A surprise state inspection of the Wilderness Leadership Academy in Botetourt.
The school administrator says it was prompted by complaints from a recently fired teacher.
More on that on NEWS 7 at SIX.
And we'll bring you up to date on legislative attempts to scuttle the tax on boats, trailers and cars.
It stayed bottled up in the Arctic zone all winter long, now it makes an appearance in your hometown. The hard freeze forecast is straight ahead.
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The Education Department is looking into a school for troubled boys -- after receiving a report from a former employee.
Tina Tenret has more on the investigation.
[IN Q=The Wilderness Leadership Academy]
[SUPER=01-Col. Gene Nervo/School Director;]
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret, News7, Botetourt County]
((The Wilderness Leadership Academy accepts teenage males with emotional or behavioral problems.
But now the Education Department wants to know if the school itself has run off course.
Retired Marine Colonel Gene Nervo directs the school -- he says a former teacher has gone to the Education Department with reports of dirty bedrooms and no heat or hot water at the academy.
Nervo denies the charges.
[IN Q=We have dogs]
((WE HAVE DOGS ON THE PREMISES ... OPPORTUNITIES))
Sheriff Reed Kelly is also keeping an eye on the school -- he says he's had assault problems there in addition to a recent uprising.
[IN Q=When our officers got there]
((REED KELLY/BOTETOURT COUNTY SHERIFF: WHEN OUR OFFICERS GOT THERE ... AT THAT TIME.))
[OUT Q=at that time]
Colonel Nervo says six students -- not 15 -- were involved in the uprising and it should come as no surprise that at-risk kids might get out of hand.
What did come as a surprise to Nervo was the Education Department's inspection -- but he predicts they will give his school a positive evaluation.
Tina Tenret News7 Botetourt County.))
The Education Department spokesperson was not available for comment on the investigation.
It's been a bumpy ride, but "no car tax" is in the final stretch.
A compromise plan worked out last night in a House committee is closer to what Governor Jim Gilmore promised voters than some thought he could achieve.
Ellen Qualls reports.
[IN Q=The stage]
[SUPER=03-Richmond/File Tape; :15]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
The stage is finally set.
((DEL. MORGAN GRIFFITH/R-SALEM: IT'S NOT A PERFECT PLAN. BUT IT'S THE BEST PLAN WE'RE GONNA GET THIS YEAR.))
((SEN. ROSCOE REYNOLDS/D-HENRY CO.: IT SEEMS TO HAVE SOME RELIEF FOR WEALTHY VIRGINIA. AT THE SAME TIME, IT SEEMS TO PROVIDE SOME OF THE NEEDS OF LESS WEALTHY VIRGINIA.))
The bottom line for rural lawmakers is the 350- million dollars in school construction money that will go first to localities who need it most-- UNLIKE the way the car tax rebate will work.
But much of that will be borrowed money-- leaving almost what the Governor needed for his car tax phase-out.
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: IT'S STILL A FIVE-YEAR PHASE-OUT. IT'S STILL A 20-THOUSAND DOLLAR PLAN. AND I THINK THAT THIS PROGRAM HAS SOME PROMISE. I THINK THAT IT CAN BE APPROVED. AND SOME OF THE OTHER ISSUES LIKE ON SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION, CERTAINLY HAVE GOT TO BE LOOKED AT.))
((DEL. TOM JACKSON/D-HILLSVILLE: I THINK THE GOVERNOR WILL HAVE ACCOMPLISHED WHAT HE CAME INTO THE SESSION SEEKING TO ACCOMPLISH. WHAT I HOPE HE WILL GET BETTER AT IS WORKING WITH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO REACH A CONSENSUS. I THINK ALL THE WORK WAS DONE THIS YEAR BASICALLY BY THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS ON THE HOUSE SIDE.))
A possible improvement on Gilmore's plan came from House Republicans: cars worth a thousand dollars or less would pay no tax the first year.
((DEL. TOM JACKSON/D-HILLSVILLE: I THINK THE THOUSAND DOLLAR FLOOR HELPS RURAL VIRGINIA BECAUSE STATISTICS SHOW THERE ARE, I DON'T KNOW, 25-PERCENT OF THE CARS THAT ARE IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD. THAT WAS A BONE THAT WAS THROWN TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA TO MAKE THE PLAN MORE PALATABLE.))
The session ends Saturday-- with some version of this plan expected.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.
A lot of doctors are backing a bill in Richmond that they say will benefit every health care consumer.
The "point of service option" will allow employees enrolled in H-M-O's to choose doctors that are not on the network list.
The bill met with opposition from health maintenance organizations and businesses who thought they would have to pay more money for insurance coverage.
[IN Q=The HMOs]
((DR. ROBERT VERMILLION/PHYSICIANS TO WOMEN:THE HMOS SELECT THERE PANELS, IT'S A PRETTY COMPLICATED PROCESS, WHERE THEY SELECT PHYSICIANS WHO WILL PROVIDE SERVICES AT A DISCOUNT PROVIDED FOR THE HMOS AND THEY LIKE TO HAVE THEIR CONTROLLED LIST THIS WOULD LET THE CONSUMER TO BASICALLY HAVE THE PHYSICIAN OF THEIR CHOICE.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Robert Vermillion/Physicians to Women; ]
[OUT Q=of their choice]
As part of the point of service plan, patients are required to pay any additional costs from visiting a non-network physician.
A lobbyist with the Virginia Association of H-M-O's says this is still a bad bill that would drive up the cost of providing health care.
Two elderly Lynchburg women can STAY with the woman who cares for them, thanks to a bill passed in the General Assembly today.
A neighbor complained that Dora Cunningham was violating local zoning laws by caring for the women in her residential home.
A judge had given Cunningham 90 days to find new homes for the two women.
But state senator Steve Newman and Delegate Preston Bryant helped craft a bill that allows up to FOUR elderly or disabled persons in a single home.
That measure passed the House today by a 95 to 2 vote.
An emergency clause attached to the bill allows it to take effect immediately.
Legislators Newman and Bryant also teamed up to make sending a threat by e-mail a Class 6 felony in Virginia.
The change was suggested by Amherst County prosecutor Ed Meeks, who says they've had recent incidents among area school students.
[SUPER=01-Ed Meeks/Amherst Co. Prosecutor; :00]
[OUT Q=the information age.]
Meeks says lawmakers also were alerted to INDIRECT threats being made by a man named Sam Sloan.
Sloan claims Amherst juvenile court judge Lawrence Janow illegally took Sloan's daughter from him in 1990.
Sloan's web page has contained veiled threats against Janow, urging that "he be killed" for his actions.
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Still to come on the newscast, a controversial member of the Roanoke School Board decides whether he wants to keep the job.
and we'll see what effect this cold snap will have on you and your garden.
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You'll definitely want to keep those coats and gloves within reach over the next couple of days.
It seems winter isn't finished with us yet- - despite the recent round of warm weather.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Teresa/Microwave]
Teresa Hamilton is at her post in the New River Valley-- where temperatures are expected to drop into the teens overnight.
Keith-- you might think warm weather followed by freezing temperatures would make folks more vulnerable to colds and flu-- fortunately that's not the case.
[IN Q=Getting up]
[SUPER=01-Bradley Vaught/Wytheville Resident; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Richard Shepherd/Emergency Room Physician; :18]
[SUPER=01-Bob Lyons/VT Horticulture Professor; 1:00]
[OUT Q=you can do.]
[IN Q=Getting up]
((BRADLEY VAUGHT/WYTHEVILLE RESIDENT: GETTING UP REAL EARLY IN THE MORNING AND GOING OUT AND STARTING THE CAR, BUNDLING UP, FACING THAT COLD MORNING AND THE CARS GOT TO WARM UP.))
[OUT Q=warm up.]
Bradley Vaught may NOT be a fan of winter weather-- but he WAS relived to learn-- doctors don't think a quick change in temperature makes anyone more susceptible to sickness.
[IN Q=They've actually]
((DR. RICHARD SHEPHERD/EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN:THEY'VE ACTUALLY TAKEN VOLUNTEERS AND GOTTEN THEM VERY WET AND THROWN THEM OUT IN THE COLD WEATHER TO SEE IF THEY GET MORE COLDS THAN OTHER PEOPLE AND THEY'VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO PROVE THAT. ))
[OUT Q=prove that.]
But Shepherd says folks should still continue to wash their hands thoroughly.
((ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE SOMEONE SICK IN YOUR HOUSE, MAKE SURE YOU DON'T DRINK AFTER THEM, USING THE SAME CUP, SAME EATING UTENSILS, THAT SORT OF THINK AND DON'T USE THE SAME WASH CLOTHS AND TOWELS. ))
[OUT Q=and towels.]
Sadly-- outdoor plants aren't as flexible as humans.
The quick change in weather-- from warm to cold-- has already damaged many pansies, winter iris' and daffodils.
Horticulture professor Bob Lyons says, at this point, covering the plants probably won't make a difference.
He says the best thing-- is to simply cut the flowers.
[IN Q=Leave the]
((BOB LYONS/VT HORTICULTURE PROFESSOR: LEAVE THE FOLIAGE BEHIND, THAT'S STILL IMPORTANT, WHATEVER REMAINS OF THE FOLIAGE THAT'S NOT DAMAGES IS IMPORTANT FOR THE FOLLOWING YEAR BUT KEEP THE FLOWERS INDOORS, GET A FEW MORE DAYS OUT OF THEM, THAT'S THE BEST YOU CAN DO. ))
[OUT Q=can do.]
One final note about staying healthy-- doctors say remember to wear lots of layers-- and don't forget to check on elderly loved ones and pets.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Teresa/Microwave]
The unemployment numbers for January are out.
And even though jobless claims went up from last December, an unemployment rate of three-point-seven percent made this the best January in Virginia in 27 years.
Northern Virginia had the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at two-point-two-percent.
Roanoke was next, at two-point-eight percent.
It's not going to happen right away, but a merger could be in Optical Cable's future.
That was one of the topics brought up at today's shareholder meeting.
The company voted to double its shares of common stock.
C-E-O Bob Kopstein said doubling the shares gives Optical Cable the resources to merge with another company.
[IN Q=the authorization]
((THE AUTHORIZATION TO DOUBLE THE SHARES FROM 50 MILLION TO A HUNDRED MILLION BASICALLY MEANS INCREASING YOUR LINE OF CREDIT, LIKE IF YOU HAD A CHARGE CARD AND YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO GO ON A TRIP AND YOU WANTED TO HAVE AN EXTENDED LINE ON IT FOR FUTURE USE.))
[SUPER=01-Robert Kopstein/Optical Cable CEO;]
[OUT Q=future use]
Kopstein told shareholders his goal is to make sure his business grows faster than the rest of the industry.
[IN Q=the industry]
((THE INDUSTRY CAN SLOW DOWN. BUT IF THE INDUSTRY SLOWS DOWN ARE YOU GAINING IN THE MARKET SO THAT YOU'RE IN A STRONGER POSITION? BECAUSE THEN WHEN IT GROWS YOU'RE GROWING FASTER AND THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT WE ARE DOING. DOING VERY AGGRESSIVELY AND EXPECT THAT TO PAY OFF FOR THE SHAREHOLDERS. ))
[OUT Q=the shareholders]
The stock market surged to a record close today
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The DOW gained nearly 76 points to close well above 86-hundred for the first time.
NASDAQ gained 23 and a half points.
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Harry Davis has been at the center of recent school board controversies, but he says public criticism hasn't deterred him from seeking another term.
Davis has been on the school board for two years. This afternoon he ended the speculation about his plans by applying for reappointment.
While his concerns about the budget and other issues have made him a controversial figure, Davis says he also enjoys strong public support.
[IN Q=Part of the reason]
((HARRY DAVIS/ROANOKE CITY SCHOOL BOARD: PART OF THE REASON FOR RUNNING WAS COMMUNITY OUTCRY. THE NUMBER OF CALLS AND LETTERS I'VE GOTTEN, THAT WELL OVER A THOUSAND PEOPLE SAYING YOU WILL RUN WON'T YOU? AND THAT WAS PART OF MY DECISION. I DIDN'T WANT TO LET THEM DOWN.))
[SUPER=01-Harry Davis/Roanoke City School Board]
[OUT Q=I didn't want to let them down.]
School Board Member Melinda Payne is also seeking another term. Other candidates who met today's filing deadline are David Davis, Bud Oakey, and Ruth Willson.
City Council will choose among them to fill two vacancies later this Spring.
[GRAPHIC=Women's Final Four]
For the first time since 1986 Virginia is on the road for the opening game of the Women's N-C-Double-A Tournament.
[SUPER=03-Charlottesville/Nov. 25, 1997;]
In Previous years the Lady Cavaliers have hosted a first or second tournament game.
This year they travel to Tucson, Arizona, to meet Southern Methodist.
But this trip is almost a home coming for several of the players.
[IN Q=we don't feel]
[SUPER=01-Lisa Hosac/UVA Forward; :00]
[SUPER=01-Debbie Ryan/UVA Head Coach; :26]
[OUT Q=of the opportunity]
The Cavalier-S-M-U match up is Friday night, 9-30 our time.
Bonnie Henricksson is taking her Lady Hokies to Gainesville, Florida, for a meeting with Wisconsin.
Tip off is at Six.
And Liberty meets number one ranked Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, 9-20 Saturday night.
[GRAPHIC=FINAL FOUR MEN]
Coverage of the men's tournament begins Thursday right here on Your hometown station.
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The Thursday afternoon menu has North Carolina taking on Navy at 12:20, and the Richmond Spiders meeting up with South Carolina in the second matinee at 2:50.
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Then Thursday night you can catch UNLV and Princeton at 7:40. That game is followed by the Fairleigh Dickinson - UConn game.
The first round action rolls on Friday afternoon with coverage again tipping off just after Noon.
[pinnacle friday afternoon]
Friday afternoon you'll get bonus coverage of two games as we start out with the Kentucky - South Carolina state battle and then switch back and forth with the Clemson - Western Michigan game.
[pinnacle late friday afternoon]
The other afternoon game at three has Florida State and Steve Robinson taking on TCU.
Then Friday night it's two David and Goliath matchups as Davidson takes on MIchigan and Radford hooks up with top seeded Duke.
With their 10 o'clock date with Duke looming closer, the Radford Highlanders have made the transition from celebrators to concentrators.
And Steve Mason says for 32 point underdogs, the Highlanders are right confident heading into the Big Dance.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/Big South Tournament Championship; :00]
[SUPER=01-Chibi Johnson/Radford Senior Guard; :11]
[SUPER=03-Greensboro, NC/1998 ACC Tournament; :22]
[SUPER=04-Radford vs. Winthrop; :27]
[SUPER=01-Eric Parker/Radford Senior Center; :37]
[SUPER=01-Ryan Charles/Radford Sophomore Center; :47]
[SUPER=01-Ron Bradley/Radford Head Coach; 1:07]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
(( The Highlanders not only appear excited to play the Blue devils but optimistic about the individual match ups the game Friday at Rupp Arena will present.
Some say Duke has had trouble this season with physical play from opposing teams big men. With senior center Eric Parker; along with Kevin Robinson and Ryan Charles; the Highlanders have plenty of fresh big bodies to through at the leaner faster Duke interior.
The Highlanders depart for Lexington, Kentucky Wednesday morning and are scheduled to practice at Rupp arena at 10 am. Steve Mason, News 7 sports.))
And finally tonight, Stacy Compton hasn't gone back to late model stock car racing, but he has been circling the New River Valley Speedway track this week.
Compton brought his Royal Crown Ford Truck to New River to work out the kinks during this lull in the schedule.
The Race team's new crew chief, Kevin Cram, has changed some things on the truck.
And now is the time to see if they work.
[IN Q=WE WENT TO]
((STACY COMPTON/ROYAL CROWN RACING: WE WENT TO ORLANDO FOR THE FIRST RACE OF THE YEAR AND ENDED UP BURNING UP A REAR END COOLER. WE BROUGHT TWO TRUCKS. WE'VE GOT TWO DAYS. FIRST DAY WE'RE GOING TO TEST SOME REAR END THINGS. TOMORROW WE'RE GOING TO WORK ON SPEED.))
[SUPER=01-Stacy Compton/R.C. Cola Truck Driver; :00]
[OUT Q=TO WORK ON SPEED.]
R.C. Cola is Compton's new sponsor.
He says having the big bucks affords the team more equipment.
The team has gone from one truck last year to six this season.
Compton will next run at Homestead on April fourth.
Coming up this weekend News 7 Sports Denise Allen will profile the HUrt, Virginia Native on News 7 Sunday morning between 8:30 and nine.
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