A man who threatened a Lynchburg church says he was motivated by fear and stress.
And V-DOT's plan for the future may be stuck on Memory Lane.
We'll show you why some say the agency is at a financial crossroads.
Tonight on the Big 7's sports - the Tech and Uva players sound off about this weekend's battle for the Commonwealth Cup.
We'll have an update on Injured NASCAR crewman Bobby Burrell.
And the Big Unit wins his third straight Cy Young award.
The weather headlines continue to emphasize caution as the very dry conditions will continue through the weekend. Weather details just ahead.
News 7 is next.
[IN Q=I regret]
((I REGRET BEING PUSHED TO THE POINT OF SAYING SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I STOOPED TO HIS LEVEL.))
[OUT Q=to his level.]
A threat to blow up Jerry Falwell's church landed a gay activist in hot water.. but it WON'T land him in jail.
Both sides say emotions were running high after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
And I'm Keith Humphry.
Bill Connelly says it was a mistake to react the way he did to the Reverend Jerry Falwell's comments about the attacks on New York and Washington.
Falwell blamed the attacks on a number of groups includings gays and lesbians.
Connelly says because of Falwell's following, that kind of rhetoric makes life very difficult for Lynchburg's gay community.
He called Liberty University to complain and ended up threatening to blow up Thomas Road Baptist Church.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I was just]
((BILL CONNELLY/GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I WAS JUST FEARING FOR MY LIFE AND TICKED OFF TO NO END THAT MAYBE IF I WENT TO THE GYM TODAY THAT SOMEBODY WOULD JUST GO OFF ON ME. AND THAT'S A REALITY, THAT'S NOT A PSYCHOLOGICAL PARANOIA OR FEAR, THAT'S JUST A REALITY WHEN HE MAKES REMARKS LIKE THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Connelly/Gay Rights Activist]
[OUT Q=remarks like that.]
A felony bomb threat charge against Connelly was reduced to two misdemeanor charges of making a threatening phone call.
He was given a suspended sentence and told to stay away from the church and university for the next year.
The school's attorney supported the outcome.
Population in Virginia's urban crescent, from the Washington suburbs to Hampton Roads, has grown 45 percent in the last 20 years.
Everywhere else in the state has only grown 13 percent.
But Virginia is using a 20 year old formula to allocate road money.
The Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission says the system is "flawed and should be abandoned."
[Double Boxes=Shannon & Ellen/State Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom with two parts of a year-long study on V-DOT.
[Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave]
Part one, V-DOT agrees with -- and wants legislative help to find a new funding formula.
Part two, however, reveals some shortfalls in how we're maintaining the roads we have.
[IN Q=About 20 percent of the pavements]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Tommy Norment/(R) Williamsburg; :28]
[SUPER=01-Chip Nottingham/VDOT Commissioner; :51]
[SUPER=01-Del. Vince Callahan/(R) Fairfax;]
[OUT Q=victim of archaic formulas]
(( About 20 percent of the pavements on primary roads and Interstates is "deficient."
About 40 percent of our bridges are in need of repair.
State law mandates that maintenance comes first.
But the J-LARC report finds that the Gilmore administration may be "unrealistically" understating maintenance needs by 670 million dollars over the next six years.
That, of course, means more money can show up in the construction budget -- as Virginians cry out for new roads.
[sot tape 12:21:50 ]
((DEL. TOMMY NORMENT/R-WILLIAMSBURG: WELL I THINK CLEARLY THIS JLARC REPORT IS JUST ANOTHER CONFIRMATION THAT VDOT NEEDS TO RESTRUCTURED. THAT'S NOT AN ARROW THAT IS BEING SHOT AT ANYONE...EASY TO CRITICIZE.))
[runs= 23 ]
[sot tape 11:53:31 ]
((CHIP NOTTINGHAM/VDOT COMMISSIONER: IS THERE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT? ABSOLUTELY. BUT ARE WE DOING A BETTER JOB THAN AT ANY TIME IN THE PAST? ABSOLUTELY. AND NO STATISTIC SHOWS THAT MORE THAN THE FACT THAT WE'VE GONE FROM HAVING 75 PERCENT OF OUR ROADWAYS IN GOOD CONDITION TO HAVING 80 PERCENT JUST IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.))
[runs= 19 ]
There is a regional rub for western Virginia.
J-LARC's chairman is from Fairfax -- and he requested the study partly for selfish reasons.
[sot tape 12:15:58 ]
((DEL. VINCE CALLAHAN/R-FAIRFAX: WE HAVEN'T LOOKED AT VDOT FOR 20 YEARS, AND AS FAR AS THE ALLOCATION OF FUNDS GO. AND COMING FROM MY REGION, WE KNOW THAT WE'RE UNDERFUNDED UP THERE, AND WE'RE THE VICTIM OF ARCHAIC FORMULAS.))
[runs= 12 ]))
[Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave]
The battle for road money comes after redistricting has taken a toll on rural Virginia's legislative clout.
But the man who assembled an almost veto-proof majority in the House is Speaker Vance Wilkins -- a road builder himself, from Amherst.
And his majority leader is still Salem's Morgan Griffith.
[Double Boxes=Ellen & Shannon/State Microwave]
(SHANNON QUESTION: So this year long study comes just after election day. Any reason?)
Well, Republicans are charge of this committee, and while they knew they needed to look at problems, we might assume they were NOT eager to provide any campaign trail ammunition to Mark Warner on V-DOT. Turns out he didn't need it.
This evening, V-Dot is talking about improving a dangerous stretch of Interstate 81.
[SUPER=03-Rockbridge Co./February 2001]
The bridges over Buffalo Creek in Rockbridge County have been the scene of several serious accidents over the years.
V-Dot wants to widen and improve them.
We'll show you what's in store tonight on News 7 at Eleven.
[GRAPHIC=School Bus Accident]
The truck driver who was injured in yesterday's school bus accident is out of the hospital.
Twenty people were injured when the tractor trailer rear- ended the school bus on route 460 in Bedford County.
The bus had stopped to pick up students, and state police believe the bright sunlight may have impaired the truck driver's view.
The bus driver and 18 students were treated for minor injuries, and 60- year- old Spencer Braxton has been released from Carilion Roanoke Memorial.
The forest fire that started Friday in Roanoke County is still burning tonight... but fire officials say a quick response, a little luck and a lot of hard work kept damages down.
The fire burned more than 240 acres before it was contained.
Today, Roanoke County Fire Chief Rick Burch praised the team of firefighters, both paid and volunteer who fought the blaze under extremely difficult conditions.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=There was fire within several feet]
((RICK BURCH/ROANOKE CO. FIRE EMS CHIEF: THERE WAS FIRE WITHIN SEVERAL FEET OF A COUPLE OF HOMES AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN. AND IF YOU COULD PICTURE THAT AT NIGHT TIME, IN THE DARKNESS, THE FIRE COMING UP THE MOUNTAIN, UNFAMILIAR WITH THAT AREA. OUR FOLKS MADE A STAND IN FRONT OF THOSE HOUSES IN SOME OF THE MOST DIFFICULT CONDITIONS THAT I'VE SEEN IN MY CAREER.))
[SUPER=01-Rick Burch/Roanoke Co. Fire & EMS Chief;]
[OUT Q=seen in my career.]
Forestry officials are still not certain of the cause, but they think they know where the blaze started... a ditch line along the north side of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This afternoon, county and state officials also thanked residents and businesses that provided food and other assistance to firefighters.
Preparing for the next terrorist attack.
Find out why the Red Cross is stepping in next on News 7 at Six.
And later, meet a sculptor who's been turning wood into wildlife for more than 25 years.
The Red Cross wants Americans to be prepared for the possibility of more terrorist attacks.
The director of Disaster Preparedness today addressed donors at a luncheon in Roanoke.
He says the more we know about weapons of mass destruction, the more individuals and families can be prepared.
(///// SOT at :11 /////)
[IN Q=they can probably have a family disaster kit...]
((WALT MIKOLS/AMERICAN RED CROSS: THEY CAN PROBABLY HAVE A FAMILY DISASTER KIT IN TERMS OF, IFI THE ELECTRICITY GOES OUT THEY CAN HAVE BATTERIES, A FLASHLIGHT, A SIMPLE RADIO CELL PHONES, WATER, CANNED FOOD, ETC. SO THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES.))
[SUPER=01-Walt Mikols/Red Cross;]
[OUT Q=they can take care of themselves.]
Mikols (Michaels) says the Red Cross wants to reassure Americans that money donated specifically to benefit victims of the September 11th attacks will go to that end.
But any monies donated *without* a specific purpose will be used where the Red Cross sees fit.
The agency is also returning money to donors who ask for a refund.
The federal tax- fraud trial of an Amherst County father and daughter is underway in Lynchburg.
47- year- old Danny Jordan and his 23- year- old daughter Brandi were named in a 22- count federal indictment handed up last March.
Prosecutors claim the Jordans helped hundreds of people file false income tax returns by claiming business losses and expenses they never incurred.
Jordan says the I-R-S doesn't like his system because it cuts a person's taxes by at least 65 percent.
The trial is scheduled to last all week.
The man who helped bring you the "no car tax" promise -- and the resulting political battle -- is on the way out.
Governor Jim Gilmore's campaign manager and Chief of Staff is heading into a high dollar lobbying post.
Boyd Marcus will join McGuire Woods Consulting at the end of this month.
His boss doesn't leave office until January 12th.
Another lawsuit is now filed against local Entrepreneur Bob Kopstein... Scott and Stringfellow brokerage firm is accusing fraud.
S and S says the Optical Cable C-E-O never told the firm he'd set up loan accounts at different brokerage firms across the country...the suit calls it a --quote--"secret scheme" to speculate on the stock market.
If he had revealed the accounts, S-and-S says it wouldn't have loaned Kopstein any money, or would have demanded different collateral for his account.
Kopstein was recently forced to sell millions of shares of his Optical Cable stock to pay off loans, and still owes several brokerage firms millions of dollars.
Kopstein did not respond to our request for comment on the suit.
Home Depot has weekend warriors to thank for a healthy earnings report.
The world's largest home-improvement retailer says third quarter earnings rose 20 percent.
All the while, Home Depot opened 46 new stores to take advantage of the healthy housing sector, bringing its total to more than 12 hundred.
Home Depot's main rival, Lowe's, said it expects to meet profit estimates when its report is released. Lowe's shares have climbed 26 percent, outperforming Home Depot shares which have risen 8 percent.
The flight of Taliban forces from Afghanistan's capital gave investors a surge of optimism.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW climbed 197 points.
NASDAQ gained 52.
Research at a local health care center could eventually mean an alternative to medication for Alzheimer's patients.
Warm Hearth Village is conducting a one year study to determine if this device known as a snoozelen (Snooze-a-lyn) can be used instead of drugs to relax Alzheimer's patient.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=What it does is infuses the five senses]
((HEATHER GEARHART/WARM HEARTH VILLAGE; WHAT IT DOES IS INFUSES THE FIVE SENSES --OVERLOADS THE SENSES AND STIMULATES OR REDUCES AGITATION IN OUR RESIDENTS ))
[SUPER=01-Heather Gearhart/Warm Hearth Village]
[OUT Q=in our residents]
Warm Hearth Village say it plans to track the progress of 16 Alzheimer's patients to determine its effectiveness.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We do as needed or on]
((WE DO IT AS NEEDED OR ON A SCHEDULE BASIS AND HAVE RESIDENT PARTICIPATE FOR AS LONG AS THEY WISH))
[OUT Q=as they wish]
The Carilion Foundation provided funding for the project.
Wildlife admirers may believe they're looking at the real thing when they step into the Stowe Studios in Wytheville.
Owner Tommy Stowe is a sculptor whose attention to detail transforms blocks wood into life-like replicas.
New River Valley Bureau Chief Rachel Cannon takes us to his studio.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Nats carving tool]
[SUPER=01-Tommy Stowe/Wood Sculptor; :11 QUICK]
[OUT Q=RC, News 7, Wytheville.]
((NATS TC 17:39:59 [carving tool start with tight shot cut to wide]
What started as a hobby, turned into a profession for Wytheville artist Tommy Stowe.
Once a teacher, coach and farmer, he's now a full time wood sculptor.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 17:32:00 / 17:32:16]
[IN Q=not because ] (COVER END)
((TOMMY STOWE/WOOD SCULPTOR; NOT BECAUSE I'M BRAGGING OR ANYTHING BUT JUST AMAZEMENT/GENERALLY WHEN THEY LOOK AT A WILDLIFE PIECE THEY JUST HAVE TO TOUCH IT BECAUSE IT FEELS IT LOOKS SO REAL AND IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE.))
[OUT Q=HARD TO BELIEVE.]
Also hard to believe, is that the North Carolina native taught himself how to carve blocks of linden wood, into pieces to admire.
TC 17:43:57 THIS IS A DECOY WAITING TO HAPPEN.
It's a craft that has taken him 25-years to perfect.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I GOT INTERESTED]
((TOMMY STOWE/WOOD SCULPTOR; I GOT INTERESTED IN THAT BECAUSE ITS SO COLORFUL AND VERY HARD TO CREATE WHAT HAS BEEN CREATED.))
[OUT Q=WHAT HAS BEEN CREATED.]
His creations are mostly wildlife, including decoys, birds and even Southwest Virginia's favorite mascot.
But with a new studio in Wytheville, Stowe is branching out to houses of worship
TC 17:34:37 KNOWING YOU CAN ENHANCE AN AREA WHERE PEOPLE CAN WORSHIP MEANS SOMETHING TO ME, AND THE FACT THAT IT WILL CONTINUE.
NATS TC 17:46:07
Stowe says his favorite part of sculpting is the details.
TC 17:36:00 THE BODY IS HOLLOWED OUT
His studio centerpiece is a prime example.
This duck in flight took 7-hundred hours to complete.
Rachel Cannon, News 7, Wytheville.))
Coming up tonight on News 7 Sports, the Big Unit wins a big award.
Lombardi may end up with a dash of pepper on it.
And our week long Tech-UVa hype continues as we hear from both angry sides concerning the battle for the Commonwealth Cup.
[GRAPHIC=TECH - UVA]
The odds on this Saturday's Virginia Tech - UVa football game are turning their share of heads.
Right now the Hokies are favored by 15 points.
And while some folks believe that margin is too great - remember Tech has been successful on three out of its last four trips to Scott Stadium.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/6 & 8 Against Virginia; :23]
[SUPER=01-Al Groh/UVa Head Coach; :47]
[SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA/2000 Sugar Bowl; 1:00]
[SUPER=01-Alvin Pearman/UVa Freshman Tailback; 1:07]
[SUPER=01-Angelo Crowell/UVa Linebacker; 1:30]
[SUPER=01-Ben Taylor/VT Senior Linebacker; 1:47]
[SUPER=01-Jake Houseright/VT Senior Linebacker; 2:14]
[OUT Q=...COME SATURDAY."]
(( Frank Beamer got the best of George Welsh on his last trek across Afton Mountain back in 1999 - but overall Beamer has a losing record in games against UVa. Both he and his nemesis Al Groh are graduates of their respective universities and each knows how important winning is to the alumni of his respective alma mater.
Groh hasn't experienced this showdown as a head coach before, so you'll have to excuse for not knowing the Commonwealth Cup has been given to the state champ for the past six seasons.
Tech's success on the national level in the recent past has without question irritated UVa fans and players alike.
The Hokies have a number of injuries to deal with this week including a shoulder problem that is plaguing senior fullback Jarrett Ferguson. But the plan right now is for everyone to play.))
Carolina's hopes of winning the ACC title vanished against Wake Forest last weekend.
[SUPER=04-This Season; :00]
But defensive end Julius Peppers may bring the Tarheels some much needed football recognition.
Today Peppers was named one of four finalist for the Lombardi Award - which is given annually to the nation's top lineman.
Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney also is a finalist along with Rocky Calmus and Alex Brown.
The Baseball Writers of America continue to hand out their postseason honors today.
Randy Johnson, who won three games in the world series for the Diamondbacks has been named the National League's Cy Young award winner.
The Big Unit got 30 of the 32 votes cast.
He won 21 games this year and struck out 372 batters.
Curt Schilling was second in the voting.
Bobby Burrell, the front tire changer for Ricky Rudd's team, who was injured Sunday in a pit road accident is out of the Neuro Intensive Care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
Burrell, who is native of Alleghany County is now in a private room. He's alert and talking to folks including his team owner Robert Yates -
[SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL;:00]
who announced today that in light of the head injury Burrell suffered - every member of his team will now have to wear a helmet on pit road.
A few teams already do this.
NASCAR says it is considering mandating that all pit crews wear helmets next season.