Trigon and Martinsville Memorial haven't given up hope of working out an arrangement. That's our top story on NEW
S 7 tonight
And a man serving two life terms for arson and murder re-visits the courtroom, hoping for another chance to prove he's innocent.
Tonight on News 7 sports, it's a big day for UVa football.
We'll take you to Charlottesville and hear from new head
coach Al Groh.
Steve Mason will have comments from him and reaction from several former Cavaliers.
The weekend forecast looks ok. Temperatures are close to normal for this time of year and we stay precipitation free until Sunday evening.
New developments in the on-going insurance battle between Trigon and Martinsville Memorial Hospital.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
[GRAPHIC=NEws 7 at Six]
It's back to the bargaining table for Trigon and Memorial Hospital of Martinsville.
The two side agreed to continue negotiations AND to extend their old contract.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Joy/Newsroom]
Health Check Reporter Joy Sutton has been following this story -- and joins with details.
For now 21-thousand Trigon members will not have to worry about traveling farther for healthcare or paying more to be treated at Memorial Hospital.
That's because the two sides have agreed to extend the old contract until February 28th.
The extension will also be retroactive.
That means all those that received care between January 1st and 5th at the hospital will have their claims paid at the in-network level.
Now both sides, say negotiations will continue -- and they are optimistic that a new contract can be reached by the time the temporary agreement runs out.
Both Trigon and Memorial at this point are not releasing any information about the negotiations from this point forward.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Joy/Newsroom]
A Roanoke judge began hearing evidence today of a crime that dates back to the Summer of 1987.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Roberta Bondurant/Reedy's Attorney; :00]
[SUPER=01-Geraldine Wheeler/Reedy's Mother]
[SUPER=01-David Stafford/Arson Expert]
[OUT Q=raw gasoline.]
[IN Q=It's my priviledge]
((IT'S MY PRIVILEGED TO INTRODUCE DAVEY JAMES REEDY.))
[OUT Q=Davey James Reedy.]
Though his lawyer opened with a formal presentation, this judge needs no introduction to Davey Reedy. Clifford Weckstein presided over Reedy's trial in 1988.
The jury found him guilty of arson and murder for setting the fire that killed his two young children.
Today, 13 years later, Reedy was back in the same courtroom with attorney Roberta Bondurant, arguing that he deserves a new trial.
While Reedy was found competent to stand trial before the trial began, Bondurant says his mental and emotional state deteriorated during the trial.
On the fifth day Reedy was rushed to a hospital Emergency Room complaining of chest pains.
In testimony today, Reedy's mother said her son had become suicidal.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Like he was caged]
((LIKE HE WAS CAGED UP. HE LEFT THE HOME AND COME TO MY HOME AND WENT UP TO HIS ROOM, EVERYDAY HE WOULD START DRINKING.))
[OUT Q=would start drinking.]
She said she found him passed out on the floor- -drunk- -one night during the trial in '88.
Bondurant says Reedy's trial lawyer and the court should have reviewed his mental status, that he was no longer competent to stand trial.
Traces of gasoline had been found on Reedy's shirt- -something Reedy attributed to having filled a lawn mower with gas earlier in the day.
An expert on accelerants says that could be.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Analysis of Mr.]
((ANALYSIS OF MR. REEDY'S CLOTHING WOULD NOT INDICATE THE PRESENCE OF RAW GASOLINE.))
[OUT Q=raw gasoline.]))
The hearing continues this evening with no decision expected tonight.
Judge Weckstein will likely produce a lengthy written ruling... as whoever loses is likely to appeal.
Authorities in Maryland have nabbed a man wanted on murder charges in Lynchburg.
19- year- old Rahmon Rashad Robey was arrested this morning in Baltimore on outstanding warrants for murder and use of a firearm.
Lynchburg police had been looking for Robey since November 7th, when he allegedly gunned down Leon Alphonzo Strange inside the Sunshine Market.
Robey is being held pending an extradition hearing.
Family, friends, and coworkers of 27 year old Charlene Ramsey remembered her this afternoon.
Ramsey died after being shot outside Hot Rods Car Care on Tuesday.
Today Our Lady of the Valley Retirement Center, where Ramsey worked as a licensed practical nurse, held the memorial service.
Co-workers said residents at the center considered her one of the best.
Ramsey's sister Charlotte says she hopes Earl Allen Hale, the man accused of the shooting, turns himself in.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I just wish]
((CHARLOTTE RAMSEY/CHARLENE'S SISTER: I JUST WISH HE WOULD TURN HIMSELF IN IF NOT FOR THE FAMILY THEN FOR HER DAUGHTER SHE'S THE ONE WHO IS GOING TO TAKE IT HARD IN THE LONG RUN.))
[SUPER=01-Charlotte Ramsey/Charlene's Sister]
[OUT Q=in the long run.]
[VO-NAT 00-47 47:52]
Rodney Eugene Basham was also shot on Tuesday, so far there is no word on his condition.
Ramsey's funeral will be held Tuesday.
A conflict of interest or a conflict of personality?
Either way, Lynchburg is losing its top business recruiter.. and its vice mayor is left defending his actions.
The issue in part is whether a city council member can also be a private contractor for the city.
The commonwealth's attorney has said he can.. but Lynchburg's economic development director Lee Cobb says it has made life so difficult for him, he's leaving.
Stewart Hobbs' company Virginia Aviation won the fixed base operator contract for the Lynchburg airport in 1999, a year after he was elected to city council.
The commonwealth's attorney reviewed the agreement and said Hobbs COULD wear both hats, as long as he avoided voting on issues that could affect his company.
Lee Cobb says Hobbs has not lived up to that agreement.
((LEE COBB/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR: THE GREATER ISSUE IS SIMPLY WE CANNOT TREAT VIRGINIA AVIATION LIKE WE TREAT OTHER VENDORS AT THE AIRPORT, SIMPLY BECAUSE WE NEVER KNOW IF MR. HOBBS IS REPRESENTING COUNCIL OR IS REPRESENTING VIRGINIA AVIATION.))
[SUPER=01-Lee Cobb/Economic Development Director;]
[OUT Q=Virginia Aviation.]
Cobb's allegations prompted an independent audit which notes Virginia Aviation did not collect landing fees for certain cargo carriers and has never supplied the city with a copy of its fees and charges.. both of these are required by the lease.
Hobbs disputes all this, and notes that council has investigated all the allegations and decided they had no foundation.
((STEWART HOBBS/LYNCHBURG COUNCIL MEMBER: I CAN TALK ABOUT AIRPORT ISSUES, I CAN DISCUSS AIRPORT ISSUES, I CAN PROVIDE THE EXPERTISE THAT I HAVE IF IT PERTAINS TO AN AIRPORT ISSUE, I CANNOT VOTE ON IT.))
[SUPER=01-Stewart Hobbs/Lynchburg Council Member; ]
[OUT Q=vote on it.]
Stewart Hobbs says the whole dispute stems from ongoing problems he had with former city manager Charles Church.
Cobb says since city council seems bent on protecting their colleague.. he's taking early retirement.. and should be gone by mid- March.
A new Roanoke-based airline made its first flight today.
Potomac air is a subsidiary of U.S. Airways.
Its operations and maintenance base in Roanoke employs more than a hundred people, most of them are from Roanoke.
Each plane carried about 50 passengers from Washington D.C. to Roanoke and then to Greensboro.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=THe airplanes that we]
((BOB BRAYTON/POTOMAC AIR: THE AIRPLANES THAT WE'VE CHOSEN TO START OUT WITH ARE THE ONES THAT WE FEEL ARE THE MOST EFFICIENT AND MOST COST EFFECTIVE FOR BOTH THE PUBLIC AND THE AIRLINE.))
[SUPER=01-Bob Brayton/Potomac Air]
[OUT Q=and the airline.]
Passengers can buy tickets for the new airline service at the airport.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Oh it was]
((OH IT WAS WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, THEY TREATED US LIKE ROYALTY, ROSES AND THE WHOLE BIT.))
[OUT Q=whole bit.]
The fare is about a hundred dollars.
Something stinks at the Virginia State Capitol, but it's not an ethics violation and it's not illegal.
We'll get to the bottom of it next on News 7 at Six.
And later turning public housing into homes-- find out how it's working in Southside.
[TAPE#=00-45 tc1:02:22 ]
There's something rotten in the State Capitol.
We paraphrase Hamlet because the third year of a smelly problem is more tragedy than comedy to the state workers who breathe it.
Ellen Qualls sniffed out the story.
[IN Q=They can squirt]
[SUPER=01-Nancy Worrell/Capitol Worker; :]
[SUPER=01-Nancy Kidder/Capitol Worker; :]
[SUPER=01-Donald Williams/Dept. of General Services; :]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
(([nat sot spray]
They can squirt all they want.
The air freshener doesn't really help.
It's still a double Advil afternoon for the women of the Legislative Automated Services department.
[sot 10:55:54 ]
((NANCY WORRELL/STATE CAPITOL WORKER: WELL THEY IMMEDIATELY OPEN THE DOOR AND THE FIRST COMMENT IS IT STINKS IN HERE.))
[sot 10:56:04 ]
((NANCY WORRELL/STATE CAPITOL WORKER: I'M THE FIRST PERSON THEY SEE WHEN THEY OPEN ... MAKE ME FEEL REAL GOOD. chuckle.))
The combination sewer-natural gas smell doesn't make Nancy Kidder feel real good either.
[sot 11:00:43 ]
((NANCY KIDDER/STATE CAPITOL WORKER: LAST WEDNESDAY I CAME IN AND IT HAD BEEN SHUT UP...HORRIFIC HEADACHE.))
Last year, the funk got so bad, they installed ceiling fans to move it around.
They light candles, hoping it will help.
They even arrange a little potpourri around their computers.
[sot STANDUP 11:43:38 ]
((NO ONE IS IMMUNE FROM THE FUMES...SEWAGE FUMES.))
[sot 12:03:15 ]
((DONALD WILLIAMS/DEPT. OF GENERAL SERVICES: WE KNOW THERE'S A PROBLEM...MASKING THE ODOR. BUT THAT REALLY DOESN'T SOLVE THE PROBLEM.))
[sot 11:00:11 ]
((NANCY KIDDER/STATE CAPITOL WORKER: ANYBODY THAT WALKS IN USUALLY WILL SAY IT SMELLS...WANNA HEAR THE STORY ABOUT THE STINKIN' ROOM?))
So until the centuries-old pipe that's the culprit can be located underneath one of Virginia's most historic treasures... maybe just a draft would help.
[sot 10:56:55 ]
((NANCY WORRELL/STATE CAPITOL WORKER: I CALLED YESTERDAY TO BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS.... BUT THEY'RE STUCK.))
The politicians return next week.
Grounds crews will be handing out the sprays and pouring peppermint oil in the vents.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
Police are on the lookout for two men who robbed a bank in South Boston this afternoon.
Police say the two walked in to the B-B-and-T office on Halifax Road armed with handguns, took some money, and left on foot.
No word on how much was taken.
Catalog Retailer Hanover Direct has announced a major reorganization... that will likely include some layoffs here in the Roanoke Valley.
In a news release, Hanover Direct said it is eliminating 285 jobs nationwide, more than ten percent of its workforce.
This afternoon, a company spokesman said the Roanoke fulfillment center could see a small number of layoffs, though the exact number isn't known at this time.
She said Hanover Direct is committed to maintaining its operations here.
Nearly Forty E-Toys employees in Pittsylvania county are out of a job tonight.
The internet toy retailer announced yesterday it was slashing its work force worldwide by more than two-thirds and closing its European operations.
That restructuring included laying off thirty seven workers at its Blairs facility.
EToys stock has lost more than 99 percent of its value in the past year.
The optimism that followed the Federal Reserve's interest rate cut earlier in the week from vanished from Wall Street today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW lost 250 points.
NASDAQ fell 159.
Some people who live in Danville's largest low income housing development are riding high.
Thanks to a new city and federal program, they've become homeowners.
As Justin McLeod found out the city hopes this will help revitalize one of Danville's poorest neighborhoods.
[IN Q= I like my kitchen. I like all the cabinets]
[SUPER=01-Alfredia Stamps/New Homeowner; :08 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Daryl Dalton/Danville's Housing Authority; :50]
[OUT Q=Justin McLeod, News 7, Danville]
((((NAT SOUND OF ALFREDIA STAMPS SHOWING US HER KITCHEN))
Its a dream come true for Alfredia Stamps.
She not only lives her in dream home, she owns it.
[SOT :00:37:09 TAPE 1]
[IN Q=Its exciting]
((ALFREDIA STAMPS/HOMEOWNER: ITS EXCITING. ITS WONDERFUL KNOWING THAT THE HOUSE YOU'RE IN IS YOURS.))
[OUT Q=is yours]
This is all made possible through a 20.6 million dollar federal grant.
The housing authority will use the money to help low income people like Alfredia become homeowners.
Two homes have already been built....a third is under construction.
[SOT :00:47:45 tape 2]
[IN Q=And this is just the beginning]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: AND THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING. THIS IS ALL PART OF A REVITALIZING PLAN HERE AT THE LIBERTY VIEW APARTMENTS. THE HOUSING AUTHORITY WANTS TO TEAR DOWN THESE BUILDINGS AND REPLACE THEM WITH HOUSES, ONES THEY HOPE MANY OF THE RESIDENTS HERE WILL END UP OWNING.))
[OUT Q=here will end up owning]
The housing authority hopes to have all 250 apartments at Liberty View demolished by next summer.
They will then construct 161 single family homes.
[SOT :00:40:00 TAPE 2]
[IN Q=And out of those 161]
((DARYL DALTON/HOUSING AUTHORITY: AND OUT OF THOSE 161 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES ABOUT 30 OF THOSE WILL BE ON THE ORIGINAL SITE BUT THE REMAINDER WILL GO IN THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.))
[OUT Q=the surrounding communities]
((NAT SOUND OF ALFREDIA TALKING))
Alfredia hopes to be a role model for that community.
She wants people to realize their dreams of owning a home can also become a reality.
[SOT :00:39:11 TAPE 1]
[IN Q=I believe anything]
((ALFREDIA STAMPS/HOMEOWNER: I BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT'S WORTH HAVING IS WORTH A LITTLE TROUBLE, IS WORTH A LITTLE EXTRA EFFORT.))
[OUT Q=a little extra effort]
Alfredia had to put up some of her own money to pay for the house.
She will also be making monthly mortgage payments.
It will be a struggle at times, but from where Alfredia Stamps stands now, the landscape looks much brighter.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Danville.))
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports, Steve Mason checks in from Charlottesville with the latest on new Cavaliers football boss Al Groh.
Plus, former UVa coach Rick Lantz lands another job.
And Frank Beamer wasn't the only Hokie Michael Vick met with in Newport News yesterday.
More on that in just a moment.
Virginia introduced it's new football coach this morning.
Al Groh officially replaced George Welsh in a 10:30 news conference. Steve Mason has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=04-1995 Season; :21]
[SUPER=01-Al Groh/UVa Head Football Coach; :34]
[SUPER=01-Walt Derey/1993-1996 UVa Tight End; 1:10]
[SUPER=01-Chris Slade/Ex-Cavalier & New Eng. Patriot; 1:43]
[SUPER=01-Mike Frederick/Ex-Cavalier & Cleveland Brown; 1:53]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
Ironically, Al Groh has the same agent as his new rival in the state, Frank Beamer uses.
Because of that relationship, the two men know a thing or two about the other.
[SUPER=04-1999 Season; :00]
After the end of last year's national championship run, the agent, Craig Kelly encouraged Shane Beamer to write Groh and see if he may have some type of administrative work for Shane with the Jets.
Groh wrote back saying he didn't have any openings at the time, but that he wanted to congratulate Shane and the Virginia Tech "HUSKIES" on their outstanding season.
From the Huskies to the Midshipmen. UVa defensive coordinator Rick Lantz, who spent 10 years at UVa, was hired today as the new defensive coordinator for Navy.
Lantz has 35 years coaching experience.
Tech officials who met with Michael Vick felt very good about their visit in Newport News yesterday.
The only problem is that after they left town Vick had another meeting with folks from the pro side of the game.
Quarterback Warren Moon, superstar agent Leigh Steinberg and
Redskins' defensive end Bruce Smith. Smith was the top pick in 1985 draft, but Bruce stayed at Tech, won the Outland trophy his senior season and then left.
Ironically, the only sophomore to enter the draft and then become the number one pick is another Redskins Dan Wilkinson, the defensive tackle from Ohio State.
Vick has until next Friday to make his intentions known.
By the way, Vick played with a $1 million dollar insurance policy this past season. If he comes back to school - sources tell us Vick can expect to have two new policies worth a total of $18 million that he could cash in should he be disabled by an injury.
Blacksburg head soccer coach Shelley Blumenthal is the Adidas South Region Coach of the year.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Group AA Championship; :]
This is the third consecutive year that Blumenthal has received the award and he is one of 8 finalists for National Coach of the year.
Blumenthal has guided the Indians to 5 Group Two A state championships in the past 9 years as head coach. He has a 163-11-and 11 career record.