[GRAPHIC=Thomas Trial 4741]
In Pulaski county, jury selection begins for the man charged with murdering Radford teen Tara Munsey.
31-year-old Jeffrey Allen Thomas is charged with committing capital murder during a rape or attempted rape of the 16-year old last year.
Munsey knew Thomas through her boyfriend.
Her body was found last February, shot in the head and chest.
It was dumped in a ravine miles from the Taco Bell where she was last seen working.
140 prospective jurors have been called to the Pulaski County courthouse today.
Testimony is scheduled to start the 26th.
Thomas' attorneys are still seeking to move the trial, but the judge wants to try to seat a jury first.[7-City-Lib
The main branch of the Roanoke Public Library will close for several weeks this sprting yo get a face lift.
The Jefferson Street building hasn't seen major renovations since the early 80s.
The project will include new paint, carpeting and shelving on the first floor.
The stacks will be reorganized and placed farther apart to accommodate library patrons with disabilities.
The schedule hasn't been finalized, but the work will take place during March and April. The library is extending loan periods, so customers won't have to return books until renovations are complete.
A Roanoke company will close after plans of a takeover failed.
Negotiations to buy Transkrit, a state of the art label manufacturing company, fell through yesterday afternoon.
A News Jersey-based company called Net-2-Press was interested, but couldn't come to an agreement with transkrit's parent company.
More than 200 employees will be out of job starting Monday.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We were hoping]
((DANE SERRANO/TRANSCRIT EMPLOYEE: WE WERE HOPING THEY COULD NEGOTIATE SOME SORT OF DEAL WITH NAT2PRESS. AND IT SEEMS LIKE THEY COULDN'T GET TOGETHER ON THE DEAL.))
((GEORGE FARANO/TRANSCRIT EMPLOYEE: WE DID BUILD THIS COMPANY. I'VE GOT 21 YEARS HE'S GOT ALMOST 25.))
[SUPER=01-Dane Serrano/Transkrit Employee; :00]
[SUPER=01-George Farano/Transkrit Employee; :13]
[OUT Q=he's got almost 25.]
The company will begin liquidating immediately.
A 14-year old boy is arrested for allegedly firing a sling shot at a Henry County school bus.
Authorities say that it happened around three yesterday while students were in the bus.
The boy is charged with shooting at an occupied vehicle and destruction of property.
He's being held in a Juvenile Detention Center in Danville.
The cost of inspection fees won't increase this year...
The House of Delegates spiked a bill yesterday that would have increased vehicle inspection fees.
The bill would have let mechanics charge up to 50 dollars for car inspections-- to help reimburse their actual costs.
The Governor vetoed a bill with smaller fee increases last year.
Yesterday, the House apparently saw the writing on the wall.
[**NOTE: ANCHOR TAG**]
Some changes are coming to some local radio stations...
One has changed its format, and a couple of morning jox are on the move.
News 7's Rachel Cannon has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Nats Elvis]
[SUPER=01-Buzz Casey/Director of Operations; :14]
[SUPER=01-Leonard Wheeler/President & General Manager; 1:13]
[OUT Q=RC, News 7, Roanoke.]
((((NATS ELVIS - RUNS 4 SEC.))
It was all-Elvis, all the time for three days on WRDJ, but the "latest flame" is out
The former oldies station is now "Magic FM".
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q= FLEETWOOD MAC, THE EAGLES]
((FLEETWOOD MAC, THE EAGLES, CHICAGO, IT'S BASED IN THE LATE 70'S AND EARLY 80'S AND VERY HIT ORIENTED))
[OUT Q= :35:09 HIT ORIENTED]
Reason for the switch? Just released arbitron ratings show the oldies format with a 3.7 for the fall of 2000...down from 4.5 in spring
[PRE-PRO - SEP. TAPE CUED]
Numbers are good news though for competitor WSLQ, known as Q-99...who came in at 11.4 in the Fall up from 9.7 and now within three tenth's of market leader country WYYD who drops from 13.8 in the Spring to 11.7.
((RACHEL CANNON: COMPETITITON IN THE RADIO MARKET IS ALIVE AND WELL, MOST RECENTLY SEEN WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT LARRY DOWDY WILL LEAVE STAR COUNTRY TO GO TO MAGIC FM))
Leonard Wheeler, President and General Manager for the company that owns Star County and Q-99...sees the move as an opportunity
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=IF YOU LOSE A GOOD]
((IF YOU LOSE A GOOD PLAYER OFF THE TEAM, I THINK THE OTHER TEAMMATES STEP UP AND DO A JOB AND THAT'S WHAT WE'LL DO CERTAINLY I THINK WE HAVE A GREAT DEPTH OF STRENGTH SO I DON'T THINK THAT ONE INDIVIDUAL BY ANY MEANS IS KEY TO STAR COUNTRY))
[OUT Q=KEY TO STAR COUNTRY]
[43:25 3 SEC.]
((Nats - answering phone))
Stations get look at how well the moves pay off when spring ratings arrive in August...showing just which station is "King"
Rachel Cannon, News 7, Roanoke.))
And speaking of announcer changes, Sam Giles and Mark Nelson are taking their "Chainsaw Circus" program to Richmond, leaving WROV.
[GRAPHIC=VA Death Penalty]
A resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty is approved in Lexington.
The resolution calls on law makers to enact a moratorium on executions until policies and procedures are implemented which ensure death penalty cases are administered fairly.
However three members of council proposed amendments that watered-down the reasons for the moratorium.
The amended version was passed by a 6 to 1 vote.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=we are virtiaully]
((LAVERT TAYLOR/LEXINGTON CITY COUNCIL: WE ARE VIRTUALLY SAYING NOTHING OTHER THEN YOU GUYS OUGHT TO STOP IT. WITHOUT ANY JUSTIFICATION FOR MAKING THAT STATEMENT WE HAVE DONE A GREAT DISSERVICE TO THE RESOLUTION ITSELF.))
((DIANE HERRICK/LEXINGTON CITY COUNCIL: I DO THINK RELATIVE TO WHAT SOME OTHER JURISDICTIONS MAY HAVE DONE THAT THIS IS A STEP FORWARD.))
[SUPER=01-Lavert Taylor/Lexington City Council; :00]
[SUPER=01-Diane Herrick/Lexington City Council; :15 QUICK]
[OUTQ=is a step forward]
Lexington now joins Charlottesville which has already passed a similar resolution.
A meeting last night on prisoners' rights for more time to prove their innocence had a former Virginia death row inmate in the audience.
Newly freed Earl Washington, Junior sat in on the House Courts of Justice Committee.
It reported out a narrowly drawn reform of Virginia's 21 day rule.
The bill would finally let imprisoned felons admit human biological evidence that could prove innocence.
They currently can't beyond 21 days from their original trial.
Washington has an I-Q of 69, but knows that several lawmakers still view him as a criminal.
[IN Q=Does that bother you]
((Does that bother you at all? EARL WASHINGTON/EXONERATED DEATH ROW INMATE: NO IT DON'T BOTHER ME. THEY'RE GONNA THINK WHAT WANNA THINK ANYWAY. I'M NOT GONNA BE BITTER ABOUT IT BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY THINK. I GOTTA JUST GET ON WITH MY LIFE.))
[SUPER=01-Earl Washington/Exonerated Inmate; :02]
[OUT Q=get on with my life.]
Washington served 18 years and came only nine days away from execution for a Culpeper rape and murder there's almost NO evidence he committed.
But several Republicans are thinking back to a prior assault conviction he had.
[IN Q=A lot of the members]
((DEL. PAUL HARRIS/R-CHARLOTTESVILLE: A LOT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE I'M SURE ARE AWARE OF THOSE ACTS AND DIDN'T FEEL LIKE THEY SHOULD BE PLACED IN A POSITION OF AGGRANDIZING OR ENNOBLING A PERSON THAT HAS COMMITTED THESE ATROCITIES.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Paul Harris/(R) Charlottesville; ]
[OUT Q=has committed these atrocities.]
Governor Jim Gilmore granted Washington an absolute pardon in October, after NO D-N-A evidence linked him to the crime.
But the Governor tells NEWS 7 that he's still NOT convinced Washington is innocent.