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Commonwealth Technology News

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KYGEONET now features near- real-time weather data, thanks to a partnership with the Kentucky Climate Center at Western Kentucky University. Click here to read the story 

Weather data integration aids first responders, public 
The Kentucky Geography Network is now including detailed weather information on its innovative weather mapping site, thanks to a partnership with the Kentucky Climate Center.
Kent Anness, geographic information systems manager for the state’s Division of Geographic Information, said the KYGEONET site receives weather data via an RSS feed from the Kentucky Mesonet, a network of automated weather and climate monitoring stations scattered throughout the state and managed by the Kentucky Climate Center located at Western Kentucky University. 
The data is automatically updated on the Web site in 15-minute intervals, but that frequency can increase during times of severe weather, Anness said.

Technology 2009
The year in review
In the past year as state government agencies and private sector businesses have fought for survival under the strain of a severe financial crisis, Commonwealth Office of Technology has focused its efforts on innovation and cost savings.
Commissioner Phil Baughn said an increase of 40 percent greater processing power on the agency’s mainframe has helped state government agencies collectively save millions annually in total computing costs.

KEWS network prepped for winter
The state’s public safety emergency communications network has undergone a series of improvements and upgrades just in time for winter, an official said.
Jeff Mitchell, the manager for the Kentucky Emergency Warning System, said the deadly winter ice storm that paralyzed Kentucky in January weakened more than two dozen of the network’s broadcast towers in the western part of the state, but officials have worked hard through the year to make repairs.  Towers have been structurally reinforced and new equipment was installed before the start of winter.
  
Governor Beshear issues ban on text messaging by state employees driving government vehicles
FRANKFORT, Ky. – With families preparing to hit the road for the holidays, Governor Steve Beshear joined Acting Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock today to announce an innovative step toward ensuring the safety of Kentucky drivers.
In response to the growing number of drivers who text-message while driving, Gov. Beshear launched his Eyes on the Road effort – an executive order prohibiting text messaging by state employees who are driving government-owned vehicles

Making a Difference: KET and the Kentucky Department of Education
When David Couch talks about education and technology, you hear the word “teamwork” a lot. For someone who played basketball for Mike Krzyzewski at West Point, that’s probably no big surprise. And when it comes to educating students with all types of learning styles, the associate education commissioner credits the team spirit between the Kentucky Department of Education and KET for creating the technological avenues for success.

Louisville Web site wins national award
Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government’s Web site has been recognized by the Center for Digital Government as one of the top municipal Web sites in the United States.
Louisville’s site tied with Aurora, Colo., for third among cities with populations of 250,000 people or more, according to a news release from Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson’s office.

Frankfort's Fiscal Enforcer
They don't come more authentically Kentucky than Crit Luallen. She's a descendant of two Kentucky governors and of a prominent whiskey distiller, as well as a familiar face in Frankfort's halls of power. What Luallen clearly hasn't inherited, however, is the loose ethical standard that has given the Bluegrass State more than its share of political scandals over the years.
As the state's top fiscal cop, Luallen exposes corruption wherever she finds it. And she doesn't stop at issuing scathing reports. 
Read the story in Governing Magazine
       

***   Governing Magazine recently named Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen one of its top public officials in 2009
Aside from her public role exposing corruption, Crit Luallen and her staff also oversee a technology audit for state government that drives Commonwealth Office of Technology to do a better job for its customers. Luallen's office conducts a SAS-70 IT Audit each year to ensure that proper security controls are in place for all areas the organization.  The SAS 70 was developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to assess the internal controls of service organizations such as data centers that impact the operation and security of the entire enterprise. 
"Our customers should have a high degree of confidence in the services we provide," COT Deputy Commissioner Robin Morley said. 

New user groups to boost savings, efficiency
Commonwealth Office of Technology is facilitating three new user groups for Webmasters, SharePoint and application developers throughout state government to more readily share information, tools, tips and problem solving solutions.
Glenn Thomas, director of IT Governance at COT, said as state government begins migrating to Microsoft's SharePoint environment, the forum will be a valuable resource that will help increase productivity and boost efficiency. 
"Aside from the potential cost savings, we also envision the forum will foster an environment of teamwork that will be beneficial to all agencies as everyone works together to share knowledge," Thomas said.
To learn more about these user groups, contact Thomas at glenn.thomas@ky.gov or (502) 564-6265.

GSC workshop schedule announced
Kentucky Governmental Services Center newsletter for January 2010 (pdf) contains its upcoming workshop schedule, as well as articles on performance evaluation review and planning, effective management, new year's resolutions, business writing tips, CPM legislative observations and more.
For more information on the Government Services Center, vist the agency's Web site: 
http://personnel.ky.gov/gsc/.

National Tech Stories
 
Other
 
Kentucky Governmental Services Center newsletter for January 2010 (pdf) contains its upcoming workshop schedule, as well as articles on performance evaluation review and planning, effective management, new year's resolutions, business writing tips, CPM legislative observations and more.
For more information on the Government Services Center, vist the agency's Web site:  http://personnel.ky.gov/gsc/.
 
 
Techlines Trivia Question of the Month

Question:  How many weather and climate monitoring stations around the state are included in the Kentucky Mesonet?

Answer:  According to Kentucky Mesonet Lead Systems Architect Mike Grogan, 36 sites are now operational throughout the state, but that number could increase to as many as 50 by Christmas.


Do you have an interesting trivia question that involves technology and Kentucky State Government?  If so, send it to Techlines via the Techlines Feedback Page.


 

 

Techlines Trivia Question of the Month
 

How many weather and climate monitoring stations around the state are included in the Kentucky Mesonet?

(See the answer at the bottom of this page.)

 

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Last Updated 12/23/2009
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