INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The fight to light-up in some Indianapolis bars and taverns took a detour Wednesday after a U.S. District Court upheld the city's smoking ban.
One bar owner said it was news he was expecting, but it's not going to stop him from fighting.
Catalina Tavern owner Joe Wilson left a message for another Indianapolis bar owner over the phone. Wilson is part of a 28-member group formed last year to fight Indy's smoking ban. One day after they all met, Wilson had to deliver some shocking news.
"Tell him that Joe Wilson called from the Indiana Tavern Owners league," Wilson said. "We got turned down on the smoking ban."
Late Wednesday, a U.S. District Court ruled in the city's favor upholding the smoking ban.
Mark Small is the group's attorney.
"What this means for my clients is they've lost a lot of money since the smoking ban went in on June 1," Small said.
Wilson said for the past 30 years the Catalina has been a hot spot in the east side neighborhood. Since the smoking ban, not anymore.
"It hurts, you don't know how bad it's hurt and today we have absolutely nobody," Wilson said.
Wilson said other than a few regulars the Catalina is now empty.
"You can see that we're empty. Any other day before the smoking ban took effect, we had 15-20 people in here," he said.
Wilson said the smoking ban has put nearly a dozen bars out of business. He said he can't go out of business. He has three employees who need jobs.
"It's not costing me anything to keep the place open, but we sure in heck are not making anything. I'm not getting anything," he said.
Wilson said Wednesday's ruling is not the end, it's just beginning.
"When people go out the back door and they light up a cigarette and they put the cigarette out they just walk right over to their car and leave," He said.
Wilson said the group will meet again next week. He said they plan to appeal the decision.
Police dispatchers in Hancock County say two medical helicopters were called to the scene of a crash late Wednesday night.
SWAT members were called to the city's northwest side Wednesday night.
In the wake of tornadoes that ravaged towns like Kokomo, Hoosiers now have another concern.