Good morning, I'm Denise Allen.
And I'm Andrew Freiden
It's Saturday March 21-st. And Welcome to New-7 Saturday Morning. There's lots of news and sports ahead, but first let's get a peek at the weather.
(Andrew ad libs today's weather story)
A tornado touched down just outside the town of Ridgeway in Henry County yesterday--
It hit around three-thirty yesterday afternoon; uprooting trees and damaging several trailor homes in the area.
One witness says it was a scary experience.
[SOT 18.20.45 - 18.20.51]
[IN Q=You had a]
((MARGARET ANDERSON: YOU HAD A FUNNEL CLOUD. IT WAS LIKE NOT THE MOVIE TWISTER BUT SIMILAR. SO YOU HAD DEBRIS FLYING AND THEN WE CAME OUT TO LOOK AND IT WAS JUST DARKNESS, TOTAL DARKNESS. AND, IN THIRTY SECONDS IT WAS OVER.))
[OUT Q=it was over.]
The tornado ripped off much of the siding on the homes leaving twisted metal and debris in its path.
It also tore off the roof on Armand Harrell's barn and he says it left a twisted pattern to a long fence that used to cut a straight path through his field.
[SOT 18.49.20 - 18.49.35]
[IN Q=We could hear]
((ARMAND HARRELL: WE COULD HEAR IT ROLLING LIKE A TRAIN AND OF COURSE THE WIND GOT EXTREMELY HIGH AND I DIDN'T REALIZE THIS ROOF HAD BEEN REMOVED AND THIS FENCE UNTIL I WALKED DOWN HERE AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE WHAT I HAD SEEN.))
[OUT Q=I had seen.]
The tornado was followed by periods of rain and some lightening.
There were no reports of anyone injured from the damage in Henry County.
Other tornados were reported in the Cascade and Axton areas of Pittsylvania County[NC-Tornado]
Other tornados blew through North Carolina and Georgia yesterday.
[SUPER=03-Stoneville, NC/Home Video]
A twister in Stoneville, North Carolina, killed at least two people and injured 19.
The downtown area took a direct hit.
Rescuers worked through the night searching for other survivors.
The same storm that hit Stoneville later moved into Henry and Pittsylvania counties.
The most powerful tornado hit Gainesville Georgia, just north of Atlanta.
At least eleven people were killed as a result of that storm.
[IN Q=this has been]
[SUPER=01-Zell Miller/Georgia Governor]
[OUT Q=as governor]
Five Georgia counties have been declared disaster areas.
There's no word on disaster declarations in North Carolina or Virginia.
Emmett Cressell, Junior will NOT go on trial in Grayson County on Monday, as expected.
He was released yesterday on a 150- thousand dollar secured bond in exchange for his testimony against co-defendant, Louis Ceparano.
Cressell's attorney Jeff Dorsey worked out the arrangement with Grayson County's commonwealth attorney, this morning.
Cressell and Ceparano are accused of killing Garnett "G-P" Johnson at a drinking party, last summer.
Cressell's trial has been moved to July-- which is AFTER that of Ceparano.
[IN Q=I think]
((I THINK THE MAIN ADVANTAGE FOR MR. CRESSELL IS THAT IT'S ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW THE COMMONWEALTH AND THE COURT AND EVERYBODY THAT WHEN WASN'T TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND THAT HE'S ALWAYS WANTED TO DO THE RIGHT THING. ))
[SUPER=01-Jeff Dorsey/Cressell's Attorney; :00]
[OUT Q=right thing.]
NEWS 7 contacted Ceparano's attorney by phone yesterday.
Jimmy Turk said he's not only shocked but also amazed and appalled by the arrangement.[1-WEATHER]
[SUPER=318-Clouds &/Showers/48-52/Scattered Rain/& Snow Showers/37-40; Roanoke]
[SUPER=319-Clouds &/Showers/50-55/Scattered Rain/& Snow Showers/37-40; Lynchburg]
[SUPER=320-Rain Or/Snow Showers/39-44/Snow Showers/Possible/28-32; New River Valley]
[SUPER=321-Rain & Snow/Showers/42-46/Scattered/Snow Showers/30-33; Highlands]
[SUPER=322-Rain Or/Snow Showers/38-44/Snow/Ending/28-32; West Virginia]
[2 shot toss]
(Toss to sports)[S-Express]
[GRAPHIC=Express vs. Wheeling]
The Express looked to break a franchise record last night as they faced the Wheeling Nailers at the Roundhouse.
This goal judge had a front row seat for last night's action.
We pick up the action in the first period where Wheeling's Joe Harney crosses to Mike Melas who finishes putting the Nailers on the board first.
Check out Express goalie Daniel Berthiaume snatching up the puck right out from the stick of this Wheeling player.
[SUPER=38-Roanoke/2/Wheeling/3/Shootout;] And Express' Michael Smith also takes care of business with this long slap
shot tying the score at one.
But the Wheeling Nailers prevail in shoot out 3--to--2.
[SS=Express v Chesapeake]
The Express has another shot at breaking the franchise regular season win record TONIGHT when they host Chesapeake.
The Division Three Championship tournament is in full swing at the Salem Civic Center this weekend.
The action started with Hope, Michigan taking on Wilkes.
And in this one Wilkes really had no hope as the Flying Dutchmen use moves like this one to lead from the start.
Wilkes would use the second chance shot to score some points but this one was all Hope.
The Flying Dutchmen win it 81 to 61 and qualify for the championship game today at five.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[GRAPHIC=WIPE WIPE WIPE]
The second game last night between Williams College and Wisconsin-Platteville was a little closer.
Williams took the early lead moving quickly down court with great passing and the exclamation point.
Wisconsin finally gets on the board with the baseline jumper and it 11-2 Williams.
And what do you know the undefeated Pioneers come from behind to beat Williams 82-to-68 to setting up a meeting with Hope for the division three championship.
[GRAPHIC=Men's Final Four]
The South Region of the N-C-Double-A Tournament boosted a match up with two teams that are probably responsible for March Madness--The Bruin and Wildcats.
[SUPER=03-St. Petersburg, FL/NCAA-CBS Sports;]
UCLA and the University of Kentucky both have rich traditions and a long list of championships.
In this one, the Wildcats take the early lead--Scott Pagit sinks the three for Kentucky.
On the very next play, it's the Wildcats on the break--Edwards caps off the play with slam.
And a look at the UCLA bench will tell the story.
Kentucky gets the steal and has an easy time with the Bruins 94-to-68.
And the Wildcats extend their season another game.
(ad lib toss to ski report)
[SUPER=600-March 24, 1998/0''/17-76''/Wet Granular/2/28/0''/00-00''/No Report/0/0;]
[SUPER=601-March 24, 1998/1''/34-88''/Looser Granular/11/54/0''/22-55''/Loose Granular/3/22;]
[SUPER=602-March 24, 1998/0''/00-00''/No Report/0/0/1''/18-60''/Loose Granular/5/18;]
[Comm Break #1][Cop-Coaches]
[TAPE# field tape]
[GRAPHIC=Walking The Beat]
Not many police officers walk a beat any more and cruising around in a car doesn't afford the personal contact that officers use to gain by walking the neighborhood.
So often times the experiences the police have with the public especially children, is negative.
Now The Roanoke County Police Department has a program which brings cops and children together for fun.
And Sergeant Jeff Swortzel is hear to tell us about it.
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Jeff Swortzel/Roanoke Co. Police;]
[roll when we talk about what sports the cops are coaching.]
(adlib toss to video rental bump)
[Take Full Screen Rentals Bump]
(adlib hello, toss to Andrew)
(check viewernet toss back to Denise)
A judge says a 16-year-old boy is guilty of assault and battery -- but stopped short of convicting him.
The judge says Joseph Grissom not only hit his female classmate's injured knee, but also mocked and humiliated her in the process.
[IN Q=This young man]
((THIS YOUNG MAN IS A FINE YOUNG MAN ADN EVERYBODY WHO KNOWS HIM SAYS SO AND THINKS SO.))
[SUPER=01-John Lichtenstein/Defense Attorney;]
[OUT Q=and thinks so]
In February, a 15-year-old girl told the William Byrd High School principal that Grissom had kicked her.
Grissom was arrested and taken from the school in handcuffs.
The girl later said she FELL INTO Grissom's upturned foot -- in court today she says either may have happened.
[IN Q=Obviously had she]
((SKIP BURKART/ROANOKE CO. COMMONWEALTH'S ATTY: OBVIOUSLY HAD SHE STAYED WITH THE "YES HE KICKED ME" AND STAYED WITH THAT SAME STATEMENT ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE CASE WOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT MORE SERIOUS.))
[SUPER=01-Skip Burkart/Roanoke Co. Comm. Attorney]
[OUT Q=lot more serious]
The judge says he will strike the charge from Grissom's record after a year of good behavior.
Grissom's parents have pulled him out of William Byrd High School.
A postal worker who threatened to kill his supervisor on the job in Roanoke has pled guilty to assault.
Chuck Smith admits he lost his temper in the midst of a discussion with Richard Obenchain at the Melrose Avenue Post Office.
The two men had been discussing overtime and sick leave. The 55-year old letter carrier became angry and threatened to go home and get a gun.
Though Smith was arrested and locked up for five days... the postal inspector says Smith's co-workers were so concerned for their safety that day that four or five of them went home- -leaving just one person at the counter.
Smith was taken OFF house arrest yesterday, until he's sentenced in May.[6-Underwood]
She went from being a bookkeeper at a Roanoke Museum to peddling drugs as an international cocaine trafficker.
Norma Underwood made at least four trips between Jamaica, the Bahamas and the U-S mainland, helping to smuggle in kilos of cocaine.
She was sentenced in FEDERAL court in Roanoke yesterday to 12 and a half years in prison... along with two co-defendants.
((IN 1994-95 THEY WERE PERHAPS THE MOST SIGNIFGICANT DRUG TRAFFICKERS BRINGING IN KILOS FROM JAMAICA IN THE ROANOKE AREA.))
[OUT Q=in the Roanoke area.]
Four years ago Underwood admitted she stole 42- thousand dollars from the Harrison Museum.
She served a six-month jail term.
Shortly after she got out, she started working at Mac Brother's Car Care on Melrose Avenue- -a thriving legitimate business that also served as a front for cocaine sales.
The number of teams headed down the road to the final four is a little smaller today.
A Division three Wisconsin-Platteville remains undefeated.
Here's yesterday's scores.
[WIPE TO MOTION:]
[SUPER=0096-j/Indiana/99//New Jersey/92///j/NY Knicks/109//Atlanta/108///;]
[OUT Q=......last score."]
If you're still looking to fill your schedule this weekend, here's some ideas from the weekend calender.
[Take full screen calendar board]
(straight to commercial)
[Open BB Weather Sponsor]
[SUPER=X5000; SET DISSOLVE]
[SUPER=324-Rain & Snow/Showers/39-52/Showers/Ending/28-40; Roanoke Area]
[SUPER=325-Rain Or/Snow Showers/38-44/Snow/Ending/28-32]
[Close BB Weather Sponsor]
(toss to Andrew for Diner)
This week's weekend diner is Ben Johnson--
He shows off a great recipe that is exceedingly simple.
[IN Q=nat sound diner open]
[OUT Q=enjoyed it, thank you.]
[Dissolve to Chyron 7153]
If you drop us a self-addressed, stamped envelope, we'll send you this recipe.
You can see the address there on the screen. You can also check out our web site under the weekend mornings section.
And, don't forget if you'd like to be on the weekend diner, send us a note with your recipe, name, address and phone number.
[ANCHOR=Denise 2 shot]
Here's a look at today's top stories.
[SUPER=#4070;weekend headline banner]
A tornado cut a path through the town of Ridgeway in Henry County yesterday afternoon.
The twister touched down around three-thirty- damaging homes but injuring no one.
More twisters hit Pittsylvania County.
More severe storms ripped through North Carolina and Georgia yesterday. Two people were killed and 19 injured when a twister hit Stoneville, North Carolina.
The most damaging storm hit Gainsville, Georgia- killing at least eleven people.
One of the men accused of burning and decapitating Garnett "G.P." Johnson was released yesterday on bond, in exchange for testifying against his co-defendant.
Emmett Cressell, Junior's trial was set to begin Monday in Grayson County. It is now slated for July- AFTER the trial of Louis Ceparano.
[ANCHOR=Denise 2 SHOT]
And that's what's making news on this Saturday March 21-st.
We'll be back in just a minute.
Good morning, I'm Denise Allen.
And I'm Andrew Freiden
It's (time) on Saturday March 21-st. Welcome back to News-7 Saturday morning.
[Weather Story ESS C]
Thursday night the Floyd County School Board voted to let 18-year-old David Scarberry back into school.
He and 16-year-old Kevin Moles were expelled for vandalizing a black church.
The white students were charged with felonies.
But at the victims' request, those charges were reduced.
Scott Goldberg has the story of a community's decision to forgive ... and one family's vow not to forget the lesson it learned.
[IN Q=Clyde and Patricia]
[SUPER=03-Carroll Co.; :00]
[SUPER=07-Patricia Moles; :11]
[SUPER=03-Floyd Co./November 10, 1997; :28]
[SUPER=01-Gino Williams/Commonwealth's Attorney; :52]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Richard Spencer/Mount Zion Christian Church; 1:12]
[SUPER=07-Andrew Claytor; 1:55]
[OUT Q= Floyd County]
[LOTS of good set-up shots on tape 2, starting at 20:21:23]
Clyde and Patricia Moles are deeply religious people who say if it wasn't for their faith,
[picture of Kevin on tape 2 at ]their 16-year-old son Kevin would be spending his high school years behind bars.
[IN Q=i know]
((PATRICIA MOLES: I KNOW THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT KEPT OUR BOYS OUT OF JAIL WAS THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AROUND US AND OUR PRAYING AND OUR BELIEF IN GOD.))
[OUT Q=IN GOD]
Last fall Kevin and his [yearbook picture of Scarberry from tape 3 at 02:29:58]
Floyd County High School classmate David Scarberry went on a late-night vandalism spree through a black neighborhood.
[FILE TAPE FROM 97-68]
They splattered orange paint on homes, cars and Mount Zion Church -- one of Floyd County's oldest black congregations.
[IN Q=it was wrong]
((PATRICIA MOLES: IT WAS WRONG. AND THAT'S WHAT I TOLD HIM -- IT WAS WRONG AND I SAID YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THE CONSEQUENCES ON IT.))
[OUT Q=CONSEQUENCES ON IT]
[Floyd County Courthouse? shots on tape 1 at 12:55:23]
The consequences looked severe.
The students, who declined to talk on camera, were charged with felonies and faced five or more years in prison.
[IN Q=THIS IS]
((GINO WILLIAMS/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: THIS IS REALLY THE FIRST TIME THERE'S BEEN ANY ACTUAL CRIMINAL INTENT INVOLVED IN THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THE COMMUNITY, THAT I'M AWARE OF, THAT IS AGAINST SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS BECAUSE OF THEIR RACE.))
[OUT Q=their race]
Commonwealth's Attorney Gino Williams was ready to go foward with felony charges,
[shots inside church from tape 1 starting at 14:38:32] until the students went back to the church they vandalized.
And they said they were sorry.
[IN Q=it is our]
((REV. RICHARD SPECNER/MOUNT ZION CHRISTIAN CHURCH: IT IS OUR DUTY, AS CHRIST DID, TO FORGIVE. AND THAT WE DID.))
[OUT Q= WE DID]
Reverend Richard Spencer, acting on behalf of the people whose property was vandalized,
asked the court to reduce charges against the students to misdemeanors.
Kevin and David pleaded guilty.
But instead of prison time, their sentence is 100-hours of community service.
[IN Q=if they]
((RICHARD SPENCER: IF THEY HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS, IT CAN MAKE THEM BETTER INDIVIDUALS.))
[STANDUP tape 2]
[IN Q=members of]
((SCOTT GOLDBERG/ REPORTER: MEMBERS OF THE MOUNT ZION CONGREGATION SAY THEIR RELIGION TEACHES THEM TO FORGIVE THE STUDENTS THAT VANDALIZED THEIR CHURCH. BUT THEY WORRY THAT WHAT HAPPENED HERE WAS MORE THAN A YOUTHFUL MISTAKE, AND IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN AN APOLOGY TO TEACH THE COMMUNITY A LESSON.))
[OUT Q=A LESSON]
[IN Q=you've got]
((ANDREW CLAYTOR: YOU'VE GOT SOME PEOPLE THAT, IN THIS COUNTY, THEY'VE GOT A LOT OF HATRED IN THEM.))
[OUT Q=IN THEM]
But even the skeptics say they hope what happened here can be a learning experience.
[pictures of high school from 97-68]
The high school is teaching lessons in multiculturalism.
Racism ... a once taboo topic ... is now more openly discussed.
As for Kevin?
[IN Q=he's sorry]
((CLYDE MOLES: HE'S SORRY FOR WHAT HE DONE. HE SEES NOW THAT HE DID MAKE A MISTAKE.))
The Moles know that if this happens again, the community won't be so forgiving.
[end on shots of church or more pictures of paint on homes and cars]
And whoever commits the crime won't get off so easy.
Scott Goldberg, News-7, Floyd County.))
With unemployment rates at an all time low in the Roanoke Valley, employers must be creative with scheduling and benefits to attract and keep workers.
As Kelly Zuber reports in Eye on Virginia, it can be a job-seekers market when the unemployment rate remains below three percent.
[SUPER=04-File Tape; :50]
[SUPER=01-Coy Renick/Vishay Vitramon; 1:02]
[SUPER=01-Marjorie Skidmore/Virginia Employment Comm.; 1:33]
[SUPER=01-Nancy DeBusk/RPS Teleservice Center; 2:38]
[OUT Q=Kelly Zuber, News 7.]
[IN Q=Come on in, have a seat]
((COME ON IN, HAVE A SEAT. THIS IS BARRY SMITH. CHARMAINE. HOW YA' DOING? CHARMAINE, BARRY SMITH, VITRAMON. NICE TO MEET YOU. JUST HAVE A SEAT THERE, ALRIGHT.))
[OUT Q=a seat there, alright.]
It's the Vishay Vitramon company's day to interview job applicants at the Virginia Employment Commission in Roanoke.
They are trying to fill ten positions on the evening shift.
[IN Q=Are you willing to work a night]
((ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK NIGHT SHIFT? THAT'S WHAT I CAME FROM, 7 AT NIGHT TO 7 IN THE MORNING.))
[OUT Q=seven in the morning.]
Vitramon employs 440 people and makes capacitors for cars, computers and telephones.
[IN Q=It's a good work environment]
((IT'S A GOOD WORK ENVIRONMENT. THE BENEFITS ARE GOOD, THE STARTING PAY IS NOT QUITE AS GOOD AS YOU WERE MAKING AT PFG. IS THAT A PROBLEM? NO. OK))
[OUT Q=Is that a problem. No. Ok.]
While Vitramon's six to six-fifty an hour starting pay is generally considered low in the Roanoke Valley, the company has been able to attract full-time workers with a three-day work week and a good benefits package.
[IN Q=All of our employees work three, 12 hour]
((COY RENICK/VISHAY VITRAMON: ALL OF OUR EMPLOYEES WORK THREE, 12-HOUR SHIFTS. SO THAT'S VERY ATTRACTIVE INSTEAD OF THE TRADITIONAL FIVE DAYS A WEEK. THEY GET TO WORK ONLY THREE 12'S. YOU WORK 36 AT OUR COMPANY AND YOU GET PAID FOR 40 AND YOU ARE OFF FOUR DAYS A WEEK MOST WEEKS.))
[OUT Q=four days a week most weeks.]
The job seekers at the Roanoke branch of the Virginia Employment Commission today are often NOT the unemployed but instead the UNDERemployed. They are often partimers looking for full time employment or full timers seeking better pay, benefits or scheduling.
Employers are competing with each other to offer something more attractive.
[IN Q=Employers who are paying six, six-fifty ]
((MARJORIE SKIDMORE/VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION: EMPLOYERS WHO ARE PAYING SIX, SIX-FIFTY AN HOUR WITH BENEFITS MAY BE STARTING TO SEE SOME PROBLEMS IF THEY ARE TRYING TO RECRUIT FOR ENTRY LEVEL POSITIONS. EMPLOYERS THAT ARE PAYING NINE DOLLARS AN HOUR WITH BENEFITS ARE HAVING VERY LITTLE DIFFICULTY.))
[OUT Q=recruiting people.]
[IN Q=The unemployment rate is, I think, the]
((COY RENICK/VITRAMON: THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS, I THINK, THE LOWEST IT'S BEEN HERE IN ROANOKE IN 27 YEARS. SO ITS MADE IT MORE DIFFICULT BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S GOT TO THE POINT WERE YOU CAN'T FIND PEOPLE. WHAT WE ARE DOING IS FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDEREMPLOYED, PEOPLE THAT ARE IN FAST FOOD OR THE GARMENT INDUSTRY AND TRYING TO RECRUIT SOME OF THOSE INTO THE ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY.))
[OUT Q=into the electronics industry.]
Managers at RPS Teleservice Center in Roanoke also find recruiting employees more challenging in this low unemployment environment. Workers here handle calls for the AARP Pharmacy.
NAT SOUND [RUNS]
Five hundred of the company's 800 employees are part-timers who RPS attracts by offering lots of schedule options, often appealing to people who want to keep the work week short.
[IN Q=We do have an advantage]
((NANCY DEBUSK/RPS TELESERVICE CENTER: WE DO HAVE AN ADVANTAGE FOR PART TIMERS THAT WE HAVE LOTS OF FLEXIBILITY WITH OUR HOURS AND THEY CAN WORK THAT AROUND WHETHER IT BE SCHOOL SCHEDULE OR WHETHER IT BE MOMS AT HOME OR DADS THAT WANT TO BE AVAILABLE FOR THE CHILDREN AFTER SCHOOL. WE HAVE A LOT OF RETIRED INDIVIDUALS THAT WORK HERE ON A PART TIME BASIS.))
[OUT Q=a part time basis.]
The Virginia Employment Commission says people seeking work in highly skilled occupations will still see competition for jobs with the exeption of computer programmers and system analysts where jobs are plentiful and qualified applicants are few.
The VEC says one group of job seekers that hasn't benefited much from the Roanoke Valley's low unemployment rate is college graduates with liberal arts degrees.
[IN Q=If they are without any specific]
((MARJORIE SKIDMORE/VEC:IF THEY ARE WITHOUT ANY SPECIFIC SKILL BUT A GENERAL LIBERAL ARTS MAJOR, IT IS DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO MOVE INTO THE LABOR MARKET EMPLOYED AT A WAGE THAT THEY WOULD LIKE AT A 20-25 THOUSAND DOLLAR A YEAR JOB. WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF THOSE JOBS IN THIS AREA.))
[OUT Q=those jobs in this area.]
The Roanoke Valley's low unemployment rate has remained relatively steady for the past three years. Skidmore says the areas gradual job growth rate will likely keep unemployment down and could help insulate the community from the affects of a mild recession.
Kelly Zuber, News 7.