Although there's no sign of any survivors from yesterday's Alaska Airlines crash, the Coast Guard says it remains in a search and rescue mode.
And the latest from the Roanoke County school board on the future of Glenvar Middle School.
News 7 at noon is next.
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke Co. Schools]
Improvements to Glenvar middle School appear to be moving forward again.
This morning the Roanoke County school board approved changes in the plan that should save about 700-thousand dollars.
[Double Boxes=Melanie and JoeD/Microwave]
Joe Dashiell is at the school this afternoon with more on today's developments.
( ad lib)
(Rollcue:is back on track.)
[IN Q=I think it's]
[SUPER=01-Jerry Canada/School Board Chairman; :00]
[OUT Q=affordable for Roanoke County.]
[***JOE's Mike Hot***]
[OUTQ= for their support]
( ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Melanie and JoeD/Microwave]
A team of federal investigators has arrived at the site where the Alaska Airlines jet crashed yesterday off the California coast.
[SUPER=03-Port Hueneme, CA;]
Meantime, search and rescue efforts continue.
There were 88 people on board.
Four bodies have been found, but so far no signs of life.
Flight 2-61 was on its way to San Francisco and then Seattle from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico when the crew reported mechanical trouble.
According to arline officials it was a problem with the equipment that keeps the plane balanced.
The N-T-S-B is now analyzying an air traffic control tape from the Los Angeles Airport.
(( JIM HALL:WELL IT INDICATES THE PILOTS CALLED IN AND INDICATED A PROBLEM AND ASKED TO BE DIVERTED TO LA SO THAT INFO ALONG WITH THE COCKPIT VOICE RECORDER INFO SHOULD GIVE US A GOOD PICTURE OF WHAT OCCURRED.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Hall/NTSB Chairman;]
[OUT Q=picture of what occurred.]
Airports in Seattle and San Francisco have become grief counseling centers.
In New Hampshire, voters are casting ballots in the first primary of the presidential election year.
In the tight Republican race the candidates hoped to campaign until the polls closed.
But George W. Bush and John McCain have had to stop visiting polling places this afternoon, it seems the crowds of reporters were annoying some voters.
Lee Cowan files this report.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-George W. Bush/(R) Presidential Candidate;]
[SUPER=01-John McCain/(R) Presidential Candidate;]
[SUPER=01-Al Gore/(D) Presidential Candidate;]
[OUT Q=Bedford NH.]
(( As voters AND candidates headed to the polls here in the GRANITE STATE, the outcome was ANYTHING but set in stone.
The REPUBLICAN race has even the POLLSTERS confused. Some show George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain in a near photo finish while others show McCain LEADING by as much as TEN points.
Its a do or die night for McCain, who has spent more time here than any other candidate.
AFTER New Hampshire, the Republicans hold five primaries through February, and Bush -- with a seemingly unlimited spending budget -- is already heavily favored to win three of them.
Without a win to slingshot McCain into the next round, many analysts predict he may not last a view the McCain camp dismisses as spin.
SOT/SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R- PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
Considering -- pretty remarkable ride weve been on.
As for the Democrats, Bill Bradley was leading after the early morning election results but that may be temporary.
He began slipping in the polls just a day after his campaign took on a more aggressive tone attacking Al Gore on matters of character a move perceived by some voters, as DESPERATE and pounced on by the Gore camp.
SOT/AL GORE. D- PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 14:33:45
Why would Sen. Bradley break his promise to run a different kind of campaign and launch divisive, manipulative attacks?
COWAN ON CAM:
But many New Hampshire primaries have been won and lost in the final days even hours -- of campaign. And with polls still showing a large number of undecided voters, the outcome is anybodys guess which
all sides are spinning in their favor. Lee Cowan, CBS News, Bedford New Hampshire.))
People planning to vote in Virginia's Republican primary next month will find oaths waiting for their signatures.
Before casting their ballot-- voters will be required to sign a pledge stating that they do not intend to take part in a nomination process other than the G-O-P's.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think]
((JIM HOPKINS/REGISTERED VOTER: I THINK IT'S FINE IF IT CAN CUT DOWN ON VOTER FRAUD AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT IT'S FOR, IT'S CERTAINLY NOT TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM VOTING, I'VE HEARD THAT ARGUMENT BUT DON'T BUY IT.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Hopkins/Registered Voter;]
[OUT Q=buy it.]
Although Jim Hopkins supports the pledge.... Roanoke city's registrar says she expects some voters will be angered by it.
Virginia's Republican primary takes place February 29th.
Most of the weekend snow has been cleared from area roads, but there are still a few icy spots and that's forced some school changes for tonight and tomorrow morning.
[TAKE FULL SCREEN SCHOOLWATCH BOARDS]
One of the pythons captured by a state trooper in Rockbridge County has died.
[SUPER=03-Natural Bridge/January 20;]
Both of the snakes were in poor health when the trooper confiscated them from a speeder on the interstate, and took them to the Natural Bridge Zoo.
The suspect also had a small amount of cocaine in his car, so police thought he might have hidden some drugs in the snakes.
The one that died did not have any, however.
Police are still waiting to see whether its partner will pass anything illegal.
He may be one of Britain's most prolific serial killers in modern times.
[8 PM NEWSPATH NA101]
A jury has convicted a family physician of murdering 15 female patients.
Dr. Harold Shipman injected the middle-aged and elderly women with lethal doses of heroin from 19-95 to 19-98.
And investigators say he may have killed dozens more.
(///// SOT /////)
(( JOHN POLLARD/SOUTH MANCHESTER CORONER SOT: I KNOW THEY'VE INVESTIGATED UP TO A HUNDRED AND THIRTY SIX SO FAR. THE
POSSIBILITY IS THAT THERE ARE OTHER DEATHS WHICH HAVEN'T BEEN REPORTED TO THE POLICE AS YET.))
[SUPER=01-John Pollard/South Manchester Coroner;]
[OUT Q=reported to the police as yet.]
Shipman was sentenced to 15 life terms, Britain has no death penalty.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
More than a thousand jobs might show up in the New River Valley, if enough potential workers show up at a employment expo next week.
Details are still ahead on News 7 at Noon.
And Russian troops may be on the verge of victory in Chechnya.
First, let's talk to Patrick Evans about our sunny forecast.
[music up full]
[GRAPHIC=L-G Departing Docs]
There's a new plan to change the ownership of Lewis Gale Clinic.
Though details still need to be ironed out, clinic administrators and the board of directors outlined a plan last night.
As Scott Goldberg reports the hope is this plan will stop additional doctors from departing ... stabilize the clinic ... and let it keep caring for its patients.
[SUPER=01-Dr. Larry Patton/Chmn. of Lewis-Gale Clinic Board; 10 --quick]
[OUT Q=sg, news-7]
(( Behind closed doors in Salem ... it was a meeting of the doctors who have not resigned....
Hearing a complicated plan to divorce the clinic from its parent copmany, PhyCor.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=i think]
((DR. LARRY PATTON/CHMN. OF THE LEWIS-GALE CLINIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS: I THINK IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT PHYCOR DIDN'T WORK THE WAY WE HAD HOPED IT WOULD.))
[OUT Q=HOPED IT WOULD]
The chairman of the clinic's board of directors says when PhyCor took over four years ago ... it promised to run a more efficient clinic.
But since then, doctors have been quitting -- 29 doctors this month alone -- accusing the physician management company of MISmanaging Lewis-Gale.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=some of THE]
((DR. LARRY PATTON/CHMN. OF THE LEWIS-GALE CLINIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS: SOME OF THE PHYSICIANS ARE DISENCHANTED WITH THE RELATIONSHIP. AND THAT RELATIONSHIP NEEDS TO CHANGE.))
[OUT Q=TO CHANGE]
[PRE PRO PAGE ONE]
The plan is to create an independent clinic, owned by the doctors who say they'll remain in the Lewis-Gale group.
That means a "significantly different" relationship with PhyCor --
Either completely cutting ties with the company ... or retaining PhyCor as a manager, but not an owner.
The doctors would buy back the clinic's assets.
They're now looking for loans to help finance the deal.
And health-care giant Columbia/HCA is one company said to be interested in supporting them.
One big question remaining unanswered is:
What happens to the doctors who quit ... whose clinic contracts forbid them from opening new private practices?
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=WE'RE NEGOTIATING]
((PATTON: WE'RE NEGOTIATING WITH ALL PARTIES IN GOOD FAITH TO TRY TO BRING A RESOLUTION TO THE DIFFERENCES. (28) Scott Goldberg: And the clinic really does want to keep these doctors here? PATTON: THE WOULD CLINIC LOVE TO SEE THESE DOCTORS STAY HERE AND PRACTICE MEDICINE AND PROVIDE EXCELLENT CARE. WE'RE A TEAM WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING CARE OF PATIENTS. ))
[OUT Q=TAKING CARE OF PATIENTS]
One source close to the doctors who have resigned says it's too early to tell what tonight's developments mean.
But the doctors have remained hopeful they'll come up with their own deal to let them keep seeing their patients.
Scott Goldberg, News-7.))
One more family-practice doctor has resigned from Lewis-Gale ... but the clinic says this one is NOT related to PhyCor.
[take board FULL SCREEN]
Doctor Stephen Fry is leaving the clinic's Valley View office.
A Lewis-Gale spokeswoman says it was his personal decision to relocate.
Fry couldn't be reached for comment.
Seventeen of the clinic's 29 family-practice doctors have now quit working at Lewis-Gale.
But the clinic points out: 75-percent of its primary-care network -- including internists, pediatricians and O-B-G-Y-N's -- remains intact.
Montgomery County COULD become home to a major telecommunications company promising 12-hundred new jobs.
But it needs help from the area workers to close the deal.
Congressman Rick Boucher
announced yesterday that the county is one of two finalists being considered by the company for a new telecommunications center.
Boucher would NOT identify the company or the other area competing for the jobs. He said it would jeopardize negotiations.
[TAKE Pinnacle Board]
More information will be available at a Job Expo February 9 from noon to 8 p.m. in the Montgomery County Enterprise Center.
The company will decide if it's locating here, based on turnout at that expo, in the next few weeks.
The state senate is set to take a final vote today on a bill requiring a minute of silence in public schools.
Fairfax Senator Warren Barry's measure got preliminary approval yesterday.
[SUPER=03-Chesterfield Co./File Tape;]
Supporters say teachers should instruct students to "pray, reflect, or meditate" to discourage them from just daydreaming.
Opponents say the wording could offend some Christians who don't want their children "meditating," or offend some atheists who don't want their children "praying."
[IN Q=The people]
((SEN. EDD HOUCK/D-SPOTSYLVANIA CO.: THE PEOPLE THAT I REPRESENT ARE CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, AND HINDUS, AND ATHEISTS. THEY'RE OF ALL WALKS OF LIFE.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Edd Houck/(D) Spotsylvania; :00]
[OUT Q=of life.]
The bill passed on a 23 to 14 vote.
After five weeks of heavy fighting, there's been a mass exodus from the capital of Chechnya.
Witnesses say up to two-thousand Chechen rebels have fled Grozny (GRAWZ-nee).
Chechen fighters say several key leaders -- including the mayor-- were killed when rebel forces stumbled into a minefield yesterday.
A Russian news agency quotes one of Russia's commanders in Chechnya as saying that control of Grozny is just days away.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Lynchburg students are getting an extended holiday-- from exams.
That's still ahead on News 7 at noon.
And Benetton is again blending advertising and political statements-- this time against against the death-penalty.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
The Italian fashion giant, Benetton is once again blurring the line between marketing and making a political statement.
It launched a campaign ad today in Rome, featuring a set of portraits of death row inmates awaiting execution in American prisons.
The campaign is designed to be part of Italy's current offensive stand against the death penalty in the U-S.
The company caused outrage and controversy in the past with advertising campaigns featuring dying AIDS victims.
They've already had a week off from school.. now high school students in Lynchburg won't have to take their mid- term exams.
Bad weather has already wiped out two thirds of the exam schedule.. and educators decided yesterday there was not enough time for students to prepare for the tests.
Those who want to take the exams to improve their overall grade CAN do so, but a poor grade won't count against them.
The end of the school year in Lynchburg has also been pushed back three days.
It's a big day for the U-S economy.
The economic expansion that began in March 19-91 today becomes the longest in American history.
But it's also a day of uncertainty about interest rates.
Federal Reserve policy makers have opened a two-day meeting that's like to result in another interest rate hike.
And here's how it's so far playing on Wall Street,--- at Noon the Dow was DOWN four points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Still to come in sports, several area sports figures are set to be immortalized in Virginia's Sports Hall of Fame,
and another N-F-L player is charged with murder after two men are found stabbed outside an Atlanta nightclub.
Patrick has the details, next.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The N-F-L has seen two players charged with murder in the last 30 days.
Last month, Carolina Panthers receiver Rae Carruth was charged for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend.
Now Atlanta police have charged Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis with murder.
Lewis was arrested yesterday after two men were found stabbed near an Atlanta nightclub hours after the Super Bowl.
Police were responding to reports of a fight outside the club when they found the victims lying in the street.
Witnesses say six men fought with the victims after a party ended at the club, then fled in a limousine.
Ray Lewis will remain in jail without bond until his case is heard in an Atlanta court on February 24th.
[TAPE#=SP-60 tc 24:21]
A close call for the Lady Maroons last night at the Bast Center.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Royals vs. Maroons;]
Roanoke College improved to 13 and five on the season despite Eastern Mennonite's upset attempt.
Emily Mullet helped keep the Royals close, Mullet had 14 on the night.
Tara Froese led Mennonite with 21, here she converts the miss into a three pointer.
But the Maroons have the home court advantage Chrystal Barrett underneath gets two of her team leading 18.
[super=33-E. Mennonite/65/Roanoke College/68;]
Roanoke College holds off the Royals 68 to 65. The Maroons are now 10 and four in the ODAC.
[GRAPHIC=VA. SPORTS HALL OF FAME]
Sports heroes from Southwest and Central Virginia will be the backbone of the class of 2000 inductees to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
The official announcement will be made tomorrow,
but News 7 Sports has learned that one of the six inductees is the winningest basketball coach in Virginia Tech history, Charlie Moir.
Moir took 8 Tech teams to the postseason and won the Metro in 1979.
He had just one losing season while at Tech.
He will be inducted into the hall along with the late Wendell Scott.
The racing pioneer from Danville posted 147 top 10 finishes in Winston Cup racing while operating on a shoe string budget in a white man's world in the 50s and 60s.
[graphic=hall of fame]
Joining those two is current Bath County resident Ray Bussard, a three-sport star athlete at Bridgewater College who later gained most of his notoriety as a swimming coach at Tennessee where he won a national title and coached the 84