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Emergency management officials reflect on Sept. 11 changes
The Coeur d' Alene Press
American travelers now accept that they will shuffle shoeless through airport scanners, and that they may be subjected to more intrusive security screenings if they want to board a plane. Emptying pockets and dumping car keys and cellphones into plastic trays before going into a courthouse has become the norm. Many things have changed in the dozen years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on American soil — One of the most significant changes is the way communication is handled during emergencies and disasters.
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Portland, Ore., city leader pledges readiness for disaster, audit raises questions
When the time comes that Portland, Ore., faces a disaster, City Commissioner Steve Novick makes this promise: "We will be ready, we will really be ready." Novick is in charge of Portland's Bureau of Emergency Management and Emergency Communications. He points to a state-of-the art Emergency Coordination Center, currently under construction in Southeast Portland, as the latest symbol of the city's disaster readiness. But investigators have discovered the $396,000 sculpture outside the coordination center may be the only thing that's actually ready when the building opens. This city audit, published in June and addressed to Portland's new city council members, exposes just how vulnerable Portland really is.
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New Jersey lawmaker introduces bill to protect text sender from crash liability
A New Jersey appeals court is working to establish a ruling that could make people liable in court if they text someone they know is behind the wheel of a car. Now, a central Jersey legislator is working to stop that idea cold. Monmouth County Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande will propose a bill that clears any ambiguity.
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The wheels on the bus: Safety in school transportation
Denise A. Valenti
It is an event that parents fear with the start of each school year — a serious accident involving their child's bus. It happened Aug. 21 outside of Kansas City, Mo., as a school bus overturned on the way to a school event. As frightening as a school bus accident can be, the greater risk for a child is when approaching or leaving a school bus, based on reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is important that children, parents, transportation personnel and the driving public become more aware of the safety issues regarding school buses and the transportation of students.
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Uber is already driving Dallas crazy — What's going to happen now that Lyft's on-demand ride sharing is looking to pull in?
The Dallas Morning News
Uber, which has been in Yellow Cab’s cross-hairs since last year and whose drivers have been targeted in undercover vice-cop stings, uses limousine drivers who carry city-issued licenses; Uber also says it works with drivers only through existing limo companies with permits to operate in the city limits. (The city claims Uber has yet to show them proof of this.) But Lyft’s an entirely different beast, using an iPhone or Android app to summon nearby drivers with state-issued driver’s licenses who’ve gone through background checks.
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$1.08 million federal grant will map North Florida sinkhole risk areas
A $1 million federal grant given to the Florida Geological Survey and the Florida Division of Emergency Management will help map areas of higher risk in the state. The grant, financed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency along with the state’s division of emergency management, will try to generate a map defining areas across the state that are more vulnerable to potential sinkhole activity.
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West Virginia Supreme Court weighs municipal liability for dog attack death
Insurance Journal
The state Supreme Court has been asked to decide whether the Monroe County Commission and a dog warden are responsible for the 2009 death of a man who was attacked by neighborhood dogs. The justices heard arguments in a recent appeal by Dreama Bowden, whose husband, Lowell, died a week after the attack in Lindside, W.Va. The State Journal reported that Monroe County Circuit Court had ruled Bowden failed to make a valid claim that the Monroe County Commission and others were not immune from liability under state law.
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One city's plans to start ambulance service raises firefighters' concerns
The Houston Chronicle
By January 2015, Sugar Land, Texas residents could be receiving ambulance services provided by the Sugar Land Fire Department instead of Fort Bend County Emergency Medical Service. The fire department will be devoting the next six to 12 months to determine the most efficient way to implement an ambulance service based on recommendations from a private consultant, Sugar Land spokesman Doug Adolph said. "The next chapter will be diving into our emergency call load," he said.
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Santa Barbara, Calif., county supervisors question helicopter repair bill
Santa Ynez Valley News
Most people swallow hard when repair bills run more than expected, and the Santa Barbara, Calif., County Board of Supervisors is no different. The supervisors struggled to approve a $320,599.54 repair bill for Helicopter 308 of the county’s air squadron. They had approved the Sheriff’s Department to spend up to $200,000 to repair the helicopter. When the board made that approval, the estimate to repair the idled helicopter was approximately $143,000. But when the final bill came due, it was more than double that amount.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    City limits where employees can carry guns (The Lebanon Democrat & Wilson County News)
In Chicago, campaign to provide safe passage on way to school (The New York Times)
City's increased assets help push insurance premium up $18,000 (Princeton Union-Eagle)
F-35 opponents want Burlington, Vt., to bar plane from airport (VPR)
City to change party bus, taxi regulations after judge's ruling (The Pantagraph)

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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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