West Virginia Week in Review - March 25, 2023


West Virginia Week in Review
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Gov. Justice declares State of Preparedness for all 55 counties because of hazardous weather
Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Preparedness for all 55 West Virginia counties, earlier this week, ahead of heavy rainfall and high winds across the state. 

The State of Preparedness allows the West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) to posture personnel and resources for quick response to any emergency that may develop. Coordinating agencies have been placed on standby to report to the State Emergency Operations Center should the need arise.
View the Proclomation
The State of Preparedness remains in effects 30 days unless terminated by subsequent Proclamation.

Gov. Justice and the WVEMD ask all West Virginians to remain attentive to weather conditions through local media reports and follow any instructions issued by emergency officials.  
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Governor and First Lady Justice issue statement on death of coal miner in Barbour County
Gov. Justice issued the following statement after learning of the death of a coal miner in Barbour County. 

“Today, we lost another West Virginia hero,” he said. “Our brave coal miners go underground every day, providing the coal that powers our nation through electricity generation and steelmaking. Losing a brave miner 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.”

Cecil Barker, of Phillipi, WV, was fatally injured Wednesday morning while working as a surveyor at Century Mining’s Longview Mine, located in Barbour County. Barker was 62 years old, and had 18 years of mining experience.
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Gov. Justice announces return of Gold Rush stockings
Gov. Justice announced that the West Virginia Gold Rush will return for its sixth year on March 28, giving anglers 12 days to catch golden rainbow trout and win prizes.

“Every year our incredible Gold Rush stockings bring more and more people to West Virginia to experience all of the goodness we have to offer,” Gov. Justice said. “As someone who’s fished his entire life, I can say that our beautiful lakes, streams, parks, and forests are truly special, and I can’t wait for folks to get out and enjoy them during the spring.”
List of Stocking Locations
From March 28 to April 8, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will stock 50,000 golden rainbow trout at 68 lakes and streams around the state, including waters in or near 15 state parks and forests.

Gov. Justice will kick off Gold Rush 2023 by ceremonially stocking the first fish on Monday, March 27, at Babcock State Park.
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Gov. Justice awards $9.7 million in Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program grants across West Virginia
Gov. Justice announced the award of 38 West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program grant projects for Federal Fiscal Year 2022, worth $9,734,552 in total, for projects in 22 counties.

The West Virginia Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program are administered by the WVDOT and funded by the Federal Highway Administration. These grants help towns and cities build and improve sidewalks, lighting, walking paths, rail trails and more.
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Gov. Justice signs bills to enhance school safety, improve literacy and numeracy rates, provide free college credit classes
Gov. Justice held a signing ceremony earlier this week for four education-related bills passed by the West Virginia Legislature. The ceremony took place in front of a packed gym full of students at Leon Elementary School. 
“For our students to succeed, they have to feel safe and loved,” Gov. Justice said. “This legislation further improves our students' safety and will help raise our literacy and numeracy numbers by putting more aides in classrooms. For our older students, we’re making it easier to get them college ready by removing barriers for advanced education. Education is our centerpiece in West Virginia, and these bills make that focus even clearer. Today is a great day for West Virginia."
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Gov. Justice signs bill to continue combating opioid epidemic in West Virginia
Gov. Justice signed SB 674 which creates the WV First Foundation, a private foundation that will advance the goal of abating the opioid epidemic by providing a long-term steady stream of money to fund the efforts by both private and governmental entities.
The Foundation will direct the spending of settlement funds received from the opioid litigation the state has engaged in. The governing board shall consist of 11 members representing the interests of the State of West Virginia and local government. 
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Gov. Justice signs four coal-related bills at John Amos Power Plant in Putnam County
Gov. Justice signed four bills all related to West Virginia’s Coal industry this week. The ceremony took place in front of a packed room at the John Amos Power Plant in Putnam County.

The John Amos Plant has a nameplate rating of 2,933 MW, making it the largest generating plant in the AEP system.
AEP says the energy generated at the John Amos Plant is enough to power about 2 million homes. The plant employs around 300 people with a payroll of over $27 million dollars.
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Gov. Justice signs bill to include Alzheimer's disease in existing public health programs
Gov. Justice, earlier this week, signed SB 526, making it mandatory that DHHR work with the Bureau of Senior Services, and the Alzheimer’s Association to educate healthcare professionals, and all West Virginians about the early detection and timely diagnosis of this heartbreaking disease.

DHHR will stand up a public relations campaign and make sure we are doing everything we can to reach out and teach people about this disease. This bill make it so Alzheimer's disease is included in existing public health programs.
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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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