Next on News 7...
Workers are still trying to clear the interstate after this morning's fatal pileup in Rockbridge County.
People in Wytheville face a night without heat after a natural gas explosion.
And there could be another Dole in the next Presidential race.
Those stories and school closings, next on News 7
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It will take another day to clean up all the wreckage from a major accident on Interstate 81.
And another day before the highway is fully re-opened.
Good evening, I'm Eric Earnhart.
[GRAPHIC=I 81 Deadly Accident]
An ice covered bridge and poor visibility were major contributors to a deadly accident that tied-up Interstate 81 all day and into the evening.
Four people are dead and another three dozen injured.
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It happened this morning on the Buffalo Creek Bridge near Lexington.
Northbound traffic was backed up for miles, and re-routed onto US 11.
David Johnson was there all day ... and has the latest.
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[SUPER=01-Oscar Orallanin/Victim; :20]
[SUPER=01-Cpt. Charles Compton/Va. State Police; :38]
From a birds eye view, it's obvious why northbound interstate traffic was being rerouted.
A closer look makes you wonder how anyone survived.
15-vehicles, including eight tractor trailers and seven other passenger vehicles went crashing into one another.
Oscar Orallanin was one of the lucky ones who walked away unharmed.
[IN Q=THE LITTLE BRIDGE]
((OSCAR ORALLANIN/VICTIM; THE LITTLE BRIDGE WAS VERY COLD, VERY ICY VERY GREASY.))
[OUT Q=VERY GREASY.]
Orallanin was able to stop, but 15-other drivers were not so fortunate.
Officials say a state trooper was investigating a three-vehicle accident when his patrol car was struck by another vehicle.
[IN Q=WE HAD A]
((CPT. CHARLES COMPTON/VA. STATE POLICE; WE HAD A SUPERVISOR ON THE SCENE ALSO. THEY DESCRIBED IT AS SEVERAL VEHICLES SLIDING OUT OF CONTROL.))
[OUT Q=OUT OF CONTROL.]
That's because Buffalo Creek Bridge was completely iced over and the morning fog was as thick as split pea soup.
Rescue crews and others worked more than five hours searching for victims and trying to long to free those trapped inside their vehicles.
Blood stained snow would indicate just how badly some people were hurt.
[NAT-SOUND=Sirens or Ambulances pulling away]
Victims were transported by ambulance to hospitals.
Others were taken to an emergency shelter at the Natural Bridge Fire Department.
Some of the vehicles were ripped apart, others crushed beyond recognition.
Police say it was a miracle that the occupants of this van were not killed.
[NAT-SOUND=Heavy equipment pulling trucks apart]
Heavy equipment had to be used in an effort to clear the highway.
((DAVID JOHNSON/REPORTING; INVESTIGATORS ARE QUESTIONING VICTIMS INVOLVED IN THE WRECK AND WITNESSES WHO WERE AT THE SCENE. IT'S PART OF THEIR EFFORT TO RECONSTRUCT THE ACCIDENT AS THEY TRY TO DETERMINE WHAT HAPPENED. BUT OFFICIALS ARE COMPARING THE ACCIDENT TO A PLANE CRASH AND SAY THAT IT MAY TAKE SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE THEY CAN DETERMINE ANYTHING. DAVID JOHNSON, NEWS 7, ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY.))
State police told us late this evening that northbound traffic will be restricted to one lane through the area through most of tomorrow, and quite likely into late tomorrow night.
In the day's other major story, close to 13-hundred customers are still without natural gas tonight, after a big pipeline exploded early today.
Crews are still at work, going house-to-house through the night to get customers back on line.
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The explosion sent flames 300 feet into the air in Wytheville, about 75 miles west-southwest of Roanoke.
Teresa Hamilton and photographer Mark Hollandsworth show us what happened.
[IN Q=Wythe County]
[SUPER=01-Kendra Eastwood/Wytheville Fire Fighter; :24 quick!!]
[SUPER=01-Donnie Widner/Ivanhoe Fire Fighter; :31]
[SUPER=01-Ikey Davidson/Wytheville Deputy Fire Chief; 1:01]
[SUPER=01-Jody Mitchell/East Tennessee Natural Gas Co.; 1:12]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7, Wythe Co.]
Wythe County fire fighters hope they're never face to face with a blaze quite like this one.
The explosion sent flames at least 300- feet into the air.
Yet it wasn't the flames--rather the heat that eventually caused a nearby house and motorcycle shop to catch fire.
A videocamera inside a Wytheville police car captured the images.
[NAT SOUND 5:26:22:03]
[IN Q=I've ]
((KENDRA EASTWOOD/FIRE FIGHTER:I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS.
THE HEAT WAS INTENSE? YES, IT MELTED THE STICKER ON MY HELMET. ))
[OUT Q=my helmet.]
[IN Q=It was]
((DONNIE WIDNER/IVANHOE FIRE FIGHTER: IT WAS REAL BRIGHT, LIKE DAY LIGHT, YOU COULD SEE IT, I WAS TALKING TO ONE OF THE FIRE FIGHTERS, YOU COULD SEE IT 10- MILES DOWN THE ROAD. ))
[OUT Q=down the road.]
(( It would take fire fighters several hours to gain the upper hand.
That's because, before water could do any good, they had to first stop the supply of gas that was fueling the blaze.
Gas company officials were able to do this by closing off valves some 30- miles, in both directions, to lower the gas pressure.
This allowed the fire to die down enough to go in and turn off the valves at the site.
[IN Q=It died ]
((IKEY DAVIDSON /DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF: IT DIED DOWN A LOT... BURNING MOSTLY THE GAS OUT OF THE LINES BUT IT WAS STILL REAL HOT, ONE OF OUR MEMBERS YOU COULD SEE THE SMOKE COMING OFF THE BACK OF HIS COAT. ))
[OUT Q=his coat.]
[IN Q=How scared]
((HOW SCARED WERE YOU? JODY MITCHELL/EAST TENNESSEE GAS CO.:OH, NOT AT ALL, HADN'T DONE IT BEFORE BUT I WAS WITH THE FIRE DEPARTMENT FELT VERY COMFORTABLE WIT THEM AND WHAT THEY KNEW THEY WERE DOING AND THEY PUT UP A BLANKET OF WATER FOR US. ))
[OUT Q=for us.]
At around 10 AM-- the fires were nearly out-- and those here at the scene could begin cleaning up and trying to figure out what happened.
Two fire fighters received minor injuries--
Which those on the scene say was a miracle-- considering the enormity of the situation they were called to deal with.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Wytheville.
Investigators still have some work ahead trying to determine what caused the explosion.
[***TAKE VO HERE***][Roanoke-Gas]
The explosion also affected Roanoke Gas... but customers never knew it.
Roanoke is supplied by TWO natural gas lines, so when East Tennessee Natural Gas shut down, Roanoke Gas increased the flow from its other supplier.
That, and help from a storage facility in Botetourt County kept gas flowing to Roanoke Customers.
The East Tennessee pipeline is back in service tonight.
Fire destroyed a home in Campbell County this evening..
Around nine, fire crews were called to this home on West Ridge Circle off Timberlake Road.
Flames already had broken through the roof.. it took firefighters about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.
Authorities say the woman living there had returned from the store to find the kitchen area on fire.
She was able to get out of the house unharmed.. the cause of the fire is under investigation.
As we have been showing you all night, many area school districts are delaying or canceling classes tomorrow.
We can add one other to the list. Giles County government offices will be closed until noon Monday.
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Make sure to get the very latest school closing and delay information on News 7 Mornin' tomorrow between 6 and 7 AM. [
If you think we had it bad, wait till you see what the rest of the country faced for weekend weather. That's still ahead on News 7.
And this rocket heads for Mars, and a new mission looking for signs of life on the red planet.
Most of us got a break from the weather today, and we needed it.
But people in many other states needed one even more. They took advantage of today's let-up in the weather, to either dig out, or get home... before it hits again.
[IN Q=In Chicago]
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(( In Chicago, it was a new record, for the most snowfall in 24 hours... In a City used to bad weather... it was still a surprise...
[IN Q=we knew it]
((CHESTER MAJKA/RESIDENT; WE KNEW IT WAS ALREADY COMING, BUT STILL, WE ALMOST WASN'T PREPARED FOR IT.))
[OUT Q=prepared for it]
Add to the problems, a four alarm house fire....
The good news... city crews were able to clear every major road in a single day...
It was hard to do much digging out in Champaign, Illinois... high winds created near blizzard conditions... and ten people died... all had heart attacks from shoveling snow.
And then there were those who had nothing to do but wait... air travelers jammed the terminals, where there were simply too many people, and not enough planes.))
On that note, if you're flying out of the Roanoke Airport, even though conditions there are fine, call your airline first... cancelations and delays at other airports can still affect your flight.
President Clinton will propose an unprecedented tax break tomorrow, one to help provide long-term care for the elderly and disabled.
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The president is calling for a one thousand dollar tax credit, for families providing such care to relatives.
It's part of a 6-point-2 billion dollar package to be unveiled tomorrow.
It's estimated two million families could benefit, if congress approves the cut.
Elizabeth Dole is reportedly stepping down as head of the Red Cross, and may have another job in mind.
A close Dole advisor says the move is a first step toward a run for President of the United States.
The Red Cross won't confirm the report.. but says a MAJOR announcement is scheduled for tomorrow.[Mars-Launch]
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[IN Q=Three, Two, One]
((Three, two, one. We have lift off and ignition of the Delta II Rocket carrying the Mars Polar Lander-NASA's first visit to the Red Planets Southern Pole.))
[OUT Q=Southern Pole.]
NASA's Millennium Program, called Deep Space 2, launched the Mars Lander today, to uncover frozen water near the planet's south pole.
This is its first trip into uncharted territory. Scientists argue that where there is water, there is life.
The lander is 12 feet wide and 4 feet high. It will maneuver across the surface on three legs and will collect soil with a six foot long robotic arm.
It is never too early to start thinking ahead.
And if you are thinking about buying a car in the new millenium well...
this is what you have to look forward to. General Moters unveiled their new concept cars for the 21st century today. GM says the new cars offer an innovative style, increased functionality and expanded versitility. Many of the new vehicles are designed to run on natural gas or a special synthetic fuel derived from natural gas.
A recent coal strike settlement brings back memories of a bitter strike. We'll remember in our Virginia Newsreel.
And ask any golfer, a three-iron can be one tough club, especially in the hands of a defiant store clerk.
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The United Mine Workers and Pittston Coal Company have a new five year contract, approved just last week.
It covers 400 miners at Pittston operations in both Virginia and West Virginia.
But it has not always been smooth sailing for these two. In this week's Virginia newsreel, we will look at the ten and a half month Coal Strike of 1989.
[super=03-Russell Co.; 1:23]
[OUT Q=Andrew Freiden]
The battle between Pittston and the United Mine Workers was a bitter struggle. For Pittston, it was a fight involving tough business decisions and the company's future. They maintained that changes in work rules were needed in order to compete in foreign markets. A supporter for Pittston said the changes would strengthen the economy.
[sot 11:38 Tape 89-37]
(( OUR PROPOSAL WOULD PROVIDE JOB SECURITY AND UNION SECURITY AND AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO PUT MORE COAL MINERS TO WORK AT HIGHER WAGER WAGES. THE MORE COAL MINERS WE PUT TO WORK THE STRONGER OUR ECONOMY BECOMES.))
On the other side, the miners were afraid that Pittsons demands for concessions and givebacks would kill the union. The miners said the company's proposal threatened job security and retirees benefits.
[sot 11:58 Tape 89-37]
((THEY ARE ASKING COAL MINERS TO ABANDON THEIR FATHERS AND GRANDFATHERS AND OFTEN THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE NEXT DOOR TO THEN IN THE COMMUNITY pITTSTON IS ASKING FOR THAT AT THE BARGINING TABLE))
The union staged non-violent sit down demonstrations which encouraged sympathy from the public as well as other miners. Shortly after federally mandated talks failed on jUNE 7--th, the strike grew to 40-thousand as UMW miners walked off the job in sympathy for the Pittston strikers.
Hundreds of people were arrested throughout the strike and were found in contempt of court by violating restrictions on strike activities.
A federal judge jailed 3 UMW leaders, Marty Hudson , Cecil Phillips and Jackie Stump on contempt of court charges for sticking with the non-violent tactics the union used to shut Pittston down.
Miners wives, daughters and friends gathered singing hymns of protest outside the Roanoke City jail after 3 the men were jailed.
[sot 4:12 89-37]
((Nat Sound Music))
Despite heavy fines and jail time for the infractions, the miners cotinued their strike.
On September 17, 1989 a tense situation arose as approximently 100 miners took over Pittston's Moss Three plant. About three thirty in the afternoon the group stormed passed security guards and entered the plant.
[sot 44:19 89-58]
(( PLEASE ADVISE ALL PERSONELL ON THE PROPERTY THAT WE ARE COMING IN TO CHECK OUR INVESTMENTS))
The union miners said that they were stockholders and had every right to be there.
They staged a peaceful protest and did no damamge to the building.
As the demonstration entered its 4-th day, A federal judge ordered the protestors out by 7 p-m , but when the deadline arrived there was no attempt by officials to end the protest. However, it ended almost like it began. The 98 miners ran out and blended in with the cheering crowd who was also dressed in camoflauge.
[sot 55:44 ]
((Cecil Roberts/ Vice President; SOMEWHERE IN THIS CROWD STATE POLICE ARE THE 98 PEOPLE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR))
It was a victory for the union. Amazingly, there were No arrests were made in this particular incident.
The strike did not end until February of 1990.
[sot 29:46 90-11]
(( UNION PRESIDENT/ RICH TRUNKA;The strike is officailly over and we can begin inspection of the mine and get our people back to work))
By a two- to- one margin, the rank- and- file approved a four- year contract, ending a bitter, ten- month- old strike between Pittston and the UMW.
That is Virginia Newsreel, I'm Andrew Freiden
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Roanoke College was back at the Bast Center tonight hosting Maryville in the Domino's Lewis-Gale Classic.
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The Maroons roll into the Bast Center looking for their second straight win in as many nights.
On this play former Fleming guard Brad Dunleavyy passes to Tom Dettloff who hits the jumper and the Maroons led the game 11 to 4.
Maryville would come right back Brent Watts misses the jumper but Jon Wright crashes the board for the put back and score keeping the game close.
Roanoke loses the ball in the paint but gets it to
Ben Halterman who passes underneath to Dewayne Bullock for the Snowbird and Roanoke wins it 67 to 60.
The second ranked Blue Devils of Duke claimed the top spot in the A-C-C today whipping fourth ranked Maryland at College Park 82 to 64.
[SUPER=03-College Park, MD/JP-RAYCOM; :]
The Terps were out to avenge their worst home defeat in 29 seasons.
Maryland trailed by five but would cut the lead to three when Obino Ekeezie gets the offensive rebound and score to make it 28 to 25.
But the Blue Devils came right back William Avery makes the pass to Elton Brand for the basket to make it 30 to 25.
The Terps battled back Steve Frances drives to the hoop for the reverse layup and foul and the game was tied 37 to 37 at the half.
Duke would pull away early in the second half going inside to Brand for the jam to make the score 63 to 48.
Then Guard Trajon Langdon would take over the game
here he uses the jump stop and scores and Duke wins it 82 to 64.
8-th ranked Indiana added one to the win column today beating Illionis 62 to 53
[SUPER=03-Bloomington, IN/CBS SPORTS; :]
Illinois coach Lon Kruger looking on.
He had to like this Corey Bradford pulls up and hits the three pointer giving Illinois a 17 to 14 lead.
But the Hoosiers rallied A.J. Guyton gets out on the break after the steal and scores the hoop to tie the game at 26 to 26.
Then moments later Guyton would give Indiana the
lead for good hitting the jumper from the foul line Indiana wins it 62 to 53.
[SUPER=03-Evanston, IL/SPCH; :]
Meantime, Iowa and Northwestern hooked up in Evanston today.
The Hawkeyes jumped out the early lead and never looked back beating Northwestern 52 to 48.
Now, Here's the rest of the scores.
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[SUPER=0100-j/Jacksonville/25//New England/10////Green Bay/27/j/San Francisco/30///;]
[OUT Q=...LAST SCORE."]
And coming up, Randy Moss is the N-F-L Rookie of the year George Seifert heads the list for the Carolina Panther Head coaching job.
And the Jaguars and 49-ers advance to the second round of the N-F-L playoffs.
The Jacksonville Jaguars won the first ever playoff game on their home field this afternoon.
Mike Hollis booted four gield goals as Jacksonville advances in the N-F-L playoffs with a 25 to 10 win over New England.
[SUPER=03-Jacksonville, FL/CBS SPORTS; :]
The Jaguar fans getting ready for the big game.
Leading six to nothing on two field goals, Fred Taylor takes the handoff and scores on the 13 yard run to make it 12 to nothing Jags at the half.
The Patriots answered the call in the third quarter Scott Zolak hands off to Robert Edwards he scores from the one yard line to make it 12 to 7 Jags.
Jacksonville led 12 to 10 until early in the fourth
quarter when Mark Brunell goes to the air and hits Jimmy Smith on the 37 yard T-D strike and the Jaguars win it 25 to 10.
[IN Q="They played...]
[SUPER=01-Mark Brunell/Jacksonville Quarterback; :]
[OUT Q=...A PLAYOFF GAME."]
The victory over the Patriots sends Jacksonville to the Meadowlands next Sunday to take on the New York Jets.
The San Francisco 49-ers moved to the second round of the playoffs today.
Steve Young threw a 25 yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens as the Niners beat the Green Bay Packers 30 to 27.
[SUPER=03-San Francisco, CA/FOX SPORTS; :]
Charles Haley came out of retirement to give the Niners a pass rush.
San Francisco led 7 to 3 then Packer quarterback Brett Favore hooks up with Antonio Freeman on the 2 yard touchdown pass to make it 10 to 7 Green Bay.
The Packers led 17 to 10 at the half then in the third quarter Steve Young hooks up with Greg Clark on the 8 yard touchdown pass play to tie the game at 17 to 17.
Frisco led 23 to 20 when Favre goes to the air again and hits Freeman this time on a 15 yard touchdown pass and the Packers were back on top 27 to 23.
But Young would work a miracle with three seconds
[SUPER=32-San Francisco/30/Green Bay/27/;]
left on the clock he throws over the middle hitting Owens on the 25 yard touchdown play and the Niners win it 30 to 27.
With the victory over the Packers San Francisco will play Atlanta in the N-F-C semi-final game on Saturday.
The Associated Press named its National Football League rookie of the year today.
Of course the man is Minnesota game breaking wide receiver Randy Moss.
Moss won the award receiving 44 votes from a nationwide panel of 47 sports writers and broadcasters.
Moss led the league with 17 touchdown receptions. He averaged 19 yards per catch.
Colt quarterback Payton Manning got two votes the other vote went to Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor.
The word out of Charlotte today is that the Panthers will name a new coach tomorrow.
Former San Franciso coach George Seifert has reportedly been hired to coach the Panthers.
Seifert has not talked about the position but C-B-S ssports reported today that he will be named the new coach tomorrow.
He leaves the job with C-B-S where he served as an analyst of N-F-L games.
The Roanoke Express dropped one on the road this afternoon. Chesapeake beats Roanoke 4 to 1.
Mike Peron scored the only Express goal.
Roanoke returns to the Roundhouse Tuesday night for a game against Toledo.
Face off is 7 oclock.
An Australian robber armed with a dirty syringe got more than he bargained for, a store clerk with a new way to swing his three-iron.
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[IN Q=When he wouldn't]
((WHEN HE WOULDN'T DENY AND WANTED ME AGAIN TO OPEN THE TILL, I HIT HIM VERY BADLY, HIS HAND MAY BE BROKEN OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT HE JUST RAN AWAY-AND I RAN AFTER HIM.))
[OUT Q=ran after him.]
That's right...he was clubbed. Police believe the robber is responsible for a string of raids in the area and it is the second time he hit this store.
It was after the first robbery that the store owner placed the golf club behind the counter after showing all his employees how to use it.
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