The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 5, 2008

Cherokee County Commission hopes to find means to close new strip club

By Greg Grisolano

ggrisolano@joplinglobe.com

COLUMBUS, Kan. — A new strip club that apparently has opened in an unincorporated part of Cherokee County is expected to be a hot topic among commissioners at their meeting Monday.

“You can bet that Monday morning when we have our meeting, this will be a discussion item,” Cherokee County Commissioner Pat Collins said Friday. “It sounds like they’re trying to dump some more trash on us. We’ll have to see if we can get somebody to do something about this.”

Collins said he was unsure whether a previously adopted county ordinance regulating adult businesses would be used to force the club to close its doors.

The county does not require a business license to operate in a rural area, something Commissioner Rodney Edmondson said may also be discussed.

“We don’t have a (requirement for a) business license, which is another step in the process we’re looking to institute, so we don’t get blindsided,” he said.

Edmondson said the club’s name, which is suggestive, also might be examined to determine whether it violates the ordinance.

“What goes on behind the doors is one thing, but what’s visible to the public is another,” he said. “That one (the name) does obviously scream with indecency.”

The establishment, which features nude dancing and offers liquor, is at 210 SW. 92nd St. in Hallowell. The property is owned by Darrell Watson, of Wichita, according to the Cherokee County Register of Deeds office. Records indicate Watson purchased the property, which includes a 1,175-square-foot commercial building, on July 6, 2007.

Watson could not be reached for comment.

The club is advertising for “exotic dancers.” Repeated calls to a phone number listed in a classified ad were not returned.

Neighbors living near the club declined to comment, but said the business has been open for two to three weeks. Hallowell is an unincorporated township of less than 200 people, about 10 miles west of Columbus on Highway 160.

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