Just ahead on News 7 - a final round-up of Y-2-K readiness.
State officials have a game plan - and some tips.
And a swearing-in in the Star City.
The new city manager takes her oath.
In sports, Florida blasts VMI in an afternoon college basketball game, UVA talks turkey about being ignored by the media during the holiday bowl season and
Tech starts practicing in New Orleans hoping for another Sugar Bowl win January fourth and its first national title.
Snowfall will dust the region tonight and accumulate a few inches in the western highlands. Details ahead.
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[IN Q=One of the]
((BETTE DILLEHAY/VIRGINIA Y2K OFFICE: ONE OF THE GREAT UNCERTAINTIES OF THIS PROCESS IS THAT PEOPLE WILL REACT AND OVERREACT.))
[OUT Q=and overreact.]
Virginia's Y2K command center is up and running -- with a plea for "reasonable" behavior on the part of citizens.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
They've spent three years fixing the computers and making sure everyone Virginia does business with is Y2K- compliant.
Now, state officials say their biggest worry is people.
[Double Boxes=ANCHOR/Ellen via State Microwave]
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom, with the latest Y2K news.
Keith, there are two command centers Friday night.
One is the normal Emergency Operations Center at the State Police headquarters in Chesterfield County.
The other is a Y2K info center in a state office building in downtown Richmond.
[IN Q=The state thinks]
[SUPER=01-Michael Cline/Virginia Emergency Services; :16]
[SUPER=01-Col. Wayne Huggins/Virginia State Police; :35 ]
[SUPER=01-Bette Dillehay/Virginia Y2K Office; :55 ]
[OUT Q=from others.]
(( The state thinks it's licked the Y2K bug, showing off its New Year's Eve command center, and announcing it is 100 percent ready for the Year 2000.
Each locality in the state will check in after midnight and again by 8 A-M -- by a radio network if necessary.
[SOT 10:18:55 TAPE ONE]
((MICHAEL CLINE/VIRGINIA EMERGENCY SERVICES: OUR PRIMARY COMMUNICATIONS LINKS IN THE STATE ARE BASED ON THE TELEPHONE SYSTEMS. WE HAVE ARRANGED FOR EACH LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO ACCESS A RADIO COMMUNICATIONS JUST IN CASE THERE'S A BREAKDOWN IN THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM -- THE TELEPHONES DON'T WORK.))
State Police will be at maximum staffing.
((COL. WAYNE HUGGINS/VIRGINIA STATE POLICE: WE HAVE NO INFORMATION OF ANY CREDIBLE THREAT, TERRORIST OR OTHERWISE AGAINST ANY ASSET, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA.))
The Y2K office workers are ready to live here for a few days... and they encourage citizens to make "reasonable" preparations like for a winter storm weekend.
[SOT TAPE ONE 10:37:40]
((BETTE DILLEHAY/VIRGINIA Y2K OFFICE: I OFTEN USE THE EXAMPLE, WHEN WE SELECT AN INSURANCE POLICY, THERE ISN'T ONE THAT FITS ALL SIZES. SO IF YOU HAVE ELDERLY PERSON IN YOUR HOME, IF YOU PEOPLE WHO ARE DEPENDENT ON HEALTH SUPPORT SERVICES, IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, THOSE NEEDS DIFFER SIGNIFICANTLY FROM OTHERS.))
Bette Dillehay says take as much cash out of the bank as you normally would for a few days... and it's reasonable to compare your last financial statements with the first you get in the New Year, to make sure there's NO error.
Q&A KEITH: Are the plans for using radios standard for the Virginia Emergency Operations Center?
ELLEN: No. This is the first time Virginia's ever turned to ham operators and said back us up, JUST IN CASE the phone system fails.
So, as much as they want us to be calm, this promises to be a unique event.
The state has a toll free Y2K Citizen Information Line.
[TAKE PHONE NUMBER FULL SCREEN]
That number is 1-888-200-0258.
[TAKE WDBJ WEB ADDRESS FULL]
You can find it and a link to the state's Century Date Change Initiative Project office on Web Watch - at WDBJ7-dot-COM.
Officials across Virginia are stocking up on stop signs in preparation for Y-2-K.
The Virginia Department of Transportation says all 120 traffic signals in the Roanoke Valley and New River Valley have been tested and are Y-2-K compliant.
But just in case - they've got hundreds of extra stop signs handy if the power goes out or some other Y-2-K glitch affects signals and lights.
Traffic signals had nothing to do with it - instead State Police say a 16-year-old who had been drinking is to blame for a crash on Interstate 81 this morning.
Authorities also say the teenager didn't have a driver's license.
He and five other teens were hurt when the car hit a truck in the southbound lane and flipped over at about five this morning.
State police say the driver had been trying to pass the truck when he lost control.
The accident sent all six people in the car to the hospital with minor injuries.
The teens had been on their way to Virginia Beach, when they changed their minds and headed back home to Salem.
Police aren't releasing the driver's name because he's a juvenile.
He'll be charged with driving without a license, and illegal consumption of alcohol.
Three men robbed a convenience store in Henry County last night.
The sheriff's office says the robbers, wearing masks and carrying guns, went into the Woodland Mart on Old Chatham Road.
One told the clerk to open the safe.
When the clerk said he couldn't, the robber hit him on the head with his gun.
The thieves stole some money and lottery tickets, and drove off in a blue Ford Crown Victoria.
A deputy found the stolen car this morning in Pittsylvania County.
It had been set on fire.
The clerk's fine; his only injury is a small cut.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
The change of power is almost official.
Roanoke's new manager is sworn-in today.
Details coming up.
And one woman's mission is bringing new life to a Lynchburg cemetery - and keeping a community in touch with its African-American heritage.
We'll have the story.
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Roanoke's new city manager will officially take office with the start of the new year... but Darlene Burcham took the oath of office this afternoon.
[IN Q=And that I will faithfully]
[OUT Q=of the city of Roanoke.]
Burcham was sworn in by Judge Diane Strickland, in a circuit courtroom filled with relatives, city council members and other officials.
Burcham says she has looked forward to becoming a city manager, and is pleased to be reaching that milestone in Roanoke.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I love the state of Virginia]
((DARLENE BURCHAM/ROANOKE CITY MANAGER: I LOVE THE STATE OF VIRGINIA. I'VE ALWAYS LIVED HERE AND ROANOKE IS A WONDERFUL CITY. IT'S ALWAYS HAD A VERY FINE REPUTATION AND BEING THE FIRST WOMAN STARTING ON JANUARY FIRST OF THE NEW MILLENIUM IS ALL KIND OF EXCITING, ALL THAT COMING TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME.))
((DAVID BOWERS/ROANOKE MAYOR: AND ROANOKE HAS HAD A LONG HISTORY OF GOOD CITY MANAGERS. WE'RE GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE WORK THAT BERN EWERT, BOB HERBERT AND JIM RITCHIE HAVE DONE FOR US. DARLENE BURCHAM IS GOING TO BE OF THAT SAME CALIBER AND LEAD OUR CITY FORWARD IN A GREAT WAY. I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A GREAT TIME TO BE LIVING HERE IN ROANOKE.))
[SUPER=01-Darlene Burcham/Roanoke City Manager; :00]
[OUT Q=living here in Roanoke.]
Burcham has moved to Roanoke and she will take office at 12:01 on the morning of January First.
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke Co. Schools]
The New Year will also bring a change of leadership in the Roanoke County School System, where Linda Weber (WEB-er) will succeed Deanna Gordon as superintendent.
Gordon is retiring after almost 40 years with the school system.
As superintendent for the last five and a half, she has led the division during a difficult period.
Gordon says she's proud of the progress the county has made in many areas, including school construction.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Well, we should be proud]
((DEANNA GORDON/ROANOKE CO. SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: WELL WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED, AND AS YOU KNOW A LOT OF THAT WAS BECAUSE OF THE BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY BOTH THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND THE SCHOOL BOARD GOT BEHIND THAT AND DID A THOROUGH PLAN THAT WILL TAKE THIS SCHOOL SYSTEM AHEAD FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS.))
[SUPER=01-Deanna Gordon/Roanoke Co. Superintendent]
[OUT Q=for the next ten years.]
Gordon may yet return to the classroom. The early retirement program requires her to spend 24 days a year with the school system and she's offered to teach or fill in as a school principal.
She also plans to be active in local organizations including the United Way, the American Red Cross, and the Arts Council.
Steaming hot coffee took on a whole new meaning today --
when coffee grinds caught fire at the H&C Coffee warehouse in Northeast Roanoke.
The fire started in the coffee roasting machine and left less than a hundred dollars damage.
Employees put the flames out themselves but called the fire department just to be sure.
Consumer confidence is at a new high.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
So is the Dow... with a gain of 86 points today for another record close.
Nasdaq was off 3 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]
In Lynchburg, the quest for black history has led one local woman to undertake what is, quite literally, a monumental task.
Steve Smallshaw has her story.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=At the intersection]
[SUPER=01-Laura Munson/Cemetery Restoration Director; :20]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( At the intersection of two streets that don't even exist on most city maps lies one of Lynchburg's best- kept secrets.
For decades, only neighbors could tell you the location of White Rock Cemetery.. the city's main burial ground for black residents over the past 100 years.
Now, Laura Munson hopes to change all that.
((LAURA MUNSON/CEMETERY RESTORATION DIRECTOR: WHEN I SAW IT, I JUST WAS INSPIRED AND SAID `THIS IS WHAT I'M GOING TO DO FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS OR SO'.))
[OUT Q=or so.]
That's how long Munson figures it will take to clear the seven- acre cemetery and return it to normal.
Thirty years of un-checked growth has left family gravesites obscured, their headstones broken and collapsed..
((AND THEN I THINK THESE CORNERSTONES ARE REALLY INTERESTING..))
Munson spends three days a week here clearing away the brush and filling in sunken graves.. she describes her work as part landscaping and part archaeology.
((The list of those buried here in White Rock reads like a "Who's Who" of Lynchburg's black community over the past century. Buried underneath all these branches and vines are the graves of doctors, soldiers and shopkeepers.. each of whom have a story that organizers say needs to be uncovered and told again.))
[OUT Q=told again.]
((MUNSON: JUST THE MOST SPIRITUAL FEELING BEING OUT HERE AND KNOWING THAT THESE PEOPLE HAD WONDERFUL LIVES AND CONTRIBUTED A LOT TO THE CITY AND WE JUST WANT THEM TO BE KNOWN.))
[OUT Q=to be known.]
Efforts are underway to link White Rock Cemetery with the city's black history museum.. making sure that while those buried here may be gone, they'll never be forgotten.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
Coming up next, Florida highlights from the Gators game against VMI, Bobby Bowden entertains Mike Stevens and
UVA players talk about all the media coverage they are NOT getting for the Micron PC Dot Com Bowl.
[TAPE#=SP-45 tc 1:23:38]
VMI and sixth ranked Florida hooked up for a dance this afternoon in college basketball.
And the Gators led all the way.
Bart Bellairs and his Keydets had their hands full today and couldn't seem to hold on to the ball.
The Gators' press caused 33 turnovers this afternoon, here Brett Nelson makes the steal then travels the length of the court for the hoop.
VMI then leaves Donnell Harvey all alone under the basket. The slam is just two of Harvey's game high 22.
Again the Keydets can't hold on to the ball. Florida has no problem converting the turnovers into points and the Gators pummel VMI 113-to-68.
[TAPE#=sp-48 tc 1:38:53]
The Hokies are preparing for the Sugar Bowl in much the same way they got ready for the 1995 win over Texas...
by practicing at Tulane.
This is going to be a fun trip but star quarterback Michael Vick says he knows when to get down to business.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=about two more]
[SUPER=01-Michael Vick/Va Tech QB;]
[OUT Q=prepare myself]
Florida State just arrived in New Orleans around five our time.
But before they left the sunshine state, Peter Warrick had this response to Tech's Corey Moore's fighting words.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Everybody alway]
[SUPER=01-Peter Warrick/Florida St. Flanker;]
[OUT Q=when the ball's snapped]
If you want to get the lowdown on the Hokies and Seminoles, and at the same time get an earful of entertainment - just kick back and take a listen as Mike Stevens checks in with the man of a million quotes - Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=03-Tallahassee, FL; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bobby Bowden/303 Career Coaching Wins; :]
[OUT Q=...news 7 sports."]
(( He is 70 years old, and one of the most revered figures in all of college football.
Earlier this season Bobby Bowden became only the fifth coach in NCAA history win pick up 300 career wins.
He's outspoken, opinionated, bluntly honest as evidenced recently when he was asked about Pater Warrick's non infamous clothing scam that cost him the Heisman.
But Bowden won't discount the Hokies and in particular their number one ranked defense that features seven senior starters.
And what about that quarterback? Does Bowden have nightmares about not being able to defend Michael Vick?
And so is Bowden. The Sugar Bowl will be his 23rd bowl game as a head coach. Mike Stevens News 7 sports.))
Virginia is currently getting ready for Thursday's Micron PC-Dot Com Bowl, but still the Hokies are getting all the press.
What do the Cavaliers think about all the TECH pub?
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think]
[SUPER=01-Dwayne Stukes/UVA Defensive Back; :00]
[super=01-Thomas Jones/UVA Running Back; :40]
[super=01-George Welsh/UVA Head Coach; :58]
[OUT Q=might have Shown up]
[ENG/FULL]LOCAL WEATHER VIDEO
[ADD CHYRON/ENG/FULL]HIGHS & LOWS
[CK/CHYRON/5 PAGES] FORECASTS
[ESS/FULL] EXTENDED FORECAST[Forecasts]
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[SUPER=333-Snow Advisory/1-3" Possible/18-20/Morning Flurries/Then Clearing/33-35]
[SUPER=334-Snow Advisory/1-3" Possible/16-18/Gradual Clearing/Wind NW-10/32-34]
New Years Eve is right around the corner and if you're still looking for a place to go, you don't have to look far.
Despite all the hype about the year 2000 - many places throughout Roanoke still have reservations left.
[ss=N7 at 11]
Tonight on News 7 at 11 find out how you can have a great New Year's Eve - even if you're planning at the last minute.
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