Man charged in barge explosive device case, and a dangerous TikTok challenge: Here are the week’s top headlines

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

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

For more than a week, emergency crews were called to towboats and barges on the Ohio River, for reports of “suspicious devices”. Now, one man is in jail charged in connection to those incidents. 

–> Suspect in custody for explosive devices on Ohio River had his run-ins with authorities before <–

42-year-old Nathaniel Blayn Becker was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm or explosive device. Officials traced the materials used in those devices back to stores in Marietta, Ohio and used surveillance video to identify Becker. 

A big announcement from WVU Medicine this week, as it delays a vaccine mandate for employees until January 21, of 2022. 

–> WVU Medicine postpones vaccine mandate <–

The original deadline was October 31. WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital President and CEO Douglass Harrison says the deadline was extended because of a new bill in West Virginia that would allow for certain medical and religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. That bill takes effect in 90 days. 

Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine made several stops across the Ohio Valley this week, giving grant money for various major projects. 

–> Gov. DeWine helps fund jail in Harrison County <–

Ohio’s First Lady stopped in Barnesville to begin the week, and spoke about a project in the area to update water and sewage systems. Governor DeWine announced $60,000 for Mingo Junction, to help widen pipes and put in different fire hydrants to help in emergency situations. The Governor also awarded funding to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, to go towards a much-needed jail. 

The Moundsville Country Club is about to close its doors. The Regional Economic Development Authority, also known as RED, wants to buy the property for industrial. 

–> Moundsville Country Club is on the brink of closure <–

However, there are two sides to the decision – those who want to accept the offer and those who want to save the club The club has been in existence for 81 years. There’s a hearing on November 18 and depending on the outcome, the sale could be put to a stockholders vote by the end of the year. 

There’s a challenge circulating on social media that’s turning out to be downright dangerous. 

–> A dangerous TikTok challenge is making cars less safe in the Ohio Valley <–

It’s called the “Lug Nut Challenge” on TikTok and already in the Ohio Valley, Straub Automotive Group said lug nuts were loosened on vehicles at one of its dealerships. 

For the latest headlines all week long, be sure to stay with 7News.

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