Over the July 4th holiday, the Department of Emergency Services will conduct a technology study at Fort Leonard Wood using wide-area aerial surveillance technology. The study will be deployed from a manned aircraft which will fly at an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet and is not expected to cause any disruption to the general public.

Wide-area aerial surveillance technology has been used for major events such as NASCAR races, national conventions, major sporting events and other events that require a high-level of situational awareness. The technology also provides police officers, investigators and other agents with live and recorded wide area surveillance for law enforcement operations.


Festival FunThe annual Emmett Kelly Clown Festival has drawn its last breath, organizers of the event that began in 1988 announced late last week. The affair won’t be held this year.

Organized by the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce, the festival began as a three-day festival to honor Emmett Kelly Sr., the hometown boy who went on to worldwide fame as a circus clown. His character, Weary Willie, delighted millions across the globe. A Houston park is named in his honor.

Held annually the first Friday and Saturday in May, the event featured a variety of activities, including a carnival and a parade that attracted participants throughout the Midwest over the years. The festival drew publicity in numerous publications and television programs. PBS sent a Minneapolis camera crew to Houston one year to document the event.

The festival was a big undertaking, and some years rain put a damper on activities and profits.

The chamber said it plans to add activities to its schedule in lieu of the festival: An April 25 demolition derby and a spring event on May 16.

The following numbers and facts from Sunday’s trout opening were provided by Montauk State Park:

– Senator Frank Barnitz fired the starting pistol at 6:30 a.m. in place of Gov. Jay Nixon, who did not make the trip due to inclement weather.
– It was clear and cold (16 degrees) with 9 inches of snow on the ground.
– 1,878 adult tags sold, 183 kid tags
– 54 lunkers caught
– First lunker, checked in by Dale Schamburg of Perryville, was 6 pounds, 9 ounces.
– The largest lunker, caught by Jim Lawing Jr. of St. Charles, was 6 pounds, 15 ounches.
– No major incidents reported. One angler fell over in his waders.

phoenix1DNR just announced an opportunity to see bald eagles at nearby Montauk State Park. Sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the park will host two eagle-viewing events on Friday, Feb. 6, at 9 a.m. and Saturday, Feb. 21, at 3:30 p.m.  The programs are free and open to the public. 

Join a park naturalist at the park’s stone shelter to learn interesting facts about Missouri eagles and their comeback.  Then, observe how the birds hunt and build their nests.  Binoculars will be provided. Dress appropriately for the weather. 

For a complete listing of the upcoming meetings and events in the state park system, visit the online calendar at