Trucks pick-up beer from Whiteclay

Posted By: Kelsey Murphy

11–year–old Herman, a Whiteclay resident, darts off to his school bus, feeling a sense of normalcy for the first time Monday morning. The only student to be picked up by the bus here, rides out of a cleaner version of his town.

Nine hours after the four Whiteclay liquor stores lost their licenses, the atmosphere has changed, but there’s still beer.

This time it’s leaving the stores and not into the hands of people aching for their next sip.

"Alcohol is the most important thing. Anything we go through is the same, but there is no breaks by the time you realize what is happening to your body it’s too late, so you go on," says Horus Wounded Arrow, Pine Ridge Resident.

Budweiser trucks cleared out the stores early Monday morning. After closing a day early, the store owners were there. They asked not to be on camera. Owner of Pioneer Service said he’s still waiting for a legitimate reason to close, saying a lack of law enforcement isn’t reason enough. Owner of Jumping Eagle told us while he’s in the market for a new job, he plans to fight to regain his license, even if it takes years.

Both said opening Sunday wasn’t worth the trouble.

Activist Frank LeMere says this is the best he’s ever seen Whiteclay, but knows there’s still a lot of work to be done.

"All we have is the truth, and the truth is that people have neglected this community. Even those in the public trust we are going to be hard to live with probably we are going to be asking everybody, why you are not there dealing with the issues," says LeMere.

Beer store owners said they didn’t lose any money returning their inventory. State Senators will make the trip this month to map out a plan for Whiteclay.