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A look at top stories in West Virginia in 2020

Associated Press

A list of the top 10 stories in West Virginia in 2020 as voted on by Associated Press member broadcasters and newspapers.

1. West Virginia is the last state to report a positive coronavirus case. Despite a mask mandate from Gov. Jim Justice, the pandemic would eventually take a heavy toll and wreak havoc on the education system.

2. A former nursing assistant admits to intentionally killing seven patients with fatal doses of insulin at a Clarksburg veterans hospital.

3. Justice forces out Dr. Cathy Slemp, the state's public health leader, after complaining about discrepancies in the number of active cases and accusing Slemp of not doing her job.

4. Ex-Roman Catholic Bishop Michael Bransfield issues an apology two years after resigning amid allegations of sexual and financial misconduct. The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston says he repaid $441,000 in expenditures that were called into question. 

5. (tie) Justice halts the state high school basketball tournament due to the pandemic. The football championships in December are canceled, too, with a governing body picking the state champions.

5. (tie) Justice's family businesses received at least $11.1 million from a federal rescue package meant to keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic.

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7. Justice is reelected as state voters also overwhelmingly side with President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and other Republican candidates. 

8. A former doctor at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Beckley pleads guilty to molesting three male patients and violating their civil rights.

9. The state Supreme Court allows a lawsuit over Justice's residency to proceed, swatting down arguments from the governor that the courts cannot force him to live in the capital.

10. Wheeling Hospital agrees to pay the federal government $50 million to resolve claims it improperly issued payments and kickbacks to physicians.