You may find it hard to believe- -if you live right in Roanoke....
but there's a foot and a half of snow on the ground ...in places within an hour's drive of us.
On NEWS 7 at SIX we'll take in the sights in Bath County, and go to Blacksburg for a LIVE report on conditions there.
And look into the case of kids who may be charged with felonies for throwing snowballs.
Tonight in sports, we'll have a LIVE report from Blacksburg look to march into the Sweet 16.
The Junior Express is on its way to Florida.
And the JMU Dukes football program loses its head coach Alex Wood to the Green Bay Packers.
Expect a breezy evening, a cold night, and a rather warm tomorrow.
Details coming up.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 at Six Headline Banner]
Snow comes down and the lights go out.
Some people are still in the dark, tonight.
And some parents of city school children question the decision to hold classes.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.[Bath-Snow]
Call it Mother Nature's version of "March Madness." While this morning's snow is gone in many places, there are others where there's still a foot or more on the ground.
Three counties north of Roanoke seemed to get the worst of it.
Bath County, northern Botetourt and northern Rockbridge Counties saw about 14 inches of snow fall. A few places saw more than 18 inches.
In Bath County alone, more than 25-hundred homes and businesses lost power.
The Bath-Allegany Rural Cooperative is calling in help from outside areas. It doesn't expect full service to be restored until some time tomorrow.
Power crews are also working diligently in the New River Valley to get service restored, as soon as possible.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Teresa/Microwave]
Teresa Hamilton has been out in the snow much of the day...
What is the power situation like, at this point?
Keith, this morning close to 23- hundred customers were without electricity in the New River Valley.
Right now, that number is down to a little more than a thousand.
[IN Q=The wet ]
[SUPER=07-Liz Troxel; :48]
[OUT Q=very much.]
The wet snow hanging from the trees was certainly a beautiful site to wake up to.
But it also had its down side.
This particular snow was heavy in nature-- which contributed to the vast number of power outages across the viewing area.
Right now, the majority of outages are in Floyd County.
There about 850- customers are without electricity.
The heavy snow also created other problems.
For some-- it made it more difficult to clear roads and sidewalks.
Of course, you'll probably find few complaints coming from the younger generation.
This group of kids in Radford-- decided to get a little creative with the white stuff.
This nearly seven feet replica of Frosty-- comes complete with Oreo Cookies for eyes.
[in q= (13:44:44) (13:46:21) ]
(( HOW LONG DID IT TAKES YOU GUYS AND HOW MUCH WORK WAS IT?
LIZ TROXEL: IT WAS ABOUT TWO HOURS AND WE HAD TO ROLL IT ALL THE WAY UP THAT BIG HILL OVER THERE, IT TOOK A LONG TIME.
I GUESS IT WAS A GREAT WAY TO SPEND THE DAY OFF FROM SCHOOL?
EMILY TROXEL: OH, YEAH, VERY MUCH.))
[out q=very much.]
( ad lib about when the power is expected to be restored.)
[Double Boxes=Keith & Teresa/Microwave][School-Closing]
Some school systems are changing their schedules for tonight and tomorrow.
There are no adult evening classes tonight at the Jackson River Technical Center.
Schools are opening TWO HOURS LATE Tuesday in the Alleghany Highlands.
Augusta County Schools are delayed ONE HOUR tomorrow.
Schools in Bland County, Craig County, and Giles County are all opening TWO HOURS LATE.
Schools in Monroe County, West Virginia are CLOSED TUESDAY.
Pulaski County Schools are opening ONE HOUR LATE tomorrow.
Rockbridge County Schools are opening TWO HOURS LATE.
Smyth County Schools will open ONE HOUR LATE.
Schools in Tazewell County and Wythe County will open TWO HOURS LATE.
[TAKE Pinnacle Full]
If you missed any of those announcements, we will have the updated list on our web page at WDBJ7dotcom.[City-School
Most school systems in the region either delayed the start of classes or cancelled them altogether.
But not the city of Roanoke.
School officials here decided to keep schools open and on schedule... And tonight, Joe Dashiell
reports that decision angered many parents.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Wasena School]
[SUPER=01-Susan Bradbury/Parent; :09]
[SUPER=01-Cindy Ganley/Parent; :15]
[SUPER=01-Mary Hackley/Roanoke City Schools; :39]
[OUT Q=Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke]
((Wasena school saw a steady stream of late arrivals... students who missed the bus, others who were expecting a closing announcement that never came.
[IN Q=I had my son watching]
((I HAD MY SON WATCHING TV, UP UNTIL 8:30. MOMMY WE'RE STILL GOING.))
((IT PUT MY WHOLE MORNING AND KIDS' IN A TAILSPIN. THEY COULD HAVE AT LEAST CALLED A TWO HOUR DELAY. AND LAST WEEK THEY CLOSED SCHOOLS FOR WET STREETS.))
[OUT Q=closed school for wet streets.]
The buses rolled, while most school systems in the region were either delaying or cancelling classes.
School officials say they consulted with forecasters and transportation employees and were confident they could pick up students and return them safely in the afternoon.
[IN Q=We made the decision]
((WE MADE THE DECISION THAT EVEN THOUGH IT WAS INTENSE EARLY THIS MORNING, THE SNOW WAS SLUSHY AND TRANSPORTATION FELT THEY COULD GET OUR BUSSES AND SERVICE OUR CHILDREN TODAY.))
[OUT Q=service our children today.]
and by the time, students were dismissed for the day, administrators may have been feeling some vindication.
Rising temperatures cleared the roads, and cleared the way for students heading home.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke))
This Madness is more than disparity in snow depths. We've also seen wild temperature swings from one day to the next lately.
Andrew Freiden has our first look at the weather.
[Andrew at Chroma wall]
ANDREW WALKS OUT SHOT FOR ROLL
HIGHS AND LOWS
[ANDREW TOSS BACK]
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We're not done with the weather yet ... we'll go EAST of the Blue Ridge in a moment .
Then ... a show of support for two boys caught throwing snowballs. Find out why they could face felony charges.
You'd never know it to look outside the window now, but central Virginia got hit with a good- sized snowstorm earlier today.
Heavy snow began falling in the Lynchburg area around seven a-m and continued for almost four hours.
Some of the more mountainous areas saw some accumulation but by early afternoon most traces of the snow had disappeared.
Area police responded to several car accidents during the morning rush hour, but "none" involved serious injury.
What started out as a playful snowball fight had threatened to end up in criminal charges being filed against two young boys in Bedford County.
Steve Smallshaw tells us friends and family of the boys feel the state police over-reacted.. but authorities say they were just doing their job.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It happened]
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Leigh Drewry/Boys' Attorney; :33]
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Bobby Ratliff/VA State Police; :44]
[SUPER=01-Phil Theisen/Father; 1:18]
[OUT Q=News7, Bedford County.]
It happened at this intersection of Route 221 and Bryant Road last Wednesday.
Two boys.. 11 and 13 years old.. were waiting for a schoolbus and were throwing snowballs at each other.
One snowball apparently sailed into the road, narrowly missing a car carrying a pregnant woman and her husband from Pennslyvania.
The couple swerved to avoid the snowball but were so badly frightened they notified the police.
A state trooper responded, talked with both boys and their parents and informed them the children could be facing a Class 6 felony charge for throwing a missile at an occupied vehicle.
((LEIGH DREWRY/BOYS' ATTORNEY: IT'S AN UNFORTUNATE SITUATION, BUT UNFORTUNATE SITUATIONS HAPPEN EVERY DAY, IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT A LAW HAS BEEN BROKEN.))
[OUT Q=has been broken.]
But state police say they have to take every complaint like this seriously.
((SGT. BOBBY RATLIFF/VA STATE POLICE: WE TAKE IT SERIOUSLY BECAUSE IT COULD ENDANGER THE DRIVER OR OTHER PEOPLE USING THE HIGHWAY AT THE SAME TIME. WHEN PEOPLE THROW THINGS AT AUTOMOBILES, PEOPLE HAVE A TENDENCY.. WHEN THEY SEE SOMETHING COMING.. TO SWERVE AND IN MANY CASES, COULD SWERVE IN THE OPPOSITE LANE, ESPECIALLY IF THEY'RE ON A TWO- LANE HIGHWAY, AND HIT SOMEBODY HEAD-ON.))
[OUT Q=somebody head-on.]
[natsot prayer circle]
Word of the boys' situation has spread quickly, generating a show of support back at the same intersection Monday.
Phil Theisen is the father of one of the children involved.. a former police officer himself, Theisen says the trooper over-reacted.
((PHIL THEISEN/FATHER: I'M CONCERNED, TO ME IT WAS BASICALLY CHILDREN PLAYING AND I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THE LAW YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME SORT OF INTENT BEHIND THIS. TO ME, THERE'S NO INTENT.))
[OUT Q=there's no intent.]
The boys' attorney says he does "not" expect charges to be filed any time soon.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Bedford County.
Attorney Leigh Drewry told news7 late today that it's his understanding that "no" charges will be filed against the
two boys.. Drewry says the commonwealth's attorney's office is "exercising common sense".[Monty-Shooting]
Sheriff's deputies say a Montgomery County man accidentally shot and killed his roommate last night.
64-year-old Carl Hixon died at the hospital from a bullet wound in the head.
Investigators say Hixon's friend and roommate, 68-year-old John Kirk, was examining a 32-caliber revolver when the gun went off.
Both men had been drinking.
Authorities have ruled the death an accident -- they say the investigation is continuing but at this time they have NOT placed charges.
Roanoke fire investigators are still unsure exactly WHERE and HOW a major fire started over the weekend.
The two- alarm fire sent flames a hundred feet into the pre-dawn darkness in southeast Roanoke yesterday morning.
The building was used as rental property, housing old cars and a paint business.
Fire officials says six businesses were damaged in the fire, along with 11 vehicles in the 700 block of Church Avenue Southeast.
Wall Street is closer than ever to a major milestone.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow rose 82 points today to a record close... 41 points short of 10-thousand.
NASDAQ gained 50 points.
[GRAPHIC=Va Parole Down]
Virginia abolished parole for prisoners four years ago.
But almost half the state's current inmates were convicted under the old system, and are still eligible for parole.
A look at the statistics, though, shows most of them aren't going free any time soon.
Ellen Qualls has the story.
[IN Q=In June]
[SUPER=01-Rick Alderman/Virginia Parole Board Chairman; :10 ]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Dow Chamberlain/Inmate Rehabilitation Advocate; 1:04 ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, news 7, Richmond.]
(( In June of last year, 261 Virginia prisoners came up for parole.
Governor Jim Gilmore's parole board granted it for 14.
That's just five percent.
[sot 14:24:42 ]
((RICK ALDERMAN/VIRGINIA PAROLE BOARD CHAIRMAN: IT'S BEEN LOWER THAN IT WAS. WE STRUGGLE EVERY DAY AS WE MEET TOGETHER TO FIND PEOPLE TO PAROLE. THAT'S WHAT WE DO. AND WE DON'T DO IT WITH REGARD TO ANY PRECONCEIVED NOTION OF WHAT THE GRANT RATE SHOULD BE.))
So what was it?
In the early '90s, Governor Doug Wilder's parole board was dealing with massively overcrowded prisons, turning inmates free up to 47-percent of the time.
George Allen ran and won the governorship with a "tough on crime" plan to get rid of parole.
His parole board hit a low of 14-percent but went back up to paroling 20-percent of those eligible in Allen's last full year in office-- 1997.
But former prosecutor Jim Gilmore's board takes the cake.
It started right off in the single digits with a nine percent rate.
So far this year, seven percent were paroled in January.
Eight percent in February.
[sot 15:48:03 ]
((REV. DOW CHAMBERLAIN/INMATE REHABILITATION ADVOCATE: IF YOU GO AFOUL OF THE LAW IN VIRGINIA, DANTE SAID IT BEST, ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER IN.))
The problem, says board chairman Rick Alderman, is he can't let prisoners go when the state's doing a lousy job providing halfway houses to reintegrate them into society.
((RICK ALDERMAN: I MEAN, WHERE AN INMATE'S GONNA GO WHEN HE GETS OUT, AND I GET THIS FROM A FAMILY, IS VITAL INFORMATION.))
So a "why haven't they done this before" innovation under Gilmore's parole board: individual board members travelling out around the state to conduct parole hearings... to make sure they get the most accurate information about what will happen when an inmate is turned loose.
It's the first time that's happened in Virginia history.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
A happy ending to a story we told you about last week.
14- year old Brooke Graves ran away from her home in Danville and was missing for a week.
Her mother says Brooke took off after being bullied by some other girls at school.
The very day we aired our story, Danville Police got a tip, found the girl and returned her to her home.
Brooke's mother says her daughter was taken in and cared for by a stranger, who she now calls an angel.
Coming up tonight in sports, Denise Allen checks in with LIVE report from Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg where the Tech women host Auburn tonight.
JMU's football coach is now Randall Cunningham's coach.
And we'll check in with the Junior Express hockey team that is on its way to Florida tanks in part to some Hurricanes.
[GRAPHIC=WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR]
The Virginia Tech women are on the verge of making it to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. But standing in their way is a talented group of Tigers.
[TOSS TO DENISE LIVE MICROWAVE]
Denise Allen now joins us from the Cassell in Blacksburg with a little insight on how the Tigers might be tamed.
[DENISE FULL ADLIB]
But Denise let me first ask you are there any tickets still available for the nine o''clock tipoff. And how are the roads considering they had a good bit snow up their in the past couple of days?
[DENISE ADLIB INTO ROLL CUE:]
[ROLL CUE: ...SIX-TWO CONSWELLA SPARROW."]
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q="Our philosophy...]
[SUPER=01-Joe Ciampi/Auburn Head Coach; :10]
[SUPER=01-Bonnie Henrickson/Va. Tech Head Coach;:28]
[OUT Q=...ONE ON ONE LOOKS."]
[DENISE WRAPS UP AND TOSSES BACK TO MIKE]
The Roanoke Valley Junior Express hockey team has created it's own version of a Cinderella story.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co; :00]
This team of 16 to 18 year olds leaves for the "Districts" in Fort Myers, Florida tomorrow. If the team wins this tournament, it qualifies for the hockey national championships.
(///// SOT /////)
((JOE MALINE/JUNIOR EXPRESS COACH:))
[SUPER=01-Joe Maline/Junior Express Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=...and intensity"]
The Junior Express, made up of players from Roanoke, Blacksburg and Appomattox, qualified for Districts by winning the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League title in Charlotte, North Carolina the last weekend in February, which earned the team a championship banner. The Carolina Hurricanes were so impressed with the Junior Express that the NHL team donated nearly 500 dollars tot pay for the Roanoke team's entry fee in the Florida tournament the 18th through the 20th.
(///// SOT /////)
((JARED MALINE/JUNIOR EXPRESS CAPTAIN:))
((JESSE LONG/JUNIOR EXPRESS ASSISTANT CAPTAIN:))
[SUPER=01-Jared Maline/Junior Express Captain; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jesse Long/Junior Express Assistant Captain; :05]
[OUT Q=...getting in the valley"]
JMU's head football is leaving Harrisonburg to become Randall Cunningham's position coach with the Minnesota Viking
[SUPER=03-Harrisonburg/Last Season; :00]
Today he officially accepted the job as quarterback coach with Minnesota on Dennis Green's staff.
Wood coached the Dukes for the past four seasons in his first head coaching job,\.
He leaves Harrisonburg with a 23-and-22 record, although last season the Dukes were just 3-and-8.
Wood has a wealth of coaching experience on the college level. He last coached quarterbacks at Wake Forest in 1993 and 94.
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