Coming up on NEWS 7 at Six a Central Virginia business goes up in flames.
And a guilty plea will close the case of two teenage girls charged with murder.
Tonight on News 7 sports - More all-America honors for members of the Virginia Cavaliers,
and Charlie Weis takes over at North Dame as the next head football coach of the Fighting Irish.
Snow showers coat the mountains, wind chill for everyone. Our first arctic outbreak of the season is the focus of our work week forecast.
News 7 is next.
Fire destroys an excavating business in Amherst County as dozens of firefighters battle for more than an hour to get things under control.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry. Jean is off tonight.
The call came in around three o'clock ... flames were coming from a building at R-W Harris Excavating on Old Wright Shop Road.
The first crews on the scene found the main shop engulfed in fire ... and it was spreading quickly to some buildings nearby.
Crews scrambled to keep the other structures from catching fire ... with mixed success.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We had heavy]
((RICK HUNTER/MONELISON V.F.D. ASST. CHIEF: WE HAD HEAVY FIRE CONDITIONS UPON ARRIVAL. ONE COMMERCIAL STRUCTURE, MADE A MASSIVE STREAM ATTACK ON IT. THE FIRE HAD ALREADY EXTENDED TO TWO OTHER BUILDINGS, WE WERE ABLE TO SAVE ONE OF THOSE AND WE LOST ANOTHER. SO WE LOST TWO STRUCTURES AND SAVED ONE.))
[SUPER=01-Rick Hunter/Monelison V.F.D. Asst. Chief]
[OUT Q=and saved one.]
Hunter says everyone was able to get out of the main building safely after it caught fire.
There were no injuries and the cause is under investigation.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
Fire also caused extensive damage to a home in Southeast Roanoke today.
Firefighters responded the house on 13th street shortly after eleven A-M and had the blaze under control in about thirty minutes.
While no one was injured, two residents were displaced. Damage to the home and its contents are estimated at 30- thousand dollars.
Investigators believe the blaze started in a floor furnace.
Two Wythe County teenagers accused of murder have apparently reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.
[SUPER=03-Wythe Co./File Tape]
15- year old Nakisha Waddell and 16- year old Annie Belcher were scheduled to go on trial tomorrow for the death of Waddell's mother, Vaughne Thomas.
Thomas was found stabbed to death and buried in the backyard of her Max Meadows home on Memorial Day.
Commonwealth's Attorney M. Keith Blankenship declined to comment this afternoon, but the jury has been dismissed and court officials indicate they expect a guilty plea.
It's been nearly five-months since the family of James Clayton Hall reported him missing.
The 82-year-old was last seen on July 11th when he set out for a solo camping trip in the Jefferson National Forest.
[***JAMES HALL IN MONITOR***]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Susan & Keith /BAM;]
Susan Bahorich picked up the story when it first broke and spoke with member of the family today.
Susan, has the Hall family heard anything?
[LIVE= Susan /FULL BAM]
At this point- no.
And, according to his family - not knowing if he's dead or alive is the hardest part.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=IT HAS HAD ]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co./July; :14]
[SUPER=01-Ann Divers/Hall's Ex-Wife; :22]
[SUPER=01-Ronnie Sprinkle/Botetourt Co. Sheriff; :56]
[OUT Q=BE ABLE TO SEE ANYTHING]
((IT HAS HAD A TREMENDOUS TOLL ON ALL OF US...))
It's been a rough couple of months for 82-year-old Ann Divers and her six-children.
For 30-years Divers was married to James Clayton Hall.
In July, Hall went camping in the Kelly Hollow section of the Jefferson National Forest leaving behind his car.
That was the last time he was seen.
[INQ=I want them to...]
((ANN DIVERS, HALL'S EX-WIFE: I WANT THEM TO FIND THEIR FATHER, FIND OUT SOMETHING ABOUT THEIR FATHER BECAUSE IT'S HURTING THEM. IT THEY LOSE ME THEY WON'T HAVE NOBODY. (CRY) AND I KNOW I CAN'T LIVE MUCH LONGER LIKE I AM..))
[OUTQ=.. like I am.]
Sheriff's deputies and search crews around the state were called in and combed the hilly and rugged terrain for days during the summer.
Now, five-months later Divers says she'd like to see authorities resume the case.
Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle says crews covered a three-mile square area looking for Hall, and were forced to call off the search.
But, Sprinkle hasn't given up.
[INQ=We're in the process..]
((SHERIFF RONNIE SPRINKLE, BOTETOURT CO.: WE'RE IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING A VSP HELICOPTER UP TO SEE IF WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO SEE ANYTHING...))
[OUTQ=... to see anything.]))
While the family is concerned, this isn't the first time James Hall has disappeared - the sheriff tells us in the past, he had gone off and turned up in Texas.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith & Susan /BAM;]
So Keith- there's still hope.
The Botetourt County sheriff says he won't give up until he knows *what* happened to Hall.
A Charlottesville man cast the electoral vote that put President George W. Bush over the top today.
Virginia's 13 electors convened in the Old House Chamber of the capitol building to cast their votes for president and vice president.
It's a tradition as old as the presidency.
Today all 13- votes were cast for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Electors also moved to have the names of future electors placed on the presidential ballot.
They say it's important since their votes determine the presidency.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=There has been discussions]
((WENDELL WALKER/VIRGINIA ELECTOR: THERE HAS BEEN DISCUSSIONS OF TRYING TO ELIMINATE THIS, BUT I THINK OUR FOUNDING FATHERS CERTAINLY HAD GODLY WISDOM WHEN THEY IMPLEMENTED THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE SYSTEM AND I THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND WE SHOULD NEVER EVER DO AWAY WITH IT.))
[SUPER=01-Wendell Walker/Virginia Elector;]
[OUT Q=never ever do away with it]
Governor Mark Warner praised the process he calls greater than any individual political belief.
Virginia's electoral votes were sealed and sent to the President of the U-S Senate.
They'll be read before both houses January 6th.
Still ahead, "War of the Worlds" starts shooting in Rockbridge County... but don't expect to see much of it just yet.
Plus she survived a fall from a highway overpass two years ago. Now this unexpected Christmas discovery has become a part of the family.
The shooting's started in Virginia on "War of the Worlds."
The motion picture has been in production for about a month now.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Rockbridge Co.; :12]
[SUPER=01-Bob Toman/Bustleburg Resident; :24 ]
[SUPER=01-Carolyn Wade Looney/Bustleburg Resident; 1:02]
[SUPER=01-Greg Alpert/Paramount Pictures Production Supervisor; 1:16]
[OUT Q=I doubt it.]
[NAT from Movie Trailer]
Paramount Pictures has just released a promotional trailer for the film.
This is the 28th day of production on "War of the Worlds" in various locations, they've been getting READY to shoot in Rockbridge County for a COUPLE of months.
((THEY'VE BEEN HAULING GRAVEL IN THERE FOR TWO WEEKS.))
Bob Toman lives at the foot of the hill. The road across from his home is officially closed.
((THEY'VE DUG POTHOLES IN THE ASPHALT ROAD WHERE THEY'D GET THE TRUE EFFECT OF TANKS COMING DOWN THROUGH THERE.))
It's a "closed set"- -heavily guarded by men armed with walkie-talkies and New Jersey accents working alongside Rockbridge County sheriff's deputies.
No one gets over the ridge, beyond the rows of production trailers and theatrical equipment.
It's obvious, though, that something big's in the works... DREAMworks.
Bustleburg is living up to its name. There hasn't been this much activity here since O.T. Wade and Son closed the general store 15 years ago.
((A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE UPSET ABOUT THE ROADS BEING CLOSED. BUT IT'S ONLY FOR A WHILE AND THIS IS SOMETHING WE MAY NEVER GET AGAIN.))
The Virginia National Guard arrived in Rockbridge County over the weekend to take on the alien invaders.
((THEY'RE INSTRUMENTAL IN SAVING OUR WORLD. I CAN TELL YOU THAT. AND THEY'RE HAVING A BLAST.))
The film features Guardsmen from all over Virginia, though the movie apparently depicts them as generic soldiers.
((I COULD LIVE WITH OUT IT. NOT A MOVIE BUFF. You might go see this one? I DOUBT IT.))
Paramount promises to have Decatur Road re-paved by the end of the week.
It's known as Lynchburg's biggest historic artifact.
And two million dollars have been spent giving it a facelift.
Steve Smallshaw gives us an update on the city's courthouse museum.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Tom Ledford's world]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/July 2000; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tom Ledford/Lynchburg Museum Director; :14]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( Tom Ledford's world came crashing down around him on a Sunday morning in July of 2000.
That's when Lynchburg's museum director got the call he'd been dreading ... part of the city's historic courthouse museum had collapsed.
((TOM LEDFORD/LYNCHBURG MUSEUM DIRECTOR: IT WAS A WAKEUP CALL. WE WERE FORTUNATE THAT THERE WERE NO INJURIES, NO ARTIFACTS WERE DAMAGED, BUT CLEARLY THE BUILDING WAS TELLING US THAT IT DIDN'T FEEL WELL.))
[OUT Q=didn't feel well.]
((Preserving all the artifacts inside really couldn't happen until the city's biggest artifact .. the building itself .. was saved. Tom Ledford says in some respect the ceiling collapse a few years ago was a lucky break because it brought to light some serious problems.))
[OUT Q=some serious problems.]
((LEDFORD: AND WHEN WE BEGAN TO LOOK INTO THE STRUCTURE OF THE BUILDING, WE FOUND ALL SORTS OF TROUBLE. BUT EACH ONE OF THOSE HAVE BEEN VERY CAREFULLY ADDRESSED AND THROUGH THE SKILL OF THE CRAFTSMEN THAT HAVE BEEN WORKING HERE THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF, IT'S ALL PUT BACK RIGHT NOW.))
[OUT Q=back right now.]
Sagging walls have been repaired and structural weaknesses corrected.
The museum also has a new sprinkler system and will enjoy much more display space than ever before.
Ledford says the building is nearly ready to re-occupy its place of honor at the top of downtown.
((LEDFORD: BUT THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN SORT OF THE CROWNING JEWEL, THIS IS THE ORNAMENT ON THE TOP OF THE TREE IF WE CAN USE A SEASONAL ANALOGY, SO THIS BUILDING NEEDED TO BE PRESERVED AND WE COULDN'T RISK LOSING IT.))
[OUT Q=risk losing it.]
The museum should reopen by next summer ... in time to celebrate its 150th birthday.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg. ))
A better- than- expected report from retails sponsored a late rally on Wall Street.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The DOW rose 95 points today.
The NASDAQ gained 20.
She was a Christmas gift they didn't ask for.
But, now one Roanoke couple is putting all of their time and money into keeping their dog alive.
Myranda Stephens has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=come on, you ready?]
[SUPER=01-Christie Moore/Chiba's Owner; :13]
[OUT Q=news 7, roanoke]
(([NATS @ 2815]
((COME ON, YOU READY?))
It was around Christmas of 2002, when Christie Moore and her boyfriend Cody got an unexpected gift from Santa -- a pit bull they named Chiba.
((WE'RE THINKING THAT SHE HAD HAD A LITTER OF BABIES AND SOMEBODY DIDN'T WANT HER ANYMORE AND DECIDED TO GET RID OF HER.))
((REPORTER: CHRISTIE AND CODY WERE ON THEIR WAY TO A CHRISTMAS PARTY, WHEN THEY FOUND CHIBA LYING UNDERNEATH THIS OVERPASS. IT APPEARS SOMEONE THREW HER FROM THE BRIDGE. ))
((SHE WAS REALLY REALLY SKINNY, SHE WEIGHED ABOUT 32 POUNDS AND THE AVERAGE OF A DOG THIS SIZE IS SUPPOSED TO BE B/T 80-90 POUNDS 41 SO SHE WAS REALLY UNDERNOURISHED AND REALLY JUST BEAT UP 45))
And Chiba's problems only got worse.
The next year another dog attacked her, and just a few months ago, doctors found a cyst on her leg that may be cancerous.
That, on top of all of their other vet bills, has left Christie and Cody with little to spend this Christmas... even though they really only have one wish.
((GET HER BETTER THAT'S WHAT I WANT. I WANT HER TO BE BETTER 38))
Because Chiba is one Christmas gift they won't be returning.
((I WOULDN'T RETURN IT ANYWAYS (LAUGHS) I WOULD KEEP IT. I WOULD KEEP IT. 23))
Myranda Stephens, News 7, Roanoke.))
Coming up tonight on News 7 sports - Notre Dame's new coach arrives in South Bend talking tough.
Georgia Tech's Chan Gailey tells us what it's like going from the NFL to the NCAA.
And UVa players land on yet another all-America team - this time the Associated Press puts three Cavs on its first two teams.
Notre Dame has reached into the NFL to snag its next head football coach.
Today the Fighting Irish welcomed Patriots assistant coach Charlie Weis back to South Bend today.
[SUPER=03-South Bend, IN; :00]
The Notre Dame grad gets a six year deal worth a reported $2 million bucks a season.
In return, Notre Dame gets a brilliant offensive mind, and a no-nonsense guy who is a Bill Parcells disciple.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Charlie Weis/New Notre Dame Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=...you got the wrong guy."]
If Weis is looking for any kind of advice from some coaches who have the transition from the NFL to college, he might want to check with the ACC.
Al Groh at Virginia spent well over a decade in the NFL as an assistant and as a head coach. UNC's John Bunting also played and was an assistant in the league for a number of years Georgia Tech's Chan Gailey had 16 years of NFL experience and served as the Dallas Cowboys head coach for the 1998 and 1999 seasons. He feels any coach, like Weis, will have a transition period as he did.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Chan Gailey/Georgia Tech Head Football Coach; :05]
[OUT Q=......2 years ago"]
Drawing from his own experience, Gailey has some advice to give concerning what the adjustment from the NFL to college could look like.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=...better feel for that"]
Sometimes coaches just make lateral moves, even if they have just been fired.
[SUPER=03-Seattle, WA; :00]
This afternoon Ty Willingham, who was canned by Notre Dame, was officially introduced as the next head coach at the University of Washington.
He was hired by the man on the left, Todd Turner, the Washington athletic director, who was an assistant AD at UVa for 11 seasons.
Willingham gets a five-year deal with one point six million a season. He also inherits a 1-and-10 program.
The Associated Press all-American football teams are out tonight and the University of Virginia has placed two players on the first team squad and another on the second team.
[SUPER=04-This Season; :00]
Tight end Heath Miller continues to light up every postseason all-star squad. Miller is close to consensus All-American status.
And the same can be said for offensive guard Elton Brown, who also is a first team selection by the Associated Press.
And UVa sophomore linebacker Ahmad Brooks has been named to the second team all-American squad.
Brooks led the Cavs with 85 tackles and six and a half sacks this season.
The ACC is still well represented in the new top 25 basketball poll that is out tonight.
Seven teams from the conference are still in the top 25, with Georgia Tech third, North Carolina 5th,
Wake Forest is 6th, Duke 7th, and NC State 12th.
The Maryland Terrapins are 23rd this week, and UVa holds down the 24 spot.
The Cavs are off until December 23rd when they host Loyola Marymount.
The Tarheels will be at Virginia Tech this coming Sunday.
Splitting wood was an eye-opening experience for a group of first graders in Roanoke today.
Students in Nancy Doran's (dor-ANZ) class at Grace Academy have been studying early American history.
Today, parent Alan Denekas (DEN-e-kus) brought a collection of vintage tools to the classroom.
He showed the students a variety of 18 & 19th century implements... and the skill required to use them.