The Carroll County, Ky., Parks and Recreation department reached a settlement with former director Benjamin Watts, who had asserted he was owed overtime pay. The county said Watts was not entitled to overtime pay, in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, but Watts contended he had responsibilities such as creating policy that qualified him for the additional compensation.
The Virginia Outdoors Foundation has awarded a $106,460 grant to the Pittsylvania County Parks and Recreation department for its Wayside Park project. Funds will go toward refurbishing the park near Hurt, Va.
The primary sources of grant funds for law enforcement agencies are Justice Assistance Grants, Homeland Security grants and COPS Office funding, but other options are worth pursuing, writes Therese Matthews. For example, funding from the Department of Commerce's Next Generation 9-1-1 Grant Program has been used by states, tribal organizations and eligible territories to upgrade 9-1-1 call centers, Matthews writes.
The Commission to Advance Next-Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland has made 23 recommendations to the General Assembly to improve the state's 9-1-1 call centers, with a focus on NG9-1-1 and increased funding. State Sen. Cheryl Kagan, D-Montgomery, plans to introduce legislation that would codify a fee change from a per-bill basis to one linked to lines or devices along with some of the commission's other recommendations
Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., a former 9-1-1 dispatcher, draws upon her experience as she advocates for standardized dispatcher training and reclassification of the dispatcher position from clerical to professional, a revision that would protect the position from mandatory government furloughs. "People forget that you can't get a police officer to your emergency or a paramedic to your location unless someone answers the call, first," says Torres.
A regional radio network created by an intergovernmental agreement is intended to create more effective 9-1-1 connectivity in Pennsylvania's Adams, Dauphin and Franklin counties while also saving $1.3 million over a seven-year period. Franklin County Commissioner Dave Keller said, "This collaboration of counties provides significant cost savings and results in a better, more reliable communications system."
Australian cities, which are primarily located on the coast or within river catchment areas, can use examples such as Copenhagen's "safe to fail" spaces as they plan their flood-mitigation strategies. "[I]f we don't quickly learn how to work with water in cities, water will hit them even harder in the future," writes Elisa Palazzo of the University of New South Wales Sydney.
The Board of Directors in Hot Springs, Ark., has tapped interim City Manager Bill Burrough to stay on in the position permanently. Burrough has served as deputy city manager since 2012, and this was the second time he has filled the post of interim manager.
Research from the National Recreation and Park Association shows the value of out-of-school time programs, including providing play and physical activity opportunities for students. A survey found almost all agencies encourage physical activity and arts and cultural experiences.
The Next 100 Coalition aims to make parks relevant and valuable for the next 100 years, including through finding audiences traditionally underrepresented. "The intent is, where we have a diverse demographic like here in the [Chesapeake Bay] area, that we intentionally provide direction to our staff and teams that this has to happen, that it's not passive," says Kimberly Winter of the US Park Service's NatureWatch program.