FEMA is now taking applications for funeral reimbursements that will go to family members who paid for the funerals of those who died of COVID-19. They will reimburse up to $9,000 for funeral expenses and other related costs. FEMA recommends starting to submit documents on www.disasterassistance.gov.
West Virginia will see a slight increase in Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses as it continues its pause of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine. An increase of 5,340 combined Moderna and Pfizer doses will be part of the state’s allocation next week. U.S. Sen Joe Manchin’s office said that comes to nearly 98,000 total first and second doses. West Virginia health officials say they haven’t received reports of the rare blood clotting condition that led U.S. authorities to recommend a temporary halt on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine usage. So far, there are only six known cases nationwide of the clotting issue out of over 7 million people who have received the Johnson & Johnson shot.
Putnam County Commissioners passed ordinances this week to address noise and fireworks. When a deputy gets a noise complaint now, they’ll take a decibel meter to the location to see if it is a violation. Violations of the new law will be misdemeanors. Violaters of the new fireworks ordinance will also face misdemeanor charges. Violations for fireworks will happen when they are ignited within 100 feet of a building, and fireworks will only be allowed within two days before or after Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve in Putnam County.
Part of WV 152 in Wayne County will be reduced to one lane this weekend.
The lane closure will be just north of Pioneer Road near Wayne and it will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday, April 17 and last until 6 a.m. Monday, April 19. Temporary traffic signals will be installed during the closure as maintenance work is performed on the bridge. Drivers should expect delays.
West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has dropped below 6% for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit a year ago. The rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to 5.9% in March. WorkForce West Virginia said it was the lowest rate since March 2020 when it was at 5.3%. The rate jumped to a high of 15.6% in April 2020 as employers temporarily closed their doors during the pandemic but has fallen steadily since. The national unemployment rate in March dipped two-tenths of a percentage point to 6%.
State health officials say a pause in the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is not hampering the vaccination effort. The state administered 54-thousand doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and is monitoring women who received the vaccine within the past two weeks, and no issues have been reported.
West Virginia’s graduation rate improved in the 2019-2020 school year. Overall, state high schools graduated, on average, over 92-percent of students. Six counties fell below the state average, including Cabell and Kanawha counties.
The NCAA is threatening to pull championship events over transgender sports bans, but Governor Justice says he doesn’t plan on vetoing the law. The Governor says he will either sign it, or let the bill become law. The NCAA says it might not hold college championships in states with transgender bans.
April 15th is usually the deadline to pay your taxes, but for the second year in a row the tax due date is being pushed back. You have until May 17th to submit your federal and state return, but if you pay estimated taxes, your first quarterly payment is due today.
An inmate assaulted a corrections officer at the South Central Regional Jail. The officer was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but didn’t suffer any serious injuries. West Virginia State Police are investigating.