Jerry Falwell suggests the President's latest difficulties may be God's commentary on Clinton's abortion policy.
That's our top story on NEWS 7 tonight.
And we'll go to Fairlea, West Virginia by satellite to find out how a firefighter died there in a grocery store fire.
Tonight in sports, the Super Bowl draws closer, and so do Jerry Jones and George Seifert.
Steve Mason takes a look at the redhot Radford men's basketball team.
And Bobby Hussey and the Virginia Tech Hokies are in Rhode Island tonight hopeing to avoid becoming Atlantic 10 road kill.
A cold rain followed by a heavy rain. It's a wet forecast through Friday. More just ahead.
The scandal surrounding President Clinton in Washington has caught the attention of the Reverend Jerry Falwell, who presided over an anti- abortion rally in Lynchburg.
One and a half million printed roses were laid out on a hillside near Liberty University.
Protesters say they symbolized the number of abortions performed in the U-S each year.
In his speech, Falwell suggested that perhaps President Clinton is being punished for supporting abortion rights.
[IN Q=I could not]
((REV. JERRY FALWELL/LIBERTY U. CHANCELLOR: I COULD NOT HELP BUT WONDER, IF IN THE CASE OF A PRESIDENT WHO NOT ONLY ENDORSES ABORTION BUT EVEN PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION.. INFANTICIDE, IF MAYBE GOD DOESN'T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR, SAYING ON THIS 25TH ANNIVERSARY `YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT'.))
[SUPER=01-Rev. Jerry Falwell/Liberty Univ. Chancellor; :00]
[OUT Q=have done it.]
Falwell says recent polls show the majority of Americans do NOT support the practice of abortion.
On this 25th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, local activists on both sides of the issue were in Washington.
The "March for Life" is an annual event--abortion rights supporters used the occasion to show their support for the Supreme Court decision, while abortion opponents vow they are not giving up on their fight.
[IN Q=It's not a]
((LUKE PATRICK/"LIFE CHAIN" ORGANIZER: ITS NOT A BIT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT HITLER WAS TRYING TO DO IN GERMANY...TO ELIMINATE THE UNWANTED.PEOPLE DON'T GET CONVINCED THROUGH CONVERSATION AND ARGUMENT TO BE PRO-CHOICE OR TO OPPOSE ABORTION...LEGAL ABORTION. DAVID NOVA/PLANNED PARENTHOOD: PEOPLE DON'T GET CONVINCED THROUGH CONVERSATION AND ARGUMENT TO BE PRO-CHOICE OR TO OPPOSE ABORTION...LEGAL ABORTION.))
[SUPER=01-Luke Patrick/"Life Chain" Organizer; :00]
[SUPER=01-David Nova/Planned Parenthood; :06]
[OUT Q=LEGAL ABORTION]
Abortion rights supporters say they want their opponents to join them in a campaign to educate people on the consequences of sex, in hopes of preventing the need for abortion.
Fairlea, West Virginia is mourning the death of a young fire fighter tonight.
24 year old Greg Carter was killed yesterday when a local grocery store caught fire.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Joe/StarLink]
Joe Dashiell is in West Virginia tonight and brings us up to date on the investigation.
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[SUPER=01-Roger York/Assistant State Fire Marshal; :38]
[OUT Q=temporary location next door.]
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The government shelled out big bucks to support a drug informant while he was working in the Roanoke area. We'll have that story coming up on News 7 at Six.
and Botetourt County's experiencing growing pains. As more homes go up, so do assessments--and residents aren't too happy with the bills they're receiving.
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More layoffs at a southwest Virginia garment company.
Precision Fabrics in Vinton says 75 people will lose their jobs by the end of the month.
Plant manager Ali Khan says the operating schedule in one department will be cut back from seven to five days a week.
That's because of a downturn in the outerwear fabric market.
The government paid Javier Cruz more than 347-thousand dollars in living expenses in the four years the Columbian drug trafficker was cooperating with federal authorities.
The government has maintained that Cruz used his wife's considerable fortune to pay for a home and open a night-club in Roanoke County.
The 347-thousand dollar figure came out in court today during a hearing for Earl Frith.
The well-known realtor and auctioneer was charged with money-laundering in 1991.
[IN Q=I sold a]
((I SOLD A SMALL FARM IN FLOYD COUNTY TO A HISPANIC FELLOW WHO TOLD ME HIS NAME WAS LUIS FLOREZ, HIS WIFE'S NAME WAS MARTHA. JACKIE HELPED US TO INTRODUCE HIM AROUND THE COMMUNITY, TOOK HIM TO THE DENTIST ONCE AND ACQUAINTED HIM WITH THE LOCAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. I THOUGHT WE'D BROUGHT A PILLAR INTO THE COMMUNITY.))
[OUT Q=into the community.]
Luis Florez was an alias Cruz adopted when he first moved to the area.
Cruz is scheduled to enter a guilty plea in federal court tomorrow afternoon.
Frith maintains he never knew the feds had linked him with Cruz- -because the indictment remained sealed for six years.
The government called its star witness in the crime family conspiracy trial in federal court today.
Mario Ottallah is the first to portray break-ins, fires and drug-dealing as part of an organized effort directed by Joe Abbott and his brother Abed Jamil AbdelJalil.
Ottallah admits he played a role in committing many of the crimes, but he insists Abbott and his brother were behind it.
A circuit judge today un-sealed the felony indictment involving Giles County supervisor Bobby Williams.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Teresa/Microwave]
Teresa Hamilton has read the documents and has the latest from our New River Newsroom.
Keith, the indictment revolves around an illegally taped phone conversation in which the callers refer to an alleged extramarital affair involving Williams.
Now Williams is NOT charged with taping the conversation-- rather playing it in front of someone else-- which is considered a felony.
[IN Q=The indictments]
[SUPER=03-Ripplemead/Last Week; :10]
[OUT Q=to resign.]
((The documents were sealed last week after a special prosecutor asked that those named in the indictment be SERVED before the paperwork was unsealed.
You may remember-- that was the same day-- Williams attempted suicide-- after learning of the grand jury indictment.
Three others are also charged in connection with the alleged crime.
They are-- Kim Frazier, Herman Willie Dent, Junior and Derrick Gavin Ratcliffe.
At the time of the indictment-- the Board of Supervisors declined comment.
But today released a statement-- saying at a workshop just days BEFORE the indictment they'd asked Williams to resign.))
Williams did NOT step down and the meeting was adjourned after Williams reportedly grew irate.
Sources say the board asked for his resignation following a public dispute between Williams and Giles County's superintendent of schools.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Teresa/Microwave]
(Keith question--Teresa, is Williams still a member of the board?)
(Keith question--If convicted-- what kind of penalty are we talking about.)
Botetourt County residents are seeing red -- their houses are assessed an average 39 percent higher than they were five years ago.
Now that businesses are flocking to Botetourt, Tina Tenret shows us the housing market is red hot.
[IN Q=Used to be]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Don Thomas/Appraisor; :12]
[SUPER=01-Bob Bowman/Resident; :49]
[SUPER=01-Gerald Burgess/County Administrator; 1:04]
[OUT Q=News7, Botetourt County]
(( Used to be you could buy farmland in Botetourt County for a song -- your only neighbors were cows.
Now you'll pay a pretty penny to live here -- and better stake out your land now.
[IN Q=When you have ]
((DON THOMAS/APPRAISOR: WHEN YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL COUNTY L IKE BOTETOURT AND RURAL TRADITIONS DOWN HERE YOU SEE A LOT OF THESE PROPERTIES GETTING SUBDIVIDED AND SPLIT AND THERE'S A CONSIDERABLE INTEREST IN THE QUALITY OF LIFE THIS COUNTY OFFERS.))
[OUT Q=this county offers]
[IN Q=According to the ]
((TINA TENRET/NEWS7: ACCORDING TO THE DISTRICT PLANNING COMMISSION, TWO THIRDS OF ALL THE GROWTH IN THIS REGION IS HAPPENING RIGHT HERE IN BOTETOURT COUNTY. IN FACT, PLANNERS SAY, TWO YEARS FROM NOW 20 PERCENT MORE PEOPLE WILL BE LIVING IN THIS COUNTY.))
[OUT Q=in this county]
That leaves current residents holding the tax tab, as their house values skyrocket.
Bob Bowman's house is worth 50 percent more than it was five years ago.
[IN Q=I think it's very ]
((BOB BOWMAN/RESIDENT: I THINK IT'S VERY UNFAIR AND I THINK IF THEY WANT TO GIVE ME WHAT THEY GOT WRITTEN ON HERE IN A CHECK RIGHT NOW I'LL SELL THEM THE HOUSE.))
[OUT Q=sell them the house ]
Residents can appeal their assessments this week and next, but they're bracing themselves for a big hit come tax month.
[IN Q=I'm confident]
((GERALD BURGESS/COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR: I'M CONFIDENT THE TAX RATE WON'T' GO UP. WE'LL HAVE TO LOOK AT ALL THE NEEDS -- WE'RE BUILDING A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN DALEVILLE, AND ALL HTE OTHER THINGS THAT NEED TO GET DONE OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, AND SUPERVISORS WILL MAKE A DECISION IN APRIL WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN LOWER THE TAX RATE.))
[OUT Q=the tax rate]
Current Botetourt County residents may be sitting on a goldmine.
But if you're on your way in, don't expect a house on the hill -- unless you're willing to fork over some green.
Tina Tenret, News7, Botetourt County.))))
The stock market was retreating again today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow dropped 64 points to finish at 77 hundred 31.
NASDAQ lost 11 points.
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i= DOWN (Local Stocks only!)
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[ Bassett Fur/ Bedford Bancshares/Dimon]
[ ETS /Main Bankshares/ Optical Cable]
[Pulaski Furn./ Roanoke Electric Steel/Roanoke Gas]
[ Stanley Furniture/ Tultex/Valley Bank]
Central Virginia authorities hope a new 32- million dollar regional jail will soon relieve overcrowding in their local facilities.
Officials from five jurisdictions helped break ground for the project this afternoon.
All told, more than forty million dollars is being poured into renovating and rebuilding Lynchburg's judicial system.
[IN Q=We know public]
((JIM WHITAKER/LYNCHBURG MAYOR: WE KNOW PUBLIC SAFETY IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY CONCERNS OF OUR CITIZENS, AND WHILE WE WOULD RATHER BE BUILDING PARKS AND COMMUNITY CENTERS, THESE PROJECTS WERE ESSENTIAL IN MAINTAINING AND IMPROVING OUR JUDICIAL AND CORRECTIONAL COMMUNITIES.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Whitaker/Lynchburg Mayor; :00]
[OUT Q=correctional communities.]
The regional jail will house more than 400 inmates.
Construction should take two years to complete.
United Way of the Roanoke Valley finished its 1997 campaign today.
At the annual banquet, officials announced the agency met its goal of raising six million dollars.
That's a 4-and-a-half-percent increase over the previous year.
Three companies got awards for increasing their level of giving: Innotech, John W. Hancock Jr, and Norfolk Southern.
Two others were named for having the best first-time campaigns: Levy Home Entertainment of Salem and First Citizen's Bank and Trust.
Tonight in sports, the Hokies hit the road to butt heads with the Rams, the Cowboys make a move for Seifert.
And the Radford men's basketball team is also on the move these days.
Steve Mason takes a look at a one-time erratic bunch of players who have now won four straight games.
The Virginia Tech men's basketball is back in action tonight playing its
third straight Atlantic 10 conference road game.
Tonight the opponent is explosive 23rd ranked Rhode Island, under first year head coach Jim Harrick.
The Hokies come into the game with anything but a lot of confidence.
They are 6-and-8 overall and 1-and-3 in the A-10.
And even though the young players are maturing every day, patience is still the key with this team.
[IN Q="Right now...]
((BOBBY HUSSEY/VA. TECH HEAD COACH:))
((MYRON GUILLORY/VA. TECH SENIOR GUARD:))
[SUPER=01-Bobby Hussey/Va. Tech Head Coach; :00]
[SUPER=01-Myron Guillory/Va. Tech Senior Guard; :13]
[OUT Q=...YOUNGER TEAM."]
Highlights of the Hokies-Rams encounter for you tonight at on News 7 at 11.
We will also have highlights of two other big games for you tonight.
Lynchburg College is at home taking on ODAC rival Eastern Mennonite University.
And at eight tonight, the Liberty Flames swing back into action at the Vines Center to battle Big South rival Maryland Baltimore County.
Ironically, the Flames are just 1 and 2 since upsetting Virginia back on January 7th.
Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina could be in for a Radford title wave Saturday.
The Highlanders swamped Winthrop 88-54 last night at the Dedmon Center. Steve Mason has a recap.
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[OUT Q=..news 7 sports"]
There was one big meeting in San Diego today involving principles other than those playing for the Broncos and Packers.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones,
met for three hours today with former San Francisco 49ers head coach George Seifert to talk about the coaching vacancy in "Big-D."
Jones would not elaborate on the meeting but did say he will not announce Barry Switzer's successor until after Sunday.
The hobbling Hornets return to the hive tonight a banged up bunch.
With Dell Curry, Bobby Phills and Vlade Divac all out with injuries last night the Hornets were hammered by the Bulls 110-to-79.
Tonight they must regroup in a hurry as they welcome Houston to town.
((ANTHONY MASON/HORNETS FORWARD:))
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(toss to Jean)
Tonight on News 7 at 11--how much is Superintendent John Kent's retirement going to cost the Bedford County School Board?
[Double Boxes=Keith and Jean/Newsroom]
Jean Jadhon is here with a preview of that story.
Keith, the superintendent has been criticized for recent budget problems. He is leaving his job later this year--
and apparently expects to receive 210 thousand dollars as part of his retirement package.
But current board members have some questions about the deal, since most of them were not aware of it.
So, tonight they will go over the numbers once again in an effort to settle on a final figure.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Jean/Newsroom]
We'll have the story, plus all the latest news, weather, and sports tonight on News 7 at 11--Keith?
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