West Virginia Week in Review - June 28, 2019





Gov. Justice: U.S. Department of Commerce says West Virginia #1 in personal income growth rates
On Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice announced that the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report, confirming that West Virginia led the nation in personal income growth for the 1st Quarter of 2019, with a 5.6 percent growth rate. For context, none of the states bordering West Virginia reached a growth rate of even 4 percent. [Watch Video]




United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross tweeted a congratulatory message to Gov. Justice after the findings were announced Tuesday, also announcing that the state boasts the 2nd-highest earnings increase in the country. [Social Post]




Gov. Justice also shared a statement, congratulating all West Virginians on the accomplishment. [Read More]




The complete findings of the report can be viewed on the Bureau of Economic Analysis' website. [Read More]





Gov. Justice introduces State Farm as new sponsor of the West Virginia Parkways Authority Courtesy Patrol
Gov. Justice and the West Virginia Parkways Authority announced Tuesday that State Farm is the new sponsor of the Courtesy Patrol, which services the entire 88 mile stretch of the West Virginia Turnpike. The newly renamed “WV Turnpike State Farm Safety Patrol” performs a vital service, keeping traffic moving by assisting drivers in times of need, reducing pollution, alleviating congestion, and helping prevent secondary crashes. [Watch Video]




The patrol services the turnpike 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year, attending a total of more than 9,000 annually on average. Disabled motorists can dial *SP and the nearest patrol unit will be notified



Gov. Justice announces West Virginia Housing Development Fund has AAA credit rating affirmed
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that the West Virginia Housing Development Fund has once again been affirmed in its AAA issuer credit rating by Standard & Poor’s Rating Service. The AAA qualification is Standard & Poor’s highest ranking and the Fund is the only state housing finance agency to receive a AAA rating. [Read More]




The WVHDF is a public body established to increase the supply of residential housing for persons and families of low and moderate income, among other purposes. The Fund has issued more than $4.4 billion in bonds and has financed more than 122,000 housing units since it began operation in 1969.





West Virginia Week Challenge reaches record 26 million social media users
On Tuesday, the Tourism Office announced that West Virginia’s birthday social campaign had an estimated reach of more than 26 million social media users in just seven days, thanks to thousands of West Virginia fans who shared their love of the state using the hashtag #AlmostHeaven. [Read More]




In thousands of comments, people from all over the United States gave their instant reactions to the campaign. Across all Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, #AlmostHeaven posts received more than 237,000 likes, comments and shares during the week. The high volume of engagement earned West Virginia third place in Facebook travel promotion last week, just behind Florida and Michigan.





Secondary road maintenance work continues statewide
Once again this week, crews with the Division of Highways worked around the clock and across the entire state, fixing secondary roadways in need of repair. Over the past week, work done in specific DOH Districts has been highlighted, including in District 4, which includes Monongalia, Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Taylor, and Preston counties. [Watch Video]




Work was also highlighted recently in District 2, which includes Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Logan, and Mingo counties. [Watch Video]







School clothing allowance applications to be accepted through July
The Department of Health and Human Resources' Division of Family Assistance will begin accepting school clothing allowance applications on Monday, July 1, 2019, for eligible children enrolled in West Virginia schools. Each eligible child will receive a $200 voucher that may be used toward the purchase of appropriate school clothing or piece goods for families who sew clothing for their children. [Read More]




Families with school-aged children enrolled in the WV WORKS program will automatically receive school clothing allowance vouchers for each school-age child in the home by mid-July 2019. Children receiving foster care will be issued a check. Additionally, families that received school clothing allowance vouchers in 2018 and currently receive Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits from DHHR should have received an application by mail in June 2019. Others may be eligible for school clothing allowance vouchers, but the monthly income for a family of four may not exceed $2,146 and applications must be submitted by July 31, 2019.





Trout stocking held at Blackwater Falls State Park
On Tuesday, crews with the Division of Natural Resources stocked nearly 20,000 fingerling brown trout into the Blackwater Canyon at several locations throughout Blackwater Falls State Park in Tucker County. [Watch Video]





Applications available for 2019 Antlerless Deer Season limited permit areas
On Tuesday, the Division of Natural Resources announced that applications for the 2019 Antlerless Deer Season limited permit areas are now available online at www.wvhunt.com. Applications will be accepted until midnight, August 14. Applicants must log on, select "Enter Lottery" on the home screen, select “2019 Antlerless Hunt,” then choose the county or wildlife management area for which they want to apply.




These limited permit areas provide antlerless deer hunting opportunities in counties or areas of the state where wildlife biologists have determined that the deer population exceeds management objectives.



Applications being accepted for controlled waterfowl hunt
On Monday, the DNR announced that applications are now being accepted for hunters who wish to hunt from a shooting station in the controlled waterfowl hunting zone of McClintic Wildlife Management Area, located near Point Pleasant. Those interested must submit their application by midnight August 11.




Hunting is by permit only on a portion of McClintic WMA during the October split of the waterfowl season. Those hunters who are successful in the lottery draw will be assigned an area free of charge and will be permitted to bring one guest. Hunters may apply online at www.wvhunt.com. Log into your account and press “Enter Lottery” on the individual’s home screen. Successful applicants will be notified by mail by the second week of September. Hunters successful in the draw will be randomly assigned a day to hunt. They must report to the McClintic WMA office before 6 a.m. on that day. Applicants not selected may come to the McClintic office on the morning of each day’s hunt to sign up for the chance to use shooting stations not filled by selected hunters.





Canoe Day group paddle held at Beech Fork State Park
In celebration of National Canoe Day on Wednesday, State Parks held a group paddle event at Beech Fork State Park in Barboursville. Participants used canoes or kayaks to navigate several miles on Beech Fork Creek.







State Fire Marshal urges safety for upcoming Fourth of July
This week, the State Fire Marshal’s Office began a campaign to remind West Virginians to buy and use consumer fireworks in a safe manner with the Fourth of July holiday approaching. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average, 280 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. The Fire Marshal's Office is also reminding residents who decide to use fireworks to review their safety instruction video. [Read More]







WVDEP holds 39th annual Junior Conservation Camp 
This past week marked the conclusion of the Department of Environmental Protection's 39th annual Junior Conservation Camp, held at Cedar Lakes in Jackson County. Nearly 200 campers ages 11-14 attended the week-long overnight camp that promotes environmental stewardship and education. Campers attended classes on forestry, hunter safety, wildlife, wastewater treatment, geocaching, and more. [Watch Video]




Attendees also participated other activities such as basketball, kickball, soccer, swimming, a movie night, and arts and crafts, and capped off the final night of camp with a dance.



Division of Air Quality displays exhibits for Clay County Schools Summer Program
On Wednesday, the DEP’s Division of Air Quality set up exhibits and displays for Clay Elementary School students as part of the Clay County Schools Summer Program. Students spent over two hours learning about the Clean Air Act, electrostatic precipitators, and control devices. They even got to see how solar energy works using the DAQ’s solar-powered mini-racetrack.







WVDACH highlights Miss West Virginia exhibit at Culture Center
The Miss West Virginia exhibit celebrates 75 years of pageantry with gowns, shoes, swimsuits, and other artifacts worn by those crowned Miss West Virginia. The exhibit is currently on display in the State Culture Center in Charleston will remain open until August 24. [Watch Video] 





“African American Life: A Personal Perspective” address to be presented in the Archives and History Library
The Department of Arts, Culture and History announced last Friday that Betty Cardwell Spencer will present “African American Life: A Personal Perspective” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston on Saturday, June 29. The program, part of the 2019 Block Speaker Series, will begin at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public. [Read More]




Spencer has dedicated her career to the field of education. She began teaching in Kanawha County schools at the age of 21 and continued for more than 43 years. A school principal for 32 years, she briefly served as Director of Elementary and Secondary Education for Kanawha County before returning to the position of principal for the remainder of her career.





Change order approved for dome project to create new support system
Work on the Capitol dome continues, following the recent approval of a change order to provide new support for the dome below the structure. This change comes after engineers discovered additional damage to clay tiles directly beneath the dome, investigated as part of the dome moisture intrusion project. The tiles were originally installed to serve as interior partitions to support the finished plaster and were not intended to support the dome; the dome instead used a comprehensive hanger system to suspend the dome in place. [Read More]




The work that will be completed as part of the change order will include creating a new support structure beneath the dome to provide continuous support, along with rebuilding the damaged walls in the central rotunda beneath the dome. The new support structure is necessary to fully support the dome and to prevent it from moving while the walls are removed and rebuilt beneath the dome.  





WVDHSEM hosts grants management course for agency partners
From Tuesday to Thursday this week, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management hosted more than 70 students from across West Virginia for a Fundamentals of Grants Management course, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, at the West Virginia State Police Academy Professional Development Center in Dunbar. The course is designed to enhance recipient's and sub-recipient’s ability to administer and manage federal financial assistance.







Guard hosts multi-agency cyber exercise focused on election security
At the end of last week, the West Virginia National Guard helped to host a Cyber Security Tabletop Exercise dealing with election security. The exercise is a multi-agency effort involving the United States Department of Homeland Security, the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, the West Virginia Office of Technology, the WVNG, and other partner agencies. [Read More]




The exercise included simulated scenarios to identify best practices and areas for improvement in cyber incident planning, identification, response, and recovery for elections.





WVDVA discusses benefits available to veterans at roundtable event with central West Virginia community leaders
On Tuesday, Department of Veterans Assistance Secretary Dennis Davis spoke with elected officials and community leaders from central West Virginia at a roundtable event in Parkersburg. He spoke about the needs of veterans in the state, the benefits available to them, and what the Department of Veterans Assistance does to connect veterans with those benefits.




Secretary Davis explained the transition of the state-operated Veterans Transportation Program to the Disabled American Veterans Transportation Program, and the benefit to rural veterans in the state.



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:

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