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Ricketts: Closing Whiteclay stores won’t fix alcohol issues

Ricketts: Closing Whiteclay stores won’t fix alcohol issues

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says he doubts the closure of
four beer stores on the state border will fix the alcohol-related problems on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Ricketts said Monday that addressing the issue will likely require action within the reservation, which is home to the Oglala Lakota Nation.

The Nebraska Supreme Court issued a ruling on Friday that upheld a state commission’s decision not to renew the stores’ licenses in the village of Whiteclay.

The stores had sold the equivalent of about 3.5 million cans of beer
annually in the unincorporated town, despite having nine residents. Before the stores were closed, Whiteclay had served as a hangout for people to loiter.

Ricketts notes that Nebraska’s state government helped pay demolition costs for two abandoned buildings in Whiteclay.

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