74
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      Helium shortage inflates prices

      New Year??s Day is approaching and party supply stores are gearing up for the holiday. However, consumers should expect to pay more for something lighter than air.??

      Helium prices are going through the roof and that means some stores that once sold helium-filled balloons no longer do so. Others are able to get helium but must charge more for balloons.??

      Judy Click of Judy??s said, "people are just not ordering balloons because they think there is no helium. We do have helium. We're gonna do lots of new year's balloons but they are a lot more expensive so people will be buying less balllons."??

      More than a third of the world??s helium supply is produced in the Texas Panhandle but a shortage is forcing prices up. That??s because the federal government decided 15 years ago to get out of the helium business.