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Lottery to be used to handle W.Va. land searches

Jul. 19, 2013 @ 02:08 PM

MIDDLEBOURNE, W.Va. (AP) — Tyler County is using a lottery to help keep oil and gas drilling companies from camping around the courthouse to research property deeds.

Starting Friday, Tyler County Clerk Teresea Hamilton will allow abstractors to randomly draw numbers to determine who will get one of the 96 coveted daily slots to access the records vault.

Officials told The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that they hope the move will prevent the abstractors and their so-called “line holders” from camping around the courthouse all night long.

Middlebourne residents turned out Thursday to meet with county officials about the issue.

To accommodate the crowds, the courthouse has extended its hours and abstractors have been limited to two hours each inside the vault. The vault can only accommodate 16 people at a time.

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