A pittance or a start for beer-soaked Whiteclay?

Published Monday April 12, 2010

Some Nebraska lawmakers call it a measly sum that won’t do much. Others call it a start in trying to ease problems in and near Whiteclay.

On Monday, they gave final approval to a bill (LB1002) that, if approved by Gov. Dave Heineman, would set aside $25,000 and allow the state to hire a grant writer at a cost of about $31,000.

Supporters hope it will help attract more dollars for an alcohol-detoxification center or more law enforcement.

Four stores in the village of 14 sell a total of about 4 million cans of beer annually, mostly to residents of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The reservation, which bars alcohol, is within walking distance of Whiteclay. The reservation has one of the country’s highest alcoholism-related mortality rates.

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