A hostage drama is underway this afternoon at a huge mail processing
building in Denver, Colorado.
Police say a former postal worker armed with a shotgun is holding four
The gunman was allegedly fired for making threats against a superior.
Police have evacuated a day care facility at one end of the facility.
At this point police have begun negotiations with the gunman.
In other news from Denver, lawyers for Terry Nichols are back in court today
trying to block last night's mixed verdict.
After deliberating for 41 hours, over six days the jury convicted Nichols of
conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Jurors are scheduled to return next Monday to begin deciding Nichols'
Dave Fehling joins us with more.
***take from NEWSpath-live***
SUPER=01-Jannie Coverdale/Bombing Victim's Grandmother;
SUPER=01-Sharon Medearis/Bombing Victim's Wife;
SUPER=01-Stephen Jones/Tim McVeigh's Attorney;
OUT Q=BACK TO YOU IN THE STUDIO
MICHAEL TIGAR HEADED BACK TO COURT TO DISPUTE YESTERDAY'S VERDICT
AGAINST HIS CLIENT TERRY NICHOLS.
JURORS REACHED WHAT SOME EXPERTS CALLED A COMPROMISE...FINDING
NICHOLS GUILTY OF CONSPIRACY TO BUILD THE BOMB BUT NOT OF FIRST DEGREE
MURDER...INSTEAD CONVICTING HIM OF INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER.
THE JURY SEEMED TO SAY NICHOLS RANKED A DISTANT SECOND IN GUILT
COMPARED TO TIM MCVEIGH WHO ANOTHER JURY CONVICTED OF MURDER CHARGES AND
SENTENCED TO DEATH.
HE STILL COULD FACE THE DEATH PENALTY FOR THE CONSPIRACY CONVICTION
BUT THOSE WHOSE LOVED ONES DIED IN THE BLAST WERE OUTRAGED.
(JANNIE COVERDALE) S/JANNIE COVERDALE, BOMBING VICTIM'S GRANDMOTHER
"WRONG VERDICT, DIDN'T EXPECT IT, JUST AS GUILTY AS MCVEIGH."
(SHARON MEDEARIS) S/SHARON MEDEARIS, WIFE OF BOMBING VICTIM
"ANYONE WHO KILLS 168 NEEDS TO SUFFER SOME CONSEQUENCES."
THE LAWYER WHO DEFENDED TIM MCVEIGH THOUGHT THE NICHOLS VERDICT
(STEPHEN JONES)S/STEPHEN JONES, MCVEIGH'S FORMER ATTORNEY
"THE FACTS IN THIS CASE ARE DIFFERENT THAT'S WHY THERE'S A DIFFERENT VERDICT."
BUT NICHOLS ATTORNEYS SAY THE VERDICT IS INCONSISTENT.
CONSPIRACY CARRIES THE POSSIBILITY OF EXECUTION BUT NICHOLS LAWYERS
WILL ARGUE THAT SINCE JURORS FAILED TO CONVICT NICHOLS OF MURDER, THE OPTION
OF EXECUTION SHOULD BE RULED OUT.
BACK TO YOU IN THE STUDIO.))
In Paris, the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal has been sentenced to
life in prison.
A French court yesterday convicted him of the 19-75 murders of three people,
including two French investigators.
Once considered the most wanted terrorist, Carlos has claimed responsibility
for as many as 83 killings.
He was born in Venezuela and became feared as a terrorist mastermind for the
TAPE#net (edit of 97-81)
The rape case of Christy Brzonkala is returning to Roanoke, thanks to a
federal appeals court.
Brzonkala is the former Virginia Tech student who said she was raped by two
former Tech football players.
Yesterday, a three judge panel of the federal appeals court in Richmond sent
her case back to Roanoke federal Judge Jackson Kiser.
Brzonkala went public with her allegations to raise awareness.
Her attorney says that effort has continued outside the court.
IN Q=She has gone
((EILEEN WAGNER/BRZONKALA'S ATTORNEY: SHE HAS GONE TO CONGRESS AND HAS
TESTIFIED TO CONGRESS. AND SHE HAS MADE MANY APPEARANCES TALKING ABOUT THE
NECESSITY OF SCHOOLS TAKING CAMPUS CRIME MORE SERIOUSLY. SO SHE IS VERY
SUPER=01-Eileen Wagner/Brzonkala's Attorney;
OUT Q=very active.
In a 2-to-1 ruling, the appeals court panel stated, that Brzonkala does have
the right to sue Virginia Tech under Title Nine, and the right to sue the
players under the 19-94 Violence Against Women Act.
Former player Tony Morrison is now a student at Hampton University.
James Crawford is at Florida State.
The pair was never found guilty of any criminal violations in relation to
Brzonkala's rape allegation.
Virginia Tech officials could NOT be reached for comment.
Full screen Homepage
If you'd like to read the full text of the court's decision, you can find
it in the Web Watch section of the WDBJ-7 Internet homepage.
The Lynchburg apartment fire that injured a young girl two weeks ago may
have been deliberately set.
That's what fire investigators say.
Firefighter Robert Ore was honored last week for pulling three- year- old
Tiana Hubbard from her burning home the night of December 13th.
Fire officials say the blaze started in the kitchen, but they've ruled out
any accidental causes.
IN Q=All last week
((JOHN JENNINGS/LYNCHBURG FIRE MARSHAL: ALL LAST WEEK WE WERE AT THE SCENE,
INVESTIGATING THAT FIRE. THROUGH A PROCESS OF ELIMINATION WE FIND THERE WAS NO
ACCIDENTAL IGNITION SOURCE TO ACCOUNT FOR THE FIRE. THEREFORE WE HAVE CONCLUDED
THAT THIS FIRE WAS INCENDIARY IN NATURE.))
SUPER=01-John Jennings/Lynchburg Fire Marshal; :00
OUT Q=incendiary in nature.
Evidence has been sent to the state crime lab for analysis.
Some new street signs in Danville honor the first and only full-time black
Wendell Scott was from Danville.
And now green signs saying "NASCAR Racing Legend" and Number 34, the number
of Scott's car, mark the local road.
The signs were added yesterday along what used to be Keens Mill Road where
the Scott family lives.
Scott died seven years ago.
Christmas day preparations are already underway this afternoon in Bethlehem,
the biblical birthplace of Jesus Christ.
There are fewer posters of Yasser Arafat this year.
Palestinian officials say they want the celebrations to focus more on
In Washington, President Clinton and wife Hillary went before the cameras
last night to send their annual Christmas Greeting.
SUPER=03-New York, NY;
Meantime, the eight day festival of lights began yesterday at sun down.
In New York, for the first time ever, the Empire State building was decked
out for Hanukkah.
It was lit up with blue and white lights, the colors of the Israeli flag.
Tina Tenret shows us how one local family is celebrating.
IN Q=nat sound
SUPER=01-Marci Brumberg/Beth Israel Synagogue Educator;:34
OUT Q=TT, News7, Roanoke
IN Q=nat sound
((NAT SOUND: SINGING))
At Chanukkah Jewish families celebrate miracles.
They tell stories of a weak Jewish army that conquered the Greeks two
thousand years ago and won the right to worship.
Another miracle -- the same army lit a candle that burned eight days -- on a
single night's worth of oil.
So families now light a flame every night for eight nights.
But Chanukkah is not a major holiday in the Jewish tradition and that can
leave Jewish children feeling left out around Christmastime.
IN Q=It's a very difficult
((MARCI BRUMBERG/BETH ISRAEL SYNAGOGUE EDUCATOR: IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT TIME FOR
JEWISH CHILDREN. WHEN THEY SEE CHRISTMAS GOING ON ALL AROUND THEM IT'S VERY
DIFFICULT YOU KNOW FOR JEWISH CHILDREN TO BE YOU KNOW ON THE OUTSIDE. IT'S
LIKE BEING ON THE OUTSIDE OF A CANDY STORE LOOKING IN. YOU KNOW AND EVERYONE
ELSE IS HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME AND YOU'RE JUST STANDING THERE LOOKING SO WE
TRY TO LITERALLY COMPENSATE.))
OUT Q=to literally compensate
Gifts may add merriment to the holiday for children - but Brumberg says the
festival of lights is fueled by family unity.
Tina Tenret, News7, Roanoke))
And we may be in the middle of Hannukkah, but for Christians we're hours
away from Christmas.
One woman from Christiansburg is already thinking about next year's holiday
Teresa Hamilton has the story.
IN Q=Barbara Capps
SUPER=01-Barbara Capps/Artist; :18
SUPER=01-Dodie Simmons/Capps' Sister; :56 :
OUT Q=NEWS 7, Christiansburg.
(( Barbara Capps is one of the quietest people you'll meet.
She's also among the most talented.
Whether it's pastels or watercolors-- her works appear flawless.
She says the secret-- is a willingness to learn-- whether from other artists
or the students she teaches.
IN Q=Things change
((BARBARA CAPPS/ARTIST: THINGS CHANGE, NEW MATERIALS, NEW TECHNIQUES, SO YOU
HAVE TO, YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH OTHER PEOPLE NOT JUST YOURSELF. ))
OUT Q=just yourself.
This year-- Capps' daughter decided to share her mother's artwork by
transforming her Santa creations into Christmas cards.
And, believe it or not, Capps is already thinking ahead to next year.
IN Q=I'll be
((BARBARA CAPPS/ARTIST:I'LL BE DOING THE FANTASY SANTAS WITH THE FERRIES AND
PROBABLY DO FOUR OF THEM. ))
OUT Q=four of them.
Capps is also concentrating on other works of art-- including her
Mythological Goddess collection.
Her sister, Dodi Simmons, says she first realized Barbara's talent in high
IN Q=She did
((DODI SIMMONS/CAPPS' SISTER:SHE DID THE YEARBOOKS, SOME, A LOT OF THE ARTWORK
IN THE YEARBOOKS, AND SOMETHING, LIKE POSTERS AND EVERYTHING, SHE ALWAYS MAKES
IT SO SPECIAL. ))
OUT Q=so special.
Each of Capps' pieces take about a week to complete.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Christiansburg.
It's the last shopping day before Christmas and nationally retailers are
hoping that means people will be rushing to the malls to spend.
So far this holiday season consumer spending at the nation's malls has risen
two percent, but many analysts had predicted an increase of three to four
Some folks we caught out at the malls say their braving the mobs to get into
the holiday spirit.
IN Q=I'M JUST
((DAVID THOMPSON/SHOPPER; I'M JUST OUT HERE BECAUSE MY GIRLFRIEND AND MY MOTHER
WANT TO BE OUT HERE ON THE LAST DAY. THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS, THAT'S ALL. ))
OUT Q=THAT'S ALL.
IN Q=I'M OUT SHOPPING
((JOANNE WALKER-HARRIS/SHOPPER; I'M OUT SHOPPING, TRYING TO CATCH SOME
EARLY-BIRD SALES FOR JANUARY AND FEBRUARY. THERE ARE BIRTHDAYS COMING UP AND
THEN THERE'S VALENTINE'S DAY. ))
SUPER=01-David Thompson/Shopper; :00
SUPER=01-Joanne Walker-Harris/Shopper; :07
OUT Q=VALENTINE'S DAY.
Some employers say it can be difficult to find good help during the
IN Q=IT'S TOUGH
((DEBORAH FUNDERBURKE/GOODY'S MANAGER; IT'S TOUGH WHEN YOU GET DOWN TO THE LAST
MINUTE AND YOU DON'T HAVE THAT MANY APPLICANTS. YOU JUST HAVE TO RUN WITH IT
AND DO THE BEST YOU CAN DO. ))
SUPER=01-Deborah Funderburke/Goody's Manager;
OUT Q=YOU CAN DO.
Some say they shop this late in the season just to relax.
We have an update for you on the trial of Terry Nichols, who was found
guilty yesterday of involuntary manslaughter for his part in the Oklahoma City
The trial judge today denied a defense motion to eliminate the death penalty
as a punishment.
The singing of the "12 days of Christmas" is a tradition that has lasted for
But these days actually giving someone those gifts may prove to be a bit
News 7's Steve Pardon set out to see what a modern day version of the famous
gifts would cost.
IN Q=Since half of the
SUPER=213-Day 12/$5; :15
SUPER=213-Day 11/$2; :31
SUPER=213-Day 10/$3; :46
SUPER=213-Day 9/$15; :57
SUPER=213-Day 8/$50; 1:09
SUPER=213-Day 7/$40; 1:21
SUPER=213-Day 6/$0; 1:38
SUPER=213-Day 5/$250; 1:52
SUPER=213-Day 4/$20; 2:06
SUPER=213-Day 3/$10; 2:20
SUPER=213-Day 2/$3.50; 2:36
SUPER=213-Day 1/$25; 2:59
OUT Q=Music ends
Although we don't recommend it, if you chose to follow Steve's plan a Modern
12 Days of Christmas would cost a total of 413 dollars and 50 cents.
SUPER=330-Rain Changing to/Drizzle & Fog/32-36/Partly Sunny/& Pleasant/52-57;
SUPER=331-Periods of Rain/Tapering Off/38-42/Partly Sunny/Very Mild/56-60;
SUPER=333-Patchy Drizzle/& Fog/32-36/Partly Sunny/Winds W 10-15/48-52;
SUPER=334-Rainy & Breezy/Winds SE 15/32-36/Showers Ending/Mostly Cloudy/40-44;
GRAPHIC=news 7 generic
Penn State will be without
13-hundred yard rusher Curtis Enis (EE'-nihs) in the New Year's Day
Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno says the junior running back admitted
accepting gifts from a sports agent after first lying about it.
He's the second Penn State star to be ruled ineligible for the game against
Wide receiver Joe Jurevicius (jur-uh-VIH'-shihs) won't play because of poor
SUPER=01-Joe Paterno/Penn State Head Coach;
OUT Q=make a game of it.
Steve Robinson; one of William Fleming's finest products; captured perhaps
his biggest collegiate win last night as his Florida State team shocked
defending nation champion Arizona 84 to 79.
SUPER=03-Tallahassee, FL/ESPN2; :00
Robinson's Seminoles came into the game ranked number 17 in the country and
they were looking to move up.
Fifth ranked Arizona got another strong effort from it's awesome guards.
Mike Bibby chipped in 26.
Arizona's 46-41 halftime lead melted away in the second half thanks to lamaar
Greer. He would score 26 as Florida State downs the defending N-C-A-A champs by
TAPE#=net (edit of S7-17)
GRAPHIC=High school hoops
On the high school hardwood. Cave Spring held court with Northside on the
Knights home floor.
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Vikings vs. Knights; :00
The Knights get things started. Ricky Dierker benefits from the in and out
play; snapping the nylon from behind the arc.
Northside then goes into the paint to big mam Charlie Bullen. he nails the
turn around from in close.
Off the inbounds pass Cory Paxton shows his touch just inside the foul line
with the bucket.
The Vikings James Bandy is gonna come right back with a nice move and a
deuce; But Cave wins it 59-51 in overtime.
It should be smooth sailing for Santa and his reindeer tonight.
That's because the Federal Aviation Administration has given Santa approval
to conduct unlimited U-S flight operations.
The F-A-A says the air traffic controllers will monitor Santa's
trip throughout the night.
The North American Aerospace Defense command, known as NORAD, is also
Full screen homepage
For the first time, NORAD is also posting its Santa sightings on the
You can hook on to the site by logging on the W-D-B-J-seven homepage.