Ahead on NEWS 7 at six...
Lawmakers hear the pros and cons of a statewide hike in the sales tax...
And, a look at what area school systems are doing this weekend to fight a nationwide problem.
Tonight on the Big 7, Roanoke College looks to close out its home season with a win on the hardwood.
UVa looks to get back on track tomorrow on WDBJ-7.
And we'll take a complete look at today's Daytona 500 qualifying as rookie Jimmie Johnson wins the pole.
Sunshine and mild temperatures made this Saturday enjoyable... while tomorrow's weather may not be as beautiful... it is definitely needed. We'll explain in a few minutes.
Facing a deadline to complete work on their own legislation, members of the House of Delegates were at their desks today in Richmond.
Good evening, I'm Teresa Hamilton.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at 6]
Among the bills that moved forward was a measure that calls for a statewide referendum on a possible increase in the sales tax. The half cent hike would raise millions for public education.
Members of the House Finance Committee heard from a string of local officials, and advocates of public schools who said localities need help.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The need we're talking about]
((BOB HALL/VA. SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOC.: THE NEED WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY LADIES AND GENTLEMEN IS NOT JUST IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA. IT'S NOT JUST IN THE TIDEWATER AREA. IT'S ALL OVER THE ENTIRE STATE.))
((ELIZABETH BRADSHER/PARENT: I ASK YOU AS A PARENT TO LET US HAVE THE OPTION TO VOTE. THAT'S ALL WE ARE ASKING FOR THIS REFERENDUM.))
((JOHN TOIVONEN/TAXPAYERS ALLIANCE: I AM A FORMER RICHMOND CITY HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATOR AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT NO AMOUNT OF TAX INCREASES ARE GOING TO FIX PUBLIC SCHOOLS.))
[SUPER=01-Bob Hall/Va. School Boards Assoc.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Elizabeth Bradsher/Parent; :10]
[SUPER=01-John Toivonen/Taxpayers Alliance; :18]
[OUT Q=going to fix public schools.]
The House Finance Committee also advanced a bill that would allow a local referendum to raise taxes for transportation improvements, but that legislation applies only to northern Virginia.
[GRAPHIC=Capitol - Abortion Bills]
The House of Delegates has given final approval to parental consent legislation.
The measure would require a parent's permission before a girl under the age of 18 could have an abortion.
State law already requires parental notice.
The new legislation would require doctors to obtain the permission of at least one parent before performing the procedure.
Fourteen other states have passed similar laws.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Clearly the premise]
((DEL. BRIAN MORAN/D- ALEXANDRIA: CLEARLY THE PREMISE IS ONE WE WOULD ALL AGREE WITH, WE WOULD ALL WANT TO SUPPORT. I JUST WONDER TO MYSELF HOW IS THIS LEGISLATION GOING TO BE APPLIED.))
((DEL. RICHARD BLACK/R- STERLING: ALL THIS BILL DOES IS THAT IT SHIFTS AUTHORITY OVER THE MEDICAL CARE FOR A YOUNG GIRL FROM A STRANGER WITH A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE OUTCOME BACK TO THE PARENTS WHO LOVE AND NURTURE THAT CHILD AND I HOPE THAT YOU WILL VOTE FOR THE BILL.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Brian Moran/(D) Alexandria; :00]
[SUPER=01-Del. Richard Black/(R) Sterling; :12]
[OUT Q=that you will vote for the bill.]
On final passage, the parental consent legislation passed on a vote of 73 to 25. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Union workers at the Magnox Plant in Pulaski spent their first full day on strike.
The workers say the company locked them out more than a week ago, after they rejected an earlier offer that would have cut vacation time and raised workers' medical premiums.
On Friday, the union rejected the company's latest offer and officially went on strike at 12:01 this morning.
Magnox released a statement saying quote "the company is very disappointed in the vote, and this can only lead to much poorer prospects in the long term."
The Pulaski location produces materials for video and audio tapes.
A nationwide teacher shortage continues to be a problem for school systems across our region.
So 18 area school districts teamed up this weekend to hold a job fair.
And as Justin McLeod discovered there's a new lesson plan when it comes to hiring teachers.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Carol Whitaker/Roanoke Co. Schools; :27]
[SUPER=01-Michael Perry/Western VA Public Education Consortium; 1:13]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Salem]
((((NAT SOUND OF VANESSA TALKING TO A RECRUITER))
Vanessa Ratliff is set to graduate from college in a little over three months....and she's already looking for a job in the classroom.
[IN Q=I just hope]
((VANESSA RATLIFF/FUTURE TEACHER: I JUST HOPE TO FIND EMPLOYMENT.))
[OUT Q=to fine employment]
She should have no trouble.
At this job fair at the Salem Civic Center, more than 1200 teaching positions were up for grabs.
[IN Q=It gives us]
((DR. CAROL WHITAKER/ROANOKE CO. SCHOOLS: IT GIVES US A REAL GOOD OVERVIEW WHO'S OUT THERE AND WHAT POSITIONS THAT WE'LL HAVE LOTS OF APPLICANTS FOR.))
[OUT Q=applicants for]
They're hoping for lots of applicants in the critical need positions of math, science, and special education.
It is estimated schools across our state will need to hire more than ten-thousand teachers next year.
And when it comes to finding those teachers, school systems have learned money talks.
[IN Q=Many school systems]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: MANY SCHOOL SYSTEMS HAVE FOUND THEY HAVE TO OFFER INCENTIVES JUST TO GET TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM. SOME OFFER SIGNING BONUSES, OTHERS PROVIDE SEED MONEY TO HELP THOSE TEACHERS GET STARTED IN A TOWN. AND SOME EVEN GO AS FAR AS TO HELP THEM PAY OFF THEIR COLLEGE LOANS.))
[OUT Q=their college loans]
There's also a new lesson plan.
It's called the career switcher program.
It allows someone with a four year degree to get their teaching certificate in a quick and easy way.
[IN Q=We think this will increase]
((MICHAEL PERRY/WESTERN VIGINIA PUBLIC EDUCATION CONSORTIUM: WE THINK THIS WILL INCREASE THE QUALITY OF TEACHERS IN OUR SCHOOL DIVISIONS AND MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE A QUALIFIED TEACHER IN EVERY CLASSROOM.))
[OUT Q=in every classroo]
That may also require a better salary.
Virginia continues to run below the national average by as much as three thousand dollars a year.
That may be a factor in Vanessa's decision on whether to teach locally or out of state.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Salem.))
Still ahead on News 7 at 6, a 14 year old local artist is showing that her work is well beyond her years...
And some local children were learning the do's and don'ts of fine dining today. We'll have that and more coming up, but first, there's nothing wrong with today's weather, let's talk with Jacey in the WeatherCenter.
A class held today proves there is one way, and then there's the proper way.
About a dozen area teens took part in etiquette training at the Hotel Roanoke.
The four hour class is taught by a certified etiquette instructor.
The students learn everything from good manners to proper dining skills.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 11:36:17; 11:39:41]
[IN Q=Their employers]
((KATHLEEN HARVEY HARSHBERGER/INSTRUCTOR: THEIR EMPLOYERS ARE NOT GOING TO PAY UPWARDS TO FIFTY, SIXTY, SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS TO EMPLOY THEM IF THEY DON'T KNOW SOME RUDIMENTARY, ETIQUETTE, AND DINING SKILLS. THE QUESTION IS THEN WHAT ELSE HAVE THEY FORGOTTEN TO LEARN.))
((JASON HOPKINS/STUDENT: I KNEW WHAT TO DO PRETTY MUCH BUT I NEVER BEEN TAUGHT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I'VE BEEN TAUGHT TODAY.))
[SUPER=01-Kathleen Harvey Harshberger/Instructor; :]
[SUPER=01-Jason Hopkins/Student; :]
[OUT Q=been taugh today]
Ms. Harshberger says surprisingly most of the classes are attended by boys, not girls.
She will conduct another session next Saturday morning at the Hotel Roanoke Conference Center.
Pre-registration is required.
A unique art exhibit opens today in Roanoke.
All the pieces you see here were done by a fourteen year old.
Her name is Laura Gaines Waldo and she's been working on sketches and with oil pastels for more than six years now.
This afternoon, family and friends gathered for a reception to see sixteen pieces of her work which are now on display.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I guess my strongest]
((LAURA WALDO/ARTIST: I GUESS MY STRONGEST ONE IS THE DOG FROM A COMISSION BUT I REALLY, I DON'T KNOW, I REALLY DON'T HAVE A FAVORITE.))
[OUT Q=don't have a favorite]
Laura's work will be on display at the Daily Grind Coffee House on Grandin Road through February 24th.
Still ahead, the NASCAR circuit is revving up in Daytona. Mike Stevens will have highlights of all today's action...
but before that, Shannon Young previews a local play that takes an interesting look at the way we view ourselves and our friends.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Mill Mountain Theatre is tackling a play about love and relationships.
In this week's Time Off Shannon Young gives us a preview of "Art".
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Who do you think you are, Mark?]
[SUPER=01-Jere Hodgin/Director; :22]
[SUPER=01-Sarah Muse/The Art Project, Inc.; 1:21 ]
[SUPER=01-Peter Thomasson/"Serge"; 1:45]
(([SOT FROM PLAY 9:12-9:23]
[IN Q=Who do you think you are, Mark?]
((Who do you think you are, Mark? Who are you to legislate? You don't like anything. You despise everyone. You take pride in not being a man of your time.))
[OUT Q=in not being a man of your time.]
How much of your self-image is tied up in the way you see your friends?
That's just one of the questions posed by "Art", the latest production of Mill Mountain Theatre.
[IN Q=The play is about three men and their relationship...]
((Jere Hodgin/Director: The play is about three men and their relationship. It's really about a man who buys a painting that he loves and appreciates greatly but, his friends don't share that view and, therein is the substance of the play.))
[OUT Q=the substance of the play.]
Serge pays a good chunk of money for the mostly monochromatic painting.
He then waits to see how his two best friends will react.
[IN Q=One is Mark, who absolutely...]
((One is Mark, who absolutely hates modern art and absolutely, categorically despises this particular painting.))
[OUT Q=despises this particular painting.]
[BUTT BUTT BUTT]
[IN Q=The third character is the character of Yvonne...]
((The third character is the character of Yvonne, a man who really tries to play both sides against the middle. He's a kind person but he really doesn't want to come down and take a stand on this and he's caught between the two others who are arguing.))
[OUT Q=others who are arguing.]
The painting in question has it's own story.
Mill Mountain Theatre teamed up with Studios in the Square and the Art Project to get local artists in on the production.
[IN Q=From the play we pulled...]
((Sarah Muse/The Art Project: From the play we pulled out certain quotes that show that it's not just a white painting. There's some color in it, hints of ochre, hints of red, diagonal lines.))
[OUT Q=hints of red, diagonal lines.]
The result is three paintings, one for each of the play's three week run, and an exhibit at Studios in the Square.
Regardless of whether you wind up seeing color in the artwork, chances are good you'll see shades of yourself in the play.
[IN Q=It's about friendship and the concept of love.]
((Peter Thomasson/"Serge": It's about friendship and the concept of love between friends, whether it's conditional or unconditional love.))
[OUT Q=conditional or unconditional love.]
Shannon Young, News 7, Roanoke.))
A clinic held today hopes to send the message it's ok for women to be athletic.
More than two hundred area athletes ages 8 to 13 attended the fourth annual Girls and Women in Sports Clinic.
The event has grown so much organizers had to hold it in two places this year, Roanoke College and Hollins University.
Local coaches and doctors helped to teach the girls important skills on and off the court.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Hopefully, more than anything]
((PETE LAMPMAN/VIRGINIA AMATEUR SPORTS INC.: HOPEFULLY MORE THAN ANYTHING THEY'LL ONE GAIN SOME FRIENDSHIPS SOME OF OTHER GIRLS THAT THEY HAVEN'T MET IN THE PAST AND ALSO THIS IS A SPORT I MIGHT WANT TO DO AND MAYBE A SPORT I DON'T WANT TO DO. I'VE LEARNED A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THESE SPORTS AND A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT TAKING CARE OF THEIR BODIES, SPORT INJURIES THEY MAY BE AWARE OF AS THEY GET OLDER. IT'S JUST NICE TO EXPOSE THEM TO A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES THAT THEY MAY NOT HAVE HAD OTHERWISE.))
[SUPER=01-Pete Lampman/Virginia Amateur Sports Inc.]
[OUT Q=have had otherwise]
The clinic costs just five dollars.
Each girl left with a t-shirt and a bag full of goodies.
Coming up this evening on News 7 sports, qualifying action from Daytona for the 500 as two guys who have never tried to qualify for the race grab both front row spots.
And the UVa men stay they're still together and determined.
And Roanoke tries to prove the same today against Guilford in the Maroons' regular season home finale.
[GRAPHIC=COUNTDOWN TO DAYTONA]
The Countdown to next weekend's Daytona 500 is underway, and the first step in the long tedious, week long processing of getting qualified for the Great American Race took place today at the track with Bud Pole Qualifying.
[SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL; :00]
Two of NASCAR's super teams would dominate the day as all three of Rick Hendrick's cars were in the top 7.
And all three of Richard Childress's drivers managed to post speeds in the top 10.
But only the top two speeds lock up spots in the 500, and today no one was faster than Rookie Jimmie Johnson.
The Lowe's Chevy that is co-owned by Hendrick and Jeff Gordon won the pole with a speed of 185 point 831 miles an hour.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Jimmie Johnson/Daytona 500 Pole Winner;:00]
[OUT Q=...it was s enough."]
Johnson is the third rookie to win the 500 pole following in the footsteps of Mike Skinner and Loy Allen.
Kevin Harvick locked down the other starting spot outside on the front row, while Gordon was third fastest.
The big surprise was Robert Pressley driving a one race deal for Melling race. He had the fourth fastest time in the same Dodge Stacy Compton drove last year. Here are the results from today - keep in mind only the top two spots are secure.
[WIPE TO CHYRON MOTION]
[GO TO QUALIFYING]
[WIPE TO MOTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
[SUPER=0107-1. Jimmie Johnson/185.831/2. Kevin Harvick/185.770/3. Jeff Gordon//4. Robert Pressley//5. Ward Burton//;]
[SUPER=0107-6. Robby Gordon//7. Terry Labonte//8. Michael Waltrip//9. Bill Elliott//10. Jeff Green//;]
[SUPER=0107-11. Mike Wallace//12. Bobby Labonte//13. Dale Jarrett//14. Jerry Nadeau//15. Ricky Rudd//;]
[SUPER=0107-16. Jeremy Mayfield//17. Bobby Hamilton//18. Kenny Wallace//19. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.//20. Tony Stewart//;]
[SUPER=0107-21. Brett Bodine//22. Dave Marcis//23. Ken Schrader//24. John Andretti//25. Sterling Marlin//;]
[SUPER=0107-26. Jeff Burton//27. Joe Nemechek//28. Casey Atwood//29. Geoffrey Bodine//30. Shawna Robinson//;]
[SUPER=0107-31. Hut Stricklin//32. Rusty Wallace//33. Mark Martin//34. Todd Bodine//35. Ryan Newman//;]
[SUPER=0107-36. Dave Blaney//37. Johnny Benson//38. Greg Biffle//39. Elliott Sadler//40. Stacy Compton//;]
[SUPER=0107-41. Rick Mast//42. Buckshot Jones//43. Kurt Busch//44. Jimmy Spencer//45. Ricky Craven//;]
[SUPER=0107-46. Bobby Gerhart//47. Mike Skinner//48. Matt Kenseth//49. Hermie Sadler//50. Carl Long//;]
Kirk Shelmerdine and Norm Benning failed to get their cars ready in time to make qualifying runs.
Kyle Petty left pit road but quickly came back in with busted motor. All three will try again on Monday.
Remember only the front row was locked in today - with Johnson and Harvick.
The Bud Shootout is set for tomorrow afternoon at 2:15 with Kurt Busch on the pole.
The Roanoke College men played their final regular season home game this afternoon.
Next week at this time the ODAC tournament will be underway at the Salem Civic Center.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Guilford vs. Roanoke; :00]
Today's game with Guilford was for fifth place in the ODAC standings.
Guilford beat Roanoke earlier this year in Greensboro, and Will O'Neil would try to make another statement this afternoon as he knocks down the fade away jumper.
Roanoke would come right back with Andrew Crowder getting the breakaway layin. The Maroons push their advantage to 9 points in the first half.
Guilford rallies with Josh Connor passing to Devon Clyburn. He drains the three pointer and the Roanoke lead is down to three.
Robbie Pridgen, who scored a a game high 23, will later pass the rock to Mikal Townsend - who hits a "J" of his own.
Roanoke beats Guilford 75-to-63. The Maroons close the season Tuesday at Eastern Mennonite.
Also this afternoon Randolph Macon beat Hampden-Sydney 60-to-51 and Emory & Henry topped Lynchburg 88-to-76.[S-UVa]
The Virginia men's team hosts Clemson tomorrow afternoon at 3:30. The last time Virginia lost to Clemson at University Hall was way back in 1996.
Virginia is in the midst of a nasty four game losing streak.
But Roger Mason says things could be much worse were it not for the veteran leadership on the team.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Roger Mason, Jr./UVa Guard; :00]
[OUT Q=...EACH OTHER'S BACK."]
[wipe to pinnacle]
[GO TO PINNACLE OF SUNDAY EVENTS]
And tomorrow afternoon you can watch for yourself to see if Virginia can break out of its four game losing skid as the Cavs host Clemson at University Hall. Tip-off on WDBJ-7 is set for 3:30 tomorrow right after the N.C. State - Florida State game.
The Tech men's team is in Providence tonight looking for Big East win number two on the season.
It doesn't sound like much, but after snapping an 18 game losing streak in the conference you'll take any kind of success you can get.
Tonight's game tips-off at 7:30.
The Tech women are back in action tomorrow afternoon at two against number one U-Conn.
Jerry Kelly is the clubhouse lead after three rounds of the Buick Open, but the fan favorites are still making noise.
[SUPER=03-San Diego, CA/CBS Sports;:00]
Tiger barely made the cut yesterday, but he came out strong today and played much better.
Check out the 105 yard approach shot in a nasty cross wind as he sticks it tight to the pin.
But here's how you stick it really tight.
John Daly with the eagle 3 on the par 5, 13th hole.
In the bottom of the cup.
Both are still in contention.
[GRAPHIC=TRACK AND FIELD]
And the Western Valley district track meet took place this afternoon in Lynchburg.
In the boy's competition - Glass was victorious with GW Danville second and Halifax third.
Cave Spring won the girls' portion of the event by nipping E.C. Glass 134 to 131. Halifax County was third.