The judge throws out Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against the President.
And the search begins for a reason- -why a block of 65 rail cars broke loose and rolled three miles before colliding with another train in Lynchburg.
In sports, highlights from the Tech/Radford baseball game, the Express gears up for game two against the Blizzard, we will remember NASCAR veteran Tim Flock--
and take a look at the new paint scheme Texas Terry Labonte will sport this weekend in his home state.
Time for a change. A cold front moved through quickly today and the cooler northwest breeze will rule the forecast
[TAPE#98-23 TC 15:38 **ROLLED HERE**]
Federal investigators want to know WHY a 65- car freight train broke loose and derailed in downtown Lynchburg yesterday.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Steve/Starlink]
Steve Smallshaw is at the scene.. Steve, do they have an answer to that question yet?
Not yet Keith, and they may not for several more months.
Witnesses say those runaway cars were moving about 35 miles an hour when they hit the train parked on the tracks here.
Despite all this wreckage, things might have been much WORSE had that second train NOT been in the way.
[SOT **TAPE ROLLED HERE**]
[IN Q=The derailment]
[SUPER=01-Col. Charles Bennett/Lynchburg Police Chief; :14]
[SUPER=01-Fred Mills/Lynchburg Fire Chief; :42]
[SUPER=01-Susan Terpay/Norfolk Southern; 1:07]
[SUPER=01-Russell Goper/NTSB Investigator; 1:16]
[OUT Q=humans on it, is good.]
(( The derailment created a daylong headache for residents forced from their homes and motorists who found themselves re- routed around the accident site.
But with toxic smoke spewing into the air and the threat of an explosion still present, authorities were taking no chances.
[IN Q=We were not]
((CHARLES BENNETT/LYNCHBURG POLICE CHIEF: WE WERE NOT ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT VEHICLE TRAFFIC, BUT PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC AND CERTAINLY WE WOULD CHOOSE ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION AND PUBLIC SAFETY AND CLEARLY WE DO THAT AND THAT WAS THE APPROPRIATE DECISION.))
[OUT Q=the appropriate decision.]
The last of the acetone was drained from its tanker car this morning.
All told, about ten thousand gallons spilled and burned yesterday, despite a shutoff valve that should have activated on impact.
[IN Q=We can't really]
((FRED MILLS/LYNCHBURG FIRE CHIEF: WE CAN'T REALLY SAY, WE HAD PLENTY OF ACETONE COMING OUT OF THE TANK DURING THE DAY, BUT WHEN THEY RIGHTED THE TANK, THAT VALVE HELD, SO WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY.))
[OUT Q=don't know exactly.]
Meanwhile, investigators want to find out why the cars broke away and prevent it from happening again.
Norfolk Southern says the stationary train that was hit had stopped for a crew change and was NOT placed there to stop the runaway cars.
[IN Q=Again that's all]
((SUSAN TERPAY/NORFOLK SOUTHERN: AGAIN, THAT'S ALL INVOLVING A PART OF AN OPERATIONS REPORT THAT'S BEING PUT TOGETHER BY NORFOLK SOUTHERN AND BY THE NTSB AND WE DON'T WANT TO SPECULATE AT THIS POINT.))
[OUT Q=at this point.]
[IN Q=It could have]
((RUSSELL GOPER/NTSB INVESTIGATOR: IT COULD HAVE GONE ON DOWN AND RAN INTO ONE THAT WAS MOVING AHEAD WITH A CREW ON IT. AND I CAN'T SPECULATE BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW THERE WAS ANOTHER TRAIN OUT THERE, BUT STRIKING AN OBJECT THAT HAD NO HUMANS ON IT IS GOOD.))
[OUT Q=is good.]))
Russell Goper says those runaway cars had air brakes that could have stopped them, but for those brakes to be activated, they have to be connected to a locomotive.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Steve/Starlink]
The N-T-S-B will look into whether those brakes could have been set before the cars were uncoupled.. these reports u
sually take about six months to complete. Keith?[Rutherford]
A judge in Arkansas has dismissed the sexual harrassment suit brought against President Clinton, but the Charlottesville attorney who represents Paula Jones say his client may appeal.
While Jones described offensive conduct in her lawsuit, Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled her claims did not meet the standard for sexual harassment.
Attorney John Whitehead says today's ruling is a disappointment, but he and others lawyers with the Charlottesvi
lle-based Rutherford Institute are now seriously considering an appeal.[VMI-Wade]
[TAPE#98-30 TC 13:55]
Virginia Military Institute is investigating new beating charges -- and a student-run honor committee will consider expulsion of six cadets next week for initially lying about the beatings.
The attorneys for three freshmen have made public confidential honor committee documents.
The papers show three seniors admitting to beating three freshmen with belts... for such offenses as poor grades and listening to country music.
These are the second public allegations this academic year of beatings.
[IN Q=I'm not]
((GEORGE WADE, JR./FORMER VMI FRESHMAN: I'M NOT REALLY SURPRISED THAT THERE WERE MORE PEOPLE BEING BEATEN. BUT I'M SURPRISED THAT IT'S OUT IN THE PUBLIC. I'M SURPRISED THAT THERE'S ANOTHER SITUATION THAT'S HITTING THE SPOTLIGHT.))
[SUPER=01-George Wade, Jr./Former VMI Freshman;]
[OUT Q=the spotlight.]
George Wade, Junior withdrew from VMI in January, after alleging twice weekly spankings of him and other freshmen by their upperclass mentors.
[IN Q=I felt like]
((I FELT LIKE MAYBE WHAT HAPPENED TO ME AT VMI WAS SOMETHING ISOLATED. MAYBE SOMETHING THAT WASN'T THE NORM AT THE SCHOOL. BUT NOW, TO FIND OUT ABOUT THIS SITUATION THAT SOUNDS ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE THE SITUATION I WAS IN, IT KIND OF SCARES ME, CAUSE IT'S GOING ON TO MORE PEOPLE THAN I IMAGINED.))
[OUT Q=than I imagined.]
Wade is still hoping a new independent prosecutor takes up hazing or assault charges in his case.
A V-M-I spokesman says tonight that there's NO proof beatings are widespread -- and they will NOT be tolerated.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Some Roanoke County residents have been surprised by a woman appearing at their door claiming to need money for her family--so is it a scam? That story is coming up on News 7 at Six.
And forget being stuck in a classroom on a sunny day--summer school is changing.
[IN Q=when you're sitting]
((JAMES CAUDILL/DISTANCE LEARNING STUDENT; WHEN YOU'RE SITTING AT THE COMFORT OF YOUR COMPUTER, YOU TAKE THE INFORMATION IN, AND YOU SEEM TO ABSORB IT MORE.))
[OUT Q=absorb it more]
Classes on line--it's happening at Virginia Tech this summer.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-0.02''/minus 0.09''/21.19''/plus 12.05'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 0.73 foot/Down 1.31 feet;Lake levels][Cabin-Lake]
[TAPE#98-29 TC 13:58]
They want ten-and-half million dollars to replace what they lost in a giant apartment fire.
Today, laywers for the displaced tenants of the Cabin Lake Apartments in Danville filed a lawsuit.
Named as the defendants in the lawsuit are the companies which owned and maintained the apartment building.
The lawsuit claims faulty electrical wiring was to blame for the Thanksgiving Day fire.
The lawyers say they just want their clients to be compensated for their losses.
[IN Q=For them it would]
[OUT Q=that sort of thing.]
Fire investigators recently ruled the fire UNDETERMINED.
Lawyers say that ruling will not stop them from going forward with their case.
[TAPE#=98-25 TC 13:33]
Some North Roanoke county residents may have opened their hearts AND wallets to a scam artist.
Police say they're investigating complaints about a person going door-to-door, usually late at night, asking for money.
According to police, the visitor claims the cash is needed for food or medicine, but police doubt that's true.
[IN Q=We're after them]
((TOM KINCAID/ROANOKE CO. POLICE DEPT.: WE'RE AFTER THEM FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. ONE, OF COURSE, IS THAT THEY'RE DEFRAUDING PEOPLE AND THAT'S A CRIME. SECOND, OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE SOCIAL ISSUES INVOLVED OF WHETHER OR NOT THAT PERSON MAY NEED HELP.))
[SUPER=01-Tom Kincaid/Roanoke Co. Police Dept.;]
[OUT Q=may need help]
Two years ago, 48- year- old Dreama Whisman was convicted of obtaining money by false pretenses in a SIMILAR manner.
While police are still trying to confirm who's doing the scam THIS time around-- Whisman's former minister says she falsely used the church's name recently to acquire money.
[SOT 11:31:07 ]
[IN Q=A family called]
((REV. TROY WEBB/GLAD TIDINGS ASSMBLY OF GOD: A FAMILY CALLED AND ASKED IF WE KNEW HER, WHICH WE DID, AND THEY INDICATED TO US AT THAT POINT THAT SHE HAD BEEN AT THEIR HOME THE NIGHT BEFORE, ASKING FOR MONEY, AND TELLING THEM IT WAS BECAUSE SHE WANTED HER SON TO GO TO CAMP.))
[SUPER=01-Rev. Troy Webb/Glad Tidings Assembly of God;]
[OUT Q=son to go to camp]
Webb says he believes an addiction to drugs made Whisman desparate enough to scam people.
We spoke with Whisman, but she declined to appear on camera. She did say she is a RECOVERING drug addict and is getting counseling.
Whisman also says she has paid people back.
Police say the SAFEST way to help people in need is to contribute to established charities.
A Henry County man has been busted for making counterfeit money with a scanner on his computer.
The U-S Secret Service confiscated a Gateway-2000 computer and printer that belonged to Chad Dylan Grant of Axton.
Federal court records indicate Grant succeeded in reproducing a one hundred dollar bill and a ten and actually passed them as genuine currency.
Grant has NOT been charged with a crime, so far.
Henry County sheriff's Lieutenant Kimmie Nester says he fully expects Grant to be indicted for counterfeiting.
On Wall Street investors appear pleased that the Fed didn't
raise interest rates at its policy meeting this week.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow gained 69 points to close at 88 hundred 68.
NASDAQ was UP 12 points.
[TAPE#=98-27 TC 14:41]
[Note **Anchor Tag**]
Virginia Tech students heading home for the summer don't have to leave their education behind.
Tech is offering 20 summer school classes, taught on the world wide web.
Eric Earnhart has more.
[IN Q=Thanks to Dr. ]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Timothy Mack/Entomology Dept.;:12]
[SUPER=01-Cindy Shearer/Distance Learning Student;:27]
[SUPER=01-James Caudill/Distance Learning Student;1:01]
[OUT Q=EE, News 7]
Thanks to Dr. Timothy Mack, the World Wide Web is full of bugs. His Entomology department is offering the class "Insects and Human Technology" on-line. They call it distance learning.
[IN Q=what you gain]
((DR. TIMOTHY MACK/VA. TECH ENTOMOLOGY DEPT.; WHAT YOU GAIN FROM A WEB-BASED CLASS, A DISTANCE LEARNING CLASS, IS ANY TIME, ANY PLACE LEARNING, YOU CAN GO ANYWHERE AND STUDY.))
[OUT Q=and study]
For student Cindy Shearer, it means her job won't keep her from taking the class she needs.
[IN Q=THIS IS FABULOUS]
((CINDY SHEARER/DISTANCE LEARNING STUDENT; THIS IS FABULOUS, IT'S WELL ORGANIZED, THE RESOURCES ARE EXCEPTIONAL, WE HAVE THE WEB PAGES, THE CD, AND ALWAYS DR. MACK OR THE GRAD STUDENTS AVAILABLE IF WE HAVE QUESTIONS,))
[OUT Q=if we have questions;]
Web technology has advanced to the point that students can watch video clips, and listen to streaming audio lectures with a reasonably fast modem.
That's important, because, as Dr. Mack is fond of saying, you can't send a cockroach through the mail.
And students say it actually feels like they're getting more personal attention.
[IN Q=when you're sitting]
((JAMES CAUDILL/DISTANCE LEARNING STUDENT; YOU HAVE A FEELING THAT IT'S JUST COMING RIGHT TO YOU, THE LECTURES, THE REAL AUDIO LECTURES THAT YOU GET, YOU DON'T KNOW REALLY THAT THERE'S A CROWD, THAT THEY WERE RECORDED IN AN ACTUAL LECTURE, YOU ALMOST FEEL LIKE HE'S TALKING TO YOU.))
[OUT Q=talking to you]
[IN Q=you can click]
((DR. TIMOTHY MACK/VA. TECH ENTOMOLOGY DEPT.; YOU CAN CLICK ON THAT AND LISTEN TO AN EXPLANATION OF WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT, THE HUMAN ELEMENT IS THERE, IF YOU DIDNT' UNDERSTAND IT, YOU CAN CLICK ON IT AGAIN, YOU CAN CLICK ON IT 35 TIMES IF YOU WANT TO. THAT'S NOT TRUE IN A CLASS, WHEN THE INSTRUCTOR SAYS IT, IF YOU MISSED IT YOU MISSED IT.))
[OUT Q=you missed it]
Mack says they're still working out a few "bugs"... but expects distance learning at Tech to continue expanding over the next few years.
Eric Earnhart, News 7.))
[**DISSOLVE FULLSCREEN HOMEPAGE ADDRESS**]
You don't have to be a Tech student to follow along with the class.
The links to the Entomology Department are on our WebWatch page, at WDBJ-7-dot-com.
Coming up tonight in sports, Steve Mason checks in with the Express as the team gets ready for game two with Huntington. There's plenty of NASCAR and Redskins' news on the way,
Plus, we'll head outside and take a couple of swings with the Hokies and Highlanders on the college baseball diamond at English Field.
Virginia Tech and Radford hooked up for a 4th time this season at English Field in Blacksburg this afternoon.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Hokies vs Highlanders; :00]
The Highlanders would get on the board first. With runners at the corners Chad McQuirk hits into a 6-4-3 double play but Pete Davidson scores from third and the Highlanders took a 1 to nothing lead in the top of the third.
But the Hokies would answer in their half of the third. With a runner on third Matt Griswald hits a ground rule double over the centerfield fence scoring the run to tie the score at 1 to 1.
Radford would take the lead in the top of the fourth Matt Nowak sends this pitch deep over the centerfield
[SUPER=33-Virginia Tech/7/Radford/4;]wall for a three run homer to give the Highlanders a 4 to 1 lead and Tech goes on
to win the game 7 to 4.
Solid play from the Express and high temperatures outside helped Roanoke melt the ice and the visting Blizzard last night at the round House. Steve mason recaps the first round kelly Cup win that gives the Express momentum heading into friday night's game at Huntington.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Night; :00]
[SUPER=01-Frank Anzalone/Express Head Coach; :11]
[SUPER=01-Dave Gagnon/33 Saves Last Night; :38]
[SUPER=01-Tim Christian/Express Right Winger; :56]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Strachan/Express Center; 1:11]
[OUT Q=...news 7 sports"]
((Frank Anzalone used old fashion motivation to spark Travis Smith and a few other players who needed to step up. it worked.
Dave Gagnon didn't need a break. Already a two time ECHL playoff MVP; he appears headed for the hat trick; stopping 33 of 34 shots. And ECHL leading netminder Daniel Berthiaume's readiness gives the Blizzard little relief.
The Express rolls into Huntington friday with much more tthan justa 1-nothing series lead.
Game 2 faces off at 7:30 Friday night. At the Round House, Steve Mason news 7 sports.))
The Winston Cup stars return to Texas this weekend for their second round at the track.
Jeff Burton won the inaugural race at the new speedway last season, but this year Terry Labonte is coming home to shine.
The Corpus Christi native will return to his home state with a brand new paint scheme on the Kellogg's Chevy.
And if history is any indication, the new paint will be a plus from Labonte.
((TERRY LABONTE/KELLOGGS CHEVY DRIVER:))
[SUPER=01-Terry Labonte/Kelloggs Chevy Driver; :00]
[OUT Q=...GOOD FOR US."]
NASCAR lost one of its most colorful drivers last night as Tim Flock passed away at the age of 73 after a bout with cancer.
Back in January, Flock was a picture of good health at a dinner celebrating NASCAR'S 50th anniversary.
But, in February he was diagnosed with liver and throat cancer.
He won the driving title in 1952 and 55. In 55 he won a record 19 poles.
He also ran 8 races with a REAL LIVE monkey in his car.
[IN Q="He brought...]
[SUPER=01-Tim Flock/NASCAR Champion in 1952 & 55; :00 ]
[OUT Q=...the window!]
And finally, a Fredericksburg radio station got more than its share of attention on this April Fool's Day when it ran a story this morning saying the Redskins were changing their name to the Washington Presidents.
The station had its listeners believing the story until one fan called in and said the name chamge would be impossib
le because it would require fans to wave subpoenas instead of tomahawks. [Almanac]
This can be a strange weather month. After a taste of early summer, temperatures can drop like a rock. Let's see what Patrick Evans has for us in our monthly almanac.
[IN Q=April is upon]
[OUT Q=News 7 Weather]
[WIPE TO WX TAPE]
[SUPER=330-Clear And/Breezy/48-50/Sunny And Breezy/66-68;]
[SUPER=331-Turning Clear/And Cool/48-50/Mostly Sunny/And Breezy/72-75;]
[SUPER=332-Clear And/Cooler/45-48/Sunny And/Breezy/60-63;]
[SUPER=333-Mostly Clear/And Cool/42-45/Sunny/Windy/58-60;]
[SUPER=334-Clear And/Windy/40-44/Partly Cloudy/And Windy/58-60;]
(toss to Jean)
Roanoke College gets a visit tonight from a man with ties to "Amistad"--the new movie that depicts a slave ship revolt.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Jean/Newsroom]
Jean Jadhon is in our newsroom with a preview.
Keith, Samuel (Pee-AH) Pieh is the great-great grandson of (Sing-Bay Pee-AH) Sengbeh Pieh--
better known as Joseph (SIN-Kay) Cinque , the slave who led the Amistad uprising. The case involving the captured slaves went all the way to the U-S Supreme Court and influenced the early abolitionist movement.
Samuel Pieh actually appeared in the movie and tonight he will speak
about the historical significance of the revolt.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Jean/Newsroom]
[Keith ad lib byes] We'll have the story and more tonight on News 7 at 11--Keith?