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Chattanooga Named Code for America City

Chattanooga was named as a Code for America (CfA) Fellowship City Tuesday. CfA will provide at least three fellows for a year, beginning in January 2014. City staff and local developers will work with the CfA fellows to develop and test open-source web apps to improve city services and the community around two of the City’s key priorities – safer streets and civic engagement
 
“City Government will collaborate with some of the top developers and designers from across the country, creating open-source web applications to help address important issues in our community - including public safety,” said Mayor Andy Berke. “I am committed to a more open, transparent, and innovative government – and opening up data is an important way to make government more accessible to our citizens.”
 
"We are thrilled to officially announce that Chattanooga will participate in our 2014 Fellowship program." said Code for America Co-Executive Director Bob Sofman. "Chattanooga has a remarkable commitment to innovation and is supported by forward-thinking and dedicated staff. This top-notch combination ensures a productive year.”
 
In addition to focusing on public safety and civic engagement, the Fellows will help to improve the City of Chattanooga’s internal processes, including the procurement process, by working with City departments to develop and determine effective solutions that use tax payer dollars responsibly.
 
Since 2009, CfA has paired leaders in innovation with local governments, using technology to promote openness and transparency, encourage participation, and solve problems in cities across the country. Together, CfA fellows (top developers, designers, researchers, and product managers) and local governments produce open-source web apps to improve city services. CfA also helps build relationships between City Hall and local technology talent.
 
“Having Code for America come to the Gig City makes so much sense. Chattanooga has a strong history of civic action and innovation, as well as a new Administration that understands how open data can benefit citizens,” said Tim Moreland of Open Chattanooga. “From the start, Mayor Berke has been supportive of Open Chattanooga's efforts to solve real problems using open data. So when Code for America arrives in Chattanooga, they will find a Mayor, a city, and a community ready to roll up their sleeves and make lasting change.”
 
Early this summer, the Berke Administration partnered with Open Chattanooga to apply for the fellowship for 2014 and the City of Chattanooga was named a finalist last month. The City secured $250,000 in private funds from the Benwood Foundation and Lyndhurst Foundation. Chattanooga City Council authorized the funding of an additional $180,000. Several private companies have expressed an interest in contributing to the project, including through both
in-kind and monetary contributions.
 
"We are thrilled to be named a Code for America City. This initiative asks the important question, 'How can technology make our community better?',” said Sarah Morgan, President of the Benwood Foundation. “When we inspire the brightest tech-minds across the country to focus not on the private sector but the public sector, we can address some of our community's most pressing issues."
 
“Chattanooga is a natural fit for Code for America. This opportunity will not only complement our city's focus on technology and innovation, it will more importantly connect developers with the resources they need to solve real world problems through open data and civic engagement," said Macon Toledano, Associate Director of Lyndhurst Foundation.
 
The 2014 class of Fellows will include 31 developers, designers, researchers, and project managers leaving private companies such as ZipCar, Intuit, and Lockheed Martin as well as government organizations such as NASA.
 
Over 50 cities across the country applied for the Code for America Fellowship this year. The 2014 Code for America Cities include:
 
Atlanta, GA
Charlotte, NC
Chattanooga, TN
Denver, CO
Lexington, KY
Long Beach, CA
Mesa, AZ
San Antonio, TX
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Warwick, RI (in collaboration with the State of Rhode Island)
 
Past CfA Fellowship Cities include Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
 
To learn more, visit http://codeforamerica.org/2014.Chattanooga Named Code for America City

Tuesday, October 15 2013, 05:45 PM EDT

More Business News

Last Update on March 26, 2015 17:18 GMT

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that strong hiring should continue despite signs of slower economic growth at the start of 2015.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for jobless aid fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000. The decrease suggests that a recent slowdown in manufacturing, housing starts and retail sales have not trickled into the job market, a possible indication that economic growth will rebound after a harsh winter.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, tumbled 7,750 to 297,000. Over the past 12 months, the average has dipped roughly 7 percent.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The relatively low average shows that employers are holding onto workers and may increase hiring. Applications below 300,000 are generally consistent with solid monthly job gains.

MORTGAGE RATES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a second straight week, edging closer to historically low levels at the start of the spring home-buying season.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.69 percent from 3.78 percent last week.

The average rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with homeowners who refinance, eased to 2.97 percent from 3.06 percent last week.

A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.40 percent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.42 percent. Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve in October ended its monthly bond purchases, designed to hold down long-term rates.

FRANCE-PLANE CRASH-LUFTHANSA

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) -- The chief executive of Lufthansa says he is "stunned" by a French prosecutor's conclusion that the co-pilot of a Germanwings plane intentionally caused Tuesday's crash which killed 150 people.

Germanwings is Lufthansa's budget-price subsidiary.

Chief executive Carsten Spohr told a news conference in Cologne, Germany, that the airline choses its staff "very carefully" and has no indication of why co-pilot Andreas Lubitz would have crashed the plane. Spohr says pilots undergo yearly medical examination but that doesn't include psychological tests.

Germany's interior minister says that there are no indications the German co-pilot had "any kind of terrorist background." He says German authorities checked intelligence and police databases on the day of the crash, and Lufthansa told them that regular security checks also turned up nothing untoward on the co-pilot.

French prosecutors say Lubitz locked the pilot out of the cockpit. The Airbus A320 is designed with safeguards to allow emergency entry if a pilot inside is unresponsive. But the override code that is known to the crew does not go into effect -- and indeed goes into a lockdown -- if the person inside the cockpit specifically denies entry.

NORWEGIAN AIR-COCKPIT RULES

HELSINKI (AP) -- Europe's third largest budget airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle, says it plans to adopt new rules requiring two crew members to always be present in the cockpit of a flying aircraft.

A Norwegian spokeswoman says the new rules will be adopted "as soon as possible" on all commercial flights globally. She says the decision was taken after details emerged that the co-pilot of the Germanwings Flight 9525 that crashed in France on Tuesday had apparently locked himself in the cockpit.

She says the airline's security department had been thinking about the measure "for a while, and today decided on it."

Other airlines, including Finnish national carrier Finnair, stipulate that there must always be two crew members in the cockpit of a flying aircraft.

CONGRESS-MEDICARE

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House has voted in unusual bipartisan unity to approve a $214 billion measure permanently blocking cuts in physicians' Medicare payments.

The 392-37 vote moved Congress a step closer to resolving a problem that has plagued lawmakers for years.

The package bore wins for both parties. Republicans won a long-term strengthening of Medicare's finances with cost increases for some high-income recipients. Democrats claimed victories with added money for health programs for children and poor families.

The measure would replace a 1997 law that has repeatedly threatened cuts in physicians' Medicare reimbursements. Doctors have warned that those threats could force them to stop treating the program's elderly patients.

The bill's Senate fate is unclear but improving. Democrats' complaints about its abortion curbs and other provisions have been softening.

GAS DRILLING-PUBLIC LANDS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the House have found something in common. Many have issues with the Obama administration's new regulations requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Republicans say the new regulations, announced last week, will delay new drilling projects and take marginal lands out of production.

Democratic lawmakers say the regulations are so mild that they won't change current operating standards.

The lawmakers' complaints were aired Thursday during a House subcommittee hearing called to review the Bureau of Land Management's budget for the coming fiscal year.

Bureau Director Neil Kornze (KORN'-zee) says fracking is taking place in 32 states, and the new regulations were aimed primarily at those states with limited or no regulation of the practice.

GREECE-BAILOUT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek bank deposits dropped by more than 7.5 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in February, ramping up pressure on the country's teetering financial system as its government scrambles to reach a deal with creditors.

The central bank of Greece Thursday said private and business deposits dropped to 140.5 billion euros ($154.2 billion) by the end of February.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government has promised to submit a list of detailed reforms to bailout creditors by early next week at the latest. It has also said it would scrap any reforms that hurt economic growth.

Lenders need to approve the changes before releasing the remaining bailout funds that Greece needs to keep up with debt repayments before the summer.

SEAFOOD FROM SLAVES-REACTION

BANGKOK (AP) -- Lawmakers in Thailand have approved a measure creating tougher penalties for violating the country's laws against human trafficking.

The legislation had been under debate for several weeks. But its passage comes in the wake of an Associated Press investigation published this week. It found that fish caught by slaves has entered the supply chains of major supermarkets, restaurants and even pet stores in the United States. Seafood that was caught by hundreds of men trapped on a remote Indonesian island was tracked to exporters in Thailand who sell to America.

Thailand's deputy prime minister is denying that there are any slaves working on fishing boats carrying flags of Thailand. Instead, he says the problems are taking place in Indonesia.

But the U.S. State Department blacklisted Thailand last year for failing to meet minimum standards in fighting human trafficking.

U.S. retailers and the National Fisheries Institute have written to the ambassadors from Thailand and Indonesia, demanding to know what will be done to free the slaves described in AP's coverage. They say they've asked the government of Thailand in the past to address the issue of forced labor -- but didn't have any specific allegations until now.



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A Tip of the Hat to a Bull Market, VW and Derek Jeter

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