A 10-million dollar claim against the Town of Vinton filed by ousted Police Chief Rick Foutz.
We'll add it all up for up on NEWS 7 at SIX.
And they're trying to improve the public perception of Philip Morris
While nay sayers protest the food and tobacco giant for business as usual.
Tonight on the Big 7, the commonwealth has another college football program as Averett College puts on the pads.
Steam standout Elton Toliver offers some thoughts on the start of this Arena2 season.
And Roy Stanley tells us who is on the pole as the 35th annual Cosmo track meet opens this afternoon.
Cold tonight, rainy tomorrow--that's the forecast in a nutshell. We'll flesh it out for you coming in just a few mintues...
[GRAPHIC=Vinton PD Lawsuit]
Former Vinton Police Chief Ricky Foutz is suing the Town for more than 10-million dollars.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=In a 27]
[OUT Q=four million dollars.]
(( In a 27-page complaint filed in federal court last night, Foutz claims Town officials conspired against him.
The alleged conspiracy is just one of six counts of action filed against the Town Manager, the Mayor, each member of Town Council and the Town Attorney.
Foutz was asked to resign last Fall, right after a Special Grand Jury began hearing evidence of mishandling of guns, drugs and cash by Vinton Police.
The suit includes a copy of the hand-written letter of resignation the town attorney drafted and Foutz signed on November 10th.
As soon as he left office, the suit alleges, town officials rifled his desk.
Foutz figures he's due three million dollars for illegal search and seizure.
He adds another million for defamation, citing statements from Town officials that Foutz had "breached the public trust."
He claims "breach of contract" because the town didn't follow its own procedure, failing to give Foutz written notice of the offense for which he was being fired.
And there's a million dollars for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
His lawyer says Foutz is due triple damages for the Conspiracy: another three million.
Adding punitive damages, the total comes to 10-point- four million dollars.))
Town Manager Clay Goodman is out of town. Neither of the Attorneys wanted to talk about the complaint, nor did any council members.
Though the town is insured against such claims, the amount Foutz is seeking exceeds Vinton's total annual budget by more than two million dollars.
A minor derailment this afternoon in a Norfolk Southern yard in Roanoke.
Twelve covered hoppers carrying molten sulfur ran off the rails.
No one was hurt, and officials say there's no hazard to the public.
It's something of a mystery as to how the cars got rolling in the first place.
They weren't attached to an engine at the time.
The leaders of the world's biggest tobacco company came to Richmond today with a message:
"... we have made deep and abiding changes in the way we do business and in the way we communicate with the public."
Critics of Philip Morris say the latter is true -- the former is NOT.
[Double Boxes=Ellen and Keith/State Microwave]
Ellen Qualls was at the company's annual shareholder meeting at its South Richmond cigarette plant.
She joins us now from our Richmond newsroom.
[Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave]
Keith, as goes Philip Morris, so go tobacco manufacturing jobs, farming jobs, shipping jobs, and stock portfolios in Virginia.
Today, C-E-O Geoffrey Bible told shareholders he is deeply concerned about the 37 percent decline in their stock value since last year's meeting.
But he's bullish on the company and its new message.
[IN Q=Richmond police]
[SUPER=01-Harold Vaughan/Shareholder; :]
[SUPER=01-Ellen Merlo/Philip Morris Spokeswoman; : ]
[SUPER=01-Jerry Barrett/Shareholder; : ]
[SUPER=01-Dr. David Lewis/Martinsville Health Activist; :]
[SUPER=01-Edith Brand/Shareholder; : ]
[OUT Q=not selling. haha]
(( Richmond police were a new addition to the always high security event.
Cameras and recording devices stay outside and hear the message of the protesters.
It is always the same: stop marketing lethal products to children.
But inside, the tobacco and packaged food giant had a new message that it's getting out with a 100 million dollar a year ad campaign:
"Think. Don't smoke."
And in the company's own shareholder documents: smoking isn't cool.
((HAROLD VAUGHAN/SHAREHOLDER: I DON'T KNOW THAT IT WILL BE EFFECTIVE. WHY DON'T THEIR MOTHERS TELL THEM TO STOP SMOKING?))
[sot 11:03:57 ]
((ELLEN MERLO/PHILIP MORRIS SPOKESWOMAN: WE'RE VERY HAPPY FOR ADULTS TO SEE THOSE ADS...THEY SHOULD KNOW THE RISKS THAT ARE INVOLVED.))
[sot 10:42:08 ]
((JERRY BARRETT/SHAREHOLDER: I THINK REALISTICALLY, LONG TERM, SMOKING'S GONNA GO DOWN. IT'S GONNA BE REDUCED. AND IT SHOULD. BUT I THINK THE COMPANY IS SO BIG. THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER AREAS, THAT OVERALL IT'S GOING TO GROW. IT'S GOING TO BE MORE PROFITABLE.))
[sot 10:45:26 ]
((DR. DAVID LEWIS/MARTINSVILLE PEDIATRICIAN: I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO MR. BIBLE TO PROJECT CHANGES IN THE COMPANY. AND ONCE AGAIN, IT'S PROBABLY FOR LEGAL REASONS. HE WANTS TO PROJECT TO THE JURORS IN THE ENGLE CASE AND SEVERAL OTHERS THAT THE COMPANY HAS CHANGED.))
((EDITH BRAND/SHAREHOLDER: Are you still happy to be a Philip Morris shareholder? I CERTAINLY AM. Do you think the stock price is going to bounce back? YES I DO. I'M NOT SELLING. haha.))
[Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave]
C-E-O Geoff Bible says he is ready for strong, meaningful and reasonable regulation of cigarettes.
He said Philip Morris is fundamentally an American company and will strive to keep jobs in America and to remain the biggest buyer of American tobacco.
The Florida Engle lawsuit begins its punitive damages phase May 15th.
It could have a multi-BILLION dollar impact on this company.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/Microwave]
(QUESTION: And they resisted an effort to spin off the food and beer divisions today?)
Martinsville is in the running to become the home of a truck-body plant.
North Carolina economic development officials say the W-F Mickey Body Company plans to build a new plant either in Martinsville or Denton, North Carolina.
The plant would bring 150 jobs that pay an average 14 dollars an hour.
A decision should be made in a week or so.
A Martinsville man faces jail time for his part in a 1999 convenience store killing and robbery.
A judge found William LeMaine Murphy guilty of accesory after the fact and receiving stolen property.
He faces 21 years in prison and a 25-hundred dollar fine.
He'll be formally sentenced in July.
Murphy and another co-defendant say they were in the getaway car while Michael Anthony Ramey robbed Taylor's Little Grocery in Axton.
Authorities say Ramey killed one store clerk and injured two others-- he'll stand trial in October.
A Radford man could spend the next 30 years in prison for plotting to kill a judge and two other people.
21-year-old Derrick Chapman was sentenced today by jurors.
Prosecutors say he was hired by his friend Christopher DeMoranville to kill Circuit Judge Ray Grubbs and De Moranville's parents ... all for two-million dollars.
He'll be sentenced by the judge in June.
Virginia's N-double-A-C-P says it's moving full steam ahead on a possible tourism boycott of the Commonwealth.
That's despite a May 10th meeting between Governor Jim Gilmore and civil rights leaders that was set today.
The Governor publicly stood by his Confederate History Month proclamation today, calling it "fair and balanced."
N-double-A-C-P director King Salim (sa-LEEM) Khalfani says those comments drew a line in the sand, before the May 10th meeting ever takes place.
Khalfani says he'll seek permission from the national N-double-A-C-P office for the boycott... but may NOT announce anything before the meeting with Gilmore.
Still ahead on News 7, we continue the profiles of the Roanoke Mayoral candidates.
Tonight, the spotlight's on Mac McCadden.
And as census workers begin going door to door, these guys started monkeying with the forms.
With four candidates, the race for Roanoke Mayor is anything but a forgone conclusion.
Mac McCadden faces an eight-year incumbent, a well-financed challenger, and another Independent.
But tonight he tells Joe Dashiell why he believes he will win...
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[IN Q=Mac McCadden]
[SUPER=201-Mac McCadden/(I) Candidate for Mayor; :41]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Roanoke]
((Mac McCadden is a man of many talents, as students in Mr. Spencer's Fifth grade class discovered recently. McCadden visited Raleigh Court Elementary to help with a spelling test, and talk with the students.
[NAT SOUND OF TALK WITH KIDS 06:55]
[IN Q=What I'm saying is]
((WHAT I'M SAYING IS, IT'S ALL RIGHT TO BE DIFFERENT. IT'S ALL RIGHT TO EXERCISE YOUR THOUGHTS. USE YOUR MINDS. USE YOUR IDEAS BECAUSE NOTHING CHANGES UNLESS PEOPLE DO HAVE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION.))
[OUT Q=differences of opinion.]
A teacher himself, mcCadden has served on city council before. Elected as a Republican in 1992, he completed one term, and did not run for re- election.
This year, he's running for mayor as an Independent... convinced he's competitive without party backing.
[IN Q=There is no way]
((THERE IS NO WAY I'M GOING TO BE ABLE TO OUT RAISE AND OUT SPEND MY OPPONENTS, AND I NEVER EXPECTED TO DO THAT. I THINK WHAT I NEEDED TO DO WAS CONCENTRATE AND FOCUS ON MEETING PEOPLE MAKING SURE THAT MY MESSAGE WAS GETTING OUT TO PEOPLE, AND MAKING SURE THEY UNDERSTAND THAT I'M ONLY FOR BETTER ROANOKE AND PARTISAN POLITICS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.))
[OUT Q=nothing to do with it.]
McCadden says he got into the race to give Roanokers a choice. He says he believes they are ready for new leadership, and will make their decision without regard to party label.
[IN Q=Just to pull the lever]
((JUST TO PULL THE LEVER ONE WAY, BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN PULLING IT THAT WAY ALL THE TIME BEFORE IS NOT A REASON TO ELECT ANYONE TO OFFICE. I THINK THE CITIZENS OF ROANOKE ARE GOING TO SIT DOWN AND LOOK AT THE QUALIFICATIONS OF EACH CANDIDATE AND DECIDE WHICH CANDIDATE CAN BEST FIT THEIR NEEDS FOR THE CITY OF ROANOKE.))
[OUT Q=the city of Roanoke.]
If they do that, McCadden says he's confident his Independent campaign will have most of the vote on Tuesday.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke))
Governor Jim Gilmore probably won't set a special election for the late Richard Holland's state senate seat until July.
[TAKE FULL SCREEN MAP]
The 15th senatorial district stretches from Appomattox County across southside Virginia all the way to Suffolk.
Tomorrow, former Republican businessman Jerry Flowers says he'll kick off a campaign as a Democrat, from his home base in the city of Franklin.
Delegate Frank Ruff has already announced he'll move from his Mecklenburg home a few miles into the senate district to run as a Republican.
Senator Holland passed away 12 days ago.
Investors shrugged-off a pair of economic reports that suggest more interest-rate increases are on
[TAKE DOW, NASDAQ & BLOOMBERG PAGE ]
The DOW lost 57 points, but NASDAQ gained 144.
The Bloomberg News 7 Index lost a tenth of a point.
If you never turned in your census form, expect a knock on your door sometime in the next few weeks.
Starting today, census workers began pounding the pavement in neighborhoods, hoping to track down families that didn't complete their forms.
Officials say it's important that people realize the enumerators are there to help them and their community.
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[IN Q=I hope that]
((LARRY HOLLOWAY/CENSUS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I HOPE THAT THEY ARE VERY RECEPTIVE TO THEM BECAUSE WE REALLY NEED THIS INFORMATION FOR THIS AREA. WE LOST ENOUGH MONEY.. WE LOST OVER TEN MILLION DOLLARS IN THE LAST TEN YEARS AND WE REALLY NEED THAT MONEY HERE IN VIRGINIA AND ESPECIALLY HERE IN LYNCHBURG.))
[SUPER=01-Larry Holloway/Census Committee Chairman]
[OUT Q=here in Lynchburg.]
Census officials are hoping for a nationwide return rate of at least 75 percent.
64 percent of Lynchburg households have responded so far.
Census workers aren't the only ones sifting through thousands of census forms -- some monkeys are also handling the paper work.
A load of shredded census forms was delivered to the Mill Mountain Zoo today.
Zoo keepers decided to use all the paper to play a game of hide and seek with the snow monkeys -- by hiding tasty treats for the animals to find.
The Census Bureau gets rid of the forms once they've been entered into a computer system.
But the monkeys don't seem to mind all the extra paper work.
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports, Averett College begins work for its inaugural football season.
We'll check in on the opening day of action at the 35th annual Cosmo track meet.
Plus, we'll check in with the Roanoke Steam and chat with former Lord Botetourt standout Elton Toliver.
You may have heard something about college football coming to Danville.
Well, it's not just talk. Averett College will begin play as a Division Three member this coming September.
The college unveiled the team's new jersey and helmet along with the the color scheme.
The construction has already begun on the school's 3000 seat complex.
But today was a time for college officials to break ground.
The coaching staff includes Danville native and former Miami Dolphins' tight end, Ferrell Edmunds.
He will be an assistant under head coach Frank Fulton.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Frank Fulton/Averett Head Coach;:00]
[SUPER=01-Ferrell Edmunds/Averett Assistant Coach; :15]
[OUT Q=...GREAT FOR COACHES."]
The coaches and construction crews both have a lot of work to do. The first game is set for September the 9th.
The Roanoke Steam takes on Birmingham this coming Saturday in the team's third straight road game.
Roanoke has been practicing at the Roanoke Civic Center this week. Former Virginia standout Elton Toliver is part of a defense rated sixth in the Arenafootball2 league. His previous arena football experience has helped out a great deal.
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[IN Q="I think]
[SUPER=01-Elton Toliver/Steam Linebacker; :00]
((ELTON TOLIVER/STEAM LINEBACKER:))
[OUT Q=...and the team"]
Roanoke fans won't get their first look at the Steam until May sixth. Offensively, the rules are very similar to regular football, but defensively, it's a whole new ball game.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="the net]
The 35-th Annual Cosmopolitan Invitational Track and Field meet officially kicked off at Patrick Henry High School this afternoon with the pole vault.
And Roy Stanley says the vault is one of the fastest growing events for girls in track.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-James Jones/Patrick Henry Head Coach; :16]
[SUPER=01-Ashlea Barrett/Patrick Henry Senior; :48]
[SUPER=01-Brett Matthews/Cave Spring Girls Head Coach; :58]
[OUT Q=....news 7 sports."]
((In recent years, The pole vault has determined the winner of the boys division at the Cosmopolitan.
This is the first year the girls have competed. And the pole vault has become a popular event for girls in the Roanoke Valley and across the state.))
((JAMES JONES/PATRICK HENRY HEAD COACH:))
((This year the lady's will not compete for points to help their overall team score.
Instead, the top three will receive medals and the winner of the event will set a meet record.
But the Lady's competing for the first time seemed more concerned with clearing the bar that winning medals.))
((ASHLEA BARRETT/PATRICK HENRY SENIOR:))
((BRETT MATTHEWS/CAVE SPRING GIRLS HEAD COACH:))
Plenty of big league action this afternoon.
The Braves beat the Dodgers 6-to-3.
The Whitesox pounded the O's 13-to-4.
Milwaukee clubbed St. Louis, while San Diego topped Pittsburgh 12-to-4.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY/WB-MLB;:00]
And in the other matinee, the Reds beat the Mets 2-to-1 as Ken Griffey Jr hit his 6th homer of the season
He blasted the shot in the 4th to lift the Reds to their 10th win of the year.