Weather and crowds are causing travel delays in many parts of the country.
We'll take a look at the local situation at the top of News 7 at Six.
And George W. Bush makes it official-- Jim Gilmore will head the Republican Party.
In sports, Steve Mason has a report on the two coaches who will square off in the Oahu Bowl.
And Duke the top ranked team in college basketball was upset last night by Stanford.
Cold air brings our temperatures way down tonight but tomorrow we'll bounce right back up to about the freezing level. Stay here for your holiday forecast.
There's no place like home for the holidays... that is, of course, if you can get there.
Good evening, I'm Jean Jadhon.
With Just two days left before Christmas, families have been preparing to travel home to be with loved ones.
So far, it hasn't been too much of a headache, at least in our area.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jean and Kelli /Microwave;]
Kelli Thompson is at the Roanoke Regional Airport tonight and has more-
Jean, travelers have been in the Christmas spirit today and haven't let the flight or drive home get in the way of their festive feelings.
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[SUPER=01-Lucas Salvage/Traveler; :58]
[OUT Q=a later flight. DOUBLE OUT!!!!]
(( The Ironto rest stop off of Interstate 81 was full of cars from all over the US, pulling in to take a break this morning.
Some say the roads haven't been as horrific as most would expect this time year.
We caught up with one family from Florida traveling all the way to New York for Christmas.
((WE EXPECTED IT TO BE A LOT BUSIER THAN ITS BEEN. TODAY PICKED UP A LITTLE MORE THAN WHEN WE STARTED OUT YESTERDAY BUT IT'S BEEN GOOD.))
The weather hasn't been too frightful for holiday travelers today either, just cold and windy.
((IT'S BEEN ALRIGHT, THE WIND HAS KINDA BEEN BAD SO I HAVE BEEN BLOWING AROUND A LITTLE BIT BUT I DON'T THINK IT HAS BEEN A PROBLEM.))
((JUST COLD.I UNDERSTAND PHILLY HAS SOME SNOW SO I HOPE IT WON'T BE TOO BASD WHEN WE GET THERE.))
The Philly snow did cause concern for Lucas Salvage. He's been trying to get into Pennsylvania in time for his family 's Christmas celebration.
(( I GOT IN HERE THEY SAID THERE WAS LIGHT SNOW IN PHILLY. THER EGONNA BOOK ME ON A LATER FLIGHT AND THE CONNECTING FLIGHT I WILL MISS UNLESS I GET A LATER FLIGHT.))
We spoke to airport officials and state police a few minutes ago and they say ....
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kelli and Jean /Microwave;]
Heavy, acrid smoke is filling the skies over southwest Roanoke right now.
It's coming from a railroad trestle that caught fire, behind the Pizza Hut on Brandon Avenue.
The fire broke out around 5:30.
No word yet on how it might have started.
Jim Gilmore is officially George W. Bush's pick to head up the Republican National Committee.
The two met today in Austin to make the announcement.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=WELL I BRAGGED]
((WELL I BRAGGED ABOUT HIM ONCE, I BETTER STOP BEFORE IT GOES TO HIS HEAD. GOVERNOR, THANKS FOR TAKING ON THE ASSIGNMENT. YOU'LL DO A GREAT JOB.))
[OUT Q=DO A GREAT JOB]
Gilmore campaigned extensively for the President-elect. They both have ideas about increasing the diversity of the GOP.
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[IN Q=The President Elect]
[OUT Q=state of Texas]
Since the postion is not a full-time job, Gilmore can continue on as Governor of Virginia for his final year.
Still, aides admit this new responsibility will be taking up a big chunk of the Governor's time.
The Rockbridge County Commonwealth's Attorney has released more details on the manhunt two weeks ago that ended with the death of the suspect.
And Gordon Saunders says sheriffs deputies showed restraint in their handling of the situation.
[SUPER=03-Rockbridge Co./Dec. 8]
The manhunt began in the early morning hours of December eighth, after David Sensabaugh Junior escaped from custody by driving away in a deputy's patrol car.
He eluded authorities for several hours, but they eventually caught up with him on a farm outside Lexington.
Though deputies repeatedly told Sensabaugh to drop his weapon and lay down, authorities say he fired at them. A slug from a deputy's gun hit Sensabaugh in the hip, but authorities believe he shot himself in the head with a handgun he took from the patrol car.
A man is in jail, charged with the armed robbery of a Shawsville bank branch this morning.
Sheriff's deputies say they caught George E. Jones as he drove away from the First Virginia Bank shortly after 10.
Deputies say Jones robbed the teller of an "unspecified" amount of cash.
He's in Montgomery County jail tonight, held without bond.
A recall tonight from a company that produces ham slices for a store on the Roanoke City Market.
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Harper's Country Hams Incorporated is pulling its 14 and 28 ounce packages of country ham slices.
No one has become sick, but it may be contaminated with listeria bacteria.
It was produced on December 11th and distributed in Virginia, Kentucky and Tennesee.
The recalled ham slices have a production date code of 0-3-4-6 on the package.
Whole hams and all other packages are fine for consumption.
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It was sold under several labels including the brand for the Wertz's Country Store on Roanoke's city market.
Other brands include Hamtastic, Loveless and Harper's.
The manager of Wertz's Country store says the recalled ham slices have already been pulled from its shelves. She says anyone with the recalled ham may bring it back to the store for a refund.
A fight to save retirees' benefits could end up forcing CURRENT employees of BWX Technologies to lose THEIR benefits.
That's the concern of some BWX employees who are trying to fight the formation of a union among the plants 840- member workforce.
United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers says a majority of the workers have signed up in support of a union.
But opponents say that's a bad move.
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[IN Q=We don't think]
((JEFF JAMERSON/BWXT EMPLOYEE: WE DON'T THINK THAT THEY'RE BEING HONEST ABOUT WHAT WE COULD LOSE ACROSS THE BARGAINING TABLE. THEY GIVE STATISTICS OF WHAT OTHER UNIONS HAVE DONE FOR OTHER COMPANIES.. WE DON'T WORK FOR OTHER COMPANIES AND THEY'RE NOT THESE OTHER UNIONS. FROM WHAT WE UNDERSTAND, THEIR UNION POPULATION, SO TO SPEAK, HAS DECLINED DRASTICALLY.))
[SUPER=01-Jeff Jamerson/BWXT Employee]
[OUT Q=has declined drastically.]
The Union began its efforts after retirees complained their health insurance benefits were being cut.
A union spokesman could not be reached for comment.
A judge says construction can continue at Cherry Hill.
Details are next on NEws 7 at Six.
And later, check out a more than 50-year tradition of fruitcake-- that began as the answer to a prayer.
Developers may continue construction on a South Roanoke Condominium project despite opposition from residents.
That was a judge's ruling today
Some five hundred South Roanoke residents say phase two of the Cherry Hill Condominium project is too big.
They want developers Jim Body and Winter Hodges to tear down the top two floors.
But today a judge denied an injunction that would have forced developers to stop construction for 45 days.
The trial is expected in early March.
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[IN Q=We believe that]
((BILL TERRY/DEVELOPER'S ATTORNEY: WE BELIEVE THAT WE'VE DONE EVERYTHING THAT THE CITY HAS ASKED WE BEEN ABOVE BOARD, AND AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT WILL BE THE RESULT.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Terry/Developer's Attorney]
[OUT Q=be the result.]
Cherry Hill developer Jim Body is working on another project in South Roanoke just 200 yards away.
He's a partner in a new gourmet restaurant called the Meeting House on Crystal Spring Avenue.
The restaurant is set to open in January -- the condos in June.
Lewis Gale has sued two of its former doctors, saying they violated a contract with the clinic.
In a lawsuit filed in Salem Circuit Court, Lewis Gale alleges that Doctors Greg Reibel (REE-ble) and Preston Waldrop set up their own practice without paying their former employer to do so.
Lewis Gale required the 40 doctors who resigned earlier this year to pay a buyout fee in order to continue practicing medicine in the area.
Neither doctor could be reached for comment.
Store clerks are on the look out for counterfeit money after a bogus one-hundred dollar was used at a local Walgreens store.
Police say John Adam Hudson of Roaoke, paid for a pack of cigarettes with a one hundred dollar bill. After he left, the clerk determined the money was counterfeit.
The manager alerted workers at other Walgreens stores to be on the lookout for Hudson and it soon paid off.
Hudson was arrested at another Walgreens where he was again trying to pass another counterfeit bill.
Police say after his arrest, Hudson admitted to using the bogus bills at various other stores in the city.
The body of a missing man has been found in Nelson County, but authorities there have not determined when, or how the man died.
25 year old John Marshall Loving, Junior of Massies Mill was last seen on Saturday.
His body was found yesterday in a wooded area. Investigators are now awaiting a medical examiner's report.
The last day of trading before the holiday turned out to be very merry as bargain hunting sent stocks higher.
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The DOW gained 148 points.
NASDAQ climbed 177.
Fruitcake is a holiday tradition that some savor and others scorn...
But tonight, Joe Dashiell has the story of a Roanoke woman for whom fruitcake was an answer to a prayer.
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[IN Q=It's a few days before Christmas]
[SUPER=07-Cindy Brickey; :08]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :21]
[SUPER=01-Janet Griesenbeck/Amanda Bonham's Daughter; :50]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Roanoke]
((A few days before Christmas, Janet Griesenbeck and Cindy Brickey are in the kitchen baking fruitcakes.
[BRICKEY NAT SOUND]
[IN Q=And I chop all the nuts myself]
((AND I CHOP ALL THE NUTS MYSELF, AND I CHOP ALL MY DATES AND ALL THE FIGS MYSELF BY HAND AND MAKES IT KIND OF SPECIAL, GIVES A SPECIAL TOUCH TO IT.))
[OUT Q=special touch to it.]
These cakes ARE special, but there's much more to the recipe than a pan filled with fresh ingredients baked at 250 degrees for four hours.
In fact, this story goes back to 1947. Amanda Bonham, recently widowed with two young girls, wasn't sure how she would make ends meet at Christmas, and so her family says she prayed over her problem.
[STAND-UP LAST TAKE 21:35]
Heading home from work one day on a Roanoke City bus, Bonham discovered a piece of paper as she was taking her seat. It was a recipe for fruitcake.
[SOT JANET GRIESENBECK 19:04]
[IN Q=She really felt her prayers had been answered?]
((SHE REALLY FELT HER PRAYERS HAD BEEN ANSWERED? SHE DID. OF COURSE NOT THAT DAY, BUT AFTER SHE TOOK THAT HOME AND LOOKED AT IT AND IT CAME ACROSS TO HER. THIS MUST BE THE WAY THE LORD MEANT FOR ME TO MAKE SOME MONEY AT CHRISTMAS.))
[OUT Q=make some money at Christmas.]
Bonham never advertised but word spread in downtown Roanoke where she worked, and before long she was supplying cakes to the Hotel Roanoke, and baking 1500 pounds in a season.
[IN Q=I remember the clock going off]
((I REMEMBER THE CLOCK GOING OFF DURING THE NIGHT, BECAUSE MOTHER WOULD COME HOME MIX THIRTY POUNDS OF FRUITCAKE AT A TIME. PUT THEM IN THE OVEN AND SHE WOULD SET HER CLOCK EVERY TWO HOURS TO CHECK ON THEM.))
[OUT Q=to check them.]
Today, Griesenbeck doesn't have the time to bake fruitcakes in quantity.
But she's entrusted the recipe to her good friend Cindy Brickey, who's prepared about 30 this year.
Bonham stopped baking fruitcakes in the 60s. She passed away in 1979, but today her daughter and a close friend continue a holiday tradition that started with a prayer and an unexpected piece of paper.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke County))
And coming up in sports, Duke is upset in California last night U-V-A prepares for a game at home tomorrow.
And quarterback Warren Moon's 23 year N-F-L football career will come to an end this Sunday.
When the new college basketball polls are released, there could be a change at the top of the poll.
Last night in Oakland, 3-rd ranked Stanford knocked off top ranked Duke 84 to 83.
[SUPER=03-Oakland, CA/FOX SPORTS; :]
Three all time greats, Pete Newell, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson were in the house for the match up.
Duke's Jason williams takes it to the hoop with the spinning lay in down the lane and the Blue Devils led by 7.
But Stanford answers when Ryan Mendez throws the alley oop to Justin Davis who lays it in cutting the lead to three.
Duke led by 12 at the half but Mike Dunleavy's runner off the glass broke a 79 to 79 tie as Tiger Woods watched the second half action.
Stanford would take the lead with seconds left on the clock when Casey Jacobsen knocks it down off the glass.
Then Jason Williams gets the inbounds pass drives the length of the court but misses the shot and Stanford upsets Duke 84 to 83.
The Virginia Cavaliers have had a few days off since knocking off 4-th ranked Tennessee in the Jimmy V Classic earlier this week in New Jersey.
The Cavs are still feeling the win but they must come back to reality for this Saturday's game against the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
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[IN Q="Division one...]
[SUPER=01-Keith Freil/Virginia Forward; :00]
[OUT Q=.....going tonight."]
The Cavaliers are 7 and 0 tip off at University Hall tomorrow is 4 oclock.
[GRAPHIC=Jeep Oahu Bowl 6664]
While UVa's George Welsh and Georgia's Jim Donnan are leaving their schools after a Christmas Eve Oahu Bowl in Hawaii, their exits are very different. Steve Mason has more.
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[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-George Welsh/12th Bowl as UVa's Coach; :22]
[SUPER=03-Athens, GA/2000 Bulldogs Season; 1:14]
[SUPER=01-Jim Donnan/Fired Georgia Football Coach; 1:33]
[SUPER=03-Atlanta, GA/1998 Peach Bowl; 1:45]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
((In 19 seasons at Virginia George Welsh has been ranked number one in the country, won ACC championships and been named conference coach of the year. But perhaps his final game and it's location will mean most to him. Before stating his career at Penn State as an assistant, Welsh was stationed in the Navy in Hawaii.
7 wins was obviously not good enough for Georgia. Losing to Georgia Tech might have hurt Donnan as much as not being able reach the top of the SEC. If the Bulldogs win the Oahu Bowl, the seniors will be part of the only Georgia Team to win four straight post season appearances.
The Virginia Cavaliers are trying to avoid losing their fourth straight bowl game. Steve Mason News 7 sports.))
After passing for more than 70-thousand yards, Warren Moon is ending his 23 year N-F-L career.
Moon's career will end this Sunday without him even getting into tthe game.
The man known for his quick release and beautiful tight spirals will be the third string quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Moon is the most productive passer in league history with 435 touchdowns and more than 70-thousand yards.
While the candlelight vigils outside the Backstreet Cafe have faded away the victims of the shooting are still living with what happened.
[VO-NAT 00-54 16:22]
Many of the victims like Kathy Caldwell have high medical bills.
That's why a new organization that formed a web site called Roanoke 7 dot com is holding a fundraiser at the bar tonight.
We'll bring you a live report tonight on News 7 at 11.