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Strikingly different portraits of the two-block strip of highway known as Whiteclay clashed in a state Capitol hearing room Thursday through nearly 10 hours of testimony before the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.

Abram Neumann, and Bruce and Marsha BonFleur — three of Whiteclay's eight official residents — described a filthy, sometimes frightening place where drunkenness and violence among the street population goes virtually untreated by area law enforcement.

Marsha BonFleur recalled responding to screams from a woman who was being followed by six men she claimed had gang-raped her. Another time, she found a woman passed out along the street with her jeans around her ankles and her underwear below her knees.

But local officials and owners of Whiteclay's four beer stores portrayed the unincorporated village as little more than a rough-edged row of family-run businesses, where policing could improve, but is far from insufficient. 

"I think we have adequate law enforcement. In fact, probably a little better than that," said James Krotz, a county commissioner in Sheridan County, which includes Whiteclay.