A university president faces disciplinary action and a new partnership for healthcare in the Ohio Valley: Here are the week’s top headlines

Local News

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Here’s a look back at the week’s top headlines.

The death of an 8-year-old girl in Harrison County earlier this year left the community with a lot of questions. Now, two people have been charged in her death. 

–> Harrison County Sheriff arrests and charges two in the death of an 8-year-old girl <–

Jessica Currence and Kristopher Merkins were arrested in connection to the death of 8-year-old Paityn Merkins in June. They were both indicted on multiple counts including involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and permitting child abuse. A third person, Angela Parcell, was also indicted on two counts. 

In Belmont County, two students now face charges of hazing after a freshman on the Barnesville High School football team was allegedly restrained and terrorized. 

–> Barnesville hazing suspects are now officially charged; adult named <–

One was charged as an adult, and one as a juvenile. Officials say the adult, Jadyn Lucas, was scheduled for an initial appearance, but his lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. His pretrial is set for early next month. 

Allegations of plagiarism plagued West Liberty University and its president for several weeks, and now Dr. W. Franklin Evans will receive disciplinary action. 

–> West Liberty University president now facing disciplinary action over plagiarism charges <–

The university’s Board of Governors voted unanimously on this issue at an emergency meeting this week. The Chair of the Board of Directors says they’ll be consulting with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to determine what that discipline will be. However, Dr. Evans will remain President of West Liberty University.

Congressman Bill Johnson confirmed to 7News this week that a person from Guernsey County is among the group of missionaries kidnapped in Haiti. 

–> Byesville resident among the kidnapped missionaries in Haiti, Rep. Johnson calls for President Biden’s intervention <–

The man is from Byesville and possibly associated with a church there. Congressman Johnson, along with 30 other Republican lawmakers, called on the Biden Administration to rescue these missionaries, using the full weight of military force if necessary. 

Good news for medical care for children in the Ohio Valley. WVU Medicine Children’s announced a new program affiliation with Wheeling Hospital and Reynolds Memorial Hospital. 

–> WVU Medicine Children’s new affiliation with Wheeling and Reynolds Hospital will save parents time <–

This means that if a child needs specialized medical care, they’ll be making fewer trips out of the area. At Wheeling Hospital, President and CEO Douglass Harrison said pediatric specialists have been coming from Morgantown to the hospital once a week to treat patients for the past year. This new affiliation means that will continue. 

Remember for the latest headlines all week long be sure to stay with 7News.

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