Beer Permit Causes Concern in Trumann

TRUMANN, AR -- Some Trumann residents are upset about the latest business to get an alcohol permit, even though they are in a wet county.

Last Wednesday Jordan's Kwik Stop was awarded a permit to sell beer and the neighbors don't like it.

The reason many are against the permit is that all of the Trumann schools are within 200 feet of the store and kids walk by the store everyday.

"The furthest one is 165 feet away and to me, that's just too close.  You can't pull out of a driveway without running into a school," said Trumann Police Chief Larry Blagg.

The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board regulations say a "liquor store" can't be within 1,000 feet of a school or church.  However, a restaurant that serves alcohol or a store that sells beer only can legally be close to a school or church.  Those against the permit say they know that there's nothing they can do now.

"We're not to the point where we're against the owner by any means.  We just don't feel like they should be selling alcohol right in our back yard," said Trumann School Superintendent Joe Waleszonia.

Jordan's Kwik Stop Store Manager Pam Willis said she understands the concern of the public, but they're just doing their job.

"It puts us in an awkward position because we're trying to promote our business and we're not here to offend anyone," said Willis.

"We just feel like it's a negative influence on our kids and our people.  Our kids going back and forth to school will see the signs and there's going to be influence there," said Waleszonia.

But Willis said they will keep the advertising to a minimum.

"We will not be putting any advertisement next to the walkway next to the school where the kids can see it," said Willis.