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Overdoses reach record numbers and new technology could help saves more lives: Here are the week’s top headlines

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(WTRF) – Here’s a look at the week’s top headlines.

It’s been labeled “the forgotten epidemic”, but no matter what we call it, overdose deaths are reaching record numbers. 

US overdose deaths hit record 93,000 in pandemic last year

93,000 people died of an overdose nationwide last year. It appears COVID accelerated the crisis. In West Virginia alone, there were more than 1,200 fatal overdoses, a 45% increase from the previous year. 

In Guernsey County, there’s a new upgraded 911 system that could allow emergency responders to save more lives. 

New upgrade to 9-1-1 system could save lives

It’s called the Carbyne-C Live System and allows the dispatcher to see the scene of an emergency as well as hear the caller’s voice. If the caller is on a cell phone, the dispatcher texts them a link. When the caller clicks on the link, it creates a video feed. It also allows people in need who can’t speak to silently text the 911 system to get help. 

In Wheeling, there’s a new mobile unit in town to help with unsolved gun-related crimes. 

Wheeling police get help with unsolved gun-related crimes

The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, or NIBIN, assists law enforcement in linking unsolved cases through ballistic evidence. A weapon in question is test fired in the mobile unit, the shell is collected and analyzed, and then police get a list of possible similar results to be reviewed by a trained technician. 

Weirton’s former city manager suddenly announced his resignation during a city council meeting this week. 

Weirton’s Mayor speaks out on what he claims are “direct insults” days after Joe DiBartolomeo resigned

Joe DiBartolomeo did so after accusing multiple council members of violating state law. Assistant City Manager Dee Ann Pulliam is filling the duties of the role now, and mayor Harold Miller stays the city will begin the process next week to permanently fill the position. 

It’s the weekend country music fans have been anxiously awaiting. the Blame My Roots Festival is back in Belmont County! 

2021 Blame My Roots festival is making a big economic impact

A jam-packed performance schedule featured headliners Miranda Lambert and Neil McCoy, and even some local favorites. After taking a break last summer, organizers say the festival tripled in size with a bigger stage and thousands of people relaxing on the grounds listening to live music. 

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

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