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The lines of communication may go dead between striking Verizon workers and company officials.
Union leaders are threatening to walk out of negotiations.
And a dangerous mix of anger and alcohol led a former V-M-I cadet to set a fire in the barracks.
Our temperatures are looking great for the next few days but today's sunny skies may be the last before showers head our way. Forecast details are coming up.
Stay right where you are-- News 7 at noon is straight ahead.
Rescue efforts may be all for nothing as time begins running out for the Russian sailors aboard the Kursk.
Good afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
Hopes are fading quickly that any crew members will be found alive aboard the sunken Russian submarine.
But officials are still working on a strategy to reach the 118 sailors inside.
Meanwhile, British rescuers are making their slow journey to the submarine.
Lee Cowan has an update.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Alan Hoskins/British Sub Commander;]
[OUT Q=Cowan, CBS News , Washington.]
A team of British rescuers with their multi-million dollar mini-sub on
board, began their belated 50 hour journey out to the crash scene early
this morning -- a race against time they fear they have already lost.
(SOT/ALAN HOSKINS, BRITISH COMMANDER LR-5)
"The mood on board is one of -- we're chomping at the bits. We want to
finally get going!"
Russian oficials say the sub is not expected to be there until
late Saturday -- one day AFTER the Russian sub's oxygen supply is
expected to run out.
Once on scene, it will take another several hours to get down to
the Kursk -- which by then will have been stranded for a week.
Although it is more maneuverable than the capsules the Russian's
have been using -- the problem remains the same -- battling strong
currents while trying to linking up with the Kursk's cargo hatch which
now lies at a 60 degree angle.
Home video shot in 1994 during the Kurk's maiden voyage is a stark
reminder of not only how big this submarine is -- but also how crowded.
118 sailors crammed inside -- many as young as 18 -- now likely to
be separated into air tight compartments, if they are alive at all.
In Brussells, the Deputy Cheif of the Russian Navy arrived at NATO
Headquarters to discuss the rescue operation -- and answer some tough
questions as to why the Russians waited so long to ask for help.
"We came right on time," he says -- but upon further prodding, his
interpreter told reporters:
"You better ask some other questions."
(COWAN ON CAM:)
"Russian President Vladimir Pputin has remained distanced from the
tragedy -- vacationing at his resort in the Black Sea. Russian media has
handed him some of his harshest criticism yet -- one newspaper claiming
the only thing more silent than the sailors, is Putin's silence to the
country. Lee Cowan, CBS News, Washington."
After 12 days on strike, Verizon Union Negotiators are threatening to walk out of talks in Washington.
[TAPE#=00-21; TC 1:57:14]
Frustrated with the lack of company response to their demands, union leaders say they are ready to go home.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and some bargainers for the Communications Workers of America say they'll walk out at midnight tonight unless they can report substantial progress.
The strike affects 25 million consumers from Maine to Virginia.
The former V-M-I cadet who set a fire in barracks two years ago did it because he was angry.
John Daniel Payne had heard one of his friends was about to be drummed out of the Corps, so he went to a bar in Lexington and started drinking.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=He was angry]
((HE WAS ANGRY BECAUSE HE THOUGHT THAT VMI WAS TREATING ONE OF HIS FRIENDS POORLY. HIS WAY OF EXPRESSING THAT ANGER WAS TO SET A ROOM ON FIRE. WE WERE VERY VERY LUCKY WE DIDN'T HAVE A LOT OF DEAD KIDS. IT COULD HAVE BEEN BAD.))
[OUT Q=have been bad.]
The room was empty, so no one was injured. Cadets managed to put out the fire, though it did about 5-thousand dollars damage.
Payne remains out on bond until he's sentenced in November. The 22-year old V-M-I graduate faces a FIVE year min
imum mandatory sentence for arson.[Indictment]
The indictment against Roanoke Police Officer Fred Pledge has been revised.
Pledge is charged with one count each of Conspiracy and Racketeering.
The new indictment adds seven new acts to the racketeering charge.
Now, Pledge is accused of accepting nearly 18-thousand dollars in cash, as well as guns, drugs and alcohol from known drug dealers.
The original indictment claimed he accepted less than three-thousand in bribes.
[GRAPHIC=Heilig-Meyer Chap. 11]
Heilig-Meyers plans to close stores in Christiansburg, Radford, Martinsville, Collinsville and (Rain-ell) Rainell, West Virginia.
The company has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Jennifer Miele has more on what the move means financially for the company and its customers.
[IN Q=The bankruptcy announcement]
[SUPER=01-Brian Gottstein/Legg Mason; :20]
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co.; :58]
[OUT Q=JM News 7.]
(( The chapter 11 protection will allow Heilig-Meyers to continue operations as it implements a restructuring plan.
70 to 80 percent of the store's sales were financed directly through the company. With so many stores in so many medium-sized markets, the company has had to spend a large amount of money collecting those finance payments.
[IN Q=There have been]
((BRIAN GOTTSTEIN/LEGG MASON: THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF DELINQUENCIES THAT THEY HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING SO THEY'VE HAD TO WRITE A LOT OF THAT OFF. THEY'VE HAD TO SPEND A LOT MORE MONEY ON, FROM WHAT THE RESEARCH SHOWS, ON MARKETING COSTS TO BRING NEW CLIENTS IN.))
[OUT Q=new clients in.]
Some analysts say customers who have furniture financed through the company are at the mercy of the company who buys those debts.
[IN Q=Their debts would]
((BRIAN GOTTSTEIN/LEGG MASON: THEIR DEBTS WOULD BE SOLD TO WHOMEVER THE NEW FINANCIERS ARE, A NEW COMPANY COMING IN AND BUYING THEIR OLD DEBT. THOSE CUSTOMERS WOULD CONTINUE THOSE OBLIGATION, TO A NEW FINANCIER.))
[OUT Q=a new financer.]
Finance restructuring may also be a worry for workers-- Heilig-Meyers employs 16 thousand people in twenty nine states.
[IN Q=one company has]
((ONE COMPANY HAS MADE A COMMITMENT TO BUY MORE THAN TWO MILLION DOLLARS OF CUSTOMER DEBT. NO WORD YET ON HOW THAT WILL EFFECT CUSTOMERS WHO STILL OWE THE COMPANY MONEY. JENNIFER MIELE, NEWS 7.))
[OUT Q=JM News 7.]))
Disturbing news for women who rely on Norplant for birth control--
A Milwaukee newspaper reports the company that makes Norplant is warning doctors NOT to prescribe it.
Some tests apparently found implants shipped after last October were not as effective as expected.
The pharmaceutical company is also recommending women who've had the implants since last Fall use other birth control.
A 23-year-old woman admits she stole thousands of dollars from Kroger, but a judge has not decided whether to find her guilty.
Prosecutors say Kelly Cole stole 71-thousand-dollars in six months from the Kroger store in Salem.
They say she accepted coupons, but put the rebate money in her pocket.
When she was promoted to store clerk, she says she pocketed as much as five-thousand-dollars at a time.
Cole pled no contest today.
A judge will determine her guilt at her sentencing in October because the dollar amount is uncertain.
After tonight, the curtain will close on the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.
[SUPER=203-Los Angeles, CA;]
But on this final night, it will be Al Gore's turn in the spotlight as he accepts the Presidential nomination.
En route to L-A on Air Force Two, Gore spoke about the hours of writing and editing his acceptance speech.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT on 11:30 okita pkg ]
[IN Q=I've gotten advice]
((AL GORE/D- PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'VE GOTTEN ADVICE FROM LOTS OF PEOPLE, BUT THIS IS A SPEECH THAT I HAVE WRITTEN, AND I WILL DESERVE THE CREDIT OR THE BLAME.))
[SUPER=201-Al Gore/(D) Presidential Candidate;]
[OUT Q=or the blame]
Last night, Gore's running mate, Joseph Lieberman showed his more personal and humorous side in his acceptance speech.
Lieberman also hammered home his party's message of expanded health care coverage, environmental protection and campaign finance reform.
Senator Chuck Robb spent some time as a speaker for the convention.
[SUPER=203-Los Angeles, CA]
He spoke for about five minutes last night, saying he was addressing skeptics who wonder if voting in the election really matters.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=If you care...]
((SENATOR CHUCK ROBB: IF YOU CARE ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS, IF YOU CARE ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS, IF YOU CARE ABOUT REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, IF YOU CARE ABOUT WORKERS RIGHTS, EQUAL RIGHTS, VOTING RIGHTS...IT MATTERS.))
[SUPER=201-Chuck Robb/(D) U. S. Senate Candidate]
[OUT Q=it matters.]
Robb also addressed budget deficit reduction by Democrats over the past eight years - saying electing Al Gore means continued progress.
An elderly Wythe County man was rescued by his mailman, after being trapped for three day under his outhouse.
76-year old Coolidge (WINE-set) Winesett was rescued from the outdoor toilet yesterday after his mailman came looking for him.
He'd been trapped since Saturday when he fell five feet through the floor into some sludge.
Authorities say he's doing well.
An abandoned building went up in flames.
The fire broke out at the old store near the corner of Jennings and McFalls Creek roads yesterday afternoon in Botetourt County.
The structure was built around 1940 but has been vacant for two or three years.
Firefighters do not yet know how it started.
A tractor-trailer driver faces several charges after he led state police on a high speed chase through three counties..
It started in Botetourt County yesterday afternoon when a trooper tried to stop the truck.
Troopers deployed several tire-deflation strips in Botetourt and Rockbridge Counties, but they didn't stop rig.
Finally, troopers at the Rockbridge-Augusta County line shot out the radiator and the truck came to a stop.
The driver-- Thomas J. (Lee-man) Lehman of Oklahoma-- was arrested without incident.
He's charged with felony assault, attempt to elude and reckless driving.
They're making money in Colombia-- and LOTS of it.
Colombian authorities claim they've uncovered the largest money counterfeiting ring in the world.
Police took 10 men into custody yesterday, and authorities say they've seized three counterfeiting machines.
Officials say the counterfeiters have already produced 40- million U-S dollars worth of fake bills, which have been distributed throughout the U-S and Europe.
The bust came after a two year special police investigation.
Some local educators are learning about school safety before the new school year begins.
That was the topic of a "day- long" seminar yesterday for teachers and administrators sponsored by the Bedford County sheriff's department.
Authorities say they've prepared tactical response plans in the event of a crisis at any of the county's public schools.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We know where]
((SGT. MIKE MILLER/BEDFORD CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT.: WE KNOW WHERE WE'RE GOING TO BLOCK THE STREETS AND WHERE THE LIFESAVING CREWS ARE GOING AND DIFFERENT THINGS LIKE THAT, SO OUR EVACUATION PROCEDURE IS IN PLACE JUST IN CASE.. SO WE HOPE IT NEVER HAPPENS.))
[SUPER=01-Sgt. Mike Miller/Bedford Co. Sheriff's Dept.]
[OUT Q=it never happens.]
The plans include the blueprints and aerial photos of each building.
In the meantime, more school resource officers are being deployed in each of the county's middle and high schools.
A local group hopes to open a new graduate and research school in Southside.
The "Future of the Piedmont Foundation" is helping to establish the school....called the Dan River Institute.
It's a joint effort between Virginia Tech, Averett College, and Danville Community College.
A Multi Media Service Access Point or M-SAP will also be created to provide high speed internet service at low costs.
Business officials say it will be more advanced than the best equipped cities in the country.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=You may do ]
((PETE CASTIGLIONE/DANVILLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: YOU MAY DO THIS EVERY 200 YEARS. WE SURVIVED WITH THE TOBACCO AND TEXTILE FOR YEARS BUT WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO DO THAT.))
((SENATOR CHARLES HAWKINS/(R) CHATHAM: WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY. IT IS BASICALLY US BECAUSE WE ARE COMPLACENT. IF WE DON'T SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY WE'LL GET OLDER AND POORER AND OUR CHILDREN WILL VISIT US ON OCCASIONS.))
[SUPER=01-Pete Castiglione/Danville Community College;]
[OUT Q=on occasions.]
If all goes according to plan, the institute and the high speed internet service will be up and running in a year.
A tobacco farmer in Pittsylvania County is looking to the future.
He's the first in Virginia to grow the new kind of tobacco used in biomedical research.
(///// SOT /////)
((NAT SOT OF JOE WILLIAMS TALKING TO CROPTECH WOMAN))
Joe Williams is raising a quarter acre of the Oriental tobacco that researchers say will be a medical and financial cure.
He can grow more of these plants per acre -- at a cheaper cost.
And he can harvest this type of tobacco with a machine, rather than pay scarce workers to pull each leaf by hand.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It'd be]
((JOE WILLIAMS/FARMER: IT'D BE A GREAT BENEFIT. THE LESS LABOR YOU HAVE THE LESS EXPENSE YOU HAVE AND THAT'S PART OF OUR PROBLEM NOW. OUR LABOR COSTS CONTINUE TO INCREASE WHILE OUR QUOTA DECREASES.))
[OUT Q=quota decreases]
Researchers say the challenge is that this crop is more susceptible to disease and pests.
They say within three years, they'll start building processing plants, which will produce new jobs.