West Virginia Week in Review - December 16, 2023


West Virginia Week in Review
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Gov. Justice cuts ribbon to open 'Bridge to Nowhere' and major section of King Coal Highway near Bluefield
Gov. Justice held an event to cut the ribbon and celebrate the grand opening of a three-mile stretch of the King Coal Highway spanning from Airport Road to John Nash Boulevard near Bluefield.

The approximately $68 million project, the first section of the King Coal Highway to be funded through Gov. Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program, connects Airport Road to the previously constructed Christine Elmore West Bridge, and the bridge to the intersection of John Nash Boulevard and US 460.
Over the years, the bridge has been referred to as the “Bridge to Nowhere.”

"This is no longer the bridge to nowhere; it is finally a bridge to economic prosperity," Gov. Justice said. "Every last one of us pulled the rope together to get this project across the finish line. This one has been in the works for so many years, and it took a team with the right vision to get it done. We all worked together to turn this into a reality, and it's another sign of progress in West Virginia. I have no doubt this is just the beginning."
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Gov. Justice, SBA, approve over $111 million for new schools and school upgrades in 19 counties
Gov. Justice, as Chairman of the West Virginia School Building Authority (SBA), announced a historic milestone as the SBA approved an allocation of $111,687,534 to 19 counties for Fiscal Year 2024. 

This funding, the largest annual award by the SBA since 2011, will be used to construct ten new schools and perform major renovations on thirteen existing schools across the state.
“I am truly proud to vote for this historic investment in our schools, because it represents our unwavering commitment to providing West Virginia students with the best possible learning environment,” Gov. Justice said. “This funding doubles down on our belief that every student deserves access to a high-quality education. These new and upgraded facilities will ensure our students have the resources and technology needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”
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Gov. Justice announces 2024 Governor’s Schools applications now open
Gov. Justice announced the application period for the 2024 Governor's Schools of West Virginia is now open and can be accessed online through the West Virginia Department of Education.

The Governor's Schools of West Virginia program presents an enriching and immersive summer learning experience within college-based residential settings. These programs, hosted at our state’s prestigious colleges, universities, and prominent locations across the state, come at no expense to families.
Click here to learn more about the application and selection process
"This is an incredible opportunity for some of the most outstanding students in our state, and I encourage everyone to apply," Gov. Justice said. "This is just another way we are investing in our brightest young minds, helping shape future leaders, and contributing to the overall prosperity of West Virginia."
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Gov. Justice appoints Hardy as judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court serving Kanawha County
Gov. Justice announced that he has appointed David J. (Dave) Hardy to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court serving Kanawha County. He is set to fill the seat vacated by Judge Joanna Tabit, who passed away in September.

Since his appointment as Secretary of Revenue, he, along with Gov. Justice, have shepherded the state through challenging financial times, steering West Virginia from a $500 million deficit in 2017 to a $1.1 billion surplus in 2023. 

"Dave Hardy has been a true partner in turning West Virginia's financial tide," Gov. Justice said. "Since his appointment as Revenue Secretary in 2017, he's been at my side as we steered our state from deficits to prosperity. His keen understanding of our fiscal landscape, coupled with his unwavering commitment to public service, makes him exceptionally qualified for this new role."
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Gov. Justice appoints Larry Pack as Acting Secretary of Revenue
Gov. Justice announced he has appointed Larry Pack as Acting Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Revenue. He fills the position following the resignation of Dave Hardy, who was appointed by Gov. Justice as a judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court serving Kanawha County.

"Larry is a proven leader with a deep understanding of our state's finances and a commitment to fiscal responsibility,” Gov. Justice said. “His business acumen and knowledge of the tax code will be invaluable in leading the Department of Revenue and I am confident that he will work tirelessly to ensure that West Virginia remains on the pathway to prosperity."
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First Lady Justice announces state’s nineteenth Friends With Paws therapy dog for Washington Lands Elementary School
First Lady Cathy Justice announced the state’s next therapy dog through her Friends With Paws program has been placed at Washington Lands Elementary in Marshall County. 

The dog is named Meadow, a female Yellow Labrador, and she rounds out the Friends With Paws therapy dog program for 2023.

“Washington Lands Elementary is such a wonderful place," First Lady Justice said. "I know that Meadow will thrive there and the students will appreciate the calm sense of purpose she brings to the school. I hope she brings comfort and joy to everyone she comes across. We plan to expand the Friends With Paws program in 2024, and I cannot wait to see the great work to be done by these amazing dogs.”
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Gov. Justice asks West Virginians to help book store in Greenbrier County ahead of holiday season
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Gov. Justice orders U.S. and State flags to half-staff in honor of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Gov. Justice has issued a proclamation, in accordance with the Presidential Proclamation, ordering all United States and West Virginia flags on all state-owned facilities to be displayed at half-staff until sunset on December 19, 2023, for United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

"Cathy and I send our deepest sympathies and prayers to the family and loved ones of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor," Gov. Justice said. "Her devotion to serving the public profoundly impacted our country, and she will be missed greatly."
Governor's Proclamation
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Also this week:

DHHR Hosts Roundtable Discussion with LOCHHRA and Directors in the Office of Shared Administration

2024 Hunting, Trapping, Fishing Licenses on sale now

DHHR hosts Child Welfare Transformation Summit with West Virginia Legislature

Jennings Randolph Bridge in Chester to close temporarily for repairs

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

Governor's Mansion:

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