The Executive Director of the Virginia Horse Center in Rockbridge County died Saturday evening.
Robert Reel, seen here in an interview from 1998, died unexpectedly at the Horse Center.
Reel had served as its executive director since June of 1986, assuming his duties just months prior to the groundbreaking of the facility.
Reel was 57 years old. Funeral services have been scheduled for Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock at the Lexington Presbyterian Church.
Portions of Interstate 81 will undergo more construction work this week.
Beginning today, V-DOT crews will be working in 24 hour shifts to repair potholes on the Interstate.
They'll be concentrating their efforts between Botetourt and Roanoke County.
V-DOT estimates there are hundreds of potholes in that stretch of the Interstate.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We're going to need]
((LAURA BULLOCK/V-DOT SPOKESPERSON: WE'RE GOING TO NEED PEOPLE TO REALLY PAY ATTENTION AND BE PATIENT. THERE ARE GOING TO BE DELAYS ON INTERSTATE 81 NEXT WEEK. IT WILL TAKE A LANE CLOSURE, WE'LL NEED TO HAVE A LANE CLOSED WHILE WE'RE OUT THERE PATCHING THE POTHOLES BUT IT IS A MOVING OPERATION.))
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/VDOT Spokesperson]
[OUT Q=moving operation]
Bullock says the harsh winter means V-DOT is having to fix potholes much earlier than usual.
The state typically spends 11-million dollars a year statewide on pothole repair.
But V-DOT expects to easily surpass that because of this year's rough winter.
One week later, authorities are still tallying the damage caused by last weekend's flooding.
City officials in Roanoke now say more than two and a half million dollars in flood damage was done to both public and private property.
State inspectors were in town Friday to asses the damage around Roanoke.
City leaders hope federal assistance will soon be on its way.
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[IN Q=We know that]
((DARLENE BURCHAM/CITY MANAGER: WE KNOW THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS ASKED FOR A FEDERAL DECLARATION AND WE WILL ALL BE WAITING ANXIOUSLY TO SEE IF THAT DECLARATION OCCURS. OBVIOUSLY, IF IT DOES THEN WE AND OTHER COMMUNITIES WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR SOME FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO TRY TO DEAL WITH THAT 2.4 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF DAMAGE.))
[SUPER=01-Darlene Burcham/City Manager]
[OUT Q=worth of damage]
Considerable damage happened at Victory Stadium, some city parks, and to a number of city vehicles and other equipment.
Burcham says the city will have to prioritize funds if the city fails to receive any federal assistance.
Nearly one hundred churches have gotten together to send everyone in the Roanoke Valley a copy of a video that details the life of Jesus.
But as Justin McLeod reports, the project is in need of financial help.
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[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tim Flack/Pastor; :13]
[SUPER=04-Warner Bros.; :22]
[SUPER=01-Clyde Snavely/Jesus Video Project; :33]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Glen Pearce/Cave Spring Baptist Church; 1:24]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Roanoke]
((((NAT SOUND OPEN AT 7:26))
On any given Sunday many here in the Roanoke Valley crowd into pews to hear the gospel.
It is those who don't some churches want to reach.
[IN Q=We can reach a]
((TIM FLACK/PASTOR: WE CAN REACH A HUNDRED THOUSAND HOMES WITH THE GOSPEL WHICH WE COULD NOT DO IF WE STAYED BEHIND OUR CHURCH WALLS.))
[OUT Q=our church walls]
They plan to do it through the Jesus Video Project.
((QUICK NAT SOUND OF THE MOVIE))
It is a movie that tells the life of Jesus according to the gospel of Luke.
The goal is to mail one of these videos to every home in the Roanoke Valley.
[IN Q=It's a way]
((CLYDE SNAVELY/JESUS VIDEO PROJECT: IT'S A WAY THAT THE PEOPLE DON'T FEEL INHIBITIVE BY IT BECAUSE IT'S IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOME. THEY HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF WATCHING IT OR NOT WATCHING IT.))
[OUT Q=watching it]
((NAT SOUND OF CHURCH SERVICE))
The project here locally is run by several churches and therefore is not tied to any specific religion.
To make the plan a reality, the group needs to come up with 300-thousand dollars to send out 100-thousand Jesus Videos.
[IN Q=Organizers of the Jesus]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: ORGANIZERS OF THE JESUS VIDEO PROJECT HAD FIRST HOPED TO GET THIS VIDEO OUT THROUGHOUT THE ROANOKE VALLEY BY SEPTEMBER 11TH. BUT A LACK OF FUNDS FORCED THEM TO PUSH THAT DATE BACK TO EASTER. BUT IT APPEARS NOW THEY WILL ALSO MISS THAT GOAL.))
[OUT Q=miss that goal]
((NAT SOUND OF MOVIE))
The hope now is to send the video out by the Franklin Graham Crusade in early May.
But another seventeen thousand dollars still needs to be raised.
[IN Q=It was our hope]
((REV. GLEN PEARCE/CAVE SPRING BAPTIST CHURCH: IT WAS OUR HOPE THAT IT WOULD TAKE A LOT SOONER BUT ALSO WE HAVE TO KNOW IT'S GOD'S TIMING.))
[OUT Q=God's timing]
It's a timing that has come many times before.
More than 4 billion of these videos have already been sent out worldwide.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Roanoke.))
[TAKE PHONE # FS]
If you would like to make a donation or learn more about the Jesus Video Project you can call 312-6736
[LEO IN CHROMAKEY]
[Desk 2-Shot=Kim and Leo]
A tractor- trailer accident is affecting traffic on parts of U-S 29 in Pittsylvania County this morning.
State police say the wreck has closed the northbound lanes between Routes 794 and 649.
Southbound traffic, meanwhile, is down to just one lane, and northbound traffic is moving in the other lane.
Crews are working to open one of the northbound lanes within the hour.
One area fire department is trying to save a program designed to keep families safe.
Since 1999, the Danville Fire Department has installed more than four thousand smoke detectors in homes across the city.
But now the supply is running out and the city has fewer than 100 detectors left.
The department is hoping a civic organization will help raise the 9-thousand dollars needed every year to install a thousand smoke detectors.
Fire Chief B. G. Lewis estimates that more than 50-percent of the homes in Danville do not have a working smoke detector.
The man who played a key role in providing historical accuracy for the Civil War film "Gods and Generals" was recognized by the city of Roanoke.
Bud Robertson Junior wrote the book "Gods and Generals", which is a companion to the major motion picture.
Earlier yesterday, the Virginia Tech professor signed books at Ewald (E-wald) Art and Frames in Roanoke.
City officials were also on hand to present Robertson with a key to the city.
[IN Q=I've had a ]
((DR. JAMES I. ROBERSTON, JR./AUTHOR: I'VE HAD A LIFELONG INTEREST IN THE CIVIL WAR AND I'M A NATIVE OF DANVILLE AND I'VE BEEN A LIFELONG STUDENT OF JACKSON AND IN 1997 I COMPLETED A SEVEN YEAR VENTURE OF A HUGE BOOK ON STONEWALL JACKSON THAT BECAME THE BASIS FOR THE JACKSON CHARACTER IN THE MOVIE AND THE BOOK THAT MORT AND I DID IS THE COMPANION VOLUME TO THE MOVIE SO IT ALL WAS SORT OF A NATURAL SEQUENCE.))
[SUPER=01-James I. Robertson, Jr./Author; :10]
[OUT Q=a natural sequence]
Mort (KOONTZ-ler) Kuntsler provided the paintings for Roberston's book.
He also was an art consultant for the movie.
[IN Q= My participation in]
((MORT KUNTSLER/ARTIST: MY PARTICIPATION IN THE MAKING OF GODS AND GENERALS WAS REALLY TO CREATE THIS BOOK, BUT IT WAS A MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETY SO TO SPEAK BECAUSE A LOT OF THE SCENES IN THE MOVIE ARE BASED ON PREVIOUS PAINTINGS THAT I HAD DONE LONG BEFORE THE FILM AND BY THE SAME TOKEN MANY OF THE PAINTINGS IN MY BOOK GODS AND GENERALS ARE BASED ON SCENES IN THE MOVIE.))
[OUT Q=scenes in the movie]
Kunstler (KOONTZ-ler) also received a gift from the city.
Yesterday, was proclaimed "Mort Kunstler Day" in the city of Roanoke.