The Governor proposes spending millions more on education. A detailed look at Gilmore's budget proposal tops NEWS
7 at SIX.
And taking it to the bank. Learning the finer points of finance can start in Elementary School.
In sports, Steve Mason checks in this evening with Roundhouse Wrap up.
And Mario Lemieux may skate again in the National Hockey League.
Warmer weather heads our way tomorrow... I'll have your forecast coming up...
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Six]
A safety net for students who fail an S-O-L test that might otherwise have kept them from graduating.
Guaranteed help with college tuition.
And the final installment on one of his two major campaign promises.
Governor Jim Gilmore today previewed the first highlights of his final state budget.
Ellen Qualls reports.
[IN Q=I'm a man]
[SUPER=01-JoLynne DeMary/State Schools Superintendent; ]
[SUPER=@Ellen2; : ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: I'M A MAN OF MY WORD. I TRY TO BE A PUBLIC SERVANT THAT KEEPS HIS PROMISES. I'M GONNA KEEP MY PROMISES. SO TODAY I HAVE SOME ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR YOU WITH RESPECT TO EDUCATION, WHICH IS THE KEY PROMISE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION.))
Some voters may remember 'no car tax' as the key promise Gilmore made in 1997.
Funding the phase-out from 47-point-5 to 70-percent is the number one budget challenge Gilmore faces in his new budget.
NO official word yet on how he'll do it.
But four thousand new teachers were his other main promise.
The Governor says the 100 he funds this year put him over the top.
Some Democrats say he has given money to localities to spend however they like, so four thousand new teachers will NOT actually be a Gilmore legacy.
Also in the new budget, money for emergency testing, for kids who just miss passing an S-O-L test to quickly retake it.
((JO LYNNE DEMARY/SUPERINTENDENT FOR PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: THAT WOULD BE FOR STUDENTS WHO NEED THE COURSE OR NEED THE TEST FOR VERIFIED CREDIT...STANDARD DIPLOMA.))
And money for college scholarships.
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: 5-POINT-8 MILLION DOLLARS IS THE FIRST INSTALLMENT... TO MEET EVERY STUDENT'S TRUE FINANCIAL NEED... NO FAMILY WILL HAVE TO SAY NO TO A COLLEGE EDUCATION BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD IT.))
It's only 17 million dollars in new spending.
But it comes at a time when the state may face a half BILLION dollar budget shortfall.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
Hundreds of workers at Bedford's Rubatex plant are wondering what the future holds for them, now that Rubatex's parent company has been pushed into bankruptcy.
Roanoke- based R-B-X Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday as it struggles to contain its long- term debt.
R-B-X officials say the company continues to perform "reasonably well", with the exception of its Bedford facility.
Workers there had staged a nine- month strike before returning to the job last June.
They still are working without a contract.
Rubatex is asking a bankruptcy judge in Delaware to let it continue paying salaries and benefits while it's financial problems are worked out.
Company officials say they expect the bankruptcy filing to have little or no impact on its current operations.
If you can't bring the trucks to the weigh station, bring the weigh station to the trucks.
That's what State Police and the D-M-V do across the state, wherever there are no permanent weigh stations.
Today they set up shop in two places .. one in Richmond, the other along U.S. 29 in Pittsylvania County.
While they run trucks over the scales, they also make sure the rigs meet state and federal regulations.
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[IN Q=And in those]
((RICK HOLCOMB/DMV COMMISSIONER: AND IN THOSE AREAS WHERE WE DON'T HAVE A PERMANENT WEIGH STATION, WE HAVE TO ROUTINELY COME OUT UNANNOUNCED AND CHECK.))
[SUPER=01-Rick Holcomb/DMV Commissioner]
[OUT Q=unannounced and check.]
The inspections include an infra-red scanner on the brakes, and a check on the tanks to make sure truckers are NOT using untaxed diesel fuel.
State police expect to cite one trucker they stopped for running on untaxed fuel .. and for operating a rig without the required commercial driver's license.
Roanoke City Police have arrested a man for last week's fires at the Coffee Pot.
42 year old Gary Ruddick of Roanoke is charged with two counts of arson.
The fires occurred on November 29-th and 30-th and caused only minor damage to the landmark night-spot.
Police would not comment on Ruddick's motive but said he was a frequent visitor to the Coffee Pot.
He's in the Roanoke City Jail without bond.
His hearing is set for January 11-th.
The lawyer for a well-known Blacksburg attorney tried today to get the prosecutor disqualified from the case for being too sympathetic.
52-year-old Joseph Painter is charged with setting a series of fires to stop a subdivision being built behind his home.
He was indicted on charges of arson and manufacturing explosives in April.
The judge denied the defense motion asking for special prosecutor Keith Blankenship to be disqualified.
Painter's attorney argued that Blankenship, a fellow Republican, might come down hard on Painter to avoid the appearance of favoritism.
Painter's trial is set to begin February 22nd.
A former Montgomery County teacher's aide will serve a four year sentence plus five years' probation for her sexual relationship with a 14-year old student.
46-year-old Wanda C. Fraser of Christiansburg lost her job at Auburn Middle School in February.
She was convicted of felonies in Montgomery County and Radford for her relationship with the boy.
Students at a local elementary school are counting their pennies-- part of a lesson in real-life financial responsibility.
We'll show you what it's all about, next on News 7 at Six.
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[IN Q=Nat Horn]
[OUT Q=NAT Horn]
And an old gray lady arrives at her new home on the Norfolk waterfront.
Balancing a checkbook is probably the last thing on the minds of most ten year olds.
But students at a Roanoke elementary school are getting a taste of real life.
News 7's business reporter Jennifer Miele says everyone could learn a lesson at the Huff Lane "Micro Village."
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[IN Q=It's a typical day]
[SUPER=01-Nikki Fuhrey/Huff Lane Student;:20]
[SUPER=01-Patty Martin/Huff Lane Teacher;:43]
[SUPER=01-Chelsey Sumner/Huff Lane Student;1:00]
[OUT Q=JM News 7.]
(( It's a typical day at Huff Lane Elementary School. After students arrive, its off to work to make "micro money". Television anchors, police, mailmen, judges -- everybody works, everybody gets paid, and everybody takes money straight to the bank.
[IN Q=I work at the]
((NIKKI FUHREY: I WORK AT THE MICRO BANK IN HERE. PEOPLE HAVE TO BRING ME THESE DEPOSIT SLIPS. AND THEY HAVE REAL MONEY ON THEM, AND THE DATE AND THE NAME.))
[OUT Q=and the name.]
Huff Lane calls itself a "Micro Village." It's a mini economy, with mini citizens. Chelsey Sumner is just 10 years old.
[IN Q=It teaches us the]
((CHELSEY SUMNER: IT TEACHES US THE THINGS THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN IN LIFE WHEN WE GET OLDER. IT HELPS US WITH THAT.))
[OUT Q=us with that.]
A few weeks ago, First Union approached Huff Lane about a partnership. The result - 50 students have set up real savings accounts. They bring money to students tellers, and in return, they get a check book, an ATM card, and earn interest -- provided they keep a 25 cent minimum balance.
[IN Q=Kids can take the]
((PATTY MARTIN: KIDS CAN TAKE THE MONEY THAT THEY EARN AS A STUDENT AND SPEND IT IN A STORE. THAT IS REAL TO THEM. IT'S NOT JUST FAKE MONEY. THEY CAN USE IT HERE, SO THAT MAKES IT REAL.))
[OUT Q=make it real.]
This "Micro Village" works very much like the real world. Students apply for jobs, pay taxes on their earnings, and vote for a mayor.
But Huff Lane doesn't pretend to go on without problems. This morning, a bank teller came up 20 cents short.
[IN Q=When he compared his]
((PATTY MARTIN: WHEN HE COMPARED HIS DEPOSIT SLIPS TO THE ACTUAL CASH THAT HE HAD, IT WASN'T THE SAME AND HE KNEW HE HAD TO FIND THAT MONEY. IT WAS SOMEONE'S REAL 20 CENTS. AND YOU COULD SEE THE RELIEF WHEN HE FOUND THE 20 CENTS.))
[OUT Q=the 20 cents.]
Teachers and students agree, planning for the future doesn't get any more real that this.
[IN Q=I did all my]
((CHELSEY SUMNER: I DID ALL MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING FOR ELEVEN DOLLARS AT FAMILY DOLLAR, AND THAT'S GOOD.))
[OUT Q=that's good.]
Jennifer Miele, News 7.))
Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield is hoping to make the holiday a little brighter for the uninsured in Virginia.
The managed health care company is giving half- a- million dollars to Virginia's free clinics.
Thirty one clinics throughout the state will each get 10-thousand dollars.
Some clinics will also receive additional money to be used for things like dental care and prescription drug assistance.
Several clinics in our area will benefit -- including the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke, the Free Clinic of Danville, and the Bedford Christian Clinic.
Trigon has donated more than 5 million dollars to the state's free clinics since 1992.
Earnings worries again sent stocks lower today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW dropped 46 points, NASDAQ fell 44.
The City of Norfolk observed the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor today, as it welcomed an aging veteran to its waterfront.
Joe Dashiell has more on the arrival of the USS Wisconsin.
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[IN Q=The Iowa class]
[SUPER=01-Adm. Robert Natter/Atlantic Fleet Commander; :22]
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Warner/(R) Virginia; :48]
[OUT Q=JD News 7]
((The Iowa class battleship was launched on the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. 57 years later, the ship made its final voyage on the Elizabeth River.
Sailors lined the rails... and veterans of the Wisconsin manned the deck for the short trip from the Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth to its new birth beside Nauticus, the maritime center on the Norfolk waterfront.
[IN Q=Let Wisconsin represent]
((LET WISCONSIN REPRESENT NOT ONLY THE LEGACY OF AMERICA'S GREATEST GENERATION, BUT THE CONTINUING COMMITMENT TO THE STRONG BOND BETWEEN THE NAVY AND NORFOLK AND INDEED ALL AMERICANS.))
[OUT Q=all Americans.]
Among the Wisconsin veterans on hand was Virginia Senator John Warner who served on the battleship as a radioman at the end of World War II. As a marine in the Korean conflict, he saw its 16 inch guns blazing.
[IN Q=To this day]
((TO THIS DAY I CAN CLOSE MY EYES AND SEE THE FLASH OF THOSE TURRETS. WE COULDN'T HEAR THE THUNDER OF THE SHELLS, BUT WE COULD SEE THE PUFFS OF SMOKE.))
[OUT Q=puffs of smoke.]
Governor Jim Gilmore welcomed the Wisconsin to Norfolk with a promise of funding for the floating museum. The deck will be open for tours this weekend, and the ship will re-open to the public next spring.
Joe Dashiell News 7))
Thousands of men and women in the U.S. armed forces will be getting holiday greetings from Roanoke.
Advance Auto stores are collecting cards for American troops who won't be able to get home for Christmas or New Year's.
Hundreds of cards that have been dropped off so far at Advance stores arrived in Roanoke today.
Company employees and volunteers from an Army support group are sorting, addressing and packaging them for delivery to military chaplains.
More than 120-thousand cards have been sent out since the program started six years ago.
And coming up in sports, Oklahoma quarterback Josh Heupel is honored by the A-P Mario Lemieux has plan to play again in the N-H-L
And Tony Gwynn will play one more year in San Diego.
Apparently, owning the Pittsburgh Penguins is not enough for Mario Lemieux.
Lemieux wants back on the ice and is planning a comeback later this month or next according to a source close to the Hall of Famer.
The 35 year old Lemieux retired after the 1996-97 season and became the team's owner 2 years later.
Lemieux began skating about 2 weeks ago. The six time N-H-L scoring champ will reportedly resign his position as the teams governor, meaning he will not be able to vote on league issues.
The Express is preparing for three games in three nights that begins tomorrow night at Greensboro.
[GRAPHI=FULL SCREEN ROUND HOUSE WRAP UP!!!!!!!!!-----18050]
Steve Mason brings us up to date with Round House Wrap up from the Ice Station.
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[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Dave Gagnon/5-6 Record for Express; :26]
[SUPER=01-Perry Florio/Express Head Coach; :58]
[SUPER=01-Ben Schust/20 Points This Season; 1:15]
[SUPER=01-Calvin Elfring/5 Goals, 9 Assists This Season; 1:35]
[OUT Q=...round house wrap up"]
((BEN SCHUST/EXPRESS RIGHT WING:))
((The schedule is not the only thing the Express is unhappy about. In 14 home games this season the Express has been drawing 3 thousand 43 fans, down 13 hundred from last year and when asked what he wanted to find under the tree this Christmas, Perry Florio quickly responded.
((PERRY FLORIO/EXPRESS HEAD COACH:))
Express right wing Ben Schust tied for the team lead in goals last season with 27. This year, he's tied for the team lead in assists with 14.
Calvin Elfring joins two other players for the ECHL lead in power plays goals from a defenseman with five, in fact all of his goals this season have come on man up situations.
During the month of December, all tickets for Express fans 17 and under are just 5 bucks. Steve Mason Round House Wrap up.))
Oklahoma will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl January third and today their quarterback received a major award.
Josh Heupel is the winner of the Associated Press College Player of the year. The Oklahoma quarterback earned 30 of the 82 votes in the balloting.
Heupel guided the Sooners to a perfect 12 and 0 record and the shot at the National Championship.. He completed 280 of 433 passes for 33-hundred yards and 20 touchdowns.
Florida State's Chris Weinke was second with 17 votes.
The Major League Baseball bidding war for Tony Gwynn is over.
Gwynn will be back for a 20-th season with the San Diego Padres.
The 40 year old outfielder has agreed to a one year contract that could pay him up to 5 point 7 million dollars. Part of the payoff is based on the number of plate appearances.
Gwynn applied for free agency and today was the deadline for reaching an agreement with the Padres.
Gwynn, a 338 career hitter has had some knee problems that's limited his play.
A big weekend of college basketball on Your Hometown Station beginning Saturday.
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Seton Hall and Illinois tip it off to start the afternoon beginning at 2 oclock then at 4 Arizona will take on Connecticut.
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And football fans you're included in the mix beginning Sunday with the N-F-L today at noon followed by Pittsburgh and the New York giants at 1.
When the election process finally comes to an end, some may ask "what happens now?"
Tonight, nationally known political analyst Larry Sabato will answer that question when he addresses the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Kate/Microwave;]
Kate Weidaw is at the Hotel Roanoke tonight where the event is taking place.
[LIVE= Kate FULL/Microwave]
(possible live interview)
[SUPER=01-Larry Sabato/UVA Political Analyst;]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Kate/Microwave;]