Gusset issues close another Minnesota bridge

The state DOT closed the Highway 23/Division Street bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Cloud after inspectors found joint-reinforcing metal gusset plates had bent ¼ inch in three locations. The bridge is of similar design to the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed into the river last August.

Public works ‘Peeping Tom' is busted

Five years of probation, 50 hours of community service, a psychiatric exam, and no chance of another job in the public sector is the sentence imposed by a judge on a New Jersey public works employee who pled guilty to hiding a video camera in a Long Beach Township woman's public restroom in the summer of 2006.

Salmonella taints water supply

Drinking water for the 8,500 residents of Alamosa, Colo., was flushed with chlorine because of an outbreak of salmonella. Officials suspect that the normally pure, non-chlorinated water drawn from an aquifer was contaminated by a storage facility or sewage.

Radar more reliable than GPS

At least that's what a Sonoma County (Calif.) traffic judge, who ruled against throwing out a speeding case because a GPS system contradicted radar-clocked speed, believes. A retired county sheriff who'd installed a GPS system in his stepson's car brought the case when the young man was ticketed for doing 62 mph in a 45-mph zone, claiming that the system showed his stepson wasn't speeding.

Wireless comes to the rescue

CompassIntelligence.com estimates that fire, police, and EMT departments will spend $17.4 billion this year on information technology applications, outsourcing, services and support, network and computer hardware, and personnel. Major growth areas include wireless data, which requires advanced networks and greater bandwidth.

Audit energy efficiency—for free

Over the next two years, Wal-Mart will send experts to as many as 20 state capitol complexes to identify improvements that provide a return on investment within five years. The National Governors Association is helping identify candidates and will catalog each participant's success. Visit www.nga.org.

Oregon department hosts “free for all”

May's the month for the Lincoln County Solid Waste District's second annual Free-For-All community recycling event. After supplying two cans of food as the price of admission, residents swap items like toys, furniture, small appliances, sports equipment, and garden supplies.

Mass transit gets $530 million boost

A real estate transfer tax increase to be paid by property buyers to benefit the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has been approved by the Chicago City Council. The tax follows Illinois lawmakers' passage of sales tax increases in Cook and five other counties targeted for the Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees the CTA and suburban commuter rail and bus systems.