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  • State News

    West Virginia & Virginia State News

    18 news in this category

    1. State News


      When it comes to the perils of wildlife on the roads, West Virginia is taking the lead, and it's not a statistic the state is proud of. According to recent insurance data, the Mountain State leads the nation in deer strike accidents on its roadways.
      Joe Pack, P.E., Chief Engineer of Operations at the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH), highlighted the unique challenges faced by the state. "We live in a mountainous, rural area where wildlife is prevalent," he stated. "The more rural the area, the more likely accidents are to happen."
      Between January 1, 2023, and Monday, November 20, 2023, a staggering 10,618 deer were struck by vehicles on West Virginia highways. Surprisingly, 15 bears also fell victim to these unfortunate collisions. Additionally, coyotes and various other wild animals occasionally find themselves in harm's way on the Mountain State's roads.
      Cleanup duties after these incidents fall upon the shoulders of the men and women working in WVDOH field offices scattered throughout the state. "We treat it just like any other road obstruction," Pack explained. Prioritizing based on the level of threat, the WVDOH ensures that the most dangerous sites are addressed promptly. A deer on the side of a rural road poses less risk than one in the middle of an interstate, so their approach is strategic in minimizing public hazards.
      Despite their best efforts, WVDOH work crews may not be aware of every animal strike. This is where public participation becomes crucial. If you come across a deceased deer or any other animal on or near a state roadway, you can contribute to road safety by reporting it through the Safety With Action Today (SWAT) hotline. The hotline, reachable at 1-833-WVROADS, offers an avenue for citizens to play an active role in making the roads safer. Alternately, reports can be submitted via email at [email protected], or online through the official WVDOH website at https://dotforms.wv.gov/cra.
      As West Virginia grapples with this unique challenge, the state encourages its residents to be vigilant on the roads and actively participate in the effort to reduce deer-related accidents. With winter approaching and the increased likelihood of deer activity, staying informed and reporting incidents promptly can make a significant impact on road safety for all.
      Source: https://transportation.wv.gov/communications/PressRelease/Pages/Oh_deer_WV_leads_the_nation_in_deer_strike_accidents.aspx

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    2. State News


      The West Virginia Turnpike saw an impressive surge in travel over the Thanksgiving holiday period, surpassing estimates with more than 724,000 total transactions recorded between Tuesday, November 21, 2023, and Sunday, November 26, 2023.
      According to the West Virginia Parkways Authority, a total of 724,768 transactions were processed at the three toll booths on the turnpike during the holiday period, exceeding estimates by nearly 10,000 transactions. This influx of travel showcased the popularity of the scenic route for Thanksgiving getaways.
      "The WV Turnpike was well prepared for a heavy influx of traffic during Thanksgiving week," said Jeff Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority. "I couldn't be prouder of our Toll Operations, Maintenance crews, Courtesy patrol, Traffic Flaggers, State Police Troop 7, and Dispatch Center for their commitment this week to ensure traffic ran as smoothly as possible."
      The busiest day on the turnpike was Sunday, November 26, 2023, with a remarkable 161,022 total transactions, slightly above the estimated 160,000. Wednesday, November 22, 2023, followed closely as the second busiest day, with 156,241 total transactions, exceeding the estimated 155,000.
      Tuesday, November 21, 2023, saw 132,053 total transactions, surpassing the estimated 130,000. Toll collectors on Saturday, November 25, 2023, recorded 128,818 total transactions, exceeding the estimated 125,000, while Friday, November 24, 2023, experienced 83,370 total transactions, above the estimated 80,000.
      Even on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 2023, there were 67,695 total transactions, indicating that a significant number of travelers chose the turnpike as their route to and from holiday gatherings.
      The West Virginia Turnpike, which averages nearly 100,000 total transactions per day throughout the year, proved to be a reliable choice for holiday travel, showcasing the efficiency and preparedness of the authorities in managing the increased traffic during this festive season. As travelers return home, the West Virginia Parkways Authority remains dedicated to ensuring a safe and smooth journey for all road users.
      Source: https://transportation.wv.gov/communications/PressRelease/Pages/West_Virginia_Turnpike_travel_above_estimates_over_Thanksgiving_holiday_period.aspx

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    3. State News


      Today marks the commencement of West Virginia's highly anticipated buck firearms season, a cherished tradition that unites generations in their love for the outdoors. Governor Jim Justice, an avid supporter of the state's hunting culture, reminded hunters to secure their licenses and deer stamps before venturing into the woods for the next two weeks.
      "West Virginia’s buck firearms season is a cherished tradition that spans generations and unites us in our love for the outdoors,” Gov. Justice said. "I want to encourage every hunter, whether you’re a resident or non-resident, to get into the woods and enjoy a hunting adventure and experience all of the goodness and beauty of West Virginia."
      The buck firearms season will run until December 3, providing ample opportunities for residents and non-residents alike to partake in the state's most popular hunting season. Those seeking an additional buck must purchase a Class RG or Class RRG stamp before 11:59 p.m. on November 19. Licenses and stamps are available for purchase online at WVhunt.com or through authorized license retailers.
      In conjunction with the hunting season, Governor Justice also announced the launch of West Virginia's third annual Big Buck Photo Contest. Hunters are invited to submit a photo featuring a buck harvested during the 2023 season along with a short account of their hunting experience. The contest, which has garnered over 2,000 submissions since its inception in 2021, opens on November 21 and accepts entries until December 22.
      “As a lifelong hunter, I want to invite everyone to participate in the West Virginia Big Buck Photo contest and enjoy our state’s incredible deer hunting opportunities,” Gov. Justice expressed. “Whether you come home with a buck or win one of these prizes, I want to encourage you to get in the woods and join the thousands of hunters who have participated in this exciting contest over the last two years and help show the world why West Virginia is one of the best places to hunt.”
      The contest includes divisions for both youth (17 and younger) and adults (18 and older), with prizes ranging from free lifetime hunting licenses to cabin stays in state forests and other exciting packages.
      Coinciding with the buck firearms season, the second split of West Virginia's antlerless deer season opens in 51 counties and runs through December 3. Hunters seeking to hunt antlerless deer can purchase Class N or Class NN stamps at any time on WVhunt.com.
      Brett McMillion, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director, highlighted the state's abundant wildlife and effective natural resource management. Hunters are reminded to check in their game online at WVhunt.com, at authorized license agents, or by calling 1-844-WVCHECK, ensuring their DNR accounts are up to date for a smooth process.
      For specific deer regulations in each county and wildlife management area, hunters are advised to refer to the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary, available at license agents, WVDNR district offices, and online at WVdnr.gov/hunting-regulations. The winners of the Big Buck Photo Contest will be announced in January 2024 following a random drawing and judging based on various criteria including photo composition, antler size, antler points, and the quality of the hunt narrative.
      Source: https://governor.wv.gov/News/press-releases/2023/Pages/Gov.-Justice-announces-start-of-buck-firearms-season,-return-of-Big-Buck-Photo-Contest-.aspx

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    4. State News


      West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced today that Breeze Airways, the United States' only Nice Low Cost Carrier (NLCC), is set to begin a new service connecting Charleston (CRW) to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, commencing on May 10, 2024. The news comes as an exciting development for travelers seeking affordable and convenient travel options. Fares on this new route start at just $49 one-way if purchased by November 14 for travel by September 3, 2024. This announcement marks another significant milestone in the historic partnership between West Virginia and Breeze Airways.
      "I'm thrilled to share the exciting news that Breeze Airways is expanding their service to connect West Virginia with Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,” Gov. Justice said. “This new route is another testament to the vital role our airports play in fueling our economy, boosting tourism, and enhancing our state's overall appeal. Breeze Airways' commitment to providing affordable travel options aligns perfectly with West Virginia's resurgence as a top tourism destination. I’m excited to see our partnership continue to flourish, as we continue to show off Almost Heaven to the world."
      In addition to this route expansion, Breeze Airways is currently offering a special promotion. Travelers can enjoy 35% off roundtrip bookings on all routes, including the new Charleston to Myrtle Beach service, by using the promo code ‘BENICE.’
      Today’s announcement reaffirms the commitment made by Breeze Airways in March to add five new destinations, including New York City, over the next two years. This expansion underscores the airline's dedication to connecting underserved markets and providing nonstop flights between cities without existing service.
      "With West Virginia’s tourism industry at an all-time high, it’s vital that we continue building our air service and making West Virginia more accessible to other regions,” said Chelsea Ruby, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Tourism. “I want to thank Governor Justice, the Legislature, and our local partners in making this a reality. Investing in tourism infrastructure is paying dividends, and I’m thrilled to continue opening doors to new markets."
      The Charleston Yeager Airport (CRW) is equally excited about this development. Dominique Ranieri, Airport Director & CEO, expressed their enthusiasm, stating, "We are ecstatic to witness Breeze's continuous growth as they introduce new destinations, opening up a world of possibilities for both leisure and business travelers in West Virginia. While we bask in the excitement of Breeze's ever-expanding presence at CRW, we especially appreciate their decision to include Myrtle Beach, a cherished destination with a deep-rooted connection to our community."
      Breeze Airways has gained recognition as one of the Top 5 Best U.S. Airlines for the second consecutive year according to Travel + Leisure readers. The airline offers guests various options, including bundled and a la carte offerings known as Nice, Nicer, and, on flights operated with the Airbus A220-300, Nicest. The Nicest bundle includes two checked bags, priority boarding, and Breeze Ascent—the carrier’s premium inflight experience featuring 2x2 recliner-style seating and complimentary snacks and beverages, including alcohol.
      Breeze stands out by not charging change or cancellation fees up to 15 minutes prior to departure and offering benefits such as free family seating and a la carte pricing. With seamless booking, no change or cancellation fees, up to 24 months of reusable flight credit, and customized flight features delivered via a sleek and simple app, Breeze makes it easy to buy and easy to fly. Travelers can learn more about Breeze's flight offerings via their website or the app.
      For more information and to book flights, please visit https://www.flybreeze.com/. Get ready to experience the beauty of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as Breeze Airways connects West Virginia with a new, convenient travel option.
      Source: https://governor.wv.gov/News/press-releases/2023/Pages/Gov.-Justice-announces-Breeze-Airways-to-start-new-route-to-Myrtle-Beach-from-Charleston.aspx

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    5. State News


      In a unanimous decision, the West Virginia State Senate recently passed a resolution reaffirming its strong support for the State of Israel while unequivocally condemning the actions of the Hamas terrorist organization. This resolution comes in response to a recent unprovoked attack by Hamas on Israel, which resulted in the death and abduction of innocent civilians, including children and the elderly.
      The resolution, which reflects the unwavering commitment of the Senate to upholding peace and justice, was signed by Senator Vince Deeds and Senator Jack David Woodrum, both representing the 10th District of West Virginia. In a display of unity and solidarity, the entire Senate rallied behind the resolution to show their support for Israel.
      The timing of this resolution is significant, as it coincides with the solemn 40th anniversary of the Beirut bombing, a tragic event that occurred on October 23, 1983. The attack led to the devastating loss of 241 U.S. servicemen, including Sergeant Mecot Camara from Hinton, West Virginia. Senator Woodrum, who shared a personal connection with Sergeant Camara, emphasized the importance of commemorating his service and sacrifice.
      "Sergeant Mecot Camara was not just a brave serviceman but also a cherished member of our community who grew up just down the street from me," Senator Woodrum stated. "His service and sacrifice will always be remembered."
      The resolution not only serves as a tribute to the memory of Sergeant Camara but also as a strong statement of support for Israel and a condemnation of Hamas. The terrorist organization initiated an unprovoked attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, resulting in the death of over 900 Israelis, including 11 United States citizens, and leaving more than 2,600 others injured.
      Hamas, designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States government, is widely recognized for its relentless and indiscriminate acts of violence against innocent civilians in Israel. The West Virginia State Senate expressed its firm stance against such acts of terror, making it clear that they will not be tolerated.
      The resolution also calls upon other states and nations to join in a coalition against Hamas and its supporters, standing in solidarity with Israel to fight against terrorism. This declaration of support and condemnation of Hamas is backed by a commitment to Israel's sovereign rights to defend its citizens and territories against foreign aggression.
      In a final step, the Senate has directed the clerk to forward a copy of this resolution to key figures in the United States government, including the President, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. It will also be sent to the United States Secretary of State and West Virginia's congressional delegation, underlining the West Virginia Senate's unwavering support for Israel and its fight against terrorism.
      The passing of this resolution by the West Virginia State Senate sends a powerful message of unity, compassion, and a commitment to peace in the face of acts of terrorism. It reflects the state's unwavering support for Israel and the belief in the sanctity of human life.


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    6. State News


      Fall fire season starts Sunday, Oct. 1, and continues through Dec. 31. The West Virginia Division of Forestry (WV DOF) reminds residents to confine their outdoor burning to 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. Fires set during that time must be put out before 7 a.m.

      “Autumn’s vibrant hues bring joy, but they also signal the start of our fall fire season. We are asking everyone to please help us safeguard our forests from the threat of wildfire by following burning laws,” said Jeremy Jones, State Forester and Director of the West Virginia Division of Forestry.

      Debris burning is West Virginia’s most common cause of wildfires, averaging more than 35% of all wildfires over the past ten years.

      As the crisp, dry fall season replaces the humid summer, the air offers less moisture for grasses and leaf litter to absorb. Dry leaves and forest floor debris become more flammable. Burning is prohibited during the day because, even in fall, relative humidity typically increases in the evening.

      A summary of forest fire laws and safe fire practices can be found on the state Division of Forestry website.

      The West Virginia Division of Forestry (WV DOF) reminds residents to confine their outdoor burning to the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., according to the West Virginia State Code Chapter 20-3-5. Fires set during that time must be put out before 7 a.m.

      The fall fire season state law restrictions include:
      No outdoor burning from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any fire set between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. must be extinguished before 7 a.m. Fires must be attended at all times. Before leaving any fire for any length of time, the fire must be completely extinguished. Clear at least a 10-foot area (safety strip) around the fire and make sure all burnable material has been removed. Any equipment that can throw sparks and operating on land subject to fire by any cause must be provided with an adequate spark arrestor. If your fire escapes, you are liable for the costs of fighting the fire and any damage the fire may cause. Violation of the burning law is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. The WV DOF can issue commercial permits to burn during the prohibited periods.

      The Division of Forestry protects nearly 12 million acres of forestland across West Virginia. For more information on fire safety and programs such as forest legacy, logging and landowner assistance, visit wvforestry.com.
      Source: https://commerce.wv.gov/this-oct-1-marks-the-start-of-fall-fire-season/

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    7. State News


      On September 7, 2023, John Anthony Castro, of Mansfield, Texas, filed a suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner and President Donald Trump in an attempt to disqualify President Trump from appearing on the 2024 presidential election ballot in West Virginia (Case No. 2:23-cv-00598). This week, West Virginia Republican Party (WVGOP) Chairwoman Elgine McArdle, Esq. joined the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) as its local counsel and subsequently filed a motion to intervene in the case on behalf of the West Virginia Republican Party.
      WVGOP Chairwoman Elgine McArdle issued the following statement: 
      “Over the past few months there has been a coordinated national effort to prevent President Trump from appearing on the ballot in 2024. This effort has now arrived in West Virginia. The West Virginia Republican Party represents an association of nearly half a million registered Republican voters in this State, and as the Chair of the Republican Party, I cannot and will not stand idly by as our voters are deprived of their choices in the presidential election. President Trump won nearly 70% of the vote in West Virginia in 2020 and remains overwhelmingly popular in this State. This legal challenge is the latest assault on President Trump, his campaign, and his supporters. Republican voters crave a change from the status quo of high taxes, runaway inflation, rampant crime, woke ideology, and open borders. They have looked to President Trump time and time again because he has a proven record of fighting for a better economy, energy independence, job creation, strong borders, and conservative, commonsense policies that achieve real results for the American people. Voters in West Virginia and across the country deserve the opportunity to vote for their choice for president, whether the establishment and leftist jurists like it or not. What we’re seeing take place is shameful and wrong — but we will proudly enter into this litigation to deliver a victory for President Trump, our voters, and the rule of law.”
      Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ, added, “We must defend the Constitution against the radical left’s outrageous and unconstitutional plot against election integrity.”
      McArdle concluded, “The WVGOP is honored to partner with the American Center for Law and Justice in this legal battle. ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow and his team of world-renowned legal experts have a record of delivering precedent-setting victories at the Supreme Court, as well as crucial legal rulings in courts and tribunals across the country and globe. Mr. Sekulow served as President Trump’s counsel during the 2020 impeachment hoax, where he helped deliver a resounding acquittal from the U.S. Senate. I am eager to work with the ACLJ and Mr. Sekulow to achieve another legal victory for the American people and the U.S. Constitution.”

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    8. State News


      In a significant step towards bolstering the state's emergency response capabilities, Governor Jim Justice convened at the Point Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department to officially sign three bills into law. SB 1021, SB 1022, and SB 1023, which recently received resounding approval in a Special Session of the West Virginia Legislature, collectively secure a substantial $12 million in supplemental funding for fire departments and first responders statewide.
      Addressing the gathered audience of first responders, Governor Justice expressed his profound gratitude, saying, "You are the people who literally run to the fire. I cannot thank you enough for the work you do and the lives you touch. There is no way that we make it without our first responders, and my goal is to supply you with everything you need to continue protecting our communities. Today is a monumental day because of what has been accomplished. Again, I cannot thank you enough for everything you do for our state."
      Rob Cunningham, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, highlighted the collaborative nature of this achievement, stating, "This is a big day for first responders in the state of West Virginia. The cooperation between the West Virginia Legislature and the Governor to come up with this one-time appropriation to help fund our fire departments and emergency medical services is really huge."
      The trio of bills, each serving a unique purpose, reflects a comprehensive approach to enhancing the capabilities of emergency services throughout the state.
      SB 1021 establishes a special revenue fund under the oversight of the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security. This fund will be responsible for distributing additional resources to local county commissions in those areas with excess levies or dedicated fees earmarked for emergency services.
      SB 1022 and SB 1023 work in tandem to augment appropriations to several key entities, including the Division of Emergency Management, Growth County Fire Protection Fund, and County Fire Protection Fund. These funds are earmarked for utilization by fire departments and emergency medical services, ensuring that counties can tailor their response strategies according to local needs.
      The supplementary funds are earmarked for a range of critical purposes. Fire departments and EMS services will have the latitude to utilize the resources for acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE), maintaining and upgrading facilities, and procuring new rescue, communications, or ambulance equipment. Furthermore, the funds can be directed towards educational and training endeavors, alleviating costs associated with compliance to Insurance Service Office recommendations (ISO), utility expenditures, and insurance payments.
      The signing of these bills marks a pivotal juncture in West Virginia's commitment to safeguarding its communities and supporting those who dedicate their lives to the frontlines of emergencies. The collaboration between the Governor's office and the state legislature underscores the resolve to equip first responders with the necessary resources to carry out their vital missions effectively.
      With this significant injection of funds, West Virginia stands poised to reinforce its emergency response capabilities, fortifying the backbone of its public safety infrastructure and ensuring the continued well-being of its citizens.
      Source: https://governor.wv.gov/News/press-releases/2023/Pages/Gov.-Justice-signs-bills-allocating-$12-million-to-fire-departments-and-first-responders.aspx

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    9. State News


      Yesterday, August 6, 2023, marked the commencement of the Special Session called by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. The Governor issued a proclamation urging the state's Legislature to convene at 4:00 p.m. to address crucial matters and propose significant legislation. This session took place during the previously-scheduled August Interim Committee meetings in Charleston.
      Governor Justice has outlined a list of 44 items for the Legislature to consider and act upon during this Special Session. Among the significant proposals are plans to increase the salaries of Correctional Officers, a clarification regarding personal property tax cuts, and the designation of the first new West Virginia State Park in over 30 years at Summersville Lake in Nicholas County.
      The creation of Summersville Lake State Park will encompass 177 acres of picturesque property along Summersville Lake, symbolizing the state's recent growth in its tourism industry.
      Another essential bill on the agenda aims to clarify that certain personal property tax payments made on vehicles before the effective date of the tax credits introduced in House Bill 2526 during the 2023 Regular Session will be eligible for the full tax credit.
      Addressing the state's Correctional Officer shortage is a top priority during the session. Several bills have been proposed to tackle the issue, including one that introduces Critical Need Pay to attract more officers to areas where their services are needed most. Another bill aims to restructure the Correctional Officer position scale to provide financial incentives for officers to continue serving in their roles instead of transitioning to administrative positions. Additionally, proposals include providing much-needed raises for current officers to help fill crucial vacancies.
      Supplemental appropriations are also a part of the Special Session's agenda. Among them, $150 million will be allocated for highway maintenance and equipment, bringing the total state investment in West Virginia's road system to over $2 billion since 2017. Other appropriations include $4 million for wildfire firefighting equipment for the West Virginia Division of Forestry and $45 million for the expansion of Marshall University's cybersecurity program.
      Governor Justice emphasized the importance of supporting local fire departments and emergency medical service (EMS) providers. He proposed $12 million in supplemental appropriations for local fire departments, in addition to the $10 million already appropriated for EMS providers. The funding aims to provide much-needed support for First Responders without raising taxes. Governor Justice plans to bring all relevant parties, including counties and the Legislature, together to find a responsible long-term funding solution for First Responders.
      The Special Session represents a critical opportunity for lawmakers to address key issues and enact meaningful legislation. Governor Justice expressed his appreciation for the readiness of both the Senate and the House to tackle these important matters and looks forward to their swift decisions during the session.
      For those interested in tracking the progress of the bills during the session, real-time bill status updates can be found on the legislative website.
      Overall, the Special Session promises to be a momentous occasion in West Virginia's legislative history, with a focus on improving the state's correctional system, supporting first responders, investing in infrastructure, and designating a new state park to bolster tourism in the region.
      Source: https://governor.wv.gov/News/press-releases/2023/Pages/Gov.-Justice-issues-proclamation-calling-for-Special-Session-of-the-West-Virginia-Legislature-today-at-4-pm.aspx

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    10. State News


      Earlier this week, Mike Honaker, the current Director of Greenbrier County 911 and Emergency Management, tendered his resignation from his position. The move has sparked speculation about his potential appointment as the new Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, following the resignation of former Superintendent Jan Cahill amid controversy.
      Mike Honaker's decision to step down from his role as Greenbrier County 911 Director has raised eyebrows in the state's political circles, given the timing of the resignation and the recent upheaval within the West Virginia State Police. The agency witnessed turmoil, which eventually led to Superintendent Jan Cahill's resignation several months ago.
      Many now believe that Mike Honaker's departure from his current position might indicate a potential promotion within the ranks of the state police force. Rumors are circulating that Governor Jim Justice is considering Honaker for the coveted position of Superintendent.
      If appointed, Mike Honaker would be tasked with leading the West Virginia State Police and overseeing law enforcement operations across the state. The position holds significant responsibility and influence in ensuring public safety and maintaining law and order.
      However, it is important to note that as of now, these speculations remain unconfirmed, and Governor Jim Justice has not officially announced any candidates for the Superintendent role. The decision is likely to involve a careful selection process, considering the importance of the position.
      For now, the people of West Virginia await an official announcement from the Governor's office regarding the appointment of the new Superintendent, and only time will tell if Mike Honaker's name will indeed be on the short list for consideration.

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    11. State News


      The West Virginia State Police is currently looking for Scott Arthur O'Brien of Hamilton, Ohio, who was driving a white Jeep Grand Cherokee with WV registration 68H94 when he shot a state trooper earlier this morning. The vehicle has since been impounded, and O'Brien's whereabouts remain unknown. The incident took place in the Midway area of Raleigh County. Anyone with any information on the location of O'Brien is asked to contact the WVSP Beckley Detachment at (304) 256-6700.

      Update: Suspect Now Deceased. 

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    12. State News


      Governor Jim Justice underwent a routine and successful gallbladder removal surgery this afternoon, according to a statement from his office. The surgery was performed as a result of a sudden flare-up experienced by the Governor last Thursday evening, despite having no prior issues with his gallbladder. Following consultation with his medical team, it was determined that the removal of the gallbladder was the recommended course of action.
      Governor Justice is reported to be resting well and in good spirits following the procedure. He is eager to resume his duties and continue serving the people of West Virginia. Although the surgery was unexpected, the Governor's swift recovery and positive outlook are encouraging signs for his return to work.
      The Governor's office has expressed gratitude for the well-wishes and support received during this time. Messages of support and encouragement can be sent through official channels. The Governor's team will provide updates on his recovery and return to his duties as they become available.
      Governor Jim Justice has been an active figure in West Virginia politics, working diligently to address the needs and concerns of the state's residents. His dedication to public service remains steadfast, and he looks forward to resuming his responsibilities as soon as possible.
      The citizens of West Virginia are urged to continue supporting Governor Justice during his recovery and to keep him in their thoughts.

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    13. State News


      West Virginia Day was celebrated with great zeal and excitement at the State Culture Center. GoverJim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice were in attendance, participating in several events to commemorate the state's 160th birthday.
      Addressing the crowd, Governor Justice expressed his joy in celebrating West Virginia Day and highlighted the accomplishments and progress the state has achieved. "We have so much to be proud of," he exclaimed. "We are no longer a bad joke. Instead, we are the diamond in the rough everybody missed. We are the envy of the world. There is no better place to live, work, and raise a family than right here in West Virginia. Our state's future is really bright."
      To kick off the celebrations, the first 160 people to arrive were greeted with a special limited edition 160th birthday commemorative gift. These unique keepsakes were lovingly handmade by local artisans from the renowned Black Locust Woodshop in Charleston, showcasing the talent and craftsmanship of the region.
      Throughout the day, a chorus comprising talented students from various schools across West Virginia took the stage, delivering a captivating lineup of tunes. The crowd joined in as the familiar melodies of "Oh, the West Virginia Hills" and "Take Me Home, Country Roads" filled the air. Adding to the musical festivities, Brody Hammers, a gifted student from Cabell Midland High School, captivated the audience with his spirited rendition of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" on the piano.
      The celebration reached new heights when Emmet Cahill, the lead singer of Celtic Thunder, took the stage. Known for their distinctive Irish style, Celtic Thunder has garnered international acclaim. Cahill's performances of the beloved classics "Danny Boy" and "Home Among the Hills" enchanted the audience, evoking a sense of nostalgia and pride for West Virginia.
      West Virginia Day serves as a reminder of the state's rich heritage, scenic beauty, and resilient spirit. It is a day for West Virginians to come together and celebrate the remarkable progress the state has made over the years. With events like these, West Virginia continues to shine as a beacon of pride and unity for its residents.

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    14. State News


      In a devastating turn of events, West Virginia State Trooper Cory Maynard lost his life in the line of duty nearly a week ago. The incident has prompted state lawmakers to advocate for the restoration of the death penalty in West Virginia, receiving firm support from Governor Jim Justice. However, as discussions unfold, questions arise about the potential benefits and drawbacks of bringing back capital punishment to the state.
      Governor Jim Justice expressed his grief and condolences following the tragic loss, issuing a heartfelt statement acknowledging the sacrifice made by Sergeant Cory Maynard. The Governor's sentiments were shared by his wife, Cathy, as they extended their sympathies to Trooper Maynard's loved ones and the entire law enforcement community in West Virginia.
      Nevertheless, in the wake of this incident, some state lawmakers have called for the reinstatement of the death penalty, a punishment that was abolished in West Virginia back in 1965. Governor Jim Justice has expressed his unequivocal support, stating that he is "1,000% supportive" of the proposition.
      As the debate on reinstating the death penalty gains momentum, it is crucial to examine the potential pros and cons of such a decision.
      Pros of Bringing Back the Death Penalty in West Virginia:
      Deterrence and Public Safety: Advocates argue that the death penalty could act as a powerful deterrent, dissuading potential criminals from committing heinous acts. The fear of facing the ultimate punishment may discourage individuals from engaging in capital offenses, potentially enhancing public safety.
      Retributive Justice: Supporters contend that the death penalty provides a form of retributive justice by ensuring that the punishment matches the severity of the crime. Some crimes are deemed so heinous and morally repugnant that the only appropriate response is the ultimate penalty.
      Cons of Bringing Back the Death Penalty in West Virginia:
      Irreversible Nature and Human Fallibility: The foremost argument against the death penalty revolves around its irreversible nature. The justice system is not infallible, and the risk of executing an innocent person is a grave concern. History has shown that wrongful convictions do occur, and the consequences of executing an innocent individual are irreversible and morally unacceptable.
      Unequal Application and Racial Bias: Critics highlight the potential for racial bias and unequal application of the death penalty within the criminal justice system. Studies have revealed disparities, suggesting that individuals from racial minorities are more likely to receive the death penalty compared to their white counterparts. Such inequalities undermine the fairness and impartiality of capital punishment.
      Ethical Considerations: Opponents of the death penalty argue on ethical grounds, maintaining that state-sanctioned killing violates the sanctity of human life. They contend that no government or authority should possess the power to determine who lives and who dies. Additionally, proponents of life imprisonment without parole argue that it provides an equally severe punishment while allowing the possibility of rectifying wrongful convictions.
      As the discussion on the restoration of the death penalty in West Virginia unfolds, policymakers, legal experts, and the public must consider the complex and multifaceted aspects of this contentious issue. Striking a balance between justice, public safety, human rights, and the possibility of irreversible errors is of utmost importance. The tragic loss of Trooper Cory Maynard serves as a reminder of the dangers faced by law enforcement officers and fuels the ongoing debate surrounding capital punishment in the state.

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    15. State News


      West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has announced his intention to run for governor of West Virginia in 2024. The announcement came as a surprise to many, as Morrisey had been widely speculated to be considering another run for the U.S. Senate after losing to incumbent Joe Manchin in 2018.
      Morrisey, who has been serving as the state's attorney general since 2013, made the announcement today and told supporters. "I come before you today with a very clear purpose. I'm seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of West Virginia."
      Morrisey's decision to run for governor is the latest development in a long and accomplished career in public service. Born in New York City in 1967, Morrisey was raised by both his parents, His father was an account manager at U.S. Steel, while his mother worked as a registered nurse.
      After graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in history and political science, Morrisey attended Rutgers Law School, where he earned his J.D. in 1992. He then spent several years working as a lawyer in private practice, before moving to West Virginia.
      In 2012 ran for attorney general. In a hard-fought campaign, he defeated incumbent Democrat Darrell McGraw by a margin of 51% to 48%. He was reelected in 2016 by a larger margin, defeating Democratic challenger Doug Reynolds by more than 6 points.
      As attorney general, Morrisey has made a name for himself as a staunch defender of West Virginia's coal industry and an advocate for limited government and individual freedom. He has also taken a hard line on drug abuse, launching a statewide initiative to combat the opioid epidemic that has ravaged many parts of the state.
      In addition to his work as attorney general, Morrisey has been active in Republican politics for many years. He has also been a frequent commentator on cable news, where he has earned a reputation as a skilled debater and a forceful advocate for conservative principles.
      Morrisey's announcement of his candidacy for governor has been met with a mixed reaction from political observers in West Virginia. Some see him as a strong candidate who can unite the state's conservative base and bring new ideas and energy to the governor's office. Others, however, view him as a divisive figure who may struggle to appeal to moderate and independent voters.
      Morrisey himself has acknowledged the challenges he will face in the campaign ahead. Morrisey is expected to begin his campaign in earnest in the coming months, with a series of town hall meetings, rallies, and other events planned throughout the state. He is also expected to emphasize his record as attorney general, highlighting his efforts to combat drug abuse, protect West Virginia's coal industry, and fight for individual freedom and limited government.
      One issue that is likely to play a major role in the campaign is the state's struggling economy. West Virginia has long been one of the poorest states in the country, with high rates of unemployment and poverty. Morrisey has promised to make job creation and economic growth a top priority if he is elected governor, pledging to cut taxes and regulations and attract new businesses to the state.
      Another issue that may come up in the campaign is healthcare. West Virginia has one of the highest rates of uninsured residents in the country, and many residents struggle to access affordable healthcare. Morrisey has been a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
      Morrisey's announcement of his candidacy for governor has also generated some controversy within the Republican Party. Some conservative activists have expressed concern that Morrisey may be too moderate on certain issues, such as gun rights and immigration. Others have criticized his record as attorney general, arguing that he has not done enough to fight corruption and protect consumers.
      Despite these concerns, Morrisey remains a popular figure within the West Virginia Republican Party, and his announcement has been welcomed by many party leaders and activists. He is also expected to have strong fundraising and organizational support, with many donors and volunteers already expressing their support for his campaign.
      Morrisey's will make campaign stop this Thursday, April 6, 2023, in Lewisburg, West Virginia, where he will be speaking at The Asylum at 5:30 PM. This will be followed by a meeting with the Greenbrier County Republicans Club at 6:30 PM. The events are open to the public, and Morrisey is expected to use them to outline his vision for the state and rally support for his campaign.
      The race for governor of West Virginia is expected to be one of the most closely watched and hotly contested races in the country in 2024. With Morrisey now officially in the race, the stage is set for a spirited and competitive campaign, as Democrats and Republicans battle it out for control of the state's highest office.
      Official Announcement: https://www.facebook.com/MorriseyWV/videos/5796404633804321 


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    16. State News


      Gov. Jim Justice announced today 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.”

      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. Stocking locations and details about the Gold Rush can be found at WVdnr.gov/goldrush.

      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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    17. State News


      A train derailment in Sandstone, WV has caused significant concern among residents and visitors due to public health and environmental contamination issues. Eyewitnesses have advised people to avoid the area due to the lack of road signs or flaggers, and the extended delays caused by CSX police stopping traffic for over an hour at a time.
      Although initial reports suggested that the diesel fuel was being contained, eyewitnesses report no evidence of any containment efforts. Furthermore, some locals are accusing CSX and local officials of downplaying the extent of the damage caused by the derailment.
      The thick diesel fumes burning in the air are causing serious concerns for public health, and authorities have not provided a timeline for when the repairs will be completed. Reports indicate that nearly three different contracting companies are involved in the repairs, and the Sandstone General Store is being used as a staging area. 
      Eyewitnesses report a high volume of heavy equipment, including excavators, bulldozers, and cranes, being used in the repairs. The main road, US 20, is being used like a loading bay, and multiple semis are parked along the Interstate exit ramp with pre-assembled railroad track.

      The situation is further complicated by trains waiting in Meadow Creek and Hinton, and public health officials downriver are advising people of possible contamination. At this time, it is believed that the severity of the derailment is being downplayed, and environmental concerns are being ignored.
      Additionally, there are concerns that water levels in the river are relatively high as more water is being released by Bluestone Dam than usual, which could further exacerbate the contamination issue. Some are even speculating that this is being done to rapidly destroy evidence associated with the derailment.
      Residents and visitors to the area are advised to avoid the area until the situation is resolved, and public health officials are urging people to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from potential health risks.
      CSX Responding to Derailment in Sandstone, WV
      CSX response to our media request. 3-8-23 12:13PM
      GreenbrierJournal,s original early Morning Post.



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    18. State News


      West Virginia state residents are furious after nearly 290 million dollars was giving to Bill Gates and Form Energy. The West Virginia State legislator recently passed HB 2882 leaving many state residents angry and furious. The bill itself is designed to give $290 million to a company called Form Energy. 
      Many people took the social media blasting Deeds calling him Republican rhino and not a true conservative. Woodrum on the other hand, it was nothing more than business as usual. Woodrum recently came under fire after he wanted to implement a 1% sales tax for county commissioners. 
      Some representatives such as Delegate Todd A. Kirby Took to social media referring to his colleagues as rhinos. 

      Out of our local representatives Todd Longanacre was the only one who voted NO on this legislation.  On social media, he posted.

      But the reality of the matter is most Democrats in West Virginia know they don't stand a chance in winning election running as a Democrat. So most Democrats have switched to the Republican Party. As most Republican voters vote Republican, unaware that they are actually voting for Democrats who have infiltrated the Republican Party. The only way that we will be able to prevent this type of insanity and to stop future Democrat Rhinos is to vote in primary elections and put real conservatives on the Republican ticket.

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