Friday, January 18, 2019 - 09:45 External News

For experts who make a living forecasting hurricanes, storm season is a year-round worry. When the tropics are calm, as they are now, researchers dive into data, analyze results, improve scientific models and train state and local officials on the latest technology that can help them make lifesaving decisions.

But the partial government shutdown — the longest in United States history — has brought much of that fieldwork and instruction to a halt. Most researchers have been furloughed, and training academies and courses have been canceled, with no makeup dates in sight.

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 05:45 External News

(TNS) — A critical emergency alert system designed to warn UC Davis students and staff failed to fully notify the campus until more than an hour after Davis police Officer Natalie Corona was shot and killed blocks from the university, officials announced, calling the breakdown “unacceptable.”

The WarnMe-Aggie Alert sends text and email messages to UC Davis students and staff and is designed to alert 70,000 people. But the system initially notified only a fraction of those people about the events unfolding less than a mile from the campus and locked campus public safety officials out of some notification lists.

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 05:45 External News

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed a 3.7 preliminary magnitude earthquake rattled the small city of Piedmont in northern California.

The USGS says the tremor occurred on Wednesday at 4:42 a.m.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 09:45 External News

A June 2018 decision rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States established an interesting principle on digital privacy in a case related to a criminal proceeding.

The decision stated that the government must obtain a warrant in order to collect historical cell site location information (CSLI) of customers held by the cellphone companies. The case’s decision is based on whether police must require a warrant in order to access information from users generated by cellphones of a suspect in a criminal investigation. This decision implies that in the future, law enforcement authorities will not have an “unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s database of physical location information” (From the majority by Justice John Roberts).

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 08:30 External News

(TNS) - A storm over Southern California dumped rain and snow on the area Monday, heightening the threat of mud and debris flows in areas scarred by recent wildfires, prompting evacuation orders, and closing a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and the Grapevine section of the 5 Freeway.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for western Los Angeles County and Ventura County, warning that roads, streams and highways could pool with rain as showers are expected through the week.

As rain pelted the state Monday, setting new rainfall records in Burbank and Sandberg, a town near the Grapevine, officials began to close roads that were too dangerous for traffic.

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 08:30 External News

The threat of catastrophic wildfires has driven a California town to launch a “Goat Fund Me” campaign to bring herds of goats to city-owned land to help clear brush.

Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada began the online crowdsourcing campaign last month with the goal of raising $30,000 for the project.

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 07:45 External News

(TNS) - With considerable fanfare, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti started the year by trumpeting a cellphone app that will instantly notify users in Los Angeles County when an earthquake of 5.0 or bigger begins to hit.

The pilot program, officially unveiled Jan. 3, can provide crucial seconds — even dozens of seconds — for people to duck and cover or otherwise take potentially lifesaving actions.

Dubbed ShakeAlertLA, it’s the first earthquake early warning system of its type in the country.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 05:45 External News

This week's release of the 2019 GovTech 100 list, compiled and published by Government Technology, marks the maturation of what began four years ago as a way to recognize companies founded to solve problems unique to the public sector.

Together, GovTech 100 companies represent a growing portfolio of scalable, digital solutions addressing the tough, complicated problems that governments face -- from health care and public finance to urban planning and public safety.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 05:45 External News

Natural disasters seem to be occurring more frequently in recent years and create a backlog for property and casualty insurers who want to ensure policyholders recover and stay ahead of the next event. Insurers are increasing their reliance on technology both pre- and post-catastrophe to support their policyholders.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 06:45 External News

(TNS) — State firefighters are taking on the colossal task this year of updating maps that highlight the most fire-prone areas in California.

Fire officials in Marin say the maps, last updated more than a decade ago, are a helpful planning resource. But in California’s current climate, some say, those projections aren’t as relevant as they once were — the whole state is susceptible to flames.