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County Comment: Access Washington County Government information through radio broadcasts, iTunes, and an e-cast blog

County Comment
Access Washington County Government information through radio broadcasts, iTunes, and an e-cast blog
By Sarah J., Lankford, director
Department of Public Relations and Community Affairs

The Division of Public Relations and Community Affairs encourages citizens to access Washington County Government news in different ways - on radio broadcasts, iTunes podcasts, and through an electronic blog, "eGeorge," found on the Washington County Government website.
Titled, "Commissioners' Comments," information includes details on recent news and projects, updated policies and procedures, as well as general information on the services Washington County provides to its citizens in an audio format. Public Information Officer Norman Bassett conducts the interviews and completes the broadcast production.
On-the-air dissemination includes interviews conducted monthly with Commissioners and County Department Directors and then broadcast on WJEJ 1240 AM on the third Thursday of each month at 2:45PM, WLTF 97.5 FM every Sunday during the 5AM hour, and WICL 95.9 FM every Sunday during the 6AM hour.
iTunes Podcasts may be accessed for free at and search for Washington County Government in the iTunes Store. Click "subscribe" next to the "eGeorge" title to hear the latest information and events.
Our eGeorge Blog gives direct access to podcasts without using iTunes, at Lists of monthly podcasts from 2006 to present are available.
Examples of some of the topics of discussion over the past 6 months include:
August: Washington County Government's reorganization last spring led to the creation of the Division of Plan Review and Permitting, which combines services formerly found under departments within separate divisions. Division Director Jennifer Smith talks about the Division's mission, and how it will help streamline the permitting process. New environmental regulations will cause changes in how land is used and the Division will deal with these regulations is outlined.
July: Washington County Director of Public Works Joe Kroboth discusses County highway, building, and infrastructure projects. This summer, commuters will have a new centrally located bus transfer terminal in downtown Hagerstown. The historic Dam at Devil's Backbone Park is under rehabilitation, the Washington County Free Library construction begins, and roads are being paved County-wide. Other topics include the new Direct Air flights from Hagerstown Regional Airport to popular vacation destinations in Florida and South Carolina.
June: County Administrator Greg Murray takes the Fiscal Year 2012 Washington County Budget to Public Hearing. On May 12th, Murray outlined the conservative, do more with less, Operating and Capital Projects budgets to County citizens. Murray talks about reductions the County has had to make in the light of state funding cuts, while continuing to provide quality services to its citizens. Total operating and capital expenses are balanced at $290.7 million for FY 2012.
May: Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore discusses the impact the end of Osama Bin Laden's reign of terrorism could have on the County and region, about a new grant from the U.S. Justice Department that will help identify illegal immigrants who commit crimes, and current projects at the Department. Featured programs include Consolidated Booking, how the new interoperable radio communications system is working out, and Sheriff's Department goals for the coming fiscal year.
March: Phil Ridenour is the new Director of Washington County's Hagerstown Regional Airport and discusses the mission of Part 139 airports, economic development opportunities, the role emergency services plays on the airfield and his "by the bootstraps" path from 9-1-1 call taker to Airport Director. Plus-flood preparedness tips from the Division of Emergency Services are highlighted.
February: Washington County is taking steps to correct a problem that has surfaced with its recycling program dumping of ineligible items at recycling drop-off points, and littering the sites when bins are full. County Recycling Coordinator Tony Drury and Sheriff's Deputy Alan Matheny present a plan to the Board of County Commissioners to make the public aware of responsibilities that come with this free service, through creation of a televised public service announcement and other means. Commissioners Bill McKinley, John Barr, Terry Baker, Jeff Cline and Ruth Anne Callaham ask questions during the presentation.
February Second Edition: On this edition, the State of the County address for 2010 is presented. Washington County Commissioners Terry Baker, John Barr, Jeff Cline, Bill McKinley and Ruth Anne Callaham describe progress on County programs and projects during the past calendar year.
January: Geographic Information Systems or GIS provide information for map-making for use by government, private sector, and citizens. Find out more about this emerging technology with Bud Gudmundson, GIS manager for Washington County Government. Find out how satellite technology plays a part, why governments provide the services, and where to find GIS maps of the County.

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