Just ahead on News 7, investigators are still piecing together the details of yesterday's fiery interstate accident.
We'll take a look truck safety on western Virginia's hilly highways.
And the mystery of a missing college student.
In sports, The Winston Cup cars and trucks are in Martinsville this weekend a big week of Friday Football Extra.
And Virginia Tech and Virginia gear up for two conference football games.
Our local weather story features a return to summer and a growing hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico. Pictures from the eye of the storm just ahead.
Police are still working to piece together all the details of yesterday's fiery crash on Interstate 81, one that injured at least five people, and claimed more than a dozen cars and trucks.
Tonight it's also raising questions about safety on the heavily travelled highway.
More on that in a moment, but first the latest on the accident and its victims.
The trucker who suffered the most serious injuries is in critical condition tonight at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
State Police have not released his name yet. They're still trying to notify his relatives.
Meanwhile, investigators say the truck's brakes were working, but appeared to be out of adjustment.
[IN Q=He has ten brakes]
((HE HAS TEN BRAKES TOTAL TRACTOR AND TRAILER. THREE OF THEM APPEARED TO BE OUT OF ADJUSTMENT, WHICH MEANT THAT HE MIGHT HAVE HAD BRAKING POWER WITH THOSE THREE BRAKES, BUT IT WASN'T WORKING LIKE IT SHOULD, LIKE IT WAS DESIGNED TO.))
[SUPER=01-Sgt. L. W. Findley/Va. State Police]
[OUT Q=it was designed to.]
Yesterday's accident might not have been so bad if a tractor-trailer could have have been able to stop in time.
But truckers say that's easier said than done...
Especially in mountainous areas like Montgomery County.
Scott Goldberg has been talking to truck drivers today, and he's in Montgomery County tonight.
Jean, when a truck going 65 miles an hour on the Interstate hits the brakes, it takes a stretch of road as long as three football fields to stop.
And when the road is as windy and hilly as it gets in these mountains, truckers have to pay very close attention to their driving.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Frank Major/Truck Driver; :05]
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Vern Jones/Va. State Police; :44]
[OUT Q="...trucks and cars.]
[NATSOT -- HONKING TRUCK at UB 12 46 29 --lay over first part of bite?]
[SOT 10 50 28]
[IN Q=when you're out there]
((FRANK MAJOR/TRUCK DRIVER: WHEN YOU'RE OUT THERE GOING DOWN THE ROAD, 80-THOUSAND POUND LOAD, AND SOMETHING IS BREAKING DOWN IN FRONT OF YOU AND NO ONE IS COMMUNICATING WHAT'S GOING ON, IT MAKES IT DANGEROUS.))
Frank Major said truck drivers are supposed to let each other know when there's danger ahead.
But now he says so many truckers spend so much time chattering on the radio, it's hard to hear any important information.
[SOT 10 40 56,10 50 11 -- BUMP]
[IN Q=the worst enemy]
((FRANK MAJOR: THE WORST ENEMY OUT THERE IS ANOTHER TRUCKER. THERE'S A LOT OF ROAD RAGE. NO ONE HAS ANY COURTESY AT ALL. AND NO ONE LISTENS TO ANYONE ELSE BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH B.S. GOING ON.))
[OUT Q=GOING ON]
That's just one of the obstacles to safe trucking.
Another is the steep grade on parts of Interstate-81, which makes it even harder for big rigs to slow down.
[SOT 12 29 12]
[IN Q=if the driver's not]
((SGT. VERN JONES: IF THE DRIVER'S NOT AWARE, NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT GEAR HE'S IN AND THEN TRYING TO DISSIPATE HIS SPEED BY GETTING ON HIS BRAKES, THEY'LL OVERHEAT AND FAIL.))
[OUT Q=AND FAIL]
State Police randomly inspect trucks.
But they say it's not possible to be sure every truck on the road is safe.
[shot of guy on cell phone reading map]
And they say people like this...using cell phones and reading maps -- doing everything BUT watching the road -- make things less safe for drivers of BOTH trucks and cars.
( ad lib)
Both police AND truckers say there are more distractions on the road than ever.
Add those to the hilly terrain, and sometimes, accidents will happen.
Police have identified the teenager killed by a train last night.
Detectives say 17-year old Jeffrey Williams was alone when the train hit him near the Roanoke County-Montgomery County line.
They say the engineer tried to stop but did not have time.
Norfolk Southern officials say the train was traveling at around 35 miles per hour.
Crews are still working to remove a tour bus that lost its brakes and slid down a hill in Lynchburg this afternoon.
This man says he was washing the bus for a friend and had parked it on "B" Street when the parking brake apparently failed.
The bus rolled down the road, over a large pile of lumber and then careened down a steep embankment before coming to a stop just above the C-S-X railroad tracks.
The man washing the bus suffered a cut to his hand when he tried to stop it from rolling down the hill.
The Department of Education will decide Wednesday whether to close a school in Botetourt County.
The Department of Education had NEVER recommended shutting a school down -- until it saw the Wilderness Leadership Academy.
Inspectors say dirty conditions and allegations of sexual abuse at the Wilderness Leadership Academy put students in danger.
They say the school should lose its license and close next week.
The headmaster, Colonel Gene Nervo, will be in Richmond Monday to appeal.
Even though the Wilderness Leadership Academy has been open four years, it has never earned the customary three-year license.
Instead, it had to re-apply every year because education department officials say the school never met standards.
Fire alarms went off for real at Cave Spring High School this morning, sending everyone outdoors for a while.
The High School was evacuated after smoke filled a classroom.
Officials say the smoke came from a burned out fluorescent light.
Firefighters from several different parts of the county responded.
But students were soon back in class.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Police are getting more worried by the day. Still ahead, the latest on a Virginia Tech student missing for a week.
And later, as NASCAR fans converge on Martinsville, efforts are under way to tax them more in the future.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-1.06''/minus 1.72''/40.34''/plus 9.94'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 2.97 feet/Down 0.49 foot;Lake levels][Delta-Star]
Lynchburg's Delta Star plant is saying "no thanks" to a buyout offer from a Minneapolis company.
Sigma-7 announced its 15-million dollar stock offer yesterday..
But Delta Star, which has plants in Lynchburg and California, isn't interested.
Vice President Ralph Risley (RIZ-lee) says Sigma-7 failed to come up with the standard 100-thousand dollar fee during its LAST takeover bid.
Delta Star employs 250 people locally.. they make electrical transformers for power companies.
Authorities in two states are working to locate a missing Virginia Tech grad student.
24- year old Robert Leroy Kovack was last seen leaving his Blacksburg apartment on Friday. His car was located earlier this week along Route 19 in West Virginia.
Police describe Kovack as six foot one, weighing 175-pounds.
Blacksburg police are working in conjunction with West Virginia authorities.
[IN Q=We're coordinating]
((SGT. DONNIE GOODMAN/BLACKSBURG POLICE DEPT.:WE'RE COORDINATING WITH THE AUTHORITIES OVER THERE AND YOU KNOW, THEY'RE HEPING US AND WE'RE HELPING THEM IN TRYING TO DETERMINE WHAT HAS HAPPENED YOU KNOW WE JUST HAVE TO WORK WITH THE PEOPLE AND COOPERATE AND TRY TO SOLVE THE SITUATION.))
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Donnie Goodman/Blacksburg Police Dept.;]
[OUT Q=solve the situation.]
Anyone with information is asked to contact Blacksburg police and you may remain anonymous.
Virginia Tech's newest academic building is LITERALLY easy to miss.
That's because the two story structure was built completely underground.
Burchard Hall provides much needed space for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
It's named in honor of the former Charles Burchard, founding dean of the College of Architecture and Urban studies.
Colleagues say Burchard was fond of saying the ideal place to teach architecture would be an empty box, with high ceilings and lots of light...
Which is a good way to describe the campus' newest building.
[IN Q=There are]
((HENRY SHRIVER/ARCHITECT:THERE ARE A NUMBER OF BUILDINGS BUILT TODAY BELOW GRADE AND ACTUALLY IN HISTORY THERE HAS BEEN BUT THEY'RE REALLY THE RESULT OF AN URBANIZATION AND NOW WE SEE IT ON A CAMPUS LEVEL. ))
[SUPER=01-Henry Shriver/Architect; :00]
[OUT Q=campus level.]
The upper portion of the building is also unusual.
That's where you'll find four pyramid shaped skylights which illuminate a large studio below.
The top of the building is also a popular place for students and faculty to congregate.
The U.S. government gained 29 new taxpayers in a ceremony at the Hotel Roanoke this morning.
The new citizens have a few years to go, though, before Uncle Sam can start collecting... because they ranged in age from 18 months to 16 years old.
The Immigration Service brought the youngsters and their families together to take the oath of citizenship.
The children were from nine different countries, including China, Russia and Vietnam.
There seem to be a few budding photographers among them.
They left with American flags...and big smiles.
Stocks closed the week on the positive side.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow climbed almost 27 points, closing near 80-29. A bigger percentage jump for NASDAQ, up more than 23.
[ 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]
[a= 1/8 e= 1/4]
b= 3/8 f= 1/2
c= 5/8 g= 3/4
h= UP (Local Stocks only!)
i= DOWN (Local Stocks only!)
u= UNCHANGED (Local Stocks only!)
(You must use lowercase letters)
[ Bassett Fur/ Bedford Bancshares/Dimon]
[ ETS /Main Bankshares/ Optical Cable]
[Pulaski Furn./ Roanoke Electric Steel/Roanoke Gas]
[ Stanley Furniture/ Tultex/Valley Bank]
A Floyd County man who caught Legionnaire's disease is the latest to settle with the Lowe's corporation.
Wesley Clay was one of 16 people who got sick after visiting a Lowe's hot tub display two years ago.
Clay made a full recovery.
He sued the company for about 1-point-2 million dollars in Roanoke federal court.
The case has been settled. His attorney would NOT disclose the amount.
It's a big race weekend at the Martinsville Speedway.
Thousands of NASCAR fans are buying up tickets to see their favorite drivers chase the checkered flag.
In the future, speedway visitors may have to shell out a few extra bucks to support Henry County.
Christy Hubley tells us why.
[IN Q=(NATS of racing)]
[SUPER=01-Sid Clower/Henry Co. Administrator; :18]
[SUPER=01-Tim Fielder/Lynch Station, VA; :45]
[SUPER=01-Brian Glass/Ashland, KY; (quick) :50]
[SUPER=01-Sandy Stephenson/Harrisburg, PA; :57]
[OUT Q=News 7, Martinsville.]
[NATS (of race cars)]
Blurred Fords and Chevys roar around the 1/2 mile track.
Race weekends at the Martinsville Speedway draw thousands of fans.
Before long, speedway visitors could become a new source of cash to boost Henry County's dwindling revenues.
[IN Q=The source of our]
((SID CLOWER/HENRY CO. ADMINISTRATOR: THE SOURCE OF OUR PROBLEM DEALS WITH THE CLOSURE OF THE DUPONT PLANT. THE COUNT WILL LOSE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN ONE AND ONE-POINT-FOUR MILLION DOLLARS IN TAX REVENUE.))
[OUT Q=dollars in tax revenue.]
Sid Clower hopes the county can make up most of that lost money with a meals tax.
But a tax on speedway tickets might help raise the rest.
As it's proposed, spectators would pay an extra two-to-three dollars per ticket.
[IN Q=I wouldn't want to ]
((TIM FIELDER/LYNCH STATION, VA: I WOULDN'T WANT TO PAY ANY. IF YOU HAD TO DO IT, IT WOULDN'T STOP ME FROM COMING TO THE RACE.))
[OUT Q=coming to the race.]
[IN Q=They cost enough]
((BRIAN GLASS/ASHLAND, KY: THEY COST ENOUGH THE WAY THEY ARE.))
[OUT Q=way they are.]
[IN Q=If it was a 2-3 dollar]
((REPORTER: IF IT WAS A 2-3 DOLLAR TAX WOULD YOU STILL PAY? ARE YOU A BIG ENOUGH RACE FAN? SANDY STEPHENSON/HARRISBURG, PA: YEAH, PROBABLY, SURE. I MEAN THE TRACKS RAISE THE PRICE EVERY YEAR SO IT'D JUST BE ANOTHER ONE ON TOP OF THAT.))
[OUT Q=on top of that.]
If Henry County decides to pursue a speedway admissions tax, it will need approval from Virginia's General Assembly.
Race fans shouldn't expect to see a tax until at least the year 2000.
Christy Hubley, News 7, Martinsville.))
And coming up, Another big night of Friday Football Extra The 10 miler is set for tomorrow in Lynchburg.
And Ernie Irvan captures the pole for Sunday's NAPA 500 at the Martinsville Speedway.
It's time to take a trip to Martinsvillle where Steve Mason catches us up on qualifying for the Winston Cup and truck series.
[Double Boxes=Roy/Steve Mason Microwave;]
Steve who showed up to race today?
((Rollcue: second pole of season))
[SUPER=01-Ernie Irvan/Wins Second Pole of The Season; :12]
[SUPER=01-Ricky Rudd/Qualified on Outside Pole; :29]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Gordon/Qualified Third; :41]
[OUT Q=everybody else is]
[Double Boxes=Roy/Steve Microwave;]
(Steve Tosses to Boards)
(roll cue: )
[WIPE TO CHRYON]
[SUPER=0107-1. Ernie Irvan/93.608/2. Ricky Rudd//3. Jeff Gordon//4. Rich Bickle//5. Wally Dallenbach//;]
[SUPER=0107-6. Jeff Green//7. Sterling Marlin//8. John Andretti//9. Ted Musgrave//10. Dale Jarrett//;]
[SUPER=0107-11. Brett Bodine//12. Todd Bodine//13. Mark Martin//14. Dennis Setzer//15. Ward Burton//;]
[SUPER=0107-16. Jeff Burton//17. Rusty Wallace//18. Ken Schrader//19. Bobby Hamilton//20. Bill Elliott//;]
[SUPER=0107-21. Bobby Labonte//22. Joe Nemechek//23. Mike Skinner//24. Johnny Benson//25. Mike Bliss//;]
[OUT Q=...LAST SCORE."]
(roll cue: ...poleof the season.)
[IN Q...FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=04-NAPA 250 Qualifying; :00]
[SUPER=01-Greg Biffle/Fourth Truck Pole of The Season; :15]
[SUPER=01-Jimmy Hensley/Qualified 4th; :38]
[OUT Q=....good race package]
It's week five of Friday Football Extra and tonight we'll bring you the highlights of 18 games. Here's a look at the schedule.
[IN Q=first audio]
[OUT Q=...last score."]
The Virginia Cavaliers host Duke in their third straight ACC game tomorrow at Noon.
[SUPER=03-Durham, NC; :00]
UVa has won 8 of the last 9 games with the Blue Devils, but barely got a three point win last season.
Duke is 2-and-1 this year and anxious to
prove it is a much improved team from the past.
[IN Q=You know...]
[SUPER=01-Chris Combs/Duke Defensive Tackle; :00]
[OUT Q=...in the past."]
The Keydets of V-M-I are back home this weekend and its Homecoming at Alumni Field. The Keydets host Furman Kickoff is one oclock. V-M-I is 1 and 2.
[GRAPHIC=W & L]
Washington and Lee is on the road tomorrow. The Generals travel to Centre for a 1:30 kickoff.
The Generals are 0 and 2.
Ferrum is on the road for a big game with Bridgewater they will kick it off at 1:30.
And the Liberty Flames will play under the lights on Saturday hosting Glenville State at 7-thirty.
The Lynchburg Ten Miler celebrates its silver anniversary tomorrow as the annual race winds through the streets of the Hill City.
More than a thousand runners are expected to compete this year, including some familiar names.
Four- time Boston and New York Marathon champion Bill Rodgers will join the pack, looking to take the 50- and- over division title.
Rodgers and premiere runner Mike Mykytok (MIKE-ih-tock) have been busy preparing themselves for the dreaded Farm Basket hill.
[IN Q=If you don't]
((BILL RODGERS/FORMER MARATHON CHAMPION: IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING LEFT, YOU RUN TOO HARD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RACE IN THE FLAT WHEN YOU'RE GOING THROUGH THE PARK, YOU HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO COMPETE GOING UP THAT HILL.))
((MIKE MYKYTOK/1997 #2 U.S. ROAD RACER: I'VE BEEN ON A QUEST TO RUN AS MANY HILLY COURSES AS I CAN IN PREPARATION FOR T
HE MARATHON AND I THINK THIS IS A GOOD STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Rodgers/Former Marathon Champion; :00]
[SUPER=01-Mike Mykytok/1997 #2 U.S. Road Racer; :00]
[OUT Q=the right direction.]
Former cross country champion Joan Nesbit heads up the women's field.
Race time is 9 a-m.
[SUPER=331-Partly Cloudy/And Mild/60-63/Sunny And/Rather Warm/88-90;]
[SUPER=333-Partly Cloudy/Light Winds/58-60/Sunny/Wind SW-10/84-86;]
[SUPER=334-Partly Cloudy/Patchy Fog/58-60/Partly Sunny/And Warm/82-85;]
(Weekday 6 only)
[SUPER=x4032; e-mail/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS]
SUPER=x4033; Fax/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS
(Weekend 6 only)