Lynchburg Police make an arrest in the case of stolen equipment purchased by fire fighters.
Plus, ALL the merchandise could have been hot at a Roanoke pawn shop.
We'll show you what's left after this morning's fire.
In sports, the ODAC women's basketball tourney rolls on, a Pioneer district hoops coach resigns
and we will have a report from the North Carolina Speedway that includes some thoughts from Daytona 500 winner ward Burton.
It's setting up to be an odd weekend with partly cloudy skies and chilly temperatures Saturday then much warmer on Sunday. We'll explain.
More layoffs hit the area, as a tire manufacturer lets go nearly ten percent of its workforce in Salem.
Yokohama Tire Corporation says the move is needed to remain competetive.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
And I'm Shannon Young.
Approximately 100 positions will be phased out at the Salem plant over the next several weeks.
[VO-NAT - :21+]
The company blames the layoffs on poor market conditions and excess inventory and production levels.
Yokohama Tire manufactures passenger car and light truck tires at the Salem plant. It employs more than a thousand people.
The last MAJOR layoff at the Salem facility came nearly six years ago, and the company SUSPENDED production for more than a week in the summer of 2000.
A Lynchburg man is under arrest, charged with selling stolen emergency radios to the city's fire department.
Allan F. Johnson is facing three counts of embezzlement of property from his employer, Ericsson Incorporated.
Police say Johnson stole radios, computers and programming equipment from Ericsson, then re-sold the radios to the Lynchburg fire department.
The fire department paid 52- hundred dollars for eight radios that normally would have cost more than twenty thousand dollars.
But investigators say the department did *not* know the radios were stolen.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=They had no]
((INVEST. JERRY HISE/LYNCHBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT: THEY HAD NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS ANYTHING WAS WRONG WITH THESE RADIOS OR THAT ALLAN JOHNSON WAS DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL. Reporter: That's because he presented himself as a legitimate source of this equipment? HISE: YES SIR, HE HAD.))
[SUPER=01-Invest. Jerry Hise/Lynchburg Police Department]
[OUT Q=yes sir, he had.]
Hise says other fire and rescue personnel may have bought stolen radios from Johnson and that the investigation is continuing.
Two Campbell County men died in a single- car accident near Brookneal this morning.
51- year- old Shuler David Swint and 47- year- old Allen Nelson Wright were killed instantly when their Corvette Stingray ran off the road and hit a tree on Route 600.
After talking with witnesses, state police say it appears the car had been speeding just before the crash.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=They advised that]
((TROOPER A.P. MCCORMICK/VA STATE POLICE: THEY ADVISED THAT THE SUBJECTS HAD PASSED THEM JUST DOWN THE ROAD A LITTLE WAYS ON A DOUBLE SOLID LINE.. THEY WERE DOING ABOUT 45 TO 50 AND THEY SAID THAT THE CORVETTE APPEARED TO BE DOING EVERY BIT OF 80 TO 100 MILES AN HOUR AND THEN THEY SAW IT COME THROUGH THE CURVE AND RUN OFF THE ROAD AND HIT IN THE TREE.))
[SUPER=01-Trooper A. P. McCormick/State Police]
[OUT Q=hit in the tree.]
McCormick says neither man was wearing a seatbelt.. and that the driver never hit the brakes before striking the tree.
A pawn shop on Jamison Avenue suffered about a quarter million dollars in damage in an early morning electrical fire.
[VO-NAT - :23.5]
Firefighters responded to the Pawn Shop Two at about four o'clock this morning.
The fire was contained mainly to the first floor of the building, destroying most of the showroom merchandise.
The owner says most of the customer merchandise was NOT damaged, but that the company will work with customers who did lose valuables.
Meanwhile, fire officials say the fire started underneath a counter at an electrical outlet.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT - 21:10:27]
[IN Q=A power strip perhaps...]
((DOUG BRANDT/"THE PAWN SHOP" CO-OWNER; A POWER STRIP PERHAPS, THEY ARE NOT ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT SURE OF THAT, WE DID HAVE SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS RUNNING, SO THEY ARE CHECKING THOSE, GOT 16 CAMERAS RUNNING ALL THE TIME. SO THEY ARE MAKING SURE THERE'S NO FOUL PLAY, AND WE'RE FAIRLY CERTAIN THAT THAT WAS NOT THE CASE.))
[SUPER=01-Doug Brandt/"The Pawn Shop" Co-Owner;]
[OUT Q=that that was not the case.]
[VO-NAT - :08+]
Brandt says they are directing their customers to another location on Cove Road, and they do plan to reopen the damaged shop.
A wildfire that kept firefighters busy through the night in Amherst County was finally under control earlier today.
Authorities say sparks from a railroad crew apparently started the 560- acre blaze in the Galts Mill Road section of the county.
More than a hundred firefighters from around the region were called in to help contain it and keep it from burning area homes.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=All the houses]
((MARTHA WARRING/VA DEPT. OF FORESTRY: ALL THE HOUSES ARE SAFE AND WE'RE DOING MOP-UP OPERATIONS NOW, CUTTING DOWN SNAGS, JUST TRYING TO GET THINGS DOWN, THE FLAMES DOWN OR SMOLDERING DOWN WITHIN FIFTY TO EIGHTY FEET INSIDE THE LINE.))
[SUPER=01-Martha Warring/VA Dept. of Forestry]
[OUT Q=inside the line.]
Warring (WOHR-ing) says dry conditions and high winds made battling the fire more difficult.
To hear Doctor Cecil Knox's former patients tell it, there simply aren't enough physicians willing and able to absorb the indicted doctor's case load.
The chief federal prosecutor today displayed a long list of federally- funded health care centers... clinics that he says won't turn anyone away.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We want to get]
((JOHN BROWNLEE/U. S. ATTORNEY: WE WANT TO GET APPROPRIATE MEDICAL CARE TO THOSE WHO NEED IT.))
[SUPER=01-John Brownlee/U. S. Attorney; ]
[OUT Q=to those who need it.]
Brownlee cited the case of the woman we met yesterday at Doctor Knox's arraignment.
The U-S Attorney said it's a tragedy that Connie Shriver is suffering withdrawal from narcotics.
The government convinced a U-S Magistrate to ban Knox from writing prescriptions, pending trial... and the court ordered him to refer all his patients to other doctors.
Knox is charged with health- care fraud, setting up a kick-back scheme and illegally prescribing narcotics.
A committee vote on Monday could make or break the proposed referenda for school construction and highway improvements.
Today, more supporters urged lawmakers to vote yes.
Representatives of State Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Education Association, College Presidents and others lined up to support the sales tax referendums.
The Coalition for Virginia's Future is urging the House Finance Committee to approve the bill on Monday and send it to the House floor.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's not in any way]
((HUGH KEOGH/VA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: IT'S NOT IN ANY WAY INTENDED TO UNFAIRLY BURDEN THE SPEAKER, OR PUT HIM ON THE SPOT TO USE YOUR PHRASE, BUT NEVERTHELESS WE THINK IT'S TIME FOR OUR ELECTED LEADERSHIP TO COME TO GRIPS WITH THESE ISSUES.))
[SUPER=01-Hugh Keogh/VA Chamber of Commerce;]
[OUT Q=come to grips with these issues.]
The legislation provides for a statewide sales tax referendum for education and regional votes for road improvements in northern Virginia and Tidewater.
But House Speaker Vance Wilkins says he remains opposed to the statewide referendum.
Still ahead on News 7, see how a group of laid-off employees hope teamwork could lead to real work.
And after 25 years in the dark, there's new hope for new life an area theater.
The men who will search for a budget compromise in Richmond have their work cut out for them.
This year, however, they're armed with more optimism.
The budget bills that were approved yesterday by the House of Delegates and the State Senate are now headed for a conference committee.
Lawmakers say they have major differences on a number of issues including funding for transportation and education, but they also expect a more productive dialogue than the one they had last year.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This year]
((SEN. WILLIAM WAMPLER: THIS YEAR EVERYBODY IS COMMITTED TO WORKING IT OUT IN A FASHION THAT IS AS FAIR AND EQUITABLE AS POSSIBLE. I DON'T SEE US STALEMATING ON THINGS, BUT AGAIN IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY DIFFICULT VERY TECHNICAL NEGOTIATION.))
((DEL. VINCE CALLAHAN: I DON'T THINK WE'RE ANYWHERE NEAR AS FAR APART AS WE WERE LAST YEAR WHEN YOU HAD ONE OVERRIDING ISSUE AND THAT WAS THE CAR TAX. WE DON'T HAVE THAT STUMBLING BLOCK THIS YEAR.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. William Wampler/(R) Bristol; ]
[SUPER=01-Del. Vince Callahan/(R) McLean; ]
[OUT Q=that stumbling block this year.]
The conferees will begin their work next week.
Ferrum College faces a 10-million dollar lawsuit from the family of a student who hanged himself in his dorm room two years ago.
Michael Frentzel had had some disciplinary difficulties and had had an argument with his girlfriend.
The suit filed in federal court today says the 19-year old college freshman from Illinois had indicated he was going to hang himself with a belt.
The complaint says the College and various individuals "failed to take appropriate steps to insure that Michael did not harm himself."
[GRAPHIC=Life After Layoffs]
Some feel over-qualified .. others wonder if their age works against them. They're all hoping that working together will get them back to the kind of jobs they had before.
In her on-going series "Life After Layoffs," Business Reporter Jennifer Miele tells us about a group in Roanoke County that is working hard to get its members working again.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=A technical writer]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Don Hill/Group Co-Founder; :21]
[SUPER=01-Carol Meador/Group Member; :42]
[SUPER=01-Bruce Prillaman/Group Member; :48]
[SUPER=01-Al Colgrove/Group Co-Founder; 1:12]
[OUT Q=JM News 7.]
(( A technical writer working graveyard shift as a customer service rep.
A paralegal working in bakery.
And a former banker working three jobs to make ends meet.
Most of the people around this table consider themselves under-employed... some blame their age and others the recession.
((DON HILL: AFTER BEING DOWNSIZED IN BANKING I TRIED TO SELL LIFE INSURANCE, THERMO GUARD WINDOWS, VACCUUM CLEANERS, TOOK TRAINING AS A TRUCK DRIVER))
Don Hill is now doing accounting work, but he's getting help to get his career back.
He spends every Tuesday night at Cave Spring United Methodist Church at a job loss support group called Back on the Path.
((CAROL MEADOR: I WAS READY TO SCREAM. I THOUGHT IS IT MY HAIR, IS IT MY SUIT, TOO MANY FRECKLES, WHAT? AM I TOO OLD, WHAT?))
((BRUCE PRILLAMAN/RETIRED GE: A LOT OF TIMES WHEN YOU LOSE A JOB YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE COMMITTED SOME KIND OF A CRIME AND NOBODY WANTS TO BE AROUND YOU. LIKE YOU HAVE AN INCURABLE DISEASE.))
[butt butt butt butt]
((SOMEHOW YOU HAVE TO GO OVER IT AND GO ON.))
Back on the Path was started by a group of parishioners who know what it's like to lose a job. Besides lending an ear, they pass on job leads and help polish resumes.
((AL : 15 YEARS AGO, TEN YEARS AGO WHEN THIS HAPPENED TO US. I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO COME SOMEWHERE VERY TUESDAY NIGHT AND TALK TO SOMEONE. BECAUSE IT'S ALMOST LIKE YOU'RE ON A ISLAND ALL BY YOURSELF.))
Since the group doesn't have a budget, they rely on donations of cookies, coffee, and most recently a computer to train on.
It's an effort that seems to be working.
((CAROL MEADOR/RECENTLY UNEMPLOYED: I GOT THE JOB AT ACT II CONSIGNMENT, I START MONDAY. CLAP. PRAY FOR ME THAT I MAKE IT.))
The group says a little support and a lot of prayer goes a long way.
Jennifer Miele, News 7.))
[TAKE FS GRAPHIC]
Back on the Path is looking for new members.
If you are interested, you can call Cave Spring United Methodist Church at 989-3673.
After an iffy start, blue chips ended the day with a triple-digit gain.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW climbed 133 and a half points.
NASDAQ gained eight.
It's been close to a quarter century since the Lincoln Theatre in Marion entertained an audience.
Now Center in the Square is hoping to guide the venue back into the spotlight.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The theatre was built...]
[SUPER=01-Joe Ellis/Lincoln Theatre Foundation; :31]
[SUPER=01-Jim Sears/Center in the Square; :52]
[OUT Q=broadcast from the theatre.]
[IN Q=The theatre was built in the 1920's...]
((JOE ELLIS:LINCOLN THEATRE FOUNDATION: THE THEATRE WAS BUILT IN THE 1920'S IN A MAYAN MOTIF. THERE ARE ONLY THREE THEATERS LEFT IN THE UNITED STATES WITH THIS MOTIF STILL STANDING.))
[OUT Q=THIS MOTIF STILL STANDING.]
Still standing , but not in the best of shape.
After the curtain went down in the 1970's, the Lincoln Theatre fell into disprepair.
If it weren't for holes in the roof letting in the rays, there'd be no light to illuminate the stage.
But Joe Ellis and the Lincoln Theatre Foundation want to bring the venue back from the dead.
[IN Q=We want the theatre to be a portal...]
((JOE ELLIS: WE WANT THE THEATRE TO BE A PORTAL TO OUTREACH KIDS IN OUR REGION. WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO BRING IN PROGRAMMING LIKE OPERA, BALLET, THEATRE, MUSIC, AND GET SOME EXPOSURE TO OUR KIDS.))
[OUT Q=get some exposure to our kids.]
Enter Center in the Square.
With tenants like the Science Museum, Mill Mountain Theater and Opera Roanoke, the organization banks on the business of entertainment.
[IN Q=The Lincoln Theatre project...]
((JIM SEARS/CENTER IN THE SQUARE: THE LINCOLN THEATRE PROJECT GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE THEM WITH ENCOURAGEMENT AND SOME OF OUR ENTHUSIASM AND SOME OF OUR EXPERIENCE IN DEVELOPING FACILITIES.))
[OUT Q=EXPERIENCE IN DEVELOPING FACILITIES.]
Sears also plans to offer programming.
Right now, Center and its tenants reach kids through schools but Sears says a single venue would be more efficient.
The Lincoln Theatre Foundation welcomes the help but also has goals of its own.
[IN Q=One of the things we hope to do...]
((JOE ELLIS: ONE OF THE THINGS WE HOPE TO DO IS TO ALSO PRESERVE OUR CULTURE WITH THE THEATRE. WE'RE PLANNING TO USE IT AS A FOUNDATION FOR BLUE GRASS MUSIC. WE'RE HOPING, WITH ALL THE ARTISANS WE HAVE IN OUR REGION, TO COME UP WITH A WEEKLY SHOW OR BROADCAST FROM THE THEATRE.
[OUT Q=BROADCAST FROM THE THEATRE.]))))
The restoration project is still in the planning stages.
Ellis hopes to begin construction this spring.
Ricky Craven wins the pole but Ward Burton is still the hot topic in racing, a report to come from the Rock,
and we will have your semifinal ODAC women's tournament action from today.
Ricky Craven won the pole today at Rockingham but NASCAR's spotlight still belongs to Ward Burton. Mike Stevens has more from the North Carolina Speedway.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Rockingham, NC; :00]
[SUPER=01-Ward Burton/Daytona 500 Winner; :16]
[SUPER=01-Tommy Baldwin/Ward Burton's Crew Chief; :38]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Burton/Ward's Younger Brother; 1:03]
[SUPER=01-Rusty Wallace/Qualified 8th Today; 1:27]
[OUT Q=......in Sunday's race"]
[GO TO CHYRON BOARDS!!!!!!!!!!!]
[GO TO QUALIFYING]
[SUPER=0107-1. Ricky Craven/156.008/2. Ken Schrader/154.696/3. Johnny Benson//4. Dale Jarrett//5. Jerry Nadeau//;]
[SUPER=0107-6. Sterling Marlin//7. Kurt Busch//8. Rusty Wallace//9. Kenny Wallace//10. Bobby Hamilton//;]
[SUPER=0107-11. Jimmie Johnson//12. Jimmy Spencer//13. Buckshot Jones//14. Bobby Labonte//15. Jeff Green//;]
[SUPER=0107-16. Robby Gordon//17. Mark Martin//18. Ward Burton//19. Tony Stewart//20. Casey Atwood//;]
[SUPER=0107-21. Jeremy Mayfield//22. Jeff Burton//23. Ryan Newman//24. Mike Skinner//25. Matt Kenseth//;]
[SUPER=0107-26. Michael Waltrip//27. Ricky Rudd//28. Bill Elliott//29. Dale Earnhardt Jr.//30. Mike Wallace//;]
[SUPER=0107-31. Kyle Petty//32. Brett Bodine//33. Jeff Gordon//34. Kevin Harvick//35. John Andretti//;]
[SUPER=0107-36. Dave Blaney//37. Joe Nemechek/Prov/38. Elliott Sadler/Prov/39. Hut Stricklin/Prov/40. Terry Labonte/Pro
[SUPER=0107-40. Todd Bodine/Prov/42. Stacy Compton/Prov/43. Rick Mast/Prov//;]
Guilford will defend its ODAC championship tomorrow at the Salem Civic Center after beating Randolph-Macon today.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Quakers vs Yellow Jackets; :]
The Quakers held a 4 point lead at the half. Then Erin Beacham scored 5 straight points at the 15 minute mark and the Quakers led by 8.
But Macon rallied behind Sarah Crider and the Yellow Jackets trailed by 2 witth 12 minutes left in the game.
Guilford began to pull away with 6 minutes left in the game and led 57 to 51.
Kelly Burger gets out on the break and scores, the Quakers led by 8. Guilford advances with the 69- 60 win.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Eagles vs Wasps; :]
Bridgewater and Emory and Henry hooked up in the second semi final game.
The Eagles came out hot. Sarah Oktavec takes it to the paint and hits the turn around for a 2 point Eagle lead.
Moments later Bridgewater's Lindsey Coleman pulls up behind the line and hits the three pointer to make it 7 to nothing.
The Wasps made a short run. Jenny Gibson gets it on the baseline and lays in the basket cutting the lead to 5.
[SUPER=33-Bridgewater/78/Emory & Henry/67/; :]
Then Kelly Smith steps behind the line and nails the three pointer the Eagle lead was 2 and Bridgewater goes on to win it 78 to 67.
[GRAPHIC=Pioneer district tourney time]
Covington and Bath County meet in the Pioneer district tournament championship tonight at 7:30.
[SUPER=03-Buena Vista/Last Night; :00]
James River coach Dan Bowser, whose Knights lost to Covington in the semifinals last night, announced his resignatio(------------)
n as James Rivers boys coach. He coached the boys and girls teams for three seasons.