Tonight on News 7-- good news about the SOL's-- more students are passing more tests.
And job cuts at a Salem hot tub factory, the company says it's the result of a cooling economy.
Tonight on News 7 sports, it's time for week three of Friday Football Extra as Pulaski and Salem lead the parade of marquee games.
Plus, we know Michael Vick is playing this evening, but tonight in sports we'll meet his good friend and former high school teammate - ECU star Marcellus Harris.
We're looking for another chilly night tonight all over south-west Virginia... but this may be the last of it. We'll talk about our warming weather trend later on in the newscast.
A hot tub business is leaving Salem workers out in the cold.
Good evening, I'm Jean Jadhon.
Jacuzzi Whirlpool and Bath says luxury items are the first to go in a cooling economy... many of the company's workers are finding that out the hard way.
[Double Boxes=Jean and Jennifer/Newsroom]
Jennifer Miele is in our newsroom tonight with more on the announced job cuts.
Jean, Jacuzzi Whirlpool and Bath is set to halt production and furlough nearly 60 employees within the next 60 days.
But this "transition" isn't the first time the company's visions of success have gone down the drain.
J-W-B set it's sights on Salem in 1995 and promised to bring 300 new jobs to the area.
By December of that year, those plans were still on hold.
Nearly six years later, the company's Production and Distribution center began washing away.
In July, J-W-B laid off 80 people, and now they are scheduled to furlough 60 more.
The company says the production cutbacks are a result of a slowing economy.... but distribution at the plant will continue.
25 employees will remain at Jacuzzi Whirlpool and Bath. Some others will be offered transfer positions at a production plant in Georgia.
[Double Boxes=Jean and Jennifer/Newsroom]
Jean, the company says it will work with the Virginia Employment Commission to help its work force find new employment.
More merger-related troubles for Norfolk Southern-- now it faces a lawsuit.
The Wall Street Journal reports DuPont is suing Norfolk Southern seeking damages for "rail-service breakdowns" after the Conrail merger.
The suits says N-S has not provided timely, uninterrupted and reliable service.
DuPont says disruptions affected at least a dozen plants, forcing it to slow production and use more expensive means of transportation.
Norfolk Southern says it has been working with customers who have service-related complaints, but has not been able to resolve issues with DuPont.
N-S may also have trouble from one of its unions... The Brotherhood of Railway Signalmen is filing 170 liability claims against the railroad tomorrow.
The union's vice-president says the company violated the New York Doc agreement which says if two railroads merge, the new company is responsible for the welfare of former employees.
More than 200 signalmen have been furloughed in the past three months.
They union says N-S may claim the layoffs were not a result of the merger, but instead, a result of decreasing rail traffic.
Virginia schoolchildren statewide are now passing 13 of 28 Standards of Learning Tests.
That's up from only five two years ago.
Governor Jim Gilmore says the statewide scores show schools are on track for the scores to start counting for accreditation in 2006.
[IN Q=Algebra one]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: ALGEBRA ONE PASS RATES INCREASED BY 25 PERCENT... FROM A PASS RATE OF 40 PERCENT IN 1998 TO 65 PERCENT THIS YEAR.))
((KIRK SCHRODER/VIRGINIA BD. OF EDUCATION: WE CAN DO BETTER IN SOCIAL STUDIES. AND WE'RE WORKING ON SOCIAL STUDIES THIS SUMMER.))
[SUPER=01-Kirk Schroder/Virginia Board of Education; :15]
[OUT Q=this summer.]
The only score that didn't go up over last year was fifth grade English.
The lowest average score was a 39 in U-S History in high school.
An 80-year old Martinsville man faces possible jail time for neglecting his wife.
A judge convicted Paul Stolbun for depriving his wife of food, water and medication.
Witnesses testified they found the 75 year old woman dying and covered with bed sores, bruises and urine.
She died last November at the hospital.
Stolbun will be sentenced next month. He could face as many as five years in prison.
Authorities in Martinsville are still trying to identify a man found dead after a house fire.
The house in the 11-hundred block of Banner Street caught fire just after eight last night.
Firefighters tried to get inside to pull the man out, but the smoke and flames were too much for them.
The fire marshal doesn't know yet how the fire started.
The Pittsylvania County Sheriff has been diagnosed with Lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Sheriff Harold Plaster is in Intensive Care after doctors removed a lymph node a couple of days ago.
Friends and co-workers say they don't know how severe the cancer is but hope for a quick recovery.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=He's a personal]
((MAJOR GARY GOODSON/PITTSLYVANIA CO. SHERIFF DEPT.: HE'S A PERSONAL FRIEND NOT ONLY MY BOSS. I KNOW FOR HIM HE WANTS THE DEPARTMENT TO CONTINUE OPERATING AND WE WILL.))
[SUPER=01-Maj. Gary Goodson/Pittslyvania Co. Sheriff's Dept.]
[OUT Q=and we will.]
Plaster has been the Pittsylvania County Sheriff since 1992.
Next on News 7, we'll take an in-depth look at the education platforms of Chuck Robb and George Allen.
And later, Roanoke Valley firefighters are teaming up-- in the classroom and on the street.
Polls show what's going on in the classroom is the issue foremost in voters' minds this fall.
So it's the one we're starting with in a weekly series comparing George Allen and Chuck Robb on the issues.
Ellen Qualls takes a look at the education platforms and the records in the Senate race.
[IN Q=They've both]
[SUPER=201-Sen. Chuck Robb/(D) U. S. Senate Candidate; :18 ]
[SUPER=201-George Allen/(R) U. S. Senate Candidate; :27 ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7.]
(( They've both fought to teach the youngest students how to read.
They've both fought to keep a college education affordable.
As former governors, they'd both like to think education will be their lasting legacy in Virginia.
But their are clear differences.
[sot TAPE ONE 14:24:31]
((ROBB: IF WE TRULY VALUE OUR TEACHERS... REACH FOR THE STARS.))
[sot TAPE ONE 14:39:10 TAPE ONE ]
((ALLEN: THE MAIN THING...INTO THE CLASSROOM.))
Democrat Chuck Robb supports legislation to hire 100-thousand new teachers, build or modernize six-thousand new schools, and expand Head Start for at-risk pre-schoolers.
He staunchly opposes vouchers to pay for private school tuition.
Republican George Allen would up the ante, funding 160-thousand new teachers nationwide.
But he wouldn't pay for school construction -- instead making tax-exempt bonds available for public-private partnerships to build them locally.
He's criticized Head Start in the past for teaching "alternative lifestyles", and now supports refocusing it on teaching numbers, the alphabet, and phonics.
He has supported vouchers for private schools.
Allen's silver bullet may be his thousand dollar per child tax credit proposal -- to be used for computers, software, tutors, or reference books only.
It polls better with Democrats even than his fellow Republicans.
((ALLEN: IT EMPOWERS PARENT LIKE THE MEADOWS TO MAKE DECISIONS... THEY'RE THE ONES I THINK WE OUGHT TO TRUST.))
The Robb campaign points out you have spend a thousand or the maximum of two thousand per family to get it back at tax time -- not something every low income family can afford out front.
Robb's silver bullet is 56-thousand teachers strong: the Virginia Education Association endorsed him for his record and commitment early and with gusto.
((I'M A VIRGINIA TEACHER.... I WANT YOU TO KNOW THE FACTS.))
This new Chuck Robb ad, spotlighting the VEA's criticisms of Allen's record hit TVs the week kids went back to school.
The bottom line: George Allen's got a really mixed record on supporting education.
His 1995 budget as Governor had a net decrease in school funding of 74 million dollars -- but his final budget had a record two billion dollars in new school spending.
He was the only governor in America to refuse eight million dollars in Goals 2000 money for philosophical reasons.
His Standards of Learning and corollary SOL tests have been popular in theory, but have been a bumpy ride in reality.
Chuck Robb may find education a potent issue -- but George Allen may be perceived as kindest on parents' pocketbooks.
Ellen Qualls, News 7.))
Speaking of pocketbooks, tune in to NEWS 7 at SIX next Thursday for Robb and Allen compared on their fiscal and taxing policies.
It's the Senate race, by the issues.
High-Tech stocks recouped some of this week's losses.
[TAKE DOW, NASDAQ & BLOOMBERG PAGE ]
The DOW lost 52 points, but NASDAQ climbed 84.
The Bloomberg News 7 Index gained more than a point.
A southside city is getting more out of its new slogan, "Danville Can", than it bargained for.
If you click on Danville-Can dot-com you'll be directed to a gay porn site.
That's not what the city expected after creating the slogan months ago and placing bumper stickers and banners across town, and on almost every city government vehicle.
A man who says he is 23 and from Danville has registered the website and directed it to his gay porn site.
He tells us his name is Peter Boykin, and leaves no doubt why he did it.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's more of like]
((PETER BOYKIN/WEBSITE CREATOR:IT'S MORE LIKE A SHOCK VALUE I JUST WANTED PEOPLE TO REALIZE THAT DANVILLE SAYS THEY CAN BUT THEY COULDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO GET THEIR WEBSITE DONE FOR IT GETTING IT AND PLANNING AHEAD FOR IT.))
[SUPER=02-Peter Boykin/Website Creator]
[OUT Q=ahead for it.]
Boykin says he is willing to sell his site.
The city says it will not pay a dime for it. The city manager calls this website unfortunate that someone is using the slogan for personal benefits and it's not in the best interest of the city.
Charges filed against a Roanoke contractor have been dropped.
Phillip Bane was accused of misdemeanor building code violations, after inspectors found deficiencies in a home he built on Autumn Lane.
The alleged problems included a cracked foundation, interior wall damage, and vinyl siding that wasn't properly attached to the house.
Authorities were unable to locate a witness they had subpoenaed for the case... so this afternoon a judge agreed to drop the charges.
Four local governments have pooled two million dollars to improve firefighting.
Roanoke city, Roanoke County, Salem and Vinton opened a joint training facility today, featuring a gym, library and classrooms.
Firefighters say by studying together, they will not only save money but also cooperate more closely on the street.
(///// SOT /////)
((GARRY BRIESE/INTERNAT'L ASSOC. OF FIRE CHIEFS: CLEARLY ROANOKE COUNTY IS PART OF A NATIONWIDE TREND IN REGIONAL SERVICES AND REGIONAL APPROACHES TO HANDLING EMERGENCIES.))
[SUPER=01-Garry Briese/International Assoc. of Fire Chiefs;]
[OUT Q=handling emergencies]
Local mayors say this could pave the way for more team projects in public service.
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports, Tech and East Carolina are ready to rock Greenville tonight.
We'll visit with best buds Mike Vick and ECU's Marcellus Harris.
Plus, it's time to check on the schedule for week three of Friday Football Extra - a week that is loaded with traditional rivalries including Pulaski at Salem.
Virginia Tech and East Carolina might be in the midst of building a solid rivalry, but tonight, two friends will meet on the Pirates field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium when Michael Vick and East Carolina receiver Marcellus Harris square off.
[SUPER=03-Newport News; :00]
Both Vick and Harris played together at Ferguson high school, which became Warwick during their careers there. Both were coached by Tommy Reamon who switched Harris from quarterback to receiver so he could move Vick to quarterback.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="I look]
[SUPER=01-Marcellus Harris/East Carolina Senior Receiver; :00]
((MARCELLUS HARRIS/EAST CAROLINA SENIOR RECEIVER:))
[OUT Q=.....next level"]
Harris has blossomed as a receiver for the Pirates. He led ECU in yards per reception last season, hauling in 24 catches for 375 yards while starting seven of 11 contests. Despite the fact each team will be trying to beat the other tonight, the two are close friends.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="I talked]
((MICHAEL VICK/4TD'S, 288 YARDS VS. AKRON:))
[SUPER=01-Michael Vick/4 TD's, 288 Yards vs. Akron; :00]
[OUT Q=...talk junk to each other"]
So far the 2000 season of Friday Football Extra has been defined by one word - RAIN.
But tomorrow night in Salem they plan to replace the "R" with a "P" as both Pulaski County and Salem are certain to feel the "Pain".
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="Pain is just one of...]
[SUPER=01-Willis White/Salem Head Coach; :17]
[SUPER=03-Salem/1987 Cougars vs. Spartans; :26]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/Last Friday - Cougars in White; :42]
[SUPER=01-Joel Hicks/Pulaski Co. Head Coach; 1:09]
[OUT Q=...LOGO COMES FULL."]
((Over the years there this showdown has produced more than it's share of controversial calls, big plays and high pressure moments. This year promises to be no different.
Salem's strategy is the same, but doing that against Pulaski's best team in the last three years may not be so easy.))
((FFE GAME SCHEDULE:))
Kurt Busch won the pole for tonight's Kroger 200 Craftsman truck series race at Richmond during qualifying this afternoon. Jimmy Hensley will start 23rd.
[SUPER=03-Concord, NC; :00]
Also, Sprint announced just moments ago that Kyle Petty will drive the number 45 Sprint Chevy, once piloted by his late son Adam, when the Cup series rolls into Martinsville on October 1st.
Next season Kyle will drive the Sprint Dodge full-time.
One of the Roanoke Express's top scorers from last season has been invited to the preseason training camp of the
Minnesota Moose of the International Hockey League.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Season; :00]
Elfring represented the Express in last year's all-star game and had a team high 40 assists last season.
Last season Elfring also earned a call-up to the IHL's Utah Grizzlies.
A 55 mile long pipeline proposed by Virginia Gas is causing a lot of controversy.
Residents living from Montgomery County to Roanoke City say they don't want the new pipe line running through their back yard.
[Double Boxes=Jean and Kate Microwave]
Kate Weidaw is in Roanoke County tonight where concerned residents are holding a meeting.
About three hundred residents are expected to come tonight.
It's a chance for folks to ask questions to the President of Virginia Gas, Senator John Edwards, and other officials in the area.
Roanoke County resident Brent Riley will be there.
He owns more than 100 acres and says the new pipeline would run through his property causing trees to be cut down, leaving his scenic view not so scenic.
And Riley's opinion seems to be how the majority of residents feel.
Tonight on News 7 at 11 we'll hear from the President of Virginia Gas and see if there are other options for this proposed pipeline.
[Double Boxes=Jean/Kate Microwave]
And we'll hear resident's thoughts and feelings about the proposal.