West Virginia Week in Review - December 13, 2019


Governor and First Lady Justice ring in holidays with Joyful Night celebration at State Capitol




Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice joined hundreds of their fellow West Virginians at the State Capitol Complex on Tuesday night for the annual Joyful Night holiday celebration – a festive evening, featuring many beloved holiday traditions and several captivating performances by West Virginians from near and far to ring in the Christmas and holiday season. [Watch Full Video] [More Photos]



The program began on the south side of the Capitol, with musical performances by the Cabell Midland High School Marching Knights, the Greenbrier East High School Spartan Marching Band, and the Capital High School V.I.P.s. Then, the Governor and First Lady lit the state Christmas tree, donated this year by David and Rebecca Absher of Absher Christmas Tree Farm in Mt. Hope, WV.






From there, the Governor and First Lady made their way into the West Rotunda and the Governor's Reception Room, to view a series of recognition trees honoring members of the military, Gold Star families, first responders – as well as trees featuring ornaments made by West Virginia students in the Communities In Schools program – which will be displayed throughout the entire holiday season. The Governor and First Lady also participated in the Toys for Tots donation program and recognized work being done across the state through the Communities In Schools program.






Afterward, the program moved to the Great Hall of the State Culture Center, where First Lady Justice announced the winners of the statewide student ornament contest. This portion of the evening also included the lighting of the Menorah, additional musical performances by The Greenbrier Performers and McDowell County student T.J. Goins, as well as a visit from Santa himself.






The final stop of the evening came at the Governor's Mansion, where the Tri-State Trombone 4 performed, before Governor and First Lady Justice participated in the traditional reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”






Gov. Justice presents West Virginia Purple Heart to heroes with State Police




Among all the traditions and festivities that made up this year’s Joyful Night holiday celebration at the State Capitol complex Tuesday evening, one unique celebration stood out from the rest. Gov. Jim Justice held a ceremony to award the West Virginia State Police’s Purple Heart Medal to Corporal Josh Ware and Trooper First Class Josh Tallman, for acts of immense courage over the past year. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



State arts curator explains the history of Joyful Night event




Curator of the Arts Randall Reid-Smith explained the history of the annual Joyful Night Celebration in West Virginia. The first event, which was called Joyful Lights, was hosted on December 3, 1987, by Governor Arch Moore and the First Lady. Guests were invited to a tree lighting ceremony in the North Parking Circle and then to the Governor's Mansion to view the Christmas decorations. In 1989, Governor Gaston Caperton changed the name to Joyful Night and invited the public to the tree lighting in the Capitol Fountain Circle and then to tour the Capitol Building and the Governor's Mansion. [Watch Video]



WVDACH decorates Artistree in the Culture Center Great Hall




The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History is inviting visitors to check out the Artistree at the Culture Center in Charleston. This is the ninth year for the trees on display. The tradition was started in 2011 by First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin and the trees were on display in the Governor's Reception Room. First Lady Cathy Justice has since moved the Artistree display to the front windows of the Culture Center. The ornaments are submitted by students and adults across the state and are kept by the WVDACH. [Watch Video]



Governor's award celebrates 26 West Virginia businesses exporting to new countries




In a ceremony on Tuesday, 26 West Virginia companies were presented with the Governor's Commendation for International Market Entry Award, recognizing businesses that exported to a new country in the previous year. West Virginia businesses exported to a diverse range of products in 2018 – everything from all-natural beard care products to virtual reality software. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



West Virginia hunting and fishing license application includes organ donation option for the first time




For the first time, West Virginia hunting and fishing license applications now include the option to register as an organ donor. West Virginia is one of the first states to offer the option on the hunting and fishing applications licenses. Senate Bill 613, which was passed during the 2019 legislative session and signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice, permits the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) to include the election of organ donation on hunting and fishing licenses. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice speaks at Higher Education Policy Commission 2019 Board of Governors Summit




Last Friday, Gov. Justice spoke to members of the 2019 Board of Governors Summit. The event was hosted by the Higher Education Policy Commission at the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice delivers National Energy Council opening address




Last Friday, Gov. Justice delivered the opening address at The Energy Council's 2019 Global Energy and Environmental Issues Conference. The Energy Council is a non-partisan legislative organization founded in 1975. The council now includes 14 energy-producing states in the United State and two Canadian provinces. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice orders flags to be flown at half-staff for two commemorations this week




On Saturday, Gov. Justice had all United States and West Virginia State flags on all State-owned facilities displayed at half-staff in support of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and in honor of the 2,334 servicemen and servicewomen who died as a result of the attack 78 years ago. [Read More]

Then, on Thursday, Gov. Justice once again had flags lowered to half-staff in commemoration of the distinguished life and service of former West Virginia Delegate Dr. Robert Pulliam. A native and long-time resident of Beckley, Dr. Pulliam was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1992 and served through 1998. Prior to his time as a state delegate, Dr. Pulliam served as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy from 1966 to 1968. [Read More]



Gov. Justice issues proclamation declaring Christmas Eve as full-day state holiday for public employees




On Wednesday, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation declaring Christmas Eve – Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019 – as a full-day state holiday for public employees. Previously, Christmas Eve was officially listed as a half-day holiday. [Read More]



WVDOT highlights Snow Removal and Ice Control preparations




Last Friday, the West Virginia Department of Transportation highlighted their work to get crews ready for Snow Removal and Ice Control (SRIC) in the Mountain State. Crews have been ready since mid-October and have already had to use some of the equipment this Fall. [Watch Video]



Department of Veterans Assistance takes part in wreath-laying ceremony




On Monday, officials with the Department of Veterans Assistance took part in the nationwide Wreaths Across America initiative, holding a wreath-laying ceremony, by the West Virginia Veterans Memorial, to remember, honor, and teach about the men and women who sacrificed in service to our country and of West Virginia.



West Virginia Division of Natural Resources offers holiday gift ideas




The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is offering multiple gift ideas for all the outdoor enthusiasts on holiday shopping lists. Gifts include lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, the West Virginia wildlife calendar, West Virginia State Park gift cards, and 2020 hunting and fishing licenses. West Virginians who purchase a 2020 Class X or XJ Sportsman Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping license before January 1, 2020 also will be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win prizes as announced by Gov. Justice on November 30. [Read More]



Gov. Justice proclaims Computer Science Education Week




This week, Gov. Justice proclaimed December 9-13 as Computer Science Education Week in West Virginia. Last February, the Governor signed legislation which made West Virginia the first state in the nation to require students to have access to computer science education before graduating high school.



West Virginia Department of Education collects dozens of winter jackets for those in need




The spirit of giving can be felt all across West Virginia, including at the state Department of Education, where employees spent the week collecting food pantry goods as well as coats, hats, scarves and other items. To help make the season a little brighter for those in need, they’ve gathered more than 60 coats for the YWCA Sojourner's Shelter for Homeless Women & Families. [Read More]



West Virginia National Resources Police participate in "Shop With a Cop"




West Virginia law enforcement officers are also making the holidays brighter. The State Police and Division of Natural Resources Police have joined with county and local agencies for “Shop with a Cop” events. At the New Martinsville Wal-Mart last Friday, DNR Police Sgt. Joshua Parsons helped out one of the 17 children who participated. [More Photos]



WVDNR law enforcement adds five new police officers




On Monday, the Division of Natural Resources added five new police officers to keep the wild parts of West Virginia wonderful and safe. The DNR Law Enforcement Section swore in Rocky Hebb, Michael Ellis, Tyler Fischer, Tyler Lucas, and Gabrielle Scrofano. Hebb is already a certified officer, and is assigned to District Three. The rest will be assigned to district offices pending training at the State Police Academy. [More Photos]



2020 Roadsides in Bloom calendar now available to order




The 2020 Roadsides in Bloom calendar is now available to order. The free calendar, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, includes 12 pictures of West Virginia wildflowers growing naturally along state roadways or in Operation Wildflower beds. The pictures were chosen from dozens of entries submitted by photographers from West Virginia and surrounding states. [Watch Video] [Read More]



130th Airlift Wing hosts JROTC members for orientation flight




On Thursday, the 130th hosted 46 of Nitro High School's JROTC members for a Wing introduction briefing and a C-130 orientation flight throughout eastern West Virginia. The students received a history brief on McLaughlin Air National Guard Base by Lt. Col. Todd Perry, who also was their Aircraft Commander for their flight. They also received an extensive brief on the processes, benefits and general knowledge information of joining and serving in the 130th Airlift Wing by Master Sgt. Kevin Cordle, the 130th's Recruiting Manager. [More Photos]



West Virginia National Guard sends soldiers on deployment to the Middle East




Seven West Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers said goodbye to family and friends Saturday, Dec. 7, at Yeager Airport in Charleston, before joining the 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), on deployment in the Middle East. The 30th ABCT consists of 4,200 National Guard Soldiers from four states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. [More Photos]



Also this week:

Board of Education considers policy to personalize graduation requirements by county

$1.4 million in grant funding announced for McMechen wastewater treatment plant

West Virginia fall turkey harvest figures released

Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs recognizes International Human Rights Day




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