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Shooting shines spotlight on after-hours problems

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A Toledo councilman and the head of a local community development corporation said they want to quickly resolve problems surrounding an after-hours bar near where two people have been shot in the last six months.

Councilman Wilma Brown and Bob Krompak, executive director of the Ottawa Community Development Corp., said yesterday that the bar at 1601 Central Ave., has long been a source of complaints from neighbors.

They have protested rowdiness of customers, traffic that prevented them from reaching their driveways, and fights and gunfire.

Christian Snow-Veley, 15, of 1752 Macomber St., was shot in the chest about 3:50 a.m. Saturday near the bar. Police were called to Central and Isabella Street on a gun call.

Police eventually were made aware of the boy shot near Isabella and Jermain Drive, a block away. The youth was taken to Toledo Hospital for treatment.

A Toledo Hospital spokesman yesterday said the hospital didn't have information on a patient by that name.

Police said the case remained under investigation and have not released any additional details about the shooting.

"This is the last straw," said Mr. Krompak, who said the Ottawa CDC tried to address issues with the bar a year ago. "Residents there can't even get out of their driveways because of the traffic. No one wants to put an entrepreneur out of business. But if you know there's a problem, hire security. There are other busy bars around that don't have this kind of trouble."

According to Lucas County records, the building is owned by Johnita Lightner, of 5829 Firethorne Drive. She could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Ms. Brown said she thought the bar was closed.

"I will be talking to [police] Chief [Mike] Navarre on what can be done," Ms. Brown said. "Then there is the other question of what is a 15-year-old boy doing out at that time anyway. He was breaking the curfew. We have to get to the bottom of this."

In February, Farrell T. White, 32, was found by police a little after 4 a.m. on a sidewalk at Central and Isabella with a gunshot wound to the head.

Richard Ludaway, who lives in the 3000 block of Isabella, pointed to a bullet hole in his vehicle from a past shooting at the bar and said he's worried about the safety of his two children.

"Bullets don't have eyes," said Mr. Ludaway, who has lived across from the bar for four years. "What happens if they start shooting and a bullet goes through my house and hits one of my children? I'm trying to move. That's how this has affected me. Friday night was really bad."

Other neighbors have complained about noise, fights, and rowdiness beginning about 2 a.m. and not slowing down until after 6 a.m. on most weekends.

An Ohio Department of Public Safety spokesman said the building hasn't had a liquor license since the license was transferred to another establishment in June, 2005.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095.

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