We're coming down to the wire. The National Championship game is just two hours away.
On NEWS 7 at SIX, we'll celebrate the Hokies....
but we'll also find the enemy in our midst. They're flying the Florida State University flag right here in Roanoke. We'll have some fun with that.
In sports, Mike Stevens checks in from the Crescent City on Tech's last minute preparations, highlights from the men's hoops tournament at Roanoke College, and more changes in the NFL coaching ranks.
Some rain today, but it's already moving out rapidly to be followed by some snow flurries. Details ahead.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
The countdown to kickoff is on.
Virginia Tech and Florida State are about two hours away from the college football championship Nokia Sugar Bowl.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Steve Starlink]
Steve Mason is outside the Superdome, where fans are starting to arrive for the biggest game in Tech history.
(rollcue... some of the participants in the Sugar Bowl)
[SUPER=150-Terry Bolt/Tech Athletic Fund Dir.; :00]
[SUPER=150-Jamel Smith/Tech Linebacker; :19]
[SUPER=150-J. C. Price/Former Tech Player; :40]
[SUPER=150-Mickey Andrews/Florida State Def. Coordinator; :53]
[SUPER=150-Leon Vorst/Tech Fan; 1:19 (QUICK!!)]
[OUT Q=pulling for them.]
[TAKE FS PROMO GFX]
[Double Boxes=Keith & Steve/New Orleans]
They painted the Roanoke airport maroon and gold ... then got on a plane painted the same way.
The last group of Hokie fans loaded a charter flight to New Orleans.
It left Roanoke at noon.
Everyone getting on board predicted a Tech triumph ... even though the Hokies are five-point underdogs.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:00:27 ///// 1:05:16 ////// 59:41//////59:28]
[***bump FOUR sots******]
[IN Q=i don't see ///// thirty-eight //// florida state's gonna //// i'd say hokies]
((STEVE DAVIS/HOKIE FAN: I DON'T SEE FLORIDA STATE BEING ANY BETTER THAN MIAMI ... I THINK WE'LL WIN 48-10.////////BRENT BOWMAN: 38 TO 17/////////MARSHALL WOOLRIDGE: FLORIDA STATE'S GONNA GET TOO COCKY AND TECH'S GONNA END UP WHOOPIN' UP ON THEM A LITTLE BIT./////////////I'D SAY HOKIES BY 14. IF THEY GO OUT, THEY'RE CONFIDENT, THEY CAN DO IT.))
[SUPER=150-Steve Davis/Hokie Fan;00]
[SUPER=150-Marshall Woolridge/Hokie Fan; 15]
[OUT Q=THEY CAN DO IT]
It'll be a long day for these fans -- whose airfare-and-ticket packages cost upwards of 700-dollars a piece.
Their charter is flying back immediately after the game.
The battle is on Bourbon Street, but Blacksburg and Christiansburg are gearing up to receive the Hokie fans who were left behind.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Marya/Microwave]
Marya Jones joins us from Gobbler Town -- tonight's Hokie fan headquarters in Christiansburg.
Keith, Gobbler Town is ready to receive hundreds of fans.
And it's just one of several establishments on Hokie home turf that's bringing the Big Easy to Blacksburg for the fans who couldn't make it to the Sugar Bowl.
(rollcue...to the Sugar Bowl.)
[IN Q=Area restaurants]
[SUPER=150-Robert Hodges/PK's General Manager; :08]
[SUPER=150-Michelle McMurtrie/Big Al's Manager; :34]
[SUPER=150-Roy Lunsford/Hokie Fan; :49]
[OUT Q=they'll be full.]
(( Area restaurants are cooking up some Cajun specials to make sure that the fans who were left behind still get a taste of the Big Easy.
[SOT 2:57:59 - 2:58:09]
((ROBERT HODGES/PK'S GENERAL MANAGER: I KNOW WE'RE MAKING OUR EFFORT TO MAKE THIS A BIT LIKE THE BIG EASY. SO PEOPLE DON'T MISS OUT ON TOO MUCH OF THE FLAVOR. IT'S SOMETHING THAT IF YOU CAN'T BE IN NEW ORLEANS, YOU HAVE TO BE IN BLACKSBURG.))
On the menu at PK's in Blacksburg are gumbo and jambalaya.
The restaurant added two TVs to cater to an expected 150 fans.
By gametime tonight, Big Al's expects a crowd of up to 400.
The restaurant has 21 televisions... that ALL will be tuned to the Sugar Bowl.
[SOT 2:41:59 - 2:42:06]
((MICHELLE McMURTRIE/BIG AL'S MANAGER: IT'S BREAK, BUT THIS IS BLACKSBURG... IT'S WHERE THE HOKIES PLAY AT, SO WE'RE EXPECTING ANYBODY WHO DIDN'T GO TO THE SUGAR BOWL TO COME BACK AND WATCH IT WITH US.))
Fans like Roy Lunsford, who will watch the game in Blacksburg, say missing out on the real Sugar Bowl won't leave them feeling sour.
[SOT 2:54:16 - :32]
((ROY LUNSFORD/HOKIE FAN: THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE ... AS A MATTER OF FACT. BOURBON .. THEY HAVE BOURBON HERE. THIS IS BOURBON STREET. THEY HAVE NEW ORLEANS RIGHT HERE IN BLACKSBURG. AND BEFORE LONG, YOU'LL KNOW IT BECAUSE THEY'LL BE FULL. ))
[Double Boxes=Keith & Marya/Microwave;]
The state's number one Hokies fan is a Wahoo.
But Governor Jim Gilmore proudly displayed his new Virginia Tech-lined blazer-- just before he and the first family headed off to the airport for the big game.
[IN Q=Score predicted?]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: SCORE PREDICTED? YEAH. I THINK THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE A 35 TO 17 VIRGINIA TECH VICTORY.))
[OUT Q=Tech victory.]
The Governor says he tried to make a bet with Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
But Governor Bush refused.
He says he's lost too many sports bets recently, including one with Texas Governor and brother George W- Bush.
Here in western Virginia, there's no doubt Tech fans outnumber the Florida State faithful.
But when the two teams take the field tonight, the Seminoles WILL have a rooting section here in the Roanoke Valley.
Today, Joe Dashiell caught up with a few Florida State fans who have been flying the flag, and enduring some good natured grief.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Like many other students ]
[SUPER=150-Max Davidson/Florida State Fan; :27 QUICK]
[SUPER=150-Joe Dashiell/Reporting; :38]
[SUPER=150-David99-51 26:07 Beidler/Florida State Fan; :46]
[SUPER=150-Andrea Schirmer/Florida State Fan; :59]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Roanoke]
((Like many other students in western Virginia, Andrea Schirmer's kindergarten class at Raleigh Court Elementary is focused on the big game...
And while some are leading cheers for Virginia Tech, they aren't all Hokies...
[SOT OF KIDS POLLING THE CLASS 01:03:05]
[IN Q=And raise your hand]
[OUT Q=one, two, three...]
Ms. Schirmer has been a Florida State fan since she moved to Tallahassee as a high school junior... and one of her students, Max Davidson, is the son of Florida State alumni...
[IN Q=How long]
((HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A FLORIDA STATE FAN? FOUR YEARS. AND WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE FLORIDA STATE TEAM? MY MOMMY AND DADDY LIKE IT.))
[OUT Q=mommy and daddy like it.]
Not far from Raleigh Court Elementary, David, Amber and Wendy Beidler have been flying the Florida State colors with pride.
A Roanoke attorney and the son of a Florida State Professor, David Beidler grew up in Tallahassee and attended classes there in the early 70s.
[IN Q=It's actually been fun]
((IT'S ACTUALLY BEEN FUN SO FAR FOR THIS GAME, PRETTY GOOD. PEOPLE ARE REAL GOOD-NATURED ABOUT HAVING SOME FOREIGNERS IN THEIR TERRITORY.))
[OUT Q=in their territory.]
Still, it can be tough rooting for the Seminoles in the middle of Hokie heaven... Just look at Andrea Schirmer's mailbox...
[IN Q=The mailbox incident right before Christmas]
((THE MAILBOX INCIDENT RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS WAS THE BIG ONE AND I DECIDED MAYBE I'D JUST LEAVE IT UP AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.))
[OUT Q=and see what happens.]
In her classroom, Schirmer has used the game as a lesson on good sportsmanship... but make no mistake, she hopes to be on the winning team, come Wednesday morning.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke))
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
We'll have more Hokie coverage later on NEWS 7. There IS other news, though: authorities say a stabbing was an attempt to silence a witness.
And students at three schools are sent home almost as soon as they arrive. We'll explain why.
[wx ad lib]
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[SUPER=84-Down 14.0 feet/Voluntary Conservation][Bomb-Threat]
A bomb threat disrupted classes at three Franklin County schools today.
Just after 8 this morning, someone called the switchboard at the high school to say there was a bomb in one of the buildings on campus.
Students were put back on buses and sent home while authorities searched the school.
They found nothing.
Classes had to be canceled at the (CAT-see) CATCE center and Benjamin Franklin Middle School, too.
That's because those students are on the same bus routes as the high school.
[GRAPHIC=Franklin Co. Stabbing]
A Franklin County man has been accused of trying to silence a witness in a criminal investigation.
Gary Tiller was charged today with attempted murder and malicious wounding.
He allegedly stabbed Chanton (SHAN-ton) Claybrooks in the stomach during an argument near Boones Mill, this morning.
Investigators say Tiller was angry that Claybrooks had provided police with information against him in an arson and
grand larceny case. [Anthrax]
The F-B-I is reporting anthrax scares at six of the 18 Planned Parenthoods that received them, are a hoax.
Mail was sent to Planned Parenthood in Roanoke yesterday stating the recipient of the letter would die in less than 24 hours from exposure to anthrax.
The F-B-I and HAZMAT teams are inspecting the notes and lab results started coming back late this afternoon.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT tc 00:02:57]
[IN Q=Based on our]
((ROY TUBERGEN/FBI ASST. SPECIAL AGENT: BASED ON OUR INVESTIGATION AND THE LAB RESULTS, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THERE WAS NO ANTHRAX ASSOCIATED WITH THE THREATENING LETTERS THAT WERE RECEIVED.))
[SUPER=01-Roy Tubergen/Asst. Special Agent; ]
[OUT Q=that were received.]
None of the letters tested so far have contained the harmful bacteria.
The F-B-I is still trying to figure out who sent the threats to 18 clinics throughout the country.
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke City Council]
Roanoke's new city manager is now on the job... and Darlene Burcham is wondering when the warm welcome will give way to more serious business.
Burcham officially took office on January first, at one minute after midnight.
Today, was her first council meeting as the city's chief executive.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I know that we've got some challenges]
((DARLENE BURCHAM/ROANOKE CITY MANAGER: I KNOW THAT WE'VE GOT SOME CHALLENGES AHEAD THAT WILL PROBABLY TRY OUR PATIENCE AND AT TIMES OUR WIT, BUT HOPEFULLY WE'LL KEEP OUR SENSE OF GOOD HUMOR AND WE'LL MOVE FORWARD AND MAKE ROANOKE THE BETTER PLACE THAT IT CAN BE.))
[SUPER=01-Darlene Burcham/Roanoke City Manager]
[OUT Q=that it can be.]
Also this afternoon, Mayor David Bowers introduced the 1999 Citizen of the Year. The honor went to Jere (Jerry) Hodgin (HODGE-in), the producing artistic director of Mill Mountain Theater.
Stocks took a big-time tumble today, with tech stocks leading the way down.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow plunged 360 points. NASDAQ sank 230, a one-day loss of five-and-a-half per cent.
Children at Bonsack Elementary School are using the Sugar Bowl to raise their own scores --
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Cajun music]
((CAJUN MUSIC, IT'S CALLED ZYDECO. IN N'AWLINS. SHOULD I SAY NEW ORLEANS? NO WE'RE GOING TO N'AWLINS TONIGHT!))
[OUT Q=n'awlins tonight]
These kids are not REALLY going to New Orleans tonight, but their homework IS to watch the Sugar Bowl.
After all, they've already held a Sugar Bowl championship for spelling, a Mardi Gras parade, and a geography test of the quickest way to New Orleans.
Down the hall they're pulling out the math skills to tally touchdowns --
Teachers say winning is not the most important part -- but these kids obviously have a favorite team .
In sports, highlights from Roanoke College's men's basketball tournament and Mike Stevens is standing by in New Orleans.
((Mike ad libs to break))
After almost two weeks of hype, the time has finally arrived for Virginia Tech and Florida State University to settle this year's national championship.
[Double Boxes=Denise/Mike Stevens Starlink]
Mike Stevens is in New Orleans where the Hokies have already won the battle of the fans.
Mike Stevens adlibs
(rollcue... estimate may be too conservative. )
[SUPER=150-Frank Beamer/Coaching 7th Bowl Game; :23]
[SUPER=150-Bruce Smith/Buffalo Bills Defensive End; 1:10]
[SUPER=150-Keion Carpenter/Buffalo Bills Defensive Back; 1:34]
[SUPER=150-Billy Conaty/Buffalo Bills Lineman; 1:50]
[OUT Q=win one more.]
[Double Boxes=Denise/Mike Starlink]
[TAPE#=SP-46 tc 1:41:44]
The seventh annual Domino's Lewis Gale Men's Hoops Tournament got an early start today so it wouldn't compete with the big game.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Lehman vs. Va. Tech;]
The tournament raises money for the V-Foundation and cancer research. This year the charity silent auction featured a Tech jersey autographed by Coach Ricky Stokes and a Sacremento Kings jersey signed by Chris Webber.
On to the action, Jason Strickland picks off the inbounds pass and starts the give and go, Strickland finishes the play with the bucket at the other end.
Lehman would come right back, Dennis Kumnipa on the break away, takes the pass and goes the length of the court and the Lightning takes the nine to eight lead.
But the Maroons would have none of that, crisp passing by Roanoke gets Paris Butler the ball in three point range.
He downs it and the Maroons have the adavantage.
The Roanoke defense stifles Lehman, the steal leads to the Kyle Murphy jam and the Maroons win it 96-to-57.
Roanoke will play (WUSS-ter) Worcester State in the championship tomorrow night at seven.[S-Coaches]
[TAPE#=SP-51 tc 1:30:07]
The New York Jets are now in the hunt for a head coach.
A day after being named Bill Parcels replacement, Bill Belichick has resigned.
Belichick says he feels he just can't lead the Jets in 2000.
He was promoted from defensive coordinator to the head post yesterday when Parcells stepped aside.
New England is interested in Gary
The Denver Broncos have given the Patriots permission to talk with their offensive coordinator.
The Pats fired Pete Carroll yesterday and are searching for his replacement.
And Mike Ditka's days as New Orleans Saints coach could be numbered.
The head coach meets with Saints owner Tom Benson later this week. Ditka says he wants to return to the
Saints, but he has a 15-and-33 mark in three years on the job.
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Hokie fans aren't just in New Orleans and Blacksburg tonight, they're also in Roanoke.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Kate/Microwave]
That's where we find Kate Weidaw.
(rollcue... fill up very quickly.)
[PULL VO AFTER AROUND :10]
[Out-Q=as well as crawfish.]
Tonight on News 7 at 11 find out how Roanoke fans react
[Double Boxes=Keith & Kate/Microwave]
to this big match up.
(Weekday 6 only)
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