LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) A Nebraska village blamed for fueling alcohol-related problems on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has become a virtual ghost town as mental health and substance abuse advocates arrive to help people.
The advocates found empty streets in Whiteclay, a sharp contrast from the usual scenes of drunkenness, loitering and violence in a town that sells millions of cans of beer each year near the home of the Oglala Lakota Tribe.
The push to offer services comes in the midst of a major shakeup in Whiteclay, a town with nine full-time residents. All four of its beer stores closed on Sunday after state regulators refused to renew their licenses, citing concerns about inadequate law enforcement. The stores are appealing the decision.