Seventy-eight Tennessee municipalities have passed a referendum for wine to be sold in supermarkets.
They collected enough signatures to place the referendum on the Tennessee ballot Tuesday. Final voting results show all the communities passed the measure.
Currently, wine can be sold only in liquor stores. Because of a state law passed earlier this year, wine can be sold by grocery and convenience stores starting in July 2016 in the communities where citizens vote for the change.
Supermarkets and convenience stores can sell beer containing up to 6.5 percent alcohol by volume. Anything stronger can be sold only in package stores, which, as of July 1, are able to sell items other than booze, such as beer, mixers, glasses, corkscrews, food and cigarettes.
The University of Kentucky is set to allow alcohol on campus with specific guidelines yet to be determined. The announcement came this afternoon from UK President Eli Capilouto. UK has been an alcohol free campus for more than a decade. UK Student Government Association President Roshan Palli served on the Student Health and Safety Workgroup which compiled the report.
"We want our students on campus when they're engaging in social activities and when they're not, so we don't want alcohol to be an issue that we choose to force off our campus,” said Palli. “Exactly where, you know, that's a good question. I think that's definitely what the implementation committee gonna be having to explore."
Palli hopes the revised alcohol policy can be implemented by the beginning of the fall semester. The report also calls for extending the Code of Student Conduct beyond the campus boundaries.
A Kentucky House lawmaker is predicting the General Assembly will pass a bill allowing alcohol sales at many state parks.
House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark’s bill would give residents in precincts containing state park lodges or golf courses the ability to petition for an election allowing alcohol by the drink. Clark’s bill has passed out of a Senate committee, and the Louisville Democrat says Senate leaders have told him they believe the measure will make it through the legislature this session.
The Herald-Leader reports State Parks Commissioner and former Bowling Green mayor Elaine Walker said expanded alcohol sales at state parks and golf courses would be substantial.
The list of Kentucky State Resort Parks that do not serve alcohol includes Barren River Lake, Cumberland Falls, Dale Hollow Lake, Pennyrile Forest, and Rough River Dam.
Opponents of the bill say alcohol sales would interfere with the family-friendly atmospheres found at Kentucky’s state parks.
A federal appeals court has reinstated a 76-year-old old ban on grocery stores, gas stations and other retailers selling wine and liquor in Kentucky after finding the law doesn't violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a decision by U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn in 2012 to lift the restriction.
Judge Deborah L. Cook wrote for the court that the state "indisputably maintains a legitimate interest" in reducing access to high-alcohol content products.
A Louisville convenience store, Maxwell's Pic-Pac, and the Food with Wine Coalition challenged the ban in a lawsuit filed in federal court in 2011. The plaintiffs said the law treated them differently from package liquor stores simply because they sold food and other staples.
College football season begins this weekend and Kentucky’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says investigators will be out in force, looking for underage people drinking alcohol before and after games.
Director Mike Razor says the tailgating scene provides a different kind of challenge for investigators.
“In a controlled environment in licensed premises it’s easier because the licensee is our friend and they want to make sure they’re not serving underage kids,” said Razor. “But in a tailgating scenario, you’ve got a whole lot of people out there and there’s no one really in control.”
He says those caught providing alcohol to minors could face jail time. Investigators will be patrolling tailgate parties and stores near college campuses where football games are being played.
A Kentucky legislative leader says progress on reforming the state’s liquor laws is slow going. Last year, a federal judge threw out the state law that blocks grocery stores and gas stations from selling wine and spirits.
That same judge later stayed his ruling to prevent a sudden surge in liquor retailers and to allow Kentucky lawmakers to re-write the regulations. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo says so far, no one has put forward a proposal to properly address the issue.
“Everyone hopes that there will be some sort of reasonable proposal from the entire industry that takes in consideration the court’s ruling. To date I haven’t seen that.”
Some southeastern Kentucky residents say campaigns on a vote that could allow alcohol sales in the community have taken a negative turn. McCreary County voters head to the polls next Tuesday to decide the controversial issue.
Bourbon and barbecue are teaming up next month in Danville to benefit Heart of Kentucky United Way. The second annual Kentucky State Barbecue Festival on Sept. 7 will feature a charity bourbon barrel auction.
A federal judge's ruling could open the door to the sale of hard liquor and wine in grocery stores. Currently state law allows grocery stores to only sell beer, while liquor stores and drug stores can sell beer, wine and liquor.