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Judge could rule soon to let beer stores keep licenses

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Four Nebraska beer stores could learn soon whether they can stay in business near a South Dakota Indian reservation plagued by alcoholism while they appeal a state regulator’s ruling that could force them to close.

A judge may decide as soon as Thursday whether to suspend the ruling against the stores in Whiteclay while they appeal their case. The stores sell millions of cans of beer annually next to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. An attorney for the stores argued Wednesday that his clients can’t stay in business if their licenses expire as scheduled on Sunday.

Attorney Andrew Snyder is asking the judge to let the stores automatically renew their licenses, as they have in previous years.

Critics blame the stores for problems on the reservation including high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome.

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