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Public safety at hospitals: Are you safe?
U.S. News & World Report
When the distraught son of an elderly woman undergoing cancer treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore opened fire on his mother’s surgeon in September 2010, shock, panic and a total lockdown of the hospital set in. The surgeon recovered, but the hospital staff was traumatized. Hospitals are places of healing, but they are also public institutions — not unlike the mall, airport or school. That opens them up to the same types of security issues that increasingly plague public environments.
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Lessons learned from Katrina
Property Casualty 360
n the tumultuous days following Hurricane Katrina, LT. General Russel L. Honoré, U.S. Army (Ret), led Task Force Katrina as New Orleans and the surrounding areas began their recovery. He shared the lessons learned from the evacuation and rebuilding efforts with almost 3,000 contractors at the Crawford Contractor Connection conference and expo in New Orleans.
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New York legislature passes stronger campus safety bill
The Associated Press via The Post-Standard
Sixteen years after the disappearance of a University at Albany student, lawmakers have passed a measure requiring New York colleges and universities to inform local law enforcement of a missing student or a violent felony within 24 hours. Suzanne Lyall's disappearance in 1998 prompted the Legislature to pass the College Safety Act in 1999. It requires colleges and universities to have plans for notifying local law enforcement of any violent felony offense or missing person on campus. But it didn't require the schools to actually report the incident to outside authorities.
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Beyond hot spots: 1 man's hunt for pedestrian dangers
Next City
"Do you remember the song ‘Dead Man’s Curve’?” Howard Preston, a Minnesota-based engineer, asked Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow in a phone conversation not long ago. “I spent years looking for it — it doesn’t exist.” Preston has worked in traffic safety for four decades. For most of that time, he said, experts were looking for dead man’s curves or what we might call “hot spots” — roads or intersections that were conspicuously dangerous, leading to a steady stream of accidents and tragedies. But, at least in Minnesota, these were elusive.
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Tennessee drunken driving law loophole angers some
Claims Journal
A newspaper investigation has found that Tennessee has a loophole in its drunken driving law. The Commercial Appeal reported that its analysis found that a person could potentially spend more time in jail for driving drunk and getting pulled over than for someone who causes a fatal accident while driving under the influence.
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Are drones and robots the future of public safety?
StateTech
What do rescue dogs, drones and human-operated robots have in common? If you ask developers of the Smart Emergency Response System, they would say that collectively these assets have the potential to strengthen public safety by reducing emergency response time, minimizing risks during a disaster and much more.
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Have there been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook? A closer look at a tricky statistic
Politifact
After an Oregon high school freshman armed with an assault rifle injured a teacher, killed a student and killed himself, a striking statistic began circulating on the internet. It said that at least 74 school shootings had occurred since December 2012, when an assault on Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza left 28 dead, including Lanza and his mother.
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How government's using behavioral economics to get people to make better decisions
Governing
In Texas, most parents who go to prison still owe child support even though they might not have a job. That’s a problem for inmates because the typical inmate responsible for chlld support payments in the United States leaves state prison about $20,000 in debt, making it harder to pay for housing, transportation and food. It can also be a problem for state child welfare agencies because if states record too many cases of late and unpaid child support payments, they are at risk of losing some federal funding.
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Lousiana July 4 boat parade canceled due to safety, insurance issues
Claims Journal
The family who organizes and sponsors the popular False River Fourth of July Boat Parade in Pointe Coupee Parish says it is calling it quits. The reason, family members say, is new pressure from the state to obtain liability insurance and provide adequate security patrols for the safety of participants — a burden they aren’t prepared to shoulder.
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The surprising effectiveness of student building monitors
Slate
Tragedy was not averted at Seattle Pacific University: A man fired gunshots that killed one student and left three injured. The potential massacre was cut short, however, when Jon Meis, a 22-year-old engineering student, pepper-sprayed and tackled the gunman, who had paused to reload. The shooter, Aaron Ybarra, later told detectives that he’d wanted to kill as many people as possible.
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Illinois will stop evaluating cops based on how many tickets they issue
Governing
Legislation signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn bans Illinois police departments from assigning ticket quotas and evaluating officers based on how many citations they issue. Quinn, a Democrat, said the new law will allow police to use their judgment in deciding whether to ticket a driver. The law, which applies to local, county and state law enforcement, took effect immediately.
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Fatal motorcycle crashes down in Ohio
Claims Journal
State statistics show that motorcycle fatalities in Ohio are declining. The numbers show that the rate has dropped by 21 percent since 2010. Statistics show 133 motorcycle fatalities last year; 163 in 2012; 166 in 2011; and 168 in 2010. So far this year there have been just 28.
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Red light cameras violate state law, rules Florida Supreme Court
McClatchy News via Governing
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Orlando and other cities did not have the authority to set up an automated camera system to catch red-light runners and ticket them. The ruling effects only the city's ticket camera program between Sept. 1, 2008 and July 1, 2010, when Orlando operated ticket cameras without specific authorization from the state.
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Twin tornadoes blast tiny Nebraska town
Property Casualty 360
Rare twin tornadoes decimated the tiny town of Pilger, Nebraska, on June 16 around 3:45 p.m. Storm chasers caught the two tornadoes on video as they swept across the plains of Pilsner and merged into one tornado over the Elkhorn River. According to the Omaha World-Herald, a five-year-old girl in a mobile home was killed and approximately 30 people were injured and treated at area hospitals.
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Harsher regulations for public transportation drivers
WWLP-TV
Following crash in Newton, Massachussetts, the MBTA is now enlisting stricter policies for their drivers and their cell phones. In that crash, the bus driver is being accused of having her phone in her hand when the accident happened. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announced that drivers are not allowed to carry cell phones while they work. If a driver of the MBTA is caught carrying a cell phone while on his or her route, they will be suspended for 30 days with a recommendation to be fired regardless of their work record.
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Hurricane danger zone: The 10 places most at risk
USA Today
People living in 10 largely rural counties in the Deep South and near the Gulf Coast are those most vulnerable to hurricanes, according to recent research by Direct Relief, a California-based non-profit organization. Not strictly focused on where hurricanes hit land, the group looked at the relationship between the frequency and intensity of hurricanes relative to social vulnerability — with factors such as poverty, access to social services, an aging population and higher mobility problems — being taken into account.
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Florida gives preliminary OK to scooter insurance law
The News Herald
Scooter rental businesses in the city soon might be required to carry the same minimum liability insurance coverage that Florida mandates for automobiles. Over the objections of scooter rental businesses, the Panama City Beach City Council recently unanimously approved on first reading an ordinance calling for the coverage.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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