"I don't care if it rains or freezes, 'long as I've got my Purple Jesus, sittin' on the floor board of my car."

Well, the song lyrics don't exactly say that, but the revision surely expresses the frustration two-fisted, party drinkers are feeling today in West Virginia.

Not only does Gov. Joe Manchin want to remove all the sugary, fizzy drinks from public schools, but the state has banned the sale of grain alcohol in its licensed stores.

The state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration announced Wednesday it is removing 190 proof, or 95 percent clear alcohol from retail shelves, in hopes of reducing problems.

"The decision is a direct response to safety concerns from community members, college officials and law enforcement agencies," ABCA officials said in a press release.

College and high-school students have long used grain alcohol to make garbage container-sized batches of a cheap drink that stretches because of its big bang. The mixture usually consists of grain alcohol and grape juice or kool-aid.

Most grain alcohol has been sold in Morgantown and Huntington, home of the state's leading universities and frequent "grain parties."

"WVU supports the ABCA decision to ban sales," said Becky Lofstead, a West Virginia University spokeswoman.

A recent U.S. Surgeon General's report said alcohol can damage brain development up to the age of 22.

In 2002, a 17-year-old Point Pleasant High School student died from alcohol poisoning, while in 1998 a 49-year-old Berkeley County woman and a 24-year-old Wood County man died from grain ingestion.

Governor Joe Manchin says he wants all soft drinks out of the state's schools.

He says a bill passed in this year's legislative session does not go far enough when it comes to protecting and insuring the health of West Virginia's students.

"I want all non-nutritional foods out of the school place, out of our learning centers." said the Governor.

The legislature passed the Healthy Lifestyles Act this year limiting the amount of sugary drinks available to school students.

The Governor says he wants all of them out of schools.

Hur Herald ©from Sunny Cal
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