Coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX:
Two wrecks at the same intersection in the fog- -one of them fatal.
The majority leader severs his relationship with TRIGON.
And our own Len Besthoff has details of a significant problem at the
Yokohama Tire Plant.
Tonight in sports, Tech returns to the Cassell, Steve Mason takes a look back
at UVa's setback last night.
Magic talks about his comeback attempt.
And billiards legend Minnesota Fats dies this morning at his home in
A major winter storm barrels through the nation's heartland with everything
from mind-numbing wind chills to the threat of tornadoes. Fast moving forecast
changes coming up.
The dense fog that blanketed the area all day may have been a factor in a
fatal accident on Route 460 in Bedford County.
Around 1:15, emergency personnel were called to the intersection of Routes
460 and 811.
Authorities say the driver of this passenger car was trying to cross 460
when she was hit broadside by a westbound Ryder rental truck.
The impact of the crash pushed the car more than 100 feet down the road.
State police say the foggy conditions may have contributed to the crash.
IN Q=It has some
((TROOPER D.R. SNEAD/VA STATE POLICE: IT HAS SOME TO DO WITH IT, BUT WITH THE
LIGHTS AND ALL IT'S HARD TO SAY AT THIS POINT, WHETHER IT WAS A MAJOR FACTOR OR
NOT. IT COULD HAVE BEEN DRIVER INATTENTION OR IT COULD BE FOG, WE'RE STILL
CHECKING INTO THAT.))
SUPER=01-Trooper D.R. Snead/VA State Police; :00
OUT Q=checking into that.
The victim has been identified as
56- year- old Barbara Ann Hill of Huddleston.
The driver of the truck also was injured.
It was the second accident at the same intersection today.
You might call it a semi-sweet victory for a former girl scout troop leader.
Catrice Stokes, who embezzled money from cookie sales, won't go to prison.
But she has been ordered to pay back all of the dough.
Stokes received a two- year- suspended sentence after pleading no contest to
the charges in October.
She'll also be on probation until she pays court costs and more than 24-
hundred dollars to the girl scouts.
Prosecutors did ask for a prison term.
And that had Stokes worried.
IN Q=It's traumatizing
((CATRICE STOKES/COOKIE MONEY EMBEZZLER: IT'S TRAUMATIZING FOR ME TO EVEN HAVE
THE THOUGHT. BUT IT'S EVEN MORE TRAUMATIZING TO ME KNOWING THAT I'M SITTING
HERE AND KNOWING THAT MY DAUGHTER'S SITTING IN LYNCHBURG WONDERING... WELL IS
MOM IN JAIL YET OR NOT? ))
SUPER=01-Catrice Stokes/Cookie Money Embezzler;
OUT Q=yet or not.
Stokes' attorney thought the sentence was fair... considering she had no
IN Q=She doesn't have
((MARK KIDD/STOKES' ATTORNEY: SHE DOESN'T HAVE A RECORD AT ALL.. NOT EVEN A
TRAFFIC CITATION WAS ON HER RECORD. SHE'S NEVER BEEN IN ANY TROUBLE BEFORE AND
SO AS A FIRST OFFENSE, I THINK IT'S THE APPROPRIATE RESOLUTION. ))
SUPER=01-Mark Kidd/Stokes' Attorney;
OUT Q=appropriate resolution
Stokes has taken a bite out of the debt.
She's already paid a 340- dollar chunk of it.
Delegate Dick Cranwell of Vinton cut off his six- year legal relationship
with Trigon today -- and tried to put a hasty end to concerns about a conflict
IN Q=Everyone acknowledges
((DEL. DICK CRANWELL/D-VINTON: EVERYONE ACKNOWLEDGES THAT I HAVE DONE NOTHING
THAT VIOLATES THE LAW. I HAVE FULLY DISCLOSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW. YET
THERE IS STILL SOMETHING THERE.))
OUT Q=something there.
The insurance giant is struggling for state approval to turn into a profit-
When Cranwell's six- years of employment by Trigon was disclosed yesterday,
he said he simply would abstain from voting on issues related to the move.
Today, he asked the ethics panel to look into past and future votes.
The Yokohama Tire plant in Salem recently received a serious wake-up call
from what may be its largest U-S customer.
When Yokohama bought the plant eight years ago, it invested 150- million
dollars to improve the speed and quality of the tires it makes.
Double Boxes=Keith and Len/Microwave
But Len Besthoff says that doesn't mean there won't still be an occasional
He's at the tire plant in Salem tonight.
So how big a mistake are we talking about, Len?
Keith one of the largest employers in our area says late last year, it sent
a bad shipment of its tires to one of its largest customers.
IN Q=Employees who
SUPER=03-Spokane, WA/File Tape;:00
OUT Q=yes it was.
(( Employees who did not want to be identified say the customer is Price
Costco, a warehouse club that buys about 35-percent of the tires made at the
Yokohama plant in Salem each year.
The company admits it made a bad shipment, which was probably no bigger than
a truckload, with tires that were mislabeled and cosmetically irregular.
Dan Hunter, Yokohama's Vice President of Marketing, discussed the matter on
the phone with us from California.
SOT 00:53:44 TAPE TWO
IN Q=We dropped
((DAN HUNTER/YOKOHAMA VP MARKETING: WE DROPPED THE BALL. WE MADE A
MIS-SHIPMENT OF A TIRE TO A CUSTOMER.))
OUT Q=to a customer.
But Hunter says it was a small number of tires compared to the amount
Yokohama manufactures in Salem every year.
Nevertheless, it was serious enough that this customer contacted Yokohama
and demanded it fire the person or persons responsible for the bad shipment.
SOT TAPE 00:45:51
IN Q=Does that
((HUNTER: DOES THAT CUSTOMER REALLY EXPECT US TO STORM INTO THAT PLANT AND
FIRE SOMEONE? NO, I DON'T BELIEVE SO. BUT WAS SOMETHING LIKE THAT SAID TO
DRIVE HOME A POINT HOME? YES IT WAS.))
OUT Q=yes it was.))
Yokohama stresses that it does take this botched shipment seriously, though
it did not fire any workers.
For its part, Price Costco has not returned our phone calls.
And Yokohama insists that none of the mislabeled tires ever hit the shelves
at Price Costco.
Double Boxes=Keith and Len
(Keith QUESTION: SO HOW IS THIS PROBLEM BEING TAKEN CARE OF?)
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Just ahead on News 7 at 6--Some state lawmakers find themselves face to face
with the disturbing problem of cyber-porn.
And Fifth District Congressman L-F Payne is pondering his future--will he
IN Q=This decision
((CONGRESSMAN L-F PAYNE: "THIS DECISION FOR ME IS ONE I GO THROUGH EVERY TWO
OUT Q= two years
We'll also have the latest on Payne's efforts to stop the Lake Gaston
pipeline project. That story and more still to come.
Toss to Robin
SUPER=#C-380; Weather Roll
Live sex chat.
It's just a few computer mouse- clicks away on the Internet in homes,
offices, and classrooms.
Now, Virginia's General Assembly is considering whether to plunge into its
Ellen Qualls reports.
IN Q=Before you've
SUPER=01-Del. Bob Marshall/(R) Manassas; :08
SUPER=01-Lucy Winkler/America On Line; :58
SUPER=@Shuler; 1:11 QUICK
OUT Q=Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.
Before you've even gotten out your credit card, you can see this stuff.
And if you or your child uses the credit card -- you can see a lot more.
((DEL. BOB MARSHALL: THIS IS THE KIND OF GARBAGE... WE HAVE A PROBLEM.))
To better illustrate the problem, Marshall handed out printouts of the kinds
of alternative sex sites he'd visited while contemplating legislation.
A reluctant House Commission on Corporations, Insurance, and Banking agreed
they didn't like the smut -- but many are loathe to tread that close to the
((CD ROMS WHERE.. AS WELL.))
Marshall's bill would ask for warning labels in the credit card bills that
pay for the online services -- and the screens for the services themselves.
Virginia- based America Online says hold on.
((LUCY WINKLER/AMERICAN ON LINE: FLAT OUT, THE .. THIS BILL PROPOSES.))
The man who represents Blacksburg's electronic village supports the bill's
((DEL. JIM SHULER/D-BLACKSBURG: WELL I THINK FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND SMUT IS TWO
Will the federal government solve the problem in its giant
Will a General Assembly subcommittee recommend this legislation?
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.
Two men armed with what appeared to be a shotgun and automatic style weapon
robbed a Henry County liquor store last night.
It happened around 7-15 at the A-B-C Store in Sheffield Square Shopping
Center on Route 220.
The suspects were both wearing ski masks and gloves.
So far, investigators have NO suspects.
Authorities say there were two customers in the store at the time of the
The men apparently placed the money in a duffel bag before grabbing a bottle
of liquor on their way out.
Authorities believe a getaway car was waiting.
There's been a lot of speculation recently over Congressman L- F Payne's
But it doesn't appear we'll find the answer to that question anytime very
Even Payne himself isn't sure whether he's ready to seek another term in
He plans to talk it over with his family before making an announcement in
the next few weeks.
Payne says it's taken longer to decide because he's been working non-stop.
He recently co-sponsored the "Lake Gaston Protection Act".
The goal is to stall construction of the pipeline until the Governor of
North Carolina can determine it will not have a negative impact on the Lake or
other river basins.
IN Q=That's pending in
((REP. L. F. PAYNE/D- 5TH DISTRICT: THAT'S PENDING BOTH IN THE HOUSE AND THE
SENATE, IN COMMITTEES, AND HAS NOT YET COME OUT THE COMMITTEES, NOT YET COME TO
THE FLOOR. AND, I DON'T NOW KNOW ABOUT THE TIMING OF THAT EXCEPT A NUMBER OF US
IN VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, PARTICULARLY, ARE VERY INTERESTED IN. ))
OUT Q=interested in.
Payne is also a member of "The Blue Dog Democrats."
One goal of the conservative group is to help reach a budget compromise.
Business has a sock manufacturer in Pulaski bursting at the seams.
So, Renfro Corporation will start building this Spring to double the size
of its Newbern Road plant.
About 230 workers will transfer from its Main Street facility, which will
The expansion should be complete this Fall, and create up to 450 new jobs
over the next few years.
((DOC REAGAN/RENFRO PLANT MANAGER: IT WILL BE APPROXIMATELY 105 THOUSAND SQUARE
FOOT ADDITION. WE WILL BE CONSOLIDATING OUR MAIN STREET PLANT WITH THE NEWBERN
ROAD PLANT TO MAKE 150 THOUSAND DOZEN PAIRS OF SOCKS A WEEK. ))
SUPER=01-Doc Reagan/Renfro Plant Manager;
OUT Q=socks a week.
Renfro is also adding millions of dollars worth of new equipment at its
Jefferson Avenue plant to increase production there.
The company currently employs 13 hundred people in Pulaski.
It was ALMOST a split decision, but by a narrow margin workers at the
Polymer Corporation in Wytheville have voted to join the Oil, Chemical and
Atomic Workers union.
All 118 eligible workers cast ballots yesterday and today.
The final tally, 60 IN FAVOR of the union, and 58 AGAINST.
The National Labor Relations Board must certify the results before contract
negotiations may begin.
Polymer has seven days in which it may file objections with the N-L-R-B.
In 1993 employees REJECTED the United Steelworkers by a margin of two- to-
Polymer Human Resources Manager Mary Jane Umberger says she believes the
fact that a neighboring plant, Morton International is represented by O-CAW
tipped the scales in favor of the union this time.
A rally on Wall Street today saw the Dow climb 57 and a half points.
NASDAQ was up nine points.
The Pulaski County sheriff's department inquiry into missing funds at the
jail has turned into a full criminal investigation.
When News-7 first reported on the matter earlier this month, Sheriff Ralph
Dobbins said it was too soon to know whether the money had been stolen, or if
an accounting error was to blame.
Dobbins was unavailable today, but Captain Jim Davis confirmed nearly five
thousand dollars was stolen from an inmate work release fund.
Prisoners pay the jail 10 dollars out of their earnings for every day they
Jailers with access to the funds have been undergoing lie detector tests for
Davis wouldn't comment on suspects, but says the investigation should wrap
up in a couple of weeks.
The first black woman to head up Central Virginia Community College may have
her sights set on greener pastures.
Belle Wheelan was named head of the Lynchburg school four years ago, but
says it may now be time to move on.
Wheelan is a finalist for the presidency of Shelby State Community College
in Memphis, Tennessee.
She says it could be mid- February before she interviews for the post.
Wheelan says she might enjoy the challenge of confronting Shelby State's
numerous financial and enrollment problems, but does NOT know whether she'd
accept the job if it's offered.
The Hokies return to the Cassell tonight to battle Purnell's Flyers.
Magic Johnson talks about his reported comeback.
And Steve Mason says Virginia needs to rebound in more ways than one from
last night's loss to North Carolina.
With Cassell Coliseum finally safe, the 11th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies
can focus on tonight's 7pm HOME contest with Atlantic-10 opponent Dayton.
SUPER=03-Roanoke/This Past Monday; :00
The Hokies enter this evening's game with a perfect 3 and OH record in
the A-10's west division.
And while the 6 thousand plus fan turnout at the Roanoke Civic Center on
Monday was nice, there's no place like home.
IN Q="We're ready...
((DAMON WATLINGTON/VA. TECH GUARD:))
((ACE CUSTIS/VA. TECH FORWARD:))
SUPER=01-Damon Watlington/Virginia Tech Guard; :00
OUT Q=...in cassell coliseum"
Tonight also marks a homecoming for Dayton head coach Oliver Purnell, who
got his coaching start at Radford in 1988.
The Radford mens team is in action tonight at the Dedmon Center against UMBC.
The game tipsoff at 7:30 and this is a makeup of the original game that was
snowed out on January 8th.
Virginia has a reputation for playing tenacious defense and hustling.
But last night UNC beat UVa with those very traits. Steve Mason has another
look at the 67-53 break down.
IN Q=first audio
SUPER=03-Charlottesville/Last Night; :00
SUPER=01-Chris Alexander/4 Blocks & 10 Rebounds; :27
SUPER=01-Norman Nolan/4 Points in 18 Minutes; :34
SUPER=01-Curtis Staples/Scored Game High 17 Pts.; :53
SUPER=01-Harold Deane/Scored 10 Points; 1:19
OUT Q=...News 7 Sports"
Magic Johnson is back on the court with the Los Angeles Lakers.
And that means the rumor mill in Tinseltown is working overtime.
Magic has been practicing with the team all week, fueling speculation that
he's ready for another comeback.
IN Q="I'M NOT TRYING...
((EARVIN "MAGIC" JOHNSON/RETURNING TO THE LAKERS?))
SUPER=01-Earvin "Magic" Johnson/Returning To The Lakers?; :00
OUT Q=...AS WELL WITH THEM."
defending French Open champion Mary Pierce was dethroned today in
SUPER=03-Melbourne, Australia; :00
The fourth seeded Pierce lost to Elena Likhovtseva in straight sets; 6-4,
6-4. Likhovtseva is the world's 51st ranked player.
One diamond note, Major League Baseball owners have unanimously approved
interleague play in 1997. It still must be okayed by the Players Association.
GRAPHIC=NEWS 7 SPORTS
And finally tonight, one of the most colorful sports figures of all-time died
this morning at his home in Nashville.
Rudolph Wanderone Jr., better know as Minnesota Fats passed away at his home
today after suffering heart failure.
"Fats" considered himself the greatest billiards player of all-time.
Although most considered him more of a hustler.
According to the Associated Press, Fats would have been 96 years old