Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

January 3, 2014

Mineral residents quiz lawmakers on smoking ban

Bill in works that would allow fraternal organizations to decide whether to allow patrons to light up

WILEY FORD, W.Va. — A majority of the residents who spoke during a legislative town hall meeting at the Wiley Ford Volunteer Fire Department on Thursday addressed concerns about the county health department’s ordinance that banned smoking countywide on Oct. 1.

Paul Dornsife, who is a member of Ridgeley American Legion Post 136, questioned if the health department should be responsible for reimbursing businesses that had to establish an outdoor smoking area per the ordinance. Businesses were given until Thursday to prepare their outdoor smoking areas.

“They were supposed to give us ‘No Smoking’ signs. It was to be enacted today and we have yet to receive ‘No Smoking’ signs from the health department,” said Dornsife.

Sen. Craig Blair said that there wasn’t anything in place that would make the health department reimburse the business for establishing outdoor smoking areas. The outdoor areas are required to be located 15 feet or more from any entrance, exit or ventilation units of any buildings or areas where smoking is prohibited, according to the regulations.

Ridgeley Mayor Lynn Carr said that when Rocky Gap Casino Resort opened, fraternal organizations lost 20 percent of their business and that they will probably lose an additional 20 percent due to the smoking ban.

“The veterans organizations, particularly the VFW and the American Legion Post in Ridgeley, have made substantial investments not only in the community but substantial investments in their buildings (to cut down on the effects of smoking),” said Carpendale Mayor Butch Armentrout.

The Ridgeley American Legion has smoke eaters and a separate area inside for smokers, according to Ray Shepherd, who is a member there.

Dornsife said that the health department is responsible for enforcing the ordinance and that the business owner wouldn’t be responsible for enforcing it.

Delegate Gary Howell said he thinks a health department official would have to see someone breaking the law in order to enforce the ordinance. Anyone who violates the regulation will be guilty of a misdemeanor under state code, according to the regulations.

Howell is working on a bill that would require a county commission to vote on any proposal by a county health department before it becomes an ordinance. Board of health members are appointed by county commissioners and the commission has no control over them.

“They shouldn’t be making this call,” said Blair.

Howell said that if the health department wanted to introduce an ordinance that bans any sodas over 12 ounces, like they tried to in New York, that it could be done.

“There is nothing stopping them, there is no elected official that can stand in their way,” said Howell. “You have got an unelected board acting as dictators with no legal oversight.”

Steve Miller, who belongs to the Fort Ashby Veterans of Foreign Wars, cautioned Howell to be careful when he writes the legislation, making sure that it doesn’t undermine the sanitation regulations that the health department has been enforcing for years. The bill would not do that, according to Howell.

“Here is what is going to happen — the health department is going to compare that scum on the dishes to smoke,” said Miller. “You just have to be careful with how you write that.”

Blair is working on legislation that would allow fraternal organizations to decide for themselves whether to allow smoking.

 “If the Democrat leadership won’t run that bill, I will attempt to discharge it on the floor,” said Blair, who noted he is a Republican.

Dornsife voiced his support of Blair’s legislation.

“I’m OK if our members of the Ridgeley Legion voted nonsmoking. I’m better with that than having a bunch of people that has never served their country dictating what’s going to go on in military organizations,” said Dornsife.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • State: County not handcuffed on Terrapin Run

    CUMBERLAND — An attorney with the state Department of Planning said that Allegany County is under no legal obligation to keep the Terrapin Run development in the county’s comprehensive plan. The plan is under consideration by the county planning commission.

    April 21, 2014

  • Work continues on the construction of a gas pipeline in Harmony, Pa. Fracking opponents cringe as unions back drilling boom

    PITTSBURGH — After early complaints that out-ofstate firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they’re now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Four DUI at Pa. sobriety checkpoint

    A sobriety checkpoint and roving patrol by Pennsylvania State Police resulted in four arrests for DUI Friday on state Route 281.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Springs, Pa., man missing since Jan. 6

    SPRINGS, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police are seeking help to find a Springs man missing since Jan. 6.

     

    April 19, 2014

  • Man charged with handgun crime

    Timothy Hart Winkler, 30, Grantsville, was arrested by city officers early Friday after a complainant and a witness said he pulled a handgun during an argument in front of 124 Seymour St.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Redman.asp.jpeg Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City woman charged in domestic call

    CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    April 18, 2014

  • Carlton.jpg Arrest made in alleged drug deal

    CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday