A fishing trip on a sunny July afternoon turns into a high- voltage deadly
Coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX: an investigation on the James River.
And Danville's Chief of police talks about a firestorm of controversy, the
department's reputation and public perceptions.
Tonight in sports, Eddie Murray returns to Baltimore, folks in Charlotte are
trying to lure Panther fans into Church on game days,
Frostburg's business community talks about the Redskins,
and American swimming star Janet Evans fails to make the finals in her
specialty the 400 meters today.
Some clouds and some warm weather, but the chance of rain drops way down.
Forecast details are straight ahead.
Why was a teenager electrocuted on the banks of the James River yesterday?
That's a question the Mine Safety and Health Administration is asking
officials at the James River Limestone Plant in Botetourt County.
Double Boxes=Keith and Ron/Newsroom
Ron Jones was in Botertourt County today and has the latest from our
Keith, it's still unclear how 15-year-old Eric Bowden of Wisconsin came in
contact with an explosed wire on the James River that deleivered 480 volts of
Bowden, his brother and three other young men were hoping to enjoy a day of
fishing when it turned tragic.
Roll Cue: it turned tragic.
IN Q=Plant officials say Bowden
SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; :00
SUPER=01-John Michener/James River Limestone General Mgr; :10
SUPER=01-Johnny Carson/Buchanan Rescue Squad; :38
OUT Q=work on him.
((Plant officials say Bowden and his friends signed in at this guard shack
before going on to a fishing spot most people frequent.
((JOHN MICHENER/LIME STONE PLANT GENERAL MANAGER: IT APPEARS IN THIS... STOP IN
THE PALNT AREA TO FISH.))
Bowden came in contact with an exposed live wire and was hit with 480 volts
Rescue squad members tried revive him but were unsuccessful.
((JOHNNY CARSON/BUCHANAN RESCUE SQUAD: MY CREW REQUESTED... STARTED TO WORK ON
OUT Q=work on him
( ad lib)
Double Boxes=Keith and Ron/Newsroom
Lynchburg authorities say a woman's suicide in the police lockup last week
could "not" have been prevented.
35- year- old Manya Faye Brooks was placed in the jail annex Friday after
her arrest on assault charges.
Jailers gave Brooks a bedsheet after she complained of being cold.
When they checked on her about five minutes later, Brooks had used the sheet
to hang herself in her jail cell.
Sheriff Lawrence Simpson says his staff followed all the proper procedures.
He adds Brooks had been incarcerated several times before, and never shown
any suicidal tendencies.
Authorities say a Bedford County woman's death this weekend does "not"
appear to be suspicious.
48- year- old Phyllis Wade Ayers was discovered in her front yard by her
husband Saturday morning.
The couple's home is near the corner of Simsbury and English Lanes.
Ayers' body was sent to Roanoke where an autopsy was performed today.
Medical examiner Dr. David Oxley says it does not appear foul play was
Oxley is waiting on several test results before officially determining the
cause of death.
Math teacher Lari Scruggs has abandoned her claims against fellow teacher
Nadine Keen and Community Activist Linda Edwards White.
Scruggs lost her job at Franklin County High School over statements she made
about inter- racial dating three years ago.
The board ended up NOT re-newing Scruggs' contract, so she sued.
Keen and White called the media, so Scruggs sued them, too.
Scruggs withdrew her suit against the school board in March... and today she
dropped the case against Keen and White... in exchange for a public apology.
The statement attached to papers filed in federal court today says Keen and
White never intended to harm Scruggs.
"Rather," it says: "they intended to draw attention to the failure of the
school board regarding certain race- related issues at Franklin County High
It's been a rocky year for the Danville police department.
A variety of allegations have surfaced ranging from police brutality to
In the past, Police Chief Neal Morris has declined to comment with News 7 on
But in a two- part series that begins tonight, Morris breaks that silence
with some allegations of his own.
Here's Teresa Hamilton.
IN Q=For 26- years
SUPER=03-Danville/June 6; :00
SUPER=01-Neal Morris/Danville Police Chief; :09
SUPER=04-File Tape; :30
SUPER=10-Jeffrey Williams/Former Danville Police Officer/February 1996; :39
OUT Q=Hamilton, News 7.
(( For 26- years Neal Morris has worn the title of Danville Police Chief.
But don't look for his retirement any time soon.
IN Q=If I
((NEAL MORRIS/DANVILLE POLICE CHIEF:IF I HAD BEEN READY TO RETIRE I WOULDN'T DO
IT NOW, I WOULD NEVER RETIRE IN THE MIDST OF A CONTROVERSY.))
OUT Q=of a controversy.
It all began in February when the first of four lawsuits was filed against
Sam Sakalleris, Junior was among the initial complainants.
The Danville businessman alleges, while in handcuffs, he was beaten by two
The second blow came from within when former officer Jeffery Williams
stepped forward alleging he'd been fired for blowing the whistle on police
IN Q=I've lost
((JEFFREY WILLIAMS/FORMER DANVILLE POLICE OFFICER:I'VE LOST A LOT OF GOOD
FRIENDS AT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND MY REPUTATION.))
OUT Q=and my reputation.
Whatever the case may be, Morris believes the media is the wrong place to
discuss a lawsuit.
IN Q=Our policy
((OUR POLICY IS THAT WE WILL AIR OUR CASE IN COURT, WE DON'T DO IT THROUGH THE
NEWS MEDIA AND I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY, IF THE PEOPLE ARE SATISFIED WITH THE
COURT SYSTEM, AND THEY FILED A SUIT, WHY DO THEY KEEP RUNNING TO THE MEDIA
TRYING TO PUT STUFF IN THE NEWS MEDIA UNLESS THEY ARE TRYING TO INFLAME THE
OUT Q=inflame the public.
Indeed, Morris believes there's a movement underway in Danville to cause
trouble for him AND his department.
Two more lawsuits were to follow-- among those a lawsuit filed by Jeffrey
William's distant cousin claiming abuse at the hands of officers.
A fourth and final lawsuit was brought by a former female officer who
alleges gender discrimination.
Around the same time, civil rights advocate Thomas Motley announced the
formation of a group called C-PAC or Citizens Policing Against Corruption.
IN Q=We have to
((NEAL MORRIS/DANVILLE POLICE CHIEF:WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH FACTS, WE DON'T DEAL
WITH EMOTIONS AS SOME PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO DO. IT ALMOST LOOKS TO THE POINT
RIGHT NOW THAT THERE IS A CONSPIRACY GOING ON TO TRY TO DISCREDIT LAW
ENFORCEMENT IN THIS COMMUNITY.))
OUT Q=in this community.
Morris is the first to admit his officers aren't perfect but he doesn't put
much stock in the allegations raised.
He points to the extensive training his officers undergo as proof his
officers are well trained.
We'll have more on that, in part two, tomorrow. Teresa Hamilton, News 7.))
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Coming up on News 7 at Six-
Dentist visits may not always be pleasant, but they are a necessity.
Some children in Botetourt County will soon have a harder time getting their
And these high school students like going to the doctor, -but they aren't
going for a physical.
They're learning about careers in the medical profession.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
A nagging toothache, a bad cavity--they're problems that a quick trip to the
dentist can take care of.
But, some children in Botetourt County may soon be without that option.
Intern Reporter Stacey Martin has more.
IN Q=This state-of-
SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; :00
SUPER=04-File Tape; :25
SUPER=01-Robert Layman/Supervisor Amsterdam District; :31
SUPER=19-Stacey Martin; 1:02
SUPER=01-Dr. John Kuhn/Botetourt Co. Dentist; :1:12
OUT Q=SM, News 7,Botetourt Co.
(( This state-of-the-art mobile office used to be a familiar site parked behind
schools in Botetourt County.
It's a 75 thousand dollar mobile dental care unit that the state bought
about a year ago to replace an old one destroyed in a fire.
It's used for the county's dental program.
But last week the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors did what even a fire
couldn't---shut the program down.
They voted three to two to cut-out the county's share of funding for the
program--equal to about 36 thousand dollars a year.
SOT 14.12.45 - 14.12.54
IN Q=I wouldn't say
((ROBERT LAYMAN/SUPERVISOR AMSTERDAM DISTRICT; I WOULDN'T SAY THAT IT WAS THAT
GREAT OF A BURDEN BUT 35 THOUSAND HERE AND 35 THOUSAND THERE AND PRETTY SOON
YOU SPEND A COUPLE OF 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS.))
OUT Q=100 thousand dollars
The program provides free X-rays, fillings, and flouride treatment to
children in low income families.
It's been around for more than 12 years serving school-age youngsters in
Roanoke, Salem, and Botetourt County.
Dr. John Kuhn is the program's only dentist.
He said ending the program will leave poorer children with few alternatives
to get the care they need.
SOT 12.11.55 - 12.12.07
IN Q=John Shiflett the
JOHN SHIFLETT THE BUCHANAN SUPERVISOR SAYS THAT HE KNOWS OF A DENTIST WHO WOULD
PROVIDE THE SAME SERVICES FOR ABOUT 18 DOLLARS BUT KUHN SAYS THAT JUST ISN'T
OUT Q=just isn't so
SOT 10.52.03 - 10.52.14
IN Q=When I spoke
((DR. JOHN KUHN/BOTETOURT COUNTY DENTIST; WHEN I SPOKE TO HIM HE SAID THAT WE
WAS NOT GIVEN ALL THE FACTS AND THAT HAD HE KNOWN THE FACTS HE WOULD HAVE URGED
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO KEEP THE PROGRAM.))
OUT Q=keep the program
Supervisors say children who used to be in the dental program can receive
the same services from free clinics in their region.
Stacey Martin, News 7, Botetourt County.
The changing of the guard at First Union's regional operation is complete.
The board of directors at First Union's Virginia, Maryland and Washington
D-C headquarters has elected Ben Jenkins as its new chairman.
That position was formerly held by Warner Dalhouse, who retired last month.
Dalhouse had held that post ever since Dominion Bankshares, the bank he
chaired, was taken over by First Union in 1993.
The parent company of WSLS-TV may have another new owner by early next year.
The investors who bought Park Communications in 19-94 have agreed to sell it
to Media General, the owner of the Richmond Times Dispatch.
The pricetag: 710- million- dollars.
The purchase includes ten network affiliated television stations, 28 daily
newspapers and 82 weeklies.
Media General is apparently in a pretty aggressive acquisition mode.
It recently bought the Danville Register and Bee and the Lynchburg News and
More doors are opening for shoppers at the New River Valley Mall in
Today the mall celebrated the opening of three new stores.
Bath and Body Works is the only retailer of the three.
Shoppers will also have more dining choices with the addition of Spanky's
Restaurant and Dairy Queen.
Next month an upscale women's clothing store--B. Moss-- is also set to open.
That will bring the mall to a record level of occupancy, with about 15
percent of its space left unused.
The mall cinema is also planning to add three new theaters, for a total of
Stocks continued their downward trend today.
The Dow lost 36 points, closing at 53-hundred-90.
NASDAQ was down 16 points.
About 30 high students across Southwest and South Central Virginia are
keeping very busy schedules for the next two weeks.
They're evaluating primary care systems, analyzing lab-work, practicing
tele-psychiatry and making the rounds, checking on hospital patients.
It's the Summer "Health Careers" Camp, designed to give prospective medical
students a dose of what the profession is really like.
IN Q=Mostly I
((EILEEN LEPRO/AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CENTER: MOSTLY I THINK THEY WANT TO KNOW
WHERE THE SUPPLY OF JOBS WILL BE. IF IS SPEND FOUR TO 12 YEARS STUDYING FOR A
PARTICULAR CAREER, WILL I HAVE A JOB?))
SUPER=01-Eileen Lepro/Area Health Education Center; :
OUT Q=will I have a job?
The students will tour several hospitals around the region, and learn about
the many facets of health care.
The program is designed to help secure more professionals in medically
IN Q=Some people
((DAVID OWENS/CASTLEWOOD STUDENT: SOME PEOPLE NEED TO GET INTO IT WHO ARE A
LITTLE BIT MORE DOWN TO EARTH, WHO AREN'T JUST IN IT FOR THE MONEY
IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE A DOCTOR YOU SHOULD BE IN IT TO HELP PEOPLE. ))
SUPER=01-David Owens/Castlewood Student; :
OUT Q=to help people.
The students also took the patient's seat today....going through
tuberculosis skin tests.
Later in the week, they'll learn how to actually read the tests.
Tonight in sports, American Janet Evans flops in the pool today at Atlanta,
Eddie Murray returns to Baltimore,
and we'll find out if the Redskins are as big a hit on the streets of
Frostburg, Maryland as they are on the field. Plus, I'll let you know when you
can check out the team in person later this week.
It was a surprising day in Atlanta for one America's biggest and best
swimmer, as Janet Evans, the world record holder failed to make a big enough
Evans was attempting to become the first U.S. woman to win five swimming
gold medals but she failed to qualify for the finals of the 400
freestyle, her specialty.
Evans finished second in her heat with a time of 4:13.60, but
ranked ninth among the 39 swimmers competing in five heats. The
top eight qualified for the final.
Evans will have another opportunity to tie speedskater Bonnie
Blair for the most career gold medals by an American woman when
she competes Thursday in the 800 freestyle.
SUPER=03-Atlanta, GA; :00
Evans isn't the only one having problems in Atlanta. Heat has been virtually
unbearable for not only the competitors but also the fans.
Temperatures today were again in the 90's with high humidity.
Tempers were also flaring again today thanks to a number of traffic and
transportation problems that have plagued the games since their start.
The US Baseball team plays tonight against South Korea at 8, while the Dream
Team takes on Angola on the hardwood at 10.
The Baltimore Orioles continue to shake up their lineup in an attempt to
catch the Yankees in the AL East.
Eddie Murray will be in uniform tonight as the Orioles new designated hitter
when the O's open a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.
Murray spent his first 12 seasons with the Orioles, teaming with Cal Ripken
to help win the 1983 World Series.
He was traded by the Indians yesterday for Kent Mercker.
A week after kicking off training camp 96 in Frostburg, Maryland in the rain
- the Washington Redskins were back out on the field today and AGAIN they had
to fight the rain.
But photographer Scott Ayres and I found out during our trip to Frostburg
last week that it takes more than a few showers to discourage the area's
SUPER=01-John Robinson/J.R.'s of Frostburg Owner; :00
SUPER=01-Mike Mulligan/Frostburg Business Assoc. President; :31
SUPER=01-Lois Hann/The Memory Shop Owner; 1:04
SUPER=01-Robyn Hager/Mary Carol Shop Owner; 1:25
OUT Q=...YOU'LL SENSE HERE."
((JOHN ROBINSON/OWNER - J.R.'s:))
(( That nice feeling got started last summer when the Redskins left Carlisle,
Pennsylvania and signed a 10 year deal to camp out in Frostburg every summer.
Their presence impacted everything from store fronts to the area's rich rail
tradition. It's estimated the Redskins help inject over a million dollars into
the Allegany county economy each summer.
((MIKE MULLIGAN/PRESIDENT - FROSTBURG BUSINESS ASSOC.:))
Most agree that profits should be better this year, but there is some concern
because the team isn't as accessible as it was last year.
((LOIS HANN/OWNER - THE MEMORY SHOP:))
The shop owners are willing to play the waiting game because they found out
last year that even a women's clothing shop can benefit by the Redskins
((ROBYN HAGER/OWNER - MARY CAROL SHOP:))
And in case you want to make trip to Frostburg to check out the Skins they
have a 3 o'clock practice with the Steelers tomorrow that is open to the
They also have an open practice on Wednesday morning at 9. It's a little
over a five hour trip from Roanoke. Take 81 to Winchester, then take Route 522
through West Virginia and into Maryland, where you hook up with Interstate 68
to take you into Frostburg.
The Carolina Panthers have had a similar impact on the Spartanburg, South
Carolina area where they are holding their training camp this week.
And when the team gets back to Charlotte and begins Sunday home games next
month, downtown churches in Charlotte are hoping to make their own impact on
fans with some creative church services.
SUPER=03-Spartanburg, SC; :00
First Baptist Church plans an informal, 8 a.m. come-as-you-are service on
And St. Peter Catholic Church will sell hot dogs at a place it will call "The
St. Peter's Pregame Garden of Eaten" plus have an early mass for football fans.
Steve Mason and photographer Greg Moore will begin our training camp reports
from Spartanburg tomorrow night at six.