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X-Mart set to reopen after 8-year fight

6-4 vote settles 8-year fight against business

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An eight-year fight to keep an adult video and novelty store out of Augusta has ended.



Topic: Augusta Commission
 - Complete coverage in our topic page:

On Tuesday, Augusta commissioners voted 6-4 to settle two Augusta Video X-Mart lawsuits pending in federal court for $550,000.

Under the terms of the settlement, X-Mart will be issued an adult entertainment permit and business license, allowing it to reopen its doors at 1367 Gordon Highway.

The Florida company's local counsel, William Sussman, said X-Mart likely would reopen in a few weeks.

Commissioners Jimmy Smith, J.R. Hatney, Don Grantham and Jerry Brigham voted against the settlement. Brigham estimated that the X-Mart suits had cost the city about $150,000 in legal bills.

"While it was expensive, it probably was productive," Brigham said. "We had the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals say our business license ordinance is constitutional, as far as regulating the adult entertainment industry."

In 2002, commissioners tried to prevent X-Mart from opening by passing an ordinance that prohibited business licenses from being issued to adult businesses along gateway corridors.

X-Mart sued over the ordinance's passage, which was done without required public hearings, and was later awarded damages of $131,000 for lost income and profit from April 2002 to July 2002, when the city passed a new business license ordinance.

Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason said although he wouldn't shop at X-Mart, actions by a previous board to deny X-Mart a business license were wrong.

"You're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't," he said of the settlement. "It cost all of us, but those decisions were made seven or eight years ago."

In other action

A final push by Commissioner Don Grantham to give greater preference to local vendors failed Tuesday, with the commission voting 7-2 to accept a recommendation made by Augusta's Procurement Department.

Grantham had suggested that, in jobs valued at less than $10,000, local vendors who bid within 5 percent of the low bid get the contract at whatever price they bid. He made a similar proposal, which also failed, last week in a committee meeting. Commissioner Jerry Brigham said the proposal could result in the city paying a local vendor more than the low bidder.

The commission approved 8-2 a recommenda-tion by Procurement Director Geri Sams that allows local bidders to win the job if they're within 5 percent as long as they agree to match the low bidder's price. Grantham and Jimmy Smith voted against it.

The commission also approved 9-1, with Brigham voting no, funding for Augusta Neighborhood Enhancement's Barton Village Community Center. The funds, $30,500, run out at the end of the year and are much less than the community center has received for the former federal Weed and Seed endeavor.

Neighborhood Enhancement Director Bettye Jones said the center hated to be cut but was prepared to recruit additional volunteers.

Augusta Technical College already has agreed to pay the salary of a GED instructor at the center, according to Adult Education Executive Director Stefanie Bowie.

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corgimom
38695
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corgimom 05/19/10 - 10:49 am
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While I personally would not

While I personally would not pay a penny for that trash, I take exception to what Augusta Voter says.

Again, a warped mindset that thinks that a registered sex offender would not offend if they can look at porn.

I'm going to call that misinformed. Sex offenses are not about sex; they are about power and control, which has nothing to do with looking at pornography. And deviates that like kids, like kids; and since that shop cannot sell child porn- which is illegal- that, again, is not relevant.

And it is against the law for a RSO to possess child porn; so again, that statement is misinformed.

Why don't people educate themselves, instead of doing these knee-jerk reactions?

All the time that the store was closed- were there sex offenses, against children and adults, in Augusta?

You bet there was. The two are NOT connected.

corgimom
38695
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corgimom 05/19/10 - 10:52 am
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KatieLou-"Porn was illegal

KatieLou-"Porn was illegal not so very long ago. Nobody in their right mind would admit to having porn, even if they could acquire it, and the people who created it were jailed if caught. "

Sure, about 75 years ago.

And people DID admit to having it- they just were discreet about it.

Porn has been around for thousands of years.

corgimom
38695
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corgimom 05/19/10 - 10:58 am
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There are a whole lot of

There are a whole lot of Christians out there that like pornography. And I would like to point out that X-Mart sells porn so that people can view porn in the privacy of their own homes.

If people want to spend their hard-earned money on that trash, that's their choice.

Too bad people would rather waste their time on things like this than work to eliminating true problems in Augusta.

Nightwing
0
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Nightwing 05/19/10 - 11:03 am
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It is simple. If you do not

It is simple. If you do not like what is being sold do not go in. If people want to waste their money, let them do it. I see it as no different the playing the lottery, if you are opposed do not participate. I guess some of you think that it is only the "heathens" who support the bars, clubs, strip joints, etc..downtown. Some of these same people may be in the pew next to you on Sunday.

H4LJ
1
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H4LJ 05/19/10 - 11:11 am
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Wouldnt you like to meet

Wouldnt you like to meet someone in a classy place like this! Do they have drive thru porn here? Now that they are back in business, they ought to take advantage of the drive thru window that was there when it was a Hardees.

scoopdedoop64
2505
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scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 11:17 am
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Brad Owens, I am a proud

Brad Owens, I am a proud member of the God Squad as you put it. You act as though we who have morals don't have a right to express them. How foolish! Austin, you are wrong about the lesson learned and how much it cost. Sometimes it costs just to take a stand and as one taxpayer I supported their stand even though we knew we would loose.

baronvonreich
1
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baronvonreich 05/19/10 - 11:18 am
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" I guess some of you think

" I guess some of you think that it is only the "heathens" who support the bars, clubs, strip joints, etc..downtown. Some of these same people may be in the pew next to you on Sunday."
----------------------------
Some of these people ARE in the pews on Sunday. That is a fact and why the hypocrisy of organized religion, who continues to attempt to use government to implore their beliefs on free Americans, is just astounding.

baronvonreich
1
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baronvonreich 05/19/10 - 11:20 am
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scoop - you can express your

scoop - you can express your morals and beliefs on your property and in your tax-exempt church. You will not express your morals and beliefs, via the government, on free American taxpayers.

scoopdedoop64
2505
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scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 11:23 am
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baron, I will express it any

baron, I will express it any dog gone place I please. You want to try to stop me?

baronvonreich
1
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baronvonreich 05/19/10 - 11:22 am
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InChristLoveWednesday, May 19

InChristLoveWednesday, May 19 9:38 AM Christians need to stop fighting and start praying.
-------------------------------
That would be a first for the most intolerant, violent, oppressive, cult to ever inhabit the earth.

baronvonreich
1
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baronvonreich 05/19/10 - 11:25 am
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scoopdedoop64Wednesday, May

scoopdedoop64Wednesday, May 19 12:22 PMnew Report baron, I will express it any dog gone place I please. You want to try to stop me?
------------------------------
There is that intolerant, oppressive, violent, hateful, nature we have come to know and loathe.

scoopdedoop64
2505
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scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 11:26 am
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baron as usual you speak

baron as usual you speak about Christians who you do not know or understand as though you are some kind of expert on us. Your final destination after death will reveal what you have denied for so long and your every post and evil work will haunt you the rest of your eternal judgement!

Trouble
2506
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Trouble 05/19/10 - 11:26 am
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darn scoop, you sure seem

darn scoop, you sure seem awful violent for such a "proud member of the God squad".......shouldnt you be against violence too?

baronvonreich
1
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baronvonreich 05/19/10 - 11:32 am
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Anybody who studies history

Anybody who studies history can become a expert on the atrocities that countless million of the Earth's inhabitants have had to endure at the hands of Christians. Documented history is littered with the murder, genocide, oppression, violence, occupation, hate, and bigotry committed all in the name of Christianity and its beliefs and its needs to force itself upon free and peaceful people.

scoopdedoop64
2505
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 11:35 am
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violent??? that is what is

violent??? that is what is ascribed to a Christian who respondes to Baron's Christian jabs in order to provoke us to anger. Jesus dealt with the pharisees by overturning their money tables; He called them a brood of Vipers and you think I have somehow compromised my Christianity by my few statements. Sorry noway!

montega12
0
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montega12 05/19/10 - 11:43 am
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this is true some may not

this is true some may not agree with islam but christianity sure has never been tolerant of much of anything it wasnt long ago women were burned alive in the name of God right in salem and the wars and lives christianity has destroyed throughout history i dont think i will burn for watching debbie does dallas a couple of times

montega12
0
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montega12 05/19/10 - 11:46 am
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oops sorry computer acting

oops sorry computer acting crazy

KatieLou
0
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KatieLou 05/19/10 - 11:52 am
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Yep. We have on display this

Yep. We have on display this morning the very same hatred and mocking of traditional societal values that has brought us illegitimacy rates at 70% among some minorities and approaching 50% among the majority. And, boy, hasn't that has been such a wonderful thing for our country? Makes us all proud!

Yep. The only reason anyone would fight pornography is because they are "prudes" and don't want anyone else to "enjoy" themselves. It couldn't be that some simply can't stand by and do nothing while another human being wallows in the dirt as if they were dogs or pigs, even if "it's legal" to do it.

The thing about dirt is that you can plant a garden in it or use it to build something like a house or a levee. Or you can simply wallow around in it.

libertarianvoter
0
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libertarianvoter 05/19/10 - 12:01 pm
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Katie, why don't you stop

Katie, why don't you stop worrying about other human beings who choose to "wallow in the dirt." We stand by and let you spout your religion even though some may not agree with it, and you should have the same respect for others. Also, I'm sure you're not perfect and can find a characteristic within yourself to improve rather than trying to improve on everyone else. How about starting with your judgmental mentality?

scoopdedoop64
2505
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scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 12:01 pm
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Evil works have been done by

Evil works have been done by the hand of the devil sometimes under "so called" Christians. But true Christians following Jesus have been an instrument of good and blessings. Again, Baron, you are no expert. You are just a sad little person who justifies his sinful nature by being angry at God and provoking His children. Montega, you will not burn for watching a porn movie but for rejecting Jesus Christ as the Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. However, a more immediate problem is how porn affects your relationships with the opposite sex. Porn is responsible for the destruction of marriages and families and for the many sexual predators we have today. Sorry if you cannot see the connection.

Trouble
2506
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Trouble 05/19/10 - 12:02 pm
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scoop, as a true christian, i

scoop, as a true christian, i am sure you would have to agree that baron is also one of Gods children, as we all are.........and how do you know that montega has "rejected Jesus as the son of God"? you sure are passing a lot of judgments on people for someone who is so christian

PhiloPublius
386
Points
PhiloPublius 05/19/10 - 12:04 pm
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South Augusta, where people

South Augusta, where people go to get drugs, get shot, and get porn. I can't wait to go back to South Augusta!
Wait, no.

libertarianvoter
0
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libertarianvoter 05/19/10 - 12:07 pm
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scoop, If a husband chooses

scoop, If a husband chooses alcohol over his family, is the alcohol to blame or the person that chose the alcohol over his family? If a person decides to kill another person, is the gun to blame or the person who decided to pull the trigger? If someone decides to choose porn over their spouse, is the porn to blame or is it the fault of the person who made that choice?

Do you not understand what personal responsibility is? Do you not understand that PEOPLE not the items are what causes the problems?

Blaming porn for pedophilia is basically the same as "the devil made me do it." Pedos are sick individuals that have a mental sickness...no porn can change that or add to that.

scoopdedoop64
2505
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 12:10 pm
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Baron is not one of God

Baron is not one of God children, trouble, because He rejects Jesus He is the devil's child but can be set free by choosing to change fathers which he seem reluctant to do. Also, I did not say Montega had rejected Jesus as the Son of God. Only that doing so is what send a person to hell. Please read a little better.

Trouble
2506
Points
Trouble 05/19/10 - 12:13 pm
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0
how can you know he rejects

how can you know he rejects Jesus scooped????? we all sin in our own ways, just because you think his sin is worse than yours, why do you get to decide who accepts and who rejects the son of God, i thought that was a personal decision that we all got to make for ourselves.

RAWR
0
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RAWR 05/19/10 - 12:17 pm
0
0
Katie who are you to judge?

Katie who are you to judge? If they decide to "wallow in the dirt" it is their decision. It doesn't make them any less of a person.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:12).

scoopdedoop64
2505
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scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 12:17 pm
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0
libertarianvoter, yes of

libertarianvoter, yes of course there is personal responsiblity involved but the vice itself must be dealt with as well. Personally I would wish that alcohol was illegal but such as it is we make these things available. When you give a man a right to set up a business with stuff that is hurtful to those who are weak enough to use it then you have to share some responsiblitlity as well. You have given creditablility to the vise by allowing it to be available. To use your reasoning we might as well set up a crack store and anything else that would make a buck.

garner49
0
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garner49 05/19/10 - 12:26 pm
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Sorry, but the city never had

Sorry, but the city never had the right to deny their business license in the first place. Now it cost them, er, us. Nice start-up capital.

As with any other business or product - if you don't want it, don't go there. Simple.

Wonder if they'll put the flag back up?

storiesihaveread
369
Points
storiesihaveread 05/19/10 - 12:28 pm
0
0
Lord got to love the Bible

Lord got to love the Bible belt. So many holy rollers in this area. I would 1st like to say what one does or buys is nobody’s business. You can preach all you want does not mean that I have to listen to you. If you do object to the store easy enough don’t visit it. There are more things to be concerned in this country (Augusta), then an adult video store. So don’t get your panties in a wad over something so trivial.

RAWR
0
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RAWR 05/19/10 - 12:29 pm
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Your argument is kind of

Your argument is kind of flawed there Scoop. Crack is an illegal substance, pornography is not.

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