Movement Afoot to Allow Alcohol Sales in Sharp County

HARDY, AR - Two Sharp County women say permitting the sale of alcohol in the dry northeast Arkansas county could both save the environment and boost local coffers.

Ruth Reynolds and Bernadette Freigy have gathered 2,000 signatures to get an alcohol-sales initiative on the ballot in Sharp County.

Reynolds, a lifelong environmentalist, says allowing alcohol sales will stop people from driving to another county or Missouri to buy alcohol, and thus reduce the amount of gasoline used.

Freigy believies the county is missing out on the sales tax for the alcohol.

In northern Sharp County the closest place to buy alcohol is Thayer, Missouri, about 20 miles from each of the major population centers in the county...Ash Flat, Highland, Cherokee Village and Hardy.  Residents in Cave City, in the southern portion of the county, can travel to Jackson County to buy alcohol.

Reynolds and Freigy need 4,300 signatures to get on the ballot, or 38 percent of registered voters in Sharp County.  They have until June to gather all of the signatures.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)