West Virginia Week in Review - April 26, 2019




Gov. Justice announces additional $2.235 million in federal grant funding for various community improvement projects
This week, Gov. Justice visited three communities across West Virginia's northern panhandle, announcing that an additional $2.235 million in federal grant funding has been awarded to go toward broadband and wastewater improvement projects.


Gov. Justice made stops to announce the following four grant awardees:

Town of Pine Grove: $1.03 million for wastewater system improvements in the Town of Pine Grove [Read More]

City of Cameron: $955,000 for wastewater system improvements in the City of Cameron [Read More]

Marshall County Commission: $125,000 for a broadband development study in Marshall, Ohio and Wetzel counties [Read More]

Brooke County Commission: $125,000 for a broadband development study in Brooke and Hancock counties [Read More]




Gov. Justice cuts ribbon on expansion of MPLX Sherwood Gas Processing Complex
Thursday, Gov. Justice participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, celebrating an expansion of the MPLX Sherwood Gas Processing Complex in Doddridge County, which – even before expanding – was already the largest gas-processing facility in all of North America. In addition to cutting the ribbon, the governor spoke at Thursday's event. [Recap Video]


The expansion will add an additional 400 million cubic feet per day to the complex's previous processing capacity of 2.2 billion cubic feet per day.

Governor visits with students at Valley High School, small business owners in Pine Grove
Also on Thursday, Gov. Justice stopped by Valley High School in Pine Grove to meet and talk with students about their futures. During his visit, the governor urged the students to explore career opportunities in the many growing fields in West Virginia. [More Photos]


Gov. Justice also stopped by the Valley Diner in Pine Grove for lunch Thursday, getting the chance to speak with the owners about the importance of keeping family businesses up and running and stimulating the economy. [View Social Post]


Gov. Justice approves award of US Route 35 Roads to Prosperity project
Last Friday, Gov. Justice and leaders from the West Virginia Department of Transportation held an event in Putnam County to announce that the contract for upgrading US Route 35 has been awarded and that work will soon begin paving 14.6 miles and expanding US-35 to 4-lanes from the Buffalo Bridge to one mile north of County Route 40 in Mason County. [Read More]


When the project is complete, US-35 will have 37 consecutive miles of 4-lane highway, beginning at the Interstate 64 exit at Scott Depot and continuing straight though to Point Pleasant and the Ohio state line.


Gov. Justice approves award of Jefferson Road Improvement Project
Also last Friday, Gov. Justice and the WVDOT held an event in South Charleston to announce that the contract for the Jefferson Road Improvement Project has been awarded and that work will soon begin. Construction will involve adding multiple measures meant to alleviate heavy traffic patterns on Jefferson Road between MacCorkle Avenue and Corridor G. [Read More]


The project will include putting in an overpass bridge over the railroad tracks where Jefferson Road intersects with Kanawha Turnpike, meaning drivers will no longer need to wait on trains in this area. At the same intersection, crews will also add Kanawha County’s first ever roundabout beneath the overpass, to eliminate the need for the existing stoplight, among other improvements.



Highways commissioner visits Marshall County to evaluate road conditions
Following Gov. Jim Justice’s directive for the West Virginia Division of Highways to put an emphasis on maintenance activities on the secondary road system in Marshall County, Highways Commissioner Jimmy Wriston, P.E. traveled to District 6 on Wednesday to meet with maintenance forces and assess the work being accomplished. [Read More]


WVDOT updates progress of Secondary Road Maintenance Initiative
As work continues in earnest on Gov. Justice’s Secondary Road Maintenance Initiative, the West Virginia Department of Transportation provided an update, Wednesday, on maintenance activities that have been completed in all 55 counties across the state in the time since Gov. Justice directed the Division of Highways to make secondary road maintenance its top priority last month. [View Lists By County]


These lists of high-priority maintenance projects will be regularly updated as work continues, allowing the public to track work that has been done as well as work that the WVDOT intends to complete as soon as possible. 

Final set of Division of Highways district meetings conclude
Over the course of this week, leaders with the Department of Transportation concluded their statewide tour of all 10 WVDOH district offices to meet with local engineers to discuss the state's long-term plan to keep up with secondary road maintenance work. This week's meetings were held in Burlington, Martinsburg, Elkins and Princeton.


WVDOH seeking public comments on Volkswagen emissions settlement
On Tuesday, the Division of Highways announced that the State of West Virginia is seeking public input on how to use $12 million, received as a portion of the settlement that came as the result of the Volkswagen emissions control class action. In that class action, the U.S. Department of Justice alleged emissions control violations of the Clean Air Act regarding approximately 590,000 diesel vehicles sold in the United States. [Read More]


Public comments will be accepted online until Thursday, May 23, 2019.


Reverse Job Fairs connect dozens of employers to qualified, workforce ready students
This week, the West Virginia Development Office partnered with the West Virginia Department of Education to hold a pair of Reverse Job Fairs across the state. Reverse Job Fairs are a spin on the traditional job fair. Instead of companies waiting for job-seekers to visit their booths, work-ready students set up the fairs to showcase their skills and attract employers. The kickoff event for these Reverse Job Fairs was held Tuesday at the Fayette Institute of Technology in Oak Hill, while another was held Thursday at the John D. Rockefeller IV Career Center in New Cumberland. [Read More]


Six more Reverse Job Fairs will be held over the next two weeks at various locations across the state. The remaining schedule is available online.

Office of Energy awarded $300,000 in competitive grant funding to make state buildings more energy-efficient
Last Friday, the West Virginia Office of Energy was announced as a selection to receive a $300,000 grant from the U. S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. West Virginia is one of 16 states to receive a 2018 Competitive State Energy Program grant. The state will use the funds to analyze the energy efficiency of an estimated 1,000 public buildings, primarily K-12 schools. The program will analyze buildings' energy performance, identifying what works and what can be improved to make state-owned buildings more energy-efficient. [Read More]



DEP celebrates Earth Day with learning event for elementary students
On Tuesday, the DEP held an Earth Day celebration event at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, welcoming hundreds of elementary school students from all over the state and teaching them various things about the planet. [Watch Video]


Officials with the DEP set up several booths and exhibits for students to stop by and experience.


DHHR accepting comments on waiver for children with serious emotional disorders
On Thursday, the DHHR announced that their Bureau for Medical Services is now accepting public comments on the new Children with Serious Emotional Disorder Waiver until May 23, 2019. The waiver is part of DHHR’s child welfare reform effort and will provide an array of services that enables children who would otherwise require institutionalization to remain in their homes and communities. [Read More]


It is anticipated that the waiver will reduce the number of children housed at both in-state and out-of-state Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities and shorten the lengths of stay for children who require acute care.

DHHR requests applications for Qualified Residential Treatment Programs
The DHHR's Bureau for Children and Families announced last Friday that it is broadening its services for youth ages 12-21 in the legal custody of DHHR through Qualified Residential Treatment Programs and announced a request for applications for outside agencies to implement the intensive residential behavioral health model across the state. The Bureau will be soliciting applications from West Virginia-licensed residential child care and treatment providers to convert existing residential treatment beds (up to 100 in total) for the development and delivery of intensive residential behavioral health and six-month aftercare services. [Read More]


Agencies wishing to submit applications must submit a Letter of Intent to Apply by May 8, 2019. Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on May 17, 2019.


Multiple conferences held in preparation of school emergencies
This week, officials with DHSEM took part in a pair of conferences, geared toward making West Virginia's schools safer by implementing strategies and practices in case of an emergency. On Thursday, DHSEM hosted a workshop with the "I Love U Guys" foundation – a group named after the final text message sent by an eventual victim of a fatal high school shooting. During the workshop, attendees learned about the Standard Response Protocol – which is a strategy developed to lockout, lockdown, evacuate and shelter students in an emergency.


Additionally, on Wednesday officials with Cabell County Schools and Cabell County EMS held an event at Ona Elementary School, announcing that they will be adding "Stop the Bleed" kits at every public school in the county. These kits include specialized equipment that is to be used in the case of a mass casualty event to stop or slow any life-threatening bleeding. Teachers at all of the schools containing the kits have been trained on how to properly use them and on the basic techniques for stopping bleeding.


Training sessions will also be offered to community members in the coming weeks, with the next session taking place at the Tri-State Fire Academy in Huntington on May 4, 2019 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.


Army medic's quick actions help save life of traffic accident victim
This week, the West Virginia National Guard announced that an Army Guard medic, who was heading to dinner earlier this month when the vehicle in front of him drove off the interstate and into a ditch, took it upon himself to provide medical treatment that may have been life-saving. After making contact with the driver involved in the accident, Staff Sgt. Bradley Owens watched as the driver passed out and became unresponsive. Owens manually opened the driver's airway and provided other treatment while waiting for paramedics to arrive. [Read More]


Thanks, in part, to Owens' efforts, the driver was safely transported to a local hospital, arriving in stable condition.


HHOMA seeking vendors and performers for annual Juneteenth Celebration
The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs announced Monday that it is seeking vendors, performers, performance groups and artists for its third annual Juneteenth Celebration in Charleston. Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of African slaves throughout the Confederate South on June 19​. [Read More]


Committee on school finance meets along with lawmakers to discuss education funding
The West Virginia Board of Education’s committee on school finance and funding met Tuesday to continue discussions surrounding education funding. In addition to a diverse group of stakeholders, the committee also included three representatives from the West Virginia Senate and three representatives from the West Virginia House of Delegates. [Read More]


The committee’s focus is to advocate for schools and teachers to receive the necessary resources to do their jobs effectively. The committee considers issues such as teacher pay, retirement and benefits and the school funding formula. During this latest meeting, members reconvened to discuss these topics ahead of the upcoming special session on education betterment.



Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:

Flag Status

American Flag Full Staff
State Flag Full Staff

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map