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Apology Given for Lemonade Stand Closing


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Apology Given for Lemonade Stand Closing

By Associated Press

August 12, 2004, 9:57 AM EDT

ST. LOUIS -- Two seventh grade girls really know a thing or two about turning lemons into lemonade. They were doing a booming business at their lemonade stand Wednesday -- a day after a neighbor complained and the city Health Department temporarily put them out of business.

Mim Murray, 10, and Marisa Miller-Stockie, 12, of St. Louis, have sold lemonade together for three summers, hoping to save enough for laptop computers before school starts.

But the girls said a Health Department inspector told them Tuesday they didn't have the proper business licenses and were selling unsafe ice cubes. The girls were using powdered lemonade mix with ice cubes bought from a store.

A resident, O.V. Carreathers, 48, had registered a complaint about the stand on Friday with the city's Citizens Service Bureau. The girls didn't work Monday, but the inspector found them Tuesday.

Carreathers said she wanted to keep the girls off her property: "I just didn't want them blocking my walkway."

The girls said their stand had been on the grass behind Carreathers' property.

After the stand was shut down Mim's mother, Germaine Murray, called a St. Louis television station and the family's pastor, Monsignor Salvador Polizzi. He brought the situation to the attention of Mayor Francis Slay.

Melba Moore, the city's health commissioner, said temporary food and beverage vendors are supposed to obtain permits, but that doesn't apply to children's lemonade stands.

"It should not have happened. And I apologize," said Moore, who gave the girls $3 Wednesday for a 25-cent cup of lemonade.

Besides earning $112 Wednesday, the girls said they have learned something from their lemonade experience: "You don't have to sit there and take it," Mim said.

Marisa added, "We learned to stand up for ourselves."

* __

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.post-dispatch.com

Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

newsday.com

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