WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2015 By Paul Hammel / Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — First-year Gov. Pete Ricketts is pledging to form a group to help devise a strategy to address the alcohol-related woes of Whiteclay, Nebraska.

The governor met Tuesday afternoon with two representatives of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, who expressed optimism that changes would come to the unincorporated village frequently criticized for beer sales to residents of an officially dry Indian reservation just across the border in South Dakota.

“For the first time I feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t felt that way for a while,” said Judi Gaiashkibos, the commission’s executive director.

“It was a very positive meeting,” said Tom Brewer, the vice chairman of the commission.

The meeting came only hours after representatives of a Whiteclay street ministry met with Attorney General Doug Peterson to ask for increased law enforcement in Whiteclay, where four beer-only liquor stores sell the equivalent of 4 million cans of beer a year.

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