Homecoming from the Sugar Bowl is just as sweet- -though fatigue and real
life are bringing the hokies back down to earth.
That story coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX, --also word of a eight million dollar
lawsuit against Tech.
Tonight in sports, the Hokies land in Roanoke just in time to see how their
success if translating into big money for at least one area company.
And Nebraska and Florida get set to battle for the national championship
tonight at 8 right here on your hometown station.
The rains continue for a few more hours then northwesterly winds bring a
winter reminder to the region. Chilly details are coming up.
A suspicious death in Roanoke County--
A Blue Ridge man was found dead at his workplace shortly after seven o'clock
Police say the body of 26- year- old Christopher Lee Wilson was discovered
at General Import Services on Brambleton Avenue.
Authorities have yet to determine the cause of death. An autopsy is
Though they're releasing few details police are calling the death
Authorities are still investigating.
A bitter- sweet homecoming for the Hokies returning from New Orleans
Virginia Tech's win in the Sugar Bowl was over- shadowed by an 8-point-3
million dollar lawsuit against the University and two of its football players.
The case involves linebacker Tony Morrison of Chesapeake along with a
lesser- known player from Florida.
Last Spring a Virginia Tech Judicial Committee found Morrison guilty of
sexual assault and suspended him from the University for two semesters.
According to the lawsuit, Head Coach Frank Beamer managed to get the
The victim, Christy Brzonkala, told NEWS 7 today that Beamer predicted last
August that Morrison would be back on the team in time for the start of the
Fall season- -that he made the statement BEFORE the University actually lifted
Beamer said today this was the first he's heard of that. The University
issued a brief statement tonight, saying it welcomes the opportunity to present
the facts in court.
Despite the controversy off the field, Virginia Tech football players are
The team touched down in Southwest Virginia shortly before one o'clock.
Scott Prince was there.
IN Q= The celebration
SUPER=03-New Orleans/New Year's Eve; :00
SUPER=01-Brian Edmunds/Virginia Tech Fullback; :15
SUPER=01-Robin McCoy/Virginia Tech Fan; :41
SUPER=01-Kerri Beasley/Virginia Tech Fan; :46
OUT Q=Scott Prince, News 7
(( The celebration has died down.
Now exhaustion has kicked in for the Virginia Tech football team.
A bunch of tired Hokies arrived at Roanoke Regional Airport.
And while, New Orleans was fun, many said it was good to be back on familiar
IN Q=They gave us
((BRIAN EDMUNDS/VIRGINIA TECH FULLBACK: THEY GAVE US YESTERDAY TO BE DOWN IN
NEW ORLEANS AND DO WHATEVER WE WANTED TO DO. IT GAVE US SOME TIME TO RELAX. IT
WAS A SAFE TRIP BACK. ))
OUT Q=safe trip back
Their time in Roanoke was short- lived.
The Sugar Bowl champs hopped on three charter busses and headed to
Nat sound crowd cheering
The welcome wagon consisted of about a dozen fans.
Some think confusion over the Hokies' flight schedule kept some people away.
But even though the numbers were small, the excitement levels were still
IN Q=It shows
((ROBIN MCCOY/VIRGINIA TECH FAN: IT SHOWS A LOT. WE'RE PROUD OF THEM, VERY
((KERRI BEASLEY/VIRGINIA TECH FAN: I THINK THEY NEED THE SUPPORT. I DON'T THINK
THEY GET THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE AND THEY WORKED HARD. I DEFINITELY THINK THEY
NEED PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT THEY'RE BEHIND THEM. ))
OUT Q=we're behind them
Even though this team has done extraordinary things-- players will turn into
ordinary college students for the next few days.
Most of them are heading home to spend the remainder of winter break with
Scott Prince, News 7.))
Roanoke County supervisors say they aren't trying to pick a fight, but today
they voted to request a controversial change in the county's charter.
The county will ask the general assembly for immunity from annexation, a
move that brought complaints from city officials and skepticism from some local
IN Q=I'm not for any adversarial relationships
((BOB JOHNSON/ROANOKE CO. SUPERVISORS CHAIRMAN: I'M NOT FOR ANY ADVERSARIAL
RELATIONSHIPS. THE MEDIA WILL HAVE A FIELD DAY WITH THIS, BUT I'M NOT GOING TO
APOLOGIZE FOR ROANOKE COUNTY AND THE CITIZENS RIGHT TO EXIST. THEY DESERVE IT.
WE'RE GOING TO SEE THAT THEY GET IT.))
SUPER=01-Bob Johnson/Roanoke Co. Supervisors Chairman;
OUT Q=see that they get it.
Though state law currently prohibits cities from initiating annexation of
county land, the supervisors say they fear changes that would allow Salem or
Roanoke to chip away at the county's tax base.
Vinton Delegate Dick Cranwell did not attend today's meeting, but Roanoke
lawmakers said they do not expect the charter change to get very far in the
Meanwhile, Roanoke City Council tried and failed to name a replacement for
John Edwards today.
Council members discussed the issue in private for more than an hour, but a
motion to appoint former council member Bob Garland failed on a tie vote.
A Lynchburg man was killed when his car smashed into a tree.
Police say 33-year-old Ricky Louis Roberts was driving in the 700 block of
Leesville Road around 10 this morning.
The car was so badly mangled from the collision, the victim had to be cut
from the wreckage.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities say speed was a factor in the accident.
They also say he was not wearing a seat belt.
In another accident in Lynchburg a three car pile up sent three people to
It happened around two this afternoon on Candler's Mountain near the River
Authorities believe the accident occurred as the vehicles were leaving the
The victims were taken to Lynchburg General Hospital and are listed in
Police are still investigating.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on News 7 at 6--tobacco takes on the F-D-A.
The issue--just whose job is it to make laws about the sale of cigarettes?
and a bit later--don't leave FOR home without it.
Good advice for the Tech Hokies.
We'll have the story of the mysterious disappearing Sugar Bowl trophy.
Toss to Robin
SUPER=#C-380; Weather Roll
The Roanoke Fire Department says burning oil prevented it from getting a
house fire under control this afternoon.
An assistant fire chief with the city suspects a malfunctioning oil stove
may have caused the fire on the 16- hundred block of Redwood Drive.
Either that, he says, or the stove may have set something else on fire.
The fire department calls the home a total loss.
None of the people who lived there were hurt.
Two of the owner's five pets did not survive.
Last summer's big tire fire in Franklin County was NOT deliberately set.
SUPER=03-Rocky Mount/July 26, 1995;
That's the conclusion after a five-month, multi-agency investigation into
the fire at the Virginia Rubber Recycling Plant.
Authorities say it was accidental. They found a problem in the wiring in a
machine that breaks down tires, cuts them, and takes the metal out.
The blaze was fueled by thousands of old tires and burned for several days.
Last August, the federal government announced a proposal to restrict the use
and marketing of tobacco products.
Today was the cutoff for public comment on the plan, which has been heavily
criticized by Southside tobacco farmers and others in the industry.
Teresa Hamilton reports, both groups are vowing to keep up their fight.
IN Q=The federal government
SUPER=03-Danville/File Tape; :00
SUPER=01-Donnie Moore/Pittsylvania Co. Tobacco Farmer; :13
SUPER=04-Tobacco Industry Video; :56
OUT Q=Hamilton, News 7.
((The federal government wants to keep cigarettes away from underage
The idea may seem noble.
But Southside tobacco farmers say the FDA is threatening their livelihood.
IN Q=In the first
((DONNIE MOORE/PITTSYLVANIA CO. TOBACCO FARMER: IN THE FIRST PLACE WE DON'T
THINK THEY'RE REALLY TRYING TO REGULATE NICOTINE, THEY'RE GETTING THEIR FOOT IN
THE DOOR TO PUT US OUT OF BUSINESS, AND I JUST HOPE THEY GET THE MESSAGE, WE'RE
NOT GOING TO TAKE IT SITTING DOWN. ))
OUT Q=sitting down.
Donnie Moore is pinning his hopes on lawmakers, like Congressman L- F
The Democrat says the FDA has no business regulating nicotine as a drug,
because all 50- states already ban underage smoking.
He recently drafted a letter to the FDA-- calling the agency's proposals
((REP. L. F. PAYNE/D-5TH DISTRICT: WHAT'S BEING DONE HERE IS THAT THE
PRESIDENT AND THE FDA ARE USURPING AUTHORITY THAT BELONGS TO THE CONGRESS AND
THAT'S WHY WE HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE IN CONGRESS, ALMOST 130 PEOPLE WHO'VE SIGNED
THE LETTER OBJECTING TO WHAT'S GOING ON HERE. ))
OUT Q=on here.
Congressman Payne isn't the only one to lash out at the FDA.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, five major tobacco
companies have filed two- thousand pages of documents-- calling the FDA's
The tobacco controversy is a nationwide issue.
Congressman Payne's letter was signed by both Democrats and Republicans--
from across the country. Teresa Hamilton, News 7.))
ANTI-smoking forces in Virginia view President Clinton and F-D-A Director
David Kessler as heroes.
Virginia's chapter of the Group To Alleviate Smoking in Public -- or GASP --
fired off seven pages of its own comments to the FDA today.
IN Q=When you have
((ANNE MORROW DONLEY/VA. GASP: WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE LIKE FORMER PRESIDENT
CARTER WHO WENT TO CLINTON AND URGED HIM TO TAKE THIS STEP. AND SAID THAT HE
HAD HAD THE CHANCE TO TAKE THIS STEP AND HADN'T DONE IT. THAT HE HAD BELIEVED
THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY THAT THEY WOULD REGULATE THEMSELVES AND THEY HAD LIED TO
HIM. I THINK THAT'S ALSO VERY SIGNIFICANT. THAT NOW THOSE OF US WHO ARE OUT
THERE AND WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR MANY YEARS, AND WHO HAVE BEEN
SUFFERING AND SEEING PEOPLE DYING WITH TOBACCO RELATED ILLNESSES, THAT WE SEE
NOW THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS WILLING TO LISTEN.))
SUPER=01-Anne Morrow Donley/Va. GASP;
OUT Q=to listen.
GASP points out that cigarette sellers regularly display tobacco products in
a way that entices children.
The proposed FDA regulations are all aimed at tryibng to keep children from
buying, smoking... even wanting tobacco products.
A-T-and-T announced a move today that will please investors.
But it probably has some employees' ears ringing.
The phone company will cut 40-THOUSAND jobs as it splits into three separate
The move will NOT have a major effect on our area.
But the New River Valley is still recovering from the closing of the
A-T-and-T plant in Fairlawn FIVE YEARS AGO.
Kimberly Burchett (burr-SHETT) was among the thousand-plus people who lost
IN Q=I still
((KIMBERLY BURCHETT/FORMER AT&T EMPLOYEE: I STILL THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE OUT
THERE STILL LOOKING FOR THE JOB THEY HAD AT A-T-AND-T. AND IT'S JUST NOT OUT
THERE. NOT THE MONEY WISE, IT'S NOT OUT THERE.))
SUPER=01-Kimberly Burchett/Former AT&T Employee;
OUT Q=not out there.
Burchett went back to school and got another job with the town of Pulaski.
SS=AT & T
People running the area's economic development efforts say it now has a
thousand MORE jobs than BEFORE A-T-and-T left.
But they admit many of the jobs don't pay as well.
The stock market shot higher in the first trading session of 1996.
The Dow climbed 60 points.
NASDAQ was up more than six points.
Finding out your baby has a birth defect is a harrowing experience for some
About one in every 700 infants is born with cleft lip and palate-- meaning
there's an opening in the lip or the roof of the mouth.
Health Check's Connie Stevens has this report on Roanoke Memorial Hospital's
Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic.
IN Q=OPEN NAT SOUND
SUPER=01-Dr. Enrique Silberblatt/Plastic Surgeon; :15;
SUPER=01-Ron Hager/Parent; :57
OUT Q=CS, News 7.
IN Q=OPEN NAT SOUND
OUT Q=NAT SOUND
The clinic is staffed only once a month, by a team of volunteer physicians
working to treat these kids from birth to adulthood.
Physicians say the important thing is the care-- the family's ability to pay
isn't a consideration.
IN Q=You have
((DR. ENRIQUE SILBERBLATT: YOU NEED AN OTOLARYNOLOGIST. YOU NEED A PLASTIC
SURGEON, YOU NEED DENTISTS, ORTHODONTISTS, AND THE LIST GOES ON. SPEECH
THERAPIST. RATHER THAN HAVE A PATIENT GO FROM OFFICE TO OFFICE AND YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT FIVE, SIX, SEVEN OFFICES-- EVERYBODY COMES HERE AND THEY'RE ALL
SEEN AT ONCE. ))
OUT Q=seen at once.
Cleft Lip and Palate can make it extremely hard for parents to feed their
babies-- the condition can also cause frequent ear infections and problems with
For Adam Hager, it's taken a round of surgery and treatment-- but Adam is
now healthier than many children.
IN Q=We brought Adam
((RON HAGER/PARENT: WE BROUGHT ADAM TO THE CLINIC THE FIRST TIME WHEN HE WAS
SEVEN DAYS OLD...AND THAT FEELING OF WARMTH AND LOVE AND COMPASSION THAT I FELT
WHEN I WALKED IN THE DOOR THE FIRST TIME, I'LL NEVER FORGET. I CAN GET CHOKED
UP RIGHT NOW THINKING ABOUT IT.))
OUT Q=about it.
Cleft lip and palate are believed to be caused by a combination of genetic
and environmental factors
It's just one of the focuses of the state's "Children's Specialty Services"
department-- which has similar clinics treating a variety of conditions.
Connie Stevens, News 7.
Virginia Tech's Sugar Bowl win over Texas was oh-so-sweet.
The team answered critics who questioned whether Tech belonged among college
Just about the only question remaining after the game was--what happened to
the Sugar Bowl trophy presented to the winners?
It seems Coach Frank Beamer said he turned the trophy over to his senior
players--who later said they weren't sure what happened to it.
Beamer promised an all-out search for the trophy--only to discover one of
his players had hidden it as a joke.
It's now safe and sound at its new home in Blacksburg.
And to give you another idea of the high spirits which prevailed in New
Orleans-- folks at Tech say one student staggered back to his hotel only
today--two DAYS after the game ended.
It seems he just got a little too caught up in the revelry.
Tonight in sports, Nebraska and Florida get set to battle for the national
Virginia Tech arrives back in Roanoke this afternoon.
And the Sugar Bowl success is translating into some Sweet Business for an
Roanoke screen printing company.
That story and more in just moment.
The Virginia Tech Hokies can add another honor to their list of
accomplishments this season.
The Sugar Bowl champions were voted number on today in the final Lambert Poll
of the season.
This poll ranks the top 10 teams in the Northeast and the Hokies earned all
seven first place votes to outpoint Penn State.
SUPER=03-Roanoke/This Afternoon; :00
As we told you earlier, the team touched down in Roanoke this afternoon.
Leading the parade of players back into the Commonwealth was Sugar Bowl MVP,
IN Q="It's just...
((BRYAN STILL/SUGAR BOWL MVP:))
SUPER=01-Bryan Still/Sugar Bowl MVP; :00
OUT Q=...JUST GREAT."
Many of the Tech players left New Orleans with their parents to head home for
The entire team and the trophy are now back safe and sound.
The Hokies championship is worth a lot more than three million dollars to the
Roanoke's Scribners screen printing has enough Sugar Bowl orders for T-shirts
and sweat shirts to keep the company's staff hopping into June.
IN Q="As big as...
((GREG SCRIBNER/OWNER - SCRIBNER SCREEN PRINTING:))
SUPER=01-Greg Scribner/Owner-Scribner Screen Printing; :00
OUT Q=...TOWARDS US."
You might call Scribner an eternal optimist. Two days before the Hokies beat
Texas in the Sugar Bowl, photographer Greg Moore and I accidentally bumped into
him in the French Quarter.
At the time Scribner was already wearing a Tech Sugar Bowl champion T-shirt.
IN Q="Right after...
OUT Q=...for twenty."
The postseason college football bowl season comes to close a tonight in
Tempe, Arizona as Nebraska battles Florida in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
SUPER=03-Tempe, AZ; :00
Both teams stretched and posed for the final time last night.
This evening the two unbeatens with very different coaches will attempt to
prove who is the best team in the land.
IN Q="Steve is...
((TOM OSBORNE/NEBRASKA HEAD COACH:))
((STEVE SPURRIER/FLORIDA HEAD COACH:))
SUPER=01-Tom Osborne/Nebraska Head Coach; :00
SUPER=01-Steve Spurrier/Florida Head Coach; :08
OUT Q=...THE SAME THING."
The game is so big out in Lincoln, Nebraska that church meetings are
postponed, bowling leagues are canceled, and soccer games have been rescheduled
across the state.
Even a JC Penney store is closing early.
The Fiesta Bowl will have to be an awesome game to equal last night's Orange
Bowl shootout between Florida State and Notre Dame.
SUPER=03-Miami, FL/CBS; :00
The Irish appeared to have the game in hand with a 26-to-7 lead at one point
late in the second half.
But Seminole quarterback Danny Kanell threw three TD passes in the final
quarter including this 3 yard game winner to Andre Cooper.
Florida State comes from behind to win it 31-to-26.
IN Q="We just...
((DANNY KANELL/FLORIDA STATE QUARTERBACK:))
SUPER=01-Danny Kanell/Florida State Quarterback; :00
OUT Q= ...TEAM PERFORMANCE.
The Marshall University football program is losing for than head football
coach Jim Donnan to Georgia.
This afternoon a coach's wife in Huntington confirmed that Donnan plans to
bring at least five Marshall assistants with him to the University of Georgia.
Among those making the move is offensive coordinator Chris Scelfo.
In one other Marshall note, Youngstown state coach Jim Tressel said today he
is set to interview for the opening.
The only problem is that Marshall president Wade Gilley says Tressel isn't a