A man on Virginia's death row for killing a Salem woman turns to the U-S Supreme Court with hopes for a new trial.
And the case of the Marine pilot accused of more than 20 counts of manslaughter is ready to go to a military jury.
Rain showers have made their way into the viewing area..but those will change over to SNOW showers by this evening as temperatures take a dramatic fall.
Snow accumulations should stay very light, though.
The complete forecast, straight ahead.
News 7 at noon is next.
Convicted killer Tommy David Strickler's appeal went before the U-S Supreme Court this morning.
Strickler is on death row for the 1990 murder of Salem native Leann Whitlock.
He claims prosecutors withheld evidence during his trial that might have prevented him from getting the death penalty.
Strickler's execution HAD been set to be carried out last month ...before the court intervened.
[SS=US Supreme Court]
The justices heard oral arguments this morning.
It will likely be several weeks before they issue a ruling.
We'll have more on today's proceedings on News-7 at Five and Six.
The defense has finished its closing arguments at the court-martial of Captain Richard Ashby.
[SUPER=03-Camp Lejeune, NC;]
Ashby faces 20 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths of 20 skiers in Italy.
Ashby was at the controls of a Marine jet last year when it clipped a gondola cable and sent the skiers to their deaths.
Ashby says he relied on misinformation during the flight... but prosecutors contend he acted recklessly.
Well.. if you think you've heard enough of Monican Lewinsky... get ready for more.
A massive Monica blitz begins today on both sides of the Atlantic.
Her first broadcast interview will air in the U-S tonight.
But there's more in line abroad.
Mark Phillips reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Jon Snow/Channel 4 Anchorman; :31]
[SUPER=01-Mark Phillips/Reporting; 1:10]
[OUT Q=CBS News, London]
(( (ITN promo material -- Monica intvw graphics and clip)
It's Monica week here too.
(Promo material -- '... who really knows the truth')
The Monica blitz has gone trans-Atlantic.
(Tape -- for the first time on British television... Monica Lewinsky)
The interview will air tomorrow here... actually here there and everywhere.
(Israeli TV promo)
The British channel which paid Lewinsky about 600-thousand dollars for the interview has sold it on to outlets around the world. Lewinsky gets 70-percent of the take for the sell-on rights. This is the promo
for the Israeli version.
(Snow in newsroom)
The interview was done by respected British anchorman John Snow.
(SOT Jon Snow -- Channel 4 Anchorman)
0239 I had a problem in being part of the monica industry, but at least I was at the front end of it... (endit somewhere)
(Snow in newsroom)
It was because of Snow's reputation for not being a sleaze merchant that he was chosen for the interview. And if money changed hands -- he says -- that's show business.
0343 she was a commodity everybody knew the first itme out she had a value (mp) - one does it in the end. (JS) one does it in the end...
And how does Monica come across in the end?
she makes the case that she is no airhead, no california bimbo, she is a collected focussed, reasonable, open, sexual, sensual easy women but not a woman of easy virtue/14
(Phillips O/C close with papers)
Although this is easy money. Newspaper rights have been sold here too -- to the Mirror. Although the rival Sun today says it knows what's in the US television interview. And the gossip glossies around the world
have bought access as well. And Lewinsky will be up close and personal here next week, touring Britain, signing the book Diana author Andrew Morton has written on her behalf. She's expected to draw a crowd...))
Meanwhile, President Clinton is on Capitol Hill today helping Democrats roll out their 1999 "Families First'' agenda.
It includes saving Social Security and Medicare, plus initiatives on education and health care.
The agenda is to be formally adopted by members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses.
Not to be outdone, House Majority Leader Dick Armey and other Republicans have planned a gathering of their own to promote tax cuts.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
The Woods End site has been given a green light to become home to a new Southwest Roanoke County high school.
That's just one of the stories still ahead on News-7 at Noon.
And the music world is mourning the loss of a sixties singing legend.
First let's get a first check on the weather with Kimberly McBroom.
You don't want to get caught without an umbrella today...the rains have been fairly heavy at times in West Virginia.
Now those showers are starting to make some progress into southwest Virginia.
It's all coming from a strong cold front that's picked up some steam in the last several hours...
[music up full]
The pop singer who was sometimes called Britian's white soul diva has died.
Dusty Springfield passed away last night following a five year battle with breast cancer.
She broke into the music business in the 1950's and is best known for her hits from the 60's including Son of a Preacher man, and I only want to be with you.
Dusty Springfield was 59.
He was a teacher for 20 years and later a city official, but he became best known as co-host of the Public Television show, "Cookin' Cheap."
Yesterday, Laban Johnson passed away.
Keith Humphry takes a look back.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=When health]
[SUPER=04-June 1996; :00]
[SUPER=04-January 11, 1999; :10]
[SUPER=01-Carol Jennings/"Cookin' Cheap" Producer; :38]
[SUPER=04-February 4, 1997; :55]
[OUT Q=KH, News-7]
(( When health problems forced Johnson to retire as Roanoke's Special Events Co-ordinator three years ago, the mayor presented him- -not the KEY to the city- -but the LADLE.
His health improved. Johnson and Larry Bly- -his broadcast partner- -had just embarked on their 19th season of "Cookin' Cheap."
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:42:10 - from Mornin' fieldtape]
((WE'RE NOW, AS FAR AS WE KNOW, THE LONGEST-RUNNING COOKING SHOW ON TELEVISION. ))
[OUT Q=and say otherwise.]
At W-B-R-A, they were getting ready to tape another segment of the show. The producer knew there was something wrong when Johnson didn't appear by late afternoon.
She remembers him as an endless source of humor.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT Carol Jennings (tonight)]
[IN Q=He could make anybody laugh]
((HE COULD MAKE ANYBODY LAUGH. HE COULD TAKE SOMETHING AND TURN IT INTO SOMETHING THAT WOULD MAKE YOU SMILE.))
[OUT Q=make you smile.]
[NAT SOT-Johnson introduced - -back-to at podium]
[JOHNSON'S MY NAME; MONEY'S MY GAME]
But he could also be very serious... as he was when he pushed for teachers' pay raises.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT @2:45 on Beta from film]
[IN Q=The teachers are]
((THE TEACHERS ARE IN A BAD WAY. ))
[OUT Q=very small.]
In an interview just last year, Joe Dashiell asked Johnson whether he thought local folks were aware that he and Bly had achieved international fame through their syndicated show.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT @14:21:53 Joe-D's Beta fieldtape]
[IN Q=In my former job]
((IN MY FORMER JOB IN SPECIAL EVENTS, IT USED TO IRRITATE ME GREATLY WHEN I WOULD GO TO MEETINGS AND EVERYBODY WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT HOW WE GET THE NAME OF ROANOKE OUT AND WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO AND HOW MUCH DO WE HAVE TO SPEND. AND LARRY AND I HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR 17 YEARS.))
[OUT Q=for 17 years.]
Laban Johnson dead at age 57.))
We spoke with Larry Bly on the phone last night.
He says he's in shock over Johnson's death- and went on to say it's been a great 19 years.
Two people were hurt in an accident in northwest Roanoke this morning.
It happened around 11 o'clock.
A van belonging to Total Action Against Poverty hit a utility pole at the intersection of 10th Street and Hanover Avenue and overturned.
Police say the driver and a passenger were both taken to the hospital. No word on their conditions
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke Co. Seal]
A new Southwest Roanoke County high school has cleared another hurdle.
Over the objection of neighbors, the planning commission approved a special use permit for the Woods End Property last night.
Eric Earnhart has details.
[IN Q=The strongest opposition]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Steve Jacobs/Pleasant Hill Dr. Resident; :09]
[SUPER=01-Craig Mitchell/Kingston Court Homeowners Assn.; :17]
[super=01-Tabitha Rand/Cave Spring Tenth Grader; :28]
[super=01-Al Thomason/Commission Member; :48]
[super=01-Martha Hooker/Commission Chair; 1:03]
[OUT Q=Eric Earnhart, News 7]
Also last night, the commission rejected a request to rezone property earmarked for the ill-fated Home Depot project.
The owners, Springwood associates, want the site zoned commercial, and suggested they might put some fast food restaurants on the property.
The Commission rejected the proposal because there was no specific site plan.
Springwood's lawyer questioned why the commission would REJECT commercial development NOW, if it was willing to APPROVE a Home Depot store before.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I'm disappointed]
((ED NATT/ATTORNEY; I'M DISAPPOINTED, I DISAGREE WITH THEIR THOUGHTS AND PHILOSOPHY TO SOME DEGREE, I THINK THAT SPRINGWOOD DID EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO TRY AND GET THIS MATTER BROUGHT FORWARD IN AN APPROPRIATE WAY AND I'M JUST REALLY FRUSTRATED WITH THE PROCESS
[time code 03:00:45]
PATRICIA MEADOR/NEIGHBOR; THIS TIME THEY REALLY DID THEIR JOB, THEY'VE MADE MISTAKES BEFORE AND OBVIOUSLY THEY DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT AGAIN.))
[SUPER=01-Ed Natt/Springwood Attorney;]
[SUPER=01-Patricia Meador/Neighbor; :18]
[OUT Q=do it again]
Commission members told Springwood to come back with a specific plan, and they'll consider it.
[TAPE#= 98-82 TC 1:10:20]
Looks can be deceiving when it comes to Virginia's weather.
It certainly looks like a tornado touched down on this Indian Valley farm, but the damage was caused by a severe thunderstorm.
Severe Thunderstorms can be just as damaging as tornadoes.
[SOT 18:58:33 MIKE EMLAW TAPE]
((MIKE EMLAW/NWS: A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM HAS WIND SPEEDS OF 58 MILES PER HOUR OR GREATER. AND CAN PRODUCE WIND SPEEDS UP TO 120 MILES AN HOUR.))
[OUT Q=MILES AN HOUR]
[TAKE FULL SCREEN BOARD -- TONIGHT]
Learn more about tornadoes tonight on News 7 at six.
Andrew Freiden will present the second part of his series called "Virginia Tornadoes."
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
After a dry summer and fall, the water level at Smith Mountain Lake is finally getting back to normal.
That story is up next on News-7 at Noon.
And surfing the web turned into big money for a Roanoke couple.
Find out how in just a minute.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Smith Mountain Lake is back to normal levels.
American Electric Power says now they can go back to releasing the usual amount of water through the dam.
Last fall's drought had drained lake levels to four feet BELOW normal -- creating public safety hazards and threatening electric power production.
For almost three months -- officials had been forced to release LESS water from the lake but now they say enough rain has fallen to fill the lake.
If you think surfing the web is simply another way to pass the time, there's at least one local man who'll tell you differently.
Warren Burch of Roanoke hit the jackpot when he entered a contest on the internet.
He and his wife were in the market for a home, so they visited the realtor-dot-com website... and came away with 250-thousand dollars to put toward their dream home.
That's AFTER they entered the company's "Win Your Next Home" sweepstakes.
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was DOWN four points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead in sports, Cooperstown prepares to welcome four more into it's folds.
And are the Eagles still the undefeated kings of Independent Conference basketball?
We'll have highlights from last night's shootout with Fork Union, when News 7 at Noon continues.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
Virginia Tech tipped it off with Fordham about twenty minutes ago in the first round of the Atlantic Ten conference tournament. Right now, the game is tied up at 13 with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
Two Hokies have been named to the A-Ten's all-conference team.
Senior guard Eddie Lucas and Sophomore forward Rolan Roberts received the honor.
[TAPE#=SP-36 tc 20:00]
[GRAPHIC=High school hoops]
Number twenty-seven is not in the cards for Roanoke Valley Christian.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Fork Union vs RVC;]
The Eagles faced off with Fork Union Military Academy in the Virginia Indepentent Conference Division one playoffs.
R-V-C starts off well- getting the ball to Justin Hurt, who hits the jumper.
But Fork Union would go on a tear. Barry Carew hits the three from the wing and Fork Union was up by nine.
The Eagles storm back. Allen Neff drives to the hoop for the easy lay-in.
But Fork Union uses good ball movement, as Eric Holmes knocks down the three and Fork Union ends the Eagles' season with the 79 to 71 win.
Roanoke Catholic advanced in Division two by beating Fuqua 68-to-47.
Catholic plays in Richmond tonight.
[TAPE#=SP-31 tc 47:50]
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke vs Toledo]
The Express did something it hasn't done all season-- beat the Toledo Storm.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Toledo vs Roanoke;]
Loco was on hand, just in case the team needed some help on the ice.
But Roanoke led four to one after the first period. Then Toledo would cut into that lead. Erin Boh gets the shot in the net, and it's four-two Express.
Roanoke goalie Daniel Berthiaume did his best to keep the Storm at bay. He had twenty-five saves on the night.
The Express would add to the lead when Dan O'Connell knocks it in off of a Toledo skater. Roanoke wins this one in the Roundhouse six to three.
[TAPE#=SP-38 tc 15:33]
George Lynch and the Philadelphia 76ers, are proving they're among the best in the NBA.
The Sixers are 9-and-5 after having won five in a row.
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC/Last Night; :00]
Philly had a night off after hammering the Wizards 104 to 91 Monday night.
Lynch has started all 14 games for his new team and is currently second in the league in steals. He's averaging 9 points and seven rebounds a game.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="You Know...]
[SUPER=01-George Lynch/76ers Forward; :00]
[OUT Q=...TO ME."]
Lynch is in his sixth season in the league, and his stats this year are his best since his rookie season with the Lakers in 19-93.
The Sixers host the Bulls tonight.
Former PGA tour member Chip Sullivan is returning to Roanoke to become the head golf professional at Ashley Plantation in Daleville, a new course opening in May.
Sullivan traveled with the tour in 19-97.
He made 11 cuts that year, and was ranked in the top five in driving distance.
Last year, he was in Greenville, South Carolina and served as the Greenville Country Club Golf pro.
Sullivan has a Nike Card, that he plans to use in three upcoming tour events. First the M-C-I Classic in Hilton Head, followed by the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic, and finally the Energy Classic in New Orleans.
Four more members joined the Baseball Hall of Fame's class of 19-99.
Leading the pack is Orlando (suh-pay-dah)Cepeda, the N-L rookie of the year in 19-58, who went on to be the league's first unanimous choice for Most Valuable Player in 19-67.
Former umpire Nestor (shy-lack)Chylak, turn- of the-century manager Frank Selee and Negro League pitcher Smokey Joe Williams were also selected.
The four were elected by the Hall's special committee. They join Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin (yownt)Yount, who were elected in January by the Baseball Writer's Association of America.
Induction ceremonies will be held July twenty-fifth in Cooperstown, New York.
Sterling Marlin isn't playing for the Redskins, but he is suiting up for former head coach Joe Gibbs.
Gibbs racing announced yesterday that Marlin will drive a new Busch Series car for six races this season.
Marlin will have sponsorship from Richmond-based Circuit City.
Bobby Labonte will continue driving Gibbs' full-time team sponsored by M-B-N-A, beginning Saturday in Las Vegas.