Local Government
Top stories summarized by our editors
11/15/2019

Charlotte, N.C., would like to overhaul its Discovery Place museum, but funding for the $400 million project is not yet in place. Competing projects for tourism tax revenue include improvements at the city's Major League Soccer stadium and a possible NFL stadium.

11/15/2019

Officials in Dutchess County, N.Y., are hoping to ensure all residents have access to online resources with programs to make technology and internet access available to all. Housing authorities in the cities of Beacon and Poughkeepsie have offered low-income residents free tablets and discounted internet access, while some school districts are assigning disadvantaged students tablets or laptops to take home and use.

11/15/2019

City Council members in Port Arthur, Texas, this week chose interim city manager Ron Burton to permanently fill the post of city manager, which has been vacant for two years. "We were able to make an assessment of some top candidates from around the country and place the person we have serving against those candidates, but he was the cream," says Mayor Thurman Bill Bartie.

11/14/2019

The Hart Island cemetery in New York's Bronx borough will become a public park pending approval from the City Council today. It is the largest public cemetery in the country and has been operated by the city Department of Correction.

11/14/2019

The city of Miami is contributing funds to a program run by local nonprofit groups that aims to provide kindergarten students in the city's public schools with a savings account with up to $50 in it. "We want to make sure we have a Miami that's not just here forever but that it's here for everyone, and the way to do that is to invest in our children," says Mayor Francis Suarez.

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Mayor Francis Suarez
11/14/2019

Members of the Lafayette County, Wis., board this week backed away from a plan that would see the county take legal action against journalists for disseminating information about county water quality without quoting county news releases and would potentially limit county officials' ability to speak independently on the matter. Board Chairman Jack Sauer had stated officials could be subject to ethics code violations before the plan was withdrawn.

11/14/2019

Teton County, Wyo., has half as many 9-1-1 dispatchers as it should, meaning that calls could go unanswered if someone leaves, Sheriff Matt Carr told county commissioners this week. He recommended increasing pay for dispatchers to match that of patrol deputies and detention officers.

11/14/2019

Low pay, mandatory overtime, complex job responsibilities and high stress all contribute to shortages of 9-1-1 dispatchers and call takers, but designating them as first responders could help, write Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene. "You see a lot of post-traumatic stress for dispatchers," says April Heinze, 9-1-1 and PSAP operations director for the National Emergency Number Association.

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Route Fifty
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Richard Greene, PSAP
11/14/2019

St. Paul, Minn., Police Chief Todd Axtell says his officers and detectives are "incredibly strained right now" due in part to rising gun violence and often can't meet standards for response times to 9-1-1 calls. The Ramsey County Emergency Communications Center handles almost 1 million calls a year for St. Paul and the surrounding area.

11/14/2019

First responders in Montgomery County, Md., on Wednesday told elected officials that they need more trained mental health professionals and services to help prevent deaths by suicide and deal with stress. 9-1-1 dispatcher Heather Miles said that hotlines and therapists may be difficult to access for people like her who work overnight shifts.