Winchester business at center of controversy

Published 11:10 am Friday, April 26, 2024

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On Tuesday, a Lexington Avenue business was at the center of a debate at a Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission meeting.

The commission said it has received backlash from featuring an event hosted by the Crystal Coven Cottage, a local metaphysics store, in their monthly newsletter.

“People who object to this believe that the tourism department should not be promoting any business that sells witchcraft materials,” said Clark County District 4 Magistrate Mark Miller.

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Miller went on to allude that the commission, which receives government funding, promoting the event violates the separation of church and state.

“It is spiritual in nature, and it is not a government-funded commission, such as tourism, to promote spirituality, such as Christianity,” he said.

However, store owner Shannon Tipton disagreed.

“I don’t claim a religion. I’m a metaphysical shop. I am registered as a business. Not a church,” she said.

Tipton said she has received threats from community members and that many of her customers are now afraid to come in to shop.

A small group of protestors and many of those in attendance at the meeting spoke out in support of Tipton.

The commission did not come to a decision during Tuesday’s meeting.

The Clark County Fiscal Court was the site of another discussion regarding the matter at its Thursday meeting.

Another large crowd showed up to support Tipton and her store, including during public comment time.

Winchester resident Jamal Morton said that the store does nothing to harm the community.

Lauren Woodring called on Miller to resign from his position.

Tipton appealed for Miller please stop commenting on and encouraging discourse about her business.