The mother of a six-month old fire victim charged with abuse and neglect...
for leaving her children home alone in Henry County.
And the flip side of the complaint about university judicial panels: a
suspended student at Radford cries foul.
Tonight in sports, regiona high school action continues tonight.
Steve Mason check in with a player tuning up for the state wrestling
tournament this weekend.
And the stage is set for the opening of tomorrow Big South hoop tourney in
Gusty northwest winds bring an end to the record setting warmth. Skywarm
kicks off the new season and WeatherSchool is in session. All that in weather
An arrest has been made in the murders of two women whose bodies were
discovered in Amherst County last year.
44- year- old James Henry Burley was charged after police got a lucky break
SUPER=03-Amherst Co./File Tape
The bodies of Robin Jeanette Burge and Jacqueline Dorsey Carter were found a
month apart in remote sections of Amherst County.
Authorities say their investigation was at a standstill until a woman told
them she and Burley saw Carter's body the night BEFORE it was reported to
IN Q=The witness
SUPER=01-Jimmy Ayers/Amherst Co. Sheriff; :00
OUT Q=involved in it.
A revolver was found at Burley's home, which ballistics experts say was used
to kill both women.
No motive has been established for the slayings.
Burley will make his first court appearance tomorrow morning.
A baby girl died in a Henry County house fire three weeks ago.
Now her mother is charged with felony child neglect.
Kimberly McBroom has the story.
IN Q=31- year- old Vivian Thomas
SUPER=03-Henry Co./February 8; :11
SUPER=01-Lt. Kimmy Nester/Henry Co. Sheriff's Dept.; :16
OUT Q=News 7, Henry County
(( 31- year- old Vivian Thomas had just stepped out of a custody hearing over
her remaining two children when she was placed under arrest.
Authorities are charging Thomas with abuse and neglect for leaving her three
small children home alone-- before a fatal blaze began.
((LT. KIMMY NESTER/HENRY CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT.: IT'S BASED ON THE FACTS BEING
THAT SHE LEFT THE HOME FOR A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME AND LEFT THE CHILDREN
UNSUPERVISED, WITHOUT ANYONE TO BE AROUND TO LOOK FOR THEIR WELL- BEING.))
Six- month- old Keysha Thomas died of smoke inhalation-- the other two
children, ages one and two also suffered injuries.
Their mother apparently left the stove on for several hours-- igniting a
nearby jug of kerosene.
((IT APPEARED TO BE AN ACCIDENTAL FIRE. IT IS NOT A SET FIRE...AS SOME PEOPLE
MAY THINK. IT'S A LOT OF FACTORS IN THIS CASE THAT THE COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY
THOUGHT MERITED A CHARGE BEING ISSUED. ))
Factors such as the social services department looking in the matter.
No one in the department would comment-- but authorities say their
investigation led up to Thomas' arrest.
SOT standup here 11:18:50
((For the time being, social services will retain custody of Thomas' other
children who were in the house fire. They've been placed with their paternal
grandmother. As for Thomas, she's being held in the Henry County Jail on 25-
hundred dollars bond. Kimberly Mcbroom, News 7, Henry County. ))
A Henrico County judge has blamed the media and labelled Sharon Bottoms an
But Judge William Boice discounted her homosexuality as a factor in
continuing to deny her custody of her four- year- old son.
SUPER=03-Henrico Co./Last Night;
Boice has once again granted custody to grandmother Kay Bottoms.
That's despite a strong condemnation of Kay Bottoms' ability to raise her
grandson from the attorney appointed by the judge to act as the boy's legal
IN Q=I think
((STEVE PERSHING/Va. ACLU: I THINK QUESTIONS ARE ALWAYS GONNA PERSIST WHETHER
THIS IS ABOUT SHARON AND APRIL'S COMMITTED LESBIAN PARTNERSHIP OR WHETHER ITS
ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE. TONIGHT THE JUDGE SAID IT WAS ABOUT WHAT HE CALLED A
SUPER=01-Steve Pershing/Va. ACLU;
OUT Q=media circus.
Sharon Bottoms and April Wade later said they may give up their court
battle-- fearing Virginia judges will never rule in favor of a lesbian parent.
IN Q=Well as the
((RICHARD RYDER/KAY BOTTOMS' ATTORNEY: WELL AS THE VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT
SAID, IT'S A FACTOR TO BE CONSIDERED IN EVALUATING THE OVERALL SITUATION.))
SUPER=01-Richard Ryder/Kay Bottoms' Attorney;
OUT Q=overall situation.
Judge Boice also said he was appalled by Sharon Bottoms' contract to have
her story made into a television movie.
A Radford University graduate student has sued the school over his
suspension by a Judicial Review Panel.
Richard Baffour was charged with sexual misconduct, but the panel concluded
only that Baffour had "PHYSICAL contact" with his accuser... not "sexual
Like the case of Christy Brzonkala at Virginia Tech, the suit challenges the
effectiveness of internal review panels within the university system.
Radford President Douglas Covington ordered Baffour out of university
housing by five o'clock TODAY. A federal judge declined to block that order.
Baffour was due to get his degree in May.
Radford Commonwealth's Attorney Randal Duncan says it appears a fire that
killed a 21 year- old Radford University student Saturday was an accident.
Christopher Thomas Mirch died from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide
poisoning when the Delta Tau Chi fraternity house caught fire.
Duncan says authorities speculate it started from cigarette butts tossed
into a trash can which had contained polyurethane.
He says lab reports show no evidence that accelerants were used.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on News 7 at Six--
We'll begin a series of special reports on housing inspections in Roanoke.
After the January fire that killed five members of one family there are
renewed calls for tougher standards.
IN Q=We need something
((PETIE CAVENDISH/OLD SOUTHWEST INC.; WE NEED SOMETHING WITH SOME TEETH IN IT
TO MAKE SOME BELIEVERS OUT OF THEM BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DIES ))
OUT Q=someone else dies
Joe Dashiell takes an in-depth look at the problem in "Safe and Sound?" a
special report coming up.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=#C-380; Weather Roll
Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign may be under fire from all sides these
day, but he has at least one friend in Lynchburg.
The Reverend Jerry Falwell today is asking Republican leaders and
candidates, as well as the news media, to stop making personal attacks against
Falwell defended Buchanan's views and says he thinks efforts to smear his
long- time friend will backfire.
Critics have argued Buchanan and his supporters are too extreme, and have
alienated mainstream voters in the Republican party.
There's another Republican politician named Buchanan who wants to go to
This one, however, only wants to represent Virginia's Fifth District.
Businessman Ron Buchanan says he closely identifies with many of the ideas
his national namesake espouses.
But unlike PAT Buchanan, Ron is a decided underdog in his battle for the GOP
IN Q=I have no
((RON BUCHANAN/R- FIFTH DISTRICT CANDIDATE: I HAVE NO ILLUSIONS, THE ODDS OF MY
WINNING THIS NOMINATION ARE SLIM. MY ONLY HOPE IS TO TALK DIRECTLY TO GRASS
ROOTS PEOPLE, REPUBLICANS, ABOUT WHERE I WOULD LIKE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO
SUPER=01-Ron Buchanan/(R) 5th District Candidate; :00
OUT Q=party to go.
Buchanan owns a string of dry- cleaning businesses in the Lynchburg area.
He is the fourth Republican to seek the party's Fifth District nomination.
GRAPHIC=Safe and Sound?
The city of Roanoke is preparing to launch a rental inspection program to
insure that apartments and homes meet minimum standards before new tenants move
Roanoke officials will hear from residents at a public hearing next week.
Double Box=Keith and Joe/Newsroom
Tonight in the first part of our series, Safe and Sound, Joe Dashiell
reports that many of those residents believe the inspections are long overdue.
Keith, the city has been working on the inspection program for some time...
but it took the fire on Stewart Avenue to put the program on a fast track.
IN Q=The Roanoke fire that killed five
SUPER=04-January 21, 1985; :16
SUPER=01-Petie Cavendish/Old Southwest Inc.; 1:02
OUT Q=before someone else dies.
((The Roanoke fire that killed five members of one family last month has
focused fresh attention on a long-standing problem.
NAT SOUND OF FIREFIGHTERS' TANK ALARMS
Christine Duncan and her four grandchildren died in a rental home that
wasn't equipped with smoke detectors.
And their deaths aren't the first to find headlines.
The home near Tenth Street where Madelyn Tate froze to death in 1985 is
another reminder that residents of the Roanoke Valley have lost their lives in
IN Q=Why can't landlords do their part
((WHY CAN'T LANDLORDS DO THEIR PART. THEY MAKE ENOUGH MONEY OFF OF US. THEY
SURE GET WHAT THEY WANT OUT OF US. IF WE'RE WILLING TO DO OUR PART, I THINK
THEY SHOULD, TOO.))
OUT Q=they should too.
Since 1985, the city has added inspectors and stepped up enforcement of
building and property maintenance codes.
But a Housing task force study written in 1988 confirms that the rental
inspection program was under discussion ten years before that.
And the president of the neighborhood group in Old Southwest says it's time
to take action.
SOT PETIE CAVENDISH 14:09:17
IN Q=The people who are going
((PETIE CAVENDISH/OLD SOUTHWEST INC.: THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO IGNORE WHAT'S
ON THE BOOKS NOW ARE GOING TO IGNORE THAT. WE NEED SOMETHING WITH SOME TEETH IN
IT TO MAKE SOME BELIEVERS OUT OF THEM BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DIES.))
OUT Q=before someone else dies.))
We'll hear more from tenants and landlords later this week,
Double Box=Keith and Joe/Newsroom
but Keith tomorrow we'll consider the boarded- up buildings that are a
blight on Roanoke neighborhoods.
It took a Floyd County jury four hours to convicted David Joel Hall of
The 34-year-old Willis resident was found guilty of brutally beating his
girlfriend, Ellen Marjorie Plocki-- a beating that ultimately killed her.
Commonwealth's Attorney Gino Williams called more than a dozen witnesses
with the most dramatic testimony coming from Cecil Brown.
Brown testified that Hall showed him the body, and then threatened to kill
him if anyone else found out.
IN Q=He kept telling me
OUT Q=LOOKED LIKE HER TOO
The sentencing phase of the trial will start tomorrow morning.
The settlement of a lawsuit will help compensate two children whose mother
died in a fiery accident at the Ironto rest area on I-81.
SUPER=03-Montgomery Co./August, 1994;
Minnie Katherine Williams of Radford was killed when her tow truck was
crushed between two tractor trailers.
The drivers of the two Dynamic Express Trucking rigs had pulled into the
area designated for cars only.
Williams children, ages seven and nine, will receive more than two million
dollars each, split into monthly payments and lump sums.
((JIMMY TURK/WILLIAMS' ESTATE LAWYER: THE CHILDREN WILL RECEIVE BENEFITS AFTER
THEY BECOME OF THE AGE OF MAJORITY WHICH IS 18. THERE SHOULD BE PLENTY OF MONEY
THERE TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR COLLEGE EDUCATION AND BASICALLY FOR THE REST OF
THEIR LIFE. ))
SUPER=01-Jimmy Turk/Williams' Estate Lawyer;
OUT Q=rest of their life.
Last year one of the tractor trailer drivers was convicted of reckless
driving and sentenced to nine months in jail.
The other driver paid a 600- dollar fine for improper driving.
The Dow was sharply lower again today, dropping 43 points to close at
NASDAQ was up a point.
Show and tell may have given a boost to a gun bill before a Virginia Senate
The bill would make the use of a FAKE gun when commiting a felony a separate
crime -- punishable by a year or more in jail on top of the other sentence.
IN Q=If it was
((TOM WOODWARD/COMMITTEE STAFF: IF IT WAS A BAR OF SOAP -- MIGHT LOOK LIKE A
GUN -- WE'RE GONNA TACK THREE MORE YEARS ON. TO SUGGEST IT DOESN'T HAVE A
FISCAL IMPACT, I THINK IT'S GOT TO HAVE A FISCAL IMPACT. IT MAY BE DOWN THE
SUPER=01-Tom Woodward/Committee Staff;
OUT Q=the road.
The bill was sent to the Senate Finance committee to assess the potential
cost in new prison beds.
But NOT before almost every Senator had toyed with a gun.
IN Q=I think
((SEN. JANET HOWELL/D-RESTON: I THINK IT'S ABSOLUTELY SPLENDID, AND I'M SO
GLAD YOU BROUGHT THE PROPS.))
((DEL. BOB MCDONNELL/R-VIRGINIA BEACH: THAT WAS REALLY EFFECTIVE. I HADN'T
HAD THOSE IN SUBCOMMITTEE. BUT I THINK))
sot skip ahead a sentence
((BUT UNDER THE EXISTING STATE OF THE CASE LAW YOU COULD NOT PROSECUTE SOMEBODY
WHO HAD USED THAT GUN. AND FROM THE VICTIM'S PERSPECTIVE YOU'RE NOT GOING TO
BE ABLE TO ASK THEM HEY CAN I SEE THAT GUN SO I KNOW WHETHER TO BE SCARED?))
SUPER=01-Sen. Janet Howell/(D) Reston;
SUPER=01-Bob McDonnell/(R) Virginia Beach; :07
OUT Q=whether to be scared.
The bill responds to a Virginia Supreme Court ruling that allowed fake guns
to be used in crimes with NO extra penalty.
A Franklin County Supervisor was found guilty today of hunting deer
Hubert Quinn, his son, grandson, and another man were cited last November
for hunting deer with dogs in Patrick County.
While in court Quinn and his son testified dogs were on the hunting trip but
were not used to track deer-- just rabbits.
However, the prosecution saw things differently.
IN Q=It's all the circumstances
((WILL JARVIS/PROSECUTOR: IT'S ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PERSON HAVING THE
GUNS, THEIR DRESSED IN HUNTING CLOTHING, THE DOGS ARE NEAR BY, THERE'S A DEER
INVOLVED. YOU KNOW, ALL OF THOSE KINDS OF CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LEAD UP TO THE
INESCAPABLE CONCLUSION THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE HUNTING AND THEY WERE USING DOGS
TO THEIR ADVANTAGE.))
OUT Q=dogs to their advantage.
The Supervisor and another man were fined 100- hundred dollars.
Quinn's son, Reginald was acquitted.
His 12- year- old grandson still has a Juvenile Court appearance later.
Coming up tonight in sports, regional hoop action continues.
The Big South tournament is set to tip-off in Lynchburg.
And with the state wrestling tournament set for this weekend, Steve Mason
talks with one of the top grapplers in the state.
Last night's Northwest regional quarterfinal game in Danville marked the end
of an era at Patrick Henry high school.
SUPER=03-Danville/Patriots vs. Eagles; :00
Retiring Patriots head coach Woody Deans and his team were trying to
ground the unbeaten Eagles and extend his career one more game.
But the Eagles were too strong. Tyrone Robertson takes it in for the jam.
G.W Danville advances with the 85-47 victory and ends Woody Deans career.
((WOODY DEANS/RETIRING PH COACH:))
SUPER=01-Woody Deans/Retiring P.H. Coach; :00
OUT Q=...that we can cherish"
Woody steps down with 213 wins and 2 state titles.
Regional action continues tonight in region 3 with Salem playing Laurel
And in region 4 where CHristiansburg hosts Virginia High.
Starting tomorrow, Liberty University's Vines Center will once again be
rocking to the beat of the Big South Tournament.
The teams were in town today to get some practice in before the first tipoff
The 1995 tournament at Liberty smashed all conference attendance records,
and organizers say they'd love to see a repeat performance this year.
IN Q=Liberty's on a
((CARL MCALOOSE/BIG SOUTH ASSOC. COMMISSIONER: LIBERTY'S ON A ROLL AS OF LATE
AND WE THINK THEIR FANS ARE GOING TO COME OUT. WE'RE ALSO HOPEFULLY GOING TO
GET A LOT OF SUPPORT FROM OUR OTHER SCHOOLS. THEY HAVE DONE A FANTASTIC JOB,
THEY'VE DONE A GREAT JOB PROMOTING THE TOURNAMENT, EVERYBODY IN THE LYNCHBURG
AREA HAS DONE A GREAT JOB, THE MEDIA'S DONE A GREAT JOB, AND THE FAN SUPPORT
CAN'T BE ANY BETTER.))
SUPER=01-Carl McAloose/Big South Assoc. Commissioner; :00
OUT Q=can't be any better.
There's plenty at stake for everybody... this year's winner gets an
automatic bid to the NCAA's big dance next month.
Lynchburg is in the second year of a two- year contract hosting the Big
SS=HOLD BIG SOUTH
Radford plays Charleston Southern tomorrow at 2pm and then tomorrow night
Liberty plays UMBC in the nightcap at 8 o'clock.
This weekend the Single A and double A state wrestling tournament take
over the Salem Civic Center while top triple A wrestlers hold their meet in
Franklin County's Byran Jones will be one local grappler to keep an eye on
Friday and Saturday. Steve Mason has his story.
IN Q=first audio
SUPER=03-Rocky Mount; :00
SUPER=01-Kris Kahila/Franklin Co. Head Coach; :17
SUPER=01-Bryan Jones/Eagle Tri-Captain; :37
SUPER=03-Franklin Co./February 2; :45
OUT Q=..News 7 sports"
His nickname was practically synonymous with the Galax Old Fiddlers'
For the last 55 years, Ralph McGee, known to most as Old-Timer, was a
fixture at just about every one of the annual bluegrass festivals.
Last week the friendly fiddle player from North Carolina laid down his bow.
The Old-Timer died at home of natural causes.
IN Q=You don't know when
((RALPH "OLD-TIMER" MCGEE: YOU DON'T KNOW WHEN YOU'LL LEAVE THIS EARTH, BUT
WHEN THE GOOD LORD WANTS US, HE'S GOING TO GET US TOO, BUDDY-ROE, REGARDLESS OF
WHERE YOU LIVE AND WHERE YOU'RE AT. THAT'S THE OLD TIMER'S WAY OF THINKING.))
OUT Q=way of thinking.
McGee played with the Muddy Creek Bluegrass Band.
He was 94.
SOT nat sound of fiddle-playing
OUT Q=ends on a freeze of him smiling into the camera