A locked car legally parked behind Roanoke's main post office. Why city police suspect something's happened to th
Plus, Virginians fueling up for the fourth will find more than independence to celebrate.
Tonight on News 7 sports the top women's bowlers in the world went head to head with our own Steve Mason today in Danville.
The Steam is home tonight.
And we'll check out the speed of the Formula Pro Motorcycles, who are cutting a wicked path this weekend at Virginia International Raceway.
Once again temperatures soar to near 90 with a few pop up thunderstorms...will this weather last...I'll have your forecast...
News 7 is next.
A dependable postal employee parks her car in her usual spot, ready for work.
The car's still there but Jenni Barker's missing, and police could use your help.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
And I'm Shannon Young.
Within 90 minutes of Barker's disappearance yesterday morning, an acquaintance of hers had called police to report her missing.
Barker had parked her Honda Accord on Fifth Street behind the Main Post Office... between six and seven A-M- -near the mail truck she drives.
A cup of coffee was left sitting on the truck.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=She's a dependable]
((SHELLY ALLEY/ROANOKE POLICE SPOKESWOMAN; SHE'S A DEPENDABLE EMPLOYEE. SHE REGULARLY SHOWS UP FOR WORK. THIS IS OUT OF CHARACTER FOR HER? THIS IS OUT OF CHARACTER FOR HER.))
[SUPER=01-Shelly Alley/Roanoke Police Spokeswoman]
[OUT Q=this is out of character for her. (double out)]
Police say they've made numerous attempts to locate the 44-year old Salem woman.
Jennifer Summer Barker stands 5-5, weighs 140 pounds, has blond hair and blue eyes.
Police are especially interested in talking with another acquaintance of hers, a Riverland Road resident by the name of Dewy Lee Summerlin. He may be driving a green Honda with temporary tags.
It's NOT typical Friday night fodder, but the political lines that affect Virginia's fate in Washington are about to be redrawn.
And there's a public hearing on them tonight in Roanoke.
It's part two of the once a decade redistricting: this time, the Congressional boundaries.
[Double Boxes=Shannon & Ellen/State Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom with a preview.
[Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave]
There are four maps out there.
But political realists might say only two count.
Those are the two drawn by members of the Republican majority.
[IN Q=In southwest Virginia, the current]
[SUPER=01-Bob Holsworth/VCU Political Analyst; :59]
[OUT Q=Rick Boucher leaves Congress.]
(( In southwest Virginia, the current congressional districts converge around Roanoke and Lynchburg.
Democrat Rick Boucher represents the 9th, which goes to the southwest tip of the state.
Republican Bob Goodlatte represents the 6th, which runs from Roanoke north.
And Independent Virgil Goode holds the 5th, which runs from Southside up to about Charlottesville.
In the Senate Republican proprosal, Goode's 5th district would pick up Lynchburg, Amherst County, and all of Bedford.
Boucher's 9th district would head east into Patrick County, and grab almost all of Western Roanoke County and Salem.
The Senate plan seems a bit less politically motivated, and perhaps more geographically reasonable.
The House plan has a surprise.
Blacksburg and Northeast Montgomery County are sliced out of Boucher's 9th, and inserted into Goodlatte's 6th.
Boucher then picks up the more rural and conservative Alleghany and Botetourt Counties.
But political analysts say that move alone is unlikely to be enough to unseat Democrat Rick Boucher when he runs for re-election.
[sot 16:33:07 ]
((BOB HOLSWORTH/VCU POLITICAL ANALYST: BUT WHAT IT MAY DO IS MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR ANOTHER DEMOCRAT TO HOLD THAT DISTRICT WHEN DOWN THE ROAD RICK BOUCHER LEAVES CONGRESS.))
[Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave]
Indeed, the other factor here is what happens to all the Democratic state legislators who have been lumped together in House districts.
Both Republican plans, for instance, place Barnie Day's Patrick County into fellow Democrat Rick Boucher's district.
So without analyzing Republican motives, a few other goals may be ultimately achieved with the Congressional plan... of limiting the political futures of Democrats who've been shut out of the General Assembly in the previous redisctricting.
[Double Boxes=Shannon & Ellen /State Microwave]
(QUESTION:And the public hearing tonight is in Roanoke?)
Parents of some Botetourt County school children say their kids will bear the brunt of a budget cut.
Several parents of Breckenridge Elementary School children confronted school board members after a meeting to finalize the budget this morning.
The school board voted to move five teachers from Breckenridge to other schools, to solve the money shortage.
That will force FOURTH and FIFTH grade class sizes up near the state maximum of 35 students.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I don't understand]
[SOT 27:41 - :52]
((KRIS BERTHOLF/PTA MEMBER: I DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT WITH 13 GRADES IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, THAT ONLY TWO GRADES HAVE BEEN SINGLED OUT. AND THE MAJORITY OF THE IMPACT OF THAT WILL BE FELT AT ONE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.))
[SOT 38:27 - :39]
((KATHY SULLIVAN/SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT: WE'VE LOOKED AT EVERYTHING AND THIS WAS THE BIGGEST AMOUNT OF MONEY. I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS. I HATE IT FOR THOSE KIDS.))
[SUPER=01-Kris Bertholf/PTA Member; :00]
[SUPER=01-Kathy Sullivan/School Board President; :12]
[OUT Q=for those kids.]
Parents AND school board members say they're worried the larger classes will make it harder for the kids to succeed on the SOLs.
The City of Clifton Forge is history as of Sunday.
Today was the last official business day before reverting to town status, and some city employees were packing their desks for the move.
Richard Lesko has more...
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=nat sound]
[SUPER=03-Clifton Forge; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dusty Rhodes/Clifton Forge Mayor; :28]
[SUPER=01-Reginald Gibson/Clifton Forge Resident; :48]
[OUT Q=RL, N7, Clifton Forge.]
[SOT - 10-54-50]
[NAT SOUND OF MOVING BOOKCASE]
Moving day for the City of Clifton Forge came on its last business day. Furniture, and boxes of tax records and court files were packed up for the short trip to the Alleghany County seat in Covington.
[SOT - 10:56:16]
[INQ=I think citizens...]
((I THINK CITIZENS WILL NOT SEE MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE REALLY.))
[OUTQ=of a difference really.]
Mayor Dusty Rhodes has fought for reversion for his five years on City Council. He says spiralling costs made the reversion decision difficult, but neccesary.
[SOT - 10:57:47]
[INQ=We have had to cut...]
((DUSTY RHODES/CLIFTON FORGE MAYOR; WE HAVE HAD TO CUT THINGS FROM THE BUDGET. EVEN THOUGH TAXES WERE INCREASING, SERVICES WERE DECREASING.))
[OUTQ=services were decreasing.]
Faced with a declining population and the need for millions of dollars of civic improvements, the citizens of Clifton Forge voted in March to relinquish city status.
[SOT - 11:09:25]
[INQ=I don't think...]
((REGINALD GIBSON/CLIFTON FORGE RESIDENT; I DON'T THINK FOUR THOUSAND PEOPLE CAN RUN A CITY. I VOTED FOR REVERSION, MAY REGRET IT, MAY NOT.))
[OUTQ=regret it, may not.]
Since Alleghany County needs to add personel to handle its newest 4-thousand residents, many of the City employees who are losing their jobs have found work in the County.
[SOT - 10:58:40]
[INQ=Our social services...]
((OUR SOCIAL SERVICES ONCE THEY CONSOLIDATE WITH THE COUNTY, THEY ARE LOOKING AT HIRING MORE PEOPLE. SO I THINK INSTEAD OF A LOSS OF JOBS, THERE HAVE BEEN A NET GAIN IN JOBS OVERALL.))
[OUTQ=in jobs overall.]
[SOT - 11:19:19]
[INQ=Clifton Forge will officially...]
((RICHARD LESKO/RLESKO@WDBJ7.COM; THE COMMUNITY WILL OFFICIALLY BECOME PART OF ALLEGHANY COUNTY THIS WEEKEND. OFFICIALS HAVE PLANNED A RECEPTION ON MONDAY FOR THE RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN OF CLIFTON FORGE.))
[OUTQ=town of Clifton Forge.]
So this coming Sunday, residents will bid a hearty
[SOT - 11:04:08]
to the city of Clifton Forge. Richard Lesko, News 7, Clifton Forge.))
Clifton Forge is changing its status... so is one area college.
Find out what's in store a little later on News 7 at Six.
And it may seem hard to believe, but just in time for summer vacation season, gas prices are actually going down.
People have good reason to be pumped up these days.
That's because gas prices are steadily falling.
Nationally a gallon of regular gasoline has dropped nineteen cents since Memorial Day to a dollar fifty-two per gallon.
In Roanoke, it's down to an average of a dollar thirty-three-- down fifteen cents since Memorial day.
And with the Fourth of July and summer vacation season close by, the drop's giving many people good reason to celebrate.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I really love]
((SHERMAN CABLE; I REALLY LOVE IT, I HAVE BEEN SINCE PLUS I ALSO TRAVEL ALOT FOR OTHER REASONS AS WELL AND I GO THROUGH TWO-HUNDRED GALLONS OF GASOLINE A MONTH AND THESE DROPPING PRICES HAVE BEEN A GOD SEND FOR ME.))
[OUT Q=send for me.]
Gasoline industry officials say the trend should continue as long as production and distribution stay problem free.
When most people think about redeveloping Lynchburg's riverfront, they envision projects like new hotels, restaurants and parking garages.
But the city's newest downtown enterprise sits in a small, nondescript trailer.. and as Steve Smallshaw tells us, business is rolling right along.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Since it opened]
[SUPER=01-Rita Green/Blackwater Creek Bike Rentals; :11]
[SUPER=01-Rachel Flynn/Lynchburg City Planner; 1:00]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( Since it opened last spring, the Percival's Island section of Lynchburg's Blackwater Creek trail system has quickly become the city's most popular spot for hiking and biking.
((RITA GREEN/BLACKWATER CREEK BIKE RENTALS: WHEN WE CAME IN HERE AND SAW THE PERCIVALS ISLE AREA OPENED UP JUST LAST YEAR, IT LOOKED LIKE A MARVELOUS SPOT TO BE BIKING, AND WE SAID 'GEE, WHERE WILL WE GET A BIKE FROM?'))
[OUT Q=a bike from?]
Apparently, a lot of others had asked that same question.
For Wes and Rita Green, the answer was to open their own business.. Blackwater Creek Bike Rentals.
[natsot 9:45:29 #2]
((ARE YOU READY TO RIDE? WELL, LET ME GET YOU ALL SETTLED, MAYBE GET YOU TO FILL THIS FORM OUT..))
Customers can choose from a fleet of 21- speed bicycles and accessories and hit the pavement for an hour or two of exercise and sightseeing.
In just a few months, the Greens have helped pump new life into the riverfront economy.
((AND THE IDEA IS TO ONE DAY GET A GARAGE DOWN HERE..))
City leaders say it will take more entrepreneurs like the Greens to get the downtown area rolling down the right path.
[SOT 15:11:10 #2]
((RACHEL FLYNN/LYNCHBURG CITY PLANNER: IT WAS GREAT TO SEE SOMEONE TAKE INITIATIVE, TO SAY 'I SEE A NEED HERE'. IT WAS RATHER OBVIOUS WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WERE GOING ON PERCIVALS ISLE AND BLACKWATER CREEK AND THEY SORT OF CONNECTED THE DOTS AND SAID 'HERE'S A NEED FOR FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS'.))
[OUT Q=and individuals.]
If all goes well, the Greens say they might expand into rafting and tube rentals on the river..
[natsot 9:49:56 #2]
(( (girl laughs) YAY!!))
..creating a whole new set of satisfied customers.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
An unusual end to the week on Wall Street.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW dropped 64 points.
NASDAQ gained 37, in a session that was extended to 5 o-clock because of computer problems.
Charlene Rappleyea (RAP-uhl-yay) says she was "absolutely devastated" by broadcast news reports two years ago.
Today, a Lynchburg jury hearing her lawsuit sided with a local television station.
Joe Dashiell covered the two-day trial.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Rappleyea sued]
[SUPER=01-Noreen Turyn/WSET News Anchor; 1:03 quick]
[SUPER=01-Charlene Rappleyea/Plaintiff; 1:09]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Lynchburg]
(( Rappleyea sued WSET13 and WDBJ7 claiming the stations defamed her when they reported on an assault warrant that was sworn out against her.
The parents of a seven year-old girl had alleged the Toys R- Us employee placed her hand in the child's pants to see if she was concealing shoplifted merchandise. The charge was later dismissed.
In the WSET case, Rappleyea's atorney argued that reporter Hobie Lehman and other station employees failed to investigate the allegations adequately, and failed to seek Rappleyea's side of the story.
"They didn't care about the real truth," Hayden Fisher told the jury, "because they wanted sensational journalism."
But Channel 13's attorney argued that Rappleyea was upset by a chain of events she set in motion herself when she confronted the child in the bathroom of the store.
David Branson noted that WSET waited a day longer than other stations to report the story. He told the jury, "We reported the facts. We didn't sensationalize or editorialize."
The jury considered the evidence for an hour and a half before returning a verdict in favor of WSET.
[IN Q=I stood by the story]
((NOREEN TURYN/WSET NEWS ANCHOR: I STOOD BY THE STORY FROM THE VERY START, AND I WAS PLEASED TO SEE THE JURY UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY OF OUR STATION.))
[OUT Q=the integrity of our station.]
[IN Q=I was disappointed]
((CHARLENE RAPPLEYEA: I WAS DISAPPOINTED, BUT WE HAD OUR DAY IN COURT AND I THANK THE PEOPLE THAT WERE ON THE JURY FOR LISTENING AND JUST BEING THERE.))
[OUT Q=and just being there.]
Rappleyea's attorney says he will proceed with the lawsuit against WDBJ7. No court date has been set for that.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Lynchburg))
The college days are over for Averett.
That's because the school officially becomes a university this weekend.
Today, the college marked the occasion with a small reception and started changing signs around campus.
School officials say students will notice more than just a name change when they return to campus in the fall.
[IN Q=I think the students are going to see]
((DR. FRANK CAMPBELL/AVERETT PRESIDENT: I THINK THE STUDENTS ARE GOING TO SEE SOME SIGNIFICANT CHANGES. THEY ARE GOING TO COURSE OFFERINGS MULTIPLE. THEY'RE GOING TO SEE MORE DIVERSIFIED STUDENT BODY. AND WE HOPE TO INTRODUCE NEW PROGRAMS, ESPECIALLY GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN THE YEARS TO COME.))
[SUPER=01-Frank Campbell/Averett President]
[OUT Q=the years to come]
Another big change is coming next year.
Frank Campbell plans to retire as Averett's president at the end of the spring semester.
The Board of Trustees just recently set up a search committee to begin looking for a new president.
Coming up tonight on the Big 7 it's a big racing weekend at RIR and VIR.
We'll sort out the alphabet soup and head down to Danville
where some of the top women's bowlers in the world invaded southside today.
Rain at the Richmond International Raceway delayed qualifying a bit today for the Northern Light Indy Racing League.
Right now Sarah Fisher who wrecked and was taken to the hospital during practice yesterday is on the outside pole with Jacques Lazier on the provisional pole.
His speed was 160 miles an hour. To put that in context - Mark Martin won the Winston Cup pole earlier this year with
a lap at 124 miles an hour.[S-VIR]
[TAPE#=SP-102 1331tc ]
The Virginia International Raceway just outside of Danville in the community of Alton is gearing up for this weekend's Virginia Festival of Speed.
The Formula USA motorcycle circuit has been checking out the southside road course
More practice and qualifying is on tap for tomorrow at the track.
Then Sunday these high speed bikes will begin ripping up the pavement at 10:45am.
And this is definitely one of those events you have to see in person to truly appreciate.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=IT'S A REALLY NICE...]
[SUPER=01-Grant Lopez/Formula USA Champion; :01]
[SUPER=01-Laura Comstock/VIR Public Relations; :17]
[OUT Q=...AS WELL."]
The Professional Women's Bowling Association Southern Virginia Open tournament invades Danville's Country Club Lanes next week.
The Ebonite Bowling team helped promote the event today. Steve Mason has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Aleta Sill/Has 31 Professional Titles; :27]
[SUPER=01-Leanne Barrette/847,928 Dollars in Career Earnings; 1:11]
[SUPER=01-Cara Honeychurch/2000 PWBA Rookie of the Year; 1:30]
[OUT Q=....news 7 sports"]
The 6-and-6 Roanoke Steam faces Augusta, the Southeast Division leader tonight at the Roanoke Civic Center in a 7:30 kickoff.
The Steam must beat the 9-&-3 Stallions to have a CHANCE at making the playoffs.
You may want to arrive a little early for the pregame show since Miss Virginia preliminary talent competition take place tonight in the adjoining auditorium.
Tonight marks game number two of the Avalanche-Hillcats series in Lynchburg.
Last night the Hillcats dominated the Avs winning 12-to-4. Tonight's game begins at 7.