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City allows LD’s to reopen despite opposition from Alderman Monsour

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday ratified an agreement that allows LD’s Bar and Lounge to reopen, despite opposition from South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour.

Monsour said the memorandum of understanding between the city and LD’s Bar and Lounge owner L.D. Prentiss needs to be stronger before he can support it.

Monsour was the only member of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to oppose the new agreement to improve security and safety at the business, which was closed Oct. 6 after an altercation and shooting that left two people wounded and one dead.

The suspect connected to the shooting, Earl Winters, 29, remains on the loose.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the bar was allowed to reopen following an inspection by Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore of the changes outlined in the memorandum.

“The only difference I could see on this memorandum of understanding is there’s a different manager of the bar,” Monsour said after the meeting. “Three people got shot this time; one died. I just think this time it deserved more attention and at this present time I just couldn’t vote for it; it’s just not as strong as it needed to be.

“We give them the same MOU under new management. To me, that’s not enough in detail to warrant me to say, ‘Let’s move forward.’ I’m going by track record,” he said.

The October incident was just the latest at LD’s, 1111 Mulberry St., that required response from the Vicksburg Police Department and emergency medical officials.

The memorandum ratified Monday with the support of Flaggs and North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield was the second between the city and LD’s. The first followed a Dec. 24, 2017, incident where five people were shot, forcing city officials to close the bar.

In the first memorandum, Prentiss presented an action plan to Flaggs that included changing the minimum age to 25, a stricter dress code, making the facility smoke-free and specific security guidelines that must be met by specific dates in order for the lounge to remain open.

Monsour did not outline any specific restrictions that would have allowed him to support the establishment being reopened.

“I know L.D., he’s a friend of mine,” Monsour said, adding he did not want to close Prentiss’ restaurant. “But right now, if something does not change drastically, I can’t endorse it (the MOU).”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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