RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The agency that oversees Virginia’s beverage control stores and restaurants says alcohol sales have hit a record for the 17th consecutive year. The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said Wednesday that gross sales were a record $848 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, nearly $48 million higher than the previous year. The agency that runs 353 shops throughout the state says it returned a record $152 million in profits to the state, compared to $140 million in fiscal 2014. When combined with state taxes, sales tax, and wine and beer taxes, the department transferred a record $409 million to Virginia’s general fund. That’s $42.4 million more than last year. Since its inception in 1934, the agency has contributed more than $8.6 billion to Virginia’s general fund.