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Pastor Raises Money To Buy Out Liquor Stores Near Reservation

The Arrowhead Inn is one of 4 Whiteclay, Neb., stores that sell 4 million cans of drink annually. The stores are now adult for sale.

Jim Kent/NPR


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Jim Kent/NPR

The Arrowhead Inn is one of 4 Whiteclay, Neb., stores that sell 4 million cans of drink annually. The stores are now adult for sale.

Jim Kent/NPR

The city of Whiteclay, Neb., has a race of 14 people. Its 4 wine stores sell 4 million cans of drink any year, mostly to residents of a Pine Ridge Reservation, that is strictly dry and right opposite a state line.

The bid to tighten a Whiteclay stores has spanned decades. But there’s an attack on dual fronts, including one from a apportion who’s looking to buy a stores.

Pastor Bruce BonFleur is one of a dozen people who were allocated to a Whiteclay Task Force a year ago by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. Their idea was to find solutions to a prolonged simmering conflict.

“It was about mid by that final year that during one of those meetings,” he says, “one of a drink store owners in disappointment only kind of blurted out, ‘We only need to sell. we need to sell. Get out!’ “

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Those comments echoed by all a store owners reflected disappointment from years of criticism over a sale of ethanol to genealogical members.

“So when he pronounced that, we pronounced that to him, ‘Well, if that unequivocally becomes a conditions that you’re critical about, come see me,’ ” BonFleur says. ” ‘I don’t have any income bags trustworthy to me, yet we do have some contacts with foundations and other groups of people.’ About 4 months later, one of a drink store owners representing all 4 gathering into a drive during a residence in Whiteclay and pronounced ‘Hey, a guys have got together, and we wish to sell.’ “

So BonFleur shaped a non-profit and went to work perplexing to lift a capital. His idea is to tighten a stores while assisting a Oglala Sioux Tribe and revitalizing a little city of Whiteclay.

The store owners reliable that effort, yet citing concerns over a sale, nothing concluded to go on record for this story. The cost they gave BonFleur was $6.3 million.

“We wish that a good people of Nebraska and whoever else hears this national or worldwide whatever will contend this is one approach that we can finish this — we can finish this travesty,” he says.

Outside State Line Liquor, Apr Thunder Hawk is only removing in her car. The immature Lakota lady is orderly dressed in jeans and a light coupler and is carrying a tiny paper bag. She says that even yet she stops by here regularly, she’d be happy if all a stores closed.

“It only looks joyless around here,” she says. “It’s only horrible. we don’t like these 4 stores, yet we still come here.”

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There aren’t many other options, even for snacks and soothing drinks. But there are skeleton underway for a improved destiny for Whiteclay. BonFleur says his crony is environment adult a room for donated building materials to emanate mini homes. And Family Dollar has announce a Whiteclay plcae once a wine stores are gone.

Nebraska State Sen. Tom Brewer is a member of a Oglala clan and is a initial Native American to offer in his state’s legislature. He says there are mostly other factors call a store owners to sell.

“There is charges right now opposite all 4 store owners for piracy and a fact that there’s been several hundred ambulance calls,” he says. “And it only has turn a terrible burden.”

That weight could be carried on Thursday when a Nebraska Liquor Commission decides either to replenish a stores’ licenses.

Even if doesn’t, lawsuits are expected and sales could continue. So BonFleur will keep perplexing to lift a millions required to buy out a stores and tighten their businesses once and for all.