Next on News 7 - Governor Gilmore hopes Election 99 helps him leave a legacy...
And candidates and voters offer different opinions on why people turned out at the polls on this rainy day.
What a weather day. Highs near 70 and now lows diving into the 30s. Details ahead.
An adventure for disabled children is growing in popularity -- we'll tell you why tonight on health check.
And the government wants new air bags equipped with some new rules.
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[IN Q=It's not]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: IT'S NOT LIKE THIS IS A STATEWIDE CONTEST. I'M NOT ON THE BALLOT, SO IT'S NOT LIKE THIS IS ABOUT ME.))
[OUT Q=about me.]
But with his party poised for a historic takeover -- and two years left in his term -- Governor Jim Gilmore may have the most riding on the outcome.
Good evening, I'm Jean Jadhon.
The House of Delegates is the last bastion of Democratic power in Virginia state government-- and that's only be virtue of a 1998 power sharing agreement in a 100 seat house split 50-50.
So today's General Assembly elections will either pump a little oxygen into the Democratic tent... or give the Republican party complete control of the statehouse.
[Double Boxes=Jean & Ellen/Starlink]
Ellen Qualls is at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Richmond, where the Republicans are hoping to make history.
The Governor knows that all politics is local... but he hopes voters are thinking of the big picture.
[SUPER=207-Gov. Jim Gilmore; :00]
[SUPER=201-Craig Bieber/Virginia Democratic Party; :33 ]
[OUT Q=right to choose.]
(([sot 11:43:33 ]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: BECAUSE WE HAVE THE BEST PROGRAMS. WE HAVE THE PROGRAMS FOR TAX CUTS...A FORWARD MOTION THAT'S REALLY EXCITING FOR THIS STATE. ... HOPEFULLY AT THE END OF THE DAY.))
At his precinct in Richmond's City Hall, the Governor had only the two Democratic incuments on the ballot.
So told us he actually voted for a Democrat in the Senate.
He has room for charity.
If expert predictions are borne out, he'll have a Republican-controlled legislature to help him leave his legacy.
[SOT 13:26:27 ]
((CRAIG BIEBER/VIRGINIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: WELL THEY HAVE BEEN VERY CAREFUL THIS ELECTION SEASON TO KEEP THEIR RIGHT WING SUPPORTERS AND RIGHT WING IDEAS UNDER WRAPS. I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED TO SEE A RE-EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL ISSUES... TUITION TAX CREDITS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS, VOUCHERS, FURTHER RESTRICTIONS ON A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE.))
[RUNS= :22 ]))
[Double Boxes=TERESA & Ellen/Starlink;]
(rollcue...helping the Democrat. )
[SUPER=201-Benny Keister/(D) Candidate for Delegate;]
[SUPER=201-Barbara Chrisley/(R) Candidate for Delegate; :34]
[OUT Q=at this point.]
[Double Boxes=Teresa & Kate/Microwave]
Kate Weidaw is live to give us more details on voter turnout.
The lack of absentee ballots this year predicted the number of voters casting ballots. Numbers in Botetourt County and Roanoke County were down ten percent while Roanoke City was reporting the same turnout as 1995's similar elections. Over all, precincts are reporting a 30 percent turnout so far.
[OUT Q=about education.]
Registrars at Vinton Baptist Church have seen a steady flow of voters throughout the day. Many folks had already decided on who they were voting for before they closed the curtain. Many voters said negative advertisements did not seem to be a factor.
((SANDRA BROOKS/VOTER: I THINK THE WAY I'VE MADE UP MY MIND IS BY THE ACTIONS OF THE CANDIDATE NOT BY TELEVISION BUT IN THE AREA.))
Voters of all ages were looking for a candidate who addressed issues affecting them.
((LOUISE MEEKS/VOTER: HOSPITAL CARE, HEALTH CARE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS, SOCIAL SECURITY.))
((EDUCATION WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT AND HOW THEY FELT ABOUT EDUCATION.))
As people leave work today, polling stations expect to see plenty more voters before the evening's finished.
[Double Boxes=Jean & Kate/Microwave]
Polls close at 7 o'clock tonight.
[(toss to R)]
(toss to Robin)
[SS=NONE]ROBIN IN WX-CENTER
[WXPRO/FULL] WEATHER MAP
FIVE DAY FORECAST
[SS=NONE]ROBIN TOSS BACK[Tease#1 ]
Some local candidates say it was mudslinging campaigns that brought voters out on this rainy day.
Details coming up.
And another office shooting leaves several dead- this time in Hawaii.
Police believe an angry employee is to blame.
We'll have the story.
On HealthCheck, we'll tell you about a new way to stay in shape: para-bouncing.
Plus - Patrick Evans dismisses some of the rumors about hospital food.
Republican Al Bedrosian is winning some swing votes from Democrats in his fight against Delegate Dick Cranwell.
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[IN Q=You just got]
((YOU JUST GOT MY VOTE AND I USUALLY VOTE DEMOCRAT. WELL, I APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH. ALL RIGHT, THAT SOUNDS GOOD. ONE MORE THAT'S ONE MORE THAT I NEEDED. I APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH.))
[OUT Q=very much]
Al Bedrosian says whether it rains or shines doesn't matter much in his race.
He says voters will come out in an emotional response to his opponent's negative ads.
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[IN Q=It's always been]
((IT'S ALWAYS BEEN POSITIVE. WE HAVEN'T RUN ANY NEGATIVE ADS. I KNOW SOME PEOPLE ARE CHOMPING AT THE BIT FOR US TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT BUT THAT'S NOT WHO WE ARE. WE THINK THERE'S A LOT OF HONOR AND PRESTIGE IN BEING A STATE DELEGATE AND THAT'S THE WAY WE WANT TO KEEP IT.))
[SUPER=201-Al Bedrosian/(R) Candidate for Delegate;]
[OUT Q=WE WANT TO KEEP IT]
Bedrosian predicts a high turnout in Botetourt due to the sheriff's race.
Two years ago, he beat Cranwell by ten percentage points in Botetourt.
Cranwell is considered one of the most powerful and influential democrats in Richmond. He's up for a 15-th term in the House.
He and his wife were out early this morning casting their votes -- and campaigning to voters at the polls.
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[IN Q=I think we have a good]
((DEL. DICK CRANWELL/(D) VINTON: I THINK WE HAVE A GOOD MESSAGE THIS TIME WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GIVING PEOPLE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN DOCTOR, WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT TAKING THE TAX OFF OF FOOD, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT BUYING MORE COMPUTERS, BUILDING MORE SCHOOLS AND REDUCING CLASS SIZES))
[SUPER=201-Del. Dick Cranwell/ (D) Vinton]
[OUT Q=class sizes]
Cranwell is the democratic party's floor leader in the house.
He says although there will be many close races -- he is hopeful democrats will prevail in this election.
The 21st District state senate race is expected to be one of the tightest races around --
And it's one Republicans have eyed as a seat they could win back.
But incumbent John Edwards doesn't see it that way at all.
The Democrat split his time today between campaign headquarters and polling places.
He said the idea that rainy weather keeps Democrats away from the polls is just a myth.
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[IN Q=it looks like]
((JOHN EDWARDS: LOOKS LIKE THE SUN IS SHINING ON US. VOTERS LIKE MY POSITIVE CAMPAIGN AND ABHOR MY OPPONENT'S NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN. THEY LIKE MY IDEAS.))
[SUPER=201-Sen. John Edwards/(D) 21st District;]
[OUT Q=MY IDEAS]
Edwards is depending on a strong Democratic turnout inside the city limits.
Republican Senate Candidate William Fralin was up early and out visiting the polls for most of the day.
Though he spent more than 400 -thousand dollars on television ads and other campaign strategies, today he was hoping to coax a few more votes with a handshake and a brief personal pitch.
Fralin says he believes he's succeeded in getting his message to the voters.
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[IN Q=I'll say again]
((WILLIAM FRALIN/R- STATE SENATE CANDIDATE: I'LL SAY AGAIN, JOHN'S A FINE MAN AND RAN A SPIRITED CAMPAIGN HIMSELF. AND I HOPE THE VOTERS UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO OF US AND I THINK THEY DO.))
[SUPER=201-William Fralin/(R) State Senate Candidate; ]
[OUT Q=and I think they do.]
Fralin says he'll be keeping a close eye on precincts in the Williamson Road Area, and Raleigh Court as the results come in tonight. He says he's expecting a close vote.
Our election coverage has just begun for the evening. We'll bring you much more on News 7 at 6, then Keith Humphry and I will have updates every half-hour starting at 7 PM.
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And join us for a one-hour "Election 99" special report at nine. We'll have complete coverage of all key races in the region, with expert analysis here and in Richmond.
And you can look up the latest results for all 140 races we're following .. on our home page at WDBJ7-dot-com.
Gunfire at a Xerox company office in Honolulu- this morning.
Just a short time ago police apparently caught up with the suspect.
Police say a man who worked at the office opened fire inside killing seven people- The man then fled in a company van- The van was found, but the man disappeared- It was just moments ago that the Honolulu mayor reported that police have surrounded the suspect in a car.
The shootings took place in a conference room during a meeting.
The gunman apparently targeted people he worked with.
Staying at the hospital is never fun, but the Nutrition staff at Roanoke Memorial works hard to make your stay a little better, especially at meal time...
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[OUT-Q=Next on News 7 at 5]
If you think planning and preparing a meal for your family is tough, how about doing it for three thousand people every day?!
That's what happens at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and Patrick Evans is in the kitchen this afternoon with a report.
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Still to come in Sports, Virginia Tech gets ready for West Virginia.
Next on health check -- The government has a plan to prevent deaths from airbag inflation.
The new proposal hopes to provide more protection in high speed crashes.
[SOT tc 13:05:45]
[IN Q=We estimate]
((WE ESTIMATE THAT OVER 4700 LIVES HAVE BEEN SAVED SINCE AIRBAGS WERE INTRODUCED.))
[OUT Q=were introduced.]
Future cars and trucks coming off the assembly line will have an added safety feature.
The government is proposing new rules aimed at making air bags safer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's new regulations cover vehicles for the 2003 model year.
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[SOT tc 13:06:03]
[IN Q=To provide]
((TO PROVIDE MORE PROTECTION IN HIGH SPEED CRASHES AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE'RE PROTECTING A WIDER RANGE OF OCCUPANTS THAN WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TESTED FOR FROM INFANTS TO FULL GROWN MALES.))
[SUPER=01-Rosalyn Millman/NHTSA Acting Administrator]
[OUT Q=full grown males.]
One safety measure geared towards saving people in high speed crashes means bringing back the controversial crash test using an adult male dummy in a 30 mile an hour wreck.
Automakers say that test would force them to resume installing air bags that inflate too powerfully for children and shorter adults, leading to more injuries and deaths.
They're proposing crash tests at 25 miles an hour.
The agency says the proposal would cut up to 95 percent of children's deaths caused by the bags.
It's the latest fad keeping Southern Californians in top form.
The parabouncer was originally made for special needs children.
But Sophia Choi shows us why it's caught on with everyone else.
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[SUPER=03-Redondo Beach, CA; :04]
[SUPER=01-Steve Meadows/Parabounce Inventor; :40]
The Express will be without one of its top stars tonight.
Mike Stevens joins us with details.
The Roanoke Express returns to the Round House Ice tonight for a 7pm face off against the Wheeling Nailers.
Roanoke will be without leading goal scorer Kris Cantu. He has been suspended by the Express for directing a racial slur directed at a black Dayton Bomber player this past Sunday at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Cantu has since apologized for his actions, but the league also plans to punish him. That ruling could come down at any time.
Cantu has six goals and one assist so far this season.
The Virginia Tech Hokies are trying to get back to 100 percent before this weekend's Big East showdown with West Virginia.
No less than 19 Hokies have been in the training room getting treatment since the win over Pitt.
[SUPER=03-Pittsburgh, PA/Last Saturday; :00]
The Hokies beat the Panthers 30-to-17, but a strange thing happened because of that game. Despite being on the losing end, Pitt quarterback David Priestley was named the Big East offensive player of the week.
Priestley threw for 417 yards against Tech's top ranked defense.
That is something the Hokies cannot let happen again this weekend when they face the Mountaineers Marc Bulger.
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[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Va. Tech Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=...TEAM RIGHT NOW."]
[ go to pinnacle]
And folks don't forget the only place you can catch the Hokies and Mountaineers this Saturday afternoon is right here on Your Hometown Station WDBJ-7.
Pre game starts at 3, and kickoff is just after 3:30.
Also, mark it down the Redskins are back on Your Hometown Station as well this weekend hosting Bruce Smith and Bills.
Catch that game at one followed by the Steelers and Niners at four.
Also today, the Reds' Jack McKeon has been named manager of the year by the Associated Press. And at year's end, five members of Jeff Gordon's pit crew are joining Dale Jarrett's.
Take care everybody and have a safe night.
[go to break]
If you can't beat the grim reaper - might as well join him, in style.
[SUPER=03-Kansas City, MO]
That's the thinking behind a funeral convention underway in Kansas City.
Casket makers are counting on baby boomers to want an artistic sendoff - so from DaVinci's Last Supper and Raphael's angels to the the U-S Postal Service's "Return to Sender" - you can find plenty of things on caskets these days.
And there's always the Millenium Casket for those who fear they'll be bitten by the Y2K bug.
It's high-concept, solid stainless steel.