The nation's two biggest cigarette makers are reportedly talking settlement
in liability lawsuits.
And a furniture company goes out of business in Brookneal, leaving hundreds
Clouds are moving in this afternoon, and we're looking for much colder
conditions by tomorrow afternoon. All that, plus a look at UVA's bowl woes
coming up in sports.
Don't go away, News 7 at Noon is next.
GRAPHIC=tobacco under fire
A stunner for the Tobacco industry this afternoon.
10:04;56 and 10:05:49
R-J Reynolds and Philip Morris are are reported to be in secret talks aimed
at settling smoker lawsuits.
"The Wall Street Journal" says the proposed settlement would absolve the
industry of liability for smoking- related sickness.
The companies would pay up to 300 billion dollars over 25 years and
cut back on advertising.
Officials in Florida and Minnesota confirm the talks, but say at this point
they are very preliminary.
The town of Brookneal is still reeling from the news that one of its biggest
employers is closing its doors by the end of June.
The 320 workers at Thomasville Furniture got the word late yesterday that
their factory was shutting down, and they would be without jobs in two months.
Thomasville officials blame a decline in the furniture market for the
SUPER=01-Tom Rasdell/Plant Manager
OUT Q=in north carolina have
The Thomasville plant has been in Brookneal for 20 years.
Employees will receive job search counseling and some extended healthcare
benefits after they leave.
Two teens were struck and killed on the train tracks in Altavista last
Police got the call just before six.
Two people were crossing the railroad tracks when they were hit by a
southbound Norfolk Southern train.
IN Q=It turned out
((SGT. JERRY ROWLAND/ALTAVISTA POLICE: IT TURNED OUT THAT IT WAS PROBABLY A
QUARTER OF A MILE NORTH OF WHERE THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS. WHEN WE FINALLY DID
LOCATE THE BODIES, IT WAS INDEED TWO BODIES RATHER THAN ONE.))
SUPER=01-Jerry Rowland/Altavista Police; :00
OUT Q=rather than one.
Police say the victims are 17- year- old Richard Thomas Lancaster from Lynch
Station and 18- year- old Kevin T. Childress from Hurt.
Police say the railroad tracks are frequently used by pedestrians looking
for a shortcut to the downtown area.
Police say one train had already passed and police think the teens did not
see that a second train was coming.
Autopsies are being done on both victims.
An investigation into the accident is continuing.
The Air Force is bringing in a new team of investigators to look over
evidence in the search for a missing warplane and its pilot in Colorado.
Investigators also plan to re-interview local witnesses, including a man who
reported seeing a glow in the Rockies two weeks ago.
Mike Hooker reports.
SUPER=03-Eagle Co., CO; :00
SUPER=01-Frank Campbell/U.S. Air Force; :17
SUPER=01-Chuck Mitchell/Army National Guard; :32
SUPER=01-Mike Hooker/Reporting; 1:08
OUT Q=FOR CBS NEWS.
HE says he was a victim of sexual discrimination, but a federal judge in
Roanoke did NOT agree with the former Transkrit employee.
Greg Holdren was one of nine people hired by Transkrit in late 19-93.
Eight of the nine were men.
Holdren got fired after nine months on the job, because he was not keeping
up with production quotas. Sheila Janney's performance was worse than his, so
he claimed he was discharged because of his sex.
The judge found no discrimination.
After being led by one man for two decades, Virginia's Council of Higher
Education will soon be looking for someone else to head the organization.
Gordon Davies' contract expires in June and will NOT be renewed.
He's widely credited for giving Virginia colleges a higher national stature.
But he's had strained relations with Governor Allen's appointees to the
council. Members engineered a seven-to-three vote yesterday to end his
Davies attributed his dismissal to what he called: "a difference in
perception on how you do this job."
Davies had resisted continued cutbacks and money-saving plans the Allen
administration has pushed for state colleges.
The State Council of Higher education is not the only group looking for a
Rupert Cutler left Virginia's Explore Park after six years of service.
Cutler left Explore on March first.
He's now organizing the Western Virginia land trust.
The group is working with private landowners to draft voluntary
IN Q=The purpose of the
((RUPERT CUTLER/WESTERN VA. LAND TRUST: THE PURPOSE OF THE WESTERN VIRGINIA
LAND TRUST IS TO SAVE ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WE TREASURE SO DEARLY IN THE
ROANOKE VALLEY AND WESTERN VIRGINIA, RANGING FROM THE UNDEVELOPED RIDGE LINES
AND MOUNTAINSIDES TO ROANOKE RIVER, PLACES FOR GREENWAYS AND HISTORIC SITES WE
TREASURE SO MUCH.))
SUPER=01-Rupert Cutler/Western Virginia Land Trust;
OUT Q=we treasure so much.
Meanwhile, the search for Cutler's successor at Explore stalled after a
committee narrowed the field to five candidates.
But Roanoke County employee Gardner Smith is filling in as interim
director, while officials call in an executive search firm to come up with a
new list of prospects.
Prayers services were held today in Saudi Arabia for those who died
yesterday in a massive fire in a religious camp near Mecca.
SUPER=03-Mecca, Saudi Arabia;
Muslim faithful prayed for the 217 people who died in the blaze.
More than one thousand were injured.
SUPER=03-Mina, Saudi Arabia/Yesterday;
The fire was sparked by a propane gas bottle used for cooking.
Flames covered a ten mile area and burned down thousands of tents in the
Panic among pilgrims fleeing the blaze triggered a stampede adding to the
SUPER=03-Texas City, TX/April 16, 1947;
An explosion and fire 50 years ago today in Texas left 576 people dead and
A freighter full of fertilizer exploded in the Gulf Coast port of Texas
It was the worst industrial disaster in U-S history.
Survivors observed a moment of silence at nine o'clock this morning, the
exact time of the explosion.
Investigators in the JonBenet Ramsey case are NOT finished with the child's
mother Patricia Ramsey.
They're asking her for a fifth handwriting sample.
Mrs. Ramsey is the one who found a ransom note before the body of the six-
year- old Colorado Beauty queen was discovered in the family's basement.
A family spokesman says the Ramseys are considering the "appropriateness" of
Partnership is the answer to creating more sites for industrial development.
That's according to the New Century Council's proposal to help develop our
region's economic future.
The Council has convinced the Commonwealth to allow communities in the area
to jointly develop business parks and share the tax revenue generated from
SOT NEW INDUSTRY II TOT 14:12:21
IN Q=We're able
((BEV FITZPATRICK/NEW CENTURY COUNCIL: WE'RE ABLE TO ALLOW CITIES THAT DON'T
HAVE ANY LAND TO INVEST IN A LONG TERM FUTURE, AND THE RURAL AREAS THAT DON'T
HAVE MONEY TO UTILIZE URBAN MONEY TO BEGIN THE PARTNERSHIP.))
SUPER=01-Bev Fitzpatrick/New Century Council;
OUT Q=the partnership.
The first piece of land the New Century Council is targeting is a two-
thousand acre site in Pulaski County next to the New River Valley Airport.
Botetourt County Administrator Jerry Burgess is hoping some green pastures
will help industry to grow.
Yesterday morning, a marketing and recruiting plan was unveiled for
Botetourt Center at Greenfield...
which will be one of the largest multi- use parks Southwestern Virginia has
Officials are hoping to have at least one new corporation in place by the
fall of '98.
IN Q=We're targeting
((JERRY BURGESS/BOTETOURT COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR: WE'RE TARGETING VERY HIGH END
COMPANIES THAT PAY ABOVE AVERAGE WAGES. WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE THIS A UNIQUE
PROJECT ALONG THE I-81 CORRIDOR IN VIRGINIA. ))
SUPER=01-Jerry Burgess/Botetourt Co. Administrator;
OUT Q=in Virginia
Botetourt Center at Greenfield will sit on a 922 acre tract between
Daleville and Fincastle.
But only part of the land will be used for business purposes.
The center will also offer recreation and education facilities, as well.
Soccer may have the most vocal supporters, but a study says Lynchburg needs
to address ALL of its recreational shortfalls equally.
City council has been considering whether to spend more than one million
dollars in unused flood relief money on recreational programs.
Consultants told council yesterday that money could improve handicapped
access, renovate community centers AND build a new soccer field.
IN Q=The study indicated
((MARK GIONET/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: THE STUDY INDICATED THAT RECREATION.. IN
ALL THOSE AREAS.))
SUPER=01-Mark Gionet/Landscape Architect; :00
OUT Q=all those areas.
The study also recommends the city consider a scaled-down version of the
proposed sports complex.
In the spending race, Republican Jim Gilmore has nearly caught Democrat Don
According to campaign finance figures released yesterday, Gilmore's
gubernatorial campaign raised one-point-two (M) million dollars from January
Beyer took in a little more than 800-thousand dollars during that time.
The additions brought Gilmore's total to three-point-oh-five million
Beyer's total is three-point-34 million dollars.
Last year's campaign made spending history.
Reports from 19-96 show congressional candidates across the nation raised
and spent a record amount.
But Virginia Democrat Mark Warner tops the list.
Warner raised and spent 11-point-6 million dollars -- more than any other
And he lost.
Ten-point-3 million of that cash came out of his own pocket.
Republican John Warner took the most special interest political action
committee money in the nation.
He spent 5-point-2 million dollars to win re-election.
GRAPHIC=Virginia State Seal
Virginia will face at least 18 investigations into state business this year.
That's according to the General Assembly's watchdog agency.
Among them, the impact that welfare reform is having on Virginia's families.
The Tidewater area will be phased into the welfare- to- work requirement
The Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission will also look at:
-- the availability and regulation of child day care,
-- staffing and programs at Virginia's prisons,
-- and if there is a wage gap between men and women in the state work force.
Reports are due in the fall.
A bit of excitement in class this morning at Stuarts Draft High School.
Several students were injured when a science experiment blew up. Principal Fred
Keeling says the students suffered minor injuries after being cut by flying
Keeling says there was NO damage to the class or surrounding
A hospital spokesman says ten students were taken by rescue
squads to Augusta Medical Center in Fishersville, where they were
treated in the emergency room.
None of the injuries was life-threatening.
After winning a Nobel prize for his work in physics, a Virginia Tech alumnus
now says the science was never really one of his favorite interests.
Robert Richardson is visiting his alma mater in Blacksburg this week.
He's come a long way from the self- described average student with a normal
((ROBERT RICHARDSON/NOBEL PRIZE WINNER: I MEAN I HAD CHEMISTRY SETS AND I
ALWAYS TRIED TO MAKE LITTLE THINGS THAT WOULD SMELL BAD OR BLOW UP OR SOMETHING
LIKE THAT. I DIDN'T HAVE ANY SPECIAL INTEREST IN PHYSICS. I WAS ALWAYS
INTERESTED IN MATHEMATICS. I LIKED ASTRONOMY WHEN I WAS LITTLE. ))
SUPER=01-Robert Richardson/Nobel Prize Winner;
OUT Q=I was little.
In December Richardson and two colleagues were awarded a Nobel prize for
their discovery 25 years ago of a superfluid form of helium-3.
Richardson is the first Virginia Tech graduate to win a Nobel prize.
The nation is marking fifty years since Jackie Robinson became the first
African American to play major league baseball.
Robinson's first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers was on April fifteenth,
SUPER=03-New York, NY;
Last night at New York City's Shea Stadium, Robinson's widow, President
Clinton and thousands of fans paid tribute to the man who broke baseball's
((IF JACKIE WERE HERE TODAY, HE WOULD SAY WE'VE DONE A LOT....BUT WE NEED TO
EXTEND BEYOND SPORTS AND INTO THE BOARD ROOM.))
OUT Q= throughout corporate america.
The acting baseball commissioner retired Robinson's number 42.
SUPER=332-Windy/& Rainy/36-40/Cloudy/Rain Likely/42-46;
SUPER=334-Rain or/Snow Showers/34-38/Cloudy/with Showers/42-46;
TAPE#net (edit of s6-27)
The Radford women's softball team chalked up two more wins yesterday, both
against the Lady Hokies.
SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Radford vs. Va. Tech; :00
Tech was down 5-to-nothing in the third, but this three run homer by Michelle
Meadows over the left field fence put the Hokies on the board.
But the Highlanders would bring home 6 runs in the fourth. Chasity Chronick
rips the double to left and plating one of those.
Then Laurie Riley singles up the middle scoring two runs and the Lady
Highlanders win game one of the doubleheader 13-to-9.
Radford won game two of the doubleheader 3-to-0.
The University of Virginia lost money on the Carquest Bowl.
VF96-2, SP-UVA, 12/27/96
SUPER=03-Fort Lauderdale, FL/December 1996;
For the first time in nine years of post-season games, U-V-A
showed a deficit.
The school lost 43-thousand dollars and sold only about half of its ticket
The football office says the deficit will be covered by revenue from
previous bowl appearances.
If you have plans to go watch the Carolina Panthers in action later this
Fall, you'll be paying more than you might think.
SUPER=03-Charlotte, NC/Last Season; :00
Yesterday team officials announced that they are raising the prices on
single-game tickets by 30 percent.
The price for an upper deck seat in Ericsson Stadium will jump from 26 to
35-dollars, and the lower spots in the 72-thousand seat arena will increase 10
dollars to 45-dollars each.
TAPE#net (edit of ST5-27)
The women Hokies' basketball program welcomed back an old friend to lead
Tech into the next century.
And Steve Mason says Bonnie Henrickson is ready for the challenge.
IN Q=FIRST AUDIO
SUPER=01-Bonnie Henrickson/New Va. Tech Women's Coach; :13
SUPER=01-Dave Braine/Va. Tech Athletic Director; :40
SUPER=01-Lynette Nolley/Va. Tech Rising Senior Forward; :52
OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."