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Lawmaker wants “King of Beers” to be state’s ’official’ brew


Associated Press Writer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A state lawmaker wants to give the “King of Beers” its own kingdom by making Budweiser the official beer of Missouri.

Budweiser is a Missouri-based international icon that — if officially recognized — might even persuade more people to visit the state, said Rep. Curt Dougherty.

“We’ve got a state dinosaur, a state frog, a state reptile, a state flower, a state nut, but no one has given a thought to a company that’s been in Missouri for many, many years and is bringing prosperity to our state and manufacturing a product in our state that many people enjoy,” said Dougherty, D-Independence.

Dougherty’s bill was introduced in March.

Budweiser has been made by St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Inc. since 1876. It’s now produced in 12 regional breweries, though samples are flown daily to St. Louis for taste-testing.

The brand is already the “Official International Beer” sponsor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will be the “Official Beer” of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Plus, it’s an official sponsor for 26 professional baseball teams and 28 football teams.

Representatives of Anheuser-Busch had no immediate comment about the legislation.

Missouri has 24 official symbols, most of which have been approved over the past 20 years. Lawmakers added four last year — the game bird (bobwhite quail), invertebrate (crayfish), reptile (turtle) and grass (big bluestem).

But when it comes to state-sanctioned drinks, Missouri is behind the times. So far, 27 states have given official designation to their favorite beverages. Most have opted for one that is less intoxicating and builds strong bones — milk.

Besides milk, states have picked orange juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, water, Kool-Aid, coffee milk, South Carolina Grown Tea and the soft drink Moxie.

But Missourians would not be alone in excusing alcohol runs as evidence of civic pride. Alabama in 2004 made Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey that state’s official spirit.

Dougherty, of suburban Kansas City, has five co-sponsors from the St. Louis area and another from Kansas City.

“We tout our (Kansas City) Chiefs and our St. Louis football teams, why can’t we be proud of a long-standing company that produces a product with ingredients produced mostly in the United States?” he said. “Just because it’s an alcoholic beverage doesn’t mean we should stick our heads in the sand.”

Deported publisher plans return to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The publisher of the St. Louis region’s oldest Spanish-language newspaper is headed back to St. Louis

Cecilia Velazquez was deported to Mexico two years ago as an illegal immigrant.

But STLtoday, the Web site for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reports that Velazquez has been granted a waiver allowing her to re-enter the country legally.

The waiver comes with the understanding that she will apply to become a permanent U.S. resident.

The 38-year-old publisher produces the newspaper Red Latina, meaning “Latin network.” $$

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