Texas city's Fire Department explains service fee | Okla. city council invests in lightning-detection system | Official warns of a highly active wildfire season
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March 19, 2013
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Risk, Insurance, Claims & Safety
Ala. lawmakers OK measure on law enforcement consolidation
The Alabama Senate has approved a bill to create a law enforcement agency that would incorporate entities such as the Department of Public Safety and the State Bureau of Investigations. The new agency's director also would be the state's homeland-security adviser. The bill is headed to Gov. Robert Bentley's desk. AL.com (Alabama) (3/13)
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Texas city's Fire Department explains service fee
Officials in Missouri City, Texas, recently heard a clarification from the Fire Department regarding a cost-recovery fee for emergency services that went into effect March 1. The fee is divided into four tiers based on factors including severity and response cost, and incident-related claims are submitted to insurers, officials said. Houston Community Newspapers (3/12)
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Okla. city council invests in lightning-detection system
The Norman, Okla., City Council has approved spending more than $70,000 on a lightning-detection system for parks. The existing system, which has become unreliable, was installed in 2000. The equipment, which monitors atmospheric conditions, sounds an alarm when storm conditions become unsafe. The Norman Transcript (Okla.) (3/13)
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Other News
Workplace & Retirement
Calif. should force public workers to take vacation time, study says
California owed workers $3.9 billion for unused vacation time in 2011, compared with $1.4 billion in 2003, according to a report from the state Legislative Analyst's Office. The report recommended that the state impose a "use it or lose it" cap on time-off accruals, similar to limits imposed by New Jersey and many private companies. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/14)
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Study: Some public pensions are recovering from financial downturn
Changes made to public employees' pensions are helping some plans undo damage from the fiscal crisis, according to a study by Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. Changes made to 32 plans in 15 states have, in some cases, lowered pension costs to account for a lower percentage of state or local budgets than they did before the financial crisis, the study found. Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (3/12)
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Poll Question
Former Utah State U. administrator gets jail time for theft
A judge has given the former enrollment-services director for Utah State University a yearlong jail sentence and ordered the woman to pay more than $230,000 in restitution. Jennifer Putnam Twiss pleaded guilty last year to theft that authorities say involved taking money for personal use and giving family members $190,000 in scholarships and waivers. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (3/15)
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Accreditor has Education Department's backing on U. of Va. "warning"
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges did not run afoul of federal laws when it placed the University of Virginia "on warning" after the removal and reinstatement of the university's president, the U.S. Department of Education has said. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which is critical of accrediting organizations, is appealing the department's finding. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/Campus Overload blog (3/12)
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Leadership & Management
Getting the greatest effort from your employees
Many employees will acknowledge that they aren't fully dedicated to their jobs, Julie Winkle Giulioni writes. Fixing that requires a different approach to increasing productivity, including prioritizing the tasks of human resources and the need for persistent training. "Supply the equipment, tools, and resources to support excellence," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/14)
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News From Aon
2013 Interactive Political Risk Map
Get access to Aon's interactive Political Risk Map. If your college or university has programs abroad, this indispensable tool can help you measure your risk with the Exposure Calculator and Map Analysis applications. Learn more.
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Aon webinar: Getting the Most Out of Your Superstorm Sandy Claim
There's still time to register and attend tomorrow's webinar on how to get the most out of your Superstorm Sandy claim. Sign up.
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SmartQuote
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges."
-- H.L. Mencken,
American journalist and essayist
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