State lines

Keeping in touch. Michigan is funneling federal and state homeland security information through a new Web site, www.michigan.gov/homeland.

The site, which Michigan launched last month, provides information from the state police and the state's Public Service Commission and departments of Community Health, Military and Veterans Affairs, Agriculture and Education.

It also links users to the federal Homeland Security Department.

Citizens can find a variety of resources on civil rights, border and travel and volunteer opportunities. Each area highlights what the state is doing to prepare for a homeland security emergency or how citizens can get involved.

PC burglary. The contents of eight computers stolen last month from New Mexico's Environment Department spurred fears that the culprits may have been terrorists rather than simple burglars.

The computers contained information on the licensing of radioactive materials at 210 businesses. The majority of the businesses are small nuclear medicine programs or construction companies that use devices such as moisture gauges containing cesium-137, a radioactive isotope, said John Goldstein, communications director for the Environment Department.

One of the office's duties is to regulate and license such devices, Goldstein said.

Although the information stored on the computers was available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act, the theft has raised suspicions because of the current heightened alert for terrorist activity. Cesium-137 is frequently cited as one of al-Qaida's ingredients of choice for making dirty bombs.

Bluegrass portal. Kentucky awarded NIC Inc. a multimillion-dollar, 10-year contract from Kentucky to provide the state with a new e-government portal.

Under the contract, NIC of Overland Park, Kan., will provide the infrastructure and staff to develop, maintain and host the portal. The company plans to redesign the portal to make it easier to use.

As part of the contract, NIC will provide hosting services for the state's 130 existing interactive applications and will integrate the services into the expanded portal environment.

In addition, state officials have asked the company to identify at least 10 more e-gov services for possible deployment.

The new portal is expected to launch this spring. Aldona Valicenti, Kentucky's CIO, said the portal would be funded by revenue it draws in.

This model will help the state build additional e-government services at minimal cost to Kentucky taxpayers.

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