West Virginia Week in Review - August 23, 2019



Gov. Justice celebrates Grand Opening of new Hino Motors plant; 250 new jobs coming




During a Grand Opening ceremony Wednesday for Hino Motors’ new manufacturing plant in Mineral Wells, Gov. Jim Justice celebrated an announcement – made by company leaders – that they plan to invest $40 million and create 250 new jobs at the new facility. These new jobs come in conjunction with Hino Motors completing its move into their new 962,000-square-foot plant. The new facility is approximately four times the size of the company’s old one. [Watch Video]



Governor requests $1.1 million to start major safety project at Huntington Tri-State Airport




On Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that he has requested more than $1.1 million needed to jump-start a major project to make proactive improvements to the Runway Safety Area at Huntington Tri-State Airport. The funding would be the state match required to utilize another $10 million in federal funding in order to get the first phases of the project underway. The project consists of improving 1,400 feet of Runway Safety Area along the south edge of the airfield, which requires 1.2 million cubic yards of soil to be moved. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice honors more than 500 soldiers and their families at WVNG deployment ceremony




Last Friday, Gov. Justice addressed a room full of hundreds of West Virginia National Guard members and their loved ones, during a ceremony to commemorate the upcoming deployment of more than 500 WVNG soldiers to the Middle East. These deploying soldiers will join forces with additional troops from Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina, making a team of 4,200 soldiers that will travel overseas as part of a mission to support partner nations in making the region safer. [Watch Video]



New fleet of vans to provide better access to medical care for disabled veterans




On Wednesday, Gov. Justice took​ part in a ceremony at the Beckley VA Medical Center to unveil and hand over the keys to 13 new vans that will be used by a group of volunteers to transport disabled or injured West Virginia veter​​ans to their appointments at VA medical facilities across the state. The program will be operated through the Volunteer Transportation Network within the national organization, Disabled American Veterans –  or DAV. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice issues statement on death of Pearl Harbor survivor Wetzel "Sundown" Sanders




This week, Gov. Justice released a statement in the wake of the passing of Pearl Harbor survivor and West Virginia native, Wetzel "Sundown" Sanders. Sanders was a Lincoln County native who served in the Navy in World War II. He received a Purple Heart for his service in 2017. Sanders passed away over the weekend, he was 96 years old. [Read More]



Interactive online map of all road projects statewide unveiled to traveling public




On Thursday, leaders with the West Virginia Department of Transportation unveiled an all-new, interactive, web-based map that shows every road project going on across the entire state. The map also provides real-time statistics on how much road work has been completed across a variety of categories, including Gov. Jim Justice’s Secondary Roads Maintenance initiative and Roads to Prosperity program. The map currently displays all road projects for the year 2019; including projects that are currently underway, ones that are about to be started, and ones that have already been completed. The map’s data, including the status of each project, will be updated approximately every two weeks as roadwork continues. [View Map]



National survey ranks West Virginia's highway system as 16th-best in the country




Steady improvements to West Virginia’s road system under Gov. Jim Justice’s leadership have caught the attention of the authors of an annual study evaluating roads in every state across the country. West Virginia’s highway system now ranks 16th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report published Thursday by Reason Foundation. This is a 20-spot improvement from the previous report, where West Virginia ranked 36th overall. [Read More]



Westmoreland Bridges Project completed more than a week ahead of 100-day schedule




On Saturday, the Department of Transportation re-opened all lanes of interstate traffic near the I-77/I-79 split in Charleston, marking the conclusion of a major project to repair and replace a series of four bridge decks near the Westmoreland Road area. The project, which was originally scheduled to take 100 days, ended up being completed in just 91 days – more than a full week ahead of schedule. [Read More]



Governor pledges $1 million to Bluefield State; to help build 1st student housing facility in 50 years




During a groundbreaking event at Bluefield State College on Saturday, celebrating the start of construction on the school's first on-campus student housing facility in 50 years, Gov. Justice announced that he has secured $1 million that will be used to help fund work building the new housing complex – called Heritage Village – along with a new-and-improved student union facility. Heritage Village will become Bluefield State College's first on-campus student housing facility since 1968. That year, a bombing at the school resulted in the closure of BSC’s dorms. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice recommends 13 projects for $9.4 million in grants through WV ARC program




On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that he has recommended 13 projects, totaling over $9.4 million in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Investment Program. The West Virginia Development Office administers the state’s ARC program, which is a partnership of federal, state, and local participants providing financial and technical assistance for economic development and infrastructure projects. [Read More]



First Lady Cathy Justice presents inaugural Rhododendron Award to "unsung hero" of WV




Last Friday, First Lady Cathy Justice made history by presenting the first-ever First Lady Cathy Justice Rhododendron Award to Dr. Laura Suppa of South Charleston. The Rhododendron Award aims to recognize individuals in West Virginia who have demonstrated goodness and worked for the betterment of their communities. In particular, the award seeks to recognize the “unsung heroes” throughout West Virginia, whose work has made a significant difference in the lives of others. Dr. Suppa, an optometrist with Charleston Vision Source, works with the local nonprofits to provide free eye exams and glasses for young children in need; one of many community service initiatives she has spearheaded in recent years. [Watch Video]



Governor and First Lady Justice wish West Virginia students a happy first day of school




The day before many West Virginia students went back to school, Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice issued a video message to children across the state, wishing them a wonderful first day and a successful school year ahead. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice speaks at Spirit of the Valley award ceremony




On Wednesday, Gov. Justice made an address at the annual Spirit of the Valley award ceremony and luncheon, congratulating 2019 award recipient, Marty Becker. The event, which was hosted by the YMCA of Kanawha Valley, was held at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. Through fundraising efforts known as their “Spirit of the Valley Campaign”, the YMCA of Kanawha Valley is able to offer free health and wellness programs to hundreds of children, families, and people in need. The Spirit of the Valley award recognizes a community member who exemplifies community services. [Watch Video]



Governor and First Lady cheer Herd at "Paint the Capital City Green" Marshall Football event




On Thursday, Gov. Justice stopped by the annual "Paint the Capital City Green" event in Charleston – an indoor tailgate event for the Marshall University Thundering Herd football program and its biggest fans ahead of the first game of the season next week. [More Photos]



First Lady hosts dinner events at the Governor's Mansion




On Tuesday, First Lady Cathy Justice hosted a group of visitors from Toyota Motor Manufacturing at the Governor’s Mansion in Charleston. During the dinner, the group from Toyota presented the First Lady with a $5,000 donation for the Communities In Schools program. [More Photos]




Then, on Thursday, the First Lady hosted another dinner event, welcoming the Girl Scouts of the Black Diamond to the Governor's Mansion for another special meal. [More Photos]



Weed eating goats helping to clean up parts of West Virginia in experimental program




This week, the WVDEP highlighted the efforts of an experimental program to preserve certain historic sites in West Virginia. The National Park Service is using goats to remove invasive plant species like kudzu and knotweed from steep West Virginia hillsides in certain areas that would be difficult or dangerous to be removed by humans due to the terrain. [Watch Video]



Commerce Secretary Gaunch business listening tour continues with visits to northern panhandle




On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch visited businesses in the northern panhandle as part of an ongoing series of statewide business listening tours. The recent visits included stops to Jupiter Aluminum and Eagle Manufacturing in Brooke County, as well as Bidell Gas Compression in Hancock County. The tour continues in the region through the end of this week.



Homeland Security officials host emergency response conference at Canaan Valley




This week, leaders with the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management hosted the 2019 State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) Conference at Canaan Valley. First responders and officials from around the state attended the three-day conference, getting a chance to interact with an array of response assets available for deployment and use throughout West Virginia. From mobile communications platforms, to HAZMAT response vehicles, to animal rescue equipment, to portable inflatable shelter and operations center tent units and more. [More Photos]



WVDEP now accepting nominations for Environmental Teacher of the Year award




The Department of Environmental Protection's Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) is now accepting nominations for the 2019 Make-It-Shine Environmental Teacher of the Year Award. Award recipients will be honored at the West Virginia Solid Waste Authority’s/REAP’s Annual Awards Banquet on Oct. 21 at Canaan Valley Resort in Tucker County. Winners will be chosen in the elementary, middle, and high school levels, with each winner receiving a $500 personal award, a $1,000 award to be used in promoting STEM programs and a one-night stay at Canaan Valley Resort to receive their award. [Read More]



Maintenance spotlight in West Virginia turns to District 7




This week, the Department of Transportation spotlighted the ongoing work on secondary road maintenance that has been completed in District 7, which consists of Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Barbour, Upshur, and Webster counties in central West Virginia. [Watch Video]



State’s top warrant officer promoted




On Monday, West Virginia Army National Guard State Command Chief, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel Hutchins was promoted to Warrant Officer 5 during a ceremony at the Joint Force Headquarters in Charleston. Hutchins assumed responsibilities as the state’s warrant officer corps leader in February of 2019, after 19 years in the WVARNG and 28 years in the military. [More Photos]



North Bend State Park to host annual Nature Wonder Weekend




On Monday, North Bend State Park leaders announced the annual Nature Wonder Weekend – North America’s premier and longest-running wild foods event – will celebrate its 52nd year beginning Sept. 20 and running through Sept. 22. This year’s theme is “In My Backyard.” Participants this year will learn how to bring their favorite wild edibles into their own backyards. [Read More]



Watershed Improvement Branch participates in 65th Anniversary of Camp Virgil Tate event




On Saturday, the Department of Environmental Protection's Watershed Improvement Branch and Office of Emergency Response participated in the 65th Anniversary of Camp Virgil Tate event. Camp Virgil Tate is the 4-H camp in Kanawha County and is also utilized by many local schools for outdoor learning events, band camp, and more. [More Photos]




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