PREP FOOTBALL SCORING UPDATES PRESENTED BY THE HUNGRY HOBO:

Lack of funds stalls Thomson prison startup


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Posted Online: Feb. 08, 2013, 6:19 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
It remains unclear when Thomson Correctional Center will open as a federal prison, with money needed for construction upgrades unlikely to become available until October.

Purchased by the federal government for $165 million last year after sitting largely vacant for the past decade, the prison awaits another $67 million in activation funding before it can open

Bureau of Prisons activation coordinator Cathi Litcher gave Thomson's village board an update on the prison progress at a meeting on Monday.

"There is no activation or operational funding identified in the Congressional fiscal year budget for 2013 in support of the opening of the Thomson facility by the federal Bureau of Prisons," an emailed statement to village board members said.

"Also, the agency isn't aware of the final funding situation for Thomson during fiscal year 2014. Until the federal budget is passed, for either year, the BOP isn't aware of the funding levels in support of the activation or operation of the Thomson institution," the statement said.

The prison is expected to create 1,100 federal jobs when fully operational. So far, two maintenance positions have been filled, Thomson village board member Linda Foltz said.

U.S. Sen Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the expected inclusion of money in President Obama's budget request for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1 should allow construction upgrades to be completed.

"Even with the spending cuts we are facing in Washington over the next six to eight months, they are making progress at the facility," a statement from Sen. Durbin said. "The next step is for the President to include funding for activation of Thomson prison in his budget for 2014, which will allow the Bureau of Prisons to move forward with upgrades and construction."

Workshops will be held in the coming months to help area businesses compete for federal government contracts connected to the prison.

The prison was built in 2001 but funding problems kept the state from fully opening it. Federal officials bought the 1,600-cell facility last October to ease overcrowding in the federal system.





















 




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  Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.






(More History)