A move to help businesses

On Monday the New Prague City Council held a public hearing on an amendment to the city’s liquor ordinance that would change the time restaurants can serve alcohol to customers on Sundays.

Currently, New Prague does not allow establishments with Sunday Liquor licenses to serve before noon. The change would move the starting time up two hours, to 10 a.m.

Mayor Chuck Nickolay suggested the change in starting times. He said he was at a Sunday brunch in a neighboring town recently and noticed that alcohol was being served before noon. State law allows serving as early as 10 a.m., but cities can be more restrictive in their hours, as New Prague is.

“I talked to a couple of the restaurants in town that serve alcohol, and most agreed it would help their businesses,” Nickolay said. That is why he introduced the idea to the council last month.

The move would affect about a handful of establishments that serve food as well as liquor. It is not expected to have a great impact on alcohol consumption, but will put local businesses on an even level with other area communities that have similar starting times.

After Monday’s public meeting the council held its second reading of the amendment. It passed and the ordinance is being published this week. It becomes effective 30 days after publication, on June 23.

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The school year is fast drawing to a close. The last day of classes for the New Prague Area will be one week from today, on Thursday, May 30. That means that The Times is getting ready to present our annual salute to the New Prague High School seniors. We’ve had a great response from this year’s senior class as far as getting photos and future plans to us, and we’ve also had a good response, as always, from local businesses that wish to sponsor the graduates in the section.

One of the fun things we do each year is to work with the school to select a handful of students who have an interesting story to tell. Sometimes it’s a student who has an interesting career goal, sometimes it’s a student who has excelled in some area during their school years - especially one that may not have earned them a mention in this newspaper, or someone who has overcome some personal challenge to achieve their high school graduation. We also do a story on the students who are selected to speak at the commencement ceremonies.

It’s always interesting to see what these students are looking forward to as they prepare to leave high school, as well as find out what they thought of their experiences at New Prague High School.

This year, in addition to the student speakers, we also picked out four students to write about. The group is an interesting mix, and we look forward to sharing what we’ve learned from them with our readers. Look for it in next week’s issue of The Times.