Medicaid coverage ending for some; DHHR offers renewal aid

charleston, – With Covid-19 Continuous Coverage for Medicaid and the West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program (WVCHIP) benefits ending in April, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Medical Services, is expanding efforts to reach members who have not responded to review or renew their enrollment.

Since the start of Covid-19, Medicaid and WVCHIP enrollment has increased by 30 percent, growing by 151,509 members from 504,760 in March 2020 to 656,269 in December 2022. DHHR’s Bureau for Medical Services projects a 10 to 15 percent decline in overall Medicaid and WVCHIP enrollment when the public health emergency expires on March 31 and continuous enrollment unwinding occurs.

“We expect enrollment for Medicaid will decrease between 91,212 and 134,414 members and enrollment for WVCHIP will decrease between 2,184 and 3,494 members,” said Cindy Beane, commissioner for DHHR’s Bureau for Medical Services, in a press release. “We want all residents to have access to health care coverage and will continue to reach out to assure eligible West Virginians are re-enrolled for Medicaid and WVCHIP.”

Medicaid and WVCHIP members should check their mail for a renewal letter, complete the renewal form, and contact DHHR to ensure contact information (mailing address, phone number, and email address) is up-to-date. Updates can be made by email to, online at, or by calling the DHHR Customer Service Center at 1-877-716-1212.

Those who are not eligible for Medicaid or WVCHIP or who have already ended coverage are encouraged to contact the WV Navigator program at 304-356-5834 or for assistance in enrolling in a federal Marketplace health insurance plan.


Counting Covid-19

The latest numbers as of Wednesday, March 8, 2023:

West Virginia

Covid cases 643,270

Deaths 7,976

Source: DHHR

United States

Cases 103,732,889

Deaths 1,123,031

Source: CSSE


Cases 676,351,204

Deaths 6,879,570

Source: CSSE

W.Va. Vaccinations

1st shot 65.2%

Fully vaccinated 56.2%

Source: DHHR


Covid update: 26 deaths push state total near 8,000

charleston, – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reports as of March 8 that here have been 26 deaths – including six from Raleigh County – reported since last week’s dashboard update, with a total of 7,976 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

DHHR has confirmed the deaths of a 90-year-old female from Greenbrier County, a 98-year-old female from Harrison County, an 88-year-old male from Fayette County, an 88-year-old male from Raleigh County, an 82-year-old male from Greenbrier County, a 90-year-old male from Wood County, a 74-year-old male from Kanawha County, a 74-year-old female from Raleigh County, a 73-year-old male from Harrison County, a 61-year-old female from Putnam County, an 81-year-old female from Jefferson County, a 96-year-old female from Raleigh County, an 82-year-old male from Kanawha County, a 63-year-old female from Jackson County, an 82-year-old male from Jefferson County, an 82-year-old male from Kanawha County, a 96-year-old male from Mason County, an 82-year-old female from Raleigh County, an 89-year-old female from Wyoming County, a 79-year-old male from Raleigh County, a 90-year-old male from Raleigh County, an 80-year-old male from Marion County, an 88-year-old male from Ohio County, a 62-year-old male from Kanawha County, a 68-year-old male from Raleigh County, and an 87-year-old male from Boone County.


Board of Education OKs Teach for America Appalachia

charleston, – The West Virginia Board of Education approved the application for the approval of Teach for America Appalachia (TFAA) to provide a teacher certification program in West Virginia.

The program is among the four approved under the West Virginia Department of Education’s Option 3 Pathway.

TFAA will support candidates with coursework at no cost to successfully pursue a non-transferrable provisional professional teaching certificate in the state. Partnering with counties, TFAA will provide a variety of training, virtual and in-person practicum experiences and mentoring to fill areas of critical need.

The Option 3 Pathway allows individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education and an overall 2.5 grade point average (GPA) (or qualifying GPA exemption of the West Virginia Testing Directory) to complete coursework pursuant to §18A-3-2a(a)(1)(C) for receiving a Professional Teaching Certificate. American Board, iTeach and Teach Now are also approved providers under this pathway, and additional information is available on the TeachWV website.

While TFAA is a national program, West Virginia’s plan will be similar to the Kentucky model that has been in place since 2011. The Bluegrass State reports a success rate of about 85 percent with candidates fulfilling a two-year commitment to their placement counties. The goal is for teachers to remain in their initial schools beyond that commitment.

Teacher candidates will have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and may begin to apply for the TFAA program on the national website,


Delta to expand Barbour operations, invest $6.7 million

charleston – Delta Cooling Towers, a company that offers precision climate control solutions, including cooling towers and HVAC equipment, will invest $6.7 million and create 30 new jobs over five years and retain 26 jobs in Barbour County.

Delta’s towers are the only large packaged cooling towers in the industry that have a one-piece shell, according to a press release. There are no seams, panels, rivets, or hundreds of fasteners to potentially fail or compromise the performance or integrity of the product.

“We moved our manufacturing operations to Philippi, West Virginia, in 2002 and have consistently grown by producing excellent products with real advantages that save customers energy, increase reliability and reduce downtime,” CEO of Delta John Flaherty said in the release. “We now are embarking on a second new facility with state-of-the-art equipment that will facilitate a series of new innovative evaporative cooling equipment. The quality of the workforce in WV and the business friendly environment were major drivers on the decision to expand in West Virginia.”

As a corporation, Delta prides itself on keeping a finger on the pulse of the newest innovations in industrial cooling towers that offer customers safety, efficiency, and durability. Its product portfolio offers cooling towers for any and all situations. These critical elements have propelled Delta Cooling Towers to become the technology leader among evaporative cooling tower companies.


Veterans Food Giveaway scheduled for Friday in Beckley

A Veterans Food Giveaway will be Friday at Linda K. Epling Stadium on Ragland Road in Beckley from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

This food giveaway is open to all veterans.



The 11-year-old juvenile transported to a hospital after being involved in a two-vehicle crash on Coal River Road on Sunday is a female, not a male as was first reported by state police. The girl’s mother, Sara Pettry, and a 3-year-old sister died in the hit-and-run accident.

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