NE: County official: More resources needed for Whiteclay
The Washington Times
By Grant Schulte – Associated Press
October 11, 2016
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A northwest Nebraska county needs more resources to address the panhandling and decay in a tiny village known for selling millions of cans of beer annually near South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian reservation, a local commissioner told state lawmakers on Tuesday.
Sheridan County Commissioner Jack Andersen said local officials don’t have adequate law enforcement in Whiteclay, an unincorporated village of about a dozen people and four beer stores that sold the equivalent of 3.5 million cans of beer last year. Andersen said he’d like to see a regular officer stationed in the village.
“We absolutely do not” have the resources to deal with Whiteclay, Andersen said in testimony to the Legislature’s General Affairs Committee. “We really need help with law enforcement.”
Whiteclay sits on the state line about two miles south of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the reservation’s main village. The reservation, home of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is plagued by poverty, alcoholism and high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome.
Activists who want to close the beer stores said Andersen’s statement shows that state alcohol regulators should not renew the stores’ licenses. Nebraska law requires adequate law enforcement near establishments that sell alcohol.
“I think Sheridan County not only has the right but the responsibility to take action against those (liquor) licenses,” said John Maisch, a former Oklahoma alcohol regulator who produced a documentary about Whiteclay.