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Macon bars busted in license check

Agents with the Georgia Department of Revenue arrested three people while visiting area businesses last night to check for 2008 state alcohol licenses.

Arrests were made at The Hummingbird on Cherry Street, 550 Blues on Riverside Drive and at Mo Joe's Restaurant on Zebulon Road, said Scott Purvis, regional manager of the department's Macon office.

In each case, Purvis said undercover agents ordered alcohol and were served by businesses not holding an active license to sell alcohol.

To legally sell alcohol, businesses must hold both a state and local license.

While Purvis said a state license costs about $200, local licenses range from about $2,000 to $3,000 according to the Macon business license office.

Neither The Hummingbird nor 550 Blues have held a local alcohol license since 2006, according to the Macon business license office.

Mo Joe's held a local license in 2007, but does not have a current license, according to the Bibb County Tax Assessor's Office.

Bibb County School Board member Kenneth Rodgers, who owns the Hummingbird, and 550 Blues co-owner Joshua Allen Loyd were arrested in the wee hours of Thursday night and Friday morning, according to Bibb County Jail records. Both were charged with selling alcohol without a license.

A third man, Mo Joe's employee Edward Henry Deeb III, 21, also was charged with selling alcohol without a license.

Deeb said Mo Joe's opened in March 2007 and employees weren't aware alcohol licenses expire at the end of the calendar year.

When contacted by The Telegraph Friday, he admitted he sold alcohol to the undercover agent, but said he didn't know he was doing anything wrong.

"I had no idea," Deeb said.

Friday afternoon a marquee on the front wall of 550 Blues read "550 Blues closed for weekend, will reopen Tues 15th." No signs were posted at The Hummingbird.

Mo Joe's was open serving food Friday.

The Telegraph was unable to contact Rogers or Loyd Friday. A message left for the owner of Mo Joe's was not returned as of 5:30 p.m. Neither Rogers' nor Loyd's business partners could be reached for comment.

For more on this story come back to macon.com or read Saturday's Telegraph.

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