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Hancock County

Hancock County

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Handicapped fishermen eye changes at local state park

Updated: Monday, April 28 2014, 06:44 PM EDT
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. – A local man is voicing his frustration about a problem he says is going on at Tomlinson Run State Park in Hancock County.
People who are handicap cannot go fishing at the state park because there is simple no handicap accessible areas for them.
“I’m 60 years old and I’ve been up here since I was 3 years old and my dad brought me up here fishing,” handicapped fisherman Kenneth Tingler said. “I always fished up here every year.”
Tingler enjoys hunting and fishing, but just a few years ago it became a little hard for him to do what he enjoys most. He lost his leg when he was 17 years old, but that never stopped  him from fishing at the park.
Tingler was able to walk down the hills when he had a prosthetic leg, but through the years his legs have gotten weaker and he can no longer use a prosthetic, making it tougher for him to get around.
 “A man should be able to come up here and fish and enjoy his day fishing and relaxation,” Tingler said.
He now fishes at a lake a few miles down from the road. The problem is he can't park close to the dock because the park prohibits it. He says he'd
rather get an $80 fine than try and walk down a road that he can't even make it down.
Hancock County commissioners say they are  working hard to make it possible for the handicap community to go fishing at the park.
They say one solution is to get rid of an old access road gate that goes down to the boat docks.
Commissioners said one of the many solutions to make the fishing areas handicap accessible is to open a road gate that is only used for employees. Commissioner Micheal Swartz said it's as simple as opening up the gate and putting up a sign for handicap access.
They say they are working with officials who work at the park to find a solution soon.

Handicapped fishermen eye changes at local state park

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