On NEWS 7 at SIX:
A Bedford County man accused of killing his wife has a history of domestic violence.
And a story about beating the odds at V-M-I... more than surviving the rat line... this 19 year old woman had to overcome incredible odds just to get here from RUSSIA.
Tonight in sports, time to rare back and play a little fast pitch softball with two hurlers who got a reality check in the last 24 hours.
The Hillcats have already won a game today.
And we'll check out some highlights from Durham where UVa was knocked out of the ACC baseball tournament today by N.C. State today.
70'S today, 80's tomorrow and near 90 by Saturday. Welcome to an El Nino spring. The forecast is coming up.[Bedfor
Almost four years to the day after he abducted another woman at gunpoint, police say a Bedford County man shot and killed his wife this morning before taking his own life.
Around 6:30, police say 36- year- old Robert Wells drove to his wife's trailer north of Bedford and parked his vehicle about 500 yards away.
Wells ordered his two children out of the trailer, and then neighbors heard five shots.
Police later found Beverly Ann Wells dead inside the trailer.. Robert Wells lay just a few feet away.
[IN Q=He asked them]
((LT. KENT ROBEY/BEDFORD CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT.: HE ASKED THEM TO LEAVE, EVIDENTLY HE DIDN'T WANT THEM TO SEE IT OR DIDN'T WANT THEM TO GET IN THE WAY OF IT. SO THE TIRES WERE CUT ON THE TWO CARS SITTING OUTSIDE THE RESIDENCE. APPARENTLY HE DISABLED THE PHONE AND THE CARS SO SHE COULDN'T GET AWAY FROM HIM.))
[SUPER=01-Lt. Kent Robey/Bedford Co. Sheriff's Dept.; :00]
[OUT Q=away from him.]
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co./May, 1994; :00]
In May of 1994, Wells was arrested for abducting his girlfriend at gunpoint in Campbell County.
A SWAT team was called out and surrounded his residence but he was not at home.
As police were leaving, Wells drove up and was arrested without incident.
He was sentenced to five years in jail on the abduction and firearms charges.
A state police dive team is helping Montgomery County investigators search for evidence of the county's most recent homicide.
Today they searched a pond on Smith Creek Road near Pilot.
The pond is next to the mobile home where murder victim Micheal Durham used to live.
Durham was shot and killed in late March.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled next month for murder suspect, Robert Crook Senior.
Authorities declined to say exactly what they were searching for.
Better late than never.
Southside tobacco farmers are finally getting their plants in the ground.
The recent rainy weather has put them about two weeks behind schedule.
Christy Hubley tells us how the late start to planting could affect this year's harvest.
[IN Q=Joe Watts has some]
[SUPER=01-Joe Watts/Tobacco Farmer; :15]
[SUPER=01-Larry McPeters/VA Cooperative Extension Agent; :55]
[SUPER=04-June 1997; 1:08]
[OUT Q=News 7, Halifax County.]
(( Joe Watts has some catching up to do.
His 40-acres of tobacco should have been planted by now.
But Mother Nature hasn't been kind.
Recent heavy rain made the ground too wet for planting tobacco.
And there are still some muddy patches.
[IN Q=Yeah, it's still wet]
((JOE WATTS: YEAH, IT'S STILL WET BUT IT'S JUST WET IN SPOTS. YOU CAN GET THROUGH MOST OF IT.))
[OUT Q=through most of it.]
Tiny bright leaf plants patiently waited in greenhouses... until they could be transplanted into the soil outside.
With the sun shining, farmers and their migrant workers are busy getting caught up.
[IN Q=While wet weather can delay]
((CHRISTY HUBLEY: WHILE WET WEATHER CAN DELAY TOBACCO PLANTING, DRY WEATHER CAN STUNT GROWTH, REDUCE QUALITY AND YIELD. A LATE HARVEST COULD PUT THESE PLANTS AT RISK OF FROST.))
[OUT Q=at risk of frost.]
Of course tobacco farmers will need rain this summer to grow large quantities of quality plants.
But even too much rain in June and July can create problems.
[IN Q=But along with wet weather]
((LARRY MCPETERS: BUT ALONG WITH WET WEATHER COMES DISEASE PROBLEMS BECAUSE FUNGUS AND DISEASES OR BACTERIA CERTAINLY THRIVE BETTER IN WET SEASON AND ONE THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT EVEN NON-TOBACCO GROWERS IS BLUE MOLD.))
[OUT Q=is blue mold.]
Blue mold is a fungus that spreads through the air and can wipe out whole fields of tobacco.
Spores have already been found in nearby Tennessee and South Carolina... but plants in Virginia are too small to be threatened.
Barring any more weather or disease problems, farmers should be able to harvest their tobacco by the end of July.
Christy Hubley, News 7, Halifax County.))
Ever heard of a V-M-I cadet who LOVED the rat line?
If you'd traveled five- thousand miles to get there- -and vastly improved your standard of living in the process- -YOU'D love it.
[IN Q=Passing the time...]
[SUPER=01-Yulia Beltikova/VMI Cadet; :44]
[SUPER=04-August, 1997; 1:02 ]
[SUPER=01-Brian Bailey/Beltikova's "Dyke"; 1:36]
[OUT Q=...love this school.]
[NAT SOT 19:21 laughter]
Passing the time with her classmates in barracks, Yulia Beltikova has mixed emotions as her first year at V-M-I draws to a close.
(( I'M PROBABLY NOT EVEN GOING TO BE IN THE UNITED STATES.))
She expects to be home this summer... in Krasnodar, a city in Southern Russia... near the Black Sea.
The Beltikova's- -a family of five- -share a one-room apartment in Krasnodar.
[NAT SOT- -]
[other kids talking- -pouring over pictures on other girl's desk, maybe]
[or walking to lunch]
Two years ago- -on a whim - -while taking an exam in English as a foreign language, Beltikova indicated she might like to attend a "military college."
That prompted an application from V-M-I. Six months later she got the word from Lexington.
((I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT, IT WAS LIKE: "YOU'VE GOT FULL SCHOLARSHIP." ALRIGHT. I WAS VERY EXCITED.))
She didn't really know what she was in for.
((FIRST DAY OF THE CADRE WEEK THAT WAS WHEN I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE RAT LINE.
Standing in formation on the ground floor of barracks as the upperclassmen seized upon her and her classmates... the sudden intensity of that moment was a shock.
((I DIDN'T EXPECT THAT. Was that frightening? MAYBE. FOR A MOMENT. I WASN'T REALLY SCARED. I WAS JUST EXCITED THAT IT ALREADY STARTED.))
...the start of what would be nearly eight months of being ordered around- -left and right... Beltikova is one of those who made it... with a little help from her mentor Brian Bailey.
((SHE'S INTELLIGENT, ATHLETIC. SHE'S GOT A WONDERFUL SENSE OF HUMOR, ALSO.))
Beltikova has just learned that the V-M-I class of '58 has a gift for her.
The alumni bought her a round-trip ticket, so she can spend the Summer with her family... 25-hundred dollars in airfare... equal to her family's annual income.
((IT'S JUST SO SPECIAL. THERE'S SO FEW PEOPLE. NOBODY. IT'S SPECIAL. I LOVE THIS SCHOOL.))
The way those female AND male rats are treated at VMI is still a major concern of superintendent Josiah Bunting.
General Bunting told the board of visitors today that he and his staff have worked hard to make the school's hazing policy clearly understood.
[IN Q=If there is]
((JOSIAH BUNTING/VMI SUPERINTENDENT: IF THERE IS AN UPPERCLASSMEN LEFT IN THE BARRACKS WHO DOES NOT KNOW WE WILL NOT TOLERATE HITTING RATS, HE MUST BE BLIND AND DEAF. MORE PRACTICALLY, WE ARE BRINGING IN THE CADET CADRE IN AUGUST TO TALK ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND TO MAKE SURE THAT SUCH EPISODES DO NOT OCCUR AGAIN.))
[SUPER=01-Josiah Bunting/VMI Superintendent;]
[OUT Q=occur again.]
Bunting also said that this year's fundraising reached its second highest level ever.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
An in-depth look at the opponents of A-E-P's proposed power line-- the latest installment in our series "Power Struggle" still ahead on News-7 at Six.
And Roanoke cops gather to remember their fellow officers killed in the line of duty.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[****NOTE ANCHOR TAG****]
Those working to stop a proposed powerline in the New River Valley operate on a limited budget.
But they're making up for a lack of funds with hard work and a little creativity.
[**DISSOLVE TO FULLSCREEN POWER STRUGGLE**]
Teresa Hamilton has more in the fourth part of our special series "Power Struggle".
[IN Q=If you ]
[SUPER=01-Joyce Smith/FORCE President; :00]
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co.; :14]
[SUPER=01-Delbert Jones/Power Line Opponent; :45 Quick!!]
[SUPER=01-William Dougherty/Power Line Opponent; 1:17]
[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS 7.]
[IN Q=If you come ]
((JOYCE SMITH/FORCE PRESIDENT:IF YOU COME DOWN TO IT, PERSONALLY IT WOULD INVOLVE LOSING MY HOME, MY LAND, THIS LAND HAS BEEN IN MY HUSBAND'S FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS. ))
[OUT Q=for generations.]
Joyce Smith lives in the Norris Run community near Blacksburg.
These days she spends much of her time as President of FORCE-- one of the newest grass roots organizations opposed to A-E-P's proposed high voltage powerline.
[IN Q=Like I say]
((JOYCE SMITH/FORCE PRESIDENT: LIKE I SAY, IT NEVER BOTHERED ME THAT I BECOME PRESIDENT OF FORCE, I'VE HAD SUCH A GREAT COMMITTEE WORKING WITH ME THAT IT'S REALLY MADE MY JOB EASIER. ))
[OUT Q=job easier.]
William Dougherty and Delbert Jones live near Smith and are two of the group's most active members.
Jones has a personal stake-- if the preferred route is chosen it will take his home.
[IN Q=For you]
((DELBERT JONES/POWER LINE OPPONENT:FOR, YOU KNOW, THEM TO SAY WE SIMPLY NEED IT HERE OR WE'RE GOING TO BE THREATENED WITH BLACKOUTS-- THERE'S A LOT OF REASONS THAT'S NOT THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE. ))
Active opposition groups also exist in Giles, Bland and Tazewell counties...
All rely on donations and the occasional grant--
But despite a limited budget-- they've found creative and economical ways to funnel their message.
One way Dougherty and his wife were able to do this-- was through a newsletter.
[IN Q=We found out]
((WILLIAM DOUGHERTY/POWER LINE OPPONENT: WE FOUND OUT FROM TALKING WITH JOYCE THAT SHE'D ALREADY ARRANGED A MEETING, SO WE JOTTED THAT DOWN BY HAND AND PUT THEM IN MAILBOXES. ))
[OUT Q=in mailboxes.]
The newsletter is still delivered the old fashioned way and group meetings held regularly.
In the meantime-- the group has expanded its lobbying methods.
[IN Q=We started]
((DELBERT JONES/POWER LINE OPPONENT:WE STARTED A LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, WE HAD A MEMBER OF OUR GROUP START A WEBSITE AND THAT'S BEEN A TREMENDOUS HELP IN GETTING INFORMATION OUT.))
[OUT Q=information out.]
FORCE has also spent limited money on brochures and newspaper ads-- as well as cards which double as badges.
FORCE's power should not be doubted-- after all the group COPE and others played a significant role in defeating A-E-P's last preferred route.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7.))
Tomorrow Teresa will talk with power line supporters.
Several STOPPED cars were involved in a chain- reaction accident this morning when a dump truck lost it brakes.
It happened near the intersection of 419 and Lynchburg Turnpike.
Witnesses told police the dump truck swerved into the opposite lane to pass traffic.
Once the driver approached a stoplight, he crossed into the left lane and TRIED to avoid a line of stopped cars and an approaching pick-up truck.
[IN Q=So, he cut ]
((MELVIN LUTZ/SALEM POLICE DEPT.: SO, HE CUT BACK TO KEEP FROM HITTING THAT VEHICLE HEAD-ON AND THEN HIT ALL THE PARKED CARS THAT WERE PARKED HERE. ))
[SUPER=01-Melvin Lutz/Salem Police Dept.;]
[OUT Q=were parked here]
Officer Lutz says the dump truck then crossed over Route 419 and hit another car, sent it over a bank, and then landed on top of it.
Police say there were a few injuries, but none appear to be serious.
Charges are pending.
The stock market retreated today following the DOW's record close yesterday.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The DOW lost 39- and- a-half- points, closing at 91-hundred-72
Nasdaq was off a fraction.
Across the country this week, communities are honoring the men and women who serve as police officers.
Today, Roanoke remembered those who have died in the line of duty.
During a ceremony this afternoon at High Street Baptist Church, members of the force lighted a candle for each of the fifteen Roanoke police officers who have died on the job since January, 18-92.
[IN Q=We've come today to pay our respects]
((REV. NOEL TAYLOR./HIGH STREET BAPTIST CHURCH: WE'VE COME TODAY TO PAY OUR RESPECT AND TO HONOR 15 PERSONS, HEROES OF THE CITY OF ROANOKE WHO GAVE THEIR BLOOD AND SWEAT, THEIR TOIL AND TEARS AND FORGED ON THE ANVIL OF THEIR OWN PERSONAL SACRIFICE ALL OF THE FREEDOMS AND OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE HOLD DEAR.))
[SUPER=01-Rev. Noel Taylor/High Street Baptist Church; ]
[OUT Q=that we hold dear.]
Today's service was the city's first honoring all fifteen police officers who've died in the line of duty. The Department plans to make it an annual observance.
(-------------) [Sports Tease]
Coming up tonight in sports,
We begin tonight in Durham where the Virginia Cavaliers' baseball team ended its season with a loss to N.C. State this afternoon.
[SUPER=03-Durham, NC/Wolfpack vs. Cavaliers; :00]
The Wolfpack and Uva both got knocked around in their opening games yesterday and both were anxious for redemption.
UVA would jump out to a one to nothing advantage in the bottom of the fourth.
But State got runs in the 5th, 6th and 7th, including the game winning hit a homerun from Brad
Virginia loses for the second straight day 4-to-1, and can now start loooking ahead to next season.
[SUPER=01-Dennis Womack/UVa Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=...TO WIN."]
Pitching will be a big factor at the Division Three N-C-A-A softball championships this weekend at the Moyers Sports Complex in Salem.
And defending champion Simpson has the best in the game.
Last night, Kelly Schades was named to the division three All America team.
Schades is 29 and 2 this season with 22 shutouts in 31 games an N-C-A-A record.
And her earned run average is a mind boggling zero point 33 - the best in Division three.
[IN Q="I guess...]
[SUPER=01-Kelly Schade/Simpson All-American Pitcher; :00]
[SUPER=01-Henry Christowski/Simpson Head Coach; :16]
[OUT Q=...crosses the plate."]
But Schades and Simpson found out this afternoon that you're only as good as your last outing.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Storm vs Muskies; :00]
In the first game of the day the Str the Muskies of Muskingum.
Schades got off to a rough start in the top of the first Muskingum's Heather Shingary takes this pitch over the centerfield wall for a two run homer to give the Muskies the lead.
Then in the top of the fourth Shingary again takes it deep off Schades this time a three run homer over the left field wall to make the score 5 to nothing Muskies.
Schades settled down in the bottom of the fourth
striking out the side but Muskingum goes on to win it 5 to 2.
James River topped Parry MCluer for the Pioneer District softball tournament title last night.
Steve Mason says; scoring the first two earned runs of the season on Parry McCluer pitcher Liz Olmo could be an even bigger accomplishment.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Covington/Last Night; :00]
[SUPER=01-Liz Olmo/0.25 ERA for the Season; :15]
[SUPER=01-Lindsey Coleman/District Player of the Year; :59]
[SUPER=01-Earl Downs/Parry McCluer Head Coach; 1:08]
[OUT Q=News 7 sports"]
((Liz Olmo is 8 and 1, has pitched 57 innings and given up only two earned runs to go along with 85 strikeouts and She's not overpowering
Olmo uses five pitches. She studies major league pitchers. Atlanta's Tom Glavine is her favorite.
The 15 year old, whose family recently relocated from Northern Virginia, has formed a special bond witht her catcher catcher Lindsey Coleman.
Parry McCluer opens the Region C tournament Monday at home against Floyd County. Steve Maosn news 7 sports.))
And finally, the Lynchburg Hillcats have already beaten the Wilmington Blue Rocks this afternoon.
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/Blue Rocks vs. Hillcats; :00]
It was the Hillcats 10th annual "Say No To Drugs" day at City Stadium as 6th graders from all over central Virginia were invited to leave school and spend a day at the ball park.
In the top of the second, the Hillcats would delight the home fans with Corey Pointer hitting his second homer in as many games. This one is way out over the center field wall. It's 1-to-nothing Hillcats.
In the top of the third Wilmington would attempt to rally and get something on the board but, Kendrick Moore gets hung up in a rundown between first and second.
Lynchburg win its 18th of the season 2-to-1 to stay in first place in the Northern division.