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    New Ruling May Halt Sheetz Beer Sales, Again

    Pennsylvania state judge says sales cannot continue while an appeal is pending.

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Beer sales at a Sheetz Inc. convenience store in Altoona, Pa., may soon be suspended again, because a state judge ruled that sales cannot continue while an appeal is pending, The Associated Press reported yesterday.

    Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson issued an order dated Monday that upholds the court's previous decision that Sheetz's beer-sales license requires it to allow beer to be consumed on the premises, something Sheetz doesn’t allow its patrons to do.

    As previously reported by CSNews Online, Commonwealth Court halted beer sales by Sheetz on Feb. 23 after hearing arguments from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and the Malt Beverages Distributors Association of Pennsylvania. The PLCB appealed to the Supreme Court on Feb. 28, a move that restarted the beer sales.

    "We wanted Sheetz not to be able to sell beer in the way that it wanted to sell beer," said Bob Hoffman, attorney for the Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania, which represents retailers that sell beer by the case or keg. "It's really just a question from our perspective of a court order taking effect while it's on appeal."

    Officials with Sheetz and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board told the AP yesterday they had not heard of the order and declined to comment.

    The Supreme Court has not indicated whether it will take the case.

    Sheetz made changes to the store and its business records to win the license. The records of the two businesses are kept separately, and the gasoline business is separated from the store through separate deeds, according to previous media reports. Physical alterations include a speed bump as a separation barrier between the gas island and the store.

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