Barbourville residents rally against alcohol sales

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Children of all ages were holding signs with biblical scripture and the words “Vote No.”

Those who live in the neighborhood are hoping to sway the minds of others who may be watching.

“I don't think the kids need to face alcohol every where they go,” said Patty Strunk who helped organize the event.

The Michigan native said moving to the town several years ago was “like going 40 years back in time.” She said she grew up in a town filled with bars and nightlife and the transition was something she finds rare.

Strunk and others want to encourage the city's over 2,000 eligible voters to vote no to any kind of liquor sales next month.

“Alcohol with drugs, we know that there is already a big problem with drugs in this area. if you put those two together you are looking at lots of heinous crimes like murder and those types of things,” said Strunk.

Many of the people who came are members of churches from around the county. They came bringing lots of signs saying that they are not afraid to express their opinion against the wet dry vote.

“We are for the good and prosperity of Barbousville,” said Rev. Jim Siler of who also helped organize the rally.
“We are not just here to tell what we are against, we are here to tell what we are for.”

Some said that they want to protect the youth from the effects of alcohol.

“We already have a problem with methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse,” said Steve Smith, a Barbourville resident.
“To put alcohol in the mix I think is a danger, especially for children.”

Smith said that he believes alcohol is a gateway drug.

“Statistics show that the presence of close alcohol outlets close to schools and colleges increases binge drinking, underage drinking,” said Smith.

Many surrounding cities are also considering the possibility of a wet/dry vote but these protestors said they are not afraid to stand alone.

“There is a chance that we are going to be an oasis in a desert, that we are going to be an example of a dry community surrounded by all wet communities,” said Rev. Leonard Lester.
“We want to be able to set an example.”

A public meeting will be held on Jan. 24 at Knox Central High School. Members of the Alcohol and Beverage Control will speak. The vote will take place on Feb. 7 at the National Guard Armory.

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