[1-News-Head]

[ANCHOR=Shannon]

Their stockings may be full but their cash registers are not.
It's a less than jolly holiday for retailers.
(------------)
[VO-NAT :08]

And, nasty weather means many Christmas travelers will need more than Rudolph to guide their way. But locally, it's smooth sailing.
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[Sports-Head]


[ANCHOR=Mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]

Tonight on News 7 Sports - Virginia's bowl preparations continue on this Christmas Eve. We'll hear from some of the productive Cavalier freshman.
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[VO-NAT]

Plus, we'll talk with the man who knows as much or more about "sacks" than Santa himself - Redskins' defensive end Bruce Smith.
(------------)


[WX-Head]
[ANCHOR=Leo]
[SS=None]


Some light moisture continues to push through the area. Will it bring slick roads tonight. I'll have your forecast.
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Shannon 3-Shot]


News 7 is next.
[Video-Open]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=Video Open]



(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Whether they're taking to the roads or skies, it's good tidings for holiday travelers in Southwest Virginia.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[GRAPHIC=News7at6]


Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.

[Traffic]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mmu]
[TAPE#=03-01 TC15:10]
[GRAPHIC=Holiday Travel]


Whether you are traveling tonight by car, plane or sleigh, transportation officials are reporting clear roads and skies this Christmas Eve.
[ROANOKE DOULBE BOXES=Shannon & Meghan/Microwave]


Meghan Muldoon has been monitoring holiday travel today.
So what's it like now?
We may not get a white Christmas this year but right now we certainly have a wet one.
[LIVE=Meghan Full/Microwave]
[SUPER=05-Roanoke]


Still, that has not put a damper on holiday travel this Christmas Eve.
That's because there have been no major delays in the air or on the roads.
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[SOT]
[IN Q=RIGHT NOW THE TRAFFIC]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Dan Jessee/State Police; :]
[SUPER=01-Joyce Bradford/AAA Travel Service; :]
[RUNS=:00]
[OUT Q=FAMILIES TO BE TOGETHER.]
(([SOT 10:59:26]
[IN Q=RIGHT NOW THE TRAFFIC]

[RUNS:08]
[OUT Q=SHOPPING.]


AAA officials say fewer people are traveling by car this holiday season compared to last.
They say higher gas prices and a Christmas that falls in the middle of the week may be keeping motorists off the road.
But there is also that traditional winter concern.
[SOT 23:44:46]
[IN Q=PART OF THE THING]

[RUNS:09]
[OUT Q=YOU'RE GOING TOO.]


Meanwhile, more holiday travelers are feeling safer about flying this year.
Despite the heavier air traffic, officials at Roanoke Regional Airport say there have been few delays today. as many travelers started their trips over the weekend.
[SOT 00:45:14]
[IN Q=I THINK MOST PEOPLE]

[RUNS:04]
[OUT Q=ALREADY THERE.]


But for those still planning on traveling this Christmas Eve, wet roads may be a problem.
So Virginia's state troopers have these wise words.

[SOT 11:02:35]
[IN Q=REMEMBER THE IMPORTANT]

[RUNS:09]
[OUT Q=FAMILIES TO BE TOGETHER.]))
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[LIVE=Meghan Full/Microwave]
[SUPER=05-Roanoke]
(Meghan Tosses to Leo)
[ROANOKE DOUBLE BOXES=Leo & Meghan/Microwave]



[Shopping]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=rca]
[TAPE#=02-45 TC57:36]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas Shopping]


It's a blue Christmas for retailers. As the hours for last minute shopping slip away, so do hopes that low sales numbers will rise. Business Reporter Rachel Cannon has the story.
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[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; :00]
[SUPER=01-Holly Stansbury/Shopper; :11]
[SUPER=01-Gary Shifflatte/Shopper; :34]
[SUPER=@Rachel1; :44]
[RUNS=1:28]
[OUT Q=RC, News 7, Roanoke.]

((19:23:56 (man with hat) On Christmas Eve, even Santa's biggest fans have to finish last minute shopping. At Valley View Mall the traffic is steady but not too busy.
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[SOT 19:00:00]
[IN Q=i found]

((HOLLY STANSBURY/SHOPPER; I FOUND A PLACE TO PARK ACTUALLY IT HAS BEEN REALLY GREAT I HAVEN'T HAD ANY TROUBLE I FOUND EVERYTHING I NEEDED. I WALKED RIGHT INTO THE MUSIC STORE AND WELL RIGHT THERE IN AND OUT IN 30-SECONDS SO IT GETTING DONE QUICK, THAT'S A GOOD THING.))
[OUT Q=GOOD THING]

Even though shoppers like Stansbury are hitting the malls, experts say people are dealing with worries about the economy and job security. This year, many aren't able to spend freely.
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[SOT 19:05:55]
[IN Q=yes and]

((GARY SHIFFLATTE/SHOPPER; YES AND NO WE BOUGHT DIFFERENT TYPES WE BOUGHT FURNITURE THIS YEAR SO WE SPENT QUITE A BIT ON CHRISTMAS BUT IN A DIFFERENT WAY. ))
[OUT Q=WAY.]
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[SOT 19:32:25]
[IN Q=on this]

((RCANNON@WDBJ7.COM; ON THIS THE LAST SHOPPING DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THE CROWDS ARE NOT WHAT RETAILERS HAD WISHED FOR. IN FACT EXPERTS SAY THAT OVER THE WHO HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON, SALES HAVE BEEN LESS THAN MEDIOCRE.))
[OUT Q=MEDIOCRE]

NATS But most agree that not even last minute buyers can rescue what's shaping up to be the weakest shopping season in more than 30-years. Analysts say Christmas Eve day usually only accounts for about four percent of overall holiday sales. Stores are now looking ahead to the post-Christmas shopping rush fueled by sales and deep discounts to pick up profits.
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[SOT 19:06:15]
[IN Q=EVERYBODY]

((EVERYBODY WANTS A GOOD DEAL BUT AS FOR TODAY, WHAT I NEED TO GET, I'LL GET.))
[OUT Q=I'LL GET.]

And if retailers are lucky, he and many more, will be back. Rachel Cannon, News 7, Roanoke.))

[Tease#1]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[SS=NONE]


A lot of those holiday shoppers probably felt pretty stressed out.
We'll have some warning signs and some tips for dealing with the pressure when News 7 returns.
(---------------)
[VO-NAT]


Plus these shoppers didn't seem to mind standing in line today, as they waited for a shot at the 280-million dollar Powerball jackpot.
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[Holiday-Stress]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=jsu]
[TAPE#=02-44 TC1:36:08]
[GRAPHIC=None]


While the holiday season often bring lots of joy, for many it also bring lots of stress.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Ask many of the last minute shoppers at the mall today and they'll tell you they're stressed out.
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[SOT 9:46]
[IN Q=If you could rate your stress level right now]

((FLOYD EDMONDS; IF YOU COULD RATE YOUR STRESS LEVEL RIGHT NOW ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10 WHAT WOULD YOU RATE IT. AROUND 9))
((BETTY SCOTT; ELEVEN IT'S JUST HORRIBLE I CAN'T WAIT TO GET HOME AND GET OUT OF THIS))
[SUPER=07-Floyd Edmonds; :00]
[SUPER=07-Betty Scott; :07]
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[VO-NAT]


Taking time to relax from holiday activities can be important for your health.
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[SOT18:23]
[IN Q=Anything that increase your stress]

((DR. LOUIS PERROTT/CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST; ANYTHING THAT INCREASE YOUR STRESS CAN RESULT IN SOME EXACERBATION OF A BODY SYMPTOMS))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Louis Perrott/Clinical Psychologist]
[RUNS=08]
[OUT Q=a body symptoms]
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[VO-NAT]


Experts say exercise is one of the best stress relievers.
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[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[SS=None]


Some signs that you may be too stressed include difficulty sleeping, headaches and stomach aches, and irritability.



[Santa-Cops]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=myr]
[TAPE#=502-01 TC3:05:07]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas]


A group of Santa's helpers in Radford today carried badges along with gifts.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Radford;]


Radford City Police went door to door delivering bikes and stockings to kids in need.
In all, they distributed 25-bikes, taken from the department's lost and found collection and fixed up for the kids.
This is the first year for the Santa Cops for Kids program.
Officials say they hope to make it an annual event.
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[Stocks]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=None]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Santa Claus left a lump of coal in Wall Street's stocking. [TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
[RUNS=:30]
[SUPER=x5000;]
[SUPER=440-y/45.18/8448.11/y/9.22/1372.47;]


The DOW lost 45 points in today's abbreviated session.
NASDAQ dropped nine.
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[VO]
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[SUPER=273-i/0.98/42.32/i/0.02/15.20/i/0.13/19.50/i/0.06/2.21/h/0.08/41.48;]
[SUPER=274-i/0.33/10.50/i/0.22/57.13/i/0.40/39.50/i/0.40/36.80/h/0.11/49.70;]
[SUPER=#555; Reset]


[Powerball]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=myr]
[TAPE#=02-41 TC1:44:23]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Folks were crossing the state line to STAND IN LINE for this week's Powerball lottery.
(-------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Peterstown, WV;]


The jackpot is expected to reach 280-million dollars tomorrow, the third largest in Powerball history and the fifth largest of all lotteries in the world.
But, the game is only played in 23-states--Virginia isn't one of them.
Still, that isn't stopping folks from traveling across the border to West Virginia, where tickets are available, to try their luck.
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[SOT 22:14]
[IN Q=WHAT WOULD YOU]

((REPORTER: 22:14 WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH THAT MONEY..JAMES WHITT: PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING I WANT TO DO 22:19)) ((KERRY FRANCIS: PAY BILLS BUY A NEW CAR, INVEST A LITTLE BIT 30:16))
[SUPER=01-James Whitt/Traveled from Dublin; :00 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Kerry Francis; :04]
[RUNS=:09]
[OUT Q=A LITTLE BIT]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The owners of this store say the lines were out the door when they opened this morning...and at one point they sold 15-hundred tickets in about a half-hour.
[SUPER=03-Greenwich, CT]


But, it didn't compare to what the lines looked like earlier today in Greenwich, Conneticut.
More than two million Powerball tickets have been sold there alone.
The lucky winner will be announced tomorrow night.
(-----------)



[Sports Tease]


[ANCHOR=Mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]

Coming up tonight on the Big 7 - Michael Vick lands on the cover of yet another national magazine. Bruce Smith - the Sack Master shares some of his passion with us tonight.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Plus, the Virginia fans didn't expect a bowl game this year - and there's no doubt they wouldn't have made it to one without their freshmen. Steve Mason has more on that in a moment.
(------------)



[S-Freshman]


[ANCHOR=mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-138 6:02]
[GRAPHIC=Tire bowl/UVa/West Virginia]


The sold-out inaugural Tire Bowl in Charlotte will appropriately kick off Saturday in the home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Because as Steve Mason says - UVa has found some youngsters who have certainly played like pros this season.
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[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=@Steve1; :00]
[SUPER=03-Charlottesville/This Season; :20]
[SUPER=01-Wali Lundy/699 Rushing Yards & 6 TD's This Season; :49]
[SUPER=01-Al Groh/13-12 Record in Second Season at UVa; 1:24]
[SUPER=01-Kwakou Robinson/UVa Freshman Defensive End; 1:37]
[SUPER=01-Shernard Newby/UVa Senior Safety; 2:00]
[RUNS=2:17]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
(---------------)

((STEVE MASON:AL GROH WON THREE MORE GAMES IN HIS SECOND SEASON, IN LARGE PART, BECAUSE OF THE SUCCESS OF SEVERAL FRESHMAN WHO WERE THROWN INTO THE FIRE RIGHT AWAY. AND AFTER 13 GAMES, LUNDY, HAGAN AND BLACKSTOCK, AND ROBINSON ARE NO LONGER FRESHMAN AS THEY PREPARE FOR YET ANOTHER FIRST, A POST SEASON APPEARANCE.
If Wali Lundy gets 23 carries against the Mountaineers he will have 197 for the year, which would break UVa's all time record for carries in a season set back in 1982 by Antonio Rice. Lundy is UVa's leading rusher this season. And while he has three years a head of him, Lundy, who turns a youthful 20 years old next September, sometimes feels like an old man. ((:))
But the price is worth it, considering how far he is a head of most true college freshman. ((:))
Lundy is one of 14 true freshman that have played this season. Improving on the field has been only part of the maturation process. While Darryl Blackstock led the wahoos in sacks this season with 10, his and the other freshman's success in gelling with the 28 seniors and juniors has played even a bigger role in UVa's 8 win season. ((:)) ((:)) KICK OFF FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL CONTINENTAL TIRE BOWL AT ERICKSON STADIUM IN CHARLOTTE NORTH CAROLINA IS SET FOR 11 AM SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28TH. STEVE MASON, NEWS 7 SPORTS.))

[S-Bruce]


[ANCHOR=MIke]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=SP-133 20209TC]
[GRAPHIC=BRUCE SMITH]


Bruce Smith, the former Hokie and current Redskin, should have plenty of Holiday Spirit this Christmas Eve. Bruce is coming off of his best game of the season, a two sack performance against Houston. At the age of 38, in his 18th season he says only one thing still drives him to play.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=I WANT TO WIN...]
[SUPER=01-Bruce Smith/194 Career Quarterback Sacks; :00]
[RUNS=:24]
[OUT Q=...I want to win."]
(------------)
[VO-NAT con't]

Bruce needs four more sacks to tie Reggie White's all-time NFL record. That likely means he will have to come back for a 19th season. He already has played in 281 games in his 18 years in the league.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=I am just determined...]
[RUNS=:30]
[OUT Q=...for so long."]
(------------)
[Anchor=mike]
[graphic=bruce]

Bruce and the Redskins close out this season Sunday in Dallas against the Cowboys.

[S-Vick]


[ANCHOR=Mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=sp-127 20048tc]
[GRAPHIC=FALCONS]


And finally tonight - from one former Hokie to another -
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

The newest ESPN the Magazine edition with the date January 6th, 2003 features none other than Michael Vick on the cover. The cover story talks about the current crop of NFL quarterbacks who have the right kind of MOJO to make their teams good. You'll also get a chance to see some of Vick's new high priced jewelry.
(------------)



[Xmas-Card]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=02-46 TC54:56]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas]


You may have already seen some of our us at News 7 sending out holiday greetings.
But every Christmas Eve we like to take a little extra time to get the entire WDBJ family in front of the camera.


So here's our video christmas card to all of you.
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[SOT]
[IN Q=]
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[OUT Q=animation]


[Video Fades to black at 4:46]