County officials announced late Friday that the old Dairy Queen located at Independence Avenue and Chestnut would become a new holding facility during the ongoing construction of the new jail facility off 40 highway and Manchester as well as periods when county detention facilities are full.

The new detention facility will have eight holding cells initially and could be expanded to sixteen cells if warranted. It will be staffed sixteen hours per day with monitored security during the unstaffed hours. In addition, all inmates with good behavior credits will be issued small, Esther bee-hive cones.

County Sheriff Darren Fort said the new space will ease overcrowding at the downtown detention facility. “This really adds the expansion capabilities we need and alleviates the transporting of prisoners to Vernon or Johnson Counties in rural Missouri,” Fort noted.

Construction is slated to begin in mid April with completion in early May. No additional risk to the public is expected.

Thanks for joining us for this year’s Northeast Nonsense. Happy April Fool’s Day!