Polygamous Town Will Stay Dry

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HILDALE, Utah (AP) -- Hildale's City Council has voted unanimously to deny an off-premise beer license for the Border Store, guaranteeing the polygamous community on the Arizona border will remain dry.

"I can't allow (the beer license) with a clear conscience before our God," Councilman Dan Jessop said Tuesday.

Since the city incorporated in 1963, no off-premise beer licenses have been granted. One restaurant, the Mark Twain, was granted a permit to sell wine and beer, but it is now closed.

Don Timpson, the new owner of the Border Store, said that having beer for sale at the gas station/convenience store would help boost sales.

Council members were concerned about morals, drunkenness and creating an atmosphere of concern in the community.

Timpson reopened the store after purchasing the business from Blaine Jeffs, a brother of Warren Jeffs, federal fugitive and leader the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Timpson said 50 percent of his traffic comes from off the highway and statistics show that 35 percent of convenience store sales are for beer.

Members of the polygamous FLDS sect, which dominates Hildale and its twin Colorado City, Ariz., are supposed to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages.

Warren Jeffs is being sought on Arizona charges of sexual misconduct for allegedly marrying underage women to much older men.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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