EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) -- East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. said today that he's not giving up a controversial revenue source in his city: nightclubs that stay open until the early morning.
Civic leaders and state and federal officials have called on Parks to impose earlier closing times on about 20 clubs and bars that operate until 3 a.m. or later. They say caravans of often-drunken, dangerous crowds cross into East St. Louis for more revelry.
Parks insists the clubs add to the city's well-known "vibrant night life" and, perhaps more importantly, the city coffers. He says a shutdown would make the city's financial matters worse.
He maintains that drugs, not the nightclubs or ancillary businesses, are the city's scourge.
But law-enforcement officials say they see little wholesomeness from the clubs.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)