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Current alcohol ordinance left city of Statesboro 'powerless
Update meant to provide teeth, as well as flexibility
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The city’s recourse to the Superior Court last fall for an order to close down two nightclubs after repeated gun violence, and a review of Statesboro’s Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance by the city attorney, revealed fundamental flaws in the existing city law.Officials said as much during City Council’s work session Tuesday on a proposed replacement for the ordinance. City Attorney Alvin Leaphart repeated his assertion that the update is intended “to provide the mayor and City Council as much flexibility as possible in the regulation of the sale of alcoholic beverages.”But in other comments, Leaphart and the city’s public safety director acknowledged that the action taken last year through the Bulloch County Superior Court was necessary because the city could not act under its own authority.Johnnie L. Benton, 25, was killed, and Jamal Heard, 21, seriously injured when shots were fired around 2:30 a.m. Nov. 10 at the Primetime Lounge on Northside Drive West. Shots had been fired, without reported injuries, about 90 minutes earlier at the Platinum Lounge on Proctor Street, the same club where Akeila Roschell Martin, 32, was killed and another woman wounded in an Aug. 19, 2012, shooting.
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