Goodyear will lay off more than 150 workers in Danville.
Layoffs at Norfolk Southern, are now a certainty. Word from the railroad's chief financial officer on NEWS 7 tonight.
In sports, Mike Stevens continues his reports from Daytona it's crunch time for several area division one basketball teams.
And Roanoke College shares the ODAC title as the teams prepare for their conference tournament this weekend.
So far the amounts have been light, but much needed rain continues in our forecast. Also our Wednesday WeatherSchool and free kit offer continues. Details ahead.
The Goodyear Tire Plant in Danville is putting the brakes on its truck tire production line.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
Goodyear announced today it plans to lay off between 150 and 175 workers from the Danville plant.
This comes as demand for truck tires has slowed in the last several months.
The company has notified employees that layoffs are coming but have not specifically told which workers will lose their jobs.
A company spokesperson says Goodyear hopes the lay offs are only temporary.
Goodyear also announced today the elimination of 72-hundred jobs globally.
Danville plant officials say that move should not affect operations there.
[GRAPHIC=Norfolk Southern Layoffs]
At Norfolk-Southern, more layoffs are no longer a possibility, they are definite.
That's the word from the company's Chief Financial Officer today.
One to two thousand employees will be cut over the next year.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jennifer and Keith /Microwave;]
News 7 business reporter Jennifer Miele is outside Norfolk Southern now with the latest.
Keith, in an Internet Conference call this morning, C-F-O Henry Wolf confirmed for the first time that the company IS working with consultants inside and outside the company to cut costs.
And this new team comes hand in hand with a new plan.
(///// SOT /////)
((HENRY WOLF/NS CFO: WE HAVE REORGANIZED TO CREATE A BUSINESS GROUP THAT WILL MANAGE OUR FLEET WITH ACCOUNTABILITY FOR COSTS AND WITH SPECIFIC MANAGEMENT GOALS. OUR BROADER ASPIRATION IS TO IMPROVE THE UTILIZATION OF OUR ENTIRE FREIGHT CAR FLEET. ))
[OUTQ=entire freight car fleet.]
[***JENNIFER'S MIKE HOT***]
The team is called NS-21. It's considering possible consolidations, partnerships with other businesses, and the sale of at least 10 facilities.
Layoffs and dividend reductions have and will continue to happen in an effort to cut operating expenses.
The speech today reaffirmed that there are MAJOR changes in store for the railroad.
No word yet on where and when these changes will happen.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Jennifer /Microwave;]
We'll keep you up to date, Keith.
An accident blocked traffic on Route 220 for half an hour this afternoon.
The wreck in the southbound lanes near Back Creek Road involved five vehicles.
One car ended up in a stream bed.
But there were no serious injuries.
Police are trying to sort out just what happened.
The more things change, the more they stay the same in Richmond.
After days of speculation that Virginia's Speaker of the House would pick an unprecedented team of budget negotiators that might include himself and supporters of the governor's "no car tax" plan -- Vance Wilkins defied rumors.
Wilkins named the usual suspects: the House's senior most lawmakers-- including a Democrat, Independent Lacey Putney, a moderate Republican, and a Republican who's a strong supporter of the Governor's budget.
The country's going to hell in a handbasket.
And liberals and pinkos in Virginia's General Assembly are mucking up efforts to stop it.
That's, at least, what those who support a mandatory Pledge of Allegiance bill concluded today.
Richmond bureau chief Ellen Qualls has more.
[IN Q=They all agree]
[SUPER=01-Del. Paul Harris/(R) Charlottesville; :07 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Del. Panny Rhodes/(R) Richmond; :16 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Warren Barry/(R) Fairfax; :22 ]
[SUPER=01-Del. Bob Tata/(R) Virginia Beach; :36]
[SUPER=@Ellen2; 1:00 ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
(( They all agree on one thing.
The Pledge of Allegiance is a good thing for kids.
But should it be a mandate?
[sot TAPE ONE 09:25:45]
((DEL. PAUL HARRIS/R-CHARLOTTESVILLE: I WILL SAY WHAT I SUSPECT MANY OF US ARE THINKING... THE COUNTRY'S GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET.))
[runs= 11 ]
But the bill's mandatory suspension of students who defy the law was a bit much for several delegates on the House Education Committee.
[sot TAPE ONE 09:49:50]
((RHODES: WE'RE NOW TELLING A SCHOOL, THEY MUST SUSPEND A CHILD IF THEY DON'T RECITE THE PLEDGE.))
[runs= 05 ]
[sot TAPE ONE 09:50:26]
((BARRY: WE MANDATE SUSPENSIONS FOR CARRYING A GUN. RHODES: FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. ...BARRY: WELL THIS MAY NOT BE CRIMINAL, BUT--))
[sot TAPE ONE 09:43:32]
((DEL BOB TATA/R-VIRGINIA BEACH: I THINK WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT AS FAR AS SUSPENSION IS CONCERNED IS THE STUDENT WHO IS JUST DEFIANT, WHO LOUNGES IN HIS CHAIR WHILE EVERYBODY ELSE IS STANDING.))
[runs= 09 ]
Senator Barry's a retired Marine -- who'd clearly already made concessions to try to keep his bill Constitutional.
((BARRY: PERSONALLY, I'D LIKE TO SEE ANY KID THAT DOESN'T DO IT SPEND TEN WEEKS ON PARRIS ISLAND... IF AND WHEN THEY EVER CAME OFF THAT ISLAND, THEY'D HAVE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT OPINION.))
[runs= 14 ]
When the entire committee voted to make the suspension clause an option for local school boards, Barry had had enough.
He dropped the bill and stormed out.
[sot TAPE TWO 10:08:38]
((BARRY: WELL, WE GOT A BUNCH OF PINKOS ON THAT COMMITTEE THAT HAVE NIBBLED AWAY ON THE BILL TO THE POINT WHERE IT DOESN'T HAVE ANY MEANING. AND WHY PUT SOMETHING THROUGH THAT DOESN'T HAVE ANY MEANING?))
[runs= 10 ]
The committee, left slack-jawed, struggled for what to do.
[sot TAPE TWO 10:02:19]
((DEL. LIONEL SPRUILL/D-CHESAPEAKE: WHY WE TRYING TO FIX IT UP FOR HIM. HE'S NOT HERE. HE SHOULD HAVE STAYED HERE!))
[runs= 04 ]
In the end, NO action was taken... so if Barry recovers, he can try again Friday.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
Three weeks after an oil delivery ended up on the basement floor, a Roanoke woman is out of her home, and still looking for help.
Virginia Bradley and her disabled son have been living in a motel since January 25th, when 150 gallons of heating oil were spilled in the home.
A delivery man used an intake pipe for a tank that had been removed, and not the new tank that sits in the backyard.
Family and friends have been working to salvage Bradley's belongings, but the smell still permeates her home on Shull Road.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I just hope they can get things]
((VIRGINIA BRADLEY; I JUST HOPE THEY CAN GET THINGS STRAIGHTENED OUT AND I CAN GET BACK HOME, IF IT'S ANY WAY AT ALL I CAN LIVE IN IT, BUT RIGHT NOW I JUST DON'T KNOW WHICH WAY THEY'RE GOING.))
[OUT Q=which way they're going.]
Bradley says she's thankful for the assistance of the Red Cross, and her church, but efforts to fix the damage are moving slowly.
Officials with A. Byron Smith Oil Company were unavailable for comment this afternoon.
Lot's of people are getting gas bills for hundreds of dollars-- imagine getting one for more than ten thousand.
That's exactly why the president of a small Salem company is urging consumers to keep tabs on their natural gas use.
Lincra USA got a bill of almost 12-thousand dollars from Roanoke Gas for the month of January.
That's up from 400-dollars in December.
A Roanoke Gas employee dispatched to Lincra this morning found the unusually large bill was the result of a mis-read meter.
But Lincra's CEO says she caught the error only because of its size and that others could be paying more than their share for gas.
(///// SOT AT :25/////)
[IN Q=If they did this with me...]
((GIULIA GUSTAFSON/CEO, LINCRA USA: IF THEY DID THIS WITH ME HOW MANY PEOPLE DO THEY DO IT WITH? HOW MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE IN THE COMMUNITY ARE GETTING... MAYBE I SHOULDN'T SAY CHEATED, BUT MAYBE THEY'RE GETTING THE WRONG BILL, MAYBE THEY'RE GETTING BILLED THE WRONG AMOUNT.))
[SUPER=01-Giulia Gustafson/Lincra USA CEO;]
[OUT Q=getting billed the wrong amount.]
Roanoke Gas says the it reads more than 50-thousand meters a month and that small mistakes are bound to happen.
Company president John Williamson also says a screening process is in place to catch large mistakes.
He's unsure why the safety net failed in Lincra's case.
If you have any questions about your bill Williamson says you should contact the company.
It's helped thousand of people with chronic pain-- but it's being abused by thousands more.
Next on News 7, we'll hear one man's battle with Oxycontin and find out how a Galax treatment center is helping folks kick their addiction.
OxyContin is a pain-killer, but abusing it can be addictive and painful.
It's supposed to be available by prescription- -only, but Oxycontin is widely available on the streets.
Experts agree its abuse is a serious, sometimes fatal problem in southwest Virginia.
Healthcheck Reporter Joy Sutton profiles one man's tough road to overcome his addiction, and the program helping him do it.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I would say within 30 days]
[don't super the first bite]
[SUPER=01-"Richard"/Former OxyContin Addict; :27]
[SUPER=01-Emily Jennings/Life Center of Galax; :45]
[OUT Q=joy sutton, news 7, galax]
(((///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I would say within 30]
((RICHARD: I WOULD SAY WITHIN 30 DAYS I WAS ADDICTED BEYOND CONTROL))
[OUT Q=beyond control]
This man who we'll call Richard --says he started taking OxyContin for pain after an injury --but soon became addicted.
So addicted --that when the doctor started reducing his medication --he found other ways to get it.
OxyContin became a 4-thousand dollar a month habit.
And when tried to stop, the pain become too intense to bear.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's like an internal ache]
((RICHARD: IT'S LIKE AN INTERNAL ACHE. EVERY BONE IN YOUR BODY, EVERY MUSCLE, YOU GO FROM FREEZING TO SWEATING, IT'S LIKE AN EXTREME FORM OF THE FLU))
[OUT Q=of the flu]
Richard says he turned to the Life Center of Galax for help.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Gradually what we're doing is replacing oxycontin]
((EMILY JENNINGS/LIFE CENTER OF GALAX: GRADUALLY WHAT WE'RE DOING IS REPLACING OXYCONTIN WITH METHADONE. MOST PEOPLE COMPLETELY DETOXIFY AFTER TWO TO THREE YEARS))
[OUT Q=to three years]
The treatment includes getting a daily dose of methadone --which is an opiate like oxycontin --but doesn't produce a high.
Jennings says while methadone can also be addictive --it's the best thing available now to treat oxyContin addiction.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Anyone can stop]
((ANYONE CAN STOP NO MATTER AT WHAT POINT THEY'VE COME.. THIS PROGRAM WILL WORK FOR ANYONE))
[OUT Q=for anyone]
Richard says he's looking forward to the day when doesn't need ANY drug to function daily.
Joy Sutton, News 7, Galax.))
The Life Center tells us its program costs 110 dollars to enter, and treatments cost 10 dollars a day.
The company that makes OxyContin says abuse of the drug is harming patients who rely on it to manage their pain .. and it is supporting education and prevention efforts.
A local engineering firm whose report was slammed by Roanoke County supervisors spoke out in defense of the report today.
The county asked Hayes, Seay, Mattern and Mattern to find out how much it would cost to build a new Virginia Gas Pipeline next to an existing one owned by East Tennessee Natural Gas.
When the report came back, there was no cost estimate in it.
The company told News 7 "We stand behind the study. It was performed in a short time period -- a one week overview of the proposed pipeline. It would not have been prudent to speculate on a cost after one week's worth of analysis."
The engineering firm says it believes co-locating the pipelines is NOT an option because of major issues of safety.
There was no sweetheart rally on Wall Street today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW dropped 108 points.
NASDAQ gained 64.
A year after a state report showed that minorities make up almost a third of the Virginia National Guard's membership -- but only ten percent its officers -- an African-American officer has been promoted to the number two in command.
Colonel Bert Holmes, Jr. of Norfolk was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and Assistant Adjutant General.
Holmes is a surgeon in his civilian life.
He was one of only two out of 33 minorities at the rank of colonel.
Three and a half months of work have produced a Valentines Day gift for local police departments and the citizens they serve.
This morning, members of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints presented 162 blankets to officials from Roanoke City and Roanoke County.
The blankets will be carried in patrol cars for victims of accidents, crimes and other crisis situations.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We put a lot of love]
((JOYCE BASHAM/RELIEF SOCIETY MEMBER: WE PUT A LOT OF LOVE INTO IT. WE FELT LIKE THEY WERE SOFT AND CUDDLY. AND THAT'S WHAT WE WANTED. WE WANTED THEM TO BE SOFT AND CUDDLY, SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE USEFUL TO THE POLICE, AND HELPFUL TO THOSE WHO MIGHT NEED THEM.))
[SUPER=01-Joyce Basham/Relief Society Member]
[OUT Q=to those who might need them.]
The blankets were sewn by members of eight local congregations. Church members say they wanted to show their appreciation to local police, and help comfort people in need.
And coming up in sports, The Roanoke College Maroons are the top seed in this weekend's ODAC tournament.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="And I.....]
[OUT Q=....in victory lane."]
The Winston Cup cars completed their final practice for tomorrow's two qualifying races without incident today.
Mike Stevens and Photographer Lynn Eller check tonight from Daytona with a preview of tomorrow's 50 laps dashes.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=First audio...]
[SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL/; :18]
[SUPER=01-Bobby Labonte/Starts 11th in First Race; :37]
[SUPER=01-Elliott Sadler/Starts 16th in Second Race; 1:02]
[SUPER=01-Stacy Compton/Starts 1st in Second Race; 1:26]
[SUPER=01-Tony Stewart/Starts 2nd in Second Race; 1:39]
[OUT Q=....news 7 sports."]
[TAPE#=sp-80 tc 1:31:21]
Roanoke College tied Hampden-Sydney for the regular season ODAC title.
Last night Roanoke downed Eastern Mennonite 78 to 63 while the Tigers beat Virginia Wesleyan.
[SUPER=03-Salem/E. Mennonite vs. Roanoke;]
Eastern Mennonite visited the Bast Center for an ODAC battle. Colby Leftwhich gets Roanoke College off to the early lead by draining the "J."
Mennonite answers, Alex Ivanitsky drives to the hoop to put points on the board for the Royals.
[super=33-E. Mennonite/63/Roanoke College/78;]
But the Maroons are too powerful. Ben Halterman makes the perfect ally oop pass to Brad Dunleavy and Roanoke wins 78-63.
Roanoke and Hampden-Sydney finished tied for first place in the conference but the Maroons get the top seed in the tournament which begins this Saturday at tthe Salem Civic Center.
The Maroons open the tournament at 1 oclock.
The Virginia Cavaliers return to the hardwood tonight in Charlottesville after two tough losses on the road to N.C. State and Georgia Tech.
Virginia has a tough game tonight as third ranked Duke visits University Hall. Tipoff is 7 Oclock.
The Cavs are 16 and 6 overall and 5 and 6 in the conference.
Virginia is at home tonight for a 7 oclock game against West Virginia.
The Hokies are 8 and 14 overall and 2 and 9 in the Big East.
Radford hosts UNC-Asheville tonight at the Dedmon Center. The Highlanders need a win tonight to receive a first round bye in the conference tournament that begins March first at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Thousands of people have tried to help a little boy who needs a bone-marrow transplant.
Several bone marrow drives have failed to find a match for Baby Henry, but they have found matches for other people desperately in need of a transplant.
Radford's prosecutor is the latest to find out he can help someone in need.
We'll hear from him tonight, on News 7 at Eleven.