A Lynchburg air carrier will soon take flight for the last time.
United Express is on a one way trip out of town.
And, Roanoke police investigate the murder in broad daylight of a teenager.
The Hokies talk about playing at West Virginia, the Tech soccer team battles Radford today
and the Express has a new look in practice this year, the latest on their threads in sports.
Not ready for the cooler fall temperatures? Stand by for a rather warm forecast. Details just ahead.
News 7 is next.
[IN Q=There certainly has]
((THERE CERTAINLY HAS BEEN WHAT APPEARS TO BE A SLASH AND BURN TACTIC WHEN IT COMES TO ELIMINATING SERVICE IN MANY OF THE SMALLER CITIES.))
[OUT Q=the smaller cities.]
The dominoes continue to fall in the airline industry in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks..
The Lynchburg airport is the latest to feel the pinch.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
And I'm Keith Humphry.
The old saying "you can't get there from here" will have new meaning at the Lynchburg Regional Airport beginning November 1st.
That's when United Express will discontinue its commuter service between the Hill City and Washington Dulles airport.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith-Shannon & Steve/Lynchburg bureau;]
Steve Smallshaw is here to explain what this means for the airport and central Virginia travelers.
[LIVE=Steve/FULL Lynchburg Bureau]
It's not good news for either.. airport officials said they were expecting some cutbacks, but nothing this drastic.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Mark Courtney/Lynchburg Airport Manager; :25]
[OUT Q=of additional service.]
(( [natsot airplane 2:15:40]
In less than a month, United Express will be taking off from Lynchburg Regional Airport and it won't be coming back.
As part of a major restructuring, United is dropping commuter service at three Virginia airports including Lynchburg.. that means eliminating ten daily flights to and from Washington Dulles.
It's a loss of 190 passenger seats, or more than 40 percent of Lynchburg's business.
((MARK COURTNEY/LYNCHBURG AIRPORT MANAGER: THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT EVEN BEFORE THE ATTACKS, SERVICE HAD BEEN REDUCED TO LYNCHBURG TO THE POINT THAT THE REGION WAS CLEARLY UNDERSERVED.))
[OUT Q=clearly underserved.]
Courtney calls it a "kneejerk reaction" by the airline.
He says keeping regional service could help alleviate long security delays at larger airports.. and eventually, he believes, local demand will return.
((COURTNEY: ONCE THERE IS SOME STABILITY RETURNED TO THE SYSTEM AND WE START TO SEE A REBUILDING OF TRAFFIC, THEN I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A GRADUAL RE-INTRODUCTION OF ADDITIONAL SERVICE.))
[OUT Q=of additional service.] ))
[LIVE=Steve/FULL Lynchburg Bureau]
Congress recently passed a multi-billion dollar airline relief bill that was supposed to prevent air carriers from dropping service in smaller airports like Lynchburg.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith-Shannon & Steve/Microwave;]
Mark Courtney says he's working with Congressman Bob Goodlatte's office to see whether United Express is violating that agreement.
United Airlines did not return calls asking for comment.
A Blacksburg bank was robbed today for the second time in a week... and police believe the same man is behind both hold ups.
Authorities say around 3 p-m the Tech Federal Credit Union was robbed by a Hispanic male.
Police say he did not show a weapon.
The man is described as five-foot-six, weighing 140-pounds.
He was wearing blue jeans, a dark jacket and baseball cap.
Police are on the lookout for his getaway car which is believed to be a maroon Ford Escort.
The Tech Credit Union was robbed last Wednesday by a suspect fitting the same description.
Friends are asking why... after a shooting took the life of a Roanoke teenager this morning.
18- year- old Maurice Grogan was shot in the head, as he stood outside of the Foodway Market on Liberty Road.
Friends and family gathered outside the store as news of the shooting spread through the neighborhood.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Why? that's all I want to know]
((WHY? THAT'S ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS WHY. HE DIDN'T DO NOTHING TO NOBODY. HE DIDN'T EVER GO NOWHERE TO HAVE TROUBLE WITH NOBODY. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY?))
[OUT Q=just want to know why.]
In the moments after the shooting, customers saw a man run from the area, jump into a car, and drive away.
Police are still searching for him tonight.
A man was killed this afternoon when a dump truck backed over him at a Franklin County road construction site.
It happened on Bowie Road -- just off of Route 220.
State police say a crew was paving the private road.
54-year-old Henry Rodney Cundiff told police he backed his dump truck up and accidentally struck 67-year-old John William Meeks.
Meeks died at the scene.
Roanoke Harley riders are sending a message to would-be drunk drivers: think before you hit the road.
Dozens of members of the Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group turned out to say goodbye to fellow Harley Rider Carol Elizabeth Minton this morning.
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co./Friday Night;]
The 37-year old had been riding her motorcycle on Route 460 Near Bedford Friday night when she was struck by a station wagon traveling on the wrong side of the road.
Friends say her death was senseless.
(///// SOT at :20 /////)
[IN Q=You can't mix alcohol and vehicles.]
((BARTON REYNOLDS/ROANOKE VALLEY HARLEY OWNERS GROUP: YOU CAN'T MIX ALCOHOL AND VEHICLES. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT. BUT IF ONE PERSON IS DRINKING AND DRIVING, IF THEY CAN LISTEN TO THIS AND GET SOMETHING OUT OF IT THEN... MAYBE SHE'D BE HERE TODAY.))
[SUPER=01-Barton Reynolds/Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group;]
[OUT Q=maybe she'd be here today.]
39-year old Viki Lynn Arrington of Goode is charged with second degree murder in Minton's death.
Police say Arrington, who was originally charged with maiming while driving under the influence, already has two other drunk driving charges to her name.
He runs one of the area's largest nursing home companies.
Today he admitted to bilking Medicare and Medicade.
That's next on News 7 at Six.
And is there a conspiracy to take over Roanoke County's Optical Cable?
That's what the company's C-E-O says.
The chairman of one of the region's largest nursing home operators pled guilty this afternoon to health care fraud.
H-C-M-F will have to pay back 1-point-7 million dollars to the government.
During the 1990's H-C-M-F expanded into the restaurant business... into construction, real estate management... even a money-losing airplane firm.
Corporate chairman William Cranwell and his partners are personally liable for the restitution. Cranwell admitted his daughters were on the payroll.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Mr. Cranwell's children]
((KAREN PETERS/PROSECUTOR; MR. CRANWELL'S CHILDREN WERE SOME OF THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO WERE ON THE PAYROLL AND WERE NOT WORKING IN HEALTH CARE AT ALL OR WERE NOT WORKING FULL TIME AT ALL.))
[OUT Q=full time at all.]
Nonetheless, the government says, those salaries were submitted to Medicaid and Medicare for re-imbursement.
The matriarch of a once- prominent local Pakistani family will have to spend the next four months under house arrest.
Lubna Ijaz has repaid the government 30-thousand of the 40-thousand dollars she illegally kept in social security payments.
The government checks were written to her late husband, Mujaddid, a physics professor at Virginia Tech.
She had failed to notify the government of his death.
The Ijaz family was widely known for having helped build a Mosque in Montgomery County. It fell out of use and was later converted to a Bible Institute.
Defense attorneys for a teen accused of brutally murdering his mother and cousin say he heard voices before he "snapped."
19-year-old James Gibson kept his head down, as prosecutors laid out their case against him for capital and first degree murder.
He's charged with stabbing his mother, Annette Gibson, and cousin, George Patterson, to death with a large, military-style knife.
Gibson told police he "just snapped."
His attorneys would not rule out a possible insanity defense.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 12:38 - :57]
[IN Q=He indicated that]
((DAVID FURROW/GIBSON'S ATTORNEY: HE INDICATED THAT HE HEARD VOICES. HIS INITIAL CALL TO POLICE WAS THAT HE SNAPPED. GIVEN THE NATURE OF THIS CRIME. HE'S CHARGED WITH KILLING HIS MOTHER AND HIS COUSIN. HE HAD WARM FEELINGS TOWARD THESE PEOPLE, HE WILL TELL YOU THAT HE LOVED THEM. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY IN A NORMAL FRAME OF MIND DOES.))
[SUPER=01-David Furrow/Gibson's Attorney;]
[OUT Q=frame of mind does.]
The judge said there was enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury next month.
Optical Cable of Roanoke County is headed for a hostile takeover... that's according to its C-E-O.
Bob Kopstein says six major brokerage firms are conspiring to devalue the stock and force him out.
Those brokerage firms say they are just selling stock to get money Kopstein owes them.
[***NEWS 7 @ 6 MB GRAPHIC***]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Jennifer /MB SET;]
News 7 Business Reporter Jennifer Miele has watched the story unfold and has more.
[LIVE=SHannon /FULL MB SET]
Kopstein was granted a temporary restraining order that will stop these major firms from dumping stock until next Wednesday.
Firms named in the suit are Salomon Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, UBS PaineWebber, The Bear Stearns Companies, A.G. Edwards and Scott and Stringfellow.
[***JENNIFER'S MIC HOT***]
Kopstein has used his stock as collateral with these six major brokerage firms.
And as the value of his portfolio fell with the recent market downturn, he was forced to dump his own Optical Cable holdings in order to pay debts.
That, in turn, has driven down the value of Optical Cable shares.
Law requires immediate payment of the debt.
The temporary restraining order delays repayment -- until a judge can consider the matter further.
U-B-S PaineWebber said today "The complaint is meritless and UBS PaineWebber will vigorously oppose Mr. Kopstein's efforts to avoid his obligations to the firm. The notion that the firms are conspiring is totally false."
[***NEWS 7 @ 6MB GRAPHIC]
[LIVE=Jennifer /FULL MB SET]
Optical Cable stock actually stopped trading for about a half hour this morning, and finished the day at a dollar forty.
Shannon we don't know yet WHEN a judge will consider the issues at the heart of this complaint.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Jennifer /MB SET ]
For the second time in two weeks, the fed cut interest rates by a half-point.
That sent Wall Street higher.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW climbed 114 points.
NASDAQ gained 12.
The battle for governor of Virginia today featured a high-level defection.
It also saw another skirmish in the ongoing air war over the tax nobody says they'll raise.
Ellen Qualls reports.
[IN Q=Paul Galanti spent seven years ]
[SUPER=401-Paul Galanti/Former P.O.W.; :16]
[SUPER=401-Chris LaCivita/Earley Advisor; :54 ]
[SUPER=401-Mark Warner/(D) Candidate for Governor; 1:13]
[SUPER=420-Ellen Qualls/equalls*wdbj7.com; 1:42 ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
(( Paul Galanti spent seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, with his Navy buddy John McCain.
He ran McCain's Republican presidential campaign in Virginia last year.
Now, he's endorsing a Democrat -- Mark Warner.
[sot tape 13:29:31 ]
((PAUL GALANTI/FORMER P.O.W.: I AM A REPUBLICAN. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE EVER STOOD UP HERE LIKE THIS. BUT I MET, I'VE FOLLOWED MARK'S CAREER. I'M INTO HIGH TECH MYSELF. I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HE HAD TO GO THROUGH SETTING THAT COMPANY UP. HE'S AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO DO IT SUCCESSFULLY. AND FRANKLY, AFTER A YEAR OF RUNNING JOHN MCCAIN'S CAMPAIGN, AND WORKING WITH JOHN, I'VE HAD IT UP TO ABOUT HERE WITH THE RUN OF THE MILL POLITICIAN. I THINK WE NEED A WHOLE LOT MORE LIKE MARK WARNER, PROVEN, SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE WHO CAN GET OUT FRONT AND DO SOMETHING.))
[runs= :32 ]
Republican Mark Earley's top advisor, a Purple Heart recipient himself, was clearly disappointed by Galanti.
[sot tape 13:36:45 ]
((CHRIS LACIVITA/EARLEY ADVISOR: LOVE THAT MAN, LOVE HIM. HE'S A GOOD MAN. Does it hurt to have him endorse Warner? WELL, I WAS A LITTLE SURPRISED.))
[runs= 09 ]
But the Earley camp is trying to stay on the message its promised for five more weeks: Mark Warner is counting revenue in his road plan from a northern Virginia sales tax increase that voters could choose.
Warner is incensed.
[sot tape 13:34:14 ]
((MARK WARNER: TO RUN AS HE IS RIGHT NOW ADS FOR EXAMPLE IN ROANOKE THAT SOMEWHOW ARE IMPLYING THAT THIS WOULD, IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, PEOPLE'S TAX BILLS IN ROANOKE IS JUST PLAIN INACCURATE.))
[runs= 19 ]
[sot tape 13:38:58 ]
((CHRIS LACIVITA/EARLEY ADVISOR: THAT'S INCORRECT ACTUALLY, BECAUSE IN THE ACTUAL PLAN IT REFERS TO REFERENDUMS IN THE PLURAL.))
[runs= 08 ]
So Republicans say Norfolk, or even Roanoke, could face referenda approved by their state lawmakers to let them decide if they want a sales tax increase to pay for their own roads.
This won't be the end of the road for the tax debate.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
C-SPAN does it Washington.
Why NOT put Virginia's General Assembly on T-V everywhere in the state?
The Democrat running for lieutenant governor says it could cost between 400 and 800 thousand dollars.
He scoffs at the argument that it will prompt politicians to waste time.
[IN Q=I have a great faith]
[sot tape 10:18:22 ]
((TIM KAINE/D-CANDIDATE FOR LT. GOV.: I HAVE A GREAT FAITH IN THE ABILITY OF THE PUBLIC TO DECIDE WHO'S A BLOWHARD, WHO'S DOING SOMETHING THAT'S GRANDSTANDING, WHO'S DOING THAT MAKES NO SENSE OR DOESN'T SPEAK TO A PRIORITY THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO VOTERS.))22
[sot tape :38 ]
((JAY KATZEN/R-CANDIDATE FOR LT. GOV.: WELL, I ASSUME THAT HE KNOWS WHERE THAT MONEY IS COMING FROM. RIGHT NOW, QUITE FRANKLY, I WOULD PUT THAT PRIORITY AS BEING LOWER DOWN THAN SECURITY, EDUCATION, TEACHERS' SALARIES, AND TRANSPORTATION, AND MENTAL ILLNESS.))14
[SUPER=401-Tim Kaine/(D) Candidate for Lt. Gov.; :00]
[SUPER=401-Del. Jay Katzen/(R) Candidate for Lt. Gov.; :23 ]
[OUT Q=transportation, and mental illness.]
General Assembly T-V would need General Assembly approval before it comes to your set.
A shake up in Winston Cup racing, Tech and Radford battle in soccer, the Express talks about it's new look
and Mike Stevens will have a report from Blacksburg as the Hokies talk about going to play in a hostile environment this weekend.
The Winston Cup circuit pulls into the Lowe's Motor Speedway this Thursday night for qualifying.
[SUPER=03-Concord, NC/1998; :00]
But veteran driver Jeremy Mayfield will not be driving the number 12 Penske Ford he began driving for Michael Kranefuss in 1996.
Mayfield was fired today effective immediately.
The 32 year old has three career Winston Cup wins, but this year has team has been horrible in time trials - qualifying 30th or worse 12 times.
In one other note, Mike Skinner has signed on to drive for the Abingdon based Morgan McClure Motorsports for the next three years.
Speaking of racing, The Roanoke Express will have a NASCAR theme opening weekend at the Roanoke Civic Center on October 12th and 13th, featuring a guest appearance from Winston Cup driver Sterling Marlin for the Express home opener Friday the 12th.
Fans who attend practices for the Express at the ice station will notice the team wearing new color coordinated uniforms, all part of a more professional look and you know what they say, it is better to look good than to feel good.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Perry Florio/Express Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=like they are in the NHL"]
Va. Tech and West Virginia have played each other in Morgantown 22 different times since their rivalry began back in 1912.
Mike Stevens says the Hokies have managed to win just 7 of those contests in the Mountaineer State - a place the home field advantage actually means something.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=03-Morgantown, WV/1999; :00]
[SUPER=01-Ronyell Whitaker/Va. Tech Cornerback; :11]
[SUPER=01-Andre Davis/Va. Tech Flanker; :19]
[SUPER=01-Brian Welch/Va. Tech Linebacker; :27]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Last Season; :34]
[SUPER=01-Bob Slowikowski/Va. Tech Tight End; :44]
[SUPER=01-Grant Noel/Va. Tech Quarterback; 1:11]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
The Virginia Tech men's soccer team would also draw a good bit of attention in Blacksburg today as the Hokies played host to Radford University in a cross town match.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Highlanders vs. Hokies; :00]
Of course today's game marks the battle for the New River Rock, an annual rivalry for bragging rights between the two schools.
Virginia Tech came into the game with a 6 and OH road record but was OH and 2 at home.
The Hokies Drew Myers is gonna get the games first goal from his striker position. It was 2 to nothing at the half. We'll have the final at Eleven.
The Roanoke Dazzle single game tickets will go on sale this Saturday beginning at 10 am as part of the league wide NBDL on sale push.
One baseball note, the cover of sports illustrated presents a shot of Barry Bonds, the San Francisco Giants slugger who is chasing Mark McGuire's single season homerun record. Bonds has 69 going into tonight's game against the Houston Astros.