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How Whiteclay is doing after liquor stores stop selling

Posted at 10:11 PM, May 24, 2017

Three weeks ago the liquor stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska stopped selling alcohol. This came after the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission decided to not renew their licenses because they want adequate law enforcement.

FULL COVERAGE: Whiteclay liquor stores

The small town of less than 12 people are waiting for a Supreme Court decision is the LCC”s order will stand.

But those in town have said the progress made since the alcohol stopped selling has been amazing, “A lot of the people who were on the street have moved into pine ridge, some have gone back to families and homes,” said Whiteclay resident Bruce BonFleur.

The Pine Ridge Reservation sits about a mile north from Whiteclay and is impacted the most by the cut off. Tribal leaders blamed the liquor stored for feeding their people “poinson.” One in four babies on the reservation has fetal alcohol syndrome. But leaders have said the stores closing is a step toward helping the Lokota people.

“I think for the first time they felt the people in Nebraska cared enough,” said Senator Tom Brewer who is a part of the Legislative task force who will now work to rebuild Whiteclay.

“How do we add more businesses to the town, how do we make more jobs available,” he said.
Last weekend more than 50 people from the reservation, county, and state met in Whiteclay to discuss what happens next.

“This wasn't a rehash of the past, this was a hopeful look at the future,” said BonFleur.

The Supreme Court decision will come in a few months. This week they ordered the LCC to submit their brief by July 10th and the liquors store to submit their brief by July 31st, oral arguments are set for August 29th.

3 News Now will continue to follow the story and bring you updates.