The Governor comes up with pay raises for state workers- -including teachers.
And we'll assess the impact of the Comair Strike on the flying public.
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports, Tiger wins again, a major Rugby event is coming to the valley this weekend.
And homeboys Elliott Sadler and the Wood Brothers checked in to Martinsville today a day after taming Winston Cup's other short track beast in Bristol.
Flirting with the record book as temperatures crash into the teens tonight. How about a warm up for April? Forecast details coming up.
[IN Q=At 12 o'clock, these bills]
((AT 12 O'CLOCK, THESE BILLS TURN INTO PUMPKINS, NO MATTER WHAT I DO, SO...))
[OUT Q=no matter what I do.]
Governor Jim Gilmore pulls a pay raise for state workers, teachers, and college professors out of his hat in the final hours before his bill signing deadline.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
Tonight at midnight, the Governor must finish work on about 850 bills the General Assembly sent him this year.
Jim Gilmore has turned the tables on the lawmakers, amending a bill to provide the state pay raises that were dead when the legislature adjourned without a budget agreement.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/State Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom with the Governor's reasoning and other action today.
Keith, NO vetoes as of this hour.
As expected, he signed the 24 hour waiting period "informed consent" abortion bill into law.
He left the omnibus teen driving restriction bill intact, and signed it into law.
And he found a way to provide 3 and a half percent pay raises to state workers, teachers, college professors, and local constitutional officers.
[IN Q=The Governor has amended a]
[OUT Q=next year, or ever.]
(( The Governor has amended a bill on the Virginia Retirement System, with a concept he floated a few weeks ago.
He's reducing the amount localities and the state pay into the retirement fund-- because it's done so well on Wall Street.
And he found a bill sponsored by the chairman of the Democratic Party-- and in the Senate that has so bedeviled him this spring.
((IT DEALS WITH VRS ISSUES... FOR SENATOR COURIC OF COURSE.))
The idea of a VRS rate reduction came from the VRS board itself last year-- but was NOT approved by them this year.
Anticipating complaints, the Governor had a point he wanted to make "crystal clear."
((THIS ACTION HAS NO EFFECT ON THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS...NEXT YEAR, OR EVER.))
The Virginia Education Association says perhaps he doth protest too much.
The teacher's union says it's happy to see the raises.
But with Virginia's state retirement benefits already a little less generous than surrounding states, this gives the perception it will be shortchanged in the future.
And, with the economy turning, some state workers say now's NOT the time to cut contributions to their future.
[Double Boxes=Ellen and Keith/State Microwave]
(QEUSTION: Does this need legislative approval?)
ELLEN: It does. If the Speaker of the House and Lieutenant Governor deem it a germane amendment, he needs a simple majority in each chamber to pass it.
Minority leaders in Lynchburg say they want the city's school board chairman to resign and the school superintendent to be fired for remarks they made about students in an alternative education program.
Lynchburg Bureau Chief Steve Smallshaw has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The comments]
[SUPER=01-Danny McCain/Concerned Citizens Committee; :20]
[SUPER=01-James McCormick/Lynchburg School Supt.; :31]
[SUPER=04-June 30, 1998; :47]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( The comments were reported in the Lynchburg newspaper last month.
In a discussion about alternative education, superintendent James McCormick noted the behavior of some of the students in those programs was "challenging".
School board chairman Tracey Shaw asked whether the term "thuggish" was a good description, and McCormick agreed.
That has people like Danny McCain upset.
((DANNY MCCAIN/CONCERNED CITIZENS COMMITTEE: AND WHEN THEY REFERRED TO THE KIDS AS THUGGISH, AND THEN THEY HAVE TO SIT ON THESE.. ANY SUSPENSION OVER TEN DAYS AND DECIDE A KID'S FUTURE, I THINK IT WAS JUST UNCALLED FOR.))
[OUT Q=uncalled for.]
((DR. JAMES MCCORMICK/LYNCHBURG SCHOOL SUPT.: THE IDEA THAT WE WERE CATEGORIZING A GROUP OF STUDENTS IS NOT ACCURATE. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT BEHAVIORS.))
[OUT Q=about behaviors.]
That's an assertion Shaw backs up.
Shaw wouldn't comment on camera, but did say McCain and others are looking to make an issue of this for whatever reason.
[natsot 6/30/98 edit tape]
((YOU ARE NOT TREATING US RIGHT, YOU'RE NOT TREATING OUR CHILDREN RIGHT..))
The dispute is the latest salvo in an ongoing war over alleged racism in the school system.. charges McCormick says have been refuted time and again.
((DR. JAMES MCCORMICK/LYNCHBURG SCHOOL SUPT.: AND THESE OUTSIDE EXAMINATIONS DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PRACTICES, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE APPLIED IN A NON-DISCRIMINATORY WAY.))
[OUT Q=non-discriminatory way.]
((MCCAIN: SO I THINK IT GOES TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS, AND HE'S THE HEAD OF IT, AND I THINK IT'S TIME FOR MR. MCCORMICK TO GO.))
[OUT Q=to go.]
McCain says the Reverend Al Sharpton is expected here Friday to discuss the situation.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
A custodian at Virginia Tech has been charged with assaulting an art student.
Tech police arrested James Lee Harris of Pembroke today and charged him with malicious wounding.
The victim, a freshman, was attacked in the basement of Henderson Hall. She was taken to Montgomery Regional Hospital for treatment.
Harris is NOT a Tech employee; he works for a private company called Defender Services.
A teenage boy has been charged with shooting and killing a 14-year-old Roanoke girl New Year's Eve. Authorities say he got the gun so he could fire it during New Year's celebrations.
[VO-NAT Tape 00-41 TC 1:39:40]
He allegedly shot Ashley Jones by ACCIDENT at the Westwood Village apartments in Northwest Roanoke.
The 16-year old suspect is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless handling of a firearm and underage possession of a gun.
A shooting incident at William Fleming High School has landed four teens in trouble.
Police have charged two brothers from southwest Roanoke with firing a gun in the school parking lot.
Their brother is charged with causing a disruption, as is a boy from northwest Roanoke.
An adult, Curtis Beverly, Jr. was arrested last week in the case.
Hundreds of Comair flights were grounded today after talks between the airline and its pilots union broke down late last night.
President Bush says he won't step in to end the strike.
That means about 300 passengers flying Comair to and from Roanoke each day will have to find other arrangements until at least Wednesday.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith and Jennifer /Microwave;]
News 7 Business Reporter Jennifer Miele is at the Roanoke Regional Airport tonight with passenger reaction.
Keith, while the strike is inconveniencing passengers in Roanoke, it hasn't been a big problem so far.
Airport officials say Comair was prepared for its pilots to strike.
But they may not have been prepared for President Bush to take such a hands off approach.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The nation's number two]
[SUPER=01-Frank Brown/Comair Passenger; :11]
[SUPER=03-Cincinnati, OH; :22]
[SUPER=01-Lt. Paul Lackie/ALPA Spokesperson; :27]
[SUPER=01-Efren Gonzalez/Airport Commission; :47]
[OUT Q=business as usual.]
(( The nation's number two regional airline canceled about 800 flights today leaving passengers like Frank Brown on the ground.
But Brown, like many others isn't worried about taking off.
((FRANK BROWN/COMAIR PASSENGER: JUST BE PATIENT BECAUSE GETTING MAD ISN'T GOING TO CHANGE A SINGLE THING. GETTING UPSET ISN'T GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING EXCEPT THE ACID IN YOUR STOMACH.))
Comair canceled selected flights last week in anticipation of the strike.
Pilots say they won't go back to work until wages and schedules can be agreed upon.
((LT. PAUL LACKIE/ALPA SPOKESPERSON: IN EVERY RESPECT WE ARE AIRLINE PILOTS. AND WE REASONABLY EXPECT AN AIRLINE PILOT CONTRACT.))
No word yet on when the strike will end, but officials say President Bush can't intervene unless a federal mediation board finds that the strike is hurting the economy.
For now, passengers will have to be rerouted.
((EFREN GONZALEZ/AIRPORT COMMISSION: I THINK THEY'LL KEEP REROUTING AS LONG AS NECESSARY. I THINK IT'S IN EVERYBODY'S BEST INTEREST TO GET THE STRIKE SETTLED. COMAIR HAS SAID ON THEIR PRESS RELEASES THAT THEY ARE ANXIOUS TO GET THIS RESOLVED AND EVERYONE CAN GET BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL.))
If you're scheduled to fly Comair and you haven't been rerouted -- just bring your ticket to an airport ticket counter, and someone will reroute it for you, Keith.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jennifer and Keith /Microwave;]
A police chase in Roanoke ends in a way that hits close to home for the suspect.
We'll explain why coming up on News 7 at Six.
And less than a week after a devestating fire, Collinsville's Dutch Inn is back in business.
State Police call it one of the most dangerous roads in Pittsylvania County.
(la-NEERS) Laniers Mill Road just off of Highway 41 has been the site of several deadly accidents.
Danville Bureau Chief Justin McLeod says a drive is now underway to make the road safer.
[IN Q=Nat sound of cars driving by]
[SUPER=03-Pittsylvania Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Marcie Gunter/Resident; :11]
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Melvin Scott/State Police; :49]
[SUPER=01-Gina Fox/Resident; 1:07]
[OUT Q=Justin McLeod, News7, Pittsylvania County]
((((NAT SOUND OF CARS DRIVING BY))
This 1/4 mile stretch of Laniers Mill Road is nothing but a hill and several curves.
Its a small road with a big problem.
[IN Q=There are 28 children]
((MARCIE GUNTER/RESIDENT: THERE ARE 28 CHILDREN IN FOUR TENTHS OF A MILE. 28 CHILDREN WHO MOST OF WHICH HAVE TO GET ON A SCHOOL BUS. THEY WANT TO PLAY OUTSIDE. AND WE FEEL LIKE WE ARE PUTTING OUR CHILD'S LIVES IN DANGER JUST GO OUTSIDE.))
[OUT Q=just go outside]
And there have been several close calls involving school buses.
That forced V-DOT to put up signs warning motorists to slow down....but the danger still remains.
[IN Q=Most people that come]
((GINA FOX/RESIDENT: MOST PEOPLE THAT COME THROUGH HERE ARE GOING 75 AND 80.))
[OUT Q=going 75 and 80]
Thats why residents fought to lower the speed limit from 45 to 35 miles per hour.
After six months of meetings and appeals, V-DOT finally lowered the speed limit about four weeks ago.
[IN Q=I think its helped some]
((SGT. MELVIN SCOTT/VA STATE POLICE: I THINK ITS HELPED SOME BUT YOU STILL HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT EITHER ARE NOT AWARE THAT THE SPEED LIMIT HAS BEEN REDUCED OR JUST DON'T CARE.))
[OUT Q=just don't care]
Authorities hope this reminder will change that.
Its a device that tells motorists how fast their driving.
The state police also plan to beef up patrols.
Neighbors hope it drives the point home.
[IN Q=Its major everytime we have]
((GINA FOX/RESIDENT: IT'S MAJOR EVERYTIME WE HAVE AN ACCIDENT OVER HERE. AND WE'VE BEEN REALLY BLESSED IT HASN'T BEEN A CHILD YET. WE'RE WAITING ON THAT. IT'S, WE'VE BEEN REALLY LUCKY THAT IT HASN'T BEEN ONE OF OUR CHILDREN.))
[OUT Q=one of our children]
[IN Q=The problem may get worse]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THE PROBLEM MAY GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER. A REPAVEMENT PROJECT IS SET TO BEGIN SHORTLY HERE ON HIGHWAY 41. MOTORISTS WILL BE AVOIDING THE AREA AND LOOKING FOR ALTERNATE ROUTES LIKE LANIARS MILL ROAD. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7, PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY.))
[OUT Q=Pittsylvania County]))
A Roanoke man who led police on a chase before crashing into his own home says he was too scared to stop.
Police say it started when they tried to stop 39- year old Richard Keith Donahue for reckless driving.
They say Donahue lead them down several streets before finally pulling into his own driveway on Meadowbrook Road.
Police say when they tried to get Donahue out of the car he drove through his own fence and slammed into a back deck.
Police used pepper spray to arrest Donahue. He's charged with driving on a suspended license and failing to stop for police.
A father and son moonshine- making team pled guilty in federal court today.
The prosecutor told the judge the Stanley's have a "long involvement in the illegal liquor business..." including transporting it across state lines.
Jason Stanley and his father William- -known as "Dee" Stanley- -both pled guilty to transporting untaxed whiskey and money laundering.
Though they're not required to talk as a condition of the plea agreements, the two were whisked away by another federal prosecutor as soon as their guilty pleas were formalized this afternoon.
Wall Street's blue chip rally continued today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW climbed 183 points.
NASDAQ fell ten.
The Dutch Inn in Collinsville is back in business.
This comes less than a week after a fire destroyed the lobby, a lounge, and part of the inn's trademark windmill.
Insurance agents now estimate the fire caused nearly two million dollars in damage.
The inn re-opened today after crews spent the weekend restoring services and cleaning up the property.
[IN Q=We have a temporary office]
((STEVE GRODENSKY/OWNER: WE HAVE A TEMPORARY OFFICE SET UP. WE STILL HAVE MORE WORK TO DO ON THAT. WE'VE GOT PEOPLE COMING IN TOMORROW TO START ACTUALLY CONSTRUCTING A DESK TO WORK OFF OF, A FRONT DESK OPERATION. TO MAKE IT LOOK LITTLE BIT MORE PROFESSIONAL AND IN PLACE.))
[SUPER=01-Steve Grodensky/Dutch Inn Owner]
[OUT Q=professional and in place]
An official cause still hasn't been determined.
But the fire marshal says preliminary results show it was an electric fire that started in the lounge.
Coming your way tonight on the Big 7 the Wood Brothers cut short their victory celebration for some test time in Martinsville.
Tiger Wood does it again.
And some of the top collegiate rugby talent on the east coast will be in Roanoke County this weekend.
[TAPE#=sp-83 tc 1:47:14]
Elliott Sadler and Wood Brothers Racing were back at work early this morning.
Still basking in the glow of Sadler's first win, the team set up shop in Martinsville for testing.
And that's where Denise Allen caught up with them.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Bristol, TN/FOX; :00]
[SUPER=01-Elliott Sadler/First Winston Cup Win; :15]
[SUPER=01-Pat Tryson/Wood Brothers Crew Chief; :50]
[SUPER=01-Eddie Wood/Wood Brothers Team Owner; 1:10]
[OUT Q=News 7 Sports]
(( Elliott Sadler's triumphant cheers in the winners circle of the Food City 500 ended a seven season dryspell for Wood Brothers Racing and made history.
No other driver has ever won at Bristol from as far back as the 38th starting position.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=oh man]
[OUT Q=tough now a days]
Sunday's win, Sadler's first cup victory, was also the first time The Wood Brothers have taken a checkered flag in Bristol.
The #21 car started gaining ground when, under a caution with 162 laps to go crew chief Pat Tryson decided to keep
Sadler on the track.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=pat asked]
[OUT Q=what happened]
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=better track position]
DENISE ALLEN/NEWS 7 SPORTS: WOOD BROTHERS RACING NOW FEELS IT HAS PUT TOGETHER A TEAM THAT CAN BE A SUCCESS ON A CONSISTENT BASIS.
THE ADDITION OF CREW CHIEF PAT TRYSON AT THE END OF LAST SEASON WAS THE FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=we've got]
[OUT Q=in eachother]
Sadler took the lead on lap 431. He held back John Andretti for the win.
Watching the number 21 and 43 cars battle it out made Eddie Wood a little nostalgic.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=it was a dodge]
[OUT Q=full circle]
The Wood Brothers are hoping to bring a little of that Bristol magic to the unfriendly confines of their home track, the Martinsville Speedway, where the Woods have just two career wins - One with Cale Yarborough back in 1968 and another with David Pearson in 1973.
In Martinsville, Denise Allen News 7 Sports.))
[TAPE#= SP-89 1:06:08]
[GRAPHIC=News 7 sports]
Roanoke County will host the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union tournament this weekend at Green Hill Park.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
This morning, officials from the Mid Atlantic Rugby and Roanoke County Parks, recreation and tourism held a news conference to go over the brackets. 20 teams and an estimated five thousand collegiate rugby players from both division I and II will play. Men's and women's teams from Virginia Tech, Virginia, James Madison and Radford Universities, among others, will compete
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="this is]
[SUPER=01-Johnny McLean/Tournament Chair; :00]
[OUT Q=.....could be virginia Tech"]
It looks like "No More" for Nomar and the Red Sox this spring.
This morning, Red Sox star Nomar Garciaparra was in Charlottesville to have his injured right wrist examined by University of Virginia team doctor Frank McCue.
The doctor recommends surgery to have the tendon repaired immediately. If Garciaparra goes this route he will need 10 weeks to recover.
Tiger Woods won his second straight PGA title this morning by capturing the rained delayed Players Championship at the TPC in Ponte
[SUPER=03-Ponte Vedra, FL/NBC; :00]
Tiger shot a five under par round of 67 during the final round to beat Vijay Singh by one shot, Bernhard Langer by two(------------)
and Jerry Kelly by 4. Kelly shot 73 today.