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Newport Liquor license suspended after failed compliance check

Newport Liquor will be without its liquor license for one day in January after selling beer to a minor, the City Council decided.

On Oct. 30, Newport police conducted an alcohol compliance check at the store. A 29-year-old store clerk who lives in Woodbury sold a 12-pack of beer to an 18-year-old male who was working with police to conduct the compliance check.

The store clerk admitted to police he did not check the customer’s identification.

According to city ordinance, City Attorney Fritz Knaak said, a one-day liquor license suspension is appropriate.

The City Council chose Jan. 2 for the store to remain closed. Council member Bill Sumner said that date was least detrimental to the business as “everyone will be stocked up from New Year’s.”

Owner Jeerasak Poophakumpanart apologized for the violation, the store’s first.

“I am going to be more strict and train more employees,” he told the council. “I take responsibility.”

Council member Steve Gallagher cautioned Poophakumpanart and said the penalty for the second infraction would be more severe.

The council also suggested Poophakumpanart and his staff participate in a county-led educational session regarding liquor sales, an opportunity he said he would offer to his employees.