Names and faces

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS -

■ Singer Jimmy Buf­fett’s home state on Thurs­day backed off a short-lived ban on the sale of pitch­ers of the drink he made fa­mous: mar­gar­i­tas. The Alabama Al­co­holic Bev­er­age Con­trol Board an­nounced an end to the pitcher pro­hi­bi­tion a day after al.com pub­lished a col­umn crit­i­ciz­ing the mora­to­rium. Born on the Mis­sis­sippi coast, Buf­fett spent his child­hood in Mo­bile, Ala. He helped pop­u­lar­ized mar­gar­i­tas with his 1977 hit “Mar­gar­i­taville.”

The ir­re­sistible mix of Buf­fett, Alabama’s per­ceived prud­ish­ness and tequila helped the topic quickly gain trac­tion on so­cial me­dia. The agency de­nied chang­ing its mind be­cause of pub­lic­ity. The re­ver­sal had al­ready been un­der con­sid­er­a­tion, said spokesman Dean Argo. Mar­gar­i­tas — both the frozen and on-the-rocks ver­sion — are par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar in Mex­i­can restau­rants. But some stopped sell­ing them in June on or­ders from the state agency, which de­ter­mined that only beer could be served by the pitcher, a ban based on an old rule that makes it il­le­gal to “adul­ter­ate” al­co­hol, Argo said. The state de­ter­mined pitch­ers of mar­gar­i­tas were il­le­gal since each glass from a pitcher could have a dif­fer­ent amount of al­co­hol. Argo said bev­er­age-con­trol of­fi­cials de­cided to change their view of the code sec­tion be­cause the law men­tions pitcher sales of drinks that are “cus­tom­ar­ily” sold that way, he said. “This up­dated in­ter­pre­ta­tion should give li­censees the flex­i­bil­ity they need to meet the needs of their cus­tomers, while main­tain­ing the in­tegrity of the orig­i­nal rule,” Argo said in an email.

■ Kid Rock, the mu­si­cian from sub­ur­ban Detroit, is teas­ing a po­ten­tial 2018 can­di­dacy for U.S. Se­nate even though it is news to many Michi­gan Repub­li­cans. Kid Rock, who was born Robert Ritchie, said Wed­nes­day that a web­site hint­ing at his cam­paign — www.kidrock­fors­e­n­ate.com — is le­git­i­mate. “I have had a ton of emails and texts ask­ing me if this web­site is real,” he said on Face­book and Twit­ter. “The an­swer is an ab­so­lute YES. Stay tuned, I will have a ma­jor an­nounce­ment in the near fu­ture.” Ritchie spokesman Kirt Web­ster re­ferred to the Face­book post and said “more soon.” The web­site shows Ritchie, 46, and asks “Are You Scared?” It has slo­gans such as “In Rock We Trust,” “I’ll Rock The Party” and “You’ve Never Met a Politi­cian Quite Like Me.” Third-term Demo­cratic Sen. Deb­bie Stabenow is up for re-elec­tion in 2018 after eas­ily win­ning in 2012 and 2006. Repub­li­can can­di­dates in­clude former Michi­gan Supreme Court Jus­tice Bob Young Jr. and busi­ness ex­ec­u­tive Lena Ep­stein, who co-chaired Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s suc­cess­ful 2016 Michi­gan cam­paign. Michi­gan Repub­li­can Party Chair­man Ron Weiser said in a text mes­sage that he had not heard from Ritchie, who en­dorsed Trump in 2016 and Mitt Rom­ney in 2012. “It could be a pub­lic­ity ploy. Don’t know.”

Kid Rock

Buf­fett

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