West Virginia Week in Review - November 1, 2019


Gov. Justice celebrates Hollywood Elementary School for being named a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence


On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice, joined by First Lady Cathy and their daughter Jill, greeted students, teachers, and others at Hollywood Elementary School near Beckley, at an all-student assembly to honor the school for being selected as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education. Being named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed upon any school in the country. This year, Hollywood Elementary School in Raleigh County was one of only three schools in West Virginia – and just 362 schools across the entire nation – to be recognized as a Blue Ribbon school. [Watch Video] [More Photos] 

Gov. Justice celebrates Jobs & Hope program in southern West Virginia


On Wednesday, Gov. Justice joined several state leaders at Recovery Point Four Seasons in Bluefield to celebrate the progress of the new Jobs & Hope West Virginia program in the southern region of the state. Jobs & Hope West Virginia is the result of the concept brought forth by Gov. Justice during his 2019 State of the State address and aims to remove barriers to job opportunities for those recovering from addiction. The program has been operational across the state since a soft launch in August. In the time since, the program staff has received more than 500 referrals. [Watch Video] [More Photos]

Governor and First Lady Justice present $21,000 check to Clay County High School


On Tuesday, Gov. Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice joined leaders with the West Virginia National Guard and West Virginia Department of Education at Clay County High School to present a check in the amount of $21,175 to help the school implement its new Future Leaders Program. The Future Leaders Program is designed to assist high schools in providing leadership-based curriculum, mentorship, and guidance to high school students to aid in character and leadership development. The program is administered by the West Virginia National Guard and is tailored to the needs and requests of the schools in West Virginia. [Watch Video] [More Photos]

Gov. Justice awards $14.8 million in Victims of Crime Act grants to 81 agencies across West Virginia


On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that he has awarded $14,847,817 in Victims of Crime Act Assistance (VOCA) sub-grant funds to 81 public and private non-profit agencies throughout the state. The Victims of Crime Act Assistance sub-grant funds will provide direct services in counseling, personal advocacy, court advocacy, client transportation, and support services to victims of crimes including domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, and elder abuse. The funds will also support assistance to victims as they move through the criminal justice system. The VOCA funds are awarded from the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. The Justice and Community Services section of the Division of Administrative Services, part of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, is administering these funds. [Read More]

Gov. Justice recognizes Athens Elementary for Balanced Scorecard accomplishments


On Wednesday, Gov. Justice visited students, teachers, and administrators at Athens Elementary School in Mercer County for a full-school assembly to celebrate their academic accomplishment as one of the top-performing schools in West Virginia on the statewide Balanced Scorecard Accountability System. During the ceremony, Gov. Justice presented Athens Elementary School with an award to commemorate the achievement. The “Balanced Scorecard” paints a picture of where schools are succeeding and areas where they need to improve. Every elementary, middle school, and high school in the state receives a Balanced Scorecard each year. [Watch Video] [More Photos]

Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch business listening tour visits Wayne and Cabell counties


Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch visited businesses in Wayne and Cabell counties on Monday and Tuesday. The companies represent industries from automotive component manufacturing to handblown art glass. The visits were part of an ongoing series of statewide listening tours.


In addition to visiting businesses, Gaunch attended a reception hosted by the Huntington Area Development Council and the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce. [Read More]

West Virginia Board of Education wraps-up statewide listening tour


On Wednesday, the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) hosted the last of six meetings as part of their 2019 listening tour. The purpose of the tour was to provide an opportunity for members of the public to inform the work, processes, and policies of the WVBE that support high-quality learning. A summary report of insights gained will be released by December 1, 2019. [Read More]

WVNG pays tribute to Medal of Honor recipient with burial ceremony


On Thursday, the West Virginia National Guard paid tribute to Civil War Medal of Honor recipient PVT James Calvin Summers, who was reburied in the State Veterans Cemetery. Summers served in Company H, 4th WV Infantry during the Civil War and took part in a major campaign in Vicksburg on May 22, 1863. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry "in charge of the 'volunteer storming party.'" Private Summers was a native of Kanawha County who later returned to WV following the Civil War to live out his days until he passed in 1927. He was buried in Elkview in a family cemetery and will now forever be remembered among the heroes in the Donel C. Kinnard State Veterans Cemetery. [More Photos]

Governor and First Lady Justice attend WV School of Osteopathic Medicine Ribbon Cutting


On Tuesday, Gov. Justice and First Lady Justice helped cut the ribbon at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine's new Clingman Center for Community Engagement in Lewisburg. [More Photos]

DHHR Appoints Pamela M. Woodman-Kaehler as West Virginia’s Foster Care Ombudsman


On Monday, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch announced the appointment of Pamela M. Woodman-Kaehler as the Foster Care Ombudsman for West Virginia. She is the first to be appointed to this new position, which was created by House Bill 2010 during the 2019 legislative session to advocate for the rights of foster children and foster parents. Woodman-Kaehler’s first priority will be to develop policies and procedures to implement a successful Foster Care Ombudsman Program within the Office of Inspector General, which provides autonomous, independent and neutral oversight of DHHR’s programs and operations. As the Foster Care Ombudsman, she will investigate complaints against service providers and managed care organizations, as well as establish a system for collection and analysis of data and complaints. [Read More]

West Virginia prisons offer electronic tablets to inmates at no cost to taxpayers


Last Friday, West Virginia’s Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced it has made electronic tablets available to inmates at its prison facilities. These handheld devices are specifically designed for correctional settings. Their safety features include a highly secure, customized operating system and wide-ranging access controls. At no cost to taxpayers, Global Tel Link provides the tablets through its inmate banking services contract with the state’s prison system. Available tablet apps offer email, video visitation, and multimedia including electronic and audio books, music, games and movies. They lack a normal browser, but do allow access to select websites through GTL’s secure proprietary wireless network. The roster of sites covers several categories: news; education and career; health and wellness; religion and spirituality; legal and finance; and sports and entertainment. The devices will soon help inmates submit requests, file and pursue grievances, and order from the facility commissary. [Read More]

DEP, WVU Partner on New Water Treatment Plant


The DEP's Office of Special Reclamation is partnering with the Water Research             Institute at WVU to build a water treatment plant near Mt. Storm. The plant will treat acid mine drainage and extract valuable Rare Earth Elements from the sludge that is a byproduct of the treatment process. Rare Earth Elements are highly sought after for their use in the advanced manufacture of electronics, batteries, lightweight, high strength metal alloys used for aerospace and other hi-tech applications. Most of the world’s supply currently comes from China. Scientists at WVU developed a process to extract those elements from the sludge produced by the DEP’s treatment of acid mine drainage which was, up until now, a waste product with no value. [Watch Video]

West Virginian-Peru logistics visit highlights newly-formed units, expanded relations in subject matter expert exchange


With a relationship spanning more than 20 years, the West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) and Peruvian Army (PERAR) are at a unique time in both agencies where planning and preparation around natural disaster and emergency response are coming together and showing fruition. Five members of the WVARNG participated in a subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) on logistics and domestic emergency and natural disaster operations with members of the PERAR in Lima, Peru, Oct. 14–18, 2019. Leaders from both WVARNG and PERAR shared their organization’s current standing, future goals, and how the partnership can help both accomplish the same mission - saving lives and livelihoods of their communities through the prevention of, as well as reaction to, catastrophic natural disasters. [Read More]

State Fire Marshall reminding citizens to change their clocks and smoke detector batteries


Daylight Saving Time ends in the U.S. at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. On Thursday, the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office reminded everyone to turn their clocks back one hour and to also change their batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and other home safety items. The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71% of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. In addition to changing batteries, now is a good time to make sure to create or update a fire safety plan. Every family should have a fire safety plan, ensuring that every family member is prepared if an emergency occurs. Those without working smoke alarms can contact the American Red Cross at (844) 216-8286 to schedule an appointment for a free installation. [Read More]

WVDNR highlights West Virginia Wildlife Center


On Monday, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources highlighted their Wildlife Center at French Creek. Many animals that reside at the center were injured, orphaned or abandoned and in need of rescue. If you didn't get a chance to explore the Wildlife Center in the spring and summer months, you still have plenty of opportunities to do so. November through March, visitors are welcome seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Watch Video] [Read More]

WVDCR hosts another correctional officer hiring event in effort to fill openings


On Tuesday, the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitations hosted its fifth hiring event this year. Tuesday's event was held at the Clarksburg Workforce office. The next event is scheduled for November 7th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Summersville Workforce office. The WVDCR operates facilities across the state, from minimum to maximum security, from all-female to all-male to co-ed, from large prisons to smaller work release centers. Some of the facilities are in greater need of Correctional Officers than other facilities, but at any given time, there are vacancies for Correctional Officers at most facilities. [Read More]

State Fire Marshall selects winner of annual Fire Safety Poster Contest


On Wednesday, the West Virginia State Fire Marshals Office announced the winner of their annual Fire Safety Poster Contest. Artwork from 12 students was picked this week for the 2020 wall calendar, which will be distributed statewide. The annual contest attracted 75 fire safety-themed entries from kindergarten through fifth-grade children at schools in 15 counties. M’Kenna Stewart, a third-grader at Glen Fork Elementary School in Wyoming County, submitted the top entry. The judges selected his poster art for the calendar’s cover as well as for October, recognized nationally as Fire Prevention Month and during which National Fire Prevention Week takes place. Each of the 11 honorable mentions entries will grace the remaining months on the calendar. [Read More]

Culture Center hosts annual Halloween Bash


On Tuesday, the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History hosted a Halloween Bash at the Culture Center. The Great Hall was decorated with a gnarly-toothed monster, spider webs, an evil pumpkin man, bats, creepy critter eyes and scary trees. Kids enjoyed playing an array of seasonal games, including the spider web walk, mummy wrap, and Halloween bean bag tosses. [Watch Video]

Trick-or-Treaters visit Capitol Complex


On Tuesday, children from Discovery Kingdom Childcare visited the State Capitol Complex to Trick-or-Treat from office to office. They made a stop at the Governor's Reception Room where they received candy and other Halloween-themed goodies. [More Photos]

WVDACH invites artists to create special hand-crafted ornaments for holiday tree


The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History invites West Virginia artists of all ages to create and submit ornaments to be displayed at the Culture Center during the 2019 holiday season as part of the ninth annual Artistree. The deadline for submitting ornaments for the Artistree is Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. The Artistree will stand in the Great Hall of the Culture Center and will be unveiled in conjunction with Joyful Night, the annual holiday celebration at the State Capitol Complex, which will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. Visitors throughout the holiday season will have the opportunity to enjoy the ornaments. [Read More]



Contact Information

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


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