A high school principal resigns- -amid controversey over an unearned diploma.
A LIVE report from the school tonight on NEWS 7 at six... including a comment from the superintendent.
And a study shows: that rent-to-own T-V you bought cost four to five times what you'd spend if you'd paid cash for it.
Tonight on News 7 Sports, the high school football previews continue with a look at Cave Spring.
Panthers' camp news includes a chat with former Hokie Brian Edmunds tonight.
And a slight knee injury will likely keep Redskins veteran Darrell Green out of action this weekend.
All dry on the weathern Virginia weather front. Your complete forecast just ahead.
The principal of Staunton River High School is stepping down after a controversy that erupted last week.
At graduation, a student was awarded a certificate that the student did not earn.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Microwave]
Scott Goldberg is at Staunton River High School tonight.
Scott, what are the late details?
( ad lib)
(Rollcue:takes responsiblity for what happened)
[IN Q=Dr Phares]
[SUPER=01-Dr. James Blevins/Bedford Co. School Sup.;]
[OUT Q=responsibility for this]
( ad lib)
The 15 year old tried as an adult this week in Roanoke was found guilty today of SECOND-degree murder.
Family and friends of Jawawn Hale emerged from the courthouse, along with friends and relatives of the victim, Mike Andrews.
With police very much in evidence, there wasn't any trouble on Church Avenue.
Hale admitted he fired the fatal shots- -claiming it was self defense... following a run-in the two had earlier in the day.
Andrews was a budding art student, but Hale's attorneys depicted him as a bully who picked fights with younger, smaller kids.
Investigators are still looking into just how two baby girls left the UVA medical center three years ago with the wrong couples.
The hospital has faced criticism from Paula Johnson, the mother of one of the switched babies, for how it has handled the case.
And her attorney questioned letting the university police force take charge of the investigation.
But neither side in the case at this point is talking about filing lawsuits against the hospital.
Governor Gilmore today refused to say much about the state's potential liability.
[IN Q=But I think we have to be sensitive]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: BUT I THINK WE HAVE TO BE SENSITIVE TO THIS SITUATION AND THE FACT THAT THE CHILDREN ARE WHERE OUR ATTENTION SHOULD BE, MAKE SURE THAT THE FAMILIES ARE WELL-CARED FOR AND WELL TAKEN CARE OF.))
[OUT Q=taken care of.]
More is coming out about the Paula Johnson and her former boyfriend Carlton Conley, the couple whose child is thought to be Rebecca Chittum of Buena Vista.
Johnson has a 1994 conviction for "curse and abuse" on her record.
Conley served four days in jail last year for beating Johnson.
Those convictions could have a bearing in any custody battles in court.
Meanwhile, a woman in Massachusetts has decided to have a DNA test done on her child, who was born at UVA at about the same time as the Johnson and Chittum girls.
Stacia Ness says she's doing it for her own peace of mind, and says she "wouldn't go back to UVA to have a baby."
Lynchburg authorities say a small girl started a fire that forced the evacuation of an apartment building today.
Crews responding to the Forest Brook Apartments around 12:15 found smoke and flames coming from a second- floor window.
That's where a five- year- old girl used a lighter to set a pile of clothes on fire in a bedroom closet.
[IN Q=We're talking about]
((JOHN JENNINGS/LYNCHBURG FIRE MARSHAL: WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A GIRL THAT'S FIVE YEARS OLD, SO THAT'S SORT OF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AGE WHERE KIDS JUST HAVE A NATURAL CURIOSITY ABOUT FIRE, AND THE ONLY REAL PRECAUTION PARENTS CAN TAKE IS TO BE VERY MINDFUL OF MATCHES AND LIGHTERS AND IGNITION SOURCES AND KEEP THEM SOMEWHERE WERE YOUNG CHILDREN CAN'T REACH THEM.))
[SUPER=01-John Jennings/Lynchburg Fire Marshal; :00]
[OUT Q=can't reach them.]
Crews extinguished the fire in about ten minutes.
Two other apartments suffered smoke and water damage.
Renting- to- own may be a costly investment.
A survey of four Roanoke stores shows their interest rates can be very expensive-- so expensive that the price of a rented item can be four times its cash price.
A 19-inch television bought at Alrenco Home Choice on a rent to purchase plan can run you around 900 dollars.
At a department store, a similar T-V sells for 200 dollars.
Survey officials say consumers often don't have a choice on a better deal.
[SOT 00:10:16- 00:10:34]
[IN Q=It's a market where people]
((HENRY WOODWARD/LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF ROANOKE VALLEY:IT'S A MARKET WHERE PEOPLE REALLY HAVE NO CHOICE AT ALL ABOUT BUYING THINGS. IF YOU ONLY HAVE 12 DOLLARS AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TELEVISION SET THEN RENTING IT FOR 83 WEEKS IS THE WAY TO GO. AND ITS A SAD COMMENTARY ON HOW LITTLE CHOICE SOME PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT THEIR CONSUMER PURCHASES.))
[SUPER=01-Henry Woodward/Legal Aid Society;]
[OUT Q=have about their consumer purchases]
The interest rates charged at the Roanoke stores can reach five times that of credit card rates.
The research also shows that some stores don't reveal if equipment is used or new.
Prime Time Rentals, Ace TV Rentals, Kelly Rentals and Home Choice Rental are studied in the report.
The Virginia Citizens Consumer Council and the Virginia Poverty Law Center conducted the study.
Representatives at the rental companies refused to comment.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
There's lots more still ahead on News-7 at Six
And the summer heat may be scorching some farm products.
But for wineries, it's spelling sweet success.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
The Roanoke Times is in turmoil over recent staff changes.
An entire department of employees left last month over the decision to merge Customer Service with Sales.
One employee was so distraught he killed himself.
Tina Tenret has the story.
[IN Q=For years]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=01-Kathy Fisher/Former Employee; :17]
[SUPER=01-Cindy Poff/Former Employee; :51]
[SUPER=01-Karen Walrond/Former Employee; 1:07]
[SUPER=01-Ruby Booze/Former Employee; 2:09]
[SUPER=01-Rick Beason/Management Consultant; 2:29]
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret, News7, Roanoke]
(( For years, if you had questions about the paper, you could call the Customer Service Department of the Roanoke Times.
And these women would give you answers.
Then the Times told them to get a college degree -- or leave.
[IN Q=It hurt]
((KATHY FISHER/FORMER EMPLOYEE: IT HURT. IT HURT. TO THINK ALL THIS HARD WORK AFTER ALL THESE YEARS JUST DIDN'T MEAN ANYTHING TO THEM. BECAUSE IF YOU CONSIDER ALL OF US TOGETHER WE HAD OVER 100 SOMETHING YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.))
[OUT Q=years of experience]
Edna Parrish worked at the Times for 41 years.
Suddenly she was told to sell subscriptions -- at least two per hour.
She and her colleagues had to take a college course every semester.
And their schedules would frequently change.
Memos from managers said they wanted to sell more newspapers -- while providing excellent service.
[IN Q=We all were]
((CINDY POFF/FORMER EMPLOYEE: WE ALL WERE DOING EXCELLENT JOBS. NO ONE HAD EVER SAID ANYTHING DIFFERENT THAT WE WEREN'T.))
[OUT Q=we weren't]
All seven full-time employees in customer service retired early, or quit with six months severence pay.
[IN Q=It was a]
((KAREN WALROND/FORMER EMPLOYEE: IT WAS A HARD DECISION BUT THEY MADE THE DECISION FOR ME WHEN THEY MADE THESE HOURS. I MEAN THE HOURS WERE JUST IMPOSSIBLE FOR A FAMILY, A MOTHER TO WORK.))
[OUT Q=MOTHER TO WORK]
One man had worked there 33 years.
We're not using his name to protect his family.
He lay down on his own burial plot in Botetourt County and shot himself.
His suicide note mentions personal problems, but says as long as he had a job he could go on.
But he wrote, the Roanoke Times had no place for him anymore.
[IN Q=He was there]
((CINDY POFF/FORMER EMPLOYEE: HE WAS THERE IN THE BLIZZARD. HE SPENT THE NIGHT THERE. HE WAS THERE THROUGH EVERYTHING. THAT WAS HIS LIFE AND WE WERE HIS FAMILY.))
[OUT Q=GET IN]
Employees held their own memorial service on the roof of the Roanoke Times, after his family asked that there there be NO Roanoke Times obituary or presence at the funeral.
Do his former colleagues blame the paper for his death?
((CHORUS: YES. RUBY BOOZE/FORMER EMPLOYEE: BECAUSE HE EXPRESSED TO MANAGEMENT HOW HE FELT THAT WAS HIS LIFELINE. I VERY MUCH BLAME THEM.))
[OUT Q=BLAME THEM]
Newspaper officals would not discuss the issue.
So we showed the internal memos and the severance contract to an outside consultant.
He says at other companies, these changes come even more swiftly, even more harshly.
[IN Q=I was a bit]
((RICK BEASON/MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT: I WAS A BIT SURPRISED THAT THE ROANOKE TIMES, FOR A COMPANY THAT SIZE, HAD DELAYED MAKING SOME OF THE DOWNSIZING AND RE-ENGINEERING MOST LARGE COMPANIES UNDERTOOK FROM THE MID 80'S TO THE 90'S.
... MAYBE SOME OF THE REASON THE EMPLOYEES ARE MORE HURT THAN YOU HEAR FROM SOME OF THE OTHER COMPANIES IS BECAUSE THE ROANOKE TIMES HAS TRIED TO TAKE CARE OF THEM. AND THAT IT IS A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM.))
[OUT Q=SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM]
Beason points out the Roanoke Times offered to pay for school, gave employees a month to make a decision, and suggested they ask an attorney to protect them in a settlement.
[IN Q=They're going]
((THEY'RE GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES OVER WHAT OTHER COMPANIES WOULD DO.))
[OUT Q=WOULD DO]
Still, staff members say this building is full of hostility, distrust and fear -- no one knows when or where the ax will fall next.
They say some employees in the printing department have already been told they will lose their jobs this year, replaced by computers.
((THAT'S PART OF LIFE IN THE BUSINESS WORLD IN THE 90'S. YOU COULD BE NEXT.))
[OUT Q=COULD BE NEXT]
[IN Q=You have to keep up]
((YOU HAVE TO KEEP UP AND YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO MAKE CHANGES.))
[IN Q=Times Vice President]
((TINA TENRET/NEWS7: TIMES VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER WENDY ZOMPARELLI REFUSED TO COMMENT.
BUT ULTIMATELY READERS WILL DECIDE WHETHER THE TIMES MADE THE RIGHT CALL -- AFTER ALL, THEY BUY THE PAPERS. TINA TENRET NEWS7 ROANOKE.))
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret News7 Roanoke]))
Wall Street continued its recovery today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The DOW rose 31-points, closing at 85-hundred-78.
NASDAQ gained 41-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][Grapes-Weather]
Our run of hot, dry days is apparently good for at least one crop-- GRAPES.
The vinyards at Chateau Morrisette in Floyd County are thriving this year.
Winery officials say grapes can survive these semi- drought conditions because they have deep roots.
[IN Q=Hot weather]
((BOB BURGIN/CHATEAU MORRISETTE: HOT WEATHER IS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR GRAPES. HOT, DRY WEATHER, IT INCREASES THE SUGAR CONTENT, LOWERS THE ACID CONTENT AND INCREASES THE FLAVOR. SO, IF WE CAN GET AN OCCASIONAL SHOWER BETWEEN NOW AND HARVEST, WE'LL BE QUITE HAPPY.))
[SUPER=01-Bob Burgin/Chateau Morrisette;]
[OUT Q=BE QUITE HAPPY]
But until the much- needed rain comes, one of Chateau Morrisette's vinyards IS irrigated.
By the way, you can get a complete tour of the winery on "Time Off" this weekend on News 7 Saturday Morning.
Coming up tonight on the Big 7, the Panthers' reports continue as Steve Mason talks with former Hokie Bryan Edmunds.
Also, the Redskins' grand old man will miss this weekend's preseason opener.
And the preseason Friday Football Extra previews continue tonight as we check in with the Cave Spring Knights.
The Redskins and Steelers scrimmaged yesterday afternoon in Frostburg but Darrell Green had to skip the event
[SUPER=03-Frostburg, MD; :00]
after he injured his knee during warm-up drills before the scrimmage.
The 15 year veteran cornerback says he could have played if it was a real game, but decided to take it easy.
The Skins say he likely will miss Saturday's preseason game with the Dolphins for precautionary reasons.
[GRAPHIC=panthers training camp]
The Virginia Tech presence continues at Panthers camp this year with fullback Brian Edmunds. Steve Mason says the former Hokie is doing his best to escape tacklers and a nightmarish end to his Tech career.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Spartanburg, SC; :00]
[SUPER=01-Brian Edmonds/Panther Fullback; :08]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/1996 Season; :47]
[SUPER=01-Dom Capers/Panthers Head Coach; 1:00]
[OUT Q=...news 7 sports"]
((The Panther tryout is a fresh start for Brian Edmunds, who has shown promise in his powerful, quick style of running.
His future seemed in jeapardy two years ago when he and another Virginia Tech teammate were charged with attempted aggravated sexual battery on a fellow student. Edmunds is under unsupervised probation through January of 1999.
At Tech, Edmunds ammassed nearly 12 hundred yards rushing and scored 11 touchdowns, three by air. His soft hands and shear strength have helped him pick up the new west coast offense.
Edmunds and the Panthers go through first cuts August 25th when the team is reduced to 60 players. Steve Mason news 7 sports.))
[GRAPHIC=High School Football]
Over at Cave Spring, The Knights begin the season looking for a solid foundation to keep in step with other teams in the Roanoke Valley District.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :]
Head coach Steve Spangler is looking for some talent to replace a senior class that carried the Knights last season.
The process is slow but Spangler has a game plan that will give each player time to to learn and be able to compete in the district.
[IN Q="On this...]
[SUPER=01-Steve Spangler/Cave Spring Head Coach; :]
[OUT Q=....kids along."]
And to speed up the process Spangler and his assistants are going back to the basics. And after only three days of practice Spangler says the team is adjusting to the process very well.
[IN Q="the first...]
[OUT Q=....things properly]
The Senior British Open began today in Northern Ireland without many of the big names on the regular Senior's PGA tour.
[SUPER=03-Portrush, N. Ireland/ESPN; :00]
England's Jim Rhodes has the opening round lead after shooting a four under par round of 68.
He has a one shot lead over David Jones of Ireland, and a two shot advantage over defending champ Gary Player, who fired a 70 today.
The Avalanche and Danville 97's close out their three game home stand tonight at Salem Memorial.
The Avalanche is in the midst of an 8 game losing streak, but that's the least of neighborhood's problems tonight.
It's once again redneck night at the yard
[SUPER=03-Salem/Last Month; :00]
and after the baseball game you can catch a full card of professional wrestling for free.
Among others, the Boogie Woogie man Jimmy Valiant will be on hand along with Tully Blanchard and others.
[SUPER=331-Clear And/Mild/63-66/Sunny With/Light Winds/88-90;]
[SUPER=X5001;][SUPER=334-Clear With/Light Winds/58-60/Mostly Sunny/Wind SE-10/84-86;]