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Old 05-04-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
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Exclamation Bear Butte:Sturgis Ignore Indian Rights

Foes to challenge beer permit
By Dan Daly, Journal Staff Writer
STURGIS - The Meade County Commission has received a stack of petition signatures and two court challenges, all seeking to overturn the commission’s decision to grant a beer license to the new Broken Spoke Saloon and Sturgis County Line campground.

The new Sturgis motorcycle rally venue is under construction a couple of miles north of Bear Butte.

Another venue, Rock’n the Rally at Glencoe CampResort, received a full liquor license from the county Tuesday.

Both moves have been greeted with outrage by American Indian groups, who hold Bear Butte as sacred and see the raucous rally moving closer to the mountain. In addition, some rural Meade County ranchers also decried the rally’s eastward expansion from Sturgis.

Ken Chleborad, deputy state’s attorney in Meade County, confirmed Wednesday that the court challenges were filed in 4th Circuit Court on Tuesday afternoon.

One was filed by Rapid City attorney Bruce Ellison on behalf of rural Meade County Jesse Levin and six others.

The other challenge was filed by Tom Van Norman, attorney and state legislator from Eagle Butte, on behalf of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

In addition, petitioners gathered 756 verified signatures seeking to refer the Sturgis County Line beer license to a countywide vote. They needed 745 valid signatures.

Chleborad said the petitions have been forwarded to the Meade County Commission. Commissioners have scheduled a meeting for 9:30 a.m. today to decide how to proceed.

If the commissioners go forward with the election, Chleborad said, a special election is likely.

It’s too late to get the question on the June primary ballot, and by law, the commission can’t wait until the general election in November.

The Bear Butte International Alliance, one of the primary groups circulating petitions, noted in an e-mail Wednesday that county records indicate that Meade County has never had a countywide referendum election.

“The Bear Butte International Alliance members, Meade residents and allies are happy to report that history was made in Meade County in one short week,” the alliance wrote.

Contact Dan Daly at 394-8421 or [email protected]
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