Coming up on News 7-
There's plenty of room at the Inn... the new hotel and conference center on the campus of Virginia Tech.
We'll take you there.
Plus, airlines have yet to allow cell phones but they're moving towards letting you log on to your laptop.
And the University of Miami can't believe it's again taking on the gators in its own backyard.
News 7 is next.
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Virginia Tech is known for its atheltics, academics, and coming soon, its accomodations.
It will be the largest conference hotel west of Roanoke.
It's not located in a city, or near an airport, but rather on a college campus.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Justin/BAM;]
[GRAPHIC=Tech Inn FS in BAM]
Justin McLeod is here now with an update on Virginia Tech's latest project. Justin, when will it open?
Shannon, it should be up and running by the summer.
The facility comes with a hefty price tag but the university says it's worth every penny.
Tonight, we give you a firsthand look inside the new Hokie Hotel.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=(NAT SOT)]
[SUPER=01-Gary Walton/Hotel's General Manager; :13]
[OUT Q=GENERATED FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY]
((((NAT SOUND OF CONSTRUCTION AT 15:43:24))
Construction on Virginia Tech's new hotel and conference began a year and a half ago.
((NAT SOUND OF HAMMERING AT 15:33:35))
And now it's half way completed.
[IN Q=It's at a stage]
((GARY WALTON/HOTEL'S GENERAL MANAGER: IT'S AT A STAGE NOW WHERE THINGS ARE REALLY STARTING TO TAKE FORM AND SHAPE, YOU SEE THE BUILDING, REALLY COMING TOGETHER.))
[OUT Q=COMING TOGETHER]
It's coming together on 25 acres of land across from the duck pond on campus.
It's called the Inn at Virginia Tech.
[IN Q=I think everyone's going]
((GARY WALTON/HOTEL'S GENERAL MANAGER: I THINK EVERYONE'S GOING TO BE PROUD WHEN THEY COME TO CAMPUS TO VISIT, TO STAY, OR ATTEND MEETINGS HERE, THEY WILL BE VERY PROUD OF THE FACILITY AND THE UNIVERSITY.))
[OUT Q=AND THE UNIVERSITY]
And here's what you'll see.
The facility is four stories and has 147 hotel rooms, ten conference rooms, a restaurant, and a 700 seat ballroom.
Virginia Tech says the 40 million dollar complex will have beauty and brains.
[IN Q=They'll have internet]
((GARY WALTON: THEY'LL HAVE INTERNET WIRING CAPABILITIES, WIRELESS CAPABILITIES AS WELL AS AUDIO PROJECTORS AND SOUND AND REINFORCEMENTS.))
[OUT Q=and reinforcements]
((NAT SOUND OF CONSTRUCTION AT 15:33:52))
Construction should be completed by June and the facility is scheduled to open in July.
Virginia Tech expects the hotel to be full during graduation and home football games.
But the university thinks the conference center will bring in the most dollars because it's meeting space is doubling.
[IN Q=The more we fill]
((GARY WALTON: THE MORE WE FILL THE PLACE UP THE MORE TAX REVENUE IS GENERATED FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY.))
[OUT Q=FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY]))
The new hotel and conference center is being paid for by donors and state money.
The complex will also house an alumni center which will include a museum.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon & Justin/BAM;]
Shannon, the building that houses Virginia Tech's current hotel is scheduled to become residential housing for graduate students.
The case of a man missing two months has investigators stumped and relatives worried.
It's a case that extends from his North Carolina home to Pittsylvania County.
Jonathan Blackwell was last heard from October 7th after he spoke with his parents.
A week later, the burnt out shell of his car was found in a wooded area in Pittsylvania county.
Now authorities and his family are looking for any clues that may lead them to Blackwell's whereabouts.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=When he hadn't...]
((MARY BLACKWELL/JONATHAN'S MOTHER: WHEN HE HADN'T CALLED BACK BEFORE HE WENT TO WORK THAT MORNING- I GOT UP AND TOLD MY HUSBAND- SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE CALLED ME.))
((SHERIFF SAM PAGE/ROCKINGHAM CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE: RIGHT NOW ONLY INFORMATION WE HAVE IS HE HAD FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES IN DANVILLE AREA. WORKED IN GOODYEAR PLANT IN DANVILLE AND WE THINK INFORMATION WILL COME FROM THE VIRGINIA AREA IN REGARDS TO HIS WHEREABOUTS...))
[SUPER=01-Mary Blackwell/Jonathan's Mother]
[SUPER=01-Sheriff Sam Page/Rockingham Co. Sheriff's Office; :10]
[OUT Q=.. to his whereabouts...]
[Take Rockingham Co. Crimestoppers FS]
If you know anything about Jonathan Blackwell's disappearance you're asked to call the Rockingham County, North Carolina Crime Stoppers at 336-349-9683 or your local police department.
Danville police are looking for a bank robber, but IDing him may not be easy.
He wore a motorcycle helmet during the robbery -- and his two-wheeled getaway.
[Take FS Bank Pic]
Police say the man walked into the Virginia Bank and Trust on Riverside Drive this morning, pointed a gun at the tellers and walked out with the money. No word on how much was taken.
[Take Danville Crimestoppers FS]
Police say the gunman then drove away on a red and white dirt bike. If you have any information, Danville police ask you to call their Crimestoppers at 4-3-4 7-9-3- -0-0-0-0-.
Shannon tosses to Robin in Weather Center
[MCU] Standing Position #2
[Toss back to anchor]
Consolidating intelligence in Virginia to prevent terrorism.
That's the goal behind Governor Mark Warner's proposed Fusion Center.
Housed in State Police headquarters in Richmond, the center would be staffed by State Police and personnel with the Department of Emergency Management.
Information would be collected, analyzed and distributed- allowing officials to identify possible terrorist plots.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The key to the Fusion]
((COL. STEVEN FLAHERTY/VIRGINIA STATE POLICE: THE KEY TO THE FUSION CENTER BEING A SUCCESS IS GETTING INFORMATION BACK OUT TO THE PEOPLE ON THE WORKING LEVEL WHO NEED IT TO DO THEIR JOB.))
[SUPER=01-Col. Steven Flaherty/Virginia State Police;]
[OUT Q=need it to do their job]
The Fusion Center would operate around the clock.
It would also classify the information it sent out- much like the federal government.
Governor Warner wants to spend nearly 800- thousand dollars on the center.
He'll present his plan to the House and Senate money committees on Friday.
[GRAPHIC=War of the Worlds]
The battle against the Martians is moving northward through Rockbridge County.
Filming for Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" shifted production to the far northern stretches of the county today.
It's now taking place on land near that owned by long-time network weatherman Willard Scott.
His home sits high above the site where crews are filming.
Today's scene involved hundreds of extras who were bused in.
They'll play survivors of a Martian attack.
The extras began their day at 4:15 this morning but they did get a break for lunch and were bused back to the set for more filming in the afternoon.
The government questions earlier findings about women's health and "the pill" That story is just ahead.
And high speed Internet at high altitudes. It may be coming soon. We'll take off with the details.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=in sports."]
((Hey, everybody. Travis Wells here in the News 7 Sports office. Coming up later, we'll close out the 21st season of Friday Football Extra with our annual awards banquet. JMU is thrown into the national spotlight, and high school hoops from Salem. All that and more on the way in sports.))
The federal government is backing away from the findings of two major studies on oral contraceptives.
The studies were presented in October by the Women's Health Initiative, the nation's largest women's health study.
They found women on birth control pills had lower risks of heart disease and no increased risk of breast cancer.
That was contrary to what many previous studies had found.
A new analysis shows that research was flawed and says there is no evidence that the pills cut the risk of heart disease.
The breast cancer findings are now also suspect.
Two men who took a bus hostage outside Athens, Greece are under arrest.
[SUPER=03-Near Athens, Greece;]
Greek TV is showing pictures of the armed men surrendering and releasing their six remaining hostages.
The men took the public bus hostage this morning.
3-hostages escaped, 17-others were freed earlier in the day.
The men had threatened to blow up the bus if they weren't given more than a (m) million dollars.
After 18-hours, they surrendered.
Police say both are Albanian and have criminal records.
Do you feel lost without your laptop?
Soon that may not be an issue- at least while flying the friendly skies.
Aleen Sirgany explains.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=In the high tech]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jene Anzano/Internet User; :09]
[SUPER=01-Karina Sigar/Traveler; :29 (VERY QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Michael Powell/FCC Chairman; :38]
[SUPER=01-Aleen Sirgany/Reporting; 1:08]
[SUPER=01-Jer Olsen/Passenger; 1:14 (QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Erik Eliassen/Passenger; 1:28]
[OUT Q=Aleen Sirgany, CBS News, Washington.]
((((Washington Reagan National Airport)
IN THE HIGH-TECH, STATE OF THE ART WORLD OF MODEMS AND MOBILES.....JUST
ABOUT EVERYONE IS CONNECTED TO CYBER SPACE.
(SOT)JENE ANZANO/INTERNET USER.
"This is a PDA, it has cell phone, internet access, email. Can you even
live without this thing? No, I use it a lot."
AND SOMEDAY SOON, HE MAY BE ABLE TO USE IT ON AN AIRPLANE. THE FEDERAL
COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION HAS JUST VOTED TO ALLOW IN-FLIGHT, HIGH-SPEED
"It's a huge part of our lives. People use it for their jobs. For me,
for my exams. So, I think it would be great if they had it on the
BUT IT WON'T HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY. IT WILL TAKE A YEAR OR SO TO SORT OUT
THE DETAILS AND GET THE TECHNOLOGY IN PLACE.
(SOT)MICHAEL POWELL/FCC CHAIRMAN
You can imagine doing emails, surfing the net, that sort of stuff. We
began the process of opening up a service that might make that possible.
ALSO POSSIBLE, SOMEDAY -- CELL PHONE SERVICE ON AIRPLANES. THE FCC
VOTED TO OPEN A PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON THE ISSUE. BUT "THAT" BAN
ISN'T LIKELY TO BE LIFTED ANYTIME SOON, BECAUSE THE "F-A-A" BANS CELL
USE, AS WELL.
SOT: POWELL: The announcement from flight attendants about interfering
with navigation systems is their issue but we know they're looking very
hard at their rules, as well.
"DIALING UP IN THE SKIES IS CONVENIENT...NO QUESTION. BUT PASSENGERS DO
SOT JER OLSEN/PASSENGER
"I think the greatest concern is safety on the flight. I don't feel
like myself or a lot of people understand the ramifications os using
this technology on the flight."
AND SOME WORRY ABOUT THE ANNOYANCE OF HAVING TO LISTEN TO THEIR SEATMATE
YAKKING ON A CELL PHONE FOR HOURS DURING A CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHT.
SOT: ERIK ELIASSEN/PASSENGER
"THERE CERTAINLY HAS TO BE SOME ETIQUETTE FOLLOWED FOR PEOPLE NEXT TO
YOU. IF THAT WOULD BE IN CHECK, IT'S A GOOD THING.")
IT COULD BRING FLYING TO FRIENDLY SKIES...TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. ALEEN
SIRGANY, CBSNEWS, WASHINGTON.
The future of Stonewall Jackson Hospital is on the line. Still ahead, board members face a big decison.
Plus this accident literally created a buzz... those are boxes of bees on the highway.
The board of directors of Lexington's Stonewall Jackson Hospital is in the process of reviewing several proposals for the future of the hospital, in hopes of improving its financial position.
Carilion is providing interim managment to Stonewall Jackson through the end of the year, but hospital officials say the board has received 10 proposals from various for-profit, non-profit, and management organizations.
The hospital's board of directors met today and will meet again tomorrow.
But officials say, if a decision is made, it's unlikely the information will be released until sometime next week.
Thick fog and a busy highway led to predictable results in California.
[SUPER=03-Near Sacramento, CA;]
At least 24 vehicles crashed in a series of chain reactions along Interstate Five, north of Sacramento.
Several minor injuries are reported, but no one was seriously hurt.
One of the vehicles involved was a van carrying eleven prison inmates.
None escaped, but two were taken to the hospital.
At the time of the wreck, dense fog had cut visibility down to 50 feet.
The situation is no less sticky in Las Vegas.
A freeway interchange known as the "spaghetti bowl" is closed after an accident involving a truck carrying a swarm of bees.
The truck spilled gallons of honey on the roadway.
A beekeeper was called to help out with the situation.
No one was hurt.
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[TWO SHOT TOSS TO SHANNON]
Friday Football Extra's 21st annual awards banquet was held tonight, and brains were honored along with brawn.
Mike Stevens introduces us to tonight's four scholarship winners.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=03-Salem/Friday Football Extra Banquet; :00]
[SUPER=01-Shawn Webb/Noel C. Taylor Scholar Athlete; :25]
[SUPER=01-Alyssa Walden/Roy Stanley Journalism Scholar; :50]
[SUPER=01-Xavier Drakeford/Roy Stanley Scholar from Frankin Co.; 1:15]
[SUPER=01-Aaron Crowgey/Roy Stanley Scholar from George Wythe; 1:26]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
(( More than 200 folks packed the Salem Civic Center's Community Room to close out the 2004 football season.
They also would see Liberty high school's Shawn Webb pick up the $2000 Noel C. Taylor Scholar Athlete award. He's the co-captian of the football team and senior class president.
The Roy Stanley scholarship committee was also on hand to pass out three $1000 dollar grants.
The journalism winner is governor's school student at Halifax County and she already knows what she's getting into.
The Commmittee awarded two more 1000 dollar scholarships.
With one going to Franklin County's Xavier Drakeford and Aaron Crowgey (CROW-GEE).
Since Roy's passing the Scholarship committee has raised close to $50 thousand dollars in his honor.
Mike Stevens News 7 sports.))
Coming up, we'll dole out some hardware at the 21st annual Friday Football Extra Awards banquet, we'll talk JMU football and hoops, but first our extra point,
The Red Sox may have lost Pedro Martinez to the Mets, but today Boston picked up All Star shortstop Edgar Renteria. Renteria gets a 4 year, 40 million dollar deal. He batted .298 in 6 years with the Cardinals.
[go to scores]
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Our Friday Football Extra awards banquet tonight was digitized. Here's Steve Mason with the award winners from the Salem Civic Center.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Darryl Robertson/Lee Cook Lineman of the Year; :27]
[SUPER=01-Steve Ragsdale/FFE Group A Coach of the Year; :50]
[SUPER=01-Stephen Magenbauer/FFE Group 2A Coach of the Year; 1:15]
[SUPER=01-Dan Newell/FFE Group 3A Coach of the Year; 1:35]
[SUPER=01-Tim Cromer/FFE Overall Coach of the Year; 1:51]
[SUPER=01-Rob Senseney/FFE Gretna Team of the Year; 2:09]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
((For the first time in the Friday Football Extra awards banquet history, the event was carried live on the WDBJ 7.2 digital channel and viewers at home watched Christmas come early for the players of the week. Byran Webb and Mujuan Curtis had an excused absence, Playing against each other in basketball for Salem and Fleming. Those in attendance collected their holiday hardware, including the 2004 Lee Cook lineman of the year award which went to Liberty's 6 foot 4 280 pound lineman Darryl Robertson .
Froday Football Extra coach of the year awards are voted on by the coaches and this years crop mixed experience with youth. Giles head coach Steve Ragsdale was the single A selection after leading the Spartans to a 8th state semi-final this season, his 27th in Pearisburg.
The double AA coach of the year also went to a Spartan named Steve, Salem's Stephen Magenbauer, who led his team to the Division IV state title in only his first season after a sudeen death 8 and OH run follwing a loss to Christiansburg.
The triple A coach of the year drove the greatest distance and would bring his team the farthest between seasons. George Washington high school's Dan Newell was 4 and 6 his first season, but a strong 9 and 2 this year.
The overall coach of the year is Christiansburg's Tim Cromer whose Blue Demons went 9 and 3 and reached the Regional finals.
For the second straight year, Gretna is the team of the year with another 14 and OH Division III state championship campaign.))
The JMU Dukes are all set for the national title game against Montana Friday night in Chattanooga.
The Dukes became the first 1-double A school to win three playoff road games, including a 48-34 victory over William & Mary in the semi-finals. JMU is 12 and 2 as is Montana. While the Grizzlies are chasing their third national title, the Dukes are excited to have reached the title game for the first time.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Tony LeZotte/JMU Defensive Back; :00]
[SUPER=01-Justin Rascati/JMU Quarterback; :15]
[OUT Q=....ready to go"]
The Dukes basketball team had a rough go of it tonight in Atlanta, as JMU Head Coach Dean Keener returned to Alexander Memorial Coliseum at Georgia Tech where he spent 4 seasons as an assistant to Paul Hewitt.
[SUPER=03-Atlanta, GA/Fox Sports Net; :00]
Braves closer John Smoltz was in the house tonight.
He would watch the Jackets sprint out to an early lead. Will Bynum knocks down three of his 10 points from the top.
But Madison tried to hang in. Ray Barbosa misses in transition, but Cavel Johnson puts home the rebound.
The Yellow Jackets pulled away though.
[SUPER=33-James Madison/47/Georgia Tech/72/;]
Anthony Morrow rings up three more as third ranked Georgia Tech won it 72 to 47.
[WIPE TO ENG!!]
[SUPER=03-Salem/Colonels vs. Spartans; :00]
Salem and Fleming tangled on the high school hardwood tonight.
Check out the big fella, Kenny Belton getting free down low for the jam sandwich. Salem got off to the solid start.
But Fleming was working the glass. Michael Harvey gets the stickback for the deuce.
Jeremy Adams then answers with a long range three from the wing for the Spartans. Salem went on to win it 52 to 40.
See ya later alligator- or so the University of Miami thought, even if we're really talking about a crocodile.
[SUPER=03-Coral Gables, FL;]
*Donna* the crocodile was removed from a lake at the school this Sunday.
Hours later, when students saw something floating in the lake, some thought they were dreaming.
Turns out- an even bigger croc had moved right in.
Students hearing about the animal on campus were in disbelief.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT :21 - :32]
[IN Q=They took that one]
((UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI STUDENTS; THEY TOOK THAT ONE CROCODILE OUT OF THE LAKE THERE IS ANOTHER CROCODILE. ARE YOU SERIOUS? I AM SERIOUS. ARE YOU SURE THAT IT IS NOT THE SAME ONE BACK? THIS IS A DIFFERENT. DO THEY KNOW THAT THERE ARE TWO OR JUST ONE?))
[OUT Q=two or just one?]
Students aren't the only ones who can't believe their eyes..
Todd Hardwick of Pesky Critters helped capture Donna.
He says he saw the new croc for the first time yesterday and thought he was hallucinating.
[THREE SHOT TOSS]
[THREE SHOT GOODBYE]
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