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Regional Roundup

Here’s a look at what’s happening around the area:

Washington County

Washington State Park closes

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JULY 20, 2006 – Washington State Park near De Soto has been closed temporarily following the July 19 storm in the area, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today.

The park suffered significant tree damage and is without power. It is uncertain when power will be restored but it may be up to four days.

Without power, the park does not have a functioning drinking water or wastewater system and is unable to operate its facilities in the campground, swimming pool, or cabins. Crews are continuing to assess conditions related to the tree damage to ensure the park is safe for visitors.

“The decision was made to temporarily close the park for the health and safety of our visitors and because we are not able to provide any level of service to our visitors,” said Doug Eiken, director of the department’s Division of State Parks.

Visitors who have reservations in the campground and for the park’s cabins through Tuesday evening, July 25, have been notified and will receive a full refund.

The park will reopen when power has been restored and tree damage has been cleared away to ensure the safety of visitors. For updated information on the park, check the Department of Natural Resources’ Web site at or call the department toll free at

1-800-334-6946 (voice) or 1-800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf).

Washington State Park is located nine miles south of De Soto on Highway 21 in Washington County.

For news releases on the Web, visit newsrel. For a complete listing of the department’s upcoming meetings, hearings and events, visit the department’s online calendar at /calendar/

Ste. Genevieve County

County propose tax issue

The Ste. Genevieve County Commission has proposed a half-cent sales tax issue that will appear on the Aug. 8 ballot. The commission says the sales tax will generate about $740,000 a year for the county.

The plan is for half of the sales tax money to go into the General Revenue Fund while the other half will go into the County Road and Bridge Fund.

According to officials, over the past 10 years the growth of Ste. Genevieve County has not kept pace with increases in county expenditures.

In 2005 the county took in $4.12 million while expenditures cost more than $4.23 million.

Fire departments get wildfire grants

Five Ste. Genevieve County fire departments have been awarded grants by the U.S. Forest Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation. The grants will be used to enhance each department’s ability to fight wildfires and secure structure fire equipment.

Bloomsdale, Ste. Genevieve, Weingarten, Lake Forest and Zell are all recipients of the grants. Specific amounts of each of the grants were not available. However, each grant will not exceed $3,000.

Iron County

Drug court gets $40,000

The Iron County Adult Drug Court has received funding from the Drug Courts Coordinating Commission.

Associate Circuit Judge Kelly Parker said the drug court program has been awarded $40,500.

He said the funding will help expand the program to accept more participants.

Committee forms to decorate new hospital

A committee has been formed to decorate the new Iron County Hospital.

The Fine Arts Committee is in the process of selecting artwork to decorate the hospital. They are hoping generous citizens and organizations will help them purchase the artwork to put on the walls of patient rooms and waiting rooms.

They hope to use artwork by Missouri artists or that reflect Missouri life. For more information, call (573) 546-3393.

Madison County

Hospital proposes tax issue

The Madison Medical Center has proposed a property tax issue for the Aug. 8 ballot to support the community hospital and the Stockhoff Memorial Nursing Home.

The increase in taxes for an average household will be $28 per year, according to proponents of the measure. The money will be used to update buildings and equipment and retain or recruit employees.

Madison Medical Center and the nursing home provided services for more than 50,000 patient visits each year.

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