[1-News-Head]

(------------)
[ENG#=1]
[VO-NAT]


With thousands of U-S soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, home for the holidays has added meaning.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Jennifer]


And Roanoke firefighters battle a house fire.

[Sports-Head]


[ANCHOR=Mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=2]

Tonight on News 7 sports - Tommy Tuberville wins a major award, while Carlos Dixon clears a major hurdle.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

And former Hokie great, big league player and manager Johnny Oates is dead tonight at the age of 58.
(------------)


[WX-Head]
[ANCHOR=Leo]
[SS=None]


The cold weather will continue through the weekend and grab the kids will have a detailed look at where santa's going tonight.
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Jennifer 3-Shot]


News Seven is next.
[Video-Open]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=Video Open]



[ENG#=3]
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 15:31:52]
[IN Q=It was exciting knowing that]

((KEVIN SHELTON:IT WAS EXCITING KNOWING THAT I WAS GETTING A CHANCE TO COME HOME AND SPENDSOME TIME WITH THEM BEFORE I HAVE TO GO BACK.))
[RUNS=:05]
[OUT Q=have to go back.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

A simple family Christmas plan-- to spend as much time together before dad goes back to Afghanistan.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[GRAPHIC=News7at6]


Good evening, I'm Jennifer Wishon.
JEan and Keith are off tonight.

[Soldier-Home]


[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=jbu]
[TAPE#=04-56 TC04:31]
[GRAPHIC=News Seven at Six]
[ENG#=4]

A Bedford National Guard unit is on its first overseas deployment since World War Two.
One soldier was lucky enough to get a Christmas leave Jeremy Butterfield has more on what it means to be home for the holidays.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=The only fighting that]
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Cpl. Kevin Shelton/Army National Guard; :16]
[SUPER=01-Crystal Shelton/Wife; :1:12]
[SUPER=@jeremy1; 1:34]
[RUNS=1:46]
[OUT Q=Jeremy Butterfield, News 7.]

(( The only fighting that Corporal Kevin Shelton has seen lately are the squabbles between his three children over who gets to sit on daddy's lap. Shelton flew into the states a week ago and surprised his two oldest children at Thaxton Elementary.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:29:52]
[IN Q=She comes walking in]

((KEVIN SHELTON:SHE COMES WALKING IN THE OFFICE AND HER MOUTH JUST DROPPED AND SHE STARTS SCREAMING DADDY. CODY LOOKED LIKE HE COULDN'T BREATHE, HE WAS GASPING FOR AIR AND HE COME RUNNING UP TO ME. IT WAS REALLY NICE.)) [RUNS:11]
[OUT Q=It was really nice.]

Kevin's wife Crystal planned the surprise and caught it all on home video.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:58:42]
[IN Q=Nat Sound Home Video]

((NAT SOUND HOME VIDEO)) [RUNS:06]
[OUT Q=NAT SOUND HOME VIDEO FADE]

Now home, Kevin had some jobs to take care of around the house-- changing light bulbs replacing the furnaces filter-- but mostly he is taking in all the things he missed in Afghanistan.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:48:36]
[IN Q=Just little small things]

((KEVIN SHELTON:JUST LITTLE SMALL THINGS THAT MAKES THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE. BEING ABLE TO GO SHOPPING GETTING SOMETHING FOR YOUR KIDS BEING ABLE TO TUCK THEM IN.)) [RUNS:07]
[OUT Q=able to tuck them in.]

Kevin's wife has stayed busy while her husband serves his country. She says that's the only way to keep her and their three kids sane, and calm while Kevin is gone. The community has helped , especially around the holiday season, with gifts and all the food baskets they can handle-- but Crystal says even a complete stranger can help keep her going.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:42:52]
[IN Q=It means the world]

((CRYSTAL SHELTON:IT MEANS THE WORLD TO US TO SAY THANK YOU. TELL YOUR HUSBAND OR YOUR WIFE THANK YOU SO MUCH. IT'S LITTLE STUFF LIKE THAT HELPS OUT.)) [RUNS:06]
[OUT Q=like that helps out.]

The family is spending the holidays with friends and family. Kevin is making sure he squeezes in all the family time he can before he heads back to Afghanistan.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:33:28]
[IN Q=Mainly we plan on]

((KEVIN SHELTON:MAINLY WE PLAN ON JUST SPENDING IT AT THE HOUSE TOGETHER AND NOT REALLY TRYING TO GO ANYWHERE.)) [RUNS:05]
[OUT Q=trying to go anywhere.]

[BUTT BUTT BUTT]
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT ]
[IN Q=Kevin returns to]

((JEREMY BUTTERFIELD:KEVIN RETURNS TO AFGHANISTAN JANUARY FIRST WHERE HE WILL TAKE ON SOME NEW DUTIES AT A BASE IN GHAZNI. HE PLANS ON KEEPING BUSY TO MAKE THE LAST SIX MONTHS OF HIS TOUR OF DUTY GO AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. JEREMY BUTTERFIELD, NEWS 7.)) [RUNS:10]
[OUT Q=Jeremy Butterfield, News 7.]))
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[SS=Iraq Casualties]


Meanwhile, a third Virginia soldier has been identified as a casualty of the mess-hall bombin in Iraq.
Sergeant Major Robert O'Dell of Manassas was killed in the attack. He was assigned to the U-S Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir.

[Giles-Shooting]


[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=jbu]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=Shooting]


An accidental shooting in Giles County killed a man today. Officials say the 31 year old was preparing for a hunting trip when his .50 caliber muzzle loader went off. The bullet hit the man in the hand and head. He was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he died.

[Roanoke-Fire]


[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=04-44 TC1:16:22]
[GRAPHIC=Fire]
[ENG#=1]


Roanoke firefighters spent the afternoon putting out a blaze.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


The home near the corner of 22nd and Essex was abandoned.
Firefighters say some homeless people accidentally set the fire trying to keep warm.
Investigators say the damage was fairly minor.
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[Blacksburg-Projects]


[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=rde]
[TAPE#=04-52 TC15:05]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=2]

Blacksburg has some Christmas wishes for next year. The town council met this week to go over possible projects for 2005. New River Valley Bureau Chief Rachel DePompa has a look at what could be in store for the community.
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[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg;:00]
[SUPER=01-Roger Hedgepeth/Blacksburg Mayor;:32]
[SUPER=@Rachel1;1:22]
[RUNS=1:32]
[OUT Q=News 7, Blacksburg;]

((Downtown Blacksburg got a makeover this summer. New sidewalks, trees, and even lighting.
NATs: from construction...
Next year the town plans to keep it going... extending construction down a few more blocks.
NAT POP: Council meeting sound
It's one of many projects in the town's Capital Improvements Program. Town council met to get a preview of what COULD be in store for residents. And the biggest issue on the minds of councilmembers appears to be how to manage the space still available in town.

(///// SOT /////)
[SOT:3:25:00 to :39]
[IN Q=Blacksburg is]

((ROGER HEDGEPETH: BLACKSBURG IS AT A POINT IN IT'S EVOLUTION. WHERE WE NEED TO TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT THE LAND REMAINING FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT AND REDEVELOPMENTS BECAUSE IT IS FINITE.)) [RUNS:14]
[OUT Q=it is finite.]


Other projects on the wish list.... Improvements to area parks and possibly the creation of a new Dog Park... A place for people to take their pets.
The council may also spend money on a brand new Skate park for the kids. The old one, made of wood is falling apart.
The town is also looking into building a new fire station in the South end of town near the airport.
Several road improvements are also on the list. And the town wants to add a device to more stoplights so emergency vehicles can change the lights to green as they approach... and get to emergencies even faster.

(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=There are ]

((RACHEL DEPOMPA: THERE ARE MANY MORE IDEAS LISTED IN THIS BOOK, WHICH YOU ALSO LOOK AT ON THE TOWN'S WEBSITE. COUNCIL WILL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING NEXT MONTH AND IS EXPECTED TO VOTE ON THE PLAN ON JANUARY 22ND. RACHEL DEPOMPA, NEWS 7, BLACKSBURG.)) [RUNS:11]
[OUT Q=blacksburg.]))



[Tease#1]
[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[WRITER=dse]
[SS=NONE]
[ENG#=APRISA]


It's the first of its kind in the country.
Still ahead on News Seven, how Lynchburg hopes to save lives by advertising.
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[VO-NAT]


Plus last-minute shoppers fill area stores, but will it be enough to boost holiay sales to a high note?
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[1st-Wx]
[Shopping]

(NO MINI OPEN)



[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=jwi]
[TAPE#=04-43 TC1:13:57]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas]
[ENG#=1]


Last minute holiday shoppers flooded area malls today.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke;]

For some it was a chance to get one last gift while some purchased their first. Either way retailers offered big incentives in hopes of one last spending surge. Some say cyber- shopping could be to blame for this year's sluggish mall sales.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 24:49]
[IN Q=The volume has been down]

((MARTHA DUNCAN: THE VOLUME HAS BEEN DOWN JUST A LITTLE BIT, BUT OVERALL, ALL IN ALL WE'RE HOLDING OUR OWN, DOING REALLY GOOD WITH IT.))
[SUPER=01-Martha Duncan/B. Moss Assistant Manager;]
[RUNS=07]
[OUT Q=really good with it]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

The Better Business Bureau doesn't usually hear too many shopping- related complaints until January. This year customers started calling in November. Their biggest complaint was lack of customer service.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:24]
[IN Q=They want to be taken]

((JULIE WHEELER/BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU PRESIDENT: THEY WANT TO BE TAKEN CARE OF AND DEPENDENT ON WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS YOU'RE IN IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS BECAUSE THEY MAY GO TO YOUR COMPETITORS NEXT TIME.))
[SUPER=01-Julie Wheeler/Better Business Bureau President;]
[RUNS=10]
[OUT Q=your competitors next time]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Wheeler advises shoppers to be patient and lower expectations over the next few weeks. She says malls will continue to be crowded as people spend gift cards and return merchandise.
(------------)



[Stocks]


[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=None]
[GRAPHIC=None]


The stock markets were closed for the Christmas holiday.
News Seven at Six will be right back.
[NO SPONSOR ANNOUNCE!!!]
[COMMERCIAL]

[L'burg-Signs]


[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=jwi]
[TAPE#=04-51 29:29]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=1]


A new sign in Lynchburg is aimed at bringing loved ones home.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg;]

City law enforcement officers this week displayed a new "Project Lifesaver Community" sign. It's the first of its kind in the country and part of an effort to let people know Lynchburg participates in the program that's saving lives.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:46:03]
[IN Q=Since the inception of Lynchburg]

((DON SLOAN/LYNCHBURG SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: SINCE THE INCEPTION OF LYNCHBURG PROJECT LIFESAVER IN JANUARY OF 2002 WE'VE HAD 43 SUCCESSFUL SEARCH AND RESCUES TO RETURN CITIZENS OF LYNCHBURG WITH DOWNS SYNDROME, ALZHEIMERS AND OTHER TYPES OF MENTAL DISORDERS TO THEIR CARE GIVER OR CARE FACILITY.))
[SUPER=01-Don Sloan/Lynchburg Sheriff's Department;]
[RUNS=18]
[OUT Q=care giver or care facility]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Sloan says people with mental disorders like Autism and Downs Syndrome can cover four miles in one hour. Half of those not found within 24-hours die. The new signs will also alert *visitors* with loved ones in Project Lifesaver to contact the sheriff's office. That way they're accounted for- should they wander away while staying in Lynchburg.
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[C'burg-Fun]


[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=jbu]
[TAPE#=04-40 TC1:56:15]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas]
[ENG#=2]


Hundreds of people showed up in Christiansburg to start their Christmas celebration early.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Christiansburg]

The Family Food Kitchen, held at the National Guard Armory, had the kids dancing while the parents took advantage of the free food-- even Santa got in the act. The event is completely volunteer driven and organizers say it fills the heart as well as the stomach. The celebration ended at six however the volunteers will be playing their own version of Santa tonight as they deliver bags of gifts to some of the needy families in Christiansburg.
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[Sports Tease]


[ANCHOR=Mike]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=mst]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=APRISA]

Coming up tonight on News 7 sports - the Hokies lose a class act, and Johnny Oates dies this morning. Auburn's Tommy Tuberville gets a huge honor.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

And despite and rough start to the season for his team, Tech's lone basketball senior Carlos Dixon is thankful for all of his gifts this Holiday season.
(------------)



[S-Oates]


[ANCHOR=Mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=SP-189 3031tc]
[GRAPHIC=TECH]
[ENG#=1]

The so called Hokie Nation has been partying ever since the football team took out Miami. But tonight the attitude is much more subdued and reflective throughout the University's sports community.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/May 4, 2002; :00]

Johnny Oates died this morning around 2am near his home in Richmond. The former Hokie, who later went on to play in the big leagues for 11 seasons and later manage both the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, died from complications of a brain tumor. The tumor was removed in surgery in November of 2001, and a wafer that delivered time-released chemotherapy was put in its place. Oates was well enough to attend this ceremony in Blacksburg in May of 2002, where he became the first Tech baseball player to have his jersey number retired. But the tumor returned less than a year later in April of 2003. During his college days, Oates was a roommate of Frank Beamer's at Tech, and in 1966 - he batted .410 as a catcher for the Hokies.
Those stats earned Oates a place in both the Tech and Salem-Roanoke baseball hall of fames. Oates was born on Monday, January 21, 1946 in Sylva, North Carolina and he began his Major League baseball playing career in 1970, with the Baltimore Orioles, and he played for 5 different teams. Johnny Oates was 58 years old.
(------------)



[S-Tommy]


[ANCHOR=Mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=SP-182 14333TC]
[GRAPHIC=SUGAR BOWL]
[ENG#=2]


The coach that Hokies will face in the Sugar Bowl picked up a huge Christmas Present this afternoon.
The Associated Press has named Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=04-This Season; :00]

The Associated Press has named Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville the national coach of the year. The coach led Auburn to a 12-and-0 season and the school's first S-E-C championship in 15 years. He received 35 votes to outdistance runner-up Urban Meyer who got 14 votes. The award is sweet redemption for Tuberville who has gone from being the victim of an aborted coup by his own school president to the top of the coaching ladder in less than a year. His opponent in the Sugar Bowl -Frank Beamer - did not receive any of the 64 ballots cast.
(-------------)



[S-Saban]


[ANCHOR=Mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=SP-188]
[GRAPHIC=NFL]
[ENG#=3]


On the NFL front the Packers beat the Vikings in overtime 34 to 31 in their Christmas Eve game.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/2002 Season; :00]

and the Dolphins are still waiting to hear a yes or now from LSU head coach Nick Saban. Miami Owner Wayne Huizenga met with him today in Baton Rouge, but Saban says he needs a day or so to think things over.
(------------)



[S-Carlos]


[ANCHOR=mike]
[NEWSCAST=6pm]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-183 1:37:56]
[GRAPHIC=ACC]
[ENG#=4]


The Virginia Tech men's basketball team has struggled mightily so far this season in the ACC and out of it. The Hokies are 5 and 4 after two straight losses to UNC and Western Michigan.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg; :00]


One player who has come through bad times smiling is fifth year senior Carlos Dixon. Dixon re-fractured his left foot last summer and missed the entire 2003-04 season. But the guard-forward has come back this season to lead Tech in scoring, knocking down 14.3 a game. Part of his success can be found in his surrender to the injury.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Carlos Dixon/Va. Tech Senior Guard; :00]
[RUNS=:13]
[OUT Q=.....my off year"]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Dixon is the lone senior on the team and has started 65 games in his career.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Seth Greenberg/Va. Tech Head Coach; :00]
[RUNS=:24]
[OUT Q=......help our players deal with it"]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


While Dixon's road has been tough, he ends on a high note. The North Carolina native is playing his final season in the ACC.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[RUNS=:12]
[OUT Q=......dream come true"]
(-------------------------)



[Christmas-Card]


[ANCHOR=Jennifer]
[NEWSCAST=6]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=04-54 TC06:19]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=1]


We'll end our newscast with a holiday tradition here at WDBJ-7.
Here's our Christmas Card to you, our viewers.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[RUNS=3:45]
[OUT Q=animation]


[FADES TO BLACK AT 3:55]