By Bob Weaver

3/8/2020 - It appears that Calhoun County is now a "wet" county.

The legislative bill if signed into law, will make the entire state “wet” when it comes to the retail sale of liquor and wine, Calhoun County the last dry county in WV.

The bill provides counties an option to go “dry” through a countywide vote. The county commission would have to call for the vote. There are currently 13 “dry” areas in the state, mostly municipalities.

2/27/2020 - Calhoun County is the only county of the 55 not to allow the sale of liquor - no liquor store.

Over the years Calhoun voters have turned it down.

Now comes another pitch for all counties and some dry municipalities to go wet, a legislative effort likely moved forward by lobbyists for distilleries.

The WV House passed HB 4524 which would make the entire state “wet” when it comes to selling alcoholic liquors for off-premises consumption.

There is currently one “dry” county, Calhoun, and a handful of “dry” municipalities when it comes to liquor sales. The bill includes a county option to stay “dry.”

Delegate Kevan Bartlett, R-Kanawha, said there are way too many alcohol-related bills.

“Here we go with another booze bill and I continue to learn and I’m struggling with this body’s apparent obsession with booze and gaming (gambling) and I ask are these truly the high ideals we want to bring to the capitol,” Bartlett, a pastor and freshman delegate said. The House killed a bill, HB 4639, on a 48-51 vote. It would have changed required vehicle inspections from the current one year to two years. Delegate Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, said those who work in the area of vehicle safety didn’t want the bill.

“The state troopers were adamant against this–the state troopers! I almost feel if I vote (for) this I’m breaking the law they were so adamant against it,” Skaff said.

Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral, who owns his own auto garage said the state’s entire inspection system should be scrapped.

“Dishonest shops cheat the customer. They tell them something is wrong with their car and it needs replaced in order to make the money they’re losing on inspections. Most shops are honest,” Howell said.