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APNewsBreak: Beer sales plunge near SD reservation

APNewsBreak: Beer sales drop in Neb. border town blamed for SD reservation's alcohol problems By The Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) ' Alcohol sales have plunged in a tiny Nebraska border town blamed for widespread alcoholism on a South Dakota American Indian reservation.

New data obtained by The Associated Press from Nebraska Liquor Control Commission show the number of beer and malt liquor cases sold in Whiteclay fell 13 percent in 2011, reversing years of increases in the town that borders the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

No one was sure what caused the drop. Officials and a store owner say it could be law enforcement, alcohol programs or financial problems.

The town's four beer stores still sold the equivalent of 4.3 million, 12-ounce cans. Critics say Whiteclay feeds alcohol problems on the South Dakota reservation only 200 feet away.

The estimated number of cases sold has increased each year since 2007.

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