A strike looms at the Celanese Plant in Narrows, as Celco says it's made it's third and final offer and union members are talking about heading for the picket line.
And the tobacco companies have their say on the subject of teen smoking. We'll see why a local pediatrician thinks that's like asking the Mafia to talk about law and order.
Tonight on News 7 sports, the high school state quarterfinals are on tap tonight for many teams from the area.
4000 Bedford County students get to skip school to check out the Avalanche.
And Salem would pass its end of the school year test with a 6-to-3 win over the Potomac Cannons at Salem Memorial.
The blackberry winter comes to an end by Thursday. Warmer weather then. Forecast details coming up.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
[SOT 9:34- :37]
[IN Q=It's the worst]
((IT'S THE WORST CONTRACT I'VE SEEN IN 28 YEARS. ))
[OUT Q=in 28 years.]
Workers at one of the New River Valley's largest employers leave the bargaining table... and may be headed for the picket line.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
Less than two weeks away from the end of a contract agreement between Celanese and its union, negotiations are deadlocked.
[Double Boxes=Keith/Marya Newsroom]
Marya Jones has more on this story from our New River newsroom.
Keith, Celanese has put what it calls its "Last, Best Offer" on the table.
But union leaders say it could be a lot better.
They're calling for all one-thousand union members to reject it in a vote next week.
(rollcue...a vote next week.)
[IN Q=Celanese union workers]
[SUPER=01-Nedra Atwood/Celanese Worker; :16]
[SUPER=03-Giles Co.; :22]
[SUPER=01-Sandie Setzer/Celanese Worker; :31 QUICK!]
[OUT Q=we've got left to us.]
(( Celanese union workers spent the day rallying outside the union hall, waving the signs of their discontent... and soliciting honks of support from passersby.
[NATSOUND: HONKING 4:35 - :37]
About two weeks away from the end of their present contract with Celco, workers are unhappy with the new one being offered.
[SOT 11:18 - :23]
((NEDRA ATWOOD: I'VE BEEN HERE FOR 34 YRS AND THE WORST I'VE EVER ENCOUNTERED.))
Nedra Atwood and her coworkers say they're not complaining about money ... but staffing levels at the plant that they say can't keep up with production.
It's resulted in frequent mandatory overtime shifts for workers.
[SOT 8:16 - :20]
((SANDY SETZER/WORKER: YOU HAVE NO CHOICE. YOU'RE TOLD EITHER YOU WORK OR GO OUT THE GATE.))
[SOT 13:00 - :17]
((NEDRA ATWOOD/WORKER: PEOPLE CAN NOT WORK THREE OR FOUR SHIFTS A WEEK, 16 HOURS, AND NOT HAVE IT WORK ON THEIR SAFETY FACTORS AT THEIR JOBS, WHICH WE'VE ALREADY SEEN WITH OUR SAFETY RECORD. WE'VE HAD MORE INJURIES THIS YEAR THAN THE WHOLE TOTAL OF LAST YEAR. ))
Celco officials say they've made their third and final offer ... one that's competitive with contracts at other area plants.
They call it a significant improvement over previous contracts.
But union workers out rallying say without more improvements, they may be forced to abandon the bargaining table for the picket line.
[SOT 13:34 - :41]
(( I'M SORRY BUT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HIT 460...WE DON'T WANT TO, BUT THAT'S ALL THAT WE'VE GOT LEFT TO US.))
Union members will vote on the contract Thursday and Friday of next week.
The contract ends the following Monday.
[Double Boxes=keith/marya Newsroom]
Virginia and other tobacco growing states have a new problem: spending hundreds of millions of dollars to tell kids that smoking kills.
A state commission charged with that mission heard suggestions today.
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom.
What's Virginia's approach?
Keith, Virginia's elected to spend just ten percent of the Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies on keeping kids from smoking.
But ten percent of four BILLION is 400 million-- and that buys a lot of anti-smoking messages.
[IN Q=You're all]
[SUPER=01-Cheryl Wise/Anti-Smoking Advocate; :00]
[SUPER=01-Anne Donley/Virginia GASP; :24]
[SUPER=01-Corky Newton/Brown & Williamson Tobacco; :48]
[OUT Q=ineffective with kids.]
((CHERYL WISE/ANTI-SMOKING ADVOCATE: YOU'RE ALL INTELLIGENT PEOPLE. I DON'T HAVE A COLLEGE EDUCATION. I HAVE A LOT OF COMMON SENSE THOUGH. IT KILLS PEOPLE. AND YOU KNOW THAT. EVERY ONE OF US KNOWS IT.))
Cheryl Wise told an 18 member panel of doctors, lawmakers, and a college student about her husband's lung cancer and her daughter's asthma.
Public health advocates piled on, saying the commission was wrong to even hear from the tobacco companies.
((ANNE DONLEY/VIRGINIA GASP: ALL OF YOUR MONEY, AS MR. CARTER COMMENTED, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR MONEY WILL BE IN THE FUTURE, BECAUSE THIS SETTLEMENT IS ALL DEPENDENT ON HOW MANY PEOPLE THEY CAN ADDICT, HOW MANY PEOPLE THEY CAN KILL, AND THE FACT THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE AND CONTINUE AND CONTINUE TO DO IT. AND THE ONLY WAY THEY'RE GOING TO DO THAT IS BY HOOKING THE KIDS.))
But the one representative who showed up from a tobacco company says her company knows better than anyone what kids think of smoking.
((CORKY NEWTON/BROWN & WILLIAMSON TOBACCO: KIDS SMOKE BECAUSE OF PEER PRESSURE, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO LOOK OLDER, BECAUSE IT'S AGAINST THE RULES. THEY DON'T RELATE TO LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES. THAT'S WHY PROGRAMS THAT ADDRESS ONLY THE HEALTH ISSUES AND HEALTH CONSEQUENCES TEND TO BE VERY INEFFECTIVE WITH KIDS.))
Brown and Williamson says the most effective programs are about self-esteem.
So this is the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation's eighth meeting.
But it's the first time they've allocated any money: their first half million to help continue the A-B-C agent stings on stores.
The first murder case of the year in Danville went on trial today.
23-year old Ray Matthew Grant sat crying during most of the testimony.
So did many of the victim's family.
The most damaging evidence was a tape recording of Grant admitting he stabbed his girlfriend--
45-year old Mary Johnson also known as Dee-- this past January.
The Commonwealth's attorney showed a knife, pictures and a video tape of the crime scene.
Family members learned today how brutal Mary Johnson's death was.
[IN Q=How many cut wounds.]
((HOW MANY CUT WOUNDS DID SHE HAVE? DR. GREGORY WANGER: THERE WERE 75 STAB WOUNDS AND 12 CUT WOUNDS.))
((RONNIE HAMLET/VICTIM'S BROTHER: THE LIVING ROOM WAS TOTALED AND THE COACH. THE BED HAD BLOOD AND THE MIRROR.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Gregory Wanger/Medical Examiner;]
[SUPER=01-Ronnie Hamlet/Victim's Brother; :10]
[OUT Q=and the mirror.]
The trial will resume tomorrow with testimony from the defense.
The third man in a trio of arson suspects was finally identified today as a Roanoke jury began hearing evidence in the Church Avenue arson case.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/May 18, 1998]
It's been more than two years since the blaze that killed six people. It took more than a year for authorities to indict the first suspect.
Jay Clements pled guilty to arson last October.
He made a deal to testify against Brian E. Jackson in exchange for a 25-year sentence.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Brian said that]
((BRIAN SAID THAT HE WANTED THE HOUSE BURNED DOWN. WHO WAS HE TALKING TO. HE WAS TALKING TO T-BIRD.))
[SUPER=01-Michael "Jay" Clements/Arson Co-Defendant]
T-Bird- -we learned today for the first time- -was the man who bought the gasoline that was used to fuel the fire. His real name is Andrew Terry.
The defense will rely on the fact that Clements told numerous, conflicting stories to people like jail-house snitch Michael Fulcher.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Did you ever]
((DID YOU EVER TELL MISTER FULCHER THAT YOU STARTED THE FIRE WITH NEWSPAPERS... THAT YOU STARTED THE FIRE? I MAY HAVE TOLD HIM THAT I STARTED THE FIRE. WITH NEWSPAPERS? I'M NOT SURE. I MIGHT HAVE. AND THAT'S BECAUSE YOU'VE TOLD SO MANY DIFFERENT VERSIONS YOU DON'T REMEMBER? YES.))
[SUPER=02-Chris Kowalczuk/Clements' Attorney; :00]
[OUT Q=you don't remember.]
Authorities believe Clements and Jackson plotted to burn the rooming house at 502 Church Avenue, because Willie Caldwell lived there, and they were getting back at him for shooting Jackson's cousin, Keven Jones, earlier the same night.
Police are charging a Franklin County teenager with two felonies for leading a high speed chase that killed another boy.
Police say 18-year-old Josh Fralin had been drinking when he sped away from police this weekend, then veered off the road.
His 16-year-old passenger, A-J Perdue, died in the crash.
Deputies plan to arrest Fralin tonight on charges of manslaughter and failing to stop for police.
If convicted he could get up to 15 years in prison.
The Crystal Spring water source is closed until the city of Roanoke can build a filtration plant.
The Virginia Department of Health found E-coli bacteria in pretreated raw water samples.
City officials say it's the same water residents have been drinking for 100 years -- the new tests used now are just more accurate in detecting bacteria.
Assistant City Manager Kit Kiser says the disinfected drinking water passed all tests.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT tc 14:40:36]
[IN Q=As a result]
((KIT KISER/ASST. CITY MANAGER: AS A RESULT OF THE CHANGE IN THE PROCEDURE, BECAUSE OF THAT WE STARTED GETTING SOME NEGATIVE TESTS, THERE WAS AN APPEARANCE THAT THIS WATER SUPPLY CALLED CRYSTAL SPRINGS WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SURFACE WATER AND BY REGULATION WHEN THAT OCCURS WE ARE REQUIRED NOT ONLY TO DISINFECT, BUT TO PROVIDE FILTRATION.))
[SUPER=01-Kit Kiser/Asst. City Manager; ]
[OUT Q=provide filtration.]
The Crystal Spring water is currently treated with fluoride and chlorine.
The filtration system, scheduled to be built in the next 18 months, will also remove particles above a certain size.
Still ahead on the broadcast,
A company that claims to get you out of debt is scaming folks across the country.
And later in the newscast find out why the Roanoke police department is giving away free gun safety locks.
(///// SOT /////)
[Web Address Announce]
A flyer from the Debt Payment Club seen in your local grocery store promises to payoff your loans free of
But the Better Business Bureau has received 13 complaints about the Debt Payment Club. To join, you must pay a membership fee, purchase vitamins, and recruit three other people to join the club before your debts are paid.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q= There's]
((THERE'S EVEN INDICATIONS BASED ON WHAT THE REQUIREMENTS ARE, THE BIG PUSH IS RECRUITING OTHER PEOPLE AS OPPOSED TO GOODS AND SERVICES, THAT IT'S AN ILLEGAL PYRAMID SCHEME, IT IS ILLEGAL WHEN THE PRIMARY FOCUS IS RECRUITING OTHER PEOPLE.))
[SUPER=01-Julie Wheeler/Better Business Bureau;]
[OUT Q= recruiting other people.]
If you see flyers like these, you can call the Better Business Bureau for more information.
Should televangelist Pat Robertson's Regent University get a state-supported discount on bonds to build a satellite campus?
That's the question Virginia's Supreme Court pondered today.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State says the Virginia Beach university will save 30 million dollars by getting its loan through the Virginia College Building Authority .
Group director Barry Lynn is suing the state authority.
[IN Q=I think]
((BARRY LYNN/AMERICANS UNITED FOR THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: I THINK THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES MADE IT CLEAR THAT YOU CANNOT USE TAX DOLLARS, YOU CANNOT USE THE ASSISTANCE OF A MECHANISM OF THE STATE, TO PROVIDE FOR THE BUILDING OF PERVASIVELY RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS. AND EVERY CLASS AT REGENT UNIVERSITY IS ABOUT RELIGION.))
[SUPER=01-Barry Lynn/Americans United;]
[OUT Q=about religion.]
Regent University's own articles of incorporation say the school "shall exist for the purpose of bringing glory to God and His Son Jesus Christ..."
The state's college building authority was represented today in court by the same lawyer who represented Regent University.
[IN Q=We represented]
((BILL BROADDUS/STATE ATTORNEY: WE REPRESENTED REGENT WHEN IT FILED ITS APPLICATION FOR THE VCBA.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Broaddus/State Attorney;]
[OUT Q=the VCBA.]
Mr. Broaddus would NOT speak on camera about the case.
But he argued today for the Virginia College Building Authority that guaranteeing a favorable loan rate is NOT a use of state resources for religious purposes.
A down day on Wall Street as investors took some profits.
[TAKE DOW, NASDAQ & BLOOMBERG PAGE ]
The DOW lost 80 points while NASDAQ lost 65.
The Bloomberg News 7 Index lost about a quarter point.
Police say an average of 14 kids are killed everyday by guns.
Roanoke police and a national foundation hope to lower that number through "Project Homesafe".
Over the next nine days-- the police department will be giving away 15- hundred gun safety locks.
The devices are provided by the National Sports Shooting Foundation.
The group is the leading trade association for the firearms and shooting sports industry.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The shooting]
((PETE JACKSON/FOUNDATION MEMBER: THE SHOOTING SPORTS INDUSTRY IS OFFENDED AS WELL AS THE AVERAGE PERSON OUT THERE ABOUT THE UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENTS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THE HOME WITH FIREARMS AND WE'RE TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND WE THINK THIS IS A GOOD WAY TO DO IT.))
[SUPER=01-Pete Jackson/Foundation Member;]
[OUT Q=to do it.]
To receive a safety device-- you must sit through a short presentation on gun safety.
It's being offered ebtween seven and nine P-M at the Villa Heights Recreation Center.
Three other programs are also scheduled in the coming days.
Coming your way tonight on the Big 7, the Salem Avalanche continues to tear up the Carolina League.
Highlights from the team's sixth straight win, plus
we'll tell you why more than 4000 school kids got to take in today's game at Salem Memorial.
[TAPE#=SP-70 2437 TC]
The Salem Avalanche celebrated its 5th straight win last night by getting up early and getting back on the diamond for an eleven o'clock game this morning against Potomac.
The Avalanche had plenty of company as 4000 students from 15 Bedford County schools spent a day at the ballpark for the second annual Safe Surfin' Day at Salem Memorial.
The Avalanche once again joined forces with Bedford's sheriff department and it's nationally recognized Operation Blue Ridge Thunder.
The program fights child pornography and other cyberspace crimes on the internet.
These students just completed the program in the their classrooms and today they were rewarded with a free matinee.
The students also got to see the Bedford & Roanoke County K9 units in action.
And of course they also got to sample the bountiful ballpark concessions.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Mike Brown/Bedford Co. Sheriff; :00]
[OUT Q=...THE INTERNET."]
[wipe to eng#!!!!!!!!!!!!]
[wipe to eng#!!!!!!!!!]
[SUPER=03-Salem/Cannons vs. Avalanche; :00]
The kids would get to see the Avalanche explode for 5 runs in the first inning and win its 6th straight game.
With Salem already up 1-to-nothing, John Lindsey sends a shot to left field. Jay Jones and Juan Uribe will score on the hit. Lindsey gets two rbi's and Salem in is front 3-to-nothing.
Then later in the first, Choo Freeman will smack one up the middle.
Lindsey and Matt Holiday hurry home.
Salem gets all it needs in the first as it doubles up Potomac 6-to-3.
[TAPE#=SP-66 tc 38:26]
The win streak has Salem moving closer to division leader Myrtle Beach, this morning's victory puts the Avalanche 2 and a half games back.
Manager Alan Cockrell says no one player has been doing it all. He says this streak continues because of all around good play by the team.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We've been]
[SUPER=01-Alan Cockrell/Salem Avalanche Manager;]
[OUT Q=pitched ok]
Salem hosts Potmac tomorrow night at seven in the last game of this three game series.
Atlanta outfielder Brian Jordan calls relief pitcher John Rocker a cancer and for now, the cancer has been removed.
[SUPER=04-Major League Baseball; :00]
Rocker has been sent down to Atlanta's triple A Richmond Braves in hopes of addressing the pitcher's control problems. Sunday he was involved in a confrontation with a Sports Illustrated reporter.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="i lived]
[SUPER=01-Wes Helms/Richmond Infielder; :00]
((WES HELMS/RICHMOND INFIELDER:))
[OUT Q=.....big leagues"]
William Byrd opens the VHSL state baseball tournament tonight at seven o'clock against Patrick County in Vinton.
The Terriers won a state championship in 1997 . While this year's team is similar to that team in wins, these Terriers are getting the job done a bit differently.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This team]
[SUPER=01-Gene Riggs/William Byrd Baseball Coach; :00]
((GENE RIGGS/WILLIAM BYRD BASEBALL COACH:))
[OUT Q=....in tournament play"]
This is state quarterfinal night all over the state.
Coming up for you tonight on News 7 at 11, we will have the highlights from 7 contests, including William Byrd's softball trip and Alleghany's baseball trek to Bristol to play Virginia High.
The scores and highlights tonight at 11.
[VO-NAT wipe to #eng!!!!!!]
[SUPER=03-East Rutherford, NJ; :00]
One final note, former UVa star fullback Charles Way became a key leader for the New York Giants over the last five seasons and now he has announced his retirement due to chronic knee problems. The 27 year old was selected by New York in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL draft. In five seasons he scored 14 touchdowns and amassed over 14 hundred all purpose yards.
And finally, the demand for season tickets at Virginia Tech has been so great to date with more than 35 thousand requests - that the school is adding temporary seats for the upcoming season to accommodate fans.
The endzone seating on the scoreboard end of Lane Stadium is being removed and replaced by new bleacher seats that will double the size of what was already in place. Lane Stadium's capacity will slightly over 55 thousand for next season.
[SUPER=83-Down 1.56 feet/Down 0.34 foot]
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[SUPER=332-Clearing And/Cool/43-45/Mostly Sunny/Wind N-10/70-75]
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