Next on News 7 at Six... State police launch a crackdown on interstate speeders... and an accident proves it's needed.
And a major motion picture will pass up the Peaks of Otter... but may move to ANOTHER Virginia location.
In sports, Maryland beats Georgia Tech the lady Hokies celebrate senior at the Cassell today.
And Mark Martin takes the checkered flag at the Rock.
Get ready for our coldest night in a while.
Tomorrow will be chilly as well.
Details coming up.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
[GRAPHIC=I-81 Speed Patrol]
State police put on a show of force today along I 81--in an effort to enforce the Governor's program cracking down on speeders.
[Double Boxes=Eric/David Newsroom]
David Johnson has been monitoring the progress on Governor Gilmore's public awareness campaign and is in the newsroom with the latest.
[Live= David Full/Newsroom]
Eric, officers say an accident today along I-81 highlights the importance of their efforts.
A truck driver clipped the back of a car, spinning it around in traffic and knocking it into the median.
The three people inside were slightly injured.
State police say this is an example of the speeding and driver inattention that they are trying to reduce.
(Rollcue: trying to reduce.)
[IN Q=Speeding and]
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co.; :00]
[SUPER=02-Sgt. Frank Duffy/Va. State Police; :17]
[SUPER=01-Col. M. Wayne Huggins/Va. State Police Superintendent; :34]
[SUPER=01-Curtis Herr/Truck Driver; :54]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; 1:00]
[OUT Q=of that situation.]
Speeding and driver inattention--are what causes accidents like this.
They're also the reasons more than 100-state troopers are monitoring the 320-mile corridor of I-81--18 in the counties of Montgomery and Roanoke alone.
[IN Q=THIS IS TO]
((VOICE OF FRANK DUFFY/VA. STATE POLICE; THIS IS TO MAKE MOTORISTS AWARE THAT WE CAN PUT TROOPERS OUT HERE TO STRICTLY ENFORCE THE TRAFFIC LAWS.))
[OUT Q=TRAFFIC LAWS.]
Troopers are being brought in from other counties to get the project rolling.
That creates holes in those areas, which are being filled by local law enforcement.
[IN Q=THEY'VE BEEN]
((COL. M.WAYNE HUGGINS/VA. STATE POLICE SUPERINTENDENT; THEY'VE BEEN VERY COOPERATIVE WITH US AND REALIZED THAT WE'VE PULLED RESOURCES AND THEY MIGHT GET EXTRA CALLS TODAY AS A RESULT OF US NOT BEING THERE.))
[OUT Q=NOT BEING THERE.]
Duffy says, judging by the flow of traffic over the past few days, people are getting the hint that it's time to slow down.
One truck driver agrees.
[IN Q=THE SPEED LIMIT]
((CURTIS HERR/TRUCK DRIVER; THE SPEED LIMIT IS 65-MILES-PER-HOUR. IF YOU CAN'T GET ENOUGH MILES COVERED AT 65-MILES-PER-HOUR, YOU'RE IN BAD TROUBLE.))
[OUT Q=BAD TROUBLE.]
The warning signs are up and down the road--and motorists are being monitored on the road and in the air.
((HELICOPTER FLYING OVRHEAD. Pan down to traffic))
[IN Q=IF THEY OBSERVE]
((DUFFY; IF THEY OBSERVE A VEHICLE DRIVING ERRATICALLY, THEY WILL RADIO A GROUND TO TAKE CARE OF THAT SITUATION.))
[OUT Q=OF THAT SITUATION.]
As for this how long the strict enforcement along the I-81 corridor will last, it is undetermined.
[Double Boxes=Eric/David Newsroom]
But for the next few months, 81 and other main highways in the commonwealth will be monitored frequently, at random, and unlike today--unannounced.
An accident in Hardy this afternoon left one man injured.
It happened along Hardy Road around three.
A state police officer said the truck went out of control then flipped.
The driver suffered minor injuries.
Charges against him are pending.
[GRAPHIC=Star City Diner (Generic)]
Last week, the Star City Diner was forced to close for five days, after inspectors cited the restaurant for serious health code violations.
But state health officials say it's rare that they have to take that step.
The Star City Diner reopened on Wednesday, after inspectors confirmed that the most serious violations had been corrected.
In the Roanoke Valley, there are now about 600 full-service restaurants, and health officials say the vast majority cooperate with inspectors and take food safety seriously.
Environmental Health Manager Dick Tabb says enforcement is a last step.
[IN Q=We view it as our job]
((DICK TABB/ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH MANAGER: WE VIEW IT AS OUR JOB TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RESTAURANT OPERATES SUCCESSFULLY IN A SAFE MANNER. IN A VERY FEW INSTANCES WE DO HAVE TO STEP IN AND DO ENFORCEMENT, BUT THAT'S CERTAINLY A MINORITY AND AN EXCEPTION.))
[OUT Q=and an exception.]
Among those 600 restaurants, there were only about 10 closures last year, and Tabb says most of those were voluntary.
[TAPE#=98-74 TC 1:52:28]
A location scout for Columbia Tri-Star Pictures said the movie "28 Days" will NOT be shot at The Peaks of Otter.
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co./February 12;]
[use file from 98-76 1:36:49]
About a week ago congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Virgil Goode told federal officials they wanted the movie to be made at the resort.
But, Gary Everhart, the head of the Blue Ridge Parkway, has been opposed to the idea.
He says Columbia Tristar's plans to use the resort are not acceptable and would disturb the tranquility that lures visitors.
Company officials are now looking at another site near Charlottsville.
Elton John did more than put on a concert when he came to the Star City-- he made a teenage boy's wish come true.
When tickets to the performance sold out before Fredy Wright could buy one, he simply wrote a letter to the Rocket Man.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I JUST SAID]
((FREDY WRIGHT/ELTON JOHN FAN; I JUST SAID WE WERE BIG FANS, THAT WE REALLY ENJOYED HIS MUSIC. I JUST BASICALLY ASKED FOR THE PASSES AND THEY SAID WE COULD HAVE THEM.))
[SUPER=01-Fredy Wright/Elton John Fan;]
[OUT Q=COULD HAVE THEM.]
Along with three fifth row tickets and backstage passes-- Wright got a personal meet and greet with Elton John.
And before the concert got started, the singer autographed Wright's "Princess Di Beanie Baby Bear", his "Candle in the Wind" C-D, and took pictures with him.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Still to come--Pennsylvania will soon start advertising its web address on it license plates.
And, Olen Gardner used to play to sold out concerts throughout the area.
He was at the height of his popularity when he decided to stop performing.
We'll tell you why when the news continues.
Now, let's check in with Andrew Freiden in the weather center.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-1.94''/minus 0.18''/5.64''/plus 0.90'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 0.34 foot/Down 0.56 foot;Lake levels]
[TAPE#=Web Watch 16:49:39]
More people are filing their tax returns on-line...
And one state discovers a new way to market its web address.
Details in tonight's WebWatch.
[IN Q=good news]
Good news for the IRS, electronic filing is up, which saves time and paper work for IRS workers. As of a week ago, 13-point-three million people filed their tax returns electronically. It's up about 11 percent over last year.
The IRS website has more information and a list of sites where you can file your taxes on-line... good news for consumers too... the average refund is higher this year, and you get it faster when you e-file.
Doctors across the country are participating in a new program at Cornell University's Weill Medical College... The Grand Rounds project allows medical specialists to present interesting cases to their colleagues around the world... a special web page puts the doctor in a video window on the right, and allows him to show slides and images in the frame next to him.
Doctors who have attended the on-line program say it's just like being there in person.
Pennsylvania is tired of its license plates. DOT officials say they're dirty and dingy and don't represent the state very well... and the new plates will be the first in the nation to carry the state's official web address...
The web address will take would-be tourists here... where Pennsylvania can project a more positive image.
For links to these sites, click on WebWatch, on the WDBJ website at WDBJ7-dot-com
[GRAPHIC=Jobs South of the Border]
Have you heard that giant sucking sound?
Thousands of laid-off workers say they have.
[from NOVALINK #1 or #2]
Virginia apparel companies are closing.
And many of them are sending jobs south to Mexico.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT classes tape 1:47:50]
[IN Q=i wanna]
((BETTY SHELTON: I WANNA KNOW WHY. WE NEED JOBS, TOO. YOU KNOW, I KNOW THEY NEED JOBS. BUT WE NEED OUR JOBS.))
[SUPER=01-Betty Shelton/Former Sewer;]
[OUT Q=OUR JOBS]
We sent Scott Goldberg south of the border to see where the jobs are going.
He visited a Mexican factory where workers earn a fraction of what the same jobs paid in the U-S.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT NOVALINK 1:06:12]
[IN Q=these young]
((BILL WOLFE: THESE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE MAKING A VERY GOOD LIVING, COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING. THEY'RE NOT MAKING THE SAME LIVING THEY ARE IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE TO.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Wolfe/Sewing Plant Manager;]
[OUT Q=HAVE TO]
[ALICIA from novalink 4]
But how well ARE they living?
We'll meet a Mexican worker who's doing the sort of work that used to be done in Virginia...
[take pinnacle board #4737]
When we begin our look at the apparel industry that's Going South.
Be sure to watch News-7 tomorrow at six o'clock.
Several years ago a popular musician gave up his "life on the road" to become a family man.
But, Olen Gardner didn't let his talent go to waste.
Teresa Hamilton recently caught up with him in Riner, Virginia and has more in this week's Virginia Profiles.
[IN Q=Nat sound]
[SUPER=01-Olen Gardner/Musician; :18]
[SUPER=@Teresa2; 2:21 ]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7, RINER.]
Olen Gardner's been playing banjo nearly all his life.
It's a talent he discovered as a child growing in Carroll County during an era when music lessons were a luxury few could afford.
[inq=We had to ]
[OLEN GARDNER/MUSICIAN:WE HAD TO LEARN ON OUR OWN, I REMEMBER WHEN I LEARNED EARL SCRUGGS BANJO, I HEARD HIM ON THE RADIO AND ON RECORDS AND I WOULD HITCHHIKE FOR 40 OR 50 MILES TO WATCH HIM TO SEE WHAT HIS FINGERS WAS DOING.]
As a young child, Gardner soon realized he also had a gift for making his own instruments.
Around age five-- he fashioned his first.
[INq=A wooden ]
[OLEN GARDNER/MUSICIAN:A WOODEN CIGAR BOX WITH A CARVED NECK FASTENED IN IT, WITH HORSE HAIR AND WIRE OFF A SCREEN DOOR FOR STRINGS.]
Gardner's interest in making instruments and playing music would continue to grow.
Around 1956, while working as a mechanic, Gardner was hired by singer and musician Charlie Monroe, the younger brother of bluegrass legend Bill Monroe.
But life on the road, playing banjo, was lonely.
Gardner was missing his children, community and church.
[OLEN GARDNER/MUSICIAN: SOMETIMES PEOPLE WOULD STAND AND WAIT FOR A THIRD SHOW, STAND IN LINE AT THEATRES AND STAND IN LINE FOR YOUR AUTOGRAPHS, YOU SEE THOSE PEOPLE, THOUSANDS OF FACES, BUT GO BACK TO YOUR HOTEL ROOM AND YOU'RE VERY LONELY, YOUR AWAY FROM HOME, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR COMMUNITY.]
Gardner quickly decided to forego his musical career---a decision he says he doesn't regret having gone on to find
fulfillment as a teacher at Christiansburg High School.
These days-- Gardner is retired but hasn't slowed down.
[OLEN GARDNER/MUSICIAN:WELL NO, I'M NOT IN BUSINESS, NO, I FIX A FEW GUITARS FOR FRIENDS, BUT I DON'T HAVE A BUSINESS.]
Gardner says he took up the hobby so he'll always have someone to play music with in the basement of his home in Rin
er--- a place he commonly refers to as his "pickin parlor".
And, while he mainly works for friends Gardner recently fixed a guitar for country music star, Ricky Van Shelton.
[WHEN HE WALKED IN, HE USED TO BE A PIPE FITTER AND I SAID, RICKY, I SURE AM GLAD YOU SHOWED UP, WE GOT TWO COMMODES THAT NEEDS FIXIN. ]
Gardner and Van Shelton may be "pickin" again in the near future.
Gardner is currently working on a guitar belonging to country music star's father.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Riner. ))
Up next--we'll take a look back at a mine explosion in Tazewell County several years ago.
More than one-hundred workers managed to escape.
But, 37 others lost their lives.
More on that when the news continues.
Forty-two years ago, many people in Tazewell County were still getting over the shock from a mine explosion that killed more than 30 people.
Andrew Freiden takes a look back in this week's Virginia Newsreel.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=About 2 am]
[SUPER=03-Tazewell Co.; :01]
[OUT Q=I'm Andrew Freiden]
(( About 2 am on February 4, 1957 a gas explosion occurred deep in the Pocahontas Fuel Company's mine at Bishop.
The accident claimed 37 lives.
It was not a loud blast, but it sent dust and fumes streaming through the corridors.
The victims were working on their shift for less than 2 hours and had no clue of the impending danger.
5 of the dead were even wearing special lamps that were supposed to indicate any unsafe gas buildup.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT Tape A9 55:04]
[IN Q=An Accumalation]
AN ACCUMULATION OF GAS EXPLODED AND KILLED 37 MEN APPROXIMATELY 177 WERE IN THE MINE AT THE TIME. 140 LEFT THE MINE THROUGH ANOTHER OPENING.
[OUT Q=through another opening]
Some of the men that escaped were put to work at the main entrance helping the rescue effort.
Family members and friends gathered around the opening of the mine waiting to hear any information about their loved ones.
The crowd remained calm yet concerned throughout the day. Removal of the victims began at 5 in the afternoon and finished by 6-30. They were brought out in mine cars.
In this explosion, much of the force of the blast escaped through an elevator shaft.
One published account said if the shaft did not exist it is possible that all 177 miners would have died.
That's Virginia Newsreel, I'm Andrew Freiden.))
And coming up, Roger Clemens talks about joining the New York Yankees Highlights from the ODAC basketball tournament.
And the Lady Hokies of Virginia Tech win a close one at the Cassell.
A quick pit stop on a caution put Mark Martin up front and he holds off Dale Jarrett to win the Dura Lube Big K Mart 400 at the Rock.
[SUPER=03-Rockingham, NC/TNN SPORTS; :]
Dale Earnhardt was on the move early in the race. Earnhardt was using the top of the track to moving from 18-th to 12-th place.
Jeff Burton would lead 35 laps until he backed off and let Jeff Gordon take over the point.
Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett were racing together for the sixth place spot on the track with 270 laps to go.
Moments later Burton, who won yesterday's busch race, would pull his car to the front Burton running in a pack of cars.
Then just past the halfway mark of the race the first caution of the day came out after Ernie Irvan got lose and hit the wall collecting several other cars.
Gordon developed engine problems and dropped out of the race.
That opened the door for Martin he would survive a couple of caution flags near the end of the race and hold on for the win at tthe Rock giving all the credit to his pit crew.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="They did...]
[SUPER=01-Mark Martin/Dura Lube 400]
[OUT Q=...I ever dreamed."]
Dale Jarrett was second, Bobby Labonte third, Jeff Burton fourth and Jeremy Mayfield fifth.
It was senior day in Blacksburg today and Lisa Witherspoon, Maria Albertsson, Katie O'Connor, Kelly Drinka and Michelle would play their final regular season game at the Cassell.
And Tech would hold off George Washington and get the 66 to 64 win.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Virginia Tech vs G.W.; :]
Tech coach Bonnie Hennrickson would start her five seniors against the Colonials this afternoon at the Cassell.
Tech gets it out on the opening tip off Witherspoon passing to Maria Albertson who scores the short jumper.
The Colonials could answer that when Mandissa Turner steps out and hits the jumper.
Tech runs the floor Witherspoon with the no look pass to Tere Williams and the Hokies would lead by 14 at the half.
But the Colonials would come back and take the lead in the second half when Marlo Egleston hits this jumper.
[SUPER=33-Virginia Tech/66/George Washington/64/;]
That's when the Hokie senior leadership took over Katie O'Connor would score 4 points in a row as Tech holds on for the 66 to 64 win.
The Lady Hokies are 25 and 1 overall and 15 and 1 in the Atlantic 10.
Hampden-Sydney is back in the championship game of the ODAC tournament. The Tigers beat Emory & Henry today 89 to 56.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Hamp-Sydney vs Emory & Henry; :]
Tony Shaver getting his Tigers fired up for the afternoon showdown.
And the Tigers come out on the hustle battling for the lose ball and getting it to Alex Robbins for the easy layup and the lead.
Emory and Henry would answer at the other end of the floor as Donald Thurston pulls up and hits this jumper at the free throw line but the Wasps trailed 62 to 43.
[SUPER=33-Hampden-Sydney/89/Emory & Henry/56/;]
The Tigers would add to that lead when Bobby Jackson takes it to the hoop for the score Hampden-Sydney advances with the 89 to 56 win.
In A-C-C action, Maryland was on the road at Georgia Tech this afternoon and the Terps rout the Yellow Jackets 91 to 60.
[SUPER=03-Atlanta, GA/RAYCOM; :]
Gary Williams coaching early in the game.
Georgia Tech would take it inside to Alvin Jones who throws down the jam cutting the Terp lead to three.
But Maryland went to the up tempo game this good ball movement resulted in this Steve Francis Jam and the Terps led 27 to 25.
The Terps opened it up in the second half Laron Profit with the pump fake and Jumper and Maryland beats Georgia Tech 91 to 60.
[GRAPHIC=New York Yankees]
Roger Clemens got acquainted with his Yankee teammates yesterday at the teams camp in Tampa Florida.
[SUPER=03-Tampa, FL; :]
The Rocket was fitted for his Yankee Pin stripes and the Cy Young award winning pitcher said he was thrilled and excited about pitching in Yankee Stadium.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="After talking]
[SUPER=01-Roger Clemens/Yankee Pitcher; :]
[OUT Q=....real exciting."]
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[SUPER=334-Mostly Cloudy/Flurries Early/5-10/Partly/Sunny/24-28;]
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