[HEADLINES]

[TALENT=Melanie]

(----------------)
[VO-NAT]


The Supreme Court makes a ruling on whether the government can regulate tobacco as a drug.
(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


And a defeat in court today for the Florida relatives of Elian Gonzalez.
(/////////////)
[TALENT=Patrick]
[SS=None]



[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[SS=None]


News 7 at noon is next.

[scotus-tobacco]


[ANCHOR=melanie]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Tobacco Under Fire]


The Supreme Court has dealt the Clinton administration a major setback in its anti-smoking campaign.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=@file;]


The court has ruled that the government lacks the authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug.
In the 5-to-4 decision, the justices said the Food and Drug Administration overreached its bounds in 19-96 when it sought to crack down on cigarette sales to minors.
The Clinton administration argued that the best way to cut down on smoking is to reduce the number of teen-agers who start.
And the 1996 initiative was the centerpiece of its anti-smoking efforts.
(------------)



[cuba-boy]


[ANCHOR=mel]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Elian Gonzalez]


The American relatives of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy who floated to the U.S., lost a major court battle today.
It's a ruling that could one day mean sending the boy back to Cuba.
Cindy Pena has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Miami, FL;]
[SUPER=01-Cindy Pena/Reporting;]
[RUNS=1:15]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS.]

((THE CASE WAS TAKEN TO COURT AFTER THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE RULED THAT ELIAN WAS TOO YOUNG TO APPLY FOR ASYLUM HIMSELF AND THE APPLICATION WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE BY A PARENT OR GUARDIAN. THE MIAMI FAMILY ARGUED THE INS VIOLATED ELIANS RIGHTS BY REFUSING POLITICAL ASYLUM HEARING FOR ELIAN WHEN HE WAS RESCUED. ELIAN WAS FOUND CLINGING TO AN INNER TUBE OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA IN NOVEMBER . HIS MOTHER AND 10 OTHERS DROWNED AFTER THEIR BOAT CAPSIZED DURING AN ATTEMPT TO REACH THE UNITED STATES. SINCE HIS RESCUE, ELIAN HAS BECOME THE PAWN IN AN INTERNATIONAL TUG OF WAR BETWEEN ELIANS CUBAN FATHER AND THE BOYS MIAMI RELATIVES. THE FATHER WANTS HIS SON RETURNED TO CUBA. THE MIAMI FAMILY WANT TO RAISE THE LITTLE BOY IN THE UNITED STATES IN KEEPING WITH HIS MOTHERS WISHES. IN JANUARY THE INS RULED THAT ELIAN BE RETURNED TO HIS FATHER, A DECISION BACKED BY PRESIDENT CLINTON AND ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO.
(PENA STANDUP CLOSE, ANY REACTION)))



[md-standoff]


[ANCHOR=melanie]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Standoff]


Baltimore County police continue to negotiate with a suspected multiple killer who is holding three hostages.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Dundalk, MD;]

[3:02:34]
Joseph Palczynski has been holding his ex-girlfriend's mother since Friday, along with her husband and their son.
Palczynski is accused of fatally shooting four people over a two-day period earlier this month and briefly kidnapping the former girlfriend.
Police are hoping for a peaceful end but say the key is keeping in constant negotiations.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=he's not answering...]

(( BILL TOOHEY, SPOKESMAN, BALTIMORE CO. POLICE, HE'S NOT ANSWERING THE PHONE, BETTER WHEN WE'RE TALKING TO HIM. MICHAEL ADAMS, NEIGHBOR, THIS IS JUST OVERWHELMING.. NEVER SEE ANYTHING LIKE THIS))
[SUPER=01-Bill Toohey/Baltimore Co. Police; :00]
[SUPER=01-Michael Adams/Neighbor; :07]
[RUNS=:12]
[OUT Q=anything like this.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Friends and family describe 31 year old Palczynski as a manic depressive with a history of domestic abuse.
(------------)



[pope]


[ANCHOR=mel]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Pope John Paul II]


Pope John Paul has made history with his visit today to Israel.
It's a place where multiple religions and cultures, co-exist, though not always peacefully.
Lisa Hughes reports the Pope's visit brings Great Expectations among the people there.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]

[11:30-update window]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Tel Aviv, Israel; :00]
[SUPER=07-Pope John Paul II;]
[SUPER=01-Saleem Matar/Palestinian;]
[SUPER=01-Meir Lau/Israels Chief Rabbi;]
[SUPER=01-Lisa Hughes/Reporting;]
[RUNS=:00]
[OUT Q=]

((Arriving in Tel Aviv, Pope John Paul the Second was greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. From here the Pope will move to Jerusalem and make history. He will visit Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy sites-part of an effort to build better understanding between the worlds three major religions.
(SOT, POPE, "May peace be god's gift to the land he chose as his home. shalom.")
SOT:nats.

Preparations for the visit are still underway. Thousands of officers and soldiers are on patrol. Security cameras watch even the most sacred places. Expectations are high. Super: Saleem Matar/Palestinian
SOT: IT IS GOOD TO COME AND TO SEE MAKE PEACE IN THIS COUNTRY
SOT:(NATS as poster goes up)

The Pope will celebrate public masses in Bethlehem's newly-paved Manger Square and near the Sea of Galillee. He will visit the West Banks largest refugee camp, the Wailing Wall and Jerusalem's Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem. Jews are hoping the Pope will expand his apology for Christian injustices and specifically mention the Holocaust. Super: Meir Lau/Israels Chief Rabbi 22:37:13THIS IS A GREAT HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW SYMPATHY, TO EXPRESS UNDERSTANDING AND TO CREATE FRIENDSHIP (:09)

SOT: West Bank nats

The Pope is also hoping to help improve the chance for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Just this morning, Israel turned over a small part of the West Bank-setting off an explosive celebration. STANDUP: Lisa Hughes/Jerusalem The Pope is meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week. And while the Vatican insists this is a spiritual and NOT a political trip. In the Middle East the two are almost impossible to separate. ))
[tease1] [HARD MUSIC UNDER]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


Even while President Clinton urges peace in Kashmir, Mulsim militants there massacre dozens of civilians.
Details are still ahead on News 7 at noon.
First, let's talk to Patrick Evans.
(---------------)
[Talent=Patrick]

[Wx-Tease] [Weatherpro] [music up full] [comm1]

[CLINTON-INDIA]


[ANCHOR=MEL]
[NEWSCAST=NOON]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net ]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A massacre in India's disputed Kashmir region is overshadowing President Clinton's historic visit to the country.


(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Kashmir, India;]

[10:07:22-video of kashmir]
Muslim militants are blamed for the execution-style shootings of 40 villagers in the region.
India and Pakistan both claim control of the territory.
[SUPER=03-New Dehli, India;]


One goal of president Clinton's trip is to ease tensions between the two nations.
Mr. Clinton condemned the killings at a joint news conference in New Delhi with India's prime minister.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]

[11;11]
[IN Q=It reminds us... ]
[RUNS=:19]
[OUT Q=renewed lines of communication.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The U-S wants India to scale back its nuclear weapons program and reopen a peace dialogue with Pakistan.
(------------)



[video-games]


[ANCHOR=mel]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=None]


On Capitol Hill, a Senate panel is hearing testimony today on the impact of violent video games on children.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=@File;]

[10 newspath]
Among the witnesses at today's hearing is the mother of one of the victims of the 1997 shooting at a high school Kentucky.
Representatives from the video game industry were invited but chose not to attend.
(------------)



[E-Halifax-Schools]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=sch]
[TAPE#=99-58 1:21:36]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Halifax County has dropped a controversial bomb threat policy.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

[from 99-54 1:48:43]
[SUPER=03-Halifax Co./Last Week;]


No longer will students be kept in the classroom during a bomb threat. Now they'll be evacuated.
The school board announced the decision last night at its regular meeting.
The change comes after much criticism by parents and students about the original "stay put" policy.
(------------)



[Police-Minority]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kwe]
[TAPE#=00-05 21:50]
[GRAPHIC=Race Relations]


Does Roanoke need a citizens review committee needed for the Police Department?
At last night's city council meeting, a group of minority residents said yes.
Kate Weidaw more.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=Dozens of minority]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; :00]
[SUPER=04-December 31; :07]
[SUPER=01-Martin Jeffrey/Roanoke NAACP President; :30]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Jones/Concerned Citizen; :44]
[SUPER=01-Michael Holland/Concerned Citizen; :57]
[SUPER=@Kate1;1:09]
[RUNS=1:19]
[OUT Q=KW, News 7]

((Dozens of minority Roanoke residents came before city council asking for a citizen's review committee. [99-39 1:54:12] This comes after Wilbert Lewis was shot by a Roanoke City police officer on December 31-st of last year. Officer W-G Boucher was pursing Lewis after he didn't pull over -- when the car did stop, Boucher thought Lewis had a gun and shot him in the stomach. Authorities discovered Lewis was unarmed. Boucher was put back on the job a short time later - and that upset residents.

[SOT 7:13:14]
[INQ=]

((MARTIN JEFFREY: MR. LEWIS HASN'T BEEN ABLE TO WORK A DAY OR ENJOY A MEAL SINCE THAT INCIDENT YET THE OFFICER NEVER MISSED A PAY CHECK OR A MEAL.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 9]



That's why these citizens say the police are not being held accountable for their actions.

[SOT 6:59:13]
[INQ=]

((WAYNE JONES/CONCERNED CITIZEN: HOW MANY WILBERT LEWISES WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO RECOGNIZE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE ISSUES THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE ROANOKE CITY POLICE.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 10]


One resident says the situation is not just affecting adults but young people as well.

[SOT 7:04:04]
[INQ=]

((MICHAEL HOLLAND/CONCERNED CITIZEN: WHEN I ASK YOUNG BLACK MALES OR FEMALES WHO ARE CLOSING IN ON GRADUATION WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO I MAINLY GET THE RESPONSE TO GET AWAY FROM ROANOKE THERE IS NOTHING HERE FOR ME.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 13]


[STANDUP]
[INQ=]

((KATE WEIDAW/REPORTING: CITY COUNCIL VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO HAVE THE CITY MANAGER REVIEW THE IDEA OF A CITIZEN'S REVIEW COMMITTED FOR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND WILL REPORT BACK TO COUNCIL AT A LATER DATE. KATE WEIDAW NEWS 7.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS=10]))



[S-Burghoff]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kwe]
[TAPE#=99-60 1:34:09]
[GRAPHIC=None]


An alumnusof the hit show "MASH" is still acting, but not as "Radar" O'Reilly.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Covington]


Actor Gary Burghoff spends a lot of his time now acting on the stage.
Now, that stage is at Covington High School where he will be performing in Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" tomorrow.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 2:09:50]
[IN Q=It's so ]

((GARY BURGHOFF: IT'S SO GRATIFYING TO BRING THIS WONDERFUL PLAY TO AUDIENCES THAT MIGHT NOT HAVE SEEN IT EVEN THOUGH ITS BEEN AROUND FOR A LOT OF YEARS.))
[SUPER=01-Gary Burghoff/Former MASH Star]
[RUNS=11]
[OUT Q=a lot of years]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Burghoff says he remembers his MASH days fondly, and even though it may be behind him, fans still call him Radar.


(------------)


[Tease2] [SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


Still ahead on News 7 at Noon, Wayne Newton could have a trouble-maker singing a new song.
(-----------------)
[VO-NAT ]


And a computer chip is helping this paralyzed man walk again.
Find out how when we return.
(-----------------)

[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]


[PARAPLEGIC]


[ANCHOR=MEL]
[NEWSCAST=NOON]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Medical News]


A breakthrough in Europe could mean thousands of paraplegics around the world will someday be able to walk again.


(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Brussels, Belgium;]

[3:29:46]
Ten years after he was paralyzed from the waist down in a car crash, thirty nine year old French financier Marc Merger has taken the first steps on the long road to recovery.
He did it with the help of electrodes implanted on the muscles and nerves in his legs.
The electrodes are connected to a computer chip in his abdomen which scientists control via a computer.
(//// SOT /////)
[SOT]

[6:33:02]
[IN Q=THE IMPORTANT POINT IS...]
[SUPER=01-Pierre Rabischong/Project Coordinator;]
[RUNS=:10]
[OUT Q=BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Researchers are now developing a remote control cane that could one day replace the computer, allowing patients to control their movements.
(------------)



[E-Tech-Admissions]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=99-54 TC2:01:42]
[GRAPHIC=Va Tech]


A Virginia Tech degree just got a lot more popular... and -- admissions counselors say -- a lot more prestigious.


(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg;]


Virginia Tech is reporting a record year in the number of freshman applicants ... a 12-percent INCREASE over last year.
This year, there are more than 18-thousand applicants vying for just over 4-thousand spots.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 25:23 - :38]
[IN Q= Well, not only is]

((KAREN TORGERSEN/DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS: WELL, NOT ONLY IS THE APPLICANT POOL INCREASING, BUT THE QUALITY OF THE APPLICANT POOL IS INCREASING. STUDENTS BEING OFFERED ADMISSION AT VIRGINIA TECH THIS YEAR ARE SOLID B-PLUS STUDENTS. AND THAT'S VERY EXCITING FOR US.))
[SUPER=01-Karen Torgersen/Director of Admissions;]
[RUNS=:15]
[OUT Q=exciting for us.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Admissions counselors say the applications boom is the result of a strong technology curriculum... a leap up the rankings in U-S News and World Report ... AND a winning football season.
Tech officials say the typical student being offered admission has a 3-point-7 grade point average and a 12-12 SAT score.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[GRAPHIC=UVA]


Just last month, another state school -- the University of Virginia -- reported a 15-percent DECLINE in applications.


[E-Cove-Update]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=00-04 41:04]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Despite the recent rainfall, the U-S Forest Service says streams in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are at record low levels.
Officials say a year and a half of below-average rainfall is to blame.
But there is encouraging news about Roanoke City's water supply.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


The umbrellas were out in downtown Roanoke, as a steady rainfall soaked the city for the last few days... but there were no complaints at the municipal building.
At this time last year, the water level at Carvins Cove was 18 feet below the spillway. This morning it was seven-point two feet... and rising.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Utilities Director Kit Kiser says he believes the reservoir will be close to normal within several weeks.
Also, Roanoke's city manager will study a plan to allow more recreational activities around the cove.

[Stocks]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=chr]
[TAPE# none]
[GRAPHIC=stocks]


Wall Street is keeping an eye on Washington today as the Federal Reserve meets.
Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has said he'd raise short term interest rates to try to cool an overheated economy, and control inflation.
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was UP 146 points.
[tease3] [SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


Still to come in sports, Virginia looks to extend its run in the dance, while the defending national champs go home early,
(----------------)
[VO-NAT ]

and Roanoke's city council honors some local high school basketball champions.
Patrick returns with the details.
(---------------)

[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]



[S-UVA]


[ANCHOR=Patrick]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-55 1:41:48 ]
[GRAPHIC=NCAA]


More teams have been run out of Bracketville as the women's N-C-A-A tourney continues.
The Oklahoma Sooners sent the defending champion Purdue Boilermakers home early with a 76 -74 win in the second round of the east regional.
Two Virginia schools have made it to the Sweet 16. Last night, Old Dominion advanced with a 96 - 76 rout of Southern Methodist. The Lady Monarchs face Louisiana Tech Saturday.
[SS=UVA]


This Saturday in Memphis, Tennessee will meet the Virginia Lady Cavaliers. U-V-A has reached the sweet 16 for the 12th time in the last 14 seasons.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q="i don't]
[SUPER=01-Debbie Ryan/UVa Women's Head Coach; :00]

((DEBBIE RYAN/UVA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH:WELL I DON'T REALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT WE'VE DONE IN THE PAST, I JUST THINK ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW. WE'RE GONNA TRY AND WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. I DON'T THINK IN TERMS OF BLOCKS LIKE THAT I THINK ABOUT WINNING THE NEXT GAME AND THAT'S IT. I'M NOT REALLY THINKING ABOUT WHETHER WE WERE IN THE SWEET 16 LAST YEAR OR THE YEAR BEFORE OR THE YEAR BEFORE, THAT'S REALLY NOT IN MY MINDSET. I WILL THINK ABOUT THAT AFTER THE SEASON, NOT NOW.))
[RUNS=:28]
[OUT Q=....after the season not now"]
(---------------)


[wipe wipe wipe wipe]

[S-Jordan]


[ANCHOR=Patrick]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-52 14832tc]
[GRAPHIC=none]


[WIPE WIPE WIPE WIPE]

(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; :00]


In high school hoops, Roanoke City Council honored Roanoke Catholic's boys basketball team last night. The Celtics won the Virginia Independent Schools state championship recently.
The team was on hand for the special ceremony. Each player had a chance to shake Mayor Bowers hand.
Mayor Bowers then presented the team and Roanoke Catholic head basketball coach Dick Wall with a key to the city in front of a packed house at City Council.
(------------)



[S-Express]


[ANCHOR=Patrick]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-54 1:53:43]
[GRAPHIC=Express]


The Express return to the Round House Friday after a four game road swing.
Roanoke could break the E-C-H-L record for fewest goals allowed in a season.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; ]


The Express has allowed 162 goals and the E-C-H-L record is 180.
Roanoke has six games remaining and if Berthiaume and Gagnon give up less than three a game, they break it.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q="I think]

((SCOTT GORDON/EXPRESS HEAD COACH:I THINK THERE IS A SENSE OF PRIDE ON THEIR BEHALF TO BE ABLE TO SAY THEY ARE THE BEST GOALTENDING DUO TO EVER PLAY IN THE EAST COAST LEAGUE AS FAR AS GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE, BUT I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE THESE GUYS HAVE BEEN HERE FOR TWO OR THREE YEARS AND HERE WE ARE IN A SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE THE BEST DEFENSE AND YOU CAN SAY IT'S THE GOALIES BUT THE GUYS IN FRONT OF THEM HAVE TO DO THE JOB AND WHETHER IT BE ON THE PENALTY KILLING OR KEEPING THE SHOTS DOWN, WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO IT.))
[SUPER=01-Scott Gordon/Express Head Coach; :00]
[RUNS=:23]
[OUT Q=been able to do it"]
(--------)



[S-Retire]


[ANCHOR=Patrick]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=SP-53 15430]
[GRAPHIC=TEITLEBAUM]


The man who has had his hand in the high school sports huddle for the Roanoke Times since 1983 is retiring at the end of this month.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; ]


Bob Teitlebaum came to Roanoke after working for two newspapers in the state of Tennessee.
The Vanderbilt grad says he knows his departure will draw mixed reviews from coaches and players.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]

((BOB TEITLEBAUM: I'M NOT LIKED BY EVERY COACH. I'M SORT OF A HARD PERSON TO DEAL WITH BECAUSE I ALWAYS INSIST ON DOING IT THE NEWSPAPER'S WAY. THERE ARE COACHES OUT THERE WHO ARE NOT MY BEST FRIENDS AND I'M NOT THEIR BEST FRIEND. I'M SURE THEY ARE SAYING WE'RE GETTING A NEW PERSON IN THERE AND MAYBE WE WILL HAVE BETTER LUCK. I SEE A LOT OF MY OTHER FRIENDS WHO HAVE JUST RETIRED AND NOW I'VE JOINED THEM. ))
[SUPER=01-Bob Teitlebaum/Retiring from Roanoke Times; :00]
[RUNS=:31]
[OUT Q=...I'VE JOINED THEM."]
(------------)
[TALENT=Patrick]
[GRAPHIC=HOLD]

Teitlebaum says he hopes to still do some writing and this summer he will help with the official scoring at the Salem Avalanche's home games.

[music-sentence]


[ANCHOR=]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=NONE]


An eighteen year old Michigan boy this afternoon is completing his sentence for blasting rap music from his car.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]

[11:16 OR 17]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Troy, MI;]
[RUNS=:05]
[OUT Q=nat music]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Last week the judge ordered Justin Rushford to listen to two hours of Wayne Newton for violating A 3 month old anti-noise ordinance.
Rushford, for his part, doesn't think the punishment is cruel and unusual, although he thought it was a joke at first. (------------)