The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Fulton

January 17, 2013

Smiddy: Thomson prison could be open soon

FULTON, Ill. — A local Illinois state representative is looking for more economic development in the area, and one of the major tools to drive that growth — the Thomson, Ill., prison — may be operational this year.

Illinois Rep. Mike Smiddy was sworn in this week as the new representative for Whiteside, Carroll, Rock Island and Henry counties. One of his top agenda items is opening the Thomson prison, which he said could be operational in six months.

Working with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and his Director Bill Houlihan, Smiddy has been checking in to make sure things are moving quickly.

“They are planning to start hiring this summer and get operational in the next six months,” Smiddy said. “This will create thousands of jobs for the area.”

The U.S. government announced in October the purchase of the decade-old prison, which has not been utilized to its full capacity. Studies have shown most of the workers would live in the Gateway area, including Clinton and surrounding towns.

Smiddy’s agenda also includes to help resolve the number one problem in the state at this time, the pension crisis. The big concern will be addressed as Illinois goes into legislative session later this month and into February. Smiddy says that he believes that the best solution will be viable to all groups.

Democrat Smiddy lives in Hillsdale, Ill., with his wife Deb and two sons Ian and Logan, where he works as a Corrections Supervisor. Politics was something he was always interested in throughout his time working in law enforcement. Smiddy said he felt like it was perfect timing to step up for the position as a voice for the middle class in a time of fiscal crisis.

“We need to do a better job of fixing problems rather than just talking, to get us back to where we need to be,” Smiddy said.

As a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights, Smiddy believes that banning all weapons is not the answer to recent gun-related problems.

“What happened was a tragedy, but banning all guns is not the right way to deal with it,” Smiddy said. “Coming from a corrections background, I am a pro sponsor of conceal and carry.”

In addition to the Thomson Prison, Smiddy wants to make economic development a priority and bring businesses to the area.

“We need to do a better job of convincing businesses to come here and working with municipalities to expand opportunities,” Smiddy said.

Smiddy is currently working with Renaissance Rock Island to obtain $29.2 million to improve housing in the region. Morrison, Fulton and Sterling recently partnered with Renaissance to form the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition. Other goals include working with Mayors of Sterling and Rock Falls to improve the riverfront and working with local schools to solve funding issues.

 

1
Text Only
Fulton
  • 4-19-14 1B-Photo, Fulton catch HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL Hall halts Steamers FULTON, Ill. -- Fulton knew it had its hands full heading into Friday's baseball game against Hall. After all, the Red Devils entered the game with an 8-1 record, and they had momentum after blanking Rockridge the day before. Fulton fell to Hall 5-2

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fillies one-hit Fulton Herald Staff Report Ackerman throws no-hitter for Erie/Prophetstown Fillies one-hit Fulton

    April 17, 2014

  • Dutch Days grand marshals Fulton couple honored as grand marshals

    Bob and Trudy Feldt have been dedicated to the city of Fulton for decades. Whether it be Trudy's 27-year commitment to teaching the children of the community at the River Bend School District, Bob's 33-year career with the Fulton-born c

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Communities prep for hunts CLINTON -- Easter weekend is nearly here and two local organizations are calling all children for the hunting event of the year -- Easter egg hunting that is. Both Camanche and Fulton, Ill., will host Easter egg hunts Saturday, each at different time

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-16-14 2B-Photo, Fulton Relays Steamers win on home track FULTON, Ill. -- A couple of minor setbacks didn't really bother Bryce Holesinger at all Tuesday evening. The big picture was bright for Holesinger and his teammates on the Fulton/Fulton Unity boys track team. Not only did the Steamers win their third

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Cattail Slough closed due to high water FULTON, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi River Project announces that Cattail Slough recreation area south of Fulton has been closed due to high water levels. The recreation area will remain closed until it has dried out sufficie

    April 16, 2014

  • Fulton park photo Fulton council to pursue new park on donated land

    FULTON, Ill. -- An unexpected turn of events has offered Fulton leaders something they had been hoping to see in the river city-- a community park in the Third Ward. During a Fulton City Council meeting last week, City Administrator Ed Cannon announc

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • AGENDA: River Bend CUSD Board of Education

    The River Bend CUSD Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. April 22 in the District Office, Board Meeting Room.

    April 14, 2014

  • Fulton housing loan Program to assist Fulton resident FULTON, Ill. -- Brian Hollenback and Beth Payne delivered good news last week, traveling to seven cities, three counties and two states, ending their journey in Fulton. Hollenback, who is the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition president, and its

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fulton's Ballard does it all MANILUS, Ill. -- Devon Ballard plays a big role for the Fulton Steamers, and he certainly excelled in his duties Wednesday as he threw seven innings on the mound and had three RBIs in a 11-3 over Bureau Valley. Ballard did not allow an earned run as

    April 11, 2014