Owner of Beverly bar concerned over reports

BEVERLY – The owner of a Beverly bar told village council Wednesday he’s concerned about the impact of the August discovery of a customer’s body nearby on his business.

The body of John L. Duncan, 39, of 1055 N. Riverview Road, Malta, and a Valley Inn customer, was found about 12:43 p.m. Aug. 11 in the canal behind the Beverly bar.

Witnesses report Duncan was one of several people involved in a fight the previous night outside the bar.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said Aug. 30 that foul play wasn’t suspected. Officials are still awaiting toxicology reports before the investigation is concluded.

During the regular meeting of Beverly Village Council Wednesday night, Valley Inn owner John Young told the council and Mayor Rex Kenyon he was concerned about the rumors the village was planning to shut down his bar.

Young said he served Duncan two drinks, but he didn’t finish the second. He said Duncan was acting strangely and was asked to leave. The fight started in the parking lot, but no one saw him fall, he said.

“It was a tragedy,” Young said, adding that it was an accident.

The fight was caught on video tape supplied by surveillance cameras Young said he installed in 2011.

Kenyon said during the Aug. 14 council meeting the village is considering revoking the bar’s license or limiting the hours of operation, on the advice of village Solicitor Tom Webster. Beverly Police Chief Mark Sams said at that time more incidents at the bar had been reported.

“It certainly was not my fault,” Young said, explaining he has a list of people he and his staff have determined should not be served. “I guess I don’t know what to do better. You’re talking about my livelihood. It’s all I have.”

Kenyon said the investigation is continuing.

“As far as the rumors, I can’t control that,” he said.

In other business:

– John Dodge Senior Citizens Center will conduct an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday following improvements made to the facility.

– The American Legion Chili Cookoff will be Sept. 28. Fifth Street from Ferry to Zanesville streets will be closed from noon to 11 p.m. that day.

– Trick-or-treat night will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30.