Coming up next-
An emotional week for GE workers First pink slips went out . but today some
find out they won't lose their jobs after all.
An Astronaut talks about the Apollo 13 mission in Lynchburg tonight.
Plus a sneak peak at the commercials we'll see at the Superbowl.
News 7 is next.
Super=#4064; Headline Banner
Firsts workers thought they lost their jobs. Now it appears many may be
going to back to work.
The General Electric Drive Systems plant in Salem has reduced the number of
layoffs scheduled to start next week.
The company announced this afternoon that some hourly workers opted for a
voluntary layoff that runs through March.
That reduces the total of forced layoffs from 167 to 138.
IN Q=The unemployment
((ANDREW DELEO/SALEM GE EMPLOYEE: THE UNEMPLOYMENT SITUATION IS NOT AS BAD AS
WE FIRST THOUGHT IT WOULD BE. And what kind of reaction does that elicit from
you? DELEO: OH I THINK IT'S AN IMPROVEMENT. PEOPLE COMING OFF THE HOLIDAYS,
AND JANUARY AND FEBRUARY ARE BLEAK MONTHS TO BEGIN WITH.))
SUPER=01-Andrew DeLeo/Salem GE Employee;
OUT Q=to begin with.
Of the 138 G-E workers who will be unemployed Monday, 56 will be back on the
job in a week.
That's because the company's decided to take some work orders scheduled for
later in the year and put them in this quarter.
All told, 82 people from G-E face indefinite layoffs.
G-E says it hopes to have them back at work by late June.
Production workers at the plant make well over 10-dollars an hour.
Three emergency room nurses at a Martinsville hospital say they were
traumatized by a mock hostage situation a year ago.
Today, they filed suit seeking damages of 30-million dollars.
According to the lawsuit, the women believed their lives were in danger
last January, when a group of masked men took over the emergency room at
Their lawyers filed suit this afternoon in Martinsville Circuit Court,
naming the hospital, a management company and nine individuals as defendants.
The nurses say they've suffered severe emotional and physical injury
because of the incident.
IN Q=It's horrible
((PETE BELLER/NURSES' ATTORNEY: IT'S HORRIBLE. IT'S ONE OF THE MOST HORRIBLE
THINGS I'VE EVER SEEN AND IF YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO DIE IT GETS PRETTY
SERIOUS. AND THESE GIRLS THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO DIE. THROUGH NO FAULT OF
SUPER=01-Pete Beller/Nurses' Attorney;
OUT Q=no fault of their own.
None of the defendants in the lawsuit was convicted of any criminal
charges following the drill.
And an attorney who represents the hospital promises a "vigorous defense"
to the lawsuit.
The case was already set to last 24 days, but now the capital murder trial
of Earl Bramblett has been postponed almost four months.
He's already been in jail six months, but he and his attorneys have waived
their right to a speedy trial to give them more time to review the evidence
It's an entirely circumstantial case... involving arson and the murder of a
family of four.
IN Q=Last time
((EARL BRAMBLETT/CAPITAL MURDER SUSPECT: LAST TIME I WAS IN COURT I DIDN'T HAVE
A CHANCE TO SAY MUCH, BUT I THINK I GOT ACROSS THE IDEA THAT I WAS ANXIOUS TO
GO TO TRIAL. BUT I'M NOT AN IDIOT. I DON'T WANT TO GO TO TRIAL, UNTIL WE'RE
SUPER=01-Earl Bramblett/Capital Murder Suspect
OUT Q=we're ready.
At the first of the year, Judge Willett ordered a new psychiatric exam for
Bramblett, but it hasn't been done yet.
The trial in June could still be moved OUT of the Roanoke Valley.
Seeing the movie is one thing, but hearing the story of the Apollo 13
mission from one of the original astronauts drew hundreds of people to
Lynchburg College tonight.
Steve Smallshaw reports.
IN Q=Houston we have
SUPER=04-Courtesy: Universal Pictures; :00
SUPER=01-Ken Mattingly/Apollo 13 Astronaut; :32
OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.
((HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM..))
They were five words that gripped a nation in 1970 and thrilled moviegoers
25 years later.
The story of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission is a tale of human drama and
accomplishment that's worth being told and retold, says Apollo astronaut Ken
Played by Gary Sinise in the 1995 movie, Mattingly was scratched from the
mission for medical reasons.
Apollo 13 lifted off, leaving Mattingly behind...although he was to play an
important part in the effort that brought the crew back to earth.
IN Q=I had a
((KEN MATTINGLY/APOLLO 13 ASTRONAUT: I HAD A CHANCE TO WATCH THIS MAGIC STORY
UNFOLD, AND THEN I HAD A CHANCE TO GO AND FLY ON MY OWN WITHOUT ALL THESE
DISTRACTIONS, AND SO IT WAS A WONDERFUL THING FOR ME IN RETROSPECT.))
OUT Q=in retrospect.
Mattingly says in the days following the explosion that crippled the
spacecraft, crews on the ground had no time to stop and consider the gravity of
Instead, what happened is people stepped forward and provided the necessary
leadership and problem- solving skills that brought the three astronauts safely
natsot movie 18:09:31
((HELLO, HOUSTON, THIS IS ODYSSEY, IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN...))
IN Q=I think it's
((MATTINGLY: I THINK IT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT TOO OFTEN WE FORGET WHAT
CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED BY PEOPLE WHO JUST WORK HARD. SOME PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THIS
AS NASA'S FINEST MOMENT. I THINK OUR FINEST MOMENT WAS LANDING ON THE MOON, BUT
THIS WAS THE ONE OPPORTUNITY TO DEMONSTRATE JUST HOW GOOD THAT TEAM WAS, IN
SORT OF A GLAMOROUS WAY. ))
OUT Q=a glamorous way.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
Destructive weather in the South- and it may not be over yet.
Most of Alabama is under a tornado watch for the rest of the night.
A twister touched down in Tuscaloosa earlier tonight- killing one person.
It tore through the roof at a grocery store- and tossed about fifty cars in
the mall parking lot.
Emergency officials say the tornado ripped up a tree and threw it on a
moving car- killing the driver.
Several other people were hurt- mostly with minor injures.
People in the area reported trees down, windows blown out and cars damaged.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on News 7 at 11, one of the year's most divisive debates ends
suddenly today in Richmond, (--------------)
And a dark cloud will hang over this year's SuperBowl as a half time
performer dies in an unusual accident.
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=82-1.55''/minus 0.34''/1.55''/minus 0.34'';
SUPER=83-Down 0.32 foot/Down 0.87 feet;Lake levels
The Superbowl halftime show is full of glitz and stars but it will not
include bungee jumpers- after a fatal accident during rehearsal.
SUPER=03-New Orleans/Last Night;
While musicians tuned up on stage last night- the bungee jumpers practiced.
But something went wrong-
43 year old Laura Patterson's head struck the Superdome floor.
She died of massive head injuries.
((PAUL TAGLIABUE/NFL COMMISSIONER: MRS. PATTERSON IS A MEMBER OF A PROFESSIONAL
16 MEMBERS BUNGEE JUMPING TEAM.))
(( MEMBERS OF THE TEAM INCLUDED MRS. PATTERSONS HUSBAND AND SISTER WHO WERE
ALSO PART OF THE REHEARSAL.))
SUPER=01-Paul Tagliabue/NFL Commissioner; 07
OUT Q=of the rehearsal."
New Orleans police and the NFL are trying to figure out what went wrong.
Meanwhile halftime producers have cut bungee jumping from Sunday's event.
One of George Allen's cabinet secretaries was in on discussions about a plan
to discredit Virginia's bi-partisan Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission.
That's the latest revelation today from the Allen Administration about an
embarrassing memo that cost a top official his job.
Department of Environmental Quality external affairs director Mike McKenna
resigned at the Governor's urging two weeks ago.
Governor Allen publicly condemned the memo McKenna wrote.
It called for a series of media leaks and intimidating letters to
counter-act negative publicity about his department's recent performance.
Today, DEQ officials admitted Cabinet Secretary Becky Dunlop had been at a
meeting where it was discussed.
SOT tape two 04:12:45
IN Q=Is this
((IS THIS THE FIRST TIME YOU'D SEEN MR. MCKENNA'S MEMO? BECKY NORTON
DUNLOP/SECRETARY OF NATURAL RESOURCES: I HONESTLY DON'T RECALL WHEN I FIRST
SAW IT. BUT MIKE WAS ASKED AT THAT MEETING IF HE HAD ANYTHING HE WANTED TO
CONTRIBUTE. HE HANDED THIS MEMO OUT, WE ALL LOOKED AT IT. WE LOOKED AT THE
VARIOUS ITEMS. I HAVEN'T LOOKED AT IT SINCE SO I DON'T EVEN RECALL ALL THE
ITEMS. BUT I THINK THAT THE IMPORTANT FACT IS NONE OF THEM WERE ACTED ON.))
sot 04:19:08 tape two
((DEL. TOMMY JACKSON/D-CARROLL CO.: I THINK IT'S A BIG DEAL. I THINK IF
THEY'D COME OUT EARLY AND TOLD US WHAT THE TRUTH WAS, THERE PROBABLY WOULDN'T
HAVE BEEN THAT MUCH SAID OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT IT'S POOR THAT THAT TYPE OF
THING WAS BEING DISCUSSED WITHIN AN AGENCY. BUT TO HAVE DECEIVED AND TO HAVE
MISLED LEGISLATORS ABOUT THE ISSUE I THINK IS A FAR WORSE CRIME THAN THE FACT
THAT THE MEMO WAS WRITTEN.))
SUPER=01-Becky Norton Dunlop/Secretary of Natural Resources; :00
OUT Q=was written.
Democrats say they expect acting DEQ director Tom Hopkins of Roanoke to have
a hard time getting confirmed by the legislature next week.
Charter schools have spawned Virginia's most divisive education debates in
A bill to allow them on a limited basis died at the hands of a House of
Delegates committee today.
Ellen Qualls has details.
IN Q=Newport News
SUPER=01-Del. Phil Hamilton/(R) Newport News; :14
SUPER=01-Salim Khalfani/Virginia NAACP; :36
OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.
(( Newport News Republican Phil Hamilton has fought for two years to craft a
charter schools bill that would allow total local control of 2 schools per
district -- but keep them public, NOT religious, and open to all.
sot tape one 58:49
((DEL. PHIL HAMILTON: UH WE'VE BEEN ACCUSED AS POSTER CHILDREN FOR THE RADICAL
RELIGIOUS RIGHT, WHOEVER THEY ARE. WE'VE BEEN ACCUSED THAT THIS IS JUST THE
CAMEL'S NOSE UNDER THE TENT FOR VOUCHERS. 59:03 AND QUITE FRANKLY MR.
CHAIRMAN, SOME OF THE LAST SPEAKERS THAT SPOKE THE OTHER DAY I THINK BASICALLY
CALLED ME RACIST. AND I RESENT IT.))09
sot 01:07:06 TAPE ONE
((SALIM KHALFANI/VA. NAACP: IS IT A THREAT BECAUSE A BLACK MAN -- IF A BLACK
MAN COMES UP AND SAYS "I PROMISE YOU WE'LL WORK AGAINST YOUR RE-ELECTION, IS
THAT THREATENING? NO HE SAID I'LL PROMISE YOU AND THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN A THREAT AND A PROMISE.))
The Virginia N-double-A-C-P says charter schools in southern states could
funnel money away from poorer schools, and be a return to the separate but
unequal days of segregation.
Dublin's Tommy Baker was the lone Republican to agree -- from a rural
SOT 01:12:38 TAPE ONE
((DEL. TOMMY BAKER: EVEN THOUGH THE BILL WAS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT THIS YEAR,
I THINK THOSE OF US WHO VOTED AGAINST IT, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN, CONTINUE TO
HAVE THE SAME CONCERNS ABOUT ULTIMATELY WHAT I MIGHT DO TO PUBLIC EDUCATION AS
FAR AS STATE APPROPRIATIONS.))
Halifax Democrat Ted Bennett wavered.
That's after one delegate's claim that a Danville elementary school could
get more federal funds if it had the name "charter school."
But Bennett finally voted NO.
The 11 to 11 tie killed the bill ... same as last year, without it ever
getting to the House or Senate floor for debate.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
Soft Music Under
Coming up next, a supermarket chain settles a lawsuit for over 80 million
and we'll tell you why M-and-M's are hoping the green ones will make you fall
in love...with their candies.
MUSIC UP FULL
Thousands of supermarket workers say they were trapped in dead end jobs
because they were women- so they sued the Southeastern Publix chain- and won.
Now they'll share a settlement of more than 80 million dollars.
((THIS SETTLE REALLY GOES TO BREAK GLASS CEILING ON PROMOTION OF WOMEN.))
OUT Q=OF WOMEN."
The women complained men with less experience got raises and management
Kathy Watkins said her bosses told her she was not the head of a household.
((KATHY WATKINS: I ASK YOU WHAT ARE YOU WHEN YOU'RE A SINGLE MOM RAISING TWO
CHILDREN BY YOURSELF. IF THAT'S NOT HEAD OF A HOUSEHOLD THEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT
OUT Q=don't know what is."
Publix vehemently denies having any policy discriminating against women.
Yesterday... after she lost custody of her dogs and cats, Valery Green
accused the Franklin County Humane Society of a conspiracy.
She claimed the organization was after her animals so that it could sell
them and make a profit.
But officials from the Humane Society say nothing could be further from the
The organization could stand to lose 20-thousand dollars once the case is
The Humane Society is paying for the animals to be boarded at local kennels
until an appeal is heard.
IN Q=We certainly
((TAMMY JAVIER/FRANKLIN COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY: WE CERTAINLY NEED HELP IN PAYING
THESE EXPENSES. WE ARE NOT PLANNING ON SELLING THESE ANIMALS. WE'RE PLANNING ON
PLACING THEM IN PERMANENT LOVING HOMES. ))
SUPER=01-Tammy Javier/Franklin Co. Humane Society;
OUT Q=loving homes;
(Hav-e-air) Javier says the organization raised 5-thousand dollars from a
recent fund drive... but she's hoping that additional private donations will be
made in the coming weeks.
SUPER=330-Scattered Showers/Turning Warmer/30-33/Partly Cloudy/Winds
SUPER=331-Cloudy With/Light Rain/31-34/Partly Cloudy/Wind NW-20/47-50;
SUPER=332-Freezing Drizzle/Then Showers/30-33/Windy With/Flurries
SUPER=333-Freezing Drizzle/Changing to Rain/30-33/Mostly Cloudy/Snow
SUPER=334-Wind Advisory/Showers Likely/31-34/Wind Advisory/Snow Showers/36-39;
High school hoop highlights, plus an impressive win by the Express, and Chip
Sullivan fails to make the cut in Phoenix.
SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA; :00
But first, the Super Bowl coaches each had a chance to hold the Vince
Lombardi trophy this afternoon at the final newsconference before Sunday's
And reports tonight in New York say the Bills may let Jim Kelly become a free
If that happens, Kelly says he will likely retire.
Now the numbers.
WIPE TO SCORES
SUPER=0096-/Washington/105/j/Atlanta/117//Final In OT//New
SUPER=0096-/Dallas/87/j/San Antonio/97////Portland/102//Phoenix/89/4/Two Late
SUPER=0103-j/N.Y. Islanders/5//Hartford/2//Milbury Quits As
SUPER=0103-/Calgary/2//Ottawa/2//Final In OT/j/Dallas/5//Washington/2///;
SUPER=0103-/Toronto/1//Chicago/1/3///New Jersey/1//San Jose/0/1//;
OUT Q=....last score."
go to break
Let's get started tonight on the ice at the Roanoke Civic Center. The ice
that was inside the building, not outside in the parking lot.
SUPER=03-Roanoke/Ice Caps vs. Express;:00
And look at this a little ice on the steps to accelerate any bodysurfers who
may have stumbled into the building.
And speaking of stumbling, Raleigh went to sleep in the second period and
gave up two goals. Watch Tim Christian behind the net put everyone to sleep and
then beat Pat Charboneau like a drum with the wraparound.
The Express went up 2-to-nothing in the second, but they did lose the fight,
as former Express defenseman Jon Larson gets the best of Bobby brown in
SUPER=38-Raleigh/1/Roanoke/4/Hat Trick for Christian;
But Roanoke gets the victory - 4 to 1.
The Checkers skate in town for a game tomorrow night.
GRAPHIC=HIgh School Hoops
A number of games were postponed tonight because of the weather, but played
played hard over in Vinton where Lord Botetourt took Byrd to the wire before
the Terriers pulled off the 45 to 41 win.
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Terriers vs Cavaliers; :
The Cavaliers were looking for a little respect as they took on the
Terriers on their home floor.
In the third quarter, Botetourt's Sean Osborne steals the ball and scores
and the Cavaliers trailed 27 to 26.
But Byrd answered Jason Bailey hits the jumper from the corner and the
Terriers led 29 to 26.
The Cavaliers hit a three and this Jack Patterson old fashioned three
point play made it 35 to 31 Botetourt.
The Terriers tightened up their SUPER=33-William Byrd/45/Lord
Botetourt/41/;sneakers down the stretch to pull out the 45 to 41 win.
Surprising Rockbridge County beat Alleghany 72-to-59. And the big Seminole
battle, Liberty beat Heritage 76-to-58.
GRAPHIC=High School Hoops
William Fleming Colonels held on to the top spot in the R-V-D with a 68 to
44 win over Pulaski County.
SUPER=03-Roanoke/Colonels vs Cougars; :
The Cougars came into the Fleming Gym with high hopes of handing the
Colonels their first district loss.
But Brad Dunleavy set the tone of the game when he hits this jumper giving
Fleming a three point lead.
Pulaski's Dorian Hendrick started a Cougar run when he takes the inbound
pass and scores the basket.
Pulaski County finished the 8 to nothing run Justin Peak picks up the loose
ball and scores tying the game early.
But Fleming pulled away in the SUPER=33-William Fleming/68/Pulaski
Co./44/;fourth quarter and the Colonels get a rare easy night at the office
against Pulaski winning it by 24.
Chip Sullivan's fairytale PGA suffered a minor setback, as the former Hanging
Rock pro missed the cut at the Phoenix Open by one stroke.
Chip followed up yesterday's even par 71 with another 71 this afternoon.
SUPER=03-Scottsdale, AZ; :00
US open champ Steve Jones still leads the way after shooting a 7 under par 64
He had a 62 yesterday and is 16 under at the turn.
This eagle on 15 helped his cause.
Sandy Lyle and Ben Crenshaw also failed to make the cut, and defending champ
Phil Mickelson just did make it.
Off the NBA hardwood today, the Vancouver Grizzlies - George Lynch's team
changed head coaches today.
Brian Winters was the expansion team's first coach, but under his helm the
team's record over a year and half time span was 23 wins and 102 losses.
Team president and General Manager Stu Jackson, who coached the Knicks in
1990 takes over as head coach.
Still to come tonight, Steve Mason talks with Houston Astros pitcher Billy
Wagner, the former Ferrum star, about life in the big leagues, and overcoming
Former Ferrum pitcher Billy Wagner, the Houston Astros top relief pitcher
was in the town this week talking to the Roanoke Fellowship of Christian
And Steve Mason has there for the chat.
IN Q=first audio
SUPER=01-Bill Wagner/9 Saves & 2.4 ERA in 1996; :
SUPER=01-Mike Gibson/FCA Sponsor; :23
SUPER=01-Kim Kays/Patrick Henry FCA; :; :30
SUPER=03-Ferrum/May 1993; :37
SUPER=04-Major League Baseball; :42
OUT Q=...News 7 sports"
((The Houston Astros closer opened his heart to the Roanoke Calvary
baptist church FCA Thursday morning and it was clear fame and fortune haven't
changed Billy Wagner.
The 1993 1st round draft out of Ferrum College, now strikes out Raul Mondesi
of the Dodgers, along with Barry Bonds and Matt williams.
In May of 95 , Billy's father in law Steve Quisenberry and his new wife
Tina were murdered.
Billy and his family's strength and perseverance from that tragedy are
evident in his message to kids.
Visiting the FCA chapter is one of Billy's many scheduled off season speaking
engagements. Steve Mason, New 7 sports.
And finally, some uplifting news heading into the weekend.
Doctors say Arnold Palmer's cancer was contained in his prostate, and that he
may be able to play professionally again by the Masters Tournament in April.
IN Q="If the doctors...
((ARNOLD PALMER/70 PGA & SENIOR TOUR WINS:))
SUPER=01-Arnold Palmer/70 PGA & Senior Tour Wins; :00
OUT Q=...in the future."
People don't just watch the Superbowl for football- they also watch for the
SUPER=03-New York City;
This year Frito Lay is pulling out all the stops to promote it's Baked Lays
((I NUZZLE YOUR NECK. I NIBBLE YOUR HAND. I ATE YOUR CHIPS. GOODNIGHT.
ANTONIO SABATO, JR./ACTOR: THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHES THE SUPERBOWL SUNDAY AND I
THINK THEY'LL WANT TO HAVE THE BEST COMMERCIALS ON AIR. THE MOST ENTERTAINING
SUPER=04-TV Commercial; 00
SUPER=01-Antonio Sabato, Jr./Actor; 12
OUT Q=THE FUNNIEST.:
In another commercial, Fred Astaire dances with a dirt devil vacuum cleaner.
You can also catch Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame.
140 million people are expected to watch the Superbowl.
For that, advertisers are paying more than one million dollars for a 30
One of those commercials is set to answer that age old question...Are green
M&M's an aphrodisiac?
For years some people have claimed eating the green ones could put you in the
mood for love.
Now after years of ignoring the rumors, the M&M company has decided to tackle
the issue by creating its first female character.
IN Q=Is it true
OUT Q=get your gossip?
Officially the company says there is no truth to the claims. It says it is
all just a rumor started by the red and yellow ones.