Local Government
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/19/2019

The Michigan State Police use a peer support program and critical incident stress debriefing to help troopers deal with the mental toll of their jobs, ultimately hoping to prevent death by suicide. In a similar effort in Battle Creek, the police department offers a class in which officers can share their experiences with one another.

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Michigan State Police
9/19/2019

The number of reported structure fires in Philadelphia has almost doubled since 2017, when the city began requiring firefighters to count small kitchen fires. Fire dispatchers say the biggest need now is more EMTs, as ambulances are responding to more incidents and response times for firefighters and paramedics are not meeting national standards.

9/19/2019

The Federal Communications Commission has asked AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon to submit their plans to maintain cell service if Pacific Gas & Electric shuts off power to prevent wildfires in California. The request seeks ways to maintain public safety communications in the event of a shut-off.

9/19/2019

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy are collaborating on $150 million in renovations and programming for the northern part of Central Park, which borders predominantly African-American and Latino communities and does not attract as many tourists as the rest of the park. The work will include replacing a swimming pool and skating rink, with $40 million going to a fund for year-round programming.

9/19/2019

Street parking spaces in cities around the country will be converted into temporary parklets on Friday for PARK(ing) Day. The day "is really focused on: 'How do we use our public space? Who and what is public space for? How has it gotten this way? And what do we want to do with our public space?'" says Lauren Frye, an architect in Winston-Salem, N.C.

9/19/2019

Traffic analysis firm StreetLight Data has analyzed de-identified cellphone data to gauge how many people visit Southern California parks at certain times and days, as well as where visitors come from. The company worked with the nonprofit Natural Communities Coalition on the project.

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Streetlight Data
9/19/2019

Napa, Calif., is looking to replicate the success of Westwood Hills Park, where volunteers have offered maintenance and cleanup since last autumn. "The city now has 55 parks, and our staff is quite small," said Parks Supervisor David Youdell.

9/19/2019

Golf's declining popularity is leading recreation and park departments to reconsider the cost and effort of operating public golf courses. Some courses are handed to private operators, while others have been converted into park space or wildlife habitats.

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Governing
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Golf
9/19/2019

Parklets in Philadelphia are "inherently inequitable" because of their funding mechanism and rules, but that could change with dedicated staffing and other government support, according to a study by the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University. The study looked at lessons learned from San Francisco and New York City.

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Next City
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Drexel University
9/19/2019

A 56-acre park project in Cedar Point, N.C., has received a $1.01 million grant from the state's Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The funding will offset some of the cost of purchasing the land.