The future of four stores that sell beer in Whiteclay, Neb., could be up to Sheridan County officials.
The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission (LCC) ordered the four stores to file a new retail application.
Hobert Rupe, LCC executive director, says the issue is whether there is adequate law enforcement in Whiteclay.
He says the LCC makes the final decision, based on local input.
“Traditionally, LCC has always relied upon the people who actually offer the law enforcement, so the county officials, the city officials, depending on where it would be at,” Rupe tells Nebraska Radio Network. “In this case here, one of the three commissioners in Sheridan County said they didn’t have adequate law enforcement. Well, that’s sort of one of the requirements for a license to be issued.”
The stores have 30 days to file their applications and Rupe says the LCC will likely make a decision in February.
“We would have to see what recommendation (Sheridan County commissioners) would make,” he says. “They could either deny the renewals, approve the renewals, or make no recommendation.”
The public also has a chance to weigh in.
“We could get a public protest on it, so it’s really speculative as to what we would do or wouldn’t do,” Rupe says. “It depends on what information comes back, because that’s the purpose of the long form (application) – to gather information.”
Native Americans from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which prohibits alcohol, cross the state line to buy beer in Whiteclay.
Lawmakers and activists say the alcohol sales are causing criminal and social problems in the area.
The four stores that sell beer in Whiteclay are Arrowhead Inn, D & S Pioneer Service, Jumping Eagle Inn, and State Line Liquor.