A runaway train- -65-cars long- -slams into an another... equally long train in downtown Lynchburg.... resulting in three separate fires and more than 2-million dollars worth of damage.
We have a LIVE report coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX.
And we see how the new Volkswagen Beetle translates to a new generation- -one that's only READ about "Flower Power."[Sports-Head]
Tonight in sports, the Express opens the playoffs in just over an hour. We'll have LIVE pregame report from the Roundhouse, plus Tech and UVa softball highlights from Blacksburg.
And it's opening day in the big leagues.
And at least one team and player would already like to start the season all over again.
Early summer? Not a chance....a return to normal conditions on the way tomorrow.[Train-Derailment]
[TAPE#98-23 **Rolled from StarLink**]
A collision between two freight trains in Lynchburg sent box cars flying and residents fleeing an area near downtown this morning.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Steve/StarLink]
Steve Smallshaw is perched just above the wreckage near Lynchburg's Fifth Street bridge. Steve?
Keith, Norfolk Southern officials are still trying to figure out how 65 cars of a freight train came uncoupled and crashed into another train standing on the tracks.
The resulting fire forced the evacuation of nearby homes and businesses.
[SOT **Rolled from StarLink**]
[SUPER=01-Gaynelle Hart/Eyewitness; :16]
[SUPER=01-Brad Ferguson/Deputy Fire Chief; :36]
[SUPER=01-Susan Terpay/Norfolk Southern; :59]
[OUT Q=cause might be.]
(( The smoke could be seen for miles.
A total of ten rail cars and three locomotives were derailed or damaged when the two trains collided near the Kemper Street station around 9:30 this morning.
Witnesses say the force of the crash sent boxcars fifty feet into the air.
[IN Q=I was talking]
((GAYNELLE HART/EYEWITNESS: I WAS TALKING TO ... EVERY WHICH DIRECTION.))
[OUT Q=every which direction.]
One of the derailed cars was carrying the flammable liquid acetone, which burned for several hours.
Dozens of firefighters from around the city were kept busy containing the blaze..
[IN Q=We've been cycling]
((BRAD FERGUSON/DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF: WE'VE BEEN CYCLING OUR PEOPLE THROUGH.. FAIRLY REGULAR BASIS.))
[OUT Q=regular basis.]
The heavy smoke from the fire also forced the evacuation of about a hundred nearby residents and the entire population of Dearington Elementary School which was sent up the street to E.C. Glass.
By mid afternoon, citizens could return, but cleanup and investigation will take some time.
[IN Q=At this time]
((SUSAN TERPAY/NORFOLK SOUTHERN: AT THIS TIME WE HAVE .. CAUSE MIGHT BE.))
[OUT Q=cause might be.]))
The good news for Lynchburg's public works department is that none of its employees were near the tracks when the train derailed..
[Double Boxes=Keith and Steve/StarLink]
Unfortunately the fire also destroyed the city's new salt storage building which was just six months old, along with most of the city's snow plowing equipment.. total loss could reach a million dollars. Keith?
[Keith question: Good timing. At least the city PROBABLY won't need that equipment anytime soon?]
(steve ad lib live answer)[GHB-folo]
[TAPE#=98-22 TC 15:59]
The so-called "date rape" drug that sent a Bedford county boy into cardiac arrest yesterday is advertised on the internet as a harmless anti-depressant.
It's against the law to sell the drug G-H-B, but since all the ingredients are legal, companies are advertising kits people can use to make it themselves at home.
One website promoting the drug offered step-by-step illustrated instructions.
But health officials say the drug is dangerous, especially if improperly prepared.
[IN Q=there have been]
((GREGG MORROW/PHARMACIST; THE HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED CASES WHERE PEOPLE HAVE MIXED IT WITH SODIUM HYDROXIDE, WHICH IS COMMONLY FOUND IN A LOT OF DRAIN OPENERS, SUCH AS RED DEVIL LYE, IT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS BURNS TO THE MOUTH, TO THE ESOPHAGUS, AS WELL AS TO THE STOMACH.))
[OUT Q=to the stomach]
Even when made properly, G-H-B can reduce a person's breathing and heart rate to the point of death.
The websites we found advertising the drug-kits all ran a disclaimer, saying the kits were intended to be used as "science experiments".
[TAPE#98-21 TC 16:07]
To environmentalists, it's like the fox guarding the henhouse.
Governor Jim Gilmore's acting director of the state Department of Environmental Quality has spent the last two years as a lobbyist for the solid waste industry.
D-E-Q is currently considering a landfill expansion permit for Dennis Treacy's former employer, Browning-Ferris Industries.
[IN Q=Our concerns]
((JIM SHARP/CAMPAIGN VIRGINIA: WE WONDER HOW MR. TREACY COULD LOBBY FOR BFI AND TURN AROUND AND WORK TO PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT IN VIRGINIA AND PRESERVE LANDFILL SPACE. THAT IS A MAJOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN OUR OPINION.))
((DENNIS TREACY/ACTING DEQ DIRECTOR: I'M AWARE THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE GONNA BE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT. AND WE'VE TAKEN IMMEDIATE ACTION. LAST WEEK-- I BELIEVE IT WAS LAST FRIDAY, I ISSUED A MEMORANDUM TO EVERY STAFF MEMBER OF DEQ FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM INDICATING THAT I WOULD NOT BE INTERESTED, NOR INVOLVED, NOR TO HAVE ANY ROLE IN ANYTHING TO DO WITH PERMITS OR ENFORCEMENT OR ANYTHING TO DO WITH BFI IN THE FUTURE.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Sharp/Campaign Virginia; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dennis Treacy/Acting DEQ Director; :18]
[OUT Q=the future.]
Treacy is currently only acting director of D-E-Q,
while director Tom Hopkins is out on extended sick leave.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
We've enjoyed the warm temperatures and dry conditions of the past few days, but it has put forest fire spotters on alert. We'll have the story coming up on News 7 at Six.
And hot off the assembly lines...the new Volkswagon Beetle is a hit.
[SOT TC 9:28:32]
[IN Q=We all]
((WE ALL GO BACK TO HERBIE THE LOVE BUG AND THE GOOD TIMES OF THE 60S. I THINK A LOT OF IT'S NOSTALGIC))
[OUT Q=it's nostalgic]
We'll take a ride with the proud owner of a new "bug".
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-5.20''/plus 1.83''/21.17''/plus 12.14'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 0.56 foot/Down 1.22 feet;Lake levels][Fire-Season]
[TAPE#98-27 TC 10:43]
[GRAPHIC=Forest Fire Danger]
A word of warning for those of you who are burning yard debris.
March and April are the peak months for brush and forest fires.
The Virginia Department of Forestry is doing what it can to keep an eye out for potential fire hazards.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Christy/Microwave]
Christy Hubley is here to tell us how foresters and pilots are working together to get the job done.
The best place to spot a fire is from the air.
With a bird's eye view, you can see the smoke billowing into the sky from miles away.
That's exactly why the Virginia Department of Forestry uses airplanes to detect working or potential forest fires.
[IN Q=Each spring]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tommie Gibbs/Pilot; :20]
[SUPER=01-Chris Thomsen/Va. Dept. of Forestry; :34]
[OUT Q=somebody burning illegally.]
Each spring, we look forward to warm temperatures and low humidity.
But mix those weather conditions with bare, dry brush... add a single spark... and you've got the recipe for a forest fire.
On days where there is a high risk for fires, the Virginia Department of Forestry puts an eye in the sky to be on the lookout for potential danger.
[IN Q=If we spot smoke]
((TOMMIE GIBBS/PILOT: IF WE SPOT SMOKE WE'LL TAKE OFF TOWARDS THE AREA AND CIRCLE IT AND SEE WHAT THE CONDITIONS ARE.))
[OUT Q=the conditions are.]
The team in the sky will then radio a ground crew with the location of the fire.
((CHRIS THOMSEN/VA DEPT. OF FORESTRY: WE'LL RESPOND WITH GROUND PERSONNEL. WE'LL EITHER SUPPRESS THE FIRE IF IT'S A WILDFIRE OR ISSUE A SUMMONS THAT MAY HAVE A FINE UP TO $500 IF IT'S SOMEBODY BURNING ILLEGALLY.))
[OUT Q=somebody burning illegally.]
Burning debris and trash is the number one cause of forest fires.
That's why there are rules for burning.
Between February 15th to April 30th, you can only burn after 4:00pm.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Christy/Microwave]
And Keith, the Department of Forestry says the best idea is to wait to burn until things get a little greener outsid
[TAPE#=98-28 TC 5:30]
Many New River Valley residents who live near Virginia's Route 114, Pepper's Ferry Road, believe road improvements in that area should be a priority.
[SUPER=03-Salem Civic Center]
They attended a public hearing and told state transportation staff something needs to be done to improve the safety of the direct line from Radford to Christiansburg.
[IN Q= The problem is]
((DAN HAGA/RT. 114 RESIDENT- IF THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE HAVE GOT A MAJOR, MAJOR CATASTROPHE THAT IS NOT WAITING TO HAPPEN, IT IS HAPPENING AS WE SPEAK!))
[SUPER=01-Dan Haga/Route 114 Resident]
((FRED ALTIZER/ VDOT DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR- WE HAVE NOTICED THERE HAS BEEN A GREAT DEAL OF IMPROVEMENT IN THE ENFORCEMENT AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS THERE IS A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP IN THE REDUCTION OF SPEED, AND OF COURSE SPEED HAS BEEN A PRIMARY SUSPECT IN MANY OF THOSE ACCIDENTS.))
[SUPER=01-Fred Altizer/VDOT District Admin.]
[OUT Q=Those accidents.]
Last year accidents along the route claimed five lives and injured another 34 people.
While some immediate changes, including turning lanes and reduced speed limits are now in place or soon will be, possible long-term improvements are not expected for at least two years.
[TAPE#=98-30 TC 13:10]
Franklin County says it's willing to give land to Rocky Mount in exchange for sewer services, but there are strings attached.
[SUPER=03-Franklin Co./File Tape;]
Route 40 East in Franklin County needs sewer lines.
Rocky Mount has offered to build them as long as the town can keep the revenue AND annex the surrounding land.
Town officials hope the sewer lines will attract big business, and they want the tax payoff.
In a letter to Rocky Mount today -- Franklin County says it wants to BROADEN the deal to include the Route 220 business area, as well as the Franklin Heights neighborhood on the north end of town.
But the sewer lines are still a ways off -- the county says IF the town agrees to build them, construction could start in about two years.
In the final session of a very strong first
quarter, the stock market advanced across the board.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow was UP nearly 18 points to close just below the 88-hundred mark.
NASDAQ gained 17 points.
[TAPE#=98-24 TC 13:15]
It's the kind of thing that drives old hippies crazy.
Volkswagen Beetles are back.
And they're hard to get.
Scott Goldberg caught up with one proud owner who's new car takes him on a trip back to the sixties.
[SOT CAR REVVING AT TOP]
[IN Q=NAT SOUND OF CAR REVVING]
[SUPER=01-Stephan Oliver/New Bug Owner; :40]
[SUPER=04-Volkswagen Promotion; :17]
[SUPER=01-John Bradshaw/First Team Auto Mall; 50]
[OUT Q=news-7, roanoke]
[quick natsound of engine revving before he drives around building]
Less than a week ago Steve Oliver drove his new Beetle off the lot.
It was a short drive, but it took him a long way down memory lane.
[IN Q=that was my]
((STEPHAN OLIVER/NEW BETTLE OWNER: THAT WAS MY FIRST CAR -- MY VERY FIRST CAR IN LIFE. A VOLKSWAGEN BUG.))
[OUT Q=VOLKSWAGEN BUG]
[***BUMP SOTS, use old bug video from beta tape ***]
[IN Q=VOLKSWAGEN IS NEVER]
((VW COMMERICAL: VOLKSWAGEN IS NEVER CHANGED TO MAKE IT LOOK DIFFERENT. ONLY TO MAKE IT RUN BETTER.))
[OUT Q=LOOK BETTER]
[STAY WITH VIDEO]
A lot HAS changed since the "People's Car" first hit the road.
You won't see too many flowers painted on new Volkswagens.
But you will find a small vase for holding flowers on the new bug's dashboard.
[IN Q=i guess it goes]
((STEPHAN OLIVER: I GUESS IT GOES, NOSTALGIA, GOING BACK TO THE 60'S, VWS, YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY HAD 'EM. Scott: What? Flower Power? OLIVER: FLOWER POWER.))
[OUT Q=flower power]
[***bump sots, go to standup]
[IN Q=in its first]
((SCOTT GOLDBERG/REPORTER: IN ITS FIRST INCARNATION, THE BEETLE WAS EMBRACED BY A GENERATION OF FREE LOVERS -- FLOWER CHILDREN. IN 1998, PEOPLE BUYING THE NEW BEETLE ARE NOT EXACLTY WHAT YOU WOULD CALL HIPPIES.))
[OUT Q=WOULD CALL HIPPIES]
[IN Q=NOT AS MANY TIE-DYED SHIRTS]
((JOHN BRADSHAW/FIRST TEAM AUTO MALL: NOT AS MANY TIE-DYED SHIRTS, LOVE BEADS AND PEACE SYMBOLS.))
[OUT Q=PEACE SYMBOLS]
[IN Q=YOU A HIPPIE?]
((Scott: Are you a hippie? STEPHAN: NO! HECK NO! (LAUGHS) ))
[SHOT OF KID IN CAR]
This new bug's biggest appeal might be with a generation that will only read about the 60s.
Oliver's son thinks dad's new wheels are "awesome."
[IN Q=he said something]
((STEPHAN OLIVER: HE SAID, "IT WOULD BE THE SAME THING AS YOU SAYING 'GROOVY,' DAD (LAUGHS) ))
They may not agree on what they should call the new Beetle.
But apparently children of both the 60s and the 90s agree they like it.
In Roanoke, the waiting list to buy a new bug is six months long.
Scott Goldberg, News-7, Roanoke.))[Sports Tease]
Coming up tonight in sports, softball highlights from this afternoon's Tech-UVa game, it's opening night for the playoffs in the ECHL.
And it's opening day in the big leagues and already one team wishes it could start all over again.
The Express opens the best of five-first round Kelly Cup playoffs tonight against Huntington at the Round House in a 7:05 face off.
[Double Boxes=Mike and Steve/Microwave]
Steve Mason joins us from the Roanoke Civic center as the new-second season begins for the Express. Steve.
Mike--for the Express, capturing the Northeast division championship and winning 40 plus games are great feats, but tonight the team must essentially forget about all that and for the time being it means very little. Both Roanoke and Huntington have a fresh season before them with equal chances to advance. The always cautious Frank Anzalone, whose team won 3 of the 5 meetings this season, likes the match up.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Frank Anzalone/Express Head Coach; :00 ]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/March 19; :16]
[SUPER=01-Daniel Berthiaume/ECHL Leading Goalie; :37]
[OUT Q=.....keep it going in the playoffs"]
((FRANK ANZALONE/EXPRESS HEAD COACH:))
While the Blizzard was only able to win 1 game in five meetings with Roanoke; the Express discards any advantage in their post season match up. Huntington scores about four goals a game.
The League's number one goals against average and perhaps the two best netminders in the ECHL will be tested.
(Steve ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Mike and Steve/Microwave]
It's opening day in the major leagues as the boys of summer broke out the lumber and leather for yet another season.
[SUPER=03-Chicago, IL/WGN-White Sox;:00]
In Chicago, the White Sox erupted this afternoon against the Rangers thanks in part to Robin Ventura, who hit this two run homer in the fifth inning off John Burkett. Albert Belle scores and the Sox pound the Rangers 9 to 2.
Traditional opening day festivities in Cincinnati and unfortunately for you Reds fans some sorry play.
Shortstop Pokey Reese has tied the major league record for most mistakes by a shortstop on opening day this afternoon with 4 errors. The Reds lose to the
Padres 10 to 2.
Also, this afternoon the Royals beat the Orioles
4 to 1 despite 11 strikeouts from Mike Mussina, the Braves and Brewers are tied in the 8th.
And the Mets and Phils are scoreless in the 14th.[S-Softball]
Time now to head outside for a little softball action in Blacksburg as Virginia Tech played host to the University of Virginia this afternoon.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Cavaliers vs. Hokies; :00]
The Lady Hokies came into the game with an 18-and-14 mark but quickly fell behind the Lady Cavs.
We pick it up with Tech down 3-to-nothing, and the bases loaded. The Hokies' Crystal Armes hits a bouncer to third.
Michelle Meadows heads to the plate, but she is gunned down at home on the force.
However, the throw to first is high, and Ali Verbage scores on the error to cut the UVa lead to 3-to-1.
The Lady Cavs would build up some more cushion in the top of the seventh as Stacy Holmes sends a shot up the middle scoring Corrine Good from second. It's 4-to-1 UVa.
The Cavs would do it again in the 7th as Beth Crimi
rips one to left field scoring Holmes. UVa beats Tech 5-to-1 in the opening game.
The Comeback Cats from Kentucky played more like Stray Cats in the first half last night as they found themselves trailing Utah by 10 points at halftime.
But as the players have all tournament long, they came together as a unit, got on the same page, and won the University's 7th national title.
((TUBBY SMITH/KENTUCKY HEAD COACH:))
((JEFF SHEPPARD/KENTUCKY SENIOR GUARD:))
[SUPER=01-Tubby Smith/Kentucky Head Coach; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Sheppard/Kentucky Senior Guard; :18]
[OUT Q=...championship together."]
In one other NCAA hoop note, yet another coaching change is taking place at this hour.
UNC Charlotte athletic director Judy Rose announced she has accepted the resignation of head coach Melvin Watkins.
After two successful years as the 49ers head coach, Watkins is heading to Texas A & M where he will earn a reported $550 thousand a season.