[7-E-Y2K-Readiness]

[ANCHOR=Melanie]

[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=sgo]
[TAPE#=99-44 1:32:58]
[GRAPHIC=Battling the Bug]


If you're ready for a lot of excitement when the New Year comes in, Roanoke's acting city manager says don't panic.

(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Jim Ritchie told city council that all city computers and equipment are Y-2-K-ready.
Though he only seemed willing to guarantee that the 9-1-1 system will work.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 53:38]
[IN Q=while we]

((JIM RITCHIE/ACTING CITY MANAGER: WHILE WE EXPECT SOME MINOR GLITCHES IN OTHER SYSTEMS ... WE DO NOT EXPECT MAJOR GLITCHES RELATED TO Y-2-K.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Ritchie/Acting City Manager;]
[RUNS=12]
[OUT Q=related to y-2-k]
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[graphic=HOLD]


Ritchie said -- just in case there's a problem -- city staffers will work all day and night on New Year's Eve.
He also said the city will set up emergency shelters... and you should stock up on supplies -- like you're getting ready for a winter storm.

[7-81-Lawyer]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Interstate 81]


He says heavily traveled Interstate 81 is dangerous and wants a judge to declare it a "public safety emergency."
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=@file;]


The complaint filed by Roanoke lawyer Richard Lawrence seeks public hearings on how to improve conditions.
It isn't a lawsuit and no monetary damages are being sought.
The state police and department of transportation are named as defendants.
If it succeeds, the complaint could force state officials to make both short- and long-term improvements to the interstate.
(------------)



[7-E-Rubatex]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=kwe]
[TAPE#=99-45 1:10:25]
[GRAPHIC=Rubatex Strike]


The strike at Rubatex has reached one hundred days, with no end in site.
(------------)
[VO-NAT 99-27 2:00:16 or 99-33 1:35:40]
[SUPER=04-File Tape;]


That means this is the longest strike in the foam and rubber manufacturer's history.
The union hit the picket lines September 12th. Many strikers have since found temporary jobs at department stores and other factories.
So far there is no word when the two sides will resume bargaining.
(------------)



[7-E-Gilmores]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=99-47]
[GRAPHIC=None]


The world has a chance to see the newly renovated Governor's mansion on television, and now they can also get up close and personal.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond;]


Virginia's First Family is hosting a New Year's Day open house, to show off the top-to-bottom renovation of the governor's mansion.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 13:56:36]
[IN Q=We have not]

((GOV. JIM GILMORE: WE HAVE NOT EVER DONE THIS IN VIRGINIA BEFORE. SO AS A RESULT, NO ONE REALLY QUITE KNOWS WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. BUT WE THINK THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA OUGHT TO HAVE AN OPEN INVITATION TO COME IN AND SEE THEIR MANSION ON NEW YEAR'S DAY AND WELCOME IN THE MILLENNIUM.))
[SUPER=@Gilmore;]
[RUNS=:14]
[OUT Q=the millennium.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The 7-point-2 million dollar job is the first complete renovation in the mansion's 186 year history.
A smaller-than-usual Christmas tree is up, so that movers can still finish furnishing and decorating the mansion before New Year's Day.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 13:52:36]
[IN Q=We really]

((ROXANE GILMORE/FIRST LADY OF VIRGINIA: WE REALLY LET HISTORY BE OUR GUIDE, WE DIDN'T TAKE A LOT OF PERSONAL LIBERTIES, BUT INSTEAD, LOOKED TO THE HOUSE ITSELF TO TELL US WHAT THE RIGHT THINGS TO DO WERE AS FAR AS DECOR AND RENOVATION GO.))
[SUPER=01-Roxane Gilmore/First Lady of Virginia; ]
[RUNS=:15]
[OUT Q=renovation go.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The Gilmores will be on hand, from two to six in the afternoon, to meet and greet the public.
(------------)



[7Weather]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tar]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]


Here's a look at today's forecast...
Mostly cloudy this morning with rain developing in the afternoon.
Highs in the mid to upper 40s.
Tonight, periods of rain with a possibility of a snow-sleet mix.
Lows in the lower 30s.
[SUPER=X5000; set dissolve]
[SUPER=314-Mostly Cloudy/Afternoon Rain/45-49/Periods of Rain/Snow-Sleet Mix/30-34;]
[SUPER=#555; reset]





[45-S-VT-Marriage]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=99-50 51:47]
[GRAPHIC=Legal Scales]


Vermont's highest court has ruled gay couples must receive the same benefits and protections as a married man and woman.
Gay organizations welcomed the decision as the most far-reaching of its' kind in the United States.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond]


But Governor Gilmore says he sees NO immediate impact on Virginia.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 14:06:13]
[IN Q=Well I haven't]

((GOV. JIM GILMORE: WELL I HAVEN'T READ THE VERMONT RULING. NOR WAS I AWARE OF IT UNTIL YOU JUST MENTIONED IT. BUT I WOULD THINK THAT WOULD BE AGAINST THE PUBLIC POLICY AND LAW OF THE COMMONWEALTH. I WOULD NOT FORESEE US RECOGNIZING IT IN THAT SAME WAY.))
[SUPER=@Gilmore;]
[RUNS=:12]
[OUT Q=that same way.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond/File Tape]


Abingdon Delegate Joe Johnson sponsored a bill which became state law in 1997.
It says "any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia."
(------------)
[TALENT=Melanie]
[SS=Hold]


Virginia law already prohibited same sex marriages.
But the Virginia chapter of the A-C-L-U says there's nothing in Virginia's CONSTITUTION which specifically prohibits such a union.
But, the A-C-L-U says it is unlikely that Virginia's conservative courts or lawmakers are likely to find, agree with or act on that interpretation any time soon.


[45-E-Condemnation]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=sgo]
[TAPE#=99-39 1:39:24]
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke City Seal]


There will be no court battle between the city of Ronoake and a property owner.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/File Tape;]


City council voted to drop its condemnation case against the man who owns this property at the corner of Franklin Road and Elm Avenue.
Council wanted to build a park to serve as a "gateway" to downtown.
Now it's going to change its strategy and try to buy the land without getting a judge involved.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 1:12:27]
[IN Q=if we can]

((JIM TROUT/CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: IF WE CAN BUY IT AT A REASONABLE PRICE ... TO BUILD UPSCALE CONDOS.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Trout/Roanoke City Council;]
[RUNS=:12]
[OUT Q=BUILD UPSCALE CONDOS]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Landowner Herbert George wants twice the 123-thousand dollars that the city offered.
No word on how much city council might be willing to pay.
(------------)




[45-E-Hospital-Visit]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=99-42 1:51:27]
[GRAPHIC=Tech Football]


It was just what the doctor ordered, a visit from Virginia Tech's star football team.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg;]


The players visited Montgomery Regional hospital to try and make the holidays a bit brighter for folks who may not be able to be with their loved ones.
The entire team was invited and there were plenty of fans waiting to welcome them inside.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 9:31:26]
[IN Q=It's nice]

((SHAYNE GRAHAM/VIRGINIA TECH KICKER: IT'S NICE TO BE ABLE TO COME OUT HERE, NOT EVERYONE IS ABLE TO BE IN THE CONVENIENCE OF THEIR OWN HOMES OR TO WATCH OUR GAMES OR SEE US FROM THE STANDS, SO IT'S NICE TO BE HERE AND HAVE THESE PEOPLE MEET US ONE ON ONE.))
[SUPER=01-Shayne Graham/Virginia Tech Kicker; :00]
[RUNS=14]
[OUT Q=one on one.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The team not only signed autographs for the sick but also the hospital's employees and their families.
(------------)



[45Weather]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tar]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]


Taking a moment now to check the forecast again...
Mostly cloudy today, with rain developing this afternoon.
Temperatures will drop throughout the day after an early high in the upper 40s.
Periods of rain are expected tonight, with some mixed with light snow or sleet.
Lows near 32.
The five day forecast is calling for some lingering wintry precipitation through tomorrow morning, then clearing and chilly....
[SUPER=X5000; set dissolve]
[SUPER=314-Mostly Cloudy/Afternoon Rain/45-49/Periods of Rain/Snow-Sleet Mix/30-34;]
[SUPER=#555; reset]





[8-E-Y2K-Readiness]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=sgo]
[TAPE#=99-44 1:32:58]
[GRAPHIC=Battling the Bug]


The new millenium is upon us and preparations are underway for 2000. And Roanoke's acting city manager says there's no need for Star City residents to panic.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Jim Ritchie told city council that all city computers and equipment are Y-2-K-ready.
Though he only seemed willing to guarantee that the 9-1-1 system will work.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 53:38]
[IN Q=while we]

((JIM RITCHIE/ACTING CITY MANAGER: WHILE WE EXPECT SOME MINOR GLITCHES IN OTHER SYSTEMS ... WE DO NOT EXPECT MAJOR GLITCHES RELATED TO Y-2-K.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Ritchie/Acting City Manager;]
[RUNS=12]
[OUT Q=related to y-2-k]
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[graphic=NONE]


Ritchie said -- just in case there's a problem -- city staffers will work all day and night on New Year's Eve.
He also said the city will set up emergency shelters... and you should stock up on supplies -- like you're getting ready for a winter storm.

[8-Ashes-Orbit]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A Roanoke man is resting in peace in the most unlikely of places, outer space.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Vandenburg A. F. B., CA]


Last night, NASA sent a satellite into outer space carrying, among other things, the cremated remains of 36 people.
The ashes of Roanoker Gary Close will orbit the earth for some 45 years before burning up in the earth's atmosphere.
(-------------)



[8-E-Mall-Wrappers]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tte]
[TAPE#=99-48 35:30]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas]


A few of Santa's special elves are working here in Roanoke to make those Christmas gifts sparkle.
(//// SOT /////)
[SOT 14:03:44]
[IN Q=What else you got]

((WHAT ELSE YOU GOT SWEETIE? AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THAT IN?))
[RUNS=:03]
[OUT Q=WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THAT IN]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Robin Bailey heads up the Customer Service Department at Roanoke's Valley View Mall. She says she and her staff pull in a thousand dollars a day wrapping Christmas presents. Most of their customers are men.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 14:10:48]
[IN Q=I had to wrap]

((I HAD TO WRAP TWO FISHING POLES AND HE DIDN'T ... GOOD 30 MINUTES TO WRAP IT.))
[RUNS=:14]
[OUT Q=to wrap it]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Bailey says the secret is to hide the tape and fold the paper perfectly straight. To do the job right, she says, it takes personality, talent and the ability to keep cool under pressure.
(------------)



[8-E-Xmas-Postmark]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=99-49 30:51]
[GRAPHIC=HOLD]


This week postal workers will be flooded with last minute holiday mail, but there's one postal employee who wants the amount of mail he's handling to increase this Christmas season.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Appomattox Co.]


Rick Elkins is the postmaster in the tiny Appomattox County village of Evergreen.
The Christmas-y sounding name generates hundreds of extra letters every year.. all seeking Elkins' special Christmas tree cachet (cash-ay) and postmark.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 16:46:32]
[IN Q=The middle of]

((RICK ELKINS/EVERGREEN POSTMASTER: THE MIDDLE OF DECEMBER IS RIGHT MUCH OF A RUSH BECAUSE THAT'S THREE STROKES PER ENVELOPE AND IT ADDS UP DURING THE DAY. AND THE CONSTANT INTERRUPTIONS, TAKING CARE OF THE NORMAL DAY TO DAY BUSINESS, YOU HAVE TO WANT TO DO IT FOR IT TO HAPPEN.))
[SUPER=01-Rick Elkins/Evergreen Postmaster]
[RUNS=14]
[OUT Q=for it to happen.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Elkins says he's handled mail from 38 states and nine foreign countries.
He started his job in Evergreen six years ago on.. of course.. Christmas Day.
(------------)



[8Weather]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tar]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]


Before we wrap up this morning, here's another look at today's forecast...
Mostly cloudy today, with rain expected by afternoon.
Temperatures will rapidly drop throughout the day after an early high in the upper 40s.
Periods of rain tonight could have some light snow or sleet mixed in.
Lows in the lwoer 30s.
The five day forecast stays rather chilly....with periods of light wintry weather.

[SUPER=X5000; set dissolve]
[SUPER=314-Mostly Cloudy/Afternoon Rain/45-49/Periods of Rain/Snow-Sleet Mix/30-34;]
[SUPER=#555; reset]