Norfolk Southern gets ready for massive cutbacks system-wide.
We'll begin the news with TWO reports on that tonight.
And the man who drove Virginia's D-U-I law down to point-oh-8 is arrested himself... for drunk driving.
Tonight on News 7 Sports, Tiki Barber may be Super Bowl spotlight, but he definitely hasn't forgotten the folks back home here in the valley.
Steve Mason and Tiki reunite in tonight's Hometown Super Bowl Hero segment.
Plus, Tech's Ben Taylor will be out for the next four to six months to have his right ankle repaired.
Readings about 10 degrees above normal today in Roanoke meant a comfortable afternoon. The sun will hide behind some clouds tomorrow. Details ahead.
[IN Q=I've been]
((T.R. MCCOY: I'VE BEEN WITH THE RAILROAD 28 YEARS AND I'VE NEVER SEEN IT THIS BAD.))
[OUT Q=it this bad.]
Norfolk Southern will lay off up to 2 thousand employees and sell off thousands of miles of track over the next 12 months.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
Massive cutbacks at Norfolk Southern will be gradually implemented over the next 12 months.
No word yet on where exactly those cutbacks will take place.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Jennifer /Microwave;]
News 7 business reporter Jennifer Miele examines what was- -not long ago- -the nation's most profitable railroad.
Keith, rumors have been circulating for months that Norfolk Southern was about to make a huge announcement.
Early indications led most people to believe cutbacks would go hand in hand with tomorrow's earnings report.
But that is not the case.
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[IN Q=Today Norfolk Southern announced]
[SUPER=01-T. R. McCoy/BMWE Union President; :25 ]
[SUPER=01-Brian Gottstein/Legg Mason Analyst; :47]
[OUT Q=all in one day.]
Today Norfolk Southern announced 1,000-2,000 jobs will go in the next 12 months, that's nearly six percent of its workforce.
N-S will also reduce dividends by 70 percent, sell 12,000 freight cars, eliminate or sell off 11 percent of its track, AND cut 10 underutilized facilities.
Tom McCoy has been a union leader at Norfolk Southern for the last 28 years.
He says he's NEVER seen the railroad in a pinch like this.
((T.R. MCCOY/BMWE: I MEAN YOU KNOW, WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO GET ANOTHER THOUSAND TO TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE TO CUT OFF I MEAN WE'RE CUT THE BARE BONES NOW.))
So how exactly did Norfolk Southern get so far off track?
((T.R. MCCOY/BMWE UNION PRESIDENT: I THINK ALL OF THIS IS ATTRIBUTED TO THE CONRAIL TRANSACTION. I THINK THIS IS JUST A PLAY ON WORDS.))
((BRIAN GOTTSTEIN:YES, IT WAS A COMBINATION OF THE CONRAIL MERGER AND CERTAIN EXPENSES THAT THEY'VE HAD OVER THE PAST COUPLE YEARS. BUT WHAT WE'RE SEEING FOR THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY IN GENERAL IS A REACTION TO THE SLOWING ECONOMY.))
The earnings report that's due out tomorrow will determine how "overbudget" Norfolk Southern is, and in effect, determine what part of the company is least profitable.
((BRIAN GOTTSTEIN: I THINK THEY ARE GIVING THIS INFORMATION OUT IN DRIBS AND DRABS SO THE INVESTING PUBLIC CAN SOAK IT IN OVER TIME AND YOU'LL HAVE LESS OF REACTION ALL IN ONE DAY.))
We'll keep you updated on the status of Norfolk Southern and its earnings.
Right now, Joe Dashiell joins us..
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jennifer and JoeD /Microwave and Newsroom;]
The announcement of Norfolk Southern's latest restructuring raises concern among community leaders.
But the news was no surprise for many who've been following the railroad's recent troubles.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jen Microwave/Joe in Newsroom;]
Joe Dashiell is in the newsroom tonight with more reaction to the day's developments.
Jen, there is concern for local families that could be affected by a new round of lay-offs, but elected officials and economic development experts say we've been heading down this road for some time.
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[IN Q=Last year,]
[SUPER=01-Del. Dick Cranwell/(D) Vinton; :00]
[SUPER=01-Phil Sparks/Economic Dev. Partnership; :25]
[SUPER=10-David Goode/N. S. Chairman/1993; :56 quick]
[OUT Q=that's all it will ever be.]
[IN Q=Last year, it was]
((DEL. DICK CRANWELL: LAST YEAR IT WAS THE MARTINSVILLE HENRY COUNTY AREA. WE DID HAVE SOME LAY-OFFS AT NORFOLK SOUTHERN, BUT IT APPEARS THAT IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA WE'LL HAVE TO BEAR THE BRUNT OF SOME OF THESE CUTS.))
[OUT Q=bear the brunt of some of these cuts.]
In the halls of the State Capitol and here in the Roanoke Valley... the news of Norfolk Southern's restructuring was another disappointing development.
But it was not unexpected, given the railroad's recent history, and growing concern over the nation's economy.
[IN Q=You know they've had some problems with ]
((YOU KNOW THEY'VE HAD SOME PROBLEMS WITH THE CONRAIL MERGER, AND ALSO WE HAD A TURNDOWN IN THE COAL MARKET, NOT ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT WORLD WIDE. AND I THINK OUR ECONOMY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IS CHANGING RAPIDLY AND CORPORATIONS THAT ARE GOING TO SURVIVE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOME RESTRUCTURING AND BECOME MORE EFFICIENT.))
[OUT Q=become more efficient.]
If the railroad's dominance of the local economy, is a thing of the past... Phil Sparks says the prospect of more lay-offs only affirms the regional strategy to diversify.
That's a message Norfolk Southern Chairman David Goode was delivering to local business leaders in 1993...
[IN Q=If you think of Roanoke as being]
((IF YOU THINK OF ROANOKE AS BEING HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON THE RAILROAD, THAT'S ALL IT WILL EVER BE.))
[OUT Q=that's all it will ever be.]))
The region is enjoying some success attracting industries in four different clusters... biotechnology, electro-optics and micro-electronics, automotive parts, and plastics...
[DOUBLE BOXES=JoeD and Keith /Newsroom;]
But Phil Sparks says it's a slow process, Keith, like turning around an aircraft carrier in the Chesapeake Bay.
A Roanoke man was shot to death inside his home last night with a weapon similar to an A-K 47.
Police say 50- year old Mark David Stroud was shot in the head, neck and back.
Stroud owned a local tree trimming business.
His employee... 43- year old Neil Anthony Spencer is charged with murder and is being held in the Roanoke city jail without bond.
Authorities say the men had been arguing.
After the shooting, police say Spencer and the victim's girlfriend hid the gun and told police Stroud committed suicide.
Authorities say the pair eventually told them where the gun was located.
An autopsy conducted today found no sign of natural causes in for the death of a four year old Pittsylvania County boy.
But investigators say it'll take further study before there's a ruling, and they still consider the boy's death "suspicious."
The body of four year old Matthew Giusto was found by his mother Sunday afternoon.
The child lived with his mother and her boyfriend. He was last seen alive Saturday night.
[IN Q=We're still going to handle]
((MAJOR GARY GOODSON/SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: WE'RE STILL GOING TO HANDLE AS A SUSPICIOUS DEATH. WE'RE GOING TO DO SOME INTERVIEWS AND DO SOME FOLLOW-UPS WITH PEOPLE AND SEE WHERE THE LEADS WILL TAKE US.))
[SUPER=01-Maj. Gary Goodson/Pittsylvania Co. Sheriff's Dept.]
[OUT Q=will take us]
The medical examiner could not determine the exact cause of death.
[***CAMERA CHANGE HERE?]
He wrote the law that lowered the blood alcohol level for drunk driving in Virginia from point-1-0 to point-0-8.
Early this morning, Williamsburg state senator and Republican Floor Leader Tommy Norment was allegedly seen weaving off Interstate 64 near Richmond, and charged with driving under the influence.
A state trooper actually called Henrico County's prosecutor to see if Norment could be charged.
That's because lawmakers are immune from arrest under certain circumstances during their annual legislative session.
Norment sponsored a package of drunk driving reforms that became law in 1995.
He sponsored a third time habitual offender drunk driving law in 1999.
This year, he's carrying legislation making it illegal to have an open container of alcohol in a moving car... and to study the dangers of using cell phones while driving.
NO word yet from State Police on what HIS blood alcohol level was alleged to be this morning.
A big fight in the House today over whether new judges should submit to criminal background checks.
Lynchburg Republican Kathy Byron says she's sponsoring the bill because her constituents thought judges already were checked out.
But some Democrats say fingerprinting potential judges would be demeaning.
Chip Woodrum says President Bush's 24 year old drunk driving arrest is a perfect example that criminal records will come to light anyway.
[IN Q=You done]
((DEL. CHIP WOODRUM/D-ROANOKE: YOU DONE SOMETHING, IT'S GONNA BUBBLE UP... TRUST ME ON THAT. IF THEY KNOW SOMETHING ON IT, THEY'RE GONNA GET YOU FOR IT.))
[SOT HOUSE 02:50:09]
((DEL. MORGAN GRIFFITH: IT WAS ONLY IN THE 11TH HOUR THAT THIS ISSUE BUBBLED UP, AND NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE GENTLEMAN AND I AGREE THAT IT SHOULDN'T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS SOMETHING THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PROBABLY DID NEED TO KNOW.))
[OUT Q=need to know.]
Delegate Byron's bill ran into trouble when Democrats tried to make it apply to all judges, NOT just new ones.
The House will take it up again tomorrow.
Get rid of them-- that's what Governor Gilmore told Pulaski County voters to do after their supervisors raised the car tax.
Now the Supervisors are fighting back.
That's still ahead on News 7 at Six.
And robots can do just about anything these days... soon they'll be operating on people hearts right here in Roanoke.
The head coach of Danville's boys basketball team has been charged with having sexual contact with a minor.
A grand jury indicted 42 year old Ronald Hollingsworth for taking indecent liberties with a female student under the age of 18.
Hollingsworth became head coach at George Washington High School last July.
Police say the incident happened during a school activity at the coach's residence.
[IN Q=It occurred on January]
((B.C. ELLIOT/DANVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: IT OCCURRED ON JANUARY 2ND. AND AS A RESULT OF THAT, WE STARTED AN INVESTIGATION BY THE INVESTIGATION DIVISION. IT HAS RESULTED IN A GRAND JURY ACTION.))
[SUPER=01-B. C. Elliot/Danville Police Dept.]
[OUT Q=grand jury action]
Police arrested Hollingsworth this morning.
He was released a short time later after posting a ten thousand dollar bond.
Danville's school superintendent put Hollingsworth on administrative leave.
Pulaski County Supervisors are demanding an apology from Governor Gilmore.
Last month, the Governor issued this challenge to voters after a property tax hike in Pulaski County:
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[SOT 1:45:17 - :23]
[IN Q=If I were them,]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: IF I WERE THEM, I'D THROW OUT ALL THE SUPERVISORS -- WITHOUT REGARD TO PARTY -- THAT VOTED FOR THE INCREASE IN THE CAR TAX AFTER WE WERE WORKING TO PHASE IT OUT. ))
[SUPER=10-Gov. Jim Gilmore//December 21;]
[OUT Q=phase it out.]
For Charles Cook and his fellow supervisors -- four Democrats and one Republican in all -- those were fightin' words.
They drafted a resolution demanding Gilmore's apology.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 4:15:26 - :40]
[IN Q=I thik it's a slam]
((CHARLES COOK/PULASKI CO. SUPERVISOR: I THINK IT'S A SLAM AGAINST PULASKI CO. AND PULASKI COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS... AND AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THAT BOARD I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT WE'VE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY. ))
[SUPER=01-Charles Cook/Pulaski Co. Supervisor;]
[OUT Q=treated unfairly.]
The supervisors voted in July to raise the property tax 50 cents on each 100 dollars of personal property.
The move got no opposition until people opened their tax bills.
Pulaski County Supervisors say it had been 25 years since the last increase -- and they needed the money to fund school and road improvements that the state would not.
The resolution goes to Governor Gilmore this week.
It also calls for him to reinstate funds for a training center that he promised more than a year ago.
A solid rally on Wall Street today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW gained 72 points.
NASDAQ rose 82.
Roanoke City Police want to help you protect your belongings.
At a news conference at the department's Northeast office this morning, officials introduced the Burglary prevention program.
Officers say you don't necessarily have to invest in a home security system to protect your valuables.
(///// SOT AT :13/////)
[IN Q=Well, I'm certainly not...]
((JOE GASKINS/ROANOKE POLICE CHIEF: WELL, I'M CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO TELL ANYONE NOT TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE. BUT I'M SAYING WE NEED TO START WITH THE THINGS THAT ARE READILY AVAILABLE, LIKE LOCK THE DOORS AND LOCK THE WINDOWS AND SECURE OUR GOODIES.))
[SUPER=01-Joe Gaskins/Roanoke Police Chief;]
[OUT Q=secure our goodies.]
Police say 50-percent of all burglars within the city of Roanoke get in through an unlocked door or window.
The first of the program's seminars will be designed for business owners and will be held tomorrow morning at 10:30 at the Northeast office.
Other seminars are still in the planning stages.
Imagine robots performing heart surgery.
It could soon happen in the Roanoke Valley.
Carilion will perform clinical evaluations for the Food and Drug Administration on a robotic surgical system called da Vinci.
Doctors believe da Vinci will bring more advances in minimally invasive chest and heart procedures.
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[IN Q=I think it's going to mean less trauma]
((DR. JOSEPH BAKER/CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON: I THINK IT'S GOING TO MEAN LESS TRAUMA BECAUSE THEY WON'T HAVE BIG INCISIONS, AND THAT WILL TRANSLATE INTO QUICKER RECOVERY TIME, LESS TIME IN THE HOSPITAL, LESS COMPLICATION, QUICKER RETURN TO A NORMAL LIFE STYLE))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Joseph Baker/Cardiothoracic Surgeon]
[OUT Q=normal life style]
With the da Vinci Surgical System doctors can perform heart operations through three small incisions in the chest wall -- each about half an inch long.
And the device is more precise than the human hand.
Tonight on News 7 sports, Tech's defensive anchor Ben Taylor is set to undergo ankle surgery that will keep him out of spring practice.
But nothing will keep Tiki Barber out of the
Super Bowl this Sunday.
Out week long look at the local stars in the big game continues tonight as Steve Mason and Tiki talk about the influences back in Roanoke who helped him get to sports biggest stage this weekend.
[GRAPHIC=SUPER BOWL 35]
The Super Bowl hype reached it peak today as hundreds of media members from all around the world invaded Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for a Super Bowl tradition - Media Day.
[SUPER=03-Tampa, FL; :00]
Reporters and photographers got a chance to talk to any and all of the players on each team on this day.
It's the only time this type of access is available all week.
Lynchburg native Keith Hamilton kicked back in his designer shades and savored every moment of his first Super Bowl trip.
Super Bowl 35 will be a cut above all the others if only for the fact a Barber will participate.
Steve Mason and photographer Scott Ayres caught up with former Cave Spring standout Tiki Barber and found the superstar to be the same humble person he was before he hit the big time.
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[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-East Rutherford, NJ; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tiki Barber/1006 Rushing Yards, 9 TD's; :18]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./1992; 1:20]
[SUPER=01-Geraldine Barber/Tiki's Mom; 1:30]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
((Tiki Barber's two thousand, 89 all purpose yards this season broke the Giants franchise record. He had career highs in rushing yards and touchdowns and was named Giants offensive MVP. And while he has taken the Big Apple by storm, Tiki Barber never forgets about the genuine Star City.
From the star city to the soap Opera Guiding Light where he and teammate Jason Seehorn made a cameo, Tiki's popularity explosion is just beginning.
But even Tiki Barber can ware down. Mom Geraldine might be hundreds of miles from Tiki in her Roanoke county administration office, but her honest and caring advice are close by, especially in the midst of all the super bowl hype surrounding her son.
((GERALDINE BARBER/TIKI'S MOM:))
Like his mom, Tiki has a tender heart and a tough heart, one that has allowed him to play four games with a broken bone in his left arm. He found this strength at home.
This is Tiki's contract year and the Giants organization has told him that after the super Bowl the franchise's number one priority is re-signing Tiki Barber. Steve Mason News 7 sports.))
In other football news, another returning starter on Tech's defense is scheduled to have surgery.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Last August 10th; :00]
Linebacker Ben Taylor, who played hurt the second half of the season, will have reconstructive surgery to repair a ligament in his right ankle on Friday. He'll be out for 4-to-6 months.
The all-Big East backer will have plenty of company in the sideline.
Amherst native David Pugh will have arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle as well this Friday.
Jake Houseright had left knee surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament last Friday.
[TAPE#=sp-86 tc 38:56]
EC Glass senior John Davis says he will sign with Liberty to play football.
In the past two seasons Davis has made 135 tackles, and defended 63 passes allowing only six catches for 40 yards.
He also accounted for four interceptions. He says Liberty just feels like the right place.
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[IN Q=I want to]
[SUPER=01-John Davis/Will Sign With Liberty;]
[OUT Q=over there]
Getting a new federal courthouse could mean some big changes for postal customers and some business owners in Lynchburg.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Jean/Newsroom]
Jean Jadhon is in our newsroom with more.
Keith, Lynchburg's federal judge Norman Moon has made it clear he'd like to see a bigger, more secure courthouse built within the next few years.
It would replace the current facility on Main Street.. and would be combined with plans for a new United States post office.
But that would call for closing two existing post offices and moving a number of small businesses.
Postal officials gave city council a brief overview of their plans during tonight's meeting.
We'll tell you more about it on News7 at 11.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jean and Keith/Newsroom]