Several Virginia cities housed happy homecomings today.
We'll check in with the newly returned soldiers.
And a Roanoke woman says she not only spotted a missing teenager - she housed the girl for several days.
In sports, The Hokies prepare for Rutgers, Uva's Wali Lundy leads the ACC in rushing
and breaking news on the ECHL strike, it is over, words from owner and coach in sports
Isolated frost this morning but it will be more widespread by Friday morning. More on the forecast in a moment.
News 7 is next.
[IN Q=There's no words]
((THERE'S NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE IT.. NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE IT. What were you thinking as you were coming home today? CAN'T GET THERE FAST ENOUGH.))
[OUT Q=fast enough.]
After ten months of waiting, a couple more hours didn't really make a difference..
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry finally return home late this afternoon to central Virginia.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
And I'm Keith Humphry.
They kept their families waiting a little bit longer today.
The Virginia National Guard unit from the Lynchburg area got back to town a couple of hours later than expected..
..but there were no complaints in this crowd of hundreds of friends and family that showed up at the National Guard armory to welcome them home.
After a few brief speeches, the soldiers were released to their loved ones.. and the hugs, kisses and tears began.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Just elated]
((DIANE SHIELDS/WIFE OF SOLDIER: JUST ELATED.. SO HAPPY THAT THEY'RE HOME SAFE AND SOUND.. WE'RE VERY, VERY PROUD OF THEM.))
((LT. GEN. LONG/VA NATIONAL GUARD: THIS IS A GREAT.. PROUD OF THEM.))
[SUPER=01-Diane Shields/Wife of Soldier]
[OUT Q=proud of them.]
The Lynchburg Guard unit was one of four Virginia units severing as a security and protection force in Guantanomo Bay, Cuba.
The soldiers were deployed last November and spent time in Fort Bragg, North Carolina before being deployed to Cuba.
There were similar homecomings this afternoon in Lexington, Harrisonburg and Charlottesville.
Roanoke County says plans for a methadone clinic are not in compliance with its zoning ordinance.
A zoning administrator made that determination today, as the board of supervisors prepared for a possible lawsuit.
The methadone clinic is planned for a former medical office located at the corner of Colonial Avenue and Ogden road.
Zoning administrator David Holladay says the planned use is sufficiently different to require an amendment to the zoning ordinance.
Earlier, the supervisors met in closed session to discuss the likelihood the county will be sued.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I would anticipate a legal challenge]
[SUPER=01-Paul Mahoney/Roanoke Co. Attorney;]
[OUT Q=operators of the clinic.]
The clinic has 30 days to appeal the Zoning Administrator's decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Missing teenager Jenni Northrup has been sighted in Roanoke.
The 16-year old from North Carolina disappeared on a family trip here nine days ago.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Her mother says]
[SUPER=01-Beth Holbert; :14]
[SUPER=01-Patty Northrup/Jenni's Mother; 1:06 QUICK]
[OUT Q=want to be found.]
(( Her mother says she got a call Monday night from a woman on Campbell Avenue.
Patty Northrup took us back to Beth Holbert's home, so we could get her account of the three or four days Holbert says Jenni Northrup spent with her.
((SHE WAS SOAKING WET. SHE LOOKED LIKE A LITTLE DROWNED RAT WHEN SHE KNOCKED ON MY DOOR.))
She says Jenni bore bruises and marks on her arms that looked like cigarette burns.
Holbert says Jenni was so exhausted the girl fell asleep on the floor.
[40:28 -pans patty to KH to Beth OPTS]
((PROBABLY THE FIRST UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP THE LITTLE GIRL HAD. SHE'S PROBABLY SCARED TO DEATH.))
Holbert says she didn't realize Jenni's parents and the police were looking for the girl.
As soon as Jenni got wind of the police looking for her, Holbert says, the girl was gone.
Patty Northrup has no doubt that it was Jenni Holbert took in, even though the girl said her name was Racquel Herrera . She left behind a necklace that Jenni's El Salvadoran boyfriend had given her.
Holbert says the girl told her some Mexicans had kept her locked in a house. She also said she prefers Hispanic men, something her mother confirms.
((SHE WOULD HAVE TALKED TO THEM IN A HEARTBEAT. I KNOW SHE WOULD HAVE.))
So Northrup and Holbert began questioning Hispanics, handing out flyers.
They left no bulkhead unturned, exploring basements and backyards.
They found people who were sure they'd seen Jenni.
[48:25 "women" who'd seen her]
((SHE WAS BEAT UP))
These two said Jenni was in a blue house on Marshal Avenue.
Northrup and Holbert accosted a Hispanic man who wouldn't let them in. They called police who got the owner to let them search the place.
One officer said there's not much we can do if somebody doesn't want to be found.))
A young man from Bedford faces up to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
20 year old Michael Channing Coffey admits he was driving drunk when he crashed killing one of his passengers and seriously injuring another.
[***NEWS 7 @ 6 GRAPHIC***]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Justin/BAM;]
Justin McLeod was in court today and has more on the plea agreement. Justin?
Shannon, both sides had been talking about a plea for weeks now.
[LIVE= Justin /FULL BAM]
However, they couldn't come to an agreement and the case was scheduled to go to trial this morning.
But then an unexpected turn of events changed everything and not everyone is happy.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Michael Irvine/Commonwealth's Attorney; :15]
[OUT Q=HE WAS ACQUITTED EITHER]
((((NAT SOUND OF JUDGE TALKING AT THE BEGINNING OF THE HEARING))
Both sides came to court ready to present their case.
But then two prosecution witnesses failed to show up, and the Commonwealth's Attorney agreed to make a deal.
[IN Q=I thought it was important]
((MICHAEL IRVINE/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: I THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT THE DEFENDANT BE CONVICTED OF ALL THREE OFFENSES AND THIS RESULTED IN HIM BEING CONVICTED OF ALL THREE OFFENSES.))
[OUT Q=of all three offenses]
The three offenses originally were maiming, driving under the influence, and aggravated involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors agreed to reduce that charge to involuntary manslaughter.
In return, Michael Coffey admitted he was drunk and speeding on September 14th 2002 when his Chevy Blazer ran off Route 122 in Moneta.
24 year old James Edward Sines (Signs) the third died at the scene.
Jason Overstreet survived but is now permanently paralyzed.
[IN Q=When you have]
((MICHAEL IRVINE/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: WHEN YOU GOT PEOPLE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND CAUSING SERIOUS INJURIES TO SOMEONE AND CAUSING DEATH THAT HOPEFULLY THE JUDGE WILL HAND DOWN A SENTENCE THAT WILL SEND A MESSAGE THAT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO THOSE ACTS ALSO.))
[OUT Q=those acts also]
The family of James Sines the third walked away more angry than satisfied.
They fear by pleading guilty the defendant will get a slap on the wrist.
[IN Q=I don't think]
((MICHAEL IRVINE/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: I DON'T THINK MR. SINES' FAMILY WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY IF WE TRIED IT AND HE WAS ACQUITTED EITHER.))
[OUT Q=AQUITTED EITHER]))
[LIVE= Justin /FULL BAM]
Coffey's attorney declined to talk to News 7 after the hearing but he did say in court his client is prepared to go to jail.
By pleading guilty to a lesser charge, Coffey faces up to 16 years in prison rather than 26.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Jusitn /BAM;]
Shannon, he will remain in jail until his sentencing which will take place at a later date.
A trial date is set for Radford photographer Robert Shell.
Shell faces eleven charges, including felony homicide, in connection with the death of his model 19-year-old Marion Franklin.
Today TWO of the charges were reduced from forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration to ATTEMPTED forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration.
Prosecutors made no comment as to why the charges were changed.
Shell's trial is set for March First, but his attorney says he'll file a motion for a change of venue because of pre-trial publicity.
Was the site of a deadly fall safe for concerts?
The latest on the investigation when NEws 7 returns.
Plus the Martinsville Speedway rewards the loyalty of former Pillowtex employees... by handing out free tickets.
Blacksburg officials say the concert site where a Virginia Tech student was killed, did NOT have any previous building violations.
Six people were taken to the hospital Sunday night after falling from a window during a private concert at the Solar Haus.
19-year-old Daniel Martin, a Virginia Tech sophomore and business major, died of his injuries.
Another student, 21-year-old Jason Michael Kontkanen, remains in critical condition.
Though the town is still investigating, officials say they've had very few complaints about the residence.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=there were]
((HEATHER BROWNING/TOWN SPOKESPERSON: THERE WERE A NUMBER OF ANONYMOUS CALLS ABOUT CROWDING CONCERNS AND OUR POLICE DID AN INVESTIGATION ON THOSE ON TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS AND FOUND NOTHING OF THE SORT.))
[SUPER=01-Heather Browning/Blacksburg Spokesperson;]
[OUT Q=of the sort]
No charges have been filed.
A Republican lawmaker has a warning for Virginia Tech officials...either shut down the sex-themed T-V show or the state will shut off the school's funding.
Delegate Bob Marshall says using a public facility for a live taping of Virginia Tech TV's "Sex Talk Live" is a misuse of state dollars.
[SUPER=04-"Sex Talk Live"]
The September 24th show was taped on campus and offered sexual counseling as well as a fake-orgasm competition.
Students who participated received sex toys.
Tech president Charles Steger says he found many aspects of the show "highly inappropriate."
But he says Virginia Tech T-V is an independent company and separate from the university.
[IN Q=WE DON'T HAVE TO SEND MONEY]
((DELEGATE BOB MARSHALL/R-MANASSAS: WE DON'T HAVE TO SEND MONEY TO SCHOOLS THAT DO THIS. WE'RE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO FURTHER THESE ACTIVITIES. IF AUTHORITIES THINK THEIR HANDS ARE TIED JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY THINK HOW MUCH WE'RE GOING TO TIE THEIR HANDS WITH NO MONEY.))
[IN Q=YOU KNOW IT'S VERY IMPORTANT]
((JARRETT HENSHAW/SHOW'S PRODUCER AND CO-HOST: YOU KNOW IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT STD'S AND WE'VE DONE CONDOM DEMONSTRATIONS ON THE SHOW BEFORE. THE SHOW ISN'T ALL JUST THE CRAZY STUFF THAT BOB MARSHALL'S UPSET ABOUT. ))
[SUPER=01-Del. Bob Marshall/(R) Manassas; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jarrett Henshaw/Show Producer and Co-host; :14]
[OUT Q=THAT BOB MARSHALL'S UPSET ABOUT.]
The producer of Sex Talk Live also says the next live taping will take place on November 12, as scheduled.
Wednesday will bring a major industrial announcement in the Roanoke Valley.
A company that is new to Virginia will become the first prospect to locate in the Vinton Business Center.
Officials are not revealing the name of the company, but we're told the facility will employ about 200 people.
The Governor's Opportunity Fund provided 300- thousand dollars to assist with site preparation, and the project is apparently tied to another recent economic development announcement in the area.
The merger of First Virginia Bank and B-B-and-T will cost 940 jobs in Virginia and Maryland.
A B-B-and-T spokeswoman says the company is giving employees 60 days notice and providing outplacement help and severance.
The merger became official in July but bank branches in overlapping territory won't be merged until October 14th.
Wall Street's major averages all finished lower in the final trading session of the third quarter.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW fell 105 points.
NASDAQ lost 38.
An accident this morning in Roanoke County sent a sport utility vehicle down a steep embankment, and the driver to the hospital. Emergency crews worked for an hour and a half to free him from the wreck.
The accident happened around 6:20 this morning in the 7500 block of Bent Mountain Road.
Roanoke County police say a Dodge Durango crossed the center line of the highway and struck a Ford Escort.
The sport utility vehicle left the road and came to rest at the bottom of a steep bank. Emergency crews from three Roanoke County Fire and Rescue stations responded to free the driver.
The driver of the Durango, James E. North of Roanoke County, was taken to the hospital, but there's no word tonight on the extent of his injuries.
Henry County's displaced Pillowtex workers are being offered a diversion by their local raceway.
Nearly one thousand employees laid off this summer are being offered two free tickets each to two racing events at the Martinsville Speedway: the Taco Bell 300 Late Model Stock Car Race to be held this Sunday and the Subway 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race October 19th.
The Speedway says it wanted to pay the workers back for their years of loyalty.
(///// SOT at :20 /////)
[SOT 9:51:56 - 9:52:06]
[IN Q=And we're really happy and pleased...]
((MIKE SMITH/MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY: AND WE'RE REALLY HAPPY AND PLEASED THAT WE'VE GOT THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING.
WE CAN'T GIVE JOBS TO EVERYONE, WE CAN'T BRING FACTORIES IN BUT AT LEAST WE CAN GIVE A COUPLE DAYS OF ENJOYMENT TO THESE FOLKS.))
[BUTT BUTT BUTT]
[SOT 10:02:27 - 10:02:33]
((BOBBY KENDRICK/FORMER PILLOWTEX EMPLOYEE: IF I COME I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE RACE. AND WE DON'T CARE WHO WINS AS LONG AS ITS A FORD.))
[SUPER=01-Mike Smith/Martinsville Speedway; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bobby Kendrick/Former Pillowtex Employee; :11]
[OUT Q=as long as it's a Ford.]
Tickets will be distributed again Thursday from 8 to 5.
At about 50-bucks apiece the Speedway estimates it's giving away about 100-thousand dollars worth.
The ECHL strike is no longer on ice and
And Tech defenisve end Coles Colas, who will miss the Rutgers game, has been charged with disordely conduct.
The Roanoke Express will have players on the ice when trianing camp opens this saturday when traning camp begins becausde the ECHL strike ended just after 5 PM today as new collective baragining aggreement was cemeted by players and owners. 4each ECHL team will be allowed 4 veterans, like last year. The Express says, even though it was down to the wire, the strike will not have ill affcts.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Tony MacAulay/Express Head Coach; :00]
[SUPER=01-Mike Lonchar/Express Owner; :35]
[OUT Q=......october 17th"]
The high school football season has been extended another week due to the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel.
The Virginia High School League's executive committee met today in Charlottesville and unanimously voted 21-to-nothing to extend the season to accomodate the schools that have been forced to postpone games the past two weeks.
The state finals will now be played on December 13th.
Virginia Tech is getting set for its first road game of the season at Rutgers.
Mike Stevens has more a starter who will NOT be on the field and another one who just might play.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=04-Last Saturday; :26]
[SUPER=01-Mike Goforth/VT Director of Athletic Training; :45]
[SUPER=01-Bryan Randall/Va. Tech Quarterback; 1:12]
[SUPER=03-Piscataway, NJ/September 22, 2001; 1:21]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 sports."]
UVa running back Wali Lundy is a top the ACC in rushing through four games this season.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Wali Lundy/ACC's Leading Rusher; :00]
[OUT Q=......right now"]
Lundy piled up 137 yards rushing against Wake Forest and has 381 yards on the season. He carried the ball 27 times against the demon Deacs, something Al Groh says Lundy was not ready for last year.