A possible Christmas Eve murder in the Hill City.
And Mechanical failure is suspected in Sunday's cargo plane crash in Giles
Stick around News 7 at Noon is next.
One man is dead and another is in custody following a fight in a Lynchburg
motel early this morning.
Police were called to the Ramada Inn on Main Street around 1:30, after a man
reported finding his friend unconscious in their room.
The victim, whose identity has NOT been released, was pronounced dead at the
Police have charged the other man.. 33- year- old James Michael David with
IN Q=It appeared that
((LT. EARL BURNETTE/LYNCHBURG POLICE: IT APPEARED THAT A STRUGGLE HAD TAKEN
PLACE INSIDE THE ROOM. THE VICTIM APPEARED TO HAVE SOME BLUNT TRAUMA INJURIES
TO HIS BODY. MR. DAVID WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH THE MURDER.))
SUPER=01-Earl Burnette/Lynchburg Police; :00
OUT Q=with the murder.
David was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital shortly after his arrest,
complaining of a foot injury.
He remains held without bond, pending a Thursday court hearing.
Rain hampered recovery efforts at the Giles County plane crash site today,
but yesterday's investigation proved more fruitful.
Sunday night, an Airborne Express cargo plane went down a few miles outside
the town of Narrows... killing all six people on board.
Scott Prince has more on yesterday's search for answers.
IN Q=The six
SUPER=03-Giles Co.; :00
SUPER=01-Bob MacIntosh/NTSB Investigator; :30
SUPER=@Scott1; :56 QUICK
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.))
GRAPHIC=mideast peace talks
A Christmas Eve meeting between the leaders of Israel and the P-L-O has
produced NO deal on troop withdrawal.
SUPER=03-Erez Junction, Israel/Gaza Border;
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and P-L-O Chief Yasser Arafat met to
discuss Israel's long- delayed troop pull-out from the West Bank town of
Arafat also met separately with U-S mediator Dennis Ross.
But still no agreement was reached.
((DENNIS ROSS/U.S. ENVOY:WE HAVE VERY CLEARLY ENERGIZED THE NEGOTIATIONS OVER
THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS.
THIS IS A PROCESS AND THIS PROCESS OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS HAS BECOME
MORE DYNAMIC. ))
SUPER=01-Dennis Ross/U.S. Envoy;
OUT Q=more dynamic.
The two sides will meet again tomorrow.
Ross plans to spend Christmas in Israel in case he's needed for
Three people are dead and dozens wounded after explosions today in a town in
Authorities say a bomb and two hand grenades went off in a shopping area
near Cape Town.
It's not clear who staged the attack, or why.
Meantime, several people were wounded at a political rally today in
Belgrade, when a gunman opened fire.
Witnesses say the gunman was in a group backing Serbian President Slobodan
They say the man was shooting at opponents of Milosevic.
At least one person was shot and several more injured in the fighting that
The violence follows more than a month of protests against the
Serbian leader over disputed elections.
Still no signs this afternoon that marxist guerrillas in Peru are ready to
end their hostage standoff.
The Peruvian government has delivered water, food, and clean laundry to
the Japanese ambassador's residence where the gunmen still hold
some one-hundred-forty hostages.
The standoff began one week ago today.
Meantime, a Roanoke County woman's is counting her blessings today following
the release of her brother in law from the embassy on Sunday.
Len Besthoff reports.
SUPER=01-Cecilia Alami/Relative of Former Hostage; :00
SUPER=03-Lima, Peru/Sunday 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.))
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Up next on the newscast,
Radford students go hungry, so others might eat,
Knight Rider comes to Bedford county-- we'll take a look at two crime
But first, let's check in with Beth.
It's shaping up to be a rainy day... Breezy conditions wil develop this
afternoon and maybe even some snow showers for some areas as the temperatures
start to drop. No accumulation is expected..
right outside the wdbj studio
music up full
The convicted assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior
reportedly is near death this afternoon.
Sixty-eight- year- old James Earl Ray was hospitalized over the weekend in
The state corrections department and the hospital confirmed that his
condition is critical.
Ray pleaded guilty in 19-68 to killing King but later recanted his story.
Investigators believe a fire that heavily damaged a Henry County church--
started by accident.
Victory Baptist Church on route 609 near Fieldale had 125- thousand dollars
Sunday night's blaze apparently started in the left side pulpit area, near
Investigators believe it was ignited by a candle in some Christmas
In hopes of preventing similar losses, the state fire marshal's office will
offer fire safety inspections to other area churches.
Candidates have begun signing up for the next local special election.
A Patrick County republican wants to become the area's 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.
If you're traveling through Bedford County you may be surprised when you see
the Sheriff's Department's new cars, which take to the road today.
Sheriff Mike Brown yesterday unveiled his department's newest patrol cars...
two 19-97 Camaros.
The sporty- looking vehicles will be used in Bedford's newly- created Crime
Suppression Unit, aimed at cracking down on D-U-I 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.
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.
On the campus of Radford University, students are feeling the holiday
spirit....by giving to others.
Students combined to donate three-thousand dollars to fight hunger, with
the "Skip-A-Meal" hunger drive.
17-hundred students gave a lunch from their meal plans.
The university will give the money to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
SOFT MUSIC UNDER
When we come back,
There's a new man in town- and his job is to get even more people to come to
the Star City.
It was a hero's welcome for the State Champion football team from Salem.
We'll have all of last night's victory festivities when we come back.
Stay with us.
The Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau has a new director.
The board has chosen David Kjolheed (call-HEED) of Iowa to lead its future
(Call-HEED) Kjolheed has more than 20 years experience in the tourism and
His latest job was with the Amana (uh-MAN-uh) Colonies, a tourism
destination in Iowa that had over a million visitors a year.
Some people will now have an easier time getting to Mill Mountain.
The new Walnut Street bridge opened yesterday.
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 took to the streets in Salem last night to celebrate the Spartans win
one more time.
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.
Authorities in Rockingham County caught a suspected bank robber by following
his footsteps in the snow.
Bobby Graves Riggleman of Broadway has been charged with yesterday's robbery
at the Farmers and Merchants Bank.
Deputies called in police dogs to help search for him.
But the dogs were not needed because the tracks in the snow were so easy to
They led right to Riggleman's home, where money taken in the robbery was
Authorities are also talking to Riggleman about a bank robbery in
Harrisonburg earlier this month.
They've already started celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem.
But festivities lack the euphoria of last year's.
Marching bands did their best to boost morale, but the town is
struggling with financial and political problems.
A Christmas tree donated by Finland is to spend the holiday sitting in an
Israeli warehouse, after being quarantined for a month.
With the tree held up, the Finnish embassy instead decorated a cedar tree.
GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe
It's a white Christmas in some parts of the midwest after a storm left
behind several inches of snow.
But the white stuff is making holiday travel a challenge.
Some major highways have been closed and a number of flights re-routed.
And forecasters say it's just the beginning-- the Christmas Day forecast
calls for temperatures in the midwest to hover around zero.
SUPER=332-Cloudy/Snow Showers/15-19/Partly Cloudy/Colder/23-27;
SUPER=333-Mostly Cloudy/Snow Showers/21-25/Partly Sunny/Cold/28-32;
SUPER=334-Cloudy/Snow Showers/15-19/Partly Cloudy/Cold/23-27;
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was UP 25 points.
SPORTS MUSIC UNDER
When we come back,
U-V-A basketball takes Connecticut to overtime,
The toy of the moment has the Salvation Army laughing all the way to the
Stay with us.
MUSIC UP FULL
Nothing was decided in Monday night football last night, except that Barry
Sanders got the rushing title.
SUPER=03-San Francisco, CA/ABC Sports
Wayne Fontes was probably coaching his last game as head coach of the
Sanders got going early with a 54 yard T-D, as he chased after the league's
Elvis (Grr-Bock) Grbac filled in for Steve Young, and did his best Young
impersonation on the 6 yard scramble to make it 21 -14 San Francisco.
The niners go on to win 24-14.
TAPE#net (edit of VB97-1)
The Huskies beat the Cavaliers 64 to 61 in overtime last night.
Virginia scored the first 8 points and then Connecticut scored the next 9.
The Cavaliers rallied at the end of the half.
Harold Deane drives to the hoop and scores.
At the end of the half the score was tied at 30.
The game went to overtime tied at 53 but Curtis 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.
When the Virginia Tech Hokies take on Nebraska in the Orange Bowl they'll
also be tackling a big tradition.
The senior class on this Nebraska team has accomplished more than any class
in N-C-double-A history.
The Nebraska class of '97 has won two national championships, 46 games in
four years and three conference championships.
IN Q="It's a great honor...
((FRANK BEAMER/VA. TECH HEAD COACH: IT'S A GREAT HONOR TO GET TO A BOWL GAME
LIKE THIS. BUT REALLY THE KEY IS HOW DO YOU PLAY IN THE GAME. AND AFTER THE
TENNESSEE GAME, A COUPLE OF YEARS BACK,, IT THINK THERE'S ...WE JUST DIDN'T
PLAY WELL, AND IT CERTAINLY WASN'T THE SAME FEELING AS IT WAS LAST YEAR AS WE
PLAYED AGAINST TEXAS, AND I THINK SOME GAINED SOME RESPECT. TO ME, IT'S NOT
JUST THAT YOU'RE IN THE ORANGE BOWL, IT'S GREAT. IT'S HOW YOU'RE GOING TO PLAY
IN THE ORANGE BOWL. ))
SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Va. Tech Head Coach; :00
OUT Q=...THE ORANGE BOWL."
And finally the Tickle me Elmo craze was put to good use yesterday--
as an auction raised money for the Salvation army.
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 yesterday- all for a chance at the hottest Christmas present this year.
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.
And a programming note, there will be no News 7 at 11 tonight.
Also no News 7 Prime Time on W-E-F-C tonight and tomorrow night.
We close this Christmas eve newscast with a look the Festival of Trees atop
the First Union Tower.
From all of us here at News 7 we wish you a very happy Christmas.
We'll see you again on Thursday.