Ahead on NEWS 7 at six...
A decision by the federal government provides much needed fuel for opponents of a natural gas pipeline through parts of southwest and southside Virginia.
Plus, a central Virginia community is dubbed one of the safest places to live.
Tonight in sports, the Raiders lose their center for the Super Bowl matchup against the Bucs, Super Sunday hoops from the ACC, and
Jeff Gordon talks about putting personal problems behind him and focusing on another Winston Cup title run.
The clouds are on the increase and another blast of cold air is headed our way. How long will it stay? I'll have the details coming up in the forecast.
[IN Q=The judge will have]
((RON MEADOWS/PIPELINE OPPONENT: THE JUDGE WILL HAVE TO TELL ME TO SIGN THE CONTRACT WITH DUKE, I WILL NOT SIGN IT ON MY OWN.))
[OUT Q=on my own]
Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline say the fight is far from over.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at 6]
Good evening, I'm Teresa Hamilton.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at 6]
It's already won approval and construction is set to begin in a matter of weeks.
But opponents of Duke Energy's proposed pipeline have been given new hope.
Justin McLeod tells us all about it.
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[SUPER=01-Ron Meadows/Pipeline Opponent; :15]
[SUPER=04-April 2001; :50]
[SUPER=01-Ellen Fulcher/Pipeline Opponent; 1:30]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Patrick County]
((((NAT SOUND OF RON SAYING "IT WILL COME OVER THAT RISE DOWN THE HILL" AT 12:07))
Ron Meadows is one of many who plans to fight a proposed pipeline to the bitter end.
He says all you have to do is look around his yard to see why.
((NAT SOUND OF STREAM GOING INTO BITE))
[IN Q=As of today]
((RON MEADOWS/PIPELINE OPPONENT: AS OF TODAY YOU LOOK BACK AND THERE'S NOTHING BUT TREES AND BEAUTY BACK THERE, TOMORROW THERE WILL BE THAT BIG SCAR AND IT WILL BE THERE FOREVER.))
[OUT Q=be there forever]
That scar according to Meadows is Duke Energy's plan to build a 95-mile gas pipeline called the Patriot Extension.
It will begin in Wythe County and end in Rockingham County North Carolina.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has already approved the project.
But this week FERC ruled it needs more time to study new petitions filed by opponents.
[IN Q=They're saying they may]
((RON MEADOWS: THEY'RE SAYING THEY MIGHT MAKE A DIFFERENT DECISION, THEY WILL HAVE UNTIL FEBRUARY 24TH TO MAKE THAT DECISION.))
[OUT Q=make that decision]
That decision will be one of three things.
The federal government can either stick by its original decision, impose more conditions on Duke, or reverse its decision altogether.
This additional review is a standard procedure and does not stop Duke from beginning construction.
[IN Q=There are 381]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THERE ARE 381 LANDOWNERS ALONG THE PIPELINE. ACCORDING TO DUKE, 78-PERCENT OF WHICH HAVE ALREADY SIGNED OVER THEIR EASEMENTS. FOR THE 134 LANDOWNERS THAT HAVEN'T, DUKE HAS BEGUN THE CONDEMNATION PROCESS.))
[OUT Q=the condemnation process]
((NAT SOUND OF WOMAN SAYING "WE'RE GOING TO COURT" AT 7:17))
One landowner who plans to head to court is Ellen Fulcher.
She refuses to sign over her land to Duke until a judge orders her to do so.
[IN Q=We'll take it]
((ELLEN FULCHER: WE'LL TAKE IT WHEREVER WE'VE GOT TO TAKE IT, THEY'VE SENT US A SUBPOENA AND SAID WE'LL GO TO COURT SO WE JUST SAID WHEN, WE'LL BE THERE.))
[OUT Q=we'll be there]
Opponents have also come up with a last ditch effort to block the pipeline.
If FERC declines to reverse its decision, they plan to fight the project all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Patrick County.))
A spokesperson for Duke says the company would rather negotiate with landowners one on one than head to court.
The numbers are in.. and they show that the Lynchburg area is one of the safest places to live in the United States.
Crime statistics from the year 2001 show that the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area, or M-S-A, ranks among the top 5 percent of the safest communities in America.
Out of 274 M-S-A's nationwide, Lynchburg comes in 15th with about 24-hundred crimes per 100-thousand residents.. Roanoke is 68th.
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[IN Q=I really feel]
((COL. CHARLES BENNETT/LYNCHBURG POLICE CHIEF: I REALLY FEEL LIKE THIS IS A RESOURCE, JUST LIKE A GOOD WATER SUPPLY AND A TRAINED WORKFORCE AND GOOD ROADS. THE FACT THAT WE LIVE IN THE TOP FIVE PERCENT OF SAFE COMMUNITIES IN THE COUNTRY I THINK IS SOMETHING THAT BODES WELL FOR DEVELOPMENTAL THINGS THAT ARE GOING ON HERE AND FOR GENERALLY THE QUALITY OF LIFE.))
[SUPER=01-Col. Charles Bennett/Lynchburg Police Chief]
[OUT Q=quality of life.]
Bennett says many factors, not just law enforcement, go into the city's high ranking.
The Lynchburg M-S-A includes the counties of Amherst, Bedford and Campbell and the city of Bedford.
The recent wave of cold temperatures have some area charities trying to do more with less.
It costs nearly 300- thousand dollars a year to run the TRUST House on Elm Avenue in Roanoke.
TRUST provides an emergency and transitional living program for homeless individuals and families.
But providing those services is becoming quite difficult since the organization recently saw cuts in both state and local aid.
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[IN Q=We really need funds]
((COLLEEN CARRELL/TRUST HOUSE: WE REALLY NEED FUNDS TO KEEP GOING STRONG. RIGHT NOW, WE'RE JUST PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS TO TRY TO KEEP THE SHELTER ALIVE AND WELL AND RUNNING EFFICIENTLY TO THE HIGHEST CAPACITY SO THAT WE CAN SERVE HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THE WAY THEY DESERVE.))
[SUPER=01- Colleen Carrell/TRUST House; ]
[OUT Q=way they deserve]
Another area charity needs help but of another kind.
The Homeless Assistance Team or HAT cruises the streets of Roanoke Monday through Friday looking for homeless people to take to shelters.
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[IN Q=We also need]
((CAROL TUNING/HOMELESS ASSISTANCE TEAM: WE ALSO NEED WINTER COATS, THERE IS A GREAT DEMAND FOR THE WINTER COATS, AND THE HATS AND THE GLOVES AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE.))
[SUPER=01-Carol Tuning/Homeless Assistance Team]
[OUT Q=things of that nature]
Last year, H-A-T helped close to a thousand homeless people in the city of Roanoke.
This weekend, Roanoke city schools highlighted one its greatest accomplishments.
The school system held its annual magnet fair yesterday at the Addison Aerospace Magnet Middle school.
It was a chance for students and parents to learn more about the magnet program-- which is designed for students "K" through twelve.
Right now, approximately 52- hundred students attend one of more than 30- magnet programs.
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[SUPER=01-Sandra Burks/Magnet Schools Director; ]
((MAGNET SCHOOLS OFFER SOMETHING IN ADDITION TO REQUIRED CURRICULA OF STATE OF VIRGINIA AND THEY DO THAT THROUGH OFFERING DIFFERENT THEMES AND THAT RANGES FROM THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL TO THE MONTESSORI SCHOOL, TO BACCALAUREATE THERE'S A PERFORMING ARTS STRAND FOR GRADES PRE-K THROUGH 12, SCIENCE AND MATH, TECHNOLOGY AND AVIATION.))
[OUT Q=technology and aviation.]
The school system will hold open houses at each of its magnet schools through the month of February.
The deadline to apply to attend a magnet school is February 28th.
Still to come on the newscast, viewers question the need for high speed boats, and why G-E workers needed to strike.
and also, this Russian couple has traveled thousands of miles from home to spread the gospel.
A Russian couple is on a crusade thousands of miles from home.
The (KISS-uh-loavs) Kisselyovs work full time for the organization "Campus Crusade for Christ" back home.
Today-- the were in Roanoke County sharing their story with members of New Century Community Church.
The couple say most college students in Russia are non-believers and are trying to raise money to help spread the gospel back home through their organization.
[IN Q=The main message]
[SUPER=01-Dmitry Kisselyov/Campus Crusade for Christ; ]
(( THE MAIN MESSAGE IS THE GOSPEL, THE MAIN THING THEY DON'T KNOW, THE MESSAGE ABOUT GOD'S LOVE ABOUT HOW THEY CAN GET SAVED. ))
[OUT Q=can get saved.]
"Campus Crusade for Christ" has a staff of 40 who work on 10- campuses around Russia.
The son of evangelist Billy Graham will make a stop in the Roanoke Valley in just a few months.
This weekend, more than 400 young people gathered at the Salem Civic Center to get ready for the event.
They heard from David Nasser who is a speaker specializing in reaching out to teens.
Those who attended yesterday's seminar plan to help with student outreach at the Southwest Virginia Festival with Franklin Graham.
It's scheduled to take place May 2nd through 4th at the Salem Stadium.
Our viewer mail focused on a variety of issues this week.
Here's assignment editor Joe McKean, with News-7's Feedback.
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[IN Q=Animation Open]
[SUPER=03-Salem/January 14; :23]
[OUT Q=Animation Close]
((The arrival at Smith Mountain Lake of a boat that can do up to 140 miles an hour had one viewer (Kent Cartner/Roanoke) making waves.
"I enjoyed your story on the high performance boat on Smith Mountain Lake but do we really need a 140 MPH boat or boats on an already crowded lake? I hope whoever buys these uses great caution."
The two-day walkout by workers at G-E over rising health insurance costs prompted this response from a viewer in Radford (Robert Hipps):
"As a retired engineer who has seen his (supposedly company paid) insurance premium increase more than 360 percent in eight years, I find it difficult to muster up any sympathy for the striking GE workers. Also, I'm sure that the 1.7 million people who have lost their jobs in 2002 would be happy to replace them at GE."
The state is looking over two proposals for widening Interstate 81, and financing it with vehicle tolls. That brought a comment from a viewer in Fincastle (Griffin Overstreet):
"Truckers play a big role in my life, bringing me food, clothes, my bed, almost everything I can think of. Now we are told truckers may have to pay a toll of $10 versus $3 for cars. And they already pay big taxes when they purchase diesel at the pumps...Give them a break!"
Any thoughts you have on issues in the news and our coverage of them are welcome, by US mail...fax...or email.
Joe McKean, News-7.))
Still to come on the newscast, A-C-C basketball heats up, and we check in with Jeff Gordon as he revs up for Daytona.
but before that, his viewpoints have not always been met with enthusiasm, but a Lynchburg man says he will keep fighting for social change. We'll have his story after the break.
The New Year is just around the corner.....the Chinese New Year that is.
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[IN Q=NAT SOUND OF DANCE]
[OUT Q=NAT SOUND OF DANCE]
Roanoke will mark the occasion by holding a celebration February 8th at the Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church.
This weekend, the performers gathered to rehearse for the upcoming event.
Many of the performers are adopted children from China.
The show costs 15 dollars with proceeds going to help fund scholarships for students in China.
The event typically raises more than a thousand dollars.
[TAPE#=VAProfile #6 TC-36:46]
He's well known throughout Central Virginia, but he's not a star athlete or politician.
Phil Theisen (THIGH-son) has long been a voice for disabled persons.
Steve Smallshaw has more in this week's "Virginia Profile".
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[IN Q=Up until]
[SUPER=01-Phil Theisen/Lynchburg Depressive Disorders Association; :26]
[SUPER=04-File Tape; :38]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( Up until 1985, Phil Theisen was your average, every-day citizen.
Then his wife, Linda, was diagnosed with clinical depression.. a lifetime medical condition that they later decided to talk about publicly.
((PHIL THEISEN/LYNCHBURG DEPRESSIVE DISORDERS ASSOC'N: ACTUALLY IN THE BEGINNING IT'S INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TO MAKE THAT FIRST STEP, GOING PUBLIC WITH YOUR SITUATION.))
[OUT Q=your situation.]
((WE'VE NEVER REGRETTED IT, NEITHER HER NOR I. BECAUSE YOU'RE HELPING OTHER PEOPLE COME TO TERMS WITH THEIR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, YOU'RE ALSO ATTEMPTING TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WHO SUFFER, THROUGH YOUR ADVOCACY EFFORTS.))
[OUT Q=advocacy efforts.]
So for 15 years, Theisen and his wife have been active in the Lynchburg Depressive Disorders Association.. a group that advocates for those who suffer from some form of mental disability.
((THEISEN: I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD DO SOMETHING TO BENEFIT THE GOOD OF THE OVERALL COMMUNITY. THIS JUST SEEMED THE APROPRIATE THING FOR MYSELF AND TO LINDA, BEING THAT WE HAD A PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT IN IT.))
[OUT Q=in it.]
So this former cop and social worker has spent years banging out letters to the editor, lobbying politicians and putting pressure on those he feels could do better by the disabled.
His efforts sometimes have raised hackles..
[natsot file tape ]
...but more often they raise awareness about the struggles disabled persons face on a daily basis.
((THEISEN: THE PUBLIC AWARENESS IS THE KEY, THAT'S REALLY WHAT WE'RE ABOUT. NOT ONLY OURSELVES BUT HELPING OTHER PEOPLE TO SPEAK OUT IF THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE TO SPEAK OUT.))
[OUT Q=to speak out.]
Lately, Theisen's work has expanded to include social issues such as the controversial murals in Lynchburg's courtrooms.. murals which are now gone thanks in part to his efforts.
He's also still pressuring the city to install railings on the Rivermont bridge, where several people have jumped to their death over the years.
In retirement, Theisen says he has more time to devote to causes that some might never consider.
((THEISEN: WHY NOT? THAT'S REALLY THE QUESTION, WHY NOT? THERE'S A NEED, WHY NOT HELP?))
[OUT Q=why not help?]
It's a question Theisen answered many years ago.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg. ))
Coming up, news from San Diego on the Raiders Super Bowl chances, Jeff Gordon is ready to forget about his 4th place points finish last season, plus
Wake Forest and NC State post ACC hoops wins on this Super Sunday.
If you needed a break from all the Superbowl hype this afternoon, how about some ACC basketball to tickle your fancy. In Raleigh, it was a matchup of the league's top two scorers in Carolina freshman Rashad McCants and NC State's Julius Hodge.
[SUPER=03-Raleigh, NC/Fox Sports Net; :00]
Late in the first half, tempers flared between the Heels and the Pack as they often do.
Cooler heads prevailed and speaking of cool, Carolina's Raymond Felton was anything but, knocking down 8 three's on his way to a 28 point afternoon.
Later McCants got free for the reverse lay-in. He scored 20 and grabbed ten rebounds for UNC.
[SUPER=33-North Carolina/77/North Carolina State/86/;]
But Hodge tallied 23 points in the second half for State to finish the game with 30. North Carolina State beat North Carolina 86 to 77.
Over in Winston-Salem, 19th ranked Wake Forest ran its home record to a perfect 11 and oh this season by taking care of Florida State.
Life in the ACC can be tough on first year players and coaches as Leonard Hamilton is finding out this season.
His Seminoles trailed by 4 at the half, but turned things up in the second stanza. Tim Pickett got free on the backdoor cut for two of his game high 27 points as FSU hung in.
Just a few minutes later, Todd Galloway scored again for Florida State on the hard drive to the hole.
But Josh Howard used the double screen to get free for a trifecta. Howard scored 24 points to lead the
[SUPER=33-Florida St./60/Wake Forest/71/;]
Demon Deacs. Vytas Danelius added 18 of his own and Wake Forest won it 71 to 60.
Super Bowl Thirty Seven will get underway momentarily in San Diego, and the AFC champion Raiders are without All-Pro center Barrett Robbins. Robbins was suspended and sent home by the team after missing several team functions on Saturday, including the final walk thru at QualComm Stadium. We'll have all your highlights and postgame reaction from the West Coast tonight at 11.
When the NASCAR media tour rolled into Hendrick Motorsports earlier this week - the focus was, of course, on Jeff Gordon.
Mike Stevens says that even while his ex-wife is trying to take him to the cleaners - Gordon is more determined than ever to make it to victory lane.
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[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Gordon/61 Career Wins; :20]
[SUPER=01-Terry Labonte/Kellogg's Chevy Driver; 1:26]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]