West Virginia Week in Review - September 13, 2019




Gov. Justice, WVU Medicine working to save jobs and enhance healthcare in Northern Panhandle




On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice – along with WVU Health System President and CEO, Dr. Albert Wright, and WVU President Gordon Gee – came together at Wheeling Hospital to announce preliminary plans to reestablish hundreds of jobs and to enhance healthcare services in the Northern Panhandle, following the premature closure of Ohio Valley Medical Center last week. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice honors those who died in 9/11 terrorist attacks on tragedy's 18th anniversary




On Wednesday, September 11th – the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks – Gov. Justice attended a memorial ceremony to honor the thousands of people who lost their lives that day. The ceremony began at 8:46 a.m. – the same time the first plane hit the first tower. [Watch Video]




Gov. Justice also ordered all United States flags and West Virginia state flags to be displayed at half-staff in observance of Patriot Day and in honor of those who died in 9/11 as well as the first responders. [Read More] Additionally, the Governor asked all West Virginians to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. and also released a statement urging West Virginians to keep the heroes and victims of 9/11 in their hearts. [Read More]



DHSEM achieves objectives to be released from FEMA manual reimbursement




Over the past week, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) has been notified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that West Virginia has implemented all requirements to be released from the manual reimbursement requirement. The release from this so-called "manual drawdown" will allow DHSEM to operate more efficiently and help communities recover from disaster more quickly. DHSEM has worked closely with FEMA to address these findings by developing a monitoring program, submitting a financial monitoring plan and a monitoring schedule for review. [Read More]



Gov. Justice meets with man who walked more than 100 miles to support Coalfields Expressway




On Monday, Gov. Justice hosted David "Bugs" Stover at the Governor's Mansion as Stover completed a 100+ mile walk from Wyoming County to Charleston in support of the completion of the Coalfields Expressway. During their meeting, Gov. Justice and leaders with the Department of Transportation assured Stover that the project is a top priority they intend on completing as soon as possible, highlighting that crews have been working this summer to build the newest section of the expressway – an 8.9-mile stretch from Slab Fork in Raleigh County to Mullens in Wyoming County. [More Photos]



Gov. Justice takes part in Wheeling 250th Birthday Parade




On Saturday, Gov. Justice helped celebrate a milestone birthday for Wheeling, riding in the city’s 250th Anniversary Parade. During the event, the Governor rode along in a 1959 Pontiac convertible, greeting spectators and taking in the pageantry of the parade. [More Photos]



Marshall County educator named West Virginia Teacher of the Year




At the annual West Virginia Teacher of the Year Gala Wednesday night, the Department of Education and the West Virginia Board of Education announced Marshall County’s Jennifer Schwertfeger as the 2020 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. Schwertfeger teaches traditional and college-level science courses at Cameron High School. A ten-year veteran of education, she has transformed the way science is taught in her classroom with meaningful hands-on and “minds-on” interactive lessons. [Read More]



2019 Fall Foliage Map shows when leaves are projected to change colors in West Virginia




Last Friday, the Division of Forestry along with West Virginia State Parks released a fall foliage map, projecting when leaves will change colors for the fall across different regions within the state for people who hope to take in the sights this autumn season. [Read More]



Gauley Season gets underway across West Virginia, bringing adventure seekers to state




This past weekend marked the beginning of the 2019 Gauley Season in the Mountain State. As fall approaches, Summersville Lake is partially drained to prepare for Winter rain and snow. Beginning on the Friday after Labor Day, water is released from the lake and fed into the Gauley River. The releases continue for six weeks and create what we now know as “Gauley Season,” providing thrill seekers some of the toughest rapids to navigate on this world class river. [Read More]






Elk management tours to return to Logan County this fall




On Monday, State Parks announced that elk management tours are set to return to Logan County this September and October. Reservations are being taken now for guided tours of the elk reintroduction site at the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area, where elk from Kentucky and Arizona were released in 2016 and 2018. West Virginia’s last native elk was seen in Webster County in 1875. [Read More]



Community meeting held to discuss 75-room lodge at Beech Fork Dam and Recreation Area




On Thursday, a public meeting was held at Lavalette Elementary School to obtain public comments and feedback concerning a feasibility assessment for a proposed 75-room lodge and conference center near the Beech Fork Dam and Recreation Area near Huntington. [Read More]



Drones improving WVDOT surveying process; saving state hundreds of thousands of dollars




This week, the Department of Transportation highlighted recent work they have done using drones to complete mapping and surveying projects across the state. This new technology is allowing crews to do work that would normally take them a month in just nine days. And, thanks in part to that time-savings, it's estimated the use of drones saved the state $340,000 in one month alone. [Watch Video]



Annual Great Kanawha River Cleanup collects 3.5 tons of trash and over 360 tires from river




This week, a total of 133 volunteers lent their time and efforts to the annual Great Kanawha River Sweep, picking up litter at Kanawha Falls, Krodel Park, Magic Island, Rush Creek, Winfield Beach, and a 1.5 mile stretch of the Elk River – a tributary into the Kanawha River. This year, crews removed about 3.5 tons of trash along with a total of 361 tires. Volunteers spent a total of 290 hours on the cleanup. The Elk River site saw the greatest improvement, with 45 volunteers collecting 2.13 tons of trash and 358 tires alone. [Watch Video]



HHOMA meets with students at Capital High School as part of 2019 Statewide Listening Tour




Leaders with the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA) visited Capital High School on Tuesday to meet with a group of students for the latest stop of HHOMA's 2019 Statewide Listening Tour. These Listening Tour events give individuals in historically underserved areas of West Virginia a platform to talk to state officials about questions or concerns they have about their communities. At Tuesday's event, students discussed a wide range of topics that affect young West Virginians and spoke to representatives from state, non-profit, and business organizations on options for life after high school. [Watch Video]



Balanced Scorecard released for public schools in West Virginia




On Thursday, the Department of Education unveiled West Virginia's Balanced Scorecard results, which outline accountability ratings for each public school in the Mountain State as part of West Virginia’s School Accountability System. Each public school in the state received a scorecard that provides parents, students, educators, and communities an annual update on multiple measures that together show how well students are learning, growing, and achieving. The Balanced Scorecard is used to outline clear information on where schools are excelling and in what areas schools may need to improve. [Read More]



Sharpe Hospital readmitted to national Medicare program




On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Resources today that William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital has been readmitted to the Medicare program through the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In September 2017, CMS terminated Sharpe Hospital from participation in the Medicare program, meaning that Sharpe could not admit Medicare patients. After nearly two years of the recertification process and CMS surveys, CMS determined that Sharpe successfully met all requirements and is in compliance with the Special Conditions for Psychiatric Hospitals and participation in the CMS Medicare program. [Read More]



Commerce Secretary's business listening tour visits Marion, Monongalia, and Harrison counties




Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch toured several businesses in Marion, Harrison, and Monongalia counties at the end of last week as the most recent stop on his ongoing statewide business listening tour. [Read More]



Pay raises continue as Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation steps up recruiting




This week, the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety announced that it is continuing efforts to recruit correctional officers and staff through a series of upcoming job fairs. Seven of these one-stop career events will be held throughout the state between Sept. 17 and Nov. 7. These events will allow recruits to sign up on the spot. Minimum qualifications include a high school diploma, a valid driver’s license and passage of a physical agility test and a drug screening. [Read More]



Canaan Valley Resort State Park to welcome more than 100 students for bike race




On Thursday, West Virginia State Parks announced that Canaan Valley Resort State Park will further solidify its status as a mountain biking destination this weekend when more than 100 middle and high school students shred the park’s newest trail during the West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League’s 2019 Rally in the Valley Race. The race is part of a two-day event that starts on Saturday, Sept. 14 and highlights Canaan Valley’s new six-mile mountain biking trail. The race is on Sunday, Sept. 15 and hundreds of visitors, including racers and their families, are expected to visit and stay at the park this weekend. [Read More]



West Virginia’s archery and crossbow seasons set to open soon




On Wednesday, the Division of Natural Resources announced the state’s 2019 archery and crossbow seasons for white-tailed deer, black bear, and wild boar will open Saturday, Sept. 28 and run through Dec. 31. For more information on hunting regulations, hunters should consult the 2019-2020 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary [Read More]



Entries for Martin Luther King, Jr. poster contest being accepted




Last Friday, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs announced that it is taking entries for the 36th Annual Poster Competition for the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission. Each year students throughout the state of West Virginia have shared their artistic abilities by submitting their entries as a way of celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, the mission of the competition is to focus on this famous quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Stride Toward Freedom: "True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice." [Read More]



West Virginia Army National Guard conducts demolition and grenade training




Soldiers with the West Virginia Army National Guard’s 119th Engineer Company (Sapper) recently conducted demolition and grenade range operations at Camp Dawson. The 119th Sappers are combat engineers with the National Guard, who perform military engineering duties such as breaching fortifications, demolitions, bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, preparing field defenses, as well as working on road and airfield construction and repair. [Watch Video]



WVNG leadership visits soldiers in Kuwait




Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, and Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Cantrell, senior enlisted advisor for the WVNG, recently visited soldiers from the 821st Horizontal Construction Company in Kuwait. These soldiers are deployed in support of Operation Spartan Shield. [More Photos]




Contact Information

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


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State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
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