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|Council to take closer look at Blue Light Café'|
The Monroe City Council approved a number of liquor licenses for local businesses but declined to renew Blue Light Café's license until the council can determine how owners have deterred criminal activity over the past year.
Last year, the city council revoked Blue Light Café's liquor license after dozens of incidents occurred there during the year. The city eventually agreed to renew the license after the owners agreed to hire additional security and take other steps to deter any criminal activity.
Monroe city code allows for the city council to refuse any application for a license or permit if an applicant has been deemed to be disorderly or a nuisance.
During last week's regular city council meeting, councilman Arthur Gilmore suggested the city grant all liquor license renewals except Blue Light Café's license.
Councilman Jay Marx questioned if Blue Light Café had any more incidents occur there, to which Gilmore responded, "I don't know, but I am going to find out before we renew it."
When the city council revoked the café's liquor license in December 2008, there had been 16 incidents where Monroe police officers were required to respond. One of those incidents involved two stabbings inside the business.
That was not the first time a violent incident has occurred at the Blue Light Café. In 2006, a man was shot and killed in the café's parking lot.
Blue Light Café is located in Monroe's Booker T community. City officials have said the café has been known for numerous acts of violence throughout the years.
Gilmore said one of his best friends was shot and killed outside the café in 1985.
Each year during December, the city council is presented with numerous liquor license renewals from establishments that sell alcohol.
Some of the establishments have had a history of violent incidents and several councilmen each year said they should receive more detailed information from the police department showing what kind of activity has been reported at each establishment that's seeking a liquor license renewal.
The city can be held liable for any incidents inside an establishment it grants a liquor license. City attorney Nanci Summersgill has said the city has been in lawsuits of this nature in the past.