West Virginia Public Broadcasting Published

The 10 Biggest Stories from West Virginia's 2016

Donald Trump

What were the top stories in West Virginia from 2016? We searched our archives from the past year and compiled this list of the most popular stories.

As we cap off 2016, West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s producers and programs share their most memorable moments of the year. Find each of our Best of 2016 posts at wvpublic.org/term/best-2016.




Credit National Transportation Safety Board

10. Chlorine Leak from Axiall Corp. Sends Two to Hospital, Evacuates Communities

Two people were transported to hospitals for inhalation injuries, others were treated at the site of a reported chlorine leak in Marshall County.


Governor Tomblin

Credit AP Photo / Tyler Evert

9. Governor Tomblin Signs Budget that Taps Reserves

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed that took $147.5 million from the state’s $922 million Rainy Day Fund to cover a projected shortfall.



Credit AP Photo

8. Blankenship Gets One Year in Prison, One Year Supervised Release, $250,000 Fine

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was sentenced to the maximum one year in prison and another year of supervised release for his role in a conspiracy at the company to skirt mine safety standards.



Note: Figures were calculated by dividing the base numbers for total drug overdose deaths provided by the West Virginia Health Statistics Center by population data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Credit Shayla Klein / West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

7. Ohio Man Arrested in Connection with Huntington Overdoses

An Akron, Ohio man was arrested connection with a rash of overdoses in Huntington. Emergency crews responded to 26 overdoses in a four-hour span and two people died in connection with the same batch of heroin distributed in the city.




Credit West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

6. W.Va. Medicaid Doctors Put on Alert as State’s Cash Flows Dwindle

More than 24,000 doctors across West Virginia who accept Medicaid were put on alert Monday that the state may not be able to “continue to process claims at the same consistent level.”  




Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

5. PEIA Board Approves $120 Million in Cuts for Second Time

the state Public Employees Insurance Agency, or PEIA, Finance Board voted unanimously to reinstate benefit cuts, affecting health care costs for some 230,000 West Virginians.


Elementary Classroom

Credit Douglaspperkins / Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

4. Common Core, School Calendar Bills Vetoed

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed two education bills, one that would have repealed Common Core aligned standardized tests in the state and a second that would have allowed county boards to schedule fewer then 180 days in their school calendars.


Brunch, Alcohol

Credit MAT HAYWARD / Dollar Photo Club
Dollar Photo Club

3. West Virginia Senate Approves ‘Brunch Bill’

Senators unanimously passed a bill that would move the start of Sunday alcohol sales from 1 p.m. to 10 a.m.



Credit Steve Helber / AP Photo
AP File Photo

2. Election 2016

From the primary elections in May to the general election in November, election stories were constant sources of headlines in 2016. Here were the top posts:

Live Blog: 2016 West Virginia Primary

10 Takeaways from the W.Va. Primary Election

‘Trump Digs Coal’ at Charleston Rally

Election 2016: West Virginia Goes For Trump, Justice Wins, State Legislature Remains with GOP



Credit Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

1. June 2016 Flood

Heavy flooding in West Virginia during June claimed 23 lives, destroyed more than 4,000 homes and businesses and resulted in 10 counties being declared federal disaster area. Through statewide coverage and individual stories, this disaster produced the most compelling stories of 2016

Flooding in Richwood: Image Gallery

Greenbrier Resort Opens Doors to Flood Victims

‘I Almost Gave Up’: Flood Survivor Remembers the Voice Who Saved Her

Inside Appalachia: West Virginia’s 1,000 Year Flood

You’ve now experienced 2016 through West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Make sure to follow @wvpublic on social media and sign-up for our email newsletter to keep up with 2017’s stories.