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Feds planning over 50 percent cut in nuclear security funding to NYPD
Longisland.com
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer warned that the Department of Homeland Security is planning on cutting funding to New York City from the federal "Securing the Cities" program in the upcoming year by over 50 percent. The dramatic and unexpected drop in funding would deal a major blow to the New York Police Department's radiation detection initiative, the importance of which was underscored recently when President Obama said his biggest fear was a nuclear weapon going off in New York City.
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Oklahoma commissioner to seek NAIC investment in emergency response vehicles
Claims Journal
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak announced that he intends to ask the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to invest in Shared Emergency Response Vehicles (SERVEs) for education and disaster response. “These vehicles are a great way for the NAIC to highlight the benefits of state-based regulation and would show a true commitment to consumer education and assistance,” Doak said in an announcement released by his office.
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Kentucky officials crack down on texting and driving with new app
WXIX-TV
The state of Kentucky is working to make its roadways safer as they gear up to crack down on texting and driving. Along with "National Distracted Driving Awareness Month," law enforcement all over the state will step up efforts to get drivers to put down the phone. It's all a part of the first national texting enforcement crackdown called "U drive. U text. U pay."
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Santa Fe, N.M., uses April Fools' to tweet about public safety
KRQE-TV
They wanted to grab your attention and they succeeded. A series of April Fools’ tweets from Santa Fe Emergency Management’s Twitter account had people talking, but not everyone’s amused. They tweeted a picture showing a huge wildfire and a guy on his roof with a garden hose and wrote, “It’s OK to start a small brush fire. @SFFDNews [Santa Fe Fire Department] will magically appear & put it out before it gets big. #AprilFoolsDay” It was a part of a series of messages they sent with the April Fools’ Day hashtag.
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Detection system helps prevent accidents between vehicles and wildlife in Idaho
The Republic
Three sets of bleached rib cages lie in the grass at the edge of U.S. Highway 95 in Northern Idaho. Shards of chrome and plastic are scattered nearby, evidence that this 2-mile stretch of highway is dangerous for both deer and drivers. In the past five years, 75 percent of the reported accidents here were wildlife-vehicle collisions. "This is the kill zone," Brice Sloan said as he walked along the highway's shoulder, pointing out game trails leading from a stand of trees and debris from past accidents. "For a lot of animals, vehicles are the primary predator."
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Rural hospitals are on life support
Governing
Forkland, Ala., is about as remote and as poor as towns in the United States get. Located on the western edge of Alabama’s “black belt” — 50 miles south of Tuscaloosa — its 645 residents earn just over $10,000 per capita a year, less than half the state average. The town has just one store — a squat whitewashed building next to city hall — with a smattering of soft drinks, candy bars and potato chips on its otherwise empty shelves. What Forkland does have is kin and community. When newborns enter this world, they do so at nearby Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital.
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Lousiana House considers traffic camera restrictions
Claims Journal
The Louisiana House will debate two measures that seek to place new limits on the red light cameras and automated speed enforcement systems that towns and cities use to issue traffic tickets. The bills are part of an annual effort by Rep. Jeff Arnold, D-New Orleans, to chip away at the cameras that Arnold says are unfair to citizens and have little to do with public safety. “Traffic cameras are not about policing. They’re about fleecing. They’re about fleecing citizens’ wallets,” Arnold told the House Transportation Committee.
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'Asymmetric' helps define disaster resilience
Emergency Management
Resilience has most frequently been used for the disaster recovery phase of emergency management. Well trained and exercised people make better decisions faster, thus speeding up the response and recovery process. Mitigation measures, when implemented before the disaster, can eliminate or minimize damages from natural and technological disasters, thus providing resilience.
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Small cities struggle to battle the rise in heroin abuse
Governing
The amount of heroin seized each year at the Mexican border increased 232 percent from 2008 to 2012. Meanwhile, the number of new heroin users jumped by almost 80 percent over a similar time period, according to surveys by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This has put a lot of pressure on cities already suffering from years of economic decline. These cities, some with multiple generations of heroin users, are worried they don’t have the resources to fight this latest scourge, which is being blamed on a successful crackdown by law enforcement on prescription painkillers.
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Bill would give Colorado its own $8 million aerial firefighting fleet
The Gazette
A Canada-based company recently showed off the latest aerial firefighting technology in Centennial, Colo., helping lawmakers make their pitch for a state-owned air fleet to fight wildfires. The only firefighting C-130 tanker in the nation buzzed the Centennial Airport tarmac dropping 3,500 gallons of water died red to look like slurry used as a fire retardant. The plane was led into the drop by a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter equipped with infrared fire mapping technology.
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Iowa House approves budget for public safety
The Des Moines Register
The Iowa House approved three bills funding various aspects of state government and encompassing almost $600 million in spending for the upcoming fiscal year. Bill sponsor Gary Worthan, R-Storm Lake, told lawmakers the state is in desperate need of an expanded trooper force and called the additional funding and planned hiring the "centerpiece" of the budget. Many Iowa counties currently do not have a resident trooper, Worthan said, and during the early hours of the morning just six state troopers are typically on duty across the entire state. That will change with the addition of between 30 and 33 troopers in the coming year.
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'Google bus' suit threatens pedestrian safety
San Francisco Gate
In San Francisco, pedestrian and bicycle safety has become a crisis, yet the transportation issue the Board of Supervisors will consider is a lawsuit that seeks to stop the city from implementing a proposed pilot program to regulate employer-sponsored commuter shuttle buses — often known collectively as Google buses. Upholding this lawsuit will be an enormous setback for our efforts to meaningfully address the pedestrian safety crisis on our streets.
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New safety director says Oklahoma City school hallways 'not appropriate' for refuge during extreme weather
The Oklahoman
With the threat of severe weather back in the forecast, Ian Wolfe is running a race against the clock to find the safest places for students to seek shelter during a tornado. Wolfe, the new director of safety for Oklahoma City Public Schools, is busy working to determine what he calls “the best areas of refuge” in every school without a safe room. Only five of the district’s more than 80 schools are equipped with safe rooms: Douglass Mid-High School, John Marshall High School, Martin Luther King Elementary School, U.S. Grant High School and Wheeler Elementary School.
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Miami leaders want to shut down music festival after security guard's injury
WPLG-TV
The future of Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami could be in jeopardy after a security guard was critically injured during the event. Erica Mack was trampled by a crowd that stormed the fences during the festival. Now Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado wants the event to move and get another venue. "What happened this weekend is an event that could have been avoided," Regalado told Local 10. "The organizers of Ultra did not follow the police directive to reinforce the fence."
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Utah school district gets military surplus rifles for school resource officers
Guns
Resource officers in Utah’s Granite School District have obtained surplus military rifles from the Department of Defense, one of several new tools intended to help keep kids safe while at school. According to local media, the upgrade was accompanied by mixed reactions from parents, who mainly suggest that while it’s bothersome that such measures must be taken, they would rather their children be safe and law enforcement adequately equipped to handle an unthinkable situation.
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Hundreds of children receive free helmets during Pennsylvania safety event
WTAE-TV
Four hundred children visited the Children's Museum to receive free bicycle helmets and learn about why it's important to wear one. John Gimble, whose daughter received a helmet during the event, said he was happy his daughter will be safer on her bike. "My wife, she's a nurse and works with brain injury patients, so she is very committed to having these helmets on them (children) because she does see the effects of it," Gimble said.
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