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November 15--  The Vidalia City Council is taking a cautious approach on granting business licenses to businesses which may not be what they appear to be.

The city has a 270-day moratorium on licenses for stores such as the recently closed Vidalia Business Center.  At its November meeting, the council was told the store wants to reopen in Vidalia and that owners report grossing as much as $50,000 a week with online sweepstakes games.  Such stores have drawn the attention of state officials and local prosecutors for possible violation of state law.

The city council was also told some street lights on Highway 280 in Vidalia may be turned off.  According to city officials, the Toombs County Commission is bowing out of a 1996 agreement to allocate $10,000 each year to help pay for the lighting.  Expected to go dark are 37 lights starting at Checker's eastward to the Vidalia City limits.

(Correction:  We've been informed the lighting issue is not due to a 1996 agreement, but rather because the lights in question are now in the city limits of both Vidalia and Lyons.  County manager Doug Eaves says 29 lights along Highway 280 in Vidalia and eight in Lyons will no longer be funded by the county.)

The council also voted to start the process of annexing some property on the Bob Sharp Road and on the Ezra Taylor Road into the city.