Today on News 7 at 5, engineers for the state Department of Transportation propose a route for Interstate 73. We'll tell you where it is.
Also the man who was charged with murder after opening fire inside a Roanoke gay bar admits his guilt.
Our short term forecast is rather warm but a shot of cooler air will arrive by Sunday. Details coming up.
Also today, a major breakthrough to report in treating some forms of leukemia,
and we'll get up close and personal with Mill Mountain Zoo's newest residents.
[SUPER=#4063; Headline Banner]
The man who shot up a gay bar in Roanoke admits his guilt in court.
Ronald Gay says he was on a mission from God to kill homosexuals.
Though he came close to withdrawing his guilty plea before he was done, Gay admitted to first degree murder today, entering six more guilty pleas as well.
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[SOT 11:47:25 - end of tape #1]
[IN Q=Obviously that's the]
[OUT Q=look like him.]
He claimed Danny Overstreet looked different the night of the shooting at the Backstreets Cafe.
Detective Sergeant Monty Lee described for the court how Gay calmly shot Overstreet, kept shooting until the slide on his pistol locked back, and he was out of ammunition.
Gay told the arresting officer he'd been thinking all day about killing homosexuals.
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[IN Q=In He said, quote,]
((HE SAID, "HE CAME FROM A FAG BAR AND BLEW THEM AWAY."))
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Monty Lee/Roanoke Police Detective]
[OUT Q=and blew them away.]
Under the plea agreement Gay faces at least 95 years in prison... as much as four LIFE terms plus 60 years when he's sentenced later.
Actor Robert Blake is apparently not off the suspect list in the murder of his wife.
[SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA]
Police in Los Angeles showed up at his home with a search warrant today.
It's the second time they've been through Blake's house.
They say they have new evidence in the case.
Bonny Lee Bakley was shot and killed Friday while she sat in Blake's car outside a restaurant.
Blake claims he went back inside to retrieve a gun he accidentally left beside their table.
Interstate 73.... the debate over where it should go has been going on for years.
Tonight Virginia Department of Transportation engineers have made their decision on where- the proposed Interstate 73 should go.
The recommendation is preliminary- any plan would have to be approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
If the plan is approved next Thursday, the road would follow I-581, and then go though the Windy Gap area of Roanoke County, then East of Rocky Mount, and West of Martinsville. V-DOT officials say even though they are a step closer, pouring pavement is several years away.
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[IN Q=This is a recomendation...]
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/VDOT Spokeswoman]
((LAURA BULLOCK/VDOT SPOKESWOMAN; THIS IS A RECOMMENDATION FROM VDOT ENGINEERS. IT IS THE FINAL RECOMMENDATION THE COMMONWEALTH TRANSPORTATION BOARD WILL RECEIVE IN ORDER TO MAKE A DECISION. THEY ARE THE DECISION MAKERS IN THIS CASE.))
[OUT Q=IN THIS CASE.]
Officials say less than 5-hundred homes would be lost with this plan, and upgrading 2-20 south of Roanoke would nearly double that number. We'll have more tonight at 6.
If a company is performing poorly should its executives still get a bonus?
Norfolk Southern shareholders say yes.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jean/Jean Satellite;]
News 7 Business Report Jennifer Miele was in Norfolk for the company's annual meeting today.
((ROLLCUE:...paying them well.))
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[SUPER=01-T.R. McCoy/Union Leader from Roanoke; :20]
[SUPER=01-David Goode/Norfolk Southern C.E.O.; :40]
[OUT Q=we're still there.]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jean/Jen Satellite;]
Mill Mountain Zoo's newest residents made their public debuts today.
The snow leopard babies had their first official check-up today, less than a week after they were born.
Shannon Young was there.
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[IN Q=It was the first time they'd been separated...]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Bill Poage/Veterinarian;]
[OUT Q=News 7.]
It was the first time they'd been separated from their mother, and the two females and one male weren't shy about vocalizing their discontent.
They were, however, the only ones expressing unhappiness.
[IN Q=All of 'em are just as healthy...]
((ALL OF 'EM ARE JUST AS HEALTHY AS YOU COULD EVER WANT 'EM TO BE.))
[OUT Q=ever want 'em to be.]
The cubs are three of 22 born worldwide in the past 6 months.
Their clean bill of health is made even sweeter by the fact that their parents' first litter, born last June, didn't survive.
But Dr. Poage says mom Tasha is developing the skills she needs to keep her babies alive.
[IN Q=She's been, like, the perfect mother this year.]
((SHE'S BEEN, LIKE, THE PERFECT MOTHER THIS YEAR. VERY ATTENTIVE, NURSING ALL THE TIME, GROOMING ALL THE TIME. SHE LEARNED HER LESSON LAST YEAR. THESE ARE GONNA BENEFIT FROM IT THIS YEAR.))
[OUT Q=These are gonna benefit from it this year.]
The cubs weigh between a pound and a pound and a quarter.
Along with their checkup, each baby had a microchip implanted in its neck to help the zoo staff tell them apart.
[IN Q=There's hardly any physical way...]
((THERE'S HARDLY ANY PHYSICAL WAY AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE TO IDENTIFY THEM SO TO BE ABLE TO TRACK THEIR WEIGHTS AND STUFF LIKE THAT WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE.))
[OUT Q=tell the difference.]
When they're older, the cubs could develop identifying physical characteristics, along with distinctive personalities.
The zoo will wait until then to give the cubs a name.
Shannon Young, News 7, Roanoke.))
[(toss to R)]
(toss to Robin)
[SS=NONE]ROBIN IN WX-CENTER
[WXPRO/FULL] WEATHER TODAY
[SS=NONE]ROBIN TOSS BACK[TEASE#1]
Still to come the newscast, a small pill could prove to be the cure- for some forms of leukemia,
and the Senate gives President Bush a big victory as it passes his two TRILLION dollar budget.
[Commercial Break #1]
For one day, Governor Jim Gilmore proclaimed the month of May "European American Heritage and History Month."
Then, when reporters called, his staff realized the proclamation had been requested by the Virginia Chapter of David Duke's "NO FEAR" group.
Last year, Gilmore himself had labeled the group a "white supremacist" organization-- and today, his staff rescinded the proclamation.
So this morning, NO FEAR's Virginia president showed up to confront him.
The Governor refused to come out and answer questions.
[sot tape 12:09:51]
((RON DOGGETT/WHITE RIGHTS ACTIVIST: THIS IS EXACTLY REVERSE RACISM. WE HAVE A SOCIETY GEARED AND ORIENTED TOWARD THE WISHES OF MINORITY GROUPS IN OUR COUNTRY. AND THIS IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF IT. HE'S NOT ONLY GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA, HE'S CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE. THE EUROPEAN AMERICANS ARE THE ONLY RACIAL GROUP THAT VOTE MAJORITY REPUBLICAN. EVERY OTHER GROUP VOTES MAJORITY DEMOCRAT.))
[SUPER=01-Ron Doggett/White Rights Activist; ]
[OUT Q=other group votes majority Democrat.]
The Governor's staff says he never saw the European American proclamation.
They say his signature at the bottom was generated "electronically."
A new cancer pill tops tonight's Health Check report- one that appears to change the odds dramaticaly for patients with a rare form of Leukemia.
Gretchen Carlson reports.
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[SUPER=03-New York, NY]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Brian Druker/Gleevec Researcher;]
[SUPER=01-Judy Oren/Cancer Patient;]
[SUPER=01-Tommy Thompson/Health & Human Services Sec.;]
[OUT Q=CBS News, New York.]
Its being called extraordinary - a new cancer drug thats as easy as
taking a little orange pill -- that could be the wave of the future.
Dr. Brian Druker - Gleevec Researcher
This is a dramatic breakthrough for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
The pill, known as STI-571, or Gleevec, will help patients fight a rare
form of cancer called chronic myeloid leukemia -- a disease that kills
2300 Americans each year. But now, the new drug is giving new hope to
patients like Judy Oren.
Judy Oren - Cancer Patient
Its meant waking up in the morning you know and planning your day.
What makes the Gleevec so special is the way it targets cells. Unlike
regular chemotherapy - where the cancer-fighting drug kills both good
and bad cells -- Gleevec only targets cancer cells - leaving the healthy cells alone.
Dr. Brian Drucker - Gleevec Researcher
We've seen dramatic clinical benefits with little medical problems.
That means few side effects and many benefits. In studies, the drug helped more than 90 percent of the patients who used it - and even
better - Gleevec could be a major breakthrough for all forms of cancer treatment.
Sec. Tommy Thompson - Health and Human Services: We also have good reason to believe there are other Gleevecs in our
labs. We need to do we can to get these drugs to the people waging their own personal battles with cancer.
Still many questions remain. Gleevec has only been studied on patients for 2 years. The long-term effects are not yet known. But for now,
researchers are celebrating their new-found hero -- a tiny orange pill that has so far been performing miracles. Gretchen Carlson, CBS News,
The Senate OK's a nearly 2-trillion dollar budget plan-
Passage of the measure clears the way for President Bush's goals of cutting taxes and limiting the rise of federal spending.
The package still needs a lot of fine tuning- but its centerpiece is a more than one point three trilion dollar tax cut over the next 11 years.
The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for the first Automatic External Defib-rillator or A-E-D to be used on young children who experience cardiac arrest.
An AED is a device used when the heart is beating irregularly or fibrillating.
The AED sends an electrical shock to the heart to restore it to its natural rhythm.
Current AED's are restricted to use on adults and children over 8 years of age. But the new device can be used on infants and children who weigh up to 55 pounds.
The new version has pediatric defibrillation pads to deliver less electrical shock.
Centra Health has announced plans to purchase two nursing homes.
The Health Care system will buy St. John's in Lynchburg and the Briarwood in Amherst from Agape Health Care.
Eventually, Centra plans to consolidate the two nursing homes --and transfer patients and staff to Fairmont Crossings or to a new facility adjacent to the Summit Retirement Community in Wyndhurst.
Centra says this purchase demonstrates its commitment to expanding and modernizing long-term health care options in Central Virginia.
The plans still have to be approved by the state.
Coming up a little later in the newscast, Jacey Birch will go wild with wildflowers in this week's edition of Growing It.
[COMM BREAK #2]
[WALK OVER FOR 2 SHOT TOSS]
Coming up next on the newscast, Steve Mason will have highlights from a major league matinee,
and a judge has an unusual sentence for some teenagers who tried a dangerous stunt from television.
[COMM BREAK #3]
A mixed close for stocks as blue chips posted some gains, but technology issues lost ground.
Alexis Christoforous has the details in today's Marketwatch.
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[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/CBS Marketwatch; :00]
[OUT Q=News 7 at 5 ]
Good afternoon everyone, welcome to your ticker
which starts on the major league diamond. St. Louis beats Pittsburgh11-5 and Milwaukee hammered the Chicago Cubs 11 to 1.
[SUPER=03-Detroit, MI/FOX; :00]
The heat got tempers going today. on the routine ground out words are exchanged between Rangers pitcher Ryan Glynn an
d the Tigers Bobby Higginson, Higginson goes [SUPER=35-Detroit/6/Texas/5;]after Glynn and both dug outs and bull pens e
Down by a run, the Rangers Ken Camminitti cranks this one out of the yard to deep right, his second of the series and fourth of the season.
But Tony Clark connects on the base clearing double that scores two runs as Detroit edges Texas 6-5.
Some of the top junior golfers in the country are headed to the Roanoke Valley next weekend for the Scott Robertson Golf tournament.
The event attracts the top golfers from all over the world for the two days of competition.
And this year the tournament will have the strongest fields ever in the girls and boys divisions.
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[IN Q="We've got...]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Nooe/RCC Club Pro; :]
[OUT Q=......if not stronger."]
The girls field will also include the top two players in the country and several of the top 10 girls playing junior golf. The tournament will tee off May 18-th.
The Scott Robertson awarded its annual scholarships to two derserving students in the valley more on that coming up at six.
In NBA playoff action, MIlwaukee will try and go up 3 games to none against Charlotte tonight, tip off is set for eight o'clock. Last night Alan Iverson scored 54 points to lead Philadelphia over Toronto to tie the series at one all.
Speaking of guards, North Carolina sharp shooter Joseph Forte is expected to announce Friday in Chapel Hill his intentions to declare for the NBA draft. The sophomore met with coach Matt Dougherty and former coaches dean Smith and Bill Gutheridge earlier this week. He is projected to be a mid-first round pick.
Coming up at six, a local high school track star takes another step towards going to UVa, that story at six.[5-Jackas
Four teenagers who tried to recreate a dangerous television stunt have had their T-V privilees taken away.
One of the teens suffered a broken leg as he tried to jump a moving car like he saw on M-T-V's Jackass program.
Now a judge in Covington, Kentucky says the teen and his friends in the car cannot watch television for six months.
They also have to read 12 classic books each and write book reports.
The judge also revoked the teens drivers licenses.
If they don't meet the terms of their sentence, they could face felony charges.
Spring is the season for flowers... but the way we cultivate and plant our gardens is a far cry from the way the colorful plants first began.
In honor of National Widflower Week, Jacey Birch went to Obenchain's Garden Center to see what changed wildflowers into garden flowers.
[SUPER=01-Tyler Palmer/Obenchain's Owner]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7 at 5.]