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Council Approves Body Camera Contract, DSW Tax Break, Objects To Nine Liquor License Renewals

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Columbus City Council last night approved a 500 thousand dollar contract with Texas-based Watch Guard Video to provide body cameras for police officers. Assistant Columbus Safety Director George Speaks says it's not yet clear when all officers will get the devices, but some in the traffic bureau will be equipped by the end of the year.

That nine million dollar figure is about 700 thousand more than the city estimated earlier this year. The city plans to equip officers in phases. Council also approved a 5-year, 55 percent tax break for a local shoe retailer that reported quarterly earnings of 697 million dollars last month. Columbus-based DSW plans to create 100 new jobs as part of its expansion of local operations. The city says DSW was considering expanding in Utah. Council also formally objected to the renewal of liquor licenses for nine local bars and carryouts the city says have a history of criminal activity. Assistant Columbus City Attorney Bill Sperlazza says one of those is Cheap Shots bar on West Broad Street.

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Another is the Eagle Market on Cleveland Avenue that the city closed last week.

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The city annually objects to problem establishments. Those objections go to the state, but the facilities in many cases continue to operate because they have the right to appeal and go to court.

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Council also approved legislation closing loopholes in the zoning code that will prohibit construction of extended-stay hotels in districts zoned for manufacturing.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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