The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


January 17, 2014

Prison news feels different this time

I don't blame people for being cautious this week regarding the most recent developments with the Thomson, Ill., prison.

It's not like we haven't heard this story before.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos announced this week that money is included in the $1 trillion bill making its way through Congress. It appears likely the bill will pass on bi-partisan support, meaning this is another step in the arduous process of maximizing the prison's full potential.

Sure, we've been promised a lot before, especially when the prison was built in 2001. Even since 2008, when I came to Clinton, the Thomson prison has dominated the headlines, and little has been done to make it fully operational.

But this news seems slightly different.

President Barack Obama will likely sign the legislation, meaning there will at least be some funds awarded to the prison.

That's great news.

What's not so great is that no one knows exactly how much money is being allocated to the facility.

Officials have said renovations will cost $25 million, and another $170 million will be needed for equipment and staffing the prison.

So, if the bill only releases $5 million, then the step being taken isn't as great as once perceived.

But if the money included in the bill takes up a big chunk of the $195 million needed to make the prison operational, then it appears the area is finally headed in the right direction.

The facility is likely to create 1,100 jobs, and according to a 2010 study, 35 percent of those employees would locate in Clinton.

Another 8 percent would live in Fulton, Ill., 6 percent in Thomson, and 5 percent in Clinton County outside of Clinton, as estimated by the study.

If we take the study as reality, that means 54 percent of the 1,100 employees would buy or rent homes, purchase groceries and contribute to the tax base of our area. And this doesn't take into account the amount of jobs created because of the influx of people.

Text Only
  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

  • Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state

    April 18, 2014

  • The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a

    April 18, 2014

  • Wild Rose avoids another distraction Several casino operators in the state of Iowa breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 4-1 to reject a casino in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is close enough to have a possible effect on Wild Rose Casino and R

    April 18, 2014

  • Youngquist photo World Book Night celebrated April 23 The Clinton Public Library children's department plans to start a Legos club this June. We would appreciate donations of new or used Legos bricks. Please, no Duplo bricks. Drop donations at the children's desk on the second floor of the library. Root

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walter Williams mug Equality in discipline George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled "Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths." The subtitle is "School Discipline

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results