Coming up on News 7-
The latest on the DC-8 Crash in Giles County-
We'll find out what it was like being held hostage in Peru- from a man
with family in Roanoke County.
A White Christmas for parts of the nation.
Plus Salem pulls out all the stops for its state champion football team.
News 7 is next.
Investigators are still trying to figure out why a DC-9 crashed into East
River Mountain in Giles County last night.
Authorities say they believe the crash was a mechanical problem and not
Six people died when the Airborne Express cargo plane crashed.
One of the 225 hostages freed from Peru has in-laws in Roanoke county.
Tonight at eleven we'll hear from Kris Merrshod about what it was like
during the past five days in captivity.
Plus Kim with the holiday forecast.
Join us for News 7 at Eleven.
Officials from the NTSB and FAA will return to Giles County tomorrow and
continue their investigation into a deadly weekend plane crash.
Last night, an Airborne Express cargo plane went down a few miles outside
the town of Narrows... killing all six people on board.
Today, the search for answers began.
Scott Prince was there.
IN Q=The six
SUPER=01-Bill Macintosh/NTSB Investigator;
OUT Q=S.P., N-7, Giles County
The six victims were brought down the East River Mountain late in the day.
But up on top, countless pieces of debris still remain.
At this point investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the
D-C 8 to crash, but they DO believe it was a mechanical problem... and not
They also say the half- dozen people on board knew the plane was in trouble
minutes before it went down.
IN Q=They were
((BILL MACINTOSH/NTSB INVESTIGATOR: THEY WERE OPERATING BETWEEN THIRTEEN AND
FIFTEEN THOUSAND FEET AND CALLED IN AND SAID THEY REQUIRED IMMEDIATE DISSENT
AND THEY WERE ALREADY IN AN EMERGENCY DISSENT. ))
OUT Q=emergency dissent
The plane was recently purchased by Airborne Express and those on board the
ill- fated cargo flight were taking it on a test run.
It took off from Greensboro, North Carolina and was headed Northwest to
But right before the crash, the flight path apparently changed.
Stand up 2:17:39
((The plane was headed Southwest when it crashed into the mountain.
This is the point of impact.
And officials say wreckage is scattered across 2 acres.))
End Stand up
The force of the plane was so great, it dug out two house- size craters on
the mountain side.
But officials were still able to locate the flight recorders among the
The data was immediately taken from the scene and sent to Washington, D.C.
Investigators hope to complete their on- sight probe before the Christmas
However, the over all investigation could take months to complete.
Scott Prince, News- 7, Giles County.
One of the 225 hostages freed from Peru has in-laws in Roanoke County.
CBS News reporter Jim Alexrod talked with Kris (Merr-schrod) Kris Merschrod
shortly after his release.
SUPER=03-Lima, Peru/Last Night; 00
SUPER=01-Kris Merschrod/Former Hostage; 38
OUT Q=Lima, Peru."
((Only six of the seven Americans released last night boarded
buses to leave the compound, the last one out walked away...Kris Merschrod.
REPORTER: I HEAR YOU'RE ALWAYS THE LAST TO LEAVE A
PARTY. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING LAST NIGHT AS YOU WALKED OUT?
KRIS MERSCHROD/RELEASED HOSTAGE: I MADE
IT AGAIN, THE LAST ONE OUT.
Merschrod had just ordered a drink when the rebels struck. The
takeover he says was calmer than you might think by looking at the bullets
IT WAS VERY QUICK/WITHIN A MINUTE WHOLE PLACE WAS QUIET. THE COUNT WAS 12 Or
14 WOMEN YOUNG AND THEN
3 OLDER FELLOWS AND THEN YOUNGER PEOPLE. THEY WERE
REALLY WELL ORGANIZED. IT WENT OFF SMOOTH AS SILK.
Even when the shooting was going on around, I just lied down on the
ground and I continued to sip the wine. Almost immediately hostages developed a
rapport with hostage takers.
MERSCHROD: YOU KNOW YOU COULD WALK UP TO THEM AND SAY 'HEY MAN I
HAVE A QUESTION. I WANT TO USE THE BATHROOM IS THAT ALRIGHT? .OH YEAH.GO
This is why Merschrod feels confident about a peaceful resolution to the
REPORTER: WERE YOU MISTREATED? MERSCHROD: NO. NOT AT
ALL. THESE PEOPLE HAVE AN ANGLE. THEIR ANGLE BASICALLY IS TO
BE PART OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS AND I'M REALLY OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS THING
WILL BE RESOLVED BY NEGOTIATION NOT BY FORCE.
Kris Merschrod's been through quite a week but nothing he's wants to
REPORTER: DO YOU EVER WISH YOU TURNED DOWN THE INVITATION TO THE PARTY?
MERSCHROD: NOT NOW. THE EXPERIENCE WAS JUST TOO IMPORTANT. JIM AXELROD, CBS
NEWS, LIMA, PERU.))
Both Mer-schrod and his wife were held captive in Peru.
His wife's sister lives here in Roanoke County- where Len Besthoff spoke
with her today.
SUPER=01-Cecilia Alami/Relative of Former Hostage; :00
SUPER=03-Lima, Peru/Last Night; :07
SUPER=04-Last Week; :22
OUT Q=LB, News-7.
((OUR REACTION WAS ONE OF COURSE OF ABSOLUTE JOY. WE FELT THAT AT THAT MOMENT
THAT OUR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION REALLY STARTED. ))
OUT Q=really started.
Cecilia Alami says her brother- in- law, Kris Merschrod, tried to walk away
from the hostage standoff after his release so he could go home,
but he was eventually bused to a hospital with the other former captives.
Merschrod told her it was a pretty relaxed inside the Japanese ambassador's
IN Q=On Wednesday
((ALAMI: ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, THEY ALL GOT UP GOT THE VACUUM CLEANERS OUT
CLEANED THE HOUSE, MADE THE PLACE LOOK OKAY. AND HE REALLY SAID THAT THERE
WASN'T ANY PROBLEM WITH FOOD EXCEPT FOR ONE DAY WHEN THEY HAD TO SPLIT A SMALL
SANDWICH SIX WAYS.))
OUT Q=six ways.
IN Q=I also
(( CECILIA ALAMI/RELATIVE OF HOSTAGE: I ALSO ASKED HIM IF THEY HAD HAD GUNS
POINTED AT THEIR HEAD THE WHOLE TIME THEY WERE THERE. AND HE SAID NO, THAT
THAT WASN'T THE CASE AT ALL.))
OUT Q=at all.
Merschrod believes his captors have more earnest intentions than The Shining
Path, another rebel organization in Peru known for its violence.
IN Q=He said that
((ALAMI: HE SAID THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE REALLY GENUINE, AND THEY WANT TO SEE
SOME REFORM IN THE GOVERNMENT, THEY WANT REPRESENTATION IN THE GOVERNMENT IS
WHAT THEY WANT. AND HE FELT THAT THEY REALLY WANTED TO COMMUNICATE AND DO SOME
OUT Q=serious negotiating.
Alami's sister, who's married to Merschrod, was released a few days earlier.
Merschrod also praised the efforts of the Japanese ambassador and the Red
Cross in making the hostages comfortable.
Len Besthoff, News-7.
The hostage situation is not over though.
Peruvian rebels are still holding 140 people captive- while demanding the
release of their jailed comrades.
It's been two days since Newt Gingrich admitted breaking house rules and
giving untrue statements-
Those statements were about the tax exempt financing of his college
Today Reporters caught up with the Speaker at his home in Georgia.
((REPORTER: CAN YOU ANSWER A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS? NEWT GINGRICH/HOUSE SPEAKER:
PROBABLY NOT, BUT I WANTED TO WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS. THE AGREEMENT WE
HAVE WITH THE ETHICS COMMITTEE IS WE ISSUED A STATEMENT THE OTHER DAY AND WE
ARE NOT GOING TO EXPAND UPON THAT OR ELABORATE AT ALL IN PUBLIC. WE HAVE A
HEARING COMING UP AND WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS AT THE HEARING.))
SUPER=01-Rep. Newt Gingrich/(R) House Speaker;
OUT Q=at the hearing."
Gingrich says he takes full responsibility for the violations but maintains
they were unintentional.
Not just a White Christmas for folks in Fargo, North Dakota,
but a windy one too.
The blowing drifting snow and cold temperatures are still causing trouble-
stranding cars and causing accidents.
Even snow plows were not allowed on the streets with winds up to 20 miles an
hour- and temperatures as low as 60 degrees below zero.
Minneapolis got a gentler gift from Mother Nature.
Snow blowers and shovels were in order though to clear driveways and cars.
Up to five inches are expected there- with temperatures in the single digits.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on the newscast, Bedford County tries to get on the fast track
to stopping crime,
and the Salvation Army is laughing all the way to the bank as it cashes in
on a little Muppet Mania.
Looks like fun, Jean--
Well, we've got a cold front heading our way overnight, promising a wet
start to Christmas Eve.
Also, some colder air will start flowing in later in the day.
But no cold air in this list of highs and lows for the day...
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=82-2.48''/plus 0.23''/54.68''/plus 14.27'';
SUPER=83-Down 0.18 Foot/Down 0.89 Foot;Lake levels
Trans World Airlines is laying off hundreds of workers-
SUPER=03-New York City;
including airport employees, ramp people, and ticket agents.
TWA also says it will phase out it's large 747 and replace it with the
((MARK ABELS/TWA: EVERY OTHER U.S. AIRLINE HAS GONE TO SMALLER AIRCRAFT WITH
HIGHER FREQUENCY AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO. THE LARGE AIRPLANES JUST
DON'T OPERATE PROFITABLY ANYMORE AND WE THINK A 767 IN PLACE OF A 747 CAN.))
OUT Q=OF A 747 CAN."
TWA says the move is unrelated to the TWA 747 crash this past summer-
Instead it comes after the airline lost $130 million last year at New York's
Layoffs will begin in February in New York.
TWA will beef up international flights out of St. Louis- for Western
travelers who don't want to fly to New York to pick up a connection.
The death toll is now eight in a factory explosion near Houston-
SUPER=03-Harris Co., TX;
Workers tonight are searching the grounds near the Wyman Gordon plant for a
Investigators are also trying to figure out what caused the blast.
((G.H. BELL/EMPLOYEE: OH. THERE'S NO REACTION. NO REACTION. IT'S DEVASTATING.))
OUT Q=it's devastating."
The explosion just before midnight blew a 50 foot wide hole through the
Workers were doing maintenance on a huge 90 foot tank used to hold tons of
pressurized nitrogen and water.
The blast shot a metal cap off one of the tanks through the roof and
possibly into a nearby field.
((ERIC PETOCZ/VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER: WE'RE SEARCHING FIELDS AND SEARCHING FOR
ANY PARTS OF THE BUILDING, THE UNIT, BODIES, ANYTHING.))
SUPER=01-Eric Petocz/Volunteer Firefighter;
OUT Q=BODIES, ANYTHING."
The plant is near a large subdivision in suburban Houston although no homes
were affected by the blast.
Investigators believe the fire that heavily damaged a Henry County church
ignited by accident.
Victory Baptist Church on route 609 near Fieldale had 125- thousand dollars
Fire fighters were called out around nine- 45 last night.
The blaze apparently started in the left side pulpit area, near the piano.
Investigators believe it was ignited by a candle in come Christmas
In hopes of preventing similar losses, the state fire marshal's office will
offer fire safety inspections to other area churches.
The city of Roanoke has an early Christmas gift for visitors to Mill
The new Walnut Street bridge opened today.
The bridge was torn up a year ago. That forced people who used to use the
bridge to take a detour to get to the mountain.
The project was finished on time, and on budget.
It includes some new decorative lighting.
The contractor still has some painting to do, but the bridge won't have to
close for that.
They haven't hired Crockett and Tubbs, but the Bedford County sheriff's
department is sporting a "Miami Vice" kind of look these days.
Sheriff Mike Brown today unveiled his department's newest patrol cars... two
The sporty- looking vehicles will be used in Bedford's newly- created Crime
Suppression Unit, aimed at cracking down on DUI and drug offenders.
IN Q=If you have
((MIKE BROWN/BEDFORD CO. SHERIFF: IF YOU HAVE ONE AREA OF THE COUNTY THAT
YOU'RE GETTING MORE CALLS, THEN THESE VEHICLES WILL BE THERE IN THAT AREA. BOTH
DRUGS, ALCOHOL, B & E'S, LARCENIES, WHEREVER THE CRIME IS, THESE UNITS WILL BE
WORKING IN TANDEM WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH THE OTHER FIELD UNITS.))
SUPER=01-Mike Brown/Bedford Co. Sheriff; :00
OUT Q=the other field units.
Each Camaro is fully equipped with radar detection, video recorders and
They're also outfitted with Corvette engines, enabling the officer to catch
up with speeding vehicles more quickly.
Sheriff Brown says the Camaros also cost about one thousand dollars LESS
than the average patrol car.
A Patrick County republican wants to become the areas next delegate.
58-year old Phil Plaster is seeking the Republican nomination to fill the
seat vacated by State Senator Elect Roscoe Reynolds.
Plaster is a familiar face on the political scene-- He ran for Reynolds seat
Last week, Democrat Barnie Day announced his intentions to run in the
upcoming special election.
Day is a current member of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.
Soft Music Under
Stay with us, coming up next, we'll see how one school is trying to pad it's
enrollment by trimming down its students,
and we'll head to Salem, where the city is honoring its state football champs.
MUSIC UP FULL
These days you can find college level classes in just about any subject
you're interested in.
Beginning next month, Virginia Western Community College will offer a
weight management class where you can earn college credit for discovering how
to take better care of your body.
From learning new eating habits, to cultivating exercise motivation-- the
class also focuses on size acceptance, the first step toward self-confidence.
IN Q=We have to
((NANCY MAURELLI/NUTRITION EXPERT: WE HAVE TO LIVE IN THIS BODY 24 HOURS A DAY
SO WE MAY AS WELL BE COMFORTABLE IN THERE AND NOT WISHING IT COULD ALWAYS BE
SOMETHING DIFFERENT. SO I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO THE PERSON'S MENTAL
HEALTH, THEIR SELF CONFIDENCE, THEIR SELF-ESTEEM, AND ALSO I THINK IT SPILLS
OVER TO THEIR RELATIONSHIPS AS WELL. ))
SUPER=01-Nancy Maurelli/Nutrition Expert; :
OUT Q=as well.
The class is open to the public, to both men and women.
Both morning and evening sessions are available.
To register, contact Virginia Western's Office of Continuing Education.
The Salvation Army is the big winner after today's Tickle Me Elmo auction in
IN Q=auction stuff
((AUCTIONEER CALLING ))
OUT Q=SOLD, FOR 120 DOLLARS
More than one-hundred Sesame Street fans waited at the Lowe's store in
Roanoke this afternoon- all for a chance at the hottest Christmas present this
W-S-L-Q radio personality Dick Daniels decided to hold the charity auction--
But it took extra measures to round up these hard to find muppets.
IN Q=not illegal
((DICK DANIELS: NOT ILLEGAL, BUT I TELL YOU, WE DID HAVE TO DO SOME STOCKROOM
DEALING TO GET A COUPLE OF THEM.))
OUT Q=couple of them.
The auction attracted people of all ages, including one woman who already
has two Elmos and just came to see the spectacle.
IN Q=WE GOT OUR
((KATHERINE WILSON:WE GOT OUR ELMO FROM A FRIEND OF OURS, HER MOTHER IN LAW
LIVES IN DETROIT, SHE ENDED UP WITH TWO ELMOS, ONE FROM NC, ONE FROM DETROIT.
OUT Q=one from detroit
The five Elmos netted more than 11-hundred dollars for the Salvation army.
New Sesame Street "Tickle-Me" dolls for different characters are already in
the works for next Christmas.
SUPER=306-50/31/48/S-12mph/30.13f/7:32 am/5:07 pm;
SUPER=330-Cloudy,/Rain Overnight/40-45/Rainy &/Windy/50-54;
SUPER=331-Partly Cloudy/Wind S 10/40-45/Rain Likely/Storm Chance/52-56;
SUPER=332-Rain Likely/Storm Chance/48-52/Rain, Cooler/Temperatures/42-46;
SUPER=333-Clouding Up/Rain Late/38-42/Rain Early/Cloudy Late/48-52;
SUPER=334-Rain Starting/Late/48-52/More Rain/Turning Colder/42-46;
The University of Connecticut continues to hold its edge on the Virginia
Last night the Huskies beat the Cavaliers 64 to 61 in overtime.
SUPER=03-Stoors, CT/HTS; :
Virginia scored the first 8 points of the game two when Curtis Staples
drives to the hoop for the Layup.
Connecticut went on an 8 to nothing run highlighted when Deon Carson goes
inside for the easy layup to make it 9 8 Huskies.
But the Cavaliers rallied at the end of the half Harold Deane drives to the
hoop and scores and it was 30 to 30 at the half.
The game went to overtime tied 53 to 53 but Staples pulls up and nails the
three pointer giving U-V-A a three point lead.
But the Huskies opened the lead to SUPER=33-Connecticut/64/Virginia/61/;
five points and Connecticut beats Virginia in overtime 64 to 61.
That's it for Sports. Have a good day everybody!
Virginia and Connecticut received points in the A-P Poll but both failed
to crack the top 25.
Kansas still holds down the number one spot followed by Wake Forest,
Kentucky, Michigan, and Iowa State.
Clemson, Cincinnati, Utah, Arizona and Villanova round out the top 10.
Next is North Carolina, Duke, Indiana, New Mexico, and Minnesota complete the
Louisville, Xavier of ohio, Texas, Alabama, and Texas Tech round out the
And topping off the top 25 are Maryland, Arkansas, Stanford, Oregon and
SUPER=0122-1./Kansas/2./Wake Forest/3./Kentucky/4./Michigan/5./Iowa St.
Plenty of college hoop action on tap tonight for that and all of the pro
scores lets check the boards.
WIPE TO SCORES
SUPER=0098-j/New Mexico#15/98//Jackson St./45///j/Minnesota#16/114//Alabama
SUPER=0103-j/Florida/4//N.Y. Islanders/3////Buffalo/0//New Jersey/0//OT/;
OUT Q=....last score."
And coming up in sports, The Hokies and Cavaliers are ready to go bowling
Atlanta Fires head football coach June Jones.
And as expected Dan Reeves says good by to the New York Giants.
As the N-F-L teams prepare for the Playoffs, A couple of Coaches are
looking for new jobs in the league during the holiday season.
SUPER=04-FOX SPORTS; :
As expected, the New York giants fired head coach Dan Reeves today ending
their four year association.
Reeves lead the giants to an 11 and 5 season in 1993 and into the N-F-C
The giants went 6 and 10 this season and Reeves finishes with a 31 and 33
record in New York.
IN Q="I do feel
((DAN REEVES/FIRED AS GIANTS HEAD COACH: ))
SUPER=01-Dan Reeves/Fired As Giants Head Coach; :00
OUT Q=.....to retire."
There's also an opening in Atlanta where the Falcons fired head coach June
Jones. Jones suffered through a stormy season including the suspension and
waiving of starting quarterback Jeff George.
the Falcons finished 3 and 13 with yesterday's loss to Jacksonville and
Jones has a record of 19 and 29 in three years.
The Virginia Tech Hokies continued their preparations for their New year's
Eve Orange bowl date with Nebraska yestedayy.
The Hokies will not only have to overcome a super talented team, but they
also will have to handle a lot of tradition.
The senior class on this Nebraska team has accomplished more than any class
in NCAA history.
The Nebraska class of 96 has won two national championships, 46 games in four
years, three conference championships and they have a perfect home record in
their four year at 26-and-0.
IN Q="It's a great honor...
((FRANK BEAMER/VA. TECH HEAD COACH:))
SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Va. Tech Head Coach; :00
OUT Q=...THE ORANGE BOWL."
No matter what they do; the Virginia Cavaliers cannot get away from Big
East teams that always seem to play their best games against the Wahoos.
SUPER=03-Fort Lauderdale, FL/1994;
At the end of the 1993 season, the Cavs ran into a red hot Boston College
quarterback in Glen Foley, now with the New York Jets. Foley threw for over 300
yards in BC's Carquest Bowl win.
Virginia tech played perhaps one of it's best games against Virginia at
November's end, holding the Cavs to 3 field goals. Miami is up next.
((TODD WHITE/UVA DEFENSIVE TACKLE:))
SUPER=01-Todd White/UVa Defensive Tackle; :00
OUT Q=..good performance"
Ironically, the Hokies are helping the Cavaliers in their game preparation
for the Hurricanes.
((TIKI BARBER/UVA ALL TIME LEADING RUSHER:))
SUPER=01-Tiki Barber/UVa All-Time Leading Rusher; :
OUT Q=..work for us"
Coming up a little later, Frank Beamer will talk about Playing Nebraska.
The band played and the cheerleaders cheered for the state champion Salem
Spartans one more time tonight.
It was a beautiful night for a victory parade, and Salem pulled out all the
Fans lined Main street and cheered for the champs, and for coach Willis
White, who had the best seat in the house on top of a fire engine.
White says this kind of support is part of the reason his team came out on
IN Q=well it lets them know
((WILLIS WHITE, SALEM FOOTBALL COACH; WELL IT LETS THEM KNOW THAT WE REALLY
LIKE OUR FOOTBALL HERE AT SALEM, AND i THINK IT ENCOURAGES THEM TO PLAY ))
SUPER=01-Willis White/Salem Head Coach
OUT Q=encourages them to play
The Spartans marched to the Salem Civic Center where almost 25 hundred
people were expected for a victory reception.