Alcatel Fiber Optics is going out of business....
Coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX... details on the surprise announcement.
And with less than a month to go before the election- -the race for
governor is still too close to call. When has that every happened?
In sports, Florida Marlin pitcher Alex Fernandez is through for the season,
Dean Smith retires,
And Northside High School will open its new gym tonight as the Lady Vikings
host the Lady Cavaliers of Lord Botetourt.
A weak cold front is trying to bring some rain to the region. It will be
largely unsuccessful. Details ahead.
A Roanoke County factory abruptly closed its doors this morning leaving 215
people without jobs.
Double Boxes=Keith and Tonya/Microwave
Tonya Flory is at the Alcatel fiber optics plant with the latest.
( ad lib) Keith the workers were given pink slips in their paychecks this
morning...now laid off employees are waiting for some news from the company on
where they go from here...
(Rollcue:they go from here )
IN Q=Union workers
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00
SUPER=01-David Brinkley/11 Year Employee; :21
OUT Q=severance package
((Union workers waited outside of their headquarters to hear word on the
status of their employment with the Roanoke fiberoptics plant.
A 2 o'clock meeting was cancelled and union management is not talking...
IN Q=Listen up...
OUT Q=we got no comment
but some union members are speaking up.
Veteran plant worker David Brinkley says employees had suspicions about the
IN Q= They built a plant
((DAVID BRINKLEY:THEY BUILT A PLANT DOWN IN CLAREMONT, NORTH CAROLINA ABOUT
SEVEN YEARS AGO AND EVERYBODY KNEW THAT THIS JOB WOULD COME TO AN END SOONER OR
LATER EVEN THOUGH NOBODY WANTED IT TO))
OUT Q=wanted it to
Alcatel management has issued this statement saying...
The sticking point with the union is who will work through the December 31st
Employees get paid either way, but there is a catch...
IN Q=We have a
((DAVID BRINKLEY:WE HAVE A SEVERANCE PACKAGE IN OUR CONTRACT WHICH OUR...YOU
MIGHT LOSE YOUR SEVERANCE PACKAGE.))
OUT Q=severance package))
( ad lib)
The final shutdown is expected to be complete in early 1998.
Double Boxes=Keith and Tonya/Microwave
Alcatel is also offering some employees the opportunity to apply for
openings at other facilities like the one in North Carolina.
A coalition of community groups says First Union National Bank has failed
in its obligation to low- income and minority consumers.
Today in Roanoke, the group said it is challenging First Union's proposed
acquisition of Signet Bank.
The Roanoke Community Reinvestment Coalition includes members of the N-
Double A- C- P, the Baptist Ministers Conference, and other neighborhood
The coalition alleges discrimination in lending practices, and says the
consolidation of the two banks will mean the closing of more neighborhood
IN Q=You look at their figures
((MARTIN JEFFREY/COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT COALITION: YOU LOOK AT THEIR FIGURES
AROUND LENDING. YOU LOOK AT THE FIGURES AROUND WHAT THEY'VE ACTUALLY INVESTED
IN THIS COMMUNITY AND WHAT THEY'VE INVESTED IT ON AS OPPOSED TO SOME OF THE
OPTIONS THEY COULD HAVE EXPLORED. AND THAT'S THE PROOF.))
SUPER=01-Martin Jeffrey/Community Reinvestment Coalition;
OUT Q=that's the proof.
A spokesman for First Union says the bank has extended billions of dollars
of loans in low and moderate income communities.
He says First Union is proud of a Community Reinvestment Program that
serves as a model for other banks.
GRAPHIC=News 7 Poll
27 days to judgment day... and there's NO clear favorite.
The results are in on the latest NEWS 7 Mason-Dixon poll, and the surprise
may be there's not much different.
Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/State Microwave
Ellen Qualls is in Richmond with a summary.
Keith, our pollsters tell us they've never seen a Virginia race stay this
SUPER=01-Bob Holsworth/VCU Political Analyst; :34
OUT Q=Chuck Robb.
(( 43-percent of likely voters say they like Don Beyer.
43- percent like Jim Gilmore.
That's about where these guys have been since January.
The poll was taken AFTER Monday night's debate.
In a regional breakdown...
The pair are tied in the Roanoke- Lynchburg area, both at 44-percent.
In Southside, Gilmore's up by four percentage points over Beyer.
The margin of error is three-and-a-half points either way.
In Southwest Virginia, they're in that statistical tie again at 43 and 42
Beyer's up in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
Gilmore's up everywhere else in the state.
((BOB HOLSWORTH/VCU POLITICAL ANALYST: NORTHERN VIRGINIA TYPICALLY VOTES
HEAVIER WHEN THERE'S A FEDERAL ELECTION ON THE BALLOT THEN WHEN THERE ARE
STATEWIDE ELECTIONS. SO OBVIOUSLY IT'S GOING TO BE IN DON BEYER'S INTEREST TO
FIND SOME WAY OF PUMPING UP THE TURNOUT IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA SO IT WOULD
APPROXIMATE WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IN A FEDERAL ELECTION OR WHAT HAPPENED IN 1994
WHEN NORTHERN VIRGINIA WAS REALLY DECISIVE FOR CHUCK ROBB.))
Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave
In 1994, at this time in October, Ollie North was up by four in our poll --
so that shows the weight northern Virginia CAN carry when it gets mobilized.
And again, in terms of close races, Doug Wilder won the governor's race in
1989 by a historically thin margin --
Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/State Microwave
-- but PRE-election polls showed the race four to 20 points apart, depending
on whose polls you believed.
If you want to see the numbers for yourself
Check out the WDBJ home page at www-dot-wdbj-seven-dot com.
A 24-year-old Martinsville man is accused in a fatal shooting early this
Police say James Antonio Hodge killed 22 year old Elmer Ray Hagwood shortly
Hagwood was found dead on his street in Bassett.
Hodge is also accused of shooting a second victim, 37 year old Harold
Taylor, in the hand.
There is no word on a possible motive.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
A plastics factory that sits next to a high school is hit hard by federal
fines. We'll tell you why,
coming up on News 7 at Six.
Also a little bit of Italy is coming to the Hill City. Steve Smallshaw will
join us with a preview of this weekend's festival.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=82-0.00''/minus 0.96''/25.54''/minus 6.54'';
SUPER=83-Down 2.86 feet/Down 0.29 foot;Lake levels
A new standard of morality may be what sent a young man to jail in Roanoke
today for procuring prostitutes.
The judge ordered William Howard Smith, the Second, to serve a year in jail
and pay a 17-hundred dollar fine.
Will Smith worked at Shooters-44.
For a brief period last Spring, live models showed off lingerie at the
Police said it was a front for prostitution.
IN Q=This is a
((DENNIS NAGEL/PROSECUTOR: THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS CRIME. IT'S ONE THAT'S VERY
DIFFICULT CATCH, AS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THIS IS THE FIRST "PIMPING"
CONVICTION I CAN THINK OF IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS. ))
OUT Q=last five years.
**Keith on ENG**
Smith's lawyer believes this case may have been influenced by last week's
obscenity conviction against a local strip club.
((ERIC SPENCER/SMITH'S ATTORNEY: IT'S A BACKWASH-AS IT WERE- OF MORALITY. AND
"GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS" TOOK THE FIRST STEP FORWARD. SHOOTERS-44 CAME IN, TOOK
THAT NEXT STEP, AND THE LOCALITY DOESN'T LIKE IT.))
SUPER=01-Eric Spencer/Smith's Attorney
OUT Q=doesn't like it.
Smith's family was stunned.
The Environmental Protection Agency is suing a Chatham plastics plant for
not keeping an eye on hazardous chemicals.
Cook Composites is located right next to Chatham High School.
The E-P-A says Cook did NOT keep or check records of hazardous waste burned
in the incinerator -- and used the machine improperly.
The lawsuit also says Cook did not inspect waste monitoring and safety
This poses significant health risks, according to the E-P-A.
IN Q=We need to monitor
((STEVE LAW/NEIGHBOR: WE NEED TO MONITOR THEIR SAFETY AND WHAT SORT OF A HAZARD
THEY ARE TO THIS NEIGHBORHOOD AND CAN THEY OPERATE WITHIN THE LAW? AND
APPARENTLY THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO.))
OUT Q=they are not able to
The E-P-A is fining Cook 253-thousand-dollars.
Cook's plant manager would not comment on camera, but he says many of the
E-P-A's accusations are wrong, and he's correcting the others.
He says Cook is filing an appeal.
Meanwhile, Cook's sister company Sartomer, located right next door, will ask
the Board of Supervisors for permission to expand later this month.
Opposition to the proposed Conrail take over was out in full force today.
" Just say no" was the message carried by rail union members rallying in
They want to increase public and political awareness to the jobs that could
be lost in the deal whereby Norfolk Southern and C-S-X "carve-up" Conrail.
IN Q=I was here
((SONNY STIMLING/PROTESTER;I WAS HERE IN 84 WHEN NORFOLK AND WESTERN AND
SOUTHERN MERGED. THE TOTAL EMPLOYMENT WAS ABOUT 40-THOUSAND IN BOTH RAILROADS
,NOW IT'S 20-THOUSAND. ROANOKE VALLY LOST ABOUT 25-THOUSAND JOBS SINCE 1984 SO
TO SOUTHERN AND NORFOLK AND WESTERN MERGE AND THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE ANY
OUT Q=any different.
N-S spokeswoman Susan Terpay insists the take over will benefit this area.
She says it will actually create 188 new jobs in Roanoke.
The merger would create a single-line rail service, meaning trains would be
able to travel southeast-to-northeast without having to change rail service.
Supporters say this will increase efficiency and attract the business of
those who currently transport their goods by truck.
The blue-chip issues lost more ground on the stock
market today, while the high-techs and the small caps were doing
TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE
The Dow lost 34 points.
NASDAQ gained four points for another record close.
[(a= 1/8 e= 1/4
b= 3/8 f= 1/2
c= 5/8 g= 3/4
h= UP (Local Stocks only!)
i= DOWN (Local Stocks only!)
u= UNCHANGED (Local Stocks only!)
(You must use lowercase letters)]
[ Bassett Fur/ Bedford Bancshares/Dimon]
[ ETS /Main Bankshares/ Optical Cable]
[Pulaski Furn./ Roanoke Electric Steel/Roanoke Gas]
[ Stanley Furniture/ Tultex/Valley Bank]
What do the cities of Rome, Italy and Lynchburg, Virginia have in common?
Double Boxes=Keith and Steve/StarLink
Steve Smallshaw has the answer.. he joins us live from the Lynchburg
Keith, believe it or not, both Rome and Lynchburg are known as the "city of
the seven hills"... and for this weekend at least, central Virginia residents
can get a little taste of Italy.
SOT **Tape Rolled from StarLink**
IN Q=Like the Irish
SUPER=01-Mike Buscemi/Sons of Italy; :28
SUPER=01-Phil Pantana/Food Vendor; :51
OUT Q=and feeding them.
(( Like the Irish on St. Patrick's Day, festival organizers hope everyone wants
to feel a little Italian this weekend as the second annual Italian Festival of
the Seven Hills pitches its tent on the Lynchburg riverfront.
The 1996 edition was supposed to raise funds to build a new lodge for the
local Sons of Italy chapter.. but when Hurricane Fran cut things short,
organizers still owed vendors more than 50- thousand dollars.. they have until
next week to pay that money back.
IN Q=Bottom line is
((MIKE BUSCEMI/SONS OF ITALY: BOTTOM LINE IS PAYING BACK EVERYBODY FROM LAST
YEAR. THAT'S WHAT THE BOTTOM LINE IS. WHAT WE'RE LOOKING TO DO IS JUST GET OUT
OF LAST YEAR, AND COVER THIS YEAR AND THEN WE'RE JUST GOING TO TAKE ANOTHER
LOOK AT IT AND SEE WHAT WE WANT TO DO NEXT YEAR.))
OUT Q=do next year.
All but three vendors from 1996 have returned, and new ones have been added.
Phil Pantana and his family are opening their own pizza place this month..
they figure the Italian Festival is a great way to get the word out.
IN Q=We're going to
((PHIL PANTANA/FOOD VENDOR: WE'RE GOING TO HAVE SOME MENUS WITH OUR NAME AND
ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER, ETC. AND HOPEFULLY THERE'S GOING TO BE THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE HERE THIS WEEKEND AND WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING THEM AND FEEDING
OUT Q=and feeding them.))
If this festival is going to both turn a profit and recoup last year's
losses, it will need a big turnout over the next four days.
Double Boxes=Keith and Steve/StarLink
The gates just opened a few minutes ago and it appears the weather is ready
to cooperate... Keith?
(question: are plans to build a new lodge still on? steve ad lib answer)
And coming up, Mike Stevens has a report on a very special basketball player
Northside opens its new gym tonight.
And Dean Smith retires and leaves the Carolina basketball program in the
hands of his long time assistant.
For several years, Carolina head basketball coach Dean Smith has said when
its no longer fun he would step down.
Today, Smith retired and turned over the program to his long time assistant
SUPER=03-Chapel Hill, NC; :
Smith ended the Rumors this afternoon at a news conference announcing his
The 66 year old Smith has coached the Tar Heels for 36 years and he's the
winningest coach in College basketball history.
Smith said his health is good and he's leaving with not disputes or
disagreements with the school.
IN Q=FIRST AUDIO
((DEAN SMITH/RETIRES AS CAROLINA HEAD COACH: ))
SUPER=01-Dean Smith/Retires as Carolina Head Coach; :
OUT Q=........VERY WELL."
Guthridge has been on the sideline with Dean for 31 of those 36 years. Dean
recommended Guthridge as his successor and the School followed through.
IN Q="Those of You...
((BILL GUTHRIDGE/NEW UNC HEAD BASKETBALL COACH: ))
SUPER=01-Bill Guthridge/New UNC Head Basketball Coach; :
OUT Q=..........I SHOULD TAKE."
After two years of construction, Northside High School will open its new Gym
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :
The new Facility, decorated in school colors will seat 2-thousand 250
compared to the 900 at the other gym.
It took two years and cost 6 million dollars. The new facility will bring
the Vikings in line with the other schools in the Blue Ridge District.
The gym will open tonight as the Lady Vikings take on district rival Lord
Botetourt. The J.V. game starts at 6-thirty and the Varsity game at 7-thirty.
Back in the summer more than a few Roanokers were caught craning their necks
upward to check out a soft spoken Russian teenager who was hanging out in the
But then as fast he appeared - he was gone.
Mike Stevens tells us where he went.
IN Q=FIRST AUDIO
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00
SUPER=01-Phil Miron/Andre's American Host; :11
SUPER=01-Andre Savtchenko/Russian Exchange Student; :36
SUPER=03-St. Petersburg, Russia; 1:45
OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."
(( Andre Savtchenko is the six foot eleven inch foreign exchange student who
almost ended up at Cave Spring dunking in the Roanoke Valley district.
((PHIL MIRON/ANDRE'S AMERICAN HOST:))
Myron who will be an assistant JV coach at Cave this Winter tried hard make
it work, but Some restrictions in the county's foreign exchange program kept
Andre from becoming a Knight. But his decision not to stay had nothing to do
with his grades - especially his Math marks.
((ANDRE SAVTCHENKO/RUSSIAN EXCHANGE STUDENT:))
Andre is now making those grades at Blue Ridge school outside of
Charlottesville in the small town of Dyke.
And Andre isn't afraid to mix it up.
Next year Andre will bring his game back to southwest Virginia. He already
has verbally committed to play his college basketball at Radford University.
Andre could have picked a college in a bigger cit, but when you've grown up
in St. Petersburg, Russia where there are 4 million people and almost as many
ornate buildings, a home in the dome sounds rather nice. Mike Stevens News 7
Cleveland and Baltimore are back at the yard tonight for game two of the
American League championship Series the Orioles lead 1 to nothing.
But the season is over for the Florida Marlins top pitcher Alex Fernandez.
Fernandez will miss the rest of the National League series because of a
torn Rotator cuff. The injury is serious enough that he might not play next
SUPER=330-Variable Clouds/Late/60-62/Cloudy Early/Then Clearing/80-83;
SUPER=331-Increasing/Clouds Late/60-64/Turning/Partly Cloudy/80-84;
SUPER=332-Clouds Late/Passing Sprinkle/58-60/Mostly Cloudy/Wind NW-10/75-78;
SUPER=333-Increasing Clouds/And Sprinkles/58-60/Mostly Cloudy/Wind W-10/78-80;
SUPER=334-Clouding Up/Late/55-59/Clouds Early/Then Clearing/74-78;
Tonight, the Roanoke Symphony hosts Williamsburg native Bruce Hornsby in a
concert at the Salem Civic Center.
The owner of three Grammy awards, Hornsby has toured with the Grateful
Dead, and collaborated with artists as diverse as Chaka Kahn and the Nitty
Gritty Birt band.
NAT SOT OF REHEARSAL
This afternoon, he warmed up with members of the Roanoke Symphony, and
said he's looking forward to sharing the stage with the orchestra.
He last played Roanoke nine years ago this week.
IN Q=So it's wild
OUT Q=took us too long.
Fans of Hornsby's music also believe it took too long... Tonight's
concert is sold out.
Coming up tonight on News 7 at 11, we'll hear from some church members who
are angry about the closing of their church.
Church officials say the Bland County congregation was too small and
inactive, but former members say the closing has left a void.
That story, plus sports and weather updates coming up later tonight on News
(Ad Lib byes)
7 at 11.