PALESTINE, TX — Residents in the vicinity of the old Memorial Hospital have noticed a lot of activity in recent days as work crews have been busy removing the chain link fencing from around the perimeter of the building while adding new plywood to cover up broken or missing window panes. The city had erected the fence a few years back in an attempt to keep out vandals while officials struggled with how best to utilize the aging and deteriorating facility. Local leaders are tight-lipped about the specifics of any plans, but that’s not unusual as they are always tight-lipped and frowny-faced.
Our investigative team has discovered that the building is going to be renovated and become the permanent home of a rehab and hideaway center for professional athletes who have fallen from grace in the eyes of their adoring fans. The financial impetus for the project comes in the form of a multi-million dollar donation from Palestine’s most famous athlete, Adrian Peterson, who now finds himself entangled in a giant web of legal and public relation nightmares and who most likely will become the first client of the new facility.
A press release from the All Day Foundation says Adrian wants to return home and do something helpful for his fellow athletes while stimulating the local economy, “Myself and others have let people down, and we need to regain our focus and become the productive athletes we once were,” Peterson is quoted as saying. The facility will cater to some of the baddest of the bad in professional sports, many of whom have already had run-ins with law enforcement. In addition to standard living quarters, the local facility will also be equipped with what is called a “locks of love” ward where clients will be confined to posh, apartment style accomodations ranging from 2000 to 2500 square feet and featuring amenities the average person can only dream about, however, the clients will be prohibited from leaving their designated area. “Essentially, they will be on lock down”, the release says.
While clients will initially be admitted on a voluntary basis, local leaders hope state and federal authorites will eventually use the center as an alternative to traditional prisons when it comes to court sentencing and imposing behavior modification therapy for professional athletes. “This is an idea whose time has come,” said city manager Wendy Ellis, who gave small thanks to councilman Steve Presley for working behind the scenes, under her direction, to make the facility become a reality, then proceeded to beg for a personal pay increase, “I sure hope council will reward my efforts with a $20,000 pay increase because I would hate to take my talents elsewhere.” Councilman Joseph Thompson offered words of comfort to her when he replied, “It’s coming”, and councilman Adam Harding concurred saying, “It’s doable.” Councilman Mark Price just nodded his head in utter amazement saying, “She’s done it again, unbelievable, let’s make it $40,000.”
No timetable was given as to when renovations will begin or as to when the facility will actually open, but officials did say plans also include a state-of-the-art children’s day care center so the adult clients can help monitor the behavior of their children and be available to take appropriate disciplinary action when needed. Officials admit that might seem odd to folks on the outside, but when it comes to child discipline, “These athletes are definitely in a league of their own and besides that, they’re really big and strong, and we just don’t want any trouble.”