From calls for police reform in Ohio to the continued fight against COVID: Check out last week’s top headlines

Belmont County

(WTRF)- A lot happens in a week in the Ohio Valley, so here’s everything you need to know.

After a weeks long trial and two days of deliberations, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in the death of George Floyd. 

The jury found Chauvin guilty on all charges; second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Sentencing is expected to come in two months. The most serious of the charges carries up to 40 years in prison. 

In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine said police reform legislation will soon be introduced. 

This comes after a 16-year-old was shot and killed by a police officer in Columbus. The Governor said the new law will help with training and accountability and create databases that track use of force and officer discipline. Other bills currently in the state legislature also include millions for body cameras. 

Also in Ohio, the fight against COVID-19 continues. For the first time, Belmont County opened its vaccine clinic to walk-ins. 

Healthcare workers distributed 800 second doses, 300 first doses and many additional shots to those who just showed up. The county says it’s seen several different Coronavirus variants, and urges people to continue wearing masks, even if you’re vaccinated. 

In the Mountain State, some legislators are making another move to legalize marijuana. 

West Virginia legalized medical cannabis years ago, but no one can fill their prescription as growers wait for the go ahead. Governor Justice said he would sign adult-use cannabis legislation if it came to his desk. Now some hope the next time taxes are brought up, as they were in this session, that marijuana is part of the conversation.

It’s the milestone no one wanted to reach. Preliminary data shows the number of fatal drug overdoses in West Virginia hit a record last year. 

As the opioid epidemic rages on, there’s a solemn reminder at Wheeling’s Heritage Port. There are 300 flags waving in the wind, each representing a life lost in the Northern District in the last year. 

Remember for the latest news headlines anytime of the week, you can visit WTRF.com. 

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