Coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX tonight:
Fire at the New River Foundry prompts evacuation - -an erie reminder of the fatal explosion there last year.
Plus, VDOT's reccomended route for Interstate 73 gets a red light from some landowners who'd be affected.
Tonight on the Big 7 - we'll hear from Kyle and Pattie Petty, plus the Roanoke Steam's days in the Star City may be numbered.
And the Roanoke College women open the NCAA Atlantic regionals with a win over Christopher Newport.
Our weekend forecast will be sharply cooler by Sunday. Some hit or miss showers will mainly miss again. Details ahead.
News 7 at Six is next.
Fire in Radford today at an all too familiar spot.
New River Castings breaks out in flames.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
And I'm Keith Humphry.
It was just over a year ago when an explosion killed three workers.
This time everyone made it out safely.
[Double Boxes=Keith-Shannon and Rachel/Azimuth]
New River Valley Bureau Chief Rachel Cannon is in Radford tonight.
So what's the latest?
( ad lib)
(Rollcue:a private welding company. )
[SUPER=01-Ernest Owens/Witness; :09]
[SUPER=01-Lee Simpkins/Radford Fire Chief; :27]
[OUT Q=surveying the damage.]
( ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Shannon and Rachel/Azimuth]
[GRAPHIC=New River Foundry]
It was early March of last year, when the plant exploded... killing three workers.
[SUPER=03-Radford/March 5, 2000]
OSHA and police investigators agreed a gas leak caused the blast.
The parent company Intermet agreed to pay more than three-quarters of a million dollars in fines for safety violations at the plant.
It was several months before repairs were completed and the damaged facilities re-opened.
Homeowners in the path of Interstate 73's recommended route are questioning the need for the road, just a day after the Virginia Department of Transportation unveiled its study on where the road should go. Richard Lesko has more...
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Clark Thomas/Riverland Resident; :02 QUICK!!!]
[SUPER=01-Mark Petersen/Southeast Action Forum; :38]
[OUT Q=RL, News 7, Roanoke]
[INQ=I will be able...]
[OUTQ=rocks and hit trucks.]
((CLARK THOMAS/RIVERLAND RESIDENT; I WILL BE ABLE TO STAND ON MY PROPERTY AND THROW ROCKS AND HIT TRUCKS.))
Clark Thomas doesn't want to see a major road blocking his view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
He and other highway opponents say economic promises are overstated, and the recommended route will destroy historic areas of the Star City.
V-DOT proposes a route that would have 73 exit 581 just south of Elm Avenue, then follow Riverland road and cut through part of the back of Mill Mountain.
[END PRE-PRO MAP]
Some residents of the Belmont and Riverland neighborhoods say V-DOT should focus on improving present roads before bringing bulldozers to their neighborhood.
[SOT - 19:13]
[INQ=I feel there is no...]
[OUTQ=for economic reasons.]
((I FEEL THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS ROAD, OTHER THAN FIXING 581 AND 220. EVEN VDOT'S OWN STUDY SUPPORTS MY POSITION. THEY'RE NOT BUILDING THIS ROAD FOR TRAFFIC CONGESTION RELIEF, THEY ARE BUILDING IT FOR ECONOMIC REASONS.))
[TAKE BIG PICTURE MAP]
Mark Petersen says the recommended route would bring nothing more than urban sprawl, and residents wouldn't be the ones who benefit.
[INQ=I don't really see...]
[OUTQ=other construction related jobs.]
((I DON'T REALLY SEE HOW WE'RE GOING TO GAIN FROM AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY, OTHER THAN IF YOU ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING HOMES AND ROADS AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION RELATED JOBS.))
While I-73's route hasn't been officially determined, some Roanoke residents hope to avoid living just a stone's throw away from a new highway.
RL N7 Roanoke.))
A lot of people along the proposed route are now asking "what's next?"
The state could use eminent domain to take their property for the highway.
[Take FS Oak Level Map]
One of the communities along the proposed path is Oak Level.
Justin McLeod found one woman there who could be out of a home and out of business.
[IN Q=Nat sound of cars flying by]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Doris Draper/Business Owner; :20]
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/V-DOT Spokesperson; 1:00]
[OUT Q=News 7, Henry Co.]
((((NAT SOUND OF CARS FLYING BY))
Along a busy Route 220 in Oak Level sits Doris Draper's home and flower business.
She is just one of several hundred homes and businesses that could be affected by the I-73 project.
If the recommended route is selected, it's either going to go right through or very close to her home and livelihood.
[IN Q=They've been surveying]
((DORIS DRAPER: THEY'VE BEEN SURVEYING AS LATE AS TWO WEEKS AGO. THEY CAME WITHIN ABOUT 20 FEET IN FRONT OF THE SHOP.
MY HOUSE SITS BACK FURTHER AT SEVERAL TIMES, THEY'VE BEEN ALL THE WAY TO MY FRONT DOOR.))
[OUT Q=to my front door]
Doris will one day have to make a tough decision.
She can either sell her property or fight to keep it.
Even if she does win, there's no guarantee her business will continue to bloom. (shot of flowers)
[IN Q=Otherwise, I think they are going]
((DORIS DRAPER/BUSINESS OWNER: OTHERWISE, I THINK THEY ARE GOING TO PUT US ON AN ACCESS ROAD AND IT WILL DO IT. IT WILL JUST RUIN THE BUSINESS.))
[OUT Q=ruin the business]
The state must first acquire right of ways before any pavement can be poured.
V-DOT says nearly 5-hundred homes would be lost with this plan.
[SOT 10:02; TAPE FROM ROANOKE]
[IN Q=Buying right of way]
((LAURA BULLOCK/VDOT SPOKESPERSON: BUYING RIGHT OF WAY CAN TAKE SEVERAL YEARS, FOR EXAMPLE THE 460 BYPASS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY. IT TOOK TWO, MAYBE MORE YEARS TO PURCHASE ALL THE PROPERTY.))
[OUT Q=all the property]
Doris Draper doesn't need years to think about it.
She's near retirement, loves her home and business, but would rather sell than fight I-73.
[IN Q=I frankly, dont think]
((DORIS DRAPER/BUSINESS OWNER: I FRANKLY DON'T THINK MY FIGHTING IT WILL MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. THEY ARE GOING TO DO IT IN ONE DIRECTION OR ANOTHER.))
[OUT Q=direction or another]
Even if this route is selected, its unclear when those land purchases will actually begin.
Regardless, Doris Draper believes her future looks more rosy if she moves somewhere else.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Henry County.))
The taking of private property for a public highway is not just a recent concern. Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway raised similar issues 65 years ago.
We'll look into that in this weekend's Virginia Newsreel, on News 7 Sunday Morning, between 8 and 9 AM.
The maker of Oxycontin is pulling some of the drug off the shelves.
Find out why next on News 7 at Six.
And area businesses went to war today...
Not in the board-room, but on the playing field
The prescription pain killer OxyContin will no longer be available in higher doses.
It's maker Purdue Pharma is temporarily taking its 160 milligram tablets off the market.
Purdue says it was concerned about the possible abuse of tablets of such high strength.
So it decided to temporarily suspend shipments of the tablets --until it studies the issue further.
The 160 milligram tablets were used to treat patients suffering from the most severe, persistent pain.
Now, the highest dose available will be 80 milligrams.
Purde is also working to make a less abusable form of the pain killer.
The judge overseeing Keith Neely's request for a new trial has summoned an official from the F-B-I in Washington.
Shawn O'Neill will have to be in federal court in Roanoke next Friday to show why he should not be held in contempt of court.
Judge Jackson Kiser wants to know why the government failed to produce documents he ordered turned over to Neely weeks ago.
The documents Neely sought from the F-B-I were made available to him only yesterday.
Leo Rivera got a break today.
He had assumed the life of a law abiding citizen living in Bonsack in the mid-90's. He was actually a drug trafficker trying to help the D-E-A snare some big names in the business. Rivera had already been sentenced, but today was rewarded for his continued co-operation.
Judge James Turk reduced Rivera's sentence by one third.
Among other things, Rivera had testified before the state Crime Commission- -testimony that led the General Assembly to enact tougher laws against money-laundering in Virginia.
The V-A Medical Center is making an extra effort to keep nurses in the profession-- at time when many hospitals are facing a nurse shortage.
The V-A is starting a nurse mentoring program.
The program is designed to match nurses like Barbara Griffin with others hoping to obtain the same goals.
Griffin is a nurse manager and is working on her doctorate in nursing.
A single mother of four, she says it was the mentors in her life that helped her succeed and overcome
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We're all mentors in one way]
((WE'RE ALL MENTORS IN ONE WAY SHAPE OR FORM. WE ALL MODEL THE BEHAVIOR AND IF YOU CAN EXTEND THE HAND AND PULL SOMEONE ALONG I THINK THAT'S THE WAY TO GO IN ANYTHING WE DO WHETHER IT'S NURSING OR LIFE ITSELF))
[SUPER=01-Barbara Griffin/Nurse Manager;]
[OUT Q=life itself]
The V-A hopes the program will encourage nurses to pursue further education and take advantage of existing opportunities.
Some stronger than expected economic news raised fears that the Fed might not lower interest rates again and sent Wall Street lower.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW dropped 89 points.
NASDAQ fell 21 and a half.
With tens of thousands of people expected for the D-Day ceremony next month, Bedford's Chamber of Commerce has been charged with making sure all the guests are well- fed.
John Messier (MESS-ee-ay) heads up a group of 250 volunteers who will oversee the sale of refreshments before and after the dedication on June 6th.
Messier says they'll offer coffee and donuts in the morning and hotdogs, water and soft drinks later in the day.. and that people will NOT be allowed to bring their own refreshments.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=When they get]
((JOHN MESSIER/HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: WHEN THEY GET ON THE BUS THERE'S GOING TO BE SOME STRICT SECURITY MEASURES AND SO THAT MEANS THERE WON'T BE ANY CARRY- ONS AND THAT SORT OF THING AND SO WE WILL BE THE ONES FEEDING AND HYDRATING FOLKS UP THERE AT THE SITE.))
[SUPER=01-John Messier/Hospitality Committee Chairman]
[OUT Q=at the site.]
Officials are expecting anywhere from 15- to 20- thousand people to attend the dedication.
More than 21 thousand dollars was raised for children's health care during the lunch hour today by a bunch of grown-ups playing a children's game.
21 businesses fielded teams for the 5th annual "Tug for Tots" fundraiser.
All of the proceeds go to CHIP - The Child Health Investment Partnership. That organization provides health care for children who can't afford it otherwise.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Lucy Walton/Tug for Tots Co-Chair; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jean Glontz/Tug for Tots Co-Chair; :13]
[OUT Q=...A LITTLE COMPETITIVENESS."]
The team from American Electric Power won the heavyweight division, while CSI was the top team in the lightweight category.
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports Roanoke wins its opening game in the NCAA softball regionals.
The Steam is on the verge of being sold.
And this weekend marks the one year anniversary of the death of Adam Petty. His mom and dad say time isn't always the healing force make it out to be.
[GRAPHIC=NCAA DIVISION THREE]
Roanoke College has advanced in the N-C-Double-Division three softball tournament at the Moyer Sports Complex.
The Maroons scored in the fifth and held on to beat Christopher Newport 1 to nothing.
Roy Stanley has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="The Maroons...]
[SUPER=03-Salem/Roanoke vs C. Newport; :00]
[SUPER=01-Amy Layman/Winning Pitcher; :42]
[SUPER=01-Alan Bayse/Roanoke Head Coach; :55]
[OUT Q=.....news 7 sports."]
((The Maroons and Captans would shake hands before taking the field in the opener of the Tournament.
It was a pitcher's duel but Newport had runners on second and third before Maroon pitcher Amy Layman struck out a batter and ended the inning on a pop fly.
Roanoke then rallied in the fifth. Crystal Berry lays down a bunt single advancing a runner to third and in scoring position.
Layman came to the plate and hit a high chopper to third Lisa Wasiloff slides under a high throw at home and the Maroons took the one to nothing lead.
But the Captains threatened in the top of the seventh. Layman struck out 2 in a row and the Maroons get the one to nothing win.))
((AMY LAYMAN/WINNING PITCHER:))
((ALAN BAYSE/ROANOKE HEAD COACH:))
Roanoke's arena football team could be sold shortly. This morning, two of the Steam owners, Hugh Lantz and Dick Yancey, talked by phone and one of the main topics was selling the Steam.
News 7 sports spoke with Lantz by phone from his office in Harrisonburg and he told us that he and Yancey also held a conference call with a potential out of state buyer this morning and some numbers were exchanged.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="we gave a]
Two weeks ago, Steam ownership received a formal, written offer from an outside party to buy the team, but turned it down. The team has been for sale for the last five weeks but ownership has taken a non aggressive stance.
(///// SOT /////)
The Winston Cup stars are off this weekend taking their normal Mother's Day break.
But for the Petty's this is no time to celebrate.
One year ago tomorrow Adam Petty was killed at New Hampshire.
His death affected many including myself way more than Dale Earnhardt's passing because Adam was still just a child.
He was just 19 years old when he died on May 12th.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=THE 12TH...]
[SUPER=01-Kyle Petty/Adam's Father; :00]
[SUPER=01-Pattie Petty/Adam's Mother; :18]
[OUT Q=...THE CASE."]
Kyle still wears Adam's hat, still has his name of the team's transport truck, and also uses Adam's helmet.
[GRAPHIC=NEW RIVER ]
Tomorrow night the New River Valley Speedway will welcome Cup stars Michael Waltrip, Stacy Compton and Brett Bodine, along with Kerry Earnhardt and Ernie Irvan - plus retired legend Harry Gant.
Waltrip, Compton, Bodine, Earnhardt and Irvan will race each other in a special 30 lap feature match race.
Interestingly enough, Michael Waltrip will be driving the number 3 car with a seat the Wood Brothers kept from the days Michael used to drive for them.
Tickets are $18 dollars, and just $6 bucks for those 12 and under.
The gates open at two tomorrow with the driver autograph session set to last from five to 6:30.
It was another bright sunny day which is fine if you wanted to do yardwork. That's exactly what Roanoke City police officers were up to.
Over at Hunt Manor a beautification project is underway to improve quality of life issues for the residents. In addition to cleaning up and planting flowers, officers conducted a bike safety rodeo and handed out free bike helmets.