Coming up on News 7-
Some bumps on the road, and dents in the bumpers as vacationers head home.
Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat uses a stop in Virginia to call for a Palestinian state.
And that bright light on Mill Mountain:
50 years, and still shining.
News 7 is next.
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Northbound Interstate-81 traffic slowed to a crawl after a multi-car pileup this evening.
It happened around 5:30 in Roanoke County near mile marker 141.
State police say it all started when a car suddenly stopped in the passing lane.
[IN Q=A VAN COMES]
((TROOPER TIM CHANEY/VA. STATE POLICE; A VAN COMES UP BEHIND, IT ALSO STOPS. AT THAT POINT, A NISSAN PATHFINDER REAR ENDS THE VAN. A MUSTANG STOPPING BEHIND THE PATHFINDER SEES AN ONCOMING VEHICLE AND PULLS OVER IN THE GRASS. THE WHITE CAR CONTINUES, RUNNING INTO THE BACK OF THE PATHFINDER. THE PATHFINDER CAUGHT FIRE AND WAS FULLY ENGULFED.))
[SUPER=01-Trooper Tim Chaney/Va. State Police;]
[OUT Q=FULLY ENGULFED.]
There were some scrapes, bumps and bruises.
But no one was seriously injured in the accident.
Investigators say it was the twelfth accident on I-81 in Roanoke County today.
There were no reports of any serious injuries or deaths in any of the accidents.
As you might expect on a busy travel day, there also were several reports of motorists with car trouble.
And many of them have the Virginia Department of Transportation to thank for helping out.
David Johnson has more on the department's roadside assistance program.
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[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/VDOT Spokeswoman; :16]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Echols/VDOT Spokesman; :45]
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((V-Dot officials say major holiday weekends tend to produce about 33-percent more traffic on the highways.
For motorists whose vehicles have failed them this weekend, a safety service patrol was available to offer help.
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[IN Q=THESE ARE SPECIALLY]
((LAURA BULLOCK/VDOT SPOKESWOMAN; THESE ARE SPECIALLY EQUIPED TRUCKS DRIVEN BY PEOPLE THAT CAN DO MINOR REPAIRS, CALL FOR ASSISTANCE AND GET FOLKS OFF OF THE ROADWAY SO TRAFFIC CAN KEEP MOVING.))
[OUT Q=KEEP MOVING.]
This safety truck was one of four monitoring Interstate-81 and I-581.
The helping hands patroled between Montgomery County and the Botetourt County area, and out to Franklin County.
They come equipped with gas, diesel fuel, an air compressor and other aids to help distressed travelers.
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((JEFF ECHOLS/VDOT SPOKESMAN; IF SOMEBODY IS ALONG SIDE THE ROAD BROKEN DOWN, RUN OUT OF GAS, OR FLAT TIRE. SOMEBODY WILL BE AROUND, V-DOT IN CONJUNCTION WITH STATE POLICE WHO ARE MAKING ROUNDS ALSO, TO PROVIDE SOME ASSISTANCE TO THEM AS WELL AS PEOPLE WHO NEED TO GO TO THE GAS STATION OR HAVE SOMETHING HAPPEN TO THEIR CAR. INSTEAD OF HAVING TO WAIT LONGER PERIODS OF TIME, MAYBE WE CAN HELP THEM SOME WITH THAT.))
V-Dot also took down construction work zones to open up more lanes of traffic to keep motorists moving along.
Still it's not been determined how much that helped pick up the pace.
((DAVID JOHNSON/REPORTING; V-DOT HAS HAD THE SAFETY PATROL PROGRAM IN PLACE FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS. IT IS USED PRIMARILY ON HOLIDAYS, LIKE THIS THANKSGIVING WEEKEND. OFFICIALS SAY THE GOAL IS TO USE IT MORE FREQUENTLY IN THE NEAR FUTURE.))
A traffic accident in Halifax County left one man dead.
Authorities say 43-year old Cecil Ray Butler lost control of his car along Route 344 late last night.
He died at the scene.
In Texas, they're still looking for the man who escaped from death row.
Martin Gurule fled Thursday night.
Dozens of law enforcement officials have been searching for the 29-year-old, and they say they're confident they'll find him.
Today they searched using helicopters and dogs.
Authorities think Gurule is hiding in a wooded area near the Huntsville prison.
Gurule was convicted of killing two people during a robbery in 19-92.
As the House Judiciary Committee resumes hearings this week,
It looks like chances of President Clinton getting impeached are dwindling.
Some Democrats are drafting proposals for an alternative punishment, like censure.
Even as the president's harshest critics today continued their campaign to remove him from office.
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((LINDSEY GRAHAM: THE LAW ALLOWS PEOPLE TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY IF THEY COME BEFORE THE COURT AND SAY, "I'M SORRY, I'M GUILTY." BUT IF YOU'RE PLAYING THE SAME OLD GAMES TO THE BITTER END, AND DANCING ON THE HEAD OF A PIN, THEN YOU HAVE FORFEITED THE RIGHT TO LEAD THIS COUNTRY. AND I DON'T WANT AN UNREPENTANT PERJURER LEADING THIS NATION INTO THE 21ST CENTURY./////////PETER MCHALE: AS REPREHENSIBLE AS HIS CONDUCT WAS, AND NO ONE HAS BEEN MORE CRITICAL OF THE PRESIDENT THAN I HAVE BEEN, AND I DO BELIEVE THESE ARE IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES, I DO BELIEVE HE ENGAGED IN PERJURY, I DO BELIEVE HE COULD BE IMPEACHED BUT IT'S IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE COUNTRY NOT TO IMPEACH HIM.))
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[SUPER=01-Rep. Lindsey Graham/(R) South Carolina;07]
[SUPER=01-Rep. Peter McHale/(D) Pennsylvania;19]
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When hearings resume Tuesday the committee will hear from convicted perjurers -- people who went to jail for lying under oath.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was in Virginia today.
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He told an Arab-American group he wants to create an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital.
And he said he wants to do it next year.
Arafat will meet with President Clinton tomorrow.
Meanwhile in Israel, the Mideast Peace movement is on hold.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli troops will not withdraw from Lebanon.
This, after Islamic guerillas in Lebanon have killed seven Israeli soldiers in the last two weeks.
Still ahead on News 7 a local church lends a helping hand to children for the holidays..
And, in our Virginia Newsreel the Star City's emblem celebrates a half century of lighting up Roanoke's skyline.
More when we return.
Voters in Switzerland shot down a proposal that would have made shooting up legal.
By a three-to-one margin, the Swiss voted not to legalize heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
It was a proposal anti-drug advocates said would turn the country into a druggie's paradise.
Supporters said legalization would wipe out Switzerland's black market.
There are some 30-thousand hard drug addicts in Switzerland.
That's one of the highest rates in Europe.
Retailers hope the strong economy will keep cash registers ringing this holiday season.
And smokers find out what a national settlement means for them.
Those stories and more in this week's Business Review.
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[NOTHING ON CHROMAKEY THIS WEEK]
((Red-eyed shoppers got up early Friday morning.
And they kept going all weekend, dashing trough the malls and making cash registers jingle.
Retailers hope low interest rates and a surging stock market mean big sales this season.
One place business is booming is on the Internet.
Three times as many computer users say this year they'll buy their holiday gifts online.
Still, analysts say 97-percent of retail sales will be made in stores.
Smokers found out this week they get the bill for a national tobacco settlement.
Cigarette prices went up 45-cents a pack.
Both Philip Morris and R-J-Reynolds raised prices to fund the 206-billion dollar deal.
Roanoke-based Advance Auto Parts filed a claim in federal court, trying to stop Advance Auto Accessories from using the Advance name on a website.
Advance Auto PARTS has been a registered trademark since 19-84.
Northern Virginia's Mobil Corporation comfirms it's talking to Exxon about creating the world's biggest energy company.
If Exxon acquires Mobil, it would be the richest corporate buyout in American history.
[DOW JONES PRE PRO]
The oil merger talks helped Wall Street cap a winning week.
The Dow picked up 174-points.
And the Nasdaq gained 178, finishing at a record high.
The Salvation Army is trying to make sure some needy children in the area get a present this Christmas.
And, members of a Roanoke County church are helping out.
Winsdor Hills Methodist Church held a doll dedication during its morning service today.
The Salvation Army provides the church with plain dolls.
Then church members make fancy clothes for the dolls and return them to the organization.
Most of them are distributed to less fortunate youngsters.
[IN Q=SOME OF THE]
((POLLY MCFARLANE/PROJECT COORDINATOR; SOME OF THE FANCIER DOLLS, IF YOU WILL, WILL BE AUCTIONED. THAT MONEY WILL BE USED TO PURCHASE MORE NAKED DOLLS TO SEND US NEXT YEAR. AND THE CYCLE BEGINS ALL OVER.))
[SUPER=01-Polly McFarlane/Project Coordinator;]
[OUT Q=BEGINS ALL OVER.]
This is the 15th-year Windsor Hills Methodist has participated in the program.
The church is one of several contributing to the project.
Church members dressed more than 200-dolls this year.
During the dedication ceremony, the dolls are blessed before being shipped out to their new homes.
For more than five years state legislators and dignitaries have made it to Virginia Tech games thanks to a special train.
The "Thouroughbred Express 1998" rolled into Roanoke this morning.
It was making a return trip to Norfolk after taking more than 100-people to Blacksburg on Friday.
The first state speaker of the House from Norfolk since 1792 helped organize the trip.
Tom Moss said it was all about having a good time.
[IN Q=THE PRESIDENT OF]
((TOM MOSS/VA. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE; THE PRESIDENT OF THE RAILROAD ALONG WITH THE CONSENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AGREED THAT WHEN TECH PLAYED IN BLACKSBURG, SINCE IT IS IN DIRECT ROUTE FROM NORFOLK TO BLACKSBURG, THAT WE COULD TAKE A TRAIN UP THERE. WE PICKED UP PEOPLE IN PETERSBURG AND LYNCHBURG AND ROANOKE IF WE WANTED TO. SO IT'S JUST A GREAT TIME FOR ALL OF US TO GET TOGETHER AND ENJOY ONE ANOTHER.))
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[OUT Q=ONE ANOTHER.]
The Express has been chugging up and down that route since 1992.
Still to come--Andrew Freiden will have your extended weather forecast and Roy Stanley will have the sports highlights when the news continues.
In a few months the Mill Mountain Star will turn 50 years old.
Andrew Freiden tells us how the idea for the landmark came about in this week's Virginia Newsreel.
[IN Q=The star is]
[SUPER=01-Edward C. Moomaw/Former Director; 1:18]
[OUT Q=nat sound of song MAGIC CITY STAR]
((The star seems to be a central theme in Roanoke. Years ago stars were used to decorate Downtown during Christmas. Edward C. Moomaw was the director of the Roanoke merchants association,as well as a member of the Christmas decorations commitee.
Under Moomaws leadership, many ideas began to circulate including stringing lights on Mill Mountain, but ultimately the idea of a permanent structure made sense. It was out of that idea the Mill Mountain star was born.
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[in Q=There were others]
[Out Q= Of our stars downtown]
In 1989, News 7's Joe McKean explained the design of the star on it's 40-th anniversary.
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[out Q=as he came in].
The estimated cost of the project was 25-thousand dollars. Letters were sent to businesses asking for donations.
The star opened in November 1949 and became one of Roanoke's most popular attractions. So popular in fact that a song was written by Freddie Lee Corstaphney. It was called "Magic City Star".
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Ted Moomaw said that if the star has helped bring tourists and attention to Roanoke it has served it's purpose. That is Virginia Newsreel, I'm Andrew Freiden.))
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Trent Green threw touchdown passes and the Redskin defense forced three turnovers in a 29 to 19 win over the Oakland Raiders.
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A little drizzle in Oakland at the start of the game.
Washington scored 52 seconds into the game when Green hits a wide open Stephen Davis on the 20 yard touchdown pass to make it 7 to nothing.
The Raiders bounced right back when Napolean Kaufman takes the handoff and cuts up field for the 25 yard touchdown run to tie it at 7 to 7 in the first quarter.
Green's second T-D pass of the game was a strange one. The ball hits the Oakland defender and it bounces right into the hands of Leslie Shepherd the play covering 43 yards and the Redskins would take the 17 to 7 lead at the half.
The Redskins scored a safety to open the third. Then
Green throws the 2 yard T-D pass to Stephen Alexander and Washington beats Oakland 29 to 19.
Carolina entered yesterday's game with the Jets with the 28-th ranked defense in the N-F-L.
And the Jets took advantage pounding the Panthers 48 to 21.
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Carolina head coach Dom Capers not to happy with a call in the game.
But the Panthers would take the lead in the first quarter when Fred Lane takes it outside for the one yard touchdown run to make it 7 to 3 Carolina.
New York would come back with the running game. Curtis Martin takes the pitch from Vinny Testaverde takes it up the right side cuts it back and scores from 60 yards out and the Jets would take the lead 10 to 7 still in the first quarter.
The Jets used every play in the book. Wide receiver
Keyshawn Johnson gets the ball on the reverse turns
the corner and races into the end zone on the 35 yard touchdown run and New York wins it 48 to 21.
The Patriots win a wild one against the Bills. More later on mornin'.
Jacksonville's Mark Brunell threw a touchdown pass in each quarter as the Jaguars downed the Bengals 34 to 17.
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Neil O'Donnell waiting on his turn to play against the Jags.
Leading 7 to nothing, Mark Brunell puts it up and Kennan McCardle hauls it in for the 8 yard touchdown pass play the Jags led 14 to nothing.
The Bengals trailed 17 to 10 at the half. But O'Donnell opened up the third hitting Tony McGee on the 7 yard touchdown pass and Cincinnati trailed 20 to 17 in the third.
But Brunell would answer that T-D going to
McCardle who catches the 3 yard pass for his second score of the day and the Jaguars win it 34 to 17.
A pass interference call in the end zone with no time left on the clock set up the winning score in New England's 25 to 21 win over the Buffalo Bills.
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Flutie's second T-D pass gave Buffalo the lead with six minutes left in the game.
But the Patriots got new life on this play when Henry Jones was called for interference on this Drew Bledsoe hail mary pass in the end zone as the clock flashed zero.
The ball was moved to the one yard line and Bledsoe
tossed the one yard T-D pass to Ben Coates giving the Patriots the 25 to 21 win.
The Falcons clinched a spot in the playoffs today with a win over the St. Louis Rams.
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In Chicago, the Bears hosted the Tampa Bay Bucanneers.
And Ronde Barber would score his first N-F-L touchdown he scoops up this blocked punt and he dances his way into the end zone from 20 yards out as the Bucs beat the Bears.
For all of the scores lets check the boards.
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And coming up, Peter Neved scores his first goal in over a year Roanoke College comes up short on the road.
And Mark O'Meara claims the big money in the P-G-A tours Skins game.
Virginia is headed to the Peach Bowl while Virginia Tech is waiting on its invitation to play in the bowl season. Steve Mason takes an initial look at the bowl situations for both the Hokies and the Cavaliers a day removed from UVa's 36-32 win in Blacksburg.
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[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Virginia Tech Head Coach; :14]
[SUPER=01-Pierson Prioleau/Virginia Tech Senior Rover; :25]
[SUPER=01-Scott Ramsey/Music City Bowl Official; :43]
[SUPER=01-Thomas Jones/UVa Running Back; 1:15]
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[super=01-Gary Stokan/Peach Bowl Executive Director; 1:40]
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After sitting out more than a year in a dispute with Pittsburgh, Peter Nedved scored his first goal as the New York Rangers beat Nashville 5 to 1.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY/MSG; :]
Ranger coach John Muckler behind the bench.
Nedved in his third game with the Rangers scored on the slap shot about 7 and a half minutes into the game as the Rangers took the one to nothing lead.
Moments later the Rangers would light up the board
again this time Wayne Gretzky scores on the rebound his third goal of the season and the Rangers win it 5 to 1.
Greg Norman was shutout in the P-G-A Skins. Tom Lehman won 420-thousand and Fred Couples earned 150 thousand.
[SUPER=03-La Quinta, CA/ABC SPORTS; :]
But the big winner was the smiling Mark O'Meara.
O'Meara would take home the big money he would birdie two straight holes to earn 140 thousand dollars and finish the day with a total of 430 thousand dollars to beat Lehman for the most prize money.
That's it for sports. Have a great day everybody!
Alex Phillips of Cave Spring scored a career high 17 points but it was not enough as Goucher beat Roanoke College 61 to 68.
The Maroons are now 1 and 3. They play ODAC rival Randolph-Macon Tuesday night at the Bast Center.
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