Northland News

Liquor permit holder has 'thrown in the towel'


A problem-plagued convenience store in the Northland area has closed rather than fight objections to a liquor permit, Assistant City Attorney William A. "Bill" Sperlazza reported at last week's Northland Community Council meeting.

The Salem Mini-Mart at 5346 Sinclair Road, which has also operated under other names, was the subject of a liquor-license renewal objection filed on the part of Columbus City Council in December. According to the resolution, vice detectives with the Division of Police reported that gambling machines were on the premises, illegal "bath salts" were available and alcohol had been sold to underage customers on July 17 and Sept. 22, 2012.

"They've thrown in the towel," Sperlazza said of the business.

Additional permit violations for the store, owned by 5346 Sinclair Inc., included five police calls to the locations, including two for domestic violence and one each for kidnapping, burglary and a drug offense, the council resolution stated.

Sperlazza, the assistant city attorney assigned to cover much of the North Side of Columbus, also reported to the NCC on action taken against the Summit Park Apartments south of Morse Road.

The city has filed a civil case against the owners of the troubled complex, citing 63 code violations.

Such cases are often difficult to pursue, according to Sperlazza, because actual ownership of the property can be a mystery, hidden under different corporations in a variety of cities.

"It's an example of a rotten apartment complex, we think, having to answer for it," Sperlazza said.

Also at the May NCC meeting, Tony Howard, manager of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Karl Road Branch, said that the new Kindergarten Readiness Zone is drawing considerable interest.

The space, which is designed to simulate an actual classroom and help allay nervousness on the part of children and parents preparing for a first year of school, was installed in the branch as a pilot project late last month.

"It's been very successful," said Howard, who also managers the Northern Lights Branch on Cleveland Avenue.

Library officials are in the process of developing programming for the mock classroom and identifying potential partners to help make full use of the space, he added.