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City and Neighbors Try to Close Problem Bar
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (Larry Davis) -- Police team up with neighbors to take aim at a nightspot that some say is a nuisance. Middletown city leaders say they plan to try to shut down Miller's Lounge on Charles Street. Neighbors claim drugs are being sold out of the bar. Now the city has taken its complaints about Miller's to the state division on liquor control. local 12 news reporter Larry Davis has more on the fight.
The city is opposing the renewal for a liquor license, police and neighbors say there are too many problems there. Owners say they're working to resolve them.
Patricia McWhorter and Christopher Wallz say they were woken up again Sunday night by the noise next door, "a bunch of noise, music, screaming, yelling."
Neighbors cite drinking, fighting and drug dealing by customers. McWhorter is upset her son sees what's going on, "especially when he comes outside and sees drug deals and tells me mommy they're dealing drugs on the corner."
Wallz found believes he's found stray bullet holes in his car. "It's just where it's so bad, I'm going to move. Ain't putting up with it".
"This stack here, is police calls to the area, to the bar, over a two year period." Middletown's law director Les Landon says Miller's Lounge has kept police busy. Of the 83 arrests over the past couple of years, 16 have been drug related, ten are felonies.
Neighbors signed a petition asking the city to close the bar. Landen says police have talked to the owners, but the problems continue. "If the problem isn't going away, we owe it to that neighborhood and the people that live in the community to make it go away."
The owners of Millers lounge wouldn't appear on camera but they tell Local 12 they are working with police and neighbors to try to resolve the problems here. They have asked for off-duty police officers but say that request has not been granted. They also say they do good work in the neighborhood, but neighbors say that work isn't good at all.
The owners of Miller's Lounge tell us if the state does revoke the liquor license, they plan to appeal.