West Virginia Week in Review - February 8, 2020


Gov. Justice signs bill allowing people with physical disabilities to vote electronically




Gov. Jim Justice hosted a ceremonial event Wednesday inside the Governor’s Reception Room in Charleston, signing into law a bill designed to remove barriers for disabled West Virginians. Senate Bill 94 will allow people with physical disabilities to vote in elections electronically. The bill, which received sweeping bipartisan support and passed unanimously in both the West Virginia Senate and the House of Delegates, will give the Secretary of State’s Office the latitude to create a system that will allow people who are physically unable to vote in-person to cast an electronic absentee ballot instead. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice signs bill speeding up post-disaster construction projects




Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice signed House Bill 4130, which will speed up government construction projects needed in the wake of major disaster events. Inspired by bureaucratic delays to the construction process for 2016 flood victims in the RISE West Virginia program, this bill clears red tape for post-disaster construction if an official State of Emergency declaration is made. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice pledges $1 million to encourage participation in 2020 United States Census




On Thursday, Gov. Justice held a press conference to announce that he has committed $1 million from his Governor’s Contingency Fund to support ongoing efforts to encourage all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census. A complete and accurate count of West Virginia's population is vital to the State, because it will determine the amount of federal grant funding the State can receive for things like education, health care, roads, veteran’s services, disaster relief, and more. The count also determines the number of representatives in the United States House of Representatives apportioned to West Virginia for the next 10 years. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice announces $13 million January revenue surplus




On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that January 2020 general revenue collections were $13 million above estimates. The month of January also marks the beginning of the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2020. Cumulatively, FY 2020 is pacing just 0.6% below last year's revenue collections; which set an all-time state record for best revenue growth in a single year. [Read More]



Gov. Justice: We must stop our rural hospitals from closing




Gov. Justice announced Wednesday that he plans to establish a Rural Medicine Task Force to address the healthcare dilemma in West Virginia. The Governor said he intends to bring together all the major hospitals and all the leading players to work on this issue. Gov. Justice has meetings scheduled with officials from his administration and with interested private parties and plans to release more information next week. [Read More]



Gov. Justice proclaims Veterans Visibility Day in West Virginia




On Thursday, Gov. Justice presented a proclamation, officially declaring Feb. 6, 2020 as Veterans Visibility Day in West Virginia in honor of those who have put their lives on the line to defend our freedom. The Governor made the presentation at an event, surrounded by dozens of West Virginia's bravest veterans, including Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams. [More Photos]



French Creek Freddie doesn't see his shadow, early spring predicted




On Sunday, West Virginia’s most popular weather predicting mammal – French Creek Freddie – welcomed hundreds of visitors to the State Wildlife Center for a Groundhog Day celebration and his annual winter weather prognostication.
Each year, Freddie comes out of hibernation to determine if West Virginia will have an early spring or if there’ll be six more weeks of winter. This year, Freddie did not see his shadow, indicating that spring will come early in West Virginia. [More Photos]



Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs hosts Black History Month kickoff celebration




On Monday, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA) honored the start of Black History Month by holding a celebratory event in the Governor’s Reception Room. The event included a reading of a proclamation, issued by Gov. Justice, that officially designated the month of February as Black History Month in West Virginia. Additionally, Beckley City Councilwoman Janine Bullock delivered welcoming remarks and Charleston poet/writer Crystal Good provided poetry readings at the ceremony. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



HHOMA hosts Black History Month lecture series program on Katherine Johnson for middle school students




On Tuesday, more than 400 students from Huntington Middle School attended the first installment of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs' Black History Month Lecture Series presentation at the State Culture Center in Charleston, centering on the life story of prominent NASA mathematician and West Virginia native Katherine Johnson. [Read More]



Gov. Justice announces $131 million for the replacement of Nicholas County Schools




Last Friday, Gov. Justice and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the State of West Virginia has been awarded more than $131 million for the replacement of Summersville Middle School, Richwood Middle School, and Richwood High School in Nicholas County. The schools were destroyed due to the catastrophic flooding in June 2016. The historic flooding resulted in a Major Disaster Declaration, allowing West Virginia to receive assistance from FEMA. [Read More]



First Lady promotes Communities In Schools initiative




This week, First Lady Cathy Justice spotlighted the expansion of the Communities In Schools initiative in West Virginia, along with several of the program's school site coordinators, explaining the advantages of the program, which forges partnerships with members of the community to help pave the way to success for the state's most vulnerable students. [Watch Video]



Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy honored as National Guard Youth Foundation’s Program of the Year




This week, the West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy has been named as the National Guard Youth Foundation’s Program of the Year for 2019. The National Guard Youth Foundation advocates for ChalleNGe programs throughout the United States and provides resources to the programs and its graduates to ensure a pathway to success. Launched in 1993, the mission of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is to intervene in and reclaim the lives of at-risk youth to produce program graduates with the values, skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults. The West Virginia MCA was one of the original 10 founding NGYCP programs, and since 1993 has graduated 4,663 cadets. [More Photos]



WVDE Superintendent Dr. Paine announces retirement, Gov. Justice issues statement




On Wednesday, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven L. Paine, announced that he would be retiring to take care of and be with his family. After learning of the announcement, Gov. Justice issued a statement, thanking Dr. Paine for his long and successful service to the state and the students of West Virginia. [Read More]



Gov. Justice honors George Washington High School athletic programs




Last Friday, Gov. Justice hosted members of George Washington High School's Volleyball, Boys Soccer, and Boys Tennis teams, honoring each of them for winning their respective state championships in 2019. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice signs proclamation for Alzheimer's and Dementia Awareness Day




On Tuesday, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation, officially designating Feb. 4, 2020 as Alzheimer’s and Dementia Awareness Day in West Virginia. Alzheimer's Disease affects more than 38,000 people over age 65 in West Virginia. [More Photos]



WV SBDC joins Innovation Day exhibit, unveils new one-stop kiosk




On Wednesday, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and Secretary of State’s Office unveiled a new kiosk at the West Virginia One Stop Business Center in Charleston where business owners can now access information about services and resources provided by the SBDC. [More Photos]



Division of Motor Vehicles holds ribbon-cutting ceremony for new DMV NOW Kiosk at Huntington Kroger




West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles’ Commissioner Everett Frazier was on-hand Thursday at the Huntington Kroger on 7th Avenue to take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new DMV NOW kiosk. Currently, there are 12 kiosks installed across West Virginia, including the one in Huntington. These kiosks help customers to “Skip the Line” and perform some of the most popular DMV transactions quickly and efficiently. Customers need to bring their current tax receipt and vehicle registration card for the vehicle-renewal service. Driver’s license renewal requires the current driver’s license. [Watch Video]



WVDOT spotlights new DMV Commissioner




Last Friday, the Department of Transportation highlighted the newest leader with the State Division of Motor Vehicles: Everett Frazier. Last month, Gov. Justice appointed Frazier to lead the DMV. He has worked in various roles within the auto industry for more than 30 years, including 25 years in managerial positions. [Watch Video]



Gov. Justice signs proclamation declaring Civil Air Patrol Day




On Thursday, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation, officially designating Feb. 6, 2020 as Civil Air Patrol Day in West Virginia, honoring Mountain State members of the Civil Air Patrol, a non-profit that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



West Virginia Fusion Center helps to combat human trafficking




Last Friday, the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center announced that it is coordinating an awareness campaign that will include posting key information about human trafficking on posters at welcome centers and rest areas throughout the state. The posters provide the toll-free hotline and website link for the National Human Trafficking Hotline. They urge people to get help, report a tip or find services. They also provide details regarding the forms of human trafficking. [Watch Video] [Read More]



Trout stockings provide opportunities for year-round fishing adventures in West Virginia




This week, the Division of Natural Resources spotlighted winter trout stocking season in West Virginia. Cold-water fish like trout enjoy winter conditions, making this time of year a good time to fish without large crowds. [Watch Video] [Read More]



WVDEP celebrates World Wetlands Day




This week, the Department of Environmental Protection highlighted World Wetlands Day, which was observed on Sunday and celebrates how wetlands benefit wildlife, people and the planet. In West Virginia, wetlands make up less than one percent of the acreage but are home to nearly a quarter of the state's native plant species and almost half of the rare plants. [Watch Video]



Clements State Tree Nursery selling container trees




Last Saturday, Clements State Tree Nursery began taking orders for container trees. Located along the Ohio River in Mason County, Clements Tree Nursery is owned and operated by the West Virginia Division of Forestry. The nursery produces and sells bare root seedlings to landowners in West Virginia for the purpose of reforestation, coal mine reclamation, wildlife cover, and Christmas tree production. [Read More]



Also this week:

DHSEM Liaison Officers provide "Stop the Bleed" training to Barbour County Schools

DNR Wildlife Manager of the Year named

Department of Education and Marshall University partner to address substance misuse

West Virginia hunters harvest 3,099 black bears in 2019

DNR seeks landowners interest in improving wildlife habitat

DHHR announces Low Income Energy Assistance Program for low income residents

Healthy People Healthy Places inaugural awards ceremony




Contact Information

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


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

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304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

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