An alleged organized crime family rounded up right here in Roanoke.
On News 7 at Six, details of a Palestinian mafia- -hell bent on controlling
the convenience store business.
And it's not your traditional summer camp... or Spring break. Virginia
Tech students bunk in with the Mattaponi Indians.
In sports, highlights from the Hokies win over Fordham in the A-10 tourney,
Peyton Manning answers the question should I stay or should I go,
and James Madison announces today that head coach Lefty Driesell must go,
all that in sports.
Strong thunderstorms and gusty winds accompany a cold front as this hour.
The rain will end but the high winds may stay through tomorrow.
* * NOTE:Anchor TAG* *
Extortion, racketeering, arson and murder.
...the kinds of intimidation tactics usually associated with brass-knuckle
violence at the hands of the Mafia.
Federal prosecutors say it's been going on right here in the Roanoke Valley.
Only instead of "La Cosanostra," the government alleges the scare tactics
being employed here are the work of a single PALESTINIAN family in Roanoke by
the name of Abed.
SUPER=01-Tom Bondurant/Prosecutor; :30
SUPER=10-Salem/April 2, 1994/11:45 PM; :44
SUPER=03-January 30, 1990/11:35 PM; 1:01
SUPER=03-January 13, 1995/9:45 PM; 1:10
SUPER=03-January 13, 1995/5:50 AM; 1:20
OUT Q=apartment fire, too.
((Authorities suspect the Abeds have a financial interest in 80-percent of
all the convenience stores in the Valley.
They say they have PROOF of ownership in 33 local businesses, and they're
still finding connections with others... some tied to legitimate business.
Since 1990, according to a new federal indictment unsealed this afternoon,
members of the Abed family have set at least eight fires- -with FATAL results,
in some cases- -in a concerted effort to eliminate the competition.
((THE ABED FAMILY AND THEIR ASSOCIATES OWNED THE SPEEDWAY MARKET ON 13TH STREET
HERE IN TOWN. THE CORNER STORE WAS TAKING AWAY BUSINESS FROM THE SPEEDWAY. SO
THE EASIEST WAY TO TAKE CARE OF THAT IS TO BURN OUT THE CORNER STORE. ))
In addition to strong arm tactics designed to monopolize the market, the
government alleges the Abeds branched out as free-lance arsonists-for-hire.
NAT SOT from 94-16
"My hair was on fire"
According to the indictment, the owners of Mixers Restaurant and Lounge
HIRED the Abeds to set the place on fire to collect insurance proceeds.
Joe Abed was there the night of the Lucky Star fire.
His brother Jamil is implicated in an attempt to defraud the insurance
company in this one.
Also among the fires cited in court papers was one two years ago in which a
man and women were killed.
The grand jury says the couple was murdered. Authorities believe the couple
saw someone set fire to the Corner Store in the same neighborhood just hours
Fahad Tawalbeh was convicted of Food Stamp Fraud. He lost his A-B-C license
in the process, and his Speedway Center began losing business to the Corner
Federal authorities suspect that's why he had his rival torched.... setting
off a chain reaction that ended in double homicide.
OUT Q=apartment fire, too
Tawalbeh told the Magistrate today that the Speedway just "breaks even."
Prosecutor Bondurant says Tawalbeh regularly sends money home to the Middle
East- - as much 4-to-500-thousand dollars, all told- -that Tawalbeh is building
a home in Jordan. Tawalbeh says the most he's ever wired home at one time was
A 13- year old boy has been accused of shooting a train conductor over the
weekend in Pittsylvania County.
40- year old Robin (Say-FRITT) Safrit was injured Sunday afternoon when he
was struck near Chatham.
State Police report Safrit was riding in the front of the train when he was
hit in the back by what appeared to be a b-b pellet.
A Norfolk Southern spokesman says the teenager allegedly used a high-
powered air pistol.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has found five violations at the
Framatome Cogema (FRAM-uh-tohm koh-JEE-muh) plant in Lynchburg.
The most serious infraction involves a mix up in shipping.
Apparently a uranium- based fuel assembly was accidentally sent to Germany.
The incident did not endanger public health or safety.
Despite that, the N- R- C is still handing down a 12- thousand- five hundred
A (FRAM- uh- tohm) Framatome official says preventative measures have been
put in place so that the mistakes are not repeated.
Eric Ball says he thought 17 year- old Ricky Lee Coleman was dead when he
and two others helped dump Coleman over a creek bank.
Ball took the witness stand to defend himself today against abduction and
He said he never heard Coleman moaning, nor did he see any signs of life
from the drunken teenager.
SUPER=03-Wythe Co./January 22, 1996;
An autopsy concluded Coleman died from exposure, with alcohol as a
Ball admitted he helped transport Coleman from Jason Hibbs' house, where
Coleman had gotten drunk and destructive at a party earlier.
Hibbs has already pleaded guilty to murder. A third defendant, Eric Wimmer
is awaiting trial.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on News 7 at Six--
a "jump start" to help young children overcome their apprehension about
And it's spring break time for some older students--but it's no day at the
beach. They're trying to make a difference in the life of one struggling
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
"Serious psychological testing." That's what an 8- year- old
Pittsylvania County boy is undergoing after being accused of murdering his
The examinations are taking place at a Virginia hospital... but apparently
it's happening on an out- patient basis.
A source told News- 7 that the child is staying with his natural father's
family... out of state.
The boy is charged with the murder of 55- year- old Bernard Rosser... who
was beaten to death in December.
A pen or pencil is all that's needed to report suspicious activity in
Sheriff's deputies have placed what's called "Hot Spot" cards in various
stores around the county.
Residents are asked to fill in crime tips and then drop the forms in the
There's no need to include your name and postage is free.
Jennifer Smith read about the concept in a newsletter.
She's Chairman of "Neighbors in Partnership"-- a group of local
professionals who meet once a month.
((JENNIFER SMITH/"NEIGHBORS IN PARTNERSHIP" CHAIRMAN:WE'RE WORKING FOR
PREVENTING SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN DANVILLE AND PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY AND WE SAW THE
HOT SPOT CARDS AS BEING A VEHICLE THAT WOULD ALLOW CITIZENS TO IDENTIFY AREAS
WHERE THERE WAS SUBSTANCE ABUSE, ILLEGAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE, GOING ON. ))
SUPER=01-Jennifer Smith/"Neighbors in Partnership" Chairman; :00
OUT Q=going on.
The "Neighbors in Partnership" group paid to have two thousand of the cards
The county crime stoppers organization is paying for postage.
The Roanoke Chapter of the N- Double- A- C- P says local hotels can do a
better job of hiring and promoting minorities.
Leaders of the group say they are supporting a national boycott of ten
IN Q=If we begin flexing
((MARTIN JEFFREY/ROANOKE NAACP PRESIDENT: IF WE BEGIN FLEXING OUR SUBSTANTIAL
ECONOMIC MUSCLE, THINGS WILL MOVE AND THINGS WILL CHANGE.))
SUPER=01-Martin Jeffrey/Roanoke NAACP President;
OUT Q=things will change.
The N- Double- A- C- P is encouraging supporters to use the group's report
card when they consider where to send their business.
Locally, the focus has been the Hotel Roanoke, part of the Doubletree
But the parent companies of other familiar hotels also received poor or
failing grades .
IN Q=Based on the figures I've seen
((MARTIN JEFFREY/ROANOKE NAACP PRESIDENT: BASED ON THE FIGURES I'VE SEEN,
ALTHOUGH THEY MAY BE BETTER THAN MOST OR MAY BE BETTER THAN SOME I THINK WE CAN
DO BETTER. I DON'T THINK FOR ONE MINUTES THAT WE'RE DOING WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE
OUT Q=we ought to be doing.
Today, local hotel operators defended their record of hiring minorities,
and questioned whether a boycott is justified.
Hundreds of Virginia Tech students are fixing drinks and working on tans
this week on spring break.
A handful are fixing floors and working on plumbing at a Virginia Indian
Ellen Qualls has their story.
IN Q=nat sound wind chime
SUPER=03-King and Queen Co.; :08
SUPER=01-Ruth Waterlily Pack/Mattaponi Indian; :25
SUPER=01-Donna Abel/Va. Tech Volunteer; :35
SUPER=01-Aimee Livings/Va. Tech Volunteer; :59
SUPER=01-Kristi Neptun/Va. Tech Volunteer; 1:18
OUT Q=News 7, King and Queen County.
(( nat sound wind chime TAPE TWO
This is what's left of the Mattaponi Indians in Virginia.
This is what's left of spring break for Virginia Tech students and staffers
who volunteered through the YMCA.
But they're wringing as much out of the experience as they can.
((DONNA ABEL: JUST TRYING TO MAKE IT A BETTER LIVING CONDITIONS FOR GRANDMA.))
((RUTH WATERLILY PACK/MATTAPONI INDIAN: YEAH IT'S BEEN A LONG WINTER. MY
DAUGHTER COME AND FIXED THE THING UP BECAUSE LAST WINTER I DIDN'T HAVE ANY
WATER FOR THREE OR FOUR WEEKS.))
((DONNA ABEL/VA. TECH VOLUNTEER: AND I'M HOPING MY HUSBAND CAN MAYBE COME BACK
WITH ME AND WORK ON THIS. BECAUSE THIS IS JUST-- I MEAN, NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO
LIVE IN CONDITIONS LIKE THESE.))
Conditions like a kitchen sink that's leaked so much water it's rotted the
Now it's falling through.
((DONNA ABEL: WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO REPLACE ONE FLOOR JOIST BEFORE WE CAN
ACTUALLY PULL THE SINK OUT AND MAKE A PATCH WITH SOME PLYWOOD.))
((AIMEE LIVINGS: ONE OF THE BIG THINGS ABOUT SPRING BREAK I WANTED TO DO WAS
COME AND GET A RELEASE FROM SCHOOL AND THE STRESS AND RE-THINK KIND OF THE WAY
THINGS ARE GOING. AND I'VE GOTTEN A CHANCE TO DO THAT. I THINK A LOT OF THAT
HAS TO DO WITH THE CULTURE.))
((KRISTI NEPTUN/VA. TECH VOLUNTEER: WHEN WE HAD OUR DRUMMING. OR WE JUST SIT
AROUND AND LISTEN TO GENTLE WIND AND SUNEAGLE TELL STORIES, WE LEARN ABOUT
STORIES PASSED DOWN FROM THE CULTURE. AND THE STORIES ALWAYS HAVE A LESSON TO
TEACH YOU. WE HEARD STORIES ABOUT THE SPIRIT EAGLE LAST NIGHT AND ABOUT THE
RIVER AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RIVER.))
((THE MATTAPONI SAY THEIR RESERVATION ONCE SPANNED OVER THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND
ACRES ALONG THIS MATTAPONI RIVER. THEY NOW LIVE ON LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED
((RUTH WATERLILY PACK/MATTAPONI INDIAN: I, YOU KNOW, WAS GONNA TRY TO GET MY
BILLS PAID UP AND BUY A SECOND-HAND TRAILER THAT WAS IN GOOD CONDITION. BUT I
CAN'T GET MY BILLS PAID UP.))
The labor's NOT free.
The students say it's a two way street.
((AIMEE LIVINGS: EVERY MORNING WE WAKE UP WITH A HUG. AND EVERY NIGHT WE GO
TO BED WITH A HUG. AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I THINK WE ARE MISSING.))
Ellen Qualls, News 7, King and Queen County.))
There was an impressive rally on Wall Street today.
The Dow jumped 93 points, finishing the session at 69 hundred 46.
NASDAQ was up 12 points.
For a five year- old, the first day of kindergarten may stir up fears and
But a program at Riner Elementary School in Montgomery County is giving
youngsters a jumpstart on the transition.
Tracy Altizer reports.
IN Q=Five year- old Kaitlin
SUPER=03-Montgomery Co./Monday; :00
SUPER=01-Kaitlin Clower/Riner Kindergartner; :11
SUPER=01-Joyce Clower/Kaitlin's Mother; :17
SUPER=01-Chris Kile/Parent; :29
SUPER=01-Melissa Kile/Jumpstart Director; :45
SUPER=01-Joshua Long/Jumpstart Student; :56 QUICK!!
SUPER=01-Brittany Epperly/Riner Kindergartner; 1:09 QUICK!!
OUT Q=Altizer, News 7.
(( Five year- old Kaitlin Clower loves Kindergarten.
And she couldn't wait to attend Jumpstart again this year.
Last year's program introduced her to school.
((DID JUMPSTART MAKE YOU EXCITED TO GO TO SCHOOL?
KAITLIN CLOWER/RINER KINDERGARTNER: YEAH IT DID, IT REALLY DID. AND I ALSO LIKE
THE JUMPSTART. ))
((JOYCE CLOWER/KAITLIN'S MOTHER: OUT OF THE CAR AND INTO SCHOOL. NO TEARS,
NOTHING. JUST KISS MOMMY GOODBYE AND INTO SCHOOL, THAT WAS IT.))
Teachers say Jumpstart has had that effect on many children, and it's
helped prepare their parents.
((CHRIS KILE/PARENT: WELL IT'S MADE ME REALIZE MORE WHAT GOES ON IN THE CLASS
AND THINGS THAT I CAN DO WITH MY DAUGHTER AT HOME. ))
((SWISH SAID THE FISH, NOT ME, NOT ME. I DON'T HAVE ANY FEET, AS YOU CAN SEE.))
Now in it's third year, Jumpstart's main goal is to get the kids excited
((MELISSA KILE/JUMPSTART DIRECTOR: THE MONEY THAT WE GET FOR JUMPSTART WE SPEND
ALMOST ALL OF IT ON GOOD BOOKS FOR CHILDREN, AND SO THAT THEY GET TO, THEY'LL
END UP WITH AT LEAST EIGHT OR NINE NEW BOOKS. ))
((JOSHUA LONG/JUMPSTART STUDENT: I LIKE TO GET DOLLARS AND BUY BOOKS.))
The kids are also learning the value of money. They earn Kidbucks for the
Jumpstart Store through reading, participation in the activities and parental
((BRITTANY EPPERLY/RINER KINDERGARTNER: I BOUGHT A BALLOON AND A NOTEPAD AND
Jumpstart was funded through a National Science Foundation grant its first
two years, now Riner's P-T-A is paying for it.
Officials say its a worthy two thousand dollar investment for starting kids
on the right track in school. Tracy Altizer, News 7.))
The Hokies eanr another shot at Rhode Island in the A-10 tourney, JMU makes
a decision on Lefty Driesell's future today,
and speaking of the future--what's UT quarterback Peyton Manning gonna do??
We will tell you in sports.
The Virginia Tech Hokies will meet Rhode Island in the second round of the
Atlantic 10 basketball tournament.
Troy Manns sank two free throws with seven seconds left to lift the Hokies
over Fordham 56 to 53 today.
SUPER=03-Philadelphia, PA/Tech vs Fordham; :
The Hokies and Fordham opened the tournament at the CoreStates Spectrum in
Tech's Troy Manns puts it up from outside and misses but Ace Custis is in
position for the rebound and put back for two of his 14 points.
The Hokies managed to keep it inside on this play Keith Mathews bobbles
the pass but Custis picks it up and scores again.
Tech continued to put on the pressure on this play Manns drops it off to
Russ Wheeler for the basket keeping the Hokies in the lead.
Manns made the two free throws SUPER=33-Virginia
Tech/56/Fordham/53/;and a desperation shot from Fordham was no good the Hokies
advance to the second round with the 56 to 53 win.
GRAPHIC=colonial basketball tournament
Just two days after losing in the Colonial Athletic Association basketball
tournament championship; James Madison head basketball coach Lefty Driesell has
Earlier in the week, Driesell said he was planning to coach one more year
at JMU and then retire.
The University released a statement today saying when Left's contract is up
April 30th; it would not be renewed. Driesell was 159 and 111 in 9 years as the
Dukes head coach with 1 NCAA tournament berth and 5 regular season CAA titles.
Over in Salem tonight, The Lady Maroons of Roanoke College open the
Division Three women's NCAA tournament at the Bast Center.
The Lady Maroons are the top seed in the south region and they will go up
against the 8-th seed in Thomas Moore of Kentucky.
Roanoke is red hot after regaining the ODAC title over the weekend and
after viewing film they're ready for the first round game.
IN Q="It always helps
((SUZANNE MOORE/ROANOKE GUARD: ))
SUPER=01-Suzanne Moore/Roanoke Guard; :
OUT Q=......style of play."
The Maroons tip if off tonight at 7 o'clock.
In college football, Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning announced his
decision today on whether to for go his final year of eligibility for the NFL
or to stay at UT for 1 more season.
SUPER=03-Knoxville, TN; :00
Peyton held an afternoon news conference on the campus of UT to make his
decision known. The process took a great deal of time and prayer.
((PEYTON MANNING/TENNESSEE QUARTERBACK:))
SUPER=01-Peyton Manning/Tennessee Quarterback; :00
OUT Q=...at the university of Tennessee"
Manning and his coach Phillip Fulmer then joked about the sure heisman
winners role next season in UT orange and white.
((PHILLIP FULMER/TENNESSEE HEAD COACH:))
SUPER=01-Phillip Fulmer/Tennessee Head Coach; :06
OUT Q=...i guess"
The Roanoke Express has called a 7pm news conference tomorrow at the Roanoke
Civic Center Exhibition Hall to announce a change in ownership. we will have
more on that story as it unfolds.
The Express beat Dayton 8-5 last night thanks to a Wayne Strachan hat trick.
SUPER=03-Roanoke/Bombers vs. Express; :00
The Express also got a goal from Ryan Equale, who puts the biscuit between
the pipes in the first period. That cut Daytons lead to one.
Chris Lipsett also scored one of Roanoke's 8 goals on the night.
((DAVE STEWART/EXPRESS DEFENSEMAN:))
SUPER=01-Dave Stewart/Express Defenseman
SUPER=330-Showers And/Thunderstorms/40-44/Sunny And/Very Windy/50-55;
SUPER=331-Showers And/Thunderstorms/42-44/Mostly Sunny/Wind NW-30/53-56;
SUPER=332-Locally Heavy/Rain Showers/40-42/Sunny And/Very Windy/48-52;
SUPER=333-Showers Likely/Turning Windy/38-40/Mostly Sunny/Wind NW-30/42-45;
SUPER=334-Locally Heavy/Rain Ending/38-40/Partly Cloudy/Very Windy/40-45;