Local investigators will travel to the far reaches of Canada to interview a person of interest in the Jennifer Sh
And, an event planned for Lynchburg is drawing attention from across the country.
We'll tell you about the city's first ever "gay pride" festival.
Tonight on News 7 Sports - an ARCA series driver dies at the Lowe's Motor Speedway this afternoon.
A man from Nashville and Japan test together today at Martinsville.
And he has battled the Hokies since his days at UVa - but in his five years at Boston College Tom O'Brien has never beaten Virginia Tech.
It looks like some showers will move out of Texas and head our way. Full forecast details right after sports.
News 7 at Six is next.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
And I'm Shannon Young.
A guilty plea today in a bizarre federal drug case.
This means the man who oversaw the marijuana concession at Bland Prison in the 1990's will serve no more than 10 years in prison.
Michael Fulcher pled guilty to conspiracy and money laundering, rather than go to trial again next month.
Though a federal jury found Fulcher guilty in 1999 of running a "continuing criminal enterprise" inside Bland Prison, that conviction was thrown out by judge Jackson Kiser.
Now the government has agreed to drop that charge.
The "criminal enterprise" charge alone carries a minimum mandatory THIRTY YEARS in prison. Today's plea agreement calls for a range of punishment between five and ten years, the exact amount of time to be decided by Judge Kiser later.
Fulcher's mother, Ethel, will not have to serve any time under the deal struck today.
This puts to rest an unusual defense, where the 45-year old one-time government informant claimed he was still working for the D-E-A inside the prison.
After the trial D-E-A Agent Don Lincoln came forward and said Fulcher might have had good reason to believe that.
The agreement reached today means Agent Lincoln won't have to testify against the government.
He's not a suspect, but he's the "best lead" in a triple-murder investigation.
Garrison Bowman is being held in Yellowknife, Canada, on an immigration violation and faces deportation after a hearing Friday morning.
Tomorrow morning, four investigators from Henry County and Rockingham County, North Carolina, will fly there to interview him.
Canadian immigration officials say the fact that he's being sought for questioning in the murders of Jennifer Short and her parents will have no bearing on whether he stays or gets sent home... though it's likely he'll be tried on a drunk driving charge there first.
Local investigators also want to search Bowman's van for evidence, though it's not clear yet if they'll be able to bring any items they recover back to the U-S for analysis.
A Clifton Forge man accused of killing his girlfriend is now charged with capital murder.
The body of 24-year old Shanna Wright was found in her trailer at the High Acres trailer park in Covington Saturday.
Her boyfriend, 29-year old John Matthew Beverly, Junior, was arrested Sunday and charged with first degree murder.
But the Commonwealth's Attorney says a conversation with the medical examiner convinced him to upgrade the charge and add another of sexual assault.
Beverly is being held in the Alleghany Regional Jail without bond.
Governor Mark Warner says as many as 25-hundred state workers will lose their jobs because of the state budget crisis.
That's without counting possible layoffs at state colleges and universities.
Warner met with state employees in a forum at Old Dominion University to discuss the cuts he will announce Tuesday to help balance Virginia's budget.
He says that NO state agency will be cut by less than five percent.
Some programs and services spared in the past may eventually face cuts, including Medicaid and public schools.
Plans for a "gay pride" festival in Lynchburg later this month have both organizers and local police wondering what to expect.
As Steve Smallshaw reports, the event has already caught the attention of anti-homosexual groups from around the country.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It will be]
[SUPER=01-Mel White/Soulforce; :14]
[SUPER=03-Last Month; :28]
[SUPER=01-Maj. Jack Lewis/Lynchburg Police Department; 1:04]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( It will be a first for Lynchburg.
The weekend of October 26th, hundreds of gay rights supporters are expected to gather in Riverside Park for an event called "Out and About"... a festival aimed at making the city more gay-friendly.
((MEL WHITE/SOULFORCE: SOULFORCE HAS COME TO LYNCHBURG NOT WITH THE DESIRE TO GET ATTENTION, BUT WITH THE DESIRE TO CHANGE THE MIND AND HEART OF JERRY FALWELL AND HIS PEOPLE ABOUT GOD'S GAY PEOPLE. IF WE GET ATTENTION OR WE DON'T GET ATTENTION IS NOT THE ISSUE.))
[OUT Q=not the issue.]
White, who moved here a month ago with his gay partner, calls Lynchburg one of the most closeted cities he's ever seen.
So part of the Soulforce plan is to send its members door to door with their literature in the week before the festival.
((MEL WHITE: THERE'S ALL KINDS OF RUMORS FLYING THAT IF WE GO DOOR TO DOOR WITH OUR MATERIALS THAT SOMEBODY'S GOING TO BE HARMED. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT. I AM TOTALLY CONVINCED AFTER LIVING HERE FOR A MONTH THAT LYNCHBURG PEOPLE ARE A FRIENDLY PEOPLE WHO SHOW A SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY.))
[OUT Q=Southern hospitality.]
Meanwhile Lynchburg police are trying to decide how much of a presence they'll need to have that weekend.
((MAJOR JACK LEWIS/LYNCHBURG POLICE: YOU COULD HAVE A CONVERGING I GUESS OF SEVERAL GROUPS I GUESS WITH DIVERSE, DIFFERENT OPINIONS, AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS THE POTENTIAL IS ALWAYS THERE.))
[OUT Q=is always there.]
Anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps' website indicates his group WILL picket the Soulforce festival.. the Reverend Flip Benham is calling on Falwell not to sit down with White and his supporters.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg. ))
It's already strapped for cash because of the state budget crunch.
Now one cultural organization's latest fundraising effort is under fire.
FInd out why when NEws 7 returns.
Plus an area resort has a new plan to re-fill its draining lake.
Virginians will go to the polls next month to elect a U.S. senator.
Three candidates are running for the seat.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith-SHannon & Meghan/State Microwave;]
Meghan Muldoon joins us now with a profile of this year's only statewide race.
[LIVE= Meghan & Keith-Shannon/FULL State Microwave]
It's the time of year again.
The elections are just around the corner.
And a seat in the U.S. Senate is up for grabs.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=THIS IS NANCY SPANNAUS'.]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC; :00]
[SUPER=01-Nancy Spannaus/(I) U. S. Senate Candidate; :16]
[SUPER=01-John Warner/(R) U. S. Senate Candidate; 1:08]
[OUT Q=GO FOR IT.]
(( This is Nancy Spannaus' fifth run for public office.
The Independent candidate says she supports economic reconstruction and opposes war.
[IN Q=WE SHOULD BE BUILDING]
[OUT Q=IS A PEACEFUL ALTERNATIVE.]
Spannaus says she thinks rogues in the American military are responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
The 58-year-old from Loudoun County identifies herself as a Democrat in her ads despite failing to receive the party's nomination.
[IN Q=I HAVE A RIGHT TO CALL MYSELF]
[OUT Q=IN THE FDR TRADITION.]
Spannaus says she expects to spend 50-thousand dollars on her campaign.
Senator Warner will likely spend 20 times that amount.
Still Spannaus remains confident.
[IN Q=THERE IS LAROUCHE'S ALTERNATIVE]
[OUT Q=CAN DO SURPRISINGLY WELL I THINK.]
Senator Warner says despite the lack of a major party opponent, he's still travelling around the state in an effort to win a fifth term.
[IN Q=I DON'T STAND]
[OUT Q=DONE THAT AND NEVER WILL.]
Unlike Spannaus, Warner supports giving the President the authority to attack Iraq.
But the Republican insists he's not a party man.
[IN Q=THE POINT IS.]
[OUT Q=BEST FOR THE NATION.]
After twenty-four years in the Senate, Warner seems confident he'll return for six more.
[IN Q=IF THERE'S SOMEONE OUT THERE.]
[OUT Q=I SAY GO FOR IT.]))
[LIVE= Meghan /FULL State Microwave]
Independent candidate Jacob Hornberger of Loudoun County is also on the ballot.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith-Shannon & Meghan /State Microwave;]
My attempts to contact him were unsuccessful but the bio on his website says he's a lawyer, a VMI graduate and a libertarian.
State police are investigating a fatal accident involving two people who weren't even old enough to drive.
It happened around one-thirty this morning on Route-665 in Giles County.
Police say 14-year-old Sheena Riggs died after the pickup-truck she was riding in, ran off the road and hit a tree.
Police say the driver, who is a juvenile, survived.
So far, no charges have been filed against him.
Blue Ridge Parkway police have summoned local police in their attempt to put an end to "cruising" by gay men on the Parkway.
On Monday a 74-year old Florida man was arrested at the Stewart's Knob overlook.
Undercover Roanoke County police officers had been there only 15 minutes, they say, when Robert Skolrood arrived, exposed himself, approached one of the officers and grabbed his "groin area."
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The majority]
[SUPER=01-Ed Clark/Park Ranger]
[OUT Q=in the Roanoke Valley, yes sir.]
Skolrood did not contest the charges in court today. The judge convicted him of "disorderly conduct" and fined him 115-dollars.
Robert Skolrood is listed as a member of the Roanoke- area law firm of Scogin and Skolrood, though he is NOT one of the principal partners.
Organizers of Center in the Square's largest fundraiser of the year are concerned a misunderstanding may be costing them ticket sales.
Affair in the Square is an annual, formal event that's scheduled for this Saturday.
Ticket prices have gone from 45-dollars to seventy, prompting some to accuse Center of discrimination.
(///// SOT at :11 /////)
[IN Q=Center in the Square has always been interested...]
((JIM SEARS/PRES., CENTER IN THE SQUARE: CENTER IN THE SQUARE HAS ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN SERVING THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY. AFFAIR IN THE SQUARE IS OPEN TO ALL PEOPLE. WE WOULD NEVER KNOWINGLY DO SOMETHING THAT WOULD DISCRIMINATE AGAINST OR DISCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM ATTENDING ANY OF OUR EVENTS.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Sears/Center in the Square President;]
[OUT Q=attending any of our events.]
Sears says prices went up because the number of tickets being sold was cut from 15-hundred to 12-hundred.
He says, in the past, patrons have complained that the event wasn't "intimate" enough.
Tickets can be purchased at the Mill Mountain Theatre box office and Ginger's Jewelry.
Bearish reports on blue chip companies like General Electric, General Motors and Johnson and Johnson had investors dumping stocks.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW tumbled 215 points.
NASDAQ fell 15.
The owners of Mountain Lake say they've come up with a plan to restore the lake's water level.
And they plan to do it without Mother Nature's help.
Now, they just hope it works.
New River Valley Bureau Chief Myranda Stephens explains.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=trying to]
[SUPER=03-Mountain Lake; :00]
[SUPER=01-H. M. "Buzz" Scanland/Mt. Lake General Manager; :11]
[SUPER=01-Bruce Parker/VA Tech Prof. of Biology Emeritus; :36]
[OUT Q=MS, N7, GILES CO.]
((IF WE COULD MAKE IT RAIN THAT WOULD BE THE BEST OPTION.))
Trying to fill replenish a lake without rain or snow is nearly impossible--at least before now.
[SOT 4:27 PLEASE COVER END]
((BUZZ SCANLAND/MT. LAKE GENERAL MANAGER: IT'S AN EXPERIMENTAL DEAL THAT WE'RE GOING TO DRILL SOME WELLS WHERE WE THINK THE WATER LEAVES THE LAKE AND COMES BACK TO THE SURFACE AGAIN AND DRILL SOME WELLS AND PUMP THE WATER BACK TO THE LAKE.))
It's essentially pumping Mountain Lake back into Mountain Lake--and the idea came from a retired biology professor at Virginia Tech, who has researched the lake for over 30-years.
((BRUCE PARKER/EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGYTHERE'S NO OTHER LAKE THAT I KNOW OF THAT HAS A FAULT BENEATH IT LIKE THIS WHERE THE WATER IS POURING OUT NEAR THE BOTTOM.))
A few years ago Parker discovered there are several natural holes in the lake that leads to a pond drain just about a half a mile away.
But, it wasn't until now that he figured pumping water from that drain could refill the lake, which is about half full.
((REPORTER: RIGHT NOW THE LAKE LOOKS MORE LIKE A PUDDLE COMPARED TO WHAT IT NORMALLY IS--JUST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA, WHERE I'M WALKING RIGHT NOW IS ACTUALLY THE LAKE'S BOTTOM. AND THE WATER LEVEL WOULD REACH JUST ABOUT HERE.))
But, the folks at Mountain Lake are hoping Doctor Parker's idea will work...so they can at least maintain the water at it's current level...if the drought continues.
But, if it doesn't work--they say will just have to wait...and pray that nature will take its course.
Myranda Stephens, News 7, Giles County.))
Jennifer Braaten (BRAHT-ehn) has been on the job for three months, and on Friday she will be inaugurated as the tenth president of Ferrum College.
This afternoon, Braaten spoke to members of the Roanoke Kiwanis Club.
She says she hopes to build upon Ferrum's history and legacy of service, by stressing the importance of good character, moral values and ethical decisions.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Everybody says]
((JENNIFER BRAATEN/FERRUM COLLEGE PRESIDENT: EVERYBODY SAYS WHERE ARE OUR LEADERS TODAY. LOOK AT OUR VENUE, WHETHER IT'S ECONOMICS, POLITICS OR EDUCATION, OR THE CHURCH, WE NEED LEADERSHIP. AND WE THINK THAT BECAUSE WE TALK ABOUT ETHICS, WE TALK ABOUT VALUES, WE TALK ABOUT HOW TO DEAL WITH TOUGH ISSUES. CHARACTER COUNTS, NOW MORE THAN EVER.))
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Braaten/Ferrum College President]
[OUT Q=character counts, now more than ever.]
With the possibility that state tuition grants will be cut, Braaten says economic issues are among the school's challenges.
But with an excellent campus, faculty, staff and student body, Braaten says she's also excited about Ferrum's future.
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports - BC coach Tom O'Brien weighs in on the Hokies.
A driver in the ARCA series is killed today in Charlotte.
And a number of teams test out the Martinsville Speedway's new turn texture.
And a Japanese also spends the day in Henry County.
For the second straight year tragedy has hit the Lowe's Motor Speedway in the ARCA division.
This afternoon during practice for the series' final race of the season - Eric Martin was killed in a crash.
[go to pinnacle 1003]
Martin's car was sitting still in the tri-oval after spinning when another driver Deborah Renshaw T-boned his car slamming into the driver's-side door area.
Emergency workers covered Martin's car with a tarp minutes after the accident.
[VO NAT ENG#]
Martin was a rookie in the Automobile Racing Club of America series from Hixson, Tennessee.
He is survived by his wife, Tammy, and two children.
Former Cup star Ernie Irvan witnessed the crash.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The motor....]
[SUPER=01-Ernie Irvan/Witnesses the Wreck; :00]
[OUT Q=vicious accident."]
Last year Blaise Alexander was killed at the track during an ARCA race.
Despite today's death - they will hold the race tomorrow night.
The final short track race of the season is just over a week away. Several drivers and teams got ready for next Sunday's Old Dominion 500 at the Martinsville Speedway with a test session this week. As Travis Wells explains, they also got a look at the changes made to the corners of the racetrack.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=first audio...]
[SUPER=01-Bobby Hamilton/2 Top 10's in 2002; :15]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Green/17th in Winston Cup Points; :26]
[SUPER=01-Hideo Fukuyama/One Winston Cup Start; 1:00]
[SUPER=01-Teddy Brown/Fukuyama's Crew Chief; 1:29]
[OUT Q=News 7 Sports."]
((Last month, the turns at the Martinsville Speedway were smoothed down in an effort to improve the track's grip. Today during testing, the change got mixed reviews from the drivers.
The language barrier has been a unique challenge for Fukuyama, his spotters and crew chief, Madison Heights native Teddy Brown.
Team owner Travis Carter plans on entering the 47 year old Fukuyama in next month's race at Rockingham, followed by a full schedule in 2003. At the Martinsville Speedway, Travis Wells, News 7 Sports.))
The Hokies flew out of Roanoke Regional Airport late this afternoon for Boston.
Their schedule is little different than most road trips, but tomorrow night's game with Boston College not kicking off until 7:30, the Hokies didn't want to have too much idle time on their hands.
The Hokies are now 8 point favorites.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Tom O'Brien/0-and-5 Against Virginia Tech; :17]
[OUT Q=...in the country."]
Tech is looking to go to 6-and-0 for the 4th straight season.