Coming up on News 7-
A live report on President Bush's speech to Congress.
Also tonight... an Avalanche kills a skier in Utah-
And how a money crunch is hurting Center in the Square.
Plus have you thought about taking a college course?
We'll check out the higher ed center in Roanoke.
News 7 is next.
George W. Bush speaks to Congress tonight saying his plan will save social security and pay down the national debt-
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((AND THEN THERE IS STILL MONEY LEFT OVER... GIVES IT BACK TO THE PEOPLE WHO'VE EARNED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. APPLAUSE))
[IN Q=My budget]
[OUT Q=in the first place... applause.]
A standing ovation from many in Congress tonight as President Bush says Americans deserve a tax cut.
[GRAPHIC=News7 at 11]
[GRAPHIC=George W. Bush]
President Bush spoke for fifty minutes-
He was interupted 88-times by applause as he talked about saving social security- improving America's schools and cutting taxes.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jean and Gretchen/Newspath;]
Gretchen Carslon is on the hill in Washington with more on tonight's speech.
[***ROLLED FROM NEWSPATH***]
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[SUPER=01-Sen. Tom Daschle/(D) Senate Minority Leader;]
((It was a night of firsts for George W. Bush; the first time to be greeted by Congress in the Senate Chamber as President, the first time to address the country with a Presidential plan.
Bush: It is a great privilege to be here to outline a new budget and a new approach for governing our great country.
The new budget proposal has a few core issues -- likely to be debated heavily in the coming weeks.
It calls for -- paying down the national debt by 2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, setting up a commission to study Social Security reform.
And a tax cut-- the President says will benefit all Americans.
In addition to the tax cut-- the President is also calling for new spending on one of his favorite issues: education-- alloting more than 11 percent of the entire pot to the nations kids.
But the thunderous applause from the Republican members of the House and Senate wasnt enough to drown out all discontent among Democrats.
They called some of the President's proposed cuts irreponsible.
Daschle or Gephardt))
Bush hopes his budget plan will spur the economy-
Today it showed no sign of picking up.
With reports of layoffs- and more job cuts on the way- consumer confidence hit a four year low in February.
Alan Greenspan has lowered interest rates- but today's numbers show the economy and consumers have yet to respond.
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[IN Q=So despite]
((STEPHEN SLIFER/CHIEF ECONOMIST: SO DESPITE AGGRESSIVE FED ACTION DESPITE TALK OF TAX CUTS, CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND INVESTOR CONFIDENCE STILL SEEMS TO BE ERODING IN HERE.))
[SUPER=01-Stephen Slifer/Chief Economist;]
[OUT Q=eroding n here.]
Lower interest rates haven't done much to stop a ten percent slump in new home sales.
The Nasdaq off another 100 points today is down nearly 60 percent from a year ago.
Two men are recovering after a small gas main explosion in Danville today.
The accident happened just before three this afternoon on Industrial Avenue at Pearl Street.
A private contractor was working on the "city owned" gas main when it exploded- trapping one man underneath some dirt.
He and another person were taken to the hospital.
Emergency Service Officials are still trying to figure out what caused the explosion.
Opponents of a proposed gas pipeline still hope to influence where it'll go.
But they'll have to work quickly if they hope to persuade the State Corporation Commission.
A hearing examiner has recommended that the S-C-C approve the merger of Virginia Gas and a New Jersey Company, but he also encouraged them to reconsider the possibility of co-locating the proposed pipeline along existing easements.
Today, the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors approved funding for another look at that issue.
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[IN Q=Let's get the good data]
((BRENT RILEY/PIPELINE OPPONENT: LET'S GET THE GOOD DATA. LET'S PULL THIS TOGETHER IN THE SHORT RUN. LET'S KIND OF QUANTIFY WHAT THIS MEANS TO US AS A COUNTY, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT WHAT IT DOES TO INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY OWNERS.))
[SUPER=01-Brent Riley/Pipeline Opponent;]
[OUT Q=what it does to individual property owners.]
Unless the State Corporation Commission grants an extension, the county only has until March 8th to provide additional information.
In recent days-- we've heard about cut backs at museums in the Roanoke Valley.
But what about cuts at the place that houses these cultural institutions?
[TWO- SHOT TERESA/JEAN]
Teresa Hamilton is here now with more on the future of Center in the Square.
Jean, officials there say without state funding major changes will have to be made.
The organization will be cutting staff hours.
Other changes are also planned to make ends meet in the coming year.
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[IN Q=I just think]
[SUPER=01-Jim Sears/Center in the Square; :25]
[OUT Q=of the facility.]
[in q= I just think that]
((JIM SEARS/CENTER IN THE SQUARE: I JUST THINK THAT WHAT IS GOING ON IS DEVASTATING.))
[OUT Q= is devastating.]
Jim Sears is General Manager of Center in the Square which is home to the Science Museum of Western Virginia as well as Art and History museums and Mill Mountain Theater.
The Center takes care of the building's maintenance, repair but does NOT charge rent.
In the past... much of its budget has come from state funding.
[in q=Last year]
((JIM SEARS/CENTER IN THE SQUARE: LAST YEAR WE RECEIVED 600- THOUSAND DOLLARS AND THIS YEAR WE ASKED FOR 750- THOUSAND DOLLARS WE HAVE BEEN CUT TO ZERO SO WE'VE LOST ONE THIRD OF OUR BUDGET.))
[OUT Q= our budget.]
To make ends meet... the center will close on Mondays and eliminate all capital projects and some building repairs.
Officials will also cut back on staff hours... and take out a loan of approximately 250- thousand dollars.
[in q= I think]
((I THINK THAT WE CAN WEATHER THE STORM FOR A YEAR BUT IF WE SEE THESE CUTS ARE GOING TO BE YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR THEN IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO CONSIDER CLOSING OF THE FACILITY.))
[OUT Q= OF THE FACILTY.]))
Center in the Square has been very successful in fundraising.
[TWO- SHOT Jean/Teresa]
Jean-- officials say they will be stepping up those efforts immediately and will also be looking to local government to make up the loss.
They lost their jobs -- but FIRST they lost their health insurance and didn't even know it.
Barry Moran spent 23 years at Fabricated Metals until its doors closed in October.
Moran and his wife say the company stopped paying insurance premiums two months before shutting down.. but never told employees.
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[IN Q=Closing is bad]
((BARRY MORAN/FORMER FMI EMPLOYEE: CLOSING IS BAD ENOUGH, BUT DOING THAT TO OUR INSURANCE AND 401 K'S IS PLUM RIDICULOUS. THEY STILL OWE US FOR A LOT OF MEDICAL BILLS AND WE ARE HERE TO GET THINGS STRAITENED OUT, WHETHER IT TAKES THE COURT TO DO IT OR WHATEVER IT MAY TAKE.))
[SUPER=01-Barry Moran/Former FMI Employee]
[OUT Q=whatever it may take.]
The company says financial trouble forced it to shut its doors and stop paying premiums.
But the company also says it DID give the insurance premium money back to its employees.
Fabricated Metals officials would not go on camera, and instead issued this statement "We have always tried to treat employees the best we can, and have done so through the years. Circumstances beyond our control forced us to close. We tried to do everything we could to honor our employees' concerns."
Today employees urged Roanoke County Police to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, the company says it just doesn't have the money to pay employee medical bills.
The first testimony in the murder trial of Jeff Thomas.
Find out what was said today, and what's on tap for tomorrow when News 7 returns.
And federal agents bust up a drug trafficing route-- one that ran underground to the Mexican border..
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[IN Q=hey folks]
[OUT Q=the big 7]
(( Hey folks this is Mike Stevens back in the News 7 sports office on regional quarterfinal night. Highlights from 7 games are on the way including a big night for Eagles!!
We'll also check in with highlights of the Duke-Maryland game that was knocked off WDBJ-7 by the president.
And spring is in the air and that means lacrosse time at the Noke. All that and more tonight on the Big 7.))
Testimony started today in the capital murder trial of Jeffrey Allen Thomas.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys laid out their arguments before the jurors.
Cameras were barred from court, but Marya Jones was there all day and tells us what was said.
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[IN Q=Jean, in the first day of testimony]
[SUPER=03-Pulaski Co./Last Year; :40]
[OUT Q=In Pulaski, MJ, News 7.]
((MARYA JONES/NEWS-7: JEAN, IN THE FIRST DAY OF TESTIMONY, PROSECUTORS PUT ON FOUR WITNESSES...TARA MUNSEY'S PARENTS....
....NEXT UP, SEVERAL HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS OF MUNSEY'S WHO SAY THAT ON THE DAY SHE DIED, THEY HUNG OUT WITH HER AND THOMAS. IN PULASKI, MJN7.))
Thomas Akers execution will go on as scheduled according to the Virginia Supreme Court.
[SUPER=03-Rocky Mount/January 1999;]
Akers is set to die Thursday night for the murder of a Roanoke man in Franklin County.
He's refusing to cooperate with the attorneys handling the appeal.
But they're still planning to take the case to the U-S Supreme Court.
Lynchburg police say they're close to wrapping up their investigation into an incident where an officer was attacked by one of the department's drug dogs two weeks ago.
Officer Rick (ru-Jerry) Ruggieri suffered injuries to his face and hands when a dog turned on him at the police training grounds.
A former police officer claims the department isn't telling the whole story about what happened that day.. and that a less- experienced handler was present that day.
[IN Q=You should believe]
((COL. CHARLES BENNETT/LYNCHBURG POLICE CHIEF: YOU SHOULD BELIEVE THE PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE OR SOMEONE WHO HAS NO FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE WHATSOEVER OF THE INCIDENT. AND WHEN WE LOOKED AT THE INCIDENT, SHE WAS NOT INVOLVED IN THE INCIDENT. WAS SHE THERE? WELL, YES, BUT THERE WERE ALSO 40 OTHER PEOPLE THERE, WE DIDN'T GIVE YOU THEIR NAMES EITHER, BECAUSE THAT WASN'T GERMANE TO THE ISSUE.))
[SUPER=01-Col. Charles Bennett/Lynchburg Police Chief;]
[OUT Q=to the issue.]
Bennett says the department's investigation should be completed by next week.
A California college student is accused of plowing down pedestrians with his car-
[SUPER=03-Santa Barbara, CA;]
18-year old David (Ad-ee-us) is a college freshmen.. now facing murder and drunken driving charges.
Police say he ran down and killed four students on a busy street near U-C, Santa Barbara.
Today his parents offered words of sympathy.
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((DANIEL ATTIUS/DAVID'S FATHER: WE KNOW IT HAS NOT AFFECTED JUST THE LOVED ONES AND THEIR FAMILIES AND THE VICTIMS WHO'S GRIEF MUST BE UNSPEAKABLE. WE EXTEND WHATEVER COMPASSION WE'RE CAPABLE OF. WE KNOW IT HAS LEFT TERRIBLE SCAR IN THIS WHOLE COMMUNITY WE JUST WANT TO KNOW HOW SADDENED WE ARE.))
[SUPER=01-Daniel Attias/Defendant's Father;]
[OUT Q=we are.]
Daniel Attius is known for his directing on such shows as Ally McBeal the Practice and the Sopranos.
His son's arraignment was delayed until next week- at the request of his attorney.
Quite a find in Arizona- a tunnel that leads to Mexico-
apparently used to transport drugs.
Federal Agents found a 25 foot tunnel- from an Arizona house... that leads through the sewer
system to a dry wash along the Mexican border.
Also in the house- 840 pounds of cocaine, apparently smuggled in from Mexico via the tunnel.
An avalanche kills a woman near Park City Utah today-
[SUPER=03-Near Park City, UT ]
The 43 year old from New Hampshire was skiing with her family in the back country- outside the Canyons ski resort-
Sharon Reinfurt was killed- and another skier.. the woman's nephew was buried, but he was rescued.
Reinfurt was skiing with her husband, nephew and three other people in an ungroomed area when the slide began early this afternoon.
The family was on a ski vacation with another family from New Hampshire-
Still ahead on News 7, the sights and sounds of Fat Tuesday-- Mardi Gras' last hurrah in News Orleans.
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[IN Q=Watch and learn]
((JENNIFER MIELE/REPORTING: WATCH AND LEARN, I'M JENNIFER MIELE. UP NEXT ON NEWS 7, FIND OUT WHAT'S ZOOMING THE HIRING ED CENTER TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS.))
[OUT Q=head of the class.]
The Higher Education Center in Roanoke is home to 15 learning institutions and more than 25-hundred students after less than a year in operation.
Big changes there prompted News 7's business reporter Jennifer Miele to see what's helping the Center make the grade.
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[IN Q=How many libraries]
[SUPER=01-Jay Stephens/Higher Education Center; ::12]
[SUPER=01-Gloria Jean Cohen/Higher Ed Student; ::31]
[OUT Q=JM News 7, Roanoke.]
(( How many libraries do you know of that serve green tea from Japan in the middle of the day?
Probably not too many, but it's rarities like this Japanese Doll Show that are an every day occurrence at the Higher Education Center.
((JAY STEPHENS/HIGHER ED CENTER: I THINK IT JUST SHOWS THAT THERE'S A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES HERE FOR EDUCATION, WHETHER IT'S GOING INTO THE CLASSROOM, OR SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE CAN DROP IN AND LOOK AT LIKE THIS.))
Less than a year ago, the Center was still a work in progress.
Today, students like Gloria Cohen are reaping the benefits of this high-tech Higher Ed Center.
((GLORIA JEAN COHEN/HIGHER ED STUDENT: THIS CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTER GIVES ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING BETTER WITH MY LIFE. AND THAT MAKES ME SO GRATEFUL.))
Whether you're in Blacksburg, Abingdon, Richmond or right here in Roanoke, watching and learning is never a problem.
[nat sound from video]
And students and faculty agree that there's something new here every day.
[cover with video]
((JAY STEPHENS/HIGHER ED CENTER: OUR CAFE JUST OPENED. THEY HAVE COFFEE, THEY ALSO HAVE BREAKFAST FOODS. SOMETIME PROBABLY IN THE FALL, WE'LL BE OPENING A CHILD CARE FACILITY WHICH WILL BE FOR ANYONE TO USE, WE'LL HAVE SPACE FOR ABOUT A HUNDRED CHILDREN.))
A parking lot set to hold about 90 vehicles will be ready to go by late spring.
And construction of these computer labs was a state-of-the art group effort.
((JENNIFER MIELE/REPORTING: 15 ORGANIZATIONS HAVE PARTNERED TO FORM THE HIGHER ED CENTER INCLUDING TECH, HOLLINS AND RADFORD. IT'S THAT BROAD BASE OF EDUCATION THAT'S PUSHING BUTTONS WITH THE CENTER'S 25 HUNDRED STUDENTS.))
((GLORIA JEAN COHEN/HIGHER ED STUDENT: RIGHT HERE AT CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTER, IT GIVES ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURSUE A BACHELORS DEGREE AS A COST AFFORDABLE THING, AND THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME.))
The lesson learned here... expect the unexpected.
Jennifer Miele, News 7, Roanoke.))
Costumes, booze, and music fill the French Quarter as crowds of people pack the narrow streets of New Orleans for Mardi Gras
[Super=X5052 (loads FX)]
[Super=X5045 (starts FX)]
[SUPER=75-New Orleans, LA]
The traditional celebration attracts more than a million people as they celebrate the last day before Lent.
People dress up in every imaginable costume.
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[IN Q=Well this is]
((WELL THIS IS MY COSTUME .. I CALL MYSELF THE PINK PIMP))
[OUT Q=pink pimp]
People parade in the streets .. and do their best to get Mardi Gras beads.
Fat Tuesday is celebrated world wide -- but for all the flair and music .. it's hard to top New Orleans.
[Super=X5043 (clears FX)]
Highlights from 7 of tonight's Regional quarterfinal matchups across the area, including season ending setbacks for Salem and the Cave Spring boys, and a career night for Catholic's J.R. Reynolds.
But first in tonight's Extra Point - thanks to the President's address the Duke-Maryland was kncoked off of WDBJ-7 tonight. That gave us a chance to hear from many of you lovely viewers out there.
Thanks for not screaming too loudly in my ear.
[SUPER=75-Durham, NC/Raycom-JP; :00]
Maryland coming into Cameron Indoor Stadium looking to ruin Shane Battier's final home game as a Dookie. Battier would score 31 points, but this was Maryland's night.
Actually it was "Miller Time." Watch the Terps' Danny Miller look to tip the renoudn and instead tip the missed free throw right in the hoop.
Miller would continue to make life miserable as he goes backdoor and scores and Maryland beats Duke 91-to-80.
[WIPE TO MOTION]
[SUPER=0098-j/Maryland/91//Duke/80//Men/j/Virginia Tech/62//St. John's/54//Women/;]
[SUPER=0097-/Albemarle/50/j/Franklin Co./53//Northwest Boys//Cave Spring/88/j/G.W. Danville/93//Northwest Boys/;]
[SUPER=0097-/Albemarle/40/j/Cave Spring/48//Northwest Girls//Pulaski Co./49/j/G.W. Danville/84//Northwest Girls/;]
[SUPER=0097-j/Altavista/48//Salem/39//Region Three/j/Northside/65//Amherst Co./58//Region Three/;]
[SUPER=0097-/Lebanon/55/j/Graham/56//Region Four/j/Dan River/60//Abingdon/31///Region Four/;]
[SUPER=0097-j/Radford/84//Rural Retreat/66//Region C/j/Covington/60//Galax/58//Region C/;]
[SUPER=0097-j/Parry McCluer/51//Auburn/50//Region C/j/George Wythe/69//Grayson Co./62//Region C/;]
[GRAPHIC=NW REGIONAL TOURNEY]
We begin our regional highlights reel last night with the much anticipated Cave Spring at G.W. Danville boys game.
[SUPER=03-Danville/Cave Spring vs. G. W. Danville; :00]
The ROTC color guard from GW was on hand for the national anthem last night.
After they were done the track meet began. J.J. Redick picked up three fouls in the first quarter, but also managed to stay alive and drive in a game high 28 points.
But GW's run and stun attack was keyed by Antonio Fitzgerald who flies in and hammers down two of his 22 points.
Cave Spring got some great play from guard Bryan Hamilton, who stepped up his game and threw down 23 points for the Knights.
[super=33-Cave Spring/88/G. W. Danville/93;]
But again, GW has the Knights' number as Brad Deshazer scored 23 as the Eagles end the Knights' season with a 93-to-88 win.
[GRAPHIC=NW TOURNEY TIME]
The Franklin County Eagles were also looking to soar last night as they hooked up in the other Northwest regional quarterfinal game our end of the state.
[SUPER=03-Rocky Mount/Albemarle vs. Franklin Co.; :00]
The Eagles, fresh off their first Roanoke Valley District title in over a decade, welcomed Albemarle to the Mount yesterday evening.
Franklin County's Lewis Muse makes the steal, fights off two defenders and then finishes off his crosscourt run with a two point bucket for the Eagles.
After some nice defensive board work, Devon Taylor passes the rock down court to James Wray - who converts the toss into a layin.
The Patriots Sam Hoelscher did his best to ruin the Eagles block party with this drive to the hoop.
But Franklin County's Taylor takes care of business with the shake and bake drive as the Eagles move on to the semifinals with a 53-to-50 win over Albemarle.
[GRAPHIC=NW REGION TOURNEY TIME]
In the Northwest Regional girls quarterfinals powerful G.W. Danville welcomed road weary Pulaski County to town.
[SUPER=03-Danville/Pulaski Co. vs. G. W. Danville; :00]
The Eagles' nest was completely packed for last night's doubleheader in southside.
We pick this one up in the third as GW's Raynisha Johnson passes to Tokisha Burton and she hits the short jumper.
Kris Morrison then makes the long pass to Ravin Yancey, and she drops in two points as the Eagles lead in third by 25 points.
Pulaski would try to stay afloat as Shanean Hodge passes to Francesca Wiley for the long jumper.
[SUPER=33-Pulaski Co./49/G. W. Danville/84;]
But it would not matter last night as Tacoria Thomas gets an assist to Morrison and GW advances with the 84-to-49 win.
[GRAPHIC=NW TOURNEY TIME]
The Cave Spring girls had a home date in their Northwest Regional semi-finals game last night as they hosted Charlottesville's Albemarle's Patriots.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Albemarle vs. Cave Spring; :00]
Before last night's game Cave athletic director Joe Hafey announced that the school's Midnight Madness fundraiser last fall had raised over $700 dollars to aid both the Ronald McDonald house and a school scholarship fund. Checks were presented on behalf of both tonight.
But the Knights' were a little too giving to Albemarle's six-foot sophomore Rachel Hanley, who gave Cave Spring fits most of first half.
Jessica Caldwell would do her best to counter that with the drive and the dish to fellow senior Jessica Randolph for the layin.
Caldwell would later find Jennie Carter for the long two from the left side.
Cave Spring wins in overtime despite shooting 25 percent for the game.
[GRAPHIC=REGION 3 TOURNEY TIME]
The Region Three doubleheader last night in Lynchburg opened up with what looked like a runaway win as the Altavista jumped on top of Salem 20-to-2 at one point.
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/Altavista vs. Salem; :00]
But Salem would battle back to make it a game in the second half.
Altavista's Tristan Tanks, the six foot seven inch post player, sinks the deuce inside despite being hammered by Manuel Lewis.
The Spartans then went on the offensive as Andrew Rutledge buries the three pointer to cut the lead down to nine points late in the third.
Salem's Alvin Bush is then left alone. And he will get the easy two pointer. Salem gets the Colonels lead down to two.
But Jeremy Smithers makes a strong move to seal the deal as Altavista moves on with the 48-to-39 win over Salem.
[TAPE#=sp-89 tc 50:04]
[wipe wipe wipe wipe]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/Northside vs. Amherst Co.;]
The Region Three night cap pitted Blue Ridge runner up Northside against Amherst County the Seminole District Runner up.
Keith Moss evens it up for the Lancers early in the game. Moss takes the feed and makes the evasive move for the points.
But Viking Jeremy Naff was unstoppable. Naff opened up with eight of Northside's first 11 points.
The Vikings doubled up Amherst in the first period. Jason Salter drains the three and it's 16-eight Northside.
Amherst's Brian Royal chips away at the Vikings' lead with the drive through the paint for the score. And Northside wins it 65- to -58.
The region 3 semi-finals are Thursday.
In region four, Graham beat Lebanon and Dan River crushed Abingdon 60-to-31.
Region C was the wild place last night as Parry McCluer nipped Auburn by one, Covington upset Galax, Radford got a technical knockout of Rural Retreat, and George Wythe beat Grayson County.
[TAPE#=sp-83 tc ]
Roanoke Catholic started its quest to repeat as the state Independent Schools Division 2 champion last night in Lynchburg.
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/Rke. Catholic vs. E. Mennonite;]
Dick Wall mapping out the X's and O's for his Celtics squad and needed to find a way to put out the Flames.
J.R. Reynolds makes the steal then finishes the play with the drive to the hoop for the points. Reynolds led Catholic with a career high 34.
But Eastern Mennonite was hot from outside. Michael Stauffer left all alone makes the three and the Flames have the 28-23 half time lead.
[super=33-Roanoke Catholic/71/Eastern Mennonite/59;]
The Celtics show patience at the other end. Tony Hairston pulls up off the dribble to down the "J". Catholic wins 71-59 and plays in the state semi-finals Friday afternoon in Petersburg.
The Roanoke men's lacrosse team is anxious for this season to begin.
Steve Mason has more on the Maroons' plans to get back to the big time.
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[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Philadelphia, PA/1992 D-III Championship; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bill Pilat/Roanoke Men's Lacrosse Coach; :15]
[SUPER=01-Ryan Kamerdin/Senior Attackman; :38]
[SUPER=01-Mark Healey/Senior Defenseman; :58]
[OUT Q=....News 7 sports"]
((May of 1992, Roanoke played for the National championship. The Maroons fell to Nazareth that May afternoon. Since then, arguably the toughest loss Roanoke has had to stomach is the unexplainable fall from the national polls.
The Maroons return nine of 10 starters from a 9 and 4 team a season ago, yet are ranked 17th and 14th in two polls, unranked in another. The offense retains all three starting attackmen, as part of an offensive unit that averaged around 11 goals a game.
Defensively, All American goalie candidate Tim Morris is back between the pipes to lead a defense that allowed about 8 goals per game last year.))
The Roanoke Civic Center begins five days of non-stop hoops today as the Big South Conference basketball championships begin.
The women invade the coliseum today for four games.
Regular season champ Liberty plays UNC Asheville at Noon in the opening session.
The Radford women play the 8:30 game in the night session against Charleston Southern.
The men begins play on Thursday. Tickets are very affordable and available at the box office.