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12/28/2020
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WorkScoop

GIS saves Christmas

The COVID-19 pandemic nearly canceled a beloved holiday tradition in Grapevine, Texas, this year, but some creative planning and the use of geographic information systems technology allowed the city of about 50,000 to hold its annual Christmas parade on Main Street, though in a slightly different format. Instead of the usual processional, which is staged each year as one of the top attractions in the city’s “40 Days of Christmas” program, officials instead held a “reverse parade,” in which the floats remain stationary while people drive past in their cars. GIS played a key role in the planning process, Betsi Chatham told StateScoop. Colin Wood has the story.


A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.


Virginia builds an e-referral system

As COVID-19 cases rose in Virginia during the holiday season, Gov. Ralph Northam announced a $10 million investment of the state’s CARES Act funding will go toward a new statewide technology platform to connect government agencies, health care providers and residents. The e-referral system, called United Virginia, is to integrate existing electronic medical record systems used by hospitals and medical care facilities to one another. The platform is intended to make it easier for health care providers to refer patients to social service organizations that provide food, housing, transportation and employment services. It will also collect data from health care organizations, enabling state policymakers to make more informed decisions about where to send resources and funding to improve public health outcomes. Ryan Johnston has the details.


NYC's broadband initiative gains additional leadership

New York City appointed a new deputy chief technology officer to lead the city’s broadband expansion efforts last week, alongside opening a trio of new roles designed to improve digital inclusion during the implementation of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “internet master plan” for universal broadband connectivity. Aaron Meyerson, assistant vice president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, will help the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer improve public-private partnerships and analyze broadband coverage data to meet the needs of currently underserved city residents. Ryan has more.


Digital driver's licenses boosted by stimulus package

With the federal government’s deadline for enforcing its Real ID standards at Transportation Security Agency lines in airports and other checkpoints approaching next October, the massive spending package Congress approved Monday night contains language that will authorize the digital driver’s licenses that some states have started issuing. Tucked in the 5,573-page bill is a provision that non-physical versions of driver’s licenses and other state-issued identifications will be considered valid when Real ID enforcement begins. Benjamin Freed breaks down the change.


Utah CIO Mike Hussey steps down

Utah Chief Information Officer Mike Hussey, who’s spent the last two decades serving under four governors, will step down on Jan. 4 as Governor-elect and current Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox assumes office.  In an interview with StateScoop, Hussey reflects on the central achievements of the Utah Department of Technology Services in recent years and takes a look back at more than two decades providing technical support in the Utah governor's office, starting with former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt. “He was out in the media a ton,” Hussey said of Leavitt. “I could see where he was going. He had a technology hammer and he wanted to go around and fix things. So I really was excited to be part of that team.” Read the full story.


SPONSORED BY SAIC

Supporting children and families by tackling internet disparity

The pandemic has widened the digital divide effecting communities across the nation. Both schools and enterprises are working hard to operate under virtual conditions, but the people that are adversely affected out are those without access to reliable internet. A new briefing document explains how state and local agencies can access federal funding to bring internet access their community — but they must act before the end of the year. Read more from SAIC.


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