Roanoke City Council heads back to the table over questions about the legality of its own pay raise.
Between Sugar-Bowl-bound Tech fans and Y-2-K, the Roanoke Airport has some traveler tips for the busy weekend coming up.
In sports, Joe Torre gets a clean bill of health. We'll continue our Sugar Bowl reports.
And tonight, the Virginia Cavaliers will face Illinois in the Micronpc.com bowl in Miami.
Some clouds in your New Years Eve forecast but it looks like showers will hold off for those fireworks displays. Details ahead.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
[OUT Q=all be here.]
Virginia Tech's fans headed to the Sugar Bowl should beware possible problems at the airport.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
The federal Aviation Administration is still tweaking their flight computers to make sure they're Y-2-K ready.
Only this morning F-A-A officials added new software to fix what they called a minor problem.
Meanwhile the Roanoke Regional Airport is trying to side-step its own problem.
Tina Tenret is there to tell us more.
(rollcue... miss your flight. )
[SUPER=01-Jacqueline Shuck/Airport Director; :00]
[OUT Q=flight be late.]
Q & A: Keith: For people who choose to park at the airport - is that free?
Postal workers and authorities in the town of Pulaski had an "alarming" experience today.
The post office received a suspicious ticking package and called in authorities.
Pulaski police, the Virginia State police bomb squad and postal inspectors came to check out the package.
Authorities say the ticking parcel turned out to be an alarm clock.
State officials have suggested that rural areas may be more vulnerable to Y2K problems than Virginia's urban centers.
But local officials in western Virginia say they're confident the situation is well in hand.
Bath County has been preparing for over two years, checking its own computer equipment, and seeking assurances from suppliers.
The sheriff's department has a back-up generator to power the county's communication system and detailed contingency plans.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We are probably more prepared]
((CLAIRE COLLINS/BATH COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR: WE ARE PROBABLY MORE PREPARED THAN SOME OF THE OTHER RURAL AREAS, BECAUSE WE'VE TAKEN IT EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY. WE FEEL THAT WE NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AND PUBLIC SAFETY IS ONE OF OUR NUMBER ONE CONCERNS IN THE COMMUNITY.))
((TOMMY BLACK/BATH CO. SHERIFF: MOSTLY WHAT WE'RE DOING IN THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT IS JUST TO LET PEOPLE KNOW THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE OUT THERE. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE EXTRA PATROLS. WE'RE GOING TO BE ON THE WHOLE WEEKEND WITH THOSE EXTRA PATROLS. IF YOU NEED ANYTHING JUST GIVE US A CALL.))
[SUPER=01-Claire Collins/Bath Co. Administrator; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tommy Black/Bath Co. Sheriff; :13]
[OUT Q=just give us a call.]
Officials in Bath County aren't expecting any serious problems, but they believe they're prepared for whatever may develop.
Sprint officials in Wythe County say they're preparing to start the New Year with some area workers on strike.
Thousands of unionized Sprint workers in six states, including Virginia, say they're ready to walk out at midnight tonight.
About 90 union members currently work in Wythe, Carroll and Grayson Counties.
They've been working without a contract since August.
Sprint officials say they don't know how many workers WILL strike, but they've already arranged for other workers in the area to come in and do their jobs.
While some people are out celebrating the New Year, a lot of area residents will be ringing it in AT WORK.
As Marya Jones reports, it's all in anticipation of the Y2K bug.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Many Montgomery Co. deputies]
[SUPER=01-Chief Deputy Neil Turner/Montgomery Co. Sheriff's Dept.; :21 QUICK!]
[SUPER=01-Danny Hardy/First National Bank President; :45]
[SUPER=01-Andy Watkins/Madison Computer Consultants; :1:12]
[OUT Q=MJN7, Blacksburg.]
(( Many Montgomery County deputies will be welcoming in the New Year on the job.
((DEPUTY: I'M GOING TO BE 10-6 ON AN ESCORT. ))
That's because Y2K preparations for the department will require extra deputies to be on duty and on call... Patrolling the area. And in the dispatch center.
The department says it's just an added precaution on a night of the year that's typically a busy one.
((CHIEF DEPUTY NEIL TURNER: WE ANTICIPATE A CHANGE OF THE CALENDAR AND NOTHING MORE.))
[natsound: women adding on machines]
((NATSOUND: WOMEN ON ADDING MACHINES))
About 50 workers at the First National Bank in Christiansburg will also be spending New Year's Eve behind their desks.
The bank, which says it's well-prepared for Y2K, will treat the New Year like a normal work day...as they test computer systems and process customer transactions.
Not a typical New Year's for the workers...but what about making it a family affair?
[SOT 2:00:28 - :41]
((DANNY HARDY/FIRST NATIONAL BANK PRESIDENT: WE'RE INVITING SPOUSES IN IF THE SPOUSES OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER WANTS TO COME. IF THEY WANT TO BRING THEIR CHILDREN FOR THAT SPECIAL OCCASION, WE'VE GOT SOME EMPTY SPACE UPSTAIRS THEY CAN PUT THEM IN AND MAYBE WE CAN TRY TO PROVIDE A BABYSITTER FOR THEM. ))
Computer consultants will also be spending New Year's Eve on call... hoping that the Y2K bug doesn't strike their customers.
Based on the number of panicked people calling his Madison Computer Consultants, Andy Watkins knows his New Year's Eve could be spent trying to reset computers.
[SOT 1:17:00 - :09]
((ANDY WATKINS/MADISON COMPUTER CONSULTANTS: JUST ABOUT CAN'T PUT THE PHONE DOWN WITHOUT THE PHONE RINGING AGAIN...SOMEBODY ASKING WHAT DO I DO FOR MY COMPUTER, FOR Y2K OR WHAT DO I NEED TO DO? ))
[SU 1:24:13 - :22]
((MARYA JONES/NEWS 7: FOR THE THOUSANDS OF VIRGINIANS WHO HAVE TO SPEND IT WORKING, THE HAPPIEST NEW YEAR'S EVE MAY BE AN UNEVENTFUL ONE... MJN7 BLACKSBURG.))
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Not too long ago - Star City officials voted to raise their own pay. But was it legal?
We'll tell you why they're reconsidering.
And a fantastic comeback for a Disney classic -
We'll give you a glimpse of Fantasia 2000 - before it makes its I-Max debut this weekend.
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[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-2.46''/minus 0.33''/36.17''/minus 4.78'']
[SUPER=83-Down 0.29 foot/Down 0.89 foot]
[SUPER=84-Down 14.0 feet/Voluntary Conservation][City-Council]
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke Council Pay Raise]
Roanoke city council will hold a special meeting tomorrow morning to reconsider the pay raise approved last week.
The vote to increase the salaries of the mayor and council members came after all other business had been conducted.
And it wasn't listed as an agenda item.
It also passed by one vote, four to three. And there's some question that it may have needed at least five votes to be legal.
The election isn't until May, but the race for Roanoke mayor is becoming more crowded.
Today, neighborhood leader E. Duane Howard added his name to the list of potential candidates.
A board member of Old Southwest Incorporated, Howard says he will make Roanoke neighborhoods his top priority.
He says there are many areas in which the city's current leadership has failed.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=You can look around]
((YOU CAN LOOK AROUND AT JUST ABOUT ANY ISSUE, DEALING WITH THE WATER CRISIS, MOST NOTABLY IN THE NEWS THE HIRING OF A NEW CITY MANAGER. WE LOOK AT OUR STREETS AND SIDEWALKS. YOU CAN'T WALK FROM HERE TO THERE. THE BASIC NEEDS ARE SIMPLY NOT BEING MET.))
[SUPER=01-E. Duane Howard/(I) Candidate for Mayor]
[OUT Q=are simply not being met.]
Republican Ralph Smith is expected to run for mayor... and incumbent David Bowers may have Democratic opposition if he runs for re-election as expected.
Virginians serving in the armed forces can look forward to a special tax break next year.
The first 15-thousand dollars of their pay will be exempt from state income tax.
State officials gathered at the Virginia War Memorial this morning to celebrate something they say will benefit many military families.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I've been on seven]
((CONNIE O'NEILL/VIRGINIA AMERICAN LEGION: I'VE BEEN ON SEVEN NAVY SHIPS. I'VE SEEN THE STRUGGLES THAT THE ENLISTED GUYS HAVE TO GO THROUGH TO TRY TO MAKE A DECENT LIVING FOR THEIR FAMILIES.))
[SUPER=01-Connie O'Neill/Virginia American Legion;]
[OUT Q=for their families.]
Lt. Governor John Hager said the tax cut is one way for the state to give a little something back to those who give so much.
The tax break goes into effect New Year's Day, the same day the first cut in the food tax takes effect.
Major averages slipped from early gains on Wall Street today.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow lost 32 points.
Nasdaq fell 5.
[ 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]
The new year will bring a new life to one Lynchburg community center.
The Jubilee Family Development Center had been facing a January 1st deadline to pay off a 200- thousand dollar construction loan.
The center is still 50- thousand dollars short of that goal, but One Valley Bank recently granted it a six- month extension.
Officials want to pay off the loan as quickly as possible so construction can start on a gymnasium next door to the center.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=That's the major]
((STERLING WILDER/JUBILEE CENTER DIRECTOR: THAT'S THE MAJOR THING THE KIDS ARE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT. THEY KNOW THEY HAVE TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK FIRST BUT THEY'RE WILLING EVEN MORE SO BECAUSE SO MANY TIMES, IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY TODAY BUT A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO IT WAS SNOWING, AND IN THE WINTER MONTHS YOU CAN'T REALLY GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL BECAUSE THE FIELD WILL BE TOO MUDDY. BUT WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A GYM, IT'S A YEAR- ROUND CENTER AND WE'RE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE GYMNASIUM.))
[SUPER=01-Sterling Wilder/Jubilee Center Director]
[OUT Q=to the gymnasium.]
The Jubilee Center serves as an after- school gathering place for neighborhood children.
They're required to do their homework first before taking part in any recreational activities.
The center opened last spring.
One Y2K worry that you can put aside now: Champagne, and other beverages to toast the New Year.
Local wine shops say supplies are sufficient to fill the demand, and the choices are virtually unlimited when it comes to price and variety.
From single bottles, cases, even a fifteen liter bottle, you can find a champagne or non-alcoholic drink to suit any taste or budget.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We have sold...]
[SUPER=01-Gordon Kendall/Lee & Edwards;]
[OUT Q=for six months.]
((GORDON KENDALL/LEE & EDWARDS: WE HAVE SOLD QUITE A BIT OF CHAMPAGNE, TWO OR THREE TIMES WHAT WE NORMALLY SELL. I THINK THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO RUN OUT EXCEPT MAYBE CERTAIN ITEMS, BUT WE'VE GOT A LOT IN STOCK, WE'VE BEEN STOCKING UP FOR SIX MONTHS.))
Store owners say they do NOT expect a run on champagne supplies tomorrow.
Most people buying large quantities for New Year's Eve festivities have already stocked up.
And coming up in sports, the Cavaliers hit the field tonight for their bowl game. Virginia Tech continues to prepare for the Sugar Bowl.
And the Big East picked up a Bowl victory last night, Syracuse beating Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.
In less than an hour, Virginia and Illinois will begin their battle in the MicronPC.com Bowl at Miami's Pro Player Stadium. Both teams are 7 and 4 thanks to late season rallies and both want this eighth win very badly. Here are some famous last words from the Wahoos.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="first audio]
((THOMAS JONES/3,998 CAREER RUSHING YARDS:))
((JOHN ST.CLAIR/UVA ALL-AMERICAN CENTER:))
((DAN ELLIS/20 TOUCHDOWN PASSES THIS SEASON:))
((DWAYNE STUKES/UVA SENIOR CORNERBACK:))
[SUPER=01-Thomas Jones/3,998 Career Rushing Yards; :00]
[SUPER=01-John St. Clair/UVa All-American Center; :16]
[SUPER=01-Dan Ellis/20 Touchdown Passes This Season; :33]
[SUPER=01-Dwayne Stukes/UVa Senior Cornerback; :50]
[OUT Q=...hopefully we will"]
[GRAPHIC=SUGAR BOWL MATCHUP]
The Sugar Bowl bash in New Orleans is creating some real problems for both teams. The Hokies have had to hire 24 hour security to keep pro agents from messing with the players at the team hotel.
One agent already has been caught and tossed out of the Hilton.
Now, when you think about the offenses that will be on display in the Sugar Bowl on January 4th, the marquee names of Michael Vick and Peter Warrick automatically come to mind.
But Mike Stevens says something other than big plays are on the mind of Florida State boss Bobby Bowden.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Bobby Bowden/FSU Head Coach; :22]
[SUPER=01-Corey Moore/Va. Tech All-American; :48]
[SUPER=01-Jamel Smith/Tech's Leading Tackler; 1:06]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
(( The Tech defense was as stingy as any in the nation this past season allowing only 10 points a game. But what really concerns the Seminoles is finding a way to run the ball against the Hokies.
Tech only gave up an average of 76 yards a game on the ground.
((BOBBY BOWDEN/FSU HEAD COACH:))
Keeping Tech honest is the goal - but achieving may be more difficult than some first thought.
The Hokies believe their speed and maturity will be able to disrupt the Seminoles attack.
((COREY MOORE/TECH ALL-AMERICAN:))
((JAMEL SMITH/TECH'S LEADING TACKLER:))
Besides having 58 sacks, the Tech defense also forced 22 turnovers, and had 104 quarterback hurries. Mike Stevens News 7 sports.))
The Big East has already picked up one bowl victory.
[SUPER=03-Nashville, TN/ESPN; :]
Last night in Nashville, Syracuse came from behind to beat Kentucky 20 to 13.
Sophomore James Mungro scored two fourth quarter
touchdowns and rushed for 162 yards to lead the Orangemen to the 20 to 13 win.
Yankee manager Joe Torre says he's fit and ready to take the team back to the World Series.
Torre declared himself fit today after completing radiation treatment for prostrate cancer.
Torre's doctors discovered the disease in March. He missed two months before returning and leading the Yankees to a sweep of Atlanta in the World Series.
Torre has led the Yankees to three titles in the last four years.
[ENG/FULL]LOCAL WEATHER VIDEO
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There aren't any dancing hippos this time around.
But Disney's latest version of Fantasia has some leaping whales, and a mouse who wants to be a wizard.
Fantasia 2000 will appear in just a few theaters around the country starting this New Year's Day.
One is at the IMAX theater at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=IMAX film]
((NANCY TAIT/SCIENCE MUSEUM OF VIRGINIA: IMAX FILM IS 70 MM SO THE IMAGE IS LARGER TO BEGIN WITH, THREE TIMES AS WIDE AS A REGULAR IMAGE IN 70 MM, TEN TIMES AS LARGE AS IT WOULD BE ON 35 MM. THEN WHEN YOU PUT IT UP ON A LARGE SCREEN, IN OUR CASE A FIVE STORY DOME, IT SURROUNDS YOU AND PUTS YOU RIGHT INSIDE.))
[SUPER=01-Nancy Tait/Science Museum of Virginia;]
[OUT Q=right inside.]
The remake has seven new segments, set to symphonic music.
Walt Disney's original intention was to change the animation in Fantasia every few years.
But this is the first time his wishes have been carried out.
(Weekday 6 only)
[SUPER=x4032; e-mail/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS]
SUPER=x4033; Fax/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS
(Weekend 6 only)