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More than 245
Number of people the National Transportation Safety Board estimates have died, along with 4,260 who were injured, in preventable railroad accidents since 1969, when the NTSB began calling for technology known as positive train control that can automatically slow or stop a train and that the agency says would have prevented May's deadly Amtrak accident in Philadelphia
>> Reuters | Posted July 1, 2015

About $5.7 million
Monthly total of premium payments and medical-care costs that California is saving since the California Public Employees' Retirement System last year removed 5,300 people wrongly listed as dependents of state workers and retirees who were eligible for state medical coverage, with new state legislation requiring that the eligibility of dependents be periodically verified
>> Sacramento Bee | Posted June 30, 2015

$43.1 million
Amount set aside by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans with personalized handbooks explaining benefits they're eligible for that sat unspent in an account for three years, according to an inspector general's report citing a "breakdown in fiscal controls" and concluding that the VA had no need for the money
>> Washington Post | Posted June 29, 2015

Nearly 40,000
Number of new LED streetlights that Detroit's Public Lighting Authority expects to have installed by the end of July, putting the authority six months ahead of its timetable as it works to re-light the city, where two years ago about 40 percent of the streetlights were not working
>> Detroit News | Posted June 26, 2015

47
Number of federal agencies and departments--including the Defense, Justice, Treasury and Energy departments as well as the CIA and director of national intelligence's office--whose logins and passwords have been found strewn all across the Web, according to a report by a CIA-backed data-mining company saying that at least a dozen agencies don't require authentication beyond passwords to access their networks
>> AP/Yahoo News | Posted June 25, 2015

247
Number of instances from January 2011 to May 2015 in which professors, students or others in higher education faced threats to their safety or their ability to conduct research or teach in 65 countries around the world, including cases in which scholars have been physically threatened or imprisoned, according to a new report by the New York University-based Scholars at Risk Network
>> Chronicle of Higher Education | Posted June 24, 2015

$11,700
Amount that the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is spending on five treadmill work stations to be shared among its 500 employees, an expenditure that was defended by an agency spokesman as partly in response to a "sitting is the new smoking report" but that drew criticism from a state lawmaker who said that "if employees are concerned about their health, they can go to a club or a community center"
>> Denver Post | Posted June 23, 2015

98%
Percentage of the U.S. population living within 10 miles of one of the nation's more than 54,000 federally licensed firearms dealers, such as the one from which the South Carolina man accused of murdering nine people at a Charleston church obtained his handgun, according to a 2013 analysis by Mayors Against Illegal Guns
>> USA Today | Posted June 22, 2015

78%
Percentage of current and former federal employees responding to an online survey who rated the Office of Personnel Management's communication with them about its recent data breaches as "poor," while 12 percent rated it "fair," 3 percent said it was "good" and less than 1 percent called it "excellent," with only 10 percent saying information provided by the agency helped them understand what they should do next
>> Federal News Radio | Posted June 19, 2015

One-third
Portion of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's entire aviation budget that was spent between 2008 and 2012 on executive transportation, including travel by attorneys general, FBI directors and other top bureau officials, according to a new bureau report saying the executive travel had not interfered with any operational flights
>> International Business Times | Posted June 18, 2015

3.1%
Decrease in federal contract spending last year, to $447.6 billion, with most of the decrease coming at the Department of Defense following the drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq, while the Department of Health and Human Services saw an increase of about $1 billion in spending on services by medical providers
>> Government Executive | Posted June 17, 2015

$54,435,743
Amount spent over two years by Department of Veterans Affairs employees in the purchasing department of a VA hospital in the Bronx to buy prosthetic limbs for veterans, spending that has come under the scrutiny of a VA inspector general because the purchases were made with government purchasing cards that were used at least 2,000 times, in each case for $24,999--one dollar below the agency's charging limit for the cards
>> Washington Post | Posted June 16, 2015

$13,000-$15,000
Amount that Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller for the city of Dixon, Ill., who is serving a nearly-20-year federal prison sentence for committing the largest government embezzlement in U.S. history, is collecting annually in "breeder royalties" on quarterhorses that were seized by the Justice Department and auctioned off, funds that federal officials have frozen and are working to seize as well and return to the city from which she stole nearly $54 million
>> Dixon Daily Telegraph | Posted June 15, 2015

124 million
Number of 29-cent Elvis Presley postage stamps out of the 500 million issued in January 1993 that were never used, adding $36 million to the U.S. Postal Service's bottom line and making it the agency's most successful commemorative stamp--besting Marilyn Monroe, Batman, Frank Sinatra and even Harry Potter--with the Postal Service hoping to find the same success again with a new Presley stamp that will be issued Aug. 12 at the late entertainer's Graceland estate
>> Washington Post | Posted June 12, 2015

47%
Percentage of state- and local-government human-resources professionals responding to a recent survey who reported that their jurisdictions hired temporary or contract employees in 2014, up from 33 percent in 2013
>> Center for State and Local Government Excellence | Posted June 11, 2015

$3.4 million
Lifetime average earnings gap between what college graduates with degrees in the highest-paying majors--which are clustered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics--earn compared to those with the lowest-paying majors, which include education, the arts and social work, accoding to a recent study from Georgetown University using census data to analyze wages for workers representing 137 college majors
>> The Tennessean | Posted June 10, 2015

364%
Increase over six years in hepatitis C infection rates in the central Appalachian states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, caused by a rise in the abuse of injectible drugs, according to a report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention saying that about 45 percent of the new cases were among people under 30
>> CNN | Posted June 9, 2015

$32 million
Amount that the University of California system spent on financial aid for non-California-resident students in 2013-14, an amount that has grown from $6 million in 2003-04 as the number of non-resident students has grown from 4 percent of all undergraduates to 13 percent
>> Sacramento Bee | Posted June 8, 2015

$1.4 million
Amount that the city of Irvine, Calif., has spent on outside auditors hired in 2013 to determine how more than $200 million was spent between 2005 and 2012 trying to transform a retired Marine Corps base into a sprawling municipal park, only a portion of which was ever built
>> Los Angeles Times | Posted June 5, 2015

55
Average daily number of gallons of water used by Australians, an amount that efficiency programs that were put into place during a tortuous drought from the late 1990s through 2012 drastically reduced, an effort that water officials in California, whose residents use 105 gallons per day on average, are studying for guidance as the state copes with its own drought
>> AP/Yahoo News | Posted June 4, 2015

About 1.5 million
Number of smartphones and other mobile devices used by employees of federal agencies, which spend about $1.2 billion on the devices each year but for which the agencies aren't maintaining complete inventories or fully tracking spending, according to a Government Accountability report saying that only one of the 15 agencies reviewed, the General Services Administration, has a system for monitoring spending on the devices and service plans and scanning for unused devices
>> Nextgov | Posted June 3, 2015

As much as $13 million
Amount that Arizona's Department of Revenue expects to pay to upgrade a computer system it could start replacing as soon as next fiscal year, a plan defended by officials who say taxpayers deserve an efficient tax system sooner rather than later and that full implementation of a new system could take anywhere from four to six years--assuming that the legislature agrees to fund it
>> Arizona Republic | Posted June 2, 2015

$20.2 million
Amount in Social Security benefits that the federal government has paid out over the past half-century to more than 130 U.S. residents linked to Nazi atrocities during World War II, according to a forthcoming report from the Social Security Administration's inspector general concluding that virtually all of the payments were proper under policies in place at the time
>> New York Times | Posted June 1, 2015

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