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What the relief money bought

Over the past 18 months, the federal government has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into state and local coffers to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic. While much of that money was spent on scaling up unemployment services and the rigors of remote work, the more recent funds provided by the American Rescue Plan are giving CIOs in many places a chance to pursue projects they feared might be wiped away by the health crisis. In a series of articles, StateScoop reporters explore how IT officials are embarking on <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/state-local-arpa-technology/">overdue modernization projects</a>, <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/arpa-digital-divide-broadband-state-funding/">ambitious broadband programs</a> and <a href="https://preprod.statescoop.com/list/6-unique-local-government-arpa-tech-projects/">emerging technologies</a>. See the full report.

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Ransomware in the water

Officials in Maine recently disclosed that two rural wastewater systems were hit by ransomware attacks earlier this year. The attacks, which affected plants in the towns of Limestone and Mount Desert Island, did not compromise taxpayer data or generate a public safety threat, officials said. But they acknowledged that cyberattacks against the towns could have overridden the plants’ alarms or disabled pumps and other equipment, a reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by critical infrastructure facilities. Colin Wood has more.


Officials in Dallas are attempting to institute new data-management policies in the wake of an accidental file deletion that wiped about eight terabytes’ worth of police records and has upended multiple court proceedings. City Manager T.C. Broadnax last week circulated a memo in which he stated that large data transfers will be conducted by at least two people. The change came about after the Dallas Police Department disclosed that a city IT employee had accidentally deleted 22 terabytes of information, only 14 terabytes of which was able to be recovered. What's more, Dallas' police and IT departments waited four months to disclose the incident, which occurred in early April. Benjamin Freed has details.

N.C. broadband director joins Treasury

North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office Director Jeff Sural left state government earlier this month for a role advising the U.S. Treasury Department on broadband policy as it distributes tens of billions of dollars in new funds authorized by federal pandemic relief programs. In a recent interview, Sural touted the progress North Carolina has made in his six years as broadband chief, including connecting more than 70,000 homes and businesses through state and federally led projects. The broadband adoption rate statewide increased from below 50% to above 71% during that time. Ryan Johnston had the story.

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