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Keene holding wet/dry vote in November

Keene was founded by Seventh-day Adventists, and the church asks its members to refrain from using alcohol.

So some might find it odd that voters in the Johnson County town will decide in November if beer and wine can be sold there.

Earlier this week, Johnson County commissioners approved a November election after a group of Keene citizens turned in a petition with the necessary number of signatures. If it passes, beer and wine can be sold in convenience and grocery stores.

Wayne Tomblinson and Rick Neighbors -- neither are Seventh-day Adventists -- formed Citizens for the Growth of Keene to organize the petition drive.

They say Keene needs additional tax dollars as the city continues to grow.

"We wanted a vehicle to attract businesses like a major grocery store and larger convenience stores, Tomblinson said.

People who buy alcohol will probably buy other things, Neighbors said.

Mayor Roy Robinson, an elder in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, said he will vote against the beer and wine sales.

"Burleson is more liberal-minded than Keene, and it took three tries to pass the beer and wine sales there," Robinson said. "I can almost guarantee you that voter turnout will be the largest in Keene's history because of this issue."

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