N-S wins approval to take over Conrail together with C-S-X.
NEWS 7 begins with a LIVE report from Washington on that in a moment.
And a Roanoke City Police officer goes to federal court accused of excessive force for fatally choking a suspect.
In sports, Ronde and Tiki Barber are in voluntary summer camp with the Giants and the Bus, we will hear from them, a few Captials and Redwings talk about the beginning of the Stanley Cup finals,
and speaking of new beginnings, Dale Earnhardt gets one this wekend with a brand new crew chief, that story in sports.
A day with sun ends on a cloudy note. Scattered showers already in SW Virginia. More headed this way.
The driver of the truck that collided with a motorcycle yesterday killing two people reportedly told police he was trying to avoid a SECOND motorcycle.
Blacksburg police admit both vehicles were in the middle of the road when they collided but they have NOT confirmed John Claude Love's version of what happened.
Meadowbrook Drive was closed for six hours last night while police collected evidence.
21- year old Michael Dove of Blacksburg died at the scene.
His 21- year old friend, Michael Perry, died a short time later.
They were both on the motorcycle that collided with the pick-up.
Police say: although Love's blood alcohol content was less than the legal limit, he was charged with driving under the influence and felony hit and run.
Two large crosses and candles were placed at the accident scene.
Michael Perry's friends say he was a dedicated member of his fraternity at Virginia Tech.
[IN Q=It's based]
((DAVE CATARIOUS/PERRY'S FRIEND:IT'S BASED ON A TRIPOD OF SCHOLARSHIP, LEADERSHIP, AND WE JUST TRY TO PROMOTE THOSE IDEAS IN THE COMMUNITY AND THROUGHOUT VIRGINIA TECH. ))
[SUPER=01-Dave Catarious/Perry's Friend; :00]
[OUT Q=Virginia Tech.]
John Claude Love is free on 100- thousand dollars bond.
A Montgomery County man entered a plea in court today for his role in a fatal traffic accident, last year.
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co./File Tape;]
Christopher Lee Fisher pleaded NO contest to driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter.
Fisher was driving a pick-up truck that collided with a car last May in Elliston.
A seven-year old girl riding in the back of the truck was thrown onto the road and killed.
Fisher also pleaded no contest to possession of marijuana.
He could face eleven years in prison when sentenced in August.
Norfolk Southern has been waiting for more than a year and late this afternoon the government said just what the railroad wanted to hear: it's a deal.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Satellite]
Scott Goldberg has been following the N-S merger talks in Washington.
Scott was the deal ever in doubt?
( ad lib)
(Rollcue: this is a done deal.)
[IN Q=In the beginning]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC; :00]
[SUPER=01-Chairman Linda Morgan/Surface Transportation Board; ]
[SUPER=01-David Goode/Norfolk Southern CEO; ]
[OUT Q=in the east]
[Live=Keith and Scott Full/Satellite]
( ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Satellite]
(Keith question: when does Conrail officially get carved up?)[Lee]
The Chief Medical Examiner for this part of the state is testifying against the Roanoke Police officer who subdued a suspect with a choke hold in 1993.
Doctor David Oxley believes the man was strangled to death.
J-M Donaldson was one of three officers trying to arrest an assault suspect five years ago.
Officer S-F O'Neill testified today- -for the first time- -that he thought he was going to die while Eric Scott Lee had HIM in a choke hold. O'Neill said "it looked like the lights were going out."
Terri Lee- -Eric's widow- -sued the city and three police officers for three quarters of a million dollars.
But her attorneys dropped their claims against O'Neill and Sergeant R-L Hague as the case went to trial this morni
[TAPE#=598-22 40:00 ]
The death toll rises to six as last month's fire on Church Avenue claims another life.
Willie Jones died this weekend at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
The fire left him in critical condition after he suffered burns over 60 percent of his body.
Right now the cause of the fire is still unknown but investigators consider it suspicious.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
An unprecedented settlement for Virginia Power could mean refund checks for customers.
And a second chance for part of Lynchburg's riverfront, as a Roanoke restaurateur gets into the action.
More on the future of Piedmont Mills coming up.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-0.18''/minus 0.61''/30.40''/plus 13.24'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 0.54 foot/Down 0.42 foot;Lake levels][Va-Power]
Virginia Power costs have been going down and profits going up.
That's NOT what government lawyers like to see with a monopoly.
Attorney General Mark Earley today announced the biggest utility refund and rate reduction in Virginia history.
It still needs State Corporation Commission approval.
But it would mean a 50- dollar credit to the bill of the average Virginia Power customer -- and a future rate reduct
Is Virginia tough enough on convicted drug dealers?
Sentencing guidelines established three years ago require violent criminals to serve more time in jail.
But drug dealers are considered non-violent offenders.
And law enforcement officers say they're spending too much time and money re-arresting people who should still be in prison.
Christy Hubley takes a look at effective punishment for drug offenders.
[IN Q=I'm beating my head against]
[SUPER=01-D. J. Oakes/Halifax Co. Sheriff; :00]
[SUPER=03-Halifax Co./File Tape; :11]
[SUPER=03-Halifax Co./April; :20 ]
[SUPER=01-John Greenbacker/Halifax Co. Commonwealth's Atty.; :31]
[SUPER=01-Rick Kerns/VA Criminal Sentencing Comm.; 1:26]
[SUPER=03-Buckingham Co./File Tape; 1:40]
[OUT Q=News 7, Halifax County.]
[IN Q=I'm beating my head against]
((SHERIFF D.J. OAKES: I'M BEATING MY HEAD AGAINST A BRICK WALL TRYING TO PUT DRUG DEALERS IN JAIL AND THEY GET TURNED LOOSE SIX MONTHS LATER. THERE'S NOT BIGGER FRUSTRATION.))
[OUT Q=no bigger frustration. ]
Drug cases make up over half the workload of the Halifax County Sheriff's Office.
Many suspects are repeat offenders.
Like James Madison Hughes.
He already served several years in jail for dealing crack cocaine.
In April, he faced a jury for allegedly dealing again.
The jury found him guilty and sentenced him to 56-years in prison.
[IN Q=Now that tells you that]
((JOHN GREENBACKER: NOW THAT TELLS YOU THAT THE PUBLIC DOES WANT TO SEE DRUG DEALERS PUT AWAY. AND I HONESTLY BELIEVE T
HAT IF WE MADE THAT A-#1 HERE THEN AN AWFUL LOT OF THESE OTHER OFFENSES WOULD SIMPLY DRY UP ALONG WITH THE SUPPLY OF TH
ESE ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES.))
[OUT Q=these illegal substances.]
Prosecutor John Greenbacker says
if Hughes would have pleaded guilty-- the judge probably would have handed down a much smaller sentence.
The state's criminal sentencing guidelines recommend just three years nine months for Hughes's crimes.
Not every accused drug dealer takes his or her chances with a jury.
And those who plead guilty or no contest get sentences much smaller than Greenbacker would like.
Virginia's Criminal Sentencing Guidelines were drawn up about three years ago, after the General Assembly voted to abolish parole.
[IN Q=The focus was on making]
((RICK KERNS: THE FOCUS WAS ON MAKING SURE THAT THE NEW SENTENCING SYSTEM WOULD FIRST AND FOREMOST INCARCERATE VIOLENT OFFENDERS FOR SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER PERIODS OF TIME THAT HAD BEEN DONE IN THE PAST.))
[OUT Q=done in the past.]
Greenbacker says the Sentencing Commission should classify drug dealers as violent offenders-- requiring them to serve more jail time.
With rising prison costs, Kerns says the Commission just can't do it. (/////SOT/////)
[IN Q=Today it costs]
((RICK KERNS: TODAY IT COSTS 60-80 MILLION DOLLARS TO BUILD A PRISON, ANOTHER 25 MILLION TO OPERATED A PRISON. IT COSTS 18-THOUSAND FOR ONE YEAR TO HOUSE AN AVERAGE FELON. WITH COSTS LIKE THAT IT WAS DECIDED WE HAD TO BE VERY PRUDENT IN TERMS OF HOW WE RESERVE THE PRISON SPACE FOR THOSE WHO ARE MOST DANGEROUS TO SOCIETY.))
[OUT Q=dangerous to society.]
Kerns says rehabilitation programs are often better at reducing drug activity than lengthy jail sentences.
But those who face drug dealers on the streets and in the courts aren't convinced.
And prosecutor John Greenbacker says he'll continue to send drug dealers through the Virginia prison system's revolving door as long as he has to.
Christy Hubley, News 7, Halifax County.))
They disappeared without a trace two weeks ago.
Now authorities say a Campbell County family has returned to their native India.
42- year- old Jagjeet Singh (jag-JEET SING) and his wife ran this convenience store on Timberlake Road.
When they never returned from a Memorial Day trip, friends and neighbors began to worry.
The sheriff's department says the family booked tickets through an out- of- state travel agency and flew to India two weeks ago.
One of Lynchburg's historic riverfront buildings has been saved from the wrecking ball.. at least for now.
Appomattox realtor Steve Conner bought the 150- year- old Piedmont Mills building for about 37- thousand dollars last month.
But so many people objected to Conner's plan to tear down the mill, he decided to let another developer take over the contract.
[IN Q=I looked around]
((STEVE CONNER/CONNER REAL ESTATE: I LOOKED AROUND THE RIVERFRONT AFTERWARDS, AND WITH THE CALLS, SOME PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO BE ON CITY COUNCIL HAD PEOPLE CALL ME, FOR THE INTEREST AND THE CONCERNS OF LYNCHBURG, I DECIDED TO GO AHEAD AND LET MR. MACHER HAVE IT AND TRY TO SAVE IT.))
[SUPER=01-Steve Conner/Conner Real Estate; :00]
[OUT Q=try to save it.]
Roanoke restaurateur Spanky Macher is the new owner.
He's asking Lynchburg officials to help him find the money and partners to renovate the mill within six months.
[IN Q=We need the]
((SPANKY MACHER/DEVELOPER: WE NEED THE CITY TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE. THEY'RE INTERESTED IN SAVING IT, IT'S A KEYSTONE TO THIS WHOLE DOWNTOWN PROJECT. I'VE TALKED WITH SOME PEOPLE AT LYNCH'S LANDING, I'M NOT GOING TO DO THIS ALONE. EITHER THEY'RE GOING TO HELP OR I'M GOING TO TEAR IT DOWN.))
[SUPER=01-Spanky Macher/Developer; :00]
[OUT Q=tear it down.]
Macher estimates it could cost as much as one million dollars to renovate the building.
Stocks opened the week on an up note, adding to
Friday's big gains.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow gained 32 points to close at nine thousand 61.
NASDAQ was UP nearly five points.
Due to technical difficulties today we will not have local stocks.
Plans for Daleville's first townhouses may win approval from the planning commission tonight.
And as Tina Tenret reports this could lead to rental properties in Botetourt County.
[IN Q=The Rieleys']
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jean Rieley/Homeowner; :06]
[SUPER=01-Rowland Wampler/Wampler Realty; :42]
[OUT Q=Botetourt County]
(( The Rieleys' mountain view is now obstructed by two new houses.
[IN Q=We've lived here]
((WE'VE LIVED HERE FOR ALL OF OUR LIVES AND ITS BEEN HANDED DOWN FOR FOUR OR FIVE GENERATIONS AND WE DON'T WANT TO SEE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AND APARTMENTS. WE'D LIKE TO KEEP IT AS RURAL AS POSSIBLE.))
[OUT Q=RURAL AS POSSIBLE]
That could be an uphill battle.
A 750-acre industrial park is under construction.
Land values are tripling, farms are selling out -- the latest cash crop is new homes.
On the table now, plans for 22 townhouses right off Route 220.
They would be the first in Daleville -- apartments may come next.
[IN Q=WE HAVE A]
((WE HAVE A LOT OF CALLS FOR APARTMENTS, RENTAL PROPERTY, LITERALLY EVERY DAY OUR PHONE RINGS FOR RENTAL PROPERTY.))
[OUT Q=RENTAL PROPERTY]
The planning director says the county is looking for quality development.
Tina Tenret News7 Botetourt County.))
Dale Earnhardt will race in the Miller Lite 400 this weekend at Michigan with a new crew chief. Team owner Richard Childress announced today
that Larry McReynolds, Earnhardt's top man through tthe first 12 races of the season, is moving over to the Lowe's 31 team to serve as Mike Skinner's crew chief. Kevin Hamlin, who has been the Lowe's team crew chief will now come over and run Earnhardt's team.
Dale won the Daytona 500 but since then has ony 2 top five and 4 top 10 finishes and, has finished 36th, 39th, and 25th in three out of his last 4 races. Earnhardt is currenttly 12th in the points race.
Skinner is 28th in the points and has missed races due to injury.
[GRAPHIC=stanley cup finals]
The Stanley Cup Finals between the Washington capitals and the Detroit Red Wings begins tomorrow night.
The capitals are making their first championship appearance in the franchise's 24 years while the Wings are trying to become the first NHL team since 92 to repat as champs. It should be a defensive battle.
[SUPER=01-Darren McCarty/Red Wings Forward; :00]
[SUPER=01-Olaf Kolzig/Washington Capitals Goalie; :31]
[OUT Q=...against Chris Osgood"]
The Utah Jazz is now in the record books, but the team isn't happy about it.
Last night's 42-point loss is the biggest blowout in an NBA playoff game.
Karl Malone was six for seven in the first half and scored 22 in the game, but his teammates were a combined seven for 27 in the first half.
The Bulls grabbed an 18 point halftime lead and the 96-to-54 win.
Scottie Pippin made some key defensive plays against Karl Malone.
[IN Q=When the lane]
((SCOTTIE PIPPIN/CHICAGO BULLS: WHEN THE LANE IS OPEN KARL IS THE GUY WHO'S GOING TO TRY TO GET TO THE BASKET. I'M PLAYING A ROAMING DEFENSE. HE COMES TO THE BASKET PRETTY HARD AND YOU JUST GOT TO BE MAN ENOUGH TO TAKE THE CHARGE.
KARL MALONE/UTAH JAZZ: I DON'T THINK THEY DID A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT AS FAR AS CUTTING THE SHOTS DOWN. THEY DID IT TO EVERYBODY. THEY HAD A HELL OF A DEFENSIVE GAME AND WE DIDN'T RESPOND.))
[SUPER=01-Scottie Pippin/Chicago Bulls; :00]
[SUPER=01-Karl Malone/Utah Jazz; :16]
[OUT Q=WE DIDN'T RESPOND]
The Bulls lead the best of seven series 2-to-1.
Game four is Wednesday night in Chicago.
In football, New York Giant Tiki Barber joined his twin brother
Ronde in an appearance in Salem over the Weekend to help promote habitat for humanity.
The pair came out during an Avalanche game to support the organization. Even though Ronde was in a baseball yard, he could not help offering his thoughts on the NBA finals.
[SUPER=01-Ronde Barber/Tampa Bay Cornerback; :00]
[OUT Q=...of a team"]
The Barbers are now both in Voluntary training camp with the Giants and the Buccaneers for the next few weeks. Botth commented on what's ahead for this season.
[SUPER=01-Tiki Barber/Giants Running Back; :00]
[OUT Q=...going again"]
[SUPER=330-Clouding Up/Rain Likely/50-52/Scattered/Showers/65-69;]
[SUPER=332-Cloudy With/Rain Later/50-53/Showers/Likely/65-69;]
[SUPER=333-Clouding Up/Light Winds/48-50/Scattered/Showers/65-68;]
(toss to Jean)
A home video revolution began today-- IN VIRGINIA.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Jean/Newsroom]
Jean Jadhon is in the newsroom with a preview.
Keith, coming up tonight at 11, we'll tell you about DIVX (DIHV-ex).
If you hate trying to watch all your rental videos before they're overdue-- a digital movie disc that you can BUY for just under five dollars and watch at your convenience could change your lifestyle.
Or so Virginia-based Circuit City hopes.
We'll have the story, plus all the latest news, weather, and sports tonight on News 7 at 11--Keith?
(Keith ad lib byes)
(Weekday 6 only)
[SUPER=x4032; e-mail/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS]
SUPER=x4033; Fax/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS
(Weekend 6 only)