West Virginia Week in Review - June 12, 2021

6/12/2021

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Gov. Justice announces West Virginia has surpassed 60% vaccination rate, closing in on goals
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that over 60.1% of all West Virginians who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine have now received at least one dose. To date, 936,453 of 1,557,837 vaccine-eligible West Virginians have received their first shot. As part of the Governor’s recently announced “Call to Arms” vaccine initiative, State COVID-19 pandemic response leaders have set a goal of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 65% of all eligible residents ages 12 and older by West Virginia’s 158th birthday on June 20, 2021.
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Gov. Justice announces over 70,000 West Virginians have registered to win big through “Do It For Babydog” vaccination lottery
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that just four days after online registration opened for the Governor’s “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change a life”  vaccination lottery, more than 70,000 West Virginians have already registered to win one of several major prizes that will be given away in the upcoming sweepstakes. The prize giveaways include a $1.588 million grand prize, a $588,000 second prize, weekly drawings for $1 million, full scholarships to any West Virginia state college or university, custom-outfitted trucks, weekend vacations at state parks, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, and custom hunting rifles and shotguns.
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State COVID Czar warns of emerging Delta variant, urges vaccinations
On Tuesday, State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh urged West Virginians to get vaccinated, explaining that the so-called Delta Variant of COVID-19, which has become the most common form of COVID-19 around the world, is about 40% more infectious than the most common variant currently seen in West Virginia.
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Gov. Justice commends West Virginia legislature for passing requested funding bills
Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 Tuesday to thank the West Virginia Legislature for coming together in Special Session on Monday and swiftly passing his requested funding bills. Among the funding measures approved was the transfer of $150 million from General Revenue to the State Road Fund.
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Gov. Justice urges West Virginia congressional delegation to reauthorize AML program
On Friday, Gov. Justice sent a letter to West Virginia’s congressional delegation, urging immediate action to reauthorize the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program.

“West Virginia coal has powered the country for decades and paid for the reclamation of thousands of AML sites,” Gov. Justice said. “Not only does this funding provide a tremendous environmental benefit, but it is an amazing economic driver for our local communities.”

Click here to read a copy of the letter
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Gov. Justice announces over $13.7 million in grant funding for community development projects across West Virginia
Gov. Justice held a virtual ceremony Monday to announce the award of 19 grants, worth $13,734,817 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which have been dedicated to various water/sewer, broadband, demolition, and park improvement projects to communities in 14 counties across the state.
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Gov. Justice: DataRobot to open office in Morgantown
Gov. Justice joined leaders with DataRobot, the leader in Augmented Intelligence, at a ceremony Wednesday to announce that the company is opening an office in Vantage Ventures in Morgantown. The new office will further the company’s mission to democratize AI through expanded hiring in software engineering, professional services, and customer support.

In addition to opening office space and hiring locally, DataRobot and West Virginia University are beginning to work together on the formation of a national center, based in West Virginia, that will provide technologically-focused solutions on critical pandemic and emergency response and preparedness and rural health.
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Gov. Justice announces West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend to take place today, June 12, and Sunday, June 13
Gov. Justice is once again calling all West Virginians to grab their favorite fishing pole and get their bait and tackle box ready, because West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend is back today, June 12, and Sunday, June 13. During these two days, residents and nonresidents are able to fish in West Virginia for free. The annual event gives novice and returning anglers the opportunity to fish without a license.
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Gov. Justice appoints Pence as judge for Eleventh Family Court Circuit serving Kanawha County
Gov. Justice has appointed Julie A. Pence, of Charleston, to the Eleventh Family Court Circuit, which serves Kanawha County. Pence is set to fill the seat that was vacated by Judge Kenneth D. Ballard upon his appointment as a judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit on April 26, 2021. 
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Gov. Justice, WVDOT announce last stretch of US 35 set to open in August
Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Transportation announced this week that the last stretch of US 35 to be upgraded to four lanes is on track to open to traffic in August. Pending unforeseen delays, the last 15-mile stretch of US 35 between Beech Hill and the Buffalo Bridge is set to open to traffic with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the end of August 2021.
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West Virginia Parkways Authority celebrates tremendous demand for WV Parkways Toll Revenue Bonds
On Wednesday, June 9, the West Virginia Parkways Authority priced its second tranche of Toll Revenue Bonds under Gov. Justice’s Roads To Prosperity program, and its $333 million bond offering saw an overwhelming $3.8 billion in investor orders. The investor demand for the bonds was 11.6-times the bond offering, which allowed the Parkways Authority to drive down the interest rate on the bonds and secure a 2.62% all-in cost of borrowing on its 30-year bonds.
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WVDOH cleaning up following band of storms
West Virginia Division of Highways road crews were addressing damages after a narrow band of thunderstorms ripped across West Virginia on the afternoon and evening of Thursday, June 10, 2021. Storms created areas of high water in Lincoln, Wayne, Jackson, Kanawha, and Marion counties, damaged several roads, and washed out several culverts.
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WVDOT accepts bids remotely for 37 projects
A pair of rural bridge replacement projects are among 37 projects included in a bid letting conducted by the West Virginia Division of Highways on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. West Virginia Division of Highways continues to hold bid lettings remotely to move projects forward while protecting the public from COVID-19.
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WVDNR partners with Toyota to promote pollinator conservation
Private landowners in the Kanawha Valley had a hands-on opportunity to learn how to create a pollinator habitat on their property through a recent workshop hosted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. 
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Annual Quilt and Wall Hanging Exhibition on display at the Culture Center
The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History unveiled the annual exhibition, Quilts and Wall Hangings 2021, in the Great Hall of the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, and announced the winners of the juried exhibition during an awards ceremony on Saturday, May 29, 2021. This year, the popular juried exhibition features 49 creative quilts and wall hangings representing the talents of West Virginians from 17 counties. There are 30 quilts and 19 wall hangings in the exhibition, which will remain on display through Sept. 13, 2021. 
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Also this week:

Gov. Justice offers condolences after the passing of Mingo County Commissioner

West Virginia Launches Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation Initiative

WVDEP hosting three tire collections in June

W.Va. Guard’s MEDDET proves role in mission success
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Contact Information

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

Contact

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:
304.558.3588

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