One state tax is about to go down - but not everyone is eating up the food tax decrease.
And Y2K means tightened security for one public building in the Roanoke Valley.
You have to show I-D now, just to get in.
In sports, the Hokies and Cavaliers talk about their bowl games New England's Terry Glenn is through for the season.
And Penn State's LeVar may have played his last college football game in the Alamo Bowl.
Heading into the new year with a forecast that is about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than normal. Details and a planning forecast for New Orleans just ahead.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
It's the biggest budget for Virginia ever...
But some groups are saying the 48-BILLION dollar, two-year budget plan from Jim Gilmore still isn't enough.
Marya Jones was at a public hearing in Wytheville today... one of six being held around the state.
Marya, who's saying they've been left out?
Keith, a slew of community action groups and area cultural agencies are giving the governor's budget the thumbs down.
And today, many of them appeared before legislators asking them to fulfill their wishes by helping send more money their way.
(rollcue... send more money their way. )
[IN Q=Some area legislators]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Madison Marye/(D) Shawsville; :05 quick!]
[SUPER=01-Kay Strickland/Va. Museum of Transportation; :17]
[SUPER=01-Roger Ellmore/Explore Park; :30]
[SUPER=01-Ralph Booher/Teacher; :42]
[OUT Q=able to get the message.]
(( Some area legislators came into the hearing with the same views on the budget as many of the speakers.
[SOT 12:11:53 - :57]
((SEN. MADISON MARYE: I THINK THAT IT'S GOING TO NEED SOME DOCTORING. ))
And that's exactly what the more than 70 speakers asked the legislators for.
Cultural agencies came before the legislators to toot their own horns and ask for more money.
[SOT 12:25:15 - :28]
((KAY STRICKLAND: TOOT. TOOT. THE VA. MUSEUM OF TRANSPORTATION IS MAKING TRACKS. I'M HERE TO ASK YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF OUR CULTURAL INSTITUTION FOR THE BIENNIUM. ))
[SOT 12:30:12 - :17]
((ROGER ELLMORE/VIRGINIA'S EXPLORE PARK: THE PARK REQUIRES OPERATIONAL FUNDS TO KEEP OUR PROGRAMMING AT A HIGH QUALITY AND MARKET OURSELVES TO THE PUBLIC. ))
And though the governor's budget threw millions in support of educational programs, teachers' groups said they, too, were overlooked.
[sot 12:48:57 - :12:49:03]
((RALPH BOOHER/TEACHER: WITHOUT FUNDING GUIDELINES FROM YOU GENTLEMEN IN THE STATE, THE SALARIES OF VA. TEACHERS ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO DECLINE. ))
Dozens of citizens begged for more money for community groups that helped their own struggling families through domestic violence and tough financial times.
Legislators said they would take all the citizen's concerns back to Richmond.
[sot 12:12:02 - :18]
((MADISON MARYE: I NOTICED THERE ARE QUITE A FEW MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS ALONG WITH US AND I THINK THEY WILL BE ABLE TO GET THE MESSAGE. ))
Participants at today's hearing will have to wait and see if they truly got the message when General Assembly passes the final budget in March.
Martinsville's pummeled economy was struck again today.
Hampton Industries announced it's closing a sewing factory.
That'll leave another 120-apparel workers without jobs.
Since September ... more than 26-hundred apparel workers have lost their jobs in Martinsville and Henry County.
That's pushed unemployment numbers in that area way above Virginia's average.
In November ... the unemployment rate in Martinsville was an astounding 15-point-2 percent.
Henry County's jobless rate was 9-point-4 percent.
The statewide average is only 2-point-six percent.
It just got a little tougher to do business with the federal government in Roanoke.
Anyone who wants to get into the Poff federal building downtown now has to show a driver's license or some other photo ID.
People who didn't have one were being turned away by federal marshals today.
A spokesman for the government says this and other steps were taken because of continuing concern about security at federal buildings.
But officials are NOT aware of any specific threat against government workers or offices in southwest Virginia.
The state will cut the tax on most food and drink, starting January first.
It will save you 50- cents per 100 dollars of groceries -- but, as Tina Tenret shows us, it might also cost you a headache or two.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=nat sot]
[SUPER=01-Helen Pagans/Pagans Grocery;]
[SUPER=01-Sylvia Rice/Buzz In Market;]
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret News7 Franklin County]
(((///// SOT /////)
((nat sot greeting customers))
Helen Pagans has owned Pagans Grocery near Smith Mountain Lake for 38 years now.
She's against the food tax cut.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I am not]
((I AM NOT AT ALL PLEASED WITH IT BECAUSE I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE COMPLICATED. IT'S JUST GOING TO CREATE MORE PROBLEMS FOR THE MERCHANTS.))
[OUT Q=FOR THE MERCHANTS]
Most food -- like candy, milk and fresh veggies -- will get a tax break.
But ready-to-eat items like chicken, pizza slices and fountain drinks will not.
Pagans says she's spent hundreds of dollars to reprogram her cash register.
(///// SOT /////)
((nat sot cash register))
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=IF YOU THINK]
((TINA TENRET/NEWS7: IF YOU THINK THAT'S COMPLICATED, THINK OF THE SMALL COUNTRY STORES THAT DON'T HAVE CASH REGISTERS.
THEY HAVE TO ADD UP ALL THESE DIFFERENT TAXES BY HAND.))
[OUT Q=TAXES BY HAND]
(///// SOT /////)
((nat sot from Buzz In Mkt))
But employees with more sophisticated toys, like at the Buzz In Market, seem to have no worries.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think it's]
((SYLVIA RICE/BUZZ IN MARKET: I THINK IT'S GREAT. ANYTHING WE CAN GET LOWERED, IT HELPS EVERYBODY.))
[OUT Q=helps everybody]
The food tax is supposed to go down a little each year for the next three years -- down from four and a half percent now to two and a half percent in 2003.
Tina Tenret News7 Franklin County.))
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Are local folks beefing up on supplies and drugs to battle the Y-2-K bug?
We'll check in with area stores.
And one Blacksburg graveyard is full - and Hokie fans couldn't be happier.
[wx ad lib]
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[SUPER=82-2.46''/minus 0.24''/36.17''/minus 4.69'']
[SUPER=83-Down 0.65 foot/Down 0.81 foot]
[SUPER=84-Down 14.0 feet/Voluntary Conservation][Y2K-Shopping]
[GRAPHIC=Battling the Y2K bug]
For months worries over the Y-2-K bug have provided good material for news headlines and doomsayers, but is the average citizen losing any sleep over it?
Steve Smallshaw was out and about today, trying to answer that question..
Keith, local retailers will tell you as we get closer to the actual date, people seem to be getting LESS worried about any problems the year 2000 might bring.
[IN Q=With all the]
[SUPER=01-Cheryl Carter/Shopper; :25]
[SUPER=01-Mike Rhodes/Myers and Rhodes Equipment; :54]
[SUPER=01-Chris James/CT Farm and Country; 1:22]
[OUT Q=so many returns.]
(( With all the reminders out there, it's hard NOT to be thinking about Y-2-K as we draw closer to New Year's, but the real question is how seriously are people taking the millennium bug threat?
So far at least, most local grocery stores haven't been swamped with those looking to stock up for the Y2K weekend.
One shopper thinks it will be a big no- show, but she's laying in a few supplies just in case.
((CHERYL CARTER/SHOPPER: I JUST BOUGHT A LITTLE EXTRA WATER AND I BOUGHT JUICE THAT I DON'T HAVE TO ADD WATER TO, SOME BOXED JUICE, SO I'D HAVE WATER ON HAND AND JUICE FOR THE KIDS, AND I'VE GOT A FEW EXTRA CANNED GOODS BUT THAT'S ABOUT IT, I'M NOT REALLY WORRIED.))
[OUT Q=not really worried.]
The city of Lynchburg is stocking up too.. in this case it's an extra load of stop signs.. they'll use them at major intersections if the power goes off and traffic lights go out.
Fear over a loss of electricity also sparked a run on generators early in the fall but that's tapered off since then.
((MIKE RHODES/MYERS AND RHODES EQUIPMENT: WE HAD A FEW THAT'S BOUGHT 'EM AND SAID THAT, BUT SOME OF 'EM WE'VE HAD LOOKERS.. I THINK THEY JUST WANTED TO FIND OUT WHERE THEY CAN GET 'EM IF SOMETHING HAPPENS COMES JANUARY 1ST.))
[OUT Q=January 1st.]
And that's a big "if".. so much so that customers might be tempted to buy a generator or space heater and return it after January 1st if nothing happens.
One store is protecting itself by not allowing refunds on any of those purchases from now until February.
((CHRIS JAMES/CT FARM AND COUNTRY: IT'S A REAL THREAT A LOT OF BUSINESSES ARE HAVING TO ENFORCE BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE. THERE'S JUST SO MUCH CHANCE THAT SOMETHING MIGHT NOT HAPPEN AND IN THE CASE WE HAVE TO PROTECT OURSELVES AGAINST TAKING A LOSS FOR SO MANY RETURNS.))
[OUT Q=so many returns.]))
(Steve ad lib tag)
Roanokers aren't hitting the Y-2-K panic button when it comes to medications.
Williamson Road Pharmacy has NOT seen a rush of people filling prescriptions.
Pharmacists say about one in twenty people are stockpiling for fear of computer glitches on New Year's day.
(///// NATSOUND /////)
[SOT tc 02:42:41]
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT tc 02:46:12]
[IN Q=One person]
((TIM SCHIRM/PHARMACIST: ONE PERSON WANTED THEIR HUNDRED PILLS AND ALL FIVE REFILLS BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW IF THEY WERE GOING TO GO INTO A BOMB SHELTER OR WHAT JUST TO RIDE IT OUT, BUT THAT'S BEEN REALLY THE ONLY ONE.))
[OUT Q=the only one.]
The government announced today the results of a special survey finding no significant Y2K- related problems with the nation's supply of pharmaceuticals.
Thousands of Sprint workers are ready to go on strike tomorrow.
But if they do walk out at midnight ... when their contract expires ... their union says it shouldn't affect phone service in our area.
The Communications Workers of America Union represents about a hundred workers in Martinsville.
But their contract is good through May.
The strike could affect some 17-hundred unionized Sprint workers in North Carolina, part of Virginia ... as well as Florida, Tennessee, Oregon and Indiana.
The Social Security Administration is trying to clear up some confusion over when recipients will get the first payment of the new year.
Some benefit checks were delivered a day early to the post office, to allow time for sorting and delivery.
But that doesn't mean people will get them any sooner.
The delivery date is still Monday, January 3-rd.
People who have direct deposit will also have the money in their account Monday.
Another day of records on Wall Street.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The S-and-P, the Dow and NASDAQ all finished at record highs... Nasdaq with a 69-point gain - closed above 4-thousand for the first time.
[ 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]
Three times as many people died on Virginia roadways this holiday season compared to the same time last year.
That's the latest from Virginia State Police.
Colonel Wayne Huggins says a total of 18 people died this year as a result of traffic accidents that occurred between December 22nd to December 26th.
Only six people died during that same time period in 1998.
State police think the death toll was lower last year, because of the ice storm that kept many people indoors.
A Virginia hospital that's taken a beating for more than a year is getting some positive recognition tonight...
[VO-NAT 98-78 52:00]
A national survey says the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville is one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation.
The Medical Center came under fire after sending two newborns home with the wrong parents in 1995.
The survey also named four other Virginia hospitals in its top-100 list.
They are in Richmond, Chesterfield County and Northern Virginia.
The survey based its findings on financial performance and quality of care.
For more than ten years, a restaurant in downtown Blacksburg has been helping the Virginia Tech Hokies dig their opponents' graves.
It's all part of a window display inside (Sue-VLOCK-ee) Souvlaki.
Since the mid 80's, the owner and his employees have kept track of the football team's record.
If the Hokies win -- the team they defeat is buried in sand and a marker with the score is placed overhead.
This year, of course, the Hokie Graveyard is full.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 38:14:05/ 44:02:11]
[IN Q=I've been]
((STEVE LEPERA: I'VE BEEN HERE SINCE 1987 AND THEY'VE BEEN DIGGING GRAVES, THERE'S MORE HERE THAN USUAL, THOUGH.
CHRIS KAPPAS/SOUVLAKI OWNER: PEOPLE ARE REALLY ATTRACTED TO IT FOR SOME REASON, YOU WOULD THINK IT WAS THE ACROPOLIS OR SOMETHING OR AN ANCIENT PYRAMID, THEY COME AND FLOCK TO THE WINDOW. ))
[SUPER=07-Steve Lepera; :00]
[SUPER=01-Chris Kappas/Souvlaki Owner; :09 ]
[OUT Q=to the window.]
Although Souvlaki has maintained the graveyard for more than ten years it's actually been around since the 1960's.
The graveyard was started by Doc SinClair -- when he operated an over-the-counter drug store in the same location some 30- years ago.
And coming up in sports, Penn State's LeVar Arrington is talking about turning pro after this season the latest from the New Orleans.
And the Virginia Cavaliers won 3 of their last 4 games thanks to the comeback kid Dale Ellis.
Virginia and Illinois have each won three of their last four. Steve Mason says the key for the Cavs is looking to the future with Dan Ellis and forgetting the past with Illinois.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Champaign, IL/This Season; :11]
[SUPER=01-John St.Clair/UVa All-American Center; :18]
[SUPER=03-Raleigh, NC/Cavaliers vs. Wolfpack; :33]
[SUPER=01-Dan Ellis/Nation's 8th Rated Passer; :55]
[SUPER=01-George Welsh/UVa Head Coach; 1:18]
[SUPER=04-1990 Florida Citrus Bowl; 1:44]
[OUT Q=...news 7 sports"]
((George Welsh sported a Mickey Mouse hat leading up to the only other meeting with Illinois in the 1990 Citrus Bowl. But the second encounter is hardly shaping up to be a fun filled trip to Disney World, especially with the Fighting Illini's game plan to swarm Thomas Jones. The Virginia offense is taking the challenge head on.
((JOHN ST. CLAIR:))
Things were not falling into place for Dan Ellis this season. Through the first eight games he had 10 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions. A concussion against Florida State and Ellis would watch back up David Rivers rally the Cavaliers to a win the next week against Georgia Tech. But his cob webs cleared and he tossed 10 TD passes with one interception in the final two games of the season.
The UVa offense faces an Illinois defense that allows just 23 points a game.
The Cavaliers fell to the Fighting Illini 31-21 in the 1990 Citrus Bowl. Steve Mason, News 7 sports.))
Virginia Tech and Florida State continue preparations for the Sugar Bowl. Florida State has confirmed that senior defensive end Chris Walker, who was charged with drunk driving several days a go, has been suspended for the national championship game. He is the fifth Seminole to have experienced problems with the law this season.
[SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA; :]
The Two teams worked out today Tech at Tulane and Florida State at the Superdome.
The Hokies were more business like in their preparation for the big game, While the Seminoles were more laid back.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Chris Weinke/Florida State Quarterback; :00]
[SUPER=01-Peter Warrick/Florida State Wide Receiver; :17]
[SUPER=01-Ike Charlton/Virginia Tech Cornerback; :23]
[OUT Q=....to do."]
[WIPE TO PINNACLE]
And don't forget to join us next Tuesday night at 7 o'clock for a special hour pre game show Hokie High the Battle on Bourbon Street.
Meantime, Penn State fans are wondering if the win over Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl is the final college game of linebacker LeVar Arrington.
Arrington's mom told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that her son will announce later this week that he's leaving school early to enter the N-F-L draft.
But Arrington says he'll meet with his family one more time before making his final decision.
[GRAPHIC=New England Logo]
The season is over for Terry Glenn.
The Patriots have suspended the wide receiver for Sunday's game against Baltimore for not adhering to team policy.
Glenn missed last Saturday's game against Buffalo because of the flu and was not at Today's practice.
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He's an 8-th grader at Cave Spring Junior High School and has one of the biggest responsibilities at this year's First Night in downtown Roanoke -- he's leading the count down to the year 2000.
[ss=N7 at 11]
Tonight on News 7 at 11 - meet this young man and find out how an essay about his family won him the honor for the big night.
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