West Virginia Week in Review - July 12, 2019



Gov. Justice joins First Lady Melania Trump in West Virginia for roundtable discussion on opioid crisis
On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice joined First Lady of the United States Melania Trump at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, along with several other health and policy leaders from West Virginia and Washington D.C., to participate in a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis affecting the state and the entire nation. During the roundtable event, the First Lady, Gov. Justice, and others discussed what tools and programs are already in place in West Virginia to fight the opioid epidemic that could help nationally. [Read More]
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice​ ​made a national television appearance on the Fox News show, America's Newsroom, to discuss First Lady Trump's visit. [Watch Video]
Then, on Friday, Gov. Justice made another national television appearance on the Fox Business show, Varney & Co., to further talk about her visit and to discuss West Virginia's coal mining industry. [Watch Video]
Gov. Justice orders flags flown at half-staff in commemoration of former State Senator Jesse Guills, Jr.
On Thursday, Gov. Justice ordered all United States and West Virginia flags displayed at the Capitol complex in Charleston and all state facilities throughout Greenbrier County be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, July 13, 2019, in commemoration of former West Virginia Senator Jesse Guills, Jr. [Read More]
Guills served as a West Virginia State Senator from 2002 to 2010. He was also a veteran, serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.
Division of Highways reaches 1,000 miles paved this year
This week, the Department of Transportation issued an update on road maintenance data across all of West Virginia, announcing that crews with the Division of Highways have hit a significant milestone by paving their 1,000th mile of roadway just since asphalt plants reopened in the spring. Also, since Gov. Justice began a initiative to fix back roads through the state in mid-March, DOH crews have laid 92,000 tons-worth of asphalt in patching potholes and have also ditched 13,000 miles of road shoulders. [Read More]
West Virginia Parkways Authority releases toll numbers from July 4th Holiday week
On Friday, the Parkways Authority announced that the West Virginia Turnpike brought in an all-time record amount of toll booth revenue during the peak 11-day travel period surrounding the July 4th Holiday. Toll revenue this year – from Thursday, June 27, 2019 through Sunday, July 7, 2019 – came in at more than $5.6 million. That’s a nearly 77 percent increase from the same 11-day travel window last year, when toll revenues came in at about $3.2 million from Thursday, June 28, 2018 through Sunday, July 8, 2018. [Read More]
Secondary road maintenance continues across the state
Once more this week, crews with the Division of Highways worked all across West Virginia each and every day, fixing secondary roadways in need of repair. Over the past week, work done in DOH District 1 has been highlighted. This district includes Kanawha, Putnam, Mason, Boone, and Clay counties. [Watch Video]
Flood response mission continues in eastern West Virginia
This week, the flood response mission continued for the West Virginia National Guard in eastern West Virginia areas that were recently hit with severe flash flooding. The Guard has had about 20 soldiers on the ground providing debris removal and recovery at the Dry Fork recreational area and the area near the car wash in Harman. Loader dump teams have also completed 60 loads of debris and runoff removal and hauled more than 130 tons of stone and rock from the affected areas. [Read More]
Teams have also performed work removing excess water from the Horace Camp Pond Dam, bringing down water levels significantly in the past few days. The Community Assistance Teams for Randolph County have provided more than 150 cases of water, 30 food deliveries, eight water buffalo missions, and conducted daily health and welfare checks for area residents.
Guard trains future leaders through youth summer programs and camps
Summer programs through the West Virginia National Guard were highlighted this week. One of these programs is the annual Youth Leaders Camp, which has been in operation since 1965 and just wrapped up for this summer. The camp aims to teach young people how to be leaders through military training exercises. [Watch Video]
At the same time, Guard soldiers and airmen continue to support Camp Conley at Camp Dawson this summer.  Camp Conley, which is in its 27th year, provides a week-long, engaging environment while educating kids on military culture. The main goal of the camp is to increase a camper’s understanding and connection with their parents' military service. [Watch Video]
West Virginia Army National Guard instructs Peruvian Armed Forces, National Police on MEDEVAC operations
Members of the West Virginia Army National Guard recently conducted hands-on aeromedical evacuation (MEDEVAC) training for medical experts of the Peruvian Armed Forces in Lima, Peru. More than 120 members of the Peruvian Army, Peruvian Air Force, Peruvian Marine Corps, Peruvian Navy, and the Peruvian National Police were trained on a variety of aeromedical topics by WVNG leadership as part of the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program with Peru. [More Photos]
During the week-long engagement, United States service members focused on the various aspects of aeromedical training and the science behind how the human body responds to medical procedures in flight.
FEMA fulfilling preliminary damage assessment request for counties in West Virginia impacted by recent flash flooding
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced on Tuesday that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III would be fulfilling a request from the State of West Virginia for Joint Public Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessments due to recent flash flooding that occurred in the eastern part of the state on June 30. These damage assessments are the first step in helping Gov. Justice determine whether the scope of the damage is beyond what the State is capable of handling and if additional federal assistance is needed. [Read More]
FEMA Region III staff began supporting the State in conducting these assessments on Thursday in Randolph, Pendleton, Grant, Tucker, and Preston counties.
Citizens of West Virginia reminded to prepare for hurricane season
With the recent formation of Tropical Storm Barry, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is asking West Virginians to prepare for hurricane season and to understand the potential impacts tropical systems can have in West Virginia. Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday – the second named tropical system of 2019. According to the National Hurricane Center, it is likely to become a hurricane. [Read More]
While most damages associated with hurricanes and tropical systems occur along shorelines, every area of West Virginia can see impacts from such systems as well. Hurricanes are massive swirling storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, tornadoes, and landslides. Damages to public infrastructure and personal property can be intense, including damages to utility and transportation systems.
West Virginia FFA breaks membership record, changes lives of students
This week, leaders with the West Virginia FFA announced that, for the second consecutive year, FFA membership has broken a state record. During the 2018-19 school year, FFA membership grew to 6,469 members and 83 local chapters, exceeding last year’s record by 1,100 students. The announcement was made during the 91st West Virginia FFA Convention this week at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley. [Read More]
FFA is the premier youth organization preparing students for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. Dating back to the 1920s in West Virginia, the program witnessed historic growth last year with 5,360 members and 77 local chapters, numbers that had not been seen since the early 1960s. Agricultural Education is the fastest-growing career technical education program and is introducing more students to the agriculture industry and the numerous career opportunities available.
School Service Personnel of the Year winner recognized at board meeting
On Wednesday, the 2019 West Virginia School Service Personnel of the Year, Mr. Lionel Hope Jr., was honored during the July meeting of the West Virginia Board of Education. Hope Jr., an early childhood assistant teacher at Highlawn Elementary School with 11 years of service in Cabell County, was named the award winner last month. The annual award recognizes outstanding school service employees who embody exemplary qualities. [Read More]
During his tenure at the school, Hope has served under four different principals, earning the highest marks in every category of his annual evaluations. Among the reasons for this is his ability to consistently create a positive atmosphere for students, their families and the whole school community.
Educators pursuing National Board Certification meet in Charleston
This week, West Virginia educators interested in pursuing their National Board Certification met in Charleston to learn more about NBC and the support that the Department of Education provides to these educators to earn their certification. West Virginia is currently ranked 15th in the country for the percentage of National Board Certified teachers. [More Photos]
State Fire Marshal’s Office to mark 110th anniversary with open house, reception
This week, the Office of the State Fire Marshal of West Virginia announced that the agency is preparing to celebrate its 110th anniversary with a reception and an open house at its offices in Charleston. The celebration is scheduled for this coming Monday – July 15 – the same day that a young Charles Ellison took the oath of office to become West Virginia’s first Fire Marshal. [Read More]
Marshal Ellison started with a staff of three assistant marshals to cover a rural, mountainous state. Most of the travel to investigate fires was made by train, horseback, and when lucky an automobile. Today, the office has a staff of over 50 individuals who handle everything from inspecting public buildings and investigating fires to licensing fireworks sales and testing electricians for certification.
New source water protection system in place on Buckhannon River
This week the Department of Environmental Protection highlighted a new early warning system, recently added to the Buckhannon River. The river is a popular spot for water recreation like swimming, paddling, fishing, and more. The river is also used for drinking water in certain areas. The warning system, put in place by the Buckhannon Water Department about one mile upstream from the river's water intakes, samples for pH levels, temperature, oxygen levels, water conductivity, while also looking for signs of petroleum-based compounds in the waters. [Watch Video]
In normal flow conditions, this new early warning system is designed to give operators an hour of advanced notice of any potential threat, allowing them to shut the water intakes if necessary.
WVDEP-REAP announces 2020 litter control grant recipients
On Wednesday, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan announced the recipients of Litter Control Matching Grants for 2020. The grants, awarded to state solid waste authorities, county commissions, and municipalities, totaled $94,800 and were approved for 35 individual applicants. [Read More]

Contact Information

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


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