President Clinton gets ready to fly back to Europe for the signing of the
Bosnian Peace Accord.
A fiery ferry accident in the Phillippines leaves several people dead.
And it looks like a Henry County teenager may be tried as an adult in the
murder of another teen.
Clouds, cooler temperatures, and the chance of precipitation MAY mean some
unpleasant conditions overnight, I'll tell you all about coming up in weather.
Stick around. News 7 at Noon is next.
The Coast Guard this afternoon is searching for more victims of a ferry
accident south of Manila.
The ferry caught fire and sank this morning with more than 100- on board.
At least 14 people are dead.
Some survivors say the ferry did not have enough life vests for everyone.
Officials say the fire started in the galley and quickly spread through-out
TAPE#edti of 95-93
In Henry County, a teenager who confessed to committing murder may be tried
as an adult.
16- year- old Tommy Helms is charged with first degree murder in the shooting
death of 15- year- old Lavina Scales last October.
Police say Helms confessed to the killing.
Scale's body was discovered by a couple traveling on Route 6-79.
IN Q=Well, we were just
((YVETTE JOYCE/WITNESS: WELL, WE WERE JUST ON OUR WAY TO CHURCH AND I NOTICED
DOWN THE EMBANKMENT WAS A PAIR OF LEGS. ONE LEG WAS AGAINST THE TREE AND THE
OTHER LEG WAS CRUMPLED UNDERNEATH AND I TOLD MY HUSBAND. ))
OUT Q=told my husband
Helms later turned himself in and confessed to three unrelated robberies and
numerous gun charges.
After hearing the evidence in court yesterday, the judge wants Helms tried
as an adult.
IN Q=If the Circuit
((BOB BUSHNELL/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: IF THE CIRCUIT COURT FEELS THE JUDGE
MADE THE RIGHT DECISION WHICH I THINK SHE MADE AND HOPEFULLY THE CIRCUIT COURT
AGREE. THEY WILL THEN ENTER AN ORDER PERMITTING ME TO PRESENT THESE CASES TO
THE GRAND JURY AND THEN THE ADULT PROCESS TAKES OVER. ))
SUPER=01-Bob Bushnell/Commonwealth's Attorney;
OUT Q=process takes over.
The Circuit Court must validate the judge's decision for Helms to be
officially tried as an adult.
The second trial of a Martinsville man accused of trying to kill his
girlfriend's father is expected to wrap up today.
Last summer Michael Draper's trial was declared a mistrial after a hung
Police say it all started in June of '93 - when Draper shot at his
girlfriend's father, Roy Harriston.
Harriston was supposed to testify a few months later AGAINST Draper.
But a few days before the trial, a pipe bomb exploded in the parking lot
where Harriston worked.
The shrapnel from the bomb severely injured Hariston's friend, James Harris.
Police say all the evidence points to Draper.
It turns out a man accused of killing a Virginia Tech student was free on
bond at the time of the murder.
Now some are asking, "Would Alexander Defilippis be alive today if Benjamin
Lilly had stayed behind bars?"
Tracy Altizer went searching for some answers.
IN Q=Although Benjamin Lilly
SUPER=03-Pearisburg/December 5; :00
SUPER=01-Skip Schwab/Asst. Montgomery Co. Prosecutor; :14 Quick
SUPER=03-Montgomery Co./December 5; :1:40
OUT Q=Altizer, News 7.
(( Although Benjamin Lilly went to prison for hitting his girlfriend in the
face with a bottle, it seems no one considered him dangerous, at least not to
the point of abducting and killing an innocent bystander, a college student, as
he now stands accused.
((SKIP SCHWAB/ASST. MONTGOMERY CO. PROSECUTOR: I WOULD THINK THAT NOBODY
INVOLVED, FROM THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY, THE JUDGES, OUR OFFICE ))
((WOULD'VE EVER THOUGHT THAT HE WOULD'VE COMMITTED A CRIME LIKE THAT.))
Still, Schwab says the Commonwealth OPPOSED bail when Lilly was arrested in
October for felony gun possession and attempted breaking and entering.
But as in any case, there were constitutional issues at stake.
Was there probable cause to believe Lilly would run, or that he would be a
danger to himself or society?
((QUESTION: WOULDN'T THE FACT THAT SOMEONE WHO IS CONVICTED OF MALICIOUS
WOUNDING AND IS ON PAROLE AND IS NOW ATTEMPTING TO BREAK IN SOMEWHERE AND STEAL
GUNS, WOULD THAT NOT CONSTITUTE A THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY?
ANSWER: THAT'S THE QUESTION FOR THE JUDGE TO DECIDE. ))
And the court setting the bail doesn't always know a defendant is on parole
or probation, nor may it have authority to revoke those privileges.
((SO YOU'VE GOT TWO, SOMETIMES THREE DIFFERENT PLACES THAT HAVE TO DEAL WITH
SEPARATE QUESTIONS. IN MANY CASES YOU DON'T HAVE PROBATION AND PAROLE DEALT
WITH UNTIL THE CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE RESOLVED. ))
Judge John Quigley set bail at 25 thousand dollars.
Schwab says no one thought Lilly, who was indigent enough to qualify for a
court- appointed lawyer would be able to raise the required 10 percent.
But his mother did, and Lilly walked.
The next month police picked him up on traffic violations, nothing too
serious, so a magistrate released him on personal recognizance.
In hindsight it may have led to tragedy. But Schwab reminds us the laws are
there to protect all our rights, the innocent as well as the guilty. Tracy
Altizer, News 7.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come, Mr. Jackson goes to Washington,
and it looks like someone made a wrong choice when they stole a Pepsi truck.
We've got the videotape of the two-state chase.
music up full
Jesse Jackson Junior is on his way to Washington.
He won a Congressional seat yesterday in Illinois.
The 30- year old will take over the job of former Congressman Mel Reynolds.
Reynolds resigned in October following a sexual misconduct conviction.
wipe wipe wipe
In election news out of California, the city by the Bay has a new mayor
Willie Brown defeated incumbent Frank Jordan and becomes San Francisco's
first black mayor.
Brown had support from ten of eleven city supervisors and a big fund-
In Henry County, a panel of judges affirmed the election of Debra Buchanan
to the Board of Supervisors, but not before a recount that lasted more than
Scott Prince has the story.
IN Q=Simon Spencer
SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00
SUPER=01-Debra Buchanan/Henry Co. Supervisor Elect; :13 (Quick!)
SUPER=01-Simon Spencer/Henry Co. Board of Supervisors; :59
OUT Q=SP News 7
(( Simon Spencer is down for the count... the recount that is.
Cable Six personality Debra Buchanan has officially snatched his seat, and
is now the newest member of the Henry County Board of Supervisors.
IN Q=I'm just tired
((DEBRA BUCHANAN/HENRY COUNTY SUPERVISOR ELECT: I'M JUST TIRED AND RELIEVED
LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. ))
OUT Q=like everyone else is
The recount was ordered after Buchanan and Spencer split the vote in the
Horsepasture District during last month's election.
Officials broke the tie when they pulled Buchanan's name out of a basket.
Spencer's attorney argued that this man's ballot should have been
disqualified because it wasn't recorded correctly.
That vote he said gave Buchanan an invalid edge.
But a panel of judges disagreed.
Spencer's attorney also argued that there was another invalid vote-- this
one coming in the form of a voter who moved out of the Horsepasture District.
But the judges said they could not disqualify that vote because they did not
have the authority to do so.
Simon Spencer says he's disappointed with the court's decision but it will
give him time to concentrate on his career as an educator.
((SIMON SPENCER/HENRY COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: NATURALLY YOU DON'T KNOW HOW
PEOPLE WILL SEE THINGS. NATURALLY WE DISAGREE WITH HOW THE JUDGES SAW IT BUT
THAT'S THEIR JOB AND I RESPECT THE LAW AND WE ABIDE BY IT. ))
OUT Q=abide by it
Debra Buchanan will join the Henry County Board of Supervisors early next
Scott Prince, News 7.))
Roanoke County voters will get to decide in a bond referendum whether they
want to build a replacement for Cave Spring High School.
Yesterday, the school board and the board of supervisors authorized the
referendum next spring.
The 40- million dollar package of capital improvements includes the money
for a new south County high school.
It also includes more than six- million dollars for other projects
including the gym and auditorium at Northside High School.
IN Q=Will this bond referendum
((JERRY CANADA/SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRMAN: WILL THIS BOND REFERNDUM RESOLVE ALL OF
THE ISSUES IN THE ROANOKE COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM? THE ANSWER IS NO. WILL IT GET
US STARTED? ABSOLUTELY. IT'S GOING TO REALLY GET US STARTED POSITIVELY IN THE
RIGHT DIRECTION AND WE'RE HOPING SOON WE CAN GET THIS STARTED AND MOVE AWAY
FROM THIS AND START CONCENTRATING ON OTHER AREAS IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM.))
SUPER=01-Jerry Canada/School Board Chairman;
OUT Q=in our school system.
The bond package will go to the voters in a special election on April 2nd.
GRAPHIC= legal scales
A former Roanoke railroad worker who saw his four-point-seven million dollar
jury award overturned by the Virginia Supreme Court has settled out of court.
Lawyers for Norfolk Southern and Ralph Hodges declined yesterday to say how
much money Hodges received.
They say the amount is to remain confidential under the terms of the
The former signalman claimed he was injured when the door of a signal box
slammed shut on his back, causing severe injuries.
SOFT MUSIC UNDER
Up next, tobacco farmers who fear their livelihood will be snuffed out voice
and a four-legged Christmas gift comes to Roanoke, first by computer, then by
music up full
It wasn't thirst but hunger that drove a homeless man to steal a Pepsi truck
this morning resulting in a two- state chase.
SUPER=03-Camden Co., NJ;
Authorities say it began shortly before 7 a-m in Philadelphia and ended two
hours later, in New Jersey when the suspect stopped the truck and surrendered
without a struggle.
Police were apparently able to talk the man into stopping by promising him
two McDonalds' egg McMuffins over a cruiser loudspeaker.
After charging the man with auto theft, troopers gave him the sandwiches.
Well, it didn't come by truck -- but it came by plane.
A very special Christmas gift arrived in Roanoke yesterday.
The Samoyed, named Jake is a Christmas wish come true for 20-year old Eric
Greenberg who has Down's syndrome.
Eric's in the hospital now, but his father, William Greenberg of Blacksburg
picked up the dog at the airport yesterday.
Greenberg had answered an ad on the Internet for a family desiring a pet
The ad was placed by a New York dog warden who got the four- year- old
pooch from some elderly owners who couldn't care for the dog.
Greenberg then arranged for Jake to make the trip to Roanoke-- with hopes
he'll get to meet his new owner soon.
Tobacco growers want help improving Virginia's tobacco industry in the
face of attacks from health officials.
Last night, a legislative sub- committee listened to suggestions and
The Tobacco Communities Project, which includes members from Virginia Tech
and U-V-A, unveiled several ideas.
One is making sure that tobacco farmers have access to the latest in
technology to give them a more competitive edge.
Lawmakers say they are getting closer to a solution to the tobacco debate.
IN Q=This is a people
((MITCH VAN YAHRES/HOUSE COMM. ON AGRICULTURE: THIS IS A PEOPLE PROBLEM. WE
WANT TO TALK ABOUT PEOPLE AND THE COMMUNITY AND THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO ADDRESS.
THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO THE TOBACCO CROP, BUT WE HAVE TO FIND ALTERNATIVES
FOR THE TOBACCO FARMER WHO IS FARMING TOBACCO TO MAKE A DECENT LIVING. ))
SUPER=01-Mitch Van Yahres/House Committee on Agriculture;
OUT Q=make a decent living
Health officials believe growers should look beyond tobacco as a money-
maker, and see its health risks.
Meanwhile, tobacco farmers spoke out in favor of smokers' rights.
IN Q=If you quit
((FULTON CONNER/TOBACCO GROWER: IF YOU QUIT AND PUT ME OUT OF THE TOBACCO
BUSINESS, I'LL DO SOMETHING ELSE. BUT I DON'T WANT LEGISLATION, AND I DON'T
WANT GROUPS THAT ARE POLITICALLY ACTIVE PUTTING ME OUT OF BUSINESS BECAUSE THEY
DON'T LIKE TOBACCO. ))
SUPER=01-Fulton Conner/Tobacco Grower;
OUT Q=don't like tobacco
Tobacco farmers say they need a more profitable crop to make a living and
for them, there is NO alternative.
TAPE#edti of gltc 95-107
Lynchburg's commuter bus service may have no choice but to raise its rates.
The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company says it will lose 178- thousand
dollars in federal funding in 1996.
That's the same amount the federal government cut from the '95 budget, and
the G-L-T-C says passengers could end up paying more to ride less.
The board has NOT decided whether to ask the state or local governments for
more operating money.
Citizens can voice their ideas on how to deal with the cuts when public
hearings start in February.
Stocks are slightly higher, on a bond market recovery.
Bond prices had declined this morning, following an unexpectedly
strong November retail sales report.
On Wall Street at noon the Dow was UP five points.
SPORTS MUSIC UNDER
Some Hokies' hopes of attending the Sugar Bowl turn sour,
and why was a famous New York landmark feeling blue?
Patrick Evans knows the answer, and you will too, next, on News 7 at Noon.
MUSIC UP FULL
A couple of Virginia Tech Hokies slated to play in the Sugar Bowl had to
swallow a bitter pill.
SUPER=03-Salem/1994 Spring Game; :00
Last night Tony Morrison, one of the Hokies top linebackers was suspended
indefinitely for failing to live up to what head coach Frank Beamer calls the
standards set for Tech football players.
Morrison, who was kicked out of school last summer before rejoining the team,
played in all 11 games and had 53 tackles this season.
Beamer also suspended receiver James Crawford, who faces charges of
defrauding an innkeeper and a felony hit and run with injury.
GRAPHIC=High School Hoops
Turning now to high school hoop action --
G. W. Danville put it's number one state ranking on the line last night
against Cave Spring.
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Eagles vs. Knights; :00
The second quarter was the difference as G.W. outscored the Knights 17 to 8.
Nathan Poole drains the SUPER=34-G.W. Danville/=69/Cave Spring/=53;
three pointer for a 21-16 Danville lead in the second.
Then, Quentin Jones scores.
G.W wins 69 to 53.
wipe wipe wipe
GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Patriots vs. Vikings; :00
In other action, Patrick Henry traveled to Northside for a group 3-A and 2-A
P-H's Ronnie Casey dishes to Malik (may-LEEK) Shareef (shae-REEF) for the
hoop to end the third period.
Ben Peete (PETE) has a game high 22, and passes to Adam Gray for the basket.
Then Justin Porterfield hits a shot to pull the Vikings to within four.
But Patrick Henry's Phillip Taylor answers.
Patrick Henry wins 77-71 and improves to 3 and 1 on the year while Northside
suffers it's first defeat of the season.
And while Northside tries to save its record, India is trying to save one
of the seven wonders of the world.
The government has ordered more than 100 factories around the Taj Mahal to
shut down by year's end.
Pollution from the factories are apparently corroding the marble monument.
The Taj Mahal was built by an emperor in the 17th century as a symbol of
love to his queen.
TAPE# from 4:39:59
Another wonder of the world -- according to Patrick Evans -- Frank Sinatra
spent his 80th birthday quietly at home with his family in California.
SUPER=03-New York, NY/Last Night;
But that didn't stop the Big Apple from celebrating big.
The Empire State building was bathed in a blue light beginning at sundown.
Sinatra is only the second person to have the Empire State building set
aglow in his honor.
South African president Nelson Mandela was the first.
(toss to patrick)
(patrick ad lib)
Coming up today on News 7's Health Check Report--
Today we'll meet Dr. David Hartman.
Though he's blind, he works as a psychiatrist at Lewis Gale Clinic.
Join us for the story, plus all the latest news, sports and weather-- on
News 7 at FIVE.
That's it for News 7 at NOON.
Thanks for joining us.