Operation Rescue supporters manage to draw Jerry Falwell into the fray- -claiming his Liberty University is peddling child pornography.
We'll hear from both camp in a LIVE report from Lynchburg.
And Jean Jadhon's reliving her childhood by re-visiting the Harlem Globetrotters.
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Tonight in sports, the March Madness hits its peak locally as the men's division three national championship final four is set to begin in Salem.
The Division one regional semi-finals begin tonight on Your Hometown Station.
And E.C. Glass high school is again without a head football coach as Mike Berry is relieve of his duties less than 2 days after accepting the job.
The last full day of winter leaves us smiling, but spring arrives tomorrow, and brings a heavy dose of rain with it.
Details coming up.
It's the maximum sentence for a Dickensen County couple found guilty of killing their four-year-old daughter.
Elizabeth Jessie and her husband, Kenneth, will each spend 50-years in prison.
The couple's daughter, Annie Leftwich, died after she was gagged and tied to a urine-soaked mattress last spring.
Her body was covered with bruises and puncture wounds.
The case prompted the General Assembly to pass "Annie's Law" -- a law that makes it a capital crime to torture a child to death.
The Reverend Jerry Falwell says he's been called a lot of things in his lifetime, but never a supporter of child pornography.
That charge was leveled today by the same group that's been staging anti- abortion rallies in Lynchburg the past week.
Steve Smallshaw joins us live.. Steve, where did this new issue come from?
Keith, Operation Rescue has been here a full week now, protesting the the jail term that Reverend Flip Benham is serving for trespassing.
They've now found a new target in the Reverend Jerry Falwell.. and today, he's finally fighting back.
[IN Q=Frustrated by]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Patrick Mahoney/Christian Defense Coalition;]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Jerry Falwell/LU Chancellor; :]
[OUT Q=in your ear.]
Frustrated by his lack of support for their anti- abortion protests, Operation Rescue supporters are now attacking Reverend Jerry Falwell on a new level.
Two days ago, one of them went into the Liberty University bookstore and ordered "Age of Innocence".. a book containing what many feel are pornographic images of young children.
Liberty later cancelled the order and returned the money, but it wasn't enough to keep protesters away from the school today.
[IN Q=The perception is]
((REV. PATRICK MAHONEY/CHRISTIAN DEFENSE COALITION: THE PERCEPTION IS THAT THIS IS A PUBLICITY STUNT.. A CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE?))
[OUT Q=Christian bookstore?.]
Mahoney says they sat on this issue for several weeks, hoping to discuss it with Falwell privately.
But an effort to set up a meeting failed, and they had no choice but to go public.
[IN Q=I don't make]
((REV. JERRY FALWELL/LU CHANCELLOR: I DON'T MAKE IT A PRACTICE TO MEET WITH ANYBODY WHO.. ..STICK IT IN YOUR EAR.))
[OUT Q=in your ear.))]
As you might imagine, Reverend Falwell is upset about the tactics Operation Rescue is using to draw attention to its cause.
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Attorneys for Louis Ceparano now have a better shot at proving their client did NOT know what he was doing the night a former marine was brutally murdered.
Grayson County Circuit Judge Colin Campbell has cleared the way for a toxicologist to testify.
Ceparano's charged with capital murder in the death of Garnett "G-P" Johnson.
His attorneys hope to prove Ceparano was too drunk to realize what he was doing-- which is one of the elements needed to prove capital murder.
Judge Campbell wrote that alcohol will likely be a significant factor in the case.
He said: to deny a toxicologist to assist with the case would result in a fundamentally unfair trial.
The same judge, meanwhile, shot down an attempt to delay the trial of Ceparano's co-defendant.
Emmett Cressell, Junior is charged with first degree murder for his alleged role in Johnson's murder.
His attorneys had hoped to postpone next week's jury trial over concerns Cressell's legal mail may have been read by deputies.
The Grayson County jail was recently searched by sheriff's officials who contend they were only looking for marijuana.
Cressell's attorneys say Judge Campbell rejected their request because he didn't feel they had enough evidence to warrant a delay.
A Nelson County school was evacuated this morning but will re-open tomorrow.
Nelson Middle School closed at 10 a-m when students and staff complained of nausea as well as burning eyes and throats.
An emergency services team and Chesapeake Industrial Services tested the building and the superintendent says it is now safe.
He says tests show fumes from a nearby chimney may have caused the reactions.
Twelve students went to nearby medical centers -- the superintendent says at least six been released.
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Still to come on the newscast, one community is upset after a convicted arsonist is allowed to remain on the fire department,
and we'll see how the local construction business is building on its success.
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A Fire Department in Rockbridge County is having to fight for public support.
At issue-- a conflict among their ranks.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Stacey/Newsroom]
Stacey Martin is in the newsroom now with more.
Keith the controversy involves the Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department --and a father and son whose commitment to the community has gone unquestioned until now.
[IN Q=The Sterrett Family]
[SUPER=04-News Gazette, Lexington; :16]
[SUPER=07-Kim Humphreys; :27]
[SUPER=07-Erline Ritchie; :42]
[SUPER=01-Sheriff Bob Day/Rockbridge Co. Sheriff's Dept.; 1:07]
[SUPER=01-Chief Stephen Wilmer/Fairfield Vol. Fire Dept.; 1:29]
[OUT Q=for the department.]
(( The Sterrett Family barn fire was the last of 26 suspicious fires in Rockbridge County from February to August of last year.
Unlike most of the others, the arsonist in this case was caught and convicted--17 year old Matt Wilmer, son of Fire Chief Stephen Wilmer.
But, a few months after his conviction he's working at the last place you'd expect--the Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department.
It's a situation that has many people here outraged.
[SOT 04.26.05 - 04.26.11]
[IN Q=I think they]
((KIM HUMPHREYS:I THINK THEY NEED TO CLEAN HOUSE. I THINK THEY NEED TO START OVER. I THINK THEY NEED A NEW FIRE DEPARTMENT; I THINK THEY NEED A NEW FIRE CHIEF. I THINK THEY NEED TO START OVER COMPLETELY.))
[OUT Q=start over completely.]
One of those suspicious fires destroyed Humphreys' grandmother's barn.
[SOT 04.30.39 - 04.30.56]
[IN Q=I live here]
((ERLINE RITCHIE: I LIVE HERE BY MYSELF. AND, IT WAS REALLY FRIGHTENING WHEN THAT THING BURNT. IT WAS SO CLOSE TO THE HOUSE I WAS AFRAID MAYBE SPARKS WOULD GET TO THE HOUSE.))
[OUT Q=to the house.]
This case is still unsolved --but the family's resolve remains the same as that of many of their neighbors who feel the fire chief is NOT taking responsibility for his son's actions and THAT'S jeopardizing the public's safety.
[SOT 04.20.07 - 04.20.22]
[IN Q=There were farmers]
((SHERIFF BOB DAY/ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT.: THERE WERE FARMERS IN THE AREA THAT WERE CONCERNED ABOUT SOME OF THEIR BARNS AND DWELLINGS. THERE WERE FAMILIES THAT WERE AFRAID TO LEAVE FOR A VACATION OR TRIP BECAUSE OF THIS AND THE PEOPLE IN THE FAIRFIELD AREA WERE GREATLY CONCERNED.))
[OUT Q=were greatly concerned.]
[SOT 06.26.29 - 06.27.09]
[IN Q=If the public's concern]
((CHIEF STEPHEN WILMER/FAIRFIELD VOL. FIRE DEPT.: IF THE PUBLIC'S CONCERN GETS TOO MUCH WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER TELLING MATT THAT HE HAS TO LEAVE THE DEPARTMENT FOR A WHILE? I GUESS SO. BUT, I REALLY DON'T SEE WHAT THAT WOULD ACCOMPLISH. HIM LEAVING, ME LEAVING. WHAT IT WOULD ACCOMPLISH OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THEY'D BE LOSING AN ACTIVE MEMBER WHO DOES A LOT OF WORK FOR THE DEPARTMENT.))
[OUT Q=for the department.]))
After Matt's conviction, Chief Wilmer, Matt and another son who serves as a firemen, all sent in their resignations at the same time.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Stacey/Newsroom]
But, the other volunteer firefighters voted NOT to accept the resignations--and not even the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors can overturn that decision.
People who build new homes were happy to see the sun today.
Bad weather has been the only thing in the way of a booming home-construction season.
Scott Goldberg reports.
[IN Q=It's days like this]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :02]
[SUPER=01-Bill Reid/Contractor; :12]
[SUPER=01-John Obenchain/Home Buyer; :29]
[SUPER=01-Jim Boutilier/Moore's Lumber; :47]
(( It's days like this contractors could do without.
They're getting plenty of orders for new homes.
But they don't get anywhere when rain and snow forces them to take the day off.
[IN Q=it just]
((BILL REID/CONTRACTOR: IT JUST PUTS A DAMPER ON EVERYTHING. THE BRICK MASONS, ANYTHING OUTSIDE JUST LAGS WAY BEHIND.))
[OUT Q=LAGS WAY BEHIND]
The weather is about all that's dampening an otherwise red-hot season for home construction.
Buyers are snatching up lots as they take advantage of low interest rates.
[IN Q=IT'S A]
((JOHN OBENCHAIN: IT'S A VERY GOOD OPPORTUNITY WITH INTEREST RATES THE WAY THEY ARE TODAY AND IT'S PROBABLY AS GOOD A TIME AS WE'VE SEEN IN THE LAST 25 YEARS.))
[OUT Q=LAST 25 YEARS]
[IN Q=the boom]
((SCOTT GOLDBERG/REPORTER: THE BOOM IN HOME CONSTRUCTION ALSO MEANS BOOMING BUSINESS FOR COMPANIES THAT SELL TO CONTRACTORS-- COMPANIES LIKE MOORE'S LUMBER, WHERE BUILDING SUPPLIES ARE DISAPPEARING FAST.))
[OUT Q=disappearing fast]
[IN Q=if the]
((JIM BOUTILIER: INTEREST RATES IN OUR INDUSTRY IS A VERY CRITICAL FACTOR. IF THE INTEREST RATES GO UP OR DOWN A FRACTION OF A POINT, IT EITHER CLOSES OUT OF THE MARKET OR BRINGS INTO THE MARKET MORE POTENTIAL BUYERS WHO CAN AFFORD SO MUCH FOR A MORTGAGE EACH MONTH))
So far this year, so many buyers have come into the market, Moore's has been inundated with orders.
That's why the parking lot looks empty.
Almost every truck is out delivering supplies to contractors like Bill Reid.
[IN Q=as soon as]
((BILL REID: AS SOON AS THE HOLIDAY SEASON WAS OVER, SOMEONE JUST FIRED THAT STARTER PISTOL AND THEY JUST ALL CAME OUT HERE.))
[OUT Q=OUT HERE]
All those buyers came out, flooding contractors with demands for new homes.
If the weather would only cooperate, contractors, too, would be off to the races.
Scott Goldberg, News-7, Roanoke County.
On Wall Street this afternoon, the DOW broke 88-hundred for the first time.
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It rose 27 and a-half points to close at 88-03.
NASDAQ gained 11 and a half points.
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They can spin a basketball with ease- and wow the crowds from young to old.
The Harlem Globetrotters are showing their skill at the Roanoke
Civic Center and that's where we find Jean Jadhon.
Jean, a lot of folks here remember going to see the Harlem globetrotters when we were kids.
[roll tape over q and a about how things have changed]
[SUPER=01-"Showbiz" Jackson/Harlem Globetrotter;]
Coming up tonight in sports, E.C. Glass is once again without a head football coach, the NCAA regional semi-finals are on tap tonight,
And Roy Stanley checks in from Salem where the men's Division Three final four is ready to tip off tomorrow night at the Salem Civic Center.
The E.C. Glass high school football program has a strong tradition of excellence, and short reputation for chaos.
In the last six months the program has forfeited games, fired its head coach, and now run into trouble finding Bo Henson's successor.
On Tuesday night, Mike Berry was named the new Hilltoppers head coach, beating out more than 30 other candidates.
His tenure didn't even last two days.
This afternoon, Lynchburg city school superintendent Jim McCormack announced that the appointment of Berry had been rescinded.
McCormack says new information he received at 12:35 today led him to releive Berry of his duties immediately.
[SUPER=01-James McCormick/Lynchburg Superintendent; :00]
[OUT Q=...known to us.]
Berry will continue teaching math for the time being at Glass, but he will not be allowed to serve as a coach of any kind. Because it's a personnel matter, McCormick would not elaborate further.
[GRAPHIC=NCAA D 3 Final Four]
The Division Three men's basketball championship weekend kicked off yesterday afternoon at the Salem Civic Center.
And Roy Stanley says Awards and a little practicing were the order of the day.
[IN Q=First audio]
[SUPER=01-Mike Nogelo/Division 3 Player of The Year; :20]
[SUPER=01-Alicia Moore/Division 3 Player of The Year; :32]
[SUPER=01-Mark Henrickson/Salem Rotary Club; :51]
[SUPER=01-Harry Sheehy/Williams Head Coach; 1:18]
[OUT Q=.....news 7 sports."]
((The activities began with the presentation of the first annual Josten's trophy honoring the division three's male and female players of the year.
Michael Nogelo of Williams College was the men's recipient.
And Alicia Moore of Emory University in Atlanta was honored as the female recipient.))
((MICHAEL NOGELO/DIVISION THREE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: ))
((ALICIA MOORE/DIVISION THREE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: ))
((The work on the award began over a year ago through a joint effort between the Salem Rotary Club and Jostens.))
((MARK HENRICKSON/SALEM ROTARY CLUB: ))
((Hope College, Wilkes University, Wisconsin Plattteville and Williams make up the final four.
The teams held light workouts at the Civic center today for tomorrow's semi final action.))
((HARRY SHEEHY/WILLIAMS HEAD COACH: ))
((ROY STANDUP: ))
The Division One March Madness resumes tonight right here on WDBJ-7 with the regional semi-finals.
[SUPER=03-Greensboro, NC; :00]
Down in Greensboro, U-Conn will plays Washington in the late game of the East Regional doubleheader, while the first game of the night will pit North Carolina against Michigan State.
[wipe to pinnacle page]
[pinnacle page 99050]
You can watch the Tarheels and Spartans tonight at 7:39 right here on Your Hometown station, and then right after that game stay tuned as Maryland take on Arizona in Anaheim. Will the cross country travel affect the Terps play?
[wipe to eng#]
[IN Q="I don't...]
[SUPER=01-Gary Williams/Maryland Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=next game."]
And finally this morning, Three-time Winston Cup champion
Darrell Waltrip says the 1999 season will probably be his last as a
driver. Waltrip is selling his race team, but hopes to be driving
through next year.
Waltrip may be down on his luck but he knows he's much more fortunate than many.
Wednesday night he announced that he's selling his race team, but yesterday Waltrip said he plans to field a car in honor of Tim Flock this Sunday at Darlington. The car will have the number 300 on it, as Flock's did when he won the championship in the 50's.
Flock had 40 wins in his career, but he's now battling lung and liver cancer.
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