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Bar called to council carpet

A malt beverage license renewal that was tabled two weeks ago will come before the Mitchell City Council tonight. The renewal request is from EZ$ bar and casino, which is connected to Thirsty's. Both list an address of 1801 N. Main St. in the Pal...

A malt beverage license renewal that was tabled two weeks ago will come before the Mitchell City Council tonight. The renewal request is from EZ$ bar and casino, which is connected to Thirsty's. Both list an address of 1801 N. Main St. in the Palace Mall. Police were called to Thirsty's at least three times in the past eight months and arrested four people for assaults or fighting. Three of the people arrested were employees of the bar.

Simple assault charges were dropped against a bartender, but two employees involved in an attack on a Fargo, N.D., man were charged with criminal offenses.

Both were involved in attacks on Clint Dreyer in the early morning hours of Sept. 30. Dreyer was seriously injured.

William Watkins, a bartender and bouncer at Thirsty's and EZ$, was convicted of aggravated assault earlier this year and was sentenced to 13 years in prison, with five years suspended.

He was ordered to pay more than $650,000 in restitution.

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Thomas Somerville, the bar manager, pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and received a 30-day suspended jail sentence, was ordered to pay $566 in a fine and court costs and was ordered to enter the state's 24/7 Sobriety program.

Somerville declined to comment for this story.

Thirsty's and EZ$ are connected by a hallway and customers can pass from one business to the next. On Wednesday night, the bar was quiet, with a few customers sipping beer or chatting with each other or a server.

EZ$ has a malt beverage license that is up for renewal. The council can recommend approval or denial; alcohol licenses are issued by the state Department of Revenue.

On May 21, the City Council approved all applications for malt beverage licenses except EZ$, with council members saying they want to discuss the recent incidents with the managers.

Thirsty's has a liquor license. That has not yet come up for renewal.

Mitchell Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg said he expects the council members to review how the bars have altered their procedures to deal with the problem.

They are going to look at it and see if any changes have been made to any policies or their general operations to protect their constituents and citizens, Overweg said.

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He said fights happen in bars, but the incidents at Thirsty's were unusual.

It's not uncommon to have a fight occasionally at a drinking establishment, Overweg said. This one involved the actual staff. He said he will relate to the council what the bar's management has told him and, if someone from EZ$ and Thirsty's shows up, they will likely speak with the council. Somerville said he will probably attend the meeting.

The city has never stripped a beer or liquor license from a bar or store during his years with the city, Overweg said, but it has put some under scrutiny. Bars have been tabled in the first round and had to come in and show improvement plans, he said. He said the Department of Revenue has received copies of the police reports, which is standard procedure.

The council meets at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 612 N. Main St. The meeting is open to the public.

In other agenda items, the council will:

Set a June 11 date to canvass Tuesday's election returns.

Set a Sept. 11 date for the city of Mitchell surplus auction.

Hear reports from the Public Health & Safety and Finance committees, which meet before the council does.

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The Public Safety Committee will meet at 6:40 p.m. and will discuss the old Longhorn Bar, which has been closed since November, and discuss fireworks permits for the Heart and Sole Cancer Walk and the Exchange Club.

The Finance Committee will meet at 7:15 p.m. and will discuss transferring up to $4,500 to the Municipal Band for a trailer to replace one damaged in the May hailstorm.

Consider adopting Resolution 2996, declaring the building at 101 N. Main St. as a public nuisance.

Consider Resolution 2997, the plat of D. Nemec Tract A in the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter and the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 36, T 104 N, R 61 W of the Fifth Prime Meridian in Davison County.

Consider Resolution 2998, the purchase of water service for BankWest from Davison Rural Water Sys-tem Inc.

Consider Resolution 2999, a contingency transfer for the band trailer.

Hold the second reading of Ordinance 2405, a supplemental appropriation of $33,000 for the Sanborn concrete joint repair project.

Consider a pavement maintenance entitlement transfer for the Mitchell Regional Airport with the South Dakota Department of Transportation. Review a statement of extension to the Joint Cooperative Agreement with Planning & Development District III for 2013 in the amount of $11,248.

Consider the application and merchant processing agreement for Power Pay to provide credit card services to the landfill.

Approve paying estimates, including: A bridge on the northwest edge of Mitchell, Project 2011-2, contracted to the South Dakota Department of Transportation. Pay estimate 13 in the amount of $80.58.

Paving and overlay Project 2012-15, contracted to Commercial Asphalt. Pay estimate 2 in the amount of $63,259.

A used bucket truck for the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department and the Corn Palace. Project 2012-25, contracted to Altec Neuco. Pay estimate 1, final, in the amount of $97,900.

New landfill monitoring, Project 2012-29, contracted to Leggette, Brashears & Graham. Pay estimate 2 in the amount of $2,484.

Sit as the Board of Adjustment to:

Set a June 18 date for a hearing on the application of Joe Schlimgen for a variance for a side yard set-back of 1 feet rather than the required 3 feet at 308 W. Fifth Ave.

Consider the application of Dennis and Janelle Ven Osdel for a variance for a side yard setback of 1 foot, 6 inches instead of the required 3 feet at 1116 E. Fourth Ave.

Consider the application of Mayor Lou Sebert and James Sebert for a variance to construct an accessory building with a height variance of 25 feet instead of the mandated 17 feet; and a size variance of 3,200 square feet instead of the mandated 1,050 square feet, at a location legally described as Sebert Tract 1, a subdivision of Lot A, the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 23, T 103 N, R 60 W of the fifth prime meridian in Davison County.

Consider the application of James and Kim Sebert for a variance for a back yard setback of 10 feet in-stead of the required 30 feet at 507 Charles St.

Consider the application of Lou and Carol Sebert for a variance for a back yard setback of 8 feet instead of the standard 30 feet, at 513 Charles St. The Seberts are planning to build a pair of houses and a storage shed on three lots that will be divided into two properties. The planners recommended approval.

Acknowledge the city volunteer listing on file.

Consider the request of Mitchell Main Street & Beyond to conduct a raffle with the drawing to be held on Aug. 26.

Hear an invocation from a Wesleyan Church representative.

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