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Nebraska blocks liquor licenses for stores near South Dakota reservation

Nebraska blocks liquor licenses for stores near South Dakota reservation

For years it's been the center of an epic battle over liquor sales and efforts to combat alcoholism among nearby Native Americans, Whiteclay, Nebraska.

Now, that state's liquor control commission has denied licenses to the four liquor stores there.

Only about a dozen people live in Whiteclay.

But the four stores sell nearly 4 million cans of beer a year, much of it to residents of the nearby Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota where alcohol is banned.

It's a decision South Sioux City Native American activist Frank LaMere has been pushing for years.

It took the commissioners less than half an hour to announce their decision with one commissioner saying he was "appalled" by the situation that's led the area to be called "the skid row of the plains."

"You name it, it happens. Now we know and now we have it on the record and now we can talk about it. And now we have to move forward and make some difference here," said NE Liquor Control Commission Chairman Robert Batt.

The four liquor licenses have valid licenses until April 30th, at which time they'll have to close.

The store owners do can appeal the commission's decision in court.

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