parks

Missouri
11:01 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Johnson's Shut-ins: Still A Park For All Seasons

The sign says: On Dec. 14, 2005, this granite boulder was torn from its resting place high atop Proffit Mountain during the Ameren upper reservoir breach. Approximately 1.3 billion gallons of water carried this rock 1 1/2 miles, dropping it here.
Linda Lockhart | St. Louis Public Radio

The Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park, Missouri’s original, natural water park, is ready for action. That’s what Steph Deidrick, a division information officer for the Missouri State Parks, wants people to know.

It’s been four years since Johnson’s Shut-ins reopened the park and campgrounds after the area was hit by a devastating flood, caused when AmerernUE’s Taum Sauk reservoir gave way.  The reservoir breach occurred on Dec. 14, 2005, sending approximately 1.3 billion gallons of water down the Proffit Mountain, flooding the park below.

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Morning round-up
9:26 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Morning headlines: Monday, Sept. 3, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Isaac dumps rain, but Mo. drought persists

The National Weather Service says large parts of rural Missouri and Illinois had between three-to-five inches of rainfall this weekend.

In St. Louis, Oakville received three and a half inches of rain, the most in the metropolitan area.  But National Weather Service Meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said it will take much more rain to snap this summer's historic drought.

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Illinois State Parks
2:19 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Retirements leave gap at Ill. state parks

Wallula Junction Flickr

Since late last year, almost a quarter of Illinois state park superintendents have retired, taking with them in many cases 30 or more years of experience that will be hard to replace.
 
The loss of that institutional knowledge is one more cost of the state's deep financial crisis. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is among state agencies hit hard by years of budget cuts.
 

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St. Louis County Parks
9:30 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

St. Louis County Parks Department business plan shows a $500,000 budget shortfall next year

A tour group in Fort Bellefontaine County Park.
(via Flickr/Trailnet)

The St. Louis County Parks Department presented its business plan to the County Council last night, and for now, no park closures are being discussed. 

Officials with the parks department said they’re doing their best to cut unnecessary expenses and uncover new revenue streams, but currently the department has a $500,000 budget shortfall for 2013.

The budget outlook could get much worse in 2014, and Parks Department Director Tom Ott said they would need to make drastic cuts without adequate funding.

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WiFi at state park campgrounds
6:10 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

WiFi service being added to Mo. state park campgrounds

An RV campsite at Table Rock State Park.
Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources

People who go camping at state parks in Missouri can now add laptops and iPads to their lists of camping gear and supplies.

Prior to this year, only Bennett Spring State Park had WiFi service, which was used mainly for live trout cameras during trout season.  Renee Bungart with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says WiFi service has now been expanded to eleven state park campgrounds.

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Morning round-up
6:31 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Morning headlines - Monday, June 4, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Ill. DNR director cannot rule out park closures

Amanda Vinicky contributed reporting from Springfield.

The director of the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources says his department will do all it can to keep the state's parks open after the failure of a $2 increase in license plate fees that would have provided a funding stream the the DNR.

But Marc Miller says he can't rule anything out, because the department has seen its budget slashed by 50 percent over the last decade.

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Morning round-up
7:43 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Morning headlines - Wednesday, May 16, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

County parks audit finds spending on vehicles during budget crisis

An internal audit of the St. Louis County Parks Department has found the department spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new vehicles, even as county executive Charlie Dooley was threatening to close parks and lay off employees.

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Parks audit
11:46 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Agency overseeing Missouri's state parks gets low marks

Trout fishermen in Bennett Springs State Park. An report from state auditor Tom Schweich has given the division that oversees Mo. state parks low marks.
(via Flickr/rjones0856)

State Auditor Tom Schweich has given the agency that oversees Missouri's state parks low marks for its documentation and oversight procedures.

The Division of State Parks, within the Department of Natural Resources, oversees the state's 85 parks and historical sites. The sites bring in about $9 million annually, with about $1.7 million coming from 16 companies that provide food, lodging and other concessions at some of the parks. The division also administers the state parks sales tax, which totals about $38 million a year.

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Morning round-up
9:41 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Morning headlines: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The dome shines brightly on the Missouri State Capitol as the sun begins to set in Jefferson City, Missouri on March 22, 2011.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Child abusers could face tougher penalties under Mo. legislation

People who injure or kill a baby by shaking the child could face tougher penalties under legislation moving through the Missouri House. The House has endorsed a measure expanding Missouri's child abuse law to specifically cover causing a baby's death or injury by shaking.

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Morning round-up
9:25 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Morning headlines: February 22, 2012

Illinois Capitol
Flickr/Jason Dunnivant

Ill. Gov to propose closing 14 major facilities in budget address

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's administration says the cuts and consolidations will result in more than 1,100 layoffs.

The cuts come in all sizes. At the large end is Tamms Correctional Center, a southern Illinois prison that houses about 400 inmates  -- which is just over half of capacity.

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