West Virginia Week in Review - April 15, 2023


West Virginia Week in Review
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Governor and First Lady issue statement on death of forester in Fayette County
Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement after learning of the death of Cody J. Mullens, a state forester in Fayette County who was fatally injured while fighting a forest fire in Fayette County.

“Cathy and I are heartbroken by the tragic news of losing one of our own,” Gov. Justice said. “Our state foresters are some of the most dedicated workers in our state, putting their lives on the line to protect our communities from wildfires, and we owe them all, especially Cody, an enormous debt of gratitude. 

“Losing a brave forester is a tragedy beyond belief. Cathy and I will keep this man and his loved ones in our prayers and ask all West Virginians to join with us.”
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Gov. Justice announces UNDBIO secures lease in Monongalia County; to invest 100 million in first three years
Gov. Justice announced that UNDBIO, a South Korean pharmaceutical company that provides diabetic care solutions, has secured a lease with West Virginia University to build an insulin manufacturing facility in Morgantown.

The company will create 200 jobs within the first three years and will invest $100,000,000 in phase one of the project.
“I am thrilled to make this announcement today and to welcome UNDBIO to Almost Heaven,” Gov. Justice said. “The addition of these good-paying jobs, with the potential for more in the future, is great news for Morgantown and for our entire state. The Morgantown area has a strong manufacturing history and I am proud that UNDBIO will join our growing list of successful, world-leading manufacturing companies who’ve chosen the Mountain State.”

According to the latest information from the American Diabetes Association, 51 million persons in North America have diabetes. It’s estimated that 537 million persons have diabetes around the world.
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Gov. Justice announces state employees will no longer be charged for parking at state facilities
Gov. Justice announced that state employees will no longer have to pay for parking, either at the State Capitol Complex or at any other state facility.

“The bottom line is all state employees that currently pay for parking will see an increase on their paychecks,” Gov. Justice said.

The new Rule, filed by the West Virginia Department of Administration to the Secretary of State’s Office, will go into effect on May 5, 2023, and employees currently paying for parking will no longer see that money removed from their paychecks. Currently, a known 2,377 employees will be impacted, but as the Department of Administration works with departments statewide to implement this change, officials believe this number will grow.
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Gov. Justice celebrates Hunger Free West Virginia Cooler, commemorates initial funding for the emergency food bank bucket
Gov. Justice participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the West Virginia National Guard’s Regional Food Distribution Center at Rock Branch, earlier this week. The distribution center allows multiple organizations to work together in a whole-of-government approach to assist West Virginians facing food insecurity.

The Governor joined representatives from the Mountaineer Food Bank and the Facing Hunger Food Bank to cut a ribbon on their new Hunger Free West Virginia Cooler. Both food banks will share the new space for food storage.
Also, during the ceremony, Gov. Justice unveiled a $10 million ceremonial check commemorating the initial funding for the newly established Posey Perry Emergency Food Bank Bucket, a $10 million reserve account for the two food banks to draw from as needed.
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West Virginia exports increase by over 20 percent, state delivers second-largest amount of coal in US
Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia's export market grew for the third consecutive year in 2022 to a value of $7.6 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's recent trade statistics. This marks a 20% increase over 2021, with an additional $1.4 billion in exports.

Coal was the most significant export, totaling $3.8 billion. The Netherlands, India, and Brazil were among the countries that received coal from West Virginia, making it the United States' second-largest coal exporter.
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Gov. Justice issues certificate of recognition for heroic West Virginia State Policeman
Gov. Justice signed a certificate of recognition for Sergeant R. R. Cervera of the West Virginia State Police in honor of his heroic actions that helped save the life of a three-year-old boy in Martinsburg earlier this week.

Sergeant Cervera's quick thinking and bravery were instrumental in responding to a life-threatening situation. His actions exemplify the dedication of officers who put their lives on the line daily to protect their communities.
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Gov. Justice congratulates Benji Lilly on catching record-breaking golden trout
Gov. Justice personally congratulated Benji Lilly on his recent achievement of catching the biggest golden trout in West Virginia state history. This stunning fish weighed an impressive 9.72 lbs, breaking the previous record of 9.31 lbs set back in 1998.
Lilly reeled in the golden trout at Little Beaver State Park in Raleigh County.
Spring Turkey Season opens this weekend for youth hunters and Monday for all others
Turkey hunting returns to West Virginia this weekend with the annual two-day youth season on April 15–16. The regular spring gobbler season opens on April 17 and will run for five weeks until May 21.

During the season, hunters may harvest one bearded bird per day with a season bag limit of two. All hunters 15 and older are required to have a valid West Virginia hunting license, unless they are hunting under resident landowner privileges and carry a valid form of identification while hunting.

A West Virginia hunting license can be purchased at 160 retail agents around the state or online at WVhunt.com.
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Governor and First Lady visit Chapmanville Intermediate as part of Communities in Schools Spring Road Trip
The Governor and First Lady Justice visited Chapmanville Intermediate as part of launch of the “All in for Kids” Communities In Schools (CIS) Spring Road Trip.

The First Lady will be traveling to CIS counties and schools over the next two months to meet with students and CIS Site Coordinators.
Additional stops on the road trip will be announced at a later date.
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Governor and First Lady speak at the Milken Educator Network Forum at the West Virginia Culture Center

The Governor and First Lady Justice spoke to the students and teachers at the West Virginia Milken Educators' Grow Your Own Pathway to Teaching event at the West Virginia Culture Center earlier this week. 

They offered their unwavering support for educators and urged the importance of preparing students to become great teachers themselves.

The Milken Educator Award, an initiative of the Milken Family Foundation, recognizes excellence by honoring top educators nationwide with unrestricted monetary awards. There have been 76 Milken awards awarded in West Virginia since 1990.

The TeachWV Grow Your Own Pathway to Teaching program puts students on a path to becoming teachers. More than 250 West Virginia high school students are in the program, representing 37 counties. 

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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov; CJ Harvey, cj.harvey@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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