Next on News 7 at Five-
A new police chief for the city of Roanoke-
An accident backs up traffic on I-81.
And in the flavor of Valentines Day, We'll take you to a kissing contest in
The weekend is shaping up nicely. Temperatures will warm from the mid 40's
to the low 50's by Sunday.
On Health Check, a replacement for the diet drugs Phen-Fen and Redux is on
its way to medicine cabinets.
And yesterday this bottle of medicine cost ten dollars.
Today it costs more than 300- dollars.
We'll find out what's going on.
News-7 at Five is next
SUPER=#4063; Headline Banner
The waiting is over.
Roanoke names its new chief of police.
He'll be the first African-American to hold the position in the city's
Roanoke's search for a new police chief is over.
City manager Bob Herbert has chosen Joe Gaskins, currently serving as the
assistant chief of police in Newport News.
Double Boxes=Jean and JoeD/Microwave
But tonight, Joe Dashiell reports, the selection is not receiving unanimous
Jean, the selection process raised concerns in some quarters, when the
search was re-opened, and later when one of three finalists took another job.
Now, Mayor David Bowers is expressing his diappointment that the city manager
did not choose from within the department.
IN Q=In a career
SUPER=01-Joe Gaskins/New Roanoke Police Chief; :16
OUT Q=chosen and promoted from within.
((In a career that has carried him from uniformed officer to assistant
chief of police in Newport News, Joe Gaskins has built an impressive resume.
He was selected from more than 100 applicants... and according to city
manager Bob Herbert, he's clearly the most qualified for the job.
IN Q=I look forward
OUT Q=community policing
The selection process itself has generated controversy, and ultimately
the city manager's choice was a disappointment to Roanoke Mayor David Bowers.
IN Q=Although I think
OUT Q=chosen and promoted from within.
( ad lib)
Double Boxes=Jean and JoeD/Microwave
(toss back to jean)
Governor Jim Gilmore is back on the campaign trail.
He kicked off a statewide tour in Roanoke this morning.
He's trying to drum up support for his plan to get rid of the personal
property tax on cars --
A plan that has run into strong opposition in Richmond.
The governor insists he is not feeling the heat from Democrats who say a
better idea would be to cut the sales tax on food.
He said the purpose of his campaign-style trip is to APPLY the heat to his
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: WE HAVE PUT FORWARD A SOUND PLAN. CAREFULLY CRAFTED.
THOUGHT THROUGH AND DISCUSSED DURING AN ENTIRE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.))
OUT Q=political campaign
Protesters at the rally said the plan Gilmore presented during his campaign
is not the same one he is trying to pass now.
Gilmore has said implementing his plan will cost nearly twice as much as he
Jim Gilmore, come home.
That was the message from General Assembly Democrats in Richmond today-- who
lampooned the rising cost of the "no car tax" pledge as "no car facts."
IN Q=But we've
((DEL. DICK CRANWELL: BUT WE'VE GOT A WHOLE NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS. WE
DON'T ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE'VE MADE MISTAKES. INSTEAD WE SAY OH THERE IS A GREAT
WINDFALL FOR THE TAXPAYERS OF VIRGINIA. BECAUSE I WAS EITHER IGNORING THE
TRUTH OR BECAUSE I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT THE REAL NUMBERS. WE'RE GONNA PAY
WHATEVER IT IS.))
OUT Q=whatever it is.
The Democrats say they are FOR tax relief-- just NOT the exact plan
There are even admissions from Republicans now that the bill has some flaws.
SOT BRUCE 12:44:52
IN Q=I think
((DEL. PANNY RHODES/R-RICHMOND: I THINK A LOT OF US HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE
LOGISTICS. BUT LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. AND WE ALL KNOW IT. EVERY ONE OF
US. THERE'S GONNA BE A CAR TAX BILL.))
SUPER=01-Del. Panny Rhodes/(R) Richmond;
OUT Q=car tax bill.
The question for Democrats is do they help shape that bill-- or go for broke
to defeat it?
In a matter of months, researchers will put the Smart Highway to work in
hopes of improving night visibility for drivers.
Virginia Tech and V-DOT are working on the project.
They want to know if ultraviolet headlights and reflective road signs make
it easier for drivers to see at night or in rain or fog.
Controlled testing will be conducted along a one mile section of the smart
VDOT officials say that helped researchers secure a federal grant worth more
than two and half million dollars.
IN Q=It certainly
((DAVID GEHR/VIRGINIA TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER:IT CERTAINLY WAS AN INTEGRAL
PART IN RECEIVING THE AWARD, BECAUSE THERE'S NO OTHER FACILITY LIKE IT IN THE
COUNTRY SO HAVING THAT FACILITY AVAILABLE TO DO SOME OF THE TESTING REALLY
PROPELLED OUR GRANT APPLICATION RIGHT TO THE TOP. ))
SUPER=01-David Gehr/Virginia Transportation Comm.; :00
OUT Q=to the top.
Additional testing will also be conducted along actual roadways using
volunteers in different parts of the state.
Traffic was backed up on Interstate 81 for several miles this afternoon
after a dump truck crashed into the median.
It happened near Christiansburg around 12:30.
State police say the driver apparently lost control when the truck blew a
A passenger, David (REX-road) Rexrode, was NOT wearing his seat belt.
He was thrown from the cab and was airlifted to a Roanoke hospital.
The driver, Robert (High-ner) Hiner of Waynesboro, was also injured.
State police say both are expected to recover.
The dump truck was hauling asphalt.
(toss to R)
(toss to Robin)
HARD MUSIC UNDER
More U-S troops ship out to the Persian Gulf.
That story is still ahead on News-7 at Five.
She won America's hearts at the 1968 Winter Olympics.
Now she's fighting cancer.
Ahead on health check, a 3-thousand- percent increase in the cost of one
generic drug has pharmacists and patients worried.
There's plenty more to come. Stay with us.
For the second time in three years, Frank Pennington is waiting for the
jury to return.
A week of testimony in his second trial for murder ended today in Roanoke
County circuit court.
The jury has had the case since noon. No verdict yet.
Pennington is accused of the fatal shooting of Bonnie Sue Mullens of Mount
Pennington was convicted once before, but won a new trial on appeal.
If Iraq doesn't comply with United Nations resolutions, Russia wants to walk
but the United States says no.
((I DON'T THINK YOU CAN HAVE A UNITED NATIONS SET OF RESOLUTONS ABOUT SOMETHING
THIS IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD AND SIMPLY WALK AWAY IF DIPLOMACY
FAILS. BUT WE'RE GOING TO KEEP WORKIGN WITH THE RUSSAINS AND EVERYONE ELSE
WE'RE TRYING TO FIND A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION.))
OUT Q=A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION.
SUPER=03-Robins AFB, GA;
More troops are heading to the Persian Gulf-
25 members of a combat communications group left Robins Air Force Base in
On this Olympic Week, an update on Olympian Peggy Flemming.
The Gold medal winning figure skater is recovering from surgery for Breast
Cancer in California.
Fleming who won gold at the 1968 Winter games- underwent surgery Tuesday.
She was diagnosed just two weeks ago.
Doctors say her chances for a full recovery are excellent.
Sophisticated Ellington is headed to Roanoke this weekend.
And sophisticated Patrick Evans will have more in just a few minutes.
STOCKS BUMP NEXT
Duke Ellington's brand of music was stylish, sophisticated, and fun to hear.
And thanks to his grand-daughter, Mercedes Ellington, it still is.
Patrick Evans has an exclusive interview with Ms. Ellington about the
upcoming concerts with Roanoke's Symphony Orchestra this weekend.
((Patrick Ad libs))
SUPER=01-Mercedes Ellington/Choreographer & Narrator;
OUT Q=News-7 at Five
SUPER=330-Variable Clouds/A Few Sprinkles/30-32/Clearing By/Afternoon/44-46;
SUPER=331-Mostly Cloudy/Light Winds/30-34/Clouds Early/Then Clearing/44-48;
SUPER=332-Passing Flurries/Late/26-29/Mostly Cloudy/Wind NW-10/40-42;
SUPER=333-Mostly Cloudy/Flurries Late/30-32/Morning Clouds/Partly
SUPER=334-Snow Flurries/Late/26-29/Mostly Cloudy/Wind NW-10/38-40;
health music under
The two-minute ticker is still ahead on News-7 at Five.
Mike Stevens will have more Nascar news from Daytona.
In Health Check, a new treatment for people suffering from chronic pain.
Plus a new diet drug is on the way.
Meridia is on its way to a pharmacy shelf near you.
It could be a big help for medically obese patients.
IN Q=The drug has
((THE DRUG HAS DIMINISHED THE TRIGGER FOR COMPULSIVE EATING ))
OUT Q=For compulsive eating
Here's one of the stories we're working on for News 7 at six.
Finding a lifelong mate can be difficult. Maintaining a lasting marriage
is even more of a challenge.
Jason and Bonnie Gillespie took the plunge a week ago.
In keeping with the times, the two met on the Internet.
SOT tape 2 10:25:21
IN Q=We talked about
((BONNIE GILLESPIE: WE TALKED ABOUT SOME COMMON INTERESTS, YOU KNOW, TALKED
ABOUT OUR CATS, TALKED ABOUT SCHOOL, TALKED ABOUT TRAVEL, AND I DON'T REMEMBER
WHAT ELSE-- I THINK WE TALKED ABOUT CHINESE FOOD. ))
OUT Q=about Chinese Food
We'll hear from them, ALSO from this Salem couple who just celebrated their
50th wedding anniversary--
And they say they've NEVER even had a fight.
That'll conclude our series, "In Search Of..." tonight on News 7 at 6.
If you thought buying generic prescription drugs was the cheaper way to go,
you may want to listen up.
Double Boxes=Jean and Steve/Microwave
One local pharmacist says the cost of one generic drug just jumped more than
three THOUSAND percent in one day.
Steve Smallshaw is in our Lynchburg newsroom to tell us more.. Steve?
Live= Steve Full/Microwave
Jean, word is starting to spread among pharmacists about a dramatic increase
in the cost of certain generic nerve drugs.
One local druggist says at least one generic drug company is apparently
trying to corner the market.
IN Q=It was yesterday
SUPER=01-Paul Bisbee/Pharmacist; :17
OUT Q=at one time.
(( It was yesterday when Paul Bisbee first realized what was going on.
Bisbee was ordering another supply of the drug Clorazepate, when he
discovered that this bottle of 500 tablets which cost ten dollars yesterday,
now sells for 343 dollars and 25 cents.
IN Q=When we got
((PAUL BISBEE/PHARMACIST: WHEN WE GOT ON THE PHONE TO INQUIRE WHY, WE WERE TOLD
THAT A GENERIC COMPANY HAD BOUGHT UP ALL THE RAW MATERIALS ON PROBABLY TEN
DIFFERENT DRUGS AND THESE WERE GOING TO BE THE NEW PRICES.))
OUT Q=the new prices.
Bisbee says the drugs involved are all generic equivalents of drugs like
Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Lasix. He's worried patients won't be the
only ones affected.
IN Q=And we're just
((BISBEE: AND WE'RE JUST CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT IT'S GOING TO DO TO CONSUMERS AND
EVEN HOW IT'S GOING TO AFFECT THE BUDGET OF MEDICAID WHEN THEY TRY TO REIMBURSE
PRODUCTS THAT HAVE JUMPED THAT MUCH AT ONE TIME.))
OUT Q=at one time.
You might wonder how something like this could happen.
Double Boxes=Jean and Steve/Microwave
Bisbee has put a call in to the Federal Trade Commission to complain.. the
F-T-C told US while they can't confirm or deny an investigation is underway..
this DOES sound like something they'd want to get involved in. Jean?
(Question: Steve, how will this affect what insurers have to pay?)
Just months after the diet drugs Phen-Fen and Redux were pulled off the
market, a new prescription diet drug is on the way.
The drug Meridia can help people lose weight by making them less hungry.
It's not for everyone though.
Meridia is only recommended for people medically overweight, not those
looking to drop a couple of pounds.
The average person taking Meridia will lose about six-percent of their body
IN Q=well if you weigh
SUPER=01-Dr. Harold Solomon/Brookline Hospital;
((DR. HAROLD SOLOMON/BROOKLINE HOSPITAL; WELL, IF YOU WEIGH 200 POUNDS, SIX
PERCENT IS 12 POUNDS. SO IT'S NOT THE CURE FOR OBEISITY.))
OUT Q=cure for obesity
Some side-effects were reported during Meridia's testing.
But those side-effects were not nearly as serious as the heart and lung
damage found in some Phen-Fen and Redux users.
The first shipments of Meridia are on their way to pharmacies.
Obesity in the United States is reaching epidemic proportions.
That's what government experts are saying.
Researchers meeting in Washington are urging the government to spend public
health dollars to fight the problem.
Many of those researchers say obese people have a much higher risk of heart
disease, diabetes and even cancer.
It looks like a painful operation, but for chronic pain sufferers, it can
make a world of difference.
It's called radio-frequency lesioning.
The tips of these needles touch nerves inside the patient's body.
The tips then heat up and cauterize the ends of the pain-causing nerves.
For people living with chronic pain, it can mean a new lease on life.
IN Q=I couldn't stand
((MARIE MERZON/PATIENT; I COULDN'T STAND ON MY FEET WITHOUT BEING IN SO MUCH
PAIN. SLEEPING WAS IMPOSSIBLE AND WHEN YOU DON'T SLEEP PROPERLY, YOU GET
OUT Q=you get depressed
Most patients need only one or two treatments to stop the pain.
The treatment doesn't eliminate the problem, though, just the symptoms.
A major outbreak of Lyme Disease may be on the way, thanks to a big acorn
Researchers in New York say mice will eat the acorns, so the mouse
population will increase.
And more mice mean more ticks which could translate to an increase in Lyme
Scientists say there is no practical way to break that cycle.
Time to turn to switch gears- and turn to sports.
Mike Stevens has tonight's Two Minute Sports Ticker- on racing with a little
IN Q=Tonight the
SUPER=03-Daytona Beach,FL; :27
SUPER=01-Dan Marino/First Plus Ford Owner; :40
SUPER=01-Jerry Nadeau/First Plus Ford Driver; 1:00
SUPER=01-Bill Elliot/First Plus Ford Owner; 1:43
OUT Q=after this break.
If you plan to pucker up to your sweetheart this Valentine's Day, wait
until you see this.
These couples competed in a kissing contest today at the Piedmont Mall in
The only rule.. your lips must stay locked or you're out.
One couple came prepared with pillows and a walkman.
And this woman.. a bit shorter than her partner.. brought a step-stool.
It took a little coaxing to get some of the contestants to compete.
IN Q=He asked me about
((LAURA CHANDLER/KISSING CONTESTANT: HE ASKED ME ABOUT IT AND I CONTEMPLATED
FOR A WHILE AND I WAS LIKE OH WHAT THE HECK. WE HAVE THE TIME. WE DON'T HAVE
ANYTHING REALLY TO DO. SO LET'S DO IT. WE CAN DO IT.))
SUPER=01-Laura Chandler/Kissing Contestant;
OUT Q=we can do it.
Good thing she went for it.
Laura Chandler and her husband Carlo won.. and it's no wonder.
Carlo just got home after four months in Korea.
They walked away with two-thousand dollars in prizes.
The couple kissed for more than six hours to win.
That does it for News-7 at Five.
Dissolve to Pinnacle
Dont' forget to join Denise Allen and Andrew Freiden for News-7 Saturday
Morning and News-7 Sunday Morning.
Have a great weekend!