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January 17, 2006
Albany -- Club Extreme on Dawson Road lost its business and alcohol licenses today. The club was raided in December for selling alcohol to underaged customers.
Club Extreme is a popular club for young people looking to party. On Friday and Saturday nights, their parking lot is packed. And it was in the parking lot that some of those arrests for underaged drinking and drugs were made during the December sting.
Tuesday, the club owner got a chance to tell her side of the story to city commissioners but in the end, commissioners shut down the club.
It's easy to find broken beer bottles left over from a weekend of partying in the Club Extreme parking lot. Police says repeated complaints of underage drinking in and outside the club lead to the December raids.
Sgt. Nathan Norman says, "A lot of parents had teen aged children, 16 and 17 years old, coming home intoxicated. And all those complaints were forwarded to the drug unit."
In two nights, the drug unit nabbed 13 underage drinkers, six people with drugs, and a couple of others for various offenses. Kim Hadley said, "This was my first offense and my license has come under this type of scrutiny."
Those raids landed owner Kim Hadley in front of the city commission. She argued the commission shouldn't hold her responsible for underage drinking and drug use in her parking lot. "The kids out in the parking lot loitering and drinking - I don't have the man power to put security out there to card people in their cars to make sure they're over 21 just to sit in my parking lot."
"For you to say the people who were intoxicated in my parking lot came from my club is a huge assumption," said Hadley.
As for the underage drinkers caught in her club, "I'll take responsibility for them."
Hadley owned up to those offenses but still asked commissioners to only suspend her license temporarily. But after some debate, commissioners voted to revoke the license and shut down the hot spot.
City Commissioner Bob Langstaff said, "I think the evidence that was before us was so egregious that this was the right thing to do."
Interim Police Chief Bobby Hooper says he hopes other club owners take notice. "I think were sending a message to a lot of the other club owners that they've got to resume responsibility for what goes on in and around their clubs. We're not going to have any of these underage kids going into these clubs, drinking and hanging out in the parking lot."
Albany Police have long considered Club Extreme a hot spot for crime and problems. In the last three years, police responded to more than 180 calls to the club.
There's already talk of someone buying Club Extreme, so club-goers may still have a place to dance and drink in the near future.