Coming up on NEWS 7 at 6--
They lost their son in a Christmas Eve shooting.
Now a Rockbridge County family talks about the attack that happened in their
Also the search for buried silver and gold--one man thinks he's close to
finding the Beale treasure.
In sports, we will have the Hokies practicing in New Orleans, the Express
talks about tonight's game,
and Pulaski County Kicker Shayne graham has called a news conference to
announce where he will play his colleeg football.
Scattered snow showers will taper off tonight and regional temperatures warm
up by Friday to normal levels.
A Rockbridge County family's Holidays have been shattered by the death of
their son- shot to death by an intruder in their home.
Ron Jones spoke with family members today.
IN Q=26-year-old Ronald C. Hewitt
SUPER=04-December 24; :09
SUPER=03-Rockbridge Co.; :17
SUPER=01-Barbara Weems/Victim's Sister; :33 (Quick, quick, quick)
SUPER=01-Carl Higgins/Victim's Brother; :38
OUT Q=Ron Jones, News Seven.
((26-year old Ronald C. Hewitt is accused of killing 24- year- old Christopher
Higgins and wounding Higgins' girlfriend Brenda Tomlin.
Tomlin had dated Hewitt two years ago.
The victim's family says Hewitt forced his way into their home on Christmas
Eve armed with a rifle.
As Higgins and Tomlin were in bed Hewitt allegedly walked down the hallway
and shot them both.
Higgins' mother, in another bedroom, crawled to safety. Higgins' stepfather
told police he chased Hewitt out the front door.
Now family members are mourning the loss of their brother.
((BARBARA WEEMS/VICTIM'S SISTER: HE WAS JUST ALWAYS THERE FOR ME AND I THINK I
WAS ALWAYS THERE FOR HIM WHEN HE NEEDED ME.))
BUTT, BUTT, BUTT
((CARL HIGGINS/VICTIM'S BROTHER: HE JUST WAS A HAPPY-GO-LUCKY PERSON. YOU CAN
MAKE HIM MAD AND THE NEXT DAY HE'D BE THE SAME PERSON HE WAS THE DAY BEFORE. HE
DIDN'T HOLD A GRUDGE.))
Carl says his brother was active at the Blue Ridge Baptist Church in Buena
((CHRIS WORKED WITH CARL IN THE FAMILY CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS. ONE OF THE
PROJECTS THEY WORKED ON WAS THIS FELLOWSHIP HALL FOR CARL'S CHURCH. BUT DESPITE
THE FACT THAT CHRIS WON'T BE HERE TO FINISH THAT PROJECT, CARL SAYS ALL HE'S
LOOKING FOR IS JUSTICE.))
((CARL HIGGINS/VICTIM'S BROTHER: YOU KNOW I WOULD LIKE FOR HIM TO HAVE THE
ELECTRIC CHAIR... I WOULD LIKE FOR HIM TO SPEND HIS LIFE IN PRISON. AS LONG AS
JUSTICE IS DONE. NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IT'S NOT GOING TO BRING CHRIS BACK.))
BUTT, BUTT, BUTT
((I HOPE THAT NO ONE ELSE EVER HAS TO GO THROUGH WHAT WE'RE GOING THROUGH THIS
YEAR. CHANGE LAWS, DO SOMETHING... DON'T LET THESE PEOPLE JUST WALK.))
Brenda Tomlin is in critical condition at the University of Virginia
Hospital, while Ronald Hewitt is scheduled for arraignment in January.
Ron Jones, News Seven.))
New Orleans Police are looking for the man who killed a schoolteacher from
far Southwest Virginia.
33- year- old Connie (RAY-zohr) Reasor was visiting the city with her
SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA/Sunday
when she was robbed and murdered at a cemetery on Christmas Eve.
A man took her purse, shot her when she chased him, and then drove off in a
black sport utility vehicle.
Police say they MAY have found the getaway car this morning and are
searching it for clues.
(Ray-zor) Reasor was an elementary teacher near her home in Dryden.
Her students say she was a good teacher and friend, and they will miss her.
It could be another week before investigators have some answers about what
started a Christmas day fire- The blaze destroyed a Lynchburg landmark.
The suspicious fire destroyed the old Lukens building on Commerce Street,
and gutted a structure next door.
The remains of the building have been too hot and too unstable for
authorities to get inside the rubble and search for clues.
A crane will be in place by tomorrow morning to knock down the elevator
shaft and one corner of the building that's still standing.
Fire Marshal John Jennings is asking state police to help in the
Authorities met with the building's owner, Larry Halstead, late this
GRAPHIC=Blue Ridge Parkway
A group created to benefit the Blue Ridge Parkway spends most of its budget
on administration, but supporters are defending its record and its future.
The group, Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway has an annual budget of 170-
Three quarters of that figure pays for salaries, office space, utilities and
While that leaves just 42- thousand for other projects, supporters say the
group is maturing into a valuable asset.
Some Bedford County residents are raising a stink over overflowing trash
bins in their neighborhoods.
Citizens say the contractor hired by the county is not hauling away garbage
from the county's greenbox sites fast enough.
They plan to take their complaints to the board of supervisors next month.
But county administrator Bill Rolfe says filled up dumpsters should be
expected just a couple of days after Christmas.
Rolfe says matters were complicated because the landfill was closed on
Sunday and Monday.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on News 7 at 6--myth or not, the hunt for the Beale treasure
still inspires some.
We'll introduce you to a man who hopes he's found the right spot for
IN Q=I believe that
((ED EASTERLING/TREASURE HUNTER: I BELIEVE THAT WE VERY WELL COULD BE ON THE
VERGE OF CRACKING THIS MYSTERY AND CELEBRATING. ))
OUT Q= and celebrating
It's the search for silver and gold and we'll take you along, but first let's
check in with Robin Reed.
Toss to Robin
SUPER=#C-380; Weather Roll
Ed Easterling hopes the new year will bring a break in the search for the
The Roanoke postal worker recently published a book about the local legend.
And Joe Dashiell reports he's preparing to search for the fortune he
believes is buried in Bedford County.
IN Q=Ed Easterling has been hiking
SUPER=03-Bedford Co.; :00
SUPER=01-Ed Easterling/Treasure Hunter; :08
SUPER=04-November, 1989; :17
OUT Q=JD News 7
((Ed Easterling has been hiking these hills since he was a boy...
And he now believes the Beale Treasure is within reach.
IN Q=I believe that it's right
((ED EASTERLING/TREASURE HUNTER: I BELIEVE THAT IT'S RIGHT AT OUR FINGERTIPS
NOW AND IT'S JUST A MATTER OF PURSUING IT A LITTLE BIT DEEPER. AND I BELIEVE
SOMEBODY'S GOING TO FIND IT SOON.))
OUT Q=going to find it soon.
The prospect of gold and silver buried beneath the Bedford County
countryside has inspired more than a few searches.
But those expeditions have produced no trace of the fortune that Thomas
Jefferson Beale and his associates are said to have buried there more than 170
Famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher failed and so have dozens of others, but
Easterling believes he knows where they went wrong.
Easterling says this dirt path may be the key to finding the treasure.
He believes Mel Fisher and others were unsuccessful because they didn't know
the route of the old stage trail.
IN Q=I believe
((ED EASTERLING: I BELIEVE THAT MEL FISHER WAS INITIALLY ON THE RIGHT PATH, BUT
NOT HAVING THE KNOWLEDGE OF WHERE THE STAGE TRAIL RAN, I BELIEVE HE GOT OFF
COURSE RATHER RAPIDLY AND MADE SOME MONUMENTAL ERRORS AND ONCE HE GOT THE BALL
ROLLING IT WAS HARD TO STOP.))
OUT Q=hard to stop.
Easterling's research lead him to write, "In Search of the Golden Vault."
Convinced that the legend is no hoax, he's recruiting a team to search on 25
acres he believes are especially promising.
IN Q=You just can't go out in one day
((ED EASTERLING: YOU JUST CAN'T GO OUT IN ONE DAY AND EXPECT TO FIND TREASURE.
YOU HAVE TO BE PERSISTENT JUST LIKE IN ANY AREA OF LIFE, YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD
AT IT. AND YOU HAVE THE PATIENCE? I HAVE A LITTLE BIT LEFT.))
OUT Q=a little bit left.
Enough patience, he hopes, to reveal a fortune beneath his feet.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Bedford County))
The federal budget standoff may be history in a few days--
That's the prediction of Congressman Tom Bliley.
The Republican has high hopes for Friday's meeting between the President and
Even so Bliley still blames President Clinton for the shutdown-- saying he's
refused to come up with a balanced budget.
IN Q=All of the details
((REP. TOM BLILEY/R- RICHMOND: ALL OF THE DETAILS WE WILL BE HAPPY TO
NEGOTIATE WITH YOU. BUT WE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE ON A SEVEN- YEAR BALANCED
BUDGET. AND THAT'S THAT SIMPLE. ))
SUPER=01-Rep. Tom Bliley/(R) Richmond;
OUT Q=that simple
Bliley appeared at the state capitol today with Governor Allen-- who says a
balanced budget would lower interest rates.
IN Q=That means there's
((GOVERNOR GEORGE ALLEN: THAT
MEANS THERE'S MORE MONEY IN THE POCKETS AND THE CHECKING ACCOUNTS OF THE
PEOPLE. AND THAT MEANS WITH LOWER INTEREST RATES THERE IS MORE INVESTMENT WITH
MORE INVESTMENT THERE ARE MORE JOBS. IT HELPS THE HOUSING INDUSTRY, IT HELPS
WITH CAR LOANS, IT HELPS WITH COLLEGE TUITION, FOR EXAMPLE.))
OUT Q=tuition, for example
Meanwhile, Bliley expects Congress to have a balanced budget to vote on
early next week.
We continue our wrapup of the top economic stories in our area this year,
with a WEEKDAY edition of the News-7 Business Review.
Tonight Len Besthoff takes us through the spring and summer of 1995.
IN Q=Nat Sot
SUPER=03-Halifax Co./May; :07
SUPER=03-Botetourt Co./June; :47
SUPER=03-Pittsylvania Co./July; 1:34
OUT Q=Nat Sot
Halifax County welcomed another manufacturer in May when the
90-million-dollar J-M Huber particle board plant opened for business.
In the Alleghany Highlands, the Bacova Guild announced a major expansion
that will produce hundreds of new jobs.
It's new home furnishings factory is now close to completion.
Southwest Virginia's largest employer announced some big changes.
The Carilion Health System said it will restructure and reduce its budget by
174-million-dollars a year.
Carilion's rival got even bigger in May, as Columbia/HCA purchased Alleghany
Ericsson of Lynchburg doubled the number of people it expects to hire as a
result of an expansion by the communications company, from 400 to 800.
Botetourt County remains bullish about its business prospects.
It spent four-million-dollars to purchase 900 acres of land for development
Right after that, the county reeled in a big prospect on another piece of
A-O Smith of Milwaukee broke ground on a new, 24-million-dollar truck parts
Tobacco farmers took a big hit this summer.
Heavy rains produced a bumper crop of the blue mold fungus that ruins
In Bedford, fears that a large employer would shut down were put aside when
an investor bought Goldenwest Foods.
And Bedford's largest employer was also sold, when the Rubatex rubber
products company was bought by an investor group.
Collegiate Pacific, a Roanoke screenprinting business that once employed 150
people, shut down this summer...but a handful of former employees bought a
portion its business and reopened it under another name.
Pittsylvania County learned of a big layoff when the Times Fiber coaxial
cable plant idled more than 100 workers.
Danville got a dose of the jobless blues when blue jeans maker Jonbil closed
...at one point it had 250 employees.
A month later the city got some better news, when Dan River Mills announced
an expansion that will create up to 500 new jobs.
Len Besthoff, with the News-7 Business Review Year End Edition.
It was also a big spring for Carroll County.
Kentucky Derby Hosiery opened for business with about 100 workers.
A few months later Magnolia Mills opened a yarn factory on the other side of
The plant has started off with 150 employees and plans to eventually
increase the size of its work force to 350.
The stock market was down as the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost four
NASDAQ was down, too, a little more than a point.
Good Samaritans trying to administer C-P-R to heart attack victims may not
help that much after all.
A new study finds half the time, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation is
administered incorrectly-- which can hurt a patient's chances for survival.
Often amateurs just guess at the point of compression, or don't assume the
right position for giving C-P-R.
IN Q=If the air
((JANET BENGE/RED CROSS INSTRUCTOR: IF THE AIR WILL NOT GO IN
THEY TEND TO TRY TO KEEP FORCING.
YOU NEED TO RE-TILT THE HEAD TO MAKE SURE YOU DO HAVE IT TILTED BACK FAR
ENOUGH. ANOTHER COMMON MISTAKE IS NOT PINCHING OFF THE NOSE. ANOTHER COMMON
MISTAKE IS NOT MAKING A TIGHT SEAL OVER THE WHOLE MOUTH. SO THAT YOU WILL GET
AIR IN AND MAKE THE CHEST RISE. ))
SUPER=01-Janet Benge/Red Cross Instructor; :
OUT Q=chest rise.
The best way to insure you'll use the technique properly-- take a Red Cross
Family discounts are available.
There's no such thing as an unsolvable problem.
That's the feeling of students who participate in the Odyssey of the Mind
A local Odyssey team demonstrated its spontaneous problem- solving skills
for the Roanoke Kiwanis Club today.
Students had three minutes to make an object out of aluminum foil.
Then each of them tried to come up with unusual comments about the
IN Q=We hope they'll learn
((JANIE WHITMER/ODYSSEY OF THE MIND: WE HOPE THEY'LL LEARN TO SOLVE PROBLEMS IN
CREATIVE WAYS, SO WHEN THEY BECOME CITIZENS THEY'LL BE ABLE TO SOLVE THEIR OWN
PROBLEMS IN THEIR HOMES, COMMUNITIES AND THE WORLD. ))
SUPER=01-Janie Whitmer/Odyssey of the Mind;
OUT Q=and the world
Odyssey of the Mind is a world- wide program.
Last year more than one- thousand students in Southwest Virginia
participated in the regional competition.
We will hear from Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer from New Orleans
as his team practices, More Holiday hoops action,
and we will update you on the condition of one of the Express's leading goal
scores in Craig Herr.
Pulaski kicker Shayne Graham and the Sugar Bowl might be the two best post
Christmas gifts the Virginia Tech Hokies have ever received.
SUPER=03-Pulaski Co./1995 Season; :00
Pulaski County all star kicker Shayne Graham has called a 2pm news
conference this Friday.
All indications point to the senior announcing that he will attend
Graham recorded 38 field goals in 4 years as a Cougar, which ranks second in
the nation all time. Shayne booted 17 field goals this season.
Again, Pulaski County kicker Shayne Graham has called a Friday news
conference where he will most likely make a verbal committment to play at
The Consolation round of the Nations Bank Holiday Hoops Classic hit the hard
wood over in Salem today.
Burrell Paye watched his William Fleming Colonels from the stands as they
pounded Franklin County.
Paye sat out the game after being ejected from last night's game.
Percy Parnell drives downcourt and gives the no looker to Charles Burnette
who knocks down the deuce off the glass for a 71-39 lead late in the fourth.
Fleming continued to dominate the game as R. J. Reynolds finds Eric Jackson
at the top of the key.
He drains the three pointer.
Franklin County tried to keep it
SUPER=34-W. Fleming/=77/Franklin Co./=47:
respectable scoring late in the fourth, but Fleming wins it 77 to 47.
In the second consolation game, the Glenvar Highlanders took on a fired up P-H
The Patriots get started early as Colby Leftwich finds Boo Battle at the foul
line. Battle knocks down the short jumper for the first quarter lead.
The Highlanders wouldn't quit as Hunter Allen picks up the loose ball and
lays it in to end the first.
P-H continued to play well in the second as Ronnie Casey goes coast to coast
for the 11 point lead.
But Glenvar hangs on as Corey Willis gets the steal and lay in cutting the
P-H lead to 5 at the half.
Glenvar wins 57 to 48.
GRAPHIC=High School Hoops
Holiday hoops will also take center stage in Floyd County tonight.
The Express mart Invitational tips off this evening at Floyd County. The
first game is already underway. Pocahontas is taking on Roanoke Catholic.
Then at 7:30, The Buffaloes battle Carlisle. The round robin tournament
resumes tomorrow at 6pm.
The 17 and 15 Roanoke Express Hosts Raleigh tonight at the Round House.
SUPER=03-Roanoke/This Morning; :00
The Express has slipped to fourth place in the East Division. One reason
has been a lack of scoring. Roanoke has scored three or less goals in 8 of the
last ten games.
More pressure is on Daniel Berthiuame now that Matt Del Juidice has been
called up to the AHL for at least the weekend,
so the team must beat the divisions worst team tonight in the Icecaps.
IN Q=You Know
SUPER=01-Jason Clarke/Express Winger; :00
OUT Q=...our way tonight"
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired head football coach Sam Wyche today.
Under Wyche, the Buccaneers had four losing seasons although he guided
Tampa Bay to it's best record in 12 years this season at 7 and 9. His record
over 4 years was 23 and 41.
In his farewell news conference today, Wyche encouraged tampa fans to keep
their enthusiasm for their team.
IN Q="They deserve
SUPER=01-Sam Wyche/Fired by Tampa Bay Today; :00
OUT Q=...don't get there"
The Virginia Tech Hokies are in New Orleans for their New Years eve date
with Texas in the Sugar Bowl.
SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA/Today; :00
The Longhorns also hit the practice field for a while today. Texas went
through it's drills on the turf inside the Super Dome.
The Hokies practiced outside today and while they feel they have earned the
right to play in the Alliance Bowl, the Hokies still appreciate the chance.
IN Q=I think
SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Virginia Tech Coach; :00
OUT Q=get there"