Tonight on News 7-- The 2001 General Assembly opens in Richmond.
We'll have a live report.
And a month after fire destroyed it...
A Danville restaurant is open for business.
In sports, the preseason NASCAR Media Tour keeps rolling along and Mike Stevens will keep us up to pace.
And Frank Beamer responds to the news of his quarterback Michael Vick's early departure from Virginia Tech for the NFL.
The winds have died down and the temperatures will tumble again tonight. The warmer forecast comes up tomorrow. Details ahead.
[IN Q=He's just]
((LEE SUGGS/VA. TECH TAILBACK; HE'S JUST LOOKING OUT FOR HIS FAMILY I THINK.))
[OUT Q=I think.]
Michael Vick's coach and teammates react to the news that he'll likely enter the N-F-L draft.
Good evening, I'm Jean Jadhon.
Michael Vick's change of heart could mean a change in plans for the Virginia Tech football program's national championship hopes for next season. Vick seems poised to enter the NFL draft.
Steve Mason has been following this story and has the latest.
Jean, Michael Vick was not available for comment today and at this hour, Virginia tech has not made a formal announcement on his status.
But Vick will hold a news conference in Newport News tomorrow at 3 PM at the Boys and Girls Club where he should make known his intentions to enter the NFL draft. Vick has the support of Coach Frank Beamer.
Who spoke just a few hours ago about Vick's pending announcement from Atlanta where he is attending the coaches Convention.
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[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Va. Tech Head Football Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=....best for him"]
Coming up later in sports, we will have a statement from Tech receiever Andre Davis on his status for next season, remember, he is coming off ankle surgery after the Gator Bowl and was also rumored to be headed to the NFL. His statement in sports.
We will also hear from tech backfield teammates Jarrett Ferguson and Lee Suggs,
plus tell you of another prominent Hokie who is also being hounded by agents over the last several days.
Hokies around the area are mourning the prospect of losing Vick, while cheering him in his bid to go pro.
Marya Jones talked to some die-hard fans with some mixed emotions on the eve of Vick's big announcement.
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[IN Q=Michael Vick]
[SUPER=01-Bill Ellenbogen/Former VT Football Player; :09]
[SUPER=01-Drew Smith/Tech Sophomore; :58]
[OUT Q=MJN7, Blacksburg.]
(( Michael Vick may not be getting his degree, but fans say he's already learned all he needs to know about football economics.
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[SOT 1:08:25 - :36]
((BILL ELLENBOGEN/FORMER TECH FOOTBALL PLAYER: I THINK MICHAEL VICK HAS A DIFFICULT CHOICE COMING OUT EARLY, BUT IF YOU HAD A CHOICE BETWEEN PLAYING FOOTBALL NEXT YEAR FOR 12-THOUSAND DOLLARS OR 12-MILLION DOLLARS, THAT MAKES THE CHOICE A LOT EASIER. ))
Fan and Blacksburg business owner Bill Ellenbogen should know.
He spent several years playing professional football with teams like the New York Giants after a college career at Tech.
He views Vick's departure for the NFL draft ... with it's promise of a potential 55-million dollar contract ... as an inevitability.
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[SOT 1:12:36 - :45]
((BILL ELLENBOGEN: TRULY AS A FAN, I HOPE HE STAYS. BUT AS SOMEONE WHO CAN APPRECIATE THE TEMPTATION OF 15-MILLION DOLLARS, THAT WOULD BE HARD TO TURN DOWN. ))
Sophomore basketball player Drew Smith says you can't blame Vick for being a smart businessman... and going pro before injury stops him.
He says Tech football will survive admirably ... with or without Vick.
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[SOT 1:05:49 - :57]
((DREW SMITH: I'M SURE PEOPLE ARE WORRIED ABOUT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. BUT BEAMER'S A GOOD COACH AND I'M SURE HE'LL GET SOMEBODY IN HIS SHOES. ))
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:10:27 - :41]
((BILL ELLENBOGEN: I DON'T FEEL A BIT BETRAYED. HE'S GIVEN US TWO GREAT YEARS. WE'VE BEEN 11 AND 1 TWO YEARS IN A ROW AND, CERTAINLY, YOU WISH THE BEST FOR THE YOUNG MAN TO GO ON AND HAVE A GREAT CAREER. I'LL ENJOY WATCHING HIM IN THE PROS AND SAYING, "HE WAS AT VIRGINIA TECH!" ))
Hokie fans say they're proud Vick got his start here and for that reason, they'll follow his career with pride and anticipation wherever he lands.
Marya Jones, News-7, Blacksburg.))
When Michael Vick announces his plans tomorrow, you can watch it live here on W-D-B-J 7.
[TAKE GFX PAGE]
We will carry his announcement live from Newport News. It is scheduled for three o'clock.
The 2001 General Assembly is six hours into day one of its 46 day session.
Already, old wounds have opened and nerves are frayed.
[Double Boxes=Ellen and JEan/Starlink]
Ellen Qualls is at the State Capitol.
Jean, the era of double digit revenue growth is over, or at least on hold in Virginia.
So with cuts to state agencies, NO state raises for teachers, and borrowed money in the budget, Governor Jim Gilmore addresses a nervous General Assembly tonight.
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[IN Q=The first]
[SUPER=01-Del. Jay Katzen/(R) Fauquier Co.; :11]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Dick Saslaw/(D) Springfield; :25]
[SUPER=01-Del. George Grayson/(D) Williamsburg; :54]
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Chichester/(R) Stafford Co.; 1:10]
[SUPER=@Shuler; 1:23 QUICK]
[SUPER=@Deeds; 1:27 ]
[OUT Q=interesting things maybe.u]
(( The first voices lawmakers heard this morning were religious and home school advocates, supporting Jay Katzen's school choice or voucher bill.
[sot tape XGR 1 11:38:53]
((DEL. JAY KATZEN/R-FAUQUIER CO.: WE ESTIMATE A MAXIMUM OF EIGHT PERCENT... NOT GONNA LEAVE.))
Despite the crowd, the same bill's failed before.
[sot tape xgr 1 11:27:39 ]
((SEN. DICK SASLAW/D-SPRINGFIELD: IF YOU WANT TO SEND YOUR KID TO A PRIVATE SCHOOL, THEN PAY FOR IT. THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE ALREADY THERE.))
[sot tape xgr 1 12:02:29 GAVEL]
The first fight was over the House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith and Speaker Vance Wilkins' plan to keep lawmakers from filing all the bills they want.
[sot tape HOUSE 03:25:52]
((DEL. MORGAN GRIFFITH/R-SALEM: YOU CAN'T RUN A TRAIN SYSTEM THAT WAY. AND WE NEED TO HAVE THEM INTO THE STATION ON TIME... RUNS SMOOTHLY.))
But for Democrats -- just another reminder the balance of power already tilts toward the Governor.
[sot tape HOUSE 03:21:55]
((DEL. GEORGE GRAYSON/D-WILLIAMSBURG: COMPARED TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA, THE JAPANESE SHOGUN, OR THE AZTEC... THE MEDIEVAL MONARCHS WERE MIDGETS.))
Even the Republican who chairs the Senate Finance Committee questioned the Governor's fiscal honesty today.
[sot tape XGR 1 11:32:33 ]
((SEN. JOHN CHICHESTER/R-STAFFORD: WE'RE IN DIRE FISCAL STRAITS. AND YOUR LISTENERS AND YOUR VIEWERS NEED TO KNOW THAT. AND VIRGINIA NEEDS TO KNOW THAT. IT'S A TOUGH TIME.))
[sot tape XGR 1 13:49:34]
(( you sound a little grim. DEL. JIM SHULER/D-BLACKSBURG: IT IS GRIM.. THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.))
[sot tape xgr 1 13;51:19]
((DEL. CREIGH DEEDS/D-BATH CO.: THE BUDGET ABSOLUTELY IS THE MOST TROUBLESOME SPENDING PACKAGE THAT I'VE SEEN IN MY NOW TEN YEARS IN THE LEGISLATURE. why is that? BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO BORROW FROM THE FUTURE, BORROW FROM THE PAST.))
In one hour, the Governor's State of the Commonwealth address.
[sot tape xgr 1 13;55:27]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: STAY TUNED, THERE WILL BE A LOT OF INTERESTING THINGS MAYBE.))
The other hidden card the Governor holds is that he is the final arbiter in redrawing legislative districts this year, based on the census.
Every lawmaker, regardless of party, has given that some thought.
[Double Boxes=Jean and Ellen/Starlink]
You can be sure that the redistricting Ellen just mentioned will be on the minds of many lawmakers this winter, even if it doesn't happen until a special session later this year.
[TWO SHOT=Jean & Morris]
Tom Morris is our political expert. He's President of Emory and Henry College. Tom, this could be tricky for some Democrats this year.
[TOM MORRIS FULL]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Tom Morris/Emory & Henry College;]
(The state's revenue isn't meeting earlier projections. What challenges does this present Republican leaders?)
(The car tax is Governor Gilmore's signature issue. Can he get the next step to pass?)
(School choice. Does the governor have enough support to passs tuition tax credits?)
[GRAPHIC=State of the Commonwealth]
You can watch Governor Gilmore's State of the Commonwealth speech here on Your Hometown Station.
[Take State of the Commonwealth FS 1011]
News 7 will carry the governor's speech live from the state capitol. Our coverage begins at 7 PM.
A popular Southside restaurant is cooking again-- a month after a devestating fire.
That's next on News 7.
And they're cleaning up in many parts of Bedford County, after strong winds tore through the area last night.
A popular Danville restaurant is back in business just a month after a fire destroyed it.
Pino's Italian restaurant has re-opened in a temporary location just a few miles down the road from the old one.
Justin McLeod shows us how the community played a part in raising Pino's from the ashes.
[IN Q=Nat sound of bell ringing]
[SUPER=01-Inez Hardy/Customer; :11]
[SUPER=01-Vickie Brown/Customer; :17]
[SUPER=01-Sam Fouad/Owner; :31]
[SUPER=01-JoAnn Maxey/Waitress; 1:12]
[OUT Q=Justin McLeod, News 7, Danville]
((((Nat sound of bell ringing))
A familiar sound is back at Pino's....along with the good food, service with a smile, and its loyal customers...
The only difference? A new location.
[SOT :00:19:27, 00:17:06]
[IN Q=They are really good]
((INEZ HARDY/CUSTOMER: THEY ARE REALLY GOOD PEOPLE AND I'M GLAD THEY OPENED TODAY....JUST GLAD TO BE BACK.))
((VICKIE BROWN/CUSTOMER: WE CAME LAST NIGHT BUT YOU COULDN'T GET IN THE PARKING LOT SO WE DECIDED TO COME BACK TODAY FOR LUNCH.))
[OUT Q=today for lunch]
((NAT SOUND OF FIRE FILE))
Four weeks ago, Pino's had no customers.
An early morning fire on December 11th destroyed the building and everything inside.
[IN Q=whatever happens to it]
((SAM FOUAD/OWNER: WHATEVER HAPPENS TO IT, YOU HAVE TO BE STRONG. YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN AND IF YOU STICK WITH GOD YOU WILL DO IT.))
[OUT Q=you will do it]
So it didn't take long for the owners to get back in the kitchen.
This week, Pino's re-opened a few miles down the road from its Westover Drive location.
[IN Q=Pino's new location]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: PINO'S NEW LOCATION IS A TEMPORARY ONE. THE OWNER HAS ALREADY STARTED REBUILDING IN ITS OLD LOCATION. THE PROJECT WILL TAKE SEVERAL MONTHS. ONCE COMPLETED, PINO'S PROMISES TO SERVE UP A NEW FLAVOR WITH SOME OF THE OLD FAVORITES MIXED IN.))
[OUT Q=favorites mixed in]
((NAT SOUND OF RESTAURANT))
Right now, the owner is focused on feeding his customers and more importantly thanking them.
After all, they're the reason Pino's is back in business.
[IN Q=The support here]
((JOANN MAXEY/WAITRESS: THE SUPPORT HERE IN DANVILLE HAS BEEN REALLY GOOD. PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TREMENDOUSLY GENEROUS AND STUFF.))
[OUT Q=generous and stuff]
Generous because some here in the community donated their time, equipment and even money so Pino's could re-open.
The owner believes thats a recipe for success that will continue now and in the future.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Danville.))
Yesterday we told you a local digital cable company stopped paying its employees AND the State Corporation Commission.
Today, News 7 learned Air Cable Roanoke owes its customers AND landlord money as well.
Air Cable employs 40 people in Salem and Roanoke.
It uses wireless technology to provide digital quality television.
Customers were promised a ten dollar refund if they brought their Cox Cable bill to Air Cable.
Many customers say their still waiting for the refund.
Air Cable's Landlord says the company won't even return his phone calls.
The company says its employees, the S-C-C, customers and landlord will "most likely" be paid on Friday or Monday.
A federal judge has ordered Norfolk Southern to pay 28 million dollars to thousands of its African American employees.
The ruling comes after a seven-year class action suit filed by an employee alleging race discrimination.
Some 77-hundred employees will get part of the 28 million.
Norfolk Southern has also agreed to establish good faith goals for minority promotions.
The company plans to celebrate African-American Railroader month each February beginning in 2002.
Technology shares managed gains for the second straight session.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW gained 32 points.
NASDAQ climbed 83.
High winds overnight tore through Bedford County, leaving behind thousands of dollars in damage.
Bedford City police say strong gusts blew out windows and damaged awnings on several downtown businesses.
Neighborhoods were hit hard as well.. this car on Peaksview Street was crushed after a winds snapped the trunk of a nearby pine tree.
And crews spent the better part of the day clearing away a 100-year old oak tree that fell over on Sunset Drive.
Police say about ninety homes suffered damage to their roofs or siding.
No injuries were reported.
Steve Mason checks in with the latest on Michael Vick's upcoming announcement concerning his football career.
And Mike Stevens catches up with the most successful multicar team of the 2000 NASCAR season.
Tomorrow at three PM, Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick will hold a news connference where he will announce his intentions to enter the NFL draft April 21st.
[DOUBLE BOX-DENISE & STEVE]
Steve Mason has been following this story and has the latest, Steve.
Denise, for two seasons, Michael Vick has captivated local and national audicences with his dazzling elusiveness. But unfortunealty for the Tech football program and it's fans, Vick will get away for good tomorrow. Vick's decison has triggered a chain of events today, including a reaction from Frank Beamer in Atlanta, a look at next season from fullback Jarett Ferguson.
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[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Va. Tech Head Coach; :]
[SUPER=01-Lee Suggs/Va. Tech Tailback; :]
[SUPER=01-Jarrett Ferguson/Va. Tech Fullback; :]
Frank Beamer, along with Virginia Tech assistant Jim Cavanaugh will attend Vic's news confererence in Newport News tomorrow. Beamer expressed his support of Michael's decison in spite how much his loss hurts the team next season. Beamer commented from Atlanta this afternoon where he was attending the coaches convention.
Vick was the nation's leading passer in 1999, but injuries hurt his stats this past season, but he reutrned to form to win Gator Bowl MVP honors. His departure is a shock to some of his teammates, but tailback Lee Suggs and full Back Jarret furguson, the primary offensive weapons returning in the backfield next season, are already preparing to take on the load.
Vick's NFL value has become contagious. Suggs, who racked up over 30 touchdowns this past season, has received 15 emails from different sports agents just over the lasat several days. Lee has NOT responded, in compliance with NCAA rules and will be back next season.
In other good news for Tech, reciever Andre davis, rumored to be leaving with Vick, released a statement from his home in Niskayuna New York where he is healing from recent ankle surgery.
receievr andre davis relased a statemetn today saying he will be back next season and will back in Blacksburg tomorrow and will be at a team meeting January 15th. Vick's news conference is tomorrow in Newports News and we will carry Vick'
s announcement live right here on WDBJ.[S-Media]
[TAPE#=SP-84 tc 52:44]
Bobby Labonte pocketed a three million dollar bonus for winning last season's Winston Cup Championship.
He also inherited the immense responsibility that accompanies the crown.
Mike Stevens has more from the NASCAR Media Tour.
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[SUPER=03-Huntersville, NC; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bobby Labonte/2000 Winston Cup Champ; :20]
[SUPER=01-Joe Gibbs/Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing; :44]
[OUT Q=News 7 Sports]
[TAPE#=SP-81 tc 42:15]
Virginia Tech's men's basketball team welcomes the Miami Hurricanes to the Cassell tonight.
Both squads are looking for their first Big East Conference win.
Virginia Tech is 6-and-7 and coming off of Saturday's 85-to-83 overtime loss to Villanova.
Miami is eight and five. The Hurricanes lost to Boston
College on Sunday, 73-to-72.
Trespassers and troublemakers beware! The Roanoke Police Department is working with landlords to make the city safer.
The Department is partnering with property owners to enforce a trespassing ordinance that city council approved last summer.
And officials say it's starting to pay off.
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[IN Q=Sometime those property owners]
((LT. RICK ARRINGTON/COPE UNIT COMMANDER: SOMETIMES THOSE PROPERTY OWNERS GET A BLACK EYE AND WE WANT TO ASSIST THEM AS MUCH AS WE CAN IN COMPLYING WITH THE LAW.))
[OUT Q=complying with the law.]
We'll tell you exactly how this new program works, tonight on News 7 at 11.