Straight ahead on News-7 at Five--
Is the man charged with the murders of a Vinton family, competent to stand
The real owner of the former Justice House is determined.
And is Ronde Barber staying with the Cavaliers or going pro like his
It wasn't even close, Roanoke broke their record high before 10am. Looks
like Saturday will be rather mild as well.
And-- thousands of Gulf War veterans are complaining of serious health
On Health Check-- we'll look at the impact on vets in our area-- of what's
still considered a mystery illness.
Stay with us, News 7 at FIVE is up next.
IN Q=I just want this to be fast
((EARL BRAMBLETT/DEFENDANT: I JUST WANT THIS TO BE FAST. LET'S GET TO A
OUT Q=to a trial.
Earl Bramblett says he wants a speedy trial.
Today a Roanoke County judge moved to determine if the murder suspect is
competent to stand trial.
GRAPHIC=news-7 at five
Good Evening, Im Connie Stevens.
A Martinsville psychiatrist will consider Bramblett's mental competency.
Today, Judge Roy Willett ordered the evaluation.
Bramblett is accused of killing four members of the Hodges family and
burning down their Vinton home in the summer of 1994.
He is charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty if he's
Today in Roanoke County Circuit Court, Bramblett's attornies requested the
IN Q=Mr. Bramblett is not
((TERRY GRIMES/BRAMBLETT'S ATTORNEY: MR. BRAMBLETT IS NOT BEING UNCOOPERATIVE
AT ALL. HE'S BEING VERY COOPERATIVE, BUT DR. NELSON SEEMS TO THINK THAT IN A
CAPITAL CASE HE OUGHT TO HAVE A COMPETENCY EVALUATION AND THAT'S WHY IT'S
((SKIP BURKART/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: IT'S A SEPARATE ISSUE AS TO WHETHER
HE'S COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL AND LIKE I SAID THAT'S STANDARD IN ANY CAPITAL
CASE. WE DIDN'T OPPOSE IT. I DIDN'T THINK WE HAD GROUNDS TO OPPOSE IT.))
SUPER=01-Terry Grimes/Bramblett's Attorney; :00
SUPER=01-Skip Burkart/Commonwealth's Attorney; :12
OUT Q=to oppose it.
The trial is scheduled to begin in mid- February, but the evaluation of
Bramblett's competency could force a delay.
A state trooper has reportedly shot a man in Campbell County.
It happened about 90-minutes ago at Carpenter's Market on Leesville Road.
Details are still sketchy, but police say they had been searching for a man
who they held warrants for, when he was spotted using a payphone at the store.
A state trooper arrived on the scene, and there was a confrontation between
the two that ended with the trooper shooting the suspect in the shoulder.
He's been transported to Lynchburg General Hospital... we'll have more
details on News7 at Six.
A ruling has been made which should finally settle the Justice House
A little more than a year ago, problems surfaced at the low income apartment
Bills weren't getting paid, residents were outraged and eventually they were
forced out of their homes after Justice House was condemned.
At that point no one was sure who owned the building.
But through a chancellor's recommendation, a judge decided that the
Mennonite Board of Missions has always owned Justice House, even during its
Officials there thought they had shifted the deed over to a couple of
Justice House trustees, but that transfer was never finalized according to the
The past few weeks have brought a string of layoffs, closings, and temporary
plant shutdowns in our area...affecting hundreds of people.
Double Boxes=Connie and Len/Newsroom
Len Besthoff has been exploring the question, is this just a coincidence, or
a trend? Len?
Connie it would be unfair to say all of the recent moves SUPER=@Len1;
are due to a slowing economy, but when you see this laundry list of layoffs, it
makes you wonder.
SUPER=01-Lee Cobb/Lynchburg Economic Development; :10
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Last Month; :28
SUPER=01-Marjorie Skidmore/VA Employment Commission; :39
OUT Q=in this area.
Among the most notable employers, there's Hanover Direct in Roanoke County,
New River Castings, the Salem G-E plant, and Allen Morrison in Lynchburg.
SOT 00:00:20 FROM ALLEN MORRIS BITE FEED
IN Q=It happens and
((LEE COBB/LYNCHBURG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: IT HAPPENS AND WE'VE SEEN
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM OTHER COMPANIES HERE IN THE LAST TWO OR THREE WEEKS. SOME
SCALING BACK SOME 40 OR 60 POSITIONS, AT THE SAME TIME ANOTHER ONE SAID IT WAS
GOING TO ADD 90 POSITIONS, SO THIS GOES ON ALL THE TIME.))
OUT Q=all the time.
Marjorie Skidmore of the Virginia Employment Commission agrees with
Lynchburg's economic development director, noting unemployment here is near
But she does warn that based on the economy's cyclical nature, a slowdown is
not out of the question.
IN Q=Well I think
((MARJORIE SKIDMORE/VA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION: WELL I THINK A LOT OF THE
POLITICAL PUNDITS TALK ABOUT NO PRESIDENT HAS SURVIVED TWO TERMS OF OFFICE
WITHOUT A RECESSION OR AN ADJUSTMENT. I THINK WE SAW A RECESSION IN 74 OR 75,
WE SAW ONE IN 82, A SLIGHT RECESSION OR ADJUSTMENT IN 90, 91 IN THIS AREA. ))
OUT Q=in this area.
Skidmore says if January and February turn out to be rough months on the
employment front, Double Boxes=Connie/Len
then it would be fair to say we're experiencing some kind of economic
Officials will use military helicopters to evacuate 22-hundred stranded
tourists and employees from Yosemite National Park in California.
SUPER=03-Yuba, CA; :
Here's what Coast Guard rescuers are facing in Yuba County, after the
levee on the Feather River broke.
Meantime, 18 people are now confirmed dead as a result of the severe
weather in the West.
SUPER=03-Ashland, OR; :
Rain and snow have been falling for days from Washington and Idaho into
Flooding continues to be a major problem throughout the region-- as many
SUPER=03-Olivehurst, CA; :
as 95-thousand people in Northern California alone have been evacuated from
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Next on NEWS-7 at FIVE-- Support pours in throughout the region for a
Danville woman who's house was consumed by fire.
With postmarks from Alexandria, Egypt-- several letter bombs were sent
through the mail to the nation's capital and Kansas.
On Health Check-- the F-D-A has cleared the way for women and teen girls
with acne to be prescribed a birth control pill to help clear up their skin.
It's all coming up, on News 7 at FIVE.
Another letter bomb turned up this morning at the main post office in
SUPER=03-Washington DC; :
That discovery, after seven similar bombs appeared yesterday-- four of
them at the Washington Press offices of an Arabic newspaper.
Another was found at a post office that handles the paper's mail.
SUPER=03-Leavenworth, KS; :
Two others went to the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth.
IN Q=If someone had
((JEFF LANZA/FBI SPOKESMAN: IF SOMEONE HAD OPENED THE BOMBS UP THEY VERY
POSSIBLY COULD HAVE EXPLODED. THEY WERE DESIGNED TO EXPLODE. THEY WERE
DESIGNED TO HURT PEOPLE--GRAVELY. IT WOULD HAVE PROBABLY CAUSED A DEATH, A
VERY SERIOUS INJURY, OR DISMEMBERMENT.))
SUPER=01-Jeff Lanza/FBI Spokesman; :
All the bombs were disguised as holiday greeting cards and were postmarked
A Danville woman who lost her home New Year's Day says she's comforted by
the fact so many people have offered support.
25- year old Trease (Teresa) Burton lost nearly everything including the
family dog, when her home caught fire.
The mother of eight says many people have reached out to help.
IN Q=Oh, Lord
((TREASE BURTON:OH LORD, I'VE GOT LIVING ROOM SUITS HERE AND THERE, BEDS,
PEOPLE HAVE SENT CLOTHES, STUFF FOR THE KIDS, ME CLOTHES, MY HUSBAND STUFF, I
DON'T KNOW, I DIDN'T KNOW PEOPLE WAS THAT GOOD, I DIDN'T. ))
SUPER=07-Trease Burton; :00
OUT Q=I didn't.
The Burtons are still in need of a new home and clothes for her youngest
Businessman Frank Roupas offered the family four months free rent in Roanoke
but the Burtons want to stay in the Danville area to be close to work and their
Christmas is over.
But Virginia's Prepaid Education Program wants to remind you you've got 56
shopping days left.
That's if you're a parent OR grandparent of a future scholar, who wants to
buy a prepaid college tuition contract this year.
IN Q=People are
((DIANA CANTOR/VA. PREPAID EDUCATION PROGRAM: PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO LOOK AT
WHAT ARE THEIR MONTHLY RESOURCES. WHAT CAN THEY ALLOCATE? AND THEY'RE
STARTING TO CALL WITH ALL SORTS OF QUESTIONS ABOUT IF THEY MAKE CERTAIN
DEPOSITS OR DOWNPAYMENTS, WHAT WOULD THE NEW MONTHLY PAYMENT BE?))
SUPER=01-Diana Cantor/Va. Prepaid Education Program;
OUT Q=payment be?
Cantor says the program's getting 400 to 500 calls a day from folks who want
to save mega-bucks on what may be an 80- thousand dollar tuition bill in 18
The retirement of a high- ranking officer has resulted in the reshuffling
of the command structure at the Lynchburg police department.
Major Ralph Rexrode retired last month, and filling his vacancy created a
domino effect in several departments.
Long-time investigations commander Earl Burnette was promoted to the rank of
Captain for the field division's midnight shift.
Chief Chuck Bennett says getting people into new areas keeps everyone fresh.
IN Q=One of the
((COL. CHARLES BENNETT/LYNCHBURG POLICE CHIEF: ONE OF THE NICE THINGS ABUT A
CAREER IN LAW ENFORCEMENT IS YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM A WIDE VARIETY
OF DIFFERENT ASSIGNMENTS. AND CLEARLY WE WANT A WELL- ROUNDED OFFICER,
PARTICULARLY PEOPLE AS THEY MOVE UP TO MORE LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE
SUPER=01-Col. Charles Bennett/Lynchburg Police Chief; :00
OUT Q=in the organization.
A total of seven officers received new ranks during today's ceremony.
groovy music UNDER
Looking for some laughs? There's another new spot to see comedy-- but with
a familiar face...
(patrick ad lib)
stocks bump next
The venues keep changing, but one thing remains constant--the comedy of
DOUBLE BOX CONNIE/PATRICK
Patrick Evans caught up with the comedian at one of Roanoke's newest
comedy spots, at the Marriott, where Leake will be performing tonight.
DOUBLE BOX PATRICK/ROBIN
SUPER=330-Partly Cloudy/And Mild/48-50/Variable Cloudiness/Wind S-10/64-68;
SUPER=331-Partly Cloudy/Light Winds/45-49/Cloudy Skies/Wind S-10/65-70;
SUPER=332-Partly Cloudy/Wind SW-10/48-52/Cloudy Skies/Wind SW-15/60-64;
SUPER=333-Mostly Cloudy/And Mild/46-49/Cloudy Skies/Light Winds/57-59;
SUPER=334-Partly Cloudy/Wind SW-10/48-52/Variable Clouds/Wind SW-15/60-64;
health music under
Still to come in the newscast-- will Roanoke's Ronde Barber stay at UVA for
his final football season? Steve Mason has the answer in tonight's Ticker.
Plus-- some experts believe the tuberculosis vaccine may actually lower the
risk of asthma in children.
We'll look at this global research, coming up on Health Check.
health bump next
A new study suggests the tuberculosis vaccine may have more benefits for
kids rather than simply protecting them against T-B.
Experts in Japan and Britain say it might lower the risk of asthma.
Doctors like Irwin Redlener-- who specializes in childhood asthma-- know
certain ENVIRONMENTAL factors cause the disease.
But this groundbreaking study in the Journal "Science" finds the
tuberculosis vaccine may actually prevent it.
((DR. IRWIN REDLENER/PEDIATRIC ASTHMA SPECIALIST: CHILDREN WHO REACT VERY
STRONGLY TO TB VACCINES MAY IN FACT HAVE IMMUNOLOGICAL FACTORS THAT PREVENT
THEM FROM GETTING ASTHMA ATTACKS. ))
SUPER=01-Dr. Irwin Redlener/Pediatric Asthma Specialist; :
OUT Q=asthma attacks.
The study tested more than 800 Japanese children who were given a live
vaccine against tuberculosis.
The children who had a strong reaction to the vaccine were one half to one
third less likely to develop asthma than children who showed only a mild
reaction to the shot.
IN Q=The provocative
((DR. IRWIN REDLENER: THE PROVOCATIVE THING ABOUT THIS STUDY FROM JAPAN
SUGGESTS THAT SOMEHOW TB AS AN INFECTION OR THE VACCINE TO PREVENT TB MAY HAVE
SOME PROTECTIVE EFFECT ON ASTHMA ))
OUT Q=on asthma.
In the United States children are only TESTED for tuberculosis....they
are not given a vaccination against it.
Some doctors say if long term studies actually confirm the tb vaccine can
help prevent asthma, the U.S. may have to rethink it's policy and call for
Women with acne may now be prescribed a birth control pill to help clear
up their skin.
The F-D-A has approved Ortho Pharmaceutical's Tri-Cyclen as the first
contraceptive that can be used to treat the skin.
Some dermatologists think certain birth control pills have the added bonus
of controlling hormone levels that contribute to acne.
GRAPHIC=gulf war illness
He knew something was wrong five years ago when Desert Storm veterans
started showing up at his office with strange symptoms.
Since then Dr. George Ford of the V- A Medical Center in Salem has devoted
much of his time to researching and diagnosing Gulf War Syndrome.
Scott Prince reports.
IN Q=The fatigue
SUPER=01-Dr. George Ford/V.A. Medical Center; :25
OUT Q=S.P. for health check.
NAT SOT 3:44:10
IN Q=The fatigue
((THE FATIGUE, NOW. ARE YOU JUST TIRED ALL OF TIME OR ARE YOU JUST TIRED IN THE
ALL THE TIME.
ALL THE TIME ))
OUT Q=all the time (2x)
For the past five years, Dr. George Ford has heard that same response from
veterans of Desert Storm... as he diagnoses Gulf War Syndrome victims at the V-
A Medical Center in Salem.
Ford hears the same symptoms over and over again.
Chronic fatigue, joint pain, headaches and recurring stomach viruses.
IN Q=I think
((DR. GEORGE FORD/VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER: I THINK A LOT OF THESE YOUNG
PEOPLE ARE SICK. THEY'RE REALLY ILL. ))
OUT Q=really ill
But only up until a few months ago did the government officially recognize
Gulf War Syndrome.
Since then more veterans have come forward and a number of studies have been
Even still, it's slow going when it comes to treating this disease.
IN Q=In general
((FORD: IN GENERAL WE LIKE TO GET THE DIAGNOSIS AND MAKE THE TREATMENT AND GET
THE PATIENT WELL. BUT SOME OF THESE COMPLAINTS LIKE FATIGUE AND JOINT PAINS.
IT'S VERY DIFFICULT FOR US. ))
OUT Q=for us
But it's even more difficult for the veterans who suffer from Gulf War
Especially when you consider the fact that there's no cure in sight.
Scott Prince for Health Check..
On News- 7 at six, Scott will take us to Smyth County and introduce us to a
local veteran suffering with the disease.
Time now for sports-- college football fans no longer have to speculate on
Ronde Barber's future, today he announced his plans. Here's Steve Mason.
Good afternoon everyone, welcome to your Friday ticker. Over the last few
weeks former Cave Spring star and Virginia defensive back Ronde Barber has been
trying to decide whether to return to UVa for his final year of eligibility or
to enter the NFL draft. Today he made his decision public.
IN Q="I did
((RONDE BARBER/WILL ENTER 1997 NFL DRAFT:))
SUPER=01-Ronde Barber/Will Enter 1997 NFL Draft; :00
OUT Q=...97 draft"
Both the Associated Press and the USA Today/CNN Coaches final football
polls have selected Florida as the number one team in the country after last
nights 52-20 beating of Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
SUPER=03-New Orleans/ABC; :00
The Gators went out with a bang in earning their first ever national
championship. Quarterback Danny Wuerffel lead the charge with three touchdown
passes on 306 yards passing. All three strikes went to receiver Ike Hillard.
The Heisman trophy winner also ran for another score in rout to a 22 point
win over the Seminoles that avenges a November loss.
Florida State's Warrick Dunn did score on this touchdown run, but, left the
game twice with leg cramps and only had 28 total yards rushing. Florida
finished ranked number 1.
IN Q="Looked like
((STEVE SPURRIER/FLORIDA HEAD COACH:))
((BOBBY BOWDEN/FLORIDA STATE HEAD COACH:))
SUPER=01-Steve Spurrier/Florida Head Coach; :00
SUPER=01-Bobby Bowden/Florida State Head Coach; :24
OUT Q=...they were super"
That's all for now-- more sports at six-- have a good weekend everybody.
Finally tonight, is it a sign, or a spectacle?
It's up for debate in Mooresville, North Carolina--
A huge model of a moose is causing problems for one restaurant owner, there.
She says she brought in the moose to attract attention to her business-- and
that it did.
Town officials say they aren't moose hunting, but the statue violates an
Now a petition drive is underway in an effort to save the moose....stay
Tonight on NEWS-7 at six, most people aren't complaining about the warm
temperatures, but needless to say, it's not good news for nearby ski resorts.
double boxes Connie/Keith
Keith Humphry explains.
Ski resorts throughout the state say they're seeing green-- too much grass,
The warm temperatures have limited the snow making opportunities at resorts
The Nelson County ski resort is experiencing conditions normally seen in
While a limited number of ski slopes is open, other areas of the resort are
bustling with activity.
Denise Allen reports ondouble boxes Connie/Keith
how the ski resort is surviving these warm temperatures, in 30-minutes on News
7 at six.
That's it for NEWS-7 at FIVE-- for more news later tonight--
join me for the region's first local primetime newscast, NEWS-7 Primetime--
tonight at 10 on WEFC.
Thanks for watching-- Have a nice weekend.