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Bingo suspended at Halfway fire company

October 05, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HALFWAY -- The Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway indefinitely suspended bingo operations Monday.

When contacted at the fire station, Jim Kimble, the fire company's president, referred all inquiries to a news release that said the decision was made after a consultant presented the results of a review conducted earlier this year of the fire company's entire operations.

Kimble declined to give the name of the consultant who conducted the review.

"Effective Oct. 5, 2009, bingo games will be suspended until such time as the consultant's recommendations are fully implemented," the release said. "The company hopes to resolve this matter as quickly as possible and apologizes to those loyal customers who have supported bingo in the past. According to the fire company president, bingo will be up and running as soon as possible."

Several signs containing information similar to the news release were taped to windows at the Halfway Fire Social Hall at 17421 Lexington Ave.

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Kevin Lewis, director of fire and emergency services for Washington County, said he didn't know until Monday that bingo had been suspended.

"We're not taking part in an investigation," he said.

Lewis said several fire companies in Washington County rely on bingo and other gaming operations for a "significant" portion of their funding.

In the tax year that began July 1, 2007, and ended June 30, 2008, the Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway earned a net income of $206,739 from bingo, according to tax records that are posted online.

The fire company's Web site says bingo was held at the social hall on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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