West Virginia Week in Review - October 11, 2019


Gov. Justice, West Virginians celebrate 2nd anniversary of Roads To Prosperity program




On Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice and leaders with the Department of Transportation held an event by the Kevin S. Rux Memorial Bridge in Harrison County – which is currently undergoing construction – to celebrate the amount of road work that has been completed in West Virginia through Gov. Justice’s Roads To Prosperity program. This Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, marked the two-year anniversary of when West Virginians went to the polls and voted, overwhelmingly, to pass the Governor’s Roads To Prosperity bond program. In just 24 months since the bond referendum passed, 541 projects – worth $385.1 million and spanning 1,185 miles across all 55 counties – have been completed through the program. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice presents awards to top-performing schools in West Virginia on Balanced Scorecard




Throughout the week, Gov. Justice visited students, teachers, and administrators at three elementary schools across the state to present awards recognizing each of them as being among the top-performing schools in West Virginia on the statewide Balanced Scorecard Accountability System – an assessment that paints a picture of where schools are succeeding and areas where they need to improve. The Governor's first stop of the week was at Kenna Elementary School in Kanawha County – the only school in the state that exceeded standards in all five "Balanced Scorecard" categories this year. [Watch Video] [More Photos]




Gov. Justice also visited and presented an award at Evans Elementary School in Jackson County. [Watch Video] [More Photos]




And finally this week, Gov. Justice stopped by and congratulated students from Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Marion County. [Watch Video] [More Photos]





Best of West Virginia showcased in "Destination Unknown" mystery vacation for D.C. travelers




This past weekend, 33 adventurous travelers boarded a bus in Washington, D.C. for a weekend trip to a mystery location. It was all part of the West Virginia Tourism Office's "Destination Unknown" campaign to host a "blind vacation" in the Mountain State. A little more than three hours after departing, the bus came to a stop and the travelers stepped off to realize they had been transported to West Virginia's Canaan Valley – and were treated to a vacation that was truly Almost Heaven. [More Photos]



Gov. Justice presents $26,000 check to help pay for completion of Veterans Memorial in Oceana




On Wednesday, Gov. Justice presented a $26,000 check to Oceana Mayor Tom Evans and other local leaders, which will help fund the completion of the new Wyoming County Veterans Memorial display that is currently being built in town. When it’s completed, the memorial will consist of black brick commemorative wall, which will stand in honor of all veterans, no matter where they are from. The final design also includes three uprights that will be adorned with names of the Wyoming County veterans who died in combat. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Wreath-laying ceremony held at State Capitol in honor of Navy Week




On Tuesday, representatives from Gov. Justice's Office and the Department of Veterans Assistance participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Veterans Memorial on the State Capitol grounds. West Virginia's last surviving Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel "Woody" Williams, helped place the wreath at the memorial. Also, representatives from the Governor's Office read a proclamation, which formally recognized this week at Navy Week in West Virginia. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Statewide ban on outdoor burning ended; regular burning season regulations now in effect




After the state received sufficient rainfall, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation on Wednesday, officially rescinding the recent statewide ban on all types of outdoor burning. Standard fall burning season laws and regulations are now in effect. View information on fall burning laws and guidelines here​. The burning of forestland, grass, grain, stubble, slash, debris, or other inflammable materials is now allowed; but only from the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. [Read More]



Sixty-day roadwork project begins on I-64 at Danner Bridge 




This past weekend, crews with the Division of Highways shifted lanes along Interstate 64 in Charleston and got to work on a major project to replace the bridge deck on the Danner Road overpass. The project is scheduled to last 60 days and is expected to cause continued delays. The DOH is asking drivers to remain patient and extremely cautious when driving through the work zone. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice tours Preston County secondary road system along with local leaders




On Thursday, Gov. Justice joined Preston County Commissioners and Department of Transportation officials, taking part in a "windshield" tour of the secondary road system in the county. In a statement following the tour, the Governor acknowledged that while substantial progress has already been made in the area, there's still significant work to do. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice rides in Mountain State Forest Festival parade




On Saturday, Gov. Justice hopped into a classic car and greeted the people of Elkins as he rode along in the annual Mountain State Forest Festival parade. [More Photos]



First Lady meets with students of Pendleton County to talk Communities In Schools




On Tuesday, First Lady Cathy Justice held an event to meet with students from Pendleton County and talk to them about the Communities In Schools (CIS) program. The First Lady spearheaded efforts to expand CIS to Pendleton County this school year. The program connects students with resources among their local communities, with a goal of encouraging success in the classroom and higher graduation rates. [More Photos]



WVDEP staff and local volunteers remove 2,300 tires from 100-yard stretch of Tug Fork River




Last week, Department of Environmental Protection staff, along with volunteers and employees from the City of Williamson and the Mingo County Commission, removed 2,340 tires from just a 100-yard stretch of the Tug Fork River in Williamson over the course of just four days. For decades, tires had been illegally rolled into the Tug Fork. Residents speculate that the flood of 1977 accumulated all the tires in this specific section of the river – just behind the Williamson K-8 school. The number of tires removed was equivalent to 585 cars-worth of tires. For perspective, 585 mid-sized vehicles, lined end-to-end, would stretch more than a mile-and-a-half. [Watch Video] [Read More]




Additionally, this week, a separate volunteer effort is underway to remove tires from the New River Gorge. [More Photos]



Gov. Justice orders flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of fallen firefighters, state Delegate




State and U.S. flags throughout West Virginia were flown at half-staff on Sunday in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. [Read More] Additionally, Gov. Justice ordered state and U.S. flags to half-staff on Monday in Kanawha County in commemoration of the distinguished life and service of West Virginia Delegate Sharon Malcolm, who passed away last week. [Read More]



Technology company Sparksoft hosts official opening of facility in Fairmont




On Monday, software and technology solutions provider Sparksoft Corporation marked the official opening of its new facility in Fairmont. Sparksoft provides technology services in testing, development, security, and program development. The new facility bridges the space between the towers of the NASA building in the I-79 Technology Park. [Read More]



Work underway on I-68 overpass bridge near Morgantown




Crews with the Division of Highways recently began major construction work on the Cheat Road Bridge, which passes over Interstate 68 near Morgantown in Monongalia County. [Read More]



Board of Education hosts first stops on "Ed Voices" listening tour




On Monday, the West Virginia Board of Education kicked off their "Ed Voices" listening tour with their first such event, which was held at Mingo Central Comprehensive High School. The listening tour aims to provide students, teachers, parents, and other community members opportunities to have their voices heard and bring new ideas to the state Board, as well as the Department of Education. [More Photos]




Then on Wednesday, state education leaders held their second "Ed Voices" event at Monongalia Technical Education Center. [More Photos] Additional tour stops across the state will be held in the coming weeks. Community members can view the complete schedule of coming events online.



DHHR announces new education assistance program for therapists and counselors




On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Resources announced that it is working to address a state and national shortage of medical professionals with a new financial assistance initiative. The Statewide Therapist Loan Repayment Project is aimed at increasing the number of therapists and counselors within West Virginia’s behavioral health workforce. The new project allows recent master’s level graduates and students in their final year of a master’s level therapist program to apply for up to $20,000 in loan repayment for their educational expenses in exchange for a two-year commitment at an eligible workplace within West Virginia. [Read More]



State health officials reminding West Virginians to get their flu shot ahead of winter flu season




With the winter flu season fast approaching, State Health Officer, Dr. Cathy Slemp, issued a message to all West Virginia residents this week, encouraging them to get their flu shot this year. [Watch Video]



National Guard trains to suppress wildfire from land and in the air




On Thursday, a team of West Virginia National Guard soldiers completed a training exercise called "Bambi Bucket" – learning how to fight wildfires from the air. Soldiers honed their skills piloting a helicopter to fill and refill water from a natural water source into an attached bucket and then dispersing the water over the area of a potential fire. The training comes at a critical moment when West Virginia is experiencing ongoing drought conditions throughout the state. The buckets utilized in training are capable of holding 550 gallons of water per scoop, which equates to roughly 4,400 pounds of water. Depending on the location of a fire and the proximity to a water source, crews could potentially execute multiple passes to extinguish a fire during one mission. [Watch Video] [More Photos] [Read More]




Meanwhile, last week, additional National Guard soldiers were trained in basic wildland fire suppression from the ground by officials from the West Virginia Division of Forestry. The training covered basic wildland fire fighting techniques with a goal of providing soldiers the basic skills and experience to operate on a fire line side-by-side with experienced Forestry personnel. [Watch Video]



Office of the State Fire Marshal recognizes Fire Prevention Week




This week also marked Fire Prevention Week in West Virginia, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal announced this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign: “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” The goal is to educate everyone about the small, but important, actions they can take to keep themselves and those nearby safe; including establishing a fire escape plan for your family, making sure your home has adequate smoke detectors, and more. [Read More]



Public health drills held at Capitol and other state offices




On Thursday, state officials held training exercises to practice the Closed Point of Dispensing (CPOD) concept, which aims to protect West Virginia state employees during public health emergencies. A CPOD is a secure location where medications are dispensed. State agencies have partnered with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department to establish CPODs at the State Capitol Complex, Lottery headquarters on Charleston’s West Side, and Department of Environmental Protection headquarters in Kanawha City. [Watch Video]



Public forums to be held on the West Virginia Substance Use Response Plan




On Thursday, officials with the Department of Health and Human Resources' Office of Drug Control Policy and the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment announced the schedule for six upcoming regional public forums to allow residents to review and provide comment to the West Virginia Substance Use Response Plan. The plan describes the current substance use environment in West Virginia, highlights existing activities and initiatives to date, and presents a framework of evidence-based goals, strategies, and objectives to address the current gaps and needs. [Read More]



Governor's One Shot Hunt to help fund Hunters Helping the Hungry scheduled




On Thursday, officials with the Division of Natural Resources announced that the Governor’s One Shot Hunt – an antlerless deer hunting event that provides a source of fundraising and venison for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources' Hunters Helping the Hungry program – has been scheduled for Oct. 26 at Stonewall Resort in Lewis County. [Read More]



Patriot Guardens program receives $667,000 federal grant from USDA




On Thursday, the West Virginia National Guard announced that the Military Authority’s Patriot Guardens program has been awarded a grant in the amount of $667,535 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The grant, which will be shared in management by the West Virginia National Guard Foundation and West Virginia Military Authority, will allow Patriot Guardens to provide hands-on and immersive training in livestock and aquaculture production for veterans, active and retired members of the National Guard and veteran spouses or military families. [Read More]



Full Spectrum Wellness Day provides tools for airmen resilience




On Sunday, the West Virginia Air National Guard paused normal unit training assembly activities to focus on wellness and resilience as part of an Air Force-wide initiative to address a spike in suicides across the force this year. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein called on commanders to take a one-day “tactical pause” and Chief Master Sgt. Of the Air Force Kaleth Wright said this will serve as a “new beginning” for promoting resiliency in airmen. [More Photos]



WVDEP to partner with WVU to build acid mine drainage treatment facility




On Monday, officials with the Department of Environmental Protection announced that they will be partnering with the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University to build a new acid mine drainage treatment plant near Mount Storm. The project will be a cost-effective and environmentally benign process to simultaneously treat acid mine drainage and recover Rare Earth Element oxides from acidic coal mine drainage and related products that result from its treatment. [Read More]



Department of Environmental Protection hosts more Water Festivals at West Virginia schools




This past week, the Department of Environmental Protection hosted water festivals at multiple schools across the state, to teach children about the water cycle, stream ecology, brook trout, wetlands, and how air quality affects water quality. The most recent event took place Wednesday in Boone County. [More Photos]




Another water festival was held at Smithville Elementary School in Ritchie County recently. [More Photos]




Contact Information

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


Office of the Governor
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Charleston, WV 25305

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