West Virginia Week in Review - July 19, 2019

7/19/2019

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GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
Gov. Justice announces recommendation for $250,000 grant to jump-start project adding public water service to Mercer County Airport
On Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice announced he has recommended a transfer of $250,000 of West Virginia’s Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) area development funds to jump-start a project to provide public water service to the Mercer County Airport for the first time. Throughout its history, the airport has relied solely on well water that has proven to be unreliable and inadequate for airport operations. The Governor made the announcement at the airport Tuesday with a ceremonial grant presentation to Bluewell Public Service District; the utility company in line to complete the project. [Watch Video]
After several years in the works, the recommended $250,000 would represent the final amount needed to finally get the project off the ground. Leaders with the ARC – an agency that provides federal funds for economic development projects recommended by states – will review the request and must give final approval before the funds can be officially transferred for use on the project.
Gov. Justice joins teen to retrieve elk antler discovered at Wildlife Management Area in Logan County
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice and officials with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources met with a 16-year-old who recently unearthed an elk antler at a Wildlife Management Area in Logan County. The young man, Chase Herndon of Holden, led Gov. Justice and WVDNR Elk Project Leader Randy Kelley to the antler’s location deep inside the WMA, so state officials could properly retrieve it. [Watch Video]
State law prohibits anyone from taking elk antlers for themselves. Herndon, an avid young bowhunter who won a world archery championship in 2016, did the right thing by reporting his discovery immediately.
Gov. Justice greets leaders from Logan County during city hall luncheon, visit to new Man soccer field
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice made a pair of visits in Logan County, to meet and talk with community leaders from across the area, one of which was a luncheon at Logan City Hall. During the event, the Governor spoke about recent funding he secured from the Governor’s Contingency Fund for the City of Logan, to help fund cleanup efforts in the aftermath of the collapse of the Sayer building in April. [Watch Video]
After the luncheon concluded, Gov. Justice made his way to Man to visit the new soccer field in town, which was recently built on the site of the old Man Junior High School. Gov. Justice provided a portion of the funding for this project as well.​ [More Photos]
First Lady Justice reads to students in Energy Express Program at Welch Elementary School
On Wednesday, First Lady Cathy Justice visited Welch Elementary School in McDowell County to read to students participating in the school's summer Energy Express Program. The program is an award-winning, 8-week, summer reading and nutrition initiative for children living in West Virginia's rural and low-income communities. [More Photos]
Each year, more than 3,000 children across West Virginia gain or maintain reading levels during summer months through the program. Energy Express also provides children with two nutritious meals each day, helping to ensure at-risk children are fed each day, even after the school year comes to an end. 
Gov. Justice commends West Virginia small business Marble King for being selected to attend White House “Made in America” event
On Monday, Gov. Justice commended Marble King, a small business located in Paden City, West Virginia, for being selected to attend the third annual Made in America Product Showcase event, hosted by President Donald J. Trump at the White House in Washington, D.C. The small business employs a staff of about two dozen workers. Marble King was officially founded in 1949. The company now stands as one of the only remaining marble makers in America, manufacturing more than 1 million marbles every day. [Social Post]
The 2019 Made in America Product Showcase marks the event’s third year. It is a unique opportunity to highlight and celebrate every state’s effort and commitment to American-made products, and a chance to highlight the Administration’s commitment to products that are made in America.
WEST VIRGINIA TOURISM OFFICE
Tourism Office rolls out welcome mat for scouts visiting West Virginia for World Scout Jamboree
This week, the Tourism Office has worked alongside several other state and federal agencies, making preparations for the 24th World Scout Jamboree. The event, to be held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, will welcome about 45,000 scouts from across the world to West Virginia, and the Tourism Office is working to ensure that these guests know everything there is to do and see across the state, to drive interest and encourage return visits. [Watch Video]
This year’s World Scout Jamboree, scheduled to run for two weeks from July 22 to Aug. 2, marks the first time in more than 50 years that the event will be held in the United States. It is being tri-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD
Pair of West Virginia heroes honored in Medal of Honor burial marker dedication ceremony
On Thursday, members of the West Virginia National Guard participated in a Medal of Honor burial marker dedication ceremony held at Sunset Memorial Park in South Charleston. The ceremony was held to dedicate and reveal new burial markers on the graves of Medal of Honor Recipients Herbert J. Thomas and Darwin K. "Gus" Kyle. [More Photos]
The ceremony as sponsored by the Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation and the Herbert J. Thomas Detachment #947 Marine Corps League.
WVNG assisting in preparations for tens of thousands of visitors to come to West Virginia for the World Scout Jamboree
This week, the West Virginia National Guard has had boots on the ground at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, preparing to welcome about 45,000 scouts to Glen Jean for the World Scout Jamboree. More than 1,200 military members from all branches of service are providing critical support for the lead up to and for the duration of the event, including 35 units of active duty and National Guard forces representing 10 different states. [Watch Video]
The combined efforts of these agencies and the task force members are to provide logistics, security, aviation, air traffic control, weather detachment, transportation, limited medical, search and rescue, communications, and public affairs support for the tens of thousands of scouts, staff members and volunteers from all over the world. With the projected attendance, the Summit Bechtel Reserve will temporarily have a population larger than all but two West Virginia cities and larger than 42 of the state’s 55 counties.
WVNG completes initial flood response mission in Randolph County
As of last Friday, the National Guard completed its flood response and recovery operations in Randolph County for the flooding event that occurred on June 30. All soldiers working on state active duty have been recalled. During the initial phase of response, the WVNG had a daily total of between eight to 20 soldiers on duty in Randolph County. [Read More]
Throughout the duration of the response, soldiers provided daily health and welfare checks, delivered two water buffalos to the area, distributed 155 cases of water, and delivered 21 boxes of food to residents, while also assisting local emergency management officials with logistical efforts. Loader dump teams removed and hauled more than 60 loads of debris and runoff removal and hauled more than 130 tons of stone and rock from the affected areas. Soldiers also performed five days of 24-hour operational support and spillway work on the Horace Camp pond dam to remove water and assist engineers from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to stabilize the dam.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
New bus system connecting Mason County with Huntington and greater Tri-State area unveiled in ribbon-cutting ceremony
On Monday, the Department of Transportation's Division of Public Transit announced that it will be partnering with Tri-River Transit to open a new bus system, serving Mason County. The announcement was made Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Riverfront Park in Point Pleasant. Tri-River Transit – a West Virginia based company – will operate the service throughout Mason County and beyond. [Read More]
The new bus system will also include service to Huntington, where this new route will meet up with Huntington’s existing Tri-State Transit system. This interconnected system will allow for additional bus travel destinations.
WVDOH re-opens Mineral Wells rest area on I-77 northbound
On Friday, the DOT's Division of Highways announced that it would be re-opening the I-77 northbound Mineral Wells rest area to traffic. The interstate rest area had been closed since December 2017 after a vehicle ran into the building, causing extensive damage. Repairs were made by DOH’s Building and Grounds crews. [Read More]
The Division of Highways and the Parkways Authority, which operates the West Virginia Turnpike, maintain a total of 9 welcome centers, 10 rest areas and 4 travel plazas across the state.
Work on back roads in southern West Virginia's District 10 continues
Crews with the Division of Highways continued their diligent maintenance work this week, repairing and rehabbing secondary roads across the state. Last Friday, the DOH featured crews working in District 10, which is comprised of the southern West Virginia area of McDowell, Wyoming, Mercer, and Raleigh counties. [Watch Video]
WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE
WVSP taking part in 2019 Best Looking Cruiser contest
This week, the West Virginia State Police have called on the people they serve to cast their votes, supporting WVSP in the 2019 Best Looking Cruiser contest. The contest is held every year, and asks the public to vote on their favorite state police cruiser from across the country. [CLICK HERE FOR VOTING LINK]
WVSP hold Junior Trooper Academy graduation ceremony
Last Friday, the State Police held a graduation ceremony for their 24th Junior Trooper Academy. The event was held at West Virginia State University in Institute.The Junior Trooper program is a week-long opportunity for children – between the ages of 14 and 17, who were nominated by a state legislator, county school superintendent, or any uniformed or retired member of the state police – to learn about the values of service and about the operations of the state police, while getting a chance to practice the life of a trooper. [Watch Video]
Troopers read to children in Third Base summer program
On Wednesday, troopers with the West Virginia State Police stopped by Overbrook Elementary School in Charleston to read to students enrolled in the school's Third Base summer program. The troopers spent time reading to the students, completed fingerprint safety kits, and spoke about police work, the dangers of drugs, personal body safety, and online safety. [More Photos]
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Cabell County Food Services Director receives national recognition for helping feed kids
On Thursday, the Department of Education and Cabell County Schools joined representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to recognize Rhonda McCoy with the national Summer Food Champion Award. McCoy received the recognition as a result of her work to help feed children in the Mountain State. The USDA’s Summer Champion Awards are presented to food service program sponsors who demonstrate innovation and hard work to make sure children receive nutritious meals. [Read More]
McCoy has been a champion for the Cabell County Schools Summer Food Service Program. With USDA support, each year, McCoy hires an administrator, cooks, student helpers and delivery drivers to prepare and deliver both hot meals and nutritious bagged lunches to distribution sites county-wide, including parks, housing developments, schools, libraries, churches, community centers, daycare centers, private residences, and other places children might gather. This year, the county has exceed 30,000 meals served at more than 40 sites across the county. Administrators of the award surprised McCoy, presenting it to her during an event celebrating the milestone number of meals for this summer. [More Photos]
Teachers from across West Virginia participate in AP Summer Institute
Concluding last Friday, teachers from throughout the Mountain State gathered in Martinsburg for this year's AP Summer Institute. The program teaches the teachers themselves on changes to the Advanced Placement (AP) program, while also reviewing new resources that may be used to assist students. [More Photos]
Courses on computer science, chemistry, United States history, and others were among the courses being provided during the program, which was held at Spring Mills High School.
OFFICE OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL
State Fire Marshal’s Office celebrates 110th anniversary with open house event
Firefighters, past and present Fire Commission members, media, current staff and local citizens stopped by the State Fire Marshal’s Office in Charleston on Monday for an open house, celebrating the 110th anniversary of the swearing in of the state’s first Fire Marshal – Charles Ellison – in 1909. The open house event allowed members of the public a chance to see and interact with artifacts and memories representing the office’s long history. Attendees were given a chance to tour the facility. [Watch Video]
Gov. Jim Justice also issued a proclamation in commemoration of the anniversary. Also debuting at the open house was a newly written book of the history of the office. Included inside the book are old photos, a historical timeline of the office, detailed looks at all the functions of the office, and a biography of all the individuals who have served as State Fire Marshal in the office’s history.
DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION
Multiple monuments restored on Capitol complex
The General Services Division is working with EverGreene Architectural Arts, Inc., to revitalize and restore monuments on the state Capitol campus. Of 13 monuments inspected, five were identified as needing to undergo routine maintenance. The work on the monuments, which had aged due to time and weather, will preserve the beauty, history, and integrity of the monuments’ original state. This week, a pair of monuments housed on the grounds of the State Capitol Complex underwent restoration treatment as a part of routine maintenance. The first such monument to be restored was "Lincoln Walks at Midnight." [More Photos]
The West Virginia Liberty Bell, which also underwent repairs, was put back in place this week. Three others expected to be cleaned and restored include the Fallen Partners, Coal Miner, and Fallen Firefighters monuments. [More Photos]
HERBERT HENDERSON OFFICE OF MINORITY AFFAIRS
HHOMA announces next Listening Tour event to be held in Keyser
On Thursday, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs announced it will be conducting its third Listening Tour event for this year next week, on Thursday, July 25, 2019, at 6 p.m. The event will be held at Emmanuel Church in Keyser. [Read More]
This event is free and open to the public. The number of agency partners for the Listening Tours has increased favorably to include the Governor’s Office of Constituent Services, Marshall University’s Minority Health Institute, WV Women’s Commission, Tiger S. Morton Catastrophic Illness Commission, WV Bureau of Senior Services, WV Department of Agriculture, AARP, WV Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, WV Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, and more. All will be available to showcase a variety of opportunities as well as address questions and comments.
HHOMA announces new advisory board, with members to serve two-year terms
The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs appointed a new advisory board during its bi-annual meeting last Friday. The board assists HHOMA with duties such as marketing, promotion and member recruitment as well as recommendations on the needs of minority citizens and businesses. This marks the first new board to be assembled under the leadership of HHOMA Executive Director Jill Upson. [Read More]
Board members serve two-year terms. The terms may be renewed based on member interest and the HHOMA executive director. HHOMA accepted candidate applications online from May 15 through June 5, 2019.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Marshall University's new rain garden nears completion
This week, the Department of Environmental Protection spotlighted a project at Marshall University, where crews are working to complete construction on a new rain garden. The garden will be located just outside Marshall's new School of Pharmacy complex in Huntington. [Watch Video]
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Eye care device maker Alcon sees a brilliant future ahead
This week, the West Virginia Development Office highlighted their working relationship with the eye care company, Alcon, which operates two plants in Cabell County. The first originally opened in 1978 under the name California Intraocular Lens Co. In 2010, Alcon expanded operations with a new 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Huntington Area Development Council Business Park. [Watch Video]
SBDC highlights options for those opening businesses later in life
This week, the Small Business Development Center highlighted the Rx by Tel pharmacy in Charleston and owner Walter Moore, a former pharmacy owner who came out of retirement at age 70 and worked with the West Virginia SBDC to re-open his business once again. [Watch Video]
Applications available for controlled deer hunts at six West Virginia state parks 
This week, the Division of Natural Resources announced that applications are being accepted through Aug. 25, 2019, for controlled deer hunts at six West Virginia state parks. The six areas are Beech Fork in Cabell County, Cacapon Resort in Morgan County, Canaan Valley Resort in Tucker County, North Bend in Ritchie County, Pipestem Resort in Summers County, and Twin Falls Resort in Wyoming County. The drawings will be held Aug. 26 with notification of successful applicants occurring between Sept. 3 and 13, 2019. [Read More]
Assistance needed in monarch butterfly research study at Cacapon Resort State Park
This week, West Virginia State Parks announced that volunteers are being recruited to help monarch butterflies by participating in Cacapon Resort State Park‘s monarch research study Friday, July 26, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The search site is a pollinator field that has been created for a citizen science study in cooperation with the Monarch Joint Venture. The study will be part of a nationwide assessment to monitor the populations and habitat throughout the monarch’s breeding range. [Read More]
Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes or summer hiking boots. Meet at the nature center at 8:30 a.m. for a quick review of the overall process. It will take about three hours to complete the work. 
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Contact Information

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

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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:
304.558.3588

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