Local Government
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/16/2019

Officials in the Missouri counties of Iron, St. Genevieve and Howell have passed resolutions opposing the US Forest Service's proposed ban on hunting feral pigs in the Mark Twain National Forest. "If we're not going to let farmers hunt them into the woods, then the Forest Service should pay them for the damage the hogs are doing to the fields," says St. Genevieve County presiding commissioner Garry Nelson.

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US Forest Service, Howell
7/16/2019

Cities and counties around the country are offering government employees housing incentives to make it easier to live in those communities. Some, like Little Rock, Ark., are offering incentive payments to help with buying a home or renting an apartment; others are buying or building their own housing for employee use.

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Governing
7/16/2019

Boston and Las Vegas have appointed Ryan Woods and Greg Weitzel as the respective new directors of their parks and recreation departments. Weitzel is a National Recreation and Park Association board member.

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Ryan Woods
7/16/2019

The USDA, saying the population of geese had gotten too large, euthanized almost 200 of the birds at Idle Hour Park in Phenix City, Ala. last week. "We were getting a lot of complaints about people trying to use the park and having to walk through goose feces to do it and children playing out there," Assistant City Manager Stephen Smith said.

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USDA, Stephen Smith
7/16/2019

An alligator nicknamed "Chance the Snapper" was caught Tuesday in the Humboldt Park lagoon in Chicago after avoiding searchers for a week. An alligator expert who came to Chicago from Florida captured the reptile.

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Chicago park, Humboldt Park
7/16/2019

Having views of green space from one's home was associated with less desire for unhealthy food, tobacco and alcohol, a British study found. The study "could have a range of implications for both public health and environmental protection programs in the future," researcher Leanne Martin said.

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Psych Central
7/16/2019

The former Michael Reese Hospital and US Steel South Works sites in Chicago would be ideal locations to be redeveloped in a way that incorporates green space and recreational uses, writes Sabina Shaikh of the University of Chicago. "Through the prioritization, attention and development of creative mechanisms for financing and developing big and small green space across the city, Mayor Lightfoot has the opportunity to take Chicago's historic leadership in the creation of park space to one of resilience, access and equity," says Shaikh.

7/16/2019

Milwaukee is revamping parks, playgrounds and athletic facilities at schools and elsewhere to make them on par with the ones in the city's suburbs and add green space. Funding and leadership has come from the school system, recreation and park agencies, other government offices, nonprofits and private donors.

7/16/2019

The 911 SAVES Act passed the House of Representatives last week as part of the National Defense Authorization Act and is poised to move to the Senate. "[W]e hope all members [of the Senate] will support this non-partisan, cost-free measure that reflects the respect and support the American public has for its 9-1-1 professionals, who answer more than 240 million calls for help every year," says National Emergency Number Association CEO Brian Fontes.

7/16/2019

Response times for 9-1-1 calls to the Fresno, Calif., police department's emergency center have gotten closer to the required 95% of calls in 15 seconds or less over the past two years, but are still below state standards. Police lieutenant David Ramsey, who supervises the center, says staffing increases would help, as would a reduction of call volume through mechanisms such as use of a non-emergency 3-1-1 center.