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    Leavenworth, Kansas, Stores Could Get Beer on Sunday

    Measure could even playing field with liquor stores.

    LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- For the second time, Leavenworth city commissioners may enact an ordinance making the Kansas city the first in the state to allow Sunday sales of 3.2-percent beer in grocery and convenience stores, according to a report in the Leavenworth (Kan.) Times.

    The commissioners placed a charter ordinance on first consideration Tuesday that would exempt the city from the part of the Liquor Control Act that prohibits such sales, the newspaper reported. Commissioners said they relied on their home-rule authority to do so, a concept that allows opting out of statutes that don't apply uniformly to all municipalities.

    Commissioners had passed a similar motion shortly after they approved Sunday liquor sales in package stores.

    Commissioner Larry Dedeke said he originally supported the measure to allow an "even playing field" for liquor stores, which sell 5-percent beer, and convenience and grocery stores that sell 3.2-percent beer, known as cereal malt beverages, according to the report. However, commissioners rescinded the action in late July, advised by city attorney Bob Beall that Attorney General Phill Kline had threatened a lawsuit if they tried to enact it.

    Representatives of several groups attended and spoke at Tuesday's meeting, including attorney Ed Gillette, who represents the QuikTrip Corp., Casey's General Stores and other convenience and grocery stores, the report stated.

    Beall said the ordinance could conceivably go into effect, pending a possible lawsuit, such as the ordinance on Sunday sales of alcohol, and the higher court might wait to see what lawmakers do in the upcoming session, but the justices could issue their ruling any time, according to the newspaper.

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