At the top of NEWS 7 TONIGHT:
The case against an eight-year old accused of killing his step-father comes
to an abrupt halt.
Rape and sodomy charges are brought against two of Tech's former football
Tonight on News 7 Sports, the rain is playing havoc for the big golf weekend
in Greensboro, as today's pro-am is cancelled.
And a day before the 72 hole Chrysler Classic opens Fuzzy Zoeller withdraws
from the event, amid the Tiger Woods controversy.
The weather story is a real mix of clouds and sun but the rain moves out
later tonight. Details and our WeatherSchool question coming up.
There will be no trial for an 8- year old Pittsylvania County boy... whom
authorities believe killed his stepfather.
This afternoon... after a short hearing in Juvenile Court... murder charges
Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Newsroom
Scott Prince joins us from the newsroom with more on this major development.
Keith, we should point out that last week we reported that a team of
psychiatrists from U- V- A Medical Center found that the 8- year- old was
incapable of standing trial.
No one at today's hearing would discuss the evidence presented... but we do
know the court was waiting for a second opinion before it made a decision on
whether or not to proceed with the case.
That decision was made in just 45 minutes this afternoon as the charges
against the boy were dismissed.
But the child's attorney believes even if this case HAD gone to trial... the
boy would have been cleared anyway. (/////SOT/////)
IN Q=I think
SUPER=01-Glenn Berger/Child's Attorney; :00
SUPER=04-Franklin News-Post; :18
SUPER=03-Pittsylvania Co./December 1996; :23
OUT Q=to the head
IN Q=I think
((GLENN BERGER/CHILD'S ATTORNEY: I THINK THE COURT MADE A FAIR DECISION HERE.
IT WAS PROPER FROM ALL OF THE FACTS IN THE CASE. I DO BELIEVE THE YOUNG MAN'S
INNOCENT. AND IF IT EVER GOT TO THAT ISSUE-- IF IT HAD GOTTEN THERE I BELIEVE
THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SHOWN. ))
OUT Q=been shown
The child had been accused of killing his own stepfather... 55- year- old
Bernard Rosser... who was a Franklin County probation officer.
His body was discovered inside his Gretna home and an autopsy showed he died
from a severe blow to the head.))
Prosecutors now have only a handful of options left.
They reserve the right to reinstate murder charges against the boy.
Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Newsroom
Or Keith, they can of course initiate another investigation and this time
take it in a different direction.
Two former Virginia Tech football players will have to stand trial for rape
A Montgomery County grand jury returned indictments this afternoon against
James Crawford and Brian Edmonds.
Their accuser told News-7 she considered both men to be her friends, but
they took advantage of her while she was drunk.
She said the assault took place in Crawford and Edmonds' apartment
following a party.
Crawford withdrew from a lawsuit against the woman earlier this year.
Edmonds also dropped his suit, but his attorney expects to refile it after the
The former boyfriend of a James Madison University grad student murdered
last October has finally been arrested.
1996 JMU graduate Brent Simmons is awaiting extradition from Ohio to
Simmons was an immediate suspect in the double murder of his former
girlfriend, Ann Margaret Olson and her new boyfriend Keith O'Connell last fall.
Olson filed assault charges against Simmons in July of last year after he
allegedly threw her to the ground and warned O'Connell to "watch his back."
Olson and O'Connell were dating just two months at the time of their
High water has brought a heavy load for the American Red Cross this spring,
and today the manager of the Roanoke Valley chapter joined the disaster relief
effort in North Dakota.
Tom Brown boarded a plane this afternoon on his way to Fargo.
He'll be helping to provide food or shelter to thousands of Fargo residents
displaced by the flooding.
IN Q=We haven't had the great big
((WE HAVEN'T HAD THE GREAT BIG HURRICANE HUGO OR HURRICANE ANDREW OR SOMETHING
LIKE THAT, BUT WE'VE HAD FLOODING PRETTY MUCH SINCE THE BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY,
FIRST IN LOUISVILLE, CINCINNATI AND TENNESSEE AND NOW IN FARGO. SO IT'S BEEN A
ROUGH SPRING FOR US.))
SUPER=01-Tom Brown/American Red Cross;
OUT Q=rough spring for us.
Another red cross volunteer from Roanoke flew out later in the day and
others will be on standby in case their help is needed in flooded areas.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Coming up on News 7 at Six--it's apparently a common, but seldom discussed,
practice on board Norfolk Southern trains, and some farmers say it's downright
Len Besthoff begins a series of reports
"Hopping Mad at N-S".
and its lights out for the Mill Mountain Star tonight. We'll explain why the
city symbol is going dark.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=82-1.59''/minus 0.63''/9.10''/minus 2.36'';
SUPER=83-Down 1.14 feet/Down 1.39 feet;Lake levels
GRAPHIC=Hopping Mad at NS
Norfolk Southern is one of our area's biggest employers, an active corporate
citizen. It's even been said Roanoke was built by N-S's predecessor, the
Norfolk and Western Railway.
And yet while N-S is generally held in high regard in the community, its
railroad employees are subjected to a practice many regard as outdated and
unsanitary. N-S calls it the "dry hopper" system, and it's not a pleasant
Double Boxes=Keith and Len/Microwave
In part one of "Hopping Mad at N-S" Len Besthoff explains what it's all
Keith some Bedford County farmers believe the N-S "dry hopper" waste
disposal system is at the root of their problem, one that's almost too graphic
to talk about.
IN Q=There's urine
SUPER=04-June 1992; :08
SUPER=03-Bedford Co.; :15
SUPER=01-Larry Chattin/Bedford Co. Farmer; :23 (VERY QUICK!)
SUPER=01-Chester Melvin/Retired NS Engineer; :58
SUPER=01-Kenny Chattin/Bedford Co. Farmer; 1:23
SUPER=03-Roanoke/January; 1:33 (quick!)
OUT Q=you know.
SOT NS-WASTE VIII TOT 05:22:53
IN Q=There's urine
((KENNY CHATTIN/BEDFORD CO. FARMER: THERE'S URINE AND HUMAN WASTE IN IT, I
MEAN, YOU'RE HAVING TO HANDLE THIS STUFF WITH YOUR BARE HANDS.))
OUT Q=bare hands.
The Chattin family says for years they've been finding plastic bags filled
with human waste on their Bedford County farm.
They believe the bags are coming from Norfolk Southern trains that run along
SOT NS WASTE VIII TOT 05:12:44
((LARRY CHATTIN/BEDFORD CO. FARMER: WE'VE TALKED TO SEVERAL RAILROAD PEOPLE
THAT'S TOLD US THEY USE THESE KIND OF BAGS.))
OUT Q=of bags.
If N-S employees on board the trains want to go to the bathroom, they have
to use the "dry hopper" system, instead of a toilet.
Workers relieve themselves in a plastic bag that's draped over a commode.
The bags are tied up and stored in a bucket.
N-S is the only class one freight railroad using the "dry hopper" system.
Railroad workers say the smell of the accumulated bags can become too much
to bear, especially when it may be a while before the waste buckets are
replaced at a maintenance stop.
SOT NS WASTE VII TOT 03:11:44
IN Q=I haven't
((CHESTER MELVIN/RETIRED NS ENGINEER: I HAVEN'T BEEN OUT THERE IN A COUPLE OF
YEARS. THEY MAY BE DOING A BETTER JOB. BUT WHEN I WAS OUT THERE A LOT OF
TIMES YOU'D RUN INTO A BUCKET THAT LOOKED LIKE IT HAD BEEN THERE FOR A MONTH
OUT Q=you know.
In the past, Norfolk Southern has denied its workers toss the bags off its
Twice before the railroad has reached out of court settlements with the
Chattins, without admitting any guilt.
But the Chattins say the bags keep showing up on their farm, on several
occasions this year in fact.
SOT NS WASTE IX TOT 05:27:13
IN Q=You would
((KENNY CHATTIN: YOU WOULD THINK THAT AFTER WHAT WE'VE GONE THROUGH THAT THEY
WOULD BE, THAT THEY WOULD'VE GONE THE EXTRA MILE AND TRIED TO GET SOMETHING
DONE, OR CHANGED SOMETHING TO STOP IT.))
OUT Q=stop it.
Now the farmers are bringing the matter in front of a jury, suing the
railroad giant for three- quarters- of- a- million- dollars.
They say they don't want the money, they just want this stopped.
SOT NS-WASTE I TOT 04:01:39
IN Q=It shoulda
((LARRY CHATTIN: IT SHOULDA HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO, WE TRUSTED THE RAILROAD,
AND THEY DIDN'T DO WHAT THEY SAID YOU KNOW.))
OUT Q=you know.
Norfolk Southern won't comment because of the pending litigation.
The case is expected to be heard later this spring.
Most N-S workers won't talk with us about this, for fear of losing their
Double Boxes=Len and Keith/Microwave
(Keith question: so what are we going to hear about tomorrow?)
The public face of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition is stepping down.
SOT cbs newspath 1pm feed
IN Q=I believe
((I BELIEVE IT'S IMPORTANT FOR ORGANIZATIONS TO BE BUILT AROUND PRINCIPLE NOT
SUPER=01-Ralph Reed/Christian Coalition;
Ralph Reed says he'll resign as the group's director in September.
He's led the Virginia-based Coalition to become a major force in the
national Republican party over the last eight years.
Reed will form his own political consulting firm, called Century Strategies.
Under his tenure, the Christian Coalition also came under Federal Election
Commission review for alleged campaign violations.
Earl Bramblett's lawyers will get to sit in on his next session with a
They say the capital murder suspect is not competent to stand trial. They
have an expert to back up that claim.
Another expert- -this one hired by the prosecution- -will have a chance to
examine Bramblett... sometime in the next couple of weeks.
And the judge ruled this afternoon that defense attorneys Mac Doubles and
Terry Grimes will be allowed to be there. They just can't say anything.
The trial in the case of the man accused of killing a Vinton family of four
is set to begin in June.
Bill Stump will spend 27 months in prison for firing weapons with illegal
Stump admitted he fired the weapons, when he was part of the Blue Ridge
Last year Judge Jackson Kiser sentenced Stump to a two month term... but a
higher court ruled Kiser could not depart from federal sentencing guidelines.
27 months is the shortest possible sentence under those guidelines.
IN Q=I think the case
((DON WOLTHUIS/U.S. ATTORNEY; I THINK THE CASE WENT THROUGH THE SYSTEM AS IT
SHOULD. HE HAD HIS DAY IN COURT, HE HAD HIS DAY BEFORE THE 4TH CIRCUIT, AND THE
COURT SENTENCE WAS APPROPRIATE UNDER THE RULING OF THE FOURTH CIRCUIT. ))
OUT Q=the fourth circuit
Stump was immediately taken into custody.
He asked the court for more time on bond to prepare an appeal to the Supreme
Court, but the judge denied the request, saying Stump could file his appeal
The blue chips were down today after yesterday's sharp gain.
The Dow lost 21 points, to close at 68 - hundred thirteen.
Nasdaq gained fourteen and a half points.
[ AE /ATT /Bell/CentralFidelity/Columbia]
[Crestar/Dana/Dimon/Dominion Resources/First Union]
[First VA/General Electric/Nationsbank/Norfolk Southern/Optical Cable]
[phillip morris/roanoke electric steel/signet/trigon/walmart]
[(a= 1/8 e= 1/4
b= 3/8 f= 1/2
c= 5/8 g= 3/4
(You must use lowercase letters)]
[ Bassett Fur/ Bedford Bancshares/Dimon]
[ ETS /Innotech/ Main Bankshares]
[ Optical Cable /Pulaski Furn./ Roanoke Electric Steel]
[ Roanoke Gas / Stanley Furniture/ Tultex]
They know what they want, and they know how to get it.
Roanoke Police are warning that a slick band of thieves may be targeting the
They travel from city to city, often referred to as "Gypsies".
Police say they'll drive into upscale neighborhoods in groups of three.
There is usually a man behind the wheel, and two women who get out on foot
and look for empty houses.
IN Q=they are knowledgeable
((SGT. R.L. ARRINGTON/ROANOKE POLICE DEPT.; THEY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN JEWELRY
AND THEY DON'T TAKE COSTUME JEWELRY, AS A RULE THEY REMOVE THE EXPENSIVE
JEWELRY AND DON'T TAKE A LOT OF THINGS. AND THAT MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO DETECT
THAT THEY'VE EVEN BEEN THERE. SOMETIME ITS DAYS OR EVEN WEEKS BEFORE IT'S BEEN
DETECTED THAT THEY'VE BEEN THERE))
SUPER=01-Sgt. R.L. Arrington/Roanoke Police Dept.
OUT Q=they've been there
Police recommend locking your doors, even if you're on the porch, or working
in the yard.
GRAPHIC=Roanoke City Seal
The Mill Mountain Star won't be shining over the Roanoke Valley tonight.
The city symbol is receiving a major facelift that should keep it in good
repair for the next twenty years.
Workmen from Kinsey Crane and Sign company removed the neon tubing today.
Next week, a scaffold will be constructed to the top of the 100- foot
structure that supports the star.
The project will replace some of the sheet metal, rewire the lighting, and
give the entire structure a fresh coat of paint.
And the star should be shining again by the end of June.
Coming up tonight in sports, Fuzzy Zoeller withdraws from the Greensboro Golf
Classic, Chip Sullivan hopes to home fans come out to support him this week at
And the Richmond Area is all set to host a big weekend's worth of NHRA drag
racing at the Virginia Motorsports park starting tomorrow.
It's been a dreary week at the Forest Oaks Country Club the site of this
week's Greensboro Chrysler Classic. The rain has been a problem.
And Fuzzy Zoeller has been a huge distraction.
SUPER=03-Greensboro, NC; :00
Heavy rain over night and more rain this morning forced tournament officials
to delay and then completely cancel the pro-am.
Then this afternoon, Fuzzy Zoeller, held a newsconference to announce that
he's withdrawing from the tournament in the wake of the Tiger Woods
IN Q="FOLLOWING THE MASTERS.
((FUZZY ZOELLER/WITHDRAWS FROM GREENSBORO CLASSIC:))
SUPER=01-Fuzzy Zoeller/Withdraws From Greensboro Classic;:00
OUT Q=...hurt many people."
Fuzzy referred to Tiger as that little boy, and suggested fried chicken and
collard greens would be Tiger's pick for his Masters' championship dinner menu.
Last night K-Mart cancelled its sponsorship agreement with Fuzzy. The company
has since set up an 800 number to handle reaction. (1-800-63 Kmart)
Chip Sullivan, the former teaching pro at Hanging Rock, is carrying the torch
for the Roanoke Valley this weekend in Greensboro.
Tomorrow morning he tees off at 8:52, starting on hold number 10, and he
hopes to have a little home course cooking on his side.
IN Q="It's gonna be...
((CHIP SULLIVAN/PGA TOURING PRO:))
SUPER=01-Chip Sullivan/PGA Touring Pro; :00
OUT Q=...AND PLAY WELL."
If you can't catch Chip tomorrow he plays his second round on Friday with a
1:49pm tee time.
You can catch the final two rounds of the Greensboro Classic this Saturday
and Sunday right here on Your Hometown Station.
The 1997 National Hot Rod Association Winston Drag Racing Series comes
to Virginia this weekend for the third annual Pennzoil Nationals.
Steve Mason has a preview on what's in store for racing fans.
IN Q=first audio
SUPER=01-Gary Scelzi/NHRA Winston Points Leader; :20
SUPER=01-Kenny Bernstein/1996 Winston Top Fuel Champ; :39
SUPER=01-Shelly Anderson/1996 Pennzoil Nationals Champion; 1:01
SUPER=01-John Force/Six Time Funny Cars Champion; 1:19
OUT Q=....News 7 sports"
((More than 700 machines ranging from the the 55 hundred horsepower top
fuel dragsters to funny cars to the pro stock bikes will burn up the asphalt at
the Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie.
The sixth event of the season marks the continuation of Gary Scelzi and Joe
Amato's back and forth NHRA Winston Points battle.
((GARY SCELZI/TOP FUEL POINTS LEADER:))
While Scelzi is the points leader; many eyes will be on the king; Kenny
Bernstein. The Budweiser dragster is the defending Winston racing champion.
Shelly Anderson is the defending Top Fuel Richmond champion and is in 7th
place the points race.
John Force leads the funny car points race and has never lost at the
Virginia Motorsports park track.
Fans will also get a look at the pro stock division and the pro stock bikes.
Nearly 1 and a half million dollars in prize money is up for grabs this
weekend. Racing begins Friday Morning. Steve Mason News 7 sports.))
SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL/February; :00
And in one other racing note, Doctor J, Julius Erving is planning to make a
house call in NASCAR.
The NBA Hall of Famer, who was in Daytona this past February for the 500
festivities, is part of a new investment group that plans to start a Cup team
Former Redskins Joe Washington is also part of the group.
A couple of games in the big leagues are already in the books this afternoon.
SUPER=03-New York/Reds vs. Mets;:00
The Big Apple's baseball teams are also looking good today.
At Shae stadium, Martinsville native Todd Hundley slammed a pair of two-run
homers and had five rbis as the Mets beat the Reds 10-to-2.
SUPER=03-New York/Brewers vs. Yankees; :00
In the Bronx, the Yankees doubled up the Brewers 10-to-5 thanks to the bat of
He drove in five runs on the day. Three came home in the second inning on
this double to the center field wall.
Yanks win it 10-to-5.
The Indians beat the Red Sox 11-to-7, and right now the Braves lose to the
Giants 4 to 3.
The Charlotte Hornets have one more day to heal their injuries as they
prepare to open the NBA playoffs tomorrow night against the New York Knicks.
SUPER=03-Fort Mill, SC; :
Dell Curry has a calf strain but the key injury is the strained right
hamstring of point guard Muggsy Bogues.
And first year coach Dave Cowens must lead his hobbling Hornets against one
of the most physical teams in the league.
IN Q="They're a...
((DAVE COWENS/HORNETS HEAD COACH: ))
SUPER=01-Dave Cowens/Hornets Head Coach; :
OUT Q=......match up."
SUPER=330-Mostly Cloudy/Light Rain/42-44/Mix Of Clouds/And Sun/60-62;
SUPER=331-Light Rain/Wind NE-10/40-42/Clouds & Sun/Wind N-10/60-62;
SUPER=332-Drizzle Likely/Wind NW-10/40-42/Turning Partly/Cloudy/50-54;
SUPER=333-Occasional Rain/Ending Late/40-42/Turning Partly/Cloudy/50-54;
SUPER=334-Rain Or Drizzle/Wind NW-10/38-40/Mostly Cloudy/Wind NW-10/50-55;
That's News 7 at Six.
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a reminder--for the region's first TEN o'clock newscast, watch News-7 Prime
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And don't forget to tune in to News 7 at 11, right here on W-D-B-J.