Some parts of Kentucky are struggling to pay for 9-1-1 as traditional landline-based funding is dwindling and more people use only cellphones. This issue is a "consequence of the structural changes" in telecommunications over the past two decades, said NENA's Trey Forgety. In Kentucky, cellphone fees for 9-1-1 cover 20% of operating costs, even as cellphones are used for 80% of the calls to dispatch centers.
FirstNet will outline its cybersecurity strategy this fall, said the organization's president, T.J. Kennedy. The network may be targeted by hackers, but building defenses as it is designed will benefit FirstNet, he said. "We have the unique opportunity to build in cyber from the beginning, and we can build it with some new technology, which often is not the case [when dealing with legacy networks]," Kennedy said.
Pilot programs in California send "community paramedics" to treat people with chronic illness or social problems to keep them from calling 9-1-1 in need of emergency care. Additionally, while state law requires 9-1-1 callers be taken to an emergency room, an initiative in Glendale and Santa Monica will let paramedics take people to urgent care clinics instead if they meet certain requirements.
An abandoned railway line in Chicago has become a nearly three-mile, elevated path that allows residents, particularly bicyclists, to move between parks easily. The city is one of several taking old infrastructure and transforming it into welcoming spaces. One example is Savannah, Ga., where a parking garage was torn down in favor of restoring a 1700s-era town square.
Portland, Ore., is partnering with social-service providers in a $924,000 outreach program for homeless people who need the most help. The goal is to house at least 50 of the estimated 2,000 homeless people in Multnomah County. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales says more funding and services are needed to fully address the issue.
The driving-focused culture of the U.S. has limited the right to walk, damaging people's health, humanity and freedom, writes Antonia Malchik. The 20th century shift toward suburbs and the U.S. attitude toward private property and liberty accelerated the trend away from sidewalks, but a younger generation may offer hope. "There is nothing more human, more natural, more fundamental to our freedom, than transporting ourselves by foot," Malchik writes.
The Pershing Field playground in Jersey City, N.J., has been approved for more than $850,000 in renovations after years of planning. In addition to new playground equipment, improvements include curbing and sidewalk repairs, and a rubberized safety surface.
Denver, Iowa, on Sunday opened Cyclone City playground, which was built through a combination of city funding, fundraising and volunteer efforts. The playground features children's handprints made using paint and has a separate space for preschool children.
A nature-themed playground that incorporates a river has opened at Riverbend Park in Middlebury, Ind. The all-accessible playground includes a bridge, a log crawl, a sunfish jungle gym, a rock wall and slides.
Steele Creek Park in Bristol, Tenn., will be doubling the size of its nature center while adding parking, bathrooms and a splash pad. "We look forward to gently increasing our opportunities at the park while still conserving our green space," said Terry Napier, Parks & Recreation Department director.
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