Roanoke County firefighters are lending a helping hand to those battling the Florida wildfires.
Governor Gilmore is focusing on his second biggest priority for the state.
And looking for a job? We'll tell who's hiring.
In sports, The men's singles final is set at Wimbledon the Cardinals sign their first round draft pick J.D. Drew.
And C-B-S may scratch coverage of the Pepsi 400 when after the race was postponed to October.
Straight ahead a holiday style forecast complete with great grilling weather for most.
News 7 at Six is next.
"If it was good enough for Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and James Madison-- it's probably good enough for us.".
That's Roanoke Mayor David Bower's opinion of the U-S Constitution-- as it's currently written.
The Democrat spent the morning campaigning in Roanoke-- handing out leaflets detailing the Constitution.
He's running against incumbent Bob Goodlatte.
Bowers is taking his Republican challenger to task saying Goodlatte introduced 17- amendments to the Constitution during the last two Congressional sessions.
According to Bowers-- some of the amendments include terms limits and prayer in school.
[IN Q=The man]
((DAVID BOWERS:THE MAN WE THOUGHT WAS A MODERATE REPUBLICAN REPRESENTING US IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES, IN FACT, IS A FAR RIGHT REPUBLICAN AND I THINK THE PEOPLE, HE'S A NICE FELLOW, PEOPLE LIKE BOB GOODLATTE, I DON'T HAVE ANY QUESTION ABOUT THAT, BUT I'M ASKING THEM TO TAKE A LOOK AT HOW HE VOTES AND I'M THE KIND OF GUY WHO WOULD VOTE IN A MORE MODERATE WAY.))
However, Goodlatte said that amendments have helped to improve the Constitution.
[INQ=Some of the]
((BOB GOODLATTE/SIXTH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN; SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES CONTAINED IN THE U-S CONSTITUTION WERE PUT THERE BY AMENDMENT.))
[OUT Q=there by amendment.]
Goodlatte says the Constitution is a "living document" and that the Founding Fathers meant for lawmakers to make adjustments to it over time.
The promise of phasing in a car tax cut is pretty much what got Governor Jim Gilmore elected.
And while he says that program is successfully underway, he's reminding people he's just as devoted to his other top priority, higher education.
Gilmore put a Blue Ribbon Commission in place when he became governor and a sub-committee is now in the preliminary stages of studying how to improve Virginia's colleges and universities.
[IN Q=WE ALREADY HAVE]
((JIM GILMORE/GOVERNOR; WE ALREADY HAVE VERY GOOD SCHOOLS AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE THE QUALITY IS ACROSS THE BOARD IN ALL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THAT WE HAVE THE VERY BEST. NOW WHAT'S IT GOING TO TAKE TO ACHIEVE THAT IN THE FUTURE? HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST? WHAT DO WE REALLY NEED TO EXCEL AND TO BE GOOD? HOW IS THE MONEY SPENT TO ACHIEVE THAT AND HOW MUCH MONEY IS GOING TO BE NECESSARY?))
[OUT Q=TO BE NECESSARY.]
Gilmore doesn't have the answer to those questions just yet. But he says he will hold college officials more accountable in the near future.
You might have noticed a few "help wanted" signs around town.
Lots of places are hiring, and that's the sign of a strong economy.
But, the unemployment rate is so low, there aren't many people who are looking to be hired.
As Scott Goldberg reports, that's becoming a big problem for employers who need more workers.
[IN Q=It's the time]
[SUPER=01-Henry Caldwell/Sonic Restaurants; :10]
[SUPER=01-Jerry Barnett/Virginia Employment Commission; :48]
[OUT Q=SGO, News 7 Roanoke.]
[start with some nat sound inside Sonic from "Unemployment/ihop" tape]
It's the time of year when places like fast-food restaurants shouldn't have to look far to find workers.
But employers will tell you this has been a cruel summer.
[SOT 13 08 44]
[IN Q=this is our]
((HENRY CALDWELL/SONIC RESTAURANTS: THIS IS OUR SIXTH SUMMER HERE IN ROANOKE AND THIS IS OUR TOUGHEST HIRING SUMMER THAT WE HAVE EXPERIENCED.))
[OUT Q=HAVE EXPERIENCED]
Henry Caldwell has resorted to paying higher wages to attract new workers.
And if he keeps that up, he says he'll have to start charging customers more for their food.
[SOT 13 08 59]
[IN Q=wages are]
((HENRY CALDWELL: WAGES ARE ESCALATING A LITTLE BIT WHICH WILL AT SOME POINT TRANSLATE INTO HIGHER MENU PRICES FOR EVERYBODY.))
[OUT Q=FOR EVERYBODY]
[SOT 17 47 22]
[**STANDUP FROM "UNEMPLOYMENT 2"]
[IN Q=THE FAST FOOD INDUSTRY]
((SCOTT GOLDBERG/REPORTER: THE FAST-FOOD INDUSTRY, LIKE ANY INDUSTRY THAT PAYS ENTRY-LEVEL WAGES, IS HAVING A TOUGH TIME FINDING HELP BECAUSE, WHEN THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FALLS TO A CERTAIN POINT, IT MEANS MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO WANT A JOB HAVE ALREADY FOUND ONE.))
[OUT Q=FOUND ONE]
[SOT 14 30 41]
[IN Q= WHEN THE RATE]
((JERRY BARNETT/VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMISSION: WHEN THE RATE GETS AS LOW AS IT IS IN THE ROANOKE AREA, WHICH IS ABOUT 2.5 PERCENT RIGHT NOW, THAT'S CONSIDERED TO BE FULL EMPLOYMENT.))
[OUT Q=FULL EMPLOYMENT]
Jerry Barnett says that shortage of workers
[shots of construction site]
also stops new business from moving into the area.
[SOT 14 29 49]
[IN Q=they'll assume]
((JERRY BARNETT: THEY'LL ASSUME THAT BECAUSE THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS LOW THAT WORKERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE SO THEY MAY NOT EVEN INVESTIGATE AN AREA.))
[OUT Q=AN AREA]
[use taco bell sign from unemployment/ihop tape AND help wanted sign (Burger King) from "unemployment 2" tape]
The low unemployment rate is a sign of a strong economy.
But its flipside -- the shortage of available workers -- is making this the summer of employers' discontent.
Scott Goldberg, News-7, Roanoke.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Straight ahead--a mushroom pool gets dedicated in the hill city today.
And, game wardens are already out cruising their beat along Smith Mountain Lake--preparing for the rush of people this holiday weekend.
When the news continues, we'll hear how they plan to make the waterway safer.
But, first let's check in with Robin Reed for a look at the weather.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-Trace/minus 0.22''/32.35''/plus 12.47'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 0.67 foot/Down 0.77 foot;Lake levels][FireFighters]
A group of fire fighters from Southwest Virginia are spending the holiday weekend saying goodbye to friends and family.
They're packing their bags and equipment to help fight the brush fires raging in Florida.
Teresa Hamilton joins us from our Roanoke newsroom with more on the job ahead.
Tonya-- fire fighters from across Virginia are stepping forward to lend a helping hand.
Those who'll be leaving Southwest Virginia-- include seven fire fighters from Roanoke County.
A group-- that realizes the trip ahead to Florida will be anything but a vacation.
[IN Q=Their experience and]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :07]
[SUPER=01-John King/Cave Spring Fire Chief; :15 QUICK!!!!]
[SUPER=01-Alex Murillo/Roanoke Co. Volunteer Fire Fighter; :43]
[OUT Q=down to Florida.]
[IN Q=Their experience]
((JOHN KING/CAVE SPRING FIRE CHIEF: THEIR EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS. ))
[OUT Q=in this. ]
Cave Spring Fire Chief John King won't be among the seven Roanoke County fire fighters heading South, this weekend.
But he is familiar with the assignment.
((JOHN KING/CAVE SPRING FIRE CHIEF: THEIR MAIN OBJECTIVE IS GOING TO BE TO TAKE CARE OF PRIMARILY HOUSE FIRES, THINGS LIKE THAT, BUT IF THEY'RE CALLED UPON TO DO MAIN LINE ATTACK THEY WILL DO THAT.))
[OUT Q=do that.]
Alex Murillo is among the seven volunteer fire fighters who'll be leaving Sunday, by bus, en route to Florida.
He's been with the Cave Spring Fire Department for ten years and has fought similar fires in other states.
((ALEX MURILLO/ROANOKE CO. VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTER:ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, IDAHO, WASHINGTON STATE TWICE, THAT'S ALL. ))
[OUT Q=that's all.]
Roanoke County has also agreed to lend two brush trucks and one tanker-- to help fight the raging brush fires which have forced the evacuate of tens of thousands and consumed numerous homes.
[IN Q=They'll be]
((THEY'LL BE TRANSPORTED NOT ONLY FROM ROANOKE COUNTY BUT THEY'LL BE VARIOUS COUNTIES IN THE STATE OF VIRGINIA WILL BE TRANSPORTING, BY TRAIN, DOWN TO FLORIDA. ))
[OUT Q=down to Florida.]
The fire fighters will remain in Florida for approximately two weeks-- working 12 to 18 hours shifts.
(Question: Again, when will they be leaving?)
They'll be heading to Richmond on Sunday-- where they'll load up on a bus which will take them to Florida.
Lynchburg's youngest citizens now have a new way to beat the summer heat.
It may look like a giant mushroom, but it's actually the newest public pool at Miller Park.
Lynchburg city officials this week helped dedicate the "mushroom pool", much to the delight of dozens of local children.
[IN Q=It's basically]
((ED JONES/PARKS AND RECREATION ENGINEER: IT'S BASICALLY FOR THE SMALL KIDS. OTHER THAN THE KIDDIE POOL THEY'VE GOT HERE, THIS GIVES THEM SOMETHING ELSE THEY CAN PLAY IN AND ENJOY THEMSELVES IN THE SUMMER SUN.))
((PARIS LENON/ACTING INTERIM DIRECTOR: THE RECREATION TASK FORCE, WHICH LOOKED AT ALL RECREATION PROGRAMS THROUGHOUT THE CITY, HAD AN IDEA WITH OUR CONSULTANT- CAME AND LOOKED IN AT LAST YEAR AND SAID WE NEED TO ADD SOMETHING TO THE POOL THAT WOULD MAKE IT INDUCIVE FOR A LOT OF OUR KIDS TO PARTICIPATE. SO THAT'S WHY THE CONCEPT OF THE RAIN DROP CAME BY.))
[SUPER=01-Ed Jones/Parks and Rec Engineer; :00]
[SUPER=01-Paris Lenon/Athletics Program Director; :09]
[OUT Q=drop came by.]
The pool's 50- thousand dollar price tag was covered by the city's Neighborhood Initiative program. (--------
[GRAPHIC=Smith Mountain Lake]
Game wardens will be out in full force on Smith Mountain Lake this holiday weekend.
And, as Tina Tenret tells us, they are already handing out tickets.
[IN Q=Eight officers]
[SUPER=03-Franklin Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Ron Henry/State Game Warden; :07]
[SUPER=01-Carson Altizer/State Game Warden; :38]
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret News7 Franklin County]
(( Eight officers will patrol the lake this weekend.
They will run sobriety checkpoints to catch drunken boaters.
[IN Q=We've seen]
((SGT. RON HENRY/STATE GAME WARDEN: WE'VE SEEN THE USE OF A DESIGNATED DRIVER SOAR AND WE'VE SEEN INTOXICATED DRIVERS FALL.))
[OUT Q=INTOXICATED DRIVERS FALL]
But there are other ways of steering into trouble.
This jet skiier raced right past a no-wake buoy, without slowing to idle speed.
His penalty: a ticket and a court date.
These boys did not have two lifejackets on board.
Even a man who says he's a boat dealer did not know the letter of the law -- his registration number was not clearly marked on both sides of the boat.
[IN Q=The majority]
((CARSON ALTIZER/STATE GAME WARDEN: THE MAJORITY OF TICKETS OR SUMMONS ARE ISSUED FOR BOATING SAFETY EQUIPMENT VIOLATIONS OR BOATING REGISTRATIONS OR FISHING LICENCES. THAT'S JUST IN HIGHEST NUMBERS.))
[OUT Q=HIGHEST NUMBERS]
A traffic jam this weekend may throw these problems into full throttle, mixing inexperienced boaters and holiday spirits.
[IN Q=Above all]
((ABOVE ALL AVOID ALCOHOL. IF YOURE DRUNK AND YOU FALL OUT OF A CAR YOU HIT THE ROAD. OUT HERE YOU END UP 200 FEET BELOW YOUR BOAT.))
[OUT Q=below your boat]
((TINA TENRET/NEWS7: SOME TIPS BEFORE YOU LEAVE DOCK THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND. CHECK TO MAKE SURE YOUR BOAT LIGHTS WORK, THAT YOU HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER, A THROW CUSHION, AND ENOUGH WEARABLE LIFE JACKETS FOR EVERYONE ON BOARD. TINA TENRET, NEWS7 FRANKLIN COUNTY.))
[OUT Q=franklin county]))
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Up next, we'll hear from the owner of a store in the star city..
that's making a fashion statement as well as a political one--by selling products made of hemp.
It's a marijuana look-a-like, owner Kerry Underwood believes is the solution to the tobacco debate.
More when we return.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
Hemp is hip according to one clothing store owner in downtown Roanoke.
At the Blue Ridge Hemp Company you can find dresses and jewelry made of the marijuana look-a-like fiber.
But, local police are warning would-be growers not to get any ideas.
Stacey Martin has the story.
[IN Q=Hemp has had]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; :05 QUICK!!]
[SUPER=01-Kerry Underwood/Owner; :17]
[SUPER=01-W. F. Brown/Vinton Police; :32]
[SUPER=04-File Tape; :40 QUICK!!]
[OUT Q=SM, News 7, Roanoke.]
((Hemp has had a twisted history in the U-S--now add one more knot--soap, rope--yes, even camel-colored Adidas tennis shoes, ALL made of 100 percent hemp-- giving customers at this store a new look at an old fabric.
[SOT 16.18.24 - 16.18.34]
[IN Q=Usually when they]
((KERRY UNDERWOOD/OWNER: USUALLY WHEN THEY LEAVE HERE THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT IDEA ABOUT HEMP AND THEY DON'T FEEL THE SAME WAY.))
[OUT Q=lot of questions.]
While hemp is a close cousin, it's NOT marijuana, though you'd have a hard time convincing officers of the law, who may think suspected growers were trying to string them along.
[SOT 15.32.37 - 15.32.45]
[IN Q=If we would]
((LT. W.F. BROWN/VINTON POLICE DEPT.: IF WE WOULD GO INTO A HOUSE AND THEY HAD SEVERAL DIFFERENT PLANTS AS WE HAVE DONE BEFORE AND THEY WOULD TRY TO EXPLAIN TO US THAT THEY WERE GROWING THIS FOR HEMP ROPE I WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT.))
[OUT Q=wouldn't believe it.]
That's because growing ANY type of cannibas was banned in the United States in the 1970s.
However, Underwood gets around the law by importing only finished products.
And, while he's in business to make a profit, he's hoping hemp will help revive the future of farming.
[SOT 16.19.45 - 16.19.54]
[IN Q=Our farmers are]
((KERRY UNDERWOOD/OWNER: OUR FARMERS ARE GETTING READY TO LOSE THEIR ONLY CASH CROP WHICH IS TOBACCO. AND, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT AND EVERYONE YOU TALK TO KNOWS THAT TOBACCO IS ON ITS WAY OUT. WHY NOT GIVE THEM HEMP TO GROW?))
[OUT Q=hemp to grow?]
After all, Underwood says, they'd only be taking a hint from the past.
Stacey Martin, News 7, Roanoke.))
And coming up in sports, Mike Stevens checks in from Daytona K.J. Hippensteel advances in the Junior championships at Wimbledon.
And Pete Sampras and Gorian Ivanisevic will hook up in the men's singles finals at Wimbledon.
While racing fans all across the country are disappointed they will not be able to celebrate the fourth of July at the Pepsi 400, Mike Stevens tells us that NASCAR made the only sensible decision when they decided to postpone the race.
[IN Q="First audio]
[SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Motley/NASCAR Public Relations; :23]
[OUT Q=.....news 7 sports."]
Britain will have to wait at least another year before having a champion at Wimbledon.
This afternoon Pete Sampras advances to the men's singles final with a four set win over Tom Henman.
Sampras was looking for his fifth Wimbledon title in the past six years.
Sampras would control the match as he played the serve and volley to perfection wearing Henman down in the final two sets.
He clinched the match with this ace winning in four sets 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 and 6-3. Sampras is looking for his 11-th grand slam title.
Sampras will face Goran Ivanisevic in the finals. He advanced by beating Richard Krajicek in a marathon fifth set 15 to 13.
Roanoke's K.J. Hippensteel has advanced to the semi finals of the Junior Championships at Wimbledon. K.J. and his doubles partner David Martin won a straight set match over a team from Australia 7-5, 6-1.
The Semi's are scheduled for tomorrow.
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed their first round draft pick J.D. Drew.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but its believed to be worth 7 million dollars over 4 years.
Drew was Philadelphia's top pick a year ago but the club wouldn't meet his contract demands.
[IN Q="Probably the...]
[SUPER=01-J.D. Drew/Signs With Cardinals; :]
[OUT Q=....way here."]
The 22 year old wanted an 11 million dollar contract which is unprecedented for a player with no major league experience.
When the all star break comes up later this month Rookie pitching sensation Kerry Wood will get some time off.
[SUPER=03-Chicago, IL/WBBM; :]
Wood, who is second in strikeouts in the National League was left off the national league team despite the thoughts of many that he would make the squad.
However, The Cubs rookie didn't seem fazed by the brush off.
[IN Q="I really...]
[SUPER=01-Kerry Wood/Second in N.L. In Strikeouts; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jim Riggleman/Cubs Manager; :09]
[OUT Q=...guys too."]
[SUPER=330-Clear And/Mild/60-62/Partly Sunny/Shower Late/88-90;]
[SUPER=331-Clear With/Light Winds/60-62/Sunny/Wind S-10/88-92;]
[SUPER=332-Clear And/Pleasant/56-58/Partly Cloudy/Shower Late/83-85;]
[SUPER=333-Mostly Clear/Light Winds/58-60/Partly Sunny/Shower Late/84-86;]
[SUPER=334-Clear With/Patchy Fog/55-60/Partly Sunny/Shower Late/82-84;]
For years the Fourth of July came and went without a lot of celebration in Lexington.
But, now the skies are filled with color thanks to the city's annual balloon festival.
This year's event attracted 24 balloonists from around the country.
(Tonya ad lib byes)
Join us for that story and more tonight on News 7 at 11.