October 31, 2002 By Shane Peterson, News Editor
Glenwood Springs is the first city in Colorado to offer broadband Internet services to residents. The city spent $3 million during the past 16 months to replace copper wires with fiber-optic cables connected to the main network. Hundreds of residents and several businesses have expressed interest in signing up for service. - USA Today
The state's electronic highway signs will soon flash emergency alerts to motorists when a stranger abducts a child in the state. State police asked the Department of Transportation to let them add approximately 110 highway signs to the state's "Amber Alert" network. - The Hartford Courant
The state of Illinois is spending nearly $4 million to equip highway rest stops with security cameras and emergency call boxes allowing people to instantly contact state police if they feel threatened, officials said. If visitors are in danger, they push a button on the emergency box, which automatically contacts authorities and sends them pictures from that camera so they can see what is happening.
State officials intended to have MAX, a Web-based application linking all state education information systems together, up and running by September. MAX is a joint project of the Kentucky Department of Education and the Education Professional Standards Board. It will manage four categories of information: test scores, enrollment, funding, and teacher quality and certification. - Lexington Herald-Leader
Neighbors of Logan Airport can now use Airport Monitor to find information about flights and air traffic within 90 miles of the airport, the Massachusetts Port Authority announced. The information, once available only to air traffic controllers, includes data on flight paths, altitudes, origin and destination points, and airlines. Flight location requests run on a 10-minute delay for security purposes.
Registered voters in Hinds County, Miss., will use WINvote (wireless information network) voting machines to cast ballots in 120 precincts on Nov. 5. The 550 machines cost $1.5 million, which came from the county's general budget. The county is the first in the nation to use the machines, according to the manufacturer. - The Clarion Ledger
The University of North Dakota's medical school reached an agreement with the Mayo Clinic to help train clinical lab scientists. University officials said about 70 Mayo employees have signed up for the courses, most of which are online. The Rochester, Minn., clinic will pay the tuition costs for its employees.
Advocates for victims of domestic violence unveiled a new personal alarm system in early August. Users press a button on a pendant to activate a silent alarm that alerts police. The devices will be distributed statewide in the fall to those considered at risk.
- USA Today
The Virginia Department of Transportation showed off a prototype of its "Dashboard" system in mid-August. Dashboard monitors the health of the department's 670 construction projects by graphically displaying if they are being advertised for bidding on time; if budgets are being met; if work is being completed on schedule; and if projects are being changed to correct errors. Dashboard should be up and running on the Virginia Department of Transportation's Web site soon after Jan. 1.
- Richmond Times-Dispatch
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.