West Virginia Week in Review - May 24, 2019





Gov. Justice visits Marshall County to give roadwork update
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice visited Marshall County to update citizens on secondary road maintenance activity by the Division of Highways since leaders toured the county last month. The Governor announced, in that time, crews have completed more than 200 miles worth of ditching and blading work and have laid a combined total of more than 4,700 tons of road material on road patching and stabilization, among much more maintenance work. [Read More]





Gov. Justice announces $98 million in supplemental appropriations to fix roads
Gov. Justice announced Monday that the West Virginia Legislature has approved his supplemental appropriation request for an additional $98 million to immediately go to state highway maintenance funding. [Read More]




Additionally, the Legislature approved another request by Gov. Justice to combine two spending accounts within the Division of Highways so that additional money will be available for maintenance funding in Fiscal Year 2020, which starts July 1, 2019.



First Lady greets riders in “Run for the Wall” memorial motorcycle caravan
On Thursday, First Lady Cathy Justice visited Rainelle Elementary School in Greenbrier County to greet motorcycle riders in the national “Run for the Wall” event honoring veterans. The group passes through Rainelle every year as a part of its ride from California to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. [Watch Video]




Gov. Justice also honored these riders Thursday, as the group stopped by the West Virginia Veterans Memorial at the State Capitol. [Social Post]





Gov. Justice amends special session call to include technical veto bills and supplemental appropriation bills
Over the past week, Gov. Justice announced that he would be adding a total of 31 bills to the proclamation calling for the West Virginia Legislature to convene in special session to focus on education betterment. Included were bills that were vetoed by Gov. Justice after the 2019 Legislative Session for purely technical reasons. After working with lawmakers, the technical errors were corrected, and the governor is submitting the bills for reconsideration. Also included are supplemental appropriation bills which, if passed, will allocate additional funds to agencies that have unmet financial needs. [Read More]





First Lady announces winner of Songs for West Virginia Contest
On Monday, First Lady Cathy Justice announced her selection of Rave Revue, the Ravenswood High School Show Choir, as the grand prize winner of her Songs for West Virginia Show Choir Contest. The First Lady invited all high school show choirs to compete by performing a song about West Virginia. [Read More]




Rave Revue will be awarded $500 as part of a partnership between the Office of the First Lady and the Department of Arts, Culture, and History and the choir will be invited to perform their song for the Governor and First Lady on West Virginia Day, June 20th, at the Culture Center in Charleston.



Gov. Justice appoints Little to House of Delegates District 9 seat
On Monday, Gov. Justice appointed Chuck Little of Davisville to the House of Delegates, District 9, serving Wirt and Wood Counties. Little fills the seat previously held by Del. Ray Hollen, who resigned this month. [Read More]







Hundreds of students honored for workforce readiness 
A total of 404 Career Technical Education students from across the state received the third annual Governor’s Workforce Credential this week. The honor signifies a student’s knowledge of business processes within a Simulated Workplace environment. West Virginia’s Governor endorses the top CTE completers in the state for their achievements in academics, technical training and work readiness. [Read More]





U.S. Secretary of Education Names Junior Elementary a 2019 Green Ribbon School
The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that Junior Elementary School in Barbour County is among just 35 schools across the country to be named as a 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honoree. [Read More]




Junior Elementary was nominated for this award by the West Virginia Department of Education for its innovative practices surrounding health and wellness, environmental impact and sustainability education. Each class at JES plans an annual field trip, where students enjoy the beauty and scope of their home state, with each child experiencing at least six West Virginia adventures before moving on to middle school. The school also participates in an Adopt-A-Highway project each spring and students take a leadership role in collecting and disposing properly of trash and litter along the roadway between the river and the school.



Big Otter Elementary School students travel across country to compete in national fitness competition
On Wednesday, a group of students from Big Otter Elementary School in Clay County traveled to California to compete in the National Fittest School Challenge, where students from across the country put their exercise and nutrition skills and knowledge to the test. [Social Post]







Grant funding available for next round of economic development of abandoned mine lands
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation is taking applications for a portion of $25 million in grant funding available for economic development projects. Completed applications are due July 1, 2019. [Read More]




Since 2016, 28 projects have received a total of $80 million dollars in grant funding through this program. Those projects are located in Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Fayette, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Preston, Raleigh, and Tucker counties.



WVDEP hosts 56th annual Youth Environmental Day
On Saturday, the WVDEP hosted the 56th annual Youth Environmental Day at North Bend State Park in Ritchie County. More than 500 young people and their families from across the Mountain State attended the event. [More Photos]




Highlights included educational exhibits and the awarding of close to $15,000 in cash prizes to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs, schools and other groups for their outstanding efforts the past year in environmental stewardship. Also, the $10,000 Vecellio Memorial College Scholarship was awarded to Wyoming East High School senior Angela Vest.





Best Warrior regional champions emerge from Charleston competition
After a grueling 72-hour competition, testing both the physical and mental abilities of some of the best Army National Guard soldiers from across the eastern United States, two stood alone as champions of the 2019 Best Warrior Competition, held at Camp Dawson in Preston County. SPC Hunter Olson of the Maryland National Guard and SSG Erich Friedlein of the Pennsylvania National Guard took the top honors and both will move on to the National Best Warrior Competition in Oklahoma. [More Photos]




Competitors from West Virginia, District of Columbia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware took part in the competition, which was comprised of weapons and other skills events, athletic events and written exams. [More Photos]







Certain interstate work suspended to benefit Memorial Day travelers
The Division of Highways announced Thursday that travel through West Virginia will be easier over the Memorial Day weekend as certain interstate work has been suspended. [Read More]




The rehabilitation and resurfacing project along I-77 from Bluefield to Princeton will be halted and all lanes will be open. The I-64 rehabilitation work around Teays Valley is being done at night but will be suspended for the holiday traffic. The widening along the WV Turnpike from US 19 to the I-64/77 split will also be suspended, although the narrow lanes will remain in place. The I-81 widening project in the eastern panhandle will be halted and work on I-79 will stop for holiday travel. Crews will be working on the bridge projects around the Westmoreland interchange in Charleston on Friday and Saturday but will stop work Sunday and Monday. All of these projects will resume work on May 28.





New nutrition program guidelines to benefit more West Virginia families
On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Resources announced new income eligibility guidelines by the USDA for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The new guidelines indicate a family of four can earn $47,638 and still qualify for WIC program benefits. This amounts to a $1,203 increase from last year and will allow more West Virginia families to enroll in the program. [Read More]




West Virginia WIC serves 75 percent of all babies born in West Virginia. Families enrolled in the program receive nutrition education, breastfeeding education, nutritious foods, support and access to maternal, prenatal and pediatric healthcare services that may otherwise be unavailable.





DNR and Weyerhaeuser Company celebrate 20 years of stream restoration and species protection
On Thursday, the Division of Natural Resources held an event up the South Fork of the Cherry River near Richwood to commemorate 20 years of partnership between the DNR and the Weyerhaeuser Company, which has directly improved the environment for aquatic life in the area. Weyerhaeuser is the largest private landowner of native brook trout streams in West Virginia.




Executives and staff of Weyerhaeuser, the DNR and other state government agencies, as well as Richwood community representatives, were on hand for the signing of a renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding between the DNR Wildlife Resources Section and Weyerhaeuser Company that began in 1999, which formally commits both parties to continue annual treatments of more than 800 tons of limestone sand and obligates Weyerhaeuser to permit public access for fishing in the treated watersheds.





Annual Vandalia Gathering to be held May 24-26 in Charleston
On Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, the Culture Center and State Capitol grounds will set the stage for the 43rd annual Vandalia Gathering – the state’s annual celebration of the traditional arts, music, dance, stories, crafts and food of West Virginia. The free festival’s unique blend of ethnic and cultural heritage combines an atmosphere as comfortable as a family reunion with the excitement of a state fair. [Read More]




The 2019 Vandalia Gathering kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, May 24, in the State Theater with an awards ceremony for quilt and wall-hanging winners and the presentation of the 2019 Vandalia Award, the state’s highest folklife honor, to Dwight Diller, a world-renowned clawhammer banjo player, fiddle player and teacher. The event continues throughout the weekend, with several more activities scheduled.





HHOMA to hold financial literacy class in Martinsburg
The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs has partnered with Legal Aid of West Virginia’s Financial Exploitation Division to offer a financial literacy class to community members in Martinsburg. The free class will take place on Tuesday, May 28, at 6 p.m. at Destiny Baptist Church. [Read More]




This is the third financial literacy class HHOMA has hosted this year. The class focuses on financial exploitation, smart planning and handling obstacles with accessing bank services. Unbanked or underbanked households rely on cash and have little or no access to checking or savings accounts, credit cards or other traditional financial services.





DHSEM's Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program hosts state’s first recovery initiative workshop
To bolster safety planning for the only nuclear power plant near West Virginia’s borders, state officials recently held a first-ever workshop to ensure well-rounded preparedness and strengthen West Virginia’s recovery capabilities.






Contact Information

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


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

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