Up top on NEWS 7 at SIX:
A live report from the courthouse on the custody battle involving a lesbian
mother in Richmond.
And the first- ever broadcast of breakout day at V-M-I... the rite of
passage where rats emrge from the mud as men.
In sports, Roy Stanley will take a closer look at Haqrry Johnson; the
retiring coach of the top ranked G.W. Eagles, some heavy fines are dished out
in pro sports,
and a coroner makes an offical ruling on the death of Dayton basketball star
After another mild day--we just missed a record--showers will signal a big
change in temperatures. Details and WeatherSchool coming up.
The custody battle of a lesbian mother threw Virginia into the national
spotlight, three years ago.
Tonight Sharon Bottom's battle is back where it started- -in front of the
same Henrico County judge.
Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen
Ellen Qualls is there... the second day of the hearing.
Has the judge made a ruling?
( ad lib over B-Roll)
(Rollcue: what's best for this child)
( ad lib)
Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen
Franklin county authorities are still figuring out what led up to a five-
year- old boy accidentally shooting his mother in the chest.
SUPER=03-Franklin Co./Last Night;
The sheriff's department responded to a 9-1-1 call at this trailer on
route 760 last night.
Investigators say the boy's parents, Lowell Rector and Belinda Sink had
been living together-- but separated a few weeks ago.
Rector and Sink were having a discussion outside the truck, while their
son sat INSIDE the vehicle with a loaded 22- caliber rifle.
The gun went off-- and Sink was wounded.
Sink is in Roanoke Memorial Hospital-- her condition is NOT being released.
No charges have been filed.
Rescue crews were unable to save two people whose car collided with a
tractor trailer in Danville this morning.
It happened around 11:30 on Route 58, near the Danville airport.
Police say 66- year old Howard James Farley of Milton, North Carolina
apparently lost control and skidded across the median.
His car collided with a transfer truck from Alabama.
Crews had to cut Farley and 80- year old Francisco Daja (Da-hah) from the
IN Q=I checked the
((GEORGE MIMS/WITNESS: I CHECKED THE GUY'S PULSE, HE HAD A SLOW PULSE, IT FADED
AWAY AND I WALKED UP ON THE HILL AFTER THE LIFE SAVING CREW GOT HERE. I THOUGHT
MAYBE SOMEBODY MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP THEM, BUT I THINK THE ONLY PERSON WHO
COULD HAVE HELPED THEM WAS THE LORD.))
SUPER=01-George Mims/Witness; :00
OUT Q=was the Lord.
Both men in the car died at the scene.
The driver of the rig was unhurt.
The accident is still under investigation.
Lawyers for the state say Jens Soering has raised issues on appeal that have
already been addressed.
Specifically the Attorney General's office rejects the notion that the
trial judge had already concluded that Soering was guilty of killing his
The A-G's office asked the court to dismiss Soering's arguments that the
judge should have moved the trial and not let the jury know he'd confessed at
Soering is serving a double life sentence for the murder of Nancy and Derek
Soering maintains the couple's daughter, Elizabeth, committed the crime.
She is serving a 90-year sentence.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on News 7 at Six--
An inside look as VMI "rats" mark breakout day--while the debate continues
about what will happen if the school is ordered to admit women.
Also we'll visit a "safe home"--it's a haven for women and children who are
victims of domestic violence.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=#C-380; Weather Roll
Testimony in a Floyd County murder trial is underway.
34- year- old David Joel Hall is accused of killing his live-in girlfriend
at their makeshift apartment in Willis.
SUPER=03-Floyd Co./June 14;
In June, sheriff's deputies discovered the body of 18- year- old Ellen
Marjorie Plocki (PLOCKEE). She had apparently been beaten to death in a small
room inside a garage.
Most of the prosecution witnesses were law enforcement officers. They
described the crime scene, as well as Hall's hands when he was arrested,
IN Q=An abrasion
SUPER=01-George Watts/Former State Police Investigator;
OUT Q=ring finger of the left hand
Testimony in the case will continue tomorrow.
Domestic violence often reveals the dark side of relationships...but there
is one shelter in Covington that is trying to shed some light--and a little
hope--on the subject.
Ron Jones reports.
IN Q=Melanie White says
SUPER=01-Melanie White/Safehome Exec. Director; :14
SUPER=04-Washington, DC/Last Week; :59
OUT Q=Ron Jones, News Seven.
((Melanie White says Safehome has helped more than 500 women and children
and also handled more than three- thousand crisis calls over the past five
She runs the secret shelter for victims of Domestic Violence.
((MELANIE WHITE/SAFEHOME EXEC. DIRECTOR: ABUSE HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE THE
BEGINNING OF TIME. THIS HAS BEEN MUCH NEEDED, MANY, MANY, YEARS AGO SO THAT'S
WHY WE'RE HERE. SO WOMEN CAN COME IN AND HAVE A NON-VIOLENT LIFESTYLE. AND
HAVE THAT PROTECTION AND SECURITY AND SUPPORT THAT THEY NEED.))
This woman, who did NOT want to be identified, says she was abused for three
years... until one day she had enough.
((I WAS SCARED TO LEAVE BUT I LEFT, BUT THEN I'D BE BACK IN A MATTER OF WEEKS
THINKING, OKAY THINGS CAN CHANGE, THINGS WILL BE BETTER. AND IT TOOK ME THE
FOURTH TIME TO REALIZE, YOU KNOW, TOOK ME THAT MANY TIMES TO REALIZE THAT IT
WASN'T GOING TO CHANGE UNLESS I DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT MYSELF.))
And with Safehome she did.
She's working NOW and plans to buy a home.
WHITE HOUSE VIDEO
The White House has also come on the scene by promoting a Domestic Violence
number for those abused or in need.
The president says he wants more involvement in the future... but Melanie is
hoping for something a little different.
((I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SAFEHOME OUT OF A JOB. I HATE TO SAY I'D LIKE TO BE OUT
OF A JOB BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO BE OUT OF A JOB... BUT IF WE'RE OUT OF A JOB
THAT MEANS NO ONE IS BEING ABUSED ANYMORE.))
A prayer many would agree upon.
Ron Jones, News seven.))
Twelve years after her first foray into politics, political activist Jane
Thurber is taking another crack at a Lynchburg city council bid.
Thurber today announced her candidacy for the at- large council seat that's
up for grabs in May.
She's run once for Congress and four times for city council, most recently
IN Q=I probably shouldn't
((JANE THURBER/LYNCHBURG COUNCIL CANDIDATE: I PROBABLY SHOULDN'T TOOT MY OWN
HORN, BUT I FEEL LIKE I WON ALL THE DEBATES AND HAD THE MOST IDEAS, I JUST HOPE
THIS TIME THAT WILL TRANSLATE INTO MORE VOTES. BUT I RUN TO MAKE A STATEMENT,
AND THE REST IS IN GOD'S HAND, THE RESULT.))
SUPER=01-Jane Thurber/Lynchburg Council Candidate; :00
OUT Q=the result.
Thurber says she's a Republican who's disenchanted with the partisan tack
the party has taken.
Promoting fiscal responsibility and eliminating the trash tag system top her
nine- point agenda.
A Bedford County woman apparently leaped to her death from a railroad bridge
It happened just before one, on Route 811 in Forest.
Authorities say several witnesses saw the woman park her car on the bridge,
straddle the railing, then fall to the tracks below.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have not released her identity.
Rail traffic in both directions was halted while authorities completed their
A rooftop in downtown Roanoke burned this afternoon, but firefighters made
quick work of the smoke and flames.
Roofing materials caught fire on the building near the intersection of
Salem Avenue and Jefferson Street.
The incident created some lunch- hour excitement for workers downtown, but
the blaze did not cause any injuries, or extensive damage to the building.
wipe wipe wipe
GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe
Meantime a controlled burn became UN-controllable for a moment when the wind
picked up at a Blacksburg farm today.
The Fire Department was called to Sam Hall's farm on Jenelle Road around
three o'clock this afternoon.
Before the blaze was controlled- -it had destroyed several bales of hay and
spread to a barn.
Equipment stored in the barn was a total loss.
The expansion of a local furniture company will undoubtably be welcome news
to Patrick County residents.
Vaughan Furniture has announced plans to put a 10- million- dollar plant
It will create 300 jobs within two- and- a- half years.
The new plant will be located in the county's new industrial park.
The news couldn't come at a better time.
In December the county had an UN-employment rate of 11-point-five-percent,
one of the highest in Virginia.
Governor Allen helped close the deal by offering Vaughan Furniture 350-
thousand dollars of incentive money.
It was another down day for stocks. The Dow ended the day with a drop of 17
NASDAQ lost seven points.
Could Virginia Military Institute afford to become a private school?
A federal appeals court raised that possibility three and a half years ago-
-as one alternative to forcing women on V-M-I.
IN Q=Superintendent Josiah Bunting
SUPER=03-Lexington/September, 1995; :00
OUT Q=men in uniform.
Superintendent Josiah Bunting says it could happen, if the Supreme Court
rules against V-M-I.
Bunting boasted to newspaper writers in Richmond Friday that he could raise
the money it would take to go private ...in ten phone calls.
At first General Bunting agreed to talk with us about it, then changed his
mind- -apparently after getting some calls from alumni over the weekend.
In addition to doubling the endowment to about 350-million dollars, it would
require a vote of the Board of Visitors and probably the General Assembly.
It's hard to imagine Virginia just handing over the keys to the Institute.
The Commonwealth owns all this: 134 acres of prime real estate in Lexington
valued at $153 million.
Not even the nation's most heavily endowed public college- -which V-M-I is,
per student- -could afford to buy AND operate it as a private school- -solely
to maintain its policy of admitting only men.
The final ritual of the rat line.
Three weeks ago the class of '99 emerged from this muddy mass of male
The Superintendent declined to let us record the event at the time, but this
privately- produced videotape follows the rats as they're first tormented by
upperclassmen and then ultimately pulled from the mire.
Once they've broken out of the rat line, they're part of the brotherhood,
recognized in a class of their own, treated with the respect afforded men in
Virginia taxpayers may help save 129- year- old Southern Virginia College,
the private women's school in Buena Vista. The college is scheduled to
shutdown this spring.
Southern Virginia College students took their case to Richmond today to ask
for financial help.
SUPER=03-Buena Vista/January ;
The school lost its accreditation in December because of money problems.
Bedford Delegate Lacey Putney told the students he's working to get half- a-
million dollars in the budget for Buena Vista economic development.
IN Q=The reason for
OUT Q=and constitutional
Education Secretary Beverly Sgro says the school's best hope is for a state
institution such as James Madison University to take it over as a satellite
We will give you the run down of regional high school hoops action tonight,
an official rulling comes dowen on Dayton star basketball player Chris daniels
and Roy stanley takes a closer look at retiring G.W. daniel coach Harry
Regional high school basketball tournament action tips off tonight.
Here are the games we will have for you at 11.
In Region C, the Glenvar/Lebanon game, also the Bath County/George Wythe
In Region III; we will bring you highlights of the Altavista/ Fieldale
Plus; coverage of the Pulaski County/ E.C. Glass girls contest.
And the William Fleming/halifax boys game,
as well as the Patrick Henry/ G.W. Danville tilt in Danville. It could be
the final game Woody Deans coaches as the patriots skipper.
One of the feature match ups we will bring you involves two coaches who
are retiring at the end of the season.
Roy Stanley has this report on one of Southside's top coaches Harry
IN Q=First audio
SUPER=01-Harry Johnson/Eagles Head Coach; :19
OUT Q=....news 7 sports."
The Atlantic 10 was shocked when dayton star basketball player Chris Daniels
died suddenly on February 8th.
Today; Montgomery County Coroner James davis ruled that the 22 year old died
a natural death due to an irregular heartbeat. Davis said Daniels had a
slightly enlarged heart but had no other abnormalities that could have
contributed to his death. Daniels died of what is called cardiac Arrhythmia. He
was second in the nation in field goal percentage.
The NBA fined washington Bullet forward Juwan Howard 5 thousand dollars
The league fined Howard for making an obscene gesture in a game last
friday against Charlotte. He was ejected from the game, inwhich the Hornets won
100 to 96.
Major League baseball has slapped a heavy fine on Albert belle.
SUPER=04-Major League Baseball; :00
According to a Cleveland newspaper; The Indian all star has reportedly been
fined 50 thousand dollars for his tirade at NBC sportscaster Hana Storm prior
to game 3 of the World Series last October. So far; Belle has refused to pay to
Finally. Virginia Tech a replacement for Todd grantham; the Hokie
assistant who took a job at Michigan State yesterday.
Charley Wiles replaces Grantham as tech's defensive line coach. Wiles
played and coached at Murray State; the same school where Frank Beamer began
his head coaching career.
(toss to Jean)
Roanoke officials and designers envision Henry Street transformed to the way
it was during its glory days.
But not everyone is singing the praises of their renovation plan.
Double Boxes=Keith Jean
Jean Jadhon joins us in the newsroom with more on that.
Keith, the latest proposal calls for an 18- million dollar development
It includes clubs, restaurants, stores and offices.
But some residents are worried the plan may exclude minority participation
Tonight, residents will comment on the proposed renovation. A public hearing
is set at Lucy Addison Magnet School.
Join us for more on that story at 11.