It's a busy news day: with a winter storm bearing down on us, the
legislature reconvening in Richmond and reports of a major employer shutting
down its Roanoke plant.
In sports, Mike Stevens will check in from the Texas Speedway, Peter
Uberroth is making an attempt to get back in baseball,
and the new sod is being put down at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the site
of the Packers-Panthers N-F-C championship game.
A bad mixture is due in later tonight with snow for starters and then
freezing rain Thursday. Winter Storm Warning details next.
AMP, Incorporated told its workers today that the plant on Hollins Road will
shut down for good in March.
AMP makes connectors for computers in Roanoke County. The company- -based
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania- -employs about 500 people in the Roanoke Valley.
One employee says management told the work force that some of the jobs will
be moving to Greensboro, so at least a few employees may be transferred.
No confirmation from the home office.
If it's true the best defense is a good offense, residents in central and
southwest Virginia are ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at them tonight.
At V-DOT offices across the region, trucks are being outfitted with
spreaders and plows, ready to tackle whatever precipitation does fall.
Highway officials say they're ready for anything.
IN Q=What we'll do
((TOM RAMEY/VDOT RESIDENT ENGINEER: WHAT WE'LL DO THIS EVENING, IF THEY HAVEN'T
ALREADY, ALL THE TRUCKS WILL BE LOADED WITH THE SPREADERS AND THE PLOWS AND
THEN IF THEY NEED TO BE CALLED OUT SOMETIME DURING THE NIGHT, THE EQUIPMENT
WILL BE READY AND THEY'LL JUST COME IN AND GET IN THEIR EQUIPMENT AND GO ON
SUPER=01-Tom Ramey/VDOT Resident Engineer; :00
OUT Q=go on out.
Power crews also figure to get a call over the next 24 hours.
Electric companies have extra personnel scheduled to handle emergency calls,
and repair trucks have been put on standby.
Many residents are prepared if their power DOES go out... they've been
hitting the stores in search of emergency supplies.
IN Q=It's been really
((CHANTAL COLLINS/ASST. MANAGER, WAL-MART: IT'S BEEN REALLY BUSY, EVERYBODY'S
BEEN GETTING READY FOR THE STORM. Reporter: What kind of things have they been
buying? SNOW SHOVELS, ICE MELT, SPORTING GOODS, COLEMAN FUEL, FLASHLIGHTS,
BATTERIES, ANYTHING WHERE YOU WON'T HAVE POWER.))
SUPER=01-Chantal Collins/Wal-Mart Asst. Mgr.; :00
OUT Q=won't have power.
Twice as many people as usual flocked to local grocery stores today.
(Keith and Robin ad-lib on set)
WX-PRO/FULL 3D RADAR LOOP
WXALERT/FULL STORM WARNING
TOSS WITH KEITH
Virginia's part-time citizen legislature is on the job.
The 1997 General Assembly began its 45- days of work at noon.
Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/StarLink
Ellen Qualls is at the state capitol tonight with first day highlights.
Keith, you almost wouldn't know it's an election year for all 100 House of
Delegates members and the candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and
The mood is polite, so far.
IN Q=nat sound
SUPER=01-Sen. Stanley Walker/(D) Norfolk; :08
SUPER=01-Del. Jay Katzen/(R) Warrenton; 1:10
OUT Q=for anything.
nat sot gavel
The evenly split senate is a model of polite lawmaking.
sot 12:10:18 GRAY FEED TAPE
((SEN. STANLEY WALKER: IN SPITE OF POLITICAL DIFFERENCES WE ARE ALL VERY HAPPY
TO BE HERE. IT SHOWS IN OUR FACES.))
There will be fights though.
For three years, Assembly Democrats have thwarted George Allen's campaign
promise of a tax cut.
The Governor played his cards close to his chest until today.
Word leaked out of an unemployment tax cut proposal, based on a 900- million
dollar surplus in the fund employers pay into to provide jobless benefits.
((DEL. DICK CRANWELL: BEFORE I CAN GIVE YOU AN ANSWER I WOULD WANT TO
UNDERSTAND THAT PARTICULAR ISSUE AND WHAT IT MEANS. I KNOW THAT JUST A FEW
YEARS AGO WE HAD TO PUT A SURTAX ON EMPLOYERS BECAUSE THERE WAS REALLY A
DEFICIT IN THAT FUND. SO IT EBBS AND FLOWS.))
((SEN. BO TRUMBO/R-FINCASTLE: THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE. YOU KNOW TO TRY TO
READJUST THOSE HISTORICAL TRENDS. AND SO MR. CRANWELL MAY BE ACCURATE. SO BE
For state workers, one assurance: the House Appropriations Committee
officially put a halt to the lag payroll plan slated to start next week.
That's just until lawmakers can negotiate a solution that doesn't cost state
workers their new raises.
And on one oddball issue:
((DEL. JAY KATZEN: WELL I JUST DON'T WANT MARIJUANA OUT THERE. IT'S NOT LEGAL
AND I DON'T WANT IT LEGAL FOR ANYTHING.))
Attorney General candidate Jay Katzen has filed the first bill to repeal the
1979 medicinal marijuana law that lawmakers just remembered they passed.
But we've got an update on that controversy.
In 1988, the General Assembly made HEROIN legal for terminally ill cancer
patients... pending federal approval.
So in the political frenzy to just say NO to drugs, we want to point out
that one of the 81 votes for limited legalization of heroin was then delegate
Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/StarLink
We'll hear more from the Governor, on issues other than heroin, in just one
hour in his annual state of the Commonwealth address.
Meanwhile Democrat Roscoe Reynolds moved about 100 yards to the west
today...preserving the 20-20 split in the State Senate.
The former delegate who replaces Virgil Goode received the applause of his
new colleagues and the congratulations of other Western Virginia lawmakers.
IN Q=He's a hard
SUPER=01-Sen. Madison Marye/(D) Shawsville; :00
SUPER=01-Sen. Charles Hawkins/(R) Chatham; :09
OUT Q=what we are about.
As he moves to the Senate, Reynolds says his priority is to see that part of
the state's surplus is devoted to education and he says he will be looking out
for the Philpott Technical Center, the Virginia Museum of Natural History, and
other programs in the 20th District.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on News 7 at 6--as investigators try to find out what caused an
apartment building fire in Roanoke County, burned-out residents begin picking
up the pieces.
And we'll hear from the woman accused of neglecting dozens of dogs which were
under her care.
MUSIC UP FULL
The woman accused of animal neglect in Franklin County says she's being
unjustly tried in the media and no one has bothered to find out her side of the
Double Boxes=Keith and Denise/Newsroom
Denise Allen did just that today, talking with Valery Green in Green's
hospital room this afternoon.
Denise what does Green have to say about the charges leveled against her?
Keith we should first say that Green did not want to further discuss the
Franklin County charges until she gets an attorney.
In a phone interview on Saturday, Green says the animal neglect charges are
false and she did have someone to care for her animals while she's in the
But she says the dreging up of her past and not being able to defend herself
has been frustrating.
SUPER=01-Valery Green/Animal Breeder; :00
SUPER=03-Franklin Co./Saturday; :16
OUT Q=that i'm guilty of
IN Q=MUCH OF WHAT
OUT Q=ABOUT MY ANIMALS
Franklin County officials searched Green's home Friday and found about 100
dogs and cats.
Authorities say the animals were not being cared for, while Green said her
landlord was watching them.
She says all her problems stem from dealings with another breeder, dealings
that turned sour.
IN Q=I AGREED NOT
OUT Q=THAT I'M GUILTY OF))
Green has a history of cancer and has been in the hospital with
Double Boxes=Keith and Denise/Newsroom
And Keith, she says she's hoping to find a lawyer who will help her tell
her side of the story, but she says that's been difficult because of money
Fire has destroyed a log house in Montgomery County.
The fire broke out on Teasel Road in the Pilot area this morning.
No one was home at the time.
The owner discovered the fire as he arrived home.
((JIM EPPERLY/CHRISTIANSBURG FIRE CHIEF: HE'D BEEN GONE ABOUT AN HOUR, CAME
BACK AND FOUND IT CHARRED WITH SMOKE, OPENED THE DOOR TO LET HIS PETS OUT AND
MAY HAVE MADE ONE PASS THROUGH THE HOUSE TO SEE IF HE COULD DO ANYTHING FOR IT,
AND THEN HE WENT DOWN OVER THE HILL ON FOOT AND CALLED 911. ))
SUPER=01-Jim Epperly/Christiansburg Fire Chief;
OUT Q=and called 911.
Epperly says battling the blaze was difficult because the only source of
water came from tanker trucks, which had to rotate in and out.
No word yet on how the fire started.
Epperly says the house and its contents are probably a total loss.
WIPE WIPE WIPE
WIPE! WIPE! WIPE!
Victims of an apartment building fire are trying to make the best out of a
Yesterday, this dwelling at the Bent Creek Apartment complex burned for
about two hours.
This is all that's left of Nancy Smiley's home.
Only a few of her personal belongings were spared.
Even still she's trying to put a positive spin on her predicament.
IN Q=There are
((NANCY SMILEY/FIRE VICTIM: THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE DOING MORE WITH LESS AND
ARE SUFFERING MORE AND WHO HAVE LOST EVERYTHING. WE HAVEN'T LOST EVERYTHING. WE
JUST HAVE EVERYTHING THAT IS A CHARCOAL COLOR NOW. EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT.
SUPER=01-Nancy Smiley/Fire Victim;
OUT Q=be alright
Meanwhile the investigation into the blaze is slow- going.
Fire officials spent most of today at the scene, hoping to find some
IN Q=It's taking
((GARY HUFFMAN/ROANOKE COUNTY FIRE INSPECTOR: IT'S TAKING AN EXTRA LONG TIME TO
EXPOSE THE FIRE. WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN TO WHERE WE FEEL THE SOURCE WAS YET. WE'RE
LOOKING AT THE SOURCE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND FLOOR. I DON'T
KNOW EXACTLY WHAT CAUSED IT AT THIS TIME. ))
SUPER=01-Gary Huffman/Roanoke Co. Fire Inspector;
OUT Q=this time
In all, there were 12 apartments affected by the blaze.
Officials say it could take three months before the building is repaired.
Stocks were lower today, a day after a record close.
The Dow dropped 51 points.
NASDAQ was down seven points.
With all this talk about how to keep Social Security solvent, you might be
wondering where our elected officials stand on the matter.
Len Besthoff reports.
SUPER=03-Washington, DC/Monday; :00
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :06
SUPER=03-New York, NY; :24
SUPER=07-Lloyd Crenshaw; :30 (VERY QUICK!)
SUPER=01-Ben Hartman/Stockbroker-Edward D. Jones; :39 (VERY QUICK!)
OUT Q=LB, News-7.
(( Earlier this week a commission came out with recommendations on how to
keep Social Security money, the backbone of millions of citizens retirement
plans, safe for future generations.
IN Q=I think
((SHIRLEY CROWDER: I THINK SOCIAL SECURITY IS A GOOD THING, AND I HOPE IT
NEVER RUNS OUT.))
OUT Q=runs out.
((ANGELA NOELL: I'M DESERVING, I WORK FOR IT.))
OUT Q=I work for it.
All of the ideas, to one degree or another, call for at least studying the
idea of putting some of the fund into the stock market.
IN Q=The stock
((LLOYD CRENSHAW: THE STOCK MARKET YOU ALWAYS HAVE MONEY COMING BACK IN, SO I
THINK THAT'D BE A GOOD INVESTMENT FOR SOCIAL SECURITY.))
OUT Q=Social Security.
As you might guess, the stock market scenario sits well with stockbrokers.
IN Q=A lot
((BEN HARTMAN/STOCKBROKER-EDWARD D. JONES: A LOT OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY FUNDS
ARE INVESTED IN LOW INTEREST PAYING GOVERNMENT SECURITIES. IT'S JUST NOT
OUT Q=working out.
So how do our elected representatives stand on the issue?
Congressman Bob Goodlatte prefers no changes.
He "strongly supports the current Social Security program", noting "it's a
Senator Chuck Robb advocates some change but he isn't siding with any of the
new proposals yet.
He says "we have to look into personal security accounts and allow
individuals to choose how they are to invest."
Senator John Warner, and Congressmen Virgil Goode and Rick Boucher remain
Boucher went a step further, saying that Social Security CAN pay its bills
until 2030, and that "the potential to invest Social Security funds in other
than government obligations is a recommendation that deserves serious
For their full comments check the business section of our homepage at
IN Q=But our
((But our friends in Washington say Social Security will be on the back burner
this year. That's because a balanced budget amendment and making Medicare
solvent will come first. Len Besthoff, News-7.))
OUT Q=LB, News-7.))
And coming up in Sports, The Redskins hire another coach Dom Capers talks
about the new turf in Green bay.
And Mike Stevens and Photographer Lynn Eller check in from Texas as they
continue their reports from the NASCAR media tour.
This time of year you don't need a farmers almanac or Robin's forecast to
find out if bad weather is on the way.
All you need are the dates for the NASCAR media tour.
Mike stevens and Photographer Len Eller check in from Fort Worth Texas
tonight where they beat the snow out of the Lone Star State.
SUPER=03-Ft. Worth, TX; ::
SUPER=01-Eddie Gossage/Texas Speedway General Manager; :14
SUPER=01-Bobby Hillin Jr./NASCAR Driver From Texas; :44
SUPER=04-January 1996; 1:24
OUT Q=........news 7 sports."
The Carolina Panthers are preparing for this weeks N-F-C championship game
with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau field.
SUPER=03-Poolsville, MD; :
When the Panthers arrive in Green bay they will be looking at a new turf in
The Summitt Hall Turf Farm in Poolsville, Maryland has peeled up the turf
and taken it to Green Bay.
And Carolina head coach Dom Capers is hoping the new turf is in place.
IN Q="I've been
((DOM CAPERS/PANTHER HEAD COACH: ))
SUPER=01-Dom Capers/Panther Head Coach; :
OUT Q= ........GET THERE."
The Panthers and Packers play this Sunday at 12:30.
The Washington Redskins have filled another vacancy on their coaching staff.
Washington has hired Earl Leggett as their defensive line coach. the 61
year old Leggett has been with the New York Giants since 1993 as defensive line
coach. He replaces Ron Lynn, who was let go by the Redskins.
Former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth is looking to make a comeback
into baseball, this team as the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ueberroth who heads a group of investors looking into the deal, says the
franchise is the most valuable in baseball.
The Peter O'Malley family announced the team was for sale on Monday.
SUPER=330-Winter Storm Warning/Sleet & Snow/23-25/Freezing Rain/Icing
SUPER=331-Winter Storm Warning/Sleet Likely/24-28/Significant Icing/Freezing
SUPER=332-Winter Storm Warning/Snow Totals 2-4''/21-23/Snow & Sleet/Freezing
SUPER=333-Winter Storm Warning/Snow & Sleet/22-26/Freezing Rain/Icing
SUPER=334-Winter Storm Warning/Snow Totals 2-4''/20-25/Snow & Sleet/Snow
The best blue grass record album of the year may turn out to have been the
last thing recorded at Doobie Shea studios before the fire.
The studio near Boones Mill was struck by lightning last summer and burned
to the ground.
But not before "The Stanley Tradition" was recorded. It's a tribute to the
mountain-style country music of Ralph and Carter Stanley.
And now it's been nominated for a Grammy.
As we told you Monday, Doobie Shea is rebuilding. Tim Austin expects the
studio to be back in business next month.
For the latest on the winter weather, and for full coverage of the
Governor's State of the Commonwealth address, stay with News 7.
We will carry the speech live beginning at seven.
We'll also have the latest weather and school information
Take Prime Time Board Fullscreen
on News 7 Prime Time.
Robin will have the up to date forecast--that's at 10 p-m on W-E-F-C.
Check your cable listings for the channel in your area.
And don't forget to tune in to News 7 at 11, right here on W-D-B-J.