Coming up on News 7-
Convicted felons voted in last year's election- so did some people who had already passed away- What's wrong with this picture?
Eric Earnhart will have a report.
Plus road paint ended up on more than the road in an accident in Bedford County tonight.
News 7 is next.
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[IN Q=there is nothing]
((LOUELLA CRUTCHFIELD-THAXTON/ROANOKE REGISTRAR; THERE IS NOTHING THAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT, WE HAVE TO TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT, WE ARE NOT INVESTIGATORS, WE ARE REGISTRARS.))
[OUT Q=we are registrars]
Election officials say they're powerless to stop convicted felons from voting in Virginia.
A Virginia watchdog agency says hundreds of convicted felons are breaking the law by voting on election day... and no one's trying to stop them.
Eric Earnhart is in the newsroom with details.
[take Eric full]
Jean, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission found hundreds of felons registered to vote right here in Southwest Virginia.
Registrars in Roanoke City AND County say it's news to them, but they can't do anything about it.
[IN Q=J-Larc says last]
[SUPER=01-Louella Crutchfield/Roanoke Registrar; :22]
[SUPER=01-Diane St. John/Roanoke Co. Registrar; :46]
[OUT Q=Actually been convicted]
((J-Larc says last year 17 hundred convicted felons actually voted in Virginia...
Roanoke Registrar Louella Crutchfield-Thaxton says she still doesn't believe it... but she has no way to check.
Her computers cannot access a voter or applicant's criminal record, and even if they could, she says she's not supposed to.
[IN Q=the state board]
((LOUELLA CRUTCHFIELD-THAXTON/ROANOKE REGISTRAR; THE STATE BOARD HAS INFORMED US THAT WE HAVE TO TAKE THESE PEOPLE'S WORD, IT'S ALMOST LIKE AN INVASION OF PRIVACY IF WE WERE TO ON OUR OWN INVESTIGATE WHAT THEY TELL US. ))
[OUT Q=what they tell us]
J-Larc says it found convicted felons on the voting rolls in EVERY jurisdiction... 342 in Roanoke, 97 in Roanoke County, 78 in Montgomery County, and 37 in Botetourt.
[IN Q=I'm totally]
((DIANE ST. JOHN/ROANOKE CO. REGISTRAR; I'M TOTALLY SURPRISED BY THE NUMBER THAT THEY PUT OUT, BUT I'M NOT SURPRISED THAT IT CAN HAPPEN. ))
[OUT Q=it can happen]
St. John WANTS to investigate... she asked the state for access to criminal records but still doesn't have it.
State election officials say the Motor-Votor law that allows people to register by simply filling out a form at the DMV is responsible.
St. John believes many offenders ACCIDENTALLY claim their voting rights have been restored.
[IN Q=people will say]
((DIANE ST. JOHN/ROANOKE CO. REGISTRAR; PEOPLE WILL SAY YES THEY'VE BEEN CONVICTED OF A FELONY AND THEN THEY'LL HAVE A DATE IN THE RIGHTS-RESTORED BLOCK.. A LOT OF TIMES WE DOUBLE CHECK WHEN WE SEE THAT AND THAT IS THE DATE THEY'VE ACTUALLY BEEN CONVICTED.))
[OUT Q=actually been convicted]))
The man convicted of capital murder in the death of a Virginia Tech student will get to argue for a new trial before the U-S Supreme Court.
[SUPER=03-Christiansburg/February 12, 1997; ]
Benjamin Lilly is on death row for abducting and killing Alexander DeFilippis.
Lilly's brother, Mark, gave a statement to police in which he said he had quote "nothing to do with the shooting" and blamed it on his brother.
Mark Lilly never testified during his brother's trial, citing his constitutional right to avoid self- incrimination.
The U-S Supreme court has agreed to examine whether such statements should be allowed as evidence-- when the person refuses to testify.
Max Jenkins was one of Ben Lilly's trial attorneys.
He says he was both pleased and surprised by the news.
[IN Q=Because that ]
((MAX JENKINS/BEN LILLY'S TRIAL ATTORNEY: BECAUSE THAT IS THE FIRST CASE I HAVE EVER HAD THAT A PERSON HAS GOTTEN THE ULTIMATE PENALTY, THE DEATH PENALTY.
so i guess that weights on your mind?
MAX JENKINS:YES, IT DOES, IT WEIGHS ON YOUR MIND AND IT COMES UP AND THINK ABOUT IT AT DIFFERENT TIMES, U KNOW, THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.))
[SUPER=01-Max Jenkins/Ben Lilly's Trial Attorney; :00]
[OUT Q=the year.]
Ben Lilly's other trial attorney, Christopher Tuck says he's cautiously optimistic.[Stephens]
A second suspect is picked up in the murder of a known drug dealer last year in Pittsylvania County.
Calvin Lamont Pinchback was arrested yesterday for the shooting death of Delvecchio Farmer.
All this as the first suspect in this case goes on trial for his alleged part in the murder.
Quentin Stephens faces a first degree murder charge for Farmer's death in October 1997.
[SUPER=03-Keeling/October 21, 1997;]
The prosecution says the shooting happened as a group of men attempted to rob the victim of drugs and money.
The victim's girlfriend was sleeping when she heard the gunfire and saw her boyfriend hiding for his life.
The Commonwealth's Attorney asked that we not show her face.
[IN Q=It was a whole]
((IT WAS A WHOLE LOT OF SHOTS.))
[IN Q=He got behind the door]
((HE GOT BEHIND THE DOOR, HE LAID BEHIND THE DOOR.))
((ONLY THING HE SAID WAS PUT MY HEAD DOWN AND BE QUIET.))
[SUPER=02-Toni Lea/Victim's Girlfriend;]
[OUT Q=and be quiet.]
The trial resumes in the morning with more prosecution witnesses.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations tomorrow.
Virginia officials want to put a Martinsville man in jail for a crime he committed 24 years ago -- even though now, he's living clean in Michigan.
Tina Tenret tells us more.
[IN Q=Alfred Martin sold]
[SUPER=03-Livonia, MI; :00]
[SUPER=01-Guy Dobbs/Attorney; :23]
[SUPER=01-Joan Zigler/Martinsville Commonwealth's Atty.; :59]
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret News7 Martinsville]
(( Alfred Martin sold marijuana in Martinsville 24 years ago.
He was sentenced to a year on the Martinsville city farm, but fled after one day.
He now has three children and runs his own company in Michigan.
But when police gave him a traffic ticket last week -- they found out he was wanted.
His lawyer says Martin will NOT go back to Virginia.
[IN Q=There certainly were]
((GUY DOBBS/ATTORNEY: THERE CERTAINLY WERE ... IN OUR OPINION.))
Meanwhile Virginia law enforcement officials say Martin should stand trial in Virginia -- for escape, and for not paying off his furniture when he left.
They tried to bring him back in 1976 -- but Michigan's governor at the time protected Martin.
The commonwealth's attorney says things have changed since then.
[IN Q=The detainer agreement]
((THE DETAINER AGREEMENT IS A MUCH STRONGER PACT. THE STATES REALLY PARTICIPATE IN IT. JUST LIKE IF SOMEONE'S SEEKING ASYLUM HERE IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA I CAN'T THINK OF ANY TIME I'VE EVER GRANTED IT.))
[OUT Q=i've ever granted it]
If Martin does return, he will be locked in the city jail, where security is tight.
[IN Q=If Martin is convicted]
((TINA TENRET/NEWS7: IF MARTIN IS CONVICTED IN VIRGINIA, HE COULD FACE 10 YEARS FOR ESCAPE, 20 FOR NOT PAYING OFF HIS FURNITURE. ON TOP OF THAT HE STILL HAS HIS ONE-YEAR SENTENCE HE NEVER SERVED. TINA TENRET NEWS7 MARTINSVILLE.))
A traffic accident in Bedford County this evening cast a spray of yellow onto everything in its path.
Yellow paint that is.
Police say the driver of the truck carrying road paint is charged with failing to maintain control after he rear-ended a Jeep Cherokee.
The truck slammed into the turning Cherokee, then struck a telephone pole and overturned.
The jeep's driver was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries.
The truck driver was NOT injured.
[Music Up FULL]
[In Q=Impeachment is]
[SUPER=03-Washington DC; :00]
[SUPER=03-Washington DC/File Tape; :07]
[SUPER=01-Joseph Lockhart/White House Spokesman; :22]
[SUPER=03-Washington DC; :39]
[SUPER=03-Indianapolis, IN; :51]
[SUPER=01-Lt. Greg Hess/Fire Department; 1:08]
Impeachment is once again up for debate in the house Judiciary Committee.
Some scholars have said lying about sex isn't impeacahble.
But the Committee chariman says it's perjury-
Another member says the President must be called to account.
[wipe wipe wipe]
[GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe]
Meanwhile the committee may call Bruce Lindsey as an impeachment witness.
The Supreme Court refused to shield the White House counsel from questions-
((JOSEPH LOCKHART/WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN:
THERE IS SOME DISAPPOINTMENT WE THINK THE PRESIDENT AND ULTIMATELY THE PUBLIC BENEFITS FROM THE ABILITY TO HAVE FRANK FULL AND CANDID EXCHANGES BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL AND LAWYERS HERE AT THE WHITE HOUSE.))
[OUT Q=here at the White House.]
[GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe]
Congress Bob Livingston now appears a sure thing as the next House Speaker.
Newt Gingrich is stepping down and today Livingson's only rival, Congressman Chris Cox dropped out of the race.
[wipe wipe wipe]
[GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe]
Another Anthrax scare in Indianpolis - this one at a local Catholic elementary school.
Children and staff were evacuated at St. Matthew's parish- after receiving a letter that claimed to contain the deadly poison.
Authorities haven't deteremined if there was anthrax in the letter but they're not taking any chances.
((WE ARE QUARENTEEING THE ADMISTRAVIE STAFF THAT ARE IN TEH AREA WHERE THE LETTER WAS RECEIVED THEY WILL BE DECONTAMINATED APPROPRIATELY.))
[OUT Q=decontaminated appropriately.]
This latest incident comes just 10 days after similar threats at eight abortion clinics around the nation- including one in Indianapolis.
Turns out there was no poison there.
[Fade music UP]
[Out Q=no poison there.]
Jean tosses to Robin in the Chromakey
Still to come--a wrestling fan says a local civic center has a thing or two to learn about handicap access.
Plus, new battle plans to stop drugs and alcohol on campus could mean trouble for offending students on the homefront.
Details when News 7 returns.
[IN Q="Hey Jean...]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
((Hey Jean this is Mike Stevens back in the sports office with the latest on the coaching situation at VMI.
Football boss Ted Cain is fired tonight and we'll hear from athletci director Ted Cain.
Plus, UVa knocks Chris Weinke out for the year, and we'll check the regional pairings for Friday night's football. Tonight on News 7 sports.))
Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors is backing a university plan aimed at taking tougher action on students who abuse drugs or alcohol.
Virginia Tech is planning to notify parents of students UNDER age 21- who commit major violations that result in deferred suspension or suspension.
The University is also planning to crack down on students who get in trouble for alcohol or drugs OFF-campus.
The university's recommendations are in response to the Attorney General who's requiring the state's colleges and universities to take steps to crack down on binge drinking.
If you've got an extra half million dollars lying around, you can pick up a big piece of downtown Lynchburg.
G-E Financial Assurance announced today it will "not" demolish this block of buildings it owns on Commerce Street.
Local preservationists had protested the demolition plans, claiming the buildings were historically significant.
Now G-E says anyone who wants to buy them has 45 days to make an offer.
[IN Q=This is what]
((PETE WARREN/LYNCHBURG MAYOR: THIS IS WHAT THE PUBLIC SAID THAT WE WANTED AND NOW WE HAVE IT AND SO WE'RE HOPING THAT THIS IS GOING TO OPEN SOME DOORS. AND WE TRUST THAT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY WILL BE INVOLVED IN HELPING PEOPLE TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THOSE BUILDINGS CAN MEAN TO THE FUTURE OF DOWNTOWN LYNCHBURG.))
[SUPER=01-Pete Warren/Lynchburg Mayor; :00]
[OUT Q=of downtown Lynchburg.]
G-E also announced today it is buying the old Craddock Terry building along the Route 29 Expressway.
The company will spend eight million dollars over the next two years converting the building into a customer service center.
The move will "not" create any new jobs immediately.
A physically-challenged pro wrestling fan says he was treated like a second class citizen at the Roanoke Civic Center last week.
Dale Miller attended last week's wrestling event.
Because he wanted to be close to the action, he chose to sit on the ground floor of the arena rather than in the designated handicapped accessible areas on the mezzanine.
[IN Q=PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T]
((DALE MILLER/DISABLED CUSTOMER; PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T NEED A CHAIR...DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE WE'RE IN A WHEELCHAIR.))
[SUPER=01-Dale Miller/Disabled Customer;]
[OUT Q=IN A WHEELCHAIR.]
Miller says he was kicked out of the arena because there's not enough handicap accessibility on the ground floor.
Management for the center says it was unaware of Miller's plight, but that it's steadily making improvements to its handicap facilities.
Just ahead --
Help is on the way to the victims of Hurricane Mitch from a man named Mitch, in the Star City.
Stay with us.
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(one, zero, seven)
(five, nine, nine, one)
(three, four, twelve, seventeen, twenty-five)
(Copyright 1998 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
[GRAPHIC=Hurricane Mitch Aftermath]
Hundreds of Americans are pitching in to help victims of Hurricane Mitch.
Some of that help is coming from Roanoke.
First Union is taking up a collection at its service center on Plantation Road.
It started when one First Union employee saw how much damage the hurricane had brought to Central America.
He knew the hundreds of thousands of victims needed lots of help, so he started collecting supplies.
His name happens to be "Mitch."
[IN Q=dry foods]
((MITCH DEAN: DRY FOODS, BEANS, RICE, DRIED MILK ... THERE'S ALSO SHELTER NEEDS, PROTECTIVE GEAR LIKE RUBBER GLOVES, ADULT CLOTHES, KIDS CLOTHES, MEDICAL NEEDS, PAIN RELIEVERS, THAT KIND OF THING.))
[SUPER=01-Mitch Dean/First Union;]
[OUT Q=THAT KIND OF THING]
You can drop off items at the service center's security desk on Plantation Road.
Starting tomorrow on News 7, our special report "Conceiving a Miracle".
Health Check reporter Tonya Flory takes a look at infertility -- and the latest treatments for men and women.
[TAKE FULL SCREEN PINNACLE 4673]
First at 5 we'll meet a couple battling fertility problems.
Then at 11, doctors at the infertility clinic in Roanoke talk about breakthroughs in science that made the impossible possible for many couples today.
Conceiving a Miracle begins at 5, and continues tomorrow night on News 7 at 11.[Forecasts]
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VMI fires its head football coach tonight. We'll hear from athletic director Donny White.
We'll also check the regional football pairings from Friday and check on the Cavs.
But first in tonight's Extra Point, doctors have diagnosed Hall of Fame pitching great Jim Catfish Hunter with Lou Gehrig's disease.
Hunter, who was the guest speaker at this past February's Salem-Roanoke baseball hall of fame banquet in Salem, entered the hospital last week after experiencing difficulties with his motor skills.
He won 224 games in a 15 year major league career.
Lou Gehrig's disease is a degenerative nerve condition that is eventually fatal.
[go to break][S-VMI]
When you've lost nine out of ten games like the VMI Keydets have this season, you just want to get the season over with.
But head coach Ted Cain won't even have that luxury. Last night he was fired after less than two years on the job.
[IN Q="FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Donny White/VMI Athletic Director; :16]
[OUT Q=...the Citadel."]
(( Ted Cain arrived in Lexington on January 12th of 1997 from NC State. After going 0-and-11 last season he knew he needed to produce some wins this year.
VMI was simply tired of waiting.
VMI will honor the final three years of Cain's contract. Meantime White will serve as acting head coach this Saturday in the season finale. But in essence, his role will be to keep the peace and maintain order.
White played and coached at VMI, but he knows better than anyone that what this struggling football program needs much more than any of his knowledge is a win over the Citadel.))
[WIPE TO PINNACLE PAGE]
Finding a guy who can win immediately will not be easy. Take a look at the records for both Cain and his preecessor Bill Stewart in their first two years at the helm.
And if that isn't proof enough. Even the men considered the "Kings" of football at VMI, Bob Thalman and John McKenna each had losing records in their first two seasons in the 70's and the 50's.
(ad lib bye)
When most folks looked at the schedules in the preseason and saw the Packers - Steelers game on week 10 they figured both would be in first place.
But last night both teams came in as second place citizens.
[SUPER=03-Pittsburgh, PA/ABC; :00]
And no one more like a second rate player than Kordell Stewart. He has been maligned and abused all season long for his erratic play, but last night he was virutally unstoppable leading the Steelers with his feet and his arm.
The Steelers jumped out to a 27-to-nothing lead and they hang on to win it 27-to-20.
The pairings for the first round of high school football regional playoffs are all set.
The Virginia High School League made them official yesterday afternoon.
Here's where the Friday Football Extra will be on Friday.
[WIPE TO MOTION]
[SUPER=0102-/William Fleming///Culpeper Co.///Northwest Division 5//E.C.Glass///Amherst Co.///Northwest Division 5/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Patrick Co.///Martinsville///Region IV Division 4//Lee///Richlands///Region IV Division 4/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Laurel Park///Lebanon///Region IV Division 3//Graham ///Bassett///Region IV Divison 3/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Jeff. Forest///Salem///Region III Division 4//Christiansburg///Heritage///Region III Division 4/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Gretna///Tunstall///Region III Division 3//Lord Botetourt///Rustburg///Region III Division 3/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Floyd Co.///John Battle///Region C Division 2//Grayson Co.///Giles///Region C Division 2/;]
[SUPER=0102-/Pocahontas///Covington///Region C Division 1//Narrows///Galax///Region C Division 1/;]
[OUT Q=...LAST SCORE."]
(ad lib bye)[Sports Tease]
Still to come tonight we will turn our attention to Charlottesville and check in on the
Virginia Cavaliers who are licking their wounds along with the Seminoles after Saturday's big game in Tallahassee.
When UVa battles North Carolina this Saturday the team will not only be playing for a bowl, but also for its talented senior class.
Steve Mason has more from the Charlottesville.
[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Winston-Salem, NC; :00]
[SUPER=03-Tallahassee, FL/Saturday; :07]
[SUPER=01-George Welsh/UVa Head Coach; :15]
[SUPER=03-Charlottesville/Wolfpack vs. Cavaliers; :22]
[SUPER=01-Patrick Kerney/52 Tackles This Season; :30]
[SUPER=01-Aaron Brooks/1,693 Passing Yards This Season; 1:12 ]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
[SUPER=03-Tallahassee/Last Saturday; :00]
The one thing the Cavs did get on Saturday was pressure on FSU quarterback CHris Weinke.
In fact the Cavs ended his season.
Tonight, Florida State officials confirmed that Weinke will have surgery this coming Friday to repair a herniated disk. He's out for the year.
The Virginia Tech men's basketball program closed out the preseason with an 82-to-81 win over Cub Ukraine.
Rolan Roberts had 21 points and 9 rebounds, and Eddie Lucas added 16.
The Hokies open the season Saturday night against Wiliam and Mary and the cassell.
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