It was almost a tragic new years day for a Danville family.
But a thanks to a 12 year old girl, who woke up and smelled smoke, a the
family got out of their buring home unharmed.
1996 was year to remember for students and alumni of VMI.
The school decided to admit women.
We'll cover that story in our list of the top ten stories of 1996.
In Hebron, an Israeli soldier tried to single-handedly disrupt the mid-east
peace process, by shooting into a crowd at a busy vegetable market.
And of all the ways to celebrate the New Year, New York's Polar Bear Club
still has one of the most "unique".
They say it's a great way to cure a hangover...
Those stories, and the forecast for the first few days of 1997, coming up
tonight on News 7 at 11.
Coming up on News 7 at six...
A 12 year old girl saves a Danville family from their burning home.
And we'll look back at the top ten stories that made news in 1996.
In sports, we ring in the new year with open bowling lanes; highlights will
roll from 5 season enders,
in cluding a recap of Virginia Tech's 20 point loss to Nebraska in the Orange
Increasingly cloudy and cool weather on this New Year's Day--
But warmer weather makes a return appearance tomorrow.
The complete forecast, plus the January Almanac-- on the way.
The New Year could have easily ended in tragedy for a Danville woman and her
young children had it not been for a family friend.
Trease (TERESA) Burton's Holbrook Street home caught fire around six this
The house did NOT have a smoke detector but a 12- year old family friend who
was staying over woke up with a burning throat and coughing.
Krystle Beard says she was scared but knew she had to get help.
Beard ran into Trease Burton's room and woke her up in time to get Burton's
four young children to safety.
Only later did the two realize the full extent of the damage.
IN Q=She had
((KRYSTLE BEARD:SHE HAD A FOUR MONTH OLD PIT BULL DOG, THAT'S GONE, ALL HER
FURNITURE AND EVERYTHING IS GONE, I MEAN, SHE HAS TO START ALL OVER AGAIN,
SHE'S SCARED, EVERYTHING SHE EVER HAD IS GONE. ))
SUPER=07-Krystle Beard; :00
OUT Q=is gone.
It will probably take Burton, who's the mother of eight- children, a while
to replace all that was lost.
Fire fighters say the items that didn't burn up were damaged by heat and
Fire officials say a wire that "shorted out" in the attic sparked the blaze.
Fire destroyed a Campbell County home today, leaving an elderly woman
Crews from Altavista and Evington responded to the call on Route 682 around
Fire Chief Haywood Belvin says the woman apparently poured kerosene into her
wood stove, which already contained hot coals.
The fire flared up, and the woman dropped the container, allowing the blaze
to spread even further.
She escaped without injury, but the home was a total loss.
Authorities have released the name of the man found murdered on Chapman
Avenue in Roanoke Monday night.
Police say 33 year old Larry Edward Donahue of Patterson Avenue died after
he was shot in the head.
It was the city's 13th murder of 1996.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on the Newscast, Steve Mason will have the rundown on all of
today's big bowl games,
but first, we'll take a look back at the top ten news stories of the past year.
wx ad lib
Well Eric, we had mild temperatures as we rang in the New Year at
midnight-- then the numbers went downhill from there.
A cold front dropped temperatures all afternoon-- and also brought some
mist and fog into the region.
Let's roll through the highs and lows...
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=82-0.01''/minus 0.08''/0.01''/minus 0.08'';
SUPER=83-Down 0.15 Foot/Down 0.88 Foot;Lake levels
New Years day is a time to look forward, and to reflect on where we've been.
In central and southwest Virginia, 1996 had it's bright moments, but the
year also seemed to have more than it's fair share of tragic events.
Here's a look at our list of the top ten stories of 1996.
IN Q=No one is sure
SUPER=01-Gen. Josiah Bunting/VMI Superintendent; :25
SUPER=01-David Zirkle/VMI Cadet; :38
SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Football Coach; :1:22
SUPER=01-Linda Rehm/Danville; 1:55
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; 2:38
SUPER=03-Giles Co/December 22; 3:16
SUPER=01-David Conley/Eyewitness; 3:20
SUPER=01-David Oliver/Lowes Community Relations; 4:06
SUPER=01-Tina Fisher/Neighbor; 4:33
SUPER=03-Blacksburg/ December 6, 1995; 4:55
SUPER=03-Giles Co.; 5:10
SUPER=01-Ezio DeFilippis/Victim's Father; 5:26
SUPER=01-Phyllis Comber/Lilly's Aunt; 5:40
OUT Q=respect in college football
(( No one one is sure EXACTLY when it will happen... but one day, 2 or 3
years from now, a Virginia Military Institute cadet will utter two words never
before spoken to an upper classman at the prestigious school..." Yes Maam".
Under pressure from a supreme court ruling, VMI's Board Of Visitors narrowly
approved a plan to admit women.
School officials vowed that changes will be minimal.
SOT tape 96-76 00:13:20
((GEN. JOSIAH BUNTING/VMI SUPERINTENDENT; I BELIEVE FULLY QUALIFIED YOUNG WOMEN
WOULD THEMSELVES FEEL DEMEANED BY ANY RELAXATION IN THE STANDARD OF VMI, THE
STANDARDS OF VMI. ))
The decision left some alumni and cadets in shock.
SOT 96-69 00:46:34
((DAVID ZIRKLE/VMI CADET; IT WILL BE A CERTAINTY TO ME NEXT AUGUST WHEN I SEE
THE FIRST YOUNG LADY STROLL INTO THE BARRACKS AS A CADET. UNTIL THAT POINT I
DON'T THINK IT WILL EVER BE COMPLETELY REAL TO ME. ))
About a dozen women have been offered admission so far.
Virginia Tech athletes took center stage last year, for alleged actions off
In January, former Tech Student Christy Brzonkala sued the school and two
football players she says raped her.
Though the players were never charged with rape, she said Tech forced her to
leave the university, by allowing the two players to return to school.
A federal judge threw the lawsuit out.
In November, 8 Tech football players were charged with assaulting two track
team members during a fight...
Seven current players were suspended.
SOT tape 596-28 54:41
((FRANK BEAMER/VT FOOTBALL COACH; IT WAS UNANIMOUSLY AGREED THAT SOME
SUSPENSIONS WERE IN ORDER, SIMPLY BECAUSE, AS STATED, THESE PLAYERS PUT
THEMSELVES IN A POSITION TO BE CHARGED WITH VIOLATIONS. ))
And then, in mid-December, two players were charged with rape and attempted
sodomy... fullback Brain Edmonds, who was also charged in the
November brawl, and receiver James Crawford, one of the players named in the
Brzonkala rape lawsuit.
The players' attorney called the accusation an extortion attempt.
The weather earned a place on our list, first by dumping up to 2 feet of
snow on Central and Western Virginia...
SOT 95-112 18:17
((LINDA REHM/DANVILLE; WE'RE NOT USED TO IT, IT MEAN, IT NEVER SNOWS HERE AND
NOW THAT IT HAS, EVERYBODY JUST FREAKS OUT.))
As the snow piled up, Governor Allen declared a state of emergency.
And then there was the rain... Delivered by hurricane Fran in September.
Parts of South Boston were submerged by flooding.
The storm killed one person, closed fifteen major roads and forced hundreds
to evacuate their homes.
In July, an arrest came in what some call one of the most horrendous crimes
in the Roanoke Valley.
Earl Bramblett was charged with killing a family of four.
Two years earlier, Teresa Hodges was strangled to death, her husband Blaine
and their two daughters shot.
Bramblett was arrested in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
He's scheduled to be tried early this year.
In April of last year, another family died.
Thomas Faucher and Lori Mason were killed, and their six week old daughter
fatally injured, when Scott Carlton Allman ran a red light and broadsided their
Alman was running from police, driving with a suspended license.
Charged with manslaughter, Allman told News 7 he ran from police because he
didn't want to go to jail.
SOT tape 96-26 tc 39:04
((VOICE OF SCOTT ALLMAN; I JUST AM REALLY SORRY. I MEAN... I'M 21, I JUST WISH
THEY'D JUST GIVE ME THE LOW MAXIMUM SENTENCE.))
Allman pled guilty, and was sentenced to serve more than 15 years in prison.
Also on our top ten list, a crash that shook a Giles County mountain.
SOT tape- Plane crash/night 9:35:31
((DAVID CONLEY/EYEWITNESS; THE MOUNTAINS LIT UP AND THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION AND
BLACK SMOKE AND RED AND BLUE FLAME. ))
An Airborn Express DC-8 cargo plane crashed in Narrows during bad weather.
The plane was on a maintenance flight... all six people on board were
Federal investigators recovered the flight recorder, known as the "black
The rest of the investigation will take several months to complete.
A successful investigation ended an epidemic of legionnaires disease in the
New River Valley.
In October, health officials noticed an increase in pneumonia-like symptoms.
16 cases were confirmed... two people died.
Medical detective work traced the bacteria to a hot tub display at the
Christiansburg Lowes store.
((DAVID OLIVER/LOWES COMMUNITY RELATIONS DIRECTOR; WE BELIEVE THAT IT'S IN OUR
BEST INTERESTS AND THE BEST PRECAUTION IS TO GET RID OF WATER IN THE SPA
SYSTEMS IN OUR STORES. ))
The rest of the victims are all out of the hospital and doing well.
1996 was less than a month old, when a deadly fire shocked Roanoke, and
changed the way the city inspects rental property.
A short in an extension cord sparked a fire that killed four young children
and their grandmother.
Neighbors who watched the children grow up were devastated.
SOT tape 96-2 14:48
((TINA FISHER/NEIGHBOR; SHE WOULD SMILE AND WAVE. HAD A LITTLE ANGELIC FACE AND
I THINK THAT'S WHAT I'LL MISS MOST. SHE WAS SO PRECIOUS, I MEAN THEY WERE ALL
The house did not have a smoke detector... Investigators say a detector
would have warned the family about the smoldering fire.
The fire sped up city plans to enact a rental inspection program to make
sure rental housing is safe.
Residents of the New River Valley worried about their safety, after a
Virginia Tech student was abducted from a convenience store and murdered in
tape 95-102 22:15
Last year, three men were charged with killing Alexander DeFillipis during a
tape 95-102 24:34
20 year old Gary Wayne Barker pled guilty to being an accessory to capital
murder, in return for a 53 year prison sentence.
tape 95-102 tc 22:46
28 year old Ben Lilly, the accused trigger-man went to trial in October.
They jury found him guilty, and sentenced him to death.
SOT tape 96-79 tc 47:07
((EZIO DEFILIPPIS/VICTIM'S FATHER; AND I WANT TO THANK THE JURY FOR
ADMINISTERING JUSTICE, THAT'S ALL.
QUESTION-IS THIS A RELIEF TO YOU?
ANSWER: NOT YET. ))
tape 95-102 tc 26:26
Three weeks later, the third defendant, Ben Lilly's brother Mark, pled
At the sentencing hearing, family members said the Lilly brothers were
victims of child neglect.
SOT tape 96-87 tc 33:14
((PHYLLIS COMBER/LILLY'S AUNT; I HAVE NEVER SEEN KIDS THAT DIDN'T GET A HUG OR
SAT ON THEIR PARENTS LAP FROM EITHER OF THEIR PARENTS. ))
Lilly was sentenced to 49 years in prison.
Wrapping our top ten of 96, a story that ended just yesterday.
The Virginia Tech Hokies, despite controversy off the field, went 10 and 1,
climbed to 10th place in the AP poll, and won a spot in the Orange Bowl with
two time national champion Nebraska....
On the field new years eve, the Hokies proved they could play with the
best... and though Nebraska finally pulled ahead and won 41 to 21, Virginia
Tech earned a new level of respect in college football.))
Soft Music Under
Coming up next on the newscast, a legislator in our area says he will take
steps to keep Ebonics out of Virginia's classrooms,
and we'll hear from the new head of Roanoke's N-double-A-C-P.
He says he plans to focus on the economic development of his membership.
MUSIC UP FULL
Recognizing "black English" as a second language may be fine for some
California schools, but one Virginia lawmaker hopes to keep it OUT of the Old
Lynchburg delegate Preston Bryant wants to introduce legislation that would
prohibit "ebonics" or any other dialect from being accepted as a legitimate
Bryant says he opposes any curriculum changes that would "dumb down" the
The General Assembly last year passed a law recognizing English as the
state's official language.
Bryant says he's not aware of any current movement to introduce ebonics
anywhere in Virginia.
The newly elected president of the Roanoke N-double-A-C-P is prepared for
any challenges the New Year may bring.
34- year old Martin Jeffrey was sworn in today during the organization's
annual "Jubilee Day Celebration".
IN Q=I've been
((MARTIN JEFFREY/ROANOKE NAACP PRESIDENT: I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN WORKING IN THE
COMMUNITY ALL MY LIFE, AND THIS A COVETED POSITION, I THINK FOR A LOT OF
REASONS, BECAUSE OF THE POTENTIAL IMPACT THAT CAN BE MADE BY A PERSON, BY THIS
SUPER=01-Martin Jeffrey/Roanoke NAACP President; :00
OUT Q=this organization.
The Roanoke organization also named Robbie Board it's "Citizen of the Year".
The 91- year old was praised for her years of hard work and dedication.
IN Q=I'm in
((ROBBIE BOARD/ROANOKE NAACP "CITIZEN OF THE YEAR":I'M IN THAT TO HELP ALL I
CAN TO BRING ABOUT EQUAL RIGHTS TO OUR PEOPLE.))
SUPER=01-Robbie Board/Roanoke NAACP "Citizen of the Year"; :00
During the two hour celebration, the N-double-A-C-P also swore in this
year's officers and board of directors.
Mother Nature is adding insult to injury for hundreds of Virginia Tech fans
On the heels of the Hokies' blowout loss to Nebraska last night, many fans
are now having trouble getting back home.
Eleven charter flights from Florida were due to arrive in Roanoke today..
foggy conditions have prevented all but four of them from landing.
The planes are being diverted to destinations like Greensboro, Richmond and
Washington, D.C., and passengers are being bused to Roanoke.
This is the second straight year Kathy Reynold's husband has been delayed
getting home from a bowl game.
IN Q=Last year they
((KATHY REYNOLDS/WIFE OF TECH FAN: LAST YEAR THEY GOT TO CALL AHEAD AND TELL US
TO STAY HOME FOR A WHILE. Reporter: How long have you been waiting? WELL, ABOUT
AN HOUR AND A HALF.))
((MARK COURTNEY/DEPUTY AIRPORT MANAGER: WE'VE HAD A FULL CREW OUT HERE AS FAR
AS PROVIDING TRAVELER INFORMATION, INFORMATION TO MEETERS AND GREETERS AND SO
FAR EVERYBODY'S BEEN PRETTY COOPERATIVE, AND THEY'RE BEING FLEXIBLE.))
SUPER=01-Kathy Reynolds/Wife of Tech Fan; :00
SUPER=01-Mark Courtney/Deputy Airport Manager; :09
OUT Q=they're being flexible.
Courtney says charter passengers always run a greater risk of being diverted
or delayed because of bad weather.
On New Years day Mike Stevens will recap Virginia tech's tough setback at the
hands of the Huskers, in the Orange,
and Tennessee's Peyton Manning heats up the highlight reel in one of 4 new
years day bowls in the books.
The Virginia Tech Hokies are resting up in Miami today after last night's
41-to-21 loss to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.
Mike Stevens and photgrapher Mark Hollinsworth take a look back at some of
the key performances in the Huskers 20 point win.
IN Q=FIRST AUDIO
SUPER=03-Ft. Lauderdale, FL/Last Night; :00
SUPER=01-Damon Benning/Orange Bowl MVP; :37
SUPER=01-Jim Druckenmiller/Three TD Passes Last Night; 1:09
SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Va. Tech Head Coach; 1:43
SUPER=01-Marcus Parker/One TD Catch Last Night; 1:50
OUT Q=...news 7 sports."
Tech's Big East rival West Virginia fell to 12th ranked North Carolina
today in Gator Bowl.
SUPER=03-Jacksonville, FL/NBC; :00
UNC's quarterback deserves an "Oscar for this performance. In his first
start, filling in for Chris Keldorf, Oscar Davenport threw for a touchdown and
ran for another. THis 18 yard strike goes to Octavus barnes in the 2nd quarter.
He also ran for this 5 yarder to SUPER=36-North Carolina/20/West
put UNC up 17-3 in the 2nd.
The Mountaineers Chad Johnston did throw this 34 yard TD pass in the third
quarter, but Carolina wins the Gator 20 to 13.
9th ranked Tennessee's early ambush was enough to beat 11th ranked
Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl.
SUPER=03-Orlando, FL/ABC; :00
Peyton Manning would pass for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns in the 20 point
win. In the first, Manning connects with Peerless Price on a 43 yard TD toss,
UT would lead 21-nothing after 13 minutes!!.
Manning also hooked up, with Joey Kent for two TD passes through 3 quarters.
He was 27 of 39 with no SUPER=36-Tennessee/48/Northwestern/28;
interceptions and even...
ran for a touchdown to cap it off.
Northwestern stormed back to tie it. Darrell Autry scored on this 28 yard
sprint, but UT wins the Citrus by 20.
An era ended today when Gen Stallings coached in his final game for
Alabama in the Outback Bowl. His Tide sent him out with a 17-14 win over
SUPER=03-Tampa, FL/ESPN; :00
Bama's Dwayne Rudd broke the game open in the 4th when he intercepted
Brian Greise's pass and went 88 yards the other way for the TD 10-6 Tide.
Crimson Tide's Shaun Alexander is gonna score the eventual game winner, he
breaks through the line late in the SUPER=36-Alabama/17/Michigan/14;
4th on a 46 yard touchdown trot and noe one's gonna catch em.
Greise found Russell Shaw on this 9 yarder, to little to late, Stallings is
carried out a victor.
Well most everyone remembers last January's wintry weather.
Will this January be any different?
Patrick Evans has the predictions in this month's almanac.
OUT Q=music continues on tape
SUPER=306-36/36/100/E-6mph/30.12f/7:16 am/5:02 pm;
SUPER=330-Cloudy, Chance/of Rain/32-36/Mostly Cloudy/& Warmer/52-56;
SUPER=331-Chance of/Rain/32-36/Cloudy Skies/Wind SW 10/52-56;
SUPER=332-Cloudy, Areas/of Fog/30-34/Mostly/Cloudy/52-56;
SUPER=333-Chance of/Freezing Rain/32-36/Mostly Cloudy/Much Milder/52-56;
SUPER=334-Cloudy, Chance/of Rain/32-36/Cloudy/Wind SW 5-15/52-56;