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Families in Transition director calls out horrible conditions at West Memphis hotel

Families in Transition director calls out horrible conditions at West Memphis hotel

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ralphhardin@gmail.com A hotel in West Memphis that has developed a reputation for unsavory activities has drawn the ire of one of the community’s most vital non-profit organizations.

“I have a lot of people on my friends list that work in many different fields,” said Families in Transition director Cassie Hoskins.

“I wanted to ask… does anyone know who I contact to get a local hotel shut down? I’ve posted about this before, but this week I’m especially aggravated.” Families in transition has been serving the community for more than 20 years.

Two decades ago, a small group of individuals felt there was a need in the community to offer support to battered women and their children.

That group paved the way and Families in Transition has provided safety and support to domestic violence victims ever since.

In addition to promoting human and civil rights of women and children who have been victims of domestic violence, either physically, mentally or emotionally, they provide immediate transitional shelter and related assistance.

So, what set Hoskins off?

“I’ve been working with a client who was staying at Extend A Suites on the service road, and the conditions of that hotel are absolutely awful,” she said. “So bad I feel sorry for even the hundred of roaches I saw infesting a room today. We routinely help people who are stranded there, because from all appearances, it looks decent from the road. But once they check into their room and see the conditions, they won’t give them a refund, and they are left with making a decision of whether to stay in the unsanitary conditions with their children or to get help to relocate.”

The conditions at the hotel are not a recent development, according to Hoskin.

“I have contacted the health department, who has indicated they don’t handle these issues,” she said. “I contacted the city, and they don’t handle code issues once a building is built. This is weighing on me so bad, especially after

Rutledge puts Extend A Suites on blast, looks for someone to take action removing someone from there again today.”

The hotel has become a focus spot for the West Memphis Police Department over the last year.

Arrests are made their routinely. Earlier this year, within the space of two weeks, a shooting and a suicide (in which a suspect killed himself rather than be taken into custody) occurres. The hotel is also a haven for many of the panhandlers that have frequented the local intersections over the past several months “These are the conditions I’ve witnessed myself,” said Hoskins:

• smoke detector wires hanging out

• heavily soiled mattresses and sheets that are that way at check in

• unclean toilets at check in

• nasty carpets

• rooms smell so bad you gag

• “no refund” signs

• shady people hanging around the parking lot

• bugs that run in all different directions

• falling curtains and soiled curtains “These are things reported by clients,” she added:

• all of the above

• illegal activity with women and suspected drugs on the back side of the hotel. (When I took a client some food a few nights ago I asked what the big party was and was told the owner has a room back there and he has “all male nights” once a week.)

• blood and stool on and in toilets upon checking in

• bed bugs even after changing rooms “This place absolutely needs to be condemned,” she said. “I tried finding the number for the ‘chain’ and have been unsuccessful. You can Google this hotel and find hundreds of the same types of reviews.

I can’t be the first or only person to want this place dealt with. It’s a public health concern. Today, while many of us were there, the housekeeper decided to make an appearance “begging” the client to let her clean the room.

It was both comical and infuriating because you could see clearly that room hasn’t been cleaned since it was the Ramada Inn.”

Hoskins tirade elicited a number of responses.

Jena Vansickle said, “Here’s the ownership info…” which she procured from the web site arcountydata. com.

The screenshot listed the owners as Hospitality Solutions Inc., with an address of 8840 Hamilton, in Southaven, Mississippi, since January of 2008.

Hoskins noted, “I tried pulling it up using both the address search and name search and couldn’t get it to come up, adding her intentions to tag ownership on social media “I’m ready to slap them with a # and @ to get J.C. Hamrick provided some insight.

“So, ultimately the State Board of Heath sets the rules and they are enforced by the Department of Health and Human Service and the Arkansas State Police,” he said. “The rules are found in Arkansas Code of Law Title 20, subtitle 2, chapter 26. 20-26101 through 20-26-405.”

“Thank you!” replied Hoskins. “You’ve given me something to read at bedtime. I will be making calls to both agencies tomorrow.”

Annie Perkins said, “I’ve stayed in several hotels around West Memphis, for reasons you know of, that was one of the worse. After paying for weeks, instead of by the day, they refused to move us to a different room after the bathroom messed up. There were always bugs, bullet holes in some of the windows, I could go on and on. I would never recommend anyone staying there.”

“Fire Department?”

Rebecca Stroud suggested.

“For fire code violations?”

Cassy Bretherick said, “Call City Hall to declare it a nuisance.”

Doug Gatewood suggested, “Call the TV station have them do a story on it.”

Hopefully, a newspaper story will help.

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