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Liquor continues to pour into Mississippi’s dry counties

August 20, 2013

As Brandon voters decide on Tuesday if their city will allow the sale of liquor, the momentum across the state has been building with some of the historically dry regions going wet. Over the last eight months, the number of counties that were completely dry – or that didn’t allow the sales of beer or liquor within any part of its borders – fell to 22. Ripley – the seat of Tippah County – voted to approve both liquor and beer sales in two referendums on Aug. 13.

The city joined Tishomingo County, which held a dual vote earlier this year, as an area bucking decades of dry tradition to allow sales of alcohol – both liquor and beer. Six other cities have approved liquor sales within their limits over the last eight months, a move that has brought liquor into some of the longest dry areas in a state that repealed Prohibition roughly 47 years ago. Of those, half are in centrally located, with the remaining three in the northern part of the state, the last corner of the state to be dry. Corinth was the first city to take advantage of a state law allowing county seats or cities with more than 5,000 residents to vote on liquor sales independently of their dry counties. One week after Corinth’s vote, Benton County’s seat – Ashland – voted down liquor, becoming the only city in the state to do so under the changed law. Senatobia in Tate County became the first city to approve liquor sales in 2013, followed by New Albany (Union County), Tishomingo County, Brookhaven (Lincoln County), Philadelphia (Neshoba County), Waynesboro (Wayne County) and Ripley (Tippah County).

Source: Clarion Ledger