Two very elderly gentlemen are victims of a Lynchburg house fire.
We'll have their story in a moment on NEWS 7 at SIX.
And the freshly-minted state budget bears fruit for colleges and other
institutions in Western Virginia and Southside.
Tonight in sports, March Madness is upon us.
I'll have the schedule of games with starting times coming up on WDBJ
Plus the Radford women talk about dancing with UT
And Tech talks about getting ending up with a different dancing partner than
they expected to have in the men's tournament.
A warming forecast...finally...storm problems along the coast. And
weatherschool links the moon and tides coming up.
Every day, 74- year- old Calvin Floyd would check on his elderly neighbor,
83- year- old Sam Williams.
This morning, both men died when Williams' Lynchburg home went up in flames.
The fire at 2-06 "F" Street was reported just before nine a-m.
Smoke and flames were pouring from the two-story building when firefighters
Authorities say they knew right away they would be looking for victims.
IN Q=We had to
((CMDR. ED JONES/LYNCHBURG FIRE DEPT.: WE HAD TO KNOCK IT DOWN FROM OUTSIDE BUT
WE PUT CREWS INSIDE PROBABLY WITHIN THE FIRST SIX TO SEVEN MINUTES THAT WE WERE
HERE AND GOT A GOOD KNOCK-DOWN UPSTAIRS. AND WE BASICALLY JUST PROTECTED THE
FIRST BODY UNTIL WE COULD GET THAT ONE OUT.))
SUPER=01-Cmdr. Ed Jones/Lynchburg Fire Dept.; :00
OUT Q=get that one out.
Floyd's body was found just inside a first- floor hallway, about ten feet
from the front door.
Williams' body was recovered from his bedroom on the first floor, where the
blaze apparently started.
Police say Floyd may have been trying to save Williams from the fire when he
Both bodies have been sent to Roanoke for autopsies.
No cause for the fire has been established.
Authorities say they KNOW what caused five vacant buildings to go up in
flames yesterday in BEDFORD County.
All of them were the work of an arsonist.
Four separate fires were reported between five and eight a-m Sunday in the
Boonsboro- Big Island area.
SUPER=03-Bedford Co./Last Night;
Then a hay barn off Route 501 was torched around eight last night.
Investigators are still following up leads and have made no arrests.
And Lynchburg authorities say someone set fire to several storage areas
behind the Ramada Inn last night.
A security guard there reported the blaze around midnight.
IN Q=He encountered
((MIKE THOMAS/DEPUTY FIRE MARSHAL: HE ENCOUNTERED A VAGRANT AROUND BACK IN THE
AREA OF THE FIRE, HE RAN HIM OFF, AND NOTICED THE FIRE APPROXIMATELY FIFTEEN TO
TWENTY MINUTES AFTERWARDS.))
SUPER=01-Mike Thomas/Deputy Fire Marshal; :00
OUT Q=twenty minutes afterwards.
Fire damage was contained to about six storage areas behind the motel.
The rooms in that section were in the process of being renovated.
wipe wipe wipe
Fire severely damaged a two- story structure just over the city line in
Roanoke County late this afternoon.
Heavy smoke and flames were pouring from the house on Thirlane Road.
Everybody got out safely, but fire investigators were unusually quick about
getting inside to check out the damage- -even before firefighters had the blaze
We have a budget.
The longest Virginia General Assembly session lawmakers can remember is
wrapping up at this hour.
And harmony reigns.
Ellen Qualls has the story.
IN Q=Ayes 40, Nos 0.
OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.
sot budget vote
Earlier, nine budget negotiators finally signing off on the first truly bi-
partisan state budget in modern history.
It was a sight for sore eyes.
But then the sore eyes got down to work, picking out their personal pork in
the 35- billion dollar, two year budget.
((DEL CHIP WOODRUM: MORE MONEY FOR CENTER IN THE SQUARE...DRUG COURT.))
((DEL. PRESTON BRYANT: TWO MILLION DOLLARS HELPING OUT THE CITY OF LYNCHBURG
TO LURE A MAJOR EMPLOYER... STAGE RIGHT NOW.))
((DEL. WHITT CLEMENT: WELL THE THING THAT I FIND MOST EXCITING IS DANVILLE
COMMUNITY COLLEGE COMES OUT A REAL WINNER.))
Something for Virginia Tech.
((DEL. JIM SHULER: INFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGY BUILDING AT TECH IS A BIG ITEM FOR
US. IT'S ABOUT A 24- MILLION DOLLAR OBJECT.))
And at Radford University.
((DEL. TOMMY BAKER: WE WERE ABLE TO COME OVER ON THE LONG-TERM BOND PACKAGE
WITH 7.5-MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE ACADEMIC BUILDING FOR THE NURSING SCHOOL. SO
WE'RE REAL PLEASED ABOUT THAT.))
House Majority Leader Dick Cranwell now says he's ready to sign off on the
massive juvenile justice reform plan.
((DEL. DICK CRANWELL: I GUESS THAT IN THE WINDING DOWN OF THE LEGISLATIVE
PROCESS, IN THE HECTIC HUSTLE AND BUSTLE THINGS CAN GET MISSTATED AND PROBABLY
I WAS A LITTLE ANGRY ABOUT THAT.))
While everyone else was counting their chickens, the Governor's staff
counted up George Allen's legislative success rate.
They say he's won 80- percent of his battles.
What a difference a year makes.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
All eyes were on Wall Street today, after last Friday's big selloff.
Len Besthoff talks with a local broker about today's activity.
(Len ad libs live tease and tosses back to Keith)
We'll have Len's report and also--
It could be Warner vs. Warner for the U-S Senate. The former State
Democratic Chairman throws his hat into the ring--but first he'll have to get
past opposition from within his own party.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=#C-380; Weather Roll
Former State Democratic Chairman Mark Warner kicked off his bid for the U.S.
Senate today with a promise to limit his time in office and contributions to
Warner began his statewide announcement tour this morning in Richmond.
He says public office should not become a career, or a captive of special
IN Q=Because I believe
((MARK WARNER/D- U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: BECAUSE I BELIEVE PUBLIC OFFICE IS AN
HONOR AND NOT A CAREER, IF ELECTED, I WILL LIMIT MY TIME IN OFFICE TO TWO
TERMS. BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT WE NEED TO RESTORE OUR FAITH IN PUBLIC OFFICE
HOLDERS I WILL NOT ACCEPT CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SPECIAL INTEREST COMMITTEES.))
SUPER=01-Mark Warner/(D) U.S. Senate Candidate;
OUT Q=special interest committees.
Warner's opponent for the Democratic nomination is former northern Virginia
congresswoman Leslie Byrne.
Today in Roanoke, Byrne said she is not deterred by Warner's personal
IN Q=It's always intimidating
((LESLIE BYRNE/D- U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: IT'S ALWAYS INTIMIDATING TO RUN
AGAINST SOMEBODY WHO'S WORTH MORE THAN 100- MILLION DOLLARS, BUT THE FACT IS,
IF YOU DON'T HAVE A MESSAGE THE MONEY DOESN'T MATTER. AND I THINK WE HAVE A
VERY STRONG MESSAGE AND BY THE TURNOUT OF FOLKS ENDORSING US TODAY, YOU CAN SEE
WE'RE GATHERING SUPPORT THROUGHOUT VIRGINIA AND THEY'LL BE THERE ON CAUCUS
SUPER=01-Leslie Byrne/(D) U.S. Senate Candidate;
OUT Q=there on caucus day.
Senator John Warner and former Reagan Administration Budget Director Jim
Miller are vying for the Republican nomination.
Authorities in Franklin County are still investigating the death of a
five-month-old boy last month.
The boy's father, Jerry Griffis, remains the chief suspect, although he has
NOT been charged.
The 26-year-old man is wanted in Florida on a fugitive warrant, on a charge
of sexually abusing another child.
Griffis was scheduled for a hearing on that charge in Roanoke general
district court this morning, but that hearing was continued to May.
A Halifax County man charged with killing his wife was indicted today on
additional murder charges.
Authorities say Raleigh Dean Martin confessed to shooting his wife November
He was arrested that evening.
Martin was considered a suspect in the murders of his wife's sister-n-law
The couple was found shot to death on the same night in a nearby home.
However, charges were never filed in their deaths-- instead authorities
waited to present the case to a grand jury.
A man charged with murdering his girlfriend's two year old son, testified
he and the woman, Ladonna Blevins, used drugs on several occasions in the
presence of her two children.
Steven "Bones" Cole took the witness stand at Blevins' trial for felony child
Police say Blevins left two year old Joshua and her infant daughter in
Cole's care while she went to work, and then out partying last August.
24 hours lapsed before she checked on Josh and found him dead in his bed.
Cole has admitted he was high on crack and pushed the boy, who died of
The prosecutor says had Blevins checked on her son after she got home she
might have saved his life.
Cole's murder trial is set for june.
Testimony in Blevins trial is still underway at this hour.
A Danville teenager wanted for murder turned himself in to police early this
16- year old Lawrence Donal (Don-Nell) Howerton, Junior was taken into
custody around three AM.
He's charged with killing another 16- year old.
Tony Spraggins was shot and killed January 28th.
Witnesses say the shooting may have been sparked by a fight that carried
over from school.
Both teens were students at George Washington High School.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 55 hundred 81.
That's up 110-points for the day.
Market watchers have kept a close eye on the Dow following Wall Street's
last trading session, when it plummeted 171-points.
Double Boxes=Keith and Len/Microwave
Len Besthoff has spent some time observing the buying and selling at a few
local brokerage houses.
Len, it appears the market staged a bit of a comeback today.
( ad lib)
SUPER=01-George Brammer/A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.;
( ad lib)
Double Boxes=Keith and /Microwave
As we mentioned, stock prices rebounded in a big way after Friday's plunge.
The Dow gained 110 points to close at 55-81.
NASDAQ was up 17 points.
Shawn Michael Love, the man who led police on a high speed chase into Roanoke
last week, may now find himself facing murder charges.
Love is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend--Sayanora McLaughlin--in Prince
McLaughlin died at the Medical College of Virginia late yesterday.
Authorities say they may now upgrade the original charge against Love,
ATTEMPTED murder, to MURDER.
Love was arrested last week when he smashed into another car on Orange
Avenue--ending a multi-county chase.
In Roanoke--the 22-year-old is charged with attempted malicious wounding,
reckless driving, and failing to stop for a police car.
The Prince George County Police Department hopes to have a decision on the
murder charge by tomorrow.
Love is being held in the Roanoke City Jail without bond.
A twenty- year veteran of the State Police has beaten the rap against
Back in September, Special Agent John Richard Holt was pulled over on
Holt was off duty at the time, accused of speeding and driving under the
His blood- alcohol level was point- 0- 7... just below the legal limit.
But the arresting officer testified Holt was successfully able to delay the
breathalizer test, possibly reducing his blood- alcohol level.
General District Judge Vince Lilley wasn't completely convinced of Holt's
innocence... but threw the case out anyway.
IN Q=I am unable
((JUDGE VINCENT LILLEY/ROANOKE GENERAL DISTRICT COURT: I AM UNABLE TO SAY
BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT THAT HE IS GUILTY AND SO THE LAW REQUIRES EVEN THOUGH
MY SUSPICION IS THAT HE WAS. BUT SUSPICION IS NOT ENOUGH. THE CASE IS
SUPER=01-Judge Vincent Lilley/Roanoke General District Court;
OUT Q=case is dismissed
Holt has not been disciplined by the state police.
But an internal investigation of the incident is still underway.
coming up tonight in sports, we'll give you a rundown of the first round NCAA
games you can catch on your hometown station starting Thursday afternoon.
We'll also check in with the NCAA bound Radford men
and talk with the Virginia Tech Hokies who have to overcome some injuries and
injured egos as they get set to invade Dallas.
After a decade long wait, the Virginia Tech Hokies finally got an invitation
to the NCAA's big dance last night.
But they also got a first round dancing partner that's capable of cutting a
mean rug on the hardwood.
IN Q=first audio
SUPER=03-Blacksburg/This Afternoon; :14
SUPER=01-Shawn Smith/Va. Tech Forward; :31
SUPER=01-Bill Foster/Va. Tech Head Coach; :39
SUPER=01-David Jackson/Tech Junior from Janesville, Wisconsin; 1:05
OUT Q=...OUT OF THE DANCE."
(( The Last time Tech played in the NCAA tournament the 3 point line didn;t
That year even a dash of Curry couldn't prevent a first round exit in the
1986 southeast regionals.
The program weathered those 10 dry years and managed to spend this entire
season in the top 25.
So you can imagine their dismay when the NCAA selection committee gave them
a low number number 9 seed and paired them against dangerous Wisconsin-Green
Bay in Thursday's opening game.
((SHAWN SMITH/VA. TECH FORWARD:))
((BILL FOSTER/VA. TECH HEAD COACH:))
Wisconsin-green Bay will test Tech's patience and toughness with its motion
offense and textbook half court defense - two things the Hokies' Wisconsin
native Jackson twins know all about.
((DAVID JACKSON/TECH JUNIOR FROM JANESVILLE, WISCONSIN:))
The Hokies biggest first round concern right now is the condition of Damon
Watlington's damaged ankle and Shawn Smith's dislocated shoulder.
((BILL FOSTER/VA. TECH HEAD COACH:))
((SHAWN SMITH/VA. TECH FORWARD:))
Your Hometown station is your one and only home for the Hokies opener and the
rest of the March Madness happenings.
We'll get the festivities started this Thursday just after Noon when top
seeded Kentucky takes on San Jose State.
Then after that game you'll be able to watch the Hokies in action against
The action continues Thursday night with Mississippi State taking on VCU in
Then the Thursday nightcap pits the Clemson Tigers against the Georgia
Bulldogs from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Friday afternoon you'll be able to watch the Georgetown Mississippi Valley
state game at 12:10 followed by Santa Clara and Maryland.
Then Friday night, it's Wake Forest and NE Louisiana followed by former Tech
star Tic Price and his Privateers of UNO playing UNC.
The Radford University women are making their third straight trip to the NCAA
SUPER=03-Radford/Saturday Night; :00
The Lady Highlanders are seeded 16th in the East and must play three time
national champ Tennessee on the Lady Vols home floor this Saturday night in
((LUBOMYR LICHONCZAK/RADFORD HEAD COACH:))
((DE DE LOGEMANN/RADFORD SENIOR CENTER:))
SUPER=01-Lubomyr Lichonczak/Radford Head Coach; :00
SUPER=01-DeDe Logemann/Radford Senior Center; :12
OUT Q=...our hearts out."
GRAPHIC=Atlanta Motor Speedway
Dale Earnhardt heads into the TranSouth 400 at Darlington in two weeks with
two wins in just four races after beating Terry Labonte by over 4 seconds
IN Q="I tell ya...
((DALE EARNHARDT/PUROLATOR 500 WINNER:))
SUPER=01-Dale Earnhardt/Purolator 500 Winner; :00
OUT Q=...great job"
1995 rookie of the year Ricky Craven had a very special guest watch him
finish 12th. Travis Roy; the Boston University freshman hockey player who was
paralyzed in his first collegiate game, made his first public appearance at the
race and cheered on Craven; who has dedicated his entire racing season to
There are a couple of NFL notes to mention today.
The Buffalo Bills have signed 29 year old running back Thurman Thomas to a
three year contract extension worth more than 9 million dollars over the next
And, after five concussions in 14 months; Quarterback Chris Miller says
he's done! St. Louis has released him.