While many companies are cutting jobs a local business will be hiring MORE workers.
We'll have the details.
And a big surprise from Commonwealth Transportation Board members: ...an eastern route for I-73 around Martinsville.
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports, Chip Sullivan earns a spot in the Kemper Open.
NCAA softball is back in Salem.
And the new impact absorption system proposed for Winston Cup cars is unveiled today in Charlotte.
When it rains it pours... especially this week. Continued showers and thunderstorms in the forecast... the question of how long is answered in just a minute.
News 7 at Six is next.
[IN Q=I can't help but]
[OUT Q=see the same thing.]
A new interstate WEST of Martinsville just doesn't make sense.
That's the opinion of a handful of state transportation board members.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
And I'm Keith Humphry.
It's been in the planning for almost a decade and it may not be built in Virginia for another decade or two.
But tomorrow is finally I-73 decision day for the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
[Double Boxes=Keith-Shannon and Ellen/Azimuth]
Ellen Qualls is in Fredericksburg where the board had a revealing work session today.
( ad lib)
(Rollcue:drew almost all the attention today.)
[IN Q=From I-81 it]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/File Tape; :00 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Lorinda Lionberger/Salem Board Member; 19]
[SUPER=01-Fred Altizer/V-DOT District Administrator;54]
[SUPER=01-Hobie Mitchel/At Large Board Member;104]
[SUPER=01-Roy Parrish Byrd/Lynchburg Board Member; 1:30]
[OUT Q=comes to em, that it's there.]
( ad lib tag out!!)
There will be more jobs at the Celanese plant in Giles County.
That's because the company is cutting 445 jobs in its South Carolina plant.
Celanese officials say SOME of those jobs will move to the plant in Giles County. No word yet on how many.
The company says consolidating production in Narrows will make it more efficient.
The plant currently employs more than one-thousand workers.
It produces acetate filament used in cigarette filters and clothing.
A proposed power plant in Southside is one step closer to reality.
F-P-L Energy wants to build a natural gas fired power plant in Dry Fork.
The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors last night unanimously voted to rezone 128 acres for the project.
County Leaders believe the power plant will provide a substantial tax base and help attract new businesses.
Roanoke Delegate Vic Thomas says he can't walk away from the recent turmoil in state government. Today, the veteran lawmaker said he has decided to run for re-election.
Thomas said he has agonized over his options, but made his decision to run and began calling supporters with the news this afternoon.
First elected to the General Assembly in 1973, Thomas is a senior member of five House committees including Appropriations.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I'd have felt awful bad]
((DEL. VIC THOMAS/D- ROANOKE: I'D HAVE FELT AWFUL BAD IF I HADN'T MADE THIS DECISION. AND I THINK IT WAS THE RIGHT DECISION. I'D HAVE JUST FELT BAD IF I HAD NOT DONE IT... BEEN HARD TO LIVE WITH, I GUESS, IF I HADN'T OF.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Vic Thomas/(D) Roanoke]
[OUT Q=i guess if i hadn't of.]
Meanwhile, Thomas' democratic colleagues Dick Cranwell and Chip Woodrum are still considering their options. Redistricting has placed them in the same legislative district.
Classes are over for students at Forest Middle School but that doesn't mean classrooms will be empty.
Students at the middle school said their goodbyes this morning as the school year came to an abrupt end three weeks ahead of schedule.
Starting Monday, the school will be overrun by students from Jefferson Forest High School displaced by a potentially hazardous fungus found in a handful of the high school's rooms.
Administrators decided it was better to end the middle school's year early than risk the high schoolers' health.
Forest's principal says the changes have gone relatively smoothly.
(///// SOT /at :28 ////)
[IN Q=We had teachers put together enrichment packets...]
((RANDL SPEAR/PRINCIPAL: WE HAD TEACHERS PUT TOGETHER ENRICHMENT PACKETS FOR ALL THE STUDENTS TO HELP THEM CONTINUE THROUGH THE SUMMERTIME. THANKFULLY, THIS ALL HAPPENED AFTER WE FINISHED S-O-L TESTING SO THE MAJORITY OF OUR CURRICULUM IS DONE, SO THIS WORKED OUT, PERFECT TIMING.))
[OUT Q=so this worked out, perfect timing.]
Forest students are thrilled to have three extra weeks of summer.
Many already have plans.
(///// SOT AT: /////)
((ALVIN FERGUSON/STUDENT: I GOTTA WORK FOR MY DAD.))
((TABITHA JONES/STUDENT: WELL, I GET TO BABYSIT FOR MY BROTHER AND OTHER THAN THAT, I DON'T HAVE ANY PLANS 'CAUSE MY BROTHER AND SISTERS ARE STILL IN SCHOOL AT THE ELEMENTARY.))
[OUT Q=in school at the elementary.]
Because of the early dismissal Forest students have yet to receive their yearbooks.
The school will hold a special event on Saturday May 26th for students to pick up and sign their annuals.
Forget those long lines at the D-M-V, you'll soon be able to take care of business 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
And it's not just for roads and powerlines anymore...
Next on News 7, find out how eminent domain is being used to put a new face on an old neighborhood.
Over the past two weeks, we've seen how eminent domain.. or the taking of private property for public good.. can help establish highways or build a new civic center.
But the process is not limited to large- scale public projects.. it also can be used to just clean up the house next door.
Lynchburg news bureau chief Steve Smallshaw tells us how it's helping the Hill City tackle the problem of blighted housing.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Ed Barksdale/City Council Member; :20]
[SUPER=01-Ed McCann/L'burg Redevelopment & Housing Auth.; :36]
[SUPER=04-June, 1999; 1:05]
[SUPER=01-Lucy Ross/New Vistas Schools; 1:35]
[SUPER=01-David Petty/Housing Authority Attorney; 2:14]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( [natsot 00:50:02 #3]
((THIS IS A PROBLEM RIGHT HERE, THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM.))
In his four years on city council, Ed Barksdale says few things have generated as many complaints from his inner city constituents as dilapidated housing.
Absentee or uncaring landlords let properties like this deteriorate to the point where they become unsightly and unsafe.
[SOT 00:46:53 #3]
((ED BARKSDALE/LYNCHBURG COUNCIL MEMBER: IT'S ALL OVER THE CITY. IT'S NOT JUST HERE IN THIS SECTION, BUT IT'S IN THE ENTIRE CITY AND WE'VE JUST GOT TO DO WHAT WE CAN TO STAMP IT OUT.))
[OUT Q=stamp it out.]
Wearing the boots is the Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which oversees housing and rental property issues, with a major focus on upkeep.
[SOT 10:45:56 #2]
((ED MCCANN/LRHA DIRECTOR: WE WANT TO MAKE OUR CITY ATTRACTIVE TO PEOPLE, WE WANT TO IMPROVE THE TAX BASE AND I THINK OWNERS WILL PROBABLY PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE CONDITIONS OF THEIR PROPERTIES IN THE NEAR FUTURE.))
[OUT Q=near future.]
(( For those unable or unwilling to make improvements, there is a state law known as spot blight abatement.
It allows housing authorities to work outside their established redevelopment districts, like here in the inner city, and tackle blighted housing wherever it exists.
McCann says Lynchburg was the first locality to use spot blight when it took on 610 Eldon Street.))
[OUT Q=Eldon Street.]
This is how it looked two years ago.. a weed-choked yard.. broken windows.. trash filling every nook and cranny of the property.
[SOT 00:56:28 #4]
((IT WAS AWFUL. THERE WAS TRASH, THERE WERE ANIMALS, IT WAS VERY BAD.))
This is 610 Eldon today.. after the owner declined to sell, the housing authority exercised eminent domain to buy the property and then resell it to New Vistas Schools, its next door neighbor.
[natsot hammering 00:58:59 #4]
New Vistas is sinking 40- thousand dollars into its renovation, much to the delight of the neighborhood.
[SOT 00:57:14 #4]
((LUCY ROSS/NEW VISTAS SCHOOLS: THIS IS A WONDERFUL NEIGHBORHOOD AND THEY ALL CARE ABOUT THEIR HOMES AND WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.))
[OUT Q=looks like.]
[SOT 10:50:10 #2]
((ED MCCANN/LRHA DIRECTOR: WE WERE ABLE TO GO IN AND ACQUIRE THE PROPERTY AND AFFECT THE REHABILITATION OF IT, AND YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO HAVE A MASSIVE URBAN RENEWAL OR REDEVELOPMENT AREA. IT'S JUST THAT SINGLE PROPERTY THAT CAN CAUSE THAT BLIGHT TO SPREAD.))
[OUT Q=blight to spread.]
Eminent domain, McCann says, is used as a last resort.
Property owners are first given a chance to fix up their homes.. if they can't or won't, the authority makes an offer to buy the property.
If the owner declines, the authority may then decide to acquire it through eminent domain.
((DAVID PETTY/HOUSING AUTHORITY ATTORNEY: IT'S SOMETHING WE KNOW WE HAVE THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY BUT WE DO WANT TO BE SPARING IN THE WAY THAT'S USED. WE REALLY WANT.. THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO BRING THE PROPERTY INTO COMPLIANCE AND BE A PART OF AN OTHERWISE STABLE NEIGHBORHOOD.))
[OUT Q=stable neighborhood.]
Housing officials say there are hundreds of properties across Lynchburg that need attention.. armed with state law and eminent domain, they're taking them on one at a time.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
Tomorrow, how emiment domain created Smith Mountain Lake ... and how one man had the vision to see what it would mean for property values along the shoreline.
The federal reserve's interest rate cut finally kicked Wall Street into high gear.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW shot up 343-points, closing above the 11-thousand mark for the first time in eight months.
NASDAQ gained 81 points.
After one hundred years of service to the Roanoke Valley, Family Services has cut the ribbon to its new building.
The new facility, located on Campbell Avenue, will expand the already existing Counseling Services.
Features include play therapy rooms, and enhanced services catered to children.
One million dollars was raised to help pay for the project.
However, the final price tag is over two million dollars and the non profit organization is seeking the help of the community to help pay for the new center.
A center volunteer and center advocate were invited to help cut the ribbon.
Renewing your drivers license could soon be as easy as using an A-T-M.
The Department of Motor Vehicles is putting a high-tech gadget in D-M-V offices called extraTeller.
It's a computerized touch-screen machine that works like an A-T-M.
All 73 D-M-V locations should have one by the end of the year.
Motorists with pre-printed renewal forms can renew their licenses and registrations at an extraTeller 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports, the NCAA softball teams in Division two beat the rain to get in some practice.
Chip Sullivan earns a spot in the Kemper Open.
And Jarrett Ferguson returns to Bedford County this afternoon to thrill some elementary school students.
Chip Sullivan is headed back to the PGA Tour for at least one week.
Today in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in open qualifying for next week's Kemper Open, Chip shot a five under par round to beat out 49 other golfers for one of only two at large spots for the event.
The Kemper Open begins next Thursday at the TPC at Avenel Course in Potomac, Maryland.
Sullivan, who is the club pro at Ashley Plantation in Botetourt County, last played on the tour in 1999.
[TAPE#=sp-93 tc 19:57]
The eight best Division Two College Softball teams are in Salem, for a chance at the National Championship.
Getting to Southwest Virginia wasn't easy for everyone.
The team from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, had their first flight from Chicago canceled due to mechanical problems.
The new flight actually got the Flyers into Dulles Airport earlier than planned.
But there was still one more hurdle left to jump before arriving at Roanoke Regional Airport.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=we had]
[SUPER=01-George DiMatteo/Lewis University Coach; :04]
[OUT Q=early this morning]
Eastern New Mexico spent six hours in the air to get to the Old Dominion.
This trip to the elite eight is quite an accomplishment for a program only five years old.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=this is]
[SUPER=01-Kathleen & James Rodriguez/Eastern New Mexico Co-Head Coaches; ]
[OUT Q=nice ride]
All the teams familiarized themselves with the Moyer Sports Complex today. Games begin tomorrow at Noon.
Lowe's Motorspeedway President Humpy Wheeler always puts on a show for the Winston and the Coke 600 at Charlotte.
But today the presentation he put on was anything but flashy.
[SUPER=03-Concord, NC; :00]
Wheeler has been working with several engineers since Dale Earnhardt's death trying to develop a impact absorption system that would less the severity of frontal crashes.
The new bumper material is light and designed to save lives.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Paul Lew/Bumper Developer; :03]
[OUT Q=orienting the fibers."]
Virginia Tech fullback Jarrett Ferguson was back at home today reading to the students at Stewartsville Elementary a school that has close ties to his family.
Roy Stanley has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Jarrett Ferguson/Virginia Tech Fullback; :18]
[SUPER=01-Teresa Calhoun/Stewartsville Librarian; 1:00]
[OUT Q=........news 7 sports."]
((Ferguson was greeted with the Virginia Tech fight song.))
((But today's visit with the kids at Stewartsville elementary was about more than football.
Ferguson stressed the importance of reading and getting an education. And he said one day he might turn to the teaching profession.))
((JARRETT FERGUSON/TECH FULLBACK:))
((Ferguson is noted for his blocking in the Tech offense. However, last season he rushed for 215 yards and he scored 6 touchdowns.
Ferguson, a walk on at Tech, hasn't forgotten the help he received as a youngster and that's why its important for him to give back.))
((Ferguson is relaxing at home before returning to Blacksburg for off season training.
Roy Stanley News 7 sports.))
[TAPE#=01-08 tc 2:01:25, 01-06 tc 2:02:12]
Abuse of the painkiller Oxycontin has reached epidemic levels in parts of our area.
Tonight in the New River Valley .. discussion on how Oxycontin's abuse may be hurting those who legitimately need the drug.
[***OXYCONTIN MB GRAPHIC**]
[Double Boxes=Keith-Shannon & Jean/MB SET]
Jean Jadhon is here with more on the story, Jean?
Keith .. Shannon,
[LIVE=Jean Full/MB SET]
The maker of Oxycontin is holding a meeting in conjunction with Montgomery Regional Hospital.
Tonight they are supposed to touch on a 10-point plan- the drug maker Perdue-Pharma is hoping that will reduce Oxycontin abuse ..
[01-08 tc 2:01:25, 01-06 tc 2:02:12]
.. but it will also look at how chronic pain sufferers are coping with changes because of abuse by others.
Officials say some pharmacies have stopped carrying Oxycontin and that a number of doctors no longer prescribe it, making pain management difficult for some.
[***NEWS 7 @ 11 MB GRAPHIC***]
[Live=Jean Full/MB SET]
We'll take a look at the victims of prescription drug abuse.
[Double Boxes=Keith-Shannon & Jean/MB SET]
tonight on News 7 at Eleven.