A parks agency can promote healthy activity and eating for residents with the help of an effective wellness department, write Chicago Park District officials Emmanuel Salazar and Irene Tostado. "For a mission statement to be embraced, any effective wellness program must have as its foundation a system of policies that bolster the creation of a healthy, safe and supportive learning environment," they write.
The Woodie Wheaton Land Trust has purchased 3,053 acres of land near Amity, Maine, for preservation and recreational uses. The land includes forests and wetlands.
The planned 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C., is intended to link the Capitol Hill and Anacostia neighborhoods without displacing residents. A community land trust funded by JPMorgan Chase has been created to help preserve homeownership in less affluent Anacostia.
Residents of Bay City, Texas, were given a look at designs for a planned indoor and outdoor aquatic center. The city is eligible to receive grants of about $750,000 from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the project, which could cost up to $17 million.
Commissioners in Cowlitz County, Wash., approved the formation of a new 9-1-1 agency independent from county control. Emergency dispatch services will be managed by a nine-person board of directors, and the new agency should begin operations by January 2019.
Verizon and AT&T are in fierce competition to bring their wireless technologies to public-safety users. Both are planning app stores dedicated to public-safety apps, along with network-deployment services to help first responders create emergency wireless coverage in specific locations.
To decrease the time it takes to transport patients and to free up ambulances, Horry County Fire Rescue in South Carolina may change its policy that currently allows patients to choose which hospital they are taken to in an ambulance. Chief Joseph Tanner said the department is considering using a similar process to the one it uses when handling large events with life-threatening emergencies and taking patients to the "most appropriate" hospital.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson voiced his opposition to the civilian oversight board promised by Mayor Rahm Emanuel two years ago that would set policy for the department and have power to fire the superintendent. "They don't have the professional acumen to be able to develop policy and strategy for a police department," Johnson said.
First responders, including those who responded to the Feb. 14 shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, have noted problems with digital radio systems slowing down or not allowing them to talk during major emergency situations. Manufacturers of the systems say the problems often stem from user error.
The nation's mayors are meeting this week at the National League of Cities' annual conference, and many were critical of the Trump administration's infrastructure plan. They oppose plans to shift financial burden to cities, and they want more federal money connected to any infrastructure plan.