Next on News 7-
Gay and Lesbian advocates speak out- They say recent arrests in city parks are unfair-
A spectacular fire after a tanker truck bursts into flames.
Closed doors for another day for one Roanoke Eatery.
And it's the night for partying before the fasting begins.
News 7 is next.
[SUPER=#4064; News 7 at Eleven Headline Banner]
[GRAPHIC=N7 at 11]
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=we believe]
(( SCOTT JOHNSON/GAY ADVOCATE; WE BELIEVE VIRGINIA'S LAW THAT MAKES CRIMINAL PRIVATE SEXUAL CONDUCT BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS IS WRONG))
[OUT Q=is wrong]
But was it wrong for police to arrest gay men for soliciting sex in Raonke parks?
Lesbian and gay advocates told city council members tonight gay men are being unfairly singled out, calling it discrimination.
Eric Earnhart is in the newsroom with details.
[Take Eric Full]
Jean gay advocates say the 17 men who were charged with soliciting at Wasena Park last year were arrested for simply talking about sex.
Park visitors we spoke with say, that's true, and that's the problem.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=twilight at Wasena]
[SUPER=01-Mike Moore/Park Visitor; :13]
[SUPER=01-Scott Johnson/Gay Advocate; :33]
[SUPER=01-Shane Allie/Park Visitor; :54]
[SUPER=01-David Bowers/Roanoke Mayor; 1:16]
[OUT Q=with this issue]
((Twilight at Wasena park, and some people on the new skating ramps under the bridge are afraid to use the park's public restrooms, where they say gay men are still soliciting people for sex.
[IN Q=Mike Moore/Park Visitor;]
(( MIKE MOORE/PARK VISITOR; I DON'T WANT THAT GOING ON WHILE I'M OUT HERE SKATING, ESPECIALLY WHILE MY DAUGHTER'S OUT HERE.))
[OUT Q=daughter's out here]
But representatives of Roanoke's Gay and Lesbian community say if police aren't going to arrest EVERYBODY having sex in the park, they should leave EVERYONE alone... They are currently trying to repeal a state law that makes ALL oral sex a felony.
[SOT 15:12:33 ]
[IN Q=until then]
(( SCOTT JOHNSON/GAY ADVOCATE; UNTIL THEN WE BELIEVE IT SHOULD NOT BE ENFORCED AGAINST ANYBODY, WE BELIEVE THAT SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT AGAINST A SMALL MINORITY IS EVEN WORSE ))
[OUT Q=even worse]
But park visitors say the sex isn't the primary problem, it's the solicition.
Shane Allie says it's gay men, not hetrosexual couples, approaching him for sex.
[SOT 15:08:34 ]
[IN Q=when hetersexuals]
(( SHANE ALLIE/PARK VISITOR; WHEN HETEROSEXUALS COME OUT HERE THEY COME TOGETHER, I'M NOT SAYING IT'S A RIGHT THING TO DO, BUT WHEN THEY COME OUT HERE THEY'RE SEARCHING FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO DO THIS STUFF WITH AND NOBODY WANTS 'EM, THAT'S WHAT A LOT OF PROBLEMS ARE OUT HERE. ))
[OUT Q=out here]
Mayor David Bowers, while denouncing discrimination of ANY kind, made it clear that sexual solicitation in public parks will be dealt with.
[SOT 15:15:52 ]
[IN Q=I can tell you]
(( MAYOR DAVID BOWERS/ I CAN TELL YOU RIGHT OFF, I'VE GOT TO TAKE A STAND AND MAKE SURE THAT OUR PARKS ARE SAFE FOR OUR CHILDREN, FOR THE FAMILIES THAT ARE USING THEM, AND THAT'S GOING TO BE ONE OF MY UTMOST CONCERNS AS WE DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE. ))
[OUT Q=this issue]))
[Take Eric Full]
A downtown Roanoke diner is closed -- and will remain so at least until tomorrow.
Health inspectors closed the Star City Diner Friday, citing violations such as roaches and rotten food.
Health officials apparently still did NOT like what they found after RE- inspecting the restaurant today.
Restaurant owner Spanky Macher says he made the improvements they wanted to floor tiles and the dishwasher, areas where roaches HAD been.
Even if Star City makes the grade in a planned inspection tomorrow...there's still a hearing planned March 12th to determine whether the restaurant can keep its food permit.
Another Roanoke business has closed its doors for good -- the owner is in jail accused of violating probation.
Queen Charlotte's Tea and More was one of the businesses on the first floor of the old Heironimus Building, but the restaurant closed recently after proprietor B- D Cummings was jailed.
[SUPER=04-Oct. 22, 1989]
In 1989, Cummings was convicted in federal court of forging checks from the Rescue Mission worth more than 29-thousand dollars. She's still on state probation for writing a bad check, and was prohibited from handling other people's money.
An antiques dealer who placed items in the building on consignment says he hasn' t been paid for pieces that are now unaccounted for, but the owners of The Emporium say they intend to cover financial losses. Other shops in the building remain open.
Do you want your tax money paying for a project that will give you just a penny profit per dollar?
The Roanoke River Flood Reduction Project has been delayed almost a decade.
The costs have risen, so now for every dollar invested -- there's a dollar and a penny benefit.
If the costs outweigh the benefits, the project loses federal funding and fails.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We have a viable]
((GREG REED/CITY ENGINEER: WE HAVE A VIABLE PROJECT. WE'VE SIGNED AN AGREEMENT. THE CITIZENS SUPPORT IT AND WE'RE MOVING FORWARD AT THIS POINT.))
[SUPER=01-Greg Reed/City Engineer;]
[OUT Q=at this point]
The project will replace trees with stone riprap along six miles of riverbank.
Environmentalists say that will kill fish and heat up the city.
A group called Friends of the Roanoke River is checking the financial data, thinking the costs already outweigh the benefits of this project.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The corps]
((THE CORPS IS FAIRLY WELL KNOWN FOR HAVING NUMBERS THAT ARE INFLATED OR INACCURATE SO IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE PUBLIC TO SCRUTINIZE THOSE NUMBERS.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Tanger/Friends of the Roanoke River;]
[OUT Q=those numbers]
City engineers expect to start advertising for a contractor next year.
A guilty plea today from a man accused of setting a fire --
[from 98-54 15:15; 98-61 52:52]
[SUPER=03-Fairfax Co./November 1995]
to cover up his sister's murder.
20-year-old Anne Harper was found dead in her family's Fairfax County home on Thanksgiving Day 1995.
She was a Hollins College student.
[super=03-Fairfax Co./September 1998]
Matthew Harper pled guilty to stabbing and killing her BEFORE setting the house on fire to cover up the crime.
In exchange for Harper's plea to second degree murder, Fairfax prosecutors have dropped first-degree murder and attempted murder charges against him.
Wise County's Board of Supervisors is calling for the resignation of a University of Virginia rector.
John Ackerly led opposition to changing the name of Clinch Valley College to University of Virginia's College at Wise.
Now Wise supervisors want Ackerly to step down.
His term on UVA's governing board expires March first.
The murder horrified the nation- a man dragged to his death behind a pickup truck.
Today trial began for one of three men charged in the crime.
As Andrew Colton reports, prosecutors tried to describe the motive.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Shackled and surrounded]
[SUPER=03-Jasper, TX; 00]
[SUPER=01-Andrew Colton/Reporting; 34]
[SUPER=01-James Gray/Prosecutor; 44]
[OUT Q=standard outcue]
((SHACKLED AND SURROUNDED BY SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES, JOHN WILLIAM KING WAS LED
INTO THE JASPER COUNTY COURTHOUSE FOR THE FIRST DAY OF HIS MURDER TRIAL.
POLICE SAY KING, AND TWO FRIENDS, TIED 49 YEAR OLD JAMES BYRD - SHOWN
HERE IN NEWLY RELEASED HOME VIDEO -- TO THE BACK OF A PICKUP TRUCK
LAST SUMMER, AND DRAGGED HIM OVER BACK COUNTRY ROADS TO HIS DEATH.
DEPUTIES FOUND BYRD'S HEAD THREE MILES FROM HIS SHREDDED TORSO.
WHILE KING'S FATHER AND GIRLFRIEND WATCHED IN THE COURTROOM, PROSECUTOR
GUY JAMES GRAY TOLD THE JURY KING IS A RACIST, WHO KILLED BYRD TO GET
ATTENTION. HE TOLD JURORS THAT KING IS PROUD OF HIS KU KLUX KLAN
TATTOOS, AND ESPECIALLY ONE OF A BLACK MAN HANGING FROM A TREE. KING LEFT THESE PHOTOS IN HIS APARTMENT AFTER HE WAS EVICTED.
GUY JAMES GRAY/PROSECUTOR:HE WAS RACIST, HE WANTED TO BRING ATTENTION TO HIS GROUP, HE HAD SOME EVIL AND SATANIC MOTIVE.
ANDREW COLTON, CBS NEWS.))
It appears some flu-struck schools, day care centers and nursing homes are on the mend.
Roanoke County schools had a number of students and staff miss school due to the bug.
More than 90-students with the flu missed class at Cave Spring Junior High last week.
School officials say some of those students have returned.
It was the same at the Children's Discovery Day Care Center, where 20 children came down with the flu and ten others had chicken pox.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=THIS YEAR HAS]
((CAROLYN WOOTEN/CHILDREN'S DISCOVERY CENTER DIRECTOR; THIS YEAR HAS BEEN THE WORST I THINK IN THE PAST FEW YEARS. BUT THIS ONE'S BEEN THE WORST.))
[SUPER=01-Carolyn Wooten/Children's Discovery Center Dir.;]
[OUT Q=BEEN THE WORST.]
And most of the residents of the South Roanoke Nursing Home that had the flu have just about recovered.
Health department officials say this year's virus hit about four weeks later than usual.
Jean tosses to Robin in the Chromakey
Still ahead -- a French town left reeling by deadly avalanches last week faces disaster, again.
This time, the culprit is fire.
And look who's talking about rumors that First Lady Hillary Clinton may soon run for a Senate seat.
What John Warner has to say may surprise you.
Details when we return.
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[IN Q=first audio]
[OUT Q=news 7"]
(( Look out everybody, the Renegades run wild at the Roundhouse tonight.
Temple gives a Hoot and hurts the Hokies. We'll check out some high school tournament action and see how Mark Martin and Lynn Swann are joining forces in the name of charity. This is all coming upp in few minutes here on News 7.))
President Clinton may not be completely out of trouble.
The federal judge who handled Paula Jones' lawsuit- says she may consider holding Clinton in contempt of court for denying he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.
Meanwhile Hillary Rodham Clinton would not answer reporters' questions about a possible Senate run in New York.
She did release a statement saying she'll give careful thought to a potential candidacy in order to reach a decision later this year.
One of Virginia's Senators spoke today about the First Lady's possible run for the Senate.
And what Republican John Warner has to say about her husband may surprise you.
Ellen Qualls reports.
[IN Q=Let's start ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
((Let's start with the fun one.
What would the Republican Senator think if Hillary Rodham Clinton ran for and won a U-S Senate seat?
((WARNER: I THINK THE WOMAN HAS QUALITIES. AND SHE HAS I THINK SHOWN REMARKABLE FORTITUDE ON A BROAD RANGE OF CHALLENGES, POLITICAL AND OTHERWISE HERE IN THE PAST YEAR ))
NOT an endorsement.
But here he is on the President's decision to send U-S troops to Kosovo.
[SOT 15:15:40 ]
((WARNER: THE PRESIDENT HAS GONE ABOUT IT THUS FAR IN A CORRECT MANNER.))
Warner voted GUILTY on one impeachment count and NOT guilty on another.
How does he feel about the President in the aftermath?
[SOT 15:32:52 ]
((WARNER: IN DUE COURSE, HE MAY BE ABLE TO RE-ESTABLISH FULLY, OR TO A LARGE EXTENT, STRIKE FULLY, HIS CREDIBILITY WITH THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND INDEED WITH THE CONGRESS.))
Should Clinton be criminally indicted while still in office?
((WARNER: I THINK THERE'S CONSIDERABLE DOUBT AS TO THE SUCCESS OF THAT PROSECUTION.))
Should he be censured?
[SOT 15:36:02 ]
((WARNER: WHAT'S TO BE GAINED BY ANOTHER 20 LASHES IN PUBLIC?))
And on whether Congress should re-enact the independent counsel statute in the wake of Ken Starr's inquiry...
[SOT 15:36:31 ]
((WARNER: WE EITHER ABOLISH IT, BECAUSE CLEARLY STARR'S FUNCTION, WHILE I'M NOT HERE TO ARGUE IT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, IT RAISES THE QUESTION DO WE WANT THAT TO HAPPEN AGAIN?))
Have NO doubt-- Warner condemns the President's actions as "depraved."
But as the newly installed chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he's clearly looking forward to working with the White House.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
A debate over firefighter work schedules in Danville could soon be resolved with a vote by city council.
Danville has been looking at revising the way it schedules its full-time firefighters ever since it lost a lawsuit last year over unpaid meal breaks.
Firefighters presented a new work schedule proposal that would get rid of overtime and still keep the men and women in blue working their current shifts.
[SUPER=03-Danville/September 14, 1997;]
But the plan does slightly lower the number of firefighters on-duty at any given time.
Firefighters say that would NOT pose a safety problem.
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[IN Q=We can not bring]
((WE CANNOT BRING IT TO OURSELVES TO COMPROMISE THE SAFETY OF THE CITIZENS OF DANVILLE OR THE SAFETY OF EACH OTHER. THERE'S NOT A DOLLAR AMOUNT THAT I COULD PUT ON ANYBODY THAT I WORK WITH. IT'S NOT, WE WILL NOT COMPROMISE OUR SAFETY AND WE WILL NOT PRESENT A PLAN THAT WE THOUGHT DID SO.))
[SUPER=01-Ray Earp/Danville Firefighter;]
[OUT Q=thought did so.]
City council is also considering a work schedule plan developed by an outside consulting firm.
Firefighters oppose the consultant's proposal, saying it would require them to work at least some part of EVERY weekend.
A vote on the matter is set for March 2nd.
A French resort town still in shock after two avalanches-
had to deal with fire overnight.
Flames engulfed a large city building spreading to nearby apartments- a shopping center and museum.
The blaze comes just one week after avalanches killed 12 people and destroyed 17 chalets.
(wipe wipe wipe)
[GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe]
[wipe wipe wipe]
It's tough when a truck crashes- even more devastating when it's a tanker full of fuel.
This truck overtuned in Columbus- bursting into flames.
It was carrying 85-hundred gallons of gasoline.
Heavy smoke closed major highways in the area.
No one was seriously hurt.
When News 7 at 11 returns, it's a big time in the Big Easy.
Millions turn out to decorate the streets of New Orleans with the sights and sounds of Mardi Gras.
Highlights coming up.
[SUPER=136-7 5 6/5 9 1 5/2 4 19 26 31/3 10 13 36 49/14]
A new Y-M-C-A is on its way to Lynchburg... if organizers can raise more than seven million dollars by the end of the year.
The new "Y" will be located on 26 acres of land near Laxton Road donated by developer Bill Jamerson.
It will serve residents in the Forest and Timberlake areas west of Lynchburg that currently don't have a recreational facility.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The community]
((SUSAN LANDERGAN/YMCA DIRECTOR: THE COMMUNITY IS REALLY GROWING IN THAT AREA, IT'S ONE OF THE FASTEST-GROWING AREAS IN VIRGINIA, AND IT'S FULL OF FAMILIES AND THAT IS CERTAINLY ONE OF OUR TARGET AREAS SO WE THINK IT WILL BE A GREAT LOCATION.))
[SUPER=01-Susan Landergan/YMCA Director]
[OUT Q=a great location.]
The Jamersons also are donating one million dollars towards the Y-M-C-A's fundraising goal.
Part of the money will fund renovations to the existing "Y" in downtown Lynchburg.
America's wildest party is tonight's Video of the Day from New Orleans-
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[Super=X5052 (loads FX)]
[Super=X5045 (starts FX)]
[IN Q=nat sounds of screaming]
((NAT SOUND PEOPLE SCREAMING))
[OUT Q=people screaming]
[Super=75-New Orleans, LA;]
Screaming is just part of the fun at Mardi Gras- which means Fat Tuesday.
The annual party brings nearly two million people to the Big Easy- Actor John Goodman is a regular at the big shindig.
This year Jazz great Pete Fountain led the Marching band.
Mardi Gras is one last party before Lent- the Christian season of fasting that leads up to Easter.
The party ends promptly at midnight when police and garbage sweepers move people back inside the bars and off the streets.
[Super=X5043 (clears FX)]
[SUPER=330-Increasing Clouds/Light Winds/40-45/Light Rain/Likely/53-58;]
[SUPER=331-Increasing Clouds/Light Winds/40-45/Light Rain/Likely/55-60;]
The Express suffers its fourth straight setback.
The Hokies get hammered by the Owls.
And we'll check on some of tonight's high school tourney action.
And see why Mark Martin is a Big Brother.
But first, the Redskins officially welcomed their new quarterback to town today as Brad Johnson arrived at Redskins Park, passed his physical and then talked about passing the Skins to wins.
[super=75-New York, NY;]
And in New York, Jeff Gordon continued his whirlwind, post-Daytona tour as he dropped by the all-star cafe to autograph a Daytona 500 jacket and mingle with his fans in the Big Apple.
[WIPE TO CHRYON]
[SUPER=0096-j/Milwaukee/93//Philadelphia/92//Curry 16pts & Lynch 6pts//Utah /25//Seattle/39/2//;]
[OUT Q=...LAST SCORE."]
[go to break]
[TAPE#=SP-32 tc 38:07]
[GRAPHIC=Richmond v Roanoke]
The Express was looking to end its losing streak at three games while the Richmond Renegades skated into the Roundhouse seeking its fourth consecutive win.
And this one was all Richmond.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Richmond vs Roanoke;]
Duane Harmer was back on the ice for Roanoke last night after a stint with the Lowell Lochmonsters.
And the Express would take the board first by firing shot after shot on Richmond net-minder Terry Friesen, and this one by Scott Campbell finally finds the goal.
But after that, the Renegades went on the rampage Darren Wetherill fires one from way outside that gets by Daniel Berthiaume.
Roanoke goes on to lose its fourth straight game infront of more than 32-hundred fans.
Renegade Keith O'Connell scores this one and Richmond wins four to one.
In the preseason the Temple Owls were picked in many folk's Top 10, last night the Hokies found out why.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Temple vs. Va. Tech; :00]
Bobby Hussey and the Hokies were looking to pick up their first ever win against the Owls.
They would stay in step with Temple for a short period as Russ Wheeler passes to Rolan Roberts for the hoop in the lane.
But the Owls quickly proved they were the dominant birds. Pepe Sanchez, the Temple star, goes coast to coast in transition and drops in two as Temple takes a 20-to-6 lead.
Temple would continue to dominate as Mark Karcher gets the steal and then makes the feed to Rasheed Brokenborough on the break and he drops it in as the lead expands to 19.
Tech would try to make it respectable. Brendan Dunlop scores this triple.
But the Hokies only get 17 points the entire half. John Chaney's team leads by as many as 33 as it whips Tech 78-to-48.
In the first round of the Blue Ridge last night, Byrd topped Northside, Alleghany ripped Rockbridge and Salem beat Christiansburg by 50.
[SUPER=03-Daleville/Blacksburg vs. Lord Botetourt; :00]
In the other opening night game in Daleville Joe Davis and Don Meredith settled in for some layups and lying. Meredith was probably the one stretching the truth.
Botetourt stretches the Blacksburg defense on this play and Brad Hutchins dishes to Chad Hutchins for the they as the cavs take a three point lead.
Blacksburg comes right back as Lee Smith passes to Patrick Curran for the basket that cut's the Cavs lead to one.
Botetourt comes through again as Brad Hutchins drives, shoots and scores.
[super=33-Blacksburg/53 /Lord Botetourt/49;]
But the Indians Darren Eversole would answer that on the other end.
Blacksburg wins it 53-to-49.
[GRAPHIC=RVD TOURNEY TIME]
The Roanoke Valley district tournament opened last night with the play-in game between Pulaski County and Patrick Henry.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Pulaski vs. Patrick Henry;]
The Cougars got some last minute instructions for this game that was played over at Cave Spring's gym.
Pulaski's defense is tough at this stage of the contest as Justin Peek gets the steal, the scoop and the hoop as the Cougars take an 11 point lead.
PH would keep it close in the first half as Mike Peery nails this jumper from the corner. The Cougar lead is chopped down to five.
Pulaski would display some nice ball handling. Roger Adams passes inside to Adam Veit who uses the board for the layup. It's 29-to-18.
With less than a minute to play before halftime, PH would keep
[super=33-Pulaski Co./ /Patrick Henry/ ;]
mounting a comeback. This time Mitch Moore scores on the break.
But Pulaski County wins it to advance to the semi-finals.
Still to come tonight, Mark Martin's pursuit of a Winston Cup championship ended a little early last year and last weekend.
But Martin is racing for more than just points in 1999.
Details of his latest venture in just a moment.
Mark Martin ran into some less than desirable circumstances Sunday at Daytona, but when it came to making new friends at the beach last week, Martin did just fine.
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[SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL; :00]
[SUPER=01-Lynn Swann/Big Brothers-Big Sisters; :28]
[SUPER=01-Mark Martin/Valvoline Ford Driver; 1:01]
[OUT Q=...BECOME VOLUNTEERS."]
(( Martin's hopes of winning the 500 were dashed in this crash on lap 136. Martin ended up finishing 31st in the race because of the incident.
But there are 33 more races to go for the newest honorary Big Brother. While in Daytona last week Martin and his sponsor Valvoline, joined forces with former Pittsburgh Steeler great Lynn Swann to announce a $1 million "Caring Hands" program for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
It will be tough for Martin to be any more successful than he was last season when he won 7 races and 3 poles. But this year Valvoline is giving Big Brothers and Big Sisters big cash everytime Mark wins a race, a pole or leads a lap.
Valvoline also will be setting up shop at 15 races this season including the sring Bristol, Richmond and Charlotte races. Fans will have a chance to place their caring hands on a canvas wall. And Valvoline will give Big Brothers a dollar for every handprint collected.))
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
And don't forget to tune into Your Hometown Station tonight at eight when 12th ranked North Carolina and North Carolin State go head to head as the ACC's regular season winds down.