The on-campus debate over whether to distribute the "morning- after pill".
And a church damaged by fire just a few weeks ago ignites again.
Tonight on News 7 sports - the Avs and Hillcats are home tonight.
The Kentucky Derby hype is on.
and JJ Redick's name is cleared at Duke - in the marijuana dorm incident.
Big time warm up today and more warm weather tomorrow with a chance for thunderstorms. More on the forecast just ahead.
News 7 is next.
[NAT SOT OF PROTEST]
[IN Q=The board of visitors]
[OUT Q=and that's so wrong.]
A controversial decision brings a campus demonstration in Harrisonburg.
Students at James Madison University protest a recent vote to stop the distribution of emergency contraceptives on campus.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
And I'm Keith Humphry.
Ten days ago, the board of visitors voted to stop distributing the so-called "Morning After Pill" at the student health center.
The decision brought an immediate reaction from students, and today they demonstrated on campus and in downtown Harrisonburg.
[***JMU CONTROVERSY GRAPHIC***]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith-Shannon & JoeD /BAM;]
Joe Dashiell covered the protest, and he is here with more on the students' concerns and the reaction of one board member who voted for the ban.
Keith and Shannon, this dispute started with a member of the General Assembly who argued that the morning after pill amounts to a form of early abortion, and said the school could face liability problems if it continues to distribute the pill.
[LIVE= JoeD /FULL]
The action by the board of visitors has ignited a controversy that will have implications for public universities across the state.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=On a day when sunny skies]
[SUPER=01-Krissy Schnebel/Student Government Senator; :27]
[SUPER=01-Mark Obenshain/JMU Board Member; :55]
[OUT Q=sad commentary right now.]
((On a day when sunny skies and the yearbook staff were vying for their attention, students paused to protest the board of visitors' recent decision.
[NAT SOUND OF PROTESTORS]
Since the board voted April 18th to stop distribution of the morning after pill, protest organizers have collected signatures from 20 percent of the student body... more than have voted in recent school elections.
And they hope the board will reconsider.
[IN Q=It's a public university]
[OUT Q=didn't ask a single student.]
The students also carried their protest to the office of Mark Obenshain, a Harrisonburg Attorney and JMU Board member who supported the ban.
He offered the demonstrators bottled water, and met with two student leaders for 45 minutes.
Afterwards, he said he stands by the decision.
[IN Q=It's sad]
[OUT Q=sad commentary right now.]))
[LIVE= JoeD /FULL BAM]
Both sides accused the other of playing politics with the issue... protest organizers said Obenshain
was trying to advance his campaign for the State Senate... Obenshain said the protest was the work of College Democrats with a distinctly partisan purpose.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keiht-Shannon & JoeD /BAM;]
Keith and Shannon, the issue is likely to come before the board again... and five of the fifteen board member terms expire on June 30th.
Organized prayer at the start of the evening meal at V-M-I is STILL un-Constitutional.
That's the decision today from a federal appeals court.
The ruling upholds last year's injunction from Judge Norman Moon against Virginia Military Institute and its Superintendent.
General Josiah Bunting reinstated the "supper prayer" in 1995 to "build solidarity and bring the corps together as a family."
"In this context" though, the Court of Appeals said, "V-M-I's cadets are plainly coerced into participating in a religious exercise."
General Bunting had said the prayer was voluntary and cadets were free not to participate. But a footnote to today's 28-page published opinion said religious objectors run the risk of alienating themselves from the V-M-I community by not participating.
The court concluded: "V-M-I's supper prayer exacts an UN-Constitutional toll on the consciences of religious objectors."
A man robbed a bank in northwest Roanoke today.
It happened at F-N-B Southwest shortly after noon.
The bank is across the street from Crossroads Mall on Hershberger Road.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=One man]
((ONE MAN ENTERED THE BANK, DEMANDED MONEY. ONCE HE GOT THE MONEY, HE FLED THE SCENE ON FOOT. OFFICERS ARE CANVASSING THE AREA ON FOOT, LOOKING FOR A MAN WHO MEETS HIS DESCRIPTION.))
[SUPER=01-Shelly Alley/Roanoke Police]
[OUT Q=meets his description]
The black male suspect was described as 5-7 to 5-8, weighing 230 to 250 pounds in his late 20's.
He was wearing a dark wind breaker and dark denim pants.
City detectives retrieved a tape from the bank's surveillance camera and late this afternoon, they released an image from it, depicting the man as he was leaving the bank. As you can see he was NOT wearing a mask. And bank officials say he did not exhibit a weapon.
A church damaged by fire earlier this month is burning again.
Several crews are battling the blaze at Dublin United Methodist Church.
[TAKE MYRANDA PHONER GRAPHIC]
New River Valley Bureau Chief Myranda Stephens is at the fire and joins us by phone.
What can you tell us?
(DAVE WILL CALL FOR VIDEO)
[BACK TO PHONER GRAPHIC]
Veterans say a unique treatment program in our area needs help.
That's still ahead on News 7.
And a year after its stock plummeted and its C-E-O was forced out, one local high-tech company is citing a string of successes.
The trial of a Henry County couple charged with defrauding their church is under way in Lynchburg's federal court.
Terry Lynn Moore and his wife Myra are named in a six-count indictment accusing them of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy.
Terry Moore is the former financial secretary of the St. Paul Pentecostal Holiness Church in Bassett.
Prosecutors say the Moores took advantage of poor record-keeping and a lack of financial oversight to embezzle close to 100-thousand dollars from the church over a six-year period.
Moore allegedly took out two credit cards in the church's name and used church funds to pay his telephone bill and education expenses.
Myra Moore also is accused of writing checks to herself from the church account.
Their attorneys say there were no written rules as to how Terry Moore could spend the church money and that the dispute arises more from personal disagreements within the congregation.
The trial is expected to last all week.
Officials are releasing the name of the man killed over the weekend at a Roanoke factory.
The accident happened Sunday afternoon at the Maple Leaf Bakery on Blue Hills Drive.
Police say Alfred Sanderlin was cleaning a flour bin, when its contents dumped out and buried him.
43-year-old Sanderlin died at the scene. His body was recovered and transported to the office of the medical examiner.
Maple Leaf Bakery will not release any information about the victim or how long he'd worked at the facility.
After a profitable 2002, Roanoke County's Optical Cable Corporation is beginning to separate itself from a rocky past.
Company officials say it's one sign that the fiber optics cable maker is on the right track.
[***NEWS 7 in MONITOR***]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith & Rachel /NEwsroom Pod;]
Business Reporter Rachel Cannon joins us with an update on this closely watched local company, Rachel?
Keith, for almost two years, Optical Cable investors have been on a roller coaster ride of events.
[LIVE= Rachel /FULL Newsroom]
The finances and leadership of the company were in bad shape last April when a new President was brought in to take over and turn the company around.
Neil Wilkin says he was always positive about Optical Cable's future but that he never could have imagined the obstacles that they were going to have to overcome.
He says its been a team effort for the almost 2-hundred employees at the company.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=every thing]
((NEIL WILKIN/OPTICAL CABLE PRES. & CEO; EVERY THING FROM SETTLING EEOC LAWSUIT TO RE NEGOTIATING BANK LOANS TO PAYING DOWN DEBT WE REPURCHASED OVER 21-PERCENT OF OUR STOCK WE'VE SETTLED A MAJOR SHAREHOLDER LITIGATION WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT LOSS TO THE COMPANY.))
[SUPER=01-Neil Wilkin/Optical Cable Pres. & CEO; ]
[OUT Q=TO THE COMPANY.]
Wilkin acknowledges that stockholders have been through a difficult time.
At one point, Optical Cable's stock was practically worthless. Today it's selling at 4-59.
Wilkin says that he's very proud of operating profitably for fiscal year 2002 given the sluggish economy and fact that most fiber optic competitors are in much worse shape
[LIVE= Rachel /FULL Newsroom Pod]
Looking to the future, the management team is looking at diversifying the product line, concentrating on specialized markets and building relationships with others in the industry.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Rachel & Keith /Newsroom Pod;]
Optical Cable's founder and former President Bob Kopstein no longer has any ties to the company.
Wilkin says he has a different leadership style than Kopsetin, one that is more open.
The bulls cheered upbeat earnings from some household names.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW climbed 165 points.
NASDAQ rose 28.
The VA Medical Center in Salem won't let a unique treatment program fall by the wayside.
Dozens of war veterans today hoisted signs supporting the facility's procedures for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
They say funding and staffing cuts have lowered the number of patients the 6-week program can accept and left only a "skeleton crew" to run it.
(///// SOT at :15 /////)
[IN Q=This staff is such a loving...]
((REX WOOD/VETERAN: THIS STAFF IS SUCH A LOVING, CARING AND PROFESSIONAL STAFF THAT THE QUALITY WON'T DROP OFF BUT THE PROGRAM'S CERTAINLY ON LIFE SUPPORT AT THIS POINT.))
[OUT Q=on life support at this point.]
[VO NAT :08]
Wood says the counseling, which includes role playing and group therapy, makes it possible for many veterans to function in normal society.
Wood today met with Bob Cox, the program's director, who in -part blames the short staffing on retirement and military deployment.
Cox says more employees will be hired.
Virginia's 21-day-rule has long been the nation's most restrictive limit on how long a wrongfully convicted person has to prove his innocence.
But it's days are numbered....
A special task force charged with revising the 27-year-old law met today for the first time.
The panel includes several state legislators and a Virginia Supreme Court justice.
Members say they are confident that they can find a better alternative to the 21-day-rule.
[IN Q=I THINK ALOT OF US FEEL]
((DEL. MORGAN GRIFFITH/TASK FORCE MEMBER: I THINK A LOT OF US FEEL VERY CONCERNED THAT IF SOMEONE IS ACTUALLY INNOCENT WE NEED A PROCESS BESIDES JUST RELYING ON THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE NOT HELD IMPROPERLY.))
((STEPHEN BENJAMIN/TASK FORCE MEMBER: WE ALL KNOW THERE MUST BE FINALITY TO THIS PROCESS AND WE ALL KNOW THAT WE MUST ENSURE THAT THE PROCESS ISN'T ABUSED BUT THOSE ARE LOGISTICALCHALLENGES THAT I'M CONFIDENT WE CAN OVERCOME.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Morgan Griffith/Task Force Member; :00]
[SUPER=01-Stephen Benjamin/Task Force Member; :11]
[OUT Q=CONFIDENT WE CAN OVERCOME.]
Virginia is one of 31 states that imposes a limit on presenting new evidence following a conviction.
Nineteen states have no time constraints.
The task force plans to make its recommendations to lawmakers in early fall.
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports -
JJ Redick's name is cleared at Duke.
Lynchburg College sweeps the ODAC softball honors.
And the days leading up to the derby are winding down.
An early week check on the Kentucky Derby happening at Churchill Downs in moment.
Duke basketball star J.J. Redick had his name tarnished earlier this month in a campus pot smoking incident, but his reputation should now be on the mend.
[SUPER=03-Durham, NC; :00]
Redick, two Duke soccer players and two other students were found in a room in the Blackwell dormitory on April 1st where police say there was a very strong smell of marijuana.
The police searched the room and did not find any drugs, but did find a homemade bong.
Neither Redick nor any of the other students were charged at the time, instead police referred them to the office of the Dean of Students.
J.J.'s dad, Ken Redick, says the case has now been resolved administratively and that JJ's name has been cleared.
According to sources close to the situation, Redick was in the room to check e-mail from a professor who he was meeting with the following day about a class, and did not participate in any illegal activities going on in the room.
Ken Redick, J.J. father says " J.J. made an error in judgment, which was being in a room where someone was smoking marijuana. He recognizes that he made an error by not just getting up and leaving."
His father went on to say "the thing J.J. struggles with is that sometimes he just wants to be just another kid, he wants to be somebody without a face and without a name. I keep telling him he's not like everybody else, and with that comes greater responsibilities."
The Durham Herald Sun newspaper says that Duke University is not permitted to comment on this issue due to the Family Education Right to Privacy Act, a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
But in a statement J.J. made to Duke University, he clearly indicated that he does not use or has not used drugs.
Redick will speak to the Roanoke Valley Sports Club May 19th at which time he may or may not have something to say about the incident.
[GRAPHIC=NEWS 7 SPORTS]
The Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the triple crown, is this coming weekend at Chucrhill Downs.
The favorite early this race week is a horse known as "Empire Maker."
The Florida Derby and Wood Memorial champ is a powerful animal that has the ability to dust the field.
And so far - things have been so good since arriving in Louisville.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Bobby Frankel/"Empire Maker" Trainer; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bob Baffert/8 Triple Crown Wins as a Trainer; :15]
[OUT Q=...you just never know."]
[GRAPHIC=NEWS 7 SPORTS]
The drawing for post positions for the Derby is Wednesday at five pm. Post time Saturday for the 129th running of th
e Roses is 6:04 pm.[S-ODAC]
Emory & Henry won the ODAC softball title yesterday, but Lyncyburg College is the big winner in the postseason awards cateogry that was announced this afternoon.
Dawn Simmons the Lynchburg coach was named coach of the year in the ODAC, but here's the interesting thing - senior Michelle Edelen was named the league's player of the year and her younger sister Brittany was named ODAC rookie of the year.
It was a clean sweep for Lynchburg.
Two of the top high school lacrosse programs in the area matched up this afternoon over in Salem as the Spartans took on visiting Rockbridge County.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Wildcats vs. Spartans; :00]
Salem knew that it would take a team effort to beat the high scoring Wildcats who are year in and year out the best team in the valley league.
The Spartans work the fast break to perfection early in the first quarter as Zack Price finishes with this shot that finds the back of the net. 1-to-nothing Salem.
Rockbridge would answer with its top gun - Jessie Ford - starts behind the net, end up in front of it, and without missing a shot he scores to tie the game.
The game is still going on at this hour and we'll have the final score for you tonight on News 7 at 11.
The weather is perfect and as luck would have it - there is baseball tonight in Salem.
The Avs hosts Kinston, the first place team in the Southern Division tonight at 7 at Salem Memorial.
Tonight begins a seven game homestand for the Avs.
And the Northern division's first place Hillcats are home tonight playing host to Myrtle Beach.
That game also gets underway at 7.