West Virginia Week in Review - January 31, 2020



Gov. Justice, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announce project to build levee in Milton to reduce risk of flooding




Gov. Jim Justice joined officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Milton Mayor Thomas Canterbury on Monday, signing an agreement to work together on a project to build an 8,300-foot long levee between the City of Milton and the Lower Mud River that will significantly reduce the risk of future flooding in the area. As part of the agreement, Gov. Justice pledged $43 million to the project. The funding will be allocated by the West Virginia Legislature over the course of several years. The Governor worked alongside legislative leadership to ensure the State would be able to afford its contribution to the effort – which will trigger a federal match, estimated to reach nearly $90 million in additional funding to make the levee a reality. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice presents $60,000 check to help fund renovations to Mason County 4-H Youth Camp




Gov. Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice joined West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael at a ceremony last Friday, where the Governor awarded a check in the amount of $60,000 to jumpstart much-needed upgrades to the Mason County 4-H Youth Camp’s kitchen and dining facility. Gov. Justice presented the ceremonial check to Mason County Commissioners Tracy Doolittle, Rick Handley, and Sam Nibert during the event at the campsite. The grant represents the final portion of the funding needed to start renovation work. Mason County 4-H is a youth development camp that provides a fun and safe environment for children to learn leadership, citizenship, and life skills by participating in various projects and services in areas like science, health, agriculture, civic engagement, and more. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Winners announced for 2020 Almost Heaven Governor’s Art Exhibition




Gov. Justice joined West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History Curator Randall Reid-Smith on Wednesday for a ceremony to announce the winners of this year’s Almost Heaven Governor’s Art Exhibition at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston. Awards were given out to Best of Show and 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in three categories: elementary school, middle school and high school. Winners received Utrecht Art Supplies gift cards in the amounts of $100, $50 and $25. All West Virginia students in grades K-12 were invited to participate in the show. Designed to showcase student creativity and the arts, this year’s exhibition called for one-of-a-kind postcard designs that features a favorite seasonal scene in West Virginia. Selected postcard artwork will be used by the West Virginia Tourism Office to personally invite travelers to Almost Heaven. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice appears on Fox & Friends; invites all Americans to come to West Virginia




Gov. Justice made a national television news appearance Wednesday on the Fox News show, Fox & Friends, welcoming all people and businesses from across the country to come to West Virginia. Just last week, Gov. Justice announced that 2019 came in as West Virginia’s best year for job numbers in more than a decade. The Governor also promoted West Virginia Tuesday, during a joint press conference alongside Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice and First Lady address students during Catholic Schools Week in West Virginia




Gov. Justice visited Charleston Catholic High School Wednesday, speaking to students as part of Catholic Schools Week in West Virginia. As part of national efforts to recognize the vital contributions of the thousands of Catholic schools across the country, Gov. Justice also issued a proclamation, officially declaring Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2020, as Catholic Schools Week in West Virginia. West Virginia has more than 4,600 students enrolled in Catholic elementary or secondary schools. The graduation rate for West Virginia Catholic high school students is over 99 percent, with nearly 98% of the graduates going on to pursue higher levels of education. [Watch Video] [More Photos]




On Tuesday, First Lady Cathy Justice visited with students at Our Lady of Fatima Parish School in Huntington. There she met with several grade levels and read a story to some of the students. [More Photos]



Gov. Justice congratulates President Donald Trump on signing USMCA





Gov. Justice addresses County Commissioners’ Association of West Virginia, voices support for legislation allowing residents to vote on annexation




Gov. Justice told members of the County Commissioners Association of West Virginia (CCAWV) on Monday that he supports a bill moving in the Legislature that gives citizens the right to vote if their property is being considered for annexation. The Governor also told the county commissioners that his office and other state agencies are available and ready to assist them in times of emergency and in other situations and issues that might arise. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Gov. Justice speaks at West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants 2020 Legislative Seminar




On Monday, Gov. Justice addressed members of the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, speaking at the organization’s 2020 Legislative Seminar in Charleston. The annual WVSCPA Legislative Seminar provides accounting professionals in West Virginia an opportunity to discuss ideas and challenges in the field, as well as the chance to hear from government and business leaders from across the state. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy cadets visit State Capitol Complex




Cadets from the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy (MCA) were at the West Virginia State Capitol on Wednesday, meeting Delegates and Senators and sharing with them their thanks for the continued support of the MCA. Since 1993, more than 4,660 cadets from all 55 counties have completed the MCA program, located at Camp Dawson, Kingwood, W.Va. The 22-week residential program utilizes a quasi-military environment to train and mentor at-risk youth to become contributing members of society. A second MCA campus is planned to be operational by the fall of 2020, located in Montgomery. [More Photos]



WVDE seeks organization partners to feed kids through the summer




The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is seeking partnerships with organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities during the summer months. When school is out during the summer months, community programs and organizations are vital to ensuring children in West Virginia are still receiving the nutrition they need, especially in low-income areas. County boards of education, local government agencies and other nonprofit organizations can participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which ensures children (ages 18 and under) in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer when they do not have access to the programs that are available to them during the school year, like the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program. Feeding sites often include schools, churches, community centers, pools, parks, libraries, housing complexes, and summer camps. [Read More]



Gov. Justice meets with Blue Ridge CTC President Peter Checkovich





First Lady Cathy Justice speaks at Women's and Girls' Day at the Legislature luncheon




Last Friday, First Lady Cathy Justice visited the Culture Center to speak at a luncheon for Women's and Girls' Day at the Legislature. The West Virginia Women's Commission hosts the annual day at the legislature where women and young girls are invited to meet with lawmakers and tour the Capitol. [Watch Video] [More Photos]



WVDEP hosts annual Day at the Legislature event




On Tuesday, the WV Department of Environmental Protection hosted its annual DEP Day at the Legislature. Citizens, environmental groups, and lawmakers had the chance to learn more about the divisions within the WVDEP, like the Office of Oil & Gas, Environmental Enforcement, Division of Air Quality, Youth Environmental Program, Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan, and more. A member of the Fourpole Creek Watershed Association even brought a mobile "Build Your Own Watershed" display. [More Photos]



WVDE hosts JourneyUp Challenge with high school students




Last Friday, the West Virginia Department of Education hosted Simulated Workplace student-led companies from three high schools for the 2020 JourneyUp Challenge. Two Simulated Workplace companies from each participating school worked over the past semester to develop plans to repurpose the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Huntington, West Virginia. That facility, once an important economic driver in the region, now sits empty as the jobs and production have left the area. University High School in Monongalia County took top honors in the challenge, with Harrison County School District's United Technical Center and Bridgeport High School took 2nd and 3rd, respectively. [Read More]



First Lady Cathy Justice attends Communities In Schools training session




First Lady Cathy Justice attended a training session on Wednesday for new Communities In Schools teachers. The session, held at the WV Department of Education offices, was also to welcome new program leaders from Lewis, Braxton, and Taylor counties. Communities In Schools aims to forge community partnerships and bring resources into schools to help remove barriers to student learning with the goal of keeping all students in school and ultimately graduating. The CIS program is now in 15 West Virginia counties. [More Photos]



WVDOH makes emergency repairs to I-79 in Lewis County




On Saturday, the West Virginia Division of Highways had to close both northbound lanes of I-79 at mile marker 99 near the West exit due to significant damage to the interstate. Crews were on scene all-day working to repair pavement damage, which left a hole in the construction zone. The interstate was re-opened later that day. [Watch Video]



WVDOH Makes Permanent Repairs to I-64 Bridge Deck




Following last week’s emergency closure of two eastbound lanes of the Eugene A. Carter Memorial Bridge carrying I-64 over the Kanawha River in Charleston, the West Virginia Division of Highways started permanent repairs to the bridge deck on Wednesday. Crews worked in the eastbound slow lane from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday. They will shift to work in the fast and center lanes from 10 p.m. Friday through noon on Sunday. Motorists are encouraged to enter the work zone prepared and alert as they are likely to experience congestion and traffic backups. [Read More]



WVDNR invites public to attend Groundhog Day celebration at WV Wildlife Center




On Thursday, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources spotlighted an event planned for February 2 at the WV Wildlife Center. This Sunday, French Creek Freddie, the groundhog, will come out of hibernation to give his prediction on the forecast. Admission is free. The main gate opens at 9 a.m., the celebration begins at 9:30 in the amphitheater and Freddie will come out of his burrow at 10. [Watch Video]



WVDMAPS holds annual Corrections Day at the Legislature




West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy honored more than a dozen Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation officers, administrators and staff, on Friday as part of Corrections Day at the Legislature. Sandy and Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen presented the third annual Freedom Awards for Distinguished Service at a Capitol awards ceremony that followed recognition of Corrections Day by both the state Senate and House of Delegates. The secretary’s Freedom Award recognizes employees for performances that exceed the normal expectations involved in their duties and responsibilities. [Read More]



30th Armored Brigade Combat Team Soldiers attend Basic Leaders Course in Middle East




In order to attain the rank of a noncommissioned officer, Soldiers must attend the Basic Leader’s Course, where they learn the fundamentals of leadership, readiness, and training. U.S. Soldiers in the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team have been able to attend the Basic Leaders Course while deployed in the Middle East, thanks to U.S. Army Central that hosts a class nearly every month. At a graduation ceremony of BLC on Friday, 26 Old Hickory Soldiers completed the course, with seven Soldiers achieving the commandant’s list, including the distinguished honor graduate and commandant’s writing award winner. The 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team is comprised of National Guard Soldiers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia and Washington, deployed for Operation Spartan Shield. [Read More]



Also this week:

DHHR and Partners Host Free Workshop on Comprehensive Opioid Response

WVDOH Seeking Interest in Wheeling’s Aetnaville Bridge

WVDEP now accepting applications for 2020 WV Make It Shine Spring Cleanup




Contact Information

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


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

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:

Flag Status

American Flag Full Staff
State Flag Full Staff

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map