[7-11Tenn-Kidnap]

[ANCHOR=Melanie]

[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=00-02 TC1:32:12]
[GRAPHIC=none]

[ANCHOR TAG]
No new leads have surfaced on the man and woman who allegedly left behind two kidnapping victims in Wytheville yesterday.
Marya Jones reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=Authorities spent]
[SUPER=03-Wytheville; :00]
[SUPER=03-Erwin, TN/Tuesday Night; :12]
[SUPER=01-Lt. Curtis Bailey/State Police; :26 QUICK!]
[SUPER=@Marya2; :50]
[RUNS=1:00]
[OUT Q=MJN7.]

(( Authorities spent the afternoon stopping cars and doing road checks, searching neighborhoods and buildings with dogs, and scanning the area by helicopter... for two fugitives that crossed state lines.
(///// SOT /////)

[NATSOUND: HELICOPTER] ((NATS HELICOPTER))
[RUNS= :02]


The couple's run-in with the law began Tuesday night in Erwin, Tennessee.
That's where deputies say they pulled over 27-year-old Dennis Lewis and 20-year-old Angela Tanner in a stolen truck.
A gunfight ensued. Deputies say the couple overpowered them, took their weapons and fled.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 5:05 - :09]

((LT. CURTIS BAILEY/VA. STATE POLICE: THERE WERE NO INJURIES ... THE POLICE OFFICERS WERE NOT INJURED ... NEITHER WERE THE SUSPECTS.))
[RUNS= :04]


State police say the suspects ended up in the back of 27-year-old Carol Bennett's car.
Bennett says the couple carjacked her outside her home... and kidnapped her and her baby boy.
But at the Rural Retreat rest area on I-81, Bennett persuaded the couple to let her and her son go.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 5:26:31 - :35]

((Marya Jones/News 7: HOW DID SHE SAY THEY TREATED HER? Lt. Curtis Bailey/Va. State Police: VERY GOOD. THEY DIDN'T HARM HER IN ANY WAY.))
[RUNS= :04]


State police found Bennett's abandoned car outside a Wytheville Quality Inn.
They say the two fugitives had an hour's lead on them... making the search all the more difficult.
Marya Jones, News 7.))
[ANCHOR=MELANIE]
[SS=NONE]


If you have any information on this case, you are encouraged to call the Wytheville Police Department, the Wytheville Sheriff's Department.
(XXXXXXXXXXX)

[take FS Board 1004]
or the Wytheville State Police. Their number is 5-4-0---2-2-8--- 3-1-3-1.

(XXXXXXXXXXX)

[7-11Lilly]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=00-08 TC30:13]
[GRAPHIC=Ben Lilly]


Sources close to the Ben Lilly murder case tell News-7 that attorneys are close to finalizing a plea agreement.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Christiansburg/February;]


Lilly was sentenced to die for the 1995 killing of Virginia Tech student Alexander DeFilippis.
He appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and eventually won a new trial.
Though Lilly would avoid a death sentence, sources tell News-7 he will be sentenced to two life terms without parole.
(------------)



[7-Crockett]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=kor]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=Legal Scales]


A former Liberty High School student has pleaded guilty to painting racist slurs and Confederate flags on school property.
18-year-old Rex Randall Crockett could face five years in prison on yesterday's felony conviction.
If he is sentenced as a youthful offender, he could get as 30 days in jail.
Crockett was arrested after bragging about his artwork to fellow students.

[7-11Steak-Ale]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=kwe/nkr]
[TAPE#=00-07 TC45:03]
[GRAPHIC=Steak and Ale]


Health officials say the Norwalk virus is to blame for the outbreak of food poisoning at Steak and Ale in Roanoke County.
(------------)
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.]


Lab results for 14 people came back yesterday.
Some 70 customers reported food poisoning after eating there March 22nd, 23rd and 24th.
Health Department officials say more tests are being sent out and others still have not been returned.
Over the weekend Steak and Ale trained its employees on food safety and replaced all of its food.
The restaurant reopened for business Monday after voluntarily closing down.
(------------)



[7Weather]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tar]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]


Here's a look at your Thursday forecast.
Mostly sunny and windy today with highs in the mid 70s.
Tonight, partly cloudy with calmer winds.
Lows in the low 50s.
The extended forecast....

[SUPER=X5000; set dissolve]
[SUPER=314-Mostly Sunny/Winds 20-30 MPH/73-78/Partly Cloudy/Winds 5-15 MPH/50-55;]
[SUPER=#555; reset]




[45-11Diamond-Hill]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=00-06 TC37:50]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Residents of Lynchburg's Diamond Hill historic district are sitting down to try and settle their differences.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg]


Many residents of Diamond Hill object to the restrictions that limit what a homeowner can do with their property.


Others say the historic district's rules are not enforced fairly.
Both sides came together for a professional mediation session last night.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 00:02:06]
[IN Q=This is a]

((PETE WARREN/LYNCHBURG MAYOR: THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE CITY, THEY PAY GOOD TAXES AND IT'S A TOURISM ATTRACTION, AND IT'S GOT SOME PEOPLE THERE WHO ARE REALLY GOOD PEOPLE, ALL OF THEM. AND WE HOPE THAT THIS PROCESS WILL BRING THEM TOGETHER AND THAT THEY WILL BE ABLE TO LIVE TOGETHER AS FRIENDS AND AS NEIGHBORS.))
[SUPER=01-Pete Warren/Lynchburg Mayor]
[RUNS=20]
[OUT Q=and as neighbors.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


More mediation sessions are scheduled.
The city is paying an outside firm ten thousand dollars to conduct them.
(------------)



[45-11Blackwater-Trail]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=99-59 TC1:24:33]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Lynchburg's Blackwater Creek Natural Area is growing again.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg]


Workers are putting the finishing touches on new trails that will extend the natural area into the downtown area.

They've also installed lights in a 150- year- old railroad tunnel.. the last train passed through there more than fifteen years ago.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 19:26:20]
[IN Q=It's a really]

((ANDY REEDER/LYNCHBURG PARKS & REC DEPT.: IT'S A REALLY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE AND I THINK THE CITIZENS THAT BIKE ALONG IT, WALK ALONG IT REALLY ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THE STREAM VALLEYS WE HAVE HERE IN LYNCHBURG AND THEN ON INTO PERCIVAL'S ISLAND.))
[SUPER=01-Andy Reeder/Lynchburg Parks & Rec Dept.;]
[RUNS=10]
[OUT Q=Percival's Island.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Many of the new improvements will be dedicated on June 3rd, which is National Trails Day.
(------------)



[45-11Vinton-Council]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=00-]
[GRAPHIC=Campaign 2000]


There are now two candidates in the race for Vinton Mayor.
Businessman Andy Nicely will run as a write in candidate.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=203-Vinton]


He announced his plans at the Vinton War Memorial yesterday.
Though his name will not appear on the ballot, Nicely believes he can wage a successful campaign.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 19:23:26]
[IN Q=It's definitely a challenge.]

((ANDY NICELY: IT'S DEFINITELY A CHALLENGE. WE'RE GOING TO GO OUT AND EDUCATE THE VOTERS IN VINTON, GO DOOR TO DOOR. IT'S A VERY SIMPLE PROCESS, YOU PUNCH A BUTTON, SLIDE OVER, WRITE MY NAME. IT'S VERY SIMPLE. THE POLL WORKERS ARE TRAINED TO DO THIS. IT'S REALLY JUST GETTING THE WORD OUT. IT'S MY RESPONSIBILITY, WORKERS' TO HELP EDUCATE THE CITIZENS.))
[SUPER=201-Andy Nicely/Candidate for Mayor]
[RUNS=:20]
[OUT Q=educate the citizens.]
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=melanie]
[ss=HOLD]


Nicely will face council member Don Davis in the May election.
Longtime Mayor Charlie Hill is not running for re-election.

[45-Senate-Race]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tte]
[TAPE#=00-]
[GRAPHIC=HOLD]


In the race for Senate, local Democrats say the difference between the candidates adds up to about a dollar an hour.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=203-Roanoke;]

Democrats say only Senator Chuck Robb will raise the minimum wage. Robb has co-sponsored a bill to inflate the minimum wage a dollar over the next two years -- to six dollars and fifteen cents. Governor George Allen, the Republican candidate, says he would raise the minimum wage only if small businesses got a tax break to pay for it.
(------------)



[45Weather]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tar]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]


Taking another look at your Thursday forecast.
Mostly sunny and windy today with highs in the mid 70s.
Tonight, partly cloudy with calmer winds.
Lows in the low 50s.
The extended forecast....

[SUPER=X5000; set dissolve]
[SUPER=314-Mostly Sunny/Winds 20-30 MPH/73-78/Partly Cloudy/Winds 5-15 MPH/50-55;]
[SUPER=#555; reset]