Judge throws out case against Columbia operator Kalb

PDT Sports Report

April 2, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Portsmouth Municipal Court Judge Steven Mowery has dismissed the noise ordinance case against Fourth Ward City Councilman James Kalb. Kalb had been cited on a single charge of breaking the noise ordinance.

Mowery made the decision Monday to drop the charge against Kalb, operator of the Columbia Music Arena.

“The charge was dismissed with with prejudice,” Kalb said. “Which means it (the citation) can’t be brought up again, which is a good thing.”

The city had reportedly planned to bring in a special prosecutor, Brigham Anderson of Lawrence County. However, according to sources close to the case, Anderson did not come down for that hearing, instead sending in a motion for them to dismiss the case. The process is known as Nolle Prosequi was exercised, which means the prosecutor chose not to proceed with the case. In the absence of the prosecutor, Portsmouth City Solicitor John Haas was allowed to stand in for Anderson, and move for dismissal. When that was done, Mowery dismissed the case with prejudice.

Kalb was scheduled for a hearing Monday on a disturbing the peace charge after he received a citation over what authorities say was a violation of the city’s noise ordinance, a non-jailable offense. Kalb’s Columbia Music Arena on Gallia Street has come under fire by some residents and business operators in the area recently for the noise produced by concerts at the facility. The facility was rebuilt after a fire and a portion of the roof was left open.

In a completely separate case, two weeks ago several citizens, some of which are business operators, filed an injunction against Christine Scott, owner of the Columbia Music Arena.

The action was filed on March 22 in Scioto County Common Pleas Court by Portsmouth attorney Stephen C. Rodeheffer on behalf of the following citizens: Terry Ockerman; TLO Holdings, LLL; Sharma Brown d.b.a. Head Quarters Styling Place; Port City Partners; Port City Pub, LLC; Judy Jackson and Michael Fitch.

Named defendants were Christine Scott; Sunshine Superman Project, LLC c/o James Kalb, statutory agent and Scott’s Columbia Music Arena, LLC c/o Christine Scott, statutory agent.

The motion for preliminary injunction, charges excessive noise and with having acts that perform “defamatory, obscene, and otherwise obnoxious lyrics.”

That case is set to be heard by Scioto County Common Pleas Judge William T. Marshall on April 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.