One person was injured this morning in a train- truck collision.
And a judge will decide whether Earl Bramblett is mentally fit to stand trial
for the slaying of a Vinton family.
Sunshine will be the norm for the next couple of days, but chilly
conditions will prevail tonight. I'll have all the details, along with a check
on the Stanley Cup play-offs.
Don't go away, News 7 at Noon is next.
A Botetourt County man was hit by a train as he drove his truck over a
crossing in Blue Ridge this morning.
It happened on a private drive that crosses the tracks in Blue Ridge.
68- year- old James E. Craig of Troutville was leaving a construction site
where he and his son were working on a house.
The truck was hit at the crossing, knocking Craig through the back window.
His co-workers found him unconscious in the bed of the pickup.
IN Q=I could see
((LISA DOOLEY/NEIGHBOR; I COULD SEE THAT SOMETHING HAD BEEN HIT, I DIDN'T KNOW
WHAT IT WAS AT THE TIME BUT THEN I SEEN, AND I KNEW THAT THERE WAS SOME
BUILDING GOING ON UP THERE AND I SAW THE TWO GENTLEMEN AND TOLD THEM A TRUCK
HAD BEEN HIT AND THEY CAME DOWN AND IT WAS HIS FATHER.))
OUT Q=was his father
Craig was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he's still being
treated in the emergency room.
Investigators say Craig told his son he did NOT see the train coming.
Trains are not required to blow their whistles at private crossings.
Meanwhile there were NO injuries this morning as flames ripped through a
Franklin County home.
But there was plenty of damage.
Fire fighters got the call around 9 this morning... but very little could
have been done to save this Callaway farm house.
Two adults... who worked as farm hands... and their SEVEN children lived
inside... but according to officials only a few people were home when the blaze
IN Q=Based on
((BENNIE RUSSELL/FRANKLIN COUNTY FIRE MARSHAL: BASED ON THE STATEMENTS FROM THE
FAMILY, MOST OF THE FAMILY WAS GONE AT THE TIME. THE KIDS WERE IN SCHOOL. WE
HAVEN'T HAD TIME TO DETERMINE THE ORIGIN OR THE CAUSE. I DO KNOW THAT THE
STRUCTURE IS ABOUT 75 YEARS OLD. ))
SUPER=01-Bennie Russell/Franklin Co. Fire Marshal;
OUT Q=75 years old
The family will stay with friends until a permanent home can be found.
And a fire at Roanoke's Melrose Towers apartments yesterday sent an elderly
woman to the hospital, where she is in critical condition.
The fire started in Veda (VEEDA) Linkswiler's seventh floor apartment.
Fire officials say it appears the blaze started on the couch.
They say Linkswiler was on oxygen, and the fire may have been sparked by a
IN Q=she was burned
((THOMAS TYREE/DISTRICT CHIEF; SHE WAS BURNED, HER LEG, PORTIONS OF HER FACE,
THE EVACUATED HER OUT AND SHE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE HOSPITAL. THE FIRE'S UNDER
CONTROL, THE SPRINKLER SYSTEM WAS ACTIVATED, THERE'S SOME WATER DAMAGE AND SOME
SUPER=01-Thomas Tyree/District Chief
OUT Q=some smoke damage
The building's sprinkler system extinguished the fire before it could spread
outside the seventh floor room.
Residents evacuated the building when they heard the alarm.
IN Q=I went up
((REBECCA SIZEMORE/7TH FLOOR RESIDENT; I WENT UP THE ELEVATOR END AND STARTED
KNOCKING ON DOORS, THIS LADY WAS ASLEEP AND DIDN'T HAVE HER HEARING AIDS IN,
GOT HER UP AND THEN JUST STARTED KNOCKING ON DOORS AND GOT ALL MY HALL AND
STARTED DOWN THE STAIRS. ))
OUT Q=down stairs
The fire marshal is still investigating.
Roanoke firefighters lost a battle over job assignments in Circuit Court
Some firefighters dislike a new policy that has them swapping jobs with
Emergency Medical Technicians.
While they both have the same training, they say experience makes the
IN Q=what's going to happen
((RON MATHEWS/ROANOKE FIREFIGHTER; WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IS PEOPLE ARE GOING
TO HAVE LESS EXPERIENCED FIREFIGHTERS DOING MEDICAL SERVICE, YOU'RE GOING TO
HAVE LESS EXPERIENCED MEDICAL PEOPLE DOING FIRE SERVICE AND THE PUBLIC IS NOT
GOING TO BE SERVED BY THIS.))
SUPER=01-Ron Mathews/Roanoke Firefighter;
OUT Q="served by this
But a judge rejected Ron Mathew's grievance yesterday, saying the Fire Chief
has the right to make assignments in the department.
The chief says rotating personnel will reduce the number of hours an E-M-T
spends on an ambulance, and reduce stress.
IN Q=by de-stressing
((JIM GRIGSBY/FIRE AND EMS CHIEF; BY DE-STRESSING, WE CAN PUT SOME OF THE
MEDICAL PERSONNEL ON THE ENGINE AND BRING THE ENGINE PERSONNEL OVER ON THAT
AMBULANCE TAKING SOME OF THAT STRESS OFF SO WE THINK IT'S ACTUALLY GOING TO BE
A BETTER LEVEL OF SERVICE, CERTAINLY NOT ANY DEGRADING OF SERVICE.))
SUPER=01-Jim Grigsby/Fire & EMS Chief;
OUT Q=degrading of service
Twenty four more firefighters are taking the same grievance to court Friday.
Some Danville workers could be looking for new jobs as the plant where they
work prepares to close.
Dan River Mills is shutting down its Riverside weaving facility-- where it
currently employs 350 people.
The company plans to phase out the the plant over six months, and some
Riverside employees will be transferred to the company's Schoolfield complex.
But Dan River says there WILL be a net loss of jobs after this closing.
The company says the shutdown is part of its multi-million dollar
Approximately 45- hundred employees work for Dan River.
The judge who will preside over the trial of Earl Bramblett next month will
conduct a CLOSED-door hearing this afternoon.
The issue is whether the capital murder suspect is mentally able to stand
IN Q=...an issue of
((MAC DOUBLES/BRAMBLETT'S ATTORNEY: AN ISSUE OF COMPETENCY. IT DOESN'T HAVE
ANYTHING TO WITH THE ISSUES AT TRIAL AS WE GET INTO THE MEDICAL AND
PSYCHOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF THE DEFENDANT THAT ARE NOT ADMISSIBLE.))
SUPER=01-Mac Doubles/Bramblett's Attorney
OUT Q=are not admissible.
Doubles says the psychiatric reports that the judge will review today are
unrelated to the facts of the crime.
Bramblett is charged in the murder of Blaine and Teresa Hodges and their two
The trial is now just five weeks away.
Bramblett's lawyers asked the judge to close this afternoon's hearing,
declaring the public has no right to scrutinize the defendant's personal
Analysts say yesterday's court decision in Florida could help tobacco
companies as they negotiate a settlement of medical claims filed by more than
two dozen states.
The jury found R-J Reynolds is not liable in the death of a long-term smoker
who died of lung cancer.
The jury also concluded the cigarettes made by R-J Reynolds were not
dangerous or defective.
Timothy McVeigh's younger sister is back on the witness stand at his trial
Jennifer McVeigh is expected to tell the jury that her brother wrote to her
before the Oklahoma City bombing telling her that "Something big" was going to
Yesterday she detailed McVeigh's political view including his belief that
government agents gassed and burned the people inside the Branch Davidian
The judge in the Megan Kanka murder trial has dismissed a juror.
So far there is no explanation.
The dismissal came as the trial's second day began in New Jersey.
Defendant Jesse Timmendequas (tih-MEHN'-deh-kwahs) is accused of
kidnapping, raping and murdering seven- year- old Megan, in
IN Q=we know
SHE WAS BRUISED, VIOLATED, STRANGLED. FROM HIS OWN WORDS SHE SCREAMED, RAN
AND FOUGHT. MEGAN RAN FOR HER LIFE .. YOU WILL HAVE NO QUESTION. ))
OUT Q=fought for her life.
Timmendequas (tih-MEHN'-deh-kwahs) was a twice-convicted sex offender who
lived across the street from Megan.
The case gave rise to "Megan's Laws" across the country.
They're aimed at notifying neighbors when a convicted sex offender
The search has resumed in West Texas for the remaining fugitive from the
Republic of Texas group.
SUPER=03-Fort Davis, TX;
Authorities shot and killed one separatist yesterday in a gun battle.
The two men fled Saturday when five other Republic members surrendered.
Seven of the members, including the groups leader, have been named in federal
President Clinton says a U-S- Mexican partnership has never been more
Mr. Clinton's comments came as he was formally welcomed today in Mexico City
by President Ernesto Zedillo.
((OUR NATION'S SHARE MORE THAN A COMMON BORDER, WE SHARE COMMON CHALLENGES AS
WERE MOVE TOWARD A NEW CENTURY.))
The two presidents are holding day long talks expected to focus on drugs,
immigration and trade.
T-V news cameras were rolling when a five-story building collapsed last
night in New York City.
SUPER=03-New York, NY;
OUT Q=(NATS OF BUILDING COLLAPSING)
The 100- year old building had been weakened by a six-alarm fire and all the
water used to extinguish it.
The fire began earlier in the day and sent thick black smoke into the
streets from Times Square to the Empire State building.
Some 250 firefighters worked the fire, 13 suffered minor injuries.
Charity fundraisers are hard to criticize, but what about when people are
hurt in the process?
That's a possible dilemma for the people in charge of the Advance Auto TRUST
500 race, a go- cart event that WDBJ-7 helped sponsor.
Len Besthoff explains.
SUPER=01-Janice Dinkins/TRUST Executive Director; :17
SUPER=01-Jamie Hendrick/TRUST 500 Winning Driver; :47 (quick)
SUPER=01-David Franklin/TRUST 500 Organizer; 1:13
OUT Q=LB, News-7.
Organizers are thrilled with the first running of the Advance Auto TRUST
500, a go- cart race in downtown Roanoke.
It attracted hundreds of spectators and TRUST netted nearly 40- thousand-
dollars, more than double the trouble center's previous fundraising high.
SOT TAPE ONE 23:12:22
IN Q=There was a
((JANICE DINKINS/TRUST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: THERE WAS A LOT OF MONEY RAISED
HERE. WE HAVE JUST FINISHED OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING EVENT IN THE
HISTORY OF THE AGENCY.))
OUT Q=the agency.
But perhaps in more ways than many anticipated, the first running of the
Advance Auto TRUST 500 was a smashing success.
Here's how the winner of the race looks after a trip to the hospital, a good
night's sleep, and a prescription painkiller.
SOT TAPE TWO 02:32:03
IN Q=I've got
((JAMIE HENDRICK/TRUST 500 WINNING DRIVER: I'VE GOT SOME SEVERE BRUISES ON MY
LEG, I'VE GOT SOME BRUISES ON MY BACK, AND A REALLY STIFF NECK. OTHER THAN
THAT, I DO NOT HAVE ANY BROKEN BONES OR ANY LACERATIONS.))
But Jamie Kendrick of the White Tire team says without a doubt, he'd do it
SOT TAPE TWO 02:32:25
IN Q=Oh yeah I'm real
((HENDRICK: OH YEAH I'M REALLY HAPPY IT'S JUST KIND OF HARD TO SHOW THE JOY
AND EVERYTHING OVER THE PAIN.))
OUT Q=over the pain (laughs).
Dave Franklin, who organized the race, believes with some tinkering it can
become much safer.
Suggestions include better enforcement of the rules and a wider track.
SOT TAPE ONE 23:04:40
IN Q=It was
((DAVE FRANKLIN/TRUST 500 ORGANIZER: IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR PEOPLE TO GET
OUT THERE AND HAVE SOME FUN AND NOT TAKE IT SO SERIOUS. WE MIGHT WANT TO LOOK
AT DOING THREE AND A HALF HORSEPOWER MOTORS AS OPPOSED TO FIVE HORSEPOWERS.
THAT MIGHT SLOW IT DOWN A LITTLE BIT.))
OUT Q=a little bit.
Franklin says a number of potential sponsors who didn't even participate in
the first race are asking about next year's event.
Len Besthoff, News-7.))
GRAPHIC=roanoke city seal
Citizens' groups lobbied Roanoke City Council last night to get more of the
city's 161 million dollar budget directed at young people.
Their comments at last night's public hearing centered on a proposed
"city-wide youth application."
Three community groups want to copy the programs at the West End Center.
But they say the proposed budget does NOT give them enough money to help the
young people in their areas.
IN Q=WEST END CENTER
((TOM MCMICHAEL: WEST END CENTER HAS A BROAD BASE OF FUNDING AND WE HAVE A
BROAD BASE OF FUNDING. I THINK THE ISSUE IS WITH THIS WELFARE REFORM... THESE
NEEDS WILL BE EXAMINED AND GET SEVERE IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. ))
SUPER=01-Tom McMichael/Presbyterian Community Center;
OUT Q=PERIOD OF TIME
Some residents in the Southeast section of the city say they're being
IN Q=they have not
((PAT DILLARD/PRESBYTERIAN CENTER: THERE HAS NOT... 15-20 YEARS AGO. ))
((PHILIP CHAGNON: IT'S NOT JUST THE ....KIDS IN WHOLESOME ACTIVITIES. ))
SUPER=01-Pat Dillard/Presbyterian Community Center; :00
SUPER=07-Philip Chagnon; :11
OUT Q=wholesome activities.
City Council is expected to finalize the budget next week.
A new study funded by the Justice Department finds that about a third of
American households contain firearms.
That's about 44 million Americans who own 192 million guns.
Meantime, the National Rifle Association has a new Vice President.
Actor Charlton Heston was sworn into office yesterday.
N-R-A supporters hope he will lead the gun club back from recent defeats in
Beware of home repairs that seem to good to be true...
That's the word from the Better Business Bureau, which is warning folks
about the perennial spring scams.
IN Q=People think
((FRAN STEPHANZ/BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU: PEOPLE THINK THEY'RE GOING TO GET A
GREAT DEAL. IN REALITY THEY END UP SPENDING A LOT MORE. ))
SUPER=01-Fran Stephanz/Better Business Bureau;
OUT Q=a lot more
Stephanz says if an independent contractor shows up at your home--
unexpectedly, follow these tips.
Check the person's license plates to see if they're from out- of- state.
If you're presented with a contract, make sure you read every detail.
Ask the contractor for references.
And never agree to have any repairs done until you've received at least two
SUPER=330-Clear/Quite Chilly/35-38/Sunny/& Pleasant/63-67;
SUPER=331-Clear/Quite Chilly/38-42/Sunny/& Pleasant/66-70;
After two and a half hours of deliberating a court-martial jury sentenced
Army drill sergeant Delmar Simpson to 25 years in prison for rape.
Simpson could have received a life prison sentence, after being convicted of
raping six female trainees.
TAPE#net (edit of s7-7)
The Blacksburg Indians failed to beat William Byrd last night, but they still
clinched the Blue Ridge district's regular season title as the two teams
battled to a tie in double overtime.
SUPER=03-Vinton/Indians vs. Terriers;
Byrd's Greg Johnson put the ball in the left corner net to tie the game at 1.
The Indians had a number of chances to end the game in regulation, but Byrd's
defense was tough with goalie Roger Wimmer.
SUPER=34-Blacksburg/1/William Byrd/1/Double Overtime;
And the game ends in a 1-all tie in the double overtime.
The Philadelphia Flyers skated against the Buffalo Sabres in game two of the
eastern conference semi-finals.
SUPER=03-Buffalo, NY/Game Two; :00
The Flyers won the first game, and last night they started fast - Mikael
Renberg gets the opening tally to make it 1-zip at the 4:47 mark of the first.
Then Chris Therien lights up goalie Steve Shields at 16:49 mark to make it a
It would end 2-to-1.
SUPER=31-Philadelphia/2/Buffalo/1/Flyers Lead 2 to 0;
Flyers head home with a 2 games to none lead, and the Sabres completely
frustrated in the series.
TAPE#net (edit of s7-6)
The N-B-A playoffs resumed last night as the Rockets and Sonics hooked up in
game one of their best of seven western conference semi-final.
Last year the Sonics swept the Rockets out of the playoffs in four games.
But now the Rockets have Charles Barkley. He hits the three pointer for a 16
point lead in the third.
Clyde Drexler hits the three pointer to expand the lead.
And then the man, Hakeem Olajuwan, goes baseline and drops in the easy one.
The Rockets beat the Sonics 112 to 102.
TAPE#net (edit of S7-5)
GRAPHIC=news 7 sports
City Council recognized a number of boxers fighting out of Victory Gym in the
Roanoke City Boxing Association.
Four boxers picked up titles at the recent Virginia Golden Gloves
invitational in Norfolk.
Three others were runners-up.
And another won a collegiate championship in Annapolis, Maryland.
Congratulations to these guys and their first batch of honors.
The nation's homeless are getting YOUNGER.
Nine is now the average age of a homeless person, according to the National
Coalition for Homelessness.
Local shelters are reporting more children and families staying in their
Tonight at 6, we'll
meet a family staying at Roanoke's Rescue Mission.
The Wills' found out the hard way that one income was not enough to support
their family of six.
SOT tape 8 11:04:10
IN Q=When I got laid off
((DAVID WILLS: WHEN I GOT LAID OFF, IT JUST PUT US IN A SPOT, AND BEHIND. SHE
WAS JUST MAKING ENOUGH FOR US TO EAT ON FROM DAY TO DAY, TO GET BY WITH GAS AND
ALL, AND THE THINGS YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE FOR YOUR BABIES. JUST WASN'T NO MONEY
THERE FOR THE RENT. ))
OUT Q=for the rent
Wills is one of many working people who suffer job losses, and soon after,
the loss of their homes.
TAKE SERIES PROMO BOARD-essC
We'll have more in Part Two of our series, "On the Street, On the Edge",
tonight on News 7 at 6 and 11.
(ad lib Prime Time Promo)
It wasn't an accident or even construction that held up traffic in Kalamazoo,
Michigan on Monday..it was ducks.
The ducks were crossing the road when they fell through the storm drain and
the whole family was trapped inside.
Police had to get on their hands and knees to make this unusual rescue.
With the help of a net they were all saved.