American Legion not guilty of noise, liquor violations Neighbor complained of illegal conduct

March 12, 1997|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The Carroll County liquor board found the Hampstead American Legion not guilty of noise, illegal conduct and open-container complaints lodged by a next-door neighbor.

Robert S. Williams of the 1000 block of Cedarbrook Drive told the board that excessive noise levels from live bands at the American Legion are a common occurrence two or three Saturday nights a month.

Williams said he had problems with beer cans and bottles being tossed under 30-foot pine trees that separate legion property from his. He also said members attending dances often gathered on the parking lot, drank openly and made noise after the music stopped at 12: 30 a.m.

And Williams said attempts to get legion officials to address his complaints were greeted with hostile, obscene comments.

Another neighbor, Victor Rodgers, said he wanted the board to know that Williams was not the only one who had problems with noise late at night.

Rodgers said he had to turn up his television "too loud," so he did not have to listen to the loud music coming from the American Legion on March 1.

Attorneys Richard Titus and Charles D. Hollman, who represented Post 200, presented a parade of witnesses who said Williams has a history of not getting along with legion officers.

Hollman said he purchased a decibel meter for less than $70 and had C. Edward Burgoon, the post chaplain, take noise readings on the night of March 1.

Hollman said the noise-level readings did not exceed state regulations at any time that evening.

Hollman said Post 200 members would continue to make every effort to remain good neighbors in the community, citing that new door-closing devices were installed to make certain that doors automatically shut to prevent noise and music from escaping.

After hearing more than two hours of testimony, Romeo Valianti, chairman of the Board of License Commissioners for Carroll County, said, "The members of American Legion Post 200 in Hampstead have gone out of their way to be good neighbors in the community, and we find them not guilty on all counts."

Pub Date: 3/12/97

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