On NEWS 7 at SIX in just a moment:
...reaction from the victims of extortion and racketeering.
We'll look at life on 13th Street following allegations that an organized
crime family was behind it all.
And what's wrong with Colonial Elementary School?
Water's the main thing. We'll take a look at that.
Tonight in sports, the Hokies fall to Rhode Island this afternoon in
Philadelphia, Steve Mason checks in from Greensboro as the Hokies prepare for
their ACC opener with the Tarheels.
And after watching the Roanoke women lose last night, the Roanoke men hope to
avoid a similar fate this evening in their NCAA opener.
A passing cold front packs quite a punch...first rain and then damaging
winds. The details just ahead.
An out- dated water system at a Botetourt County elementary school is
causing a stink among parents.
Because at times, students are asked to refrain from using the bathroom.
Scott Prince explains.
IN Q=On the surface
SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; :00
SUPER=01-Donna Dudding/Concerned Parent; :28
SUPER=01-Lois Trent/Principal; 1:02
OUT Q=S.P., N-7, Botetourt County
((On the surface, nothing seems out of the ordinary at Colonial Elementary
School in Blue Ridge.
But according to the PTA, there are some serious issues that need to be
In a letter sent to parents, the group reveals that by the end of the day
"the water pressure is so low that toilets cannot be flushed. It is
unreasonable to ask our children and staff to refrain from using the toilets
for the last hour of the day."
The notice has some parents worried about their children's health.
IN Q=Little girls
((DONNA DUDDING/CONCERNED PARENT: LITTLE GIRLS, LITTLE BOYS. IT CAUSES MEDICAL
PROBLEMS. PLUS THEY'RE NOT ABLE TO WASH THEIR HANDS. SO THEY'RE CARRYING GERMS
FROM ONE TO THE OTHER. ))
OUT Q=to the other
The complaints don't stop there.
Many parents are upset over these open- air classrooms, which have no
doors... and only makeshift walls... meaning there's no way to block out noise.
They're also finding fault with teacher salaries... which they say are some
of the lowest in the Roanoke Valley.
For the most part, principal Lois Trent agrees with the PTA... and she's
looking to the school board for help.
IN Q=I'm just
((LOIS TRENT/PRINCIPAL: I'M JUST REAL HOPEFUL SOME OF THOSE HIGH PRIORITY ITEMS
WILL NOT GO BY THE WAYSIDE. ))
OUT Q=by the wayside
At this point it doesn't appear that parent and faculty efforts will go down
School Board officials say some of the problems... including the water
situation... WILL being included in the upcoming budget proposal.
Scott Prince, News- 7, Botetourt County.))
Virginia families are planning ahead for the high cost of college.
In fact, 16- thousand families have already bought a year or more of college
through the state's first prepaid tuition program.
The state's first investor in the tuition program is pleasantly surprised.
SOT 15:01:27 TAPE TWO
IN Q=And so
((GOV. GEORGE ALLEN: AND SO WE WERE SAYING WELL HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED UP
AND SO FORTH, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAD APPLIED. AND IT WASN'T THAT MANY IN THE
BEGINNING, SHE SAID. BUT IN THE FEW OTHER STATES THAT HAVE DONE IT, THEY GET
THE PILE OF THEM ALL IN JUST LIKE STUDENTS TURNING IN THEIR HOMEWORK, PARENTS
WAIT TO GET THE APPLICATIONS, OR GRANDPARENTS, AT THE VERY LAST SECOND. AS I
UNDERSTAND IT'S ABOUT 16-THOUSAND SIGNED UP. AND THAT'S GREAT.))
OUT Q=that's great.
The program closed out Friday, but will take new applications in the fall.
State officials say families in all economic categories bought into the
He campaigned on bringing 125- thousand new jobs to Virginia.
He's now over 200- thousand and counting.
SOT TAPE TWO 14:53:49
IN Q=In fact
((GOV. GEORGE ALLEN: IN FACT WE THOUGHT YOU COULD REASONABLY DO 25- THOUSAND A
YEAR. BUT WE FIGURED YOU GOTTA SHOOT FOR MORE THAN THAT. AND OBVIOUSLY WE'VE
FAR EXCEEDED THAT. WE'RE OVER 200- THOUSAND NET NEW JOBS, AND WE'VE HAD RECORD
INVESTMENT YEAR AFTER YEAR. THE LAST THREE YEARS HAVE BEEN RECORD INVESTMENT.
OVER 11- BILLION DOLLARS OF NEW INVESTMENT. AND THE GOOD THING ABOUT THAT NEW
INVESTMENT AS OPPOSED TO THE 200- THOUSAND NET NEW JOBS IS THAT SOME OF THOSE
JOBS HAVEN'T ALL HIRED ON.))
OUT Q=hired on.
Governor George Allen also oversaw record FOREIGN investment last year:
almost one-and-a-quarter BILLION dollars in foreign business.
Roanoke County Police Chief John Cease has a new job in another city.
Today, he accepted the position of Chief of Police in Wilmington, North
Cease came to Roanoke County in 1990 after voters approved the creation of
a police department.
He says he is proud of the transition that followed and the accreditation
the department received in 1992.
IN Q=And i think we
((JOHN CEASE/ROANOKE CO. POLICE CHIEF: AND I THINK WE, AND I SAY WE, WE AS A
GROUP HAVE BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL. IT'S BEEN A COOPERATIVE EFFORT OF THE
ADMINISTRATORS OF THIS COUNTY, THE ELECTED OFFICIALS, CERTAINLY THE MEMBERS OF
THE DEPARTMENT AND THE CITIZENS. WE'VE COME A LONG WAY IN SEVEN YEARS.))
SUPER=01-John Cease/Roanoke Co. Police Chief;
OUT Q=a long way in seven years.
Cease will assume his duties in Wilmington in early April. He says he will
remain on the job in Roanoke County until then.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on News 7 at Six--
Will the evidence hold up against a Palestinian family accused of racketeering
and other crimes?
and they certainly don't have the superstar status of a Michael Jordan or
Charles Barkley...but Richmond Rage
players are making history. Ellen Qualls will have their story.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=82-1.52''/plus 0.92''/5.91''/minus 0.35'';
SUPER=83-Down 0.26 foot/Above 0.15 foot;Lake levels
* * * NOTE: Anchor Tag * * *
Racketeering and extortion charges might not stick.
A federal magistrate said today he wants to hear from some of the so-far
unidentified witnesses against the Abed family.
Judge Glen Conrad has scheduled a hearing Wednesday to "determine whether
the government's case is going to hold up," as he put it.
IN Q=Rod Abed appeared
SUPER=01-David Damico/Rod Abed's Attorney; :19
SUPER=03-Salem/April 2, 1994;
SUPER=01-Joseph Kirk/"Corner Store" Owner
SUPER=01-Jermaine Witcher/Fire Witness;
OUT Q=saw or heard something.
Rod Abed appeared before Magistrate Conrad this morning for a detention
In addition to the severity of the charges brought Tuesday- -that include
arson and murder, the prosecutor ticked off a list of assault CONVICTIONS...
burglaries and thefts that would make Abed a poor candidate for pre-trial
((I DON'T THINK THEY HAVE THE KIND OF HARD PROOF THAT GUARANTEES CONVICTION.))
Abed's lawyer challenged the basis of the government's case, citing a lack
of hard evidence such as surveillance tapes, confessions or independent
But the prosecutor says that's typical of such cases. The criminals may
not have been caught in the act, but there's no shortage of witnesses.
(( ON SOME OF THESE FIRES LIKES THE MIXERS, CORNER STORE, 30, 40, 50 WITNESSES
WILL BE TESTIFYING ABOUT THE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE CASE.))
Tuesday's indictment says the Abed family set fire to the Corner Store
across the street from their Speedway Mart, in an attempt to put them out of
((YOU KNOW WHEN THE FIRE BROKE OUT WE PRETTY MUCH KNEW WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND
WHO WAS BEHIND IT.
((BUT WE REBUILT IT AND KEPT ON GOING. I think a lot of people would have said,
"i get the message. i'm out of here." WELL, WE'RE JUST TOO STUBBORN, I GUESS TO
Within hours of the corner store fire, another fire broke out just three
doors up the street.
((WE HEARD A GLASS BREAK AND ABOUT THE TIME EVERYBODY CAME AROUND AND LOOKED,
THERE WAS FIRE BURSTED OUT THE SIDE OF THE WINDOW.))
Witcher and his friends helped SOME of the residents get out.
But Marie Hardy and Todd Thomas died. The Feds figure the Abeds THOUGHT one
of them might have seen who set the earlier blaze.
((ANYBODY COULD HAVE SEEN IT. ALL TIMES OF NIGHT PEOPLE STAYED OUT HERE THROUGH
THE WHOLE NIGHT. IT'S A POSSIBILITY THAT THEY LIVED SO NEARBY ANYWAY. THEY
PROBABLY COULD HAVE SAW OR HEARD SOMETHING.))
Witcher and Kirk- -the store owner- -both expressed a measure of disbelief.
They said they thought this kind of thing only happened on T-V or in some
A jury in Wythe County has found Eric Ball guilty of murder and abduction.
The verdict came down this afternoon, on the third day of the trial.
SUPER=03-Wythe Co./January 22, 1996
Ball and two others dumped the body of 17-year-old Ricky Lee Coleman over a
creek bank last year.
An autopsy indicated Coleman died of exposure, and that he had a high blood-
Ball told the jury yesterday that he thought Coleman was dead at the time.
The jury has not yet determined Ball's sentence.
Some new federal laws will change the way banks are organized, and one of
our area's largest employers plans to take advantage of that.
By mid- year, First Union and other large banks can fold their separate,
state chartered banks under one umbrella organization.
First Union estimates this will save it six- million- dollars a year.
The move won't mean any job cuts in the Roanoke Valley, where the bank has
more than two thousand employees.
First Union adds it will still keep its regional headquarters in downtown
Roanoke, where 30 executives and administrative assistants work.
Fueled by new inflation fears, stocks finished lower today.
The Dow was off one point.
NASDAQ dropped 14 points.
If you'd like a road trip to Richmond this weekend and want to witness
sports history... the Richmond Rage women's pro basketball team can oblige you.
They're one-and-one in a best of five game series for the championship of
the groundbreaking new American Basketball League.
Ellen Qualls took a look at the first season.
IN Q=nat sound
SUPER=01-Dawn Staley/Richmond Rage; :12
SUPER=01-Adrian Goodson/Richmond Rage; :45
SUPER=01-Tammy Holder/Rage General Manager; :59
OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.
NAT SOUND GAME OR PRACTICE
They are the Richmond Rage... and they're just two games away from being the
American Basketball League's first national champions.
((DAWN STALEY/RICHMOND RAGE: WE HAD A LOT OF SKEPTICAL PEOPLE...ABL IS FOR
REAL... CHAMPIONSHIP IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL AS
FAR AS WE CAN TAKE IT.))
Former UVA star Dawn Staley took it to the Olympics and won gold.
But UVA standout Dena Evans had actually left the sport, cause there was NO
pro ball for women in America.
Adrian Goodson played for Old Dominion University.
((ADRIAN GOODSON/RICHMOND RAGE: ONCE I GOT OUT OF SCHOOL I JUST SORT OF KNEW
THAT I WAS GONNA HAVE TO GO OVERSEAS...FINALLY THEY CAME UP WITH SOMETHING
LEGITIMATE SO I STAYED.))
But the cup runneth over... the NBA chose this summer to launch its OWN
women's basketball league.
((TAMMY HOLDER/RAGE GENERAL MANAGER: WE HAVE A NUMBER OF PLAYERS THAT ARE TWO
YEAR CONTRACTED PLAYERS... IT PROMOTES WOMEN'S BASKETBALL. THE ABL WANTS
So as long as the leagues don't knock each other out... choices about WHERE
to play are a good thing for aspiring girls who are good at hoops.
IN Q=Oh wow.
((ADRIAN GOODSON: OH WOW. AT LEAST NOW THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO DREAM ABOUT. I
MEAN, I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS PLAYING I LOOKED UP TO DR. J, YOU KNOW.))
Now maybe it's Dr. G.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.
Coming up tonight in sports, the ACC tournament opens tonight. Steve Mason
checks in from the Greensboro Coliseum with a report on UVa's afternoon
Plus, the Roanoke men open NCAA play tonight,
and Virginia Tech's season comes to a close in the A-10 quarterfinals as they
lost to Rhode Island by 4.
The Virginia Tech Hokies hopes of upsetting the field at the A-10 tournament
ended in the quarterfinal today with an upsetting loss to Rhode Island, a team
they had on the ropes.
SUPER=03-Philadelphia/Rhode Island vs. Va. Tech; :00
The Hokies took their first lead with 5-minutes left in the first half Ace
Custis hits the jumper from the corner Tech led 22 to 18.
Tech came the momentum on its side as freshman Russ Wheeler hits this
jumper to make it 24 to 18 Tech.
The Hokies upped that lead to 7 at the half then another freshman Brandon
Dunlop's three made it a 34 to 24 as the Hokies led by 10.
Rhode Island rallied midway through the second half - Tyson Wheeler's
jumper gave the rams a 41 to 40 lead and they would never trail again.
Tech fell behind by as many as SUPER=33-Rhode Island/67/Virginia
Tech/63/;seven, but Troy Manns takes it to the hoop cutting the lead to one.
but Rhode Island wins it 67 to 63.
Tech finishes the year and the Bill Foster era with a 15 and 16 record.
There is plenty of tension in the air tonight in Greensboro, as the ACC
tournament gets set to open.
Steve Mason checks in from the coliseum with a report on UVa and defending
champ Wake Forest.
IN Q=FIRST AUDIO
SUPER=03-Greensboro, NC/This Afternoon; :00
SUPER=01-Curtis Staples/UVa Guard; :15
SUPER=01-Jeff Jones/UVa Head Coach; :25
SUPER=01-Harold Deane/UVa Senior Guard; :47
SUPER=01-Tim Duncan/Wake Forest Center;1:11
SUPER=01-Dave Odom/Wake Forest Head Coach; 1:44
OUT Q=...News 7 Sports."
The tournament fun and upsets have already started this afternoon.
SUPER=03-St. Louis, MO/UNC-Charlotte vs. Louisville; :00
The biggest of which happened in the Conference USA quarterfinals as UNC
Charlotte knocked off 20th ranked Louisville 64-to-60.
The 49ers now have 20 wins on the season.
And don't forget you can watch all four quarterfinal games from the ACC
tomorrow right here on Your Hometown Station.
Maryland plays Clemson in the opener tomorrow at Noon.
Then around 2:20 in the afternoon, it's top seeded Duke taking on the winner
of tonight's State-Ga. Tech game.
The evening session showcases Wake Forest battling Florida State at seven
and then at 9:20 tomorrow night we'll have the Virginia-North Carolina game
for you LIVE right here on WDBJ.
The Roanoke College men open play in the NCAA Division Three tournament
tonight in Fayetteville, North Carolina against Methodist College.
SUPER=03-Salem/ODAC Semi-Finals; :00
The Maroons haven't played since they lost in the ODAC semi-finals to
And in fact they still have Hampden-Sydney on their minds. If the Maroons and
Tigers win tonight, they'll have a rematch Saturday night.
IN Q="We wanna....
((NATHAN HUNGATE/ROANOKE COLLEGE GUARD:))
SUPER=01-Nathan Hungate/Roanoke College Guard; :00
OUT Q=...really counts."
Methodist tonight's opponent is the champion of the Dixie conference.
For the second year in a row, The Lady Maroons of Roanoke College have been
knocked out of the N-C-Double-A basketball tournament.
Last night at the Bast Center, Thomas More of Kentucky beat the Maroons 80
SUPER=03-Salem/Maroons vs Saints; :
Thomas More shot 60 per cent from the field in the first half and led by 25
points at the break.
Roanoke put up a fight in the second half cutting the lead to three but the
Maroons ran out of time losing to the Saints 80 to 76.
IN Q="We were content...
((SUSAN DUNAGAN/ROANOKE HEAD COACH: ))
SUPER=01-Susan Dunagan/Roanoke Head Coach; :
OUT Q=.....who knows."
It was windy enough in Blacksburg today to blow the roof off a house.
A driver for Nationwide homes was towing a double-wide when a gust of wind
tore off its roof.
Traffic was reduced to one lane on Price's Fork Road, and police say it may
be tomorrow morning before all the debris can be cleaned up.
The National Weather Service says the wind this afternoon was gusting
between 25 and 30 miles an hour in Blacksburg.
And it registered one gust of about 40 miles an hour.
SUPER=330-Windy/& Cold/26-28/Mostly Sunny/Wind W-15/47-49;
SUPER=331-Mostly Clear/And Cold/28-30/Mostly Sunny/Wind SW-10/50-52;
SUPER=332-Partly Cloudy/Wind W-15/24-26/Partly Sunny/And Cool/44-46;
SUPER=333-Clear And/Blustery/20-24/Mostly Sunny/Wind W-10/44-46;
SUPER=334-Partly Cloudy/And Cold/20-22/Partly Sunny/Wind W-15/40-42;