West Virginia Week in Review - February 12, 2022


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Gov. Justice spotlights declining number of COVID cases
During his 300th briefing on COVID-19 Monday, Gov. Justice spotlighted a pair of charts depicting the number of daily cases in West Virginia and across the nation, both of which now show a substantial decline in cases in recent days.

“If you look at these charts, you’ll see that, as we entered this surge from the Omicron variant, our numbers went way, way up. But now, you see them moving down pretty aggressively,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re starting to move in a good direction and we’re very, very hopeful that this drop off will continue.”
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Gov. Justice again urges West Virginia renters to take advantage of tax-free financial support
On Friday, Gov. Justice was joined by Erica Boggess, Director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, to provide an update on the Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program. The program provides financial assistance to renters who have lost their job, had their income reduced or suffered a significant cost or financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Landlords with tenants who are struggling with rent or utility payments due to COVID-19 may be eligible for rental assistance as well.
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Gov. Justice announces Omnis Building Technologies to build $40 million facility, create 150-300 jobs in Bluefield
Gov. Justice announced Friday that Omnis Building Technologies will build a $40 million, 150,000-square-foot facility in Bluefield to manufacture housing materials that will revolutionize the future of residential construction, creating 150-300 jobs in the process. Omnis Building Technologies is a manufacturer of energy-efficient, pre-engineered, home building systems made up of Concrete Insulated Building Units (CIBU) that are shipped then assembled on-site to make pre-designed homes.
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Gov. Justice announces State of West Virginia named to Forbes list of America’s Best Employers 2022
Gov. Justice announced Thursday that the State of West Virginia has been named to the Forbes list of America’s Best Employers 2022. The list includes businesses from all industries – not just state governments. West Virginia was one of only two states to crack the list’s top 250.
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Gov. Justice provides update on vaccine mandate waiver request for rural healthcare workers
Gov. Justice once again provided an update on his announcement last week that he and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin sent a joint letter to the U.S. Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, calling on CMS to grant a limited waiver of its vaccination requirement at rural or state-run facilities due to severe staffing shortages.

On Thursday, United States Senator Joe Manchin announced in a statement that he spoke with CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, saying of their conversation: “Administrator Brooks-LaSure told me that the goal of CMS is to help hospitals get their staff vaccinated, not kick them out of the Medicare program.”
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Governor offers condolences after passing of former WV Delegate, Kanawha County Commissioner Hoppy Shores
On Monday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to offer his prayers and condolences to the loved ones of former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and longtime Kanawha County Commissioner Henry “Hoppy” Shores, who passed away the previous Friday at the age of 92. Shores was the longest-serving commissioner in Kanawha County history. First elected in 1966, he served on the commission for a total of 42 years.

Gov. Justice also issued a proclamation, lowering flags to half-staff from dawn to dusk Thursday, Feb. 10, in commemoration of his distinguished life and service.
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Babydog makes score prediction for the big game
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice welcomed the one and only Babydog to once again put her clairvoyant canine powers to the test by predicting the outcome of Super Bowl LVI this weekend. With a wave of her paws, Babydog revealed to her fans and followers around the world that the Cincinnati Bengals will defeat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI by a final score of 30-28.

Last year, Babydog famously predicted that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would win Super Bowl LV over the Kansas City Chiefs.
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WV Department of Ed launches new TeachWV site to help address teacher shortage
The West Virginia Department of Education launched its TeachWV campaign during the meeting of the West Virginia Board of Education in Charleston Wednesday. The official launch included the newly revised TeachWV.com website that will be a resource for those interested in earning a teaching certificate, and the naming of the counties that will participate in the pilot of a Grow Your Own teacher preparation program.
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WVDOH announces Hampshire County’s John Blue Bridge is open to traffic
The John Blue Bridge, located near Springfield in Hampshire County, opened to traffic in mid-January 2022, after a nearly two-year replacement project, the West Virginia Division of Highways announced. The bridge carries WV 28 across the South Branch of the Potomac River. The roughly $13 million project began in April 2020. The new 478-foot bridge replaces a 420-foot three-span steel truss bridge originally built in 1936 by the Fort Pitt Bridge Works of Pittsburgh, PA.
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WVDOH accepts bids for six projects
A massive project to clean and paint nine interstate bridges and six interstate ramps through downtown Charleston is among six projects included in a bid letting conducted by the West Virginia Division of Highways on Tuesday. Another project to replace an aging bridge in Boone County is also included in the bid letting. The replacement project will be paid for with funding from Gov. Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity highway construction and maintenance program.
WVDOH is reviewing the bids and hopes to award contracts for these projects soon.
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WVDOH sponsors free STEAM bridge design contest for middle and high school students: Enter by Feb. 27
The 2022 West Virginia Bridge Design & Build Contest is now underway! All West Virginia students in grades 6 through 12 are encouraged to submit bridge designs for a chance to win cash prizes, including a Grand Prize of $500. Participation in the contest is entirely free and open to students in public school, private school, or who are home-schooled.
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HHOMA announces Black History Month lecture series
To celebrate Black History Month, the West Virginia Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs will host a virtual lecture series throughout February. The first lecture is titled “Black History and the Air Force” and is scheduled for TONIGHT, Saturday, Feb. 12, at 5 p.m. Lectures will premiere on HHOMA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The first lecture will be given by Brig. Gen. Christopher Walker and cover the history of diversity and inclusion in the United States Air Force.

HHOMA will announce dates for additional Black History Month lectures in the coming weeks.
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Also this week:

Governor offers condolences after passing of corrections officer to COVID-19

Gov. Justice offers well-wishes to Senator Capito after positive COVID test

WV Board of Education Hears Update on Kanawha and Nicholas County School Construction Projects

WVDEP now accepting applications for 2022 state Make It Shine Spring Cleanup

WVDOT is hiring NOW!

Missing World War II soldier honored

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

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