Will he stay or will he go?
Elian Gonzalez's future hangs in the balance as the Supreme Court debates whether or not to let the boy return home to Cuba.
An appeals court order for Elian and his family to
stay in the U-S runs out at 4 o'clock this afternoon.
A top Cuban official says there's no room for optimism --
because he says the way the courts have been handling the case has
Meanwhile, Elian and his father have made plans for a chartered flight from Washington to Havana.
Lee Cowan joins us now with the latest.
[SUPER=01-Jose Pertierra/Immigration Attorney;]
(LOCATOR: WASHINGTON, DC, FILE)
Juan Miguel Gonzales is so confident the Supreme Court will refuse
to hear a final appeal, he is reportedly saying his goodbyes and making
final preparations for his final trip home.
It could come as early as this afternoon -- when the court order
keeping him here in the U-S expires at 4pm -- opening a window only the
Supreme Court could close by agreeing to consider the case.
But even Elian's Miami relatives are beginning to agree with the
experts: it's a long shot, and time is running out.
(SOT/JOSE PERTIERRA/IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY)
"Looking at this case closely, the law is crystal clear. A six year old
boy could probably tell you his father is legally authorized to speak on
That's what the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta ruled -- giving
Elian's Miami relatives their fifth legal setback since the custody
dispute began. The homecoming will be one watched by the world -- Cuban
President Fidel Castro will we waiting at the airport in Havana -- as
will thousands of supporters. But is is a picture that will only serve
to anger the Cuban American community -- and the increasingly small
groups of protestors who still believe Elian should remain in the US.
But most are weary of the the 7 month saga that has dragged it's
way through several courts -- and several cities. Elian and his father
have lived in three places in three months -- followed each time by a
media horde -- and their Miami relatives.
(COWAN ON CAM:)
"Today's imminent departure will not diminish the interst in the young
boy's life, but some hope it will serve as the first step to return his
life to normal. But there are just as many who say normal is something
Elian may never have again.
The Supreme Court has already taken action on other issues today--
It's a major defeat for abortion opponents AND homosexuals.
By a five- to- four vote, the court struck down a Nebraska law that bans so- called "partial- birth abortions".
29 other states, including Virginia have similar laws, but it's not clear how today's decision might affect those laws.
The Supreme Court also ruled that the Boy Scouts CAN bar
homosexuals from serving as troop leaders.
The court said forcing the Scouts to
accept gay leaders would violate the organization's First
Amendment rights of free expression and free association.
A Roanoke man who stabbed a friend during a drunken confrontation last November has been sentenced to ten years in prison.
Francis Johnson had claimed self-defense, saying he pulled a knife on Donald Harris to protect himself during a fight.
Today in Roanoke Circuit Court, Johnson entered a plea of no contest, and he apologized to the victim's family.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I'd like to say to the Harris family]
((I'D LIKE TO SAY TO THE HARRIS FAMILY THAT I'M SORRY. I KNOW IT WON'T BRING DONALD BACK, BUT I DIDN'T KILL HIM IN MALICE. AND I'M TRULY SORRY.))
[OUT Q=and I'm truly sorry.]
Judge Jonathon Apgar (AP-gar) convicted Johnson of second-degree murder. The defendant was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison.
The prosecution has wrapped up its case in the trial of a Botetourt county man charged with shooting and killing his brother.
The judge has dismissed a motion to reduce the charges.
Roger (Bruff-man) Broughman admits he shot his brother Rocky six times after pulling into Rocky's driveway and waiting for him to come out.
Roger says it was self-defense because Rocky had a gun in his back pocket.
The victim was also drunk at the time.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I don't]
((I DON'T WANT NOBODY BEING HURT. I DIDN'T WANT NOBODY BEING HURT TO START WITH, BUT THE WAY THINGS HAVE BEEN WITH HIM HERE IN THE LAST WEEK OR SO, IT JUST, I WENT UP THERE TO SEE WHAT HIS PROBLEM WAS AND HE RUN OUT THERE AND RUN HIS MOUTH. IT, I HAD TO DO IT. I, I'M SORRY.))
[OUT Q=I'm sorry]
The dead man, Rocky, was known to be dangerous.
He killed their father 22 years ago in this same house and wounded Roger, who was just a teenager at the time.
A Roanoke judge has approved a two point nine million dollar settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit.
It comes 17 months after an eight year old girl and her grandmother died in a traffic accident.
[VO-NAT 98-83 29:45]
[SUPER=03-Franklin Co./January 25, 1999]
Geraldine Gillispie and her granddaughter, Emily
Sturgill, were killed last year on Route 220 in Franklin County
after stopping for a school bus. Authorities said Michael Lee Gray,
the tow truck driver, failed to see the bus in time to stop. Gray
was convicted last year of involuntary manslaughter.
Roanoke County supervisors have not made a decision on Evangel Foursquare church's plan to build a new church and day care center.
They are postponing a vote until more information about site improvements can be found. Some residents are disappointed with the board's decision.
Jennifer Miele has more.
[IN Q=County supervisors]
[SUPER=01-Randy Kingery/Foursquare Evangel Church;:22]
[SUPER=01-Michelle Berry/County Resident;:58]
[OUT Q=Jennifer M. News 7]
(( County supervisors and residents are still concerned about an increase in traffic; water, sewage and drainage expenses; and what would happen to the land that wasn't being used for the church complex.
But Foursquare representatives say they don't want to spend any more money on plans for the church if a special use permit isn't guaranteed.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Why should Foursquare]
((WHY SHOULD FOURSQUARE EVANGEL CHURCH HAVE TO PAY ALL THE BILLS? WHY DOESN'T V-DOT? THEY ARE BEHIND ON TIME, WHY DON'T THEY GO AHEAD AND MAKE IMPROVEMENTS? WE'RE WILLING TO DO OUR PART, WE'RE WILLING TO PAY OUR SHARE. ALSO, ROANOKE COUNTY NEEDS TO DO THEIR SHARE.))
[OUT Q=do their share.]
Supervisors agreed that the church should not be solely burdened with research expenses. They opted to assign the project to a joint committee comprised of county engineers and church officials.
But dozens of residents who live near the proposed site say they are disappointed with the delay.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I wanted something]
((I WANTED SOMETHING TO BE DONE, A DECISION TO BE MADE TONIGHT. WE'RE ALL TIRED OF WAITING AND WE WANTED A DECISION AND DIDN'T GET IT. THE POSTPONEMENT WAS A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.))
[OUT Q=big disappointment]
(/////// SOT ///////)
((COUNTY SUPERVISORS ESTIMATE A HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND SEWAGE EXPENSES. THEY SHOULD HAVE A MORE EXACT ESTIMATE IN LESS THAN 30 DAYS. JENNIFER MIELE, NEWS 7.)) ))
In Henry County, supervisors appointed Doctor Calvin Rains to fill the Collinsville seat on the board.
Rains will finish the term of the late Jack Dalton.
The board also approved a 97-million dollar budget that will not raise taxes.
A plan to reassign four popular elementary school principals is a hot topic in Lynchburg. Parents and students don't want the principal of Dearington Elementary to leave the school. More than a hundred people gathered to voice their concerns.
Steve Smallshaw reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Few things]
[SUPER=01-Kate Martin/DESI Student; :17 (quick!)]
[SUPER=01-James Bonner/Parent; :46]
[SUPER=01-Lysa Slay/DESI PTO President; :58]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( Few things can make children come to school during summer vacation, but the prospect of losing their principal drew more than a hundred students and their parents to Dearington Elementary.
Even the smallest got up on their soapbox-- or in this case, a milk crate-- to make one common point.
((KATE MARTIN/DESI STUDENT: WE ALL REALLY LOVE MR. PING AND DON'T WANT TO LOSE HIM.))
Mr. Ping is Jimmy Ping.. Dearington's principal for the last six years.
Last week, administrators decided to shift Ping and principals at Kizer, Linkhorne and Perrymont Elementary schools.
The move has parents outraged.. Ping is revered at Dearington as an innovator who's made a special connection with each of his students.
When news of his reassignment spread, parents had trouble explaining the move to their children.
((JAMES BONNER/PARENT: HE'S ASKING ME.. NEED IT FROM YOU.))
((LYSA SLAY/PARENT: WE DID NOT ASK..
.. BE RECONSIDERED.))
But they'll have to wait for the answer.
The school board will decide next week whether to reverse their decision to shift the principals or stick with the original plan .
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))
Three people were killed as they lay sleeping in an apartment complex in Spain.
The four- story building came crashing down early today.
Authorities believe a propane or butane explosion caused the collapse.
Seven people were pulled from the rubble with only minor injuries.
A section of the building's facade remains standing, but the rest was reduced to a pile of concrete, glass, and steel.
The same town lost four people recently after a bridge collapsed.
Thousands of tired evacuees are playing a waiting game with Mother Nature in Japan--
The island is home to Mount Oyama, a volcano that's had several major eruptions in the last 60 years.
Nearly three- thousand residents were evacuated to the northern part of the island after intensifying earthquakes signaled a possible eruption looming.
The Coast Guard has sent ships, in case a total evacuation of the island is necessary.
[GRAPHIC=Drug Bust Cocaine]
After a five month undercover drug investigation in Danville, authorities have arrested nearly 20 suspects.
That's half of the 40 people charged with drug violations in this operation.
Police officers busted 19 of them for possession and distribution of cocaine, marijuana and imitation crack cocaine yesterday.
Investigators say they are confident they will catch the rest.
They say the suspects are mainly street dealers.
[IN Q=It's important]
((NEAL MORRIS/DANVILLE POLICE CHIEF: IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO CATCH THE STREETLEVEL. IF YOU TAKE THEM OFF THE STREETS, THE WHOLESALERS AND PEOPLE UP THE LINE DON'T HAVE ANYONE TO GO OUT AND DO THE SALES.))
[SUPER=01-Neal Morris/Danville Police Chief; :00]
[OUT Q=do the sales.]
More arrests are expected.
27- young women from all corners of the Commonwealth are busy this week polishing their interview skills and honing their talents for the upcoming Miss Virginia pageant.
Final competition is Saturday night.
[Kimberly and Miss Virginia]
And joining us now is someone who's very familiar with all that, the reigning Miss Virginia, Crystal Lewis.
Crystal, thank you so much for joining us this afternoon.
[B-Roll Video of Pageant]
(You must know what these girls are going through right now-- What advice do you have for them as they prepare for the pageant?)
(Over the last year, you've logged a lot of miles, about 45,000 I understand. What are some achievements that you're most proud of?)
(Do you think the experience as Miss Virginia has jump- started your career goal of becoming a recording artist?)
(And as you prepare to hand over your crown Saturday night, you're going to sing, but it's going to be a duet with your father?)