A city official in Lynchburg is stepping down.
He says the move's in response to a conflict of interest.
Plus, UVA fills an important position.
We'll let you know what's new with the football team.
Some early snow this morning in our higher elevations but the sun is on it's way. Stay tuned for our weekend forecast.
News 7 at noon is next.
Good afternoon, I'm Shannon Young.
The University of Virginia scores with a new head football coach.
Steve Mason is in Charlottesville this afternoon where Al Groh's press conference is still going on at this hour.
We'll meet Groh and hear about his plans for the team later in the newscast.[Reedy]
Convicted arsonist Davey Reedy is back in a Roanoke courtroom today trying to convince a judge he deserves a new trial.
Reedy was found guilty 13 years ago of setting fire to his own home, killing his two young children. Today's hearing is expected to last all day and into the evening.
Lynchburg's economic development director Lee Cobb says he has no choice but to submit his resignation today.
He's stepping down over an alleged conflict of interest.
The reason: Cobb says city council has ignored his warnings about councilman Stewart Hobbs' business relationship with the city.
Hobbs' company.. Virginia Aviation.. is the fixed base operator at the Lynchburg airport.
When he was awarded the contract in 1998, Hobbs was told he could not vote on anything that might appear to be a conflict of interest.
Lee Cobb says Virginia Aviation has not met the terms of the lease, but when he aired his concerns, city council did nothing.
Cobb told News7 last night quote-- "they don't believe me and they do believe Stewart Hobbs".
Hobbs says council investigated all these complaints but decided they were groundless.
We'll have more on this story for you later today on News7.
A 14-year-old boy has been charged as an adult in the capital murder of a Rocky Mount man.
Alexander Hudson of Albemarle County was arraigned yesterday for his alleged role in Saturday's murder and robbery of 61-year-old Ralph English.
Authorities say English was strangled in his bed and was robbed of about six-thousand-dollars in cash.
The victim's son, 22-year-old Charlie English and another suspect 18-year-old Christopher Dorman were arraigned on the same charges earlier this week.
Traffic accidents in Franklin and Bedford Counties have claimed two lives.
State Police say 84- year- old Carter Clewis (CLOO-iss) Bowling of Ferrum was killed in a single car accident Thursday afternoon on Route 40. Bowling was a passenger in a car that ran off the right side of the road and hit a tree.
An accident early this morning on Route 122 in Bedford County killed 25- year- old Watts Brooks Key of Bedford.
Investigators say his car ran off the left side of the road and struck an embankment about five miles south of Big Island.
Republican Jerry Kilgore is announcing today that he's seeking the Republican nomination for attorney general.
Meanwhile, another candidate threw his hat in the ring for state office yesterday.
A Newport News native kicked off his campaign for Lieutenant Governor.
Democrat Alan Diamonstein (DiamonSTEEN) has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for 30 years.
He says he won't have to rely on campaign promises -- instead he will rely on his record in office.
Diamonstein says he's not pleased with the way the Gilmore administration is handling the car tax reduction.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The car tax]
((ALAN DIAMONSTEIN: THE CAR TAX REPEAL IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, THE CITIZENS WANT IT, BUT WE'VE GOT TO DO IT IN A WAY WITHOUT TAKING THE TOBACCO TAX MONEY THAT SHOULD BE USED FOR HELP FOR THE FARMERS OR HEALTH ISSUES.))
[SUPER=01-Alan Diamonstein/(D) Candidate for Lt. Gov.]
[OUT Q=or health issues.]
Diamonstein kicked off his campaign in Newport News yesterday morning.
He visited Roanoke last night, then headed to Northern Virginia.
Diamonstein joins two other Democrats seeking the nomination -- (Gerald) Jerrauld Jones and Timothy Kaine.
New questions are being raised about ammunition used by U-S forces in the former Yugoslavia.
Nato allies say ammo made with uranium may be killing the troops.
Richard Roth has the details.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=04-BBC File; :33]
[SUPER=01-Ken Bacon/Pentagon Spokesman; :50]
[SUPER=01-Richard Roth/Reporting; 1:03]
[OUT Q=News, London]
((THE AMMUNITION'S BEEN AN IMPORTANT PART OF AMERICA'S ARSENAL: DEPLETED
URANIUM SHELLS, HEAVY AND DENSE, ARE EFFECTIVE PIERCING TANK ARMOR.
THOUSANDS WERE FIRED IN BOSNIA AND KOSOVO.
BUT SOME // EUROPEAN OFFICIALS WORRY THAT DEPLETED URANIUM'S USE IN THE
BALKANS MAY HAVE HURT NOT JUST NATO'S ENEMY, BUT NATO'S OWN TROOPS AS
ITALIAN, FRENCH AND OTHER OFFICIALS ARE ASKING IF LEUKEMIA THAT'S KILLED
OR SICKENED SOME OF THEIR VETERANS FROM THE WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA -- COULD
BE RELATED TO THE URANIUM SHELLS.
THEY'VE CALLED FOR A MORATORIUM ON FURTHER USE OF THE AMMUNITION - WHICH
THE PENTAGON SAYS HAS BEEN STUDIED SINCE ITS USE IN THE GULF WAR, WHEN
QUESTIONS WERE RAISED ABOUT // ITS POSSIBLE ROLE IN A RANGE OF ILLNESSES
SUFFERED BY AMERICAN G-I'S.
SOT KEN BACON / PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: as you know we have not been able to
find any connection between exposure to depleted uranium on the one hand
and the contellation of illnesses and symptoms included in gulf war
illness on the other.
BUT THERE'VE LONG BEEN WARNINGS DUST FROM URANIUM SHELLS CAN POSE
SPECIAL RISKS. NOW NATO'S BEING ASKED TO FIND OUT IF ITS OWN SOLDIERS
HAVE BEEN HURT. RICHARD ROTH CBS NEWS LONDON))
Nearly 60-million acres of national forest land will soon be off limits to logging and development.
President Clinton is expected to set aside nearly one-third of all forest land owned by the federal government for special protection.
The plan would broadly restrict commercial logging in 38-states, mostly in the West.
The restrictions are expected to go into effect immediately.
The move comes even as congressional Republicans are urging the incoming Bush administration to find ways to reverse the decision.
The cutbacks at E-Toys have hit Pittsylvania County.
The company laid off 37 workers at its warehouse in Blairs yesterday.
E-Toys is closing its European operations and trimming its work force due to poor sales.
In all, 700 of its one-thousand E-Toys and BabyCenter employees are being let go.
Nearly 400 of those are gone now; the rest will be out of work by the end of March, when the company may run out of operating cash.
Its warehouse operations in Pittsylvania County and Ontario California WILL stay open, but warehouses in Greensboro, North Carolina and Commerce, California will close in the next 30 to 60 days.
Southside residents are waiting to hear the future of Southern Virginia Mental Institute in Danville.
Nearly three hundred people turned out for a public forum yesterday.
The state's Commissioner of Mental Health told the crowd how the state wants to privatize mental health care.
But he would not say for sure whether the plan involves closing the facility.
(///// SOT /////)
[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 SERVICE STRUCTURE IS THERE.))
((JACK BROWN/OPPOSES CLOSING THE HOSPITAL: IT WOULD BE A HARDSHIP ON THE FAMILIES TO GO VISIT THEM AND THE PEOPLE HERE THAT'S TRYING TO GET WELL WOULD FIND THEMSELVES IN A STRANGE PLACE.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Kellogg/Commissioner of Mental Health; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jack Brown/Opposes Closing; :07]
[OUT Q=strange place.]
Commissioner Kellogg has made a recommendation to the governor.
But until Governor Gilmore decides whether to adopt the plan, Kellogg won't reveal the details of the recommendation.
Whatever plan Gilmore chooses, he must first get the approval of the General Assembly which convenes next week.
Blacksburg High School's Indian mascot could be retired in the face of public criticism.
The Indian has represented the high school for the last fifty years, but now the mascot is drawing fire from some local Native American groups.
((ERIC MILLER/UNIFIED COALITION FOR AMERICAN INDIAN CONCERNS: I ASSURE YOU THE MASCOT HAS TO CHANGE SOME HOW AND SOME WAY BECAUSE IT IS VERY OFFENSE.))
[SUPER=01-Eric Miller/Coal. For Amer. Indian Concerns; ]
But not all Native Americans are for the change. Zane Bigman is a native of the Navaho Reservation in Arizona and says the Indian symbol is positive.
((ZANE BIGMAN: KEEPING THE INDIAN MASCOT HERE AT THIS SCHOOL OPENS, LET ME REPEAT THAT, OPENS A DOOR FOR INDIAN EDUCATION...INSTEAD OF TAKING IT AWAY LET'S EDUCATE ABOUT THE FEATHER.))
[SUPER=01-Zane Bigman/Against Change; ]
The mascot change would come at a price of 99-thousand dollars which would pay to change uniforms and signs.
The next time a firetruck rolls up in your neighborhood it could be sporting a corporate sponsor.
The town of Stockertown, Pennsylvania wants to put the advertisements on the sides of its trucks.
The money would help pay for the growing expense of fire fighting.
(///// SOT AT :09////)
[IN Q=It's very expensive...]
[SUPER=01-Joe Catino/Fire Chief;]
((It's very expensive and we don't get paid. We're volunteers. But we
have to buy the same equipment a paid fire company does.))
[OUT Q=fire company does.]
The president of the Stockerton council says he thinks the partnership will be good for the community and that other fire houses across the country are watching the experiment to see how it turns out.
Florida's citrus growers are doing all they can to protect their crop from freezing temperatures.
[SUPER=03-DeSoto County, FL;]
Yesterday, workers took special precautions to defend the fruit from the
hard freeze expected last night.
They're also picking as much of the readied fruit as possible to prevent losses.
A freeze warning was issued for the area overnight.
Teh good news is temperatures are expected to warm up to near-normal levels by early next week.
Despite a weakening economy, the unemployment rate is holding steady.
Many analysts are surprised the numbers held at four percent.
They've been anxious to see the jobs data ever since the surprise rate cut called for by the Federal Reserve earlier this week.
Meantime, American businesses slowed their rate of hiring to the weakest
pace in four months in December.