City commissioners in Lawrence, Kan., are considering a proposal from Mayor Stuart Boley to use some of the revenue generated by a 9% sales tax applied to groceries to fund a program for food-insecure residents. City Manager Tom Markus warns that funds used for the program would have to be made up elsewhere with new revenue sources or cuts to other programs.
Residents of Greene County, Mo., can now contact emergency responders via text using a new service aimed at accommodating people with speech or hearing impairments or those who would be endangered by making a voice call. Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications Director Zim Schwartze says voice calls are still the center's primary method of communication.
Programs in Chelsea, Mass; Covington, Ky.; and Gary, Ind., have found success with green stormwater infrastructure strategies in the past year, assisted by Southwest Airlines and the National Recreation and Park Association. The three underserved communities were able to encourage residents to become involved in planning and designing green stormwater solutions to better serve the needs of their areas.
The Friends of James River Park in Richmond, Va., says the local park system needs a 10-year master plan in light of increased attendance, and the group is seeking $250,000 to create that plan. Park advocates are concerned the influx of visitors could threaten the wilderness surrounding the park.
Four conceptual designs for West Riverfront Park in Detroit have been released by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Each plan includes an amphitheater, an ice rink, walking and biking paths, and kayaking and fishing areas.
About 7,000 acres of land in Montana's Stillwater State Forest has been purchased for conservation via deals between The Trust for Public Land; Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks; and the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
Florida has purchased about 1,000 acres of land around the Box-R Wildlife Management Area, increasing its size to more than 12,000 acres. Two state agencies paid $700,000 for the land.
The Western DuPage Special Recreation Association in Illinois offers a number of trips each year for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities. The trips help these individuals build confidence and hone decision-making skills, which can lead to improvements in other areas of their lives, Sherry Manschot writes.
Sonoma County, Calif., has written a new 9-1-1 script for dispatchers to use during wildfires in populated regions after October fires highlighted the need for more training. The state is also assessing the county's emergency notification process.
President Donald Trump signed legislation ensuring callers will be able to dial 9-1-1 directly even when using phones on multi-line telephone systems. "In an emergency, seconds count, and everyone should be able to instantly gain access to 9-1-1 dispatchers without having to go through a switchboard or dial extra numbers to get an outside line," said Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., a co-sponsor of the legislation.
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