US cities are developing more sophisticated strategies to seek foreign direct investment, targeting specific companies to supplement established industry clusters. An example is Wichita, Kan., which has leveraged its aerospace expertise to gain investment from Dassault Systemes of France and Netherlands-based Airbus.
Tropical Storm Imelda's remnants brought additional heavy rain to southeastern Texas on Thursday, with dozens of inches falling in some places, and the storm is prompting comparisons to 2017's Hurricane Harvey, although meteorologists emphasized that Harvey was more severe. At least two deaths have resulted from Imelda, and 13 Texas counties are under a disaster declaration by Gov. Greg Abbott.
Tallassee, Ala., is preparing its third application for recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program for a former mill site. EPA grants help rehabilitate brownfields through direct-funding grants that cover expenses including cleanup, environmental job training and technical assistance.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has issued executive orders beefing up ethics regulations, including broadening the range of documents available through freedom of information requests. Page also wants the County Council to pass a "cone of silence" law prohibiting vendors from contacting county officials during contracting processes.
Monrovia, Calif., is looking for a city manager, with an appointment expected in a few months. In the meantime, Fire Chief Brad Dover will handle the job on an interim basis because, according to Mayor Tom Adams, "bringing someone from outside" creates "a delayed learning curve."
Dozens of innovation offices in major US cities are pairing technology tools and behavioral science to improve public services. Philadelphia has rolled all its efforts into a single group that studies issues ranging from bike sharing to delinquent taxes.
Panama City, Fla., officials made public safety and medical care the city's top priority after Hurricane Michael tore through the area, says city manager Mark McQueen, who took his post just days before the storm hit. Nearly one year later, the city is still working to recover from the damaging storm and has dropped in population from 38,000 to between 26,000 and 28,000 -- a factor that will affect federal dollars when the next census is taken, McQueen says.
The municipalities of Wascom, Omaha, Naples and Joaquin in Texas have all passed ordinances banning abortion within their city and town limits, following a state legislative session that did not include full bans. Meanwhile, the Austin City Council budget set aside $150,000 for services such as child care, lodging and transportation to support women seeking abortions.
Ed Reuter, executive director of the Indiana Statewide 9-1-1 Board, is visiting 9-1-1 centers across the state to meet with directors, many of whom are new to their positions. He praised the work of 9-1-1 professionals, noting, "We're seeing lives saved all across the state from just the work these folks are doing."
9-1-1 professionals in Phoenix say the police and fire departments need to add more positions while also increasing salaries to help reduce stress they have experienced as call volumes have increased. "[W]e need to have better mental health counseling and possibly paid time off when you've had a really traumatic call or incident," adds longtime police dispatcher Dorie Levy.
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