By Bob Weaver

Hold the candle high to more centralization.

Calhoun County citizens will no longer be able to take their driver's exam at the Grantsville State Police barracks.

The Department of Motor Vehicles advised in a press release they are "phasing out driver's license and renewals at remote sites."

The recent round of "phasing out" affects Grantsville, Clay and Harrisville, among other locations.

Calhoun citizens needing to take driver's tests or renew their license must go to the regional office in Spencer after August 1.

The DMV says requiring residents to go to one of their 21 regional offices will drastically reduce costs from $100 per customer at a remote site to $3 to $5 at a regional office.

The DMV currently employs 525 full-time people. Eliminating the remote sites will eliminate about twelve jobs, according to administrator Douglas Stump.

David Hedges, publisher of Spencer newspapers, said he was amazed at a system that spends millions in acquiring or leasing buildings, particularly when "They open (regional) offices for what you mostly can do for the price of a postage stamp."

Hedges said the arrangements with the State Police barracks was likely "free or low cost."

The 21 regional offices are at Beckley, Bridgeport, Elkins, Flatwoods, Franklin, Huntington. Kanawha City, Lewisburg, Logan, Martinsburg, Moorefield, Morgantown, Moundsville, Parkersburg, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Romney, Spencer, Welch, Williamson and Winfield.