Death threats have been issued over the question of whether Robert E. Lee's picture should be displayed in Richmo
You'll hear some startling comments on NEWS 7 at SIX about that tonight.
And some frightful images and SOUNDS from Danville where a gas line broke and fueled a major fire in the heart of the city.
It won't be quite so hot tomorrow, but daytime highs will make into the 80s.
Details coming up.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
[sot 09:26:44 ]
[IN Q=If you walk]
((SA'AD EL-AMIN/RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL: IF YOU WALK UP ON ME WRONG YOU GOT A PROBLEM.))
[SUPER=01-Sa'ad El-Amin/Richmond City Council;]
[OUT Q=a problem.]
The man who got the Robert E. Lee mural taken down in Richmond says he's received death threats -- and he's prepared to fight back.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
[GRAPHIC=Lee Mural Dispute]
A racial divide over Richmond history has gotten so ugly that death threats have been recorded and turned over to the police.
The U-S Justice Department confirmed today that it has offered to mediate.
It's all over the Richmond Historic Riverfront Foundation's decision to take Confederate General Robert E. Lee down from a new mural display at the city's Canal Walk.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Ellen/Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom.
How did Councilman El-Amin's comments come about today?
Well, Keith, we went to the Virginia N-double-A-C-P office to hear that it has, somewhat predictably, taken a stand against the Lee mural going back up.
But it was the threats against El-Amin's life that most concerned the members.
[IN Q=There was]
[SUPER=01-Sa'ad El-Amin/Richmond City Council; :00]
[SUPER=03-Richmond/June 2; :46]
[SUPER=01-Marty Jewell/Richmond NAACP; :53 QUICK! ]
[SUPER=01-Salim Khalfani/Virginia NAACP; :56 ]
[OUT Q=and innuendo.]
(([sot 09:25:41 ]
((SA'AD EL-AMIN/RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL: THERE WAS A PICTURE OF ME TAKEN FROM THE CITY'S WEBSITE WITH A BULLSEYE ON IT.
AND THREATS AGAINST MY LIFE.))
We didn't find that.
But we did find plenty of news group postings, even on a local TV station website, that suggested El-Amin should be hung from the floodwall.
One newsgroup, called the "Rebgroup," had a posting that even volunteered the nails with which El-Amin could be hung.
El-Amin declined to say if he carries a concealed weapon.
But he says he's prepared for violence.
[sot 09:26:59 ]
((SA'AD EL-AMIN/RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL: SO IF YOU WANT ME, I'M HERE. BUT YOU BETTER BRING YOUR STUFF. BECAUSE I'M READY FOR YOU.))
The NAACP says it prefers Lee NOT go back up in the display-- but has NOT taken a stand on an alternative that could show Lee surrendering at Appomattox.
((MARTY JEWELL/VIRGINIA NAACP: YOU'RE TELLING BLACK FOLK "WE DON'T WANT YOU HERE!"))
[sot 09:16:58 ]
((SALIM KHALFANI/VIRGINIA NAACP: AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO SPEAK OUT ON THIS AND SUBJECTS LIKE THIS, AND WE SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO DEATH THREATS, FEAR, AND INNUENDO.))
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is waiting to see what a 19- member advisory panel recommends.
But a spokesman with the Justice Department says the group has asked for help mediating a community dialogue on how to understand Confederate history in Richmond.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Ellen/Microwave]
And a decision from the panel is expected when?
ELLEN: Not for another three weeks. They're getting art done for alternative designs right now.
A federal judge has halted Virginia's out-of-state trash laws from taking effect Thursday.
[SUPER=04-Dept. of Environ. Quality;]
Waste Management Incorporated won an injunction today.
That's the company caught dumping medical waste in Virginia earlier this year.
Federal Judge James Spencer says he expects to find Governor Gilmore's ban on trash barges and cap on landfill levels to be UNconstitutional.
A fire that damaged a Roanoke apartment is thought to be suspicious.
It started in the the kitchen of a vacant apartment at Brightwood Manor around ten this morning..
Firefighters kept it from spreading to any of the other apartments on Hunt Avenue.
No one was hurt.
It was rare sight for morning commuters.. a gas leak in downtown Danville that turned into a raging inferno before it could be brought under control.
Steve Smallshaw has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It started out]
[SUPER=01-B.G. Lewis/Danville Fire Chief; :23]
[SUPER=01-Jim Harr/Danville Gas Dept.; 1:02]
[OUT Q=News7, Danville.]
(( It started out with just a few flames seeping from this natural gas regulator station near the intersection of West Main Street and Memorial Drive.
As police blocked off traffic in every direction, the leak grew worse..
[natsot leaking gas]
..with the high-pitched sound of escaping gas in their ears, firefighters were soon battling flames that scorched the nearby treetops.
((B.G. LEWIS/DANVILLE FIRE CHIEF: DURING THE TIME THE HEAT OR WHATEVER PROBLEMS THEY HAD OVER AT THIS VALVE, THE LEAK GOT WORSE AND WE HAD A MAJOR GAS FIREBALL ALL AROUND IN THESE WOODS.))
[OUT Q=in these woods.]
A half dozen neighborhood homes were evacuated as crews struggled to bring the blaze under control.
Gas department employees worked to shut off the flow of gas to the station.. ninety minutes later the fire was knocked down.
((CHIEF LEWIS: IT TOOK THE GAS DEPARTMENT A LITTLE WHILE TO GO AROUND AND FIND ALL THE VALVES THAT FEED THIS REGULATOR AND THEY WENT IN AND FINALLY GOT THEM SHUT OFF AND NOW THEY'RE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY IT HAPPENED.))
[OUT Q=why it happened.]
City officials say finding a cause could take a few days.
((JIM HARR/DANVILLE GAS DEPT.: WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO GET THOSE REGULATORS OUT AND BRING THEM DOWN HERE AND TAKE APART AND LOOK AT THE INSIDES, THEN WE'LL HAVE A BETTER IDEA.))
[OUT Q=a better idea.]
No one was injured during the fire.
Officials say gas service will "not" be disrupted while the broken regulator is repaired.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Danville.))
[GRAPHIC=Plane Crash Investigation]
Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration are trying to find out what caused a small plane to crash while landing at the New London airport last night.
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co./Last Night]
State police say this single- engine Cessna may have gotten caught in a severe crosswind as it made a second attempt to land around 9.
The plane overshot the runway, skidded about a hundred yards and then flipped over.
The aircraft suffered significant damage to its tail and nose gear.
The pilot and his passenger walked away from the crash.
Somebody from Covington will be almost 11 million dollars richer within 24 hours.
The Virginia lottery says it will present a check for 10-point-8 million dollars in Roanoke tomorrow, to the winner of last Saturday's Lotto jackpot.
It's the second-largest cash option prize in Virginia lottery history.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
The latest employment numbers are out, and they're not good for one local city. That story is still ahead on News 7 at 6.
[**Take Joe live**]
It has also been a challenging year for local school systems. I'm Joe Dashiell and in a moment, we'll hear from superintendent Wayne Harris on the state of the Roanoke city Schools.
[wx ad lib]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-0.86''/minus 2.11''/14.45''/minus 4.89'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 2.91 feet/Down 0.03 foot;]
[SUPER=84-Down 23.2 feet/Voluntary conservation in effect]
School systems throughout Virginia faced unusual challenges this year... the pressure of improving test scores, the disruptions that followed the school shootings in Colorado.
But today, Roanoke School Superintendent Wayne Harris said he believes the schools and the community have met the challenge.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Joe/Microwave]
Harris delivered a state of the schools address this morning to members of the school board, and Joe Dashiell has more on his remarks.
Keith... in many ways this was a difficult year... dealing with disappointing results from the first round of S-O-L testing... then coping with the bomb threats and evacuations that followed the Colorado tragedy.
But the report Wayne Harris delivered today included plenty of encouraging news.
[IN Q=Some of the most enduring memories]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/April 24; :00]
[SUPER=01-Marsha Ellison/Roanoke School Board Chairman; :13]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Harris/Roanoke School Superintendent; :37]
[OUT Q=in Roanoke City Schools.]
((Some of the most enduring memories won't be included in the yearbook. Students and teachers forced from their classrooms by bomb threats... The pressure of preparing for the second round of S-O-L testing.
[SOT 11:02 ]
[IN Q=We did have a lot of pressure]
((MARSHA ELLISON/ROANOKE SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRMAN: WE DID HAVE A LOT OF PRESSURE. THE STUDENTS, THE PARENTS, THE ADMINISTRATORS, THE TEACHERS, AND EVERYONE REALLY ROSE TO THE OCCASION.))
[OUT Q=really rose to the occasion.]
And in his state of the schools address, Superintendent Wayne Harris said there are many indicators that reflect the school system's progress... especially the results from the Standards of Learning tests.
Disappointed after the first tests a year ago, Harris says he's thrilled with substantial improvements.
[IN Q=We've got an area]
((WAYNE HARRIS/ROANOKE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: WE'VE GOT AN AREA THAT WE NEED TO DEAL WITH AND THAT'S MATHEMATICS AT THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL AND SOME HISTORY ISSUES, BUT BY AND LARGE WE SHOWED IMPROVEMENT IN 24 OF 29 SCHOOLS.))
[OUT Q=24 of 29 schools.]
Roanoke Mayor David Bowers was pleased with the superintendent's report, saying it simply confirms what he already knew.
[IN Q=We're very proud]
((DAVID BOWERS/ROANOKE MAYOR: WE'RE VERY PROUD OF OUR SCHOOLS, AND IT'S NOT WITHOUT GOOD REASON. WE HAVE GOOD RESULTS HERE IN THE ROANOKE CITY SCHOOLS.))
[OUT Q=in Roanoke City Schools.]))
The school system is addressing some of those deficiencies in summer school... and those schools that failed to show significant progress on the S-O-Ls are reorganizing their programs.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Joe/Microwave]
Keith, Wayne Harris says he's determined to maintaining the momentum he believes the city schools have generate
d this year.[Unemployment]
Virginia's employment numbers tell the story of a strong economy.
The number of people getting jobs in non-farm sectors hit an all-time high in May ... even though the overall unemployment numbers went up a bit.
Last month the state's unemployment rate rose five-tenths of a percent to two-point-nine.
That reflects the number of students looking for summer jobs.
In Roanoke, the May rate was 2 percent, up from one-point-six in April.
Lynchburg also went up four-tenths of a percent.
Danville's jobless rate of seven-point-five is the highest of any metro area in the Commonwealth.
Blue chips led the way for another strong day on Wall Street.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow climbed 160 points, to 10 thousand 815. NASDAQ gained 40.
The man at the center of a state- prison drug- smuggling case- -Mike Fulcher, himself- -was the one who first proposed the feds investigate drug trafficking at Bland Prison.
D-E-A Agent Don Lincoln rejected the idea. That was in 1996.
In the Spring of '97, the government decided to pursue it- -targeting Fuclher as one of those allegedly involved.
Defense attorneys want the judge to suppress the evidence authorities seized from Fulcher's mother's house, because the feds sat on information Fuclher gave them for a year before obtaining a search warrant.
At a hearing this afternoon, Judge Kiser said the agents acted on "stale" information. He did not make a ruling today, but he'll have to decide soon. Trial is set for a week from today.
For two years, a legislative commission has been looking at transportation issues in Virginia.
But today, Governor Jim Gilmore appointed his own transportation policy commission.
He challenged its members to "think big" and "think new."
But don't even think about raising the gas tax to pay for new roads.
[IN Q=Simply raising]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: SIMPLY RAISING TAXES IS BACKWARD THINKING, IT'S REALLY LAZY... ANY DUMB DOORKNOB CAN DO THAT.))
[OUT Q=do that.]
Environmentalists think the Governor's commission is "a kangaroo court."
[IN Q=What he's]
((GLEN BESA/SIERRA CLUB: WHAT HE'S DONE IS HE'S APPOINTED A COLLECTION OF... MORE AIR POLLUTION.))
[SUPER=01-Glen Besa/Sierra Club;]
[OUT Q=air pollution.]
The existing legislative commission has decided there are more than four BILLION dollars in unmet road needs right now in Virginia.
Taking a hike doesn't cost that much. And some people can get pretty far on their feet.
David Horton of Lynchburg walked the entire Appalachian Trail in just 52 days.
But this week, a Connecticut Yankee beat that record, by a country mile.
Mail carrier Peter Palmer Junior hiked the trail from Georgia to Maine in just 49 days.
Hundreds of people have walked all two-thousand-160 miles of the A-T.
Dozens of these through hikers pass through the Roanoke Valley at this time of the year.
But they average about 20 miles a day.
Those two fast hikers had to RUN more than 40 miles a day to set their records.
We'll tell you who is on top after day one of the Virginia State Amateur, we'll also see a hole in one made by a blind man.
Plus, a New York Jet drops in on the All-Stars football clinic.
And we'll find out who makes all of those "Boo-Boos" go away at the camp, right after this quick break.
[TAPE#=SP-37 tc 1:05:55]
If you're an Avalanche fan tonight's the night to go out to a game.
The Salem Fair comes to town this Thursday, so tonight's contest is the last home game until July 14th.
The Avalanche have lost two in a row. The Cannons blasted Salem last night five to one.
The Avalanche hosts Potomac again tonight at seven. it is 2 for Tuesday night.
David Partridge leads the Virginia State Am qualifying after the first 18 holes. He shot a five under 67 at the Boonsboro Country Club outside of Lynchburg today.
Henry County's Keith Decker fired a three under 69 today, while Fincastle's Matt Mankin is right in the hunt with a 71.
The golfers will play 18 more holes tomorrow and then the 32 lowest scores will advance to match play on Thursday.
The Roanoke Valley All-Stars football Clinic added another NFL player on it's second day.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
New York Jet offensive lineman Doug Karczewski is in town working with his former Virginia teammate Walt Derey. He has a mixed review after one year in the league.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I learned]
[SUPER=01-Doug Karczewski/New York Jets Offensive Lineman; :00]
[OUT Q=....i would think"]
[GRAPHIC=All-stars football clinic]
The Roanoke Valley All-Stars football Clinic will feature five NFL players before the week is over. But intern reporter Cathy Smith says, with every successful football player is a giving, understanding woman.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Richard Goodpasture/All-Stars Football Clinic Founder; :08(QUICK)]
[SUPER=07-Cathy Smith; :14]
[SUPER=01-Meggan Derey/Camp Volunteer; :20(QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Ginny Barber/Camp Volunteer; :45]
[SUPER=01-Claudia Patron/Camp Volunteer; 1:06]
[SUPER=01-Chris Pollock/Rising Stars Complex Owner; 1:15]
[OUT Q=news 7 sports"]
((Rising Stars Sports and Adventure Camp is a perfect setting for a football camp where kids and counselors have tons of fun.
To the rescue, NOT a lightning fast running back for the New York Giants, or an agile, hostile defensive back for the Tampa Bay Buccanneers, or even a 300 pound goliath of a lineman for the New York Jets...instead....try a 110 pound beauty with a two ton heart.
Ginny Barber, Tiki's wife, has joined Megan Derey, and few other players girlfriends and moms this week to help make some bruises go away, and keep kids thirst quenched.
After bruises go away...and bellies are full of water, it's time for more football..or the tackle the coach drill.
Cathy Smith News 7 sports.))[S-Hakeem]
The NBA draft is set for tomorrow night in Washington, and today the Raptors were trying to work out a deal for Hakeem Olajuwan.
The Raptors offered Doug Christie, Kevin Willis and two first round draft picks for the dream. Houston said NO.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Rudy Tomjanovich/Rockets Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=...THE WAY IT IS."]
[TAPE#=SP-41 tc 1:25:19]
A hole-in-one, the pinnacle shot in golf, is a feat even for the greatest of golfers.
And most would think it would be
impossible for a blind man.
But a Wisconsin gentleman proved everyone wrong.
Worth Delton knew he had a hole-in-one at Milwaukee's Tripoli Country Club.
All he had to do was listen. His Ace came on the 125-yard, par three seventh hole.
Delton suffers from a hereditary eye disease and has been blind since 1980.
He was at the seventh tee, hitting a shot for each of the 25 fivesomes that passed through the event's scramble.
[ENG/FULL]LOCAL WEATHER VIDEO
[ADD CHYRON/ENG/FULL]HIGHS & LOWS
[CK/CHYRON/5 PAGES] FORECASTS
[ESS/FULL] EXTENDED FORECAST[Forecasts]
[SUPER=#578;] viewernet location
[SUPER=330-Scattered Showers/Patchy Fog Late/64-68/Partly Sunny/Storms Possible/83-87;]
[SUPER=331-Scattered/Showers Possible/65-69/Partly Sunny/Storms Possible/84-88;]
[SUPER=332-A Shower Possible/Patchy Fog Late/62-66/Partly Sunny/Scattered Storms/80-84;]
[SUPER=333-A Shower Possible/Patchy Fog Late/60-64/Partly/Sunny/80-84;]
[SUPER=334-A Passing/Shower Possible/60-64/Partly/Sunny/80-84;]
(Weekday 6 only)
[SUPER=x4032; e-mail/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS]
SUPER=x4033; Fax/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS
(Weekend 6 only)