Portland, Ore., officials have hired the OIR Group to investigate the Portland Police Bureau for racial and political bias. The California firm should have the report finished by the end of the year.
Officials in Eagan, Minn., are responding to a Dakota County ordinance requiring a recycling bin within 10 feet of every trash can by removing trash cans from 11 of the city's 60 parks and encouraging visitors to adopt a "pack-in, pack-out" practice. City Parks & Recreation director Andrew Pimental says adding the bins required by the ordinance would be expensive because of the cost of bins, additional staff and one more truck.
Joe Thomas, who served Clovis, N.M., as city manager for 11 years after a long career that included serving as public works director, died Thursday. "He was very conscientious, quiet, soft-spoken and very meticulous in his work," said former colleague Roger "Bart" Bartosiewicz.
City Council members in Norcross, Ga., are hoping to eliminate illegal street racing with a new ordinance passed this week. The rules let local law enforcement officers impound vehicles and levy fines up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail against street-racing drivers, organizers and spectators.
Officials in Edinburgh are promising every city student between ages 10 and 17 an iPad under the Empowered Learning program, which will issue 27,000 new devices and 12,000 refurbished ones starting in September. "Giving pupils their own device has been shown to improve outcomes and result in increased engagement and motivation for our young people," says council member Ian Perry, who heads the city's education department.
City Council members in Ellensburg, Wash., this week voted unanimously to hire Tumwater, Wash., assistant city administrator Heidi Behrends Cerniwey to replace City Manager John Akers when he retires next month. "She brings a set of skills that we believe are going to lead us into the future," says Mayor Bruce Tabb.
Olmsted 200 invites you to join in celebrating Frederick Law Olmsted's 199th birthday with a watch party! You'll have exclusive access to screen 'Olmsted and America's Urban Parks,' a documentary narrated by actress Kerry Washington, at your convenience on April 24 or 25. Then, join a live panel discussion moderated by TIME magazine journalist Justin Worland on April 26 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. EDT, featuring Dr. Thaïsa Way, program director for Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks; Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation; and Justin DiBerardinis, director of FDR Park, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Learn more and register.
Voters in Kansas City, Mo., have voted overwhelmingly in favor of extending a 1% earnings tax for an additional five years. The tax has historically yielded over $292 million annually, and officials expect it to bring in around $269 million in the next fiscal year.
City Manager Joe Helfenberger of Lake City, Fla., is seeking assistance from local officials and community leaders in the wake of a block party that resulted in multiple shootings and arrests. "Our community ... is very concerned about this and our community leaders are going to be coming together to come up with an effective solution," Helfenberger says.
City Council members in Springfield, Mass., have voted unanimously to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in an effort to stamp out animal abuse at illegal breeding operations. Officials say the rules will apply to existing and new pet shops, and existing businesses will have 90 days to comply.
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