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East Cape Girardeau Board of Trustees votes to close businesses with liquor licenses earlier

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, Ill. (KFVS) - After years of violence and issues with ownership, leaders there are ready to take action against The Pony Strip Club.

The village board will soon force all businesses with liquor licenses to close down three hours earlier than they currently do.

Right now, the only open business serving drinks is The Pony.

The mayor called the decision months in the making and said it comes after years of violence on and around that property.

”Something’s got to be done or someone in the neighborhood is going to get killed,” Marlene Freeman said.

That’s why Marlene Freeman and the rest of the East Cape Village Board voted unanimously to close all liquor establishments at 1:30 in the morning instead of 4:30.

“We got new members on the board so we talked it all out and came up with 1:30 because if they’re closed at 1:30 then there won’t be anybody over there, they can close up their parking lot and that’ll be it,” Freeman said.

Freeman lives just a street over from The Pony’s parking lot. She hoped the new hours will bring more peace and quiet.

“Between 1:30 and 2, it’s a steady stream of traffic from Cape to the parking lot. They don’t go in; they just sit in the parking lot and party. I can hear the noise down here at my house,” she said.

She clearly remembers hearing the shots fired back in May.

“It was crazy, it was like a warzone, I had never heard anything like it,” she said.

“According to the state police, there were like 150 rounds of shots fired,” Mayor Randy Morgan said.

Morgan heard about the shots and then the calls started coming in.

“There was a bullet that hit that wire going down underground and cut off the power to the folks in the southwest corner of East Cape,” he said.

Morgan said the owner’s attorney tried to convince the board not to change the hours, but that did not change their vote.

“We’re not trying to close any business or shut them down,” he said.

Morgan feels this is the right move to better protect his residents.

“We have to do what’s best for the village,” he said.

Mayor Morgan said the new hours will go into effect the morning of November 10.

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