Weekly wrap up for Oct. 17: New details surrounding a hazing case in Belmont County and Gov. Justice announces a $1 billion investment

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Charges could be filed in hazing case, Belmont County

Charges could be filed soon in a hazing case out of Belmont County. 

Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan tells 7News that several Barnesville High School football players allegedly participated in an initiation ritual on October 1 following the football game that went far beyond the bounds of good-natured fun. We learned the boys reportedly strapped a freshman player to a pole and pulled up their pickup trucks, revving their engines as if they were going to drive up and hit him. 

The players also allegedly held a crossbow to the boy’s head. 

Here is what the boy’s father has to say.

“Strapping my kid to a strap, trying to pull him with a truck, pointing a weapon at his head, that’s beyond hazing.” 

Kevin Flanagan, Belmont County Prosecutor said, “This is not some good-natured fun where again somebody was made to sing the school fight song. This is a situation where we believe a young man was presented with either physical or mental harm.”

Flanagan said his office is seriously considering charges of hazing, menacing and disorderly conduct. 

Man sentenced to 13 years for vehicular homicide, Belmont County

And staying in Belmont County, Donald Boyd was sentenced to prison for 13 years after a deadly car crash that occurred just over three years ago. 

He faced two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, possession of drugs and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. 

The driver and passenger of the vehicle that Boyd hit were brothers. 


They were on their way to work when they were allegedly suddenly struck head-on by Boyd when they were rounding a curve. 

Boyd said “I’d trade my life right now for his. Right now. I watched him pass. I sincerely, sincerely apologize. I do have remorse. Don’t think I don’t ’cause I live with it every day. I would not take a man’s life. I would not put you in that position.”

 West Virginia seeing $1 billion for broadband


And looking to the Mountain State, Governor Jim Justice announced a huge investment Friday.  

The state will be investing 1 billion dollars to bring broadband to at least 200-thousand West Virginia homes.  This is the state’s largest broadband investment ever, and the governor and other leaders at this press briefing called the move “historic.” 

Former state senator, Orphy Klempa dies at 70

A beloved, smiling face in Wheeling, Orphy Klempa, passed away Monday at just 70-years-old.   

He was a coal miner, carpenter, West Virginia Delegate, senator, and board member for multiple organizations. But if there is one word to summarize this man with many hats, long-time understudy turned colleague Erikka Storch says it must be “a gentleman.”   

Erikka Storch, Ohio County Chamber of Commerce President said, “He always had a smile and always welcomed me warmly. I was flipping through a couple texts yesterday. It brought a couple of tears to my eyes. He just truly was a wonderful person.”  

Orphy is survived by his wife Mary Jo and five children.  

After hearing of his passing, Governor Jim Justice ordered flags at the Capitol and in Ohio County to be flown at half-staff in honor of Klempa, who was a former West Virginia senator. 

That was a look at your headlines.

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