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Alcohol sales brisk in Poplarville

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POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Poplarville had been a dry city since its founding in 1886.

But WLOX-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1nKUjoa) that more than a dozen businesses applied for permits to sell beer and wine in the first days after the city lifted the ban.

Bobby Smith, who has worked at Ramey's Grocery for almost 40 years, said lifting the ban on beer and alcohol has been the biggest event in the store's history.

"I never thought I'd see this day come, you know, but I'm still alive and it's here now, you know," said Smith.

And business is brisk, he said.

"I'm surprised that so many (customers) weren't shy about it," said Smith.

Alcohol sales are so new that the store sign still designates the cooler as "Frozen Meats.' But, that will change soon, according to Smith, who said he bought a bottle of wine on the first day of sales.

"But when I go home tonight, I will have a 12-pack of beer with me. Yes, indeed," said Smith.

The new law had opponents. Linda Hawkins said she voted against the proposal.

"I'm sure that our crime rate will go up with the increased use of alcohol in our community," Hawkins said.

Mayor Brad Necaise said the new alcohol law hasn't changed much in day-to-day life in Poplarville.

"You know what? No real difference, other than a few excited people that they now have this as an option without having to drive," said Necaise.

The alcohol-buying public apparently agrees.

Jim and Susan Blackman were visiting Ramey's Grocery to make their first beer purchase since the new ordinance went into effect.

"Well, the convenience is great," said Jim Blackman.

The city's new ordinance allows the sale of beer and light wine between 7 a.m. and midnight, but only if alcohol is less than 80 percent of the business' overall sales volume.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com

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