Whiteclay liquor licenses under review amid outcry in Nebraska

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission hearings originally scheduled for March 7th to review the new applications for...

Posted by Nebraska Liquor Control Commission on Friday, February 24, 2017

Nebraska Liquor Control Commission on Facebook: Hearing on Whiteclay Liquor Licenses on April 6 at the State Capital Building. Lincoln

Officials in Nebraska finally appear to be taking a stronger stance on liquor issues in the border town of Whiteclay.

Whiteclay is home to four liquor stores that sell millions of cans of beer every year, primarily to residents of the nearby Pine Ridge Reservation, where alcohol is outlawed. For decades, leaders and citizens of the Oglala Sioux Tribe have questioned whether authorities have turned a blind eye to law enforcement, regulatory and social problems in the small community.

“It promotes so much misery, that little town,” Andrea Two Bulls told The New York Times, which published a lengthy story about Whiteclay in its Sunday print edition.

After years of complaints, the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission scheduled a hearing on April 6 to determine whether it should renew the licenses for the four businesses. But the owners are trying to get the hearing canceled, The Omaha World-Herald reported

A 2013 protest against liquor sales in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Photo: Confrontational Media

Meanwhile, the state attorney general filed 22 citations against the stores, The World-Herald reported earlier this month. Among other allegations, they are being accused of selling to bootleggers, an issue that had long been raised by the tribe and activists.

The complaint is likely to lead to another hearing before the liquor commission. It's expected to take place in early May or possibly June, The Sioux City Journal reported.

Read More on the Story:
Nebraska May Stanch One Town’s Flow of Beer to Its Vulnerable Neighbors (The New York Times 3/25)
Whiteclay beer stores accused of selling to bootleggers (The Sioux City Journal 3/26)

Some Opinions:
Editorial: New approach to enforcement of liquor laws in Whiteclay cracks open the door to hope (The Omaha World-Herald 3/19)
Joel Kennedy: Address Whiteclay's underlying issues (The Omaha World-Herald 3/27)

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