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[TALENT=Jen]

Next on News 7 - Mother nature could spoil some Virginia Tech fans' Gator Bowl plans...
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[VO-NAT]

And this New Years Eve, local cab rides WON'T be on the house ..
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[VO-NAT]

A new man has been hired to fill Cavaliers' head coach George Welsh's shoes...
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[ANCHOR=Jennifer]

Good evening, I'm Jennifer Miele, in for Teresa Hamilton...

[Coach]


[ANCHOR=Jen]
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This afternoon, The University of Virginia confirmed that a new football coach has been hired to replace George Welsh. [2-SHOT TOSS/STEVE AND JEN]
Steve Mason has more on this story, Steve. [STEVE FULL/DESK]
[ANCHOR=steve]


New York Jets coach Al Groh will be the man to replace George Welsh and Groh returns to his alma mater after just one season as head coach of the Jets.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-New York, NY; :00]


Groh led the Jets to a promising start this season but the Jets fell towards the end of the season and finished 9 and 7 and did not make the playoffs.
Groh announced his resignation from the Jets six days ago. His son Mike was the cavaliers top quarterback in the mid 90's and led UVa to the win over Florida State.
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[2-SHOT STEVE AND JEN]
more on this breaking story tonight in sports and we will have a report from jacksonville as Mike Stevens gets the H

okies view on UVa hiring Al Groh.[Taxi-Rides]


[ANCHOR=Jen]
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If your plans for ringing in the New Year include alcohol, you may need a taxi to get home. Cab rides used to be free on New Years Eve in the Roanoke Valley - but that's not the case anymore.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jen & Kate /Microwave;]

Kate Weidaw is live in downtown Roanoke tonight with more.
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((ROLLCUE:...cabs were free on New Year's Eve))
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[IN Q=]
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[SUPER=01-Steve St. Jacques/Liberty Cab Co-Owner;:16]
[SUPER=01-Michelle Mowles/Taxi Driver;:51]
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(([NAT SOUND OF RECEPTIONIST ANSWERING THE PHONE]
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It's one of the busiest times of the year for Liberty Cab.

[SOT 2:21]
[INQ=]

((STEVE ST. JACQUES/CO-OWNER: THE PHONE RINGS EVERY 15 SECONDS IN THE BUSIEST TIME.))
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[NAT SOUND PHONE RINGING]
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[SOT 1:46]
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((STEVE ST. JACQUES: OUR DAY DRIVERS ARE WORKING AT NIGHT, OUR OFFICE PEOPLE ARE DRIVING CABS, WHATEVER WE CAN DO TO INCREASE THE FLEET.))
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While it costs a dollar sixty per mile to get to your destination, it used to be free on New Year's Eve.

[SOT :53]
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((STEVE ST. JACQUES: WELL WHEN THIS ONE PERSON RETIRED IT JUST KIND OF FOLDED SO THERE IS NO ONE TO ORGANIZE IT NOW.))


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The campaign was called 3-D, drunk and drug driving. Area businesses sponsored the program which gave riders a free lift. Even though the program is gone for now, taxi drivers like Michelle Mowles say it doesn't stop folks from calling for a ride.

[SOT 13:08]
[INQ=]

((MICHELLE MOWLES: IT'S NICE TO PROVIDE A SERVICE TO PEOPLE SO THEY CAN GO OUT AND PARTY SO THEY DON'T FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE TO JEOPARDIZE OTHER PEOPLE ON THE ROAD.))
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Yellow Cab also took part in a similar program sponsored by an area law firm, but that has since ended.

[SOT 3:39]
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((STEVE ST. JACQUES: WE WOULD LOVE TO BRING BACK THE FREE RIDE CAMPAIGN IT WAS A GOOD THING.))
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But for now you'll have to pay a fare to get home safely on New Years Eve.))
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[Tease#1]
[ANCHOR=Jen]
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Up next on News 7 - Senator Chuck Robb declines an offer by the Bush Administration...
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[VO-NAT]


And more lawsuits have come out of a deadly accident on Interstate 81 .. Details coming up after the break.
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[Accident-Lawsuit]


[ANCHOR=Jen]
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A deadly accident on interstate 81 last year has resulted in five trucking firms being sued in Roanoke.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Rockbridge Co./Jan. 3, 1999]

This 16 vehicle pileup in Rockbridge County last year killed four people. Three of the five lawsuits claim that five trucking companies are to blame for the injuries and deaths. Two passengers who were injured are suing for three million dollars each .. and the wife of a man who was killed is suing for five million dollars in damages. The new lawsuits are among at least ten that have been filed since the accident.
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[Robb-Appointment]


[ANCHOR=Jen]
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Outgoing Senator Chuck Robb has apparently said "no thanks" to a proposal by the Bush Administration.
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[VO-NAT @ 00-51 TC 8:14]
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The Democrat lost his Senate seat to George Allen last month. Robb says Vice-President-Elect Dick Cheney called to ask if he would consider holding an unspecified post in the Bush camp. Robb is ruling it out right now - and says it will be some time before he decides what he's going to do after he's replaced by Allen on January 2nd.
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[Sports tease]


[ANCHOR=steve]
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Miami and Indy start the NFL playoffs with a bang, Mike Stevens will have a report from Jacksonville
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[VO-NAT]


and we will tell you about Virginia's hiring of Jets coach Al Groh as the man to follow in the foot steps of George Welsh.
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[S-Groh]


[ANCHOR=steve]
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The final chapter in the University of Virginia football coaching search closed today
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when UVa confirmed that former New York Jets coach Al Groh will be the next head football coach at Virginia. Groh has reportedly signed a seven year deal worth five million dollars.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-New York, NY; :00]


Groh resigned as coach of the Jets six days ago after New York finished the season 9 and 7 and did not make the NFL playoffs. Groh will be going home in some ways. He played for the wahoos in 1965
and his son Mike starred as the Wahoos quarterback during the mid 90's and led Uva to the win over Florida State in 1995. Mike was on the Jets coaching staff and could take a place by his fathers side at UVa.
Groh said today on leaving the NFL for UVa..."this provides the type of long term security and stability not commonly found in the NFL nowadays.
He replaces George Welsh after 19 years as the Cavaliers coach. The big questions will be if groh will retain any of UVa' current assistant coaches.
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[S-Gator]


[ANCHOR=steve]
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Virginia naming Al Groh as the next head football coach at Virginia made waves down in Jacksonville as the Virginia Tech Hokies digested the news. Mike Stevens has reaction from the Tech football family.
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[Wx-Tape] 3-shot .. Toss to Leo
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Thanks for having us in for news tonight...Hope you'll join us tonight for News 7 at 11. Good night.

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