Just ahead on News 7, the state is closing down a local school for boys, citing numerous health and safety violations
We have just received plenty of state documents on the Wilderness Academy. We'll have the very latest.
And when a local mom takes her child on a walk through the park, she comes across an unwelcome surprise.
Tonight on News 7 sports, we'll talk with the Hokies new starting quarterback Dave Meyer.
Plus, the Skins have a new kicker, and the Express has a new signing to announce.
And we'll hear what Dale Earnhardt thinks about Jeff Gordon's domination in Winston Cup this season.
Fall like weather arrives right on time but the tropics have storms all over the place. Georges now threatens Florida. Details straight ahead.
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State Education Department officials are closing a Botetourt County school for delinquent boys.
They say at the Wilderness Leadership Academy, the boys' health and safety are clearly at risk.
Tina Tenret has more on this breaking story from our newsroom.
[Live= Tina full/Newsroom]
Jean we just got 60 pages from the Education Department.
Reports say students stole hospital I-V needles to tattoo themselves.
The education department told the school to have these boys tested for hepatitis but two weeks later, they had not been tested.
Another boy was wetting his bed and speaking out of his mind -- still, he was taken on a wilderness weekend. He later had to be hospitalized for a week, severely dehydrated.
Another student spent two days in the hospital after a bicycle accident --- his parents were never called. Eve
n when police later picked up the same boy -- education department officials say the school still did not call his parents.
Students told officials that the night watchman sleeps under their beds -- counselors say students have been molested by other students.
[IN Q=Inspectors ventured inside]
[OUT Q=did not return phone calls]
Inspectors ventured inside the school -- to find a dirty kitchen with crumbs and bugs.
They could not tell if dishes were clean.
Crusty utensils hid under beds.
Inspectors said sheets were dirty, mattresses were missing.
They say there are too few bathrooms -- several with major leaks and floors caving in.
Walls had gaping holes -- and inspectors said some windows were gone.
Education Department officials say Colonel Gene Nervo fixed some problems, but now there are even more.
They say there is no excuse for running a school in this shape.
Nervo did not return phone calls.
[Live= Tina full/Newsroom]
Education Department officials say the boys will be transferred to other facilities when the school closes next week.
They say in the past, boys have waited two weeks for a doctor's appointment and some were apparently locked overnight in a disciplinary center with a dead bolt lock.
A teacher was fired for hittting a student, but Colonel Nervo waited a day before telling the education department.
Nervo will lose his license but the department says he can re-apply if he corrects these problems.[Breedlove]
Heather McNeal's grandmother told a judge today watching her 14-year old granddaughter is quote "like watching someone slowly dying".
Heather is one of three young girls victimized by a former Montgomery County teacher's aide, who appeared in court today for a sentencing hearing.
Teresa Hamilton joins us from our Blacksburg newsroom with more on the story.
Jean, the McNeals agreed to speak publicly because they want people to know the pain they are living with.
John Breedlove not only traumatized their daughter but also their son who blames himself for not protecting his sister.
[IN Q=I don't]
[SUPER=01-Rob McNeal/Heather's Father; :31]
[OUT Q=piece of trash.]
[IN Q=I don't]
((ROB MCNEAL/HEATHER'S FATHER:I DON'T LIKE TO HATE ANYBODY BUT I DO HATE THE MAN FOR WHAT HE DID TO MY DAUGHTER. ))
[OUT Q=to my daughter.]
Rob McNeal's faith in the public school system IS shattered.
His daughter was just 12- years old when she was propositioned by John Breedlove-- a former teacher's aid at Auburn Middle School who actually taught their younger son.
Heather says Breedlove repeatedly called her "chicken" until she agreed to go into the teacher's lounge bathroom for sex.
McNeal says his daughter was robbed of her innocence.
[IN Q=I can't ]
((ROB MCNEAL/HEATHER'S FATHER: I CAN'T EVEN HUG MY DAUGHTER NOW, WHEN I HUG HER SHE'S JUST REAL COLD AND SHE MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I'M THE MAN THAT DONE SOMETHING WRONG.))
[OUT Q=something wrong.]
McNeal says he reassures Heather it wasn't her fault.
But says Heather, who's now 14, hates herself and takes it out on those around her.
Last week-- she enrolled in counseling.
But McNeal says until someone from the school system apologizes, the family can't begin to heal.
[IN Q=Most of ]
((MOST OF ALL, I THINK IT WOULD MEAN A LOT TO MY DAUGHTER IF THEY WOULD JUST TREAT HER LIKE A DECENT YOUNG LADY, INSTEAD OF LIKE A PIECE OF TRASH. ))
[OUT Q=piece of trash.]
Breedlove apologized to the victims and their families in court today.
Next week, he'll be formally sentenced.
In the meantime, the McNeals are searching for an attorney willing to help them sue the Montgomery County school system.
The superintendent did NOT return our calls.[Smith-Park]
A Roanoke mother says she won't be taking her son to a local park anymore after finding CONDOM wrappers there.
Pamela Irwin says she was on a nature walk in Smith Park yesterday, when she found TWELVE condom wrappers.
Irwin also discovered a USED condom at the bottom of this slide.
She fears for the health and safety of her son, as well as OTHER children who may frequent the park.
[IN Q=That was one]
((PAMELA IRWIN/CONCERNED PARENT: THAT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONCERNS IF THEY DID SEE THE CONDOM THERE, IF THEY WOULD HAPPEN TO PICK IT UP AND PUT IT IN THEIR MOUTH TO THINK IT WAS A BALLOON, OF COURSE, IT'S NOT. THE GERMS THAT ARE HARBORING THERE, YOU WOULDN'T WANT YOUR CHILDREN EXPOSED TO.))
[SUPER=01-Pamela Irwin/Concerned Parent;]
[OUT Q=children exposed to]
Irwin says she's considering circulating a petition, asking for better lighting at the park.
Meanwhile, Roanoke police say they routinely patrol ALL city parks, but say it's difficult to prevent sexual activity that goes on after dark.
It appears a football controversy that caused community division in Covington is settled. As Eric Earnhart tells us, a football player who says he was kicked off the team after a disagreement with the coach will get to play again.
[IN Q=Antonia Hill]
[SUPER=01-Antonio Hill/Reinstated Player; :09]
[SUPER=01-Sean Workowski/Hill's Attorney; :33]
[SUPER=01-Audra Hill/Mother; :50]
[OUT Q=EE, News 7]
((Antonio Hill says it'll be tough to sit on the bench during his one game suspension... but he's glad to be back on the team... and he's learned a lesson.
[IN Q=sometimes you]
((ANTONIO HILL; SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO WHAT PEOPLE TELL YOU, ESPECIALLY THE GUY THAT'S IN CHARGE, LISTEN, PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT'S BEING SAID AND LEARN FROM IT, AND I'VE LEARNED SOMETHING BIG OFF OF THIS.))
[OUT Q=off of this]
But not EVERYTHING is settled.
Covington school officials say they did nothing wrong,
Hill's lawyer says the fact that he's back on the team says something.
[IN Q=while they may]
((SEAN WORKOWSKI/HILL'S ATTORNEY; WHILE THEY MAY HAVE NOT PUBLICLY ACKNOWLEGED THAT THEY'VE DONE ANYTHING WRONG, CERTAINLY THE RESULT HAS CHANGED, AND THE BOTTOM LINE'S THE BOTTOM LINE.))
[OUT Q=the bottom line]
Principal John Clemmer blasted Hill's vocal supporters, saying they...
caused harm to the school, the athletic program, the team, the coach, and Antonio Hill.
[IN Q=I am thankful]
((AUDRA HILL/MOTHER; I AM THANKFUL TO HAVE SUCH A GREAT COMMUNITY, A GOOD FAMILY ADN FRIENDS THAT HAVE SUPPORTED US UNCONDITIONALLY, AND I DON'T THINK THAT THEY WERE MEDDLING))
[OUT Q=were meddling]
But while there doesn't seem to be much common ground to stand on in this settlement... Hill's mother says as long as her son is back on the team... she'll agree to disagree on the details.
Eric Earnhart, News 7. ))
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AIDS prevention billboards are going up in the region. Still ahead, we'll tell you who's doing this.
And Roanoke County Supervisors are expecting an earful tonight ... their first meeting since their controversial Home Depot vote.
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The Home Depot debate is back in the spotlight tonight. For the first time since the supervisors approved the controversial rezoning, they'll hear from citizens during a public hearing that begins an hour from now.
Joe Dashiell reports now from the County Administration Center, on the prospects for another vote.
[Live= Joe full/Microwave]
Jean... the supervisors have been meeting here this afternoon, discussing parliamentary procedure... and the possibility of reconsidering this rezoning one more time.
Though the supervisors haven't voted yet, that appears to be the course they will take later tonight. This morning, roanoke radio was the batleground.
[IN Q=Welcome back]
[SUPER=01-Craig Wright/WFIR Talk Show Host; :00]
[SUPER=01-Ron Adkins/Home Depot Supporter; :21]
[SUPER=02-Joe McNamara/Windsor Hills Supervisor; :50]
[OUT Q=in the eyes of our citizens.]
(([NAT SOUND OF RADIO SHOW]
[IN Q=Welcome Back]
((WELCOME BACK. IT'S MORE OF THE CRAIG WRIGHT SHOW FOR THIS TUESDAY MORNING ON THE ROANOKE VALLEY'S NEWS STATION. AGAIN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE HOME DEPOT REZONING.))
[OUT Q=rezoning issue.]
Home Depot has been the hot topic at WFIR, since the Supervisors surprised neighbors and rezoned property near Cave Spring Corner for the commercial development.
[IN Q=We can ill afford]
((RON ADKINS/HOME DEPOT SUPPORTER: WE CAN ILL AFFORD TO LOSE A TAX BASE OF THIS MAGNITUDE WHEN THE ROANOKE COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM IS LOOKING AT A HUNDRED AND TWENTY MILLION DOLLAR SCHOOL RENOVATION PROGRAM THAT OUR CHILDREN NEED.))
[OUT Q=that our children need.]
Supporters say the benefits are obvious, with well over 100 jobs, and the half million dollars of additional tax revenue the project promises... opponents question the impact on the project's neighbors, the affect on traffic, and the process the supervisors used to approve the rezoning.
[IN Q=The bigger issue is]
((VOICE OF JOE MCNAMARA/WINDSOR HILLS SUPERVISOR: THE BIGGER ISSUE IS, I DON'T THINK ROANOKE COUNTY AND ROANOKE COUNTY CITIZENS... WE DESERVE BETTER THAN POLITICALLY RIGHT OR LEGALLY RIGHT. WE NEED TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT IN THE EYES OF OUR CITIZENS.))
[OUT Q=what's right in the eyes of our citizens.]))
[Live= Joe full/Microwave]
Deciding what's right may be easier said then done... given the prickly procedural questions the supervisors have been considering.
But Jean, citizens on both sides of this issue will be providing plenty of suggestions here in about an hour.[D
A 12-year old boy was hit by a car this afternoon near a Danville school.
Antone (AN-TWAN) Maurice Green was riding his bike when he was struck by a Pontiac Grand Prix.
It happened on a Foster Street near Gibson Middle School.
Teachers formed a human wall around the boy as paradmedics tried to stabilize him.
Green was flown to a North Carolina hospital where he is in critical condition.
Electrical problems may have sparked a fire that gutted a mobile home in Amherst County today.
Around noon, a passerby spotted smoke coming from this trailer on Mundy's Mill Road in Madison Heights.
Firefighters arrived to find a back bedroom engulfed in flames.
It took them about fifteen minutes to bring the blaze under control.
The trailer was a total loss.
No one was home when the fire broke out.
Sheriff's authorities say the cause appears to be accidental.
A mixed day on Wall Street. The Dow dropped 36 points to close a few points below 79-hundred. But many other indexes were up, including NASDAQ.
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Virginia's now on its second consultant and second commission-- and still hearing much of the same bad news on mental health.
A new consultant's report says the state should cut in half the number of mentally ill and mentally retarded patients it's currently housing in state facilities.
The report-- just released today -- comes on the heels of the Geller Report, which blasted the state for mismanaging mental health care.
Governor Gilmore appointed his own commission to study the issue this summer.
[IN Q=Our goal]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: OUR GOAL IS GONNA BE THE DELIVERY OF QUALITY CARE, BOTH IN THE COMMUNITY AND IN FACILITIES. AND THE BEST WAY TO HAVE THAT MIX AND BLEND IS STILL TO BE REMAINS TO BE DONE. BUT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT REPORT TOGETHER WITH ALL OTHERS.))
[OUT Q=all others.]
The new report recommends reducing the size of or closing down: Catawba Hospital in Roanoke County, Western State i
n Staunton, and the Southern Virginia Mental Health Institute in Danville. [AIDS-Billboard]
The information you can now see on billboards across the state could save you life.
An H-I-V prevention campaign is underway with a message of self-respect and a hotline number.
The Virginia Health Department is targeting this campaign toward
people they don't normally reach. The billboards will be rotated throughout the Roanoke and new River Valley over the next three months.
Women represent 30 percent of the HIV cases in Virginia, and last year, heterosexual transmission of the virus was the second-leading cause of infection.
Coming up tonight in sports, the Skins get a new kicker, the Express signs an old favorite, we'll hear from Dale Earnhardt and
the new man in charge of the Hokies' offense for at least this weekend - sophomore quarterback Dave Meyer.
[TAPE#=SP-15 tc 1:19:44]
Virginia Tech hosts Big East rival Pittsburgh this Saturday.
Three new starters will take the field against the Panthers--including a new quarterback.
Denise Allen has more.
[IN Q=Redshirt sophomore]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Tech vs. East Carolina; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dave Meyer/VT Sophomore Quarterback; :12]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Va Tech Head Coach; :18]
[SUPER=03-Miami, FL/Last Saturday; :29]
[SUPER=01-Jarrett Ferguson/Tech Fullback; 1:15 ]
[OUT Q=News 7 Sports]
((Redshirt sophomore Dave Meyer has seen action at quarterback this season.
He played in the routs of both East Carolina and Clemson and was one for four for two yards with one interception.
The Hokies came out on top last weekend in Miami 27-20 in overtime.
But Tech's brutal battle with the Hurricanes left
quarterback Al Clark with a sprained his right foot. Also..
DENISE ALLEN/NEWS 7: RIGHT GUARD JOSH REDDING AND FULLBACK CULLEN HAWKINS ARE MOST LIKELY LOST FOR THE SEASON.
COACH BEAMER SAYS HE AND HIS STAFF AREN'T FOCUSING ON THE INJURY REPORT, THEY'RE CONCENTRATING ON A WIN OVER PITTSBURGH.
Jarrett Ferguson is assuming the starting fullback duties.
Meyer says the three new offensive starters have met with the other eight and they all agree everyone needs to step it up notch to make fans say 'what injuries?.'
Denise Allen News 7 Sports.
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The football on WDBJ this weekend features a college doubleheader on Saturday as UCLA takes on Miami at Noon and Kentucky and battles Florida at 3:30 down in swamp in Gainesville.
[wipe to pinnacle]
Then on Sunday the NFL action gets started at Noon with the NFL Today and then the Redskins host the Broncos at one o'clock here on WDBJ-7.
Speaking of the Redskins, they made another kicking change today - like that's going to solve their problems.
A week after releasing Scott Blanton, they now get rid of David Akers.
They pick up former pro bowler Cary Blanchard, the former Colt who was cut in training camp by Indianapolis.
This Saturday night at seven News 7 sports will be presetning an hour long NASCAR special leading up to Sunday NAPA Auto Care 500 at Martinsville.
One of the things you'll get to see is an in-depth interview with Dale Earnhardt.
It may surprise you that he thinks Jeff Gordon's current dominance is good for the sport.
[SUPER=01-Dale Earnhardt/7 Time Winston Cup Champ; :00]
[OUT Q=...great for the sport."]
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And you can hear all of that interview and much more as we present "More Thunder in the Foothills" Saturday night from 7 until 8 right here on Your Hometown Racing Station.
[wipe to eng!!!!!!!!!!!][S-Bud]
[WIPE TO ENG#!!!!!!!!!]
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Speaking of the Earnhardt's - if you don't think yesterday's announcment that Dale Jr. will drive with Budwesier sponsorship through the year 2004 was big news, guess again.
The new deal is worth $10 million a season in sponsorship money from Anheuser Busch.
The deal was so big they brought in 8 clydesdales to make it.
The Roanoke Express inked its top goal scorer from last season to a contract today.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Season; :00]
Chris Lipsett, who tallied 65 points in 67 games last season has inked a deal for the upcoming season.
Right now Lipsett is attending the Kentucky Thrououghbreds training camp.
Roanoke's camp doesn't open until the first week in October.
And finally, the Clinton Videotapes have created all kinds chatter across the country, but here's the videotape you better be concerned about.
Take a listen to TedKennedy attempting to introduce this year's homer run kings.
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[OUT Q=...introduce them."]
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