Straight ahead on News 7 at Six--
a woman whose sister died in Saturday's tragic accident along I-81 talks about her loss.
We'll have a live report coming up.
And, prosecutors consider pressing charges against the parents of a four year old who shot and killed his baby sister.
Tonight in sports, the all-star game is upon us.
We will hear from Ken Griffey Junior and take a look at home Mark McGwire's season is affecting the trading cards business.
Plus, we'll check in with Terry Labonte's racing son.
And see who Pak pocketed over $267 thousand dollars today by winning the women's US Open title on the 92nd hole.
Looks like a mix of clouds and sun over the next few days with a few showers tossed in. Details just ahead.
Funeral services for six of the seven victims of last Saturday's accident in Botetourt County will be held Thursday.
[Double Boxes=Jean/Eric Microwave]
Eric Earnhart spoke with family members today.
He's at the accident scene with details.
[Live=Eric Full Starlink]
(rollcue: coping the best they can)
[IN Q=Pictures of Saturday's]
[SUPER=01-Roxanne Cullen/Victims' Sister;]
[SUPER=01-Kevin Chittum/November 8, 1991]
[OUT Q=that can be]
Pictures of Saturday's accident scene tell one part of this tragic story...
Pictures of the young victims tell the other...
25 year old Kevin Chittum, 13 year old Bridget Chittum, 11 year old Sheena Miskovsky, Joshua and Jonathan Conner, 13 and 10,
19 year old Tamara Witney Rogers, whose family asked her picture not be used, and truck driver 59 year old Jerry Douglas Gregory.
[IN Q=we're doing ]
((ROXANNE CULLEN/VICTIMS' SISTER; THERE'S NOTHING ANYONE CAN REALLY SAY OR DO TO REALLY HELP OUR PAIN, JUST KEEP PRAYING FOR US AND HOPE THAT WE GET THROUGH THIS))
[OUT Q=deal with it]
Rockbridge County School officials are offering counseling, aware that the impact of the loss may not set in until students return to their classes.
[IN Q=i think a part]
((GLEN STARK/SUPERINTENDENT; I THINK A PART OF WHAT WE'LL TRY AND GET A HANDLE ON IN TALKING WITH FOLKS THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK IS WHAT LEVEL OF ADDITIONAL INTERVENTION WE MADE NEED ONCE SCHOOL STARTS.))
[OUT Q=of the summer]
7 years ago... we talked to Kevin Chittum, part of the last graduating class of Natural Bridge High School.
[IN Q=we're going to be]
((KEVIN CHITTUM/ WE'RE GOING TO BE THE LAST PEOPLE TO SET FOOT ON THIS FIELD, AND SINCE WE'RE THE LAST CLASS, OF NATURAL BRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL, IT'LL MEAN A LOT))
[OUT Q=mean a lot]
[SOT 01:55:33 ]
[IN Q=if we had just ]
((ROXANNE CULLEN/VICTIMS' SISTER; IF WE HAD JUST LOST ONE FAMILY MEMBER IT WOULD STILL JUST BE AS HARD, BUT THIS ACCIDENT WIPED OUT HALF OF MY FAMILY, AND WE WERE ALL VERY CLOSE, AND THEY WILL BE SADLY MISSED.))
[OUT Q=sadly missed]
Route 11 is still closed at the scene of the accident, 4 thousand gallons of diesel fuel is eating away the asphalt... it will be replaced...
The only part of this tragedy that CAN be.
[take pinnacle board - 1000]
[Double Boxes=Jean/Eric Starlink]
One man was killed and another injured today when a Virginia Department of Transportation dump truck collided with a pickup truck.
It happened around 11:30 this morning on Route 7-57 in Stewartsville.
[IN Q=THE V-DOT TRUCK]
((TROOPER G.R. SNEAD/VA STATE POLICE: THE VDOT TRUCK WAS TRAVELING NORTHBOUND ON 757. THERE WAS A WHITE TRUCK IN FRONT OF HIM TURNING INTO A DRIVEWAY. THE VDOT TRUCK LOCKED UP HIS BRAKES TO AVOID THAT VEHICLE, CROSSED THE CENTER LINE AND STRUCK THIS OTHER PURPLE PICKUP BEHIND US HEAD ON.))
[SUPER=01-Trooper G.R. Snead/Va. State Police;]
[OUT Q=US HEAD ON.]
63 year old Clyde Campbell of Goodview, the driver of the pickup truck, died at the scene.
It was about an hour before rescue workers could get Danny Ellis out of his V-DOT truck.
He was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
His condition has not been released.
They've already lost their daughter to a tragic shooting accident.. now authorities must decide whether a Campbell County couple should face CRIMINAL charges as well.
[SUPER=03-Campbell Co./Last Week]
Thomas and Janet Sheppard's one-year old daughter died after being shot in the head by their four-year old son last week.
The boy had found a loaded revolver inside a dresser in the family's home near Rustburg.
State law requires parents to keep loaded weapons out of the reach of children.
Police are still completing their investigation.
[IN Q=It will be]
((NEIL VENER/PROSECUTOR: IT WILL BE A DIFFICULT DECISION TO MAKE AND I'LL HAVE TO LOOK AT THE FACTS AND MAKE A DECISION AFTER I KNOW ALL THE FACTS. BUT RIGHT NOW, I'M IN NO POSITION TO SPECULATE AS TO WHAT I MAY OR MAY NOT DO.))
[SUPER=01-Neil Vener/Prosecutor; :00]
[OUT Q=may not do.]
Failing to secure a weapon is a Class Three misdemeanor which carries a 500 dollar fine.
He shot another man SIXTEEN times, but Kevin Epperson told a Campbell County judge today he wasn't trying to commit murder.
Epperson was being sentenced for the aggravated malicious wounding of Edward Lee Miller in January, 1997.
[SUPER=03-Campbell Co./Jan. 1997; :06]
Epperson had waited under the porch of his girlfriend's mobile home and ambushed Miller when he left the trailer that morning.
Miller survived, but will suffer medical problems the rest of his life.
[IN Q=Do you consider]
((Reporter: Do you consider yourself lucky to be alive today? TED MILLER/SHOOTING VICTIM: YEAH, BUT THIS AIN'T MUCH LIVING BECAUSE I CAN'T DO THE THINGS THAT I'M USED TO DOING. HE GROUNDED ME.))
[SUPER=01-Ted Miller/Shooting Victim; :00]
[OUT Q=he grounded me.]
Prosecutor Neil Vener says the 35-year sentence Epperson received was an appropriate one.
[IN Q=I think what]
((NEIL VENER/PROSECUTOR: I THINK WHAT THE JUDGE IMPOSED WAS A FAIR SENTENCE GIVEN THAT THERE'S NO PAROLE, HE'LL HAVE TO SERVE, IN ESSENCE, 85 PERCENT OF THE SENTENCE, SO I THINK THE JUDGE MADE A FAIR DECISION AND IMPOSED A JUST SENTENCE.))
[SUPER=01-Neil Vener/Prosecutor; :00]
[OUT Q=a just sentence.]
Epperson says he will appeal.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Up next--the director of the N-double-A-C-P now has a new job in Governor Gilmore's administration.
And, after paying car taxes some Virginia residents are actually getting money BACK from the Commonwealth.
We'll have these stories just ahead on News 7, but first let's check in with Robin in the weather center.
[wx ad lib]
[take pinnacle board 1002]
[take pinnacle board 1003]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-0.13''/minus 0.44''/32.38''/plus 12.25'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 0.51 foot/Down 0.51 foot;Lake levels][Gilmore]
Another reminder from Richmond today that Virginia has a new governor at the helm:
Jim Gilmore's recruited the former head of the state N-double-A-C-P into his administration -- a woman who labelled George Allen a Fascist, and asked for his resignation.
Ellen Qualls has the story.
[IN Q=I believe]
[SUPER=01-Linda Byrd-Harden/Gilmore Appointee; :00]
[SUPER=03-Richmond/April 1997; :31]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
((I BELIEVE THAT THIS GOVERNOR IS COMMITTED TO DIVERSITY. I BELIEVE THAT HE IS SINCERE IN REACHING OUT TO ALL VIRGINIANS. AND THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TODAY.))
Linda Byrd-Harden's certainly NOT the first racial minority to join Jim Gilmore's administration.
But she's definitely someone he wants on his side.
In 1997, she asked for Gilmore's ally, George Allen, to resign his office.
She downplays her criticisms now.
((LINDA BYRD-HARDEN: I DON'T RECALL EVER CALLING THE GOVERNOR A NAME.))
But back then:
[sot 01:21:34 4/10/97]
((LINDA BYRD-HARDEN: HE IS A GOVERNOR OF SOME OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME. AND WE NEED TO HOLD POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE WHO ARE SOMETIMES LEADERS, AND SOMETIMES FASCISTS.))
Will she speak her mind with Gilmore, as his director of the state Department of Minority Business Enterprise?
((LINDA BYRD-HARDEN: HE'S INDICATED TO ME THAT HE WANTS ME TO BE OPEN WITH HIM AND THAT'S WHAT I INTEND TO DO.))
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: MY SPECIAL OBLIGATION AS GOVERNOR IS TO GUARANTEE THAT THE PROSPERITY THAT WE'VE WORKED SO HARD TO CREATE LEAVES NO ONE BEHIND.))
So Byrd-Harden will oversee helping minority businesses access capital, and get the technical expertise they need.
Gilmore reminds us it's NOT affirmative action.
[sot 11:24;31 ]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: THIS IS NOT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. THIS IS AN OUTREACH. IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO GO INTO EVERY COMMUNITY AND TO AGGRESSIVELY SEEK OPPORTUNITIES.))
The state N-double-ACP President says he's happy to see Byrd-Harden working for economic justice on the inside now.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond. ))
[GRAPHIC=Personal Prop Tax]
[***NOTE PINNACLE PAGE AT BOTTOM***]
Printing began of the first 50-thousand checks today.
Chesterfield County residents will be the first in the state to get refunds on their car tax payments.
Checks for the 12-and-a half percent of this year's car tax were flowing out of state printers today.
A hotline will be operational this week.
[IN Q=The hotline]
((RON TILLETT/VIRGINIA SECRETARY OF FINANCE: THE HOTLINE IS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT MIGHT COME UP FROM EITHER THE IMPLEMENTATION SIDE OF THE PROGRAM OR FROM CITIZENS THAT MIGHT HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT "WHY DID I GET THIS AMOUNT OF CHECK?" OR IN THIS CASE "WHERE IS THE REST OF MY CHECK?))
[OUT Q=my check?]
This is the only year that the state will print checks.
In future years, your car tax bill will be reduced by the phase-in amount, until it's completely eliminated -- probably in four years, depending on the economy.
[TAKE PINNACLE 1006]
The NO CAR TAX toll free hotline is 1- 877 CARTAX-1.
There's more evidence tonight that state lawmakers' pay raises may be UNconstitutional.
Former Democratic party chairman Paul Goldman has unearthed a 1980 legislative report that specifically says daily out-of-session pay and office expense reimbursements canNOT count toward the politicians' state retirement pensions.
Goldman says Attorney General Mark Earley's decision to turn the matter over to the Supreme Court is NOT enough.
[IN Q=This Attorney General]
((PAUL GOLDMAN/FORMER DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: THIS ATTORNEY GENERAL HASN'T FACED THE PUBLIC. WHAT HAS HE SAID? THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW. WE'RE PAYING HIS SALARY. WE ARE PAYING STARTING ON JULY FIRST OF THIS YEAR, I THINK AROUND 30 MILLIONS DOLLARS FOR LEGAL ADVICE. HE HAS ALREADY SAID THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CASES THAT HE'LL FACE IN HIS TERM.))
[SUPER=01-Paul Goldman/Frmr. Democratic Party Chairman;]
[OUT Q=in his term.]
The Attorney General's spokesman says only "elected state officials" can seek an official opinion.
He says Earley's already taken the "decisive proactive action of stopping payments" to lawmakers that were to start July first.
The stock market posted some sizable gains today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow rose 67 points closing at 9 thousand 92.
NASDAQ went up 15 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]
Saying that "all glory comes from daring to begin," Mayor Bowers today dared Roanoke to begin three new projects that preserve and promote the city's history.
It was the Mayor's annual state of the city address.
First on his wish list is one-million dollars to build a permanent home for the city's paramedics museum.
[SOT 11 23 53]
[IN Q=we have]
((MAYOR DAVID BOWERS: WE HAVE A RICH HISTORY IN ROANOKE, AND OUR GENERATION MUST DO OUR SHARE IN PRESERVING THE HISTORY OF THE FORWARD THINKING PEOPLE OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS WHO ESTABLISHED THE WORLD'S FIRST RESCUE SQUAD HERE.))
[OUT Q=SQUAD HERE]
Bowers also asked city council to help him start "Roanoke's Promise" -- a program to help at-risk kids.
His third program, called "Star 2000," is a plan to celebrate the anniversary of the Roanoke Star AND usher in the new millennium.
The star turns 50 next year.
Coming up tonight in sports, McGwire mania is hitting more than Denver as the all-star game in the big leagues approaches.
The women's US Open finally crowns a champion after 92 holes.
And Terry Labonte's son, Justin was in the are this afternoon, testing at the New River Valley Speedway.
Denise Allen has his story right after this.
Major League Baseball's All-Star game invades Coors Filed in Denver, Colorado tomorrow night. The homerun derby is tonight. AL homerun leader Ken Griffey Junior will sit this one out. he says the event changes his swing and gives him a sore back. Today, he spoke about the fans support in voting him into all star game.
[IN Q="it's overwelming]
[SUPER=01-Ken Griffey Junior/American League Selection; :]
[OUT Q=...love to do"]
The big league's homerun leader Mark McGwire will be swigning tonight.
McGwire is attracting the most attention both with fans of the game and collectors of sports trading cards.
His pursuit of Roger Maris's single season homerun mark has made him the hottest thing going amongst today's card collectors.
And unlike when Roger Maris played there are plenty of McGwire cards to be had.
[IN Q="When Maris...]
[SUPER=01-Bill Bryant/"The Wax Box" Owner; :00]
[OUT Q=...the old days."]
Bryant owns "The Wax Box" in southwest Roanoke, where he has only a fraction of the more than 800 Mark McGwire cards that have been made since 1985.
His 1985 Topps rookie card that shows him in a USA olympic uniforn his one of his hottest right now.
[IN Q="If McGwire...]
Amateur Jenny Chausiriporn and Se Ri Pak, the reigning LPGA champion finally closed out the women's US open championship today, but took more than and extra 18 holes to do so.
The two finished the 72 hole tournament tied for the lead on Sunday.
[SUPER=03-Kohler, WI/ESPN; :00]
Today they played an 18 hole playoff and were still tied.
So it was off to sudden death.
And finally on the second hole, Pak would drain this 15 foot putt to beat the Duke University Junior and claim the US Open title.
Pak pockets 267 thousand and five hundred dollars for the win.
Labonte is second in the Hooters Pro Cup Points Standings.
And I'm not talking Bobby or Terry.
Denise Allen caught up with JUSTIN Labonte at the New River Valley Speedway.
[SUPER=01-Justin Labonte/Penrose-Racing Champions;]
[SUPER=01-Bob Labonte/Crew Chief;]
[OUT Q=News 7 Sports]
((This is Justin Labonte's first full year racing in the Hooters series.
At 17, Terry Labonte's son is the youngest driver in the series and second in the points standing.
There's a family atmosphere among the crew and that's not just because Justin's granddad is the crew chief.
Bob Labonte says seeing Justin round the track in the number 44 Monte Carlo reminds him of the early days with Justin's dad, Terry.
Though Bob worked with both of his sons he couldn't wait for Justin's turn at the wheel.
Justin and the rest of the Penrose-Racing Champions crew return to the New River Valley Speedway on July 18th for a Hooters Pro Cup Series Race.
Denise Allen News 7 Sports.))
[SUPER=330-Increasing Clouds/Light Winds/64-66/Variable Clouds/Shower Late/85-87;]
[SUPER=331-Partly Cloudy/Light Winds/64-68/Variable/Cloudiness/86-88;]
[SUPER=333-Becoming/Mostly Cloudy/60-64/Variable Clouds/Late Showers/82-84;]
The search for a new principal at Patrick Henry High School has come down to a final few.
Last month Principal Elizabeth Lee announced her retirement after spending 30 years at the school.
The school administration has been searching for a new principal ever since.
And, just a while ago, the finalists were introduced.
We'll have more on that story plus more news, weather and sports coming up tonight on News 7 at 11.