Jackson County Liquor Store Staying Put

Little Rock, AR -- Several weeks ago we told you about the request for the relocation of a liquor store in Newport.

The request was to move the store to Jacksonport from Newport, but many Jacksonport residents were opposed.

On Wednesday afternoon, so did the ABC board in Little Rock.

Even with intricate maps and photographs by supporters, clearly the opposition to a relocation of the liquor store on Front street, in Newport,  is strong.

Opponents say for good reason, mainly for fears of intoxicated drivers on rural roads.

"My kids, I've got two, play in those streets.  I just don't want my kid dead," said Jacksonport resident, Steven Guffey.

With just 11 sheriff's deputies in Jackson county, and at the most only 5 patrolling 647 squares miles at one time, some residents fear some areas will be missed.

"You're on the river and you run out in your cooler, and you can drive half of a mile right through our little town to get some more....what do you think they are going to do? Do you think they are going to get in the vehicle and go home or are they going to get in the vehicle and drive that half a mile and go back," asked Guffey.

Anna Bowen is also a concerned Jacksonport resident.

"Many times over the summer, the state park brings in a lot of traffic. When people talk about going to the river there is usually alcohol involved.  We feel like with the liquor store being that close to the river, our traffic will increase," said Bowen.

While Anna Bowen and others concede it won't stop people from getting alcohol and alcohol sales do bring dollars into the county, many opponents stand firm that the risk of a child's safety in jeopardy far outweighs any profit.

Danny Woods made the transfer request to the board.

"It's a good application.  I don't see any safety issues in the area.  We feel like it would benefit Jackson county.  We feel like Jackson county residents should have a choice, and right now they don't.  We have over a thousand signatures of support," said Woods.