Coming up on News 7 at 5, Congress hears some startling news about fraud in the funeral business.
and a new survey says flying is getting more difficult for American air travelers.
After a cold weekend, temperatures are back in the comfortable range. Watching for some showers tomorrow,
On Health check, we'll meet two local parents
who are trying to organize a bone marrow drive in an effort to save their baby's life.
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Millions of people shell out money every year to bury their loved ones- but while the funeral business is growing, so is fufraud- funeral businesses that rip off their customers- Lee Cowan has more.
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[SUPER=03-Washington DC; :12]
[SUPER=01-Danell Pepson/Witness; :48]
[SUPER=01-Irwin Karp/Convicted Felon; 1:18]
[Super=01-Sen. John Breaux/(D) Louisiana; 1:25]
[Super=01-Lee Cowan/CBS News; 1:35]
[OUT Q=CBS News, Washington.]
Death may be one of lifes certainties, but the business that surrounds
it is anything but.
With more than 2 million funerals conducted every year in this
country, profits are soaring --- and government investigators say so
are the abuses.
Today the Senate Committee on Aging endured hours of gruesome
stories about leaking caskets re-used graves hard pressure sales --
and missing body parts.
For Danell Pepson, the story was overwhelming.
DANELL PEPSON, WITNESS:
I cant forget what it looks and smells like to rot in your grave.
Like thousands of other people, she paid extra to ensure her
grandmothers casket was leak-proof .
What she paid for, was not what she got.
Years later she discovered the residue on the outside of her grandmothers crypt wasn't just water, it was her grandmothers remains.
DANELL PEPSON, WITNESS:
What torment knowing that you have had the rotting remains of your
loved ones on your hands and clothes.
It was an example of an abuse in an industry that rakes in $18 billion dollars a year and with more than 22-thousand funeral homes
across the country, government oversight is spotty at best.
Irwin Karp is one of the few who got caught.
There is a lot of money involved.
He was convicted of bilking more than 70 people out of thousands of
dollars he was supposed to invest for their funerals, but never did.
IRWIN KARP, CONVICTED FELON
I used the trust fund and borrowed as a lot of funeral directors do, in the hopes of putting it back.
SEN. JOHN BREAUX, D-LA:
To have a bad apple if you would, perpetrate consumer fraud on a family
at that time of their life is very unfortunate, its unforgivable, and
it has to be stopped.
Funeral Directors, say when they are inspected, more than 90 percent of
the homes are in compliance with consumer law. But critics say an industry that already has guaranteed customers, is in no position to
police itself. Lee Cowan, CBS News, Washington.))
Dan River Mills says its disappointed at the union's vote to reject it's latest proposals.
Last night union employees voted against giving the textile company the flexibility of extending eight hour shifts to 12 and cutting down on overtime pay.
The package also included a three percent raise every 14 months and pension benefit increases. The company says the offer was fair.
[SOT 1:28:58 TAPE II]
[IN Q=I think]
((JOE BOUKNIGHT/DAN RIVER INC.: I THINK OVERTIME, THE INABILITY TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES WILL HAVE IMPACT IN DANVILLE BUT WE CERTAINLY AREN'T FOLDING OUR TENT AND HEADING OUT OF TOWN.))
[SOT 15:37:58; TAPE 1]
((MICHAEL KENDRICK/UNION WORKER: THEY'RE SAYING IF THEY PUT MONEY HERE BUT IT'S NO GUARANTEE THEY'LL BE HERE OTHER PLANTS ARE SHUTTING DOWN I SEE THEIR POINT OF VIEW ON IT TOO BUT THEY HAVE TO LOOK AT OUR POINT OF VIEW TOO.))
[SUPER=01-Joe Bouknight/Dan River Inc. Spokesperson; :00]
[SUPER=01-Michael Kendrick/Union Worker; :16]
[OUT Q=view too.]
We will hear what the company says it could do next on News 7 at six.
It's a system desperately in need of reform.
That's what Governor Jim Gilmore is saying, after a midnight deadline to act on one-thousand-and-89 bills passed by this year's General Assembly.
Gilmore amended 63, and vetoed 16 outright.
He has a suggestion:
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: WELL AT THE VERY MINIMUM, THE CONSTITUTION BE AMENDED TO GIVE THE GOVERNOR AN ACTUAL 30 DAYS TO REVIEW THE BILLS. TODAY, IT'S 30 DAYS FROM ADJOUNMENT, AND THEN THE SYSTEM DOESN'T GIVE THE GOVERNOR THE BILLS UNTIL WEEKS LATER. SO IT IS ALMOST NOW PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THIS WORK. IT'S REALLY A CONCERN.))
[OUT Q=a concern.]
The Governor vetoed a bill that would put cameras on stoplights in some areas of the state to catch red light runners.
He calls it a "repellent" intrusion on privacy.
He also vetoed a bill that would raise motor vehicle inspection fees.
He says that would be a 30-million dollar fee increase to motorists statewide.
The major airlines are not apparently living up to their words. We'll have that story in a moment,
and we'll have the latest as the Florida family of Elian Gonzalez has not kept a promise to the U-S Government.
[Commercial Break #1]
Two suspects arrested last week after a nine-hour standoff in Wythe County were in court this morning to face a long list of charges.
37-year old Dennis Lewis was formally charged with 13 felony counts, including kidnapping, carjacking and assault.
His girlfriend, 20-year old Angel Tanner, is charged with the same crimes. She and Lewis are being held without bail in the New River Valley Regional Jail.
The couple surrendered Thursday night at the home of their hostages ... ending a two-day manhunt that started in Tennessee.
Both suspects still have to answer to criminal charges from the federal government and the state of Tennessee.
The Miami Relatives of Elian Gonzalez are supposed to meet this afternoon with government appointed psychologists- but so far they haven't shown up. The boy's uncle apparently wants the location of the meeting changed to a hostpial where his daughter is staying. She's been acting as Elian's surrogate mother.
The meeting is supposed to go over the best way to transfer the boy to his father.
Almost all agree Elian will see his father again- The boy's Miami relatives say the only place for the reunion is their Miami home.
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((EDUARDO RASCO/RELATIVE'S ATTORNEY: HE FEELS COMFORTABLE HERE. HE FEELS SAFE AND I BELIEVE IF HIS FATHER COMES HERE THAT WILL HELP HIM GREATLEY EASE THE ANXIETY HE HAS.))
[SUPER=01-Eduardo Rasco/Relative's Attorney;]
[OUT Q=anxiety he has.]
But the constant group of protestors outside is prompting his father to stay away.
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((I HOPE EVERYBODY WILL KEEP IN MIND THE WELL BEING OF THE YOUNG BOY AND NOT SUBJECT HIM UNNECESSARILY TO SOMETHING LIKE THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Eric Holder/Asst. Attorney General;]
[OUT Q=something like that.]
Psychologists have already met with the father, Juan Gonzaelz in Washington D-C.
Last year, the major airlines promised it would take steps to improve service to their customers.
Now an annual survey has found a lot of those promises never got off the ground.
Lisa Hughes reports.
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[SUPER=01-Lisa Hughes/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS Washington]
((The roar is getting louder-passenger grumbling on major airlines.
Despite an industry-wide promise to improve serviceconsumer complaints
were up last year 130-percent.
Super: Lee Gran/Traveler
SOT: LIKE TODAY-WERE 20 MINUTES LATE AND ITS ONLY A ONE-HOUR,
15-MINUTE FLIGHT. IT SHOULD BE ON TIME.
SOT: THEYRE TRYING TO CRAM TOO MANY PEOPLE ON.
Super: Lorena Tello/Traveler
SOT: I THINK I DESERVE A NICE TRIP IF IM GOING TO PAY SO MUCH MONEY.
NARR: The airlines are making big money. But customers dont feel
theyre getting better service.
(graphic)With the fewest complaints last yearSouthwest Airlines earned
the top spot in the surveyfollowed by
ContinentalDeltaNorthwestAlaska Airlines and US Airwayswhich had
been number one in 1998.
Surveyors say overbooking is upon-time performance down and complaints
at a record high.
Super: Lisa Hughes/Washington, DC
SOT: IN FACT THE ONLY SIGN OF IMPROVEMENT WAS IN BAGGAGE HANDLING. AND
SOME CRITICS SAY IT MAY TAKE CONGRESSIONAL RULES BEFORE THE AIRLINES ARE
FORCED TO DO A BETTER JOB WITH QUALITY AND SERVICE.
SOT: I THINK THEY OUGHT TO TREAT US MORE LIKE ADULTS. ITS A LITTLE
LIKE AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EXPERIENCE ON MOST OF THE AIRLINES. SOUTHWEST
IS A BIG EXCEPTION. ON THE OTHERS, ITS VERY REGIMENTED.
SOT: gate announcement nats
NARR: The airlines may not deserve all the blame. The survey says the
FAA has dragged its feet phasing in technology that might lessen delays
But the airlines had promised to make changes. By and large, passengers
are still waiting.
Lisa Hughes, CBS News, Washington.
Coming up next on the newscast, the Roanoke Symphony is preparing for a big show with some young looking members.
[LIVE=Patrick Full Microwave]
[OUT Q=News 7 at 5 continues.]
Conductor David Wiley, the Roanoke Symphony--and some youthful guests--take center stage at the Roanoke Civic Center this evening.
[Double Boxes=Jean/Patrick Microwave]
Patrick Evans has been watching rehearsal, and says we can look forward to the premier of a brand new composition during tonight's concert.
(rollcue...We spoke with the Maestro during a break in rehearsal...)
[SUPER=01-David Wiley/Conductor & Music Director;]
[Double Boxes=Robin/Patrick Microwave]
[health music under]
Coming up today in Sports, we'll have the highlights from today's truck race in Martinsville,
and on health check, we'll meet a Radford couple who are working hard to improve their baby's chance of survival.
[in q=Henry's ]
((HENRY'S PROGNOSIS IS VERY GRIM UNLESS HE'S ABLE TO RECEIVE A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT.))
[out q= transplant.]
[No health bump]
A Radford couple is appealing to the community to give the "gift of life".
Without treatment--- their infant son could die before he reaches his first birthday.
[ANCHOR=Jean/Teresa TWO SHOT;]
Teresa Hamilton met with family earlier today and is here with more on how you could help.
Jean-- little Henry Moore was born without an immune system.
But a bone marrow transplant could save him.
So his family and the community are teaming up in hopes of a finding a match.
[SUPER=01-Dr. James Weston/OBGYN; ]
[SUPER=01-Steve Lovelace/American Red Cross;]
[OUT Q=routine physical.]
[in q= He's a ]
((HE'S A HAPPY BABY, HE WAKES UP WITH A SMILE, GOES TO SLEEP WITH A SMILE.))
[OUT Q= with a smile.]
When three month old Patrick Henry Moore was born his proud parents and doctor were convinced the nearly eight pound baby boy was perfectly healthy.
But a bout with a couple of infections would lead his pediatrician to run a test that would come back with devastating results.
Henry was born with Costmann's syndrome-- a rare disease that afflicts just one in a million people.
[in q= Henry can]
((HENRY CAN DIE FROM INFECTIONS THAT YOU WOULDN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT, STREP THROAT FOR HENRY COULD BE DEVASTATING.))
[out q=be devastating.]
Henry was born without white blood cells, which fight infection.
For now... he's being given an experimental drug but it's not working as well as doctors had hoped.
The hope, now, is for a bone marrow transplant.
[in q=We've got]
((WE'VE GOT ABOUT THREE MILLION PEOPLE ON THE REGISTRY IN THE NATION AND WE HAVE ABOUT TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE LIKE HENRY THAT SEARCH EVERYDAY FOR A POTENTIAL MATCH.))
[out q= potential match.]
Henry's parents have been tested... but the results are pending.
In the meantime---his parents are putting their hope in a blood drive scheduled for next week.
[in q= Basically]
((BASICALLY, IT'S A SIMPLE BLOOD TEST, ONE SMALL TUBE, NO DIFFERENT THAN AT YOUR ROUTINE PHYSICAL.))
[OUT Q= routine physical.]
[ANCHOR= Teresa FULL;]
The blood drive will be held next Tuesday, April 18th, at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center in the Fireside Conference Room.
[ANCHOR=JEAN/Teresa TWO SHOT]
Jean, their is a cost. The test is 85- dollars. But the family has been collecting donations and money is available to cover the cost for those who want to donate but can't afford to.
It's time now for our website of the day and in honor of this weekend's NASCAR events in Martinsville, we're looking at a racing site today.
But don't expect a lot of statistics, in fact as Patrick Evans tells us, the details are a little sketchy.
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[BRING IN PINNACLE PAGE AT :42]
[OUT Q=start your engines.]
((Another spring race at Martinsville is in the books and with a record number of bumps, spins and caution flags, not too many racers have much to laugh at.
Maybe they should check out our website of the day.
It's a place where the world of NASCAR trades gas and rubber for pen and ink in a weekly CAR-toon
Mike Smith is an award winning editorial artist for the Las Vegas Sun. His work frequently appears in such publicatrions as Newsweek and U-S-A Today.
But he seems to particularly enjoy giving race fans a poke in the funny bone.
New cartoons appear every Friday, but if you can't wait that long check out the archives. It's like an illustrated history of the past two years of Winston Cup Racing.
You can find a link to the NASCAR Cartoon page through a link to our sight at WDBJ7-dot-com. I'm Patrick Evans. Gentlemen, start your engines.))
Welcome folks to a brand new work week that begins with a number of folks who decided to extend the weekend.
Rain on Saturday forced the truck race at Martinsville to be postponed until today, and Mike Stevens wasn't the only one who found a way to get back to the track on this Monday.
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[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=04-NAPA 250; :27]
[SUPER=01-Bobby Hamilton/NAPA 250 Winner; :49]
[OUT Q=...ON NEWS 7 AT SIX."]
To the diamond. Cincinnati is battling Colorado right now. In the top of the fourth, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 400th career homerun. At age 30, 141 days, he is the youngest major leaguer to reach 400 ever.
[SUPER=03-Milwaukee, WI/Marlins vs. Brewers; :00]
The tailgaters started bright and early Monday morning for their last home opener at County Stadium in Milwaukee. Next season, the Brewers move to the brand new Miller Park.
Would the Marlins ruin the last home opener? In the top of the second, Florida's [SUPER=35-Milwaukee/4/Florida/3;]Vla
dimir Nunez drills the ball between first baseman Kevin Barker's legs allowing Mike Lowell scores.
Geoff Jenkins evens the count in the bottom of the second on a solo shot to right. Milwaukee wins 4-3.
That's it for the sports ticker, see ya at six everybody.
A Saint Bernard gave birth to a pretty large litter this weekend.
King Triton's Ariel gave birth to 17 puppies. That's the third largest litter in history.
One of the puppies died shortly after birth, leaving 10 males and six females.
Her owner says she had no clue the litter would be so large.
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[IN Q=She had]
[SUPER=01-Renee Wendover/Dog Owner;]
[OUT Q=after that.]
The largest litter ever stands at 23 American Foxhounds born in Pennsylvania in 1944.
[SUPER=03-Aliwal, South Africa;]
and finally, a cattle rancher in South Africa is ready for a little monkey business.
He's using a baboon to herd his cows.
Bobby the baboon is about three foot two, extremely agile and has an engaging smile.
He's also pretty good at rounding up the cattle.
His owner suspects Bobby became alienated from his troop and ended up with the cows.
Since baboons are social animals, he made himself right at home with his new family.