Local Government
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/18/2018

The Animals of the Savanna exhibit has opened at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, N.Y., featuring 20 kinds of animals, including zebras and giraffes. The exhibit cost $13.5 million.

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Seneca Park Zoo
9/18/2018

Cycling in the Netherlands is an example of how urban biking can improve health and well-being, say Melissa and Chris Bruntlett, authors of "Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality." "Kids are given a free rein to get around the city, whether it's by foot, bicycle, or bus," Melissa says.

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CityLab
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Biking, Melissa
9/18/2018

The value of undeveloped land in urban infrastructure is often overlooked by local governments, so it's up to parks and recreation professionals to make the case, according to Robert Smet, assistant director for parks and recreation in Chesterfield County, Va. "Elevating wild space preservation to an equal footing with police and fire protection is possible, but agencies must actively promote conservation efforts within their communities," he writes.

9/18/2018

The importance of parks and open space to combating climate change was the focus of the recent Global Climate Action Summit in California. Among the initiatives unveiled at the summit was the Cities4Forests plan, which saw 45 cities commit toward preserving and rebuilding forests.

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Reuters
9/18/2018

Three sites in Waco, Texas, are under consideration by the city parks and recreation commission to become the city's first playground for children of all abilities.

9/18/2018

A pair of court cases involving injuries to bike riders on public lands show how state recreational-use statutes work when liability claims are made. "While reaching different conclusions under similar circumstances, the reasoning and legal analysis of both courts was consistent with the applicable law, providing insight into landowner immunity under a state recreational use statute," writes James Kozlowski, attorney and George Mason University associate professor.

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George Mason University
9/18/2018

During the Bakersfield, Calif., mass shooting last week, between 10 and 12 calls came in to the Kern County Sheriff's Department dispatch center, and dispatchers were prepared to handle it, said supervisor Tammy Olinger. "It was a very fast-paced emergency event, but the dispatchers handled everything accordingly, exactly as they should have," she said.

9/18/2018

A 9-1-1 outage that affected 18 North Texas counties and cities last week has been resolved, and staff and vendors are investigating the cause. The North Texas Council of Governments is working on system updates to prepare for more possible outages, said the council's Christy Williams.

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CBS News
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Christy Williams
9/18/2018

Staffing issues at the Emergency Dispatch Center in Hillsborough County, Fla., are creating problems for dispatchers, first responders and the public, warns former Hillsborough Fire Rescue Chief Ron Rogers. One former dispatcher who resigned earlier this year said the center is "severely understaffed for the amount of calls that we take."

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WFLA-TV (Tampa, Fla.)
9/18/2018

Officials from Chehalis and Centralia, Wash., are looking into joining Thurston County 9-1-1 Communications for police and fire dispatching. The cities are currently served by Lewis County 9-1-1 but have disagreed on operating and staffing procedures.