West Virginia Week in Review - May 17, 2019

5/17/2019

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GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

Gov. Justice joins EPA Administrator to announce the addition of Minden to the National Priorities List
On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler to announce that the Shaffer Equipment / Arbuckle Creek area site in the Fayette County community of Minden has officially been added to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites. Being added to this list is a significant step toward ridding the area of chemical contamination that has built up over the years. [Read More]

 

Being added to the list also will allow the EPA to utilize federal funding and other resources to conduct comprehensive, long-term cleanup initiatives on the site.

Gov. Justice and elected officials welcome a proposal for major investment in electric infrastructure
On Thursday, Gov. Justice and local elected officials welcomed plans for the Black Rock Wind Farm, a proposed wind energy power plant that straddles the Mineral and Grant County line. With a generation capacity of up to 170 megawatts, the project expects to create hundreds of jobs during construction, bolster the region’s electricity infrastructure, and generate significant new tax revenues for Mineral and Grant counties and the state as a whole. [Read More]

 

First Lady Cathy Justice continues expansion of Communities In Schools program in Lincoln, Clay and Calhoun counties
Throughout this week, First Lady Cathy Justice visited a handful of schools in Lincoln, Clay and Calhoun counties to announce further expansion of the Communities In Schools (CIS) program, which aims to utilize community support resources to reduce dropout rates and increase student engagement.

 

This week, the First Lady met with students from Lincoln County High School, Hamlin PK-8 School, Clay County Middle School, Clay County High School, Arnoldsburg Elementary School and Calhoun Middle School. A total of 49 new schools in eight new counties will be participating in the program for the 2019-2020 school year. [More Photos]

 

Gov. Justice announces $150,000 in federal grant funding for broadband upgrades in Jefferson and Grant counties
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia has secured a combined total of $150,000 in federal grant funding that will be used to improve broadband and high-speed internet connectivity in Jefferson and Grant counties. [Read More]

 

A total of 19 different communities throughout West Virginia have been awarded similar CDBG grants for this year, combining for $13.1 million in federal funding. Gov. Justice has announced all of these awardees over the past month.

Gov. Justice addresses Class of 2019 at West Virginia Graduates Baccalaureate Service in Raleigh County
Gov. Jim Justice provided words of wisdom to hundreds of graduating high school seniors Sunday night, in an address made during the annual West Virginia Graduates Baccalaureate Service at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. [Read More]

 

This spring marks the 2nd annual WV Grads Baccalaureate Service, which aims to honor seniors from all schools across Raleigh County and southern West Virginia on their upcoming graduations. The event was organized by 15 area churches and brought in a crowd of about 600 students and their family members.

Gov. Justice talks tech with state technology directors from across the eastern U.S. at regional seminar
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice addressed a collection of state technology directors from across the eastern United States, who gathered in West Virginia this week for this year’s National Association of State Technology Directors Eastern Region Seminar. [Read More]

 

The seminar provides an opportunity for these various state technology directors to share information about progress they have made over the past year, while also reflecting about challenges they’ve faced as well as strategies they’ve used to solve these problems to help their respective state governments run more efficiently.

First Lady addresses standouts of Letters About Literature Competition
On Thursday, First Lady Cathy Justice stopped by the Culture Center and spoke at a ceremony honoring participants and winners of the annual West Virginia Letters About Literature competition, a reading promotion where young readers write a personal letter to an author, of any genre, explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves. [Watch Video]

 

Top honors for 2019 were awarded to Tessa Moore from the Linsly School in Wheeling, Clare Seibert from the Linsly School in Wheeling and Bethany Nutter from Nicholas County High School.

Gov. Justice orders state and U.S. flags to half-staff in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day
Gov. Justice issued a proclamation this week, in accordance with a similar Presidential proclamation, ordering that all United States and West Virginia state flags on all state-owned facilities be displayed at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day, which honors all men and women of law enforcement who have given their lives in the line of duty. [Read More]

 

Gov. Justice issues proclamation honoring National Salvation Army Week
In honor of an organization that, for years, has worked to help those in need, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation Monday that officially recognizes this week as National Salvation Army Week in West Virginia. [Watch Video]

 

The Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Ann Urling, read the proclamation to a group of representatives with the Salvation Army inside the Governor’s Reception Room at the State Capitol Building.

Gov. Justice visits with elementary school students at Capitol
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice met two groups of young students who were in Charleston to visit the State Capitol for the day. The Governor took time to chat and take photos with the students from Paden City Elementary School in Wetzel County. [Social Post]

 

The governor also took time to get to know another group of students from Leading Creek Elementary School in Lewis County. [Social Post]

 

DIVISION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Students receive fishing tutorial from top professionals at Fishing Derby
On Thursday, the Division of Natural Resources hosted a fishing derby at Camp Virgil Tate in Charleston. During the event, DNR staff members took time to teach school children top-of-the-line fishing techniques. The goal is to instill the importance of conservation at an early age and expose the children to a healthy, lifelong hobby. [Watch Video]

 

DNR crews utilize rail car to stock Shavers Fork with trout
In the past week alone, the Division of Natural Resources stocked more than 1,500 pounds of trout along Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. This was a unique process, as parts of the stream require the use of a rail car to be accessed. [Watch Video]

 

Stocking has become a top priority since Gov. Justice issued a directive to implement a new and improved method for trout stocking. Instead of dumping all the trout in one place, DNR crews have been encouraged to spread out across each body of water, in order to make sure the fish are spread out too.

West Virginia hunters harvest more than 11,000 spring turkeys
Officials with the Division of Natural Resources say that spring turkey hunters harvested about 11,210 gobblers this year, which is three percent above the five-year average and nine percent above the 10-year average. The five counties with the highest harvests this season were Mason (464), Preston (455), Jackson (447), Wood (362), and Harrison (347). [Read More]

 

DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION

State Government Career Fair provides outlet for job opportunities serving West Virginia
Dozens of West Virginia state agencies and many more interested members of the public stopped by the Culture Center Wednesday to participate in this spring's State Government Career Fair. The event was aimed at providing job seekers with information on full-time state government employment opportunities and benefits. [Read More]

 

Additionally, information was distributed to college students who may be interested in participating in the Governor’s Internship Program.

Agency for Surplus Property holds 3rd annual open house
On Thursday, the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property (WVSASP)  which makes available good, usable property no longer needed by the owning state agency to eligible organizations – held its 3rd annual open house event in Dunbar to teach other state agencies, local and county governments, schools boards of education, volunteer fire departments, and more about the benefits of their program.

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More than 25 eligible organizations attended the event in Dunbar, including the Clay, Calhoun and Mercer county boards of education; Challenged Athletes of West Virginia; Kanawha Valley Senior Services; and Water Matters in West Virginia.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES

CDC's Tips From Former Smokers campaign visits West Virginia
On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Resources hosted the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a media and public awareness event to discuss the dangers of smoking as a part of the CDC's Tips From Former Smokers campaign at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. [Read More]

 

The event featured a former smoker, named Amanda, who has appeared in nationally-broadcasted TV ads by the CDC. Amanda shared her story of how smoking impacted her pregnancy and how she managed to quit.  

DHHR partners with U.S. Department of Justice on child welfare reform
On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Resources entered into a partnership with the United States Department of Justice, officially agreeing to serve children with serious mental health conditions in the most integrated setting appropriate, by expanding community-based mental health services and reducing the number of children in residential mental health treatment facilities. [Read More]

 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Major work on interstate overpass bridges near I-77/I-79 split in Charleston set to begin
Another project to improve the long-term sustainability of a major West Virginia roadway will begin Saturday morning. Travelers in Charleston will experience a work zone and slow moving traffic along I-77/I-79, just north of the I-64/I-77 split, as the Division of Highways replaces the decks on three overpass bridges, and an overlay on one other bridge. [Read More]

 

The interstate project, as per its contract, will impact I-77 for approximately 100 days, with crews working around the clock, 24/7. The first phase will require the closure of I-77 northbound and the adjacent ramps to all traffic on the Westmoreland interchange. The Westmoreland Drive, Garrison Avenue, Cora Street and Spring Street underpasses will be closed at various times throughout the duration of the project, although emergency vehicles will be accommodated.

Secondary road maintenance work continues across the state
Once again this week, crews with the Division of Highways continued their work fixing the secondary road system across West Virginia. With an increased emphasis on road repair and maintenance as the top priority of the DOH, crews were able to lay more than 22,000 tons of materials to stabilize crumbling roads this week alone in addition to many other types of maintenance work. [Read More]

 

WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD

Top soldiers battle for title of Best Warrior in grueling competition
A group of elite Army National Guard soldiers from across the eastern United States gathered at Camp Dawson in Preston County Thursday to begin a grueling 72-hour competition, testing both physical and mental abilities, to determine which individual will earn the title of Best Warrior for the region. Competitors from West Virginia, District of Columbia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware zeroed their weapons and worked to out-run and out-muscle the competition in strength and conditioning events. [More Photos]

 

The soldiers also took part in written tests essay writing to test their mental aptitude. The contest is set to continue into the weekend, with the eventual champion set to move on to the National Guard Best Warrior Competition. [More Photos]

 

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Young Writers Day celebration held at University of Charleston
Last Friday, the best of the best young student writers from across West Virginia gathered at the University of Charleston as part of a celebration event for top-achieving students who took part in the annual Young Writers Contest, where students compose a work of fiction, nonfiction, narrative, memoir, or essay. [Read More]

 

University High School making strides in diverse computer science program
With Advanced Placement testing season fully underway, West Virginia students joined thousands across the country in exam rooms this week, and one school in Morgantown – University High School – is hoping to build on success from last spring, particularly in computer science. This March, UHS became one of just 685 schools in the world to receive the College Board's AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, recognizing both the program's high-achieving test scores and its gender diversity in the classroom. [Watch Video]

 

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

WVDEP presents 2019 Environmental Awards at ceremony
The 2019 Environmental Awards, which honor the initiatives of organizations and individuals from across West Virginia, were presented Wednesday during a special ceremony at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection headquarters in Charleston. In total, 13 individuals, volunteer groups, local government officials, and industry leaders were honored in categories ranging from Municipal Stormwater and Water Conservation to Land Revitalization and Environmental Stewardship. [Read More]

 

WVDEP teams up to help Girl Scouts earn STREAM badge
On Saturday, the WVDEP partnered with Trout Unlimited – an organization that works to restore watersheds all over North America – to help several West Virginia Girl Scouts earn their STREAM badge. STREAM stands for Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Arts and Math and is a newly created badge by Trout Unlimited and the Girl Scouts. The event took place at the Rocky Ledges Black Diamond Girl Scout Camp in Milton and the WVDEP staff taught about the origin of the water in a stream and where it goes, how to describe a stream bank in technical terms, and what types of animals live in the stream and why. [Read More]

 

DIVISION OF FORESTRY

Women Owning Woodlands workshop comes to West Virginia for first time ever
A Women Owning Woodlands (WOW) workshop will be held for the first time in West Virginia. The WOW weekend workshop is for taught by women, for women and is scheduled for May 31 - June 2 in Watoga State Park and Calvin Price State Forest in Pocahontas County. The WOW workshop instructors and attendees are women. The program is designed to provide women landowners with the opportunity to ask questions, practice skills and network with other women involved in managing their own woodlands.

 

Forest industry research reports that the percentage of family forest ownerships, where a woman is the primary decision maker, doubled from 2006 to 2013. The session will cover practical skills such as how to identify common types of trees, manage forests, value woodlands for timber or wildlife, and much more. The deadline to register is Friday, May 24.

WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE

Troopers participate in Special Olympics Torch Run
On Saturday, West Virginia State Police from Martinsburg participated in the Eastern Panhandle Law Enforcement Special Olympics Torch Run, a nationwide campaign to benefit the Special Olympics. West Virginia Troopers teamed up to carry the torch for more than eight miles on foot before lighting the flame. [More Photos]

 

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Series of Reverse Job Fairs across West Virginia wraps up
This week marked the final events on the recent statewide series of Reverse Job Fairs in West Virginia. Each job fair proved to be beneficial for both the students who showcased their skills and qualifications, and employers who met potential employees with the talents necessary to succeed. [Watch Video]

 

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Contact Information

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

Contact

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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Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

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