West Virginia floods voted top story statewide

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Flooding that ravaged the state in June has been voted the top news story in 2016 in West Virginia by Associated Press member newspapers and broadcasters.

The floods killed 23 people, and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes, businesses, roads and bridges. It prompted a massive response from volunteers and organizations and dominated headlines for months. President Barack Obama issued a disaster declaration for a dozen counties.

Here are the top 10 West Virginia stories of 2016, according to The Associated Press' poll of editors, news directors and reporters:

1. SEVERE FLOODING: Flooding in late June killed 23 people and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes, businesses, roads and bridges.

2. DONALD BLANKENSHIP: Former Massey Energy CEO Donald Blankenship begins serving a one-year sentence for his misdemeanor conspiracy conviction.

3. SUBSTANCE ABUSE: In August, more than two dozen people overdose on heroin in a five-hour span in Huntington. Two people died. Communities and officials seek ways to end the scourge of drug addiction.

4. JIM JUSTICE: Greenbrier resort owner Jim Justice is elected governor.

5. DONALD TRUMP: West Virginia voters overwhelmingly choose Republican Donald Trump for president over Hillary Clinton.

6. BLIZZARD: A January blizzard dumps 42 inches of snow in parts of West Virginia.

7. EPIPENS: Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, daughter of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, is grilled on Capitol Hill about the sky-high price of lifesaving EpiPens and her company's profits.

8. STALLED BUDGET: After months of stalled negotiations on balancing the state budget, lawmakers pass higher taxes on cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to raise about $98 million a year.

9. GOP CONTROL: Buoyed by Trump's popularity, Republicans maintain their control of West Virginia's Legislature, while the GOP wins four of six statewide offices.

10. COAL LAYOFFS: Coal companies announce the additional layoffs of hundreds of miners in West Virginia as the industry's downtown continues.

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