Poplar Bluff cleans up downtown ‘wino' hideaway

Monday, August 18, 2008
Paul Davis/Daily American Republic City and county laborers cleared out the overgrown area behind businesses on the corner of Vine and Second streets on Friday in order to deter loitering, a problem that has progressively gotten worse lately.
Paul Davis/Daily American Republic City and county laborers cleared out the overgrown area behind businesses on the corner of Vine and Second streets on Friday in order to deter loitering, a problem that has progressively gotten worse lately.

City and county officials did a quick downtown cleanup on Friday after being alerted to loitering and littering that has been going on for some time.

With the authority of the Poplar Bluff Police Department, laborers from the city street and county highway departments cleared an overgrown area behind a few businesses including the Butler County Prosecuting Attorney's office on the corner of Vine and Second streets, which had

become a hangout for "winos," according to Danny Whiteley, chief of police.

"Downtown is a place for businesses and customers," said Whiteley. "We don't need people disrupting our commercial development."

Authorities were notified that multiple subjects were allegedly filtering out of the back of Trax Bar and sleeping on some old furniture that was dragged in an area enclosed by greenery.

Several workers brought dump trucks, a front end loader and some tools to remove the weeds, vines and a tree. They hauled away broken bottles, crushed cans, a couch and chairs.

"People would sit out there under the old mulberry tree and drink or whatever," said Tom Tippen, supervisor of the street department. "It was basically an area that needed to be taken care of a while ago, and we just made it look much better."

Whiteley said the property served as a gathering spot for "undesirable people" and the consensus was to rid the city of the "hiding spot" by grooming it so no further problems develop.

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