Testimony is underway in the trial of a man accused of killing his four year
One day after he was cleared of a stalking charge, a former Bedford sheriff's
official is facing legal action on another matter.
Those stories are straight ahead on News 7 at Six.
Also it's two years and counting until a possible computer nightmare. We'll
show you how one Southside company is trying to head it off.
Tonight in sports, a mixed bag of news from UVa where a women's basketball
player is convicted of shoplifting, and a men's player is named player of the
week in the conference.
The Express loses another player of the Flames.
And heads up everyone, the Martinsville Speedway's spring Late model race has
hit a bump in the road - make that a building block in the wall.
Record Highs in the region. Some areas reached 70 degrees. Details ahead.
GRAPHIC=Virginia State Seal
A new state law makes it illegal for General Assembly lawmakers to solicit
campaign funds DURING the 60- day legislative session that begins next week.
So what happened when NEWS 7 found out that the Joint Republican Caucus had
a fundraiser set for February 4th?
Double Boxes=Jean and Ellen/State Microwave
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom with the answer.
They cancelled the fundraiser Jean.
But NOT before raising a few eyebrows.
IN Q=You can't
SUPER=01-Del. Alan Diamonstein/(D) Newport News; :00
SUPER=01-Sen. Patsy Ticer/(D) Alexandria; :46
SUPER=01-Scott Leake/Joint Republican Caucus; 1:07
OUT Q=even appear right.
(( sot 21:44:18
((DEL. ALAN DIAMONSTEIN/D-NEWPORT NEWS: YOU CAN'T DO INDIRECTLY WHAT YOU CAN'T
DO DIRECTLY. AND BECAUSE I CAN'T ACCEPT A CONTRIBUTION DURING THE SESSION,
CERTAINLY IT WOULD MEAN THAT I CAN'T HAVE MY AIDE OR SOMEONE WORKING FOR ME TO
GO OUT AND SAY "HEY YOU GO GET IT, THAT'S REALLY NOT ME." THAT'S NOT THE
INTENT OF THE LAW.))
But the Republican shindig at the ritzy Jefferson Hotel was to be thrown by
the caucus -- a collective arm of the lawmakers themselves.
((DEL. ALAN DIAMONSTEIN/D-NEWPORT NEWS: I THINK IT'S ALL THE SAME. WE DON'T
HAVE OUR CAUCUS STAFF COLLECTING MONEY. THAT WOULD OBVIOUSLY WOULD BE A MAJOR
WAY AROUND THE INTENT OF THE LAW.))
((SEN. STEVE NEWMAN: I THINK THAT BOTH SIDES ARE TRYING TO LIVE WITHIN THE
LETTER OF THE LAW AND ALSO THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW. AND I'M SURE THAT WILL BE
ACCOMPLISHED AND I'M SURE YOU GUYS WILL POINT OUT WHERE IT'S NOT.))
((SEN. PATSY TICER: OH THAT REALLY IS NOT THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW. OH I CAN'T
IMAGINE THAT. ARE THEY REALLY?))
Well not anymore.
Republican Caucus director Scott Leake says once we asked, he's looking for
a new date AFTER the session.
But Leake points out that Democrats are only just complying with the law --
holding their own fundraiser across town ONE DAY BEFORE the legislature
((SCOTT LEAKE/JOINT REPUBLICAN CAUCUS: WHAT HAPPENS AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT?
WHY IS IT HORRIBLE JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT, BUT VIRTUOUS JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT?
WHEN IS THE MAGIC HOUR? SO I THINK THERE'S A WHOLE LOT OF CHEST-THUMPING GOING
ON THESE DAYS. BUT ONCE AGAIN, WE'RE JUST GONNA WALK AWAY FROM ANYTHING THAT
JUST DOESN'T EVEN APPEAR RIGHT.))
Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave
The lawmakers we talked to say they still think this law is a good "first
step" toward campaign finance reform -- even it only changes the public's
Double Boxes=Jean and Ellen/State Microwave
UVA political analyst Larry Sabato calls the flap "same-o same-o."
He says the law is just the politicians' way of "pretending" things have
There were emotional appeals in Roanoke today from people who want their
causes and concerns addressed in Governor Allen's last budget.
Double Boxes=Jean and Tina/Microwave
Tina Tenret was at a public hearing at Virginia Western Community College--
Tina what are people saying?
Jean, we have heard touching stories about the need for help paying medical
bills and better housing.
In fact the public hearing stretched on for -- hours.
IN Q=More than 100 people
SUPER=07-Stephanie Shafer; :16
SUPER=07-Didi Zaryczny; :35
SUPER=07-Betty Ingram-White; 1:00
OUT Q=give my son away
((More than 100 people are trying to convince state leaders to look out for
them when the 39-point-nine billion dollar budget is debated in the General
Assembly this spring.
Many want money for social services -- that will in turn help them find a
IN Q=If you're computer illiterate
((STEFANIE SHAFER: IF YOU'RE COMPUTER ILLITERATE ... FOR THIS.))
OUT Q=for this
Then there are those with medical needs, like the mother of an autistic
IN Q=We do not feel
((DIDI ZARYCZNY: WE DO NOT FEEL ... VIABLE CITIZENS.))
OUT Q=viable citizens
But others say state money has kept their families together -- and for that
they say thank you.
IN Q=Through this Section 8
((BETTY INGRAM-WHITE: THROUGH THIS SECTION 8... GIVE MY SON AWAY.))
OUT Q=give my son away
Double Boxes=Jean and Tina/Microwave
(Jean question--are there more public hearings to come?)
Four year old Annie Leftwich's final days were marred by abuse.
Dickenson County prosecutors hope to convince a jury the child's stepfather
is partially to blame.
Teresa Hamilton reports from the Montgomery County courthouse where the case
was moved because of pretrial publicity.
SUPER=01-Nancy Dickenson/Jessie's Attorney; :08 QUICK!!
SUPER=01-Danny Colley/Dickenson Co. Investigator; :49
OUT Q=NEWS 7, Christiansburg.
(( Kenneth Jessie's attorney says her client should NOT be held
responsible-- that he was working the day his stepdaughter died.
((THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE HORRIBLE DEATH LIES WITH ELIZABETH, THE MOTHER,
AND SHE HAS ACCEPTED THAT RESPONSIBLY.))
Elizabeth Jessie, who's already pleaded guilty to child abuse and second
degree murder, WAS at home.
Amanda Hale says she remembers Annie shouting loudly in the background
during a phone conversation with Elizabeth-- shortly before the child's death.
((AMANDA HALE/PROSECUTION WITNESS: ELIZABETH SAID THAT SHE SAID AND HAD BEEN
SAYING "LET ME OUT OF THIS ROOM, YOU BITCH". ))
OUT Q=you bitch.
Prosecutors believe Annie was tied to her bed, in the utility room she
shared with wild squirrels, as punishment for bed wetting.
A Sheriff's investigator remembers hauling the mattress as evidence.
IN Q=I had
((DANNY COLLEY/DICKENSON CO. SHERIFF'S INVESTIGATOR:I HAD TO STOP THREE TIMES
DUE TO THE SMELL, ROLL ALL THE WINDOWS DOWN IN THE BLAZER AND THE MATTER WAS
DRIPPING WITH URINE, JUST TO VOMIT. ))
OUT Q=to vomit.
No one knows exactly at what point or how Annie was killed.
The medical examiner says she may have been gagged.
The numerous bruises that covered her body-- were both fresh and old.
The commonwealth still has a number of witnesses to call- the case is
expected to last through the end of the week.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Christiansburg.
More trouble for former Bedford County sheriff's lieutenant John McCane.. a
grand jury today indicted him on a charge of misusing public money.
Just yesterday, a stalking charge against McCane was dropped because of a a
lack of evidence.
Now, state police say McCane mis-used sheriff's department funds that were
part of an undercover drug investigation.
McCane has maintained his innocence.
He resigned from the sheriff's office last week to take a job in the private
No trial date has been set.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Will there be a worldwide computer crash in the year 2000?
Still to come on News 7 at Six,
a Southside company finds the pending trouble very profitable, as it works to
head off the problem. We'll have that story but first let's check in with
Meterologist Robin Reed.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=82-0.01''/minus 0.42''/0.01''/minus 0.42'';
SUPER=83-Down 2.31 feet/Down 1.03 feet;Lake levels
Three teenagers were taken to the hospital after a two car accident in
Blacksburg this morning.
Police say the crash occured when a car, driven by 16-year old Angel Pack,
pulled into the path of a pickup truck.
It happened at the intersection of South Main Street and Ellett Road in
Arnold Quesenberry was driving the truck-- he is in guarded condition at
Montgomery Regional Hospital, along with 15 year old Amanda Elliott.
16-year olds Darrell Shell and Jason Howard were treated and released.
The trial doesn't begin until next week, but today lawyers involved in the
case against members of the Abed family squared off in federal court.
The defendants are accused of taking part in a criminal enterprise that
involved arson, extortion and murder.
Today, the attorneys argued over allegations of prior criminal conduct not
included in the indictments.
IN Q=Any time you have this kind
((TONY ANDERSON/DEFENSE ATTORNEY: ANY TIMEYOU HAVE THIS KIND OF EVIDENCE, WHAT
WE GENERALLY CALL CHARACTER EVIDENCE, IT'S REALLY ONLY OFFERED TO PROVE THAT A
PERSON ACTED IN CONFORMITY WITH THAT TYPE OF CHARACTER AND THAT'S WHAT THE RULE
((TOM BONDURANT/ASST. U.S. ATTORNEY: NO, I THINK IT'S JUST GOOD SOLID EVIDENCE
AND WE BRING IT UP IN ANY RACKETEERING CASE.))
SUPER=01-Tony Anderson/Defense Attorney; :00
SUPER=01-Tom Bondurant/Asst. U.S. Attorney; :13
OUT Q= any racketeering case.
The judge promises a ruling before the start of the trial next week.
Attorneys expect to call more than 100 witnesses, and the court has set
aside several weeks for the trial.
For the second time in two months, a Sara Lee textile plant is getting a new
This time it's a facility in Galax.
The plant is one of nine Sara Lee operations being sold to National Textiles
L-L-C, a company based in Winston-Salem.
In November, Sara Lee sold its Hillsville plant.
The sell off is part of a Sara Lee strategy to cut its losses.
The company has been losing money lately.
All employees at the Galax plant are expected to keep their jobs, working for
the new owners.
The stock market fell today.
TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE
The Dow dropped 73 points to close at 79 hundred six.
NASDAQ lost 14 points.
[(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]
The year 2000 is supposed to bring huge headaches to businesses who don't
update their computer systems.
It's also bringing jobs to South Boston.
Eric Earnhart explains.
SUPER=03-South Boston; :00
SUPER=01-Jerry Hill/The Software Factory; :15
SUPER=01-Beverly Lucas/The Software Factory; :29
SUPER=01-Mark Hutcherson/Trainee; :49
SUPER=01-Dave Martin/Software Company Employee; 1:07
OUT Q=EE, News 7
(( It's sometimes called the millenium bug, or Y2K, what it means, simply
is, when the calender rolls over to the year 2000, computers which are
programmed to recognize dates by the last 2 digits, will think it's the year
1900, and that can cause problems.
((JERRY HILL/THE SOFTWARE FACTORY; PEOPLE WILL BE WORKING FOR YOU WHO HAVEN'T
BEEN BORN YET, AS FAR AS THE COMPUTER IS CONCERNED... ))
And there aren't enough people around who know how to fix it...Thats why two
entrepreneurs came from Northern Virginia to South Boston, and built The
((BEVERLY LUCAS/THE SOFTWARE FACTORY; BECAUSE OF THE FACTORIES AND INDUSTRIES
MOVING OUT, THERE WAS A HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, AND THIS SEEMED LIKE THE
PERFECT PLACE TO FIND THE POOL OF PEOPLE THAT WE NEEDED.
Counting on the high motivation and work ethic of the Southside region, they
started a computer boot camp. Training people, some unemployed, some on
welfare... if they pass, they get a job.
((MARK HUTCHERSON/TRAINEE; WHAT THEY'RE DOING HERE IS GREAT, THEY'RE PROVIDING
THE TRAINING FOR THE PEOPLE SO THAT THEY KNOW THAT THEY'RE TRAINED PROPERLY AND
IT'S REALLY A GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR THIS AREA. ))
It convinced Sheriff's deputy Dave Martin to give up his cuffs for a
((DAVE MARTIN/SOFTWARE COMPANY EMPLOYEE; A LOT OF PEOPLE, THE MEDIA ESPECIALLY,
ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS GETTING BEHIND IN Y2K WORK, SO I THINK
ITS GREAT THAT THESE GUYS ARE HERE AND TRYING TO MAKE A DENT IN SOME OF THAT
WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
And there's plenty of it... an estimated 160 billion lines of computer code
that needs to fixed, line by tedious line.
Software Factory executives believe the massive workload will eventually
lead companies here, to their growing pool of programmers.
((BEVERLY LUCAS/VICE PRESIDENT; WE CAN SIT HERE IN SOUTH BOSTON AND DO WORK FOR
PEOPLE ON THE WEST COAST, THE EAST COAST, IN EUROPE, WHERE EVER THEY MAY BE. ))
Enough they hope, to keep the wheels at the factory turning well beyond
Eric Earnhart, News 7.))
Coming up tonight in sports, the Martinsville Speedway is forced to cancel
its spring late model race, the Wizards wipe out 14 games of misery in one
night, testing continues at Daytona.
And we'll hear from UVa's man in the middle - senior Norman Nolan the ACC
player of the week.
It has been a rough 24 hours for the Virginia Cavaliers women's basketball
Last night the ninth ranked Lady Cavs were beaten in their first ACC road
game of the new year
SUPER=03-Clemson, SC/HTS; :00
as Clemson jumped on top of the Cavs by eight points by halftime and never
Natasha Anderson led the Clemson upset bid with 18 points and four rebounds.
Something that UVa and Demya Walker could not overcome.
Clemson wins it's second straight game over a top ten team SUPER=33-Virginia
by stopping the Lady Cavs 74-to-67.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, today UVa player Lauren Swierzcek
(SWAIR-ZEK) was found guilty of two counts of petty larceny.
Swairzek admitted that she stole clothing from two stores at Fashion Square
Mall in Albemarle County.
Head Coach Debbie Ryan testified on her player's behalf as a character
witness, but the judge gave her a 30 day suspended term on each count.
Ryan says she hasn't decided if Swierzcek has a future with the team.
The news is much better tonight on the UVa men's side of the court.
Power Forward Norman Nolan has been named the ACC's player of the week.
Nolan scored 79 points and grabbed 32 rebounds in Virginia's 3 games last
He knocked in 31 in the overtime win over Wake Forest on Sunday.
And he says that he has been glad to carry the load the first 13 games of the
year while the Cavs younger players continue to develop.
IN Q="I think so far...
((NORMAN NOLAN/ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK:))
SUPER=01-Norman Nolan/ACC Player of the Week; :00
OUT Q=...START TO CLICK."
Before playing Carolina this coming Saturday, Norman and company host Liberty
The VMI Keydets return to action tonight at Cameron Hall.
VMI hosts UNC Greensboro in a seven o'clock tip off on the post.
SUPER=03-Lexington/December 14, 1997; :00
The Keydets already have knocked off Virginia Tech and Penn State this
season, and a win tonight will improve their record to 7-and-4 and keep them
unbeaten in the Southern Conference at 2-and-0.
We'll have the highlights for you tonight at 11.
The NBA crowd in New York last night witnessed the snapping of a wicked
Before last night Washington had lost 14 straight games to the Knicks at the
But the Wizards performed some Magic
SUPER=03-New York, NY/Last Night - MSG;:00
on the injury riddled Knicks.
Juwan Howard and Chris Webber combined for 52 points, with each scoring 26 as
the Wizards shot a blistering 58 percent from the floor to beat New York
113-to-106 and move above the 500 mark for the first time all season.
IN Q="I think...
((CHRIS WEBBER/26 POINTS LAST NIGHT:))
SUPER=01-Chris Webber/26 Points Last Night; :00
OUT Q=...TO DO IT."
Winston Cup testing for the Daytona 500 and Bud Shootout began today for the
Ford teams, and the big question was would the Taurus be a tortoise.
The early answer appears to be yes.
Lake Speed had the fastest lap this morning at 185 point 578 miles an hour.
But that's almost three miles an hour slower than the fastest Chevy driven by
Terry Labonte during the three days of General Motors testing that concluded
The Martinsville Speedway, which annually hosts two of the richest Late Model
Stock Car races in the nation, announced this afternoon that it has cancelled
its Spring Late Model event, the Miller 300.
SUPER=03-Martinsville/Last Year; :00
That Late model races always have their share of destruction, but this time
the problem is construction.
The track is adding 75 hundred new seats to the front stretch and they won't
be finished in time for the March 15th race.
Also, keep in mind that the Fall Taco Bell 300 has also been moved.
The race was originally set for October 18th, but now it will be held on
Sunday September 20th, a weekend before the Cup cars and Super Trucks take over
And finally, John Tripp's time with the Roanoke Express is cut short as
he's been called back up to play for the Saint John Flames.
The 6-foot-2-inch right winger skated in just 9 games with Roanoke and had 2
assists before getting this reassignment.
SUPER=330-Patchy Fog/Scattered Showers/52-54/Mostly Cloudy/More Showers/58-60;
SUPER=331-Clouds And/Showers/50-54/Patchy Fog/Showers/60-63;
SUPER=332-Areas Of Fog/And Rain/50-54/Mild With/Showers/55-60;
SUPER=333-Mostly Cloudy/With Showers/50-52/More Showers/Likely/57-59;
SUPER=334-Light Rain/Patchy Fog/48-50/Showers Likely/And Mild/55-58;
News 7 is expanding.
Take Fullscreen Board 9403 Weekend News
Join Denise Allen and Andrew Freiden for News 7 Saturday Morning and News 7
That will be at eight a-m beginning this Saturday January 10th.
All the news, weather and sports to start off your weekend.
And coming up tonight on News 7 at 11--how one young man overcame a severe
weight problem. He's one of seven children graduating from a program that
helps fight obesity. He hopes his experience will inspire others who struggle
with the disease.
(Ad Lib byes)
We'll have that story and more tonight on News 7 at 11.