MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - New federal data show 319,063 West Virginians living below the poverty line last year, a 17.9 percent rate unchanged from the year before and slightly lower than a measured peak in 2011.
The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey shows 88,351 children under 18 years old in poverty, or 24 percent of those living in West Virginia in 2016.
It had the fifth highest overall poverty rate among its 1.78 million people, behind the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico.
Among those employed in West Virginia, the rate was 7.8 percent.
Sean O'Leary, of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, says state options to address the problem including protecting Medicaid and other programs low- and moderate-income families rely on and investing in higher education.
BB&T to cut 56 positions from WV service center
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - BB&T has announced it is cutting 56 jobs from its processing service center in West Virginia's capital city.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the financial services company announced on Tuesday the layoffs will come from a company center in Charleston that focuses on operations such as the processing of loans, credit cards and mortgages.
BB&T spokesman David White says each associate has been provided a 60-day notice, career transition services and a severance package.
White says the center still will have employees, and that the layoffs are not expected to affect the company's operations elsewhere in the city.
Charleston Area Alliance President Matt Ballard says the layoffs indicate shifts in the banking industry in the digital age, and the Charleston area will have to prepare for and adapt to those shifts.
4 sentenced for roles in staged crashes
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - Federal authorities say a West Virginia man has been sentenced to almost three years in prison for a staged vehicle crash, faked injuries and false insurance claim for a $41,000 settlement.
According to prosecutors, 34-year-old Michael Sine, of Fairmont, also was ordered this week to repay more than $74,000 after pleading guilty to mail fraud for the 2013 Marion County crime.
In a related case, 26-year-old Bryce Martin, of Fairmont, was sentenced to six months from a staged crash, faked injuries and false insurance claim in 2012 in Harrison County. He was ordered to repay $152,000.
Also, 35-year-old Eric Warner, of Clarksburg, was sentenced to 18 months and ordered to repay $152,000 from that crash.
And 38-year-old Chasity Costilow, of Clarksburg, was sentenced to 21 months and ordered to repay $65,000 from a staged 2012 crash in Marion County.
No reports of damage after quake in VA, WV
ROANOKE, Va. - An earthquake that struck parts of Virginia and West Virginia appears to have left little to no damage.
The Roanoke Times reported Wednesday that the quake shook parts of the New River Valley shortly after 1:30 p.m. No damage was immediately reported.
A Virginia Tech seismograph showed the epicenter just over the state line in West Virginia. The magnitude was between 3.7 and 4.0.
Martin Chapman, the director of the Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory, said the quake is the area's largest since 1968.
Witnesses said it was loud and dramatically shook the earth.
Opponents of the planned Mountain Valley Pipeline have cited earthquakes as a concern. But a federal report said natural gas pipeline would be able to withstand such seismic events.