The winter storm is gone..leaving much of the area covered..
with ice and snow..
But, there's good news for motorists..the roads are clearing, making for a safer drive home this Christmas Eve.
A weather update is coming your way next on News 7..
In sports, The N-B-A lockout continues. Virginia Tech's football team is set for the Music City Bowl in Nashville.
And the Hokie basketball team improves to 500 with a win last night at the Cassell.
Just a few more hours of snow tonight. The wintry mix is coming to an end-- But temperatures are taking a dive.
Details coming up.
Holiday fear becomes holiday cheer.
It looks like the worst blast of winter weather hit yesterday.
Tonight, traveling is much less dangerous...
And in some places in Southwest Virginia, it's already a white Christmas.
[Double Boxes=Tonya/Scott Microwave]
Scott Goldberg has been checking the road conditions today and is in Roanoke tonight.
[Live= Scott Full/Microwave]
Tonya, the going is much easier tonight.
No freezing rain is making roads much safer.
(Rollcue: jolly old st. nick)
[IN Q=Twas the night]
[SUPER=03-Clifton Forge; :00]
[SUPER=07-Wanda Crawford; :08]
[SUPER=01-Howard Tingler/Va. Dept. of Transportation; :19]
[SUPER=07-Helen Crawford; :31]
[OUT Q=Christmas turns white.]
((Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Highlands...
It looked like winter and the people were smilin'.
((WANDA: (LAUGHS) IT'S FINALLY WINTER AND CHRISTMAS!))
[OUT Q=and christmas]
((natsound: kid wiping snow off car))
The children were out enjoying the snow.
The drivers were cruising on clear, ice-free roads.
((TINGLER: EVERYTHING IS PRETTY NORMAL TODAY. WE HAVEN'T HAD ANY TROUBLE TODAY.))
[OUT Q=trouble today]
Inside one store, they sold holiday cheer.
Fluid for cars...and for people, some beer.
((HELEN: ANTIFREEZE...WE SELL A LOT OF ANTIFREEZE. OF COURSE, TONIGHT THEY'LL GET INTO THE BOOZE.))
[picture of guy in vdot truck]
But not everyone's so happy ... see that guy in the cap?
He won't be taking a long winter's nap.
While you're snuggled in bed, he'll be working tonight.
That's what road crews do... when Christmas turns white.
[Live= Scott Full/Microwave]
( ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Andrew/Scott Microwave]
[SS NONE ]
[AD LIB TOSS TO TONYA]
Freezing rain, sleet and snow all knocked out power for large portions of the Richmond area overnight.
That created gridlock and NOT much of a holiday spirit at Richmond International Airport, operating only on backup generators.
[IN Q=The airline]
((ALICE LEE/PETERSBURG RESIDENT: THE AIRLINE IS TELLING ME THAT I WOULD GET A FLIGHT OUT IN TWO OR THREE DAYS. It's not a good Christmas. NO IT'S NOT. NOT AT ALL. I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I REALLY DON'T.))
[SUPER=01-Alice Lee/Petersburg Resident;]
[OUT Q=really don't.]
Lines were long at kerosene pumps around the city.
Back at the state capitol, Thomas Jefferson sported a forehead of ice.
But the CURRENT governor was snug in the mansion.
State police say seatbelts helped save five peoples' lives when their car was hit by a tractor trailer this morning in Amherst County.
This Toyota pickup truck was crushed when a trailer hauling paper flipped over onto it on Route 60 east of Amherst.
Rescue crews spent 45 minutes cutting them out of their mangled vehicle.
[IN Q=It's an incredible]
((TROOPER JIM SCOTT/VA STATE POLICE: IT'S AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE TO THE VEHICLE, BUT SEATBELTS WILL REALLY SAVE YOUR LIFE AND I'M GLAD THEY WERE WEARING IT. THE TRUCK DRIVER ALSO WAS WEARING HIS SEATBELT AND WAS SAVED FROM ANY SERIOUS INJURY.))
[SUPER=01-Trooper Jim Scott/VA State Police; :00]
[OUT Q=any serious injury.]
None of the injuries appeared life- threatening.
Charges are pending against the driver of the tractor trailer.
A convicted child molester who failed to show up for his sentencing is now on the run from authorities in Bedford County.
[take pinnacle board - 1007]
Police believe Roger Lee Crouch has fled the area with his wife and young son Travis.
[take pinnacle board - 1010]
Travis suffers from a brain deformity and needs continuous medical care.
Authorities fear the boy's life could be in danger if they don't locate Crouch soon.
[take pinnacle board 1003]
Crouch is reportedly driving a 1985 two- tone blue Ford sedan with Virginia tags Y-Y-U 6-2-3-4.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Bedford County Sheriff's Department.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Up next--a home made bomb explodes injuring a teenager in Martinsville.
And, our own Steve Smallshaw will comb the aisles for some late-last minute Christmas shoppers.
More when we return.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
A Martinsville teen is recovering today from injuries he received when a pipe bomb exploded yesterday.
18-year old Brushawn Sniblett suffered injuries to his hands and face.
The homemade bomb exploded inside of this car yesterday afternoon.
Sniblett was riding in the back seat.
Two other people who were in the car at the time of the explosion were not injured.
One of them drove the car to the Martinsville Hospital where the police were notified about the bomb.
Police believe Sniblett ignited the bomb and planned to throw it out of the car window when it went off in his hands.
No charges have been filed so far.
Two men are recovering after being wounded in a shooting last night in Danville.
24-year old Jarris Dixon and 18-year old Charlie Luck are in stable condition today.
Both men told police they were approached by a man who asked for change and then shot them.
It happened on Paxton Street just after 9 last night.
Dixon was shot in the head.
Luck was shot in the arm and abdomen.
Police say they do not have a suspect.
Officers at Southwest Virginia's new "supermax" Red Onion prison have fired their weapons 22 times since the prison opened in August.
[SUPER=03-Dickenson Co./July 28;]
[use file 98-43, 1:32:34]
The weapons are NON-lethal pellet guns.
Corrections director Ron Angelone says only four of the shots were aimed at inmates.
Red Onion holds the state's most dangerous prisoners.
Only four other shots have been fired in Virginia prisons this year.
Trading on Wall Street was mixed this Christmas Eve..
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow was up almost 16 points, closing at 92-hundred 17.
NASDAQ ended down by 10 points.
[ AE /ATT/Bank of America/Bell/Columbia;]
[Crestar/Dana/Dimon/Dominion Resources/First Union;]
[First Virginia/General Electric/Kroger/Norfolk Southern/Optical Cable]
[phillip morris/roanoke electric steel/trigon/wachovia/walmart]
On this Christmas Eve, all is calm and VERY bright, in the little town of Buchanan.
Main Street is glowing with luminaries...small candles placed in gallon milk jugs anchored by sand.
Volunteers lit the candles as darkness fell, a tradition that started 13 years ago, and continues to grow each year.
The outdoor celebration draws hundreds of onlookers from outside what Buchanan residents like to call: The Town that Glows with Love at Christmas.
If you waited until the last minute to finish your Christmas shopping you're not alone..
Steve Smallshaw ventured out in the wee hours of the morning and found dozens of holiday procrastinators.
[IN Q=Twas the night]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/1:30 A.M.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Kevin Hirtz/Late Night Shopper; :31]
[SUPER=01-Kyle Catron/Late Night Shopper; :41]
[SUPER=01-Dink Bernard/Walmart Asst. Manager; 1:06]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town..
The malls were all silent, everything was shut down.
((DEBBIE IN HOUSEWARES, REGISTER 12 FOR A PRICE CHECK..))
Except for one store.
((STRESSING OUT.. (LAUGHS).))
At a time when most people were nestled all snug in their beds, these shoppers had visions of last- minute presents dance through their heads.
The Lynchburg Walmart store is open 24 hours a day year- round.. but in the weeks before Christmas, many shoppers take advantage of those late night hours.
[IN Q=I'd rather be]
((KEVIN HIRTZ/LATE NIGHT SHOPPER: I'D RATHER BE DOING IT LATE AT NIGHT, ESPECIALLY WITH THE WAY TRAFFIC WAS EARLIER TODAY. THERE WAS WALL TO WALL CARS ALL THE WAY UP AND DOWN WARDS ROAD TODAY AND IT WAS JUST A MADHOUSE.))
[OUT Q=just a madhouse.]
[IN Q=Less crowds]
((KYLE CATRON/LATE- NIGHT SHOPPER: LESS CROWDS, A LOT LESS CROWDS. WE TRIED THE MALL ONE AFTERNOON AND WE HAD A HARD TIME JUST GETTING OUT.))
[OUT Q=just getting out.]
[natsot cash register beeps 14:35:40]
But even at one in the morning, the store was still bustling.
Frantic parents cruised the toy aisles.. nervous husbands scanned the clothes racks for the perfect gift.
The weather outside may have been frightful, but Walmart finds these holiday procrastinators simply delightful.
[IN Q=You listen to]
((DINK BERNARD/WALMART ASST. MANAGER: YOU LISTEN TO THE NEWS REPORTS AND THEY TELL EVERYBODY TO STAY IN, DON'T COME OUT UNLESS IT'S AN EMERGENCY.. THAT DON'T STOP 'EM.))
[OUT Q=don't stop 'em.]
And we heard them exclaim as we drove out of sight..
"Come back any time.. we're open all night".
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
And coming up, The Hokie football team is in Nashville for the Music City Bowl the Hokie Hoopsters win at the Cassell.
And N-B-A commissioner David Stern and Player representative Billy Hunter held a secret meeting in Hollywood with no results.
[GRAPHIC=Music City Bowl]
The Virginia Tech Hokies are busy preparing for Alabama, developing a game plan for the Crimson Tide. With over 300 media requests, the first year Music City Bowl is also working hard to develop a strategy to make the Gobblers trip to Nashville a pleasant one.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Scott Ramsey/Music City Bowl Exec. Dir.; :22]
[SUPER=01-Loren Johnson/Va. Tech Cornerback; 1:00]
[SUPER=01-Keion Carpenter/Va. Tech Safety; 1:19]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Va. Tech Head Coach; 1:36]
[SUPER=01-Al Clark/Va. Tech Quarterback; 1:51]
[OUT Q=....News 7 sports"]
((Jacksonville, New Orleans, and Miami, just three of the nine different cities Virginia Tech has played in during the post season. Despite it's infancy, the first year Music City Bowl promoters WON'T BE hitting on any sour note when it comes to entertaining the Hokies.
Coach Beamer's introduction to country music began long before accepting the Nashville Bowl in the comforts of home.
Clark and his teamates will definielty warm up to their team function Saturday December 26th when the Hokies take in the Oliers Vikings NFL game. Steve mason news 7 sports.))
Roland Roberts provided the offense last night with 23 points as the Virginia Tech Hokies improve to 4 and 4 with an 85 to 65 win over Coastal Carolina.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Virginia Tech vs Coastal Carolina; :]
A hand full of faithful fans showed up last night at the Cassell.
Early in the second half, the Hokies set the tone as Roland Roberts gets the steal and goes coast to coast for the jam and 50 to 33 lead.
Tech also did lots of passing to the inside here Dennis Mims gets and gives quickly to Alvaro Tor who jams it home stretching Tech's lead to 24.
Tech continued to dominate in the second half as Mims gets the quick look underneath with the dunk and the foul making it 67 to 35.
Roberts would get another special delivery
[SUPER=33-Virginia Tech/85/Coastal Carolina/65/;]
in the lane as the Hokies used fast ball movement getting the dunk and Tech beats Coastal Carolina 85 to 65.
The two main men in the negotiations between the N-B-A players and Owners got together today to try and end the six month old lockout.
N-B-A commissioner David Stern has met with union leader Billy Hunter in Los Angles.
This meeting took place after Stern set a January seventh deadline for canceling the season. An N-B-A spokesman says no progress was made in the meeting.
The dispute centers on players and owners trying to decide how to divide 2 billion dollars in annual revenue.
Today is the 177-th day of the shutdown. The last round of talks took place December 12-th.
Green Bay Packer head coach Mike Holmgren has 21 days to shop for work elsewhere as a coach and general manager.
The Packer front office and Holmgren are not talking while the team prepares for the end of the regular season and the playoffs.
Holmgren's contract with Green Bay runs through the 1999 season and it was reported today in the Charlotte Observer that Panther owner Jerry Richardson might be interested in Holmgren as a replacement for Dom Capers
[SUPER=330-Snow Ending/Partial Clearing/24-29/Partly/Sunny/32-36;]
[SUPER=331-Snow Ending/Mostly Cloudy/26-29/Light Snow/Possible/33-36;]
You may have seen commercials with some of our anchors wishing you a Merry Christmas these past few days.
But, there are many others here at your hometown station wishing you the very best this holiday season.
Photographer Dennis Brown makes the rounds with this News-7 holiday greeting.
[IN Q=nat sound]
[OUT Q=at WDBJ-7.]