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Bridge Day panel to require finger scans after all

Charleston Gazette photo by Erin Beck Alan Lewis of Tennessee speaks in opposition to the new Bridge Day finger scan requirement and also said BASE jumpers feel that the police presence at the event is overbearing.
Charleston Gazette photo by Erin Beck
Alan Lewis of Tennessee speaks in opposition to the new Bridge Day finger scan requirement and also said BASE jumpers feel that the police presence at the event is overbearing.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite staunch opposition from BASE jumpers, the Bridge Day Commission decided during its meeting Wednesday to require finger scans for jumpers, rappellers and vendors.

The commission had said it would reconsider the decision earlier this month after several BASE jumpers spoke out against the requirement. Members of the BASE jumping community said they will travel to Twin Falls, Idaho, for a bridge-jumping event there, instead of coming to West Virginia.

About 450 BASE jumpers typically turn up at the one-day festival, held every third Saturday in October, to jump off of the New River Gorge Bridge.

The commission’s decision came at the conclusion of a heated meeting, in which the public comment portion of the meeting turned into a back-and-forth among BASE jumpers, small business owners and commission members…

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