[30weather]

[SUPER=X5000; SET DISSOLVE]

[SUPER=314-Snow/Until Afternoon/30-35/Mostly/Cloudy/28-32;]
[SUPER=315-Snow/Until Afternoon/30-35/Cloudy/Freezing Drizzle?/25-30;]
[SUPER=#555;RESET]


[7-Gas-Merger]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=00-]
[GRAPHIC=none]

Good news for opponents of Virginia Gas's plan to build a pipeline through Southwest Virginia.
A hearing examiner with the State Corporation Commission says a merger between Virginia Gas and a New Jersey- based company should go through.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=04-File Tape;]

But he says the state should require N-U-I corporation to consider putting its new natural gas pipeline in an existing corridor. 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."
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 05:34:42]
[IN Q=We're absolutely]

((BRENT RILEY/PIPELINE OPPONENT: WE'RE ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED. WE'RE SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE THIS EXAMINER THAT THE SCC SENT UP TO SALEM TO DO THIS HEARING, WHO WAS OPEN MINDED AND INTERESTED IN THE IMPORTANCE AND WE'RE JUST VERY VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE HIM DO THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Brent Riley/Pipeline Opponent; ]
[RUNS=17]
[OUT Q=do that.]
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Kim]
[SS=none]

Virginia Gas has said that putting its new pipeline next to another one would cost too much. Yesterday's decision isn't final. Both sides will have two weeks to comment on the report.

[7-Burton]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=00-54 TC01:06]
[GRAPHIC=Earnhardt Obit]


NASCAR driver and South Boston native Ward Burton says he plans to attend today's memorial for Dale Earnhardt.

(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Burton worked alongside Earnhardt for more than a decade and considered him a mentor and a friend.
Earnhardt's death has prompted concerns abou whether drivers should use more safety devices.
[SUPER=03-South Boston]


Burton says he has no choice but to try the HANS device.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 1:31:34]
[IN Q=Its awful difficult]

((WARD BURTON/NASCAR DRIVER: ITS AWFUL DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN TO YOUR FAMILY, CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T WANT THE SAME RESULT TO HAPPEN TO SOMEONE ELSE.))
[SUPER=01-Ward Burton/NASCAR Driver]
[RUNS=12]
[OUT Q=happen to someone else]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Burton plans to test the hans device next week in Atlanta.
But he's not sure if it could have saved Earnhardt's life.
That's why he won't say for sure whether he plans to wear the safety device from now on.
(------------)
[Anchor=Shannon]
[ss=hold]


6-thousand of Earnhardt's fellow drivers, friends, and family will gather in Pineville, North Carolina today for the memorial service. Mike Stevens is there and will have more throughout the day here on News 7.

[7-Condolence-Book]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=jha]
[TAPE#=00-55 TC1:20:36]
[GRAPHIC=Earnhardt Obit]


Some local funeral homes are helping fans of the late Dale Earnhardt share send condolences to the family of the Nascar great.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


All five branches of Oakey's Funeral Service are displaying memorial record books for fans to sign.
The V-P of Oakey's says leaving messages for Earnhardt's relatives is helping fans cope with their own grief.
Oakey's plans on leaving the books out for about a week - then they will have them delivered to Earnhardt's family.

Other condolence books can be found at Lotz Funeral Homes and the McCoy Funeral Home in Blacksburg.
(------------)



[45-Road-Info]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=rle]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=Winter Weather]


Winter weather is causing some slippery road conditions today... [TAKE VDOT BOARD FS]
if you have questions about road conditions you can call V-Dot at 1-800-367-R-O-A-D---

[TAKE VALLEY METRO FS] Meanwhile, Valley Metro is on snow routes. For more information, call 982-2222.



[45-Pulaski]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=rca]
[TAPE#=00-]
[GRAPHIC=Lawsuit]

A Pulaski couple is taking the town and police department to court after their home was mistakenly raided.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Pulaski/May]


The police busted into William and Geneva Summers' house last May at four in the morning looking for drugs.
They were acting on a tip from an informant who lied to authorities.
[SUPER=04-Yesterday]


Yesterday, the couple and their lawyer filed a suit, naming the Town of Pulaski, Pulaski Police Department and seven individuals.
Town and police officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.
(-------------)



[45-6Pledge-Debate]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=01-05 TC38:27]
[GRAPHIC=Pledge of Allegiance]

A bill to require students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is still standing in the General Assembly.
Richmond Bureau Chief Ellen Qualls reports.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[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 ]
[RUNS=1:38]
[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?)) [runs:05 ]

[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.)) [runs:07 ]
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.)) [runs:13 ]
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.--)) [runs:14 ]

[sot BARRY TAPE 15:25;11 ]

((--BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT LABELS, AND NAME-CALLING, AND PINKOS, AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE.)) [runs:08 ]

[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.)) [runs:13]
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.
[sot 15:23:57]

((SEN. WARREN BARRY/R-FAIRFAX: THEY JUST TOLD THAT KID HE CAN GET AWAY WITH IT. HE CAN DO ANYTHING HE WANTS.)) [runs:04 ]
Senator Barry will seek punishments again in the Senate.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))

[8-Road-Info]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=rle]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=Winter Weather]


Winter weather is causing some slippery road conditions today... [TAKE VDOT BOARD FS]
if you have questions about road conditions you can call V-Dot at 1-800-367-R-O-A-D---

[TAKE VALLEY METRO FS] Valley Metro is on snow routes. For information, call 982-2222.


[8-Witcher]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=00-]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Franklin county farmers Sherman and Doug Witcher are still trying to get their share of a discrimination settlement.
They were among the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit that black farmers filed against the U-S Department of Agriculture.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Doug Witcher was jailed overnight Wednesday for contempt of court, after he refused to disclose the location of logging equipment he had leased. He was released from the Roanoke City Jail late yesterday afternoon after agreeing to lead bank attorneys to the equipment.
Sherman Witcher spent the day in the 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 /////)
[SOT 12:54:49]
[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.))
[SUPER=07-Sherman Witcher; :]
[RUNS=:12]
[OUT Q=defense mode, just surviving. we're surviving.]
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[GRAPHIC=none]


As of mid-January, the Department of Justice had made payments to more than 10-thousand farmers. But almost 200 with the most serious claims, are still waiting for their cases to be resolved.

[8-Gilmore]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=01-10 TC00:27]
[GRAPHIC=Tobacco Settlement]


Governor Jim Gilmore wants areas that rely on tobacco money to get a lump sum of the settlement money.
Gilmore is trying to sell investors shares in the state's 20 year tobacco settlement.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond;]


The Governor says the best plan is to "securitize" half of the state's settlement money already promised to farming communities.
It could mean 580 million dollars now-- instead of nearly one and a half BILLION over 20 years of uncertainty for cigarette companies.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT GILMORE TAPE 14:51:00]
[IN Q=This is very good ladies]

((GOV. JIM GILMORE: THIS IS VERY GOOD LADIES AND GENTLEMAN FOR SOUTHSIDE AND SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA. IT ELIMINATES RISK. IT CREATES A LUMP SUM THEY CAN USE FOR REVITALIZATION...MY DREAM VISION... TO REALLY REBUILD THE SOUTHSIDE AND THE SOUTHWEST.))
[SUPER=@Gilmore;]
[RUNS=:26]
[OUT Q=really rebuild the southside and southwest.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Lynchburg Republican Kathy Byron will carry the Governor's new bill in the final three days of the session. (------------)