The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 18, 2014

Hoopeston residents air concerns about motel

BY CAROL HICKS
Commercial-News

HOOPESTON — Several downtown businesses and residents attended Monday's council meeting requesting assistance with the problems at the Downtown Motel.

"The problem downtown with the motel needs to be addressed," said Joyce Allen, owner of Allen Accounting and H&R Block. "It puts a blight on Hoopeston."

She went on to add that school will be out soon with children in the downtown area. Parents and children should not have to fear coming downtown with recent events or the fact there is a sex offender living in the building.

Gary Wilson, owner of City Chef, added that what happened last weekend hurt his business. Older people are afraid to come downtown after dark to the restaurant since the incident.

Both Allen and Wilson were referring to the shooting death of Bruce Eldridge at the Downtown Motel on March 9, which is still under investigation.

Residents and businesses think ordinances are being violated by the Downtown Motel, including the use of a motel as a boarding house as well as the fire codes.

Mayor Bill Crusinberry commented the ordinances will be checked and referred to Chief Mark Drollinger and city attorney Andy Mudd.

"We have the same concerns," Crusineberry said, " but have to do things in an orderly fashion."

In other council busness, Steve Bane, retired police officer, brought a petition before the council with more than 600 signatures to change the liquor license ordinance to allow the Marathon Mart to change its liquor license to include hard liquor as well as packaged beer and wine products.

+ Learned Danville Area Community College will host a free electonic collection 8 a.m.-noon April 5.

+ Learned the moving Vietnam Wall will come to the David S. Palmer Arena in Danville, Nov. 6-9. Proceeds for the event will help the local veterans and veterans organizations. Donations will be accepted to help defray the $11,000 cost for the Wall to come to Vermilion County.

+ The next Hoopeston city council will begin at 7 p.m. April 1 in City Hall, 301 W. Main St.