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Volume 2, Issue 8
June 9, 2010
Government contractors should speak up! 
 
Mary Scott NabersGovernment contracting at the federal level is in a state of flux and it could become even more burdensome in the future. If this happens, large federal contractors may begin to focus more on state and local government opportunities. While state contracts may not be quite as large as those at the federal level, they are large enough and certainly less complicated, competitive and cumbersome.
 
The Obama administration is expected to weigh in heavily on initiating new federal contracting rules. One dreaded possibility is that a company could be required to hire certain contract employees if the company successfully captures an existing government contract. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is expected to issue a ruling that will contain a hiring mandate for outsourced workers in the near future.
 

IN THIS ISSUE
Health information technology funded
Rural community infrastructure gets boost
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
What states are doing with stimulus funds
People
Calendar of events
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
Health information technology gets $83.9 million boost
 
45 grants issued nationwide to improve quality of care, patient safety
 
Health TechnologyEntities across the country will use $83.9 million in Recovery Act funds to expand the use of health information technology. The funds were recently announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and will be in the form of grants to help networks of health centers adopt electronic health records (EHR) and other health information technology (HIT) systems. 
 
Sebelius said the funding will provide technology that "improves the quality of care we all receive and helps make care more efficient." The networks, which include at least three collaborating organizations, are community-based groups that support Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded health centers that provide primary health care to nearly 19 million patients, and those numbers are expected to double in the next five years.
 
Mary WakefieldThe goal of the 45 grants being issued is to support EHR and HIT projects. EHR technology, according to experts, will help eliminate errors in health care and help improve patient safety. Medical professionals who practice within health centers and can show meaningful use of certified EHR technology may become eligible for incentive payments from Medicaid and Medicare.
 
"These funds will help safety net providers acquire state-of-the-art health information technology systems as they work to provide quality health care to millions of people in need," said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. (pictured).
 
To view the complete list of award recipients and the amount awarded, click here and look under "Recent Reports."
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 
Rural communities to share $167.8 million for infrastructure
 
Contracting opportunities will range from construction to technology
 
Libraries BenefitRural communities throughout the country will get much-needed improvements to community centers, libraries, health care facilities and other infrastructure through investments announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Many of the projects will result in a variety of contracting opportunities from new construction to purchase of technology upgrades. The funds are from the federal Recovery Act and will benefit 145 projects in 37 states.
 
These community improvement projects are at facilities that serve the public in rural areas. They range from child care centers, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living centers, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public building and transportation. The funding will ensure that these types of facilities are available to all rural area residents. The money is made available to public entities, nonprofits and Indian tribes. The funds are being matched with $60 million from other sources.
 
In Monterey County, California, a $105,000 grant will be used to purchase a bookmobile and four computers with Internet access. The Mancos Library District in Colorado was awarded a $39,950 grant to purchase and install solar panels. In Georgia, the Cherokee Regional Library System was awarded a $100,000 grant to purchase and install new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
 
Other recipients include the City of Scottsburg, Indiana, which was awarded a $200,000 grant to purchase training equipment for a technology, innovation and entrepreneurship center. In New York, the Village of Brocton was awarded a $50,000 loan and $57,000 grant to purchase a new ambulance. And in Nashville, Wisconsin, a $592,500 loan and $200,000 grant will be used to construct a multi-use community center building.
 
To view the complete list of award recipients, the amount received and the projects to be funded, click here and look under "Recent Reports." 
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 
Upcoming education opportunities
 
$348 million facilities bond to go before California district voters
Gary EberhartVoters in the Mt. Diablo school district in Concord, California, will be asked to approve a $348 million facilities bond anticipated to save the district $150 million in energy costs over 30 years. Trustee Gary Eberhart (pictured) said he expects support for the issue. "The processes we've used to upgrade and modify our schools have been really good," he said.
 
The bond issue would provide for 817 projects at 53 sites carrying a cost of approximately $202 million. The largest part of the bond would be the $68 million that would pay for 51 solar structures. The district also would receive about $19 million in energy rebates over five years. In addition to solar projects, other expenditures would include $41.6 million for heating and air conditioning, $28.7 million for new classrooms and $20 million for technology upgrades. Other expenditures would be for renovations, lighting, security and maintenance.  A breakdown of the spending includes:

  • $69 million - solar and irrigation resource conservation projects;  
  • $41 million - heating and A/C;
  • $28 million - new facilities, science labs and classrooms;
  • $20 million - technology, including fiber optic, infrastructure;
  • $15.5 million - electrical systems;
  • $13 million - building upgrades, windows, roofs and doors;
  • $10.7 million - interior upgrades to restrooms, floors, food service;
  • $3 million - improvements to playgrounds, pavement, fencing; and
  • $700,000 - temporary housing facilities.
Pennsylvania schools will have $600 million for construction projects
Many schools in Pennsylvania will share some $600 million in federal stimulus funds for construction projects. The major portion of that money - $50.5 million - is headed to the Pittsburgh Public Schools in the southwestern part of the state. Among the projects to be funded are energy efficiency projects and math and science labs. A total of 101 projects across the state will benefit from $602 million in funds. That includes $15 million for the McKeesport Area, $20 million to East Allegheny, New Castle Ara and Sharon Washington and $16.8 million to South Fayette. Some schools also will use their funding for renovations. Some of the funds will be used to pay interest on bond money that will be borrowed to finance the projects. Most of the money will be directed toward making school buildings more energy efficient or to reduce their water consumption, providing facilities for early childhood programs and building labs for science, technology, engineering or math courses.
 
Tennessee school district seeks low-interest bond issue
The Sullivan County school system in Blountville, Tennessee, is seeking approval to apply for a $5.3 million low-interest bond issue that would fund three projects. The bonds would pay for expanding the Emmett Elementary School and adding new roofing and air conditioning at the Holston Elementary/Middle School campus.
 
University of Oregon gets donation for athletic building
Richard LariviereA multi-million-dollar donation from a major sports company will allow the University of Oregon to add another building to its athletic department. The new addition will be approximately 100,000 square feet and will create more space for the university's football program. 
 
University President Richard Lariviere (pictured) estimated the building would be worth "tens of millions of dollars." In addition to the building, the project will include a new field, stands and scoreboard for the soccer and lacrosse programs. Construction is expected to begin this year and be completed by 2013.
 
Fort Thomas district gets federal funds to build new elementary school
Fort Thomas Unified School District in Arizona has been awarded $3.8 million from the U.S. Department of Education to build a new elementary school in Bylas. It was the largest award given to Arizona schools and the sixth largest award nationwide. The Bylas community is being relocated south because of environmental concerns and these funds will build a new elementary school in the new Bylas location. The school is expected to be completed within 18 months.  
 
Bond issue in Arizona district would provide for upgrades
An $84 million bond issue is planned in November for the Chandler Unified School District in Arizona. The bonds would provide for roof repairs, repairs to parking lots and the addition of two new elementary schools. Officials saw the need for capital improvements that the state will no longer fund.
 
The bond issue includes $33 million in renovation and repairs to the 41 schools in the district. The two new elementary schools would have a combined cost of $32 million, including a land purchase for one. The remainder of the funds would be used to purchase buses, renovate some facilities, upgrade technology and purchase furniture and equipment. 
 
Pennsylvania school district to use stimulus funds for projects
Arnold NadonleyThe Glendale School District in Flinton, Pennsylvania, has been awarded more than $2.5 million in federal stimulus funds for improvements to schools in the district. Superintendent Arnold Nadonley (pictured) said the funding will pay the interest on a $7 million bond for the district. The funds will be used to replace the roof on the joint elementary and junior-senior high complex and to replace some mechanical, safety and security systems.
 
The superintendent said the bond may later be expanded to address other issues facing the district, such as a building addition. A number of other projects were recently outlined and if they were to be added, the cost could increase to about $19 million.  
 
Virginia school board OKs fall bond referendum
A November bond election in Arlington, Virginia, would provide for a new Wakefield High School and add infrastructure and technology improvements. The total amount of the bond projects  is $102.9 million. The school board also approved additional bond votes of $11.07 million in 2012 and $3.35 million in 2014.
 
The estimated cost of the new high school is $104 million. That issue will likely go before voters in November. A successful bond issue would have construction starting next summer. Another $2.3 million of the bond would be for fiber-optic cabling, HVAC projects and upgrades to roofs in the district. The school district must ask the county board to put the issue before voters, which the county board indicated it would do.
 
Purdue University officials approve 10-year capital plan
France CordovaThe board of trustees of Purdue University has approved a 10-year capital plan that outlines $1.2 billion in projects, but does not guarantee they will be funded or completed since most of the funding will have to come from the state. The board also approved planning and building of $145 million in impending projects, including a drug discovery center and a Health and Human Sciences Research Facility. Purdue President France Cordova (pictured) noted that research awards were at a record $405 million since June of last year.
 
Ferguson-Florissant schools to place $25M bond issue on ballot
The Ferguson-Florissant School District in Florissant, Missouri, will put a $25 million bond issue before voters in August. The funds would provide for projects in technology, energy savings and energy efficiency and support for student achievement.
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 
Did you miss TGI?
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
 
San Diego County planning $600 million government campus
Ron Roberts
A $600 million San Diego County, California, government campus is being planned in Kearny Mesa. San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts (pictured) said the project includes a new operation center and 71,000 square feet of office space and a new parking structure. The new projects will replace older structures that need repair. The funding for the project includes $215 million raised by the county for infrastructure and $209 million from lease revenue bonds.
 
Roberts said more than 4,000 employees will eventually work in the building. He called the project "incredibly important for the local economy." More office buildings and a replacement for Las Colinas Jail are also planned in the future. 
 
Denver to use BABs for variety of community projects
The City of Denver will sell general obligation Build America Bonds today as part of the $550 million Better Denver program. Among the projects planned as a result of the bond sale are rehab and restoration work on the Civic Center Park's Green amphitheater and the Voorhies Memorial Civic Center Park. Funds will also help construct new greenhouses at the Denver Botanical Gardens, for purchase of land and construction of a new municipal animal shelter, new police crime lab, construction of streets and bridges and library construction and improvements.
 
New York City creates chief digital officer position
A new position will be created in New York City's IT department. The new Chief Digital Officer will coordinate the city's Web 2.0 initiatives and social media policies. The new hire will work in the city's Office of Digital Coordinator and will work with the Department of Information Technology and Communications to improve features on the city's Web portal. The new position also will be responsible for improving the city's digital media activities through creation of dashboards, metrics and appropriate analytics. The new position is yet another push by city government to use technology to improve delivery of services to New Yorkers. 
 
Highway projects in North Carolina to total $1.3 billion
Gene ContiNearly $1.3 billion in highway projects are planned during the next decade in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area. That includes construction on the final segment of I-485 that will begin later this year. Among the other projects are:
  • $155 million to be awarded later this year for an interchange for I-485 and I-85 south of Concord Mills;
  • $150 million to widen to eight lanes I-85 from Bruton Smith Blvd. to NC 73;
  • $136 million to replace the Yadkin River bridge with a new eight-lane bridge;
  • $800 million for the Monroe Connector/Bypass, a toll road allowing motorists to bypass U.S. 74 in Union County.
North Carolina Transportation Secretary Gene Conti (pictured) said construction on building I-485 loop is expected to take four and one-half years. Bids for the project came in lower than expected, so the project will cost $25 million less than anticipated. The state will pay for I-485 from its urban loop fund, funding used to build outerbelts statewide.
 
Makeover of Cincinnati park carries $46 million cost
Historic Washington Park in the Over the Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati will soon get a $46 million facelift. Plans for the makeover and a 450-space underground parking garage were recently unveiled. Included in the project is an expansion of the park from six to eight acres, addition of a dog park and a concessions building, construction of a granite outdoor event plaza, addition of an interactive series of fountains for area children and a large civic lawn. Officials hope to put the park project out to bid by July. Revenue from the parking garage will help offset the debt for the remake of the park. 
 
Research center proposal approved in Massachusetts
A 1.7 million-square-foot research center has been approved in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The result will be the region's largest biotechnology complex near Kendall Square. The $1 billion development will include five new buildings along with the restoration of several historic buildings. The project will also include two acres of public parks and a new transportation center for buses, bicycles and vans. 
 
Kentucky road plan lists 1,100 projects with $6.7B price tag
Mike HancockThere's not enough funding to pay for all of them, but the State of Kentucky has released its 245-page road plan, which is going to the governor for his signature. The document lists more than 1,100 projects that carry a combine price tag of $6.7 billion for the remainder of the current fiscal year and the next two fiscal years.
 
Acting Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock (pictured) said approximately $4.1 billion is expected to be available to pay for the $6.7 billion in projects.
 
Texas police department bomb squad to get new robots
The Austin Police Department in Texas will get two new robots for its bomb squad. Increasing numbers of repairs to the current equipment led the department to seek new robots.  The new robots will bring to six the total number held by the department. The new robots will be stronger and can perform more complex movements and can climb stairs. The mini robot currently being used will be replaced by a new unit, the older one will be retained for a backup. The two robots will cost $125,000 each and will be paid for with a federal grant. The robot also will have to respond to events in a 10-country region, including Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Llano, Burnet, Blanc, Lee, Fayette and Caldwell counties.
 
Brooklyn Bridge to get $500 million facelift
A $500 million makeover is upcoming for New York's Brooklyn Bridge. The 127-year-old structure will undergo a complete new paint job and repairing parts of the structure that were original when it was constructed more than 100 years ago. The rehab project is expected to take four years. Helping pay for the project is $30 million in Recovery Act funding. Other city and federal funds will make up the difference. This represents the first major upgrade to the bridge in 10 years. The new coat of paint is expected to take the entire four years. The other major update includes expanding from one to two lanes the roadways that approach the bridge in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.
 
Cool roofs to be required on Philadelphia buildings
Jim KenneyContracts should be plentiful for those installing energy-efficient reflective roofs. Philadelphia officials recently approved a law that requires all new buildings to have energy-efficient cool roofs.  These roofs reflect the sun's ray back into the atmosphere and release absorbed heat. The energy savings can reduce the demand for air conditioning by 10-30 percent.
 
Councilman Jim Kenney (pictured), who sponsored the bill, called the use of cool roofs "a simple step to reduce energy consumption" that is "virtually cost-neutral for construction." The law will apply to all new buildings with little or no roof slope, which means it will likely only affect row houses and commercial buildings.  
 
Oklahoma to benefit from $1 million grant
The City of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and the Presbyterian Health Foundation will together match a $1 million Economic Development Administration Grant to a nonprofit. The grant will help the state and Oklahoma City to improve their support for start-up and growth-stage companies. It will fund the Oklahoma Technology Launch Program, which will be located at the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park in Oklahoma City.
 
Numerous contracts advertised in El Paso area
A variety of contracts will soon be bid out in the El Paso, Texas area. Among the opportunities:
  • El Paso County is requesting bids for wrecker services for the Sheriff's Office;
  • El Paso Water Utilities/Public Service Board is requesting qualifications for construction manager at risk;
  • El Paso Independent School District is requesting bids for district-wide plumbing systems repairs;
  • El Paso County Hospital District, dba University Medical Center, is requesting bids for security and renovation and separate bids for a digital X-ray system and panoramic unit;
  • Ysleta Independent School District is requesting bids for products and goods for operations (maintenance, grounds, small construction, construction, energy management and warehouse);
  • Texas Department of Transportation is requesting bids for commercial vehicle travel surveys (Abilene, Wichita Falls and El Paso);
  • The City of El Paso is requesting bids for pest-control services, general services-building maintenance;
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA New Mexico Health Care System, is requesting bids for a Recovery Act Project to improve hotel access (SDVOSB set aside);
  • The U.S. Department of the Army, National Guard Bureau, is requesting bids for Texas National Guard Statewide 100 percent 8(a) Set-Aside Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) for maintenance, repair, construction and design-build services throughout Texas.
W. Baton Rouge Parish Council to create transportation authority
Riley BerthelotThe West Baton Route Parish Council is creating a parish transportation authority that will be responsible for constructing a toll road to connect La. 1 and I-10. Parish President Riley Berthelot (pictured) said there is little state or federal money available, so "we're going to try to build it as a tollway." One private investor estimated the cost of the project at approximately $35 million, said Berthelot. The remainder of the costs would be recouped through tolls for several decades. After the project was paid off, the parish could begin pocketing some of the toll funds.
 
Grant awards announced for Iowa projects
The Iowa Office of Energy Independence has announced more grant awards from the Power Fund Community Grants program. The funds will be for six community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 
 
They include:
  • $50,000 for a community sustainability outreach program in Dubuque;
  • $50,000 for creation of a renewable energy lab at the high school, including a photovoltaic solar array and solar thermal water heater;
  • $5,040 for power usage monitoring software on Fort Dodge school district computers;
  • $4,200 for an energy efficiency toolkit program at the Grinnell public library;
  • $5,250 for a program to curb energy use in Hiawatha by encouraging purchase and cultivation of locally grown foods;
  • and $50,000 for a solar array roof and solar thermal water heater in Hiawatha for training renewable energy professionals.
Charlotte Housing Authority to use funds to revitalize home
With $21 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds, the Charlotte, North Carolina, Housing Authority will rehab the Boulevard Homes housing project in that city. Plans are to demolish the site on West Blvd. and replacing it with mixed-income housing, an elementary school and a child care facility.

New fire station in the works for East Bossier City
Sammy Halphen
A new $2.5 million fire station is in the works for East Bossier City, Louisiana. Officials expect construction to begin within the next 15 months. Bossier City Fire Chief Sammy Halphen (pictured) said the growth in that area warranted the station. "We're expanding for the future needs of that area," he said.
 
The new station will replace a facility off Meadowview Drive. Work should begin in the next 90 days with construction expected to take a little over a year. The current station will be demolished. The funding will come from the city's capital budget.
 
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 
Where are they now?
 
Camille BarnettCamille Cates Barnett (pictured) has spent nearly 25 years in city government and is currently managing director of the City of Philadelphia. Before her appointment in Philadelphia, she was Strategic Consulting Director for Public Financial Management in Washington, D.C. She began her public service career in cities such as Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Sunnyvale, California. She later was in city management positions in Houston, Dallas and Austin. She later worked with the Center for International Development at the Research Triangle Institute, one of the country's largest nonprofit contract research organizations, traveling the world counseling governments and helping develop and transition citistates in eastern Europe and Russia. In 1997, Barnett was named Washington's Chief Management Officer, serving until 1999. In January 2008, she was tapped by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to serve as Managing Director of the city. In March of this year, Barnett announced she would resign her position with the City of Philadelphia, effective June 30. Barnett said she is resigning to move out of the public eye while she deals with the tragic death of her husband, who died in an automobile accident when she first moved to Philadelphia. 
 
What the states are doing with stimulus funds
 
The Tlingit and Haida Central Council in Alaska will use its $960,000 in Recovery Act funding to expand the state's weatherization training programs and to establish a new weatherization training center in Juneau.
 
Centerstone, a nonprofit in Tennessee, has been awarded a $5 million grant that will be used to launch a new Career Resource Center that will provide education, job training and support services and create new health sector jobs. Five middle Tennessee counties will benefit from employment-related healthcare education, training, job placement, retention and supportive services.
 
A new weatherization training center will be created in Detroit, Michigan, with $850,000 in recovery funds. The center will be used as a site for training workers in energy efficiency retrofitting and other weatherization services.
 
Two health organizations in Central Texas - Georgetown-based Lone Star Circle of Care and the Texas Association of Community Health Centers together were awarded nearly $4 million in Recovery Act funds to help them adopt electronic health records and IT systems. The funds are used to help purchase equipment and train or hire staff to use the new technology.
 
Almost $1 million in stimulus funds is headed to the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority to create a center in the state that will teach workers weatherization and energy efficiency practices for homes.
 
The State of Kansas will use $6 million in stimulus funds to send one-time payments of $400 to 15,000 poor families in the state. The funds are for families covered by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which will help families pay for higher utility and other costs that arise during the summer.
 
Franklin County, Virginia, has been awarded stimulus funds of $50,000 to help purchase and install emergency backup generators. The funds will pay for about half of the cost of the generators.
In Athens, Georgia, a local organization - the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development, Inc. - will get nearly $1 million to train workers in energy efficiency practices. The funds will be used for classroom, online and lab education.
 
The downtown area of Weaverville, California, will get a remake with stimulus funds. Some $560,000 in stimulus funds will be used to improve safety for both motorists and pedestrians on Highway 299 that goes through the city. The project includes new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, crosswalks, bike lanes and more.
 
The Salt Lake City, Utah, International Airport is being awarded $4 million in stimulus funds to expand its closed circuit television system that provides airport surveillance. The funds will nearly double the number of cameras in the system.
 
A new baggage screening system to detect explosives will be installed at the San Diego, California, International Airport thanks to $28.3 million in stimulus funds.
 
Stimulus funds are likely for a biodigester in Morrisville, New York, that turns manure into energy. The Morrisville State College has qualified for federal funds aimed at promoting renewable energy. Scientists at the college's dairy complex are working to make the energy technology more affordable for farmers. The biodigester produces electricity and heat from organic waste, providing an inexpensive source of energy for farmers.  
 
The State of Montana is receiving nearly $1 million to expand its weatherization training program. The funds will go to the Montana State University to expand training already offered at the school and will be used to develop more courses.
People
 
Ray CampDebra LehrmannFormer Eddy County, New Mexico, commissioner Ray Camp (top left), who has served on the five-member State Personnel Board, was reappointed by Gov. Bill Richardson to serve another five years, subject to State Senate confirmation. Debra Lehrmann (top right), a judge of the 360th Court in Texas, and former family law judge in Tarrant County, has been appointed justice to the Supreme Court of Texas, beginning June 21 and serving until the next general election. She replaces Justice Harriet O'Neill, who chose not to seek re-election and resigned, effective June 20. James R. Clapper (bottom left), the Pentagon's current intelligence chief has been chosen by President Barack Obama to serve as director of national intelligence, pendingRichard NegrinJames Clapper U.S. Senate confirmation. Huntsville, Texas, interim police chief Kevin Lunsford has been promoted to the permanent post of police chief/director of public safety, replacing former Chief Allwin Barrow, who resigned. Ross Portolese, a current board member, and Donald Schefmeyer have been appointed to one-year terms on the St. Joseph County, Indiana, Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has named Richard Negrin (bottom right) the city's next managing director, replacing departing Managing Director Camille Barnett, and will have a new title of deputy mayor. Former El Campo, Texas, assistant city manager and current finance director for the city of Rosenberg, Mindi Snyder, has been named El Campo city manager. Gary W. Morrison, a member of the Long Beach Police Department for 22 years, having last served as a commander, was recently introduced as the new chief of the Carlsbad, Thomas ForwardJay AngoffCalifornia, Police Department. Rick Mathwig has been named police chief for the city of Roseville, Minnesota, and Tim O'Neill has been named the city's new fire chief. The City of Tampa has named Tom Forward (bottom left), former assistant chief, special operations chief, training chief and personnel chief as chief of Tampa Fire Rescue, replacing Dennis Jones, whose last day was May 8. Recent appointments to the new Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight are: Director Jay Angoff (bottom right), former Missouri insurance commissioner; former Maryland Insurance Commissioner Steve Larsen, who will run the oversight division; former Georgetown University professor Karen Pollitz, who will head the office's consumer support division; and Richard Pepper, who runs an insurance-related program in Maryland and will head the office's insurance program division. Former Morris County, New Jersey, Freeholder John Inglesino has been nominated by Gov. Chris Christie to a position on the board of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority. Wyoming First Lady Nancy Freudenthal, wife of Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, has been sworn in as a federal judge. Superintendent Jeffrey R. Spiegel will retire from the Ferguson-Florissant School District in Florissant, Missouri, at the end of the 2010-2011 school year after spending his entire educational career there, starting as a high school math teacher in 1976. Dr. Tom Kopatich, current assistant superintendent of the Mt. Vernon, Indiana, School District, has been named superintendent, replacing Superintendent Keith Spurgeon, who is retiring.

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4th Annual HAZUS conference slated in August in Indianapolis
The 4th Annual HAZUS Conference is slated for Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 23-25, at the Indiana Government Center, South Building in Indianapolis. HAZUS-MH is a risk assessment methodology used to analyze potential losses from natural hazards including floods, hurricane winds and earthquakes. HAZUS uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software combined with science, engineering and math modeling to map and display hazard data and the results of damage and economic loss estimates for buildings and infrastructure. It was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under contract with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Federal, state and local government agencies and the private sector can order HAZUS-MH free-of-charge from the FEMA Publication Warehouse. The purpose of this site is to promote HAZUS training and provide quick links to key resources that encourage the use of HAZUS to ensure the safety of the United States. To register, click here.
 
Government Health IT Conference planned in June 
The 2010 Government Health IT (GHIT) Conference and Exhibition, sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), is slated for June 15-16 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Featured educational tracks include: Blueprints for Nationwide Health Information Exchange and Connecting the Health Community. For more information, click here
 
Small business briefing conference slated in Texas 
The last session of the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services Small Business Briefing conferences has been announced for June 15 in Texarkana. The conference goal is to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with TxDOT. Information will be available to help them do business with the agency and the State of Texas. The sessions not only allow small businesses to be introduced to TxDOT and other state agencies, but also allows them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions. It also allows the agencies to show the myriad of opportunities available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information, click here or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2. To register, click here
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