The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Breaking News


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
  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 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