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Apr 25, 2013 10:45 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Dollar stores hope to sell alcohol, some neighbors not happy

TUCSON- The big yellow sign attracts bargain hunters.

But recently on a trip to the Dollar General at 5663 South 12th Ave, another sign caught Yolanda Herrera's eye. "If I want to go in there I don't want to be bombarded by someone running out of that store carrying a six-pack because of a beer skip," Herrera says.

The 12th Avenue store is one of three Tucson Dollar Generals that recently applied for a liquor license to sell beer and wine.

Herrera, a resident of the Sunnyside Neighborhood, along with her fellow neighbor Beki Quintero, are heading up an effort to prevent the stores from obtaining a liquor license. "It doesn't help the neighborhood when you bring alcohol into the community," Quintero says.

They say children who live and attend school near the stores are frequent customers.

Besides that, they say there are already enough places that sell liquor on Tucson's South side. "It is not a need obviously because we have a Circle K right across the street from the Dollar General on S. 12th and we have Beverage Barn just down the road," Herrera says.

Right now across the country there are more than 4,500 Dollar General stores that sell beer and wine. None of them are located in Arizona.

"It's just another place to go get alcohol," says Peter Bueno, who lives on the south side. "I don't see anything wrong with it, as long as there is someone supervising the cases to make sure kids don't get alcohol."

Dollar General says it's simply responding to consumer demand. The company's communications director, Dan MacDonald, issued this statement to News 4 Tucson: "We have introduced beer and wine sales in a way that is sensitive to community concerns and we have fully embraced the responsible selling model."

This month the Tucson City Council unanimously voted to deny the Dollar General stores a liquor license, but the Arizona State Liquor Board has the final word.

Two-thirds of the board will need to vote in favor of granting DG a liquor license.

Herrera and Quintero plan to make their case to the board in the next few months.

According to the AZ Department of Liquor, the other two Dollar General stores that have applied for a liquor license include: 155 West Valencia Road and 5697 South Alvernon Way.

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