to become what the agency is characterizing as 'power messaging users.'
These users will receive enhanced messaging services, including a mailbox expanded from 25M to 200M and the capability to transmit 3M, rather than 1M, attachments. The service will cost agencies $15 per user per month; agencies must sign up for at least three months of service.
READY FOR ANYTHING. Disaster preparedness is more than just an abstract ideal in Iberville Parish. From 1989 through 1997, the parish had six presidential disaster declarations for catastrophes ranging from hurricanes to tornadoes.
The Emergency Preparedness Office last month unveiled a new emergency alert system called Emerge. Emergency Operations staff now can notify the parish's three AM radio stations, schools, hospitals, prisons, nursing homes and police substations through a reverse 911 system.
The 911 system uses geographic information system mapping software called Risk Map from Visual Risk Technologies of Nashville, Tenn., which works with ArcInfo files from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif.
INVADING MY SPACE. The Bureau of Information Services upgraded its cartridge tape drive system by installing four new IBM Magstar 3590 B11 128-track drives.
The system accesses an IBM 9672 I24 mainframe and runs under IBM OS/390 R6.
The department's tape library had increased 86 percent over the past four years from 13,393 tapes in 1996 to 24,944 tapes in 2000.
The new system will allow the department to free up more storage space by compressing data from about 50 tapes to fit on one tape.MARYLAND
LOW BID. The state has launched eMaryland Marketplace, an interactive procurement system for all state agencies to conduct bidding over the Internet. Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego is providing program management, systems integration and consulting services.
The system uses ConnectTrade purchasing application software from Metiom Inc. of New York, which allows buyers to access state agencies' requests for proposals. The state is using Savvi from KPMG Consulting LLC of New York for the interactive bidding component. The system accesses an Oracle8 database running under Unix.MASSACHUSETTS
FRIENDLY FIRE. Amid charges of cronyism, the Administration and Finance Department is auditing the Education Department's Information Technology Division.
Stephen P. Crosby, Administration and Finance secretary, said his office has received complaints about the division's management, as well as reports that managers had hired friends as consultants.
The IT division employs about 100 consultants.
'Our governor is highly concerned with accountability for teachers and students, and he demands the same level of accountability for management as well,' Crosby said.
Greg Nadeau, the division's chief technology officer, said he has not done anything wrong by hiring people he knows. 'My most important function is to act as chief recruiter and to employ the best and brightest,' Nadeau said. 'It's not easy to convince people to come to work for government when they can work for the dot-coms.'MICHIGAN
WOLVERINE RESERVATIONS. The Natural Resources Department plans to move its campground reservation system to the Web under a contract with Biospherics Inc.
Natural Resources wants to move as many of its services as possible online, department spokesman Tim Robbie said. It expects to pay the Beltsville, Md., company $3.2 million annually over the next three years for processing about 1.2 million campground reservations and 25,000 cancellations. The costs to the state run $2.55 per reservation and $5 per cancellation.
BioSpherics will use its ReserveSuite software to support the Web site and a toll-free call center. The department's Centralized Reservation system will tap an Oracle Corp. database running under Microsoft Windows NT.MINNESOTA
INSECURE FEELING. The Legislative Auditor Office reported computer security weaknesses in the state's Administration Department. The office found the department's Intertechnologies Group had failed to properly secure data on an IBM Corp. mainframe running OS/390. The group uses ACF2 access control software from Computer Associates International Inc. to monitor mainframe applications.
The security weaknesses affected systems that manage tax collection, accounting and payroll operations, driver and vehicle licensing, and welfare programs. The audit team said the group failed to control some powerful ACF2 privileges, did not document key parts of the ACF2 security infrastructure and exposed data to unauthorized access.
The department agreed to fix the problems.MISSISSIPPI
TAXIN' AROUND JACKSON. Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties, suburbs of Jackson, have launched online renewal of vehicle registration and property tax payment through EzGov Inc. of Atlanta [GCN/State & Local, September, Page 8
The Mississippi Auditor's Office helped the counties craft their electronic-government strategies.
The counties charge a fee of $2.50 for registering a car online and paying property taxes.MISSOURI
AN ASSIST. The Regional Justice Information Service, a nonprofit technology center founded by the city and county of St. Louis, has started providing accounting services to Jefferson County under an application service provider agreement with Systems Consultants Inc. of St. Louis.
The service provides financial and payroll management help to Jefferson County using SCI's Ienvision Series software, an online enterprise resource planning suite.
The county has signed a five-year lease for the software at a price of $70,000 annually.MONTANA
MORE VISITS. After the Yellowstone County sex offender registry Web site went up in late September, visits to the county's Web site at www.co.yellowstone.mt.us
increased by 3,000 per day.
Sheriff's Office staff created the site in Microsoft Word 98 and saved the digital images of offenders as Joint Photographic Experts Group files.NEBRASKA
PACKED SITE. Lt. Gov. Dave Maurstad, chairman of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, recently unveiled a clearinghouse for information technology resources on the Web.
The site at www.nitc.state.ne.us
offers information for citizens, education, communities and state government. Resources include links to databases on electronic commerce, health care, broadband services, criminal justice, geographic information systems, distance learning, procurement and legislation.NEVADA
MOST WANTED. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has teamed up with AccessLasVegas.com to catch criminals. CIMedia of Atlanta, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., hosts the site at www.accesslasvegas.com/community/neighborhoods/most_wanted_1.html
The site posts each criminal's name, color photo, date of birth, description, height, weight, age, hair and eye color, and a description of the crime committed.
If visitors to the site think they can help locate a criminal, they can call a 24-hour secret witness reward hotline at 702-385-5555.NEW HAMPSHIRE
HELP ME. The Health and Human Services department is using beCyber from Cyberserv Inc. of Vienna, Va., as an online help desk service for its caseworkers.
The online service allows caseworkers to access a computer support service database rather than waiting on the phone for a help desk technician.
The database resides on a 400-MHz Dell PowerEdge 1300 server with 512M of RAM running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.
Firefighters use thermal imaging technology in Alexandria, Va., to find people trapped in fires.
SMALL TOWN SYSTEM. West Windsor has contracted with General Code Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., to computerize its filing system under a $27,000 agreement.
The township of 20,000 residents is using LaserFiche Enterprise from LaserFiche Document Imaging of Torrance, Calif.
The township has not yet chosen the hardware for the system.
The new system will allow easier access to public records from the clerk's office and other departments, and will help free up filing space for city government.NEW MEXICO
STAKE A CLAIM. Since 1998, 29,000 people have filed for unclaimed property from the Taxation and Revenue Department's Unclaimed Property Division. The division uses the Unclaimed Property Management System from Wagers and Associates Inc. of Boulder, Colo., to track and report claims. The division runs the software on a Windows 98 platform.NEW YORK
SERVICE EXTENSION. TekInsight.com of New York last month won a $3.9 million contract to provide hardware, software and services to build and support the New York City Board of Education's enterprise network, which includes more than 1,200 locations and 150,000 users.NORTH CAROLINA
SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. The Department of Health and Human Services is contracting with MTW Corp. of Mission Woods, Kan., to develop a browser-based monitoring system to track adult care services in the state.
The system will reside on an IBM 3090 mainframe running OS/390. The state is using COOL:Gen from Computer Associates International Inc. for its component development tool, IBM MQSeries as middleware, and Microsoft Internet Information Server for its Web server platform.
Senate Bill 10 requires social workers to collect data and monitor the medical needs of the elderly and disabled who get state or county financial assistance.NORTH DAKOTA
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR. Gov. Ed Schafer, the state Economic Development and Finance Department and a group of North Dakota economic development professionals last month unveiled 'Economic Development and Technology,' a guidebook to help communities attract IT jobs.
Download the guidebook in Portable Document Format from the state's Web site at www.health.state.nd.us/gov/press/hightech101100.htm
POINT AND CLICK. The Job and Family Services Department has hired Jacada Ltd. of Atlanta to design a graphic interface that will convert its systems to a browser-based format.
The department is using Jacada for Java 6.1 to transform green-screen text so its employees can process more than 350,000 cases annually in a point-and-click environment. The department uses an IBM S/390 mainframe to store its data, but has not yet chosen a browser or operating system to run the app.OKLAHOMA
PULSE OF TULSA. Tulsa's Mayor's Action Center recently bought a suite of eCitizen Relationship Management (eCRM) software from Hansen Information Technologies of Sacramento, Calif., to speed the city's response to citizens' comments.
Citizens can send an e-mail from the Tulsa Web site, at www.ci.tulsa.ok.us
, about whatever concerns them. The eCRM software loads the e-mail message into a customer service database and sends back an automated reply.
The city has used Hansen's customer service software and database products since 1994, Louis Vanlandingham, staff assistant in the mayor's office, said.OREGON
MAKEOVER MAGIC. Gov. John A. Kitzhaber's Web site had hardly changed a hyperlink since his inauguration in January 1995. Kitzhaber decided it was time for a more stylish look.
Last month, the Governor's Office unveiled a new site at the same address, www.governor.state.or.us
. Created in GoLive Version 5.0 from Adobe Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., the new site serves up the most current information about the governor's policies, said Susan Fletcher, public information officer with the Governor's Office. The site receives about 1,000 visits a day.PENNSYLVANIA
LICENSED TO SURF. Gov. Tom Ridge is leading an effort to place the state's Web site address, www.state.pa.us
, on all Pennsylvania license plates to increase public awareness about the commonwealth's new portal.
The PA PowerPort Web site was built using a customized dynamic solutions framework application from Peripherals Plus Technologies Inc. of Lancaster, running on a 550-MHz Pentium III Xeon server with 1G of RAM under Microsoft Windows 2000.RHODE ISLAND
PEEKABOO. The Library and Information Services Office and the Secretary of State's Office joined to develop the state's first Government Information Locator Service launched last month.
Find-It! Rhode Island at www.gils.state.ri.us
acts as a search engine and index to help Internet users locate Rhode Island information online from the state's 111 agency and commission Web sites. The system accesses 39 municipal sites throughout the state, as well as the state's federal Bankruptcy Court and U.S. Attorney General's Office Web sites.
The system's builders used Microsoft Site Server. It runs on a 500-MHz Pentium III Gateway PC with 256M of RAM under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.SOUTH CAROLINA
WEBTOWN, U.S.A. York has a new Web site, at www.yorkcitysc.com
, that provides its 7,747 residents with historical facts about the town, agendas for city council, planning commission and zoning appeals board meetings, and links to county and state Web sites.
City manager Raymond C. Eubanks said the site also includes contacts for local utilities and public officials.
The town contracted with VC3 Inc. of Columbia to build the site using the company's Govhost.com
Web building suite. VC3 hosts the site on a 450-MHz Pentium II quad-processor system with 500M of RAM running Microsoft Windows NT.SOUTH DAKOTA
HEAD OF THE CLASS. Nice guys may finish last, but wired states finish first. The Progress and Freedom Foundation, an independent Washington research group, recently ranked South Dakota first in the nation for educational technology in this year's Digital State report.
South Dakota was the only state to earn a perfect score of 100 in the category of Kindergarten through Grade 12 technology. This is in stark contrast to the state's overall ranking in the 1997 Digital State study, when South Dakota came in 49th overall.TENNESSEE
DOOR TO RENEWAL. The state's new Internet portal, tennesseeanytime.org
, swung open when Gov. Don Sundquist became the first user to renew his Tennessee driver's license online.
The Volunteer State in September hired National Information Consortium Inc. of Overland Park, Kan., to build the portal.
The contract requires the company to launch the next phase of services through the portal early next year.TEXAS
CATCHING UP. Tyler Technologies Inc. last month won a five-year contract valued at more than $4.7 million from Denton County. The Dallas company will build a document management and imaging system for public records, maps, vital statistics and court minutes.
'We'll finally automate some of the stuff we've been doing by hand since 1863, like marriage licenses,' said Tom Reece, office administrator for the Clerk's Office.UTAH
MAN WITH A PLAN. Gov. Michael Leavitt last month named Alan Sherwood acting chief information officer, replacing David Moon, who left for the private sector [GCN/State & Local, October, Page 9
Sherwood had been the state electronic commerce coordinator since May 1999. He has worked in state government for 20 years and worked with Moon before he left to update the state's information technology strategic plan.VERMONT
WATCH THE BIRDIE. The State Archives has posted a selection from its historical photography collection on the Web at www.vermont-archives.org/photos/photohome.html
The photos represent Vermont life from 1920 to 1990, with some images dating from before the 1920s. They document agricultural, transportation, public safety and other government programs, as well as Vermont's landscape and people.VIRGINIA
GRAY MATTER. The Alexandria Fire and EMS Department is using infrared cameras to help firefighters find people trapped in fires.
The city is using the Bullard Thermal Imager from Bullard Inc. of Cynthiana, Ky., to detect anything radiating heat such as bodies, objects or the source of a fire.
Capt. Phil Perry of Alexandria's Training Academy said the camera picks up images in smoke-filled rooms that people cannot see.
'Everything has a temperature,' he said. 'Whatever is hottest appears white on the camera's screen. If a person is lying on the floor in a room filled with smoke, they will show up as bright white and objects such as chairs will show up as gray.' The camera weighs a little over five pounds and runs on a nickel-metal hydride rechargeable battery. It links to an antenna mounted on the fire truck which transmits an analog signal on the 2.4-GHz band.WASHINGTON
CAMMED SALMON. Now you can watch young Coho salmon frolic on the Fish and Wildlife Department's SalmonCam from the dry comfort of your Web browser.
The SalmonCam setup includes a weatherproof 12-volt digital camera from B.E. Myers and Co. Inc. of Redmond and a camera server that uploads new images every 10 seconds to the department's Web site at www.wa.gov/wdfw/viewing/wildcam
. The system uses a digital subscriber line connection from Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver.WEST VIRGINIA
RAM FOR SENIORS. Mission West Virginia, a program established by Gov. Cecil H. Underwood in 1997 to bring information technology to seniors, is adding 115 more computers this month to the state's senior centers. The new computers bring the total to 450 computers in 76 centers in 55 counties.
The Education Department's Adult Basic Education program provides computer and Internet training for seniors at the centers.WISCONSIN
FREEZE, BADGER. The Natural Resources Department has equipped its corps of about 180 conservation wardens with ruggedized notebook PCs. The portables let the law enforcement officers run license plate checks via a 4800-bit/sec digital radio network.
The department chose Panasonic 266-MHz Pentium II Toughbook CF27 PCs with 64M of RAM, 6.4G hard drives and Microsoft Windows NT. The notebooks also run Microsoft Office and a department database application, the Division of Enforcement Activity Record System. DEARS, a Microsoft Access database with a Visual Basic front end, lets wardens fill out time sheets, vehicle logs and monthly reports.WYOMING
SPEEDIER PROCESSING. The Employment Department's Workers' Safety and Compensation Division recently released a request for proposals for a document entry system to speed data entry of bills, injury reports, claims and other forms.
The successful bidder will develop a document system that works with the division's Panagon Integrated Document Management Desktop and Visual Workflow Version 3.02 system from FileNet Corp. of Costa Mesa, Calif.