West Virginia Week in Review - December 20, 2019



Gov. Justice delivers hundreds of Christmas presents to West Virginia children




Wearing his most festive Santa suit and full of Christmas spirit, Gov. Justice visited Chamberlain Elementary School in Charleston on Saturday, delivering nearly 700 toys, games, and more to dozens of little boys and girls from all across Kanawha County in need of a little extra cheer this holiday season. The gifts were purchased by the Governor and First Lady Cathy Justice themselves and were given out to children ranging in age from toddlers to preteens. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice announces agreement with Maryland to continue MARC Train service to Martinsburg and across Eastern Panhandle




On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that, working alongside the West Virginia Legislature, the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office, and several local governments, the State of West Virginia has reached an agreement with the State of Maryland to continue Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service to the Eastern Panhandle. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice directs DHHR to eliminate waitlist for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Waiver program




Last Friday, Gov. Justice announced that he has directed the Department of Health and Human Resources to immediately initiate a formal study to determine options for eliminating the waitlist for their Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Waiver program. Elimination of the waitlist, which can last as long as four years, would allow 1,060 more West Virginians, including 606 children, to receive critical services through this waiver program. Gov. Justice has directed the study be delivered to him by mid-January. [Read More]



Gov. Justice, U.S. Department of Justice announce $38 million grant awarded to West Virginia to reduce crime, fight the opioid crisis




Last Friday, Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Justice, Ann Urling, joined officials from the U.S. Department of Justice at the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse in Charleston to announce awards of nearly $38 million to fight crime and improve community safety in West Virginia. Nearly $8 million of the total will support families, children, and crime victims ensnared by the nation's ongoing opioid crisis. [Read More]



Gov. Justice issues statement on death of WWII hero, WV Air National Guard founder, and former State Delegate; Brig. Gen. J. Kemp McLaughlin




After learning, Monday, of the passing of World War II hero, West Virginia Air National Guard founder, former West Virginia Delegate, and Braxton County native Brig. Gen. J. Kemp McLaughlin, Gov. Justice released a statement on the legacy of this great American. McLaughlin was 101 years old. [Read More]

The Governor also encouraged every West Virginian to honor General McLaughlin’s unparalleled legacy by reading the story of his incredible life, written by the West Virginia National Guard in celebration of the general’s 101st birthday earlier this month. [Read More]



West Virginia National Guard leaders offer additional condolences after McLaughlin's passing




This week, leaders with the West Virginia National Guard, including Adjutant General Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer and Air National Guard Commander Brig. Gen. Christopher S. "Mookie" Walker, also offered statements honoring the life and legacy of McLaughlin. [Read More]



Class of 148 cadets graduate from WVNG ChalleNGe Academy




The West Virginia National Guard continues to transform lives for at-risk youth with its Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy. Last Friday, 148 cadets graduated from the academy as part of Class 53. Almost half plan to enter the workforce, while more than a third plan to attend a four-year college or a vocational or technical program. [Watch Video] [Read More]



WVNG celebrates National Guard's 383rd birthday




The National Guard is older than the country itself, and the West Virginia National Guard helped celebrate its 383rd birthday last Friday. More than 120 West Virginia National Guard members and guests attended a special anniversary for the occasion, complete with cake, at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Charleston. The WVNG traces its heritage to 1735 and the militia company established in Berkeley County by Morgan Morgan. It now has more than 4,100 Army soldiers and 2,100 Air Force personnel. [More Photos]



Amid storms, Gov. Justice directs Emergency Management officials and West Virginia National Guard to prepare for potential flooding




On Monday, with West Virginia experiencing heavy rainfall across many areas of the state, Gov. Jim Justice directed emergency response personnel in various State agencies to be on standby to respond to a potential flooding event. Fortunately, the resulting damage was minimal, but crews were on standby if the situation had escalated. [Read More]



Gov. Justice issues statement after speaking with MLB Commissioner




Last Friday, Gov. Justice spoke directly with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred about his organization's proposal for a significant realignment of the Minor League Baseball structure, which could have an effect on West Virginia's four minor league teams. Following the conversation, the Governor released a statement, saying the Commissioner has pledged to continue listening to the concerns of the people of West Virginia. [Read More]



First Lady Cathy Justice hosts student spelling bee at Rupert Elementary School




On Wednesday, First Lady Cathy Justice moderated a spelling bee at Rupert Elementary School in Greenbrier County. Six students from the 4th and 5th grade competed to be the school champion and go on to the county-wide spelling bee. James Hunt, a fifth grader, correctly spelled "powder" to win the competition. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice announces West Virginia to participate in 2020 Girls Go CyberStart competition




On Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia will once again be joining in on the innovative competition, known as Girls Go CyberStart, that is designed to encourage girls and women to explore careers in cybersecurity. For the competition, each student takes on the role of a security agent and solves puzzles and challenges to earn points that allow her to progress to the next level with new challenges. High school girls in grades 9-12 can register to play alone or in teams of up to four students. Participants solve challenges to gain points and advance through levels, earning prizes along the way for themselves and for their schools. Registration is already underway, and the first phase of the games begin Jan. 13, 2020. [Read More]



Division of Natural Resources highlights gift options for the holiday season, including lifetime hunting and fishing licenses




On Wednesday, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources spotlighted lifetime hunting and fishing licenses as a gift option for friends or family members this Christmas. WVDNR offers both an adult and an infant version of the lifetime license. When you purchase the license, you can choose between hunting only, fishing only, or a combination license. A lifetime license for an infant, before the age of two, is half price. [Watch Video]



Hunters in West Virginia harvested 36,796 bucks during the traditional buck firearms season




Last Friday, the Division of Natural Resources announced preliminary data collected from the electronic game checking system indicates that deer hunters in West Virginia harvested 36,796 antlered deer during the two-week buck firearms season, which ran from Nov. 25 through Dec. 7, 2019. [Read More]



Blackwater Falls State Park sled run tickets now available online




Last Friday, officials with West Virginia State Parks announced that the sled run at Blackwater Falls State Park is now open for business for the winter season. This year tickets will be available for advance purchase online for the first time. [Read More]



Department of Transportation spotlights lights and cameras maintenance team




Last Friday, the West Virginia Department of Transportation took a deep dive into the crew that maintains the camera systems and lights along our state-owned roads. The crew does work that includes a variety of maintenance and is done dozens of feet in the air. If you see a crew out working, remember to slow down and give them the space they need. [Watch Video]



State Fire Marshal and DMAPS Secretary honor heroic first responders who saved 6-year-old from fire




On Monday, State Fire Marshal Ken Tyree and Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy recognized a group of eight Wood County first responders who helped save a 6-year-old girl from a deadly house fire. The group includes six members of the East Wood Volunteer Fire Department including Gary Goodwin, Kevin Harris, Keely Pritchett, James Dawson, Kyle Craig, and Levi Cross, as well as Sgt. Della D. Matheny and Deputy Tasha L. Hewitt of the Wood County Sheriff’s Department. [Read More]



Division of Natural Resources Police adds four officers following basic training graduation




The Division of Natural Resources Police has four new officers ready for the field after they graduated from basic training at the West Virginia State Police Academy last Friday. They joined DNR Police in August and entered the academy later that month. [Read More]



Also this week:

DHSEM, FEMA announce more than $2.7 million in grant funding for repairs to Buffalo Creek Trail in Clay County

Two WV SBDC coaches earn Certified Business Advisor certificates

Winter 2019 issue of GOLDENSEAL Magazine now available

WVDEP working with EPA to address issues involving ethylene oxide




Contact Information

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


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

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304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

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