A local lawyer will experience life on the other side of the bars for his failure to file taxes.
Plus, the jig's up at Spinnaker's.
The restaurant chain is lowering the boom at Valley View.
Tonight on the Big 7 - Randy Moss signs for $75 million.
The final round of the women's city county is shaping up to be quite a shootout.
And Roanoke's own Ramon and Damon Williams are part of this year's hall of fame class at VMI.
Showers and thunderstorms are popping up all around us... I'll show you where in my forecast......
News 7 at Six is next.
[IN Q=Nat sound of Auction]
[OUT Q=Nat sound Auction.]
Will it stay, or will it go?
Many southside tobacco farmers wonder if a way of life is coming to an end.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
And I'm Shannon Young.
The Southside tobacco markets got underway today with an uncertain future.
This year marks the first that tobacco companies bypassed auction houses in favor of buying their leaf directly from growers.
As Danville Bureau Chief Justin McLeod found out the new contract system is bringing both optimism and skepticism.
[IN Q=Nat sound of auction]
[SUPER=01-Dan Robertson/Holland's Warehouse; :13]
[SUPER=01-Jerry Graddock/Tobacco Farmer; :58]
[SUPER=01-Bobby Wilkerson/Contract Tobacco Farmer; 1:15]
[OUT Q=News 7, Danville]
((((NAT SOUND OF AUCTION))
This is how its been done for almost a century.
Tobacco farmers would sell their crops here at big auction houses.
But this year, many farmers chose to stay home.
[IN Q=I thought we would do]
((DAN ROBERTSON/HOLLAND'S WAREHOUSE: I THOUGHT WE WOULD DO BETTER THAN THIS. MORE OF MY CUSTOMERS WENT TO CONTRACTING THAN I THOUGHT WOULD COME.))
[OUT Q=thought would come]
And the numbers prove it.
Last year, auction warehouses sold more than ninety percent of the total crop.
This year they'll be lucky to reach twenty percent.
Thats why only two warehouses remain in business here in Danville.
[IN Q=More than 75% of the tobacco]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: MORE THAN 75% OF THE TOBACCO FARMERS DECIDED TO FORGO THE AUCTION SYSTEM FOR A CONTRACT SYSTEM WHERE THEY SELL DIRECTLY TO THE TOBACCO COMPANIES. FARMERS SAY IT WILL SAVE THEM TIME AND MONEY ON WAREHOUSE FEES.
TOBACCO COMPANIES SAY IT WILL GUARANTEE THEM A FAIR PRICE.))
[OUT Q=them a fair price]
((NAT SOUND OF AUCTION))
Critics question how long will that fair price last.
After all, the price support system leaves when the warehouses go out of business.
And some farmers say that will leave growers at the mercy of big tobacco.
[IN Q=They're going to tell what it grades]
((JERRY CRADDOCK/TOBACCO FARMER: THEY'RE GOING TO TELL WHAT IT GRADES AND WHAT IT BRINGS RIGHT THERE. THATS JUST THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY. THIS WAY YOU HAVE THE GOVERNMENT IN IT GRADING IT FOR YOU, THEY TRY TO KEEP IT 1/2 WAY STRAIGHT.))
[OUT Q=half way straight]
Most farmers will tell it to you straight, they had no choice but to go the contract way.
[IN Q=We see the contracting]
((BOBBY WILKERSON/TOBACCO FARMER: WE SEE THE CONTRACTING AS A THING THATS COMING AND I THINK THIS WAREHOUSE IS SOMETHING THATS GOING TO BE PHASED OUT, THE AUCTION SYSTEM IS GOING TO BE PHASED OUT.))
[OUT Q=to be phased out]
Even the auction house operators wonder if their days are numbered. (NAT SOUND OF AUCTION NUMBERS)
Justin McLeod, News 7, Danville.))
It could be last call for a restaurant that has been with Valley View Mall since it opened.
The national chain of Spinnaker's Restaurants is closing its doors after the Nashville-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June.
The move means 45 full- and- part time employees will lose their jobs at the Roanoke location, as soon as the restaurant can close its lease with the mall.
Sources say a private company has bought the Radford Spinnaker's, and plans to keep that one open at its current location.
Layoffs for some at a Blacksburg fiber optic company may mean opportunity for others.
Haleos (HAY-lee-ohss) laid off 22 of its 200 employees yesterday.
The company says it's relying more on automated machines rather than hand-built lines for production.
But Haleos officials say they're now hiring experienced engineers to meet the changes.
Increased demand for coal exports makes a positive impact on Norfolk Southern's second quarter income.
N-S reports an eight percent rise over the previous three months, as high natural gas costs increased demand for coal.
The company cites a decline in coal exports and the slowdown of shipments as partial reasons for last year's layoffs.
N-S says its 107- million dollar income was also padded by the sale of oil and gas assets.
A Roanoke man's feet were cut off when he was hit by a Norfolk Southern train this morning.
It happened near Cook Drive in Salem.
Police say 41-year-old Keith Lynwood Gearheart was walking on the railroad tracks.
His feet were severed when a coal train struck him from behind.
Witnesses said Gearheart did NOT respond to the train's whistle... and that he crouched down moments before it hit.
Police say it appears Gearheart had been drinking.
He's in critical condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Fire damaged the Church of the Holy Spirit in Roanoke County today, but the loss is limited.
Fire crews arrived within minutes and contained the flames in an upstairs storage room.
Damage was confined to that caused by smoke in the building and sanctuary as well as some water and structural damage on the first floor.
No word on the cause or a damage estimate.
The F-B-I, State Police and a tracking dog are on the scene of an armed bank robbery in Blacksburg.
Authorties say a lone suspect held up a branch of the National Bank of Blacksburg on Route-460.
A source tells News 7 a masked man carrying a gun robbed a teller just before 4 p-m.
Police say the suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.
Authorities have not released a description of the suspect but are searching the surrounding area.
A lawyer from Martinsville was sentenced today to serve a year and a half for failure to file income tax returns.
Rickey Young had said his accountant advised him not to file, because he was already under criminal investigation.
Young continually says the government spent 2-point-75 million dollars investigating him.
An I-R-S Revenue Agent testified today that Young's failure to file meant the loss to the U-S Treasury of 92-thousand dollars over five years.
A jury convicted him February 1st.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I can't complain]
((RICKEY YOUNG; I CAN'T COMPLAIN, BECAUSE TOOK MY CASE TO THE PEOPLE AND THE PEOPLE SAID, "HEY, YOU'RE GUILTY." HEH, HEH. YOU KNOW, SO.))
[OUT Q=hey, you're guilty, Heh, heh, you know, so....]
Young will be allowed to report to prison on his own to begin serving his time.
NAFTA has sunk a lot of American businesses.
But it's helping some local funiture manufacturers thrive.
Find out how next on News 7 at Six.
And we'll take a dip with the wild ponies of Assateague Island.
Hooker Furniture will shorten workweeks for the next few months .. and shut down six area facilities for one week in August.
The company's announcement today cites lower sales.
Hooker is hardly alone. Most furniture manufacturers have suffered tremendous financial losses in recent months.
[SS=Turning the Tables]
Free trade and foreign competition are some of the big reasons, but in some cases, those factors can work the opposite way and HELP local companies survive.
Jennifer Miele is taking a close look at the furniture industry all week. Tonight, she explains how NAFTA can "turn the tables".
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=THe North American Free]
[SUPER=01-John Wampler/Pulaski Furniture; :38]
[OUT Q=JM News 7, Pulaski.]
(( JENNIFER MIELE/REPORTING: THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR MANUFACTURERS IN THE US, CANADA AND MEXICO TO IMPORT AND EXPORT GOODS DUTY FREE. SO FAR, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA'S SEEN WHAT NAFTA DID TO HURT THE ECONOMY. HERE'S WHAT IT DID TO HELP.))
((THERE WERE FOUR KIDS IN MY FAMILY, I GUESS I WAS THE ONE WHO ENJOYED IT THE MOST.))
It's a good thing John Wampler enjoys his work. He's now the President of Pulaski Furniture.
At 43, Wampler's seen the up and downside of being the boss.... from layoffs to plant closings to foreign competition.
((WHEN YOU MAKE CHANGES THAT AFFECT PEOPLE'S LIVES, IT THOUGH. WHAT OUR APPROACH WAS, TO BE DELIBERATE, HONEST AND UP FRONT.))
The textile industry faced tough changes as well when the NAFTA went into affect.
When Tultex moved out, Pulaski Furniture moved in .... buying one of it's 900 thousand square feet buildings to use as a warehouse.
So why did NAFTA suffocate textiles, but helped furniture to breath easy?
For years, imported textiles were more expensive because of tariffs that the U-S government slapped on them.
But those "protective tariffs" were NEVER placed on furniture.... so the imported stuff was just as cheap as domestic Furniture, meaning nobody had an advantage.
It was NAFTA that evened the playing field.
[END PRE PRO]
((AFTER NAFTA THE DUTIES WENT TO ZERO WHEN WE SHIPPED TO MEXICO, AND STAYED THAT WAY FOR FURNITURE COMING HERE.))
Even with help from NAFTA, Wampler knew he needed to make changes to keep up with foreign competition.
That's when Pulaski decided to move bedroom suite manufacturing overseas.
((OUR BED ROOM BUSINESS WAS LESS THAN A FIFTH OF WHAT IT IS TODAY. WE WERE MAKING IT ALL OURSELVES AND WE JUST WEREN'T COMPETITIVE.))
Pulaski still manufactures in the US -- these unmistakable grandfather clocks and curios.
It was a change, Wampler says, that was right on time. Jennifer Miele, News 7, Pulaski. ))
It isn't even built yet but the Carilion Biomedical Institute is already turning out products...
CBI's President Dennis Fisher today announced three new ones that will be on the market by the end of the year.
Two products designed at local colleges, including a walker with a sensor that will prevent patients from running into walls, will help the elderly.
Fisher says the new economy of the 21st century will center around biomedical research, and that Roanoke is the perfect city to build the Institute.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We have some of the]
((DENNIS FISHER: WE HAVE SOME OF THE BEST IN THE NATION OF BOTH COLLEGES AND JUNIOR COLLEGES AND TWO GREAT UNIVERSITIES WITH AN EASY DRIVE.))
[SUPER=01-Dennis Fisher/Carilion Biomedical Institute President]
[OUT Q=an easy drive.]
The C-B-I has also taken on two attorneys to help patent all of the products it's creating.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE WIPE]
After three consecutive losing days, a big rebound on Wall Street.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW climbed 164-and a half points.
NASDAQ gained 25.
A wide-ranging study of Virginia's tax system apparently won't be ranging as widely as some would like.
Governor Jim Gilmore kicked off the work of his newly appointed tax commission today.
Gilmore says the commission should recommend by the end of this year new ways to fund local governments, without hurting his signature car tax cut -- or apparently considering any tax increases.
[IN Q=Virginia has closed one decade]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: VIRGINIA HAS CLOSED ONE DECADE, WITHOUT A TAX INCREASE. FROM GOVERNOR WILDER TO GOVERNOR ALLEN AND THROUGH THIS ADMINISTRATION. WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY ABANDONED THE OLD DOGMA IN FAVOR OF THE NEW PARADIGM. A PARADIGM THAT REQUIRES GOVERNMENT TO BECOME MORE EFFICIENT IN THE WAY THAT IT SPENDS PEOPLE'S MONEY.))
((NOT MORE EFECTIVE IN THE WAY IT SEIZES MONEY.))
((WHAT I HEARD TODAY WAS NO NEW TAXES. JIM CAMPBELL/VIRGINIA ASSOC. OF COUNTIES: I HEARD A SIMILAR THING ABOUT NO NEW TAXES, AND CERTAINLY THAT HAS BEEN THE BATTLE CRY FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS. THAT IS FINE. SO LONG AS THE CITIZENS ALSO TELL US WHAT SERVICES THEY WANT TO DELETE. BECAUSE GOVERNMENT SERVICES DO COST.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Campbell/Virginia Assoc. of Counties; :25]
[OUT Q=because government services do cost.]
The commission is expected to look at issues like whether some portion of the state income tax should go directly to cities and counties.
A group that supports Democrat Mark Warner for governor says it's having to hunt for the truth in Republican's Mark Earley's campaign ads.
In the latest issue of "Whitetail Times", a hunting magazine based in Richmond, Earley and Warner both ran full page ads saying they would protect Virginian's rights to hunt and fish.
However, Earley's ad has ruffled the feathers of "Sportsmen for Warner", which says the former attorney general is
misrepresenting his own support of the past election's hunting and fishing amendment.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I chaired the Virginia...]
((SHERRY CRUMLEY/SPORTSMEN FOR WARNER CHAIR; I CHAIRED THE VIRGINIA HERITAGE FOUNDATION WHICH WAS A BIPARTISAN GROUP WHICH WORKED FOR 5 MONTHS TO PASS THE HUNTING AND FISHING AMENDMENT, AND I NEVER MET OR SPOKE WITH MISTER EARLEY.))
[SUPER=401-Sherry Crumley/Sportsmen for Warner Chair]
[OUT Q=or spoke with mister Earley.]
Earley's supporters say Mark Warner is -quote- "camouflaging his anti-gun agenda".
[Sports Tease ]
Coming up tonight on the Big 7 - VMI's newest class of hall of famers includes a Twin sensation from Fleming.
Randy Moss breaks the bank with his new deal.
And Roy Stanley takes us to the second round of the women's city county where Dot Bolling is getting her first serious challenge in years.
VMI is inducting six former athletes into the institute's sports hall of fame. Headlining the class, basketball standouts Ramon and Damon Williams.
The twins, who attended William Fleming, combined for three thousand, 252 points in fours years at VMI. Both were all Southern Conference team selections multiple times and are among the highest twin brother scoring duos in NCAA history.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Damon Williams/VMI Sports Hall of Fame Inductee; :00]
[OUT Q=....that it pays off"]
Ramon is out of town and Damon is running the twins annual basketball camp at Addison.
Ramon scored 8 more points than Damon and although the honor is nice, Damon still has a beef with the statistician who recorded their final VMI point totals.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=.....how similar our games were"]
The other inductees are track star Greg Hatchett and Mario Small. Swimmer Mark Roltch, and football standout and Lynchburg native Jeff Morgan. Morgan was also vice president of the Keydet club before dying in a plane crash last April.
Dot Bolling is shooting for her seventh consecutive Roanoke Valley Women's Golf Association City-County championship this week.
But this year several golfers are making a strong challenge to take Bolling's crown.
Roy Stanley has the lowdown after 36 holes.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="After the...]
[SUPER=01-Dot Bolling/Shot 77 at Hanging Rock; :11]
[SUPER=01-Valeta Pittman/RVGA Second Round Leader; :32]
[SUPER=01-Meg Davies/Shot 78 at Hanging Rock; :55]
[OUT Q=....news 7 sports."]
((After the first round at Countryside, Bolling shared the lead with 3 others, Meg Davies, who's headed to James Madison on a golf scholarship, Holly Updike and Nancy Snodgrass.))
((DOT BOLLING/SHOT 77 AT HANGING ROCK:))
((Bolling has never been one to shy away from a challenge. However, there are several golfers in the hunt.
And after the second round at Hanging Rock, Valetta Pittman came from second place to take the lead by 2 strokes at 151.))
((VALETA PITTMAN/RVGA SECOND ROUND LEADER:))
((Davies is near the top of that leader board. After an 8 on the first hole at Hanging Rock, She finished the round with a 78 for third place at 154, three shots off the lead.))
((MEG DAVIES/SHOT 78 AT HANGING ROCK:))
Hidden Valley is the team leader at 631, Countryside is second and The Roanoke Country Club is third.
The NFL's training camps continue to open across the country. The Vikings camp opens next Monday in Mankato, Min
Randy Moss will be able to buy each and every fan a new car if he likes.
This afternoon Moss became the NFL's highest paid player as he inked an 8 year contract extension worth $75 million dollars.
The 24 year old former Marshall University star will get $18 million dollars up front as a signing bonus.
In the majors this afternoon the Braves beat the Reds 11-to-3, but the Phils topped the Expos 8-to-4 so Atlanta's lead remains at one game in the NL East.
Off the field today there has been a three way trade with the main man on move being Jermaine Dye.
The former Danville Brave leaves the Kansas City Royals to bolster the Oakland A's roster.
The A's in turn send three prospects to Colorado in exchange for shortstop Neifi Perez.
Dye has 13 homers this season.
150 wild ponies took to the water off Virginia's Eastern Shore this morning for the annual pony swim.
The annual swim took just five minutes but drew some 50-thousand onlookers to Assateague Island.
The foals will be auctioned tomorrow to thin the herd and raise money for the town's volunteer fire department.
Ponies that aren't sold will swim back Friday.