Shootings spur call for earlier close time

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AIKEN --- After shootings at two nightclubs in Aiken County this weekend that injured four people, Sheriff Michael Hunt said he's ready to ask the county council for an ordinance requiring clubs to close earlier.

"It is our intention to hold clubs accountable," he said Monday at a news conference.

He added that club owners have a responsibility to keep their customers safe.

On Saturday about 4:30 a.m., three men were shot inside The Spot, a private club on Womrath Road in North Augusta. Its status as a private club allows it to stay open all night.

The next day at about 2 a.m., a 16-year-old girl was shot in the stomach outside Club 1-9 Sports Grill, a teen club on Edgefield Road.

No arrests have been made in either incident.

Sheriff Hunt said he is working with the county attorney to draw up the ordinance and bring it before the council.

"We're not having trouble with every club in the county," he said, declining to identify any specific club.

However, the sheriff said those places the department does have constant problems with are "going to quit making excuses."

"This is a final warning. You can either get on board with us, and let's be proactive, or we're going to take another avenue, and I don't care who likes it, who doesn't like it," Sheriff Hunt said.

Another option to reprimand problem clubs would be to pull their liquor licenses, but that wouldn't work at a place like Club 1-9 that does not sell alcohol.

Sheriff Hunt said the problem there is teens leaving the club and going to their cars for alcohol or guns.

He encouraged parents to make sure their children are home at a decent time.

"We're not here to parent everyone's children in this county," Sheriff Hunt said. "I have a 15-year-old myself, and he's not going to be at any club at 2 in the morning. I think if you go to the old school, which I'm from, my daddy used to tell me nothing goes on good after midnight."

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com.

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inside info
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inside info 12/16/08 - 03:15 am
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"at about 2 a.m., a

"at about 2 a.m., a 16-year-old girl was shot in the stomach outside Club 1-9 Sports Grill" Does anyone else see the problem here??

As It Is
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As It Is 12/16/08 - 05:42 am
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Their are already laws in

Their are already laws in place for the violations that occurred. New laws and ordinances are not needed and don't blame a business for the actions of a few patrons unless there is proof or repeated criminal activity which is not dealt with by the business. The business in this case had proven they do not tollerate disorderly conduct because they had thrown the suspect out for starting a fight. New laws are such a waste of time, energy and money are are just a knee jerk reaction to a problem that will not solve anything. Blaming business owners for actions that should be placed directly on the criminals is also very wrong as businesses and their owners need all of the help and support they can get from the community, the police and the politicians as they bring in more taxes for the community and provide for jobs. And if you really want to deal with part of the problem here, go arrest the parents for allowing a 16 year old to be out anywhere at 2am.

Boston93
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Boston93 12/16/08 - 08:19 am
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Kudo's to Sheriff Hunt.

Kudo's to Sheriff Hunt. Enough is enough.

curly123053
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curly123053 12/16/08 - 09:32 am
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Go get them Sheriff Hunt !!!

Go get them Sheriff Hunt !!! I support you 110% in this action !

elliottness
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elliottness 12/16/08 - 12:02 pm
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how you going to arrest the

how you going to arrest the parents when it's usually only one anyway,and she's probably out at some club herself.it's just a tragedy that will never end.

majite
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majite 12/16/08 - 03:33 pm
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I have to agree with As It

I have to agree with As It Is. Hunt's logic is to punish all club/bar owners for the actions of a few patrons. I don't care what old school Hunt is from or what his daddy would say. "This is a final warning. You can either get on board with us, and let's be proactive, or we're going to take another avenue, and I don't care who likes it, who doesn't like it," Sheriff Hunt said. Wow, Hunt I love that state authoritarian attitude.

grizzilies
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grizzilies 12/16/08 - 10:49 pm
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South Carolina has a blue law

South Carolina has a blue law for Sunday's. There is no reason for any bar to be open past 2 a.m.. After mid-night is when things happen. Adults today need to grow up.

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