Whitesburg Goes "Wet"

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

It's been 60 years since a wet-dry vote in Whitesburg and residents voted overwhelmingly to let certain restaurants sell liquor.

The unofficial results show more than 400 votes in favor of allowing alcohol sales in restaurants and less than 200 against.

The polls were open for 12 hours Tuesday and citizens of Whitesburg were able to come out and cast their ballot for or against alcohol in restaurants.

Residents have been debating whether it will bring in more money and business or alcoholism.
“Its a piece of economic development and we're very excited and I think it will bring some new business to town, some new restaurants,” Josephine Richardson said.

Josephine Richardson is the owner of the Courthouse Café in Whitesburg and she says she supports Legal, Responsible sales of alcohol.

“It’s a really good step towards progress for the community, for the county,” Richardson said.

While the majority of those who voted approved the new law, some in Whitesburg are not so supportive.

“I feel like alcohol in the restaurants will just promote more alcohol on the road,” Susie Fleming said.

Some say they're unhappy the vote wasn't open to all of Letcher County.

“The whole county is going to have to come in and sit and watch people drink, bring our children and I just don't believe its right,” Starla Holbrook said.

County and City officials gathered in the court house after polls closed waiting for the final results.

“I’ve lived in the city of Whitesburg all my life and I think this is a great opportunity for the city to help bring in new business in the city and make our city grow,” Ron Baker said.

Mayor Craft says it will probably be a few months before the law goes into affect.

In order to serve alcohol in Whitesburg, restaurants must be able to serve at least one hundred people and 70 percent of sales must be from food.

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  • by Linda Location: Johnson Co., KY on Jan 26, 2008 at 05:48 PM
    What was th name of the book written by a Darby (last name unknown) about the murder of Dr. Aker's daughter in Fleming-Neon, KY and the theft of almost a million dollars in cash?
  • by Janet Perkins Location: Lexington, KY on May 2, 2007 at 07:20 AM
    Having been born in Letcher County and raised just outside of Whitesburg it came as welcome news to hear that my hometown is finally breaking free from it's backwards belief that progress is bad. I suppose the number of people in Whitesburg that are afraid of change has decreased and peoples minds are beginning to open up to the idea that moving into the modern era is not a bad thing. I was recently told that Whitesburg now has a Mexican Restaurant that is not owned by one of the few that control everything in that town. I can't believe it but I'm glad to hear it.
  • by Charity Wroblewski Location: Springfield MO on Apr 26, 2007 at 05:54 PM
    I grew up in Letcher CO. and it seems that it is going down hill because there isn't enough employment to keep people there. I left partly because of that reason. I think that becoming wet, hopefully at some point they will get where you can have liqour stores etc...will bring even more job attraction. I have lived in Lexington, Denver and now here in MO and I couldn't imagine a city without alcohol sales. I am happy that this has happened.
  • by David Taylor Location: Whitesburg, Ky on Apr 22, 2007 at 08:08 PM
    Whitesburg being voted wet brings new oppritunity to an otherwise dying city. As with anything new a certain segement of society is going to be aganist this idea for no other reason that it's a change. Some people don't accept or deisre change at all. I predict that within 1 year everyone will be in full support of this amazing step forward into the modern area as we slip all so slightly free from the strangle hold the religion has had on us for so long.
  • by Della Location: Texas on Apr 20, 2007 at 07:05 AM
    I am from Letcher Couty born and raised there the last time I was in Letcher county Whitesburg looked like a Ghost town just a few stores left and the jail, with making Letcher County wet the rich is helping the drunks get drunker, its ok to have a drink occasionally, I'm like the one person that did a post, go ahead when your kid is killed by these drunks are you going to build a bigger jail with all the tax money, well get all the crooks out of Letcher Office first and get someone in there that wonts to help the county and its people then you wont have to make Letcher County wet.
  • by Brent Hatley Location: Whitesburg, KY on Apr 20, 2007 at 06:03 AM
    Within 30-45 days the first resturant will begin serving alochol and the City of Whitesburg will begin to receive tax money from it. Everyone will be better off, for the first time in my life a political leader in Letcher County has done something that will help everyone. Their are already two new resturants under construction in buldings located in downtown Whitesburg that would have otherwise been left vacant. Statics have proven that their is no increase in the amount of drunk drivers in a wet area as opposed to a dry area. In fact, their are actually less drunk drivers in wet areas. Sadly, the realy problem our area faces is not drinking it's drug's and that is problem that their is no answer for. Thank you Mayor Craft for bringing Whitesburg into the modern era.
  • by Julia Location: germany on Apr 20, 2007 at 05:12 AM
    Those People who drive drunk will do it anyway, if they buy it in letcher county or go drink somewhere else and drive back home. I have that feeling that a lot of people think everybody who drinks will drive home, there are a lot of people out here, who are responsible when they drink, they don´t drive, and how I said the people who drink and drive will do that anyway it doesn´t matter where they can go and buy alcohol!!!
  • by Bob Location: Littcarr on Apr 20, 2007 at 03:46 AM
    Thats great. Now they can stay in their county and get drunk and drive.
  • by Darlene Location: Nicholasville on Apr 19, 2007 at 08:01 PM
    I am from Letcher County and am very happy to see this happen. People are going to drink regardless. All the taxes are going to surrounding counties or states. This should also bring new jobs to Whitesburg, which they are in desperate need of. I say that someone is finally seeing the light and the county can move ahead.
  • by Allison Location: Whitesburg, KY on Apr 19, 2007 at 02:07 PM
    I'm 23 years old and for the first time in my life their is a very strong positive energy in Whitesburg. Many people are very optimistc that a great thing is about to happen. I think it's a real shame that the people of the county who attend church have used biblical references and inaccurate facts in regard to insurance rates going up, crime being on the raise if Whitesburg is voted wet. All of those things have been proven to not happen in other cities. The religious fanatics are a big part of the reason Letcher County can't get anything; there is a church on every corner.


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