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Downtown merchants fight against loitering and vandalism on Elm Street

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Posted: Friday, April 9, 2010 12:00 am

Adorned with a stylish sunburst embedded in the street and an array of lights above, the block of Elm Street east of the Downtown theater was supposed to be a haven for shoppers and diners.

Instead, merchants and residents say, it has become a magnet for hard-drinking vagrants and aggressive teens. Some spout profanity, vandalize businesses and use an adjacent alley as a lavatory. Several of the denizens lounge away their hours on Elm Street benches, scaring away shoppers and movie-goers, say business owners.

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