In just about four hours, Kenneth Stewart will face Virginia's electric chair.
and an elderly man and wife lose their home in an afternoon fire in Christiansburg.
Kicking off the fall season in grand style locally. Also watching the hurricane near Cuba for possible rain in the mid Atlantic.
Today on health check --
Kudos to two area health care centers for the elderly.
And new research indicates a product in your refrigerator can help prevent colon cancer.
[SUPER=#4063; Headline Banner]
Unless the Governor intervenes convicted murderer Kenneth Stewart is just hours away from electrocution.
Virginia has executed 30 men since the electric chair was last used.
Tonight, a Bedford County killer goes to the chair.
Kenneth Stewart, Junior killed his wife and infant son on Mother's Day 1991.
Ellen Qualls is at Greensville Correctional Center with the latest.
[Double Boxes=Ellen Jean Starlink]
Jean, Kenneth Stewart has chosen the electric chair over lethal injection because of the gurney.
That's the bed the condemned inmate is strapped to during a lethal injection.
[ROLLED FROM TRUCK]
[IN Q=It is]
[SUPER=03-Jarratt/File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co./May, 1991; :30]
[OUT Q=that day.]
It is the gurney's shape that Stewart is rejecting.
In an interview this week, Stewart compared it to the cross on which Christ was crucified... a comparison he says he does NOT deserve.
So instead, he chose the chair, allegedly telling corrections officials "there ain't no humane way to put a human being to death if you think about it."
His attorneys claim a brain seizure caused the violent rage and alleged amnesia that led to him shooting his wife Cynthia and son Jonathan to death at close range in 1991.
Before leaving the Bedford County farmhouse they'd shared until a recent separation, Stewart arranged their bodies cradling one another in bed-- for Cynthia's parents to find later that day.
[LIVE=Ellen full/STARLINK ]
So at nine p-m, electricity will be fed into Stewart's body in 30 and 60 second intervals until death is assured.
[DOUBLE BOX=Ellen and Jean/STARLINK ]
Stewart said at his trial he believed execution would reunite him with his wife and child.
We've heard nothing from the Governor yet, Jean, with regard to his clemency request.
JEAN: When was the last time the chair was used in Virginia?
April 1994-- when Richmond's Southside Strangler, Timothy Spencer, was executed. Lethal injection became an option in January 1995.
An elderly Montgomery County couple arrived home this afternoon to find their home in flames.
The two story, wood frame house on Falling Branch Road just outside Christiansburg appears to have caught fire shortly after one.
The home belonged to Robert Bradley and his wife who told fire fighters they don't remember leaving any major appliances on.
And, fire officials say there may NOT be enough left to determine what caused the fire.
No one was injured.
After taking more than 30 lives in the Northern Caribbean, Hurricane Georges is moving toward Cuba and Florida.
[SUPER=03-Key Largo, FL]
The Director of the National Hurricane Center says everywhere between Havana, Cuba and Central Florida is at risk.
Evacuations have been ordered on the Florida Keys where people are packing up and heading North.
((WE'RE HEADING ALL THE WAY TO WEST PALM BEACH.wE'RE LOCALS BUT WE'RE NOT GONNA STAY HERE IT'S TOO DANGEROUS.))
[OUT Q=TOO DANGEROUS.]
Others determined to ride out the storm stocked up on supplies, boarded up windows and tied down their boats.
[(toss to R)]
(toss to Robin)
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Next on News 7, investors look to the Federal Reserve Chairman for a hint about the future of interest rates,
And we'll have more from the Wilderness Academy in Botetourt County as officials prepare to remove its students.
On Health Check, we'll take a look at a new fad that could prove harmful to your child's eyesight.
More words of concern today about the world economy from Federal Reserve Chariman Alan Greenspan.
Greenspan says economic troubles in Asia and Russia will continue to affect the United States.
((IT IS JUST NOT CREDIBLE THAT THE UNITED STATES OR FOR THAT MATTER EUROPE CAN REMAIN AN OSAIS OF PROSPERITY UNAFFECTED BY A WORLD THAT IS EXPERIENCING GREATLY INCREASED STRESS.))
[SUPER=01-Alan Greenspan/Federal Reserve Chairman;]
[OUT Q=INCREASED STRESS.]
Greenspan said the foreign economies will keep inflation in check.
But he did not give a clear signal that there would be a cut in interest rates.
The man charged with killing to U-S Capitol Police officers made his first appearance in court today.
[SUPER=03-Washington DC/July 24;]
Russell Weston Junior was in a wheel chair with his left leg and right arm in casts- the result of wounds he sustained during the capitol Shootout.
((A.J. KRAMER/WESTON'S ATTORNEY: HIS ARM IS BADLY DAMAGED. HIS LEFT LEG IS BADLY DAMAGED SO HE'S STILL UNDERGOING A LOT OF MEDICAL PROCEDURES MENTALLY, I'M SORRY I DON'T HAVE ANY COMMENT AT THIS TIME.))
[SUPER=01-A.J. Kramer/Weston's Attorney;]
[OUT Q=at this time.]
Weston is a diagnosed paranoid schizoprhenic- He was ordered to remain in federal custody until a prelimiary hearing next month.
The State Department of Education will be at a Botetourt County school tomorrow to move students elsewhere.
[Double Boxes=Jean Tina/Newsroom]
Tina Tenret has followed the story. Tina, why are officials taking this action.
Jean the Wilderness Leadership Academy is being shut down after the Education Department reported students molest each other, attack counselors and are subject to filthy conditions.
The headmaster, Colonel Gene Nervo, refused to meet with us -- but it turns out many of the boys should have never been there.
[IN Q=Some of these young]
[SUPER=01-Major Ken Smith/Botetourt Co. Sheriff's Office; :00]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co./File Tape; :13]
[SUPER=01-Debbie Rickman/Campground Manager; :50]
[OUT Q=down on him now]
[IN Q=Some of these kids]
((SOME OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE MAY HAVE BEEN ... ONE OF THE PROBLEMS.))
[OUT Q=one of the problems]
The Education Department says at least three of thirteen teenagers at the Wilderness Academy did not belong there.
Department officials say one student was admitted without the required interview.
Another boy enrolled without his parents' approval.
The academy's website says only non-violent students are allowed, but the sheriff's deputies responded to a dozen assault-related calls at the school in the past year.
[IN Q=Fourteen or 15]
((FOURTEEN OR FIFTEEN KIDS OUT OF CONTROL, IT WAS A RIOT SITUATION SO THEY CALLED US TO COME IN.))
[OUT Q=TO COME IN]
Deputies also caught the boys breaking into a nearby campground and stealing cigarettes and beer.
[IN Q=The Colonel]
((THE COLONEL HAS TRIED VERY HARD TO TAKE CARE OF THESE BOYS. SOME OF THEM ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS. SOME OF THEM ARE WORSE. WE HAVEN'T HAD THAT MANY BAD PROBLEMS. I FEEL LIKE HE'S PUT IN A LOT OF EFFORT AND I FEEL BAD THE SCHOOL'S GOING TO CLOSE DOWN ON HIM NOW.))
[OUT Q=DOWN ON HIM NOW]
[Live=Tina Full Newsroom]
Who put the children there?
Detectives say they mostly came from out of this area.
Botetourt County social services say they have no children there, and Roanoke agencies say they can only remember one or two students being placed at the school in the past couple years.
The State Corporation Commission has some additional work for A-E-P on the proposed high-voltage power line.
A hearing examiner has ordered the company to look hard at building new power plants that run on natural gas, as an alternative to the line.
That's something that hasn't come up before, in this eight-year controversy.
The S-C-C still wants A-E-P to study a power line route that's different from the one the utility prefers.
This would run the line from Wyoming County in West Virginia, to Jackson's Ferry in Wythe County.
A battle over hog farming in Charlotte County may be fought in court.
Norman and Ida Layne are suing the county for preventing them from running an intensive hog farm.
Right now, the Laynes raise dairy cows.
But they say to keep the family farm afloat, they need to diversify.
The Laynes say they were following the county's livestock rules-- and then the rules changed.
[IN Q=After we got the government]
((NORMAN LAYNE/FARMER: AFTER WE GOT THE GOVERNMENT ORDINANCE FORM SIGNED WE WERE WORKING ON THE NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PLAN AND IN THE MEANTIME THEY PUT IN A MORATORIUM SO WE COULD NOT PROCEED SO EVERYTHING HAS BEEN ON HOLD SINCE THEN.))
[OUT Q=on hold since then.]
No one representing Charlotte County will comment on the lawsuit.
The county has three weeks to file its legal response.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
It's not hard to motivate Patrick Evans to get out in the community. Usually it just takes a story that involves food. But where should the rest of us turn for a little motivation in the business world. Pat is standing by with the answer.
[OUT Q=on News 7 at 5.]
Business seminars can be a nice break from the daily office routine, but what if you're the person RUNNING the seminar?
[Double Boxes=Jean/ Patrick Microwave]
Today Patrick Evans joins us from the Hotel Roanoke, where Mike Lord is speaking to a group from First Union, and we're going to find out what life is like behind the podium.
[SUPER=01-Mike Lord/Seminar Leader;]
[Double Boxes=Robin/Pat ][Forecasts]
[SUPER=330-Clear And/Cool/43-46/Sunny/Wind S-10/72-74;]
[SUPER=331-Mostly Clear/Light Winds/40-45/Mostly/Sunny/70-75;]
[SUPER=332-Clear And/Chilly/38-40/Sunny And/Pleasant/68-72;]
[SUPER=333-Clear And/Cool/40-44/Partly Sunny/Wind S-10/70-72;]
[SUPER=334-Clear And/Chilly/36-38/Sunny/Light Wind/66-69;]
[health music under]
Today in Sports, we'll have this week's edition of Hometown Hoops Weekly.
Coming up next on health check --
a 20 year old Roanoke health care center for seniors wins a national award for quality services.
And people creating a NEW Roanoke Alzheimer's center say a change in surroundings can help patients improve.
Researchers say a dairy rich diet can prevent the second deadliest type of cancer.
A study published in today's Journal of the American Medical
Association looked at 70 people considered to be at high risk for colon
Researchers say those who increased their intake of low fat milk,
cheese, and yogurt were able to reduce the number of pre-cancerous
Doctors recommend that these dairy products be included in a low-fat, high fiber diet.
The study was funded by the National Dairy Council.
The second largest nursing home in the state of Virginia is also one of the only health care facilities to receive three honors from a national accreditation organization.
Friendship Health Care Center was recognized by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for long term care, sub acute services and the dementia special care unit.
The private selection group looks at everything from dietary plans to activities for the patients.
[SOT ub 13 19 44]
[IN Q=Some of these]
((CAROL MORGAN/REGISTERED NURSE: SOME OF THESE STANDARDS THAT THEY USE FOR JOINT COMMISSION ARE HIGHER STANDARDS THAN SOME OF THE STATE OR FEDERAL REGULATORY AGENCIES, WITHIN THOSE STANDARDS THEY DO COMPARISONS WITH HICVA AND THE STATE REGULATIONS, THEY CAN EITHER EQUAL THEIR STANDARDS OR GO OVER AND ABOVE.))
[SUPER=01-Carol Morgan/Registered Nurse; ]
[OUT Q=over and above]
Morgan says it's a team effort and an honor not only for Friendship Manor, but also for all the staff and residents that live and work at the health care center.
Of the 16-thousand nursing homes in the country only about two thousand have the status of being certified by the Joint Commission.
The program is voluntary.
[GRAPHIC=Hold Nursing Home]
A new assisted living center for alzheimer's patients will open in Roanoke in less than a year.
Manor Care Health Services held a ground breaking ceremony for the Arden Courts facility on Persinger Road today.
The center will have 56 beds and 25-thousand square feet of living space.
It will be designed to help patients feel like they're living at home, while protecting them from harm.
The director says a properly structured environment can improve a patient's mental state.
[IN Q=actually they do]
((BOB LEE/DIRECTOR; ACTUALLY THEY DO MUCH BETTER HERE, THEIR CONFUSION ACTUALLY ABATES, WE GET THEM VERY INVOLVED IN ACTIVITIES, MAKE IT FUN FOR THEM, AND IT REALLY HELPS THEM A LOT. THE STRUCTURE OF THIS FACILITY ACTUALLY HELPS THEM A LOT THEN USUALLY THE LACK OF STRUCTURE THEY HAVE AT HOME.))
[OUT Q=have at home]
The center will begin hiring nurses, caregivers and other staff members in the near future.
Its scheduled to open in June of next year.
Its a tool used by executives in board rooms and by teachers in the classroom.
But laser pointers are now being marketed to children, some with
[SUPER=03-Honolulu, HI; ]
Those bright red laser pointers are latest rage for kids.
Ophthalmologist say they can be harmful and even cause loss of eyesight.
Doctors say all it takes is direct contact with the eye for ten seconds.
[SOT tc 07:31:49]
[IN Q=It would shine]
((DR. BYRON WONG/OPHTHALMOLOGIST: IT WOULD SHINE THROUGH THE EYE, THE CORNEAL LENS AND HIT THE BACK SURFACE OF THE EYE. AND IT COULD DAMAGE THE RETINA TISSUE OF THE EYE.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Byron Wong/Ophthalmologist; ]
[OUT Q=the eye]
Some schools and a number of cities have banned laser pointers for children under the age of 18.
In December of last year, the Food and Drug Administration sent out a warning to parents about the potential dangers of the devices.
Our mid week two minute ticker keeps time on the hard wood.
[GRAPHIC=hometown hoops weekly]
Here's Steve Mason with another edition of Hometown Hoops Weekly.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Rural Retreat; :35]
[SUPER=01-Pat Brewer/Rural Retreat Head Coach; :50]
[SUPER=01-Kelly Sample/Rural Retreat Shooting Guard; 1:05]
[SUPER=01-Robert Moody/Rural Retreat J.V. Player; 1:30]
[SUPER=01-Josh Blevens/Rural Retreat Ninth Grader; 1:36]
[SUPER=01-Kristie Osborne/Rural Retreat Point Guard; 1:52]
[SUPER=01-Timmy Burton/Rural Retreat Boys Varsity Player; 2:00 (QUICK!)]
[OUT Q=...HOMETOWN HOOPS WEEKLY"]
((With Lindsey Musser's cracked cartilage in her nose, Rural Retreat is down to just seven players for a while. But the lady Indians are covered. This season, the team's three male managers have been filling out the practice squad.
((PAT BREWER/RURAL RETREAT HEAD COACH:))
((KELLY SAMPLE/RURAL RETREAT SHOOTING GUARD:))
They come to every game and take stats. They're efforts have earned them varsity letters. Two of the boys are competing for spots on the varsity and JV boys teams. Mixing it up with their fellow classmates has helped their game.
((ROBERT MOODY/RURAL RETREAT JV PLAYER:))
((JOSH BLEVENS:/RURAL RETREAT NINTH GRADER:))
This desegregation has not only made the 7 and 1 Lady Indians better, but it has instilled a deeper mutual respect that has further unified Rural Retreat athletics.))
((KRISTIE OSBORNE/RURAL RETREAT POINT GUARD:))
((TIMMY BURTON/RURAL RETREAT BOYS VARSITY PLAYER:))
Nelson Mandela has joined the likes of George Washington, Winston Churcill, and Mother Teresa.
Mandela received the Congressional Gold Medal today.
He becomes the first African to receive the honor.
The 80 year old civil rights leader was recognized for dedicating his life to the abolition of apartheid.
The award says Mandela sacrificed his own personal freedom for the good of everyone.
He served 27 years in prison before his release in 1990 and subsequent election as South Africa's president.