Mount Vernon News

By Mount Vernon News
February 9, 2013 8:14 am EST


MOUNT VERNON — Even without registered guests, the Curtis Inn continues to be a source of ill repute in the heart of downtown Mount Vernon.


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According to Capt. George Hartz, Mount Vernon police officers checked the rooms at 1:45 a.m. Friday and found some of the previously secured rooms unlocked. Upon investigation, the officers found heroin paraphernalia and unidentifiable pills in one room.

“The Curtis has been a location with drug issues for some time, but drugs have been an issue in all parts of the county,” stated Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher, “Heroin is a problem everywhere. It is relatively easy to get, highly addictive and fairly cheap.”

“You have to deal with it wherever it pops up,” said City Law Director Chip McConville. “We’ve had some major cases here in the last year. There are significant problems but they’re not confined to big cities or medium cities.”

McConville said he has also heard concerns about prostitution downtown and closing the Curtis removes it as a possible location.

“It certainly helps to get it out of downtown,” he said.

“It is obviously in the best interest of the city for the folks that hold that property, to make sure the property doesn’t further degrade,” said McConville, “It was an opportunity to clear up a bad situation. We can continue to enforce existing laws and make sure they maintain licenses.”






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