On NEWS-7 at SIX tonight, we'll get the dirty details on organized crime working its way into Virginia.
And it's a bit more sophisticated than your average home video camera... Rick Romanus has the awards to show he knows how to use it.
We'll hear from him.
In sports, the Express prepares to tie the knot with the Islanders, the Brickyard welcomes some winston cup testing, the Steelers lock in Bill Cowher into the next century.
And Herman Moore is threatening to skip training camp unless the Lions renegotiate his current contract.
Our weather report is filled with humidity and an increasing threat for showers and thunderstorms. More just ahead....
[TAPE#98-43 TC 1:13:58]
Lynchburg police still haven't confirmed the identity of a man found dead inside a burning car Sunday.. they DO know he was murdered before the car was set on fire.
The man's body was discovered Sunday morning in a wooded area near Graves Mill Road.
An autopsy today revealed he died of a gunshot wound to the head.. police believe the car was then torched in an effort to cover the crime.
The vehicle was leased from a Boston rental car company.
Authorities hope dental records will tell them whether the man who rented the car is the same person who was killed.
[**TAKE PINNACLE PAGE FULLSCREEN LIVE**]
Meanwhile, police ask anyone who may have seen the car or its driver last weekend to give them a call.. it was a 199
8 green Chevy Malibu with Massachusetts tags 3-3-0 G-V-E. [Organized-Crime]
[TAPE#98-45 TC 55:43]
[GRAPHIC=Virginia State Seal]
Virginia's a great place to do business-- in heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine particularly.
That's the message the State Crime Commission heard today.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/State Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom.
What's the crime commission trying to do?
[Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave]
Keith, Virginia Beach state Senator Ken Stolle's the new chairman of the Crime Commission.
Today, he shared a fun fact: the longer you lock away a drug addict, the more likely he or she is to commit another drug crime upon release from prison.
That's the opposite of violent criminals.
So the inescapable conclusion for Senator Stolle is that Virginia police must concentrate more on the drug transportation networks-- NOT the street level players.
[IN Q=We have]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Ken Stolle/State Crime Commission; :00]
[SUPER=04-DEA Video; :23]
[SUPER=01-Col. Wayne Huggins/Virginia State Police; :32]
[OUT Q=comeback in Virginia.]
(( [sot TAPE TWO 03:19:53]
((SEN. KEN STOLLE/STATE CRIME COMMISSION: WE HAVE A TRANSPORTATION STATUTE. BUT IT HAS THE SAME PENALTY AS IF YOU SELL DRUGS IN VIRGINIA. IF YOU SELL A GRAM OF COCAINE, THAT'S THE SAME AS OUR TRANSPORTATION STATUTES ARE. CAN WE LEGISLATIVELY PROVIDE TOOLS FOR THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITIES TO MAKE IT LESS DESIRABLE TO SELL DRUGS IN VIRGINIA SO WE DON'T HAVE THESE PEOPLE SAYING VIRGINIA'S OPEN FOR BUSINESS BECAUSE SOMEBODY ELSE GOT OUT OF THERE, NOW I'M GONNA RUN IN THERE? YES, ABSOLUTELY.))
In Virginia, methamphetamine labs, like this one busted in Franklin County two years ago, are increasingly common.
((COL. WAYNE HUGGINS/VIRGINIA STATE POLICE SUP'T.: THE CLIMATE, AND RURAL TERRAIN OF VIRGINIA IS CONDUCIVE TO SUCCESSFUL GROWING OPERATIONS, AND THE HINDRANCE OF DETECTION AND ERADICATION EFFORTS. MARIJUANA REMAINS A POPULAR CHOICE AMONG TRAFFICKERS AND ABUSERS.))
And the DEA says a particularly pure form of heroin is making a strong and deadly comeback in Virginia.))
[Live=Ellen Full/State Microwave]
Another fun fact from the DEA: NAFTA has made interstate highway trafficking of drugs more prevalent-- which particularly hits Virginia because of our geographic position on the east coast.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Ellen/State Microwave]
KEITH question: So what might a crime commission study recommend?
ELLEN: Maybe that drug dealers maybe shouldn't be bonded out of jail before trial.
And if the organized distribution is the same statutory offense as street level distribution... police need more incentives to bust the big time dealers, since their crime stats show a certain level of drug enforcement no matter how big a drug dealer they've gone after.
[TAPE#98-40 TC 1:42:14]
A decade ago Roanoke developer Richard Hamlett was hanging out with Ronald Reagan, Robert Wagner and the rest of Debbie Reynolds' high-rolling Hollywood friends.
Now Hamlett's been divorced for a couple of years and is all-but broke, he says.
He's intent on fending off an 8-point-9 million dollar judgment against him.
Hamlett filed a bankruptcy petition yesterday- -an attempt to keep his ex-wife from having the judgment enforced.
SHE claims Hamlett's transfer of assets to Jane Parker siphoned off much of the real estate Hamlett used to own.
Reynolds's lawyers claim the property was "fraudulently conveyed to Parker" and that it rightfully belongs to Reynolds.
((THE NIGHT WE WERE MARRIED DEBBIE HANDS ME A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT, AND SAYS: "HERE, SIGN THIS. YOU OWN EVERYTHING YOU OWN AND I OWN EVERYTHING I OWN, AND THAT'S ALL IT SAYS, AND WE'LL DO IT." SO, I, NATURALLY, BEING A NEWLYWED, THAT NIGHT, I JUST REACHED OVER AND SIGNED IT, DIDN'T EVEN READ IT.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Hamlett/Debbie Reynolds' Ex-Husband]
[OUT Q=read it]
[* * * Keith on ENG * * *]
Hamlett says the next time he saw the document was in court and that his signature had been notarized by someone in Florida.
Now the big fight is over a casino and hotel the couple jointly owned in Las Vegas.
[IN Q=Debbie and I]
((DEBBIE AND I HAD 12 YEARS OF INTER-COMPANY TRANSACTIONS WITH EACH OTHER. SHE'S A BIG OPERATOR, AND I'VE BEEN A BIG OPERATOR. AND BETWEEN THE TWO OF US, WE WERE DOING ALL THIS STUFF TOGETHER. ))
Reynolds was NOT in town today and her lawyers refused to talk about the case with us.
[TAPE#=98-49 TC 48:28]
A Marion teenager is in serious condition after an accidental shooting yesterday afternoon.
The victim, 13- year- old Ronnie Eastwood, was visiting his grandparents in (MEB-un) Mebane, North Carolina.
Eastwood and several other teens were playing with a disassembled rifle.
The youngsters managed to put the gun back together and loaded it.
The weapon apparently fired and the bullet struck Eastwood in the neck.
The owner of the gun says the weapon is an antique--and that the ammunition was stored separately.
[IN Q=I'M CONCERNED]
((ED LUNSFORD/OWNER OF GUN; I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE BOY BECAUSE HE GOT SHOT AND IT WAS MY GUN THAT WAS INVOLVED IN IT. I FEEL FOR HIM AND I FEEL FOR HIS FAMILY. ALL I CAN SAY, AS NEAR AS I CAN TELL IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.))
[OUT Q=WAS AN ACCIDENT.]
Eastwood was airlifted to a local hospital.
An investigation into the shooting continues.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
More debate on the proposed A-E-P high voltage powerline. That story is coming up on News 7 at Six.
and a new way to vent your frustration about bad drivers. We'll tell you about a Blacksburg man's Road Rage web site.
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[SUPER=83-Down 0.65 foot/Down 0.46 foot;Lake levels][City-Schools]
[TAPE#=98-39 TC 1:44:53]
The Roanoke City School superintendent has bought himself some more time to look for a qualified candidate for principal of Patrick Henry High School.
Wayne Harris has temporarily appointed Doris Ennis as interim principal of the school.
He announced his decision at a school board meeting today.
Ennis says she is happy to be back helping students.
[IN Q= I've always been]
((DORIS ENNIS/INTERIM PRINCIPAL: I DON'T FEEL THAT WHEN I RETIRED I COMPLETELY DIVORCED MYSELF FROM EDUCATION. IT WAS BASICALLY A PART-TIME JOB AND NOW I GET A CHANCE TO BE FULL-TIME AGAIN.))
[SUPER=01-Doris Ennis/Interim Principal]
[OUT Q=full-time again.]
She has agreed to fill the vacancy for the first semester but may stay the entire year if a replacement isn't found.
Harris is re-opening the application proccess for the job this November.
He has been searching for someone to fill the position since Elizabeth Lee left the post at the end of the last school year.
[TAPE#98-44 TC 53:22]
This was supposed to be the big day for American Electric Power.
The sixth public hearing in Virginia on its proposed power line was also supposed to be the one where all the scientific evidence was presented.
But the State Corporation Commission's delayed all that-- asking for an alternate route to be studied. The S-C-C doesn't even know if there are advantages to an alternate route.
[IN Q=We don't]
((KEN SCHRAD/STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION: WE DON'T KNOW YET. THAT'S EXACTLY WHY WANTED AEP TO GO BACK AND TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THAT. IT MAY BE THAT AEP EVEN LOOKED AT THAT ORIGINALLY AND THREW IT OUT. AND WE WANT TO KNOW WHY.))
[SUPER=01-Ken Schrad/State Corporation Commission;]
[OUT Q=know why.]
Fifteen speakers today were in favor of the existing route.
Fourteen spoke against it.
September first is A-E-P's new deadline for data on the alternate route.
[TAPE#=98-46 TC 52:27]
The funeral service for Former Congressman Watkins Abbitt Senior is scheduled for tomorrow morning in Appomattox.
Abbitt died yesterday at the age of 90.
He represented the Fourth District in Congress for 25 years, from 1948 to 1973.
Remembered as an opponent of court- ordered desegregation, Abbitt was also a foe of increased federal spending, and a defender of the district's agricultural interests.
Abbitt will be buried following a graveside service tomorrow morning at 11, at Liberty Cemetery.[Sam-Oakey]
[TAPE#=98-53 TC 19:41]
A man who touched thousands of lives in the Roanoke Valley was buried today.
Sam Oakey was Chairman of Oakey's Funeral Service, and a long time business and civic leader.
People packed the Virginia Heights Baptist Church for his funeral this morning.
Roanoke City Council members delayed their meeting so they could attend.
Sam Oakey was 63.
[TAPE#=98-48 TC 35:05]
A road trip through Southwest Virginia told Rick Romanus this would be the perfect place to start a video production company.
Six years later, the upstate New York native has grown Blue Ridge Digital into an award-winning company.
Romanus works out of a high-tech studio in his home on Bent Mountain.
That's where he and his wife, Nancy, collaborate on everything from web pages to digital TV commercials.
[SOT 13 27 11]
[IN Q=my wife and i]
((RICHARD ROMANUS/BLUE RIDGE DIGITAL: MY WIFE AND I, WE WORK ENDLESS HOURS ON IT AND WE PUT EVERYTHING WE HAVE BACK INTO IT TO MAKE IT MORE PRODUCTIVE.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Romanus/Blue Ridge Video;]
[OUT Q=more productive]
Romanus won't say how profitable his business is.
He said most of the money he makes goes toward updating his equipment to keep everything state-of-the art.
That's money well spent.
He has won national awards for his commercials, like this one for a housing development on Smith Mountain Lake.
[SOT 26:52 BETA TAPE, 13 28 17 INTERVIEW TAPE]
[IN Q=WHETHER YOU]
((TV COMMERCIAL: WHETHER YOU CHOOSE A NANTUCKET STYLE COTTAGE OR A MAGNIFICENT HOME SITE, BEAUTY WILL SURROUND YOU AT THE BOARDWALK/////RICHARD ROMANUS: THE COMPANY IS PROFITABLE AND GETTING MORE PROFITABLE AS WE GROW. BUT WE WORK ON QUALITY INSTEAD OF PROFIT. AND I FEEL THAT IF THE QUALITY IS THERE THE PROFIT WILL BE THERE. ))
[OUT Q=WILL BE THERE]
Romanus said he hopes that, in another six years, he'll have even higher-tech equipment and more awards to show off.
A record day for NASDAQ, the S-and-P and the DOW.
Stocks got a boost from good earnings news as well as positive economic reports.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow gained 149 points to close at 92 hundred 46.
NASDAQ was UP three points.
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[General Electric/Kroger/Nationsbank/Norfolk Southern/Optical Cable]
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[TAPE#=98-42 TC 1:10:15]
[**Note Anchor Tag**]
A Virginia Tech student's Road Rage web page is a nation-wide hit.
Eric Earnhart has details.
[SUPER=01-Sean Herrala/Web Designer; :08]
[SUPER=01-Nick Conte/Internet Attorney; 1:05]
[OUT Q=News 7]
((The idea was born earlier this year, when a driver tried to run web designer Sean Heralla off the road.
[IN Q=thats the kind]
((SEAN HERRALA/WEB DESIGNER; THAT'S THE KIND OF THING WHERE YOU DON'T GET SCARED WHEN IT'S HAPPENING CAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE TIME. AFTERWARDS YOU KIND OF GET FRIGHTENED, THEN RELIEF SETS IN, THEN IT'S ANGER.))
[OUT Q=it's anger]
He created a small web page to vent that anger... and set up a bulletin board of sorts for others to do the same...
It caught on... the site went from 30 hits a week, to thousands a day...
And the stories posted, nearly 100 now, are a seething mass of uncensored highway hostility.
[IN Q=it's also a]
((SEAN HERRALA/WEB DESIGNER; IT'S ALSO A GOOD REFLECTION OF WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE ON THE ROAD. PEOPLE GO BACK AND ARE STILL ANGRY WHEN THEY GET BACK ON THEIR COMPUTERS SO IT SHOWS YOU THERE'S A LOT OF ANGER OUT THERE.))
[OUT Q=out there]
And some are angry at the site itself... a cyber-attack shut it down at least once, another kind of WEB-rage.
And the page, by listing license plate numbers, car descriptions, and sometimes names.... also raises the possibility of lawsuits...
Internet lawyer Nick Conte says it's a gray area, but Heralla is probably safe...
[IN Q=one thing is]
((NICK CONTE/INTERNET ATTORNEY; ON THING IS PRETTY CERTAIN, THOUGH, IF SOMEONE GOES ON TO POST ON THIS SITE, PUTS SOMETHING ON THAT IS CONSIDERED DEFAMATORY, LEGALLY, THEY CAN BE HELD LIABLE))
[OUT Q=held liable]
Heralla says the threat of legal action shouldn't keep people from expressing themselves... and hopes angry drivers choose to express themselves here, and NOT while they're behind the wheel.
Eric Earnhart, News 7))
[**TAKE FULLSCREEN WDBJ HOMEPAGE ADDRESS**]
You can find a link to the Road Rage site on the News 7 WebWatch page, at WDBJ-7-DOT-COM.
Coming up tonight on the Big 7, Herman wants Moore to play for the Lions this season.
The Steelers keep their fiery leader, Jeff Burton gets in some testing at the Brickyard,
and we have confirmed the Roanoke Express' affiliation plans for next season.
Those details are straight ahead along with the rest of today's sports.
Let's begin tonight on the local ice.
News 7 sports has learned that the Roanoke Express' affiliation with the NHL New York Islanders and the AHL Lowell Lockmonsters is now a done deal.
[graphic=islanders, lowell, express]
Lowell director of hockey operations Greg Carvel confirmed today that he and Lockmonster general manager Tom Lowe will be in Roanoke Thursday morning for a 10:30 news conference at the Civic center Auditorium.
Roanoke's affiliation with Lowell and New York is the result of tireless efforts by former Express coach Frank Anzalone, now an employee of the Islanders.
The Express has also hired Scotty Luhrnan as it's new equipment manager. He has 6 years experience with the New York Rangers,
Roanoke will also interview two candidates for the head trainers position tonight.
The Detroit Lions may see less of the Moore named Herman unless the two can come to terms in the coming days.
The Danville native says he is considering boycotting the team's upcoming training camp unless he gets a new contract.
Too often athletes make these kinds of demands, but in this case Herman's beef is not a seflish one.
Besides being the best receiver in the game right now, Moore has helped Detroit management by reworking his contract and taking salary cuts each of the past three years.
His current deal expires after the 2000 season. He is scheduled to make $2 point 7 million next season.
He would like to be the highest paid receiver in the game.
All of you many Steelers' fans in and around the area can rest easy tonight, because your head coach will not be coaching anywher but Pittsburgh.
[super=03-Frostburg, MD/Last July;]
There had been tons of speculation that Cowher would leave the Steel City for the challenge of coaching the new Cleveland franchise.
But today he inked a three year extension that will pay him $2 million a season.
He is now under contract through the year 2001.
The Washington Redskins will be opening training camp in Frostburg on the 26th of this month with every player on the roster under contract.
[super=03-Frostburg, MD/Last July; :00]
Last night they inked their top draft pick Stephen Alexander to a four year deal worth $1 point 9 million.
The tight end from Oklahoma also gets an $825 thousand dollar signing bonus.
The Winston Cup cars are spending the first part of this week at Indianapolis testing for the August first Brickyard 400.
Jimmy Spencer has had the fastest lap at the track in the first two days with a 174 mile an hour circuit.
[SUPER=03-Indianapolis, IN; :00]
The second fastest time belongs to the lastest winner on the circuit Jeff Burton.
The South Boston native says the desire to preform well at Indy has kept him from celebrating his win this past Sunday.
[IN Q="You take...]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Burton/Exide Ford Driver; :00]
[OUT Q=...WE WERE TESTING."]
[TAPE#=SP-21 TC 9:18]
THe Detroit Tigers slugged their way past Kansas City.
[SUPER=03-Detroit, MI/Tigers-Fox Sports;]
Three home runs helped propelled the Tigers to an 8 to three victory over the Royals.
Luis Gonzalez gets one of those dingers here with this solo shot to right field
in the bottom of the fourth.
Still in the fourth, Damion Easley with the two-run double, scores Deivi Cruz and Brian Hunter.
Detroit breaks a two game losing streak with this afternoon's 8-to-3 win.
[TAPE#=SP-20 tc 30:46]
Bedford City children are getting an introduction to soccer.
The Peaks Area Soccer Association is staffing a free camp to reach children who've never played the game.
For years the association has practiced on these fields.
Now members are giving something back to the neighboring community.
The camp is every Tuesday and Thursday morning and runs through the first week in August.
[IN Q=try to show]
[SUPER=01-Janice Luth/Peaks Area Soccer Assn;]
[OUT Q=young kids too]
You can learn more about the camp and the high school soccer players who coach there on News 7 Sunday Morning. That 's Your Hometown Station at 8.
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