The director of a home for troubled boys and girls is sued by a former employee, claiming sexual battery. That st
ory tops NEWS 7 at SIX.
And the shocking revelation that professional wrestling is rigged. But no one's crying foul, just counting the cash.
Tonight in sports here at News 7, Rick Mast finally has a fulltime ride for 99, and we'll check in with the News 7 Bowl crew
and see what's up in Atlanta as George Welsh's Cavaliers get ready to ring in the new year with the Georgia Bulldogs.
Single digits for some tonight as the coldest air of the season slips in. Snow showers are likely as well.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
Charges of sexual harassment have been leveled against the director of the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation in Campbell County.
Steve Smallshaw is in our Lynchburg newsroom with the details..
Keith, a former employee of the Plantation is suing executive director Sandy Gregory for more than a hundred thousand dollars..
She claims Gregory repeatedly committed sexual battery on her.. and their employer did nothing about it.
[IN Q=Laura Simmons was]
[SUPER=04-File Tape; :09]
[OUT Q=about his conduct.]
(( Laura Simmons was the choir director at the Patrick Henry Plantation for 15 months before she quit in December of last year.
During her stay, Simmons claims she was the target of repeated sexual harassment by the Plantation's executive director Sandy Gregory.
In a suit filed last week in Campbell County, Simmons claims Gregory repeatedly tried to coerce or intimidate her into having sex with him, and on at least six different occasions, exposed himself to her.
Simmons also is suing the Patrick Henry Corporation for hiring Gregory when they "should have known of his propensity" to assault women.. and for keeping him on board even after she complained about his conduct. ))
We talked with Sandy Gregory at his office today but he declined to comment on the lawsuit on the advice of his attorney.
His lawyer, John Falcone, says at least for now, he is representing both Gregory and the Patrick Henry board..
Falcone says the board plans to vigorously defend itself against this lawsuit.. they have 21 days to respond.
If you work for a small company you may have no legal protection against discrimination on the job.
Vicki Lynn Mitchem of Allegheny County learned that the hard way when she sued her former boss, Durwood Counts of State Farm Insurance.
She says he fired her for refusing to have sex with him.
But an Allegheny County judge will not hear the case.
Human rights laws do not apply to companies with fewer than five employees.
[IN Q=I think it should]
((I THINK IT SHOULD BE UNLAWFUL ... JUST SIMPLY WRONG.))
[SUPER=01-Terry Grimes/Plaintiff's Lawyer;]
[OUT Q=just simply wrong]
Grimes plans to appeal the case to the state supreme court.
Defense attorney Bruce Steen says he's happy with the judge's opinion.
Legislators say small companies are exempt from human rights laws because they could not afford the cost of a laws
The winter weather has prompted Governor Gilmore to declare a state of emergency in Virginia, after all.
Thousands of people are still without power in Richmond and Tidewater, after the Christmas ice storm.
With more bad weather in the forecast, the governor wants state and local agencies to get ready to provide emergency information and shelter if needed.
Winter is firmly embedded in the minds of some Pulaski County residents.
This morning, many folks awoke to snow.
An inch or more was on the ground across the county.
Today's bitter cold temperatures, however, kept most kids from enjoying the outdoors.
Early this morning, the wind was blowing 35- miles an hour which made for windchills five to ten degrees below zero.
[wipe wipe wipe]
All that's missing from the Roanoke Valley is the snow.
Construction workers and city market strollers were dressed for the below-freezing temperatures.
And shelters like the Rescue Mission in Southeast
are getting ready for people who will be coming in from the cold.
Officials say the first cold snap of the winter usually brings in more than just the transient population.
[IN Q=MAYBE BECAUSE]
((JOY SYLVESTER JOHNSON/DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT; MAYBE BECAUSE THEY'RE STRANDED MOTORISTS BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE MORE PROBLEMS IN THIS KIND OF WEATHER. IT MAYBE BECAUSE THE HEAT IN THEIR PLACE IS MISSING, OR NOT TURNED ON YET. AND THEN WE GET SOME PEOPLE WHO USUALLY STAY IN CARS OR IN ABANDONED HOUSES OR WHATEVER. AND THEY COME IN BECAUSE OF THE COLD WEATHER.))
[SUPER=01-Joy Sylvester Johnson/Director of Development;]
[OUT Q=THE COLD WEATHER.]
The mission sleeps just over 200, but Johnson says inflatable mattresses will be placed in the floor for additional guests.
Volunteers are preparing food to feed the people three meals a day.
[wx ad lib]
[SUPER=82-2.22''/minus 0.57''/44.93''/plus 3.98'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 4.46 feet/Down 0.78 foot;Lake levels][Tease#1]
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Straight ahead on News 7, a web site listing sex offenders around the state is taking three times the number of hits officials expected.
And survivalists gear up for potential disaster as fear of the Y2K bug grows.
That story later in the newscast, when we wrap up our series "Battling the Bug".
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[***NOTE ANCHOR TAG***]
Virginia's new sex offender registry is up and running on the World Wide Web-- with a searchable database to check out your neighbors.
And in the first 30 hours of operation, the State Police web site has had more than 63-thousand hits.
Ellen Qualls has more on the phenomenon, and its implications.
[IN Q=700 trying]
[SUPER=03-Chesterfield Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Col. Wayne Huggins/Virginia State Police; :10]
[SUPER=01-Kent Willis/Virginia ACLU; :31]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
(([nat sot 06:05:51]
((700 TRYING TO GET IN RIGHT NOW.))
State Police computer technicians are scrambling to keep up with the demand on the sex offender server.
((COL. WAYNE HUGGINS/VIRGINIA STATE POLICE: THE SERVER THAT WE HAVE FOR THIS PARTICULAR DATABASE IS CAPABLE OF HANDLING ABOUT SIX INQUIRIES PER SECOND. AND IT HAS BEEN RUNNING AT CAPACITY.))
((HUGGINS: IT'S QUITE FRANKLY BEEN MORE THAN WE CAN HANDLE.))
Which raises the question: can so much curiosity all be toward good ends?
Civil Libertarians question the site's existence at all.
((KENT WILLIS/VIRGINIA ACLU: THERE'S A MAN FROM CALIFORNIA WHO UNDER THE MEGAN'S LAW THERE... HE WAS HARASSED UNMERCIFULLY BY HIS NEIGHBORS AND ULTIMATELY COMMITTED SUICIDE. THERE WAS ANOTHER MAN FROM CALIFORNIA WHOSE HOUSE WAS FIREBOMBED AFTER IT BECAME KNOWN HE WAS A FORMER SEX OFFENDER.))
In fact, the information on the website may well be wrong-- because it comes from the convicted felons themselves.
((HUGGINS: WE DON'T GO OUT. WE DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO GO OUT, ONCE WE GET THAT REGISTRATION INFORMATION. AGAIN WE'RE TALKING 65-HUNDRED PEOPLE, TO RUN AROUND THE STATE AND CONFIRM THAT, OKAY, JOE IS AT THIS ADDRESS.))
Eventually, police will investigate each questionable item.
Until then, if you're searching for sexual predators, do so with care.
Ellen Qualls, News 7.))
[Take FULL SCREEN]
You can access the sex offender registry through our home page at WDBJ7-dot-COM -- then click on our Web Watch page.
A "down" day on Wall Street.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow fell 46 points, to 92-75. NASDAQ also headed lower, dropping 15.
[ AE /ATT/Bank of America/Bell/Columbia;]
[Crestar/Dana/Dimon/Dominion Resources/First Union;]
[First Virginia/General Electric/Kroger/Norfolk Southern/Optical Cable]
[phillip morris/roanoke electric steel/trigon/wachovia/walmart]
[GRAPHIC=Battling the Bug]
Over the past 2 days we've explained what the Y2K bug is, and why you should be concerned about it.
Tonight Eric Earnhart explains what YOU can do to protect yourself.
[Take Eric full]
Keith There are some simple ways to prepare for things that might happen...
Though some people are going all out as they continue to "Battle the Bug".
[GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe]
[IN Q=Scott Olmsted is]
[SUPER=03-Southern California; :00]
[SUPER=02-Scott Olmstead/Y2K Survivalist; :21-quick]
[SUPER=01-Barbara Olmstead/Y2K Survivalist; :25-quick]
[SUPER=01-Dawna Clephas/Y2K Consultant; :36]
[SUPER=07-Donna Wallace; 1:11]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Jerry Falwell/Liberity University Chancellor; 1:56]
[OUT Q=back on him]
(( Scott Olmsted is one of the few Y2K survivalists willing to go public, appearing on network television and national magazines.
The computer programmer is preparing a secret hideaway in California, just in case Y2K-driven blackouts and shortages cause the social order to collapse.
[IN Q=we have one]
((SCOTT OLMSTED/Y2K SURVIVALIST; WE HAVE ONE FIREARM AND WILL PROBABLY BE GETTING ONE OR TWO MORE. ))
[OUT Q=or two more]
[SOT 01:18:42 ]
[IN Q=If we see]
((BARBARA OLMSTED/Y2K SURVIVALIST; IF WE SEE SOCIAL UNREST YOU MIGHT SAY, WE'LL HEAD FOR THE HILLS.))
[OUT Q=head for the hills]
Y2K consultant Dawna Clephas says there's no need to be scared... if you're prepared.
[SOT 00:04:10 tape 3]
[IN Q=If I were dependant]
((DAWNA CLEPHAS/Y2K CONSULTANT; IF I WERE DEPENDANT ON A CERTAIN MEDICATION FOR LIFE, THEN I WOULD BE CONCERNED AND WANT TO MAKE SURE I HAD SOME STOCKPILE ON THAT))
[OUT Q=on that]
Clephas isn't expecting a nation-wide blackout, but says, scattered outages and shortages are possible, like an earthquake or hurricane.
Looking at Y2K as a natural disaster, you have the advantage of WHEN it will happen so you can prepare, but you don't know where it will happen or what it will hit, so you have to prepare for just about everything.
At the very least, experts advise having an alternate heat source, and a small stockpile of food and clean water.
[SOT 00:08:24 ]
[IN Q=the only thing that]
((DONNA WALLACE; THE ONLY THING THAT CONCERNS ME IS HAVING YOUR MONEY IN THE BANK, AND IF IT DOES HAPPEN THEN YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET YOUR MONEY OUT.))
[OUT Q=get your money out]
A lot of people are expected to withdraw extra cash to prepare for Y2K, the Federal Reserve is printing an extra 50 billion dollars in currency to cover extra demand.
Clephas also reccomends keeping paper records of all financial transactions during the last 6 months of 99...
And temporarily stop all automatic debits on your bank account and credit cards near the end of the year.
Add to this chorus of caution, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who says he became concerned when he heard the nation's political and finacial leaders offering more warnings than reassurance, warnings he's passed on to his congregation.
[SOT 00:07:10 tape 8]
[IN Q=I think that ]
((REV. JERRY FALWELL/LIBERTY U. CHANCELLOR; I THINK THAT EVERYBODY SHOULD BE READY WITH WATER AND FOOD, JUST AS IF YOU'VE BEEN WARNED THAT A HUGE STORM IS COMING THROUGH YOUR AREA.))
[OUT Q=through your area]
In his sermons, Falwell compares Y2K to the Tower of Babel... the biblical account of a people who tried to use their superior technology to build a tower to heaven... and were scattered when God confused their languages.
[SOT 00:13:03 tape 8 ]
[IN Q=a y2k catastrophe]
((REV. JERRY FALWELL/LIBERTY U. CHANCELLOR; A Y2K CATASTROPHE OVER THE LONG HAUL SPIRITUALLY COULD BE MAYBE WHAT GOD IS SENDING TO GET OUR EYES BACK ON HIM.))
[OUT Q=back on him] ))
[Take Eric Full]
Falwell says he isn't really EXPECTING a CATASTROPHE, but is advising his congregation to prepare like they would for a winter storm... and pray.
[take WEB WATCH FULL]
For more Y@K information, you can visit the WDBJ website at WDBJ7-dot-com.
Keith, there are many facets of Y2K we HAVEN'T covered... hospitals, the stock market, we will cover those issues and many others in 1999.
And before you check out the Cavs tomorrow night, don't forget you join your Hometown Station tomorrow
[go to pinnacle 7504]
afternoon for the Sun Bowl as South Cal takes on TCU.
That game comes your way on New Year's Eve at two.
The rest of your sports, right after this.
[go to break]
[SUPER=330-Clouding Up/Snow Showers Late/16-19/Flurries Early/Partly Sunny/32-34;]
[SUPER=332-Snow Showers/Late/8-12/Snow Showers/Likely Early/28-30;]
[SUPER=333-Snow After/Midnight/14-16/Snow Showers/Likely/25-30;]
Big guys, big followings and big business.
Wrestling is more popular than ever.
And as Scott Goldberg reports, lots of people are cashing in.
[IN Q=it used to be]
[SUPER=01-Jim Evans/Roanoke Civic Center;35--QUICK!!]
[SUPER=01-Rodney Lewis/Wrestling Fan;58--QUICK!!]
[SUPER=01-Steve Mirzayan/T-shirt Vendor;1:23--QUICK!!]
(( It used to be that anyone in a bar on a Monday night was watching football.
((NATSOUND: OH! THE DOUBLE SPEAR!))
But now there's a whole lotta tackling going on someplace else, on a show called Monday Nitro.
[IN Q=i love it]
((ROBERT JONES: I LOVE IT! IT'S ACTION PACKED.))
[OUT Q=ACTION PACKED]
[from wrestling #1 TAPE]
((NATSOUND: FIREWORKS POPPING, EXPLOSIONS.))
Wrestling has come back in a big way.
T-V ratings for programs like Nitro blow away other cable shows.
And the fans, who pay up to 30 bucks to watch the pumped-up pugilists live or on pay-per-view, have turned wrestling into a billion-dollar industry.
((EVANS: ANY WRESTLING EVENT WE'VE HAD HAS SOLD OUT IN A MATTER OF DAYS.))
[OUT Q=MATTER OF DAYS]
When World Championship Wrestling came to Roanoke last month...
The civic center made more than 30-thousand dollars on ticket sales, parking, novelties and food.
((EVANS: THEY'RE IN HERE A LONG TIME AND THEY EAT A LOT. WE LIKE THAT.))
[OUT Q=LIKE THAT]
[IN Q=BUT WHY WOULD]
((SCOTT GOLDBERG: BUT WHY WOULD ANYONE WATCH THIS SPORT -- IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT. YOU KNOW, THE FIGHTS ARE RIGGED ))
[OUT Q=ARE RIGGED]
[IN Q=IT'S NOT]
((RODNEY LEWIS: IT'S NOT REAL -- AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK IT IS, I'M SORRY I BROKE THE NEWS TO YOU.))
[OUT Q=TO YOU]
[IN Q=THE ATHLETES]
((SCOTT GOLDBERG: THE ATHLETES ARE REALLY JUST ACTORS. BUT THEY'RE GOOD ACTORS. AND GUYS LIKE THIS ARE JUST PLAIN MARKETABLE.))
((GOLDBERG'S JUST THE MAN!))
[OUT Q=THE MAN!]
[IN Q=they're all]
((STEVE: THEY'RE ALL COMING IN AND TALKING ABOUT WHO WON, WHO IS THE BIG GUY AND WHO BEAT WHO.))
[OUT Q=BEAT WHO]
This Christmas, Steve Mirzayan said 60-percent of the T-shrits he sold were wrestling shirts.
[IN Q=i have kids]
((STEVE: I HAVE KIDS COMING IN, I HAVE 40-YEAR-OLD LADIES LOOKING FOR WRESTLING STUFF.))
And for those of you who wish this ugliness would all go away, think of this:
[ventura from 98-73]
Minnesota's next governor is a former wrestler.
[hogan from sp-17]
A current wrestler says he's running for president.
[goldberg for president signs on wrestling #1 at 3:20:27]
And there's a grass roots campaign to elect Goldberg governor of Virginia.
How scary is that?
Scott Goldberg, News-7.
(Weekday 6 only)
[SUPER=x4032; e-mail/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS]
SUPER=x4033; Fax/Most Watched/Copyright/WEEKDAYS
(Weekend 6 only)