Military Bases Cancel Fireworks due to Sequestration - Plus the 7 DorobekINSIDER Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • The City of Tacoma was named one of the most polluted urban environments in North America in the early 80s. Since then, the city has striven to clean up its environment and provide a model for sustainable living. And they want your help to create a tool to streamline the process. Click here for the full recap.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Office of Personnel Management is extending federal health insurance, life insurance and other key benefits to spouses of federal employees and retirees in same-sex marriages. Married gay couples have 60 days to apply for updated federal benefits. The Office of Personnel Management has set an August 26 deadline. Spouses of federal employees in legal same-sex marriages have become eligible for health, group life insurance and long term care programs. Benefits also extend to children and stepchildren of same-sex families. Those missing the deadline can also apply during the annual open season in November, reports Federal News Radio.
  2. The Defense Information Systems Agency has awarded a potential $16 million contract to Digital Management Inc. (DMI) of Bethseda, Md., to provide software that can centrally manage smartphones and tablet computers and control which apps are used on those devices. The software, known as a mobile device management (MDM) solution, would manage at least 162,500 devices at the outset, with the potential to support 262,500 by the end of the contract, according to a solicitation released last fall. DoD has projected it will ultimately support 8 million devices, including all department-issued mobile devices and computers, reports Federal Times.
  3. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the department to review its discretionary allotment system, which lets service members pay for certain items directly from their paychecks. The news comes as 50,000 service members are learning that they've fallen victim to deceptive marketing tactics by a major auto lender. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ordering U.S. Bancorp's U.S. Bank and its partner, Dealers' Financial Services, to pay $6.5 million. The bureau says the firms sold sub-prime auto loans without disclosing the true annual percentage rate, the costs of finance charges, and other key details. The refunds amount to an average of $100 per service member, reports Federal News Radio.
  4. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has launched a grant competition to create an Advanced Materials Center of Excellence. It will focus not only on discovering and making new materials, but also how to get them to market faster. The winner will receive funding of $5 million per year for five years. The competition is open to colleges, universities and non-profits. NIST says it wants to bring together several disciplines including measurement and computer simulation, and modeling.
  5. Military bases across the country will celebrate the 4th of July without fireworks displays. The reason? Budget cuts. Independence Day boomers have been canceled at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base and at the Army's Fort Bragg, both in North Carolina. The annual July Fourth celebration also has been scrapped at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia. At Camp Lejuene, last year's Independence Day cost about $100,000, including $25,000 for the fireworks. The biggest expense is paying the overtime to personnel for security, transportation, logistics and safety. Base officials said they couldn't justify paying overtime when federal workers are losing pay while furloughed, reports Federal News Radio.
  6. The Park Service is going all out to mark the 150th anniversary of the bloodiest battle in Civil War history. The agency is presiding over nearly 200 events in Gettysburg. Over the weekend, history buffs helped recreate Pickett's Charge. The Park Service says between that event and another later this week more than 500 re-enactors will participate. It's also an opportunity for the Park Service to showcase its 13-year effort to rehabilitate Gettysburg, including the removal of some non-historic trees, reports Federal News Radio.
  7. And on GovLoop, if you missed DorobekINSIDER Live: Making Mobile Matter, don’t worry you can catch the archive here.

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