West Virginia Week in Review - March 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 directs DOH to identify secondary road maintenance needs statewide at meeting with all district engineers and county supervisors
On Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice called all district engineers and county supervisors within the state Division of Highways to the Capitol for a meeting at the Culture Center, where the Governor directed all DOH officials to get to work identifying and prioritizing secondary road maintenance needs across the state. [View Press Release]


During his address, the Governor gave DOH leaders 72 hours to compile a complete list of road problems in their respective regions and an additional 24 hours to categorize each of the problem spots, based on severity. Gov. Justice also asked DOH officials to use the same 72-hour window to identify what materials, equipment, or manpower is needed for each district to be able to conduct aggressive maintenance to fix the roads and to keep them in good shape at all times in the future. [View Governor's Full Photo Album]


Gov. Justice said that once he gets all the reports from each DOH district and county in the state, he will enlist the help of Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy to find the most fiscally-responsible solution possible.

Governor appoints new member of State Board of Education
Gov. Justice Wednesday appointed Daniel Snavely, M.D. to the West Virginia State Board of Education. Snavely will fill the seat vacated by Joseph Wallace, following his resignation from the board last month. [View Press Release]


A graduate of the West Virginia University School of Medicine and Marshall University, Snavely works as the Medical Director at St. Mary’s Regional Wound Center and as an Interventional Cardiologist at Huntington Internal Medicine Group. Snavely will complete Wallace’s unexpired term, which is set to end in November 2024.

Gov. Justice orders flags flown at half-staff to honor former state legislator; Huntington mayor
Gov. Justice ordered all United States and West Virginia flags displayed at the Capitol complex in Charleston and all state facilities throughout Cabell County be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday, in commemoration of Robert R. “Bobby” Nelson, who worked as a state delegate, senator, and as the mayor of Huntington at various points over the course of his 28-year career in public office. [View Press Release]


Gov. Justice proclaims Small Business Development Center Day
In honor of an organization that, for years, has helped boost small businesses across the state to big success, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation Wednesday that officially designated March 20, 2019 as Small Business Development Center Day in West Virginia. [View Press Release]


Gov. Justice appoints Poling as judge for 10th Judicial Circuit serving Raleigh County
On Monday, Gov. Justice named Darl W. Poling of Beckley, WV to the 10th Judicial Circuit Court, which serves Raleigh County. Poling fills the seat vacated by Judge John Hutchison, following his appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. [View Press Release]


Poling has spent the past 23 years serving as a Municipal Court Judge in Beckley, WV. For the past 22 years, Poling has also served as an attorney at his own private law firm, Poling Law Office.

Following Governor's signature, Revenue Secretary provides details on Budget Bill
One day after Gov. Justice signed the state Budget Bill for Fiscal Year 2020, Secretary of the Department of Revenue Dave Hardy provided further details on the bill during a press conference held inside the Governor's Reception Room last Friday. [View Press Release]



WVDE hosts first four community forums on education betterment
The Department of Education hosted forum events each evening from Monday to Thursday this week at various schools across West Virginia, providing teachers, service personnel, students, parents and other community members a chance to give their input on ways to improve the state's education system. The forums are being held to provide lawmakers with insights ahead of a special session on education betterment. The first forum was held at Cabell Midland HIgh School in Ona. [View YouTube Video] 


Additional forums this week were held at Mount View High School in Welch, Capital High School in Charleston [View YouTube Video], and Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley.


Extra education forum event added as statewide tour continues
On Tuesday, WVDE officials announced they would be adding one additional education forum to the schedule as these events continue across the state over the next two weeks. The extra forum will be held at Blennerhassett Middle School in Parkersburg on March 25 at 6 p.m.
[View Press Release]


The three other remaining forums will be held from April 1 through April 3 at Robert C. Byrd High School in Clarksburg, Wheeling Park High School in Wheeling, and Berkeley Springs High School in Berkeley Springs. [View Schedule]

Career tech skills competition to bring hundreds of students to north central West Virginia
More than 750 West Virginia Career Technical Education students will participate in the 2019 state SkillsUSA competition in locations throughout north central West Virginia beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend. The event brings together the best CTE students in the state, allowing each of them to showcase their skills in 52 sectors including automotive service technology, masonry and urban search and rescue. [More Details Here]


Winners from local CTE competitions will attend the state conference. Winners at the state level will travel to the 2019 National SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Ky., June 24-28.

State Superintendent accepting applications for Logan County Board of Education Vacancy
State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine, announced Tuesday that he is seeking applications from those having an interest in filling an unexpired term on the Logan County Board of Education. [View Press Release]


The vacancy resulted from Governor Jim Justice’s appointment of former Logan County Board of Education President Paul Hardesty to the West Virginia Senate.


State Police crime lab vastly improving caseload
The West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory has reduced the number of pending cases by more than half, in part by adding to the ranks of its talented and highly trained staff. The lab began the year with around 2,300 pending cases. The backlog by the end of 2016 had been nearly 5,000 cases. 
[View Press Release]


As West Virginia’s only full-service crime lab, the WVSPFL fields an average of 6,700 requests for analysis annually from as many as 800 federal, state, county and local agencies across the state.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management holds statewide tornado drill
On Tuesday morning the Divison of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) held a statewide tornado drill as part of the scheduled events for Severe Weather Awareness Week. The drill included a test of the statewide siren system. Several school systems across the state participated, teaching students the proper way to seek shelter in the case of a tornado emergency. [View Twitter Post]


DHSEM hosts kickoff event for Severe Weather Awareness Week
On Monday, DHSEM held a news conference in Harrison County to promote public knowledge of Severe Weather Awareness Week. Speakers at the conference provided an overview of the historic “Shinnston” Tornado and gave tips on how to stay prepared for a severe weather event. [View Full Video]



DHHR announces emergency energy assistance program for low income residents
The Department of Health and Human Resources announced Monday that applications for the Emergency Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) will be accepted beginning Monday, March 25, 2019, and ending Friday, March 29, 2019, or until funds have been exhausted. The federally-funded program assists eligible state residents who have a termination notice in paying their home heating bills. [View Press Release]


Eligibility for Emergency LIEAP benefits is based on income, household size, whether or not the household is responsible for paying its home heating bill, and if a home heating emergency exists.


DEP accepting registrations for Adopt-A-Highway Spring Statewide Cleanup event
Friday, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it is now accepting registrations for the Adopt-A-Highway Spring Statewide Cleanup, scheduled for Saturday, April 27. Volunteers have until April 19th to register. Co-sponsored by the DEP and the state Division of Highways, the Adopt-A-Highway program improves the quality of the state’s environment by encouraging public involvement in the elimination of highway litter. [View Press Release]


Individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools, civic organizations, government agencies and communities can register to pick up trash on almost any state-maintained road, back road or main route.

Putnam Area Robotics Team hosts workshops to train educators on STEM principles
The Putnam Area Robotics Team (PARTs), a member of the DEP’s Youth Environmental Program, has begun hosting a series of workshops to provide resources and train educators in conservation-based STEM principles. 
[View Press Release]


The workshops are set to reach all 55 counties in West Virginia by May 2020.

Division of Air Quality participates in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Air Quality participated in a STEM event, geared towards girls, at BridgeValley Community and Technical College in South Charleston. [View Press Release]



Financial literacy class shows how to plan smart, avoid scams
The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs announced Wednesday that it will be offering a financial literacy class to members of the public to highlight financial challenges and pitfalls and present tips to avoid them. The free class will take place on Tuesday, April 2, 6 p.m., at the Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School, Charleston. The program is not affiliated with Kanawha County Schools. [View Press Release]


The class focuses on money scams, smart planning and handling unbanked/underbanked obstacles. Unbanked/underbanked households rely on cash and have little or no access to checking or savings accounts, credit cards or other traditional financial services.


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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