They're skiing in Vermont- -but wait this isn't New England; it's West Virginia. Snowshoe is the only place in the south that's determined to fight the December heat wave.
And State Troopers will be working OVERTIME to round up the Roanoke area's worst drivers- -going door to door in search of habitual offenders.
In sports, A new game for former U-V-A head coach Jeff Jones Roanoke College has a date with Emory and Henry Tonight at the Bast Center
And Clemson taps Tommy Bowden as its new head football coach.
Another mild day but cloudy skies keep it from being a record setter. Another day for shorts tomorrow. Details ahead.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
We know it can't go on forever.
The record warmth and long drought are being felt everywhere from Christmas tree sales to ski slopes.
We'll start with skiing ... at Snowshoe, in West Virginia. The resort has struggled to keep snow on its slopes this fall, but a few runs remain open.
[Take Graphic Map]
Joe Dashiell visited Snowshoe, which is about 100 miles north of Roanoke. He says the resort is actually trying to take advantage of this late fall "Heat Wave."
[IN Q=On top of the mountain]
[SUPER=03-Snowshoe, WV; :00]
[SUPER=01-K. C. Gandee/Snowboarder; :15]
[SUPER=01-Bennett Baber/Snowboarder; :21]
[SUPER=01-Rob Mahan/Hawthorne Valley Golf Course; :52]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Snowshoe, WV]
((On top of the top of the mountain, the snowmaking equipment is quiet. And the lift is far from capacity... But there is snow on two runs at Snowshoe and neighboring Silver Creek... And for the snowboarders and skiers getting their first taste of the season, that was good enough.
[IN Q=We drove]
((K.C. GANDEE: WE DROVE TWO AND A HALF HOURS AND THERE'S SNOW. IS THAT ALL THAT COUNTS? PRETTY MUCH YEAH FOR ME ANYWAY.))
((BENNETT BABER: MY FRIENDS CAME UP ON THANKSGIVING. THEY SAID THE CONDITIONS WEREN'T THAT GREAT. MOST OF THEM THOUGHT WE WERE CRAZY, BUT I HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING WHITE ALL YEAR, SO I'M REALLY EXCITED.))
[OUT Q=so I'm really excited.]
The warm weather has made it difficult to keep these runs open, but Snowshoe is the only winter resort south of Vermont that's operating and this weekend, skiing won't be the only game in town.
[NAT SOUND OF GOLF SWING]
For the first time since the Hawthorne Valley Course opened in '93, the resort is hoping to attract golfers and skiers at the same time.
[IN Q=The leaves have all fallen]
((THE LEAVES HAVE ALL FALLEN, BUT THE COURSE IS IN EXCELLENT SHAPE. AND THEY ACTUALLY MOWED GREENS AND MOWED FAIRWAYS YESTERDAY, AND THE COURSE IS IN EXCELLENT SHAPE.))
[OUT Q=is in excellent shape.]
Mountain bike trails will also open this weekend, but the resort hopes this warm weather fun will be fleeting.
[IN Q=once we're back to cold weather]
((ONCE WE'RE BACK TO COLD WEATHER AGAIN, WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON WHAT WE'RE REALLY ABOUT.))
[OUT Q=really all about.]
With added Snowmaking capability, crews can transform the mountain in short order... and they're hoping to have that opportunity early next week.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Snowshoe West Virginia)) [Christmas-Trees]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas Tree Sales]
Christmas tree lots are full of bark.
But customers aren't biting.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Microwave]
Scott Goldberg is at one Christmas tree lot that is still waiting for the start of this holiday shopping season.
[Live= Scott Full/Microwave]
( ad lib)
(Rollcue: slower than usual start.)
[SUPER=01-Prince Thompson/Seasonal Stuff Tree Lot;]
[SUPER=01-Steve Newton/Tree Land;]
((NATSOUND OF ASHLEY AND JUSTIN (PICK BEST ONE) -- "What do you think about this one, Justin, you like this tree?"))
It's beginning to feel a lot like ... spring.
Which explains why people are shopping for Christmas trees wearing shorts.
[IN Q=nobody's in the]
((THOMPSON: NOBODY'S IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT. I'M HERE PUTTING SUNTAN LOTION ON SO I WON'T GET A SUNBURN.))
It's been so sunny that some TREES are getting sunburns.
[IN Q=most of the trees]
((SCOTT: MOST OF THE TREES ON THIS LOT CAN SURVIVE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS. THEY WERE CUT DOWN WITHIN THE LAST MONTH AND MOST ARE STILL MOIST. BUT THE LONGER A TREE SITS UNDER THE SUN, THE MORE LIKELY IT IS TO HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM YOU WOULD HAVE AFTER A LONG DAY ON THE BEACH.))
[OUT Q=THE BEACH]
[IN Q=IT'S JUST LIKE]
((THOMPSON: IT'S JUST LIKE YOU WOULD GET SUNBURNED IF YOU LAY ON ONE SIDE FOR TWELVE HOURS IN THE SUN, YOU WOULD GET TOO MUCH SUN. ))
[OUT Q=TOO MUCH SUN]
[IN Q=THE SUN]
((NEWTON: THE SUN IS DEFINITELY HURTING.))
At Tree Land, Steve Newton is coating all of his trees with a spray that locks in the moisture.
[trees in trailer]
And, like an overprotective parent in August, he's keeping his trees out of the sun until they absolutely have to go outside.
[IN Q=i store]
((NEWTON: I STORE MY TREES IN A TRAILER. IT'S ACTUALLY COOLER IN THERE AND STAYS COOLER ALL DAY LONG.))
[OUT Q=ALL DAY LONG]
[Live= Scott Full/Microwave]
( ad lib)
[Robin in Weather Center]
[SUPER=82-0.00''/minus 0.20''/42.71''/plus 4.35'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 5.39 feet/Down 4.69 feet;Lake levels]
[Robin in Weather Center--toss to Keith][Poindexter]
A medical examiner says it appears Derek Poindexter was trying to swallow cocaine when a Roanoke policeman hit him with pepper spray.
Relatives said he could have had a cough drop in his mouth.
But test results indicate what he spit out was cocaine.
And the official cause of death is acute cocaine poisoning.
Poindexter's family isn't satisfied, still blaming police for his death.
They've asked the state A-C-L-U chapter to look into the case.
A Henry County jury is recommending a 23-year prison sentence for a Collinsville man found guilty today of murder.
[SUPER=03-Henry Co./April 1998;]
Philip Grady Boatman was convicted today of second degree murder for the April death of Daniel Mussleman, in the parking lot of the Stanley Furniture plant.
He was also found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of murder.
Formal sentencing is scheduled for February.
[GRAPHIC=Va. Death Penalty]
His execution would be the last in Virginia this year.
But if Henrico County killer Kevin Cardwell is put to death tonight, he will set a new modern state record -- and come close to an all-time record.
He'll be the 13th person executed in Virginia this year, the most since 17 were put to death in 1909.
The U-S Supreme Court rejected Cardwell's appeal today.
He did NOT even ask the Governor for clemency.
Another Virginia death row inmate may have tried to kill himself-- instead of waiting for the state to do it.
[SUPER=03-Sussex Co./File Tape;]
Prison officials say the unidentified inmate was found unconscious in his cell on Tuesday at the new Sussex Correctional Center.
He was treated and released from the hospital.
It's being investigated it as a possible drug overdose and a possible suicide attempt.
NO word yet on how a death row inmate could get enough drugs for an overdose.
A cut fiber optics line left more than half of Campbell County without 9-1-1 service this afternoon.
For more than an hour, residents south of Rustburg could not call outside their local exchange.
Repairs were completed late this afternoon.
Authorities say there were "no" problems with emergency service.[Tease#1]
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
A multi-billion dollar plan to help tobbaco farmers is in trouble. Still ahead on News 7, what's getting in the way?
Next, preparing for natural disasters. They can happen at any time, and we'll see how one Southside city is getting ready, just in case.
A natural disaster can strike anytime, anywhere.
That's why many cities make sure their emergency management teams are ready to respond.
Christy Hubley tells us about Danville's mock disaster training.
[IN Q=There's no disaster in Danville]
[SUPER=01-Gordon Barwell/VA Emergency Services; :24]
[SUPER=04-September 1996; :40]
[SUPER=01-A. Ray Griffin/Danville City Manager; :54]
[OUT Q=News 7, Danville.]
(( There's no disaster in Danville, but city employees are pretending the region is under a state of emergency.
From the emergency operations center in the basement of city hall, people are manning the phones...
[NATS (of guy on phone)]
...and monitoring weather radar.
This training is designed by Virginia's department of emergency services.
[IN Q=It's tailored specifically]
((GORDON BARWELL/VA EMERGENCY SERVICES: IT'S TAILORED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE NEEDS OF THE CITY OF DANVILLE. IT TAKES ABOUT 5 MONTHS TO DEVELOP AND IT CAN'T BE USED ANYWHERE ELSE BECAUSE WE HAVE DONE EXACTLY WHAT DANVILLE WANTS US TO DO AND DESIGNED A COURSE THAT WILL HIGHLIGHT THEIR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN.))
[OUT Q=emergency management plan.]
Danville is no stranger to natural disaster.
In September 1996, Hurricane Fran put the city's emergency management plan to a real-life test.
Many of these trainees responded then and are ready to respond in the future.
[IN Q=Like any fine silver]
((A. RAY GRIFFIN/DANVILLE CITY MANAGER: LIKE ANY FINE SILVER OR BRASS THEY NEED POLISHING FROM TIME TO TIME. THIS TRAINING IS AN ATTEMPT TO POLISH OURSELVES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE AS GOOD AS WE CAN BE.))
[OUT Q=as we can be.]
[IN Q=The benefit to the city]
((GORDON BARWELL/VA EMERGENCY SERVICES: THE BENEFIT TO THE CITY OF DANVILLE IS THAT WE'RE DOING THIS WITHOUT A REAL EMERGENCY THAT SHOULD ONE OCCUR LATER ON, NEXT WEEK, NEXT YEAR, THE PLAN WILL HAVE BEEN TESTED, THE PEOPLE EXERCISED AND FAMILIAR WITH THEIR ROLES.))
[OUT Q=with their roles.]
A bit of insurance when the people of Danville will need it most.
Christy Hubley, News 7, Danville.))
The national tobacco settlement is a done deal-- but the negotiations to help the tobacco farmers are falling apart.
[SUPER=03-Winston Salem, NC/File Tape]
North Carolina-based R-J Reynolds says it's walking away from the table.
The lead industry negotiator says that since R-J-R is the second largest company, its pullout forces everyone to start over.
The negotiations were to form a five BILLION dollar assistance package for farmers-- who are expected to lose sales as cigarette prices increase to pay for the national settlement.
It's already helped 35 welfare recipients buy cars so they can get to work.. now a Lynchburg loan program is ready to expand.
The "Ways to Work" project received a 150- thousand dollar donation today from the Minneapolis- based McKnight Foundation.
Now, in addition to those on welfare, the program can afford to loan money to other low- income families in the area.
[IN Q=One of the]
((RON CARL/FAMILY LOAN PROGRAM: ONE OF THE QUALIFICATIONS IS GOING TO BE THAT YOU CAN'T GET CREDIT ANY PLACE ELSE. SO THEY WILL HAVE TO MEET CERTAIN ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES, BUT STILL THIS GIVES THE OPPORTUNITY TO THOSE PEOPLE THAT FIND THEMSELVES IN THAT CATCH- 22 TO APPLY, AND MAYBE GET A LOAN TO MAYBE GET OVER THAT HUMP.))
[SUPER=01-Ron Carl/Family Loan Program; :00]
[OUT Q=over that hump.]
Lynchburg is one of just eleven cities across the country that has the "Ways to Work" program.
Social Services commissioner Clarence Carter says it's helped Lynchburg become a leader in welfare reform.
Wall Street took a nosedive for the second time this week.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow fell 185 points, closing just below 88-80. NASDAQ lost 41 points.
A federal agency says Roanoke's fire department should improve safety and training procedures.
The recommendations are in a report issued by the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health.
They looked into a fire last summer in a vacant house on Campbell Avenue in which part of the porch collapsed and hurt two firefighters, one of them seriously.
The report says the fire department should have a safety officer on the scene of major fires.
And it should provide firefighters with more training on building collapses.
If you're one of the more than 500 people in the Roanoke area who've been declared habitual offenders, you may find a couple of cops at your door some Saturday... ready to run you in.
Every one of the local chiefs of police, each of the sheriffs and all the elected prosecutors in the Roanoke Valley got together with the division commander of State Police to spell it out.
Teams of police officers- -one local officer working with a state trooper- -will go door to door tracking down the worst of the Valley's bad drivers.
[SOT @ 9:59:30]
[IN Q=It's ridiculous]
((IT'S RIDICULOUS THAT THESE PEOPLE GET OUT THERE AND DRIVE. THEY'VE GOT TO HAVE TRANSPORTATION, BUT THEY'RE VIOLATING THE LAW. AND THEY COULD GO TO JAIL BECAUSE OF IT.))
[SUPER=01-1st Sgt Frank Duffy/Va. State Police]
[OUT Q=because of it.]
You can be declared a habitual offender once you're convicted three times of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a serious accident or driving on a suspended license, for example.
The 30-thousand dollar state grant will pay overtime for police to put such people on notice, maybe lock up some of them.
And coming up, The latest on the N-B-A lockout Roanoke College returns to the Hardwood with an ODAC game against Emory And Henry.
And Steve Mason catches up with Jeff Jones who's working the court as a basketball commentator.
We start in the ACC where Clemson's new football coach Tommy Bowden offically made the transition from Tulane to Tiger country today.
[SUPER=03-Clemson, SC/Today; :00]
At a news conference today with media and fans, Bowden put on the Clemson colors. Bowden feels his chances of winning a national championship are greater at football tradition rich Clemson.
[IN Q="To follow]
[SUPER=01-Tommy Bowden/New Clemson Football Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=....first class manner"]
The five month old NBA lockout took a turn for the better today as negotiations resumed for the first time in about two weeks.
[SUPER=03-Greensboro, NC; :00]
The players union and the league are together after a 13 day layoff. One good sign in these talks...Michael Jordan made a surprise appearance at the NBA labor talks. Jordan's agent said his client would not get involved again until discussions in the lockout got serious.
Roanoke College returns to the hardwood tonight at the Bast Center in Salem.
The Maroons are 1 and 4 overall and 0 and 1 in the ODAC.
Roanoke guards Brad Dunleavy and Dewayne Bullock are doubtful tonight because of injuries.
Emory and Henry is led by Chris Barbour and former Northside guard Justin Porterfield.
[IN Q="Porterfield has...]
[SUPER=01-Bob Johnson/Emory & Henry Head Coach; :]
[OUT Q=...a little bit.]
Tip off tonight at the Bast Center is 7-thirty.
The Virginia mens's basketball team losta heartbreaker to Florida State Tuesday nitght.
Former UVa basketball coach Jeff Jones was court side at the Wake Forest/VMI game in Lexington earlier this week. I caught up with him to find out how his new career as a television color commentator was going.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Lexington/Wake Forest vs. VMI; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Jones/Former UVa Coach; :23]
[OUT Q=become a better basketball coach"]
((It seems Jeff Jones's former employer haunts him no matter where he goes. Just a short distance from his color analyst seat, in Cameron Hall, is a picture of the 1977 VMI team. The assistant coach...none other than Pete Gillen, Jones's replacement at Virginia. While he is in his first season at UVa, Jones is making his debut as a telivision color analyist.
UVa ahtletic director Terry Holland, who sat just a few seats away from his former basketball coach, said Jones would make a good analyst. But Jeff is using his temp job for visibility to hopefully improve his contacts and resume.
Jones, who auditioned first with ESPN, agreed to a 12 game deal with Hometeam Sports, but that was cut down to the VMI/Wake Forest game In Lexington, Steve Mason, News 7 sports.))
The Express begins a two game homestand tomorrow night beginning with Richmond.
Centerman and rookie Dru Burgess has 11points. He credits playing on a line with Mike peron and Kris Cantu for his numbers.
[SUPER=01-Dru Burgess/Express Second Leading Scorer; :00]
[SUPER=01-Scott Gordon/Express Head Coach; :11]
[OUT Q=...don't have to correct"]
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[SUPER=331-Partly Cloudy/Light Winds/48-50/Partly Sunny/And Mild/70-74;]
[SUPER=332-Variable/Clouds/44-46/Partly Sunny/Light Winds/64-66;]
1998 is nearly over, and sports fans are getting antsy, without the N-B-A.
Jean Jadhon joins us with more.
[take Jean full]
Keith, basketball fans once thought it wouldn't be winter without the N-B-A...
But it's nearly two months into the season, and there's still no pro-ball on the hardwood.
How long will fans wait it out for the athletes and team-owners to patch things up, before losing interest?
We'll speak with the fans, tonight at 11.
(Weekday 6 only)
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(Weekend 6 only)