Next on News 7, the House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth article of impeachment today.
We'll have a live report.
And we'll tell you why a small area rescue squad sent an ambulance all the way to the former Soviet Union.
In sports, The Virginia Cavaliers hosted 18-th ranked St. John's at University Hall The Heisman Trophy will be presented tonight in New York.
And Mount Union and Rowan hooked up in the Stagg Bowl this afternoon at Salem Stadium.
That light cold rain will stick around all weekend-- and tonight it'll become heavy cold rain.
Details coming up.
The impeachment of President Clinton now rests in the House of Representatives.
The Judiciary Committee has forwarded all four articles of impeachment -- and is still debating a censure option.
[DOUBLE BOX=Eric and Ellen]
Ellen Qualls is in Washington with the latest.
Eric, the Judiciary Committee is in its third day of debate.
This morning's agenda was the fourth impeachment count: abuse of power.
But the speeches seemed more reactions to the morning papers screaming "Impeachment Articles Passed."
So finally the fourth article was approved.
And the Committee moved to the option of censure.
(rollcue: the option of censure.)
[IN Q=Public disdains.]
[SUPER=01-Chairman Henry Hyde/(R) Illinois; :13]
[SUPER=01-Rep. Robert Wexler/(D) Florida; 1:25]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Washington.]
((Rick Boucher wrote the censure resolution.
((BOUCHER: I THINK THE PUBLIC DISDAINS...I DISDAIN...THEMSELVES.))
[ sot X1 14:58:09 ]
((HYDE: I BELIEVE THAT FOR THE PRESIDENT, OR ANY OTHER CIVIL OFFICER, THIS KIND OF SHAMING PUNISHMENT BY THE LEGISLATURE IS PRECLUDED, SINCE THE IMPEACHMENT PROVISIONS PERMIT CONGRESS ONLY TO REMOVE AN OFFICER OF ANOTHER BRANCH OF OFFICE AND DISQUALIFY HIM FROM OFFICE.))
[SOT CBS TAPE 04:19]
((GOODLATTE: THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE PRESIDENT WANTS...MOCKS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!))
[ sot X1 15:01:34]
((HYDE: IT'S SIMILAR TO YELLING AT A TEENAGER. IT PURGES YOU OF SOME EMOTIONAL FEELINGS, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT REALLY ACCOMPLISHES.))
[ sot X1 14:53:01]
((BOUCHER: THE PASSAGE BY THE HOUSE OF ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT WILL VISIT SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES UPON THE NATION....HARM WILL OCCUR.))
[ sot GOODLATTE 02:30:04]
((GOODLATTE: THE PRESIDENT COULD SPARE THE NATION THOSE NINE MONTHS IF HE WOULD RESIGN.))
So now the focus is on what the full House will do with impeachment or censure.
The GOP leadership says it's unlikely to even consider censure.
[ sot X1 12:40:22]
((WEXLER: IF THEY ALLOW A CENSURE VOTE, THAT WILL CREATE A BIG DILEMMA FOR SOME REPUBLICANS.))
[ sot X1 12:40:41]
((WEXLER: UNDUE PRESSURE? LET US VOTE ON THE CENSURE!))
As for doubts about the constitutionality, Presidents Jackson, Polk, and Tyler were all censured by Congress.
Whether the House even considers it is up to the GOP leadership... and new Speaker-to-be Bob Livingston is so far against it.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee are the only ones now voting on whether to impeach the President.
But, that's not stopping people from weighing in on the matter.
8th District Democrat James Moran says he will vote to censure the President.
While Democrat Owen Pickett and Republican Thomas Bliley say they are undecided.
Meanwhile, the opinions of some Downtown Roanoke City Market shoppers were varied.
[SOT=01:16:56 - 01:18:55 - 01:19:56- 01:21:46]
[IN Q=I THINK]
((JOHN COLLINS/UNDECIDED; I THINK WHAT HE DID WAS WRONG BUT I ALSO HAVE AN OPINION ON HIS PERSONAL LIFE; IT'S HIS OWN BUSINESS.))
((TINA SPENCER/OPPOSES IMPEACHMENT; I FEEL LIKE WHAT HE HAS ALLEGEDLY DONE IS PERSONAL. HE SHOULD FOCUS ON THE BUSINESS AT HAND WHICH IS RUNNING THE COUNTRY.))
((LISA ADAMS/FAVORS IMPEACHMENT; HE NEEDS TO UPHOLD THE LAW JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. AND I THINK THEY SHOULD HOLD HIM TO THAT. AND IF HE BREAKS THAT LAW, THEN I THINK HE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY IN HIS POSITION.))
((TERRENCE MCCALL/FAVORS CENSURE; I THINK IF ANYTHING I THINK HE SHOULD BE CENSURED. I THINK THE MONEY SPENT IN PURSUING THIS MATTER WAS EXCESSIVE. QUITE NATURALLY THERE ARE OTHER NEEDS THAT SHOULD BE ADDRESSED. BUT I DON'T THINK IT MERITS IMPEACHMENT.))
[SUPER=01-John Collins/Undecided; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tina Spencer/Opposes Impeachment; :10]
[SUPER=01-Lisa Adams/Favors Impeachment; :23]
[SUPER=01-Terrence McCall/Favors Censure; :33]
[OUT Q=MERITS IMPEACHMENT.]
Members of the House will get to cast their votes once the Judiciary Committee completes its work.
[GRAPHIC=Mid East Peace]
[edit - 15:14:30]
With his job on the line.. the President is headed for the Middle East to try and save a peace agreement.
[SUPER=03-Andrews AFB, MD;]
The trip was originally supposed to celebrate the second phase of the Wye peace agreement.
But, it's been threatened by recent disputes and violence in the area.
Isreali leaders and Palestinian officials are blaming each other for the disturbances.
Now, Isreal's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyaho has suspended the agreement.
A high speed police chase along Route 460 in Lynchburg left four people injured last night.
Just after eleven, trooper R-P Riddlebarger tried to pull over a car that had been speeding in a construction zone.
The vehicle took off and the trooper gave chase at speeds close to a hundred miles per hour.
[IN Q=And the vehicle]
((SGT. JOE WILLIAMSON/VA STATE POLICE: AND THE VEHICLE TRIED TO ELUDE HIM BY SPEEDING UP, PULLED OFF SEVERAL RECKLESS DRIVING MANEUVERS IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET AWAY FROM HIM. AND WHEN THIS VEHICLE TOOK THIS RAMP OFF OF 460 INTO CANDLER'S MOUNTAIN AND CUT OFF THREE VEHICLES, ALMOST CAUSED THEM TO WRECK, WHEN THIS VEHICLE GOT UP HERE ON THIS BRIDGE AT THE CURVE, IT WRECKED.))
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Joe Williamson/Virginia State Police; :00]
[OUT Q=it wrecked.]
Williamson says Trooper Riddlebarger was unable to avoid hitting the wrecked car as he arrived on the scene.
All four people in the vehicle were taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. No word on their conditions at this time.
State and local police are investigating.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead--area volunteers get in the spirit of the season by helping out those in need.
And, we'll check in with an area rescue squad that's helping former Russians now in need of basic medical care.
That's coming up when the news continues--first let's get a check on the weather with Andrew..
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The man who was extradited back to Virginia after escaping from prison 24 years ago-- wants more freedom.
[98-72, 24:03; 598-33, 1:21:25]
Alfred Odell Martin was sentenced to one year in prison for a drug conviction in 1974 when he walked away from a prison work crew.
Authorities tracked him down in Michigan and brought him back to Martinsville.
Martin is now back in jail but he wants the judge to give him an electronic monitor and let him stay at home with his parents.
The judge will consider the request at a hearing January 6th.
The Forest Service has lifted a burning ban covering the George Washington National Forest and Jefferson National Forest.
Governor Gilmore lifted the STATE-wide burning Thursday, but that didn't affect NATIONAL forests.
Recent rains have reduced the risk of fire, but the Forest Service will keep 60 firefighters on standby just in case.
The break-up of the Soviet Union left a lot of people in need.
Many don't have basic medical care.
It's a big place, but a small Central Virginia rescue squad found a way to help.
David Johnson has more.
[IN Q=This ambulance]
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co.; :01]
[SUPER=01-Ray Buchanan/Stop Hunger Now Director; :12]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Ronald Davidson/Volunteer; 1:16]
[OUT Q=Djo, N7, Bedford County.]
(( Ray Buchanan visited several countries this summer that were once part of the Soviet Union.
And, he saw first-hand the medical attention most former Soviets are still in need of.
[IN Q=IN EVERY ONE]
((RAY BUCHANAN/STOP HUNGER NOW DIRECTOR; IN EVERYONE OF THOSE COUNTRIES, THE MEDICAL SITUATION WAS PRETTY HORRENDOUS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT EVERYONE WAS ASKING FOR WAS AMBULANCES.))
[OUT Q=WAS AMBULANCES.]
Buchanan says this ambulance will go to the Abkhazi Refugee Hospital--a 30-bed facility in which 30-thousand medical procedures were done last year alone.
But several more thousand people are dying due to a lack of transportation to the hospital.
When Buchanan made this known upon his return, the Big Island rescue squad donated this ambulance.
[IN Q=AND I WAS]
((AND I WAS AMAZED BECAUSE BIG ISLAND IS A VERY SMALL PLACE. I SAID I CERTAINLY DO. SO WE WORKED OUT THE DETAILS AND I THINK IT'S JUST A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS PRESENT. YOU HAVE A SMALL RESCUE SQUAD IN THE MOUNTAINS IN VIRGINIA THAT'S GOING TO BE SAVING LIVES HALF A WORLD AWAY.))
[OUT Q=WORLD AWAY.]
Volunteers loaded the ambulance and freight trailer with medical supplies, spare parts for the vehicle, some food and clothing.
Included were a thousand of these towels.
Normally used to protect vehicle bumpers from scratches, these are being shipped as baby blankets to keep children warm.
[IN Q=WE'VE GOT]
((REV. RONALD DAVIDSON/VOLUNTEER; WE'VE GOT ABOUT 15-THOUSAND PEOPLE IN THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA THAT ARE IN REFUGEE CAMPS THAT DO NOT HAVE ADEQUATE CLOTHING AND THEY'RE BEGINNING TO FREEZE TO DEATH. THEY'LL BE ABLE TO USE THIS THOUSAND TO TAKE CARE OF THE BABIES OVER THERE.))
[OUT Q=OVER THERE.]
((DAVID JOHNSON/REPORTING; THIS HOLIDAY CARE PACKAGE WILL BE SHIPPED FROM NORFOLK ON FRIDAY. IT SHOULD ARRIVE AT THE ABKHAZI REFUGEE HOSPITAL JUST AFTER THE NEW YEAR. DAVID JOHNSON, NEWS 7, BEDFORD COUNTY.))
Two groups are teaming up to
help feed the area's needy and provide them with some holiday cheer.
The League of Older Americans and 50-General Electric workers packed 350-boxes with food, juice and other items.
The joint effort started in the mid-60s with the help of local volunteers like Dick Standfield.
[IN Q=WE'VE HAD A]
((DICK STANDFIELD/G-E VOLUNTEER: WE'VE HAD A GOOD RUN, IT'S STILL GROWING. WE'RE UP FROM 300 BOXES LAST YEAR TO 350-THIS YEAR. WE GET OUR CLIENTS EQUALLY FROM THE LEAGUE OF OLDER AMERICANS AND ROANOKE COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES. THEY HAVE A LIST OF NAMES OF PEOPLE WHO NEED ASSISTANCE THIS TIME OF YEAR.))
[SUPER=01-Dick Standfield/G-E Volunteer;]
[OUT Q=TIME OF YEAR.]
Volunteers distributed the boxes to hundreds of city and county residents this afternoon.
Still to come--for many would-be parents the search for a child begins with countless trips to adoption agencies.
But, thanks to the internet you can start the search at home.
We'll explain when the news continues.
Virginia is a step ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to internet legislation.
And parents looking to adopt a child can begin their search online.
Details in this week's WebWatch.
[IN Q=The Virginia Internet]
The Virginia Internet Policy Act is considered the first effort by a state to create a set of legislative guidelines for dealing with the internet.
The governor's commission on information technology has created a legislative framework for the act... it reccomends no new internet taxes, calls SPAM a serious threat to internet development, and would make it a felony to send obscene or harmful material to minors.
The General Assembly will consider the reccomdations in January.
The IRS is hoping computers will slow the stream of paperwork coming through the mail. It wants 80 of taxpayers filing electronically by the year 2007.
They're trying to come up with a way you can send in your payment electronically or on-line. People who owe can pay by credit card starting this year.
If you have tax questions as the year draws to a close, a Roanoke CPA firm will answer, at least some of them free by e-mail.
Beason, Martin and Associates is also posting tax tips for 1998.
Virginia Social Service workers are hoping a new website will increase adoptions. The Department of Social Services has opened a site on Adopt-dot-com.
You can search for a particular child, or browse the list of children in the state who need a family. Social workers say they're already getting calls from prospective parents.
For links to all these sites, click on webwatch, on the WDBJ website, at WDBJ7-dot-com.))
And coming up, The Roanoke Express makes a trade with the Pee Dee Pride Ricky Williams is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
And pitcher Kevin Brown becomes the highest paid player in Major League Baseball.
The Division three football national championship kicked off over at Salem Stadium today.
Steve Mason has a recap of Mount Union's 44 to 24 win over Rowan in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=36-Mt. Union/44/Rowan/24; 1:40]
[OUT Q=...news 7 sports."]
There's not much suspense surrounding the winner of this years Heisman Trophy.
[SUPER=03-Arlington, TX/NCAA; :]
It's safe to say that Texas running back Ricky Williams will be the choice for College football's top award.
Williams broke Tony Dorsett's N-C-A-A rushing record this season with six thousand 279 yards. He also scored 28 touchdowns in leading the Longhorns to an 8 and 3 record and a berth in the Cotton bowl.
Quarterbacks, Cade McNown of UCLA, Michael Bishop of Kansas State and Kentucky's Tim Couch are the other finalists.
The Virginia Cavaliers were at home today hosting the 18-th ranked Red Storm of St. John's.
The Cavalier fans were fired up for the Big East A-C-C match up.
Virginia fell behind by four then Chris Williams passes inside to Kris Hunter for the score to make it 4 to 2.
Then the Red Storm ups the defense with this steal and easy basket from Ron Artest and the lead was 7 points.
But the Cavaliers would come back. On this play Williams stops behind the line and hits the three pointer and the lead was cut to four.
Then several minutes later the Cavaliers go to Chezley Watson who hits another three cutting the lead to 2.
St. John's would take a big lead at the half and
St. John's goes on to win the game 95 to 68.
Pitcher Kevin Brown is the highest paid player in Major League Baseball.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Brown have agreed to a seven year 105 million dollar contract. That makes brown the first player to break the 100 million dollar barrier.
The deal set a record for both total dollars and average annual value estimated to be 15 million dollars.
The 33 year old righthander went 18 and 7 with the Padres last season.
The Roanoke Express has traded Center Chris Lipsett.
The Express traded Lipsett to the Pee Dee Pride after last night's 5 to 1 win over Huntington.
In 21 games, Lipsett has 7 goals and 6 assists. In exchange for Lipsett the Express gets Rookie center Mark Cadott and defenseman Calvin Alfring from the Pride.
Roanoke has now traded the two leader scorers from last years team.
Tonight at the Roundhouse the Express will host Chesapeake face off is 7-thirty.
The House Judiciary Committee has just voted against a censure resolution against the President.
The vote was 22 to 14.
Committee Democrats pushed for the resolution to prevent congressmen from having to choose between impeaching the president or doing nothing.
We will have more coverage on the vote later tonight on News 7 at 11.
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