Southside residents worry about plans to close the Southern Virginia Mental Institute. We'll hear their concerns.
And one city in our area that HAS rail service gets its train service ready for use.
In sports, Norv Turner has talked with the Arizona Cardinals about a coaching job Marshall Faulk receives another honor.
And the latest on Michael Vick who met with his coaches and family about his future.
School delays and a windy forecast. Details in the 5 day outlook just ahead.
[IN Q=If this plan is so good]
((WILT CLEMENT/DELEGATE: IF THIS PLAN IS SO GOOD THeN WHY IS IT SO SECRET. nat clapping))
[OUT Q= NAT SOUND OF CLAPPING]
Hundreds of people turn out to hear whether the state plans to close the Southern Virginia Mental Institute in Danville.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Six]
The state's Commissioner of Mental Health got an earful today from people who believe the institute should remain open.
The commissioner tried to ease those fears but he would not say with certainity whether the state plans to close the mental facility.
He did make one thing clear, the state is moving toward privatizing mental health care.
And as Justin McLeod found out many Southside residents believe that will do more harm than good.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=(Nat Sound of the crowd)]
[SUPER=01-Richard Kellogg/Commissioner of Mental Health;:12]
[OUT Q=Justin McLeod, News 7, Danville]
(( At issue is how to provide the best healthcare for the mentally ill.
The state believes the answer involves moving to community based services rather than publicy funded programs run by the state.
[SOT 2:14:27 TAPE 1]
[IN Q=There are very few]
((RICHARD KELLOGG/COMMISSIONER OF MENTAL HEALTH: THERE ARE VERY FEW INDIVIDUALS THAT CANNOT BE TREATED IN COMMUNITY SERVICES IF THE COMMUNITY STRUCTURE IS THERE.))
[OUT Q=structure is there.]
But the nearly three hundred people who turned out for this public forum believe the structure already in place is working.
[SOT :00:18:59 TAPE 2]
[IN Q=Why would we overturn]
((SPEAKER: WHY WOULD WE OVERTURN WHAT WE HAVE NOW AND JUST START OFF ON A NEW TRACK HAVING NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AS IT OPERATES IN SOUTHERN VIRGINIA.))
[OUT Q=Operates in southern virginia]
Commissioner Richard Kellogg has already made a recommendation to the Governor.
But Until Governor Gilmore decides whether to adopt the plan, Kellogg won't reveal the details of that recommendation.
Whatever plan the Governor chooses must must first get approval of the General Assembly which convenes next week.
[SOT :00:31:40 TAPE 2]
[IN Q=I cannot support anything]
((CHARLES HAWKINS/SENATOR: I CANNOT SUPPORT ANYTHING UNTIL I KNOW WHATS GOING IN THE OUT YEARS. I CAN'T STAND BY AND WATCH FAMILES IN DESPAIR.))
[OUT Q=families in despair]
Many of those families came out to protest and speak out against the closing of the hospital.
They want to know where will their loved ones go for treatment and whether those facilities can provide top notch care.
And that has hospital administrators, area politicians, and members of this community all hoping for the best but also preparing for the worst.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Danville.))
An attorney related to Tony Mancuso says the former Roanoke Express Hockey team manager is "outraged" by the allegations set out yesterday in a three-count indictment against him.
Tony's sister, Eva, is an attorney in Rhode Island.
By phone today she pointed out that Mancuso was not fired for stealing from the hockey team. He was merely let go at the end of the '98 - '99 season.
She says Tony Mancuso is a former police officer, now employed in what she characterized as a "high-level job," not in sports management.
Eva Mancuso also says the Expressed raised some of what she called these "ridiculous issues" during an unemployment hearing, but that Tony Mancuso was awarded unemployment benefits, nonetheless.
Mancuso was indicted yesterday by a Roanoke Grand Jury for allegedly embezzling funds from the Express.
His attorneys say media coverage has made a fair trial impossible in Pulaski County.
But that's where Jeffrey Allen Thomas is set to stand trial next month for the capital murder of Radford teen Tara Munsey.
Thomas' attorneys had asked for a change of venue.
Today, the judge said he'd try to seat an impartial jury before he'd consider moving the trial.
Thomas is charged with Munsey's murder during what's described as a rape or attempted rape last January.
Forensic lab reports filed in Circuit Court indicate that his sperm was found on her thigh.
More information today on the skeletal remains of two people discovered in Bland County last month.
Investigators say they were murdered ... but won't identify how.
Both were black men in their mid-to-late 20s... about 5-feet, 6-inches tall.
Two men searching for soda bottles found the remains on Walker Mountain.
The skeletons were wrapped in plastic and a blue blanket.
State police are still working to identify the men ...
They ask for anyone with information to contact them.
The U-S Senate may still be getting over Strom Thurmond's prolonged hug of Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday.
But it's NOT clear yet how touchy-feely the 50-50 Senate will be.
Virginia's two Republican Senators say power-sharing is NOT likely.
[IN Q=I think]
((SEN. GEORGE ALLEN: I THINK PEOPLE ARE MISSING THE WHOLE BALL...NEEDS 60 VOTES.... SIDE OF THE AISLE.))
[sot 39:28 ]
(( THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE DESPERATELY IN NEED OF BEING DONE.... MEDICAID SYSTEM.))
[OUT Q=Medicaid system.]
George Allen goes as far as to say that anything President Clinton has vetoed in the past should be immediately passed by Republicans in both chambers... because George Bush would sign those measures.
Newport News has a candidate for lieutenant governor and he made it official in Roanoke today.
Democrat Alan Diamonstein (DiamonSTEEN) spent 30 years in the House of Delegates.
He'll join two other Democrats seeking the nomination -- Jerrauld Jones and Timothy Kaine.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and JEnnifer /Microwave;]
Jennifer Miele caught up with Diamonstein at the Patrick Henry Hotel tonight.
((ROLLCUE:...get used to.))
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Alan Diamonstein/(D) Candidate for Lt. Gov.; :00]
[OUT Q=who's on the ticket.]
Diamonstein is headed to Richmond and Northern Virginia tomorrow to finalize the announcement.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Jennifer /Microwave;]
We'll have more from him tonight at 11.
Still ahead on News 7, the fight over unionizing Salem's Hancock Steel-- and what a federal judge has to say about it.
And renovations to Lynchburg's train station are right on track.
In fact, folks are already moving in.
With expanded passenger rail service on the horizon in Virginia, Lynchburg is doing its part to prepare for more train customers.
Steve Smallshaw updates us on the renovation of the city's historic train station.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Garland Harper/Amtrak; :37]
[SUPER=01-Bob White/Lynchburg Economic Development; 1:05]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(([natsot train 13:30:06]
Right now just two passenger trains rumble through Lynchburg each day... one headed north, the other south.
The city's Kemper Street train station is headed in a new direction as well.
Years of dust and decay are giving way to fresh paint and a new outlook.
[natsot walk up stairs 13:25:32]
Garland Harper has been working for Amtrak for 25 years.
Until Wednesday night, every day of that was spent behind this dilapidated ticket counter.. now Amtrak is the first to benefit from Kemper's facelift.
Passengers still share the waiting room with a few spare bricks and some scaffolding, but conditions are rapidly improving.
((GARLAND HARPER/AMTRAK: SO WHAT WE HAVE HERE TONIGHT IS OUR FIRST NIGHT IN OUR NEW WAITING ROOM ON THE LOWER LEVEL, TRACKSIDE.. PEOPLE WON'T HAVE TO WALK DOWN THE STAIRS TO GET TO THE TRAIN ANY LONGER.))
[OUT Q=any longer.]
It's a move Amtrak hopes will boost local ridership.
[natsot nail gun 13:35:51]
Lynchburg is sinking three and a half million dollars into turning the 85- year- old building into a modern intermodal transportation center.
By the end of the year, Greyhound will move its bus operations here.. the city's visitors center won't be far behind.
((BOB WHITE/LYNCHBURG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: THE TRANSPORTATION COMPONENT OF THIS PROJECT, THE VISITORS CENTER, ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT USES GIVE A BREADTH OF PEOPLE DIFFERENT REASONS TO COME HERE, AND BECAUSE OF THAT SYNERGY,WE HOPE TO RECLAIM THIS AREA AS A VITAL PART OF THIS CITY.))
[OUT Q=of this city.]
((ALL OVER BUT THE WAITING...))
And even that won't be much longer.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
A federal judge has declined to issue an injunction against a Salem firm accused of union bashing.
Hancock steel allegedly threatened to shut down the plant in Salem if employees voted in favor of union representation.
Interest in organized labor has waned at Hancock, since two pro- union employees were fired last June.
But Judge Jackson Kiser theorizes that could be as much a result of what Kiser calls "the Union's debacle at Rubatex" around the same time.
As you recall Rubatex workers in Bedford were back to work last June after a nine- month long strike- -without resolving their issues.
A fortune 500 company is pulling out of Roxboro, North Carolina.
But its sales in Virginia are holding strong.
Fleetwood Homes will close its Roxboro plant in March, leaving 186 people out of work.
Despite the layoffs, Fleetwood locations in Rocky Mount and Bedford report their sales are rallying.
The company is the top U-S maker of recreational vehicles and manufactured housing.
One store manager says yesterday's interest rate cut will push home sales higher than would normally be expected.
The company says the cutbacks will not affect Fleetwood Homes in Virginia.
Profit taking after yesterday's big gains sent Wall Street lower today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW lost 33 points.
NASDAQ fell 50.
The United Way of Roanoke has a new president.
Today was the first day on the job for Frank Rogan.
Rogan comes from Phoenix with 20-years of experience in non-profit management-
Rogan says volunteerism has been the right line of work for him.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I FOUND THAT]
((FRANK ROGAN/UNITED WAY PRESIDENT: FOUND THAT WHEN PEOPLE COME TO AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THIS AS A VOLUNTEER THEY BRING THEIR HEART AS WELL AS THEIR MINDS AND WHEN YOU GET THAT KIND OF COMBINATION YOU GET THE BEST THAT PEOPLE CAN GIVE SO WHEN I REALIZED YOU CAN WORK WITH PEOPOLE LIKE THIS AND DO GOOD IN THE COMMUNITY IT FELT LIKE A NATURAL FIT FOR ME. SO I'M REALLY HAPPY DOING IT))
[SUPER=01-Frank Rogan/United Way President;]
[OUT Q=HAPPY DOING IT]
Rogan not only led fundraising efforts for United Way in Phoenix, but he's done volunteer work in New York City and Puerto Rico.
And coming up in sports, The latest on Virginia Tech Michael Vick Salem's Nic Schmidt has committed to the Hokies.
And former Redskin head coach Norv Turner's name has come up again this time with the Arizona Cardinals.
Michael Vick has been holding the entire "Hokie Nation" hostage ever since he revisited the possibility that he might not return to school next year, and enter his name in the NFL draft.
Vick has until next Friday to declare himself eligible for the 2001 draft, and the Hokies have until then to convince him to stay in school.
[SUPER=03-Jacksonville, FL/Last Week; :00]
Earlier today head coach Frank Beamer met with Vick and his Mom in hopes of convincing them that another year of college football would be best for Vick's career in the long run.
Beamer also had some backup help today as Vick's position coach Rickey Bustle joined in the meeting, along with the man who recruited Vick out of Warwick high school, Tech assistant coach Jim Cavanaugh.
Tech's assistant athletic director for NCAA compliance, Tim Parker also was part of the group that met with Vick and his mom.
One of Friday Football Extra's top place kickers will play for the Virginia Tech Hokies in 2 years.
Salem head coach Willis White says that Nic Schmidtt has committed early to play for the Hokies.
Schmidt was 40 for 41 on Extra points and he hit 15 of 18 field goals with the longest a 48 yarder.
Schmidt is also a safety for the Spartans.
Schmidt had 51 tackles, 10 assists and he intercepted 4 passes. Schmidt has played football for only 3 years of his life.
New Redskins head coach Marty Schottenheimer began earning his 10 million dollar salary this afternoon when me met the press.
After coaching Cleveland and the Kansas City Chiefs Shottenheimer was a football analyst on E-S-P-N.
And he has his own way of running a team.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="This is...]
[SUPER=01-Marty Schottenheimer/Redskins Head Coach; :]
[OUT Q=.....badge of honor."]
Norv Turner's name has come up in connection with the Arizona Cardinals.
Turner just recently ruled out a job with the Pittsburgh Steelers but now he's reportedly talking with the Arizona Cardinals.
An Arizona newspaper says that Turner has chatted with Arizona head coach Dave McGinnis about the Offensive coordinator Job.
Turner tells the paper that he has an interest in the Arizona job but also says he would like to be a head coach.
St. Louis running back Marshall Faulk is the Associated Press N-F-L's offensive player of the year.
This is the second year in a row that he's won the award.
Faulk, selected the League's M-V-P, set an N-F-L record this season with 26 touchdowns. He led the N-F-C with 2-thousand 189 combined yards. He carried the ball for 13-hundred and 59 yards and caught the ball for an additional 830 on 81 receptions.
[TAPE#=sp-86 tc 27:46]
The Lady Hokies have had a baptism by fire in the Big East. They are oh and two in the conference and nine and four overall.
Virginia Tech lost its Big East opener at Rutgers 61-53.
Last night third ranked Notre Dame wore down the Hokies to pick up the 75-64 win.
But while the two losses may seem like setbacks, Virginia Tech's play and fans are impressing people.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Muffet McGraw/Notre Dame Head Coach; :02]
[Super=01-Tere Williams/Virginia Tech Forward; :18]
[OUT Q=ready for it]
The Lady Hokies face Big East rival Miami at the Cassell on Sunday. Tip off is four o'clock.[Promo]
Blacksburg High School is the last school in the area with a Native American mascot.
Tonight a community group will come together to explore other options for the Indian mascot.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Jean/Newsroom]
Jean Jadhon is in the newsroom with a preview.
In November, Blacksburg Middle School retired its Brave mascot and when Shawsville High School became East Montgomery the Shawnee mascot was changed to a Spartan.
[VO-NAT 99-45 24:20]
Right now Blacksburg High School athletic teams are known as the Indians and its caused a lot of controversy.
Native American groups have come before the school board several times to ask for a change.
Tonight the community will have a chance to voice its thoughts on retiring the Indian mascot.
[DOUBLE BOXES= Keith and Jean/Newsroom]
We'll bring you the story tonight on News 7 at 11.