West Virginia Week in Review - October 2, 2021


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Do it for Babydog Round 2: Gov. Justice announces prize winners in vaccination sweepstakes
Gov. Jim Justice traveled the state Thursday to hand out prizes through his “Do it for Babydog: Round 2” Vaccination Sweepstakes.

He surprised three high school students with full-ride college scholarships — Ashlee Wilcher of South Charleston, Lilly Keith of Buckhannon, and Mason Thompson of Belington.
At the end of the day, he presented Jeffrey Darnell of Morgantown with a 2021 Chevrolet Corvette.

Additional winners were announced for prizes including a custom boat, a dream wedding valued at $150,000, free gas for 10 years, premium ATVs, top-of-the-line zero turn lawn mowers, WVU and Marshall University football or basketball season ticket packages, and season passes to West Virginia ski resorts.

Thursday marked the fifth of six weeks of prize giveaways as part of “Do it for Babydog: Round 2.”
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Gov. Justice extends “Do it for Babydog: Round 2” sweepstakes to encourage more vaccinations
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that, in order to provide more time to allow more West Virginians to get vaccinated, he has extended the “Do it for Babydog: Round 2” sweepstakes registration deadline. West Virginians now have until Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 11:59 p.m. EDT to get vaccinated and register at DoitforBabydog.wv.gov for a chance to win in the final prize drawing of “Do it for Babydog: Round 2.” The final prize drawing will also be pushed back to the following Tuesday, Oct. 12.
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Gov. Justice once again urges vaccinations and booster shots: “We’re right in the eye of the storm.”
On Friday, Gov. Justice reported that there were 14,014 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; up by 670 cases since the Governor’s briefing on Wednesday. However, the active case count was down overall by 15,730 cases since peaking two weeks ago, dropping 52.9% in just 14 days. Meanwhile, a small downward trend has emerged in the number of hospitalizations, patients in ICUs, and patients on ventilators across West Virginia.

“These numbers are more reason for us to believe that the eye of the storm is right on us and maybe even starting to move past us just a little bit,” Gov. Justice said. “There’s no guarantee, but I really believe that we’re going through a little bit of a pause and we’ll start to fall off.”
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Gov. Justice sends letter to President requesting more antibody doses
Gov. Justice announced Friday that he signed a letter requesting that President Biden approve West Virginia’s request for more doses of the monoclonal antibody treatment.

“We need them, but we’re not getting as many doses as we would like to get,” Gov. Justice said.

State medical experts say that, while not a replacement for the vaccine, these types of antibody treatments can be a life-saving tool for individuals already infected with COVID-19, particularly if administered quickly after infection.
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Gov. Justice reports $84.6 million revenue surplus for September 2021
Gov. Justice announced Friday that West Virginia’s General Revenue collections for September 2021 came in at $84.6 million above estimates. September collections of $504.5 million were 19.1% ahead of prior year receipts. Year-to-date collections of $1.19 billion are $142.7 million above estimates. The end of September marked the conclusion of Q1 for FY2022.
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Gov. Justice appoints Haught as Interim Executive Director of PEIA; congratulates Cheatham on retirement
Gov. Justice announced Wednesday that he has appointed Jason Haught, CPA, as Interim Executive Director of the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) effective October 30, 2021. Jason has served as Chief Financial Officer for PEIA since 2001. He is a graduate of Ceredo-Kenova High School and Marshall University. This comes after current Executive Director Ted Cheatham announced his plans to retire effective October 29, 2021.
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Gov. Justice proclaims October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Friday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks about COVID-19 to announce that he has proclaimed October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in West Virginia. The goal of the campaign is to help ensure West Virginians understand how to use the internet more safely in their everyday lives and to ensure all public agencies are familiar with the resources available to them to prevent and respond to a cyber attack.
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West Virginia Department of Tourism releases 2021 Fall Foliage Forecast

To celebrate the arrival of fall in the Mountain State, the West Virginia Department of Tourism released its annual autumn forecast map on Monday to help travelers plan trips around peak leaf season. The forecast, prepared in partnership with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, kicks off weekly fall foliage updates from the Department of Tourism. Each report will include the percentage of color change across the state and feature a scenic road trip with tips and suggested stops to help travelers find fall activities and leaf viewing opportunities.

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October 1 is the start of fall fire season, West Virginia residents urged to follow burning guidelines
Fall fire season started Friday, Oct. 1, and continues through Dec. 31. The West Virginia Division of Forestry reminds residents to confine their outdoor burning to the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. Fires set during that time must be put out before 7 a.m. Debris burning is the single most common cause of wildfires in West Virginia, averaging more than 35% of all wildfires over the past 10 years.
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Gov. Justice, WVDOH award contract for RHL Boulevard connector
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice and the West Virginia Division of Highways announced a contract to build an important connector road between the Trace Fork Shopping Center and Jefferson Road in Kanawha County to alleviate traffic congestion on Jefferson Road and Corridor G. The project ties in with an ongoing project to widen Jefferson Road to improve traffic flow into and out of Corridor G's shopping centers.
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HHOMA invites students to participate in creative contests to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Students throughout West Virginia are invited to create original poster art, music, films, or essays to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All essays, music, and film entries must be received before midnight on Nov. 15. Poster entries must be received no later than Dec. 1.
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W.Va. Corrections one-stop hiring events offer clear career path, raises
West Virginia corrections has streamlined its hiring process, offering one-stop recruitment events this fall along with guaranteed raises and a defined career path. The West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is hiring for officer and non-uniform positions at prisons, jails and juvenile centers across the state. At any of the five events scheduled over the next month, individuals who qualify can walk out with a job offer.
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“Come In, We’re Open” campaign to rally support for small businesses extends through Dec. 31

The “Come In, We’re Open” campaign launched in June by the West Virginia Small Business Development Center is now being extended through the end of 2021. The campaign encourages small business owners to showcase that they are open and ready for West Virginians to show them support. To participate, small business owners can download, print or pick up a “Come In, We’re Open” sign, hang it somewhere visible in their storefronts, and then post to their social media channels with #WeAreOpenWV.

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WVDEP hosting eight tire collection events in October
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan is hosting eight free tire collection events in October. Individuals may dispose of up to 10 tires per person. The tires must be off the rims and only car and light truck tires will be accepted. To help limit the spread of COVID-19, the WVDEP requests that individuals stay in their vehicles when dropping off tires.
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Also this week:

Gov. Justice Secures SBA Disaster Declaration for July 29 Flooding

HHOMA takes listening tour to Barbour, Preston, Taylor, and Tucker counties

DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy Adds Monthly Overdose Data to Dashboard

Launch of Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams Pilot Program in Putnam County

Gov. Justice appoints Geffert to Senate in District 16

Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission accepting nominations for 2022 “Living the Dream Awards”

Contact Information

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


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