The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 7, 2012

Cherokee County Commission OKs Sunday beer sales in rural areas

By Roger McKinney

COLUMBUS, Kan. — The Cherokee County Commission on Monday approved a resolution allowing Sunday beer sales at stores in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The measure would take effect 60 days after it is published, unless a protest petition forces it onto the August election ballot. That would require the signatures of 238 registered voters from the rural areas of the county. That number is 5 percent of the number of ballots cast for president from the unincorporated areas in 2008.

Commissioners said they didn’t intend their vote to indicate that they favor Sunday beer sales.

Commissioner Pat Collins said approving the resolution was the only method for allowing for the possibility of putting the issue on the ballot for a public vote.

The measure would allow Sunday beer sales at convenience stores in Riverton and Cherokee, at a truck stop south of Pittsburg, and at Angelo’s Deli in Hallowell.

Some of the businesses have pushed for such a measure in the past, including Angelo’s Deli.

“That’s good news,” Shannon Taylor, an owner of Angelo’s, said by phone. “I’m surprised to hear it. I didn’t even know it was going to be brought up.”

She said that even though a few years have passed, she is happy the commission acted.

“I had almost given up on it,” she said.

James Bean, of Weir, has opposed the measure in the past, saying the county was cursed because it failed to honor God. Contacted by phone Monday, he said he feels the same and remains opposed.

He cited Proverbs 20:1: “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler. Whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” He also cited the fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

“Christians that will vote for such a thing do not honor God’s word,” Bean said.

He said he didn’t know if he would organize a petition drive to place the issue on the ballot and that he was unaware of any other organized opposition.

More business

THE RESOLUTION reads that the commissioners think the measure will increase commerce in the county.