Weatherford Democrat

Top News

March 13, 2013

Senate finance panel votes to close CCA prison

By CHRIS AGEE | Lone Star News Group

MINERAL WELLS – If the majority of legislators on the Senate Finance Committee have their way, the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility will be closed in the near future.

The committee last week voted 11-4 to shutter the Corrections Corporation of America facility, located in Wolters Industrial Park in far western Parker County, which Warden Cole McKennon said would negatively affect the local economy and workforce.

“We’re disappointed in that decision,” he said, explaining that the 2,103-bed prison provides 301 jobs at full staff and has a yearly payroll of $11.7 million.

Additionally, McKennon says the facility pays the City of Mineral Wells more than $1 million per year in utilities.

“We spend lots and lots of money in the city,” he said, adding the facility has improved greatly in recent years.

“I’ve got a good prison,” said McKennon. “They used to criticize this place because of contraband but the contraband isn’t here anymore. We haven’t found a cell phone in more than three months.”

The decision to close the facility is not final.

“It still has to go through the House of Representatives and a few other steps,” McKennon explained. 

He noted the House can overturn the Senate’s vote, explaining he hopes members of that body take certain facts into account.

Mineral Wells City Manager Lance Howerton said local government is ready to present a fact-based campaign to the Legislature in favor of keeping the CCA facility open. “I think I can speak for the city organizations and the entire community that we were very disappointed this has been the direction this issue is going in the state senate,” he said. “Our feeling is this is not a decision based on any factual information but is more of a politically motivated decision.”

Text Only
Top News
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Showing respect

    My sister Robbie Benton’s funeral was Friday afternoon at White’s Funeral Home. The gravesite was outside of Mineral Wells. The respect shown by the good folks of Parker County and the surrounding area was overwhelming.

    April 17, 2014

  • Proposed change in city charter goes before W’ford voters next month

    Weatherford residents will have the chance to vote on a pair of charter amendments on Election Day May 10.

    April 16, 2014

  • IMG_7134.JPG Despite cold, peach crops looking rosy

    Parker County peach growers won’t know for sure for a few more days, but as of Wednesday, one day after April temperatures plummeted into the low 30s, they’re predicting a good, even rosy, peach harvest for this year’s Parker County Peach Festival.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Larue, Jeffrey.jpg Wanted sex offender found in Weatherford

    A sex offender reportedly sought by Hood County authorities after failing to register as required was found in a Weatherford hotel last week, police say, after exposing himself to an employee.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal shelter throwing a party

    The Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter made a promise to its staff, volunteers and rescues that if the shelter was able to achieve a 90 percent live release rate by the end of March, the shelter would throw a community-wide party to celebrate its accomplishments.

    April 16, 2014

  • Veterans Memorial Rendering.jpg Cabin fever

    Weatherford Parks and Recreation officials are looking to renovate two areas to make them more user friendly.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0416 loc WISD new HR director.jpg Chapman named WISD’s new Human Resources director

    Members of the Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees last week approved Monty Chapman as the district’s new executive director of Human Resources.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parker County man killed in single-vehicle wreck

    A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.

    April 15, 2014

  • IMG_6890.jpg WC’s new Allied Health Building nears completion

    Construction crews are in high swing as the completion date for Weatherford College’s new Don Allen Allied Health Building nears.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • easter eggs.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Enjoy Easter eggs safely

    Eggs have been used to celebrate spring festivals for centuries. Immigrant settlers brought symbolic Easter rabbits and colored eggs to America. Since then, Easter egg hunts have been beloved by children everywhere.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results