Friday, June 26, 2009

County Pursues Wireless Data Network Grant & Other News

Wireless Data Network Grant
Mecklenburg County has been asked to partner with the City of
Charlotte and several other government entities to pursue a $30
million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA). The grant would be used to fund the
implementation of a county-wide wireless data network.

The grant requires a 25% in-kind match, which can be met with current
staff participation, tower sites, and other internal resources. The
City will lead this project, envisioning a data network that is used
by public safety and other local government agencies that need
wireless services. These agencies include UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and Central Piedmont Community College
(CPCC). The Charlotte Housing Authority and the Public Library also
would participate in this project, focusing on providing wireless
services to underserved areas and low-income residents.

The annual operating costs for this project are estimated to be $5-$6
million a year. These costs would be funded by agency user subscriber
fees at well below commercial rates. Subscribers would include public
agencies as well as the segments of the general public that fit the
criteria below. The fees also would be used to fund upgrades to the
technology, which typically are needed every five years.

Guidelines for submitting the grant are still being gathered but
current estimates indicate the grant applications will be due in
September of 2009 and funds will be distributed beginning December
2009. The grant requires that projects must:

• Provide improved access to broadband service to people in
underserved areas of the U.S.
• Provide broadband equipment and access, education, awareness,
training, and support to schools, libraries, healthcare providers,
community colleges and higher education, and other community support
• Improve access and use of broadband service by public safety agencies
Based on these criteria, our plans for a county-wide wireless network
should meet the grant requirements. It is estimated that it will be a
two-year project to build and implement the wireless data network.

The City Council will consider a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at
its July 20 meeting. The MOU will then be presented to the Board of
County Commissioners for consideration in August.

For additional information, contract IST Director Jerry Pinkard at
or 704-336-2891.

Park and Recreation Reservation System Upgrade

Because of its wide use and popularity, Board members should be aware
that the Park and Recreation Department's facility reservation system
will be offline from June 26 – 30. During this time, the system will
be upgraded to improve customer service and efficiency. This upgrade
will include redeveloping the database and accounts for Park and
Recreation Department customers.

While the system is offline, people may continue to register for
recreation programs and reserve facilities by calling the City/County
Customer Service Center at 311 or Park and Recreation at 704-336-3854.
We anticipate the online reservation system to be available again at 8
a.m. on July 1.

Northwest Campus Health Department Ribbon Cutting

As a reminder, the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Health Department's
Northwest Campus will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15.

To RSVP or for more information, please contact Kymberlye Worthey at
704-336-6448 or

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Charlotte Area Attorneys Seeking To Help People Injured By Zicam

ROCK HILL, S.C. – McGowan, Hood and Felder, LLC, one of the
Southeast's most experienced law firms at obtaining compensation for
people injured by corporate neglect or negligence, is now seeking to
help individuals injured by Zicam. Zicam is a nasal spray recently
ruled harmful by the U.S. FDA.

"We are developing a growing list of clients who claim their sense of
smell was damaged or destroyed by Zicam," said Chad McGowan, Managing
Partner of the law firm. "We intend to vigorously pursue compensation
for them from the manufacturers and marketers of Zicam."

McGowan stressed, "There is no charge to any individuals whom we
accept to this client list. Our compensation comes entirely from legal
settlements provided by the defendants, so even though we cannot
guarantee a settlement, we are highly motivated and very skilled at
pursuing them. This is a strong case because losing your sense of
smell goes beyond just quality of life – it threatens people's safety
and life itself when they cannot smell a gas leak or smoke from a
fire, for example."

McGowan, Hood and Felder in the past has successfully filed suit and
won awards for a variety of medical malpractice and manufacturer
negligence cases totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. The firm
recently secured a $3 million settlement for the family of Heather
Sloan, a mother of three, who died at a South Carolina hospital after
visiting the emergency room three times in three days with severe
abdominal pain.

Individuals in any state who have been harmed by Zicam are encouraged
to contact the law firm through their website,, or
by calling toll free at 877-327-3800.