Stories about the local, state, or national economy.

Caribou Traders Liquor Store will close permanently on Saturday, Jan 4.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Six months have passed since Caribou Traders Liquor Store opened in Bethel. It’s the only liquor store in town after the state Alcohol Beverage Control Board refused to renew AC Liquor Store’s license last May. 

Since AlaskaBUDS first blazed the trail, it seems that the floodgates have opened. At least four more marijuana stores hope to open in Bethel. At least, that’s the number of stores that have notified the city. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

In Western Alaska, accelerating erosion is forcing several villages to consider moving. In Quinhagak, a village on the Bering Sea, erosion is threatening the sewer lagoon and the building that houses its washeteria and health clinic. 

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

On Thursday, the Bethel Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for a liquor store that the Alaska Commercial Company wants to build.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Napakiak applied for a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to help repair its eroding boat landing; spring storms wiped out most of it this year. Now barges, boats, and hovercraft don’t have a place to park.

Bethel City Council chose not to protest the AC Liquor Store, and introduced new restrictions on purchasing and consuming alcohol.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The state’s battle to reduce the size of its budget played out in microcosm in the chambers of the Bethel City Council, which voted unanimously to raise the rent charged to the state for the DMV office in front of city hall. The state had requested a rent lower than market value due to budget cuts, but the city council refused. The difference is several thousand dollars per year, but council member Mitchell Forbes called it principle, the city’s “$6,000 pushback to Gov. [Mike] Dunleavy’s approach to rural Alaska.” 

Alaska Commercial Company has proposed opening a liquor store in the now-shuttered Sammy's Market on Bethel's 3rd Avenue.
Gabby Salgado / KYUK

The Alaska Commercial Company, better known as AC, wants to open another liquor store in Bethel. On Thursday, June 13 the Bethel Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on whether to give the business a permit it would need to do that. Receiving a conditional use permit means that the commission considers the proposed location safe to operate a liquor store. In AC’s case, that location is the old Sammy’s Market on Bethel’s Third Avenue.

ALASKAbuds owner Nick Miller plans to open his store next month.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Bethel is now only weeks away from its first marijuana store. The state Marijuana Control Board approved the license for ALASKAbuds "with delegation."  That means it’s approved with a condition, the condition being state fire marshal approval. 

Nick Miller owns ALASKAbuds with his wife. He also sits on the Marijuana Control Board, but he didn’t get to vote on his own application. Miller says that he is not worried about getting fire marshal approval.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

The Bethel DMV office closed without warning on Friday, May 10. A sign posted next to the door said that the office is closed indefinitely. 

Bethel City Council Has A Lot On Its Plate

May 13, 2019

Bethel’s first marijuana store, finding a city manager, funds for improving the town’s roads, the community service patrol and sobriety center, as well as paying its members are some of the items before the Bethel City Council on Tuesday, May 14.