Connecting state and local government leaders
Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: An unfortunate Nice post-attack tweet; detecting down power lines; and Montana’s forest management deal with the feds.
TERRORISM | An affiliate of the terrorist group ISIS posted a “hit list” of state government employees online, but Gov. Charlie Baker said it poses “no credible threat.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified three lists of employees posted by the United Cyber Caliphate, the other two consisting of Rhode Island and Chicago government employees. Massachusetts’ list had 264 names, some duplicates, and was a call for fellow extremists to target those named. All the lists were compiled from publicly available information. [Mass Live]
SOCIAL MEDIA | Republican state Rep. Herb Frierson fired off an unfortunate tweet after the truck attack in Nice, France: “It’s time for some new rules of engagement. It’s time to carpet bomb the towns the evil is occupying. Let God sort out the guilty.” U.S. Rep. Stephen Palazzo even responded, “Wow. I like it.” Many took that mistakenly to mean both lawmakers were advocating for Baton Rouge and Dallas, where gunmen targeted police officers, to be attacked. Frierson isn’t retracting his position however, just clarifying it. “You post things in anger,” he said. “Maybe you ought to think about it. At the time, it sounded good. [Sun Herald]
PUBLIC SAFETY | A dangling live power line killed a Florida Fish and Wildlife employee during his early morning bike ride along a recreational rail on Tuesday, raising questions about why it took so long for the Tampa Electric Co. to fix dangerous wire, carrying 7,620 volts, after the line fell last week. "The technology exists," according to a University of Florida professor who specializes in power systems. "It's just a matter of utilities being willing to invest in it." [Tampa Bay Times]
FORESTS | Montana will play a bigger role in forest management on federal lands after Gov. Steve Bullock signed an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to end a logging project backlog. The state can now conduct the environmental analyses for such projects with most of the Forest Service’s budget already tied up fighting wildfires. "This allows us to get more work done more quickly," said U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Robert Bonnie. [Independent Record; Associated Press via Billings Gazette]
WILDLIFE | A young brown bear was seriously injured when a police officer shot it with live ammunition. The officer was attempting to “haze” the bear—which had been returning to a local campground in the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. The practice of hazing involves giving a bear seeking out human food an unpleasant experience in the hope instilling in the bear a desire to avoid people and developed areas. Hazing, however, is typically done with non-lethal rubber slugs. The bear ran away from the campground after it was shot, and it is not yet confirmed if the bear lived. The National Park Service and the Skagway Police Department will be reviewing bear management policies in light of this incident. [Alaska Dispatch News]
BICYCLES | Biketown, a bike sharing program sponsored by Nike launches today with a thousand of the orange bikes now available around the city. The program is a joint venture of Portland Bureau of Transportation and Motivate Co., a Brooklyn-based company. Unlike other bike sharing programs, these bright orange bikes can be docked at normal bike racks, thanks to built-in GPS units and solar rechargers—one benefit of Portland’s coming to the bikeshare game relatively late. [KOIN 6]