On NEWS 7 at SIX tonight, we'll hear from the inmates themselves what they're learning at Virginia's toughest prison.
And get the prosecutor's rationale for dropping the charges against the teenager who went along on the abduction of a Roanoke Postal worker.
Tonight on the Big 7, we'll check out day one at the Haley Junior golf event.
Plus, we'll try to get a handle on the Steam's Tater.
And the sale of the Roanoke Express could be a completely done deal by the weekend.
Coming up, no complaints from the weather department. Nature is doing a nice job for July 12th. Beach forecast also on tap.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
[IN Q=They make it hard for you]
[sot tape tape one 11:39:55 ]
((PAUL BROWN/INMATE: THEY MAKE IT HARD FOR YOU. IT'S LIKE THEY WANT TO TAKE YOU AND STRIP YOUR WILL TO EVEN WANT TO LIVE IN HERE.))
[OUT Q=even to want to live in here.]
The philosophy behind some of America's most restrictive prisons.
It's the second night of our look inside Virginia's "supermaxes" -- the first cameras ever allowed inside.
Good evening, I'm Shannon Young.
And I'm Keith Humphry.
Wallens Ridge and Red Onion opened their doors in 1998.
Not until this week has any reporter or camera toured either supermax prison with inmates in it.
Richmond Bureau Chief Ellen Qualls went to Wallens Ridge State Prison.
[IN Q=On this day, 348 Wallens Ridge]
[SUPER=03-Wise Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Stan Young/Warden; :]
[SUPER=01-Alphonso Dickson/Segregated Inmate; :]
[SUPER=01-Kevin Reed/Correctional Officer; :]
[SUPER=@Ellen1/equalls*wdbj7.com; : ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News7, Wise County.]
(( On this day, 348 Wallens Ridge inmates are in what they call administrative segregation.
[nat sot noise in ad seg]
They're here because they've assaulted staff or other inmates.
They're called "highly aggressive."
[sot tape TAPE ONE 11:54:26 ]
((STAN YOUNG/WARDEN: BEFORE THEY COME OUT OF THE POD, COME OUT OF THEIR CELL, THEY'RE STRIP SEARCHED AND RESTRAINED, AND ESCORTED BY TWO OFFICERS.))
[runs= 08 ]
They get only five hours a week of outside recreation -- and that's in these cages.
Their view is the sky.
Alphonso Dickson's spent more than a year here, and says he's used the time to get his GED.
But he has an observation about the larger prison.
[sot tape TAPE one 11:59:29]
((ALPHONSO DICKSON/SEGREGATED INMATE: THESE SHOTGUNS AND STUFF THAT ARE BEING USED -- THEY'RE BEING USED IN THE WRONG WAY. I TALKED TO AN INMATE THE OTHER DAY AND HE CAME IN HERE ON A NON-VIOLENT CRIME AND HE JUST WENT HOME ABOUT A YEAR AGO. AND HE TOLD ME HE SAYS MAN, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO ROB NOTHING. I NEVER ROBBED ANYTHING BEFORE IN MY LIFE. HE SAID, BUT I KNOW HOW TO NOW. ALL I NEED TO DO IS GET ME A SHOTGUN, PUT A BLANK SHELL IN IT, FIRE IT UP IN THE AIR, AND I CAN MAKE A WHOLE GROCERY STORE LAY DOWN.))
The guns use rounds filled with rubber pellets.
Inmates who act out get a blank fired, a verbal warning, and then sprayed with the pellets.
They're only lethal they say if they hit you in the right place.
Pellets have been fired at Wallens Ridge five times this year.
It's their presence, the officers say, that makes it safe for everyone here.
Even basketball is possible.
Officer Kevin Reed says he doesn't mind that stun guns were banned a few months back.
[sot tape TAPE TWO 12:58:12 ]
((KEVIN REED/CORRECTIONAL OFFICER: THEY DON'T ACT NO DIFFERENT THAN WHEN WE STILL HAD 'EM. THEY'RE NOT ANY MORE VIOLENT OR ANY LESS VIOLENT.))
[runs= 07 ]
[sot tape STANDUP tape two 13:29:36 ]
((TO THE CRITICS OF THE SUPERMAX PRISONS, THE WALLENS RIDGE WARDEN SAYS THE OTHER 40 SOME PRISONS IN VIRGINIA ARE SAFER, MORE PRODUCTIVE, MORE REHABILITATIVE THAN THEY HAVE BEEN SINCE JAMESTOWN IN 1607 BECAUSE THE SUPERMAXES ARE HERE, AND WHAT HE CALLS THE KNUCKLEHEADS ARE TAKEN OUT OF THE GENERAL PRISON POPULATION.))
[runs= 20 ]
[sot tape tape one 11:22:36]
((STAN YOUNG/WARDEN: IT'S VERY FRUSTRATING THAT WE'RE GETTING A BAD RAP FROM SOME OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS. AND IT AMAZES ME THAT THEY'RE EXPERTS ON THE OPERATIONS OF THIS PRISON WHEN THEY'VE NEVER BEEN HERE.))
[runs= 16 ]
And even though we were finally let in, they won't be.
It's still the philosophy of Virginia's prisons that the critics will never be pleased.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Wise County.))
An update on the case against a teenager caught up in what may have been the abduction of a local postal worker: The young man will NOT be prosecuted.
Lee Summerlin was released from Coyner Springs Detention Center this morning.
The prosecutor says he could not determine whether Jennifer Barker was taken and held against her will. He says LEE Summerlin was caught in the middle between the two adults.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Given the fact]
((DONALD CALDWELL/ROANOKE COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: GIVEN THE FACT THAT THIS CHILD, YOUNG MAN, 15, WAS IN THE CONTROL OF HIS FATHER, YOU HAVE TO EXTEND THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT TO HIM.))
[SUPER=01-Donald Caldwell/Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney]
[OUT Q=doubt to him.]
Lee Summerlin had been in custody since Friday night when police cornered his father in a restaurant parking lot. Dewey Summerlin shot and killed himself.
The F-B-I and local police are looking for help in identifying a Roanoke bank robber.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Bank Surveillance Photo]
They released photos from Tuesday's lunch-hour holdup today.
One of the pictures shows what Roanoke police had earlier described as a blond ponytail wig protruding from a ball cap.
A Christiansburg man escaped a burning mobile home today but NOT without injury.
Witnesses say Tony Shepard emerged from his mobile home on Pepper's Ferry Road bleeding and burned.
He is being treated at Montgomery Regional Hospital.
A neighbor called 9-1-1 and says the property quickly became engulfed in flame, filling the sky with thick smoke.
Witnesses say Shepard lives with his girlfriend but that she was NOT home at the time of the fire.
No word on a cause from officials but they say the home is a total loss.
Burning a cross.. painting a swastika.. those are easily recognizable hate crimes.
But determining whether someone's civil rights have been violated is not always that easy.
About forty people attended a day- long seminar in Lynchburg today to learn more about hate crimes and how to recognize them.
They included social workers, educators and local police.
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[IN Q=I think it]
((SGT. DAVID RAGLAND/LYNCHBURG POLICE: I THINK IT HELPS YOU AS FAR AS INVESTIGATING, IT MAKES YOU LOOKS AT THINGS MAYBE A LITTLE BIG MORE IN-DEPTH.. IS IT JUST A CRIMINAL ACT OR WAS THERE A MOTIVATION BEHIND IT BASED UPON A PERSON'S SEX OR COLOR OF SKIN, ETC.))
[SUPER=01-Sgt. David Ragland/Lynchburg Police ]
[OUT Q=color of skin, etc.]
The conference was spearheaded by local gay activist Bill Connelly, who says law enforcement and other public agencies need to be more sensitive in their treatment of gay citizens.
Washington and Lee's going wireless.
The story just ahead.
[IN-Q=NATS BIRD NOISE]
[OUT-Q=NATS BIRD NOISE]
it's far from music to the ears of people whose chimneys become houses for these birds.
But the chimney swifts are FEDERALLY protected.
Still ahead - what to do if they set up residence in your home...
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[Web Address Announce]
[GRAPHIC=W & L]
Washington and Lee University is trying to give students access to its computer network, without planting more wires through historic buildings...
The school is installing antennas which will beam the school's network to laptop computers. This will allow students to enjoy the outdoors while writing papers or doing research. Also, professors can turn classrooms into portable computer labs.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT - 11:47:41]
[SUPER=01-Max Ivankov/Washington and Lee Senior]
((MAX IVANKOV/WASHINGTON AND LEE SENIOR; NOWADAYS, WITH THE WIRELESS ACCESS, WE CAN ACCESS NETWORK DRIVES, WHICH PROFESSORS CAN SHARE INFORMATION WITH THE STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM, AND LET THEM WORK WITH IT WHILE BEING IN THE CLASSROOM.))
[OUT Q=in the classroom. (2x)]
Students will have to pay around one-hundred-fifty-dollars to make their laptops wireless accessible.
Two boys who helped beat and carjack a counselor at Arcadia Leadership Academy have pled guilty.
Jerome Hayes and Brandon Whittle will serve sentences in juvenile detention.
Their counselor was taking the teens out to eat on March 5-th when they attacked him.
David Allen Hipes says when he stopped at a stop sign, Hayes jerked the car into park and beat him with a pipe.
Another boy will be tried for the attack in August.
A Sheriff's Deputy has admitted to sexual misconduct at the Danville jail.
Marvin Riggins pled guilty today to having sexual relations with an inmate last August.
Riggins faces a 25-hundred dollar fine and up to five years in prison.
He'll be sentenced August 30th.
Three other Danville deputies, Ernest Carter, Doyle Cook, and Steve Terry are scheduled to have their day in court next week.
The owner of a Smith Mountain Lake water system may go to jail for disobeying a judge's orders.
Robert Winney owns Waterworks of Franklin County, which serves 54 homes.
State health officials say he ignored tainted water samples, failed to fix leaks and overcharged customers.
In April, a judge ordered him to sell the waterworks or fix it.
A group of residents offered to buy it for 30-thousand dollars, but they say Winney rejected it.
He was ordered to report to jail next Friday.
He and the residents hope to reach an agreement before then.
A bright revenue future for Microsoft... along with positive reports from the likes of Motorola and Yahoo... sent stocks skyward today...
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE]
The Dow was up 238 points... Nasdaq climbed 104.
An accidental fall.
That's how Blacksburg Police are explaining a man's death last May.
Mark Cahill's body was found on a Saturday afternoon at an apartment construction site on North Main Street.
A report from the medical examiner lists the cause of death as blunt head and chest injuries due to a fall from height.
Following an investigation, police say the 43-year-old Blacksburg resident's death was accidental.
Intermet confirms the talk is true... MORE workers are losing their jobs.
A spokesman says the Radford Foundry will cut 20 to 40 hourly jobs by this weekend.
The plant has been reducing its workforce steadily over the past few months, with 100 jobs at the location lost in May.
For this round of production cuts they continue to blame a downturn in the auto industry and a need to run more efficiently.
Roanoke is losing a drugstore chain.
Rite-Aid is closing five of its area locations.
Rite-Aid has already started closing the pharmacies inside its Roanoke stores. They will all be shut-down by Friday.
And the drugstore has sold all of its prescriptions to C-V-S.
The closing will affect five locations: Electric Road, Brandon Avenue, Peters Creek Road, Orange Avenue and 13th street.
The stores, however, WILL remain open for next 8 to 12 weeks for liquidation sales.
They make noise and they make a mess.
But experts say the birds that may be living in your chimney are worth supporting for the few months they're there.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=You may have heard them...]
[SUPER=01-Gwenn Johnston/Pres., Wildlife Care Alliance;:07]
[SUPER=01-Paula Mills/'Possum Hugs Wildlife Rescue;:32]
[OUT Q=the most amazing birds on the planet.]
((You may have heard them.
The chirp of the chimney swift is fast and furious.
[IN Q=They make a lot of noise.]
((They make a lot of noise. They're really loud and they sound sort of like a rattlesnake when they get going and they're begging for food when this happens.))
[OUT Q=begging for food when this happens.]
Summer time is chimney swift nesting season.
Between June and the end of August the tiny birds take up residence in chimneys to raise their young.
Experts say they're beneficial because they feed on insects.
But the birds are not always welcome, especially when they fall out of the nest and wind up in the fireplace.
[IN Q=Part of the problem is that...]
((Part of the problem is that the general public doesn't realize that these are specialized birds and need to get back to their parents, need to get back up in the chimney.))
[OUT Q=to get back up in the chimney.]
Paula Mills runs 'Possum Hugs Wildlife Rescue.
Every year she takes in close to 30-displaced chimney swifts.
But she'd rather the birds be allowed to grow in their natural habitat.
[IN Q=They are extremely labor intensive birds.]
((They are extremely labor intensive birds. Raising any bird is very labor intensive but chimney swifts in particular because of how often they need to be fed... when they're young, every half hour.))
[OUT Q=when they're young, every half hour.]
Experts say it's important to put the swifts back in the chimney, even if you have to construct a makeshift nest out of a basket.
And if you can't stand the noise, simply wait until September when the birds migrate and then have your chimney capped.
[IN Q=Our suggestion is tolerance.]
((Our suggestion is tolerance. They're only gonna be there a few weeks and they're such valuable and unique birds. They're the most amazing birds on the planet.))
[OUT Q=amazing birds on the planet.]))
[FS ANCHOR TAG]
Chimney swifts are federally protected.
If you'd like more information about the birds and their care you can contact the Wildlife Care Alliance Hotline at 540-587-4007.
The Express deal is close to finished.
The Steam gets ready to close out its home season.
The Steelers keep their jaw in place.
And we'll check out the opening round of play at the Andrew Haley junior golf event at Smith Mountain Lake.
For the past month the fate of the Roanoke Express has taken more than its share of unusual turns.
The team has been on its way to Fayetteville, North Carolina and then Gwinnet, Georgia.
At times the Star City address was just an afterthought.
But tonight's it appears that the team is staying put.
Ashby Coleman, who is leading the local effort to buy the team and keep it in Roanoke told News 7 Sports he is quote "very confident" his group's offer to buy the team will be officially accepted by tomorrow.
He is confident his group can resuscitate hockey.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Ashby Coleman/Express Buyer; :00]
[OUT Q=...carnival-like atmosphere."]
When the announcement comes it will be a great relief for head coach Perry Florio and his family who have been kept in limbo for months.
Some of the top junior golfers in the state are at Mariners Landing at Smith Mountain Lake for the 11-th annual Andrew Haley Junior golf tournament.
[SUPER=03-Franklin Co.; :]
Just like in previous years, 120 golfers in 3 different ages groups and a flight for girls teed it up this afternoon at Mariners landing.
Several different states were also represented and many of the competitors have played in the junior tournament before.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="We've got...]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Haley/Tournament Director; :]
[OUT Q=....entry blank."]
Dustin Hussey of Ridgeway is in second place in the 16, 17 and 18 year old group after shooting a 73. Barry Wirt of Roanoke is the leader at 69.
And Martinsville's Jerel Whiting leads the 12 and 13 year old division after shooting a 73.
Mitch Chandler's the leader of the 14, 15 age group with a 72 and Meredith Roberts is the girls leader at 76.
[TAPE#=Sp-97 tc 23:45]
The Roanoke Steam has been using local talent to win on the arena 2 gridiron all season. But some of that talent doesn't suit up to play.
Tater Benson played at Lord Botetourt and Ferrum. He's coached high school ball at Lord Botetourt and now is the full back and linebacker coach for the Roanoke Steam.
Tater also coaches wrestling at Botetourt where he is a special education teacher.
He saw the Steam as his chance to get back into football.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=These guys]
[SUPER=01-Tater Benson/Roanoke Steam Assistant Coach;]
[OUT Q=how to play]
Working with Roanoke puts Tater in an unusual situation. He played ball with Anthony Drakeford at Ferrum and with Elton Tolliver in high school.
He says he enjoys working with the quality athletes the Steam puts on the field and it's a chance to focus just on coaching.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=coaching wrestling]
[OUT Q=on to the field]
The Steam's last home game is Saturday night at 7:30 against Lincoln.
The Pittsburgh Steelers finished 9-and-7 last season and missed the playoffs, but the club has decided to reward head coach Bill Cowher.
with a a new three year contract extension.
The new deal will keep Cowher in the Steel City through the 2005 season.
The contract is worth about 7 million dollars.
That means his annual salary will be right at $3 million a year.
[go to pinacle 1020]
And don't forget that Late Model Stock car racing is back on Your Hometown Station LIVE this Saturday night as Farm Bureau presents the Kroger-Pepsi 200 from the New River Valley Speedway. Hope you can join the News 7 Sports team along with special guest analyst Ronnie Thomas this Saturday night at 7.
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When Virginia recently changed the way medicaid patients get rides, some patients found they couldn't get ANY ride.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The lady never showed up]
((THE LADY NEVER SHOWED UP SO MY DAUGHTER HAD TO SPEND AN EXTRA DAY IN THE HOSPITAL.))
[OUT Q=extra day in the hospital.]
We'll see why ride providers are suddenly harder to find, and whether this condition is likely to last
tonight on News 7 at 6.