West Virginia Week in Review - September 6, 2019



Gov. Justice authorizes WV National Guard support in preparation for Hurricane Dorian


As Hurricane Dorian began it's approach on the southern United States earlier this week, Gov. Jim Justice approved a request to send a pair of West Virginia National Guard medevac helicopters and crews to South Carolina in preparation for the storm’s impacts along the Atlantic coastline, specifically to support search and rescue operations and/or swift water operations as needed across the affected region. The two crews – each consisting of four soldiers – left for South Carolina on Wednesday. [Watch Video] [Read More]


Later in the week, on Thursday, seven members of the 130th Airlift Wing's 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron mobilized and departed to Florida, to perform additional support for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts over the next two weeks. The aeromedical evacuation team and ground crew support personnel will be staged out of MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, alongside a crew from the Wyoming Air National Guard, to deploy wherever assets are needed in the storm-affected areas, including both the eastern seaboard of the United States and the Bahamas. [More Photos]

Hurricane evacuees welcomed to WV State Parks with 50% discount on all accommodations


Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia State Parks would be offering a 50 percent discount on all lodge rooms, cabins, and campsites to those seeking shelter from Hurricane Dorian. State Parks are also waiving all pet fees for those traveling with pets. [Read More]

Gov. Justice on hand as Jerry West awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom


Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead

On Thursday, Gov. Justice was in attendance at the White House, as President Donald J. Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jerry West, a native son of West Virginia and widely regarded as one of the National Basketball Association’s greatest players and executives of all-time. The Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor that can be bestowed upon an individual by the President for “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” [Read More]

DHHR data suggests West Virginia overdose deaths appear to be declining


After several years of steady increases, the Department of Health and Human Resources released preliminary data Thursday on 2018 fatal drug overdoses in West Virginia, that suggest a leveling off or slight decrease in the total number of overdose deaths. The projected decrease of overdose deaths occurring for 2018 is expected to be a 6 percent decline compared to 2017 data. [Read More]

Gov. Justice presents memorial bell honoring "Lil" Tony Webster at Bluefield High School


Last Friday, ahead of Bluefield High School's season opening football game, Gov. Justice visited the Beavers' stadium to unveil a memorial bell, honoring former BHS football player, "Lil" Tony Webster, who passed away in January. The bell will ring each time the Beavers score, in Webster's memory. [Watch Video] [More Photos]


Gov. Justice issues statement on closure of OVMC in Wheeling


On Wednesday, Gov. Justice released a statement on Alteco Healthcare's decision to abruptly close Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling. [Read More]

West Virginia volunteers honored as recipients of annual Governor's Service Awards


On Thursday, a set of West Virginians who have dedicated themselves to helping others were recognized as recipients of the 2019 Governor's Service Awards during a ceremony at the Culture Center in Charleston. As the most prestigious volunteer award in the state, the Governor's Service Awards honor individuals and groups who roll up their sleeves to solve community problems in innovative ways. [Watch Video]


New technology used to replace Lincoln County bridge; first project of its kind in West Virginia


Last Friday, the Division of Highways announced that it had begun using a new type of technology to replace a bridge in Lincoln County. The Fourteen Mile Bridge, along County Route 37 near Ranger, is the first bridge in West Virginia to utilize this innovative technology, called a press-brake-formed steel tub girder bridge. This method saves time and costs because it can be installed in a shorter time frame, lasts longer and requires minimal maintenance over the life of the span. [Watch Video]

WVDOT highlights swift work on Westmoreland Bridges Deck Project


Also last Friday, transportation officials highlighted the work done over the past several months to complete the Westmoreland Bridges Deck Project in Charleston ahead of schedule. The project, which was originally scheduled to take 100 days, ended up being completed in just 91 days, thanks to new methods and technology, which experts estimate saved the traveling public months of extra time they would have been stuck in work zones versus old methods. [Watch Video]

WVDEP utilizing new amphibious vehicle to make tire cleanup efforts more efficient


On Thursday, the Department of Environmental Protection highlighted a new vehicle they have begun utilizing this year – called a Hydratrek. This amphibious tool can maneuver on both land and water, allowing crews to get into places they otherwise couldn't, while also providing some extra mechanical muscle. The vehicle has vastly increased the efficiency of DEP and volunteer efforts to remove tires from streams, creeks, and rivers. [Watch Video]

National Teacher of the Year speaks at WVDE Juvenile Education Conference


On Wednesday, the Department of Education welcomed 2019 National Teacher of the Year, Rodney Robinson of Virginia, to the WVDE Juvenile Education Conference at the Glade Springs Conference Center in Daniels. Robinson served as the keynote speaker for the event, and told attendees about his experience working as an educator inside a juvenile detention center in Richmond. [More Photos]

WVDE holds first ever "Ed Talk" featuring native West Virginian and former Intuit CEO Brad Smith


On Thursday, the Department of Education hosted Kenova native, Marshall graduate, and former Intuit CEO Brad Smith for a first-of-its-kind "Ed Talk" event. Smith spoke to students participating in Simulated Workplace programs from around the region about the importance of entrepreneurship skills and developing the workforce for the 21st century. The WVDE plans to have more of these "Ed Talks" in the future. [Watch Video]

September formally proclaimed as "National Preparedness Month in West Virginia"


At the start of the month this week, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation, officially declaring September as "National Preparedness Month in West Virginia." Launched in 2004, NPM is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s annual preparedness campaign which aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies, incidents, or events; including natural, man-made, and technological disasters. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has provided helpful tips and information on preparedness throughout the week. [Read More]

Commerce Secretary Gaunch brings business listening tour to Kanawha County


On Tuesday, Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch visited companies and attended a business roundtable in Kanawha County. The visits are the latest in the series of listening tours that the secretary launched in June. Gaunch made stops at Shafer Equipment in Clendenin, NGK Spark Plugs USA Inc. in Sissonville, and Peerless Block and Brick in St. Albans. [Watch Video]


tiva connects with WVU Parkersburg to create a tech talent pipeline


This week, the Development Office highlighted a new initiative underway with WVU Parkersburg students in the Computer and Information Technology (CIT) Learn and Earn program, which is allowing them to the opportunity to gain real-world work experience while earning their degree, all in one location on campus. The Ntiva Service Desk Academy opened in the Caperton Center for Applied Technology ahead of the fall 2019 semester, enabling students in the college’s CIT Learn and Earn program to work remotely for the D.C.-based tech company while completing their associate degree. [Watch Video]

Governor and First Lady Justice wish West Virginians a Happy Labor Day


Over Labor Day weekend, Governor and First Lady Justice wished West Virginians a happy holiday and encouraged them to spend time enjoying the outdoor wonders across the state. [Social Post]

WVDNR opens 2019 early bear gun season


On Saturday, the 2019 early bear gun season opened in several southern West Virginia counties. The early bear gun season, with or without hunting dogs, runs through Sept. 15, 2019 and applies only in Logan, McDowell, Mingo, and Wyoming counties. [Read More]

WVDACH announces applications being accepted for $90,000 in preservation grants


On Tuesday, the Department of Arts, Culture and History announced applications are now being accepted for FY 2020 historic preservation survey and planning grants through the State Historic Preservation Office. Approximately $90,000 will be awarded from funding, appropriated by the United States Congress for preservation efforts through the National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund. State or local government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations or firms, educational institutions, and Certified Local Governments are eligible to apply. The deadline for receipt of applications is postmarked Oct. 31, 2019. [Read More]

WVDEP hosting two water festivals in Kanawha County in September


On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Protection announced that its Watershed Improvement Branch (WIB) would be hosting two water festivals in Kanawha County this month. The first occurred Thursday at Little Creek Park in South Charleston. The second will be held at St. Albans City Park next Tuesday. The festivals are for elementary school students and are designed to promote awareness, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources. [Read More]


Contact Information

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


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