Peppers Lounge Forced to Shut Down for a Year

8 years 1 month 6 days ago Tuesday, November 01 2011 Nov 1, 2011 Tuesday, November 01, 2011 11:35:00 AM CDT November 01, 2011 in News
By: Caitlin Alexander and Kim St. Onge
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COLUMBIA - After an early Sunday morning shooting at Pepper's Lounge, a Boone County judge shut down the nightclub, closing its doors for at least one year.

The victim in the shooting, 21-year-old Tevin Nelson, died overnight at University Hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.

Boone County Sheriff's Department Detective Tom O'Sullivan said it all makes no sense to him.

"It makes no sense why they do what they do. These young people in my mind are just embedded in a culture of ignorance. I cannot articulate any rationale for their actions," O'Sullivan said.

Judge Kevin Crane signed the preliminary injunction this morning, closing the joint.  Karon Rowe, the owner of Pepper's, has to surrender her liquor license for at least one year as well. She cannot reapply for a liquor license in the state during that time.

The preliminary injunction puts zoning restrictions on the land, dictating what kind of business can operate there, and prohibiting businesses like bars and restaurants. The Boone County Counselor told KOMU 8 he hopes some kind of business will open there to keep the area productive. The injunction allows businesses like storage lots, farming, and automobile service stations.

The Boone County Counselor C.J Dykhouse said he hopes the order will extend beyond 12 months.

"What I'm hoping to do is seed an economic use of the property that can go on long past the 12 month point, not because there's a court order but because there's a viable commercial enterprise on the property selling farm implements or doing something else that's more in character with the neighborhood and less likely to become a hub for criminal activity," Dykhouse said.

No commercial buildings can be built on the property until Rowe connects her sewer lagoon to the Public Sewer System.  Right now, waste from the sewer runs off into a nearby stream.

A criminal case charging Rowe with promoting prostitution is pending.

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