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North Dakota

Temperatures reached brutal lows. Repeated blizzards shut down the highway system leaving road crews working 24-hour days. Motorists were trapped, and massive snow drifts virtually buried houses. Thousands of livestock expired. Then snowmelt caused near-biblical flooding. More than 2,200 square miles of land were soaked in water, an area the size of two Rhode Islands. […]

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Wisconsin

In our profile of Pennsylvania, we described how emergency managers there faced tough criticism over the poor handling of a winter storm in 2007 that led to what Gov. Ed Rendell publicly described as a “total breakdown in communications.” He heard about the storm’s severity from stranded citizens, not officials. Pennsylvania wasn’t alone. Despite having […]

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Arizona

Arizona has figured prominently in the evolution of the Department of Homeland Security since its creation in 2003. When Barack Obama took office, he appointed the state’s governor, Janet Napolitano, to head the department, and she was confirmed by Congress with little opposition. But some critics, including reporters who covered her meteoric rise as a […]

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Maine

In the spring of 2008, local officials across the country in charge of spending federal anti-terrorism grants responded with befuddlement to a new rule imposed by the Department of Homeland Security on anyone planning to apply for the preparedness funds. In order to be eligible that year, grantees would need to devise a plan for […]

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Ohio

So-called “needs assessments” are critical for determining where a community is vulnerable to catastrophe or terrorism. The federal government has required them of states in order to justify how they planned to use the $29 billion in homeland security grants Washington has handed out since Sept. 11. What safety and law enforcement equipment might be […]

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Wyoming

Authorities in the state of Wyoming refused to turn over detailed records showing how federal homeland security grants have been used there since 2001. As with other states, we were seeking computer records containing individual grant transactions hoping to detect larger trends in how local beneficiaries have invested the money. Critics of anti-terrorism and emergency […]

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Arkansas

Authorities in Arkansas responded to an open-government request with richly detailed spreadsheets listing the state’s homeland security grant purchases by community, number of equipment items, brand name, price and more. The individual Excel files are available for download below. Use the tabs contained in each one to see expenditures by grant year and program. Here […]

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Maryland

The American Civil Liberties Union first uncovered documents in July of 2008 showing that the Homeland Security and Intelligence Division of the Maryland State Police infiltrated non-threatening political protest groups and spied on them for at least 14 months. The targets included peace activists and opponents of the death penalty, according to intelligence records the […]

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Oklahoma

It’s a world apart from New York City, different in almost every conceivable way. But Oklahoma City is essentially the only other place in America that’s experienced something comparable to the Sept. 11 attacks. The incident is added almost as an afterthought in discussions about terrorism to remind us that the threat is domestic in […]

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California

The Golden State is a leading recipient of anti-terrorism grants in the country due to its population, major attractions and powerful political representatives. At least $1.9 billion from major grant programs poured into the California between 2003 and 2009. State auditors in a Sept. 2006 report called California’s structure for emergency response a bewildering “labyrinth […]