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      Authorities shut down Peppers Nightclub

      A Boone County judge has ordered the owner of Peppers Nightclub to shut down her business for at least a year.

      Judge Kevin Crane signed a court document that puts zoning restrictions on the property after county officials filed an injunction lawsuit.

      Prosecutors said they have plenty of evidence to keep Peppers closed forever.

      The court ruling orders Peppers Nightclub Owner Karon Rowe to operate a business on her property that is not a nightclub, bar, restaurant or similar gathering place. The ruling is designed to prevent crimes like murder, prostitution and drug use.

      Boone County Counselor C.J. Dykhouse said, Our lawsuit goes to the use of the property. The use restrictions that I TMm talking about will follow Karon or any successor in interest for the duration of the court order. A simple transfer of the property doesn TMt resolve the use restriction.

      The court order also forces Rowe to connect her business to Columbia TMs sewer system. Right now, Rowe has a 3-cell lagoon that TMs under investigation by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

      Rowe also had to surrender her liquor license. Rowe can TMt reapply for new liquor license for at least one year.

      County officials said the closing of Peppers will help reduce crime.

      Dykhouse said, This property has become a hub of criminal activity. Everyone says that we will just move the problem along, maybe, not all of it. We TMre solving one problem at a time. If we can stop this hub, then maybe not everything re-congregates at another location. Maybe we TMve made a little bit of progress.

      Judge Crane plans to review the county TMs lawsuit against Peppers Nightclub in April to make sure his court order has been obeyed.

      A criminal case charging Rowe with felony prostitution remains pending.