Another Wednesday evening... another execution scheduled for tonight- -another man from our part of the state is wo
ndering whether the Governor will intervene.
A report direct from the state prison in Greensville County coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX.
And they're looking for anything that'll help tornado victims in Henry County... money, services, equipment- -even just a helping hand.
Tonight in sports, the Hokies lose freshman Jenis Grindstaff - he says he wants to transfer.
Steve Mason visits with the newly crowned division champion Express.
Troy Aikman's house is damaged by fire.
And Friday Football Extra's scholar athlete of the year last season signs scholarship papers today with the University of Richdmond.
Time to move into a warmer weather story. Temperatures will be at least 20 degrees warmer tommorow.[Watkins]
[TAPE#98-34 TC 8:20 **Tape rolled from StarLink**]
He says his soul's been saved in the decade he's spent behind bars.
But the father of the man Ronald Watkins killed calls it a deathbed conversion.
Tonight, Watkins is scheduled to die by lethal injection.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/StarLink]
Ellen Qualls is at Greensville Correctional Center.
What's the status of Watkins' request for a stay?
( ad lib)
(Rollcue: a stay this afternoon)
[IN Q=Ronald Watkins]
[SUPER=03-Danville/May 1998; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Ralph McCauley/September 1988; :22]
[OUT Q=in good faith]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: I THINK ANY ELEMENT OR ANY ARGUMENT OR ANY INFORMATION THAT THE SOMEONE WANTS TO SUPPLY TO THE GOVERNOR SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. AND I AM DOING THAT AND LOOKING AT IT IN GOOD FAITH.))
It is the third execution on Governor Jim Gilmore's watch, but only the second time he's been asked to intervene.
It is the the 47th in Virginia since 1982.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/StarLink]
(Keith question--isn't the Governor considering a request for clemency
from Rosalynn Carter?)[Monty-Murder]
[TAPE#98-30 TC 3:09]
The Montgomery County Sheriff's department has found the first piece of the puzzle from a homicide that happened this past weekend.
[Double Boxes=Keith and David/Microwave]
David Johnson has the latest from our New River Valley newsroom.
Keith-- this past Saturday, Michael Gregory was gunned down on Mossy Spring road.
Investigators today revealed they know at least one of the persons involved.
[IN Q=TODAY WE ARRESTED]
((DOUG MARRS/MONT. CO. SHERIFF; TODAY WE ARRESTED ROBERT LEE CROOK SENIOR FOR THE MURDER OF MICHAEL GREGORY DURHAM.))
[SUPER=01-Doug Marrs/Montgomery Co. Sheriff;]
[OUT Q=gregory durham]
[VO NAT **David Mic Hot**]
Crook was apprehended without incident at his Hill Top Garden Mobile Home Park and apparently was cooperative with investigators.
[IN Q=MR. CROOK ]
((MR. CROOK MADE A CONFESSION AND STATED HIS INVOLVEMENT IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE.))
[OUT Q=PARTICULAR CASE.]
[VO-NAT**David Mic Hot**]
Crook's involvement apparently stemmed from his being afraid of Durham.
Sheriff Marrs did not elaborate beyond that saying the case is still under investigation.
Crook has been charged with first degree murder and is being held in the Montgomery County jail on 100-thousand dollars bond.
[Double Boxes=Keith and David/Microwave]
He will be arraigned tomorrow.[Grayson-Murder]
[TAPE#=98-25 TC 4:50]
A Grayson County judge will consider new conditions for Emmett Cressell's bond.
The co-defendant in the G.P. Johnson murder case was spotted talking to a witness he knew, shortly after being released from jail last Friday.
Now, attorneys for both sides want the judge to order him to stay away from all witnesses, if he wants to stay out of jail.
A hearing on the new bond conditions is set for tomorrow.
The tornadoes that touched down in Southside Virginia Friday left some people with nothing, and they are in need of many basics just to get back on their feet.
Henry County's "Disaster Recovery Task Force" is asking for donations of money, services, and equipment.
The donations will help those tornado victims who face gaps in their insurance coverage or who have no insurance at all.
The tornado damage in Henry County is estimated at two-hundred- thousand-dollars.
But that is NOT enough to qualify the county for state or federal aid.
[IN Q=I think to get]
((STEVE EANES/DEPT. OF PUBLIC SAFETY: I THINK TO GET THROUGH THIS ONE THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO RELY ON THEIR INSURANCE INDUSTRIES AND COMPANIES DEPENDING ON THEIR COVERAGE AND ON EACH OTHER TO GET THROUGH THIS.))
[SUPER=01-Steve Eanes/Dept. of Public Safety;]
[OUT Q=to get through this.]
Volunteers are gathering at Axton Middle School on Saturday to help tornado victims clean up their properties.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Powerline opponents are speaking out in force, but A-E-P says it's a question of supply and demand. That's one of the stories still to come on News 7 at Six.
And in light of yesterday's school shooting in Arkansas--there are no easy answers but we'll talk with some local educators about why we're seeing an increase in such violence.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
There was more school violence today, in California where a 13- year- old fired a shot at a middle school principal, and in Texas where a 15- year- old slashed three teachers with a razor blade.
Tonight, Joe Dashiell reports the impact of those violent acts is being felt in school buildings across the country.
[IN Q=On a day after a school yard]
[SUPER=03-Jonesboro, AR; :00]
[SUPER=01-Danny Axsom/Social Psychologist; :29]
[SUPER=01-Angela Scarpa/Child Clinical Psychologist; :42]
[SUPER=01-Ann Harman/Roanoke City Schools; 1:08]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Roanoke]
((On the day after a school yard shooting left five people dead in Jonesboro, Arkansas... a community was looking for answers.
[IN Q=This is not an issue of weapons]
((THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE OF WEAPONS, WE HAVE TO LOOK FURTHER THAN THAT.))
[OUT Q=look further than that.]
In fact, psychologists say the recent acts of school violence defy easy explanations.
They require the motivation, the means, and moral attitudes outside of the norm.
[IN Q=It may be in fact]
[OUT Q=out of the blue.]
[IN Q=There are family variables]
[OUT Q=different fronts.]
Local school officials say they're doing their best to preserve the safety of students and teachers, with adequate security and programs that help students deal with their anger...
But no community is immune.
[IN Q=It is real easy]
[OUT Q=with little or no prediction.]
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke))[Power-Line]
[TAPE#=98-35 TC 3:27]
You're not going to hear a whole lot of good things about high-voltage power lines in the next month.
A series of public hearings that began yesterday is giving people a chance to sound off.
Most are saying Southwest Virginia does not need a power line that would provide more electricity to this part of the state.
But the company that wants to build the line says the project is vital -- without it, American Electric Power says, there won't be enough electricity available to meet a growing public and corporate demand.
[IN Q=we've determined]
((TODD BURNS/AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER: WE'VE DETERMINED THAT THE WYOMING-CLOVERDALE LINE IS THE MOST EFFICIENT, ECONOMICAL AND LEAST ENVIRONMENTALLY DISTURBING WAY TO CONSTRUCT THE PROJECT AND ADDRESS THE NEEDS.))
[SUPER=01-Todd Burns/American Electric Power;]
[OUT Q=address the needs]
A-E-P will take its case to the State Corporation Commission this summer.
Public hearings on the power line continue tomorrow in Montgomery County.
It's the biggest moonshine bust in anyone's recent memory.
Alcoholic Beverage Control agents discovered the stash in a garage near the Franklin-Pittsylvania county line.
They arrested 42-year old Stuart Adkins of Penhook for possession of illegal whiskey.
They think the still is nearby, because the whiskey they confiscated was still warm.
The 45-hundred gallons is worth about 90-thousand dollars on the street.
[TAPE#=98-23 TC 4:27]
Ed Davis was running errands and his wife was at work, when their Boteourt County home caught fire this morning.
Davis says he was only gone from his home at 55-60 Davis ROAD for about 45 minutes.
When he returned, crews from four departments were battling the fire that spread throughout the upper level of his house.
[IN Q=I was coming]
((ED DAVIS/HOMEOWNER: I WAS COMING DOWN 460 AND I SEEN BLACK SMOKE AND I KIND OF WONDERED, "WHAT'S SOMEBODY BURNING?" THEN WHEN I GOT UP HERE, I SAW WHAT WAS BURNING. DOROTHY DAVIS/NEIGHBOR: WE WERE SO SCARED. THEY HAD A LITTLE DOG. WE THOUGHT THE LITTLE DOG WAS IN THERE, BUT HE HAD THE LITTLE DOG WITH HIM.))
[SUPER=01-Dorothy Davis/Neighbor; :11]
[OUT Q=dog with him]
Fire officials say hot spots kept flaring up, making it difficult to contain the blaze.
Investigators are still searching for the cause.
It was a mixed day on Wall Street--
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow dropped 32 points to close at 88 hundred 73.
NASDAQ was UP 12 points.
[TAPE#=98-22 TC 6:02]
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke City Seal]
In the middle of a booming economy, Roanoke City is tightening its belt.
Eric Earnhart tells us why business in the city isn't what it used to be.
[SUPER=01-Jim Grisso/Finance Director;]
[SUPER=01-Tom Edwards/Economics Professor;]
[OUT Q=News 7]
Appearances were decieving during the Christmas shopping season...
City officials expected a healthy increase in sales tax revenue, just as in years past... but 8 months into fiscal 98, sales tax growth is less than one percent.
So city officials are changing their projection for next year.
[IN Q=quite frankly]
((JIM GRISSO/FINANCE DIRECTOR; QUITE FRANKLY, THERE WILL BE NO GROWTH IN SALES TAX, THE ESTIMATE WE SET UP FOR 1998 IS GOING TO BE THE SAME WE SET UP FOR 1999))
[SUPER=01-Jim Grisso/Finance Director;]
[OUT Q=for 1999]
Grisso says this is not a temporary downturn. Roanoke is not the retail giant it used to be, losing customers, to places like the New River Valley Mall, and new retail supercenters in Rocky Mount, Henry County and Covington.
[IN Q=many average]
((TOM EDWARDS/ECONOMICS PROFESSOR; MANY AVERAGE CITIZENS FOUND OURSELVES GOING TO THE MALLS MUCH LESS THAN WE DID 5-10 YEARS AGO, AND MORE TO THE PLACES LIKE WALMART WHERE ITS POSSIBLE TO GET EVERYTHING UNDER ONE ROOF.))
[OUT Q=under one roof]
And Edwards says as mail order and internet sales continue to grow, they will take an even bigger bite out of city sales, so city officials will have to find a long-term solution, such as raising other taxes.
((JIM GRISSO/FINANCE DIRECTOR; THAT'S ONE OPPORTUNITY, AND I GUESS THE OTHER THING WE'D DO IS LOOK AT REDUCING SERVICES ADN ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY WOULD BE TO REORGANIZED THE WAY WE'RE DELIVERING SERVICES.))
[OUT Q=delivering services]
The pinch is already being felt, current sales tax collections are 400 thousand dollars under budget.
Eric Earnhart, News 7.
Coming up tonight in sports, the Hokies lose a star hoop player, one of the area's top scholar athletes signs with the Richmond Spiders,
And Steve Mason takes a look back at last night's rewarding division clinching win at the Roudnhouse by Your Roanoke Express.
The Virginia Tech men's basketball team is losing one of the key to the future.
This afternoon Jenis Grindstaff the promising freshman announced that he is transfering to another school.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Last Season; :00]
Grindstaff hasn't picked his new college, but he wants to play in the ACC.
The former North Carolina frsshman of the year averaged 11 points a game this past season and had ateam high 94 assists.
He refused to talk to us this afternoon about the move.
[WIPE TO PINNACLE]
As for the men's final four origianlly we were told the UNC game would be first on Saturday, but the first game of the night this Saturday here on Your Hometown Station will pit Kentucky against Stanford.
That game will get underway just after 5:30.
Then just before eight, the Tarheels of North Carolina will take on Utah for the right to play for the national championship on Monday night.
[GRAPHIC=University of Richmond]
The University of Richmond has picked up one of Franklin County's star scholar-athletes. Quarterback Bobby Basham has signed to play football with the Spiders.
The Friday Football Extra scholar-athlete of the year in 1997 announced where he plans to continue his education and his football career this afternoon.
[SUPER=03-Rocky Mount; :00]
All-Roanoke Valley District quarterback and current class salutatorian says that he picked the University of Richmond over Dartmouth and Davidson.
[IN Q="The first year...]
((BOBBY BASHAM/SIGNS WITH RICHMOND SPIDERS:))
((JERRY LITTLE/FRANKLIN CO. HEAD COACH:))
[SUPER=01-Bobby Basham/Signs with Richmond Spiders; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jerry Little/Franklin Co. Head Coach; :25]
[OUT Q=...that combination"]
Besides playing football for the Spiders, Basham also has the option to walk-on the UR baseball team.
Roanoke won the Northeast divsion last night in a 3-2 sudden death win over Richmond.
But Steve Mason says it's just the beginning to what many hope will be a bigger post season party.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Night; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tim Christian/Scored Winning Goal; :15]
[SUPER=01-Michael Smith/Express Defenseman; :32]
[SUPER=01-Dave Gagnon/28 Saves Last Night; :56]
[SUPER=01-Frank Anzalone/Express Head Coach; 1:18]
[SUPER=01-Dave Stewart/Express Defenseman; 1:31]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
((In a professional sports age ravaged by millionaire seeking athletes diseased with Me-itis; it's somewhat refreshing to watch a team with minimal talent and even smaller egos hang a banner.
Along with the Express's first divisional title; Michael Smith's 189th asisst broke the franchise all time record.
Smith plays in front of two goalies in the Star City that have left the star tag in their NHL pasts. Daniel Berthiaume and Dave Gagnon's unselfishness and unbeleiveable shootout record make them two of the league's best. Last night was just another example.
((DAVE GAGNON/EXPRESS GOALIE:))
((FRANK ANZALONE/EXPRESS COACH:))
((DAVE STEWART/EXPRESS ASSISTANT CAPTAIN:))
The road to the cup begins with the first round opener Tuesday March 31st at the Round House. steve mason news 7 sports.))
The National Football League has been a busy place today. First, the league's owners again rejected the use of instant replay for the 1998 season.
Also, the New England Patriots failed to match the Jets offer sheet for running back Curtis Martin. As a result the former all-pro back is now a member of the Jets.
Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Troy Aikman got a big scare today when a three alarm fire as his new mansion in Plano, Texas damaged the roof and garage of the house.
Aikman was not home at the time and most of his keepsakes were not damaged. No word on the cause of the blaze.
[SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL; :00]
And finally, Darrell Waltrip will be in Bristol this weekend racing his number 17 chevrolet, afterall.
Today, the three-time Winston Cup champ who's career has been up in the air this season since losing sponsorship money says he has sold his team to an unnamed buyer.
[SUPER=335-Codell, Kansas Was Hit/By a Tornado On/The Same Day:/A. 2 Years In a Row/B. 3 Years In A Row/C. 5 Years In A
[SUPER=X5003; Dissolves in question]
[SUPER=X5001; Clears FX]
Hospitals try to make their rooms feel like home--but often it's the visitors who make the difference--as some patients found out earlier today at Community Hospital in Roanoke.
The dogs are part of the "pet pals" program.
Scarlett and Zane visit the hospital once a month
bringing smiles to young patients and lifting their spirits.
But, program organizers say while it looks easy, the job is not for just any canine.
[Keith ad lib byes] Join Jean Jadhon for that story and more tonight at 11.