NEWS: Feb. 10, 2011
Spending | The Nation
Federal Funding Freeze Leaves Agencies Struggling
Federal agencies are resorting to hiring freezes and sharp curtailments of travel, training and information-technology purchases as they struggle to operate under a continuing resolution that holds them to last year's funding levels. Some department heads fear the funding picture may worsen and require staff furloughs.
SBA Chief Sees Program Elimination from Obama Budget
President Obama's forthcoming fiscal 2012 budget proposal will streamline and in some cases eliminate several small-business programs, according to Small Business Administrator Karen Mills.
Public Officials | Arizona
New Courthouse to Be Named
for Federal Judge Slain in Tucson
Congress approved a bill to name a new federal courthouse in Yuma, Ariz., for a senior judge killed in the Tucson shooting rampage last month. Chief Judge John M. Roll was among six people shot to death by a gunman who also wounded 13 others including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Virginia Democrats Eye Ex-Governor for Senate
U.S. Sen. James Webb's announcement that he will not run for re-election sent Virginia Democrats scrambling to find a replacement in a turbulent 2012 national landscape. Democrats quickly trained their hopes on former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.
New York Congressman Resigns over Racy Photo
U.S. Rep. Christopher Lee, a married New York Republican, abruptly resigned after a shirtless photo of himself he e-mailed to a woman he had met through Craigslist, was published on the Internet.
New York Times
Virginia's First Black Chief Justice Dies at 55
Leroy R. Hassell Sr., who rose from segregated Norfolk to become the first black chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, died after a lengthy illness at the age of 55.
Finance | California
Governor Cancels Sale of State Buildings
Gov. Jerry Brown pulled the plug on the planned sale of two dozen state office buildings, calling the proposal negotiated by his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a raw deal for taxpayers. The transaction would have generated $1.2 billion for the state.
Los Angeles Times
New Jersey, Arizona Get Bad News on Debt Ratings
Standard & Poor's cut New Jersey's bond rating a notch, from AA to AA-minus, due to an unfunded pension shortfall and high debt, while Moody's warned Arizona of a possible downgrade by revising the state's outlook from stable to negative.
Public Workforce | Cook County, Ill.
Prosecutor Lays Off 101 Staffers
A day after State's Attorney Anita Alvarez told the Cook County board that budget cuts would severely impact her office, she issued pink slips to more than 101 office staff members, including administrative assistants, clerks, victim-witness specialists and community outreach coordinators.
Public Services | The Nation
Postal Service Losses Up for First Quarter
The red ink continues to flow at the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service, which recorded a loss of $329 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to a loss of $297 million for the same period in FY 2010. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said USPS continues to make significant cost reductions and pursues efforts to grow revenue.
Technology | The Nation
State Department Launches Arabic Twitter Feed
The State Department--already pretty good at the social-media thing--is now using Twitter to transmit its thoughts to the Arab world in Arabic. The department is Foggy Bottom is using the address @USAbilAraby, which in English means "USA in Arabic."
HHS to Fight Medicare Fraud with Medical-Bill Analysis
In an escalating battle against Medicare fraud, the federal Department of Health and Human Services plans this summer to begin computer analysis of medical bills nationwide.
New York City Launches New App Contest
Public voting opened for NYC BigApps 2.0, offering $20,000 in prize money New York City's version of the government application-development contests that have spread across the country.
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“I identify with every woman who has overcome the odds to realize their dream. My past shapes who I am today.”
Tennessee state Rep. Julia Hurley, a freshman Republican legislator elected in a mostly conservative district west of Knoxville, who wrote an article in the current issue of Hooters magazine crediting her experience working in the restaurants known for waitresses' skimpy outfits for her later success in business and politics by making her "strong-willed and eager to become successful"
Knoxville News Sentinel
At least 42%
Percentage of police officers killed in vehicle crashes over the past three decades who were not wearing seat belts or other safety restraints, according to a federal study that followed a report that fatal traffic incidents in 2010 were the leading cause of officer deaths for the 13th straight year
The Veggie Conundrum
Limited kudos go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose latest dietary guidelines are the best to date. We're told to eat less food and more fresh foods; wise advice. The problem, as usual, is that the agency's nutrition experts are at odds with its other mission: to promote our bounty in whatever form its processors make it.
New York Times
Webinar on Green Insights from the New Telework Enhancement Act
Today | 2 p.m. ET
National Association of Secretaries of State
Feb. 11-14 | Washington, D.C.
Conference on Human Capital Management For Defense
Feb. 14-17 | Alexandria, Va.
Conference on Social Media for Government
Feb. 14-17 | Washington, D.C.
Center for American Progress
Presentation on Ending Hunger with State Food Action Plans
Feb. 16, noon-1:15 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.
>> Full events listings