Visiting Camp Dawson and the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy

This week I had the opportunity to tour the West Virginia Army National Guard’s Camp Dawson. The tour included a visit with leaders and students with the Youth Challenge Program at the  Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy. This program was established in 1993, and West Virginia is one of the original programs. The Youth Challenge Program is aimed at providing opportunities for at-risk youth by providing them a structured environment, reminiscent of military training.

As a co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Youth Challenge Caucus, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many cadets through the years. It’s great to see what a difference this program makes to their lives. In Congress I have worked to increase funding for the Youth Challenge Program, including a successful amendment to increase funding this year by $21 million.


Meeting with Students in Brooke County

Earlier this week, I traveled to Brooke County where I met with Brooke High School students from the school’s academic team, debate team, and judicial scholars program. It is always great to hear from our youngest constituents and discuss their concerns.

During the discussion students asked questions about what it’s like to work in Congress, current issues, and anything else that they were curious about. Having these types of conversations allow me to understand what our young people are most concerned about. Our children are the future, and what we do today will shape their lives.


Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Fifty years ago on September 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law. The Wilderness Act set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the benefit of the American people. In the last 50 years, Congress has added over 100 million acres of land. In West Virginia we have a number of wilderness areas, including the Dolly Sods Wilderness area located in the Allegheny Mountains.

Protecting our parks has been a priority for me, which is why I introduced legislation(HR 2727)that would change the funding formula for the Land and Water Conservation Fund(LWCF) to make more funds available for state and local governments. The House this year also passed H.R. 627, which authorizes a National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin, proceeds going towards the National Park Foundation. Our national parks and wilderness areas are only part of what makes our state wild and wonderful.


Upcoming Megabus Mobile Town Hall Event

Over the past few years I’ve rode the Megabus as a cost effective way to travel back and forth to Washington, DC.  In just over a week, I will be conducting a first-of-its-kind mobile town hall event on the Megabus.com double-decker bus from Morgantown to Washington.

This town hall event will take place on September 15th with students from West Virginia University. This event is a unique opportunity to interact with young people and talk to them about issues. The low fares are substantially cheaper than flying or filling up my gas tank, providing yet another avenue for me to pass savings to the taxpayers. I have enjoyed my time aboard the megabus.com and talking with people during the ride.


Recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day

Sunday, August 31st, marked International Overdose Awareness Day. This global event, held each year, raises awareness of drug-related deaths and the importance of prevention. West Virginia in particular has been dealing with a rise in drug trafficking and drug abuse. My office has worked to combat this by helping counties receive High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area(HIDTA)funding. I also supported additional funding for HIDTA in the House Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill this year, and funding for additional grants for law enforcement.

Various entities in West Virginia have been working tirelessly to combat this issue. Law enforcement has been working hard to stem the issue at its source, and schools and community organizations have been working on education and outreach. With the highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States, this is a priority that needs to be recognized and dealt with.


Constituent Meetings

Next week, Congress is back is session and will be working on positive solutions to build a robust economy and foster job creation. We will also be addressing legislation to encourage an American energy revolution, to help lower costs on gas and groceries for hard working Americans.

If you are ever in the Washington D.C. office please drop in and say hello. If you want an appointment just give my office a call at 202-225-4172, or submit a request on my website at www.mckinley.house.gov.

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Washington, DC
412 Cannon HOB | Washington, DC 20515
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