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Gov. Justice allows bars to open in time for gameday

This weekend is the first time bars in Monongalia County have been open for a college football gameday this season and the first home football game to allow fans.

Gov. Jim Justice allowed bars in the county to reopen on Tuesday after closing them “indefinitely” on Sept. 2. He said he would be ordering extra enforcement in the county.

The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration has been out since bars reopened and will continue to go out, spokesperson Gary Robinson said.

He declined to say if the agency was sending more agents than it would on a normal gameday weekend, because the agency does not disclose operational details.

“But, we’re out there,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he was unaware of any citations on Thursday night because there is a lag time between a citation being issued and the local agents sending the report to Charleston.

The Morgantown Police Department will also have a presence both downtown and at the football game.

“For the weekend, we’re obviously going to have people out,” Interim Chief of Police Eric Powell said.

Robinson said bars are responsible for controlling their own lines — even on public property. 

Powell said he believes most bars have increased staffing to help with that issue, but officers can help if approached by bar staff. On Thursday, Powell said no bars had contacted the department about the issue.

West Virginia University kicks off at noon today against Kansas and is letting fans in to 25% of capacity.

There will be extra officers patrolling and looking for parties and tailgates, and the department will have a presence inside the stadium but not as big as it normally would be, Powell said. The department also does not anticipate a huge problem with traffic.

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