Author Archive

Kate Elizabeth Queram

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a staff correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty. She most recently covered state and local government for the News & Record, a daily newspaper in Greensboro, N.C. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Management

Seven Cities in a Snowy State Ban Snowballs. Now One is Poised to Reverse Course

A handful of Wisconsin cities have identically worded ordinances that ban snowball fights in public places. After going viral for their policy, officials in Wausau are ready to change it.

Health & Human Services

The Healthiest—and Unhealthiest—States

Reduced smoking rates, not much violent crime and low reports of sexually transmitted diseases make Vermont the healthiest state in the country, according to rankings released this week.

Health & Human Services

Concerned About Her City's Lack of Affordable Housing, a Councilwoman Decided to Build Some

Jillian Johnson, mayor pro tem of Durham, N.C., is constructing a duplex next to her house with the goal of renting its two units to low-income families who need stable housing.

Health & Human Services

HIV Treatment, Testing Not Reaching Enough People, CDC Says

New data shows that current treatment, testing and prevention methods are not reaching enough Americans to help curtail new HIV cases, which federal officials said underscores the need for expanded options.

Public Safety

A Town Moves Forward After Two 'Thousand-Year' Storms

After two historic floods in less than two years, officials in Ellicott City, Maryland, are putting their hopes in a long-term rebuilding plan that officials say aims to balance recovery and resiliency with historic preservation.

Health & Human Services

After Rapper's 'Hymen Check' Comments, New York Lawmakers Want to Outlaw Virginity Testing

New York state legislators have filed two bills to ban the practice of virginity testing, which seeks to confirm the presence of a girl or woman's hymen as evidence that she is not sexually active.

Management

Putting Men on Diaper Duty

Lawmakers in Wisconsin hope to require more public buildings to place diaper changing stations in both men's and women's restrooms, the latest state to debate this new twist for so-called "potty parity."

Management

Monitoring Deer Health Means a Helicopter Ride for a Utah Herd

About 50 mule deer in Utah were flown recently to a state-owned ranch to allow wildlife biologists to examine and tag them. Officials said the tests give them important insights into the health of the herd as a whole.

Management

Planting a Family of Trees, One Seedling at a Time

A 600-year-old tree fell in New Jersey. Officials will preserve its legacy by sending its seedlings all over the state.

Management

Missed Your Flight? At Some Airports, Therapy Animals Are There to Help

San Francisco is one of more than 50 airports with an in-house team of certified therapy animals that roam the terminals, offering comfort and distraction to weary travelers.

Management

Ridesharing Companies Urge Ohio to Bring Back the Front License Plate

Uber and Lyft support a proposed bill that would require motorists in Ohio to have both a front and rear license plate. Lawmakers got rid of the front plate in April as part of a transportation budget package.

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Public Safety

Concerned Roadside Memorials Are Distracting, a State Offers to Install Them

The Nebraska Department of Transportation will offer official memorial signs for victims of fatal car crashes as a way to replace homemade memorials they say can pose safety hazards to drivers.

Management

A Proposal to Treat Icy Winter Roads with Beet Juice

Lawmakers in Michigan want the Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of adding beet juice to road salt to treat icy roads in the winter.

Management

Using Social Media to Monitor Endangered Species Uncovers Surprising Information

Federal researchers used Instagram to collect information on human interactions with endangered monk seals and found that the posts contained data that was missing from traditional reports.

Health & Human Services

A Mayor Went on a Police Ride-Along. What He Learned Changed How His City Looks at Mental Health

Fishers, Indiana established a city-wide mental health task force to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Five years in, officials say the results are real.

Management

How Residents' Financial Health Can Affect City Budgets

Missed utility bills and services for the homeless can cost cities millions of dollars per year, experts said Thursday at the Urban Institute. One solution: Figure out how to help people improve their financial health.

Management

Local Elected Officials Lambast Book Publishers for Limiting Library Access to E-Books

Librarians have been boycotting one publishing company over restrictive new policies. Now more than 70 mayors and county executives are urging publishers to grant libraries better access to e-books.

Public Safety

Closing the Gaps in State Sexual Assault Laws

North Carolina has been the only state where women can't revoke consent. Newly passed legislation could change that.

Health & Human Services

Preterm Birth Rates Continue to Rise

The number of babies born before 37 weeks of gestation rose nationally for the fourth consecutive year, according to data from March of Dimes.

Management

How Hundreds of Cities Have Simplified Solar

More than 300 municipalities have received designations from SolSmart, a national program that helps streamline permitting and zoning processes to make solar easier to obtain for residents and businesses.