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The Budweiser trucks rolled into Whiteclay early Monday for what could be the last time. But instead of hauling cases into the village’s four beer-only liquor stores, a group of men brought stacks and stacks of boxes out to load into the truck.

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The BonFleurs, who say they were called by God to this “skid row of the Plains,” have proposed a buyout of Whiteclay’s four beer-only liquor stores. They hope to raise as much as $6.3 million from private and public sources to finally close down the stores after years of protests and other efforts have failed.

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The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, citing questions about inadequate law enforcement in the tiny village, voted 3-0 to require the four stores to reapply for their liquor licenses. That is an involved process that will require a review by the Sheridan County Board, probably a public hearing and then a final vote by the state liquor commission.

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A group of advocates, addressing members of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, said that an ad hoc committee, among six recommendations, asked that a full-time police officer be stationed in Whiteclay, an unincorporated remote town that sells nearly 4 million cans of beer a year. Almost all of the beer is sold to residents of the officially dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

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