Coming up on news 7, an uproar in Richmond, over the removal of a mural of Robert E. Lee.
And Jerry Springer faces a hostile crowd ... not his audience, Chicago City Council.
Heading into another weekend that looks dry and warm. Details ahead.
In medical news --
Will the company that's taking over Trigon's Medicare business preserve local jobs?
Plus -- you've heard the cons now two new studies report the benefits to using antibacterial soaps.
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An historic canal re-opens in Richmond.
And yes, that's the nation's only elected black governor saluting the most potent symbol of the Confederacy.
[SOT 13:39:05 ]
[IN Q=I saluted]
((KENNY BRITTON/CONFEDERATE PROTESTER: I SALUTED HIM BACK. I'M NOT SURE WHAT HE MEANT. laughs))
[SUPER=01-Kenny Britton/Confederate Protester; QUICK!]
Good afternoon, I'm Keith Humphry.
Cultures continued to clash in Richmond today.
But it now seems likely that Robert E. Lee's face will go back up on the flood wall.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Ellen/Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom with the latest.
Keith, we wanted to show you Doug Wilder's impromptu salute because it's classic Doug Wilder... and because it is community leaders like Wilder who set the tone today.
And that's a tone of "don't worry-- we'll work it out."
[IN Q=we want Lee!]
[SUPER=01-Kenny Britton/Confederate Protester; :23 ]
[SUPER=01-Tim Kaine/Richmond Mayor; :30 ]
[OUT Q=few tweaks.]
((WE WANT LEE! WE WANT LEE!))
There was NO avoiding the Confederate protest.
Richmond dignitaries spent three years and boatloads of money restoring the historic Kanawha Canal that opened up commerce between Tidewater and western Virginia.
But the removal Wednesday of Robert E. Lee's face from the banners along the floodwall opened the floodgates of protest.
((KENNY BRITTON/CONFEDERATE PROTESTER: I READ IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER WHAT THEY DONE TO MY GENERAL. AND SOME OF THE THINGS THAT SA'AD EL-AMIN SAID ABOUT HIM. COMPARED HIM TO ADOLPH HITLER.))
((TIM KAINE/RICHMOND MAYOR: THERE'S GONNA BE CITIZEN'S COMMITTEE. WE HAD VERY GOOD HISTORICAL...MAY BE A FEW TWEAKS. ))
Former Governor Wilder says his view is that there IS a place for Lee at the Canal... and he thinks the mural will be returned.
We'll hear from him and First Lady Roxane Gilmore on NEWS 7 at SIX.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Ellen/Microwave][5-Ross]
A last-minute guilty plea will keep a Bedford County teenager off death row.... but send him to prison for the rest of his life.
17 year old Randy Dwayne Ross pled guilty today, to the capital murder and robbery of a Liberty High School student last year.
17 year old Jamelle Poindexter was shot to death September 6th ... Ross and a female accomplice then robbed Poindexter of his shoes, jewelry and a car.
Ross pled guilty staight up on all counts ...in exchange for two life sentences without parole.
The victim's family testified, and we will hear some of what they said on News 7 at 6.
In Southside... a friendship that unexpectedly turned into robbery and murder.
That was the story in a Henry County courtroom today. Two women shot at Taylor's Little Grocery in April took the witness stand in the preliminary hearing for Michael Anthony Ramey.
Ramey is charged with capital murder and more than a dozen other felonies.
Dale Cobb, Ramey's former girlfriend, and Pamela Sue Risaliti (riz-uh -LEE-tee) say that Ramey shot them and killed their co-worker in what started as a friendly visit to the store.
Susan Hylton died from a bullet wound to the back of her head.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:17:40 - 15:18:14]
[IN Q=All I can remember]
[SUPER=01-Pamela Sue Risaliti/Store Clerk;]
((PAMELA SUE RISALITI: ALL I CAN REMEMBER IS HER BEGGING FOR HER LIFE, THEN I HEARD THE GUN COCK, THEN I HEARD A SHOT, THEN I COULD HEAR HER BEGGING HIM MORE. THEN I HEARD AND FELT TWO SHOTS.))
[OUT Q=felt two shots.]
The case goes before a grand jury in July.
A Montgomery County judge this afternoon formally sentenced Bud Pritchett for robbing and killing a man outside the Ironto rest area.
A jury in April convicted Pritchett of first degree murder and called for a sentence of life in prison.
Today Pritchett showed little emotion as Circuit Judge Ray Grubbs imposed the sentenced.
Pritchett shot and killed Estel Singleton two years ago.
His attorneys are appealing the conviction.
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Mechanical problems may be a part of the deadly plane crash in Arkansas. Still ahead on News 7, we'll tell you what investigators are learning.
Next, Jerry Springer goes before Chicago's city council to answer the question, are these fights real? And if they are, why isn't anyone arrested?
Today on HealthCheck, be careful where you put that outdoor bug zapper. You may want to keep it away from the picnic table.
[ANCHOR=Jean 2 Shot]
And it's a first ... an openly gay U-S ambassador. But we'll tell you why it's not permanent.[5-Springer]
TV talk show host Jerry Springer wasn't asking the questions today.
Instead, he was ANSWERING some tough questions about his fight-filled program, as Chicago City Council wonders whether the fights are real .. and if they are, why no one ever gets in trouble for them.
Drew Levinson has the story.
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[SUPER=01-Jerry Springer/Talk Show Host;]
[SUPER=01-Richard Daley/Chicago Mayor;]
[OUT Q=CBS News, Chicago.]
[GRAPHIC=MD 80 Plane Crash]
Survivors and relatives of victims placed wreaths and flowers at the site of Tuesday night's plane
crash in Little Rock.
[SUPER=03-Little Rock, AR]
Eight charter buses carried about 300 to view the crumpled remains of American Airlines Flight 14-20. The plane crashed as it was landing, killing nine people, injuring another 83.
Some of those who returned today were in wheelchairs and wore neck braces.
Investigators say wing flaps used to slow down the plane were not deployed. And thrust reversers--also meant to reduce speed--did not stay on through the landing.
Also a mystery: why the pilot decided to land during a severe hail storm -- carrying wind gusts of more than 75 miles per hour.
Investigators say the crew received constant weather updates-- including two warnings about dangerous wind sheer.
It was ten years ago today Chineese demonstrators marched in Tiananmen Square.
It's mostly closed to the public now.
Displays of sympathy for the 1989 protest were muted by tight security in places were gatherings might be held.
Workmen are putting the finishing touches of a face-lift on the Square for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic later this year.
In Hong Kong tonight 100 of demonstrators held a candlelight vigil to mourn those killed in a decade ago.
They laid wreaths draped in traditional black and white mourning banners around a temporary monument inscribed: "The martyrs of democracy will never die."
President Clinton is bypassing Senate opposition .. in appointing a gay-rights supporter as ambassador to Luxemburg.
Senate conservatives have blocked the nomination of James Hormel for two years.
But with the senate on a long holiday break, the president made what's called a "recess appointment".
Hormel's appointment is good only through the end of next year.
Some of the region's finest artists are now out on the streets--literally.
Patrick Evans will have details on an exciting weekend show.
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The Sidewalk Art Show is an annual tradition at Festival in the Park, and coming up this weekend you'll find downtown streets lined with handsome original works of art.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Patrick/Microwave]
Patrick Evans takes us there with a preview of this year's selection.
[SUPER=01-Yvonne Olson/Sidewalk Art Show;]
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The walls come tumbling down. Still ahead on News 7, a well-known building in Charlotte is destroyed in seconds.
Health officials are warning New Jersey residents not to touch some infected rabbits let loose in the city.
Plus -- are bug zappers more harmful than helpful? The answer -- next on health check.
When Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield announced it would no longer file claims for Medicare ... it looked like 145 people would lose their jobs.
But there's word today that a health care provider out of Wisconsin will take over that Medicare business ... and hold onto Trigon's workers.
[Double Boxes=Tonya and Scott/Newsroom]
Scott Goldberg has been following this and has details now from our newsroom.
[Live= Scott Full/Newsroom]
Tonya, it looked like the Trigon employees -- including 70 here in Roanoke -- would be out of work by this fall...
Until Blue Cross Blue Shield United of Wisconsin came to the rescue.
That company, based in Milwaukee, is going to do the work Trigon said it would stop doing last month ...
Filing Medicare Part A claims with the federal government.
Trigon said that Medicare business was slowing the company's growth...
And dumping that division would let Trigon focus on money-making commercial health care accounts.
United of Wisconsin says it will offer jobs to all of the 145-former Trigon workers...
[Live= Scott Full/Newsroom]
And that those people will be able to keep working in their current hometowns.
None of this affects Virginians who use Medicare.
Their benefits will stay the same ... the only difference is their claims will be processed by another company.
[Double Boxes=Tonya and Scott/Newsroom]
The former Trigon workers start working for their new bosses by August.
New Jersey residents are under a health scare.
Authorities say about one hundred sickly rabbits are loose near a park in Fairfield, and they think more than a dozen are still at large.
The rabbits have shaved front legs, bloody noses and eye problems which lead police to believe they may have been used in medical labs for testing.
They're warning people not to pick up the animals.
A dozen of them are dead, and health officials say the rest will have to be put to sleep because they're so sick.
Police are still looking for the people responsible for dumping the animals.
[Take video here]
New evidence reveals antibacterial soaps do kill germs.
The effectiveness has been questioned in past studies that indicated they actually made resistant bacteria stronger.
Two new reports prove the soaps and cleaners reduce the risk of bacterial infections by up to 20 times.
Researchers say people who have a tendency to develop skin infections, including the elderly, children and people who live in tropical, humid climates, may benefit from routine use of antibacterial soaps.
It may be a good idea to move your bug zapper away from the picnic table.
A new study shows that when flies are vaporized in a bug zapper they may spray bacteria as far as SIX feet away.
Microbiologists experimented with insects and found that one out of every 4,000 viruses on a fly's surface is spread through electrocution.
While that is a high number, it is a sharp contrast when compared with only one in a million viruses that can be spread if INSIDE the fly.
Most bacteria isn't harmful, but you may want to eat more than six feet from the zapper.
[KEITH & TONYA ON CAMERA]
Its qualifying day in Delaware.
Mike Stevens has the results in our two-minute ticker.
Welcome everybody to the start of the weekend, and as is usually the case on Friday we begin the Two Minute Ticker on the Winston Cup track.
After two long weeks in Charlotte for the Winston and Coca-Cola 600, the circuit pulled into Dover, Delaware this morning.
[SUPER=03-Dover, DE/SpeedVision; :00]
This afternoon at 3:30, 46 cars went out on the track for first round qualifying.
Jeff Burton, the new million dollar man, who sat on the outside pole at Charlotte and then won the race, wasn't even in the ball park today as he finished 40th.
But Bobby Labonte continued his torrid streak of qualifying, by winning his third straight pole. Labonte has now been the top qualifier in the Winston, the 600 and this MBNA 400.
Here's your top 25.
[go to chyron boards]
[WIPE TO MOTION]
[SUPER=0107-1. Bobby Labonte/159.320/2. Dale Jarrett//3. Mark Martin//4. Kenny Wallace//5. Kevin Lepage//;]
[SUPER=0107-6. Kyle Petty//7. Bill Elliott //8. Rusty Wallace//9. Jeremy Mayfield//10. Mike Skinner//;]
[SUPER=0107-11. Elliott Sadler//12. John Andretti//13. Jerry Nadeau//14. Jeff Gordon//15. Ward Burton//;]
[SUPER=0107-16. Ken Schrader//17. David Green//18. Wally Dallenbach//19. Kenny Irwin//20. Brett Bodine//;]
[SUPER=0107-21. Chad Little//22. Rick Mast//23. Ricky Rudd//24. Tony Stewart//25. Michael Waltrip//;]
The two-day mind boggling blitz of high school state championship events known as Spring Jubilee began this morning in the Roanoke Valley for Group A and Group Two A teams.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Waynesboro vs. Rustburg; :00]
The first diamond action of the day was over at Kiwanis Field in Salem where the Little Giants of Waynesboro got outslugged by the Rustburg Red Devils.
David Cardwell scored on this bunt to make it four to nothing Rustburg. They win it 11-to-9 and will play for the Group Two-A title tomorrow at one.
[SUPER=03-Radford/West Point vs. Radford;]
In Group A girl's tennis Radford high school battled West Point at the Dedmon Center Courts.
Emily Nester led the Lady Bobcats to an easy 9-to-nothing win. They'll play JJ Kelly for that title tomorrow morning at nine.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Group AA Boy's Semis;]
In the Group Two-A boy's semi-finals that were played today up in Blacksburg fans got an eyeful as Heritage and Loudoun County advanced to play for that championship on Saturday morning at nine.
Soccer highlights are coming up for you tonight at six, plus join us tonight on News 7 at 11, for a complete wrapup of today's semi-final action.
Have a safe weekend everybody.
[go to break]
They blew up a building in Charlotte last night...
to the cheers of bystanders.
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[IN Q=NAT SOT]
The Old CityFair building came down around itself to make room for the 46-story Hearst Tower.
The Tower is expected to attract business to the area.... something CityFair attempted to do as an entertainment and dining spot... but never really got off the ground.