Transparency News, 6/20/2022



June 20, 2022

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state & local news stories

"Her inquiries prompted some angry reactions, including someone mailing her a load of manure last year."

Few Virginians have used the Freedom of Information laws as often as Tazewell County native Laura Mollo. However, her quest to get police in her hometown of Richlands into Tazewell County’s award-winning 911 emergency center to trim response times has been unsuccessful. She began asking Richlands officials for public records to understand why the town nearly 150 miles west of Roanoke stubbornly resists ending its holdout status as the area’s last town without 911 emergency calls for police service. Her inquiries prompted some angry reactions, including someone mailing her a load of manure last year.
Bob Gibson, The Roanoke Times (Column)

The Alexandria School Board approved changes to their operating procedures on Thursday night (June 16), and updated rules on engagement with the media. The operating procedures are a guide for Members’ behavior in office — and state that comments made to media by Board members will “likely be interpreted by the public as an official statement of the Board,” and that all statements (when Members are designated to speak on behalf of the board) must be sent to the Board Chair and Superintendent. The changes now state that School Board Members must now avoid directly communicating with ACPS staff “about Division business”, and clarified language to say that Board members will now receive all written responses to media made by the Alexandria City Public Schools communications team. The Board unanimously approved School Board Member Kelly Carmichael Booz’s clarified language on the document. Booz said that the change eliminates confusion — that Board Members do not need to provide their colleagues with any written responses to the media. Elnoubi says that there hasn’t been public discussion on the Board’s operating procedures since the Board retreats are not recorded.

stories of national interest

This fall, hundreds of students across 10 colleges will join a small but growing cohort nationwide that is attending class in another dimension — the digital one. What does that mean, exactly, for their data privacy? To find out, The Chronicle analyzed university-vendor contracts, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, from five of the institutions that plan to pilot “metaversities”: digital, immersive replicas of their campuses that dozens of their students will visit and even attend classes in, using virtual-reality headsets.
Chronicle of Higher Education