A small plane from Maryland looses power and crashes 50-miles short of a landing in Roanoke.
We've got a LIVE report from Rockbridge County.
And a suspicious house fire in Roanoke....
we're LIVE on Patterson Avenue as well.
Tonight on News 7 sports, Tech and UVa finish up in top 25 in both college football polls.
The Express will be without its head coach tonight.
The Ryan Express leads a trio of ex-big leaguers headed to the Hall of fame.
One more bitter cold night with some regions dipping into the single digits. More snow showers in the Wednesday afternoon forecast.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
A plane heading for Roanoke goes down within sight of Interstate 81.
The pilot is fighting for his life.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.[Plane-Crash]
Good evening I'm Keith Humphry.
The twin-engine aircraft came crashing to the ground around 12-30...
[TAKE MAP FULL SCREEN]
in a field just off of Decatur Road in the community of Fairfield. That's in Rockbridge County, about 50 miles northeast of Roanoke.
That's where Scott Goldberg is tonight.
( ad lib)
[OUT Q= to go down."]
( ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Keith/Scott -- Starlink]
A fire destroyed a house in Roanoke this afternoon. The owner says he suspects arson.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Tina/Microwave]
Tina Tenret is about a block away, at the intersection of 10th & Patterson Avernue in Roanoke with details.
( ad lib)
(Rollcue: "...house in flames.")
[SUPER=01-Bill Lange/Landlord; :20]
[OUT Q="...damage on the outside."]
( ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Keith & Tina/Microwave][Water-Main]
[GRAPHIC=Water Main Break]
A water main break has shut down a busy downtown street in Roanoke.
Franklin Road will be closed all night between 2nd and 3rd streets, so crews can repair the broken main.
Without water, the Federal Building closed at mid-afternoon.
The city hopes to re-open Franklin Road before tomorrow morning's commute.
Northbound traffic was slowed for a third day on Interstate 81 in Rockbridge County. And for a while, southbound drivers had their own problems not far away.
First, the northbound side, where traffic was limited to one lane as the cleanup from Sunday's deadly accident continued.
That included soil contaminated by hundreds of gallons of spilled deisel fuel.
And just two miles to the north, problems on the southbound side, where another accident backed up traffic.
A truck driver left the left side of the roadway and up an embankment, before rolling over.
No serious injuries in this accident.
Both northbound lanes in Rockbridge County are now open, and will remain open through the night.
ONE northbound lane will be closed again tomorrow morning, for guardrail repairs. [Interstate-Safety]
The increasing volume of traffic on Interstate 81, and the disturbing number of serious accidents is focusing new attention on highway safety.
Today, the issue brought a brainstorming session in the Shenandoah Valley... and Joe Dashiell was there.
[IN Q=The images]
[SUPER=03-Rockbridge Co./Sunday; :00]
[SUPER=01-Col. Wayne Huggins/Va. State Police Superintendent; :48]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Harrisonburg]
((The images of recent accidents tell the story behind the statistics. As the volume of traffic increases, Interstate 81 is becoming a more dangerous way to travel.
[IN Q=And we need to make sure]
[OUT Q=taken into consideration.]
Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte, and northern Virginia's Frank Wolf scheduled their meeting on interstate safety before Sunday's accident, but they say the latest tragedy highlights the urgency of the issue.
Construction may be the ultimate answer, widening the interstate to accomodate more cars and trucks.
But other recommendations include separating car and truck traffic, improving drivers ed for truckers and motorists, and stepping up law enforcement.
[IN Q=As with anything]
[OUT Q=safe and courteous manner.]
Congressman Wolf is proposing an Interstate 81 task force... that could put local law enforcement officers on the interstate supplementing the efforts of the region's State Troopers.
Joe Dashiell News 7))
Icy roadways are forcing many schools to cancel or delay classes for another day tomorrow.
You will find the latest information along the bottom of your screen for a few more minutes, and we will update them every half hour throughout the evening.
[Take GFX Page]
And a reminder that you can also check out school information on our internet web site.
Just call up our home page, WDBJ-7-DOT-COM, and click on "Weather Cancellations."
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
More than 170 jobs are on the way to the New River Valley. That story is still ahead on News 7.
Remember this Salem city council meeting. Find out why the city has pulled a video copy off the library shelf.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-1.28''/plus 0.93''/1.28''/plus 0.93'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 4.05 feet/Down 0.81 foot;Lake levels][Salem-Library]
Salem's city government has taken a videotape off the shelf at the public library. It's a tape of a city council meeting.
The city manager says it's a matter of precedent. But David Johnson says a citizens group claims the removal has deprived it of its public voice .
[IN Q=Last month]
[SUPER=04-Dec. 14, 1998; :00]
[SUPER=01-Frank Munley/Elizabeth Campus Advocate; :25]
[OUT Q=Djo, News 7, Salem.]
(( Last month, Cynthia Munley was physically removed from a Salem City Council meeting amid the Elizabeth Campus property rezoning issue.
((Munley screaming as she is removed))
She and the "Citizens to Maintain a Green Space" were trying to voice their concerns and she was ruled out of order.
Now video tapes of that council meeting and others pretaining to the issue which were donated to the public library have been removed.
[IN Q=WE WANTED TO]
((FRANK MUNLEY/ELIZABETH CAMPUS ADVOCATE; WE WANTED TO GIVE THE PEOPLE OF SALEM WHO DIDN'T MAKE IT TO THOSE MEETINGS A CHANCE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED AT THE MEETING TO HEAR BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE, PARTICULARLY OURS BECAUSE WE FEEL LIKE WE MADE A PRETTY GOOD CASE.))
[OUT Q=GOOD CASE.]
But city manager Randy Smith, who has the final say in what goes in the library, removed the tapes.
In a statement, Smith explained that the library cannot act as a clearinghouse for such tapes as this would be a precedent that he did not care to set by making the library responsible for personal tapes.
Smith said he could envision all kinds of other types of personal requests, which the city cannot honor.
((DAVID JOHNSON/REPORTING; SMITH GOES ON TO SAY THAT THE ONLY FAIR WAY TO HANDLE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REGARDING CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS IS IN WRITING AS PRESCRIBED BY THE STATE'S FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT. BUT MUNLEY FEELS THE REMOVAL OF THE TAPES WAS AN ACT OF DISCRIMINATION BY SMITH AND A DIRECT VIOLATION OF HER FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.))
[IN Q=IT'S OUR DISTINCT]
((MUNLEY; IT'S OUR DISTINCT IMPRESSION THAT THE ONLY REASON OR CRITERIA THAT COULD HAVE BEEN USED IN REMOVING THOSE MATERIALS IS THE CONTENT.))
[OUT Q=IS THE CONTENT.]
Meaning he thinks the city doesn't want citizens to see how meetings are conducted.
Munley's goal now is to have the tapes returned to the library for public consumption.
David Johnson, News 7, Salem.))[Radford-Jobs]
Nearly 175 jobs are on the way to the city of Radford.
Aspen Motion Technologies is preparing to locate in Radford's Shell building.
The nearly 175 jobs will be created over the next three years.
Workers at the Radford site will develop, design and manufacture motion control products.[Stocks]
Some big bounds on Wall Street...
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
as the Dow climbed almost 127 points to finish out the day at 9311.
Nasdaq gained just over 43 points.
[note anchor tag]
Gas service is almost fully restored to the nearly 15- hundred customers affected by Sunday's natural gas explosion in Wytheville.
While crews from as far away as Tennessee have been working 'round the clock, residents have come up with ways to keep warm.
Teresa Hamilton has this update.
[IN Q=You've got]
[SUPER=01-Roger Whitehead/United Cities Employee; :19]
[SUPER=01-Jack Brant/Wytheville Resident; :33 quick!!!]
[SUPER=01-Roy Miller/Wytheville Resident; :54]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7, Wytheville.]
[IN Q=You've ]
((YOU'VE GOT TO KEEP FROM FREEZING SO THEY'RE USING EVERYTHING THEY'VE GOT. ))
[OUT Q=they've got.]
From ovens to electric heaters and fireplaces, folks who decided to tough it out at home were managing to stay warm in wake of Sunday's explosion.
It was especially important to keep the heat flowing last night-- with temperatures in the single digits.
((ROGER WHITEHEAD/UNITED CITIES EMPLOYEE:MOST PEOPLE ARE AT HOME, NOW A FEW, LIKE I YOU GOT A SMALL CHILD, HAVE TO LEAVE AND GO TO A MOTEL BUT MOST PEOPLE ARE AT HOME.))
[OUT Q=at home.]
Jack Brant just bought this two story house--
And while he's not living there-- was concerned the temperature didn't dip too low.
[IN Q=If these]
((JACK BRANT/WYTHEVILLE RESIDENT:IF THESE RADIATORS, IF THEY'D FROZEN AND BUSTED, SEE, IT'D HAVE RUINED THESE FLOORS.))
[OUT Q=these floors.]
Businesses and churches were also affected.
Franklin Street United Methodist Church had to cancel service on Sunday.
But was back on line today after Roy Miller showed up to let crews inside.
Miller also lost heat at his own home.
((ROY MILLER/WYTHEVILLE RESIDENT:I HAD A KEROSENE HEATER, I USED IT AND SOME ELECTRIC HEATERS, OTHER THAN THAT WE JUST TOUGHED IT OUT. ))
[OUT Q=it out.]
Right now, less than 50 customers are without service... mainly folks who work and weren't home to let gas company employees in.
(( After nearly 3- days of long hours and cold temperatures it looks like crews will finally get to go home.
Gas company officials hope to have service restored to everyone by late this evening. Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Wytheville.
Officials still don't know the cause of the explosion.[Rabies]
Virginia prison officials say the inmate who died of rabies from a bat bite last week was serving time for a drug conviction in Lynchburg.
Prison officials released Bernard Haythe the Third's name today.
Haythe was in the second year of a five year sentence at Nottoway Correctional Center.
His rabies was traced to a bite from a silver-haired bat.
He died on New Year's Eve.
He was the only person in the nation to die last year of rabies.[Sex-Offender]
[GRAPHIC=Sex Offenders on Internet]
Virginia's new online sex offender registry should be running smoothly.
In the eight days the web site has been in operation, it's had more than 300-thousand hits. That's about ten times the number State Police expected.
Police say visitors haven't had trouble connecting for two days... and that some new processors installed today should prevent further problems.
Already, some factual errors on the site have been corrected.
Some offenders who say their convictions are wrong on the site have been asked to file court orders proving it.
Coming up tonight in sports, the Express take on Toledo with its head coach tonight.
Tech and UVa both finish in the final football polls.
And the Tech women are winning games and fans alike this season.
More on the unbeaten Layd Hokies right after this.
Toledo and Roanoke battle at the Roundhouse tonight. But you'll have to forgive Express head coach Scott Gordon if neither his head nor the rest of his body is in the house.
Steve Mason has more.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Perry Florio/Express Assistant Coach; :13]
[SUPER=01-Calvin Elfring/Express Defenseman; 1:07]
[OUT Q=...GO BACK TO MIKE."]
Last night's national championship game wasn't exactly a classic, but don't try telling the folks from Tennessee it wasn't a crowning moment.
[SUPER=03-Tempe, AZ/Last Night - ABC; :00]
The Vols beat Florida State 23-to-16 to finish the season with a perfect 13-and-0 record.
The Vols were unanimous picks as number one in both the Associated Press and USA today polls.
Florida State slipped to third in both polls. Ohio State finished second.
The Virginia Cavaliers finished 18th in both the final Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls.
Virginia Tech finished 19th in the coaches' poll and 23rd in the AP.
In both cases, the Hokies were ranked higher than Syracuse.
[SUPER=03-1998 Season; :00]
Miami also finished up in the top 25 in both polls, but the Canes will be losing one of their top players.
Edgerin James says he will give up his senior year and enter the April NFL draft.
[TAPE#=SP-22 tc 1:50:27]
The 14th ranked Lady Hokies are not only on top of the Atlantic 10 Conference with a three and oh record--
Virginia Tech is also leading the conference in attendance.
About 15-hundred Hokie fans came out to last night's win over Dayton and school wasn't even in session.
[IN Q=Va Tech]
[SUPER=01-Courtney Morrison/A-10 Communications Director; :02]
[Super=01-Bonnie Henrickson/Va Tech Head Coach; :23]
[OUT Q=hasn't come see us play]
The Lady Hokies average more than 26-hundred fans for home games that's at least a thousand more than most of the teams they face.
Last night's 76-59 win over the Dayton Flyers ups Tech's record to 13 and oh.
[SUPER=330-Clear And/Very Cold/9-11/Clouding Up/Snow Shower Late/33-35;]
[SUPER=331-Clear With/Light Winds/10-15/Increasing/Cloudiness/32-36;]
[SUPER=332-Turning/Partly Cloudy/8-10/Chance Of/Light Snow/30-32;]
[SUPER=333-Increasing/Clouds Late/5-10/Light Snow/Likely/30-32;]
[SUPER=334-Partly Cloudy/And Cold/6-10/Light Snow/Likely/30-32;]
(Weekday 6 only)
[KEITH-MENTION SCHOOL CLOSINGS IN JUST A FEW MINUTES & EVERY HALF HOUR]
[SUPER=x4032; e-mail/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS]
SUPER=x4033; Fax/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS
(Weekend 6 only)