A recommendation from Richmond on the Virginia Gas merger and on where to put the new pipeline.
Also coming up: the 16-year old who murdered his Mom. An in-depth interview with Daniel Maddox tonight.
Tonight on News 7 sports, plenty of hoop headlines are on the way this evening from Ferrum to Fleming.
Plus, details on Earnhardt's burial and the latest on what will happen to the Goodwrench Chevy this weekend at the Rock.
A winter weather advisory...how can that be in 50 degree weather? We'll explain and show you the possibilities for accumulations coming up.
A key state official says the Virginia Gas merger should be approved.
But with a condition that will warm the hearts of people fighting the company's plans for a new pipeline.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at 6]
A hearing examiner for the State Corporation Commission says the merger between Virginia Gas and a New Jersey company should go through.
But he says the state should require N-U-I Corporation to consider putting a new natural gas pipeline in an existing corridor.
People who have been fighting the project have been pushing what's called co-location for months.
They insist the Virginia Gas line could work out a deal with another gas supplier.
The S-C-C examiner says co-location should be considered "where a new easement would have significant impact on a scenic or environmentally sensitive area, and where the easement crosses property with existing easements."
Virginia Gas has said that putting its new pipeline next to another one would cost too much.
Today's decision isn't final.
Both sides will have two weeks to comment on the report.
He's just sixteen years old, but in the next few months, Daniel Maddox will have a lot of growing up to do.
Maddox is the Amherst County teenager who murdered his mother and shot his father last June.
He talked with Steve Smallshaw this week about his crime, his family and preparing for a lifetime in prison.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Daniel Wayne]
[SUPER=07-Daniel Maddox; :24 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Scott DeBruin/Defense Attorney; 1:40]
[OUT Q=News7, Amherst County.]
(( Daniel Wayne Maddox could be your typical teenager.. except that at the tender age of 16, Maddox is headed to prison for murder.
[natsot arrest tape]
Maddox will be serving 43 years for gunning down his mother, Kathy Mays Maddox, and shooting and wounding his father in their Amherst County home last year.
He can't explain why he did it.. but he does regret it.
((Are you sorry for what you did? DANIEL MADDOX: YEAH.. Do you miss your mom? YEAH.. How tough is it having to live with knowing what you did? HARD...))
((Before a criminal defendant is sentenced, the judge considers the impact the crime had on its victims. In this case, you had two different sets of victims with two very different opinions on what should happen to Daniel. Kathy Maddox's relatives wanted him to serve hard time.. but his father, who'd been shot himself, stood fast by his son. ))
[OUT Q=by his son.]
John Maddox.. who didn't want to talk on camera.. says he now comes home to an empty house and a head full of memories.
Maddox wrote the judge saying he knows his son needs to be punished, but "the longer he is in jail, the longer I will be punished. He's all I have left and I need him as much as he needs me."
Daniel Maddox says the judge ignored his father's pleas and instead seemed determined to send a message.
((Do you think you need to be punished, though, for what you did? MADDOX: YEAH, I MEAN SOME, YEAH. I DIDN'T SAY NONE AT ALL, BUT YEAH, SOME. What would be a fair sentence then? I'D SAY LIKE TEN YEARS, TWENTY YEARS.))
[OUT Q=twenty years.]
((SCOTT DEBRUIN/DEFENSE ATTORNEY: THE COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY HAD ONE VIEW, OBVIOUSLY WE HAD A CONTRARY VIEW AND IT'S UP TO THE JUDGE TO MAKE THE DECISION, WHICH IS NOT AN EASY DECISION TO MAKE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.))
[OUT Q=any circumstances.]
Maddox will report to a state prison within the next two months.
He'll be close to 60 when he's released.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Amherst County.))
Roanoke city, county, and Salem will soon have a new circuit judge.
Jim Swanson was approved by the House and Senate today.
But NOT without complaints from Democrats over how the Republican leadership ended the tenure of Judge Roy Willett.
[IN Q=And I saw something happen]
[SOT HOUSE 02:23:20 ]
((DEL. VIC THOMAS/D-ROANOKE: AND I SAW SOMETHING HAPPEN DOWN HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY 28 YEARS, WHEREBY A GOOD MAN WAS TAKEN OFF THE BENCH WITHOUT A WORD BEING SAID BY HIMSELF BEFORE THE PROPER COMMITTEE.))19
[OUT Q=himself before the proper committee.]
But House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith says his survey of local attorneys is a better system than the political system of the past.
[SOT house 02:17:08]
[IN Q=Do I think it's fair that]
((DEL. MORGAN GRIFFITH/R-SALEM: DO I THINK IT'S FAIR THAT A JUDGE WHO HAS TREMENDOUS INTELLECT BUT WHO DOESN'T HAVE COURTROOM DEMEANOR SHOULD FIND OUT THAT THE BAR IS EXTREMELY UPSET WITH THAT JUDGE IN THE LAST YEAR OF HIS TERM. NO. THAT IS NOT FAIR. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I PERSONALLY WAS UNFAIR.))
[OUT Q=that I personally was unfair.]
Judge Willett was a little more than one year away from retirement, when he was NOT reappointed to the bench last week.
There are three names on the short list the President will now consider for the job of U-S Attorney in the western district of Virginia.
Virginia Senators John Warner and George Allen interviewed six and picked three for the federal prosecutor job.
Lynchburg prosecutor Bill Petty, former federal prosecutor John Brownlee, and Abingdon lawyer Elizabeth McLanahan.
President Bush is expected to pick one in the next few weeks.
[GRAPHIC=Pledge of Allegiance]
The mandatory Pledge of Allegiance bill is still alive in Richmond.
But it lost a few limbs in battle today.
Richmond Bureau Chief Ellen Qualls reports.
[IN Q=Things started lightly.]
[SUPER=03-Richmond; :00 ]
[SUPER=@Cranwell; :08 ]
[SUPER=01-Del. Bob McDonnell/(R) Virginia Beach; :13 ]
[SUPER=@Ellen2; :21 ]
[SUPER=01-Del. Dick Black/(R) Loudoun Co.; :28 ]
[SUPER=01-Del. Bobby Orrock/(R) Spotsylvania Co.; :50 ]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Warren Barry/(R) Fairfax; 1:12 ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
(( Things started lightly.
With 60-thousand classrooms needing a flag, Vinton Democrat Dick Cranwell says the pledge bill carries a cost.
[sot HOUSE 04:11:40]
((DEL. DICK CRANWELL: WOULD HE AGREE WITH ME THAT THERE IS GOING TO BE A REVENUE IMPACT?))
[sot HOUSE 04:12:55]
((DEL. BOB MCDONNELL: THE GENTLELADY FROM NORFOLK IS ABLE TO GET THESE FOR 21 CENTS. SHE DISTRIBUTES 15-THOUSAND OF THEM EVERY FOURTH OF JULY.))
But in the second hour of debate, a veteran blasted what he called the "chatterers and banterers" who'd poked fun at the bill.
[sot HOUSE 04:30:40]
((DEL. DICK BLACK/R-LOUDOUN CO.: THOSE RED STRIPES STAND FOR THE BLOOD THAT STREAMED ACROSS THE FACE OF MEN WHO FOUGHT FOR YOU, AND DIED FOR YOU, AND ASKED NOTHING FROM YOU.))
Then a set of amendments passed removing the mandatory suspension for students gave NO reason for NOT participating... and keeping others from having to state a reason.
Those arguments were just as fiery.
[sot barry tape 15:24;51]
((DEL. BOBBY ORROCK/R-SPOTSYLVANIA CO.: SO HOW DARE ANY OF THEM SAY THAT IF WE'RE GONNA MESS WITH THIS LAW WE'RE NOT PATRIOTS! LADIES AND GENTLEMAN OF THE HOUSE, THAT'S NOT WHAT THIS BILL IS ABOUT. THIS BILL IS ABOUT SHOWING PROPER RESPECT FOR OUR FLAG.--))
[sot BARRY TAPE 15:25;11 ]
((--BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT LABELS, AND NAME-CALLING, AND PINKOS, AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE.))
[sot barry tape 15;20:53 ]
((SEN. WARREN BARRY: WELL I THINK YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF PINKO. AND IT SIMPLY SAYS THAT IT'S SOMEONE WHO ADOPTS CERTAIN EXTREME VIEWS POLITICALLY.))
The bill's sponsor remains unapologetic for his rhetoric-- and just as focused on a bill that would punish children who pay the flag NO respect.
((SEN. WARREN BARRY/R-FAIRFAX: THEY JUST TOLD THAT KID HE CAN GET AWAY WITH IT. HE CAN DO ANYTHING HE WANTS.))
Senator Barry will seek punishments again in the Senate.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
Black farmers won their discrimination lawsuit against the federal government, but some are still waiting to see the results.
We'll hear one man's story next on News 7 at Six.
[LIVE=Justin Full/Danville Bureau]
Ward Burton may take on a safety partner.
I'm Justin McLeod in Danville.
He's one of NASCAR's top drivers, and tonight Burton says he'll check out "HANS".
I'll have that story coming up.
Two years after the U-S Department of Agriculture agreed to settle claims of discrimination brought by black farmers, some local plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit are still fighting for payments they believe they deserve.
They're also fighting severe financial troubles that have grown worse since the case was resolved in early 1999.
It's been a frustrating two years, and a frustrating 24 hours for Doug Witcher. The Franklin County resident was jailed overnight for contempt of court after he refused to disclose the location of logging equipment he had leased.
Sherman Witcher spent the day in the Roanoke City Courthouse trying to win his brother's release. Both men have been facing serious financial problems, even as they await a substantial settlement from the federal government.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Me and him both]
((ME AND HIM BOTH ARE BETWEEN A SITUATION. WE WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND HOLD ONTO THE THINGS WE HAVE AND PROGRESS ON. WE'RE KIND OF IN A DEFENSE MODE, JUST SURVIVING. WE'RE SURVIVING.))
[OUT Q=We're surviving.]
Doug Witcher was released from jail this afternoon after he agreed to lead bank attorneys to the leased equipment.
A fatal stabbing in Pittsylvania County leads to a murder charge.
[SUPER=03-Pittsylvania Co./January 20;]
Tommy Sellers of Ringgold has been indicted for the murder of Jesse White, Senior.
The owner of a construction business was found stabbed to death at his company last month.
Sellers was the only other person in the building. He'd been stabbed, too, but recovered.
A Southwest Virginia couple wants the Town of Pulaski and it's police department to pay for mistakenly raiding their home.
Police burst into William and Geneva Summers' house last May at four in the morning looking for a drug operation.
They were acting on a tip from an informant who'd lied to authorities.
Today, the couple and their laywer filed a lawsuit against the Town, the Police Department and seven individuals.
[IN Q=WE HAVE TRIED]
((THOMAS BAKER; WE HAVE TRIED TO OVER THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS TO TALK ABOUT IT TRY TO PERHAPS RESOLVE IT WITH THE TOWN WITH THEIR REPRESENTATION BUT WE'VE BEEN UNABLE TO DO SO.))
[SUPER=01-Thomas Baker, Jr./Couple's Attorney]
[OUT Q=UNABLE TO DO SO]
Town and police officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Higher than expected inflation numbers sent Wall Street tumbling.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW plunged 204 points.
NASDAQ dropped 49.
Dale Earnhardt was quietly laid to rest today in an undisclosed Kannapolis, North Carolina cemetery.
The funeral was attended by family members only.
Fellow NASCAR driver and South Boston native Ward Burton plans to attend tomorrow's memorial services in Charlotte.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Justin/Danville Bureau]
Danville Bureau Chief Justin McLeod talked to Burton today. Justin, what impact does Burton think Earnhardt's death will have on the world of racing?
[LIVE=Justin Full/Danville Bureau]
Keith, Ward Burton believes NASCAR will remain popular with fans.
But he does concede it will never be quite the same without the intimidator.
[IN Q=Nat sound]
[SUPER=01-Ward Burton/NASCAR Driver; :14]
[OUT Q=I'm actually practicing]
((((NAT SOUND OF CAR RACING BY)) ((COVER BITE WITH VIDEO))
((WARD BURTON: HE WAS JUST A MASTER BEHIND THE WHEEL.))
[OUT Q=behind the wheel]
A master, a friend, and a mentor.
Thats just a few words NASCAR driver Ward Burton uses to describe his friend Dale Earnhardt.
[IN Q=Its going to be lingering]
((WARD BURTON: ITS GOING TO BE LINGERING LONG TERM EFFECTS TO OUR SPORT LOSING OUR LEADER.))
[OUT Q=losing our leader]
That leader played an important role in shaping the careers of many race car drivers including Ward Burton.
When he started driving ten years ago, Burton still hadn't quite mastered the track.
Earnhardt the competitor soon became Earnhardt the instructor.
[IN Q=Dale came up to me]
((WARD BURTON/NASCAR RACER: DALE CAME UP TO ME AND SAID I SAW YOU DRIVE THAT CAR. YOU CAN DRIVE A RACE CAR ONCE YOU ALL FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH IT.))
[OUT Q=what to do with it]
((NAT SOUND OF BURTON RACING))
Eventually Burton figured it out and is now known as one of NASCAR's top drivers.
It's a sport Burton admits can be exhilirating but sometimes dangerous.
In the aftermath of Earnhardts death and other drivers, many fans wonder if more should be done to make racing safer.
A lot has been said of the hans device which helps protect the neck and head.
Ward Burton plans to give it a try.
[IN Q=A developer has the]
((WARD BURTON: A DEVELOPER OF THE HANS DEVICE IS GOING TO MEET ME AT ATLANTA NEXT WEEK AND I'M GOING TO TRY IT WHILE I'M ACTUALLY PRACTICING.))))
[LIVE=Justin Full/Danville Bureau]
One of the reasons Burton plans to try out the hans device is because he's finding it more difficult to explain these tragedies to his family....especially his two kids.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Justin/Danville Bureau]
Keith, there is some question whether the hans device could have saved Dale Earnhardt.
Fans of the late Dale Earnhardt can express their sympathy to his family with the help of some local funeral homes.
All five branches of Oakey's Funeral Service have put out memorial record books for fans to sign.
The books are accompanied by photos of the racing star and candles lit in his honor.
(///// SOT AT :////)
[IN Q=It's a memorial records book...]
((MIKE SPESSARD/V.P., OAKEY'S FUNERAL SERVICE: IT'S A MEMORIAL RECORDS BOOK THAT... WE FELT LIKE THE FANS OF DALE EARNHARDT AND THE COMMUNITY IN GENERAL WOULD LIKE TO COME BY AND SIGN THE BOOK EXPRESSING THEIR CONDOLENCES AND, WHAT WE'LL DO , WE'LL LEAVE THE BOOK OUT FOR ABOUT A WEEK AND, AT THAT POINT IN TIME WE WILL HAVE IT DELIVERED TO THE FAMILY.))
[SUPER=01-Mike Spessard/Oakey's Funeral Service;]
[OUT Q=have it delivered to the family.]
Spessard says leaving messages for Earnhardt's relatives helps fans cope with their own grief.
Other condolence books can be found at Lotz Funeral Homes and the McCoy funeral home in Blacksburg.
Coming up in sports, the latest on the continuing Earnhardt saga and a look at what will be done with his car this weekend in Rockingham.
Plus Roanoke College is hoping Hampden-Sydney isn't the only team going for the prize in the N-C-Double-A Tournament.
Dale Earnhardt's formal funeral services are still to tap for tomorrow at the 6000 seat Calvary Church in Pineville, North Carolina.
The church is located just outside of Charlotte.
However, Earnhardt was actually buried today in very private funeral service in his hometown of Kannapolis.
The funeral was held this afternoon and was open only to family members. The burial site is unknown.
[VO NAT ENG#]
[SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL/February 10th;]
After tomorrow's service the NASCAR world will attempt to shift its focus back to racing.
Of biggest concern to most fans is what will happen to the fabled number 3 Goodwrench Chevy.
News 7 Sports has learned that plans right now are to not only retire the number, but also the color scheme before Sunday's race at Rockingham.
[GRAPHIC=HOLD DALE OBIT]
However, the Goodwrench sponsorship will remain with Richard Childress racing, which at this time is planing to field a white car with the number 30 this weekend.
A source close to the situation told News 7 Sports today that Rick Mast will likely take over the car this weekend and for the remainder of the season. Rick and Dale were close friends for many years.
Kevin Harvick also is being mentioned as a possibility to drive the car.[S-Cover]
Sports Illustrated is dedicating the cover of this week's regular issue to Earnhardt.
Jerry Spangler from Anderson News Company here in the Roanoke Valley says that copies are already out at many area stores, and will be everywhere by tomorrow afternoon.
Plus, Sports Illustrated is planning a special commemorative issue detailing Earnhardt's career. It will be in area stores next Monday.
[TAPE#=sp-79 tc 1:38:00]
Roanoke College hits the practice court tomorrow. The Maroons are assuming they'll be invited to the Division Three N-C-Double-A Tournament.
Hampden-Sydney received the ODAC's automatic bid after the Tigers beat Roanoke College Monday night for the tournament championship.
Now the Maroons are playing the waiting game.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think]
[SUPER=01-Page Moir/Roanoke College Head Coach;]
[super=01-Jason Strickland/Roanoke College Senior;]
[OUT Q=Play for you]
The Roanoke Valley District boys basketball tournament championship game Friday night pits Franklin County against Patrick Henry.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Last Night; :00]
Cave Spring, the state's second ranked team, fell to the Patriots 61-58 last night at the Salem Civic Center. Patrick Henry's Tony Stovall led all scorers with 31 points.
J.J. Redick had just two points in the first half, but responded with a 20 point second half effort that fell just short as the Patriots win and now set their sights on a regional tournament berth.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="My kids....]
[SUPER=01-Jack Esworthy/Patrick Henry Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=...great ball game"]
[GRAPHIC=rvd tourney time]
On the girls side, Cave Spring will meet Pulaski County Friday night for the RVD tournament title.
[VO-NAT WIPE TO #ENG!!!!!!!!]
One other Cave Spring note. Sources say that Tyler Lumsden, the Knight's second leading scorer who was suspended for 30 days for violation of team rules, will NOT return to the boys basketball team this season. There was speculation that he would play in the playoffs at some point, but sources now say, the senior is finished with the basketball season and will shift his focus to baseball.
[GRAPHIC=High school Hoops]
The assault charge against William Fleming high school basketball coach Roland Lovelace was dropped yesterday. News 7 sports spoke with him today. Lovelace is on medical leave and plans on returning to his teaching duties after speaking with his doctor.
Coach Lovelace's personal policy on HIS coaching status has been to always decide whether or not he will coach the next season shortly after the season that just ended. Lovelace said today that he will probably coach the Fleming varsity(--------------) boys next season but nothing is definite at this time.