Next on News 7-
People sign on- to support Vinton's resigned police chief.
A truck full of frozen hams wrecks on Bent Mountain tonight. We'll have the latest.
Plus a homeless couple faces charges in the Massachusetts fire that killed six firefighters-
but some say it was merely an accident.
And the fight heats up over prayer in Lynchburg.
Plus college football's player of the year has Blacksburg roots.
News 7 is next.
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[SOT 7:25:27 #1]
[IN Q=I, along with]
((I ALONG WITH OTHER CITIZENS FEEL THIS PROCESS HAS BEEN UNFAIR TO RICK FOUTZ.))
Vinton residents take on town council again- in support of former police chief Ricky Foutz.
It was an emotional night in the Vinton Municipal Building as resident after resident went to bat for the former police chief.
Kate Weidaw was at tonight's meeting and joins us live from the Municipal Building.
It's been less than a month since Vinton police chief Ricky Foutz suddenly retired, along with Lieutenant Bill Brown, amid a special grand jury investigation. Residents say council acted too soon by asking for a resignation from Foutz, because he hasn't done anything criminal.
(rollcue...done anything criminal. )
[IN Q=I think this]
[SUPER=01-Beth Obaugh/Foutz's Stepdaughter;:58]
[OUT Q=at it's next meeting]
(([SOT 7:36:13 #1]
((I THINK THIS NEEDS TO BE ACTED ON YOUR HEMMING AND HOLLERING AND TRYING TO DODGE THE BULLET THE BULLET HAS BEEN SHOT ANSWER IT.))
Tempers flared as Foutz supporters voiced their opinions.
A petition with 250 names on it was given to council stating Foutz's salary should be paid until he can collect his full retirement package in three years.
Many residents couldn't understand the reasoning behind council's decision.
[SOT 8:20:15 #2]
((WHEN THE DECISION WAS MADE TO PUT RICK FOUTZ OUT HERE WHY WASN'T THE DECISION MADE TO PAY HIM UNTIL YOU GOT THE REPORT BACK.))
The mayor says officials had been briefed by the special prosecutor on some details of the investigation.
But citizens want to know why they know secret information, and if it's not secret - why they're not sharing it.
Foutz's daughter was visibly upset but says her dad is doing fine amid all the controversy.
[SOT 8:29:00 #2]
((BETH OBAUGH/FOUTZ'S DAUGHTER: WE'RE ALL BE STRONG WE KNOW SOMETHING GOOD IS GOING TO COME OUT OF THIS IN THE END.))
And after an hour of residents and council going in circles -- council decided to vote on the petition at its next meeting.))
One council member said when the special grand jury report comes out some time next year, if one or both men are cleared of any wrong doing they will be given full restitution of anything they have missed.
Residents say they'll be back in two weeks for the next meeting and do whatever it takes until Foutz is given what he deserves.
Tonight - for the second time in less than three months - a tractor trailer
careened off Bent Mountain Road in Roanoke County while traveling down the mountain.
The truck - carrying frozen hams - went off the same curve where a truck crashed in September.
The driver was taken to the hospital.
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[2:13:56 - :04]
[IN Q=He is]
[SUPER=01-C.M. Viar/Roanoke Co. Police]
[OUT Q=not sure yet]
The driver's injuries are NOT believed to be life-threatening.
Authorities haven't cleared the scene of the accident yet, but say traffic on Route 221 is NOT affected.
Jean tosses to Robin in Weather Center
WAKE UP FORECAST
[Toss back to anchor][L'burg-Schools]
A fight is brewing over prayer- in- school in Lynchburg..
The school board must decide whether it's willing to go to court to preserve a long tradition of praying before its meetings.
Steve Smallshaw reports.
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[IN Q=For now]
[SUPER=01-Sterling Wilder/School Board Member; :10]
[SUPER=01-Walter Erwin/Lynchburg City Attorney; :34]
[SUPER=01-Ellen Nygaard/School Board Chairman; :52]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( For now, they're simply calling it the "opening comment".. this time, school board member Sterling Wilder read a poem.. then finished with a short prayer.
((STERLING WILDER/SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER: GIVE US THE WISDOM TO KNOW HOW TO LEAD THEM EDUCATIONALLY, RECREATIONALLY AND MENTALLY. AMEN.))
But the American Civil Liberties Union says that prayer violates the separation of church and state.. it's willing to represent for free any student who opposes the prayer and wants to take the school board to court.
Three different conservative legal groups.. including the Rutherford Institute.. have offered to defend the board.
((WALTER ERWIN/LYNCHBURG CITY ATTORNEY: THE ATTORNEYS ARE GIVING THEM THEIR OPINIONS, THEIR THOUGHTS AND THEN THE SCHOOL BOARD WILL TAKE THOSE OPINIONS AND MAKE A DECISION.))
[OUT Q=make a decision.]
But for nine people who routinely make choices affecting thousands of students and millions of dollars.. this may be their toughest decision yet.
((ELLEN NYGAARD/SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRMAN: WE ARE ALL VERY THOUGHTFUL INDIVIDUALS AND HAVE OUR OWN RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. WHAT WE HAVE TO WRESTLE WITH NOW AS A BODY IS DECIDE HOW DOES THAT FIT INTO OUR ROLE AS PUBLIC SERVANTS AND, AS YOU INDICATED, HOW FAR WE WANT TO GO AS FAR AS PROMOTING THIS, IS IT PART OF OUR MISSION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS.))
[OUT Q=of public schools.]
((A representative from the A-C-L-U was at tonight's meeting.. he says the poem that was read may be an acceptable alternative, but any prayer still creates a problem.
The A-C-L-U is giving the board time to make up its mind.. but a decision on whether to keep praying could still be weeks away.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]))
Police say the boy who opened fire in school yesterday- used a gun purchased by his father.
[SUPER=03-Fort Gibson, OK]
13- year- old Seth Trickey is accused of firing off at least 15 rounds from the 9-millimeter handgun.
The gunfire wounded four students- before a safety officer apprehended the suspect.
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[IN Q=I think]
((I THINK THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT, ADMINISTRATION AND STAFF HAS DONE A LOT OF PLANNING FOR THIS KIND OF EVENTS AND WE'RE NOT PROUD THAT IT HAPPENS HERE, BUT I THINK WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF THE WAY WE HANDLED IT.))
[SUPER=01-Steve Wilmoth/School Superintendent;]
[OUT Q=we handled it.]
Today students were back in class- for prayer sessions.
The same type of gun- a nine millimeter - turned up in a Virginia Beach school.
A 15-year-old was arrested when an officer reportedly found the gun and an ammunition clip.
The teen said he didn't intend to use it - he only kept it for protection.
A homeless couple is charged with involuntary manslaughter after a warehouse fire killed six Massachusetts firefighters.
An advocate for the homeless says the two meant no harm and should not be charged.
Ron Sanders has the latest.
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[OUT Q=of the puzzle to go.]
So far only one body has been recovered from the burned out warehouse.
Seattle's Police chief is resigning- after rioting took over the city's street's last week.
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((sounds of breaking glass ))
[OUT Q=sound os rioting.]
[SUPER=03-Seattle, WA/Last Week;]
Riots outside the World Trade Organization caused 20 million in damages.
Some criticized the police handling of the situation.
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((CHIEF NORM STAMPER/SEATTLE POLICE: CLEARLY OUR OFFICERS FACED OVERWHELMING ODDS. THEY WERE ON THE LINES FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME AND THEY DESERVE EVERY FORM OF TANGIBLE AS WELL AS EMOTIONAL SUPPORT WE CAN GIVE THEM. TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY DID NOT GET THAT, I PERSONALLY APOLOGIZE TO THEM.))
[SUPER=01-Chief Norm Stamper/Seattle Police;]
[OUT Q=APOLOGIZE TO HEM.]
Stamper planned to retire in January but moved the date up.
A New York doctor found passed out, with a needle in his arm, went on to anesthetize patients in Virginia for three weeks this summer.
Today, Dr. Peter Lipsius (LIP-see-us) inspired a joint state and federal task force.
Operation Gatekeeper will investigate and prosecute medical practitioners who engage in fraud to get licenses or jobs in Virginia.
The gross example is a New York anesthesiologist, nabbed this summer in Richmond after showing up for an operation with slurred speech and unsteady gait.
[IN Q=Dr. Lipsius]
((DR. LIPSIUS CAME IN AND PROVIDED INCORRECT INFORMATION ABOUT HIS BACKGROUND TO PRIVATE HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS IN VIRGINIA. HE WAS COMING FROM ANOTHER STATE. AND AS A RESULT, A NUMBER OF PATIENTS IN VIRGINIA WERE POTENTIALLY PUT IN DANGER BY HIS ACTIONS. HE HAD A DRUG ABUSE PROBLEM AND IT WAS OCCURRING WITHIN THE MEDICAL SETTING.))
[OUT Q=medical setting.]
Meanwhile a recent study by the Institute of Medicine shows that between
44-thousand and 98-thousand Americans die as a result of medical errors.
President Clinton today ordered a plan within 60 days to increase patient safety.
The man the government called Roanoke's godfather of crime has died.
The story ahead.
And a last bastion of the Confederate flag may soon say goodbye to the controversial Stars and Bars.
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[IN Q=hi Jean tonight in sports]
[OUT Q=in just a few minutes]
((HI JEAN TONIGHT IN SPORTS...COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR COULD CALL BLACKSBURG HOME. THE HIGHLANDERS RETURN HOME AFTER STARTING THE SEASON ON THE ROAD. ROANOKE COLLEGE IS NATIONALLY RANKED. FLEMING AND GW DANVILLE DUKE IT OUT ON THE COURT AND JEFF GORDON GETS A NEW CREW CHIEF. THOSE STORIES AND OTHERS IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.))
One of the owners of a Botetourt County adult home says her mother would never have taken money from residents' accounts.
Richwood Acres Adult Home has 23 elderly and handicapped residents.
Sheriff's deputies say at least two thousand dollars have been missing from residents' accounts over the past two months.
According to search warrants, the home's owner (Careen) Caren Simpson was responsible for the money.
But Simpson's daughter, who also owns the home, chalks it up to sloppy bookkeeping.
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[IN Q=THEY HAVE THE MONEY]
((THEY HAVE THE MONEY IN THE SAFE OR IT'S BEEN IN THE BANK.
BUTT BUTT BUTT
COULD SHE HAVE BEEN TAKING THE MONEY ALL THE TIME?
NO SHE HASN'T.))
[OUT Q=she hasn't]
Detectives say they'll decide within the next two weeks whether to file criminal charges.
A former head teller- -who skipped town with 83-thousand dollars of the bank's money- -was sentenced today. Karen Villarini will serve three years and four months in prison.
The 47-year old banker never admitted anything, implying that the shortage bank examiners found on her last day was somebody else's fault.
Once she got to Florida, she started depositing cash in small amounts. That got her convicted of money laundering, though the judge said it was a weak case.
Villarini will be allowed to report to prison after the holidays.
Roanoke's so-called Godfather of crime has died.
Joe Abbott was serving a 10-year sentence for racketeering.
He had pancreatic cancer and had been moved from the federal penitentiary in Petersburg to a hospital in Hopewell. He died Saturday at a prison hospital in Springfield, Missouri.
Joe Abbott was believed to be 61.
It looks like the Confederate battle flag's time atop a Southern landmark is almost over.
Two former South Carolina governors are calling for the flag over the Statehouse to be lowered.
One former governor says ninety percent of the surviving legislators who voted to display the flag in 1962 have now signed a petition to remove the Stars and Bars from South Carolina's Statehouse dome.
Employees have already taken the hit - but what's to come for Martinsville taxpayers after Tultex filed for bankruptcy?
We'll have a look.
Plus... Norfolk Southern's coal cars are getting higher, because the country is demanding more coke.
Details coming up.
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(four, three, three)
(two, eight, four, nine)
(three, six, twelve, fifteen, thirty)
The Big Game:
22-26-27-38-44. Big Money Ball: 27
[GRAPHIC=Tultex Chpt. 11]
Twenty-six hundred laid off Tultex workers are getting some job search help from their former employer.
Tultex called in career advisors to meet with displaced workers from its five area plants this week.
Eleven-hundred in Martinsville and Henry County lost their jobs.
More than 250 of them showed up today in Martinsville for some career counseling.
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[SOT 1:20:22 - :29]
[IN Q=It really looks grim]
((WENDY AMOS: IT REALLY LOOKS GRIM FOR EVERYBODY HERE AT THE HOLIDAY SEASON, BUT I'M GOING TO HOLD MY HEAD UP HIGH AND I'M GOING TO KEEP GOING ON. ))
[SUPER=01-Wendy Amos/Former Tultex Worker;]
[OUT Q=keep going on.]
Since last week's layoffs, several furniture companies and another textile plant have announced they're expanding.
That will create more than 600 new jobs.
Martinsville city officials are trying to figure out what Tultex troubles will mean to the city's future.
City taxpayers soon may be feeling the results.
Tultex WAS the city's largest employer.
It produced roughly nine percent of the city's real estate and property tax revenue.
Tultex still owes the city more than 650-thousand dollars in real estate and property taxes for THIS year.
It was the city's biggest water customer --accounting for about half of all Martinsville water and sewage use.
Martinsville doesn't know yet if it will ever get the money Tultex owes.
Any hole in the city budget could have an impact on taxes city residents pay.
A group of Norfolk Southern coal cars is growing -- along with national demand for coke.
The N-S shops in Roanoke are adding four-foot walls to the tops of 725-cars.
The so-called "high tops" are specially designed to move coke.
Coke is a byproduct of coal that's used to make steel -- and Norfolk Southern says its acquisition of Conrail opened up new markets for coke along the east coast.
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In sports, highlights from the high school hard wood, Ron Dayne has a Blacksburg connection and changes in Jeff Gordon's camp.
First our extra point.
Another arrest warrant was issued for Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth today.
He was arrested last month and charged in the drive-by shooting of his pregnant girlfriend in Charlotte.
He was indicted today on an additional charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
He was released on an unsecured 300-thousand dollar bond.
Now here are the scores.
[go to scores]
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[OUT Q=...last score."]
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[GRAPHIC=high school basketball]
William Fleming and GW Danville met last night in Roanoke.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Wm. Fleming vs. GW Danville;]
Colonel football coach Kila Miller was on hand to mug for the camera and cheer the Fleming basketball team.
The Colonels go inside on Danville. The strong move underneath gets the points and draws the foul.
The Eagles then soar...on the fast break now, the sweet spin move coverts into a bucket for GW.
The Eagles continue to battle back, this jump shot ties it up and sends the game into overtime.
[super=33-GW Danville/60/William Fleming/67/In OT;]
But the Colonels take control in the extra minutes and come out of the dog fight the 67-60 winners.
[TAPE#=Sp-54 tc 50:24]
Roanoke College's men's basketball team is ranked in two national division three college basketball polls.
The Maroons are 25th in the Columbus Multimedia Division Three poll and the D-Three Hoops Online national rankings.
Both polls were compiled before Monday night's 75-55 win over Lynchburg College.
The Maroons are now three and oh in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and six and one overall.
Junior Jason Strickland also earned a spot on the D-Three Team of the week with a 23 point, 15 rebound performance against Emory and Henry and 20 points in the Virginia Wesleyan game.
Roanoke is one of three ODAC schools ranked by the Columbus Multimedia Poll. Hampden Sydney is second and Bridgewater is ranked 24th.
The Radford Highlanders will be in Blacksburg Thursday night battling the Hokies.
And Mike Stevens says after the way RU has opened the season, traveling to the other end of Price's Fork Road will be a breeze.
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[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Peanut Arrington/Radford Guard; :37]
[SUPER=01-Ron Bradley/Radford Head Coach; :45 quick]
[SUPER=01-Andy Savtchenko/Radford Center; 1:46]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
(( The Highlanders have taken on the tag of Road Warriors so far this season.
They have yet to play at the Dedmon Center this year, and this Thursday night's game with Tech will mark the team's fifth straight away from home.
At this point - several things are obvious. For starters, Ryan Charles is all the way after knee surgery. He's averaged 27 a game in his last two starts.
Point guard Rian Everett has been outstanding hitting 54 percent of his threes.
And Peanut Arrington has been as good as advertised, if not better, playing almost 30 minutes a game
The mystery to date is the play of sophomore center Andy Savtchenko.
The team's leading rebounder last season, bulked up over the summer adding over 30 pounds of muscle and increasing his bench press to 300 pounds.
But through four games his level of play has dropped.
At 7-feet and 265 pounds Savtchenko has the potential to dominate games. RU fans hope to see him and the rest of the deepest team in school history blossom in the Cassell on Thursday.
In Radford Mike Stevens News 7 Sports.))
Still to come, Jeff Gordon makes some changes in team organization and
the Associated Press' college football player of the year has some connections to Blacksburg. We'll explain after the break.
[TAPE#=SP-51 tc 1:14:06]
Wisconsin's Ron Dayne and Tech's Michael Vick finished one-two in the voting for the Associated Press' College player of the year.
But what you might not know, is Dayne was actually born in Blacksburg in 1978.
Dayne moved to New Jersey to live with his uncle when he was 15 after divorce and drugs broke up his family.
College football's all time leading rusher pick up 43 out of 82 votes for the award Vick finished a distant second with 14.
Drew Brees was third with six votes.
[TAPE#=SP-52 tc 51:11]
In another poll Michael Vick holds the edge over Ron Dayne.
The first freshman ever to attend the Heisman ceremony in New York, has become the darling of the media.
On the CNN-Sports Illustrated web page, Vick is all over the Heisman section with not only his likeness, but speculation that he could even win the thing.
He certainly is making his mark in the fan poll.
Nearly 7000 fans have voter on line - and Vick is in the lead with more 42 percent of the vote.
Ron Dayne is next with 35 percent.
Around the track Jeff Gordon announced some changes in his camp yesterday.
[SUPER=04-1999 Season; :00]
Robbie Loomis, who has spent his entire Winston Cup career with Richard Petty, serving the last nine years as the crew chief of the 43 car, yesterday left Petty Enterprises to become Gordon's new crew chief.
Loomis's arrival means that Virginia Tech graduate and Stuarts Draft native Brian Whitesell will now serve as team manager for the 24 car.
A Roanoke product is number one on the college tennis scene.
K.J. Hippensteel is now a sophomore at Stanford.
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings were released today and KJ tops the list.
The former North Cross student earned the number one spot by going undefeated in singles play during the fall season and by winning the Reebok/ITA All-American Grand Slam championship.
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