Courtesy Wikipedia

A Nebraska commission is not renewing liquor licenses for stores along the South Dakota border near Pine Ridge. The town of Whiteclay has fewer than one dozen residents. Four businesses there sell millions of cans of beer each year. The liquor licenses expire at the end of the month, but the beer stores may stay open.

Native Americans from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota drink beer in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Witnesses say people who get drunk there urinate in public, assault others, and pass out on the streets.

Nebraska board members are weighing whether they should renew beer store liquor licenses in Whiteclay. The tiny unincorporated town is across the state line from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. People - often Native Americans - buy millions of cans of beer there each year. Thursday the panel heard testimony.

Rapid City Police Department

UPDATE:   A criminal charge against a SkyWest Airlines pilot accused of being under the influence of alcohol before a flight at a South Dakota airport has been dismissed.

The Pennington County State's Attorney’s office filed for dismissal of the case because blood drawn from the pilot hours after a preliminary breath test showed no measurable alcohol in his system.

SD Wineries Can Ship Directly To Customers

Jul 6, 2016
Prairie Berry Winery
Erin Mairose

If you like Zinfandel with a spicy pasta, a Malbec with a thick steak, or Chardonnay with a sweet dessert, South Dakotans can now order wine over the internet.   A new law, in effect for about six months, allows wineries to ship directly to customers across the state.

Sonja Pieper / Flickr commons

In South Dakota, state-run universities have been dry for 77 years.  But not anymore.

In a law passed this year, legislators tapped into a new law that allows alcohol sales at certain events. Those events include performing arts, athletics, fundraising, receptions and conferences. University presidents still have the final say in whether or not to allow alcohol sales on campus.

Janelle Toman, a spokesperson with the Board of Regents, says South Dakota was one of only a few states that still prohibited alcohol sales at state educational institutions…

South Dakota Legislative Research Council

A law taking effect Friday puts safety before arrests. The law gives limited immunity for certain alcohol-related offenses to people who get help for themselves or another person in need of medical attention. One sponsor of the bill believes it could help prevent alcohol poisoning on college campuses.

South Dakota State Legislature

State residents impaired by drugs or alcohol would have immunity from prosecution in some cases, if they help someone in an emergency at the time.  The House Judiciary Committee advanced two bills Wednesday that help people get medical attention when they need it.

Jenifer Jones

The Legislative Podcast for January 25th, 2016 includes stories on an effort to change the policy on transgender bathrooms and locker rooms in schools.  You can find more from opponents, and proponents who were interviewed on SDPB’s Dakota Midday.   This podcast also includes updates on legislation to mandate a meningitis vaccine for entry in school and an effort

Senators voted in favor of changing the way revenue from the alcoholic beverage fund is distributed. Currently, 25 percent of the money goes to municipalities, and 75 percent goes to the state. Senate Bill Two gives 25 percent to counties, 25 percent to towns, and 50 percent to the state. Senator Bob Ewing says counties need more money to care for inmates, many who’ve committed alcohol related crimes.

Legislative Podcast: Mandatory meningitis vaccinations & booze tax split

Jan 20, 2016

Education and Medicaid expansion are the hot topics in Pierre this session…but they’re not the only bills likely to generate public interest. SDPB’s Jenifer Jones has this rundown of some of the other bills the news team is tracking this session.

Heroin Overdoses: Hype Or Actual Pending SD Epidemic?

Dec 17, 2015
Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control describe heroin related deaths as an epidemic in the United States, and some officials have raised concerns South Dakota is about to see a spike in heroin and prescription opioid overdoses.

But, data from the State Department of Health shows that over the last decade heroin overdoses are almost non-existent in South Dakota.   

 And while prescription drug abuse is a concern the numbers of opioid overdose deaths are smaller than other drugs like meth or alcohol.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A 19-year-old Sioux Falls man is dead after a weekend shooting that involved drugs and alcohol. Officers say Mikael Ashame died early Saturday morning from a gunshot wound. The man who shot him is in custody, and authorities arrested another person who owns the gun.

Sioux Falls police officials say they responded to a shooting first as a 911 hang up. Someone said a man shot himself, and another story was a man in a ski mask came in and shot someone. The investigation shows one man is dead following an accidental shooting.

Efforts Underway To Ban Alcohol And Tobacco In SD

Aug 14, 2015

A group is now working to  make booze and tobacco illegal in South Dakota.
Two separate petitions are circulating to add the criminalization of alcohol and tobacco to the 2016 ballot.  Another petition would ask voters to decriminalize marijuana.

Yellow Bird Steel Vows To Continue Prohibition

Jan 7, 2015

Pine Ridge will stay dry if the new Oglala Sioux Tribal President has his way.

President John Yellow Bird Steele says he is opposed to legalized alcohol on Pine Ridge.  He adds that he also opposed legalizing marijuana on Pine Ridge even if the federal government gives tacit approval.

Click play below to hear more.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A federal law now requires colleges to educate students and staff on preventing sexual assault. The guidelines are called the Campus SaVE Act. It’s a response to the growing number of reports that rape and sexual violence are rampant on university campuses across the US.

South Dakota colleges are complying with the Campus SaVE Act to make higher education a safer environment. Some college participants are more vulnerable to encountering sexual assault.

First Annual Sanford FASD Symposium

Mar 7, 2014

The first annual Sanford Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Symposium was held at the research center Thursday, February 27. Dr. Gene Hoyme, Chief Academic Officer at Sanford Health and President and Senior Scientist with Sanford Research, and Kenneth Warren, PhD who is the acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), discussed the symposium.

Business Drinking Hours Remain the Same in Deadwood

Mar 4, 2014

If you want to drink ‘til dawn in a Deadwood casino, you won’t get an OK from state lawmakers. State Senators defeated a measure that allows some businesses in Deadwood to serve alcohol 24 hours a day. House Bill 1123 applies to facilities in Deadwood that offer gaming, hotel rooms, and have an alcohol license. Supporters say Deadwood is losing revenue and this change would allow many main street businesses to reinvent themselves. But opponents argue it only promotes bad behaviors.

Senator David Omdahl spoke against the bill on the floor.

March Into The Light

Sep 3, 2013

September is National Recovery Month.  On Saturday, Face It Together sponsors the third March Into the Light community walk to celebrate recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.  The walk begins at 6:45 a.m. at Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.  Face It Together is a group of social entrepreneurs dedicated to transforming the way our nation treats and understands addiction.  Face It Together CEO Kevin Kirby and Craig Kindrat, Manager of the Avera Behavioral Health Services Addiction Recovery Program, talked about addiction recovery and Saturday's walk on Tuesday's Dakota Midday.

Prohibition Ends On Pine Ridge

Aug 15, 2013

For the first time in decades the Pine Ridge Reservation is lifting prohibition. Alcohol has long been illegal on the reservation.  But, in a referendum vote tribal residents narrowly approved lifting the ban.

The official count is 1871 yes to 1679 no.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Charles Michael Ray has more.

Alcohol Referendum Too Close To Call

Aug 14, 2013

Pine Ridge residents have to wait a little longer to hear the results of a referendum that would end the tribal prohibition of alcohol. Officials say the results are too close to call without more careful examination.    As of election night the results stand at 1,645 in favor of allowing alcohol sales on the reservation,  1,494 against, and 568 challenge ballots.  The official tally may come in on Wednesday but could take as long as Friday to confirm.
SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray has more.

Pine Ridge Polls Prohibition

Aug 12, 2013

Residents of Pine Ridge are going to the polls on Tuesday to decide the fate of the longstanding tribal prohibition of alcohol.  

The special election has divided the tribal council and tribal residents.  

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray spoke with those on either side of the contentious issue for this story.

Tribal President Arrested During Whiteclay Protest

Jun 18, 2013

Oglala Sioux Tribal president Bryan Brewer was arrested Monday while taking part in a protest march against beer sales in the Nebraska town of Whiteclay.

Pine Ridge is dry, and some tribal officials like President Brewer say liquor store owners prey on tribal residents by selling millions of cans of beer each year.

The issue is divisive on Pine Ridge. While many tribal residents want to see Whiteclay closed, others feel protesting against liquor stores won’t solve the problem.

Tribal Council Green Lights Referendum On Alcohol

Jun 12, 2013

The Oglala Sioux people will have a chance to decide in a 2014 referendum if alcohol should remain illegal on Pine Ridge.

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council gave approval to a reservation wide vote on the longstanding prohibition of alcohol.

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray tuned into the tribal council meeting broadcast on K-I-L-I Radio.  He has this report.

City Council Approves Alcohol At Falls Park

May 15, 2013

The Sioux Falls City Council passed an amendment to allow the Overlook Café in Falls Park to serve alcoholic beverages.  Even though seven council members voted in favor of the amendment, it didn’t always have a lot of support.

Good Samaritan Immunity Bill Dies

Feb 27, 2013

A bill granting limited immunity to a minor consuming or possessing alcohol died in the House Judiciary committee Wednesday. The proposed statute would exempt minors from being charged with alcohol-related crimes if they assisted a sick or injured person and stayed to cooperate with emergency personnel.

According to testimony, young people drink irresponsibly in our culture. Some of them take off instead of sticking around to help friends who might be hurt or sick from drinking alcohol or using other drugs.