West Virginia Week in Review - January 22, 2022


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Gov. Justice: Getting vaccinated and boosted “stacks the deck to keep you out of the hospital – I’m living proof.”
With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continuing to spread across the state and the country, Gov. Jim Justice once again Friday urged all West Virginians to get vaccinated or get their booster shot as soon as possible.

“I’ll never understand the logic of those who made the decision to get the full first round of their vaccination, but then haven’t gotten the booster. If it’s been long enough, you’re basically walking around as if you had never been vaccinated at all,” Gov. Justice said. “What in the world are you waiting on?”

“Getting vaccinated or getting boosted stacks the deck to keep you out of the hospital – I’m living proof,” added Gov. Justice, referencing his recovery after a recent bout with COVID-19. “With how fast this thing is running now, if you don’t get your booster because you just don’t feel like it, you’re making a real mistake.”
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Gov. Justice to deliver State of the State address on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m.
Gov. Justice will deliver his sixth State of the State address to a joint session of the West Virginia Legislature in the House of Delegates chamber, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, at 7 p.m.

This address will supplement the Governor’s written State of the State message, which was delivered to the West Virginia Legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, to formally satisfy his constitutional requirement to give to the Legislature information by message of the condition of the state at the commencement of the legislative session, marking the first time in modern state history that a governor has delivered his State of the State by written message. The prior night, Gov. Justice announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would have no choice but to postpone his traditional in-person address to a later date.
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West Virginia again breaks record for lowest unemployment rate in state history
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.7% for December 2021; breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in state history for the 3rd consecutive month.

December’s rate of 3.7% bested the previous state record of 4.0%, set just one month prior in November 2021.
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Gov. Justice congratulates and thanks WVDNR Director Steve McDaniel for his service
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director Steve McDaniel will retire from state government at the end of the month and transition to a role as an advisor to the DNR.

“Steve is a true friend of mine and has been a superstar in my administration. He has served the people of West Virginia incredibly well for five years and I sincerely thank him for his service to our state,” Gov. Justice said. While I am happy he will remain part of my team in an advisory role, I surely understand his desire to spend more time with his family and I wish him a happy retirement and nothing but the best in all of his future endeavors.”
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Gov. Justice, WV National Guard report hundreds of Soldiers being trained to support hospital staff across state
During Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Justice was joined by West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, who announced that hundreds of Guard Soldiers either have already been or will be training to provide staffing support to hospitals throughout the state.

Last week, Gov. Justice directed his Joint Interagency Task Force and his COVID-19 pandemic leadership team to immediately begin reviewing and approving requests from West Virginia hospitals for staffing support, which is being provided by the Guard.

“Our National Guard is doing all kinds of great work backing up our hospitals to make sure that they are fully operational,” Gov. Justice said. “We commend them for all they’re doing to support our pandemic response every day.”
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Gov. Justice announces over $17.4 million in grant funding for broadband improvement projects across West Virginia
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that the preliminary approval of over $17.4 million in Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) program funds for various broadband infrastructure projects throughout the state.

This marks the first round of grants awarded as part of Gov. Justice’s Billion-Dollar Broadband Strategy, also known as the West Virginia Broadband Investment Plan (WVBIP).
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Gov. Justice holds first briefing since contracting COVID-19; discusses his battle with the disease
On Monday, Gov. Justice held his first COVID-19 briefing since testing positive for the disease the previous week.

Instead of conducting the briefing from the normal location inside the Governor’s Reception Room, Gov. Justice opted to hold the briefing secluded away from the rest of his staff in his private office.

The Governor opened his briefing by discussing his bout with COVID-19 and thanking the countless West Virginians who offered their thoughts and prayers over the past week.
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West Virginia Division of Highways preparing to work around the clock for another round of winter weather
As rain moved into the Mountain State on Wednesday, Jan. 19, and turned to snow overnight, the West Virginia Division of Highways snow removal and ice control crews were prepared in all 55 counties.

“This time of year, we mount our plows on our trucks and keep them mounted,” said Joe Pack, P.E., WVDOH Deputy State Highway Engineer for Division Operations.

When it snows, keeping interstates and high traffic expressways clear is the DOH’s top priority. The DOH has snowplows in every county dedicated to keeping specific stretches of interstate clear. The West Virginia Turnpike also has dozens of snowplows assigned to keeping the Turnpike clear.
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WVDOH announces award of Big Creek Arch Bridge, a Roads to Prosperity project
A project to replace a 106-year-old bridge in McDowell County, awarded by the West Virginia Division of Highways on Thursday, January 20, is paid for with bond sales from Gov. Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program.
SMH Construction Company Inc. was awarded a contract for $1,612,978.90 to replace the Big Creek Arch Bridge in McDowell County. Built in 1916, the bridge carriers WV 16 over Big Creek just east of the community of Berwind.
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Beginner bucket list: Five kid (& newbie) friendly slopes
Almost Heaven has a plethora of difficult trails but the state also has some of the best beginner ski schools and slopes that kids (or slope newbies) can enjoy in the wintertime. From beginners to advanced, new skiers can test their skills on these gentle slopes perfect for those learning the ropes!

Find the best slops for your beginner here.
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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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