State lines

Will it float? The Wisconsin Transportation Department recently hosted a unique webcast when it floated a 2.8-million-pound steel arch down the Mississippi River and hoisted it on top of the Cass Street Bridge. The bridge is one of two that span the Mississippi at La Crosse, Wis.

The department webcast the Dec. 17 event using Mediasite Live Web communication tools from Sonic Foundry Inc. of Madison, Wis.

The webcast, which can be seen by visiting www.gcn.com and entering 184 in the GCN.com/box, has more than five hours of video of the bridge installation as well as engineering diagrams, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and live interviews with engineers, project managers and elected officials.

Engineers from the Wisconsin DOT, Lunda Construction of Black River Falls, Wis., and other project members floated the arch on barges and connected it to permanent bridge piers.

Welfare deal. New Jersey awarded a $26.8 million contract to American Management Systems Inc. to design and implement an automated child welfare management system.

Under the contract, AMS of Fairfax, Va., will provide a Web-based system that gives the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services online access to information on every child within its care from any of its offices. The division is responsible for protecting the safety, placement and well-being of nearly 60,000 children.

The system will replace many paper processes and several disparate systems. It also will give the state's 2,000 case workers an online risk tool to help them place children in the best care.

Caseworkers will have access to information about who has custody of a child and whether there is a restraining order. The system will support better tracking and control of cases, including required reviews and assessments.

Departure. The National Association of State CIOs is looking for a new executive director. Elizabeth VanMeter recently stepped down after six years of leading the organization that represents technology chiefs.

VanMeter, who said she was leaving to spend more time with her family, helped build NASCIO's relationship with the federal government as well as with other state and local government associations.

She organized the annual fly-in to Washington for state CIOs to meet one another and federal IT executives. VanMeter also extended the organization's reach into areas such as IT security, interoperability with federal agencies and enterprise architecture.

'Elizabeth's energy and skill have been instrumental to NASCIO's growth and evolution as an organization,' said Gerry Wethington, Missouri CIO and NASCIO's president. 'Through her leadership, NASCIO is well-established and widely recognized as the premier forum for government CIOs.' NASCIO wants to hire a new director by April.

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