PKB Fortune Telling Ban Upheld

Parkersburg City Council voted to uphold a ban on fortune-telling this week, despite a formal request from a local entrepreneur to do away with the decades-old law.

Last month, Heather Cooper approached council about repealing the 1906 anti-divinity measure, which forbids the practice of any “trade or profession having as its object the foretelling of happenings of future events.”

Cooper, who is a tarot card reader trying to open a metaphysical shop, discovered the troublesome code when it prevented her from being able to obtain a business license to practice her trade.

When she first approached council, members appeared to be open to the possibility of changing the ordinance. However, Tuesday evening council members voted 5 to 3 to keep the law in place (with one council member absent).

It’s unclear what will happen with Cooper’s business as a result of this decision.

About Callie J Lyons

Callie Lyons is an investigative journalist and author living in the Mid Ohio Valley. Her first book, Stain-Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8, is available at and in hundreds of libraries all over the world. Known as a "warrior for public health", Lyons' environmental investigations have been featured in documentaries, including Good Neighbors - Bad Blood and Toxic Soup, on Swedish National Television and in numbers of television, radio and print media interviews. Her work has appeared on Nova's Whiz Kids and in Mother Jones magazine. More recently, a national audience has come to know her award-winning investigative work through the Environmental Working Group and interviews with leading publications like the Huffington Post and The Intercept. Lyons' work was featured in the 2017 documentary Parched:Toxic Waters by National Geographic. The Short, Fantastic Life of a Saloon Girl is Lyons' first published work of historical fiction.
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