The temperature's dropping-- that means gas bills are rising-- a lot!
That tops News 7 at Six tonight.
And the fight for Attorney General is getting more crowded-- a Southside delegate's now in the race.
In sports, Mike Stevens tells us about the Virginia Tech football team's interesting Gator Bowl travel plans, UVa wins big in men's hoops
and more news on the continuing search for a new head football coach at UVa that involves Boston College's Tom O'Brien.
Winter begins tomorrow morning at 8:37 but it will feel more like mid winter I'll tell you why coming up....
((I'LL JUST HAVE TO TAKE IT A MONTH AT A TIME AND GET HELP FROM MY PARENTS.))
[IN Q=I'LL JUST HAVE TO]
[OUT Q=FROM MY PARENTS]
The heat is on and a lot of Roanoke Gas customers are not sure how they are going to pay for it.
Good evening, I'm Jean Jadhon.
Tis the season for high gas bills. As the temperatures drop, customers can expect to see their gas bills rise...
[DOUBLE BOXES=JEan and Kelli /Microwave;]
Kelli Thompson is in Roanoke tonight with more.
Jean, we spent the morning with Roanoke gas officials and they say if the temperature continues to drop, then it's a sure sign that people will turn up their thermostats.
Couple that with higher gas prices, and many customers will see a big increase in their bills.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=When Karen]
[SUPER=01-Karen Chapman/Homeowner; :05]
[SUPER=01-John Williamson/Roanoke Gas President; ]
[OUT Q=any colder.]
(( When Karen Chapman received her gas bill she was surprised at how high it was.
((KAREN CHAPMAN:JUST FRUSTRATED, VERY FRUSTRATED. I WAS HOPING THIS YEAR WOULD BE A BETTER YEAR MONEYWISE FOR ME AND SEAMS LIKE SOMETHING HAS COME UP NOW TO KINDA PULL A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT I'VE MADE EXTRA AWAY. ))
Karen isn't alone.
Last December the average customer paid ninety six dollars for their gas bill. This year customers are using one third more gas and the average bill has gone up seventy five dollars.
[END PRE PRO]
55 thousand Roanoke gas customers will see an increase in their bills.
and The customer service center at Roanoke gas has to put out the flames.
One customer service rep received more than 150 complaints in one day.
((JOHN WILLIAMSON: NOW WE HAVE A SITUATION WHERE DEMAND IS GREATER OR AS GREAT AS SUPPLY AND PRICES ARE SPIKING UP IN RESPONSE TO THAT.))
Williamson says the company will work with customers and set up a paymet plan if needed.
But Chapman is asking for more than a payment plan, she's hoping from some help above...
(( KAREN CHAPMAN:I AM JUST PRAYING AND HOPING IT DOESN'T GET ANY COLDER, IF ITS POSSIBLE I HOPE IT DOESN'T GET ANY COLDER.))))
[LIVE=KELLI FULL/ Microwave]
Gas company officials suggest setting the thermostat back a few degrees and keeping windows and doors shut to keep drafts out. They say you can expect a 12 to 15 dollar difference in your bill if you do that.
[DOUBLE BOXES=JEan and Kelli/Microwave]
This week's winter weather is still causing problems for some schools...
[TAKE SCHOOLWATCH FS]
(adlib 4 schools)
[WIPE TO WEBPAGE FULL SCREEN]
You can also find an up-to-the minute list on our webpage at W-D-B-J-7- dot- com.
A state budget that's built on budget cuts to state agencies and 600 million dollars of borrowed money.
Governor Jim Gilmore told lawmakers today that even though revenues are still growing... the party's over for now.
But he says his car tax cut will survive.
Ellen Qualls reports.
[IN Q=We're not in]
[SUPER=01-Del. Vance Wilkins/(R) House Speaker; :]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7.]
(([sot tape TWO 10:24:35 ]
((GILMORE: WE'RE NOT IN GOOD TIMES. WE ARE IN A CHALLENGING MOMENT.))
The Governor's solutions are, one, three percent agency cuts next year.
Six percent in 2002.
[sot tape TWO 10:35:56]
((DEL. TOM JACKSON/D-HILLSVILLE: IF WE DO EVERYTHING NOW, IF WE TAKE ALL THE TOBACCO MONEY NOW, THE NEXT GOVERNOR IS GOING... Your candidate does. HAHAHA.))
Two, using tobacco settlement money to leverage 600 million dollars in borrowed money for new building projects-- including 15 million to build a new Natural History Museum in Martinsville.
[SOT THREE 11:26:47 ]
((DEL. VANCE WILKINS/R-HOUSE SPEAKER: PERSONALLY I DON'T LIKE BONDS... VERY GOOD.))
And three, NO more money to cut the sales tax on groceries any further.
[sot tape TWO 11:22:44]
((SEN. MADISON MARYE/D-SHAWSVILLE: I KIND OF RESENT IT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE WORKING CLASS PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA...OFF OF FOOD.))
[sot tape one 10:15:53]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: IT'S OFTEN SAID THAT REAL LEADERSHIP ONLY EMERGES DURING DIFFICULT TIMES. WELL THESE HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE MOST PROSPEROUS TIMES OF OUR HISTORY. AND I THINK THAT WE'VE BEEN LEADERS.))
He is keeping campaign promise number one.
NO car tax.
Again, the tobacco money in a lump sum gives an artificial revenue boost to make it happen.
[sot tape TWO 11:20:03]
((SEN. BO TRUMBO/R-FINCASTLE: THAT'S THE ONE THING THAT CONCERNS ME... WITHOUT THE TOBACCO MONEY, THE TRIGGER'S WEREN'T MET. I THINK THAT WAS SUBSTANTIATED TODAY.))
Gilmore blames Alan Greenspan and the Fed for his woes.
The General Assembly gets to work on his budget in January.
EQ, news 7, Richmond.))
Danville Democrat Whitt Clement is running for Attorney General.
Clement had ruled out a bid for lieutenant governor earlier this year... but sent out a fundraising letter for the attorney general bid late last week.
[SOT tape three 11:38:42]
[IN Q=It's not a stealth]
((DEL. WHITT CLEMENT/D-DANVILLE: IT'S NOT A STEALTH CAMPAIGN. BUT IT'S NOT A CAMPAIGN THAT HAS BEEN BORN. THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT THAT GOES INTO WAGING A STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN.))
[OUT Q=statewide campaign.]
Clement has served Danville for 13 years in the House of Delegates.
Roanoke state Senator John Edwards and Richmond Delegate Don McEachin are also running for the Democratic nomination for attorney general.
A Northside High School student could not argue with the babyfaced undercover cop who bought drugs from him.
Derek Chapman pled no contest to selling less than a half ounce of marijuana to Officer Katrina Moulton, twice, thinking she was a fellow student at Northside High.
She also caught him conspiring with a 15-year-old student to sell drugs.
Moulton went undercover last year to pull off Operation Babyface, which wound up with a dozen student arrests.
Derek Chapman faces up to 12 years in prison when he's sentenced in February.
A Lynchburg plane crash may have a nation-wide effect on air safety.
Find out why later in the newscast.
And a Henry County company is now a North American leader.
We'll explain when News 7 returns.
If you've ever wanted to start your own business, you might want to listen to this.
News 7 business reporter Jennifer Miele has the story of a local entrepreneur who, with the help of the local Chamber of Commerce, got her business cooking.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Ellen Harvey always wanted]
[SUPER=01-Ellen Harvey/Small Business Owner; :13]
[SUPER=01-Roy Baldwin/Chamber of Commerce; 1:00]
[OUT Q=JM News 7.]
(( Ellen Harvey always wanted her to open her own restaurant.
After three banks turned her down for a loan, she turned to the Small Business Development Center at the Chamber of Commerce for help on a business plan.
[IN Q=I came home, went]
((ELLEN HARVEY/SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: I CAME HOME, WENT OVER IT, DID A LITTLE FINE TUNING, HE REVIEWED IT AGAIN, AND SAID NOW WE NEED TO GET A YEAR OR TWO MORE OF FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS.))
[OUT Q=of financial projections.]
With the help of the Roanoke Regional Chamber, Ellen secured a 75 thousand dollar loan.
She'll open a made-to-order sandwich, salad, and wood-fired pizza shop at Towers Shopping Center on March first.
[IN Q=There's excitement as]
((ELLEN HARVEY/SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: THERE'S EXCITEMENT AS WELL AS SOME FEAR OF COURSE BECAUSE IT IS A NEW VENTURE, LEAVING THE SECURITY OF A FULL TIME JOB, WHICH I'VE BEEN DOING FOR QUITE A WHILE AND JUST GOING FOR IT.))
[OUT Q=going for it.]
Today, the Chamber partnered with the group TAAP - Total Action against poverty - to provide small business owners like Harvey with bigger loans at more competitive interest rates.
[IN Q=We'll sit down]
((ROY BALDWIN/CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: WE'LL SIT DOWN WITH THE BORROWER, SEE WHAT THEIR NEEDS ARE, IF THERE NEEDS ARE GREATER THAN $25,000 THAT'S ALLOWED BY THE PROGRAM. THEN WE'LL APPROACH A LOCAL LENDER TO ALLOW THEM TO MAKE A LOAN UP TO $50,000.))
[OUT Q=up to $50,000.]
((JENNIFER MIELE REPORTING: ANOTHER GOAL OF THE PARTNERSHIP IS TO JUMP START THE ECONOMY BY GENERATING INVESTMENT AND TAX REVENUE. IT'S ALSO TO MAKE SMALL BUSINESS DREAMS LIKE THIS ONE COME TRUE.))
[IN Q=You have to do]
((ELLEN HARVEY: YOU HAVE TO DO IT, YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT A TRY.))
[OUT Q=give it a try.]
Jennifer Miele, News 7. ))
A Henry County Company that supplies the big-three automakers has become the largest of its kind in North America.
Drake Extrusion makes the fiber for trunk lining in automobiles.
It's managed to drive competitors out of the business.
The company plans to hire seven new employees, and expand its facility in Martinsville.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=With the downturn in the]
((GEOFF SCHOFIELD: WITH THE DOWNTURN IN THE ECONOMY WITHOUT THIS ADDITION, WE WOULD HAVE HAD TO CURTAIL PRODUCTION. NOT ONLY DO WE GET TO CREATE ADDITIONAL JOBS, WE GET TO PRESERVE THE JOBS WE HAVE NOW.))
[SUPER=01-Geoff Schofield/Drake Extrusion]
[OUT Q=jobs we have now.]
Drake currently employees 210 people in Henry County.
New hires will make in excess of eleven dollars an hour.
Every new domestic vehicle produced in 2001 will contain a product from Drake Extrusion.
A ribbon cutting today for a new gift shop at Roanoke Regional Airport -- turned into a massive clean-up effort instead.
That's because the sprinkler system inside Hudson News and Gift Shop went off.
So crews, spent most of the day trying to clean-up the water and re-ordering supplies.
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[IN Q=Unfortunately in doing some]
((JACQUELINE SHUCK: UNFORTUNATELY IN DOING SOME LAST MINUTE WORK WE HAD A BREAK IN THE FIRE SPRINKLER LINE, WE HAD A FLOOD IN THE STORE AND WE'VE BEEN DOING MOP UP EFFORTS))
[OUT Q=up effort]
U-S Airways offices located below the shop were also affected.
Water seeped down onto computers and files.
No word yet on all the damage.
But airport officials say they hope to have the shop opened by Friday.
Stocks tumbled as sellers took over the markets today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW plunged 265 points.
NASDAQ dropped 179-- more than seven percent of its value.
The fire that ripped through a Roanoke home this morning caused some thirty thousand dollars in damage.
This home on Lyndhurst Street caught fire around 11 thirty.
The fire department gained control of the flames quickly.
A Mother and her two daughters were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Damage was contained to the living room.
Investigators say the cause was accidental.
A plane crash in Lynchburg last month could lead to a nation-wide warning about a possible equipment failure that could lead to other crashes.
This twin-engine King Air crashed shortly after take- off from the Lynchburg airport on November 24th.
The plane was being test- flown by a pilot and mechanic from Virginia Aviation...both escaped injury.
Company owner Stewart Hobbs said today the plane was equipped with a sensor that tells the engines to reverse thrust on landing.
Hobbs says it appears that sensor failed shortly after take- off and the propellers went into a "flat pitch", forcing the plane to drop from the sky.
Hobbs expects the F-A-A to issue an "airworthiness directive" instructing other plane owners to deactivate those sensors if they have them.
UVa shooting guard Keith Friel talks about his success in the Cavs 7 and OH start, Tom O'Brien is a candidate for George Welsh's job, but Boston College wants to keep him,
and Mike Stevens will explain how the Hokies are traveling by road to the Gator Bowl.
The Virginia Tech football players left campus this afternoon to spend a little time with their families before their Gator Bowl date with Clemson.
Mike Stevens has more on Tech's unique travel plans for the game.
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[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-John Ballein/VT Asst. Athletic Director; :26]
[SUPER=03-Jacksonville, FL/1994; :55]
[SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA/January; 1:11]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
((With a blanket of snow covering the Tech campus, Virginia Tech closed out it pre bowl Blacksburg workouts inside.
The players will now break for Christmas and then make their way to Jacksonville. The team is expected to arrive in Florida on December 26th - but this time they aren't traveling as one big group.
((JOHN BALLEIN/VT. ASST. ATHLETIC DIRECTOR:))
Anything would be easier than what the Hokies went through last year when the players spent more time in New Orleans than the NFL's Super Bowl teams spent in Miami.
Our Tech 2000 coverage begins next week in that other place as we follow the Hokies Gator Bowl happenings from Jacksonville. Mike Stevens News 7 Sports.))
Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer announced today that tight end Derek Carter will not be joining the Hokies in Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl against Clemson due to a violation of team rules. The senior played in seven games during the 2000 season.
The Virginia football team is in Hawaii practicing for it's Christmas eve match up against Georgia.
Ohio State defensive coordinator John Tanuta is a candidate to replace George Welsh as UVa's next coach.
[SUPER=03-Columbus, OH; :00]
Tanuta was interviewed by Virginia athletic director Terry Holland yesterday in Columbus. In two of the past five years, the Buckeyes defense has been second in the country.
[SUPER=03-Chestnut Hill, MA;]
Sources told news 7 sports today that Boston College coach and former UVa offensive coordinator Tom O'Brien, who is also a possible candidate, has an offer on the table from Boston College to extend his contract.
[VO-NAT WIPE TO #ENG!!!!!!!!]
[SUPER=03-East Rutherford, NJ/Last Night; :00]
Last night the 14th ranked Virginia men's basketball team beat fourth ranked Tennessee 107-89 in the Jimmy V Classic. Despite getting hurt, UVa senior sharp shooter Keith Friel scored 16. He's averaging 11 points a game and is shooting well from three point land.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Keith Friel/UVa Shooting Guard; :00]
[OUT Q=....strength right now"]
The Express is holding strong in the Northeast Division's second spot with a 17 and 11 record. Roanoke is only six games from the season's midway point and the players like where the team is.
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[SUPER=01-Mike Peron/Express Center; :00]
[OUT Q=.....that fact"]