West Virginia Week in Review - February 14, 2020


Gov. Justice, HHOMA Director Jill Upson present $247,000 in grants for community revitalization pilot program




On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice joined Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs Executive Director Jill Upson to present nearly a quarter of a million dollars in grant funding to 11 organizations across Kanawha County as part of a new pilot program – called Building Resources In Diverse Geographic Environments (BRIDGE) – that aims to improve health and economic development in underserved communities across the state. BRIDGE is a comprehensive community revitalization effort with a mission of addressing poverty, improving community-wide health, stimulating labor force participation and supporting economic development. The program also aims to combat substance abuse, improve crime rates, and includes neighborhood revitalization. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Division of Highways crews work around the clock to re-open I-64 St. Albans/Nitro bridge




Less than 48 hours after closing the eastbound lanes of the I-64 bridge between St. Albans and Nitro for emergency expansion joint repairs, the West Virginia Division of Highways was able to re-open the bridge to traffic Saturday morning. The repair work was done around the clock, from the time of the closure last Thursday through the re-opening, and was completed in the face of snowy and windy weather conditions. [Watch Video] [Read More]





Gov Justice: $1.9 million in hazard mitigation grants awarded to Wood County




Last Friday, Gov. Justice announced that the State of West Virginia had been awarded $1,922,410 in grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to acquire and demolish 11 flood-prone residential structures located in Wood County. This grant funding, in response to the June 2016 Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, is part of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program​ (HMGP). The purpose of HMGP is to enact mitigation measures reducing the risk of loss of life and property from future disasters. [Read More]



Gov. Justice directs emergency response personnel to respond to flooding, prepare for more high water




With heavy amounts of rain saturating large areas of West Virginia throughout both this week and last week, Gov. Justice declared a State of Emergency in seven southern West Virginia counties and, later, issued a State of Preparedness in all 55 counties across the state, allowing for the mobilization of resources to assist with preparation for any potential flooding or other storm-related damage.



Gov. Justice releases statement on Pleasant Valley Hospital cutbacks




After Mountain Health Network announced a reduction in force of 53 full-time positions and the elimination of obstetrics services at Pleasant Valley Hospital in Point Pleasant on Wednesday, Gov. Justice issued a statement, echoing his plans to form a Rural Medicine Task Force to find ways to stop the closure of local community hospitals.



HHOMA hosts Black History Month lecture series titled “Black History and the Courts”




Last Saturday, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs hosted a lecture series titled "Black History and the Court System" at the Culture Center in Charleston. Attorney Olubunmi Kusimo-Frazier was the speaker for the event. The discourse explored how the American court system has factored into the lives of African Americans. Kusimo-Frazier serves as the director of Magistrate Services at West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. She oversees more than 400 employees and the operations of the 55 magistrate courts in the state of West Virginia. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice pledges to sign Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act





Gov. Justice speaks at West Virginia Association of Counties annual conference




On Monday, Gov. Justice delivered remarks at the West Virginia Association of Counties’ 2020 annual conference event in Charleston, speaking with community leaders about the progress being seen across the entire state and voicing his support for repealing the business and inventory tax in West Virginia. [Watch Video]



WVDOT spotlights upcoming project focused on eliminating traffic issues in Cross Lanes area




Last Friday, the West Virginia Department of Transportation highlighted a project, that is in the public comment period, that would improve traffic conditions in the Cross Lanes area. The proposed alternatives consist of a combination of four-lane and five-lane improvements to WV 622 (Goff Mountain Road/Big Tyler Road) beginning near the intersection of New Goff Mountain Road/Jain Drive and proceeding northward for 1.5 miles to the signalized intersection serving Kroger to the west and Andrew Jackson Middle School to the east. Public comments are being accepted until February 24. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice orders flags to half-staff in remembrance of former Legislator Ted Ellis




On Saturday, all West Virginia State flags on the Capitol Complex and all State-owned facilities throughout Logan County were displayed at half-staff in remembrance of former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates Ted Ellis, who recently passed away. [Read More]



Gov. Justice offers condolences after passing of Chapmanville Mayor Raamie Barker





Gov. Justice issues proclamation for Library Day in West Virginia




In recognition of the breadth of knowledge available and the amount of learning supported at libraries across the state, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation officially designating this Monday as West Virginia Library Day across the Mountain State. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice issues proclamation for 2-1-1 Day in West Virginia




Also this week, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation officially designating this Tuesday as West Virginia 2-1-1 Day. The statewide information telephone line provides free assistance to our state, providing human service referrals to connect West Virginia residents to vital community resources such as free confidential crisis and emergency counseling, food resources, health care assistance, insurance assistance, housing payment assistance, utility payment assistance, employment services, veteran services, childcare referrals, and family services. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Tourism Office offers suggestions on how to enjoy Valentine's Day in West Virginia




Ahead of Valentine's Day, the West Virginia Tourism Office provided couples numerous suggestions for romantic ways to celebrate, including ideas for romantic getaways in West Virginia, tips on where to find the best wine in the state, and even options for a cozy Valentine's date night at home.



WVDE encourages everyone to share the love for public schools




Leading up to Valentine’s Day, the Department of Education launched their "Love My WV School" campaign as a way to support public education in the state. The Department and members of the West Virginia Board of Education unveiled the campaign and website Tuesday at Elk Elementary Center in Elkview. The school’s coding focus is featured as one of the initiative’s inaugural videos. The Love My WV School campaign was born out of the need to share positive stories and information from public schools. During the 2019 Education Forum tour around the state, the education community resoundingly said there was a need to showcase the hard work and good news occurring every day in classrooms statewide. The WVDE began a mini-campaign using #LoveMyWVSchool on social media to promote these stories. [Watch Video]



WVDNR promotes upcoming Archery in the Schools competition




On Thursday, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources spotlighted their upcoming Archery in the Schools competition that is scheduled for March 28 at Marshall University. Currently, students across the state who participate on archery teams are working on gaining qualifying scores for the statewide contest. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Artwork needed for 2021 West Virginia Wildlife Calendar




This week, the Division of Natural Resources is reminding all West Virginian artists that the deadline for submissions to have paintings considered for their 2021 West Virginia Wildlife Calendar is next Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. If you’re an artist who’s painted popular game or fish species, or other West Virginia wildlife such as snakes, frogs, turtles, salamanders, bats, songbirds, small mammals, or non-game fish, you can submit your work to be chosen for the calendar. Each year, the DNR selects 12 paintings to be featured in its award-winning calendar, which also includes interesting animal facts and tips to help you enjoy the outdoors. [Read More]



Division of Forestry Honor Guard serves with honor, duty, integrity, and professionalism




If you’ve attended a state ceremony or memorial recently, you may have noticed a new addition to the event: a group of state foresters in dress uniform, standing tall and solemnly bearing the flags of the United States and West Virginia as well as a Pulaski axe — a tool for fighting wildfires. This is the Forestry Honor Guard. This week, the Division of Forestry spotlighted this unit's service to West Virginia. [Watch Video]



State Parks and Forestry Day at the Legislature




On Tuesday, both West Virginia State Parks and the Forestry Division participated in Day at the Legislature events where they were able to highlight the work happening in their agency. State Parks representatives were honored on the House and Senate floors with a certificate presentation, forester Charlie Spencer opened the Senate floor session with a prayer, and the WVDOF Honor Guard presented the colors during the Senate floor session. The Senate also read a resolution honoring Smokey Bear's 75th birthday.





Six West Virginia National Guard soldiers deploy to Middle East




On Saturday, West Virginia Army National Guard soldiers said goodbye to family and friends at Yeager Airport in Charleston, before joining the 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team on deployment in the Middle East. [More Photos]



Firefighter heroes honored by Office of the State Fire Marshal for saving baby; rescuing man




Several members of the Dunbar Fire Department were honored at a West Virginia Fire Commission meeting last Friday for their work in saving a 10 month old baby who was in cardiac arrest in August. [More Photos]

Also honored at the commission meeting were members of the Belle Volunteer Fire Department for their efforts in rescuing a man from his burning home in December. [More Photos]





SBDC client hears the call of home, returns to open audiology clinic




This week, the Small Business Development Center featured the story of Erin Wells, a native of the Mid-Ohio Valley who returned home to West Virginia to open her own audiology practice in Parkersburg. [Watch Video]



SBDC names Frank Goldsborough Jr. as new business coach serving Morgantown and surrounding counties




On Thursday, the SBDC announced that Frank Goldsborough Jr. had joined the organization as a new business coach in Morgantown. He will join SBDC Business Coaches Sharon Stratton and Todd Crump in serving the needs of a growing business sector in north central West Virginia. [Read More]



Department of Environmental Protection provides behind-the-scenes look at their DEP Spill Line




This week, the Department of Environmental Protection highlighted their DEP Spill Line, a telephone resource for West Virginia residents to report a leak or chemical spill should they come across one. [Watch Video]



Also this week:

Attorney General Morrisey warns against price gouging during State of Preparedness

West Virginia hunters harvest 99,437 deer in fall 2019 and January 2020

DHHR receives $3 million to expand opioid use disorder services for pregnant and postpartum women

DHHR announces Healthy People Healthy Places awardees

DEP: Inaugural Wild and Wonderful Water Science Fair set for Monday

West Virginia Board of Education approves three policies

Wheeling’s African American history explored at West Virginia Independence Hall




Contact Information

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


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
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