On NEWS 7 at SIX tonight....
The highest court in America throws out the confession that put Ben Lilly on death row in the random murder of a Tech student.
And we get reaction to the peace accord from Kosovar refugees in Lynchburg(
Tonight in sports, Tech and UVa agree to hit the hardwood on their respective campuses.
We'll meet some gymnasts on their way to Florida.
And Rick Mast gets some thrilling sponsorship news from a Florida based theme park.
The Allegheny Highlands are the getting some drenching rains this evening. We will all get a break from the heat tomorrow.
The cool details are coming up.
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(( THE COURT HEARBY SENTENCES YOU TO DEATH, BY THIS PRESCIPED MANNER.))
[OUT Q=prescriped manner.]
A man on death row for killing a Virginia Tech student is one step closer to winning a new trial.
Benjamin Lilly's hope came today in the form of a ruling by the U-S Supreme court.
The justices this morning granted Lilly's appeal--- and ordered a lower court to take another look at the case.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Teresa/Blacksburg Bureau]
Teresa Hamilton spoke with one of Lilly's attorneys earlier today.
She joins us now to explain what led to today's ruling.
[Live=Teresa Full/Blacksburg Bureau]
Keith, throughout Benjamin Lilly's trial his attorneys argued that a key piece of evidence against their client should NOT have been allowed at trial.
Today, the U-S Supreme court agreed Lilly's constitutional rights were indeed violated.
[IN Q=It is a ]
[SUPER=01-Christopher Tuck/Ben Lilly's Attorney; :00]
[SUPER=03-Christiansburg/File Tape; :10 approx.]
[OUT Q=do that.]
((CHRISTOPHER TUCK/BEN LILLY'S ATTORNEY:IT IS A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE, IT IS A SECOND CHANCE TO ALLOW HIM TO PROVE WHAT HE DID AND DIDN'T DO ON THAT NIGHT.))
[Out q= that night.]
Christopher Tuck was one of the attorneys representing Ben Lilly when he was convicted and ultimately sentenced to die for murdering a Virginia Tech student.
During trial-- Tuck argued that a TAPED confession by an alleged accomplice should NOT have been allowed at trial.
Tuck felt the tape violated his client's constitutional rights because Lilly's brother, Mark, who made the confession, did NOT take the stand to be cross examined.
The U-S Supreme court agreed with Tuck's position-- saying his client's rights were in fact violated.
[in q=When ]
((WHEN THOSE STATEMENT WERE GIVEN TO THE POLICE, THEY WEREN'T UNDER OATH, MY CLIENT DIDN'T HAVE A CHANCE TO CROSS EXAMINE THOSE STATEMENTS, THAT'S WHAT THIS SYSTEM IS BASED ON, TO BE ABLE TO CROSS EXAMINE WITNESSES WHO HAVE TAKEN AN OATH TO TELL THE TRUTH AND MARK LILLY DIDN'T DO THAT.))
[out q= didn't do that.]
[Live=Teresa Full/Blacksburg Bureau]
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[Double Boxes=Keith and Teresa/Blacksburg Bureau]
A jury in Greenbrier Court says convicted hit- man Gene Gaylor should spend the rest of his life in prison, without hope of parole.
Gaylor was found guilty today on all counts, in the bombing death of Billy Ray Abshire 23 years ago.
The former Covington resident is the first of four people to stand trial in Abshire's 1976 murder.
The victim died when a bomb left on the hood of his car exploded.
The jury took just two hours to reach a decision this afternoon, and called for the life sentence.
The elderly residents of Roanoke's Friendship Manor nursing and retirement communities say they're being treated like mushrooms.
[sot 14:28:12 ]
((BILL HANLIN/RESIDENT: THEY'RE KEPT IN THE DARK AND FED MANURE. AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE BEING FED.))
[OUT Q=we're being fed.]
The Friendship Manor residents took their complaints to Richmond today for a meeting with the Attorney General's staff.
Friendship Manor says turning the final four of its ten homes into FOR PROFIT entities will get rid of administrative inefficiencies.
[IN Q=I think]
((JIM FICHTEN/RESIDENT: I THINK IT'S ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE GOBBLYDEGOOK THAT'S BEEN PUT ON THE TABLE FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND FOR US TO TRY AND SHOEHORN THIS THING THROUGH.))
[SOT TC 18:09:41]
((KATHERINE ELLIOT/FRIENDSHIP MANOR SPOKESWOMAN: LET ME ASSURE EVERYONE THAT THE CHANGE IN TAX STATUS IN FRIENDSHIP MANOR WILL NOT AFFECT THE RENT OF ANY OF OUR RESIDENTS BY ONE PENNY.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Fichten/Resident; :00 ]
[SUPER=01-Katherine Elliott/Friendship Manor Spokeswoman; :14 ]
[OUT Q=one penny.]
The Attorney General can only intervene if he finds charitable assets of the corporation are being misused.
Friendship Manor was originally established by The Church of the Brethren to provide affordable housing for the elderly.
A home for handicapped adults will stay open -- but it's still under investigation by state police.
The Franklin Manor Rest Home almost lost its license in December.
The state Social Services Department says a resident sexually abused another, and staff members did not always give residents their medicine.
But under an agreement approved today, the home WILL stay open -- with regular visits from Social Services.
Meanwhile state police plan to turn over information to the commonwealth's attorney, and the Franklin Manor Rest Home also faces a civil lawsuit from the father of a former resident.
The pastor of the largest Church in Salem has resigned. In a dramatic confession from the pulpit Sunday, Mike Slaughter admitted he'd had an affair with a member of the congregation.
Reverend Slaughter preached at West Salem Baptist Church for 19 years.
His resignation comes as the church is getting ready to dedicate a new, multi- million dollar sanctuary.
In addressing the congregation Sunday, Slaughter admitted he'd become emotionally and physically involved with a woman in the church.
Slaughter's wife also spoke to the congregation. Renee Slaughter said she'd forgiven her husband and spoke of the pastor as "a man of honor."
Slaughter's confession was sudden. He'd been on a mission to Romania until June 1st. The night he got home ...church leaders confronted Slaughter who admitted to the affair. Slaughter said he was not pressured to resign but felt he'd betrayed the congregation and had to step down.
The bombing has stopped.
And Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic says he'll clear the way for refugees to return to their native Kosovo.
But the families who are settling in Virginia say they don't plan to go home anytime soon.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Lynchburg]
Scott Goldberg spoke with one of those families today in Lynchburg.
[Live= Scott Full/Microwave]
Keith, the family we caught up with said the next chapter of its life will be written in America.
This morning they got Social Security numbers so they can work here.
This afternoon ... they took a big step toward assimilation ...
taking their first-ever trip to Wal Mart.
The Vehabi family stocked up on clothes for the kids...
They were treated by Wal Mart's management to an all-American lunch of hamburgers and fried chicken strips.
None of the Vehabis speak English.
Hah-MEET, the father, spoke to us through an interpreter.
He said he's been watching T-V and understands that the bombing has stopped.
But he doesn't trust Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic.
And he doesn't expect to go home soon.
Hamit and his wife Zo-hahn have two boys.
They spent more than a month in a Macedonian refugee camp.
Hamit plans to work in the restaurant business....
[Live= Scott Full/Microwave]
But before he gets started ...
He's looking forward to driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway and taking the boys fishing.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Scott/Microwave]
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Still to come on News 7 at 6 - it's the trip of a lifetime - some local students are going to Japan... thanks to a local business.
And who's the tops with Virginians selecting a President in the year 2-thousand?
There's a new Mason-Dixon poll out ... We'll tell you what it says, a little later.
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HENRY COUNTY SCHOOLS
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A number of libraries and copy centers in our viewing area are now housing information about A-E-P's proposed high voltage power line.
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The latest route being proposed would carry the line from Wyoming County, West Virginia through Bland and Wythe Counties before ending at Jacksons Ferry.
Libraries in Bland, Tazewell, Pulaski and Wythe Counties will carry the information through June 23rd.
Someone will also be on hand to help residents sift through the data.
That information includes the application, brochures, maps and fact sheets.
Residents can also find information about the proposed project at several area courthouses-- on a longer term basis.
Four trash hauling companies have filed a federal lawsuit against Virginia-- challenging the state's new restrictions on out-of-state trash.
[SUPER=04-Dept. of Environ. Quality;]
Waste Management Incorporated and some other haulers are trying to block the new laws that take effect July first.
The Governor says he's confident the laws are Constitutional.
[IN Q=We want to]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: WE WANT TO SEND THE MESSAGE THAT VIRGINIA'S A FORWARD, PROGRESSIVE, BEAUTIFUL STATE. WE DON'T WANT TO BE THE GARBAGE DUMP FOR ANYBODY ELSE.))
[OUT Q=anybody else.]
The new laws would cap landfill growth, ban trash barges, and more tightly regulate trash trucks.
Only Pennsylvania currently imports more trash from other states.
A Botetourt County company is paying ten thousand dollars to send local high school students to Japan next month.
These nine students have been selected for the exchange program -- so they're taking a crash course in Japanese customs.
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Today they tried sushi called nori maki, or rolls made of seaweed with chicken, egg, pickled plum and crab.
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[IN Q=I'm a picky eater]
((I'M A PICKY EATER ... GOOD EXPERIENCE))
[OUT Q=good experience]
This will be the first business-sponsored international exchange in Botetourt County.
And when these students return they will play host to Japanese students.
The wheels behind the trip is Dynax America --an automotive parts company.
Find out why they're putting up the big bucks -- tonight on News7 at Six.
A down day on Wall Street as the week nears an end.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow lost 69 points to close at 10-thousand 6-hundred and 21.
Nasdaq lost 35 points.
[ AE/ATT/Bank of America/Bell/Columbia]
[Dana/Dimon/Dominion Resources/First Union/First VA]
[General Electric/Kroger/Norfolk Southern/Optical Cable/Philip Morris]
[Roanoke Electric Steel/SunTrust/Trigon/Wachovia/Walmart]
Virginia has gone Republican in every Presidential contest since 1964.
So 2000 is shaping up as NO surprise in the Old Dominion.
In our latest NEWS 7 Mason-Dixon poll, if the election were held today, Texas Governor George W. Bush would come out on top in Virginia.
52-percent of those polled picked him.
Only 35-percent pick the likely Democratic nominee, Vice President Al Gore.
13-percent say they're undecided.
If the other GOP frontrunner, Elizabeth Dole, got the nomination, 47-percent of those Virginians polled would pick her over Gore.
Gore gets 38-percent support.
15-percent remain undecided.
An interesting footnote to our poll: Elizabeth Dole does six percentage points better with male voters in the Commonwealth than she does with female voters.
Former Wythe County sheriff Wayne Pike will try to reclaim his old job this November.
Pike resigned as sheriff last summer to accept an appointment from the Governor as a member of the state parole board.
This week, Pike filed as an independent candidate for sheriff.
He'll be running against Kermit Osborne--the man who succeeded Pike as sheriff.
Incidentally, Osborne's unseccessful challenger for the Republican nomination was Pike's son, Jeff.
Wastewater at Virginia's Explore Park might soon be clean enough to FISH in....
The park's new "drip disposal" system was unveiled this morning.
The treatment system works much like irrigation... the root system in the soil absorbs the wastewater and it's basically recycled.
The system is said to purify wastewater up to 95- percent.
Explore worked on the project with the departments of health and environmental quality, as well as Virginia Tech.
Coming up tonight in sports, Tech and UVa agree to hoop it up on campus.
Rick Mast is getting some unexpected thrills from Universal Studios.
And we'll head to Martinsville to meet a group of top notch gymnasts who are headed to a national meet in Florida.
Virginia Tech and UVa haven't met on the basketball court on each other's camus gym since 1976. But all of that is about the change. In an agreement announced tonight by both schools - the Hokies and Cavs will begin playing in Charlottesville and Blacksburg beginning with the 2000-2001 season.
The schools agreed to a five year agreement that will begin next season with a game at the Richmond Coliseum during the legislative session.
Then it will shift to Blacksburg the following year, and get this the first on-campus game at the Cassell will be played the night before the Tech-UVa football game in the year 2000.
The schools will alternate years with games being played at the Cassell and Univeristy Hall. This contract runs out in 2004.
The Winston Cup stars roll into Michigan tomorrow for this weekend's KMart 400. And the festivities will get underway at nine tomorrow morning for Rick Mast.
[SUPER=03-Concord, NC/Last Month; :00]
After racing all season long with limited sponsorship dollars, Mast and Cale Yarborough Motorsports will annouce they are joining forces with Universal Studios for the next three years.
Mast says the agreement will be one of the most lucrative in Winston Cup racing.
However, now that the team has the money it needs some workers. Team manager Waddell Wilson was released from the team earlier this week, and crew chief Jerry Pitts also left after just three weeks after coming over frm Bill Elliott's team.
The Virginia Tech women's softball team continues to reap the rewwards of its most successful season ever.
[SUPER=03-Salem/A-10 Tournament; :00]
Today pitcher Ashlee Dobbe (DOBY) a rising sophomore from North Vancouver was selected to play on the Canadian Junior national team that will travel to Taiwan this summer.
Dobbe was the A-10 rookie of the year this season after winning 29 games and striking out 289 batters. Her eanred run average was point 92.
Several young gymnasts from the Martinsville Henry County area are preparing to go for the gold in the nationals in Florida.
And Roy Stanley says the trip to the big show has taken a lot of time and hard work.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="The team...]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Hugh Gerlach/Head Coach; :18]
[SUPER=01-Jessica McAlexander/Blue Ridge Gymnast; :46]
[SUPER=01-Beck Minter/Blue Ridge Gymnast; :55]
[OUT Q=...news 7 sports."]
((The team consists of 4 girls from Danville and three from Martinsville.
They practice for at least 4 hours 4 nights a week under the watchful eye of Hugh Gerlach, who along with his wife runs the Blue Ridge Gymnastics Academy in Henry County.))
((HUGH GERLACH/HEAD COACH:))
((Gerlach says certain skills are needed for the nationals. That's why its important for them to develop their own routines.
Gymnastics is 90 per cent mental but working on the same routine day after day helps the young gymnasts develop that toughness.))
((JESSICA MCALEXANDER/BLUE RIDGE GYMNAST; ))
((BECKY MINTER/BLUE RIDGE GYMNAST;))
((A couple of years ago, three gymnasts represented the academy at the nationals but this year they're going as a team.))
Fort Chiswell has a new head football coach in Robert "Spider" Thompson.
Thompson graduated from Fort Chiswell in 1980. He's been the defensive coordinator at North Iredell, North Carolina since 1985. During those 15 years there he also served as the head track, basketball and baseball coach.
Thompson played his college football at Emory and Henry.
He is replacing Larry Neely.
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With all the emphasis placed on the Standards of Learning tests, will arts programs in schools suffer?
[Double Boxes=Keith/Jean -NEwsroom]
Jean Jadhon is in the newsroom with more.
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Keith, supporters of arts programs say they foster creative learning -
and are a necessary part of a child's education.
But the programs must be reshaped to integrate the new SOL's - the Roanoke Symphony's in-school ensemble is one of those programs.
Tonight on News 7 at 11, we'll tell you just what changes are taking place - and what effect it's having on the arts in school.
(Weekday 6 only)
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