COVID safety guidelines for schools and cancelled flights leave travelers stranded: Here are the week’s top headlines

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WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Here is a look at the Ohio Valley’s top headlines this week.

Disturbing cases of crimes against children came to a close this week as two men will spend decades behind bars. 

74-year-old Richard Hess will serve eight to 12 years in prison, plus two more five-year sentences after entering an Alford plea to three counts of sexual battery. 

—> 74-year-old man in Monroe County sentenced to prison for sexual battery of family members <—

Officials say he victimized young female family members for at least 20 years, including his niece and granddaughter. Two of the victims testified in court. 

In Belmont County, Charles Olman will serve two life sentences without parole for two counts of rape of a child. 

—> Belmont County man who was a convicted child rapist and compared to Jesus gets life without parole <—

In court, Olman claimed his innocence and blamed his wife. Testimony showed Olman made the child keep the incidents a secret from her teacher and others. A children’s services intake caseworker also testified that Olman was trying to have her killed. 

In other headlines, flights were delayed an canceled all across the country this week, and for one New Martinsville husband that left his German wife stranded in Canada. 

—> New Martinsville spouse’s flight canceled three times, says treated ‘like a criminal’ in Canada <—

She was stuck in the country for 48-hours after three canceled flights. After sleepless nights on the airport floor, she says an Air Canada worker offered her a hotel voucher, but the country’s COVID policies make it so only Canadian citizens can enter the country without quarantining. So, after spending the night in the hotel, immigration took her photo, and flagged her European VISA and ESTA

Back-to-school will be here before parents and student know it, and West Virginia’s Department of Education released its guidelines to keep students and staff safe this year. 

—> Vaccination status and wearing a mask will determine if students have to quarantine <—

If you child will need to mask up in the classroom is a decision to be made by individual counties or school districts. The state said virtual learning options should only be made available for students in grades six though 12. The guidelines for quarantining after contact tracing are different.

Finally some good news, there’s a brand new playground in Wheeling that’s open to ALL kids in the community. 

—> One-of-a kind playground opens at the Wheeling YMCA <—

The J.B. Chambers Memorial Wheeling YMCA Playground is all-inclusive and has something for every child. Special swings can accommodate wheelchairs and there are serenity spots for children with autism who need a calm area. Plenty of kids are already enjoying it. 

Stay with 7News all week long for the latest headlines. 

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