Ahead on NEWS 7 at six.
A Roanoke neighborhood gets a new look...
But this million dollar project is about more than landscaping and a coat of paint.
And, Big Tom from Survivor Africa anchors himself in Roanoke today.
[IN Q=A lot of people]
((MARGARET HARP/RESIDENT: A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO RECOGNIZE THE NEIGHBORHOOD THAT HAVEN'T BEEN DOWN THROUGH HERE FOR A LONG TIME.))
[OUT Q=for a long time]
There goes the neighborhood, but residents say in this case that's a good thing.
Good evening, I'm Teresa Hamilton.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at 6]
When you think of the Afton Gardens neighborhood in Roanoke, you usually associate it with a drug bust or a shooting.
That's why residents hope a new million dollar project will change some of those old perceptions.
As Justin McLeod discovered the area has a new name, a new coat of paint, and hopefully a new outlook.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Nat sound of drilling]
[SUPER=01-Margaret Harp/Resident; :24]
[SUPER=01-Bob Farmer/Regional Property Manager; 1:12]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Roanoke]
((((NAT SOUND OF DRILLING ))
Progress these days can be seen throughout Afton Gardens.
All of this (shot of blue) will soon be replaced with this. (shot of brown).
[IN Q=It's a big]
((ROBERT SINGLETON/RESIDENT: IT'S A BIG IMPROVEMENT.))
[OUT Q=big improvement]
An improvement that's costing nearly two million dollars.
Every apartment here on Hunt Avenue has been gutted.
In its place are new bathrooms, kitchens, and a central air and heating system.
[IN Q=When I walked through]
((MARGARET HARP/RESIDENT: WHEN I WALKED THROUGH THOSE DOORS AND LOOKED I SAID I'VE GONE TO HOLLYWOOD. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.))
[OUT Q=It was beautiful]
And more beauty is on its way.
Workers will soon landscape and install vandal proof lights as well as a brand new playground.
Once completed, Afton Gardens will be completely renovated from the inside out.
[IN Q=Crime is also down]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: CRIME IS ALSO DOWN HERE. ABOUT A YEAR AGO, MANAGEMENT AND THE ROANOKE POLICE DEPARTMENT JOINED FORCES. THEY INCREASED FOOT PATROLS, ADDED SECURITY MEASURES LIKE LIGHTNING AND FENCING AND MORE IMPORTANTLY THEY STARTED EVICTING RESIDENTS WHO WERE CAUSING TROUBLE.))
[OUT Q=causing trouble]
More than ten residents were evicted.
As a result, crime is now down nearly fifty percent.
Residents who once lived in fear can now venture safely outside. (SHOT OF KIDS OUTSIDE)
The hope is the public will soon see some of this work in progress.
[IN Q=We're trying to be]
((BOB FARMER/MANAGEMENT: WE'RE TRYING TO BE A GOOD NEW MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY PARTICULARLY WITH ALL THAT IS GOING ON NEXT DOOR AT THE LINCOLN TERRACE AND THAT'S SUCH A BIG IMPROVEMENT TO THIS AREA AND I HOPE WE'LL BE PART OF THAT.))
[OUT Q=part of that]
It's a part that will soon be set in stone as renovations are set to be completed by May.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Roanoke.))
The annual Southwest Virginia Boat Show has anchored itself in Roanoke this weekend.
More than 40 vendors and 11 boat dealers make up this year's show at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Organizers say you can often find better deals when buying a boat in the winter.
Someone who can probably afford to buy a boat is Big Tom from Survivor Africa.
The Smyth County farmer greeted and signed autographs for several hours today.
The boat shop wraps up tomorrow.
It's not boats, but homes that make up another show, this one in Christiansburg.
The Reed Lumber Company today held the 5th annual home show at the Christiansburg Recreation Center.
The show featured more than fifty vendors who addressed just about every home improvement need you could think of.
One popular display this year was the work of a renowned brick artist who created a Virginia Tech sculpture in about five hours.
(///// SOT //////)
[IN Q=The clay was]
((SUE LANDERMAN/BRICK ARTIST: THE CLAY WAS FRESH DONE SO IT WAS SOFTER THAN IT IS NORMALLY FOR ME SO IT WORKED QUICKER.))
[SUPER=01-Sue Landerman/Brick Artist; :]
[OUT Q=worked quicker]
The hokie bird sculpture was then raffled off.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Jennifer Fund which helps care for children with cancer at UVA Children's Medical Center.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The money will go]
((JENNIFER MARSHALL/RECOVERING CANCER PATIENT: THE MONEY WILL GO TO RESEARCH AND COMFORTS IN THE HOSPITAL SUCH AS BUYING NINTENDOS OR TVS FOR THE CLINICS FOR THE PATIENTS WHEN THEY ARE THERE ALL DAY LONG OR RESEARCH TO HELP FIND A CURE FOR CANCER.))
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Marshall/Recovering Cancer Patient; ]
[OUT Q=a cure for cancer]
The fund is named after Jennifer who was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of eleven.
Her cancer is now in remission.
The Virginia Cavaliers were at U-Hall this afternoon for a conference game with Georgia Tech.
[SUPER=03-Charlottesville/ESPN PLUS; :]
Pete Gillen working the referee's in the first half.
The Cavaliers fell behind early but when Adam Hall makes the steal and lays it in the Cavs had cut the lead to 2.
The Yellow Jackets answer when Ismail Mohammad takes it in on the alley oop drawing the foul.
Virginia answered when Travis Watson takes it to the hoop for the jam ending a 25 to 6 Cavalier run.
The Yellow Jackets opened the second half hitting from outside Marvin Lewis with the three.
[SUPER=33-Virginia#22/80/Georgia Tech/82/; :]
But Virginia comes right back Chris Williams knocking it in from three point range but Georgia Tech scores at the buzzer to win it 82 to 80.
At the Cassell this afternoon, Virginia Tech rallied in the second half to beat Providence 69 to 64.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Hokies vs Friars; :]
The Friars looking to pull out a win on the road.
They go to Freshman Ryan Gomes he hits the short jumper and Providence led by 4.
But the Hokies answered when Carlton Carter hit the three however Tech trailed 33 to 26 at the half.
Then the Hokies worked the big man Terry Taylor he hit two straight baskets and the Hokies trailed by 7.
Providence would keep the lead when John Linehan pulled up to hit the three and make it 44 to 38.
[SUPER=33-Virginia Tech/69/Providence/64/; :]
But the Hokies got it together and Carlos Dixon takes it coast to coast for the jumper and the Hokies win it 69 to 64.
Guilford successfully defended its ODAC women's championship beating Bridgewater 73 to 51.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Guilford vs Bridgewater; :]
A good crowd at the Salem Civic Center for the championship game.
Bridgewater's Sarah Oktavec passes to Allison Nichols who hits the three pointer to make it 17 to 14 Guilford.
The Quaker's answered Jennie Keichline hits Kelly Burger who hits the three pointer to make it 20 to 14 Quakers.
The Eagles go to Oktavec who gets out on the break and scores the layup but the Eagles trailed by 4.
But the Quakers A.J. Robertson takes it in for the jumper and Guilford repeats with the 73 to 51 win.