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International students reflect on alcohol vote

September 6, 2012 News

While Murray “going wet” is big news for residents of Murray, considering both the longevity of the ordinance overturned and the fact that this will change the way residents live day to day in Murray, the new ruling also stands to affect international students.

The local option vote that passed on July 17 will allow the distribution of packaged liquor within city limits beginning Sept. 20, and will affect the students of Murray State who come here from both across the country and across the world for their education.

While the actual consequences of the decision remain to be unseen, it is likely that even students who do not drink will be impacted by this change, even if it is as simple as seeing a display of a pyramid of Bud Light at Walmart.

International students have voiced their awareness of the impact alcohol sales may have on them and on their temporary home, Murray State.

International students make up a seen, but often distant, demographic of students on campus, hailing from a variety of different countries and cities, each with their own laws on the sale of alcohol. For some, coming to school meant alcohol was less available than back home, and for others it was actually easier for them to get alcohol in Murray even when it was moist.

This is most apparent in the disparity between drinking ages in different countries as compared to the U.S., the drinking age of 21 is set at three years more than most other countries.

While the age deemed appropriate to consume alcohol is certainly one glaring difference in alcohol policy from country to country, there are a number of similarities as well, including the practice of certain cities having restrictions on alcohol sale.

Kasthik Sraven, a graduate student from India, said there are a number of cities in India in which alcohol sales are prohibited. Most of these cities that prohibit the sale of alcohol, he said, are holy cities.

Sraven said Murray’s decision to go wet will not influence the decision facing international students of which college they choose to study abroad.

He said international students are more concerned about housing securities and their loans than the availability of alcohol.

In his opinion however, he said, most international students at Murray do drink.

Sraven said in India only about 60 percent of the population drink, himself not included.

Bella Jiye Lee, junior from South Korea, said she actually drinks much more when she is at home than when she is at school and that in almost every store in South Korea, alcohol is sold.

“I think that selling alcohol and it being more available is better for everyone,” Lee said. “I think drinking together makes people closer and is a good way to make friends, as long as you don’t drink too much.”

On Tuesday, the Murray City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance which sets a regulatory tax rate of 8 percent on both restaurant and package sales. The council will meet again next Thursday.

Story by Ben Manhanke, Staff writer.

Murray, Marshall to vote on heated issue

May 3, 2012 News

Following the city of Murray declaring the package liquor vote will occur on July 17, Marshall County officials scheduled their liquor vote for the same day.

Tim York, Marshall County clerk, said it was more a matter of convenience and less about coordination to have the dates the same between the counties.

Marshall County has the same laws governing special elections; a judge-ordered election cannot be held 60 days before or 90 days after a petition was submitted and approved by the county judge-executive.

York said the statewide primary election on May 22 pushes the voting window a mandated 30 days before special elections can be ordered.

Marshall 1st, the group proposing package liquor sales in Marshall County, had their petition approved by Marshall County Judge-Executive Mike Miller on April 16. After the required amount of time passes, the earliest possible date for a specific vote is June 26. … Continue Reading

Packaged liquor vote set for July 17

March 14, 2012 News

Ed Marlowe
Staff writer

County-Judge Executive Larry Elkins ordered an election be held for the total distribution of packaged liquor in the city of Murray for July 17, 2012.

The vote follows a successful campaign of Grow Murray, a local group of individuals pushing for legalized packaged liquor sales in the city.

Following KRS 242.125 and all subsections, the ballot will read as follows: “Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in Murray?”

Those in favor will be choosing to bring packaged liquor stores, beer to convenience stores and 50/50 food-to-alcohol ratios for local restaurants seating 100-plus people, and those against will be choosing to keep Murray as limited restaurant status under 70/30 food-to-alcohol ratios with no packaged liquor sales. … Continue Reading

Trigg’s numbers show varying results

March 8, 2012 News

Edward Marlowe
Staff writer

Now two years removed, Trigg County officials are noticing the differences of a previously dry county repealing and turning wet.

In January 2010, the first liquor store opened in Cadiz, Ky., after a total alcohol distribution referendum passed by a narrow margin in Fall 2009.

Arguments for both sides have been the same in a number of counties not just the local area, but also in other parts of the country.

Concerns of increased drivers under the influence, domestic violence, property damage and increased alcoholism pervade the minds of those who are against it, while those promoting alcohol distribution lobby for possible increases in tourism and propose stricter law enforcement accompanied with increased tax revenue for both the county and state treasury.

For Trigg County, the results of housing packaged liquor have not brought the extremes of positives or negatives usually associated with proponents of their cause. … Continue Reading

Grow Murray meets signature requirements

March 8, 2012 News

Ed Marlowe
Staff writer

On Wednesday morning Grow Murray’s petition for total distribution achieved the required number of signatures for a referendum.

Ray Coursey, county clerk, said his office spent most of this past week counting, and in the end Grow Murray had 687 signatures, 60 more than the required 627 need for verification.

The next step in the process, Coursey said, is submitting the petition to County-Judge Executive Larry Elkins for further review and eventual approval. … Continue Reading

Opposing liquor petition proceeds

March 2, 2012 News

Ed Marlowe
Staff writer

Illustration by Erin Jackel/The News

Despite Grow Murray submitting its petition for signature verification, the responding Keep It Out of Murray effort continues to seek support.

Martin Severns, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church and elected spokesperson of Keep It Out of Murray, said while the vote seems inevitable, a petition against liquor is still being cycled should the signature count for Grow Murray’s efforts come up short.

“If theirs is certified and it goes to ballot, then we’ve got a game on,” Severns said. “It’s no longer a rush for signatures, but the game is on and we make a push for the ‘no’ vote while they make a push for the ‘yes’ vote.”

If the Grow Murray petition fails, Keep It Out of Murray can acquire the same necessary number of signatures to submit their petition and be approved by the County Clerk’s Office and County-Judge Executive. Voters would then choose “yes” if in favor of leaving the current liquor law as is, or “no” in favor of removing liquor from the city altogether.

“Our petition is no different than theirs – it’s bringing a cause to the voters and letting the voters decide,” Severns said.

Severns said it is not the intent of the group to remove jobs in the community, but merely to keep things as they are now with a 70:30 food-to-alcohol ratio and remove the possibility of total alcohol distribution within the city limits. … Continue Reading

Petitions divide city voters

February 23, 2012 News

Illustration by Erin Jackel/The News

Ed Marlowe
Staff writer

Once again voters in Murray are taking sides in the ongoing controversy of whether packaged liquor sales should be allowed within the city limits.

“Grow Murray,” a movement in favor of the sales, began circulating a petition last month. Its efforts are similar to those of “Keep It Local Murray,” a group that made the same push when the topic surfaced in 2009.

“Keep It Out of Murray,” a coalition formed in response to those efforts of “Keep It Local Murray,” succeeded in preventing a referendum for the law from ever reaching the polls. … Continue Reading

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