Ahead on NEWS 7 at six....
Plans to widen Interstate 81 move forward in Richmond today.
And, a program aimed at saving lives-- is put to the test and scores big for residents in the city of Danville.
Tonight on News 7 Sports - the Steam opens tonight, the Avs play game two of the season.
We'll check UVa baseball today at Maryland.
And we'll have an update on Lee Suggs - who saw his first full contact of spring in this afternoon's scrimmage.
Winter returned for the beginning of our weekend with cold temperatures and even some snow... tonight we will be inching towards record lows. The chilly forecast is next.
A move by Governor Mark Warner helps pave the way for big changes on Interstate 81.
Good evening, I'm Teresa Hamilton.
The Governor today signed legislation that would help clear the way for commerical tolls as well as widening of the interstate.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/File Tape; ]
Governor Warner says the sooner Interstate 81 is widened the safer it will be for all motorists.
The bill authorizes the Virginia Department of Transporation to work with private companies.
One such group, called Star Solutions, has proposed widening the interstate to eight lanes--
It would seperate passenger and commercial truck traffic.
Under the plan, truckers who use the road would also be charged a toll to help pay for the road.
Also today-- Governor Warner signed legislation making it illegal to burn an object, such as a cross, in Virginia.
State lawmakers will return to Richmond in mid- April for the one- day veto session. Local officials are also urging them to tackle taxes with a special session in September.
Roanoke officials say the city is facing the loss of one- point- three million dollars in state funds... and will have to make some difficult decisions when members of council begin their budget discussions later this month.
Roanoke is joining other members of the First Cities Coalition and calling for a special session to study the state's tax structure, and funding for local government.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The First Cities Coalition is asking for it]
((BILL CARDER/ROANOKE VICE-MAYOR: THE FIRST CITIES COALITION IS ASKING FOR IT. THIS CITY IS ASKING FOR IT, TO DEAL WITH SOME OF THESE INEQUITIES, BECAUSE WE ARE FISCALLY STRESSED RIGHT NOW.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Carder/Roanoke Vice-Mayor; :]
[OUT Q=fiscally stressed.]
At the very least, Carder says the state must look at funding for public education, and the dollars local governments need to pay for the state's Standards of Quality.
Water is finally restored in one Rocky Mount neighborhood.
Portions of the Franklin Heights subdivision had been without water since early Monday.
Contractors had been installing a new public water system and believe a leak during the hookup caused the problem.
Crews found and repaired the leak Friday night and the water was flowing again a short time later.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I'm going to]
((EARNESTINE ARRINGTON/RESIDENT: I'M GOING TO HAVE SOME WATER ON RESERVE SO IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN AND I AM SURE IT WILL, WORKING ON THESE WATER LINES THROUGH HERE, I FEEL LIKE IT WILL BE OFF AGAIN, JUST WHEN I DON'T KNOW.))
[OUT Q=I don't know]
At one time, more than a hundred residents were without water during the week.
The move from a private water system to a public one should be completed by July.
[GRAPHIC=Water Main Break]
Crews are still working to fix another water problem, this one in Roanoke.
A water main broke just after six this morning on the Salem Turnpike between Eugene and Thrush Drive.
Workers found and fixed the problem just after eleven o'clock.
Water was restored a short time later to everyone except 15- nearby homes.
The city expects to have those residents back on line by tonight.
Roads near the site are open but motorists are asked to avoid the area if possible.
It's not water but fire that is getting a lot of attention in Danville.
The state recently awarded the fire department 80-thousand dollars to install smoke detectors in homes throughout the city.
As Justin McLeod discovered it's program designed to save lives that's already paid off.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Percy Hutchings/Danville Resident; :39]
[SUPER=01-Dayquan Anthony/Fire Victim; 1:13]
[SUPER=01-Steve Dishman/Deputy Fire Chief; 1:32]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Danville]
((((NAT SOUND OF TRUCK DRIVING OFF))
On this day, the Danville Fire Department answers a much different call.
They're not putting out fires but rather working to prevent them.
[IN Q=We want to have]
((TIM YOUNG/DANVILLE FIREFIGHTER: WE WANT HAVE TO 100-PERCENT OF THE HOMES IN DANVILLE TO HAVE SMOKE DETECTORS.))
[OUT Q=have smoke detectors]
And thanks to a state grant Danville can make that goal a reality.
Through the 'Get Alarmed, Virginia program, the city of Danville recently received three thousand smoke detectors.
((QUICK NAT SOUND OF DRILLING))
Firefighters are now working to install them in homes throughout the city, free of charge.
[IN Q=Real feel secure]
((PERCY HUTCHINGS/DANVILLE RESIDENT: REAL FEEL SECURE NOW THAT I GOT IT AND I KNOW I WILL BE SAFE NOW.))
[OUT Q=will be safe now]
((NAT SOUND OF WORK))
Safety that is now easier.
That's because each smoke detector is equipped with a ten year lithium battery.
The Danville Fire Department has already installed several hundred since the program began a few weeks ago.
[IN Q=It is a program]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: IT IS A PROGRAM THAT IS ALREADY SEEING SOME RESULTS. LAST WEEK, THERE WAS A FIRE AT THIS HOME HERE ON EPPS STREET. EVERYBODY GOT OUT SAFELY THANKS TO A FIRE DETECTOR, A DEVICE THAT DANVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAD JUST INSTALLED.))
[OUT Q=had just installed]
Dayquan Anthony was home at the time of the fire.
[IN Q=You were asleep right?]
((DAYQUAN ANTHONY/FIRE VICTIM: YOU WERE ASLEEP RIGHT? YEAH SO IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE SMOKE DETECTOR WE WOULD HAVE BEEN THROUGH.))
[OUT Q=have been through]
((NAT SOUND OF WORKING))
Danville is just one two localities in Virginia to receive this year's grant.
Since its inception four years ago, the Get Alarmed Virginia program is credited with saving nearly fifty lives statewide.
[IN Q=If anyone who doesn't]
((STEVE DISHMAN/DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF: IF ANYONE WHO DOESN'T HAVE OR A WORKING SMOKE DETECTOR CAN GIVE US A CALL AND WE WILL MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO MEET AND INSTALL ONE OF THESE DETECTORS FOR THEM.))
It's all in an effort to drill it (SHOT OF DRILL) into people's minds, smoke detectors can and will save lives.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Danville.))
[TAKE PINNACLE PAGE FS #1001]
If you live in the city of Danville and would like a free smoke detector you can call the number you see on your screen.
It's that time of year again, and you will most likely be losing an hour of sleep tonight.
[TAKE FS BOARD 100EssC]
Daylight Saving Time returns at 2 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Don't forget to set your clock ahead one hour tonight before you go to bed.
Still ahead on News 7 at 6, some local law enforcement officials
were pulling their own weight to help out the Special Olympics. We'll have much more coming up, but first let's take a peek at the forecast, here's Jacey in the WeatherCenter.
A local man is stepping up the ladder in the United States Armed Forces...
Colonel James Archer is a member of the Salem, Virginia Army Reserve
Today, he is being promoted to Brigadier General.
[TAKE ARCHER FS # ESSC]
Archer is an Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Blue Ridge Beverage Company, and a Virgina Tech graduate.
He is currently assigned to the 95th Division Institutional Training headquarters in Oklahoma City.
An event held in the New River Valley today pulled in a lot of money for the Special Olympics, literally.
The Department of Corrections held a fire truck pull at the Spradlin Farms Shopping Center in Christiansburg.
24 teams competed to see how quickly they could pull a fire truck twenty five feet.
The winning team did it in just eight seconds.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Some of the teams have]
((DAVID SMITH/ORGANIZER: SOME OF THE TEAMS HAVE BEEN TALKING TO ME OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS. A TEAM FROM MARSHALL CONCRETE HAS BEEN PRACTICING PULLING ONE OF THEIR CONCRETE TRUCKS. CHRISTIANSBURG'S FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN PULLING A FIRE TRUCK. SOME OTHER PLACES HAVE BEEN PULLING BIG HEAVY VEHICLES, HTD BOWLING HAS BEEN PULLING A CRANE SO THERE IS ALL DIFFERENT WAYS TO TRAIN FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS.))
[OUT Q=something like this]
Today's event raised more than four thousand dollars.
All the money raised will help fund programs for Special Olympics Virginia.
Still ahead on News 7, Virginia Tech's football spring workouts reached the halfway mark. Mike Stevens will have a progress report...
and Shannon Young will take us through a tour of the home place of one of the South's most flamboyant generals.. Stay with us...
You've heard of on the job training.
But have you ever heard of bread school?
Maple Leaf Bakery in Roanoke has mixed a hundred thousand dollars into its latest expansion... strictly for training employees in the art of bread making.
It's a way for workers to experiment with new products and perfect the taste and texture of bread.
Management says getting a good education benefits both the employee and the company.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Some companies]
((AL SAUTNER/MAPLE LEAF BAKERY: SOME COMPANIES PUT IN EQUIPMENT AND EXPECT EMPLOYEES TO JUST BE ABLE TO RUN THEM. WE'RE A COMPANY THAT IS TRAINING EMPLOYEES TO DO COMMON THINGS UNCOMMONLY WELL.))
[SUPER=01-Al Sautner/Maple Leaf Plant Manager]
[OUT Q=uncommonly well.]
Tomorrow on News 7 Sunday morning, we send Jennifer Miele to bread school .. we'll see if she gets burned out, or rises to the occasion.
Within walking distance of the Virginia/North Carolina border is the boyhood home of Jeb Stuart.
The flamboyant Confederate General lived at Laurel Hill until his mid-teens and always hoped to settle there once the war was over.
In this week's Time Off Shannon Young travels to Ararat, Virginia to the only preserved Jeb Stuart site in the country.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We just, we love it here.]
[SUPER=03-Patrick Co.; :06]
[SUPER=01-John Broughton/J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace; :25]
[SUPER=01-Neva Smith/Re-Enactor; 1:22]
[IN Q=We just, we...]
((NEVA SMITH/RE-ENACTOR: WE JUST, WE LOVE IT HERE.))
[OUT Q=we love it here.]
Neva and Jasmine Smith are history buffs with a fondness for a particular hill in Patrick County.
This is the land on which Major General James Ewell Brown Sturat, otherwise known as Jeb, was born during the winter of 1833.
Fifteen years later he would leave Laurel Hill and make a name for himself as the "eyes and ears of the Confederacy."
[IN Q=HE WAS THE MOST FLAMBOYANT...]
((JOHN BROUGHTON/J.E.B. STUART BIRTHPLACE: HE WAS THE MOST FLAMBOYANT CIVIL WAR LEADER IN HISTORY. HIS TWO RIDES AROUND GENERAL MCCLELLAN WERE ENOUGH TO PUT HIM DOWN IN THE HISTORY BOOKS FOR EVER.))
[OUT Q=history books for ever.]
But Stuart longed for home.
During the winter of 1863 the red-head with the piercing blue eyes told his brother about his desire to return to Laurel Hill when the war ended.
But he never made it, dying half a year later in the Battle of Yellow Tavern.
[IN Q=His place in history...]
((JOHN BROUGHTON/J.E.B. STUART BIRTHPLACE: HIS PLACE IN HISTORY IS WELL CEMENTED, WELL CEMENTED.))
[OUT Q=well cemented (second time).]
As is his birthplace.
A walking tour will take you past the site of the house in which Stuart was born.
Also denoted is the site of the kitchen which housed Stuart's father and brother after fire destroyed the main house.
Two graveyards hold the remains of servants at Laurel Hill and a handful of Stuart's 10-siblings along with a stone marking the original resting place of his father.
But most apparent is the land itself.
[IN Q=it's a beautiful place...]
((NEVA SMITH/RE-ENACTOR: IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, COUPLE OF WATERFALLS, COUPLE OF NICE HIKING TRAILS. IT'S JUST A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO SPEND A DAY WITH YOUR FAMILY.))
[OUT Q=spend a day with your family.]
Stuart apparently thought so too stating "I would give anything to make a pilgrimage to the old place and when this war is over to quietly spend the rest of my days there."
Shannon Young, News 7, Patrick County.))
Coming up tonight on the Big 7, the Steam has its home opener tonight.
We'll check everything else from ACC baseball to an open door for former Hokie Antonio Freeman.
And the Hokies continue to mold their football team with two weeks left in spring workouts.
Highlights of today's scrimmage are on the way.
We begin tonight in Blacksburg where Virginia Tech hit the halfway point of spring practice with an afternoon scrimmage.
The Hokies spent the day working to get some of their players used to new positions and welcoming back to action their star running back from two seasons ago.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=On a crisp afternoon...]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Tech Spring Practice; :00]
[SUPER=01-John Ballein/Tech Associate Athletic Director; :14]
[SUPER=01-Lee Suggs/Back from Knee Injury; :50]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Virginia Tech Head Coach; 1:35]
[OUT Q=...as a football team."]
((On a crisp afternoon that felt more like fall practice, the Tech coaches and players opened their practice field to 321 high school coaches from Virginia and elsewhere for their annual coaches clinic.))
((Bite: John Ballein))
((In...I think -- 12:00:00))
((The Hokie coaches saw a welcome sight at practice. Roanoke's Lee Suggs continued his rehab from last year's knee injury by seeing his first contact since last September. Suggs played just four plays, but will see more time during the final two weeks of Spring practice.))
((Bite: Lee Sugg -- 1:27:23))
((Out...Felt the same."))
((While Suggs action was limited, the Hokies other tailback got plenty of work. Kevin Jones carried the ball and, at times, exchanged hits and words with his defensive teammates))
((Nat Sound -- Jones hit))
((Two Tech players who changed positions this week continued to get used to their new spots. Both former Runningback Justin Hamilton and former Quarterback Chris Clifton are making steady improvement after just a few practices at the wide out position. The scrimmage itself lasted a little under two hours and left coach Frank Beamer satisfied with his team's progress thus far))
((Bite: Frank Beamer -- 1:25:32))
((Out...as a football team))
[Hold Tech Spring Practice Logo]
The Hokies will hold another scrimmage next Saturday...the Spring game is at Lane Stadium on Saturday April 20th and Two o'clock.
In 1999, former Hokie Antonio Freeman signed a seven-year $42 million dollar contract with the Green bay Packers.
Today, the Pack gave him and his agent permission to talk with other teams about a possible trade.
Freeman is still under contract with Green Bay through 2005, but as his salary has risen his productivity has dropped off.
The Packers would like to renegotiate the deal to free up some salary cap room.
If he doesn't and if they cannot trade him, Green Bay likely will release the former all-pro on June 1st.
The Roanoke Steam plays its home opener tonight at the Roanoke Civic Center at 7:30 against the Richmond Speed.
Once again this season the Steam will be led at quarterback by former Hokie Al Clark.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Steven Jerry/Roanoke Steam Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=...THE GAME."]
Again, tonight's home opener kicks-off at 7:30 at the Civic Center. If you can't make it - we will have highlights tonight on News 7 at 11.
Right after the game tonight, the artificial turf will be rolled up and the ice will be exposed and groomed for tomorrow afternoon's do-or-die ECHL playoff game as the Express hosts Trenton in game four.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Night - Game Three; :00]
Last night the Titans took a two games to one lead on the Express and in the process made a very loud statement. Trenton was in front 6-to-nothing before Roanoke scored. The 6-to-1 win gives the Titans a 2 games to 1 lead in the best of five series. Trenton can clinch it in game four tomorrow afternoon at four o'clock at the Roundhouse.
ACC baseball action this afternoon had the Virginia Cavaliers on the road playing the Maryland Terrapins.
Maryland came into the game a dismal 0-and-7 in the ACC including yesterday 5-to-nothing shutout at the hands of Virginia.
[SUPER=03-College Park, MD/Fox Sportsouth; :00]
It was a nasty, chilly day in College Park, and when it's cold outside nothing better for a baseball player than to get hit right in the back with a pitch.
Maryland would answer that with a menagerie of hits.
The Terrapins pound out 15 hits and score 10 runs to finally get an ACC win and beat Virginia
Local fans keep in mind that you UVa will be in Blacksburg on Wednesday afternoon taking on Virginia Tech.
The Salem Avalanche is back home tonight for two of the team's season opening series with Potomac.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Last Night; :00]
Last night the the team raised its championship banner in the pregame, and watched its collective earned run average rise, as well.
The Cannons win game one 10-to-7. They play tonight at 7 and tomorrow afternoon at 2.
Getting big league baseball back Washington DC is an idea that has been kicked around with varying degrees of validity for years. Now a push has two big name pursuers with deep pockets.
[SUPER=04-2000 Season; :00]
Redskins' owner Daniel Snyder said today that he is teaming up with Robert Johnson, the founder of BET - Black Entertainment Television - in hopes of buying a major league team.
Several other groups have tried for years to get baseball to DC or Northern Virginia, but Snyder's coupling with Johnson could be huge since the big leagues want minority ownerships.
[GRAPHIC=HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL]
In high school baseball today, the Radford Bobcats beat Graham in both ends of a doubleheader 3-and-2 and 11-to-3.
The Bobcats dedicated the wins to head coach Wayne Pridgen. This past Tuesday the coach was hit in the head during batting practice and rushed to Roanoke Memorial. He suffered a fractured skull and spent two nights in the hospital, but
is now back home and doing well.