BETHEL, Alaska (AP) – Bethel’s only operating liquor store has been shut down by the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

KYUK-AM reports that the board voted Tuesday to not renew the license for AC Quickstop’s liquor store.

The board’s decision will go into effect immediately. The license denial was in response to the Bethel City Council’s protest against AC Quickstop.

Bethel City Attorney Patty Burley told board members that the rate of alcohol-related deaths in Bethel has dramatically increased since AC Quickstop’s liquor store opened in 2016. The Bethel Police Department and paramedics have also experienced an overwhelming increase in calls.

The board made their decision after listening to almost five hours of tense and tearful public comments. Most of the people who spoke described the devastation that alcohol has caused in their communities.

Information from: KYUK-AM,

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