Thirteen times flood waters have in-undated her home... now it belongs to the government, one aspect of Project Impact.
We'll measure the impact of these latest flood-control efforts.
And it's election day- -a SPECIAL election in several southwestern Virginia Counties.
Tonight in sports, the Express reaches out to the community.
RU's Leslie Ballard earns player of the week honors.
EC Glass gets to keep its head coach in football.
and the folks in Blacksburg are getting fired up for their date in Nashville with Bama.
Cold again tonight-- But tomorrow, we'll warm up nicely for mid-December.
Details straight ahead.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
It's not a matter of "if", but "when".
Sooner or later, major flooding will strike the Roanoke Valley once again.
That's why the federal government is backing local flood-control efforts by spending almost two million dollars ... in hopes of keeping the next flood from becoming a disaster.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Newsroom]
Scott Goldberg is in our newsroom tonight with more.
[Live= Scott Full/Newsroom]
Keith, for 19-families identified by Roanoke County and Roanoke city, this means the government will buy their homes and move them out of flood plains.
For the rest of the Valley, it means help working on projects designed to contain storm water and stop the sort of flooding that has been so destructive in the past.
[SUPER=01-Minnie Reynolds/Flood Victim;15]
[SUPER=01-Greg Reed/Roanoke City Engineer;1:00]
(( When the deadly flood of 19-85 struck the Roanoke Valley, it was just another disaster for Minnie Reynolds.
In the 34-years she's lived in Roanoke County, her home has been flooded 13 times.
[IN Q=not easy]
((MINNIE: NOT EASY. NOT EASY. THAT'S WHY I GOT ALL THESE GRAY HAIRS.))
[OUT Q=GRAY HAIRS]
This afternoon, the Federal Emergency Management Agency bought Reynolds' home.
Hers and 18 others.
The buyout is part of a flood-fighting program FEMA is bringing to the Valley.
[IN Q=there's a tremendous]
((RITA CALVAN: THERE'S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT WE CAN DO TO GET PEOPLE OUT OF THE FLOOD PLAIN, TO FLOOD-PROOF BUILDINGS, SOMETIMES TO ELEVATE BUILDINGS .. ALL KINDS OF ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE TO AVOID THE LOSS OF LIFE AND PROPERTY.))
[OUT Q=life and property]
((NATSOUND: rushing water or helicopter flood video.))
Part of the fed's money will reinforce the Valley's storm-water management system.
Part will pay bulldozing and moving expenses to relocate families who live in flood plains.
[IN Q=we're limited]
((GREG REED: WE'RE LIMITED. THIS PROPERTY CAN NEVER BE BUILT ON AGAIN. THAT'S THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THIS PROGRAM IS TO GET STRUCTURES OUT OF HERE, GET PROPERTY THAT COULD JUST BE DAMAGED BY FLOODING AND JUST LET THE FLOOD WATERS COME OUT OF THE BANKS LIKE THEY NORMALLY WOULD AND FLOOD THIS AREA LIKE THEY NATURALLY WOULD.))
[OUT Q=NORMALLY WOULD]))
This program should save the federal government -- and taxpayers -- money in the long run.
It costs less to relocate families than to pay disaster-insurance benefits if their homes are destroyed in a flood.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Newsroom;]
Michael Blevins was sentenced for a third time today, but it won't mean more penitentiary time for having sex with his students.
At least one prosecutor thinks there ought to be a tougher law.
[Take Pinnacle Page]
Blevins got seven years in Smyth County today.
He had already received a 15- year sentence in Wythe County.
A seven year sentence was imposed yesterday by a judge in Montgomery County.
But Blevins still won't serve more than 15 years.
Smyth County's prosecutor would like a tougher law to deal with teachers who cross the line with students.
[IN Q=We are]
((KEITH BLANKENSHIP/ASSISTANT SMYTH CO. PROSECUTOR: WE ARE REQUIRED TO SEND OUR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL AND WE ENTRUST THE PEOPLE IN THE SCHOOLS WITH THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF OUR CHILDREN FOR A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF TIME EACH DAY AND DURING EACH YEAR, I CERTAINLY THINK THAT A STATUE THAT ADDRESSES THE SCHOOL CONTEXT IN PARTICULAR WOULD BE WARRANTED.))
[SUPER=01-Keith Blankenship/Assistant Smyth Co. Prosecutor; :00]
[OUT Q=be warranted. ]
Blevins had sex with three different students, beginning in one case when the girl was just 13.[Branham]
An Amherst County man is facing a possible life sentence for a Memorial Day shooting spree that left one man dead and injured two others.
29- year- old Kenneth Eugene Branham pled guilty today to involuntary manslaughter and malicious wounding, stemming from an argument over horseshoes.
Prosecutor Ed Meeks offered the plea bargain, having concluded there was a good chance a jury might believe Branham's claim of self defense.
Branham will be sentenced in March.
Voters in southwest Virginia had to quickly aquaint themselves with the candidates competing for Jack Reasor's state senate seat.
After less than onr month of campaigning-- the voters now decide who should fill the Democrat's shoes.
[Take GFX Map]
The district stretches across a large region, from the coalfields of far southwest Virginia eastward into Wythe and Bland Counties.
There are three candidates in the race.
So far, voter turnout has been described as light throughout the area.
In Wythe County, 20- percent of the area's 14- thousand registered voters have cast ballots.
[IN Q=Every election]
(( GARLAND WIGGS/WYTHE CO. VOTER:EVERY ELECTION IS IMPORTANT AND THIS ONE ESPECIALLY BECAUSE, HEY IT'S OUR STATE, IT'S OUR COMMONWEALHT AND WE WANT TO HAVE SOMEONE THAT WE WANT TO REPRESENT US AS THE CITIZENS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA AND I HOPE THE BET MAN WINS.))
[SUPER=01-Garland Wiggs/Wythe Co. Voter; :00]
[OUT Q=man wins.]
Jack Reasor is leaving his seat to take a job in Richmond.
Despite the short campaign, political experts in Richmond expect each major party candidate to have raised and spent more than 100- thousand dollars.
So why is a seat that won't even determine the balance of power in the Senate worth so much to the folks in Richmond?
[Double Boxes=Keith & Ellen/Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom.
What can you tell us about this race?
You're right, Keith.
It's NOT really about control.
The Senate's 21 Republicans and 19 Democrats, and Reasor is a Democrat.
So if Phil Puckett wins, 19 Democrats would remain in the Senate.
And if Roger Rife wins, Republicans only extend their majority advantage to two votes.
What this race IS about is bragging rights in the latest of a two year string of special elections in Virginia.
[IN Q=As a whole]
[SUPER=01-Julie Copeland/Senate Democratic Caucus; :00]
[SUPER=01-Scott Leake/Joint Republican Caucus; :33]
[OUT Q=open seats.]
(( [SOT 01:16:22]
((JULIE COPELAND/SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: AS A WHOLE LAST YEAR WE LOST SEVEN IN REPUBLICAN LEANING DISTRICTS. NOT NECESSARILY ALL SURPRISES LAST YEAR. WE THINK THIS ONE, WE HAVE A MUCH BETTER CHANCE. IT'S OF COURSE A CLOSE RACE BECAUSE IT'S A SPECIAL AND ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN NINE DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. BUT WE THINK THIS IS A DEMOCRATIC LEANING DISTRICT, AND PHILIP PUCKETT IS A WONDERFUL CANDIDATE.))
But Republicans see it as a chance to gain geographic ground in an area that is philosophically conservative, but has been dominated by Democrats because of its strong union ties.
((SCOTT LEAKE/JOINT REPUBLICAN CAUCUS: SPECIAL ELECTIONS ARE VERY SPECIAL. THERE IS NO INCUMBENT IN AN OPEN SEAT. AND SO THE PLAYING FIELD IS A LOT MORE LEVEL. SO IT MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE FOR US TO TRY EVEN HARDER TO WIN SEATS THAT ARE WHAT WE CALL OPEN SEATS.))
Obviously a victory by the independent, Jerry Ward, who could do well because he's a retired mine worker, would upset both major party apple carts.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Ellen/Microwave]
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
V-DOT is closing a busy highway tonight. Still ahead on News 7, we'll tell you where, and why.
And a sign of the times, perhaps. Local banks may be making a comeback, quite a change from the recent trend of bigger and bigger mergers.
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[SUPER=83-Down 5.40 feet/Down 0.59 foot;Lake levels][Local-Banks]
Some of us may remember the time when banks were smaller and locally-owned, offering a more personal touch than is typical these days.
But in this age of constant mergers and huge financial conglomerates, the local bank may be making a comeback.
Steve Smallshaw tells us about two such start- up efforts in Lynchburg.
[IN Q=John Wynne]
[SUPER=01-John Wynne/Community First Bank; :10]
[SUPER=01-Jim Hughes/Bank of the James; :40]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( John Wynne was a banker for 25 years before his small community bank was snapped up by a major out- of- state holding company.. and Wynne found himself out of work.
[IN Q=Seeing that]
((JOHN WYNNE/COMMUNITY FIRST BANK: SEEING THAT HAPPEN, YOU REALIZE THAT THE CUSTOMER IS BEING SHORTCHANGED IN MY OPINION.))
[OUT Q=in my opinion.]
So now he's turning the tables.
Wynne is organizing a locally- based bank that caters to the needs of small businesses and customers who appreciate the personal touch.
He's not the only one with that idea.
((BANK OF THE JAMES IN ORGANIZATION, TODD SCRUGGS..))
Down the road, the Bank of the James has the same goal.. offer an alternative to the huge mega- banks by giving customers a local name and face to do business with.
[IN Q=They demand and]
((JIM HUGHES/BANK OF THE JAMES: THEY DEMAND AND THEY DESERVE INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION. THEY NEED THEIR PROBLEMS SOLVED BY THE PERSON WHO TAKES THE PROBLEM, NOT SOME VOICE ON THE OTHER END OF AN 800 NUMBER.))
[OUT Q=an 800 number.]
Before they can open, both banks need to raise at least eight million dollars in capital.
[IN Q=This is for]
((JIM HUGHES: THIS IS FOR THE LONG- TERM INVESTOR WHO BASICALLY WANTS TO SEE A GOOD LOCAL- OWNED AND OPERATED BANK IN THEIR COMMUNITY, SO I GET THE FEELING PEOPLE WHO ARE BUYING STOCK ALSO WANT TO BE CUSTOMERS.))
[OUT Q=to be customers. ]
[IN Q=And I think]
((WYNNE: AND I THINK THERE'S STILL 15 TO 25, 35 PERCENT OF OUR MARKETPLACE THAT FEELS THAT WAY AND THAT'S A LARGE ENOUGH MARKET, GIVEN WHAT'S OUT THERE RIGHT NOW TO MAKE IT VIABLE FOR A COMMUNITY BANK TO SUSTAIN ITSELF AND GROW.))
[OUT Q=and grow.]
Both banks hope to open by mid to late 1999.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))[581-Construction]
If you drive by the Valley View Mall exit on Interstate 581 tonight, you'll see the beams for that new bridge are finally going in.
Construction crews have to close the highway to get it done.
The beams went in over the northbound side last night.
Tonight, it's time for the soundbound portion. V-DOT will close southbound 581 between Hershberger Road and Orange Avenue at midnight. The lanes should re-open by 5 A.M.
But that's not the end of it. More closures will be necessary to complete the work, but that will come after the holidays.
Tobacco growers could get some bad news when the Department of Agriculture announces next year's quotas.
With demand for tobacco falling, growing quotas are also expected to fall in 1999.
The size of the cut will be determined primarily by how much left-over tobacco cigarette makers agree to buy before the U-S-D-A releases the 1999 quotas.
That is expected to happen later today or tomorrow.
Fact and fiction keep intertwining here in Virginia, where celebrity mystery novelist Patricia Cornwell makes her home.
Today, a Richmond judge threw out a civil suit against the best-selling author.
It was filed by the families of serial-killer victims Anna Phelps and Daniel Lauer.
Cornwell based her 1989 bestseller "All That Remains" on their case.
The families say Cornwell invaded their privacy by using details of the autopsy results.
The case even spurred a bill in the General Assembly-- which was opposed by the Gilmore administration.
Cornwell is the Governor's biggest individual campaign contributor.
Senior citizens in Roanoke are floating their own version of the Nutcracker this Christmas --
in the form of a water ballet.
Even though some residents of Friendship Manor cannot walk or hear, they love performing in these fairy tale costumes.
[IN Q=Older people]
((LILLIAN HOWELL/DIRECTOR: OLDER PEOPLE ARE STILL CHILDREN AT HEART. THEY LOVE CHRISTMAS AND THEY LOVE DRESSING UP. SO I THINK THIS GIVES EM AN OPPORTUNITY TO DRESS UP AND CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS.
BUTT BUTT BUTT
MARY DARST/DANCER: TO BE A WATER LILY, IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING VERY EXOTIC. WE'RE REALLY HAVING FUN.))
[SUPER=01-Mary Darst/Dancer; :10]
[OUT Q=having fun]
You can catch the Nutcracker Thursday night at 7 p-m at the Friendship Manor in Roanoke.
Coming your way tonight in sports, the Hokies officially begin their shindig plans in Nashville.
A Radford hoopster is Big South player of the week.
And the Roaonoke Express is lending a helping hand to a big blood drive in the Roanoke Valley this week.
I'll tell you how you can get involved in just a moment.
[GRAPHIC=Music City Bowl]
The Virginia Tech Hokies feel "lucky today" that there is no "achy breaky heart" in Blacksburg. Instead, the Hokies are humming a Music City Bowl tune. Steve Mason has more a post season news conference that was a big hit today.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Virginia Tech Head Coach; :33]
[SUPER=01-Al Clark/9 TD's & 1,050 Yards Passing; 1:01]
[SUPER=04-November 28th vs. Virginia; 1:11]
[SUPER=01-Loren Johnson/1st Team All-Big East Cornerback; 1:19]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
The Roanoke Express only has five games left this month and only two before Christmas.
So, the team is taking a little bit of its down time to perform a little public service in the valley.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/This Afternoon; :00]
Today the Express joined forces with the Red Cross to help promote Donorama 98.
It's a two day blitz of the valley to help create awareness for the need of blood donors at this time of the year.
[SUPER=01-Bob Lutjen/Red Cross Donor Director; :00]
[OUT Q=...agree tomorrow."]
The Red Cross is in particular need of "Oh positive" and "Oh Negative" blood type donors at this time.
The Express players will be on hand tomorrow at the Civic Center exhibition hall to sign autographs and hopefully sign-up donors.
[IN Q="The Roanoke Express...]
[SUPER=01-Tony Mancuso/Express General Manager; :00]
[OUT Q=...THE SEATS."]
The overall goal of the Donorama is to collect 650 pints of blood.
You can stop by the Civic Center tomorrow between ten am and 7:30pm
The Express also announced a personal move today this evening.
Nic Beaudoin, who played 22 for the Express this season was called up by the Lowell Lochmonsters.
The Radford Highlanders got a shot in the arm today as senior guard Leslie Ballard
[SUPER=03-Radford/Last Week; :00]
Was named the Big South's player of the week.
Ballard had a career high 35 points against VCU last week.
In that game he hit 9 three pointers.
He shot over 50 percent for the week.
We officially closed out the Friday Football Extra season last Friday night, but tonight there is news from Lynchburg that
[SUPER=04-Friday Football Extra; :00]
Dennis Peters has had the interim tag removed from his coaching title.
Principal Susan Morrison named the longtime Glass assistant to the head coaching job permanantly this afternoon.
Peters led the Toppers to an 8-and-3 record this past season.
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Roanoke's "Bad Boy" is headed out of town for good.
The landmark statue that spent years on top the Star City Diner came down today.
Elias Brothers, the company that owns the Big Boy Restaurant chain sued, calling it a trademark infringement.
Owner Spanky Macher thinks he would have won in court, but didn't want to pay 20 thousand dollars in legal fees.
So he sold Bad Boy to Elias Brothers instead.
[IN Q=I guess all good]
((SPANKY MACHER/STAR CITY DINER; I GUESS ALL GOOD THINGS HAVE TO COME TO AN END AND YOU REALLY DON'T WANT IT TO COME TO AN END, BUT SOMETIMES YOU GOTTA ADMIT THAT YOU JUST HAVE TO TURN THE PAGE.... SURE WOULD LIKE TO PUT SOMETHING UP THERE WITHOUT GETTING INTO ANY TROUBLE.))
[SUPER=01-Spanky Macher/Star City Diner;]
[OUT Q=any troublee]
The mysterious winged Rhino will take Bad Boy's place for now.
Macher still won't say where he got it.
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