About 200- workers at a Roanoke call center will soon be out of a job.
The jobs are being phased out at Ovations Pharmacy Solutions on Thirlane Road.
Many of the affected employees answer questions and take orders over the phone for people who order their prescription medications through A-A-R-P Pharmacy services.
Yesterday, those workers were notified that their jobs are being transferred to the company's other call centers in Pe
nnsylvania and Minnesota.
Ovation's parent company, UnitedHealth Group, says it will continue to maintain a presence in the Roanoke area.
The company says about 200 employees will remain on board for other jobs.
As far as a reason for the layoffs, the chief operating officer of the Roanoke office says the changes are part of an ongoing strategy to ensure quality service as well as to improve efficiency and significant savings to AARP Pharmacy Services customers.
Company officials say the movement of jobs will begin immediately, but the transition won't be completed until September.
Two other companies in the region are laying off workers.
Atlantic Mutual says it will cut 65 jobs at its Roanoke County processing center effective August first.
The insurance company says it's a result of new technology and more streamlined processing.
Similar layoffs there last summer resulted in 25 job cuts.
Workers will receive severance packages and job placement assistance.
[FILE TAPE @ 02-37 34:11]
And in Martinsville, Hooker Furniture is cutting dozens of jobs at its plywood plant.
The company says 35 people are being laid off, because of declining demand.
Since closing a Hooker plant in North Carolina, officials say the demand for plywood is down.
The company does not anticipate more layoffs.
So far, American Electric Power's shoreline management plan is getting a thumbs-up from a group that represents Smith Mountain lake residents.
A-E-P will hold an open house today on the plan.
The Smith Mountain Lake Association says the proposal has the approval of a majority of its 13-hundred members.
The plan will govern how the lake is developed.
The Lake Association says it strikes a fair balance between preserving the shoreline and allowing future growth.
Many developers contend it threatens the lake's economic future.
[TAKE BOARD FS #1001]
A-E-P is taking public comments on the plan until August 15th.
It's holding an open house today at Resurrection Catholic Church in Moneta from noon to 8.
Roanoke Mayor Ralph Smith has turned up the volume on Victory Stadium renovations.
Meanwhile, other council members say the plans for a NEW stadium amphitheater should stand.
Smith addressed the Victory Stadium controversy in his state of the city address yesterday morning.
He predicted that city council will not vote to tear down the Roanoke landmark.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=So if we do ]
((SO IF WE DO BUILD ANOTHER STADIUM, I PREDICT WE WILL END UP PAYING NEEDLESSLY TO MAINTAIN ONE STADIUM TOO MANY. BEFORE WE BEGIN BUILDING A SECOND ONE, I SUGGEST WE DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THE FIRST -- AND THAT IS TO RENOVATE IT.))
[OUT Q=and that is to renovate it.]
But council member Rupert Cutler said he toured Victory Stadium on Tuesday and remains convinced that the new stadium is the best option.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=In fact the city engineer]
((IN FACT, THE CITY ENGINEER GAVE ME AN UPDATED ESTIMATE ON THE COST OF RENOVATING VICTORY STADIUM. IT'S CLOSER TO 20 MILLION DOLLARS THAN 10 MILLION DOLLARS. AND I THINK THAT'S THE WRONG PLACE TO PUT MONEY.))
[OUT Q=wrong place to put money.]
The city has scheduled a public forum on the stadium issue, July 31st at 7pm at the Roanoke Civic Center.
The state will focus its attention on spending less money on office supplies.
Governor Mark Warner says buying these and other products in bulk can save over 25 million a year.
It's all part of the state's new spend management program.
The idea is to get the best deal on goods by consolidating contracts and limiting the number of vendors.
[IN Q=THREE HUNDRED DIFFERENT]
((GOVERNOR MARK WARNER: THREE HUNDRED DIFFERENT CONTRACTS ON BUYING UNIFORMS IS NOT THE WAY A FORTUNE 500 BUSINESS OUGHT TO OPERATE AND THAT REALLY IS WHAT THE STATE OF VIRGINIA IS. IN TERMS OF SIZE IT'S A FORTUNE 500 ENTERPRISE. THIS IS COMMON SENSE BUSINESS APPROACH.))
[OUT Q=COMMON SENSE BUSINESS APPROACH.]
Under the new program, the state will see a 72 percent reduction in the price of batteries and pay two dollars and 38 cents less for a roll of masking tape.
The water worries are over for Alleghany County.
[VO-NAT - :27+]
The Department of Health has lifted a boil water notice for about 170 customers of the Valley Ridge Water Company, including the high school, two medical centers and private residences.
The notice had originally been issued June 19th because of excessive turbidity, and fecal coliform levels in the spring that serviced the area.
Henry County authorities are investigating a murder in Bassett.
[VO-NAT - :21+]
Deputies say 19 year old Nicholas Ryan Marshall was shot once in the head at his apartment on Melrose Drive shortly after midnight Wednesday.
Another man who was in the apartment, Drewery Via, told authorities that two men entered the residence, demanded money and drugs, and fired a shot as they were leaving, killing Marshall.
Via was not hurt in the incident, but was bound with duct tape.
[Take Henry County Sheriff FS]
Anyone who has information about the shooting is asked to call the Henry County Sheriff's Office.
A decision has been made by the Henry County School Board concerning the future of its schools.
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; QUICK!]
Yesterday, the school board voted six to one to close and consolidate several schools.
Beginning in the 2004-2005 school year, the school system will close four elementary schools and one middle school.
It will also reduce the number of high schools from four to two with Fieldale Collinsville and Laurel Park becoming middle schools.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 30:20; TAPE 2; 13:41 TAPE 1]
[IN Q=I'm glad the schools]
((BRITNIE GREEN/BASSETT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: I'M GLAD THE SCHOOLS ARE CONSOLIDATING CAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS AT FC THAT I WOULD LIKE OVER HERE WITH ME.))
((ROCKY WALL/PARENT: THE COMMUNITY IS PRETTY MUCH AGAINST THIS, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO, A LAWSUIT OR WHAT WILL HAPPEN.))
[SUPER=01-Britnie Green/Bassett High School Student; :00]
[SUPER=01-Rocky Wall/Parent; :06]
[OUT Q=what will happen]
Declining enrollment, aging buildings, and a loss of million of dollars in local aid are all reasons behind the decision.
Administrators do expect layoffs but they don't believe any teachers will lose their jobs.
The superintendent says most of the reductions in staff will come at the administrative level.
Charges will be filed against three teenagers and one adult- stemming from fights at a 4-H camp.
[VO-NAT :33 + pad]
[SUPER=03-Franklin Co./July 7;]
Franklin County Sheriff Quint Overton says two 15-year-olds from Bedford County and a 16-year-old from Ringgold will be served with juvenile petitions.
All three were volunteer teen leaders.
A 19-year-old chaperone from Bedford County who was supposed to supervise the younger teens is also expected to face charges.
The fights happened at the Smith Mountain Lake 4-H Center between June 30th and July 4th.
Overton says other kids backed up 10-year-old D-J Rawls' story.
Rawls says teen counselors arranged fights between the youngsters, bet on them and charged others to watch.
The sheriff's department interviewed more than 40 kids before coming up with the charges.