On News 7 tonight....
McCain brings the battle over religion in Republican politics to Virginia Beach.
Bush is campaigning in Washington state.
We'll try to explain why you'll have to sign a pledge if you intend to vote tomorrow.
And Jesse Ventura weighs in on the civil war battle flag Virginia wants back.
News 7 is next.
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[IN Q=We embrace]
((WE EMBRACE FINE MEMBERS... PANDER TO THEIR SELF-APPOINTED LEADERS.))
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John McCain takes a shot at prominent leaders of the religious right on their home turf.
Good evening. I'm Keith Humphry.
It's the eve of Virginia's hugely significant Republican primary.
And today in Virginia Beach - where Pat Robertson lives - McCain took aim at the televangelist, and Lynchburg minister Jerry Falwell.
It goes back to 1995, when Warren Rudman, now McCain's campaign chairman, called the Christian right intolerant for its attacks on Colin Powell.
Robertson is telling Christian conservatives Rudman is "a vicious bigot."
Today - McCain fired back.
Ellen Qualls has the story.
[IN Q=McCain chose]
[SUPER=203-Virginia Beach; :00]
[SUPER=201-Sen. John McCain/(R) Presidential Candidate; :05]
[SUPER=201-Sen. John Warner/(R) Virginia; :49]
[SUPER=201-Gov. Jim Gilmore; 1:05]
[OUT Q=N7 Richmond.]
(( McCain chose a high school gym in the Christian Coalition's back yard to fire back.
((SEN. JOHN MCCAIN/R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: NEITHER PARTY SHOULD BE DEFINED BY PANDERING TO THE OUTER REACHES OF AMERICAN POLITICS AND THE AGENTS OF INTOLERANCE WHETHER THEY BE LOUIS FARRAKHAN OR AL SHARPTON ON THE LEFT, OR PAT ROBERTSON OR JERRY FALWELL ON THE RIGHT.))
McCain lumped Falwell in with Robertson, accusing both of distorting his record, particularly on abortion, motivated by power and ambition.
But he singled out Robertson's efforts in Michigan.
[SOT TAPE THREE 11:02:56]
((SEN. JOHN MCCAIN/R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: WHERE HE MAKES PHONE CALLS WITH HIS VOICE, SAYING THAT WARREN RUDMAN, WHO SERVED IN KOREA, WHO SERVED AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, CALLING HIM A VICIOUS BIGOT. I AM SURE THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE CITIZENS OF VIRGINIA WILL REJECT THE PRACTICE OF SUCH POLITICS.))
((SEN. JOHN WARNER: MUCH AS I WANTED TO BE AN OLD NAVAL AVIATOR AND RESPECT HIM, I'M NOT SO SURE FIRING HEAT-SEEKING MISSILES UP THE TAILPIPE OF A LOT OF FOLKS IS A WAY TO DEAL WITH IT.))
[RUNS :09 ]
The so-called Warner-Gilmore machine rallied.
Governor Jim Gilmore said Pat Robertson's his friend... and a major donor.
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: THIS SERIES OF ATTACKS, I THINK IT'S DREADFUL. FOR SOMEONE TO COME IN AND TRY TO GET ONE VIRGINIAN TO TURN AGAINST ANOTHER VIRGINIAN, FOR THEIR OWN EXPLOITATION, I THINK IT'S A TERRIBLE SITUATION.))
[RUNS :14 ]
Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition responds that it will "rise above this transparent effort to divide one American from another on the basis of religion."
It predicts a record turnout of its followers.
56 delegates are at stake in Virginia.
That's the largest single group going to any one candidate so far.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
George W. Bush was campaigning in Washington state...
one of THREE states holding primaries tomorrow. The third is North Dakota.
Bush took issue with McCain's reference to himself as a Reagan Republican.
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[IN Q=He invokes the]
((HE INVOKES THE NAME OF RONALD REAGAN AND YET AT THE SAME TIME, PLAYS ON
PEOPLES RELIGIOUS FEARS. THAT'S NOT THE POLITICS OF RONALD REAGAN I
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[OUT Q=I remember.]
[GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe]
Before McCain's attack on Robertson and Falwell - U-S Senate candidate George Allen and Attorney General Mark Earley were in Roanoke -rallying for Bush.
The two said they're NOT concerned about Democrats and Independents voting in tomorrow's Republican primary.
Allen also said while he favors Bush - he thinks George W - AND John McCain - are far superior candidates than Democrats Al Gore and Bill Bradley..
Anyone voting in tomorrow's Republican primary will be required to sign a pledge.
The orange pledge card states voters "do not intend to participate in the nomination process of any other party than the Republican party."
It's the state's way of complying with national Republican party rules. Otherwise the G-O-P might not allow Virginia's delegates to participate in the national convention.
FIVE candidates names will be on the ballot in Virginia tomorrow-- even though two dropped out.
The polls open at 6 a-m, and close at 7 p-m as they do in a general election.
Andrew Freiden's pledge is for an unseasonably warm leap-year day election day.
WAKE UP FORECAST
[Toss back to anchor][Vinton-Council]
The controversy over the resignations of former Vinton Police Chief Ricky Foutz and Lieutenant Bill Brown prompted at least some residents to call for a change on town council.
At least one political candidate is answering that call.
Kate Weidaw has the story.
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[SUPER=10-Lisa Foutz/Ricky Foutz's Wife/Dec. 12, 1999;:16]
[SUPER=201-Wendell Sanders/Council Candidate;:41]
[SUPER=201-Brad Grose/Council Candidate;1:09]
[SUPER=201-Don Davis/Council Member;1:37]
[OUT Q=kw news 7 vinton.]
Vinton town council meetings have turned into shouting matches between Foutz supporters and council members ever since Foutz and Brown resigned.
Some residents have vowed to make sure there are changes come election time -- Ricky Foutz's wife is one of them.
((LISA FOUTZ: COME MAY THERE IS GOING TO BE A CHANGE YOU WON'T BE SITTING UP THERE AND I WILL PERSONALLY HEAD UP A CAMPAIGN AGAINST YOU.))
And Wendell Sanders agrees that there needs to be a change, that's why he has decided to run for a seat on town council.
[foutz vids DO NOT USE PICS OF JOY 99-45 48:16]
He says one of the main reasons he's running is because he didn't like the way council dealt with Foutz.
((WENDELL SANDERS/TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: I'M FOR JUSTICE AND I SEE JUSTICE WAS NOT PROPERLY SERVED ON OUR TOWN SO THIS WAS MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT IN GETTING TO RUN FOR OUR TOWN COUNCIL.))
On the other hand council candidate Brad Grose feels the Foutz situation should be laid to rest.
Grose says his main concerns are bringing economic development, and making the council and residents work together rather than fight each other.
((BRAD GROSE/TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: I LIKE OUR CITIZENS TO FEEL THAT THEY CAN COME TO TOWN COUNCIL AND FREELY AND OPENLY EXPRESS THEIR CONCERNS.))
[USE VIDEO OF DON DAVIS ON COUNCIL]
Current council member Don Davis knows first hand what it feels like to deal with the controversy over Foutz.
Davis is running for mayor and says he can bring change to council by having a liaison -- a person to inform council about potential problems within departments to avoid future problems.
((DON DAVIS/COUNCIL MEMBER: WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN OUR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING AND OUR OTHER MEETINGS SO WE CAN BE MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE.))
And if other residents want change they have until March 7th to throw their hat into the ring. Kate Weidaw News 7 Vinton.))
The Anti- Defamation League says it's satisfied that concerns over racial harassment of Rubatex replacement workers are being dealt with by the union.
Many black employees crossing the picket lines say they've been the subject of racial taunts and gestures from striking rubber workers.
Union president Richard Walker met with an A-D-L representative today.
He says the allegations are being blown out of proportion by the company.
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[IN Q=This initially]
((RICHARD WALKER/LOCAL 240 UNION PRESIDENT: THIS INITIALLY CAME OUT WITHIN A FEW DAYS AFTER THE COMPLAINT WAS ISSUED ON THE SURVEILLANCE ISSUE AND THEY WILL PROBABLY GRASP AT EVERY STRAW THEY CAN TO SUPPORT THEIR EVIDENCE AND TO TRY TO UNDERMINE THE LOCAL AND DIVIDE THE COMMUNITY FROM US AS WELL.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Walker/Local 240 Union President]
[OUT Q=from us as well.]
Rubatex workers have been on strike since September 12th.
The effort to rename part of Route 460 in Bedford for Martin Luther King has hit yet another roadblock.
A standing-room only crowd turned out in support of the measure at the Bedford County board of supervisors meeting tonight.
Though King never set foot in Bedford, supporters say his impact was felt there and all over the country.
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[IN Q=It would be]
((REV. I.L. WARD/BEDFORD NAACP PRESIDENT: IT WOULD BE JUST AS WRONG NOT TO HONOR THOSE BRAVE MEN FROM BEDFORD, VIRGINIA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY WHO DIED DURING THE INVASION OF NORMANDY ONLY IN THEIR NATIVE COUNTY OR CITY.))
[SUPER=01-Rev. I.L. Ward/Bedford NAACP President]
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Bedford city council has already passed a resolution in favor of re-naming 460. It was asking supervisors to do the same.
But county officials declined to act after being told most of the road was in the city and it was the CITY's decision alone whether to re-NAME it.
State law says localities have the right to RENAME streets... bestowing an HONORARY designation must be approved by the state.
A Virginia Tech student's injuries from a weekend fight proved fatal today ... and police are trying to find out why.
29-year-old Thomas L. Hyman was severely beaten early Sunday morning, after he entered this student house on East Roanoke Street.
Police have not said what caused the fight in the entryway or what Hyman was doing at the house.
Hyman was a resident advisor in a dormitory at Lee Hall.
He was a senior finance major from Saltville who had alternated between working and going to college since the late eighties.
An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.
Lawyers for the four New York City policemen found NOT guilty of murdering Amadou Diallo (AH'-meh-doo dee-AH'-loh) say the officers have not decided yet whether they'll return to the force.
In the meantime, the Bronx D-A who prosecuted the officers says he will help the U-S Justice Department consider whether to file Federal Civil Rights charges.
Robert Johnson told reporters today he knows he has to be careful when he's stopped by police to tell them he's reaching for his wallet.
[try 20:05:58 for Diallo/ crime scene]
Diallo was shot at 41 times in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment as he reached for his wallet. Diallo was UNarmed.
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[IN Q=Because this case]
((BECAUSE THIS CASE IS SO GRAPHIC AND THE NUMBER OF SHOTS SO HIGH, MR. DIALLO WAS AN INNOCENT, WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE.))
[SUPER=01-Robert Johnson/Bronx District Attorney]
[OUT Q=on this issue.]
The four officers remain on modified duty, assigned to desk jobs.
Some local fifth graders are going on the offensive when it comes to their education.
The "battle" over a Virginia battle flag ends up in the hands of Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. So what's he doi
ng about it?
We'll tell you, ahead on NEWS 7.
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[IN Q=Hi Keith]
[OUT Q=IN SPORTS]
((HI KEITH, TONIGHT IN SPORTS TOURNAMENT TIME IS HERE AND THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME GW'S CHRIS CARTER WILL EXPERIENCE IT HAS A COACH. HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PROFESSIONAL HARDWOOD. THE ECHL TRADE DEADLINE PASSES AND JF TREMBLAY IS NO LONGER WITH ROANOKE. AND CHANGES AT THE MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY WILL ALLOW MORE FANS TO SEE RACES. THOSE STORIES AND MORE IN SPORTS.))
There was a final farewell for a Bassett High School student today.
Close to a thousand people attended 14-year old Tiffany Craighead's funeral this afternoon. Friends, family, and classmates filled the church to pay their respects.
[IN Q=Just knowing]
[IN Q=She made an]
((MARIO HAIRSTON/FRIEND: JUST KNOWING HER FOR SO LONG.. NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN.
LOUVENIA ROSS/COUSIN: SHE MADE AN IMPRESSION ON EVERYBODY. GOD LOVED HER BEST.))
[OUT Q=love her best.]
Tiffany died in class last week from congestive heart failure. She had a history of heart trouble.
Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura's keeping the war between the states going - over a Civil War battle flag.
The Virginia Senate and Civil War re-enactors have asked Minnesota to
return the 28-th Virginia Regiment's battle flag.
The blood-soaked, bullet-pierced flag was captured by a Minnesota Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.
But Ventura says the flag's staying put - with the Minnesota Historical Society.
It wasn't battle flags but football that Jesse Ventura discussed with Hillary Clinton today, over lunch at the White House.
He and a slew of other governors were attending the national governor's CONFERENCE in Washington.
He said he offered the first lady a few of his famous adages from his coaching days.
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[IN Q=Pain is good]
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Commenting on the seating arrangements, the Governor said he'd have quit the reform party a year ago, if he'd known it would have gotten him a seat next to the first lady.
A Roanoke school has vowed NOT to fall to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to S-O-L scores.
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[IN Q=Estimate the sum]
((ESTIMATE THE SUM, OKAY. TWO, SIX, FIVE.))
Students at Roanoke's Academy of Math and Sciences performed worse than any other city school on last year's S-O-L tests in math and English.
But now some of them WILLINGLY study until about five in the evening.
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[IN Q=So I can learn]
((SO I CAN LEARN, PASS THE S-O-L TEST AND GO THROUGH COLLEGE. BECAUSE WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A FIREMAN SO I CAN HELP PEOPLE.))
[SUPER=01-Marcus Thomas/Third Grade;]
[OUT Q=so I can help people]
The program costs six thousand dollars in grant money, even though the tutors are volunteers.
The city of Roanoke says it will pay for an aide.
But the staff here says what would help most is if parents encouraged their kids to learn.
Neighbors say it's a big polluter.
But one Radford company's promising to clean up... We'll explain.
And the people of Mozambique are battling limited resources - to rescue tens of thousands from devastating floods.
The latest, straight ahead.
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Flooding in Africa has created a desperate situation.
Rivers in Mozambique have come out of their banks, wiping out whole towns and villages.
There's only a handful of helicopters to rescue the tens of thousands still trapped by the floods.
Each time a rescue mission arrives, there is a life and death scramble for the only way out.
But it is already too late to save everyone.
The flood waters are expected to rise further in the next few days.
A Radford foundry under fire from area residents for pollution says it's cleaning up its act.
Intermet New River Foundry says it's investing three-million dollars to reduce dust emissions from the plant.
The improvements are already underway.
Neighbors of the foundry have complained for years that smoke from the plant coats their homes and cars with black soot.
Radford City Council drafted a resolution tonight asking the foundry to put a quick stop to the pollution.
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In sports, highlights from the NHL and NBA and news from the track but first our extra point.
NHL star Pavel Bure says he popped the question to tennis player Anna Kournikova -- and she's accepted.
The Russian Rocket proposed to Kournikova, also Russian, on Friday night at a Miami Beach restaurant.
He did not announce a wedding date.
Bure says they'll tell details when she gets back in town in the middle of March.
Kournikova, 18, and Bure, 28, are neighbors in an apartment building in trendy south Miami Beach.
Now here are tonight's scores.
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[super=0096-/New York/76/j/Miami/85////New Jersey/95//Utah/101//4th Quarter/;]
[OUT Q=...last score."]
You've heard of March Madness, well the basketball craziness starts a littler earlier on the high school level as regional basketball tournaments start tonight.
Two of the biggest games will be played in Danville where the GW girls team hosts Cave Spring and the GW boy's team entertains Fleming in the North West region.
[SUPER=04-Hometown Hoops Weekly; :00]
News 7 sports learned yesterday that popular George Washington head coach Chris Carter will step down at the end of the season.
Carter has been a fixture at GW for ten years.
During the 1997-98 season he led the Eagles to the Group AAA state title.
Carter hopes to dedicate more time to his family and his studies. He is halfway through the requirements needed to secure his masters degree in administration at Longwood.
Jame Madison grabbed a share of the regular season champion ship in the Colonial Athletic Association last night.
The Dukes beat UNC Wilmington 67 to 65 in a make up game. You may remember the January 26th game was postponed because a big snow storm.
JMU is now 19 and eight over all and 12 and four in the C-A-A
But George Mason clinched the No. 1 seed in the CAA Men's Basketball Championship with a 76-64 victory over James Madison Saturday.
[TAPE#=SP-60 TC 39:54]
In the NBA, first place in the Atlantic Division was on the line when the New York Knicks and Miami Heat met on the hardwood.
Heat center Alonzo Mourning was on the bench last night with a sprained ankle.
The Knicks led for three quarters, Larry Johnson hits the three for New York.
The Heat took their first lead at the end of the third when Jamal Mashburn hits the baseline "J."
New York kept it close as John Wallace drives to the hoop and gets the score with the spin move.
Dan Majerle hits the three and the Heat goes on to win it 85 to 76.
[TAPE#=SP-52 tc 1:37:13]
In the NHL, Washington's Adam Oates scored his 300th career goal to give the Capitals a victory tonight in New York.
The Islanders went up one nothing then Jeff Halpern places this shot high in the net to tie it for Washington.
Ulf Dahlen gives the Caps the lead with this goal off the triangle play.
New York tied it in the second but a late third period goal gives Washington the three to two win.
The Express traded right wing J.F. Tremblay as the ECHL trade deadline closed yesterday.
Tremblay was traded to the Pee Dee Pride for future considerations. He will play for former Express coach Frank Anzalone. In 43 games this season, Tremblay had eight points with 131 penalty minutes in his fourth year in Roanoke.
Greensboro also sent the Express left wing Aniket Dhadphole (dot-folly) for future considerations. He has 35 points in 51 games this season.
The Martinsville Speedway's spring Winston Cup date comes a little earlier than usual this year on Sunday, April 9th.
But Mike Stevens says you can still expect another record crowd to be on hand now that the track's seating capacity is up to 87 thousand.
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[SUPER=01-Steve Sheppard/Track Public Relations Director; 1:02]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
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Darryl Strawberry won't be playing baseball for at least a year.
Major League Baseball has suspended Strawberry for violating its drug policy.
Strawberry tested positive for cocaine back in January.
This is the 37 year old's third cocaine related suspension from baseball.
In '95 Strawberry missed 60 days following a positive test, then in last season he was banned from April 24th to August fourth after he was arrested for cocaine possession and soliciting a prostitute.
One of the nation's premier collegiate swimming and diving programs is ending and the University of Miami says Title Nine is the reason.
The Hurricanes have produced 15 Olympic divers, including four-time gold medalist Greg Louganis.
The school says its dropping the programs to comply with Title Nine gender equity laws.
It plans to add women's volleyball with in the next two years.