On NEWS 7 at SIX in just a moment:
The latest on that spectacular fatal fire and a separate murder suspect who may have some connection.
And a garment worker declares it one of the saddest days of her life... as another apparel maker succumbs to cheap foreign labor.
Tonight in sports, the Commonwealth Games adds three new sports for this year, regional high school action continues this afternoon,
And in New York, the city's most popular man these days, Yankee pitcher David Wells get a key to the city.
For Roanoke and Southside, 90 degrees plus today. The forecast will be a carbon copy tomorrow.[Roanoke-Fire]
[TAPE#98-36 TC 53:00]
The search for bodies at the scene of yesterday's Church Avenue fire
is almost over. There were no new victims discovered today.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Eric/Microwave]
Eric Earnhart is there with details.
(Eric ad lib)
(rollcue: will end at dark)
[IN Q=Search dogs]
[SUPER=01-Chris Holleyman/Dog Handler; :17]
[SUPER=01-Mark Amos/Heavy Equipment Operator; :44]
[SUPER=01-Winston Simmons/Roanoke Deputy Fire Chief;] 1:11
[OUT Q=everything we could]
(Eric ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Keith and Eric/Microwave][Victims]
As Eric mentioned there have been five bodies discovered at the fire scene. The identity of one has now been confirmed.
[**TAKE FULLSCREEN FIRE VICTIMS]
48 year old Percy Junior McClease died in the blaze.
His body was pulled from the rubble of the buildings.
[**TAKE FULLSCREEN FIRE VICTIMS]
Three tenants are still missing: Willie Mae Green, Walter Bernard Green and Summer Green.
[**TAKE FULLSCREEN FIRE VICTIMS]
Also three people believed to be visitors are also not accounted for--
they are identified as Kim Patrick Hudson, Pamela Woodbury and Percy Purdue. Authorities are not sure if Percy Purdue is the same person as the deceased victim, Percy Junior McClease.
[TAPE#=98-40 TC 33:51]
The man accused of a murder a few hours before the fatal fire, says the witnesses who would have testified for him died in the blaze.
Willie Caldwell was arraigned this morning. He is charged with the murder of Kevin Lee Jones early yesterday morning, after an argument the day before.
Caldwell lived at 502 Church Avenue, the apartment house that burned, and he began to talk about the fire in court, before the judge advised him to stop.
[SOT TC 02:09:47]
[IN Q=That's what I was saying]
((WILLIE CALDWELL/MURDER SUSPECT; THAT'S WHAT I WAS GOING TO TELL YOU, EVERYBODY THAT I WOULD HAVE FOR A WITNESS GOT BURNED UP IN THAT HOUSE, AND I HAVE...
JUDGE; WAIT A MINUTE MR. CALDWELL...))
[SUPER=01-Willie Caldwell/Murder Suspect;]
[OUT Q=wait a minute, Mr. Caldwell.]
Judge Jacqueline Talevi (tuh-LEV-ee) appointed the public defenders office to represent Caldwell.
And she set a date in June for his preliminary hearing.
[TAPE#=98-32 TC 34:35]
The Church Avenue fire ranks among the deadliest in the Roanoke Valley.
[SUPER=04-January 21, 1996]
You'll recall the fire that killed four children and their grandmother on Stewart Avenue two years ago.
Officials traced the cause of that blaze to a short in an extension cord.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./December 1989]
Fire at the Shenandoah Homes retirement center in Roanoke County killed four people in 1989.
About twenty years ago, three people died in a fire at the Spanish Trace apartments.
[TAPE#=98-42 TC 8:31]
Another area clothing company is crying mercy -- saying it cannot compete against foreign labor.
That will throw many more local residents out of work.
Tina Tenret has the story.
[IN Q=When Virginia Apparel]
[SUPER=01-Tom Mason/Virginia Apparel President;]
[OUT Q=Rocky Mount]
(( When Virginia Apparel closes in July, 150 people will lose their jobs.
The plant president says while employees here earn ten dollars an hour, workers in Guatemala will sew for three dollars a day.
So clients hire cheap foreign labor to fill their orders.
[IN Q=One time we had]
((TOM MASON/VIRGINIA APPAREL PRESIDENT: ONE TIME WE HAD A HUGE QUALITY GAP OVER THEM. WE HAD SPEED WE HAD DELIVERY WE HAD THE ABILITY TO MAKE SMALL RUNS AND DO MORE SPECIFIC THINGS. BUT THAT GAP IS NARROWING, NARROWING, NARROWIONG. AND AT SOME POINT AND TIME, YOU GOT TO STOP THE BLEEDING.))
[OUT Q=GOT TO STOP THE BLEEDING]
The final blow came recently -- when a company these employees had served for 17 years, suddenly switched to a factory in the Dominican Republic.
[IN Q=What is right]
((WHAT IS RIGHT, WHAT IS ETHICAL, WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF PEOPLE LIKE THIS, IT'S NOT IMPORTANT ANYMORE.))
[OUT Q=not important anymore]
Many say they love sewing and can do it well, but they have been chased out of the business.
[IN Q=This is one of]
((DAPHENE JONES/EMPLOYEE: THIS IS ONE OF THE SADDEST DAYS OF MY LIFE. I'VE BEEN HERE SINCE THE COMPANY STARTED.))
[OUT Q=the company started]
[IN Q=What about these people]
((WHAT ABOUT THESE PEOPLE? WHAT ABOUT CINDY FUNK WHO HAS THREE BOYS THAT SHE RAISES BY HERSELF? WE HEAR RHETORIC FROM OUR LEGISLATORS THAT WE'LL RETRAIN THEM. HAS ANYBODY ASKED HER IF SHE WANTS TO BE RETRAINED? NO....))
[OUT Q=TO BE RETRAINED]
[IN Q=We asked Congressman]
((TINA TENRET/NEWS7: WE ASKED CONGRESSMAN VIRGIL GOODE, WHO REPRESENTS THESE WORKERS, WHAT HE WOULD DO TO SAVE THEIR JOBS. HE SAYS CONGRESS MUST STOP GIVING TRADE BENEFITS TO OTHER COUNTRIES. HE BELIEVES IF U-S BUSINESSES HAD FEWER TAXES AND FEWER RULES, THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO COMPETE. TINA TENRET NEWS7 ROCKY MOUNT.))
[OUT Q=News7 Rocky Mount]))
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
A team of magicians in Lynchburg is upset that their secrets aren't being kept secret...who is letting the cat out of t
he bag? We will tell you, coming up on News 7 at Six---
and just how many Hillcats fans are attending games at Lynchburg's stadium? Maybe not as many as the team is claiming.
We'll look into that in a special report, "Home Field Advantage?"
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-2.76''/plus 0.43''/28.51''/plus 13.79'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 0.79 foot/Down 0.52 foot;Lake levels][Smith]
[TAPE#=98-37 TC 35:17]
A measure of insight today from a former Roanoke postal worker who admits he "blew his stack" and threatened to kill his supervisor.
Chuck Smith says it was the combination of mindlessly routine tasks and the fact that low-level supervisors challenge every aspect of an employee's job performance.
[IN Q=and it creates]
((AND IT CREATES A VERY DISTURBING ENVIRONMENT. You're not the first? I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE; I'M THE ONE WITH THE BIG MOUTH. AND I'M PAYING THE PRICE FOR IT NOW.))
[SUPER=01-Chuck Smith/Former Postal Worker]
[OUT Q=FOR IT NOW.]
He was fined 50-dollars- -and placed on probation for two years.
It could have been much worse. Smith could have gotten two years to serve under the original charge.
The 20-year veteran mail carrier was allowed to retire from the Postal Service with reduced benefits.[1-Home-Field]
[TAPE#98-34 TC 59:14]
[GRAPHIC=Home Field Advantage]
Lynchburg's "historic" City Stadium is in for a facelift, one that would upgrade the ballpark and make room for a thousand additional baseball fans.
But why spend that money if the team can't fill the seats it has now?
[**TAKE FULLSCREEN Home Field Advantage**]
In the first part of his series "Home Field Advantage?", Steve Smallshaw explains why there's more to attendance than what meets the eye.
[SUPER=01-Paul Sunwall/Hillcats General Manager; 1:11]
[SUPER=01-Charlie Russell/Opposed Sports Complex; 1:53]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
Lynchburg's City Stadium can hold up to four thousand minor league baseball fans.. but on most nights, only small handfuls of people come out to watch the Hillcats.
Still, a month into the season, the team says it's averaging more than 14- hundred fans a night.. numbers that might surprise a lot of people.
[IN Q=In the world]
((In the world of sports, inflated attendance figures are nothing new.. in the days of the old American Basketball League, one team reportedly used the "first quarter rule".. if the score at the end of the first quarter was 35-28, they listed the attendance as 3,528.
But what about minor league baseball and more specifically the Lynchburg Hillcats?
On three different nights during three separate homestands this spring, we physically counted the number of people in the stands. OUR numbers never came close to the reported attendance figures.))
[OUT Q=attendance figures.]
On April 17th, the box score says there were 14 hundred and 70 people at the game.. we counted less than 600.
Twelve days later, the paper claimed a thousand sixty-six.. our figure was 4-oh-7.
And on May 13th, the report was 983 fans.. we showed just 372.
In all, the team's average attendance for the six games we saw was more than TWICE what we counted.
[IN Q=It's a little]
((PAUL SUNWALL/HILLCATS GENERAL MANAGER: IT'S A LITTLE COMPLICATED AND IT IS A LITTLE MISLEADING WHEN YOU SEE THAT IN THE PAPER AND THEN YOU KNOW THERE AREN'T THAT MANY OUT HERE.))
[OUT Q=many out here.]
General manager Paul Sunwall calls it a "numbers game", but says league rules allow teams to count "no shows" of advanced ticket sales.. and add THAT to the number on the turnstile.
[IN Q=If you only]
((SUNWALL: IF YOU ONLY HAVE A FEW HUNDRED, NORMALLY THERE'S ANOTHER EQUAL TO THAT OR MORE THAT AREN'T COMING BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER OR WHATEVER REASONS. AND WE'RE ABLE TO COUNT THOSE IN THE PAID ATTENDANCE FIGURE AND THAT'S WHY YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN THE BOX SCORES.))
[OUT Q=the box scores.]
But some feel that's dishonest.
When plans for a brand NEW ballpark were being floated last year, opponents claimed the team was padding its attendance to create the illusion of fan support.
[IN Q=And when they]
((CHARLIE RUSSELL/OPPOSED SPORTS COMPLEX: AND WHEN THEY USED THOSE INFLATED FIGURES FOR THEIR LONG- TERM PROJECTS, WE WERE ABLE TO QUIET IT VERY EFFECTIVELY.))
[OUT Q=very effectively.]
The idea of a sports complex has been scrapped, but Lynchburg has agreed to overhaul City Stadium to make it more "fan- friendly".
We'll take a look at those plans in part two of our series on Wednesday.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
The stock market finished with a small gain today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow was up four points and closed at nine thousand 55.
NASDAQ gained nearly 15 points.
[TAPE#98-41 TC 12:56]
They couldn't just make the network disappear, so magicians around the country are doing the next best thing..
..they're hitting "FOX" where it hurts.. in the pocketbook.
Since November, FOX has aired three t-v specials where a "Masked Magician" shows how certain magic tricks are done.
But illusionists like Lynchburg's Kevin and Cindy Spencer have persuaded some sponsors to pull their advertising from the shows.
And tonight on the t-v show "Extra", the identity of the masked magician will be revealed.
[IN Q=Well, we're just]
((KEVIN SPENCER/ILLUSIONIST: WELL, WE'RE JUST GOING TO UNMASK A FEW OF THE FOX SECRETS, BECAUSE ONCE PEOPLE KNOW WHO THE MASKED MAGICIAN IS, IT'S NO FUN TO SEE A GUY GET BACK ON T-V WITH A MASK ON BECAUSE THE WHOLE THING IS LIKE `WHY IS HE DOING THAT?'. WE KNOW WHO HE IS.))
[SUPER=01-Kevin Spencer/Illusionist; :00]
[OUT Q=who he is.]
While attendance at their own shows has remained steady, the Spencers say the FOX shows put many younger magicians out of business.
A fiery accident on Interstate 95 near Richmond this morning wasn't all that tied up traffic for hours.
A small herd of cattle roamed the roads after the truck hauling them smashed into a concrete barrier and burst into flames.
Six cows were killed in the fire.
But they were NOT headed to greener pastures anyway.
((KENNETH YOUNG/TRUCK DRIVER: NO. THEY WERE GOING FOR SLAUGHTER. THEY WERE ON THEIR LAST JOURNEY.))
((RICHARD DALE WILLIAMS/RESCUER: IT WAS ONE BIG HUGE BALL OF FIRE. JUST TOTALLY ON FIRE, AND THE DRIVER, HE WAS TRYING TO PUT IT OUT, BUT IT WASN'T NOTHING HE COULD DO. IT WAS JUST TOO FAR GONE. I MEAN, REALLY. SO THE ONLY THING WE COULD DO WAS GET IN THERE AND -- WELL YOU CAN SEE ME, I'M COVERED WITH COW MANURE AND EVERYTHING ELSE. BUT WE GOT MOST OF THEM OUT OF THERE. THANK GOD.))
[SUPER=01-Kenneth Young/Truck Driver;]
[SUPER=01-Richard Dale Williams/Rescuer; :06]
[OUT Q=Thank God.]
The driver suffered only burned hands.
Traffic was stalled for much of the morning.
Coming your way tonight in sports, Glenvar opens regfinal play on the softball diamond, the Commonwealth Games are getting a couple of new sports for the summer games,
And last night Terry Holland, the man with 418 coaching wins was back in the saddle coaching for charity.
We'll see what he has to say about his own new coach nearly two months into his tenure when we come back.
Let's begin tonight in western Roanoke County where the Glenvar Highlanders welcome the Castlewood Rebels in a Region C quarterfinal match-up.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Castlewood vs. Glenvar; :00]
The Lady Highlanders were faced with a defensive battle this afternoon.
Glenvar's Tara Huff is on first, the Rebels with overthrow to first sending the ball into the outfield and Huff motors around the horn for the score.
Glenvar takes a 1-to-nothing lead into the top of the sixth and the Highlanders hang on to win it 1-to-nothing.
The Lynchburg Hillcats the top dogs in the Northern Division for most of this season invade Salem Memorial tonight to begin a three game series with the Avalanche.
Salem has won 8 of its last 10 games.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY; :00]
Speaking of winning, Yankees pitcher David Wells, who hurled a perfect game this past Sunday, was honored today by the mayor of the big Apple, Rudolph Gulianai.
Wells received a proclamation from the mayor and a key to the city.
He also took time to pass out some accolades to his teammates.
[SUPER=01-David Wells/Perfect Game Pitcher; :00]
[OUT Q=....of happened."]
Virginia Amateur Sports kicks off it's 9th Commonwealth Games July 17th through the 19th here in the valley.
The VAS and the games sponsors held a news conference at the Tanglewood Holiday Inn this afternoon to announce dates and changes to this summer's games. Three new sports have been added.
[IN Q="we got]
[SUPER=01-Pete Lampman/Virginia Amateur Sports Pres.; :00]
[OUT Q=...to our event"]
Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller will be this year's special guest. Opening ceremonies are July 17th at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Well over 10 thousand athletes are expected to participate in 45 sports. Organizers hope sponsors will keep pace.
[SUPER=01-Stu Israel/VAS Develop. & Marketing Dir.; :00]
[OUT Q=...evet has"]
It's been nearly 7 weeks since the University of Virginia announced that Pete Gillen was taking over as the school's new head basketball coach.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Night; :00]
Last night Gillen's boss Terry Holland was in town to help raise money for the area Ronald McDonald House as he served as a coach in a game pitting doctors against resident physicians.
After the game, we asked Holland if Gillen's honeymoon was over or if it was just beginning.
[IN Q="Well, I think...]
((TERRY HOLLAND/UVA ATHLETIC DIRECTOR:))
[SUPER=01-Terry Holland/UVa Athletic Director; :00]
[OUT Q=...think of things."]
[vo nat con't]
Virginia Tech Bobby Hussey coached against HOlland last night in the charity game.
Hussey's team of resident physicians won the Crockett Cup for the third straight year.
The road to the stanley cup has been altered for the four remaining teams.
Game five of the eastern conference championship between the Caps and Sabres was originally scheduled for June 1st
but the MCI center is already booked on that night for WCW's Nitro and management says there is no way it's canceling that soldout house.
The western final between the Stars and the winner of the Blues-RedWings series has the same problem. The champions of figure skating show, another sellout is affecting their game five, as well.[Wx-Tape]
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That's News 7 at Six. Coming up tonight--
A family is reunited.
Robbie Blair's dogs were impounded about a month ago.
The homeless man was charged with selling puppies while they were only seven weeks old.
Those charges were dropped today -- not enough evidence against the puppy peddler.
[Keith ad lib byes] We'll tell you more about the happy family tonight on News 7 at 11.