On NEWS 7 at SIX tonight, we'll go to court in a case involving allegations of child abuse and neglect.
We'll hear from the defendant, a woman whose little girl died- -riding in the bed of a pick-up truck.
And a couple of this year's Miss Virginia contestants take ab-vantage of a rules change: TWO-piece bathing suits are allowed for the first time.
Tonight in sports, Steve Mason chats with Frank Anzalone as former Express boss returns to the valley.
We'll check some day one highlights from Wimbledon.
Plus, Bulls' coach Phil Jackson gets an autographed motorcycle from his players and then officially quits as head coach of team this afternoon.
Get used to those 90 degrees days. They stay in the forecast all week long.
[TAPE#98-32 TC 1:23:03]
A mother whose young daughter died after she was thrown from the back of a pickup truck has been found NOT guilty of felony child abuse and neglect.
[Double Boxes=Keith and David/Microwave]
David Johnson was in Montgomery County Circuit Court today for the trial of Treca (Tree-Suh) Anders Rentch (Wrench).
He's in our New River Valley Newsroom.
Keith, after two and a half hours of testimony, Judge Ray Grubbs needed just 20 minutes to decide the evidence only supported the notion that Treca Rentch had used poor judgment the day her daughter was killed, and was not guilty of neglect.
[SUPER=03-Christiansburg/May 1997; :10;]
[SUPER=07-Treca Anders Rentch; :23]
[OUT Q=already hurt]
(( Seven year old Samantha Darlene Rentch was one of three people thrown from the back of a pick-up truck being driven by her mother's boyfriend.
Samantha was the only one who died.
Two weeks ago, the driver Chris Fisher was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, D-U-I and possession of marijuana.
But Treca Rentch was charged with placing her three kids in harm's way.
She was facing up to 25 years in prison had she been convicted.
[IN Q=I FEEL LIKE]
((TRECA ANDERS RENTCH; I FEEL LIKE THAT WHATEVER THIS COURT COULD HAVE GIVEN ME WOULD NEVER COMPARE TO WHAT I'VE GOT TO LIVE WITH. NO ONE CAN HURT ME NO MORE THAN WHAT I ALREADY HURT.))
[OUT Q=ALREADY HURT.]
Judge Grubbs apparently agreed, stating there was no evidence that Rentch knew Fisher was under the influence of alcohol or that Rentch had jeopardized her children's safety by allowing her children to ride in back of the truck.
[Double Boxes=Keith and David/Microwave]
Keith, Rentch says she's learned from her mistake--mainly how dangerous it is to put a person in the back of a pick-up truck and that she supports legislation that would outlaw any such activity.
She also says she doesn't drink anymore or associate with anyone who does.
[TAPE#98-34 TC 1:44:32]
Virginia's newest abortion law is skating on thin ice.
A ban on so-called partial birth abortions is scheduled to take effect July first.
Today, a federal judge in Richmond pressured the attorney general's office to agree in theory on a partial injunction -- to guarantee that NO so-called "conventional" abortion would be prosecuted.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom with the latest.
Keith, the hearing is reconvening at this hour.
Judge Robert Payne is pushing for a more specific description of exactly what the banned procedure would be -- more specific than the law itself describes.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Bill Hurd agreed in theory, and denies it's a concession that the law is vague.
[IN Q=No concession]
[SUPER=01-Bill Hurd/Senior Ass't Attorney General; :00]
[SUPER=01-Simon Heller/Ctr. for Reproductive Law & Policy; :07]
[SUPER=03-Richmond; :19 Quick!]
[OUT Q=that invitation.]
((BILL HURD/SENIOR ASST. ATTORNEY GENERAL: NO CONCESSION AT ALL. THE LAW MEANS WHAT WE SAY IT MEANS. AND WE DON'T MIND THE COURT SAYING SO TOO.))
((SIMON HELLER: THE COMMONWEALTH IS SHIFTING EVERY TIME THEY CAN TO GET AWAY FROM THE FACT THAT THIS IS AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL STATUTE. THEY WANT TO SAVE IT SOMEHOW. BUT IT'S LIKE A SINKING SHIP. IT CAN'T BE SAVED.))
Indeed Judge Payne's own comments and questions were full of skepticism, "If your expert can't figure out what's covered and what's not, I can't write that off to good lawyering..."
"She left me with the distinct impression that it's a very confusing proposition... Why on earth doesn't that qualify for vagueness?"
((BILL HURD/SENIOR ASST. ATTORNEY GENERAL: THIS IS A LAW THAT WE BELIEVE IS CONSTITUTIONAL. THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCATION HAS APPROVED OF THE LAW AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.))
((SIMON HELLER/CTR. FOR REPROD. LAW AND POLICY: I DON'T KNOW HOW CAN HE SAY THAT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE. AND MAYBE IT WASN'T QUITE A STRAIGHT FACE.))
Judge Payne finally said:
"You want me to go back and change Roe and Casey on where abortion is permissable and where not. Nine people up there are smarter than I. I'm not inclined to accept that invitation."))
The judge also set an expediated trial date to talk about the actual constitutional merits of the law.
That's the week of August 18th.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/Microwave]
This is still an evolving story tonight on the injunction.
We'll bring you the latest at 11.
[Keith Q&A ]
Where's the Attorney General, Mark Earley?
[TAPE#98-42 TC 98-42]
[GRAPHIC=Bedford County Seal]
It took more than two and a half years, but construction is finally underway on two of Bedford County's five new libraries.
Ground was broken this morning at this site on Route 221 in Forest for a new 10- thousand square foot facility.
Money for the projects will come from a seven- million dollar bond referendum that Bedford County voters passed in November of 1995.
Officials say it's taken them this long to get plans for ALL of the libraries ready.
[IN Q=We're going to]
((TOM HEHMAN/LIBRARY DIRECTOR: WE'RE GOING TO GET MORE VALUE FOR THE MONEY THAT WAY AND THINK WE WERE ABLE TO PUT THE PROJECTS OUT TO BID AS A PACKAGE. COLEMAN- ADAMS WAS THE WINNER, AND IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY EXCITING PROCESS FROM NOW ON, THEY'LL ALL COME IN PRETTY QUICKLY.))
[SUPER=01-Tom Hehman/Library Director; :00]
[OUT Q=pretty quickly.]
Libraries will also be built in Montvale, Stewartsville and Moneta.. an existing library in Big Island will be expanded.
Construction should be completed by the fall of 1999.
Virginia's United Methodists are asking the five state colleges they support to BAN alcohol on campus.. even for students OVER the age of 21.
The United Methodist Church has about 12- hundred congregations in Virginia.. its delegates met in Roanoke over the weekend.
The ban would affect the denomination's five Virginia schools including Randolph Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg and Ferrum College in Franklin County.
Randolph Macon officials say they haven't had time to discuss the request and it's too early to say whether the school will comply.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Will you pay more to watch a race at the Martinsville Speedway?
That story is coming up on News 7 at Six.
And it's a summer tradition in the Roanoke Valley--the Miss Virginia contestants are in town. We'll tell you about how the swimsuit competition is changing this year.
[wx ad lib]
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[SUPER=83-Down 0.61 foot/Down 0.95 foot;Lake levels][Henry-Budget]
[TAPE#98-41 TC 48:10]
Henry County will lose more than one million dollars in yearly tax revenues when the DuPont plant closes at the end of the month.
County Supervisors agree they must pursue other ways of raising money.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Christy/Microwave]
Christy Hubley joins us in our Danville bureau with the story.
Henry County hopes a meals tax and an admissions tax on Martinsville Speedway tickets will replace the one-point-three million dollars in taxes it used to get from DuPont.
[IN Q=Henry County supervisors]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co; :00]
[SUPER=01-Sid Clower/Henry Co. Administrator; :14]
[SUPER=03-Martinsville/File Tape; :25]
[OUT Q=done on that issue.]
((Henry County Supervisors approved a nearly 83-million dollar budget for the next fiscal year.
Part of that budget includes a provision for a four-percent meals tax.
Voters will have the final say on that tax in November-- when it appears as a referendum on the ballot.
[IN Q=The citizens have to]
((SID CLOWER: THE CITIZENS HAVE TO VOTE ON IT TO APPROVE IT. IT'S VERY BADLY NEEDED. AND IF IT'S NOT APPROVED, CERTAINLY THE BOARD'S GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT REAL ESTATE TAX INCREASES.))
[OUT Q=estate tax increases.]
The Board of Supervisors also decided to pursue a five-percent admissions tax on Martinsville Speedway tickets.
But this proposed tax has a lot of laps to finish before it reaches a checkered flag.
[IN Q=Certainly we want to work]
((SID CLOWER:CERTAINLY WE WANT TO WORK WITH MISTER CAMPBELL WHO'S PRESIDENT OF THE SPEEDWAY AND MAKE SURE HE'S COMFORTABLE WITH ALL THIS-- AS WELL AS THE NASCAR PEOPLE-- MAKE SURE THEY'RE NOT UNCOMFORTABLE WITH IT AND AFTER WE GET PASSED THAT HURDLE WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND THE GOVERNOR ARE IN AGREEMENT SO THERE'S A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE ON THAT ISSUE.))
[OUT Q=done on that issue.]
Supervisors hope to have the speedway admissions tax in place by the year 2000.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Christy/Microwave]
And Keith, the meals tax has been on ballot at least two times before.
Voters have never gone for it.
[TAPE#=98-46 TC 20:34]
Franklin County is looking for an economic development director. Rocky Mount may contribute so it will be a higher-paying position.
Franklin County would pay someone 36-thousand-dollars to bring in business, but no one's biting.
[IN Q=We just don't]
((WAYNE ANGELL/FRANKLIN CO. SUPERVISOR: WE JUST DON'T HAVE A SALARY RANGE THAT IS COMPETITIVE WITH A LOT OF INDUSTRY. WE NEED TO FIND SOMEONE WHO HAS A PARTICULAR INTEREST, HAS THE CAPABILITY BUT HAS A PARTICULAR INTEREST IN WORKING FOR THE PUBLIC.))
[SUPER=01-Wayne Angell/Franklin Co. Supervisor;]
[OUT Q=FOR THE PUBLIC]
Now -- Rocky Mount may pay for part of the position.
After all, many available business sites are near the town, and new employees would likely shop in town.
[IN Q=The existence of the town]
((BEN PINCKARD/TOWN COUNCIL: THE EXISTENCE OF THE TOWN ... THE CENTER OF THE COMMERCIAL AND ECONOMIC BASE.))
[SUPER=01-Ben Pinckard/Rocky Mount Town Council;]
[OUT Q=economic base]
Rocky Mount town council will discuss whether to pay for the new position at its next meeting on July 13th.
[TAPE#98-45 TC 32:40]
A team of Indiana college students this week is driving from Terre Haute to Orlando, Florida in a car with "no" air conditioning.. and they couldn't be happier about it.
Actually, the hotter the better for this group of engineering students from Rose- Hulman Institute of Technology.
They've designed a solar- powered car that they'll race against forty other colleges in next year's "Sunrayce '99".
Rose- Hulman's "Solar Phantom" has nearly 800 solar cells for storing energy and can reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour.
[IN Q=It's pretty similar]
((DAN VIALARD/RHIT JUNIOR: IT'S PRETTY SIMILAR TO DRIVING A PASSENGER CAR ONLY YOU'RE SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE VEHICLE SO YOU HAVE TO ADJUST LANE POSITION, AND YOU HAVE TO GET USED TO PEOPLE KIND OF TAKING DOUBLE AND TRIPLE TAKES AT YOU AS THEY'RE GOING BY.))
((GEORGE DOUGLAS/SUNRAYCE '99: A LOT OF THE ENGINEERING LESSONS THAT ARE LEARNED IN TRYING TO MEET THE CHALLENGE IN GETTING DOWN THE ROAD USING SOLAR POWER ARE ENGINEERING LESSONS THAT CAN APPLIED TO REVAMPING THE FAMILY AUTOMOBILE TO NOT POLLUTE.))
[SUPER=01-Dan Vialard/RHIT Junior; :00]
[SUPER=01-George Douglas/Sunrayce '99; :11]
[OUT Q=not to pollute.]
Next year's race is sponsored in part by General Motors and the U-S Department of Energy.
It was a mixed day on Wall Street.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow lost two points to close at 87 hundred 11.
NASDAQ gained nearly 25 points.
[ AE /ATT /Bell/Columbia/Crestar;]
[Dana/Dimon/Dominion Resources/First Union/First VA]
[General Electric/Kroger/Nationsbank/Norfolk Southern/Optical Cable]
[phillip morris/roanoke electric steel/trigon/wachovia/walmart]
[TAPE#=98-31 TC 1:45:12]
The competition doesn't begin until Thursday night, but 25 contestants are now in town making final preparations for the Miss Virginia Pageant.
One of their first stops was a poolside photo shoot this afternoon at the Hotel Roanoke.
The young women are competing for the state title, scholarships, and a shot at the Miss America Pageant.
[IN Q=I just hope to go through]
((KRISTEN COX/MISS APPLE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL: I JUST HOPE TO GO THROUGH THIS WEEK AND KEEP MY CONFIDENCE LEVEL HIGH AND MEET A LOT OF REALLY NICE GIRLS. THERE ARE SOME REALLY NICE GIRLS HERE, AND ALSO REPRESENT WINCHESTER WELL, AS WELL AS ROANOKE SINCE I AM A ROANOKE NATIVE.))
((NITA BOOTH/MISS TIDEWATER: I WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE HERE AT LEAST BEING PROUD OF WHAT I'VE DONE. NO MATTER HOW I PLACE, IN THE END I WANT TO SAY I'VE DONE MY BEST.))
[SUPER=01-Kristen Cox/Miss Apple Blossom Festival; :00]
[SUPER=01-Nita Booth/Miss Tidewater; :14]
[OUT Q=I've done my best.]
A change in the rules this year will allow two-piece swimsuits for the first time.
The new Miss Virginia will be crowned Saturday night.
Coming up tonight in sports, we'll check some highlights from day one at Wimbledon, the Bulls and Dodgers face some big coaching decisions tonight.
and a week after resigning from the Express Frank Anzalone returns to the valley.
We'll hear from his tonight in sports as he talks about his future and how he is still helping the Express.
The American Hockey League Lowell Lock Monsters have aquired the services of
former Express head coach Frank Anzalone, whose immediate plans call for moving, finding a home in Massachusettts and the New York Islanders camp in september. Steve Mason caught up with coach today.
[SUPER=01-Frank Anzalone/AHL Lowell Lock Monsters Coach; :29]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/1997-98 Season; 1:08]
[OUT Q=news 7 sports"]
((FRANK ANZALONE/AHL LOWELL LOCK MONSTERS HEAD COACH:))
After five good seasons that included five straight playoff appearances and a Northeast Division title, Anzalone is now an employee of the NHL New York Islanders. This weekend, he will accompany Tony Mancuso to Bullalo for the NHL draft where he and the Express general manager will interview three canidates for the vacant Roanoke coaching job.
From his soon to be sold home in Roanoke County, Anzalone has been on the phone non stop for the Islanders, as well as the Express.
Anzalone is well known for his bottom line phrase and he was not at a loss for one when asked about leaving the valley.
Anzalone and his family hope to make the move to Massachusetts by August first. Steve mason, News 7 sports"
The Express isn't the only team playing the head coaching shakedown game these days.
This morning the Dodgers continued cleaning house. This morning the front office got swept out the door as manager Bill Russell and general manager Fred Claire were both fired.
Glenn Hoffman takes over as manager and Tommy Lasorda as GM.
[SUPER=01-Tommy Lasorda/New Dodgers General Manager; :00]
[super=01-Glenn Hoffman/New Dodgers Manager; :12]
[OUT Q=...can happen."]
Both men are in interim positions.
The Dodgers are two games under 500 two weeks before the all-star break.
The Chicago Bulls are also now officially looking for a new head coach.
This morning Phil Jackson cleaned out his office at the team's practice facility
[SUPER=03-Deerfield, IL; :00]
and then hopped on a new motorcycle. His players chipped in and bought him the cycle and autographed it for him.
Jackson says he's headed to Turkey for a long vacation.
[super=03-Austin, TX; ]
Meanwhile, still no word on whether Michael Jordan will return to retire.
Michael was in Austin, Texas today talking with young people at a camp, and playing a little golf.
Notice he still has his victory cigar in hand.
Day one of play at Wimbledon is over at the all England tennis club, and for a change all of the favorites survived.
[SUPER=03-Wimbledon, England/HBO; :00]
Pete Sampras, the men's number one seed, who was rudely ousted from the French Open, easily beat Dominik Hrbaty in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3 and 6-2.
Andre Agassi, seeded 13th also won today by topping Spain's Alex Calatrava in three sets.
On the women's side Steffi Graf had an easy time with Gala Leon Garcia winning 6-4 and 6-1.
6th seeded Monica Seles also advanced with as easy straight sets win.
However, there's one in every crowd. And 11th seeded Mary Pierce was knocked off by Elena Tatarkova losing 7-6 and 6-3.
12th seed, Anna Kournikova had to withdraw because of torn ligaments in her right thumb.[S-Soccer]
A day after the United States was kicked out of the World Cup by Iran, fans were treated to great match between Tunisia and Columbia.
[SUPER=03-Monpellier, France/Univision; :00]
Columibia kept the heat on the Tunisian goalie all day long but for the most part he was more than up the challenge as witnessed by this save.
But in the 83rd minute of play, the old master, Carlos Valderama sets up Leider Preciado, who beats two defenders to get the eventual game winner.
Columbia is close to advancing. Tunisia is finished.
Romania beat England this afternoon 2-to-1.
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If you're hitting the highway for a summer vacation, Virginia State Police have a warning for you: beware of scams. Investigators say a number of con artists have targeted highway rest stops recently.
(Keith ad lib byes) Join Jean Jadhon for that story and more tonight on News 7 at 11.