Governor Warner will deliver a Christmas present of sorts to Southside.
And, the cross burning issue sparks debate in front of the nation's highest court.
Tonight on News 7 Sports - the Express is going to great pains to avoid the pain of a taxing season.
The Tire Bowl is a Hot ticket.
and the Magna Vista Warriors have revealed that an ineligible player saw action this season - It could result in forfeits for the Region Four champs.
A short break from the cold rain before another bout on Friday. Let's go with temperatures near 50 tomorrow.
News 7 is next.
[IN Q=This case has always been...]
((THIS CASE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY, IT'S NEVER BEEN ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT.))
[OUT Q=about the First Amendment.]
A fifty year old Virginia law banning the practice of cross burning goes before the United States Supreme Court.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
Keith Humphrey has the night off.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 @ 6]
The nation's highest court will decide if cross burning is free speech or illegal intimidation.
Today, the panel heard arguments regarding two Virginia First Amendment cases.
One case involves the burning of a cross on the Virginia Beach lawn of a multi-racial couple.
The other has to do with the burning of a cross on private land in Southwest Virginia.
It was August 1998 when Barry Black, an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, burned a 30-foot cross on this farm in Carroll County.
Black was represented at trial by an African-American who defended Black's right to free speech.
But in June of 1999, a Hillsville jury took just minutes to find Black guilty of a hate crime.
Virginia's Attorney General today argued the conviction was appropriate.
(///// SOT at :39 /////)
[IN Q=The history of cross burning...]
((ATTORNEY GENERAL JERRY KILGORE: THE HISTORY OF CROSS BURNING IN VIRGINIA, AND INDEED IN THE SOUTH, HAS SUCH A HISTORY OF INTIMIDATION, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, THAT WE BELIEVE THAT THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA OUGHT TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO PRESCRIBE SUCH HORRIBLE BEHAVIOR.))
[OUT Q=the ability to prescribe such horrible behavior.]
On the flip side, a University of Richmond law professor argued the law is discriminatory against certain views and beliefs.
(///// SOT at :08 /////)
[IN Q=An important part of our argument is...]
((RODNEY SMOLLA/UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND LAW SCHOOL: AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR ARGUMENT IS THAT IF YOU CAN PICK ONE SYMBOL OUT, YOU CAN PICK OTHER SYMBOLS OUT, AND IF YOU CAN PICK OUT SYMBOLS YOU CAN PICK OUT WORDS, AND THAT IS THE WRONG ROAD TO GO DOWN IN A FREE SOCIETY.))
[SUPER=01-Rodney Smolla/University of Richmond Law School;]
[OUT Q=down in a free society.]
More than a dozen states have cross burning laws similar to Virginia's.
A decision from the Court is expected to take months.
The legal dispute over the leadership of Virginia's SCLC chapter is over, for now.
A judge in Petersburg yesterday dismissed lawsuits brought by Bedford County member Jack Mills.
Mills, who is white, claimed he was the rightful president of the organization, and that the predominantly black group discriminated against him in naming a new head last spring.
But SCLC board members said they were within their rights to elect a different president, Danville pastor William Avon Keen.
The judge's ruling left open the possibility that the suits could be re-filed.
Governor Mark Warner is bringing some joyful news to Southside Virginia just in time for Christmas.
The governor will be in Martinsville tomorrow where he is expected to announce the creation of 250 new jobs.
That's good tidings for an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.
Warner will be at the City Council chambers at noon to provide more details about the jobs.
Maybe it wasn't such a good idea afterall.
That's what Blacksburg's town council is saying about a proposal to charge rental owners a one-hundred dollar ANNUAL inspection fee, for each unit in their building.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Myranda & Shannon/Microwave;]
New River Valley Bureau Chief Myranda Stephens joins us now with the details.
Shannon, the money collected from the fee would have gone toward the town's rental inspection program that was started three years ago.
The town believed the fee was necessary to keep the program going.
But, after hearing what residents had to say about it last night, they decided a hundred dollars per unit, per year is asking a lot from owners--and they're not going to do it.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 2:09-2:10; 2:40-2:50]
[IN Q=WE WERE]
((SUZANNE CLAXTON/NRV APT. COUNCIL:WE WERE VERY PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS 2:10))
((A ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR FEE PER YEAR PER UNIT WAS EXTREMELY LARGE WE FELT IT WAS EXCESSIVE AND WANTED THE TOWN TO LOOK INTO IT BEFORE THEY MADE ANY DECISIONS 2:50))
[SUPER=01-Suzanne Claxton/NRV Apartment Council;]
[OUT Q=ANY DECISIONS]
[****MYRANDA'S MIC HOT****]
But, the fee is just one part of a new ordinance being considered.
The other would expand the rental inspection program to include the Bennett Hill-Progress Street neighborhood and push back the deadline when owners have to register.
However, the ordinance has been put on hold for further discussion.
About 30-people showed up at last night's meeting, and even though the inspection fee was the main concern for most, there were some who also opposed the neighborhood expansion.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Myranda & Shannon /Microwave;]
A lot of folks don't agree with the inspection program, period...and they definitely don't want to see it grow...Shannon?
A drug bust in Giles County led to the arrest of one man.
Police raided the home of Curtis Morgan around six this morning, at the Longview Mobile Home Park.
Officers say they found several thousand dollars worth of drugs and cash in the home, along with several weapons.
Police say Morgan has three prior felony convictions and that the bust was the result of an on-going investigation.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=WE HAVE INFORMATION]
((LARRY FALLS/GILES CO. SHERIFF: WE HAVE INFORMATION THAT HE'S BEEN DISPERSING THESE DRUGS TO MANY PEOPLE HERE IN THIS GENERAL REGION.))
[SUPER=01-Larry Falls/Giles Co. Sheriff;]
[OUT Q=THIS GENERAL REGION.]
Morgan was living in the home with his wife, two teenage daughters and a 15-month old child.
He is being held inside the New River Regional jail on charges of possession of a firearm after being convicted of a felony.
More charges are expected to be filed as the investigation continues.
Fuel stalls traffic in the Tanglewood area.
Find out why when News 7 at Six returns.
Plus a school that helps children with learning disabilities will soon be holding class in a new location.
How much did they know and when did they know it?
That's one of the questions a federal jury must decide in the fraud trial of former D-Day director Richard Burrow.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Steve/L'Burg Bureau;]
Steve Smallshaw has been keeping up with the testimony this week.. he joins us now from our Lynchburg newsroom.
[LIVE=Steve/FULL L'Burg Bureau]
Shannon, one of the major points of contention in this trial is whether the D-Day board of directors knew or should have known that the project was deep in debt in the months before its dedication in June of last year.
And if they didn't know, was it Richard Burrow who was keeping them in the dark?
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=For months]
[SUPER=04-File Tape; :00]
[OUT Q=the project's finances.]
(( For months, it seemed, the D-Day Memorial was on solid ground.
It was only in April of 2001, just weeks before the dedication, that board member Mike Shelton learned the major contractor wasn't being paid and had threatened to walk off the site.
Shelton wanted to let the entire board of directors know, but the presence of a news reporter at the April board meeting prevented them from talking about the debt problem.
Board secretary Catherine Benson testified she was amazed to learn that construction loans had been made based on sketchy, undocumented pledges.. pledges which Richard Burrow kept telling the board were sure to be made good on.
But on the very day the monument was dedicated, member Skip Tharp approached Benson and said "We need to find out what's going on" regarding the project's finances. ))
[LIVE=Steve/FULL L'Burg Bureau]
Details finally did start coming out, after the June 6th dedication and after Burrow turned in his resignation telling the board he had "made some errors in judgement".
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Steve/L'Burg Bureau]
Burrow's lawyers point out that none of the money ever ended up in their clients pocket, but prosecutors say he DID receive a raise and a cash bonus because the board of directors felt things were running so smoothly.
Stanley Furniture has a new C-E-O.
The Southside company has named Jeffrey Scheffer president and chief executive.
Scheffer previously held the titles of president and chief operating officer.
Company officials said today that Albert Prillaman, who previously held the titles of chairman and C-E-O, will continue as chairman.
Advance Auto announced the public sale of common stock today.
The Roanoke-based auto parts dealer says it will offer shares of common stock held by certain shareholders at a price of 52-dollars and 60-cents a share.
The shares include those held by Sears Roebuck and Company.
Advance says it will not receive any proceeds from the sales.
After a choppy session, Wall Street managed to chalk-up a modest win.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW gained 15 points.
NASDAQ rose six.
Some motorists found out that oil and water don't mix on the roadway.
[VO-NAT - :12]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; ]
Slick roads weren't caused by bad weather, but rather a fuel spill.
Officials say a motorist reported a bus was leaking fuel on Starkey Road and Electric Road in Roanoke County around 11:30 this morning.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Our engine..]
((STEVE POFF/ROANOKE CO. FIRE & RESCUE; OUR ENGINE GOT OVER HERE AND FOUND A LARGE SPILL, TRACED IT ALL THE WAY UP BENOIS THAT GOES UP STARKEY ANOTHER MILE FROM HERE. AND IT EXTENDED ALL THE WAY DOWN IN FRONT OF TANGLEWOOD MALL, SO ABOUT AN AREA OF 1 AND A HALF TO 2 MILES WE'VE GOT A KEROSENE/DIESEL SPILL.))
[SUPER=01-Steve Poff/Roanoke Co. Fire & Rescue; ]
[OUT Q=kerosene diesel spill.]
[VO-NAT - :18+]
The Department of Environmental Quality and V-DOT crews were called in to clean up the mess.
Some fuel spilled down a storm drain, but officials say there is no contamination to any of the sewer or water lines.
Fire officials say they haven't found the bus or its driver, and that about 75 gallons of fuel spilled onto the road.
A private school for children with learning disabilities is getting a new look and address.
The Achievement Center broke ground this afternoon on its new home in Roanoke County.
The school will be renovating and adding on to this church-- just off Peters Creek Road.
Right now, 58 children attend the Achievement Center-- but the school hopes to eventually make room for twice as many students.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 23:46:40 23:49:02]
[IN Q=It's needed because ]
((JAMES DOUTHAT/BOARD PRESIDENT: IT'S NEEDED BECAUSE THIS WILL ALLOW US TO GIVE BETTER TRAINING TO MORE CHILDREN WITHIN THE ROANOKE VALLEY AND THROUGHOUT SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA))
((BARBARA WHITWELL/ACHIEVEMENT CENTER DIRECTOR: WE WANT TO THANK EVERYONE WHO'S MADE THIS DAY POSSIBLE, OUR FRIENDS AND OUR DONORS, AND PEOPLE WHO'VE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS EFFORT WE'RE EXTREMELY GRATEFUL.))
[super=01-James Douthat/Board President; :00 quick]
[SUPER=01-Barbara Whitwell/Achievement Center Director; :07]
[OUT Q=extremely grateful.]
The project is expected to cost around two-million dollars and school officials say the goal is have the new facility ready in time for the next school year.
Coming up tonight on News 7 Sports - Magna Vista is the latest high school football team to find out its has an ineligible player.
The Bowl tickets are hot items for the Hoos and Eers.
And the Express is looking to some off the ice methods to rejuvenate the players during this tough stretch.
Steve Mason has that story in a moment.
One of Friday Football Extra's top teams this season is in jeopardy of forfeiting a pile of wins.
[SUPER=04-Friday Football Extra; :00]
Magna Vista, the division four, Region Four champs who finished the regular season 9-and-1, captured the Piedmont district title, won the region four championship and lost last Saturday in state semi-finals, has informed the Virginia High School League that a player who was ineligible played this season.
The student-athlete in question violated the semester rule that says athletes cannot be enrolled more than 8 consecutive high school semesters.
The school likely will have to forfeit any wins in which the player participated.
The Heisman trophy race this season may not have a clear-cut winner, but it does have a great deal of close competition.
Moments ago, the five finalist for this year's prestigious award were announced,
[SUPER=03-Huntington, WV; ;00]
and Marshall University quarterback Byron Leftwich did NOT earn an invitation to Saturday night's ceremony in New York City.
Leftwich battled through injuries this season and still passed for more than 4000 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Brad Banks, Ken Dorsey, Carson Palmer, Larry Johnson and Willis McGahee make up the five finalists.
UVa fans are accepting the challenge to prove that they can travel and support their Cavaliers in a bowl game other than the Peach Bowl.
So far the UVa ticket office has sold more than 10,000 tickets for its December 28th Tire Bowl in Charlotte against West Virginia.
And that total doesn't count the number of UVa fans who are buying tickets directly from the bowl office.
Each school received 12,500 tickets, and Virginia requested another 1,700, raising its allotment to 14 thousand 200.
North Carolina State - the team that UVa fans felt snookered them and Maryland out of a Gator Bowl bid - is certainly doing nothing to hurt its reputation with the folks in Jacksonville.
NC State already has sold more than 21,000 tickets for the game against Notre Dame.
The school plans to reorder additional tickets for the third time.
Ken Haines the director of the Continental Tire Bowl says in all - UVa, WVU and his office have sold more than 45 thousand tickets for the December 28th game.
Right now officials say WVU is outselling Virginia about 4 to 1.
The oldest coach in NC double A football is finally easing off into retirement.
And it's about time!
[SUPER=03-Ferrum/September 21; :00]
Lou Saban resigned as the head football coach at Division Three Chowan College after an 0-and-10 season.
Saban is 81 years old.
Over the last five decades, the octogenarian has coached in the NFL, the old AFL and several other major college programs.
Defensive back's coach Steve Gill will take
over as head coach.
Chowan played against and lost to Ferrum earlier this year.
The Express has had two days off this week and the team has earned it. Roanoke is finishing up a brutal stretch. Steve Mason has more in Round House Wrap up.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Perry Florio/Express Head Coach; :16]
[SUPER=01-Rick Kowalsky/Express Right Wing; :46]
[SUPER=01-Duncan Dalmao/Express Defenseman; 1:02]
[SUPER=01-Joe Dusbabek/Express Center; 1:26(QUICK!!!!)]
[SUPER=01-Dan Carlson/Express Center; 1:32]
[OUT Q=..round house wrap up"]
((The mash unit prompted Florio to call off practice Wednesday morning. The players went through voluntary workouts with weights.
Through 25 games this season the Express is outscoring opponents 36 to 29 in the opening period.
Roanoke is seventh out of 27 ECHL teams in both the power play and the penalty kill. The Express is scoring on 22 percent of it's man up opportunities and is successful in killing off penalties 83 percent of the time.))