ASHDOWN, Ark. (AP) - State officials have issued the first permits allowing the construction of liquor stores in Little River County in southwest Arkansas after voters legalized alcohol sales last year.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that the Arkansas Alcohol Beverage Control Commission voted Wednesday to approve the permits for two liquor stores in Ashdown. Little River County qualified for two liquor stores under state law, though retail stores can apply for permits to sell wine and beer as well.

Voters approved the sales of beer and wine in retail stores last November after a petition drive placed the measure on the ballot. Before that, voters had last considered legalizing alcohol sales about 70 years ago, when the measure failed.