Up next on News 7, Louis Ceperano says he wants the world to know his conviction for the murder of a black man does
not mean he is a racist.
and autoworkers locally and across the country are laid off as the strike against General Motors continues.
Scientists think they've found the reason African Americans are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure.
And diabetes can impair driving skills.
New findings from U-V-A are helping patients know when to pull over.
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[IN Q=He was]
((HE WAS A GOOD, QUIET FRIEND, GOT ALONG WITH HIM WELL, AND I'M NOT GUILTY OF KILLING HIM. ))
[OUT Q=killing him.]
The man who's taken the blame in court for one of the most brutal, racially-charged crimes now has second thoughts... and kind words for the victim.
Good evening, I'm Jean Jadhon.
Moonshine, whisky, valium and zanax-- it was a strong cocktail consumed by Louis Ceparano the night his friend was murdered.
But Ceparano says regardless of the combination, he's incapable of committing murder.
[DOUBLE BOXES=TERESA/JEAN Microwave]
Teresa Hamilton spoke with Ceparano this morning and joins us from our Blacksburg newsroom with more on their conversation.
Jean, Ceparano says he was extremely intoxicated the morning Garnett "G-P" Johnson was killed.
And, while he says he wishes he would have done things differently that day--- he says in NO way was he directly res
ponsible for Johnson's murder.
[IN Q=GP was]
[SUPER=03-Independence/File Tape; :15]
[SUPER=03-Grayson Co./File Tape; 1:00]
[OUT Q=to do that.]
((LOUIS CEPARANO/CONVICTED MURDERER:GP WAS MY FRIEND AND EVEN THOUGH WE ALL MAY HAVE BEEN PRETTY WELL INTOXICATED I WOULD HAVE IN NO WAY WANTED TO HURT HIM. ))
[OUT Q=hurt him.]
Ceparano declines to go into specifics about the crime saying he did NOT want to jeopardize the commonwealth's case against co-defendant, Emmett Cressell, Junior.
Ceparano, who'd been facing the death penalty, recently entered a plea that guaranteed him life in prison without parole after agreeing to testify against Cressell.
But Ceparano is adamant in wanting people to know he's NOT a racist.
[IN Q=I get along]
((I GET ALONG SOCIALLY CORRECT WITH EVERYBODY AND I THINK THE NEWSPAPERS HAVE LABELLED ME DIFFERENTLY AND I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT I'M NOT THIS BAD, MAD MAN TYPE PERSON THAT THEY HAVE MADE ME OUT TO BE. ))
[OUT Q=to be.]
Ceparano says he combined moonshine and whisky along with the prescription drugs Valium and Zanax in the hours leading up to the murder...
He remembers the three had been joking around and that he helped Cressell carry Johnson out of his house but says that's where his role in the crime ended.
And, while police say his clothes were covered in the victim's blood-- Ceparano denies dousing Johnson with gasoline or lighting the match-- or later beheading him.
((I DIDN'T KILL HIM, I KNOW I WOULDN'T HAVE, IT'S JUST NOT IN ME TO DO THAT. ))
[OUT Q=to do that.]
Ceparano has three teenage children and recently became a grandfather-- which he says prompted him to enter a plea but today he says he thinks he may have acted hastily.
Jean, tonight at six... we'll hear why Ceparano feels he may have been pushed into a deal.[5-GM-Strike]
The General Motors strike is still going on and it's getting worse.
Nearly 100-thousand people are out of work.
Today's GM's biggest assembly plant in Lordstown Ohio closed its doors.
Drew Levinson has more.
[SUPER=01-Jack Smith/General Motors CEO;]
[SUPER=01-Darryl Baker/Striking Worker; ]
[SUPER=01-Drew Levinson/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Flint, Michigan]
((With the two strikes against general motors-- now entering their second
and third weeks-- the wheels of the auto giant are grinding to a halt.
The ripple effects are being felt across north america. 90-percent of
General Motors production capacity is down, and nearly 100-thousand
hourly workers have been laid off.
For the first time since the united auto workers left the assembly line
for the picket line-- gm's chief executive spoke in public about the
His words came in a prepared speech to college graduates.
JACK SMITH/GM CHIEF EXECUTIVE
WE DIDN'T WANT THIS STRIKE.. WE'D LIKE IT TO END AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
But that's about all he had to say -- avoiding reporters' questions as
he left the building...
Workers at the striking plants disagree. they say they are competitive
to the extent General motors allows them to be.
DARRYL BAKER/STRIKING WORKER
The strikes and their effect on the american economy have not gone
un-noticed in Washington.
THEY HAVE SOME APPARENTLY LEGITIMATE DIFFERENCES. WE HOPE THEY REACH AGREEMENT IN A TIMELY FASHION.
DREW LEVINSON/CBS NEWS:
THERE IS NOT LIKELY TO BE ANY SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN NEGOTIATIONS IN
THE NEXT TWO WEEKS-- SINCE ALL GENERAL MOTORS PLANTS WERE ALREADY
SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER CLOSINGS. Drew Levinson, CBS News, Flint Michigan.))
The GM strike has forced layoffs in Wytheville.
About 180 employees at the Kingston-Warren company have been out of work for almost ten days now.
The plant is still open, running a reduced schedule with about 50 workers.
Kingston-Warren makes rubber seals for car doors and windows.
Neither side is talking--
But a court challenge to Virginia's latest partial birth abortion law is now in negotiations OUT of court.
A hearing in a federal court in Richmond has prompted talks between the Virginia Attorney General's office and the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York.
That's a little suprising, since Attorney General Mark Earley blasted the challenge as "meritless and moot, flimsy and frivolous" in his last court filing.
It now appears some element of the challenge may have merit-- or Earley would NOT be negotiating at all.
[(toss to R)]
(toss to Robin)
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Fire officials say new laws could endangering Lynchburg residents. We'll have that story next.
and a historic log cabin gets an apparent reprieve. We'll explain in a moment.
In Health Check, why some researchers are concerned diabetics could experience difficulty when driving.
We'll have that and more. Stay tuned.
Are Lynchburg residents getting the kind of fire protection they deserve?
Some FIREFIGHTERS are wondering... and they want the public to realize what's going on.
Steve Smallshaw joins us live.. Steve, what exactly are the firefighters concerned about?
A couple of things, Jean... they're learning how to cope with a new federal law that sometimes prevents firefighters from entering a burning building.. and the department also is dealing with a critical shortage of manpower.
[IN Q=The new]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=01-Mike Hagar/Firefighters Association; :18]
[SUPER=01-Robert Garber/Lynchburg Council Member; :52]
[OUT Q=happens all the time.]
(( The new Two In/Two Out law requires at least two firefighters to be OUTSIDE a burning building before two others can go in.. except when someone's life is in danger.
But since Lynchburg's engine companies only carry THREE people, waiting for more help to arrive can mean a costly delay.
[IN Q=It increases]
((MIKE HAGAR/LYNCHBURG FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION: IT INCREASES THE DANGER TO THE FIREFIGHTERS AND ALSO IT INCREASES THE FIRE LOSS AND PART OF THE JOB WE HAVE FIRST AND FOREMOST IS RESCUE AND KEEPING LIVES SAFE, BUT THE SECOND JOB THAT WE DO IS TRY AND MINIMIZE DAMAGE FROM FIRES, THAT'S PART OF OUR JOB.))
[OUT Q=of our job.]
Hagar and his colleagues took their concerns to city council earlier this week, which will establish a task force to look for possible solutions.
Council also learned that city firefighters are sitting on more than 16- thousand hours of comp time.. creating a manpower shortage that at times forces critical pieces of equipment to sit unused.
[IN Q=If the people]
((ROBERT GARBER/LYNCHBURG COUNCIL MEMBER: IF THE PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS KNEW THAT PIECES OF EQUIPMENT IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD WERE NOT OPERATIONAL BECAUSE THERE'S NOBODY THERE TO MAN THEM, I DON'T THINK THE CITIZENS WOULD LIKE THAT. AND IT SURPRISED ME WHEN I WENT DOWN THERE AND HEARD IT, THEY SAID THIS ISN'T JUST SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS EVERY NOW AND AGAIN, IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.))
[OUT Q=happens all the time.]))
Firefighters admit that by making their concerns public, they hope to get the money, manpower and equipment they need.
But how much is the city willing to put up? We'll talk more about that at Six. Jean? [5-Log-Cabin]
The owner of a historic log cabin has agreed to delay demolition -- and is now accepting offers to buy it.
The city has condemned this two-story log cabin from the 18th century, saying it must be torn down by July second.
But the contractor bought the house and says he will wait a week to dismantle it -- giving historians or private residents a chance to save it.
In the meantime his crew is cleaning the place up.
[IN Q=It's like making]
((PAUL LEVI/ANTIQUE LOG CABINS: IT'S LIKE MAKING A CAKE ... FIT FOR SOMEONE TO LIVE IN.))
[SUPER=01-Paul Levi/Antique Log Cabins]
[OUT Q=to live in]
Just today -- Levi found a card wedged between logs, advertising the Fountain Inn in 1827.
He says he would like to see the cabin stay in its historic spot on Salem Turnpike.
Coming up on the Newscast, Patrick will tell us what kind of weather to expect this weekend.
and we'll see what could motivate three men to spend the day in some real high chairs.
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[health music under]
Today in Sports, Mike Stevens will have a look at the early NASCAR qualifying results at Pocono.
Coming up next on health check --
we'll see how a special T-Shirt can help women detect breast cancer.
And hypoglycemia research suggests people with diabetes should never get behind the wheel of a car when their blood sugar is low.
[SOT 04 15 14]
[IN Q=People who]
((DR. DANIEL COX/UVA PSYCHIATRIC MEDICINE:PEOPLE WHO DO HAVE EPISODES OF FREQUENT SEVERE HYPOGLYCEMIA ARE AT HIGH RISK TO THEMSELVES AS WELL PEOPLE WHO DEPEND ON THEM.))
[OUT Q=on them.]
How can having diabetes make you a dangerous driver?
University of Virginia Researchers say a new discovery shows even mild episodes of hypoglycemia can cause the person behind the wheel to lose control.
[IN Q=There have been]
[SUPER=01-Kirsteen Mitchell/Diabetic; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Daniel J. Cox/UVA Psychiatric Medicine; :34]
[OUT Q=in death]
[SOT 04 12 45]
[IN Q=There have]
((KIRSTEEN MITCHELL/DIABETIC:THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN I'VE PASSED OUT I'VE PASSED OUT DRIVING, YOU HAVE. YOU'VE PASSED OUT, YOU'VE DRIVEN OFF THE ROAD, OH YAY, I'VE HIT A CAR, I RODE OFF THE ROAD.))
[OUT Q=the road.]
Kirsteen Mitchell is part of a U-V-A study that tested how blood glucose levels effect driving.
Participants were tested using a realistic driving simulator.
Driving performance was monitored as well as self-treatment of low blood sugar.
The results were provided on three screens for the patients to view.
Mitchell suffered from severe hypoglycemia while driving her car.
[SOT 04 14 27]
[IN Q=Blood sugar]
((DR. DANIEL J. COX/UVA PSYCHIATRIC MEDICINE:BLOOD SUGAR IS THE PRIMARY FUEL OF THE BRIAN, IF YOU DEPRIVE THE BRAIN OF IT'S FUEL THEN IT BECOMES DYSFUNCTIONAL TO THE POINT WHERE YOU EVENTUALLY BECOME UNCONSCIOUS AND CEASE AND COULD CONCLUDE IN DEATH.))
[OUT Q=in death] ))
The study revealed even when the subjects suspected their blood sugar was low, they waited too long to treat it, with potentially dangerous consequences.
The findings were reported this week at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association.
African Americans are 40 percent more likely than whites to develop high blood pressure and now for the first time, doctors think they know why.
Researchers at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute say a chemical that helps the body handle stress may not react as well in blacks.
Without this chemical, vessels tighten and limit the blood flow.
Doctors hope the findings will lead to earlier detection of high blood pressure.
In Sports, Jeff Gordon hits the wall in qualifying and still takes the pole.
with that, here's Mike Stevens[S5-Qualify]
Welcome to the Friday ticker as we get your weekend off to a roaring start with some qualifying news from the Poconos.
The Winston Cup cars are in Pennsylvania this weekend for the Pocono 500.
[SUPER=03-Pocono, PA/SpeedVision; :00]
45 cars qualified this afternoon but Jeff Gordon was the fastest of the fast. He won the pole with a lap at 168 point 042 miles an hour, and he did so despite brushing the wall with his right quarter panel.
Now the top 25.
[WIPE TO MOTION]
[SUPER=0107-1. Jeff Gordon/168.042/2. Rusty Wallace//3. Jeremy Mayfield//4. Ken Schrader//5. Ward Burton//;]
[SUPER=0107-6. Mark Martin//7. Joe Nemechek//8. Ted Musgrave//9. Dale Jarrett//10. Chad Little//;]
[SUPER=0107-11. Dale Earnhadt//12. Terry Labonte//13. Kenny Wallace//14. Wally Dallenbach//15. Sterling Marlin//;]
[SUPER=0107-16. Bobby Hamilton//17. Kyle Petty//18. Darrell Waltrip//19. John Andretti//20. Mike Skinner//;]
[SUPER=0107-21. Dick Trickle//22. Bill Elliott//23. Bobby Labonte//24. Rick Mast//25. Hut Stricklin//;]
[OUT Q=... LAST DRIVER."]
Tomorrow, the AAU Junior Olympic Track & Field State Championship takes place at Salem High School. Steve Mason tells us how a local inner city team is measuring up.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Taheerah Hodge/100 & 200 Meter Runner; :16]
[SUPER=01-Paul Moyer/Inner City Streak Coach; :47]
[SUPER=01-Kevin Green/100 & 200 Meter Runner; 1:09]
[OUT Q=news 7 sports"]
((The Roanoke Inner City Streak athletes have sacrificed their entire summer for track. Through the sport, they have also learned how to run from the troubles that can bring down today's youth.
leaving the streets alone and focussing on track has paid off for Taheerah. She's one of the 30 inner city streak athletes with a solid shot at nationals. The program began in 1989 and is the only one of it's kind in the valley.
The ages range from 6 to 13, and the boys and girls train at Lucy Addison. Around 400 athletes will compete tomorrow. The top four finishers qualify for the nationals at Norfolk State University.))
Roy Stanley takes aims with some of the world's top archers tonight at six.
Have a great weekend everybody.
[take a break][5-High-Chairs]
Three men in recliners in the rain.
Maybe you saw them, if you were tooling along Hershberger Road anytime today.
It was a publicity stunt by W-J-L-M, Roanoke's country music station.
All the contestants had to do was sit in recliners for 12 hours.
At the end of the day they get to take the chairs home ...just in time for Father's Day.
[IN Q=It got me]
((IT GOT ME OUT HERE. THE REST IS FUN WITH THE GUYS. BOOMER AND SLAM, MERLE AND DAVID, THEY'RE GOOD PEOPLE. WE'RE HAVING A GOOD TIME UP HERE. ))
[OUT Q=time up here.]
But nobody counted on thunderstorms.
These guys might be risking their lives perched on a hydraulic lift.
[IN Q=I think it's]
((I THINK IT'S UP ABOUT 40 FEET. BUT IF ANY THUNDER OR LIGHTNING COMES UP, WE TAKE IT DOWN AS SOON AS IT STARTS. ))
[OUT Q=as it starts.]
It was a cheap promotion.
The chairs came from a nearby store that's going out of business.
They borrowed the hydraulic lift.