Casino gambling is closer than ever to our corner of the world.
Tonight on news 7, we'll take you just across the state line where it has become a very real possibility.
A deadly accident on the Interstate- - one of three mishaps one after another on 81 this morning.
The future of golf is alive and well in a phenom in Martisville and the Lady Hokies are in the Sweet 16 for the first time.
The next stop is Greensboro and meeting with one of the storied women's basketball programs in the country--Pat Summit's Tennessee Volunteers.
Enjoying this break now as temperatures soar. Look for readings in the 70s tomorrow.
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Casino gambling just 90 minutes from Roanoke --
A famous resort is close to state approval ... but opponents say "no dice".
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.[Greenbrier]
After years of debate, it now appears that voters in West Virginia will decide whether to allow casino gambling at the Greenbrier.
And with a referendum on the way, the stakes are growing.
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The Greenbrier is a five-star resort- -about a 90-minute drive from Roanoke- - just across the state line in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Keith & Joe/Newsroom]
Joe Dashiell spent the day there, and tonight he is in the newsroom tonight with a look at the latest chapter in the gambling debate.
[Live= Joe in the newsroom]
Keith, both houses of the West Virginia Legislature approved the bill. While it still awaits the governor's signature, there is every indication that a local referendum is on the way.
[IN Q=For the Greenbrier]
[SUPER=03-White Sulphur Springs; :00]
[SUPER=07-Spencer Smith; :17]
[SUPER=07-Melissa Dolin; :24]
[SUPER=01-Carol Hall/Mountain Messenger Editor; :42]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Julian Sulgit/United Methodist Minister; 1:05]
[OUT Q=continue to expand.]
((For the Greenbrier, gambling is a way to bring in more guests and fill more hotel rooms during the off-season.
In White Sulphur Springs where many residents are employed by the resort, or benefit indirectly from its presence, there is strong support, for gambling and the economic advantanges it promises.
[IN Q=More job opportunities]
((SPENCER SMITH: MORE JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND EVERYTHING. AS IT IS RIGHT NOW IT'S HARD TO FIND WORK UP HERE.))
((MELISSA DOLIN: I FEEL LIKE WE ALREADY HAVE IT IN WEST VIRGINIA, IN CHARLESTOWN WITH THE HORSE RACING AND IN CHARLESTON WITH THE DOG RACING TRACK.))
[OUT Q=dog racing track.]
The Greenbrier hopes to open a Monte Carlo style casino for overnight guests in the space that once served as a cold war bunker for members of Congress.
But right now, newspaper editor Carol Hall isn't offering any odds.
[SOT EDITOR 25:17]
[IN Q=There are probably three sides]
((CAROL HALL/MOUNTAIN MESSENGER EDITOR: THERE ARE PROBABLY THREE SIDES. THERE IS THE CHURCH SIDE. THERE'S THE GREENBRIER SIDE, AND THERE'S ANOTHER SIDE THAT SAYS THE GREENBRIER DOESN'T NEED IT.))
[OUT Q=doesn't need it.]
United Methodist Minister Julian Sulgit isn't among the most vocal opponents... Many in his congregation work for the Greenbrier... but church law condemns gambling... and he fears the precedent that a Greenbrier casino would set.
[IN Q=While I can't say]
((REV. JULIAN SULGIT/UNITED METHODIST MINISTER: WHILE I CAN'T SAY THAT ANYONE KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE THAT WILL PROJECT NEXT, THERE IS A LOT OF FEAR THAT ONCE IT BEGINS AS IT DID PROBABLY WITH THE LOTTERY, IT WILL CONTINUE TO EXPAND.))
[OUT Q=will continue to expand.]))
[Live= Joe full/Newsroom]
Sulgit says there are as many different perspectives on the issue as mebers of his congregation. It's more complicated than asking whether someone is for gambling or against it.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Joe/Newsroom]
But Keith, you can count on both sides becoming more organized they look toward a local referendum.
(IS THERE ANY INDICATION WHEN A REFERENDUM WOULD BE HELD?)
A man was killed instantly in a wreck on I-81 just before day-break this morning.
Harold Leslie Bostwick was heading north on the Interstate just past the Ironto rest area- -when he came up on slow moving traffic- -apparently without realizing it.
Police found no skid marks on the pavement and say there's no indication Bostwick ever slowed down before he rammed into the back of a tractor trailer rig doing about 30-miles an hour.
Police believe the victim was from Narrows, but they haven't been able to confirm that.
The city police officer who pepper- sprayed a suspect with fatal results last year in Roanoke has been sued by a prominent local attorney.
Jonathan Rogers says Officers M-L Pendleton and M-G Vinyard assaulted and handcuffed him at a party on his property a year and a half ago.
Rogers was photographed, fingerprinted and held in the city jail for two hours... for what started out as a noise complaint.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I never expected]
((I NEVER EXPECTED TO BE ARRESTED FOR INSISTING ON THEM HAVING A SEARCH WARRANT. I DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING PHYSICAL TOWARD THE POLICE. I MERELY SPOKE WHAT THE LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRE. AND FOR THAT I WAS ARRESTED.))
[SUPER=01-Jonathan Rogers/Attorney & Roanoke Resident]
[OUT Q=I was arrested]
Charges against HIM were dismissed. He got a written apology from the police department. But Rogers wants a f
ederal jury to hear his story[Jail-Death]
An inmate at the Roanoke jail was found dead in his cell this morning.
Authorities say he used a disposable razor blade to kill himself.
[TAKE GFX PAGE FULL]
51-year-old Steve Brick was being held on federal bond violations.
Deputies made a routine bed check last night, and thought he was asleep.
When they tried to wake him this morning, they saw that he'd cut himself on his wrists and neck.
He was pronounced dead at the jail.
Fans are still signing up for tickets to Saturday's match up between the Lady Hokies and Tennessee Lady Volunteers.
By noon, well over a thousand fans had placed orders at the Tech Coliseum.
The Lady Hokies advanced to the Sweet Sixteen after beating Auburn last night.
The Tech ticket office was originally allotted just 200- tickets but officials quickly asked for more.
Some say interest in the Lady Hokies is at an all time high.
[IN Q= I can't]
((ROBERT VAN LUYN/LADY HOKIE FAN:I CAN'T EXPRESS IT, IT'S JUST EXCITING, IT'S WONDERFUL AND THE SPIRIT IS JUST ENORMOUS, WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL HERE, WE USED TO PACK THIS PLACE, EVERY BASKETBALL GAME AND THAT'S THE WAY IT IS NOW WITH THE GIRLS AND IT'S GOING TO BE THAT WAY WITH THE MEN.))
[SUPER=01-Robert van Luyn/Lady Hokie Fan; :00]
[OUT Q=with the men.]
The university is still taking orders at the Tech Coliseum and by phone.
The cost is 30- dollars per ticket.
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Will Lynchburg close schools on Martin Luther King's birthday? Still ahead, the city takes it up tonight.
And Virginia farmers are receiving a lot less for the milk they deliver ... but are you seeing those savings at the store?
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[SUPER=83-Down 0.30 foot/Down 1.08 feet][Milk-Prices]
Dairy farmers are suffering from the biggest price cut in 30 years, but that may mean lower prices in the dairy case.
[USE TAPE 98-5 OR 98-45 FOR FILE VIDEO]
The price farmers earn for milk has plunged almost 40-percent in one month.
A Botetourt County dairyman says the typical local farmer will lose about ten thousand dollars a month.
The Farm Bureau says the drop is due to lower grain prices, more milk production and the end of the holiday boom.
Those officials predict you'll still pay the same price at the grocery store, but one milk processor who supplies Kroger says he's lowered his prices by 47-cents a gallon.
The debate over whether to give Lynchburg city employees and school children the day off for Martin Luther King's birthday is taking center stage today.
Lynchburg city staff has recommended replacing the President's Day holiday with Martin Luther King Day as an official city holiday.
Simply ADDING King Day as another paid holiday would cost the city about 200- thousand dollars.
But at least one council member says that's a small price to pay.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's not so]
((ED BARKSDALE/LYNCHBURG COUNCIL MEMBER: IT'S NOT SO MUCH FOR PEOPLE HAVING A DAY OFF FROM WORK, IT'S RECOGNIZING THE THINGS THAT THIS MAN HAS DONE HISTORICALLY, IT'S NOT JUST TO GIVE PEOPLE THE DAY OFF.))
[SUPER=01-Ed Barksdale/Lynchburg Council Member; :00]
[OUT Q=the day off.]
Council just finished listening to 45 minutes of public debate on the topic. They'll make a decision next Tuesday.
The Lynchburg school board will address the issue tonight.
Lynchburg city council today also got good news about the renovation of the city's historic Kemper Street train station.
Overhauling the century- old structure is expected to cost about three and a half million dollars.
But thanks to state and federal grants, officials DON'T expect the city will have to kick in any of that money.
Project director Bob White also says safety concerns about the area are overblown.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This will go]
((BOB WHITE/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: THIS WILL GO A LONG WAY IN SHOWING AND ILLUSTRATING THAT LYNCHBURG'S INNER CITY AREA IS A GOOD PLACE, A PLACE THAT WE CAN BE PROUD OF AND A PLACE THAT WILL PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR COMMUNITY IN THE FUTURE.))
[SUPER=01-Bob White/Lynchburg Economic Development; :00]
[OUT Q=in the future.]
White says the project is one year ahead of schedule.
Lynchburg's Greyhound bus operation also plans to move into the terminal once it's renovated.
A Pulaski County school teacher- -is suing the school board, because he believes he's a victim of sex, age and racial discrimination.
Ted Viers is 55 years old, a white man. For 20 years he'd been a Vocational Guidance Counselor... up until a year ago. He says he was replaced by a younger black woman.
The E-E-O-C granted him the right to sue in federal court.
The Dow reached 10-thousand for the first time today, but it couldn't stay there.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
Wall Street's most closely-watched average finished 28 points lower when the day was done, but NASDAQ rose eight.
The governor has until the end of this month to approve, change, or veto bills, including the food tax cut.
So local Democrats are asking him to see things their way.
They say cutting the food tax by two cents over two years is not enough.
They want twice as much of a reduction in HALF the time.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We currently]
((DEL. CHIP WOODRUM/ (D) ROANOKE: WE CURRENTLY HAVE A BUDGET IN VIRGINIA, A SUPRLUS OF ALMOST A BILLION DOLLARS. MAKING VIRGINIANS WAIT FOR THE FOOD TAX CUT UNITL THE YEAR 2000 REALLY DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.
DEL. MORGAN GRIFFITH/ (R) SALEM: WELL OF COURSE THEY CAN SAY THAT BUT THE MONEY COMES OUT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. IT COMES OUT OF EDUCATION, AND IT COMES OUT OF HIGHWAY TRUST MONEY. SO I THINK THAT'S A DANGEROUS THING TO DO WITHOUT MAKING SURE WE HAVE THE FUNDS TO DO THAT.))
[OUT Q=make sense]
Democrats also want to give patients the right to sue H-M-O's, which Republicans say will raise the cost of health insurance.
"They shall be accounted poet kings
Who simply tell the most heart easing things."
So wrote the poet John Keats-- the first poet to inspire Virginia's newest Poet Laureate.
Ellen Qualls has his story.
[IN Q=It's hard]
[SUPER=01-Joseph Awad/Poet Laureate of Virginia; :00]
[SUPER=03-Richmond; :13 QUICK ]
[SUPER=03-Charlottesville; :30 QUICK]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
(([SOT 14:58:33 ]
((JOSEPH AWAD/POET LAUREATE OF VIRGINIA: IT'S HARD TO EXPLAIN. LIKE A LOT OF WRITERS OR POETS, I'VE JUST FOUND IT'S BEEN A KIND OF A COMPULSION.))
Virginia's newest Poet Laureate may be only at a loss for words when talking about himself.
Joseph Awad is an award-winner, and the first Poet Laureate chosen NOT by the state legislature, but by a Virginia Governor, Jim Gilmore.
[SOT 14:53:16 ]
((I THINK VIRGINIA IS VERY FORTUNATE THAT POETRY IS VERY, VERY MUCH ALIVE HERE.))
Indeed it is.
The University of Virginia is hotbed of Pulitzer prize winning poets-- including last year's winner Charles Wright.
The last Poet Laureate of the United States and a Pulitzer winner herself is U-V-A's Rita Dove.
Does Awad carry an extra weight in representing them?
[SOT 15:01:06 ]
((JOSEPH AWAD: I SURE DO. IT'S REALLY VERY HUMBLING. WHEN YOU THINK OF ALL THE FINE POETS THERE ARE IN VIRGINIA.))
Awad says he'll do whatever his two year stint will allow to stimulate an interest in poetry among Virginians.
[SOT 15:07:59 ]
((SEE HOW HE LOVES ME. SUNLIGHT. RACING. PORCH STEPS. HE FLIES INTO MY ARMS, ENGULFING ME LIKE SUMMER. IN A SMALL BOY'S EYES. JOY.))
As a father of ten, his own poetry is informed by family and spirituality.
This about a son:
[SOT 15:08:29 ]
((I WOULD DIE FOR HIM. HE HANGS ON TIGHT, AS IF I MIGHT.))
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
Coming up in sports, the preparations begin for Virginia Tech's match up with Tennessee.
and Tiger Woods better start looking over his shoulder. This young man plans to make a run at the PGA someday. Roy Stanley has the story when we return.
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[GRAPHIC=Women's Final four]
The Lady Hokies achieved another milestone with last night 's 76-61 win over Auburn.
Virginia Tech is headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.
This was Tech's first victory over an S-E-C team in the N-C-Double-A Tournament.
The Lady Hokies will face another Southeastern Conference team--Tennessee, on Saturday.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=it's a step]
[SUPER=01-Bonnie Henrickson/Va Tech Head Coach;]
[OUT Q=about continuing]
The next step in the chase for a national championship is in Greensboro.
The team didn't practice today, but coaches started preparing for the Tennessee Volunteers.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=On saturday]
[Super=03-Knoxville, TN/NCAA Productions;]
Pat Summitt's Volunteers reached the East regionals by beating Boston College last night.
B-C kept it close in the first half and were only one point down at the intermission.
But Tennessee demonstrated why it's one of the best teams in the nation by pulling off the 89-62 win over the Eagles.
Tip off for Saturday's nationally televised game is two o'clock in Greensboro.[S-Jerel]
At 10 years old, many young athletes dream of playing in the Final Four.
But for one young Martinsville golfer the dream is the P-G-A tour.
Roy Stanley has more on this prodigy.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Jerel Whiting/Junior Golfer; :22]
[SUPER=01-Brad Whiting/Jerel's Father; :44]
[OUT Q=......NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
((At age 10, Whiting is already making waves on the junior golf tour. He was recently featured in National Geographic World after being named the player of the year in his second year competiting on the Plantations Junior Tour.
And then there's the comparison with his idol Tiger Woods. And Jerel hears that everywhere he plays.))
((JEREL WHITING/JUNIOR GOLFER:))
((The shy 10 year old hopes to pattern his game after Woods but it's his father Brad that got him started playing golf at the age of 4.
Those afternoon trips to the Linwood country Club were to improve Brads game but before he knew it, Jerel was putting up numbers better than dad.))
((BRAD WHITING/JEREL'S FATHER:))
((Jerel competed in the Junior World Cup golf tournament and finished 21-st out of 98 golfers.
And during a trip to Maryland, He shot a 90 from the white tees on the long Congressional Golf Course.))
McGwire and Sosa got much of the credit for bringing baseball back with their bats last season,
but the Cubs' Kerry Wood was the man who created excitement on the mound with his fast ball.
Unfortunately, he will have to miss the enitre upcoming season.
An MRI done today revealed that a ligament in his throwing elbow is completely torn.
The Roanoke Express is at the Roudhouse tonight skating against Richmond in special one of a kind jerseys.
After tonight's game, the Express jerseys will be autographed, and then this Friday night they will be auctioned off to help benefit the area's Muscular Dystrophy Association chapter.
The Express hope the jerseys also help them snap a three game losing skid at home.
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A second grader in Henry County is being called a hero tonight, credited with saving a man's life.
7-year old Derek DePeau (De POE) was playing with his sister in the wooded area behind their home in Ridgeway on Friday evening.
That's when he noticed smoke coming from the roof of an elderly neighbor's home.
He raced back to his house, grabbed the phone and called 9-1-1.
Derek told his parents about the fire, and they acted immediately.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I just told them]
((DEREK DEPEAU/HERO: I JUST TOLD THEM THE HOUSE WAS ON FIRE DOWN BACK. MY MOM RAN STRAIGHT TO THE DOOR AND LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW AND MY DAD WAS IN HERE. AND THEY BOTH RAN DOWN THERE AND GOT HIM OUT. ))
((ALLEN DEPEAU/DEREK'S DAD: HE HAD THE PHONE IN HIS HAND AND HAD IT PRETTY MUCH UNDER CONTROL AND WE'RE REAL PROUD OF HIM.))
[SUPER=01-Derek DePeau/Hero; :00]
[SUPER=01-Allen DePeau/Derek's Dad; :12]
[OUT Q=real proud of him.]
The family of the man Derek and his family saved from the fire sent them gifts of balloons, candy and flowers to show their appreciation.
The DePeaus say they're not heroes. They did what anyone else would have done and are just thankful they were home when the fire broke out.
(Weekday 6 only)
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