Standish Max to house Canadian prisoners, Granholm to become warden

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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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