Clovis News

1 year later: No city picked yet for Google Fiber test

One year ago: The city of Fresno and its residents were deep in a campaign to lure the much-hyped Google Fiber to Fresno. More than 1,000 cities were competing to be test markets for the experimental high-speed Internet network.

Today: Google still hasn't picked a city for the experiment.

In December, nearly nine months after the initial application deadline, Google announced it was delaying its decision due to the "incredible" interest.

A Google representative said this week that the company plans to make an announcement "early this year."

On Thursday, Mayor Ashley Swearengin said: "It's taken longer than we expected for Google to make its decision, but we're still very interested in being selected for the Google Fiber project. It's going to make a significant impact in the community that's selected, and we want that impact to be in Fresno."

-- Bethany Clough

Mixed reviews for writing program

One year ago: Fresno State professors and were trying out a Web-based evaluation program to improve student writing as a pilot project.

Today: About 90 professors and more than 5,000 students continue to use the program Criterion, which highlights grammatical errors, misspelling and run-on sentences.

Preliminary research from the spring and fall semesters last year indicated that student writing has improved, said Kim Morin, a professor in the theater arts department who brought the program to campus.

This semester, two student control groups -- one using Criterion and the other not using it -- will be compared, Morin said.

She acknowledged that reviews have been mixed. Some students and professors like the program and others don't, she said.

Still, Morin believes the program has been positive addition to the campus.

-- Eddie Jimenez

Clovis communicates

One year ago: Clovis city officials introduced a new way for residents to reach the city using their iPhones -- and alert city officials of the latest potholes, graffiti or landscaping needs. The city also introduced using Nixle, a no-cost way for local governments to alert residents to problems in the city, such as street closure, police issues or public meetings.

Today: The city has extended the iPhone application to Android phones and is starting to move toward a greater Facebook presence, said Chad Fitzgerald, the city's special projects manager.

He said the city will begin using Facebook rather than Nixle to reach more residents.

"We will let people know the options are there," he said. "A year from now we can give out some hard data on how Facebook is working and how many subscribers we have."

Even with all the high-tech opportunities, more than two-thirds of residents who communicate with the city use the phone and 21% use the city's website, he said. Five percent communicate with e-mail, and 4% employ the iPhone application, Fitzgerald said.

-- Marc Benjamin

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