West Virginia Week in Review - March 26, 2022

3/26/2022

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Gov. Justice announces West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that a new program – called the West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program – will provide assistance to West Virginia homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19. The program can provide assistance for past-due mortgage payments of up to $15,000, past-due utilities of up to $2,500, past-due insurance, property tax payments, and other housing costs of up to $5,000, $300 in internet assistance, and $500 of assistance on certain downpayment loans.

The WVHDF will begin accepting applications on Monday, March 28, 2022. Online and paper applications will be available.
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Gov. Justice unveils new online Vaccination Due Date Calculator
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that a free, online tool to help people learn when they may be due for a COVID-19 shot is now live at vaccinate.wv.gov. West Virginia’s new COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator is the first online application of its kind to calculate a COVID-19 vaccination due date for anyone at any stage of vaccination.
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Gov. Justice signs bills protecting Down Syndrome community, special education students, and abused minors
On Monday, Gov. Justice hosted a ceremony to sign into law three bills designed to improve West Virginians’ lives in various ways.

Senate Bill 468 – titled the “Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act” – will prohibit medical professionals from performing abortions solely because of a disabilty in an unborn child, such as Down Syndrome, barring a medical emergency.

Senate Bill 647 will prohibit health providers from denying an individual access to an organ transplant solely because of a mental or physical disability. The bill will also compel providers to offer special accommodations to these individuals throughout the process. 
On Friday, Gov. Justice signed two bills into law that will enhance protections for special education students and place additional penalties on those that abuse any special education students.

Senate Bill 261 - Requiring video cameras in certain special education classrooms.

House Bill 4600 - Making it a felony for a “Person in a Position of Trust” to assault, batter, or verbally abuse a child, or neglect to report abuse they witness.
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Gov. Justice hosts ceremonial Gold Rush stocking, unveils commemorative coin celebrating event’s 5th anniversary
Gov. Justice stocked the streams of Babcock State Park full of golden rainbow trout Tuesday as part of a ceremony celebrating the upcoming 2022 West Virginia Gold Rush. As part of the ceremony, the Governor unveiled a special coin commemorating Gold Rush’s 5th anniversary and announced that any lucky anglers who catch one of the 50,000 golden rainbow trout that are being stocked during this year’s Gold Rush can request their own commemorative coin online at wvdnr.gov/goldrush
Gov. Justice also announced seven new Gold Rush stocking locations have been added across the state, and that, in an effort to increase angler interest in Babcock State Park year-round, he has directed the WVDNR to immediately begin regularly stocking Glade Creek all the way to the New River with brown trout.

Gov. Justice was also joined for the ceremony by West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston to announce that work is already underway to connect Babcock State Park with the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. Old Sewell Road, which runs adjacent to Glade Creek in Babcock State Park, used to provide this connection, running about five miles downstream to the New River.
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Gov. Justice celebrates ALL-GREEN map
On Friday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia’s County Alert Map now officially features all 55 of the state’s counties in the Green category. The Governor went on to report that there are now just 460 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; the lowest daily active case total since the first months of the pandemic. Over the past two months, total active cases have decreased by more than 97%.
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Gov. Justice celebrates newest Jobs & Hope graduates: “Hire these people!”
Several West Virginians are on a pathway to meaningful employment and have a renewed sense of purpose thanks to Gov. Justice’s life-changing Jobs & Hope West Virginia program. Wednesday, the Governor hosted a ceremony to celebrate the newest class of Jobs & Hope graduates. Nine program participants completed a Heavy Equipment Operations course, spending 28 days at Camp Dawson near Kingwood getting hands-on training from the West Virginia National Guard, earning their OSHA 10 certification.
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Governor and First Lady Justice announce Friends With Paws: West Virginia’s first statewide school therapy dog program
On Friday, Gov. Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice announced the first statewide school therapy dog program in West Virginia. The program, called Friends With Paws, will place certified therapy dogs in schools across the state, providing companionship and comfort for students in need of a boost. Therapy dogs will be placed in schools within CIS counties where students are disproportionately affected by poverty, substance misuse, or other at-risk situations, and are in the greatest need of a support animal.
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Angler catches state record musky in Braxton County
Last Saturday, March 19, Lucas King of Burnsville, caught and released a new state record musky. He was fishing from the bank of the Little Kanawha River at a WV Division of Natural Resources public access site in the tailwater section of Burnsville Dam in Braxton County. King’s record fish was 55.0625 inches long and weighed 51.00 pounds. The trophy musky eclipsed the previous WV length record of 54.0625 inches caught last year by Chase Gibson and surpassed the current weight record of 49.75 pounds previously held by Anna Marsh.
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WVDOH awards contracts to repaint road stripes in all 55 counties
Projects to repaint road stripes in all 10 of West Virginia’s highway districts were among 11 projects awarded by the West Virginia Division of Highways on Thursday. The WVDOH also awarded a contract to replace a low water crossing near Seneca Rocks.
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Also this week:

Gov. Justice orders all U.S. and State flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright


WIC Celebrates National Nutrition Month

West Virginia children participate in virtual chat with Ukrainian refugee

West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History to Begin Accepting Entries for Annual Juried Quilt Exhibition, March 25
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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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