Lexington fails to make finals in Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

bfortune@herald-leader.comMarch 14, 2013 

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks to the media near the Empire State Building following a shooting, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper and then randomly opened fired on people nearby before firing on police. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

JULIO CORTEZ — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lexington was not among the five winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire cities to come up with innovative ideas to solve major challenges and improve urban life.

Winners were announced Wednesday.

Providence, R.I., won the grand prize for innovation that carried with it a $5 million implementation award for a cutting-edge early education initiative. Innovation prizes also went to Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Santa Monica, Calif. Each of those cities will receive $1 million.

Lexington was one of 20 finalists in the contest created by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Lexington's idea was to create CitizenLex.org, a website that would offer a continuing way to tap into residents' ideas for innovative solutions to challenges facing the city.

City spokeswoman Susan Straub said the city would look for grants and other financing to implement CitizenLex.

The idea from Providence uses technology to measure vocabulary exposure for low-income children and helps parents close the word gap. A statement from Bloomberg Philanthropies said the idea was selected for its direct, simple and revolutionary approach to early childhood education.

Beverly Fortune: (859) 231-3251. Twitter: @BFortune2010.

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