Standish Max to house Canadian prisoners, Granholm to become warden


STANDISH — Staff from Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s office announced today that Standish Maximum Correctional Facility would begin to house Canadian prisoners, after deals with several U.S. prisons failed to materialize.

“The governor wanted to make sure that there was something going on in the facility,” said Lee Deway, a spokesperson for Granholm’s office. “Plus she’s from Canada, and thought it would be a good way to help them out.”

Deway said several other options were discussed as possible uses of Standish Max.

“We almost decided to use it to house a colony of Africanized honey bees,” he said. “But we figured residents in Standish would be really concerned about killer bees buzzing around their town, even though they’re really only dangerous until provoked. So we thought better of that idea, although there’s still a chance that we might use some of the property for that in the future. (The bees) could probably help keep the prisoners in check.”

And Deway said that officials wouldn’t have to search for a warden when the prison reopens — Granholm plans to fill that position.

“She wants to get out of politics,” Deway said. “She said what better way to get away from politics than to work at a government-run prison?”

Deway said Granholm would take over the position when her term ends as governor.

Some renovations will have to be made to the facility before Canadian prisoners can be housed there. Deway said that will cost approximately $4 million. Because the project is being run as a joint project between the state of Michigan and Canada, Deway said he’s not exactly sure who will pay for the upgrades.

“No one really knows at this point,” Deway said. “We’re hoping some of the local citizens will chip in and donate to the project. After all, the government’s short on cash too.”

Deway said there are several other unanswered questions relating to the project.

“We haven’t worked out all the details yet,” Deway said. “But we’re the government. Rarely do we fully think a project through before we start it.”

Happy April Fools’ Day from the staff at the Arenac County Independent.


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As a displaced Standish Maximum Correctional Facility employee I found absolutely no humor in the “April Fools” article regarding Standish Max housing Canadian prisoners. The employees at the prison have been beaten down by our government, many employees have their family in Standish and are renting apartments in other towns, or commuting long distances in order keep a job to support their family and stay part of this community. These citizens are hoping that they will some day be able to return to their homes and be with their family on a full-time basis (not just on the week-ends). It disappoints me to know our home town newspaper would add to the insult and devastation that has resulted from the prison closure. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 | Report this

I totally agree...not one bit funny.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 | Report this

I can't beleive that our local newspaper stooped this low to create such a inconsiderate "Aprils Fools" article. With the loss of the prison and the staff the past six months, it has totally devasted our community. Several employees were local residents that kept many businesses alive, now with many commuting and separated from their families, that is no longer the case. We are beginning to see additional business closures and less foot traffic due to no money spent. My husband and I both worked there, along with my daughter and her fiancee and now each one of us are separated with new placement three hours apart in four different locations, definately not driving distance daily. We now have additional housing expenses just to keep a job. By this closure disaster, we no longer shop locally very often as our time is spent away from the community. Many people are walking away from their homes to relocate. You probably get to go home to your family each night, while we are out there wondering if the crystal ball is going to ever give us or the community hope. No wonder the newspaper pages are getting smaller when garbage like this is published. Thanks for your "SMF prison closure" support.

Thursday, April 1, 2010 | Report this

I agree with the other posts. I am ashamed to say that I live in Arenac county with a publication like this! My Husband was also employed at SMF and it is still heart wrenching every time I drive by the Facility, and then to have our local paper print such ridiculous lies just adds salt to the wounds. I know that times are tough and other people are losing their jobs too and being relocated, but we don't need it rubbed in our faces as a reminder. How can I forget! I have lived in Standish my entire life and my Husband had been employed at SMF for 17 years and now we might have to relocate and you find humor in that?! I think that I will send our so-called Governor a copy of this article and maybe she will laugh with you since this is her doing anyway. Or maybe, just maybe she will have some dignity left and find it just as appalling as the rest of us have. So shame on you editor and staff of the Arenac Independent, I will never purchase or read your so-called newspaper again! And I use the word NEWSpaper loosely.

Monday, April 5, 2010 | Report this

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