On NEWS 7 at SIX tonight- -the battle between Coca Cola and the County. Thousands of dollars are at stake for loc
al governments in a battle over taxes on vending machines.
You've seen the American Chemical building's new paint job from the Interstate. Tonight we'll take you inside this unique structure and tell you what they're doing with it.
Tonight on the Big 7, Ronde rocks Tampa, while Westbrook is more than a pain in the neck.
We'll catch up with VMI's Matt Matheny,
and the NBA lockout rolls on. Today the league cancelled the Fenruary all-star game in Philadelphia.
Some decent rain moves through the region and the chill down begins tomorrow night. A return to December weather in less than 24 hours!
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Botetourt County may be forced to pay Coca-Cola about 13-thousand-dollars -- if a judge says Coke does NOT owe taxes on its vending machines.
Today was the first day of trial, and the judge is not expected to rule for several weeks.
But as Tina Tenret tells us, many surrounding places could also lose lots of money.
That's right Keith.
Coke has also sued Roanoke, Roanoke County, Covington, Buena Vista and Alleghany County.
And if Coke wins, think of all the other companies that could claim they don't owe taxes either.
(Rollcue: taxes either)
[IN Q=Coca-Cola says]
[SUPER=01-French Slaughter/Coke's Attorney; :10]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; :26]
[SUPER=01-Buck Heartwell/Botetourt Co. Attorney; :35]
[OUT Q=used in manufacturing.]
Coca-Cola says its vending machines should be exempt from personal property taxes because they are part of the manufacturing process.
((COCA-COLA OF ROANOKE AND COCA-COLA CONSIDATED IS A MANUFACTURING BUSINESS AND THE VENDING EQUIPMENT THAT'S THE SUBJECT OF THIS TAX CASE IS USED IN THAT MANUFACTURING BUSINESS.))
[OUT Q=MANUFACTURING BUSINESS]
But Botetourt County officials say mixing corn syrup, water, phosphoric acid, and carbon dioxide into soda does not count as manufacturing.
[IN Q=We're saying]
((WE DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT COKE ROANOKE DOES CONSTITUTES MANUFACTURING. AND IF THEY'RE NOT A MANUFACTURER, THEN OBVIOUSLY THE VENDING MACHINES CAN'T BE USED IN MANUFACTURING.))
[OUT Q=USED IN MANUFACTURING]
Again Botetourt County could lose about 13-thousand-dollars in back taxes, plus all FUTURE tax revenue on Coke machines.
(Keith question: Tina, have any other places already settled with Coke?)
Yes, Keith, according to court records a Clifton Forge judge sided with Coke last year.
And Rockbridge County gave Coke a full tax refund just to avoid the lawsuit.
Johnson and Johnson's big-time plan to lay off four-thousand workers around the world includes a few people in Roanoke.
Today, the company said 34-workers at Innotech are losing their jobs.
It's part of Johnson and Johnson's plan to free up money for research and development.
The company also is closing its Innotech plant in Petersberg.
Another 34-people will be let go from that facility.
Innotech makes molds for eyeglass lenses.
After these layoffs, it will employ about 80-people in Roanoke.
A state education review team says they've seen some good things in their two- day visit to the Lynchburg city schools.
The panel is investigating claims of discrimination against black students and teachers.
They've spent two days talking with parents, teachers and administrators.
School officials hope the visit will help ease the concerns of the minority community.
[IN Q=So I really]
((ELLEN NYGAARD/SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRMAN: SO I REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO THIS AS BEING A POSITIVE STEP FOR US. I THINK WE HAVE PROBABLY A LOT OF WORK AHEAD OF US TO MEND SOME OF THE FENCES IN THE COMMUNITY. I KNOW IT SEEMS LIKE THERE'S BEEN QUITE A BIT OF ANGER FLOATING OUT THERE OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS, AND I HOPE THAT WE CAN TAKE THAT ENERGY AND TURN IT INTO SOMETHING POSITIVE.))
[SUPER=01-Ellen Nygaard/School Board Chairman; :00]
[OUT Q=into something positive.]
The review team wrapped up its visit this afternoon.
It expects to issue a report with recommendations by late January.
Halifax County says it will NOT issue permits for new hog farms until the debate over the livestock ordinance has been resolved.
The Board of Supervisors voted last night to adopt a moratorium on new hog operations.
The ban will remain in effect until the county either changes the current livestock regulations or keeps them the same.
That process could take several months.
Hog farmers say current county and state laws are tough enough.
A concerned citizens group says its worried about health and safety.
[IN Q=We would like]
((JACK DUNAVANT/SOUTHSIDE CONCERNED CITIZENS: WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE A GUARANTEE THAT OUR WATERS WILL NOT BE POLLUTED, NUMBER ONE, A GUARNANTEE.))
((BILLY WOODING/HOG FARMER: I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT IF I OWN THE LAND THAT I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO AS THIS PRODUCE HOGS ON A CONTRACT AS LONG AS IT'S ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE AND I FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE LAWS AND REGULATIOSN THAT WE HAVE NOW.))
[SUPER=01-Jack Dunavant/Southside Concerned Citizens; :00]
[SUPER=01-Billy Wooding/Hog Farmer; :06]
[OUT Q=that we have now.]
People will be able to voice their opinions at a number of public hearings to be scheduled before the Board of Supervisors votes on the hog issue.
A man from Bassett has been indicted for the murder of a Fieldale woman.
James Claude Greer is charged with beating Kathy Jones Gusler, cutting her throat and leaving her to die on a road in Patrick County.
The evidence that led to Greer includes a knife found in a river in Henry County, and a car he is suspected of setting on fire in Franklin County.
Authorities say Greer and Gusler knew each other, but they're not sure what the motive for the murder might have been.
We now know how two men in Danville were killed over the weekend in two separate murder cases.
A medical examiner says Silas Moody Carter sustained a blow to the head and a fractured skull.
The body of the 64-year old was found Saturday by friends in his Claiborne Street home.
And a Philadelphia man found dead in the West End Apartments suffered a gun shot wound to the head.
A medical examiner says the deadly shot that killed Garfield Maragh (MAR-AWE) was NOT self-inflicted.
No arrests have been made in either case.
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Still to come, just days after a deadly blaze in Henry County, firefighters urge safety.
And some local lawmakers play a key role in today's impeachment inquiry proceedings on Capitol Hills.
Details straight ahead.
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Western Virginia's Congressmen are once again at the center of the impeachment debate in Washington.
Today, the Judiciary Committee heard from the President's defenders.
Sixth District Republican Bob Goodlatte disputed the suggestion that allegations involving Bill Clinton are not as serious as those considered by the committee during Watergate.
[IN Q=And I think upholding]
((REP. BOB GOODLATTE: AND I THINK UPHOLDING THE RULE OF LAW AND STANDING UP FOR HONESTY AND TRUTH IN OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS A VERY, VERY SERIOUS MATTER THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT.))
[OUT Q=are very concerned about.]
But ninth District Democrat Rick Boucher said he was concerned that members of the House might approve articles of impeachment, and send the matter to the Senate without fully considering the effect on the nation.
The Judiciary Committee will hear from more of the President's witnesses tomorrow. The committee could begin considering articles of impeachment on Thursday.
A Roanoke woman hired to do a strip tease says she was raped.
Police say the 19-year-old dancer met her client at a downtown office building around one this morning.
He paid her to strip, then asked her for sex.
She told police that when she refused, he raped her.
The man let her leave, and she went to the hospital.
Detectives say the address she gave for the building doesn't exist. But they hope to get more details about her story when they talk to her.
An investigation into a fatal Henry County fire is getting beyond the preliminary stages, but the cause has still not been determined.
Officials have removed all of the physical evidence from the house of Willaim and Bonnie Barker.
The couple was killed when their Wingfield Orchard Road home was destroyed by fire.
Investigators still have no concrete evidence whether the cause of the fire was accidental or arson.
[IN Q=WE DON'T REALLY]
((RODNEY HOWELL/HENRY CO. FIRE MARSHALL; WE DON'T REALLY SEE ANYTHING RIGHT NOW THAT SAYS IT'S DEFINITELY AN ARSON. WE HAVEN'T MADE A DETERMINATION, BUT WE'RE NOT LEANING TOWARD ARSON AT THIS TIME.))
[SUPER=01-Rodney Howell/Henry Co. Fire Marshall;]
[OUT Q=at this time.]
There have been 13-fire deaths over the past year in Henry County.
Within the next month, fire officials plan to sponsor their annual fire prevention program.
Each Henry County fire department will offer free fire inspections and smoke detectors to those who cannot afford them.
A standoff in South Boston between police and a man holed-up in his car ended with gunfire but no injuries this morning.
Donnie Wayne Bowman stopped his car on the railroad tracks on Route 58.
Officers say they approached the vehicle to assist, but Bowman pointed a gun at them.
After several hours, police say Bowman shot at them and they returned fire.
Bowman finally surrendered.
He's charged with attempted capital murder and branishing a firearm.
It was a down day on Wall Street.
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The Dow fell nearly 43 points to finish at 9-thousand 28.
Nasdaq was off 6 points
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When a young man from Montgomery County needed a 50-thousand dollar operation to restore his hearing, the community responded.
[SUPER=03-Chapel Hill, NC; ]
Now 12-year old Bryce Riddle is learning to speak again just weeks after having a cochlear implant.
[SOT ub 17 10 ]
[IN Q=Merry Christmas]
((MERRY CHRISTMAS CAT, DO YOU THINK THEY'LL MIND IF I USE THE BACK...DOOR.))
Bryce and his parents travel to U-N-C Chapel Hill weekly for his speech therapy and implant adjustments.
[SOT ub 16 40 26]
[IN Q=This is actually]
((DR. VINCENT CARRASCO/OTOLOGIST: THIS IS ACTUALLY WHAT IS IMPLANTED UNDER THE SKIN AND WHAT IS DONE WITH IT IS IT IS PLACED ON THE SKULL, ABOVE THE EAR, SO IT WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY IN THIS LOCATION AND THE SKIN IS PUT BACK OVER IT.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Vincent Carrasco/Otologist; ]
[OUT Q=back over it]
[SOT ub 20 08 47]
[IN Q=He just had]
((WANDA RIDDLE/BRYCE'S MOM: HE JUST HAD HIS COCHLEAR IMPLANT TURNED ON AND HE SAID I HEARD THAT SOUND WAS THAT THE RUBBER BAND AND I SAID HAVE YOU NOT EVER HEARD THE RUBBER BAND BEFORE AND HE GOES NO, BUT I HEARD THAT SO THAT WAS EXCITING FOR HIM.))
[SUPER=01-Wanda Riddle/Bryce's Mom; ]
[OUT Q=for him]
The implant works by bypassing damaged parts of the inner ear and electronically stimulates the nerve of hearing.
What used to be one of the most distinct eyesores along the Roanoke skyline has a new look, a new owner, and will soon house a totally new business.
The 100-year-old American Chemical Building still needs some cleaning up.
But it's quite a unique place.
There isn't any steel supporting the structure; it's held up by heavy wood beams.
The man who bought the building -- which used to be painted bright orange -- said he's been in touch with groups who would like to turn the building into an entertainment complex, featuring a sports bar and an upscale restaurant.
[SOT 11:09 tc]
[IN Q=roanoke needs]
((POWERS: ROANOKE NEEDS SOME THINGS TO COME BACK DOWNTOWN AND THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO START WITH SOME CORPORATE OFFICES OR A SPORTS BAR.))
[SUPER=01-Calvin Powers/Building Owner;]
[OUT Q=SPORTS BAR]
Calvin Powers said he expects to have the place leased within a year.
Coming your way tonight on News 7 sports, the Express is back home this evening, Ronde Barber shines for the Bucs.
The NBA cancels the all-star game.
And Steve Mason goes one on one with VMI's Matt Matheny, the former Cave Spring star now in his senior year for the Keydets.
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The NBA All Star Game has been scrapped.
The league canceled it today - as if you cared.
It's another sign the season itself may not ever happen.
[IN Q=It's going to]
[SUPER=01-Dennis Rodman/Chicago Bulls Forward; :00]
[OUT Q=catching up to them]
The lockout is not only costing players and owners, but it's gypping the city of Philadelphia out of 35-million dollars in all-star game revenue that it expected to rake in.
One other note from the Rodman camp. Today he said despite reports to contrary he is still happily married to Baywatch babe Carmen Electra.
2 and 5 VMI plays at UNC-Charlotte Thursday.
Matt Matheny is having a solid senior year. Steve Mason has more on this officer and gentleman.
[IN Q=first audio]
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[SUPER=01-Matt Matheny/12 pts, 4 rbs Per Game Average; :15]
[SUPER=01-Bart Bellairs/VMI Head Coach; 1:00]
[OUT Q=...news 7 sports"]
((Matheny's transformation from a Cave Spring forward to a force against any college power seemed complete in a season high 17 point effort against ACC power Wake Forest. Matt is VMI's second leading scorer who has earned the go to guy role.
Matheny's growth also applies to his physical stature and his chissled 22 year old physique hasn't gone unoticed.
Matheny is shooting 51 percent from the field, 36 percent from behind the arc, but his impact cannot be judged by statistics alone.
The Keydets will chase their third straight win Thursday night. In Lexington, Steve Mason, News 7 sports.))
The Virginia Cavaliers are home tonight taking on the Liberty Flames. Remember last year LU uset tehe Cavs 69-to-64.
The Radford Highlanders are home tonight, as well, playing VCU.
The Highlanders will have to play tonight without top scorer Ryan Charles, who injured his knee on Sunday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended 8 years of frustration last night by beating the Packers 24-to-22.
And a lot of credit for the win goes to Ronde Barber.
[SUPER=03-Tampa, FL/ABC; :00]
Ronde had nine tackles, this quarterback sack of Brett Favre and he forced two fumbles.
In all the Bucs sacked Favre eight times.
Trent Dilfer threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Bucs on the offensive side.
Tampa Bay host Pittsburgh this weekend.
[TAPE#=SP-16 tc 1:57:54]
For years Michael Westbrook has been a pain in the neck for the Washington Redskins, now it's a pain in the neck that's sidelined him for the rest of the season.
Westbrook will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck within the next two weeks.
He was injured in the first quarter of Sunday's game with the San Diego Chargers when his head was rammed into the turf during a tackle.
The Redskins are cautiously optimistic he'll be back next season.
[WIPE TO ENG# ]
Joe DiMaggio has taken a turn for the better today!
His doctors say he is doing remarkably well.
His lungs have cleared and his fever is gone. All of this coming just 24 hours after infection returned to his lungs over the weekend.
DiMaggio is 84 years old and his friends say it's still too early to get too excited.
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It was Mike McCurry, NOT the President, who fielded the first questions about an unfolding sex and lies scandal involving his boss.
Tonight, as impeachment proceedings churn on Capitol Hill, the former White House press secretary brings his perspective on this moment in history to Virginia.
McCurry is the keynote speaker at the 1998 Post-Election Conference at the University of Virginia.
NEWS 7 will be there to see what McCurry has to say in one of his first public appearances since leaving his post at the White House.
We'll have that in NEWS 7 at ELEVEN.
Some people like to decorate their houses for Christmas.
Up in Buena Vista, they decorate HORSES.
Southern Virginia College showed off the horses in its riding program today...decked out in their best holiday tack.
Students and clubs on campus designed the costumes and paraded them before a panel of judges and hundreds of school kids.
It's an annual tradition, now in its 50th year.
And for people in and around Buena Vista...it wouldn't be Christmas without it.
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