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Judge rules against Rocking R Bar in Health Department lawsuit

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 12/16/20

Protests, harassment, fines and Bill of Rights flags. Today, Gallatin County District Court Judge Rienne McElyea ruled against the Rocking R Bar, saying the bar must close at 10 p.m.  Proceedings began yesterday between Gallatin County and the Rocking R Bar in Bozeman following the Gallatin City-County Health Department lawsuit filed against bar owner Mike Hope for repeatedly refusing to comply with a county health order that requires bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. While Health Officer Matt Kelley cites that the order is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hope says he has lost nearly $250,000 in revenue this year and closing early will further reduce the bar’s income. Outside, protesters gathered with flags bearing the Bill of Rights, and one group is actively protesting outside of Kelley’s home each day. According to Kelley, the group has been harassing his wife and daughter. Hope says he is not affiliated with those protesters. A full recap of the day’s deliberations can be found at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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