Nebraska beer stores near reservation lose liquor licenses

The tap runs dry for Whiteclay beer vendors

Nebraska Panel Denies Whiteclay Liquor License Applications

For two decades, he's called for an end to alcohol sales in Whiteclay, Nebraska, due to the terrible consequences.

The four stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska, that sell over three million cans of beer a year, mainly to residents of liquor-free Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, could be seeing the end of their monopoly.

"I don't think it's going to make a difference", he said of the commission's decision. I think Nebraskans won.

Pansing Brooks said she felt it when LaMere first spoke to her.

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The four stores only sell beer.

"This is more proof that this is politically motivated and not based on the facts", Snyder said of the vote. Steadily mounting pressure forced the liquor commission to monitor the four beer stores and the area's questionable law enforcement.

They also maintain that closing down the stores will not solve liquor woes on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Bruce BonFleur, who founded the ministry 13 years ago, said this could be a transformative decision for Whiteclay.

A state liquor board took the unprecedented step Wednesday of voting to deny the renewal of the liquor licenses of four beer stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska. They can appeal the ruling.

That is the upshot of a decree a unanimous vote of the Nebraska State Liquor Control Commission at 11:14 a.m. Wednesday - a decision that triggered cheers and tears in a standing-room-only hearing room on the fifth floor of the Nebraska State Office Building.

In that case, the State Supreme Court overturned the commission's 2004 denial of a license for one of the stores, the Arrowhead Inn, saying not enough evidence had been produced to show the store's owner was unqualified to hold a license.

The Whiteclay beer stores have been criticized for years for contributing to alcohol-related problems on the adjacent Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where alcohol possession and sales are legally prohibited. "I've seen a lot of people who I would consider friends here in Whiteclay die over the years that I've been here", said Neumann. In Whiteclay, vagrants openly drink, urinate and pass out on the streets.

"[This] will save a lot of people.lot of kids that are suffering,"Dull Knife said of Wednesday's decision". "They always take care of us".

"A dark cloud has been lifted off of Nebraska today", he said.

Adequate law enforcement, by law, is a condition for issuing a liquor license in a community or neighborhood.

State regulators reviewed the stores' licenses amid complaints that the town lacks adequate law enforcement to address frequent violence, drunken driving and other crimes.

Messages left with the beer store owners were not immediately returned.

David Domina, the Omaha lawyer representing five Sheridan County residents who protested the licenses this year, said he doesn't believe the 2006 result is likely to be repeated. It spilled over into issues like bootlegging, human trafficking and public health hazards.

Nebraska state Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, an Oglala Lakota Tribe member whose district includes Whiteclay, said he and other lawmakers will continue their recently announced push to clean up the garbage-strewn town and promote economic development in the area.

Advocates blame the stores for the reservation's high rates of fetal alcoholism and poverty.

"It's nearly like assisted suicide", Batt said, calling on the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Department of Interior and ultimately President Donald Trump to intervene.

"If we can fix countries all over the world, we need to fix the poorest county in North America", he said.

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