West Virginia Week in Review - February 22, 2019


​Each week, Gov. Jim Justice's Communications Office will release a recap of the prior week's events and press releases from across all state agencies within the executive branch.









Gov. Justice calls on Legislature to pass "clean" pay raise bill for state employees
During a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice called on members of West Virginia’s Legislature to pass a bill, first introduced by the Governor, that would provide a pay raise for teachers, service personnel and State Troopers. [View Press Release]


The request came just hours after the House of Delegates voted to indefinitely table Senate Bill 451, commonly known as the Comprehensive Education Reform Bill.

Gov. Justice announces West Virginia to join in Girls Go CyberStart competition
On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice announced that West Virginia is participating in an innovative competition, called Girls Go CyberStart, designed to encourage girls and women to explore careers in cybersecurity. [View Press Release]


The competition, which is run by the SANS Institute, provides high school girls with an opportunity to learn cyber skills, discover their cyber talents and explore what a career in the field entails.

Gov. Justice hosts state champion Fairmont Senior football team
On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice welcomed the Class AA state champion Fairmont Senior High School football team to the Capitol building. The Governor congratulated the team on capturing their program’s first state title in 72 years. The Fairmont Senior Polar Bears finished the season with a perfect 14-0 record. [View Twitter Post]


Gov. Justice appoints Dodrill as State Insurance Commissioner
On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice announced his appointment of James A. Dodrill as West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, effective March 4, 2019. Dodrill succeeds Allen McVey who was appointed earlier this year as Secretary of the Department of Administration. [View Press Release]



Western Regional Jail launches substance abuse treatment pilot program
For the first time, West Virginia has begun offering inpatient substance abuse treatment to jail-housed inmates via court referral. The promising pilot launched at the Western Regional Jail aims to break the cycle of addiction, save lives, and reduce crime and incarceration costs.
[View Press Release]


The pilot provides individual and group therapy daily as well as medication-assisted treatment in qualifying cases. It has a capacity of 32 beds each for men and women, in separate sections and away from other jail inmates.


National Guard performs aerial rescue mission for stranded motorist
On Wednesday, aircrew members from the West Virginia Army National Guard used a U.S. Army HH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to successfully complete an aerial rescue mission, saving a civilian who had become trapped in his vehicle due to flood waters. [View Press Release]


The motorist was trapped on a secondary road near Ellenboro, W.Va. due to flood waters, which were not expected to recede within the next 24-48 hours. Local responders could not reach the stranded motorist without air support. Within an hour of the request, the West Virginia National Guard was able to respond, successfully rescuing the individual from the mud and flood waters along Bonds Creek.

Remains of World War II airman returned home to Charleston; Gov. Justice orders flags to be flown at half-staff
Honor Guard members of the West Virginia Army National Guard performed a planeside ceremony Thursday night at Yeager Airport, commemorating the return of Army Air Forces Sgt. John Kalausich, a Charleston, W.Va. native, who was killed during World War II. Sgt. Kalausich was 19 years old when his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and went missing during a combat mission from Couvron, France to Dülmen, Germany, in March 1945. 

Gov. Jim Justice has ordered all United States and West Virginia flags at all state facilities lowered to half-staff on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in commemoration of burial services for Sgt. Kalausich. [View Press Release]


Sgt. Kalausich will be laid to rest Saturday at Tyler Mountain Memorial Gardens in Cross Lanes.

Oldest active National Guard unit celebrates 284th anniversary
On Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, the West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) observed the 284th anniversary of the establishment of the first militia company in what is now West Virginia. On the same date in 1735, Morgan Morgan was commissioned to the rank of captain to lead a new company of riflemen, known as the First Virginia Regiment, in what is now present-day Berkeley County, W.Va.
[View Press Release]



Annual Make It Shine program applications now being accepted
Applications are now available for the 2019 West Virginia Make It Shine Statewide Cleanup. During the first two weeks of April, the Make It Shine program will provide resources such as cleanup materials, waste hauling and landfill fees to community groups volunteering to conduct litter cleanups on state streams or public lands. More than 4,885 West Virginia citizens participated in last year’s statewide cleanup. These volunteers removed nearly 120 tons of litter, including over 1400 tires, from our state’s landscape. [View Press Release]


The application deadline for those wishing to participate this year is March 8, 2019.


WVDACH celebrates 23rd annual History Day at West Virginia Capitol
West Virginia's rich history was on full display Thursday, as the Department of Arts, Culture & History celebrated the 23rd annual History Day at the Capitol complex. Dozens of state and local historical groups provided displays and the annual History Hero awards ceremony was held at the Culture Center. [View Press Release]



Black History Month lecture series underway
On Saturday, attorney Frank Walker kicked off the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs Black History Month lecture series in West Virginia, presenting a keynote address at the Culture Center Archives Room, titled Black History in the Law
[View YouTube Video]


The lecture series continues through this weekend, as Archives and History Commissioner, Dr. Charles T. Ledbetter, will present an address titled Black History in the Military tomorrow, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. Prior to the lecture, HHOMA Director Jill Upson will present the agency's first ever Trailblazer Award to Brig. Gen. Christopher "Mookie" Walker, the first African-American commander in the history of the West Virginia Air National Guard. The event is free, but registration is required.



Contact Information

Butch Antolini, 304-890-2945, Butch.Antolini@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

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