Alton mayor shuts down 3 bars after spike in fighting

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by John Knicely

KMOV.com

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 5:13 AM

ALTON, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- Fights and shootings have led Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst to temporarily shut down three bars in the past two days.

CTW Lounge, Firefighters, and Spirits will not be open this weekend. The penalties include being closed for a week and a $500 fine. When the bars reopen, they must have extra security to control the crowds.

Neighbors who live near Firehouse and Spirits on State Street say they call police every weekend. They say it's really gotten out of hand in the last year. They talk of massive brawls that spill out into the streets and say they hear gunshots.

Hoechst says the three bars have had more police calls than all other Alton bars combined.

Kelly Winchester says she used to go to the bars. She approves of the suspensions.

"I think it's probably a step in the right direction," she said. "We've actually slacked off on going there because of the issue of the fights and the drama. We like the people who work there but all the chaos."

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