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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Massachusetts State Police indictments … Boise’s renewable energy goal … and Vermont EMT apprenticeships.
Good morning, it’s Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Autonomous trucks lead Route Fifty’s state and local government news roundup but scroll down for more stories from places like Sacramento, California; Boise, Idaho; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
STATE GOVERNMENT | A newly released analysis has identified a handful of interstate highway corridors across the nation that are well positioned for the future deployment of autonomous trucks, with Interstate 5 in Washington and Oregon identified as the route with the best potential. The criteria for the rankings, developed by the INRIX data company, include the amount of freight moved by truck, levels of congestion, the length of the corridor and record of crashes. Other AV-primed freight corridors include I-70 in Colorado and Utah; I-85 between northeastern Georgia to Greensboro, North Carolina; and in Florida, I-75 and I-95. Last year, Seattle-based Madrona Ventures Group, released a report proposing that the I-5 corridor between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia be exclusively devoted to autonomous vehicles by 2040 after a three-phase introduction. [The Seattle Times; INRIX; GeekWire]
- Boston, Massachusetts: Three Massachusetts State Police lieutenants were indicted on state charges Thursday in connection with the agency’s ongoing officer overtime scandal. The office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said the three lieutenants were charged with larceny and procurement fraud and also violated public employees standards of conduct. The indictments were the first by state prosecutors; federal prosecutors have already charged multiple troopers. [MassLive; NECN]
- Sacramento, California: The California Department of Motor Vehicles, already under fire after botched voter registration forms, has discovered another 3,000 unintended registrations from the state’s new motor-voter program. [Los Angeles Times]
- Bennington, Vermont: The Bennington Rescue Squad has partnered with the Vermont Department of Labor’s paid apprenticeship program intended to “address staffing issues that reflect those at emergency response organizations around the state” where “emergency medical technician licensure will be paid during six weeks of on-the-job training.” [VTDigger]
- Topeka, Kansas: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism have issued public health warnings for 15 lakes due to blue-green algae blooms. [KSN]
LOCAL GOVERNMENT | A Romanian national pleaded guilty on Thursday to two federal charges where she was accused of assisting a 2017 ransomware attack on the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., an incident “that briefly disabled many of the city's surveillance cameras just days before the presidential inauguration.” [StateScoop; Department of Justice]
- Dallas, Texas: The Dallas County Medical Examiner has confirmed that a man who died in an e-scooter crash earlier this month sustained blunt-force trauma to the head, “likely making him the first person to die in an accident involving the electric mobility devices that have swept across the nation this year.” [The Washington Post]
- Boise, Idaho: During his State of the City address last week, Mayor Dave Bieter committed the city government transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2030. "We have some clean renewable energy," Bieter said. "But we have to do better and Boise has to lead. We have to step out front and set an example." [Boise State Public Radio]
- Tulsa, Oklahoma: City officials, including Mayor G.T. Bynum, on Thursday unveiled the New Tulsans Welcoming Plan, which “provides an outline for how the city intends to help improve immigrants’ lives in five key areas: civic engagement, economic development, education, health and public safety.” [Tulsa World]
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A mystery in Steel City: “Mayor Bill Peduto has a beard, for some reason” and it will be sticking around until at least Christmas. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review]
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.