Beer stores near reservation may have to close

Beer stores near reservation may have to close

The four have always been accused of looking the other way as the equivalent of three-and-a-half million cans of beer a year cross the state line and end up in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, which officially bans the sale and possession of alcohol. Friday is the state Arbor Day holiday and courts are closed. Alcohol is banned on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation but many of its residents make the two mile trek into Whiteclay to buy beer.

The four stores sell 3.5 million cans of beer each year.

Lancaster County District Court Judge Andrew Jacobsen had heard arguments from both sides during a brief hearing yesterday and ruled this morning.

The effect of the appeal is to supersede the judge's ruling, according to Hobe Rupe, the executive director of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.

Maisch said that activists plan to be in Whiteclay, in extreme northwestern Nebraska, on Sunday and Monday to provide water, food and referrals to detox centers for the 15 to 30 street people who openly drink on the streets of the community, and then pass out in vacant lots and abandoned buildings or along the highway. But a few hours later the Nebraska Attorney General filed an appeal. They are appealing a decision last week by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission to deny their renewal applications based on concerns about inadequate law enforcement in the area.

"Without a license, they can't run a business", Snyder said.

"If someone looked at this and followed the law, I was confident of what the outcome would be", he said.

A spokesman for the Oglala Lakota Tribe in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, said he had not yet seen the ruling and needed to consult with the tribe's president before commenting.

Brewer says he doesn't want to be too judgmental about the ruling.

The judge said that prior court rulings made it clear that liquor license holders have a constitutional right to renew their licenses unless they change locations or are convicted of a felony. He called the Liquor Commission's verdict "void on it's face".

Jacobsen ordered the liquor board to not interfere with the renewal process by the four stores. A spokeswoman for the attorney general said state attorneys are reviewing the decision.


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