The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

March 14, 2013

Bill would prohibit tattoos for 16-year-olds

CHARLESTON — For a fourth year now, Sen. Mike Green is attempting to keep anyone under 16 from getting a tattoo.

Anyone between 17 and 18 would be required to have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian and be at the tattoo parlor with a photo identification before a youngster in that age bracket could get skin painted.

Before approving his bill Thursday, the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee amended it at the request of freshman Chris Walters, R-Putnam, so that it parallels a similar crackdown on minors using tanning beds.

Green said he initially offered the bill three years ago when approached by Beckley Magistrate Steve Massie in response to a complaint that a sibling took a juvenile sister to a tattoo parlor without the permission of her parents.

When the state code was examined, it was learned there was nothing to prevent this, Green, D-Raleigh, pointed out.

“This requires that a parent or legal guardian would have to sign for anyone under 18,” he said.

Green’s original bill allowed for confiscation of an offending artist but that was softened in committee in an amendment by Walters.

Just as the tightening on the use of tanning beds, the revised proposal now says the local health department may suspend or revoke the owner’s business license.

The tanning measure, SB464, differs in one other aspect — no one under 18 may use one.

“I want to mirror what we did to tanning beds with regard to confiscation of equipment,” Walters said of his amendment.

“It leaves in the fines so we can have some sort of streamline for what we’re doing with tanning facilities.”

Tattoo artists violating the proposed law would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined $100 for a first offense.

A second offense would expose the tattoo artist to a fine ranging between $500 and $1,000, and a jail term of 10 days to one year, while third and subsequent crimes could be punished with fines from $1,000 to $5,000, and a jail sentence of 30 days to one year, or both.

While a third offense would still be considered a misdemeanor, the guilty party would have all tattoo equipment and paraphernalia seized.

Each bill contains a number of health safeguards.

For instance, operators of tanning beds must caution patrons that repeated use of such facilities could lead to burns, eye damage, skin sensitivity, premature aging of the skin and even skin cancer.

Tattoo artists are required to scrub hands and fingernails completely with hot running water and bacterial soap, following by the air-blown drying of the skin.

— E-mail:


Text Only
Latest News
  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday.

    The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.


    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.


    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years. 

    Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day.

    A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output. It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.


    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014

  • VA Greenbrier clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    July 31, 2014

  • prezarrested.jpg Protesters arrested at UMWA Rally in Pittsburgh

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorehead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Mercer shooting sends one to hospital

     One person has been shot following an apparent altercation in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMWA1.jpg More than 5,000 protesting new EPA rules at rally

    Today, 73 buses will bring miners and UMW members to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a labor rally and march through downtown Pittsburgh.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story