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Folks Fight to Stop Topless Bar from Opening

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ROANOKE RAPIDS — It was capitalism versus community in Roanoke Rapids. At the heart of thebattle, a topless bar. People living near a proposed nightclub werefighting as hard as they could to keep it from opening.

The owner of the PlaygroundsTopless Entertainment club in Goldsboro had wanted to expand and open asimilar adult entertainment center in Roanoke Rapids.

Thomas Carlson lives just 200 feet from the proposed business. He doesn'twant a topless bar to move in. He says it will attract crime andtroublemakers from Interstate-95.

"I haven't been raised that way," Carlson says. "None of my kids havebeen raised that way. I would hate to see them, myself and the neighborsexposed to it."

Carlson joins 700 other residents, mostly church members of the quiettown, to petition city leaders to keep the business out. The city passedan ordinance banning adult businesses within 500 feet of homes that takeseffect in January, 1998.

Resident Steve Horne was born and raised in Roanoke Rapids. He considershis hometown a clean one. Henry Brown says residents have no need toworry about crime. He works day and night in a neighborhood across thestreet from the original club in Goldsboro. Brown says he's never knownanyone there to cause problems in his neighborhood.

Police in smaller towns say clubs that come into smaller communities tendnot to cause problems. That could be because the patrons want to go inand leave without being noticed.

The Goldsboro club owner has decided to select another location fora new club.

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