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6800 Burleson Road
Building 310, Suite 165
Austin, TX 78744

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In the News: News from January 2014

Mandatory workshops for criminal justice grant applicants rescheduled

Monday, January 27, 2014

CAPCOG has rescheduled its mandatory workshops for potential grant applicants interested in state funding opportunities regarding criminal justice, juvenile justice and victim services, expanding to three separate sessions.

Grant writers, coordinators and others involved in completing the applications or entering them at the CJD's eGrants website need attend only one of the workshops - 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30; 1:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31; or Wednesday, Feb. 5, at CAPCOG Pecan Room, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 165, Austin, TX 78744 - to get details on applying for the following fiscal 2015 funding available from the Governor's Criminal Justice Division:

• General Victims Assistance
• Violent Crimes Against Women
• Criminal Justice Programs
• General Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs

Workshop attendance is mandatory for all applicants, new or returning. Applications submitted by organizations not attending one of the workshops will not be reviewed or prioritized by CAPCOG's Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (CJAC) or recommended for funding to the CJD.

The Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division, will make potential grantees’ applications available to CAPCOG in March or April 2014 for review, prioritization and recommendations by CJAC in April 2014.

> Contact Cindy Hood for questions or to RSVP
> Learn about CAPCOG's Criminal Justice Program

Applications for federal economic development grant due March 14

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The U.S. Economic Development Administration is accepting grant applications from local governments and other selected entities until March 14, 2014, for the current funding cycle of its Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs.

The programs seek both rural- and urban-area projects that maximize regional assets in implementing effective economic development strategies for distressed communities.   

> Get the grant details

Signed up with ENS? Update now for more options

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

With CAPCOG's Regional Notification System expanding the ways to reach people and the types of information shared, participants who previously registered their cellphone will get a second automated phone message this week inviting them to sign up for the newly upgraded system.

CAPCOG’s system, formerly called the “Emergency Notification System,” previously was limited to telephone calls to people that were included in the 9-1-1 database and to those who had registered their cellular telephones on CAPCOG ENS. The new RNS includes capacity to send messages by email or text and – eventually – Twitter and Facebook. Residents can register their cellphones, landlines, email addresses, pagers and other devices that receive text-based messages. The improved system also will allow local officials to send a wider range of notifications.

The previous system could only be used in situations in which life and property were directly threatened. Instead, the upgrades permit delivery of messages that may not comprise an emergency but nonetheless are important to public health, well-being and convenience. These could include restrictions on water usage, traffic disruptions due to major events and weather-related cancellations of public events. Some have already received a call, which alerts people who previously registered their cellphones that they must re-register if they wish to continue receiving alerts. Current users and new participants can register or update their information online today.

> Register with CAPCOG's newly updated Regional Notification System
> For questions, contact Aisha Henderson

CAPCOG’s 2014 Executive Committee officers named

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

CAPCOG's 2014 Executive Committee has elected its officers for the year, affirming the Nominating Committee's recommendations.

Officers, who serve a one-year term and serve in the same capacity on the Capital Area Emergency Communications District Board of Managers, also compose the Budget, Audit and Strategic Planning Subcommittee, help guide the audit team, oversee the CAPCOG budgeting process with staff, annually evaluate the agency's executive director and make recommendations on administrative or programmatic strategies.

The five officers include Llano County Judge Wayne Brascom, Chair; City of Elgin Mayor Marc Holm, First Vice Chair; Caldwell County Judge Tom Bonn, Second Vice Chair; City of Hutto Mayor Debbie Holland, Secretary; and City of Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw, Immediate Past Chair. 

CAPCOG, serving Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties, has helped its member governments and organizations maximize opportunities and eliminate duplication on key regional issues for more than 40 years. Formed in 1970, the agency is one of 24 councils of governments in Texas.

> Learn more about CAPCOG's Executive Committee 
> Explore COGs statewide at the Texas Association of Regional Councils website

Area Agency on Aging: Seniors, it’s not too late for a flu shot!

Friday, January 10, 2014

With flu season in full swing, CAPCOG’s Area Agency on Aging wants seniors - who are at greater risk from the dangerous virus - to help protect themselves.

One key toward prevention? Flu vaccine. The virus generally peaks around January or February in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there's still time to get a flu shot. 

> Get answers on Medicare coverage for flu vaccine
> Learn more about flu and older adults at the CDC website

State grant targets pollution with natural gas replacements

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is accepting applications until 5 p.m. Friday, May 31, 2015 - or until depletion of funds - for a grant to replace or repower medium- and heavy-duty motor vehicles with cleaner-running natural gas versions.

With about $24 million in funding available during the current two-year fiscal cycle, the TCEQ's Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program will fund eligible projects on a first come, first served basis.

Applicants - governments, companies, individuals and any other legal entity can participate - must meet selected equipment, usage and reporting requirements for eligibility. Learn more about the grant at TCEQ's website. > Go

A closer look: CAPCOG’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Monday, January 06, 2014

"Ombudsman" might mean "citizen representative," but some may consider it a longer word for "hero." Here's a closer look at CAPCOG's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which provides advocacy and friendly support for individuals living in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.

Ombudsmen investigate complaints made by residents, their families, or any other concerned party. They then work with complainants and facility staff to achieve resolutions. They can help one person resolve a problem, address issues that affect several residents or work to change a systemic problem. Their work takes many forms:

  • Handling complaints — Ombudsmen support residents and families to resolve any problems or differences with the facility staff by defining concerns, explaining rights and identifying possible courses of action. An ombudsman can help resolve the problem in most cases, but complaints involving serious abuse or neglect are referred to the appropriate agency. In all situations, confidentiality is maintained and no information is released without the resident or legal guardian’s permission. ?
  • Providing information — Ombudsmen are a good source of information about selecting a long-term care facility, including guiding callers to CAPCOG’s website for links to maps of both nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the region and to federal and state quality ratings. ?
  • Advocating system and legislative changes — State and regional ombudsman programs work cooperatively with other advocacy organizations to recommend legislation and regulatory changes that affect older Texans.

The sheer volume of facilities in the CAPCOG region, including 77 nursing homes with a total capacity of 8,400 beds and 122 licensed assisted living communities representing about 3,638 beds, demonstrates the high need for this advocacy service.

CAPCOG’s Ombudsman Program includes three staff members and approximately 40 trained and certified volunteers who routinely visit facilities throughout the region. With the program’s aim to advocate for resident rights, quality of life and good resident care, staff attend resident and family council meetings and care-plan meetings. They help ensure residents are not inappropriately discharged and help train facility employees on resident rights issues.

In addition, ombudsmen help ensure that Medicaid-funded residents who have expressed the desire to move back home or to a less restrictive environment are provided the opportunity for referral to the Money Follows the Person program, a federal initiative in which many states participate.

> Learn more about the Area Agency on Aging Ombudsman Program
> Discover other AAA services

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