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Hearings on Walgreens' bid to sell alcohol continued

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Hearings scheduled Monday morning to consider Walgreens’ requests for new alcohol permits at several of its stores in Marion County have been continued.

The Local Alcoholic Beverage Board was set to hear requests for 10 of 29 permits the Illinois-based drugstore chain is seeking in the county. But the board granted the retailer a continuance to give it more time to prepare.

Eight of the permit requests now are set to be heard April 19. Applications for a store in Beech Grove and another in Lawrence are set for May 3.

Walgreens is requesting the right to sell beer and wine in at least 53 stores in central Indiana, including 29 in Marion County. Because of the continuance, the beverage board could begin hearing some of the other 19 requests for permits as soon as March 15, its next scheduled meeting.

Walgreens stopped selling alcohol more than a decade ago. But competition, mainly from rival Rhode Island-based CVS Caremark Corp., is prompting the change in policy.

That is sparking opposition among local community groups such as Drug Free Marion County and the Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations. Representatives from both were among several concerned citizens prepared to contest the permits at the Monday hearing.

Norman Pace, the neighborhood alliance’s director for Warren Township, said two of the Walgreens seeking permission to sell alcohol are across from educational facilities.

He further argued that Indianapolis already has enough alcohol permits—more than 5,000—at bars, restaurants and grocery and convenience stores.

“We have already exceeded the capacity,” he said. “They’re handing out these alcohol permits like candy in a candy store.”

Nancy Beals, prevention program coordinator at Drug Free Marion County, concurred.

“It’s not that we don’t want Walgreens to sell alcohol,” she said. “We just don’t want the over-saturation.”

The alcoholic beverage board cannot grant permit approval. It only makes recommendations to the Indiana Alcohol Tobacco Commission.

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  • One Growing Organization
    Any doubt why AA is growing? Stats show 1 out of 10 are alcoholics. Did you get that? 1 out of 10!

    I suppose most can't wait to get a beer or marguerita with their Big Mac.
  • permits
    Why require permits to sell alcohol?
  • 2 for 1
    I guess someone can get something for their hangover while they get the booze that will give it to them. Does everybody need to be in the business. Why not give everyone a alcoholic beverage permit.

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

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