West Virginia Week in Review - October 4, 2019


Gov. Justice declares State of Emergency for all 55 counties due to drought conditions




On Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency for all 55 West Virginia counties due to a prolonged shortage of rainfall that has caused moderate drought conditions across much of the state and severe drought conditions in southern West Virginia. The State of Emergency directs state officials to implement the West Virginia Emergency Operations Plan for drought and to place the state Emergency Operations Center in a stand-by status. Meanwhile, the Governor has issued voluntary guidelines for residents, asking them to limit public water system usage, washing vehicles or structures, filling swimming pools, non-agricultural irrigation, among other suggestions. [Read More]



Forestry officials urging public to comply with ongoing burning ban; or else face penalties




Meanwhile, after experiencing a sizable uptick in fires across the state this week as a result of the worsening drought conditions, leaders with the Division of Forestry issued a stern warning, urging residents across West Virginia to adhere to the ongoing ban on all outdoor burning, or else face heavy civil fines or criminal charges. Just since the beginning of September, West Virginia has now experienced approximately 118 fires and 1,046 burnt acres statewide – more than has been seen in entire fire seasons some years – all while ongoing drought conditions continue to compound the problem. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice announces September revenue collections in at $20 million surplus




On Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice and leaders with the Department of Revenue announced that September 2019 revenue collections resulted in a $20 million surplus, which was 5.4 percent above prior year receipts. In addition, credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings, recently affirmed the state’s “AA” Issuer Default Rating. In a report released by Fitch, the agency categorized the rating as “stable” and praised West Virginia’s “sizable level of reserve funds” and its “strong ability to control revenue and spending policy.” [Read More]



Division of Highways hosts event to preview Danner Road overpass bridge project




Leaders with the Division of Highways, including Deputy Commissioner of Highways Jimmy Wriston, held a press conference Tuesday to preview the upcoming road work at the I-64 / Danner Road overpass bridge in Charleston and to go over the safety measures being put in place in the work zone. The project on the bridge – one of the most-traveled bridges in the entire state – is set to begin this Saturday, Oct. 5, and is scheduled to take approximately 60 days to complete. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice addresses West Virginia Municipal League during meeting at Chief Logan State Park




On Thursday, Gov. Justice addressed top municipal leaders from across the state during a meeting of the West Virginia Municipal League Board of Directors at Chief Logan State Park. The WVML is a statewide nonprofit and nonpartisan association of cities, towns, and villages, established to assist local governments in advancing the interests of their citizens. [More Photos]



Gov. Justice takes in Marshall University football gameday




On Saturday, Gov. Justice took in the gameday atmosphere at his alma mater of Marshall University, as the Thundering Herd football team squared off against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington. The Governor met fellow Sons and Daughters of Marshall and many other Herd fans during the pregame tailgating festivities. [More Photos]



First Lady Cathy Justice hosts Communities In Schools Advisory Council meeting 




On Wednesday, First Lady Cathy Justice hosted members of Communities In Schools for a meeting of the President's Advisory Council at the Governor's Mansion in Charleston. CIS – a program that is rapidly expanding in West Virginia – works to connect young students with resources from across their local communities to support a healthy learning environment and increasing the chances of graduation. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice offers condolences after passing of West Virginia Delegate Sharon Malcolm




After learning of the passing of Kanawha County Delegate Sharon Lewis Malcolm on Monday, Gov. Justice issued a statement mourning the loss. [Social Post]



West Virginia National Guard hosts Gold Star weekend for families of fallen service members




This past weekend, the West Virginia National Guard hosted the annual Gold Star Families Retreat at Camp Dawson in Kingwood for more than 400 attendees; including WVNG members, supporters, and families of 59 fallen service members. The retreat is held each year to honor the service and sacrifice of Gold Star Families – those who have lost a family member in military service. This year’s attendance nearly doubled in size compared to last year’s retreat. During the weekend, various events were held to promote healing, camaraderie, and remembrance of the family’s lost loved one. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice sends Happy Birthday wishes to West Virginia hero, Woody Williams




On Wednesday, Gov. Justice issued a message, wishing Medal of Honor recipient and West Virginia native Hershel "Woody" Williams a happy 96th birthday. [Social Post]






Department of Transportation to make lighting improvements to I-77 near Sissonville




This week, the Department of Transportation highlighted a project that has been identified for work along Interstate 77 near Sissonville. The work calls for high-mast tower lighting to be added to I-77, at the Edens Fork and Tuppers Creek exits. [Watch Video]



DNR releases 2019 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook as fall hunting seasons get underway




Last Friday, the Division of Natural Resources released its annual Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook publication to help hunters as they prepare for the fall hunting seasons. According to the report, production of black and red oak acorns, apples, and black cherries is significantly higher this year than last year. Meanwhile, white and chestnut oak are down from last year. The availability of fall foods has significant impacts on wildlife populations and harvests. [Read More]





Meanwhile, this week, the DNR announced the start date for another pair of hunting seasons, as Wild Turkey Season opens October 12 [Read More] and the first segment of the special split antlerless deer season for youth hunters, persons with a Class Q/QQ permit, and senior citizens with a Class XS license begins October 19. [Read More]



Big game harvest to be checked using DNR's electronic system




With the opening of big game hunting seasons quickly approaching, the DNR issued a reminder to hunters this week that, if they are successful, they must field tag and electronically check in their harvest. Field tags must be completed before moving the carcass and the tag must remain with the carcass until it is electronically checked. Hunters are no longer required to transport their harvest to a check station; they can check their game by phone, on a computer at wvhunt.com, or by visiting a license agent – with or without the animal. [Read More]



DNR urges drivers to watch out for deer on the roads during fall months




On Monday, officials with the DNR also issued a reminder to motorists to take extra caution while driving in the fall. On average, approximately 40 percent of deer-vehicle collisions in West Virginia will occur between October and December. [Read More]



WVDEP earns national innovation award for watershed restoration project




Last week, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Austin Caperton accepted a national award – the 2019 Environmental Council of the States' State Innovation Award – for the WVDEP's work on the Muddy Creek Watershed Restoration Project. This initiative brought biological life back to a stream that had been devoid of it for decades. [Read More]



Military Affairs and Public Safety assembling anti-fraud squad to aid investigations




The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety announced Wednesday that it is in the process of establishing a team of anti-fraud specialists, with two of its members already having completed their Certified Fraud Examiner training. A Certified Fraud Examiner is a specialist with expertise in fraud prevention, detection, and deterrence. They are trained to identify the warning signs and red flags that indicate evidence of fraud and fraud risk. Working around the world, they help protect the global economy by uncovering fraud and implementing processes to prevent fraud from occurring. [Read More]



West Virginia National Guard squadron deployed for training in Hawaii




This week, the West Virginia National Guard highlighted training work recently completed by the 130th Civil Engineering Squadron during a Deployment For Training (DFT) at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. A DFT provides an opportunity for WVNG members to develop new skills away from their home station, giving them a more diverse range of knowledge and making the squadron, as a whole, more versatile. [Watch Video]



Department of Education hosts Second Chance Job Fair event




On Tuesday, the Department of Education's Office of Diversion and Transition Programs hosted a Second Chance Job Fair event in Flatwoods. Participants met with prospective employers to learn about job opportunities. In addition, participants learned about getting voting rights restored and nuances to the state’s expungement law. [More Photos]



DHSEM encourages cybersecurity awareness during National Cyber Security Awareness Month




At the start of October on Tuesday, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced it is joining the United States Department of Homeland Security in promoting National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the DHS' STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ campaign. National Cyber Security Awareness Month promotes public awareness to increase the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. [Read More]





Contact Information

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


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State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

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