Downtown Fort Worth, Texas, is closed and sealed up tight by police this afternoon-- as officials assess tornado damage.
Two twisters cut a deadly path through the Fort Worth area last night -- killing at least four and injuring more than 100.
Angela Hale has the latest.
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[SUPER=03-Fort Worth, TX;]
In Japan, some eight-thousand people have been ordered to evacuate from an area where a volcano could erupt.
[SUPER=03-Mount Usu, Japan;]
Hundreds more have already left their homes.
Over a thousand tremors from Mount Usu (ooh-soo) have shaken the area in the last three days.
There were fears that an eruption could melt the snow around the volcano and cause mudslides that could destroy nearby villages.
It's another first at Virginia Military Institute.
This fall, Erin Nicole Claunch will become one of the school's top cadets.
Claunch was among the first group of women admitted to the school in 1997.
This fall, she'll become one of the school's two battalion commanders.
She was chosen based on her academic and leadership abilities, as well as her physical fitness.
This morning-- she appeared on the Early Show on C-B-S.
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[IN Q=As battalion]
((ERIN NICOLE CLAUNCH: AS BATTALION COMMANDER, YOU GIVE VOICE COMMANDS IN PARADES, YOU'LL RUN YOUR BATTALION TO MAKE SURE YOUR BATTALION IS ALWAYS COMMUNICATION WITH YOU, TO MAKE SURE THINGS GO WELL.))
[OUT Q=go well.]
Teresa Hamilton is interviewing Claunch this afternoon.
Tonight on NEWS 7 at six, we'll have a live report from Lexington.
Good economic news for Henry County today.
Stone Dynamics - a fabricator of purchased stone, granite, and marble - is setting up shop and bringing with it nearly a hundred new jobs within five years.
The facility will be located in the North Bowles Industrial Park.
Company officials say they will hire twenty people within its first year in Henry County.
It hopes to have that number at 95 within five years.
Stone Dynamics says it will benefit from the quality workers available in Southside after recent job losses in Martinsville and Henry County.
That news comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement by Stanley Furniture Corporation, that it's opening a new manufacturing plant in Martinsville.
As Surae Chinn tells us - the textile industry may be disappearing but the furniture business is flourishing.
[IN Q=We think]
[SUPER=01-Sid Clower/Henry Co. Administrator; :00 quick]
[SUPER=01-Albert Prillaman/Company CEO; :15]
[SUPER=01-Robert Shumaker/Machine Operator; :32]
[OUT Q=News 7. Danville.]
((SID CLOWER/HENRY CO. ADMINISTRATOR: WE THINK THIS IS GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE FURNITURE INDUSTRY.))
Although the Stanley Furniture company has just announced a new manufacturing plant, the facility that makes its latest line of office furniture has been up and running for a couple of months.
((ALBERT PRILLAMAN/COMPANY CEO AND PRESIDENT: WE ARE JUST THIS MONTH SHIPPING OUR FIRST PRODUCTS WE'RE ONLY OPERATING 25 PERCENT TO CAPACITY. WE'LL BE IN FULL PRODUCTION VERY SOON.))
The company has helped lessen the impact of the fall of the textile industry. It's making workers like Robert Shumaker very happy.
((ROBERT SHUMAKER/MACHINE OPERATOR: I LOVE IT. I COME FROM TULTEX MAKING SWEATS. THIS IS DIFFERENT AND I REALLY ENJOY IT.))
The company plans to have a staff of 350 making world class home office furniture .
((SURAE CHINN/REPORTING: IT TAKES PRECISION, QUALIFIED WORKERS AND HIGH TECH MACHINES TO GET THE JOB DONE.))
((AND IN THE END THE FINISHED PRODUCT LOOKS SOMETHING LIKE THIS.))
Shumaker says he's building his way to a better future.
((ROBERT SHUMAKER/MACHINE OPERATOR: THEY HAVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS, YOU MOVE UP STEPS. IT'S VERY SURPRISING IT'S A NEW EXPERIENCE.))
And it's a new sense of optimism many workers say thanks in part to this furniture corporation. Surae Chinn, News7, Danville.
An early morning fire in Georgia has left eight people dead.
Fire swept through a mobile home near Atlanta.
A baby is among the dead.
A neighbor says a single mom with two-teenagers lived in the home.
She says the daughter had a baby, but she doesn't know who the other victims are.
The lone OPEC holdout against an oil production boost is rejoining the fold.
[YESTERDAY'S 10AM NEWSPATH 10:04:47]
Iran says it will accept the agreement reached yesterday by members of the oil cartel.
They agreed to pump an additional one point 45 million barrels a day.
The Clinton administration had lobbied for a TWO million barrel a day increase.
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[IN Q=My concern]
"My concern has always been that the oil price production be
increased to a level sufficient to ensure continued growth in the global
economy and continued growth here at home and -- but, therefore, by
definition, to alleviate some of the serious burdens that some of our
people have felt, particularly the truckers ."))
[OUT Q=THE TRUCKERS.]
But even with Iran, Petroleum analysts say gas prices are not likely to drop much.
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson predicts stable prices that will begin to drop in about six weeks.
It took only a matter of minutes for a Pittsylvania County jury to convict a man of murder and recommend he spend twenty years in prison.
[SUPER=03-Pittsylvania Co./August 1999]
Last night, the jury found 37-year-old Troy Anthony Potter guilty of second degree murder and recommended the sentence.
Potter said he stabbed his friend Kelvin Blake Keen in self-defense back in August.
Authorities are on the look-out for a man who may be posing as a police officer and pulling over vehicles in Central Virginia.
The latest report came Sunday night when a man says he was pulled over near the intersection of Routes 29 and 24 in Campbell County.
He told police a white male, driving a white, unmarked car asked for his license and registration.
A similar incident was reported last week in Nelson County.
Authorities caution motorists that it's not likely a plain clothes officer would make a traffic stop.
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[IN Q=It's extremely rare]
((CAPT. HOWARD GREGORY/VA STATE POLICE: IT'S EXTREMELY RARE. NOW, IF IT'S A LIFE- THREATENING SITUATION SUCH AS A DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE CASE OR A FELONY SUSPECT, THAT COULD HAPPEN, BUT JUST FOR A ROUTINE MINOR TRAFFIC VIOLATION THAT WOULD BE VERY UNUSUAL FOR AN UNMARKED CAR AND A PLAIN CLOTHES OFFICER TO BE MAKING THAT TYPE STOP.))
[SUPER=01-Capt. Howard Gregory/Va. State Police]
[OUT Q=that type stop.]
Gregory says motorists have the right to ask an officer to produce proper identification when they're stopped.
If they still feel uncomfortable, they should drive slowly to a well-lit, public place.
The uncle of Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez meets with immigration officials today.
[LEE COWAN PKG FROM MORN]
They'll give him another chance to sign a document, pledging to give Elian up if he loses a court battle to keep the young boy.
The Justice Department says it will revoke Elian's parole tomorrow if the papers are not signed.
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[IN Q=I don't know what else they want?]
[SUPER=01-Armando Gutierrez/Family Spokesman;]
[SUPER=01-Karen Krauschaar/INS Spokesperson; :07 (Quick)]
[OUT Q=Each passing day......and his son.]
Meanwhile, Elian has stayed home from school this week.
A cut in Medicaid reimbursements for assisted living facilities could mean area patients will see cuts at the places they call home.
Kate Weidaw explains.
[IN Q=NAT SOT]
[SUPER=01-Robin Tate/Shenandoah Homes;:18]
[OUT Q=kwe news 7]
(([nat sound of robin helping elderly]
Robin Tate is concerned about programs being cut at Shenandoah Homes in Roanoke County. As the Director of Assisted Living she sees how the dollars from Medicaid reimbursement are used. Two particular groups will be affected by the cut-backs.
((ROBIN TATE: FOR REGULAR AND INTENSIVE ASSISTED LIVING THEY GIVE US REIMBURSEMENT FOR REGULAR IT'S 3 DOLLARS A DAY AND FOR INTENSIVE IT'S 6 DOLLARS A DAY REIMBURSEMENT FOR PATIENTS.))
That adds up to 180 dollars a month per patient -- and with 2 thirds of the residents bringing in reimbursements -- the loss of funds means cuts in the facility are inevitable.
((ROBIN TATE: IT'S PROBABLY GOING TO CUT MONEY FOR ACTIVITIES MONEY FOR GROUPS TO COME IN, RENOVATIONS TO APARTMENTS, AND THE FACILITY AS A WHOLE.))
Tate says this won't keep folks from applying to live in assisted living -- the reason they have no choice because they need the care.
And as of now residents will not be paying more out of their own pockets.
((KATE WEIDAW/REPORTING: ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES LIKE SHENANDOAH HOMES WILL RECEIVE MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENTS FROM CURRENT PATIENTS THROUGH NOVEMBER. KATE WEIDAW NEWS 7.))
A drug-sniffing Roanoke dog is okay now... after he ended up with a mouth full of what may have been cocaine.
The German Sheppard named Blitz apparently sniffed out a package of cocaine at the Greyhound bus station over the weekend - and took a bite out of crime.
The dog's handler immediately washed out Blitz's mouth and took him to a vet.
He's doing fine now.
Two weeks ago, Heather LaBoe was in game show heaven... Today her moment of triumph made it on the air.
[SUPER=04-The Price is Right]
During a visit to California, LaBoe was a contestant on "The Price is Right."
She won a washer and dryer during the preliminary pricing game, and then waited nervously to see if the numbers would fall in her favor... as she tried to win a new car.
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[IN Q=Is it a zero?]
((IS IT A ZERO. YES! YOU'VE WON THE CAR. CONGRATULATIONS. MORE AFTER THESE WORDS.))
[OUT Q=more after these words.]
LaBoe didn't make it to the showcase showdown at the end of the program, but she won cash and prizes worth more than 20- thousand dollars.
In the N-H-L, the New York Rangers cleaned house yesterday, firing head coach John Muckler and general manager Neil Smith. The Rangers are five points behind Buffalo for lost playoff spot.
Barring a miracle, it would be the third straight season the Rangers have failed to make the playoffs.
The firings are giving a former Valley hockey star his first shot at becoming a N-H-L head coach.
Former Virginia Lancers head coach John Tortorella took over as the Lancers coach in 1986.
That year he led the team to the Valley's first ACHL championship.
Tortorella is taking over the Rangers for the remaining four games of the regular season.
After that the team will let the next General Manager hire his own coach.
[TAPE#=sp-49 tc 2:03:38]
Super sophomore Dennis Mims has been reinstated to the Virginia Tech Basketball team.
Mims was suspended indefinitely earlier this month for violating undisclosed team rules.
Coach Ricky Stokes announced yesterday evening that the 6-9 center will join the team for spring drills on April 10th.
Mims says he's ready to put this all behind him and get back on the court
He averaged 14 points a game and was named to the Atlantic 10 third team.
Tech was 16-15 this past seasons.