If Jim Gilmore can phase out the "car tax..." why not reduce the sales tax on groceries?
Coming up NEWS 7 has the exclusive story... on the Governor's proposal and what it could mean for you at the check-out lane.
And a devastating fire provides a new set of challenges for members of the First Presbyterian Church in Collinsville.
Tonight in sports, UVa basketball suffers bad break as it loses Colin Ducharme indefinitely.
Steve Mason talks with a former player of the week on the comeback trail.
And the unbeaten Emory & Henry Wasps get snubbed by the NCAA despite going 10-and-0.
Will clouds spoil the view tonight for the Leionid meteor shower? The forecast is straight ahead.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
The lonely voice from Montgomery County you heard last year at this time is NO longer alone.
Southwest State Senator Madison Marye's food tax cut is red hot.
NEWS 7 has learned Governor Jim Gilmore has appropriated the idea as his own... and will announce details at a major news conference in the morning.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Ellen/Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom with those details right now.
Keith, the sales tax on food in Virginia is four-and- a-half cents on the dollar.
Governor Jim Gilmore will gather Republican lawmakers around him in the morning to propose cutting two cents off that, phased in at a rate of one half cent a year, starting in January 2000.
[IN Q=Shawsville's Madison Marye]
[SUPER=03-Richmond/File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=01-Del. Butch Davies/(D) Culpeper; :32]
[SUPER=01-Gail Nardi/House Democratic Caucus; :45]
[OUT Q=very welcome.]
(( Shawsville's Madison Marye offered it last year in the face of the no car tax bulldozer.
Then, Jim Gilmore said "not now."
But this year--
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: THE CAR TAX IS OF COURSE THROUGH THE GATE AND IN THE DOOR AND SO ON. I THINK THE ISSUE NOW IS HOW MUCH FARTHER DO WE REACH?))
So when we asked the Governor about his impending budget announcement...
((Will there be any surprises? UH... MAYBE, YES. laughs ))
Sources at the Capitol say it is his own version of the food tax cut-- modelled closely on a bi-partisan committee's bill advanced last month.
((DEL. BUTCH DAVIES/D-CULPEPER: IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT THE GOVERNOR WOULD REACH OUT AND EMBRACE IT. BECAUSE UNLIKE THE CAR TAX WHICH BASICALLY FAVORS THOSE WHO ARE MORE AFFLUENT... THE FOOD TAX PROVIDES AN ACROSS THE BOARD BENEFIT.))
((GAIL NARDI/HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: I THINK THE GOVERNOR IS GETTING READY TO HURL HIMSELF ONTO OUR BANDWAGON, AND I THINK HE'LL BE VERY WELCOME.))
So prospects look good for the food tax cut when the legislature convenes in January.
ALSO tomorrow, expect to hear a proposal from the governor on dedicating lottery profits to local school divisions and more funding for law enforcement.))
[Double Boxes=Keith & Ellen/Microwave]
[Q&A]KEITH: Why NOT repeal the whole four-and-a-half cents... like the car tax repeal?[Comparison]
[GRAPHIC=3 Pinnacle pages]
We did some simple arithmetic to illustrate what the proposed cut could mean to family finances.
[Take Pinnacle Page 1002]
A family that spends 100- dollars a week on groceries pays 234 dollars a year in food taxes.
If 2-percent of that tax is eliminated, the family's annual food-tax bill would drop to 130 dollars.
The difference: 104 dollars a year.
This is only a proposal, so don't start counting your savings yet.
The last 24 hours have been a test of faith for members of Collinsville's First Presbyterian Church.
The church burned down last night, for no apparent reason.
Kimberly McBroom says yesterday's fire has prompted the congregation to pull together, looking the future.
[IN Q=Outside the building]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Janet Bennett/Church Elder; :09]
[SUPER=01-Daryl Emberson/Collinsville Fire Chief; :46]
[SUPERA=01-Hal Nelson/Church Elder; 1:12]
[OUT Q=KM, News 7, Henry County]
Outside the building where they normally gather to worship, Janet Bennett and other church members gathered to view the damage a mysterious fire left behind.
((JANET BENNETT/CHURCH ELDER: THERE'S NO WAY YOU CAN DESCRIBE IT. IT'S LIKE A DEATH, EVEN MORE SO, BECAUSE IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE LIVED WITH ALL OUR LIVES AND IT'S PART OF OUR LIVES.))
((KIMBERLY MCBROOM/NEWS 7: WHAT'S NOW JUST SMOLDERING EMBERS TOOK BETWEEN 50 AND 60 FIREFIGHTERS TO CONTAIN.
WHILE THE CAUSE REMAINS A MYSTERY, IT'S BELIEVED TO HAVE STARTED IN THE CHURCH SANCTUARY.
It's still too hot for investigators to determine whether the blaze that tore down the 27- year- old church was suspicious in nature.
Collinsville's fire chief says he first saw the fire from his home, a mile away.
[SOT 2:03:47 ]
((DARYL EMBERSON/COLLINSVILLE FIRE CHIEF: SO, I IMMEDIATELY CALLED BASSETT FIRE DEPARTMENT TO BRING THEIR LADDER AND THE CITY OF MARTINSVILLE TO BRING BY THEIR LADDER AND WE STARTED OUT WITH TWO LADDER TRUCKS AND WITH 25- HUNDRED GALLONS A MINUTE AND WE COULDN'T STOP IT.))
The timing of the fire was as fortunate as it could be--
Since there are usually no Sunday evening services, no one was at the church when it caught fire.
It was unfortunate the the church came crashing down, just one year after getting a new roof...and one week after having its parking lot re- finished.
((HAL NELSON/CHURCH ELDER: WE'RE REALLY SHOCKED, BUT THIS CHURCH HAS MET A LOT OF CHALLENGES IN THE PAST AND WE'LL MEET THIS ONE, TOO.))
Kimberly McBroom, News 7, Henry County.
Authorities belive they are close to finding out who phoned in a bomb threat today at Giles County high school.
The call came in before nine this morning and students were quickly sent home.
Sheriff's investigators say they were ABLE to determine where today's call was made.
So far, no one's been arrested but authorities DO have leads.
This is the second time in a week a bomb threat at the school has resulted in cancelled classes.
School officials say in both instances, the decision to dismiss was on a case-by-case basis, and in both cases they did so for safety reasons.
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke City Seal]
Roanoke City Council is coming up with more money for the renovation of the Jefferson Center auditorium.
A 1997 bond referendum included two million dollars for the project, but the cost has risen from five to seven million dollars.
Private contributions will kick in more than four million and the fundraising continues.
But supporters say council's commitment of an additional 800- thousand dollars, virtually assures that construction will begin next year.
The renovated hall could be ready for its first performance by late in the year 2000. [Tease#1]
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Virginia is about to increase a record number even more. Still ahead, who's next in line for execution.
And the state's firearms season is now underway, but some hunters say it's not as much fun as it used to be. Find out why, next.
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[SUPER=83-Down 4.75 feet/Down 4.99 feet;Lake levels][Deer-Hunting]
[GRAPHIC=Deer Season Opens]
The General Firearms Season started today.
But some local deer hunters say they won't enjoy it as much because they're being squeezed in terms of where they can hunt.
David Johnson takes a look at hunting area encroachment and other challenges Southwest Virginia hunters are facing.
[IN Q=Donnie Goad]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; :01]
[SUPER=01-Donnie Goad/Fincastle Hunter; :08]
[SUPER=01-Dave Steffen/Game Biologist; :34]
[OUT Q=N7, Botetourt Co.]
(( Donnie Goad has enjoyed hunting in Fincastle for most his life. He's worried he may not enjoy it much longer.
[IN Q=IT'S GETTING SO]
((DONNIE GOAD/FINCASTLE HUNTER; IT'S GETTING SO THERE'S NO PLACE TO REALLY HUNT. UNLESS YOU CAN RENT YOU SOME LAND TO HUNT ON.))
[OUT Q=TO HUNT ON.]
Goad says past hunting sites are now either under construction or are privately owned and property owners restrict the activity.
Another concern is the dryness in the woods and the potential threat for forest fires.
But officials say between the statewide burning ban and a safety course geared toward protecting the hunters and their environment, there shouldn't be a problem.
[IN Q=IF THERE IS]
((DAVE STEFFEN/GAME BIOLOGIST; IF THERE IS A PROBLEM, WE'VE GOT SOME 300-THOUSAND HUNTERS IN THE WOODS ACROSS THE STATE TODAY THAT ARE EYES TO REPORT A FIRE. SO THERE'S A CHANCE THAT WE COULD ADDRESS A FIRE PROBLEM EARLIER THAN WE OTHERWISE MIGHT.))
[OUT Q=WE OTHERWISE MIGHT.]
((DAVID JOHNSON/REPORTING; THE HARVEST FOR DEER HUNTING IS EXPECTED TO BE ABOUT AVERAGE THIS YEAR. THAT MEANS ABOUT 200-THOUSAND KILLS STATEWIDE. BUT OFFICIALS SAY THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT THE HERDS ARE STABLIZED, MEANING THERE AREN'T TOO MANY AND NOT TOO FEW.))
[IN Q=IT'S CREATING A]
((DAVE STEFFEN; IT'S CREATING A BALANCE BETWEEN WHAT HUNTERS WANT. HUNTERS WANT TO SEE A LOT OF DEER. A BALANCE BETWEEN THE DAMAGE WE HEAR ABOUT ORNAMENTALS IN PEOPLE'S YARDS. THE HIGHWAY CONCERNS WE HAVE ESPECIALLY THIS TIME OF YEAR WITH THE BREEDING SEASON GOING ON WITH DEER IS CAUSING MORE HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS.))
[OUT Q=HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS.]
Hunters say the upside to the first day of the General Firearms Season is that conditions were near perfect.
The season will last for the next two weeks.
David Johnson, News7, Botetourt County.))[Branham]
"Open season" took on a new meaning at the Amherst County Courthouse today.
Not enough jurors showed up for court.
[SUPER=03-Amherst Co./File Tape]
29- year- old Kenneth Eugene Branham was scheduled to stand trial for killing a man and wounding another over the Memorial Day weekend.
25 prospective jurors had been summoned for his two- day trial.
But two jurors called in sick. Three were disqualified, and four others simply failed to show up.
Prosecutor Ed Meeks says it may be because it was the first day of hunting season.
Branham's trial is now set for December 15th.
[GRAPHIC=Va. Death Penalty]
Virginia is getting ready to execute its 12th prisoner this year, adding to the state's modern-era record.
The U-S Supreme Court rejected an emergency request today to the stay the execution of Kenneth Wilson.
He's scheduled to die tomorrow night for killing a neighbor in Newport News almost six years ago.
The Dow is above the nine-thousand mark once again.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The average climbed more than 91 points, closing at 9-thousand-11. NASDAQ gained almost 14 points.
[ AE /ATT/Bank of America/Bell/Columbia;]
[Crestar/Dana/Dimon/Dominion Resources/First Union;]
[First Virginia/General Electric/Kroger/Norfolk Southern/Optical Cable]
[phillip morris/roanoke electric steel/trigon/wachovia/walmart]
The tobacco companies have agreed to the new 206-BILLION dollar settlement with eight states.
Every other state in the nation has been invited to share in the settlement.
But Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley is still checking the fine print tonight.
Right now, the settlement has NO specific assurances for tobacco farmers.
[IN Q=It will depend]
((ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK EARLEY: IT WILL DEPEND ON SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THE INDUSTRY IS TALKING ABOUT DOING WITH THE FARMERS. WE TALKED TO THEM ON FRIDAY. I WAS BASICALLY ENCOURAGED BY WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY.))
[OUT Q=to say.]
The proposed deal will ban tobacco advertising on billboards,
buses, t-shirts and hats.
But it still falls short of the stricter national proposal that Congress killed last summer.
A group of students from Roanoke City Schools is getting a new perspective on life.
[SOT ub 11 11 37]
((YOU'RE DOING GREAT BUDDY.))
These children with vision problems are getting free glasses.
The 40-foot long LenCrafters Vision Van is a complete eyecare facility. It travels around the country making stops in different localities to deliver optical care to needy children.
[SOT ub 11 25 57]
[IN Q=We partnered]
((CAROL BENSON/LENSCRAFTERS: WE PARTNERED WITH ROANOKE CITY SCHOOLS AND THEY WERE PRESCREENED AT SCHOOL AND FOUND TO HAVE A VISION HANDICAPP AND THAT'S HOW THEY WERE DETERMINED.))
[OUT Q=were determined]
The volunteer optometrists also check the children's eyes for diseases like glaucoma that could be treated early and prevent serious problems in the future.
A total of 230 students from kindergarten through high school will be getting their new specs today, tomorrow and Wednesday.
Coming up tonight in sports, UVa's basketball team suffers a serious blow, we'll check out he pairings for this week's regional football finals.
And Steve Mason talks with a former player of the week, who is defying the odds and his doctors to give football one more try.
UVa fans got a big boost when the Pete Gillen era opened with an easy win over VCU last Friday night.
But this evening that enthusiasm has been squelched.
Colin Ducharme, the Cavs junior starting center is out indefinitely after breaking his left ankle.
The six foot nine inch center broke the ankle when he slipped on some wet steps.
Surgery on the ankle is scheduled for tomorrow, but there is no timetable for his return.
In some better news for UVa fans, Gillen announced the formal signing of four recrutis including six-ten Jason Rogers from my alma mater, Robert E. Lee high school in Staunton.
The regional championships in high school football are all set for this coming Friday night.
Here are the pairings with the home teams listed on the bottom.
[WIPE TO MOTION]
[SUPER=0102-/Culpeper Co.///Amherst Co.///Northwest Division 5 Final/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Richlands///Martinsville///Region IV Division 4 Final/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Heritage///Salem///Region III Division 4 Final/;][SUPER=X5009;]
[SUPER=0102-/Rustburg///Tunstall///Region III Division 3 Final/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Giles///John Battle///Region C Division 2 Final/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Narrows///Covington///Region C Division 1 Final/;]
[OUT Q=...LAST SCORE."]
All of the games start at 7:30 with the exception of the Rustburg-Tunstall game that kicks-off at seven.[S-Graham]
Most Friday Football Extra players of the week make it look easy.
But former Shawsville standout Chris Graham's life has been anything but since a car accident June 13th of last year. But Steve Mason says, this quarterback refuses to be sacked.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Shawsville/Last Week; :00]
[SUPER=01-Cindy Henderson/Physical Therapist; :10]
[SUPER=04-1996-97 Season; :33]
[SUPER=01-Chris Graham/Former FFE Player of the Week; :44]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
((The car is in his yard and serves as a reminder of the accident. Chris Graham's crushed legs left doctors with a long list of repairs.
Ideally, the 1997 Three Rivers District offensive player of the year, would be able to walk with a brace, but the quarterback's dream of college football seemed over.
[NAT SOUND-PHYSICAL THERAPY]
Five months later, an exhausting rehabilitation at Blacksburg Physical Therapy has ultimately strengthened Graham's torn knee ligaments and leg muscles.
Last week, Chris was fitted with a brace, not to help him walk, but to stabilize his left knee so he can plant and throw during his workouts at Shawsville.
Graham plans to enroll at Clinch Valley in the fall, in Shawsville, Steve Mason news 7 sports.)) [S-Emory]
ODAC champion Emory & Henry finished the season 10 and OH, yet did not make the Division III football playoffs.
[graphic=emory & henry]
Four other undefeated teams from the South Region were ahead of the Wasps in the rankings.
Despite the disappointment, Emory & Henry is proud of it's season and players, especially running back Oliver Jordan. The former Alleghany star was the conference's leading rusher with 1 thousand, 297 yards and scored the most touchdowns in the ODAC with 16.
[IN Q="I'm not]
[SUPER=01-Oliver Jordan/Emory & Henry Running Back; :00]
[SUPER=01-Lou Wacker/Emory & Henry Head Coach; :]
[OUT Q=...has the ability"]
In mid January, the Division III Championship Committee will meet. One of the big topics...approving the increase of the D-III football playoff field from 16 to 24 teams.
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Is saving a couple of bucks at the checkout line worth losing millions of dollars in state revenue.?
[Double Box=Keith & Eric/Microwave]
Eric Earnhart is gathering reaction for News 7 at 11.
Keith shoppers say they'll take what they can get... but small change at the register adds up to 245 million dollars a year state wide...
So what do local lawmakers think about losing that much revenue... they think it's great.
[Double Box=Keith & Eric/Microwave]
Tonight on News 7 at 11 we'll tell you why... Keith?
(Weekday 6 only)
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