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      4th of July fireworks sales boom

      <font size="2">Fireworks sales blasted off over the 4<sup>th</sup> of July weekend at Phantom Fireworks in Curtice, Ohio.</font>

      Managers at one Northwest Ohio fireworks chain say 4th of July weekend profits are at the highest they have been in years.

      Fireworks sales blasted off over the 4th of July weekend at Phantom Fireworks in Curtice, Ohio. Mortars, rockets, smoke bombs and more flew off the shelves as customers formed lines that stretched out the door. Assistant Manager Kacie Drummond said Phantom Fireworks Northwest Ohio regional stores earned their best holiday profits in years.

      ??For the last couple years, yes, this was better than the last few,?? said Drummond, who has worked at the chain??s Curtice location for 10 years. She continued, ??We??re pretty much right in the same ballpark as far as sales go, and we all increased for this weekend.??

      Drummond did not release specific dollar amounts, but did say sales are at their highest point since fireworks became legal to sell in Michigan three years ago. Drummond says many customers stayed in Ohio to purchase their fireworks this year, rather than crossing into Michigan, where the fireworks sales tax is 12% (compared to 7% in Ohio).

      ??This year we??ve seen an increase so I think people are starting to understand that the sales tax in Michigan is double what they pay here almost so that??s helped a little bit,?? said Drummond.

      Managers at the store are hopeful the sales boom will continue as they try to keep shelves stocked to keep up with demand.