ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -
Missouri State Parks Celebrate 100 Years With More Upgrades
The skeleton of an American Mastodon, the largest extinct animal found at the Kimmswick Bone Bed, represents an adult male, 10 feet high and 20 feet long. The skeleton, made of fiberglass molded from original bones currently in the collection of the Illinois State Museum, took about a year and a half to complete. See Mastodon State Historic Site
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), August 28, 2016 - Gov. Jay Nixon recently visited Montauk State Park and Bennett Spring State Park to view completed and ongoing projects at the two trout-fishing parks that total more than $7.6 million. The projects are part of the $69 million in upgrades throughout Missouri's state parks system Gov. Nixon's administration has made since 2009.
The Governors visits to the parks come during the year-long celebration of the centennial of Missouri State Parks, which began with the establishment of the state park fund in 1917. Both Bennett Spring and Montauk are among the first state parks created in Missouri.
Missouri has invested $69 million in renovations and improvements throughout its state parks system since 2009. An additional $10 million in improvements to Missouri's state parks and historic sites is currently being made through a strategic bond issuance, made possible by the state's strong fiscal discipline and spotless AAA credit rating.
While at Montauk State Park, August 24, the Governor toured the Dorman Steelman Lodge which received a new roof last spring, inspected the recent cabin renovations and received an update from staff on the planned wastewater system improvement project.
At Bennett Spring State Park, the Governor toured the newly constructed Spring Cabins, visited the historic CCC Dining Lodge with its renovated roof and windows, and received an update on completed wastewater system upgrades to protect water quality.
"For generations, Bennett Spring and Montauk state parks have been renowned destinations for fantastic fishing and outdoor fun, and Missourians expect and deserve that we keep them in top shape," Missouri State Parks Director Bill Bryan said. "Thanks to Gov. Nixon's leadership, we are maintaining and strengthening our state park system so that these nationally recognized public assets are preserved and sustained for future generations."
In 2015, Missouri State Parks posted record attendance with more than 19.2 million guests, representing a nearly 30 percent increase since 2008. Through July 2016, attendance at Missouri state parks had increased by more than a million visitors from the same time period in 2015.
Reversing a 10-year decline in parks attendance that occurred before he took office, Gov. Nixon has expanded and improved Missouri's nationally-recognized state park system, with a new state park under development in Jefferson County and the Rock Island Trail State Park, a 47.5-mile-long extension that will allow hikers and bicyclists greater access from the Kansas City region to the 240-mile Katy Trail, set to be completed this year.
In July, Missouri unveiled Echo Bluff State Park in Shannon County, a 476-acre park that is a gateway to the Ozarks and is named for the iconic sheer bluff that overlooks crystal-clear Sinking Creek. In addition to beautiful scenery, floating and miles of hiking and bicycling trails, the new park offers modern amenities in the cabins and in the lodge, which also includes dining and conference space.
Missouri's state parks and historic sites contribute to a healthy economy. Results of an economic impact study released in 2012 estimated that annual expenditures of state park visitors total approximately $778 million. The overall economic impact of these expenditures is estimated at $1.02 billion in sales and support more than 14,000 jobs.
Missouri's Parks, Soils and Water sales tax is the primary source of funding for the state's nationally acclaimed 88 state parks and historic sites. It was created through a constitutional amendment specifically to support efforts to stop soil erosion and provide funding for the state park system. The tax was first approved by voters in 1984, and has since been reapproved by voters three times in 1988, 1996 and 2006. The Parks, Soils and Water sales tax is currently up for renewal during the 2016 General Election on Nov. 8, 2016.
Central County Fire & Rescue Places Proposition L on Nov. 8 Ballot
ST. PETERS, MO, (SLFP.com), August 28, 2016 - At their meeting on Thursday, Aug. 25, the Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) Board of Directors passed a resolution to place Proposition L on the Nov. 8, 2016, ballot. Prop. L is a proposal to provide funding for advanced medical training and equipment for existing firefighter/EMTs and to hire additional firefighter/paramedics.
CCFR will host a series of open houses to provide additional information and answer questions about the proposal. The first event will be an Open House at CCFR Fire Station #4,1259 Cave Springs Blvd., on Sept. 16 from 2 - 4 p.m. and a Senior Movie Afternoon and Open House will be held on Sept. 21 from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. at CCFR Fire Station #2, 109 McMenamy Rd. Additional activities will be announced in early September. District officials are also available to speak and attend neighborhood and community meetings.
By placing paramedics on fire trucks, lifesaving medications, equipment, and interventions not available to EMTs (emergency medical technicians) would be available to residents faster. It would also allow for a higher level of medical response for those in need of rescue from a crashed automobile or other emergency situation. Over the past three years, nearly half of CCFR's emergency calls have been medical responses.
"We have seen an increase in the number of medical calls we assist with, and the needs of our community are changing. We can provide faster lifesaving care to our residents by placing paramedics and the appropriate advanced medical equipment on each of our fire trucks," CCFR Chief Dan Aubuchon said in a release.
"Even though we have paramedics on our team, they cannot give paramedic level care because they do not have access to the proper equipment, and the District is not licensed to provide paramedic services," stated Aubuchon.
Currently, all CCFR firefighters are EMTs. A paramedic can provide lifesaving medical interventions that EMTs do not have the training and equipment to provide. For example, during a heart attack, a paramedic can monitor heart rhythms, pace a patient's heart rate and get them back into normal heart rhythm. They can also start an IV, provide medication and secure an airway if needed. An EMT can only use a standard defibrillator to shock a heart back into a rhythm if the heart has stopped, provide CPR and basic oxygen. A paramedic can also administer IV and other medications for stroke, seizures, diabetic comas, allergic reactions, and drug overdoses and intubate to provide an airway.
Almost every fire protection district in the St. Louis Metro Area and more than half of the fire departments with a population size similar to CCFR nationwide have paramedics on their fire trucks.
If voters approve Prop. L the District can levy an additional tax of 25cents per one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation. The additional investment for the owner of a $175,000 home would be $1.60 a week.
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