Lone Star Retailers Say Goodbye, Police & Fire Make Changes

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Maranda Dowdy's spent one year as a sales clerk at the Lone Star gas station on Southwest Drive.

Now, she'll have to find work somewhere else because the Lone Star-Shell retail stores are closing up shop.

"A job is a job. But, when you're working in a convenience store, you get used to seeing the same people every day," said Dowdy. "It's going to be a big change."

While they're phasing out of the retail side of the business, Lone Star will retain Star Transportation, which sells gasoline to wholesale dealers.

"I've told them I can't keep subsidizing it, this market's tough and they've understood," said Al Herringer, III, owner of Star Transportation.

It was Herringer's grandfather who started Lone Star in 1926. Decades later the company phased out their retail stores, but the younger Herringer brought them back and the city of Jonesboro was one to benefit.

"What we had was convenience for the police cars, where they could fill up at any time of the night without driving from one side of town to the next," he said.

The city is expected to come out on the losing end, with the Shell bulk plan, they saved two cents per gallon of gas.

The city finance department says they won't get another deal similar to that.

A cost that's sure to hurt, as gas is expected to near $4 per gallon this summer.

"I didn't think I'd see it in my lifetime, but we may see it higher than that."

Still, in these uncertain times, Dowdy says one things for sure, she'll just have to move on.

"If I'd gotten fired or if I'd done something wrong maybe I'd feel different about it, but for right now I'll just have to go on to something different."

Store employees tell Region 8 news they were offered severance pay, vacation and the option to go back to school.

Questions or Comments? E-mail me at rsmith@kait8.com