Thousands of Bell Atlantic Union Employees could be on strike by the weekend.
[GRAPHIC=NEws 7 at Six]
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
[GRAPHIC=Verizon Possible Strike]
A few months ago, G-T-E and Bell Atlantic joined forces to create Verizon Communications.
The new company is quickly inheriting some of the problems that faced Bell Atlantic.
Union workers decry what they call intolerable working conditions.
[Double Boxes=Jennifer and Keith/Microwave]
Jennifer Miele is at the Bell Atlantic building on Airport Road where 275 employees are preparing to strike.
Keith, about six weeks ago, Bell Atlantic employees from as far away as Maine came to Southwest Virginia to stage what they called an informational picket.
Union employees say the company still hasn't listened.
[IN Q=On June 26]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/June 26; :00]
[SUPER=04-Verizon Video; :11]
[SUPER=01-David Layman/Local 2240 President; :26]
[SUPER=04-August 1998; :45]
[SUPER=01-Mike Rieley/Verizon Area Manager; :56]
[OUT Q=in Verizon history.]
On June 26, the informational picket staged in Roanoke was a rally for better working conditions at what was then Bell Atlantic.
Now called Verizon Virginia, the company faces accusations of unfair labor practices and intolerable treatment of its employees.
Company officials would not comment on those charges.
The three-year contract expires at midnight on Saturday, and union members say they are ready for a strike.
[IN Q=We have such a]
((DAVID LAYMAN/LOCAL 2240 PRESIDENT: WE HAVE SUCH A DEDICATION TO OUR CUSTOMERS AND SERVICE WE PROVIDE TO THEM, BUT IT'S SO DIFFICULT AT TIMES TO PROVIDE THAT SERVICE TO THEM WHEN YOU HAVE TO WORK UNDER SOME OF THE CONDITIONS THEY HAVE TO WORK UNDER.))
[OUT Q=to work under.]
Company and Union Officials are meeting behind closed doors in Washington to discuss terms of a new contract.
Even if the 725 Union Employees in Roanoke and thousands of workers on the East Coast go on strike, the company says customers will not be effected.
[IN Q=We have a]
((MIKE RIELEY/AREA MANAGER: WE HAVE A CONTINGENCY PLAN NOW, MANAGERS HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO STEP INTO SERVICE JOBS FOR OUR CUSTOMERS. WE'RE SO MECHANIZED THESE DAYS THAT CUSTOMERS WILL PROBABLY SEE LITTLE EFFECT.))
[OUT Q=see little effect.]
The longest strike in Bell Atlantic history lasted three weeks. If the employees strike again, even if lasts one week as negotiations continue, it will be the first AND the longest in Verizon history.))
If a contract agreement is not reached by Saturday at midnight, the Union says it will go on strike on Sunday morning.
[Double Boxes=Keith and Jennifer/Microwave]
Keith, we'll have an update as soon as any information is released.
Many school administrators face a different kind of labor problem. They're still looking for teachers to help schools open in just a few weeks.
Teresa Hamilton reports finding enough teachers is a problem that is likely to get worse.
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[IN Q=Math would]
[SUPER=01-Fred Morton/Montgomery Co. Superintendent; :00 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Faye Pleasants/Roanoke City Schools; :46]
[SUPER=01-David Foster/Pittsylvania Co. Schools; 1:12]
[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS 7.]
[In q= Math would]
((FRED MORTON/MONTGOMERY CO. SUPERINTENDENT: MATH WOULD PROBABLY BE THE MOST DIFFICULT AREA RIGHT NOW, SCIENCE SOMEWHAT.))
[OUT Q= science somewhat.]
Fred Morton is superintendent of schools in Montgomery County...a school system that's racing to fill 12- teaching vacancies by the start of the school year.
Morton says finding qualified candidates has NOT been a problem in his area but admits some vacancies are tougher to fill than others.
[in q=With the ]
((FRED MORTON/MONTGOMERY CO. SUPERINTENDENT: WITH THE CHANGE IN SOCIAL STUDIES REQUIREMENTS A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, EVERYBODY'S NEEDED MORE SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS, THAT WAS A LITTLE BIT OF A CHALLENGE LAST YEAR BUT HASN'T BEEN THE SAME ISSUE THIS YEAR BUT MATH CERTAINLY HAS.))
[OUT Q= certainly has.]
Finding qualified math and science teachers as well as librarians has also been a challenge for Roanoke City which has anywhere from six to eight spots still open.
[in q=That probably]
((FAYE PLEASANTS/ROANOKE CITY SCHOOLS: THAT PROBABLY IS ABOUT AVERAGE FOR ABOUT RIGHT NOW, I WAS PROBABLY A LITTLE NERVOUS A FEW WEEKS AGO BUT IT SEEMS TO BE COMING TOGETHER NOW.))
[out q= together now.]
Dave Foster is also confident he'll fill his seven vacancies in Pittsylvania County.
But Foster predicts it's going to get even tougher in the future as more and more teachers hired to teach the baby boomers begin to retire.
A trend many larger school systems are already noticing.
[sot tape labeled feed from d'ville 00:02:25]
[in q= There are ]
((DAVID FOSTER/PITTSYLVANIA CO. SCHOOLS: THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER STATES THAT HAS THE SAME TYPE SITUATION AND IN FACT SOME MAY BE MORE SEVERE THAN IN VIRGINIA. ))
[out q=in Virginia. ]
Foster says the problem is also becoming more evident because fewer people are entering the teaching profession at a time when enrollment is growing in Virginia and school systems are trying to keep class sizes small.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7.))
The Wall Street Journal labeled him the Republican's "most ardent tax cutter" this week.
Governor Jim Gilmore took that message to the podium in Philadelphia last night.
As one of four surrogate speakers for Governor Bush, Gilmore's had a high national profile.
His convention fun is NOT over this week though.
Gilmore will attend the Democratic convention later this month, again as a media surrogate for Bush.
Gilmore will leave some of the entourage behind for that trip.
He took three press aides, six cabinet secretaries, a deputy press secretary, and his chief of staff to Philadelphia.
He was a fugitive who just got tired.
28 year old David Lee Hicks, wanted by North Carolina authorities, was found snoring under a bed in Danville last night.
Authorities say a man came home on Clearview Drive and heard the suspect sleeping.
[IN Q=He heard someone]
((MAJ. B.C. ELLIOTT/DANVILLE POLICE: HE HEARD SOMEONE SNORING IN THE BEDROOM AND THIS INDIVIDUAL WAS SLEEPING PARTIALLY UNDER THE BED. WELL THINKING THAT THIS PERSON WAS A HOMELESS PERSON HE SHUT THE DOOR AND CALLED 911.))
[SUPER=01-Maj. B. C. Elliott/Danville Police Dept.;]
[OUT Q=and called 911.]
Officers arrived to find Hicks in the bedroom closet. He faces a dozen charges, including assault on an officer, escape and kidnapping.
Hicks is being held at the Danville City Jail without bond.
Thwo men thwarted a 30-thousand dollar jewel heist at Valley View Mall Monday night.
Today Don Tinsley and Drew Settle were rewarded with 500-dollar gift certificates from Henebry's Jewelers.
The two just happened to be in the store when a man stuck his hand into a case of diamond rings.
Settle got the bag of jewelry away from the bandit. Tinsley gave chase.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It seems a]
((DREW SETTLE: IT SEEMS A LITTLE BIT UNWARRANTED IN MY OPINION. I JUST DID WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE.
DON TINSLEY: IT'S INTERESTING. I WASN'T EXPECTING ALL THIS. IT'S NEAT. IT IS.))
[SUPER=07-Drew Settle; :00]
[SUPER=07-Don Tinsley; :06]
[OUT Q=neat. It is.]
In addition to the gift certificates from Henebry's, Store Manager Heather Rutherford got Settle and Tinsley coupons and gift certificates from Valley View Mall, Spinnakers and Ritz Camera.
A female accomplice in the robbery was apprehended, but the primary suspect remains at large.
Virginia's eight Indian tribes issue a warning to Governor Gilmore. Still ahead, why they're threatening a public relations nightmare.
And later, rail day chugs into Lynchburg. We'll show what you can see this weekend.
The controversial bill has finally been filed in Washington.
It would grant Virginia's eight Indian tribes federal recognition.
The drums are now beating for the politicians to get on board.
Ellen Qualls has more.
[IN Q=nat sound]
[SUPER=03-King and Queen Co.; :31 ]
[SUPER=01-Reeva Tilley/Rappahannock Tribe; :46]
[SUPER=01-Mary Wade/Virginia Council on Indians; 1:01]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond]
Accepting the Indian tax is a quaint holiday tradition for the Governor.
[sot 99-5 01:39:58]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: THE NANSEMOND, THE MONACAN, THE MATTAPONI, UH, THE WAMA, WAMA, WAMANOAC. THE WAMANOAC. WAMA, WAMPANOAC.))
And even if he hasn't always been completely comfortable with the tribes, they feel Jim Gilmore is on their side.
But now a real issue: will he provide political support for federal recognition that could help the poorest of Virginia Indians qualify for federal housing assistance, health benefits, and scholarships?
Oh-- and they could, of course, open gambling casinos.
((REEVA TILLEY/RAPPAHANNOCK TRIBE: HE DOES AND IS THINKING ABOUT THE GAMING. AND THAT'S FIRST AND FOREMOST IN ALL THESE POLITICIANS' MINDS. Should it be? NO IT SHOULDN'T. NO IT SHOULDN'T. THEY SHOULD BE THINKING OF THE WELFARE OF THESE INDIAN PEOPLE IN VIRGINIA.))
Are there plans for casinos?
[sot 14:37:09 ]
((MARY WADE/MONACAN TRIBE: NO. IF WE WANTED TO GAMBLE, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TODAY. WE'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY FOR QUITE SOME TIME. WE'VE TURNED IT DOWN.))
But on principle, they say, they won't rule out gambling.
Now, they've given the Governor a warning -- stop "using" Indians to promote tourism, especially for the 2007 Jamestown anniversary.
((MARY WADE/MONACAN TRIBE: WELL, I WOULDN'T SAY IT'S AN ULTIMATUM. I JUST -- I WOULD FEEL VERY UNCOMFORTABLE BEING AT THE 2007 HOOPLA IF WE'RE NOT FEDERAL RECOGNIZED.))
((REEVA TILLEY/RAPPAHANNOCK TRIBE: LET'S JUST SAY, I WILL NOT BE TAKING PLACE IN ANY OF THE FESTIVITIES.))
The Indians will be asking for a congressional hearing in the fall.
They're already tired of asking for a pow-wow with Jim Gilmore.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
Danville reported the most cases of Syphilis last year of any city in the state
A new effort is underway to curb the outbreak.
Three facilities will offer free treatment.
[Pinnacle Page 1]
Danville's Southside Family Practice is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8-5. Tuesday and Thursday 8-8 and Saturday 8:30-4:30.
[Pinnacle Page 2]
Axton's Sandy River Medical Center is open Monday through Friday 8:30 to 5.
And the Danville Health Department will continue its service on Thursdays from 8-10 in the morning.
You must be referred first by the local health department.
Tech stocks rebounded from a couple of days of losses.
[TAKE DOW, NASDAQ & BLOOMBERG PAGE ]
The DOW gained 19 points while NASDAQ climbed 101.
The Bloomberg News 7 Index rose nearly a point and a half.
Roanoke's most reclusive steam locomotive is back in hiding.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Night; :00]
Last night, a tractor towed locomotive 1218 out onto a turntable at the East End Shops.
It was used as a massive prop for a photo shoot by Vanity Fair magazine.
Vanity Fair is doing a story about photographer O. Winston Link, whose own pictures of Norfolk and Western steam trains now sell for thousands of dollars apiece.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's a thrill]
((O. WINSTON LINK/PHOTOGRAPHER: IT'S A THRILL FOR ME TO SEE IT, AND IT ALSO MAKES ME REALIZE THAT THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE OF THESE RUN. SEEN ONE RUN, NOR HEARD THEM. AND THAT IS A SHAME.))
[SUPER=01-O. Winston Link/Photographer; :02]
[OUT Q=that is a shame.]
The engine is no longer in operating condition, so one challenge for the photo crew was to make it appear to be fired up.
A Hollywood-type smoke generator did the trick.
The photo shoot lasted until about one-thirty this morning.
When it was over, the 1218 was moved back into the shop where it's been stored for at least five years.
Members of the Vanity Fair crew say the magazine has not yet decided in which issue the photos will appear.
You CAN get a glimpse of some other trains, albeit on a much smaller scale, this weekend in Lynchburg.
The 22nd annual Rail Day 2000 runs all day Saturday at the Builders Meeting Center in Forest.
The event will feature layouts, clinics and displays geared towards getting more people interested in the hobby of model railroading.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Lynchburg of course]
((BILL COX/RAIL DAY 2000 ORGANIZER: LYNCHBURG OF COURSE HAS CSX AND N-S NOW, BUT IT USED TO HAVE C&O, SOUTHERN AND NORFOLK AND WESTERN AND THERE ARE A LOT OF FORMER TRACKS, FOR INSTANCE THE BIKE PATH IN THE LOWER BASIN IS ALL PART OF THE FORMER N&W MAIN LINE, SO THERE'S A LOT OF HISTORY HERE.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Cox/Rail Day 2000 Organizer]
[OUT Q=lot of history here.]
The highlight of the show chugged into Lynchburg this afternoon.. it's a Norfolk Southern rail car that's been renovated into a traveling museum.
It includes a video simulator that lets you "drive" your own freight train.
And coming up in sports, The first 25 cars are set for this Saturday's Brickyard 500 at Indianapolis our preseason high school reports continue today with a look at the Golden Eagles of Staunton River.
And a West Virginia University football player is finding a home with the Washington Redskins.
The Winston Cup drivers returned to work this afternoon in Indianapolis to qualify for this Saturday's Brick Yard 400.
And it was a big day for the old guard.
[SUPER=03-Indianapolis, IN/ESPN; :]
Ricky Rudd would highlight the first round of qualifying capturing the pole position with a speed of 181 point 068 miles per hour.
But the big cheers of the day went to Darrell Waltrip. Waltrip, who is out of provisionals, would qualify on the outside pole with a speed of 180 point 923.
Bobby Labonte qualified third and here are the rest of the top 25.
[WIPE TO MOTION]
[SUPER=0107-1. Ricky Rudd/180.068/2. Darrell Waltrip//3. Bobby Labonte//4. Jeremy Mayfield//5. Dale Jarrett//;]
[SUPER=0107-6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.//7. Bill Elliott//8. Dale Earnhardt//9. Mike Skinner//10. Rusty Wallace//;]
[SUPER=0107-11. Scott Pruett//12. Mark Martin//13. Johnny Benson//14. Michael Waltrip//15. John Andretti//;]
[SUPER=0107-16. Ward Burton//17. Kenny Wallace//18. Tony Stewart//19. Robert Pressley//20. Sterling Marlin//;]
[SUPER=0107-21. Jimmy Spencer//22. Steve Park//23. Jerry Nadeau//24. Rick Mast//25. Todd Bodine//;]
[OUT Q=...last driver."]
Elliottt Sadler and Jeff Burton failed to make the top 25 they'll attempt to make it in second round qualifying tomorrow.
[GRAPHIC=REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP]
Tomorrow night, the Washington Redskins will temporarily break training camp to open the preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And while head coach Norv Turner plans to use many of his veterans sparingly, Mike Stevens says a newcomer from the West Virginia University is expected to get plenty of work.
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[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Adrian Murrell/Redskins Tailback from WVU; :24]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
(( With so much of the off-season signings centered around Deion, Big Bruce and Jeff George - it was easy to overlook the acquisition of running back Adrian Murrell. The signed the free agent running back on March 22nd to be a back up for Stephen Davis - Murrell is hoping to be that and much more.
Murrell, is one of only six players in the NFL history to rush for more than 1000 yards in a season with two different teams. He accomplished that feat with the Jets and Cardinals, but he really likes what he sees in DC with new running backs coach Kirby Wilson.
Murrell knows it will also be cut throat when it comes to getting enough carries this season as he Davis and Skip Hicks search for a way to share one football.
And don't be surprised if the 8 year veteran takes advantage of every opportunity he has this season. Mike Stevens News 7 sports.))
The Golden Eagles are flying high in the preseason.
More than 70 players are out for football this season, the most the Eagles have had in about four years.
Coach Bob Gray says the high numbers are do in part to a large freshman class.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=i think]
[SUPER=01-Bob Gray/Staunton River Head Coach;]
[OUT Q=for us]
Back is all district and four year starter, Jermaine Moyer at tailback.
But coach Gray has had some trouble on defensive in recent years and is hoping to find some aggressive defensive players from this year's large pool of players.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=we'll try]
[OUT Q=tackle better]