[HEADLINES]

[TALENT=Kimberly]

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[VO-NAT]


Coming up on News 7--
The President of Bridgestone says Firestone tires are mis- used, NOT defective as many people claim.
are saying.
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[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


And state lawmakers will visit Martinsville this weekend to see how the area is dealing with recent job losses in the textile industry.
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[TALENT=Jacey]
[SS=None]

Sunny skies may turn grey later on today and we are expecting a chance for some rain. Your complete weather forecast is straight ahead.
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[SS=None]


Hope you'll stick around -- News 7 at noon is next.

[Video-Open]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]
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[VO-NAT]


No apologies, instead, ACCUSATIONS from the president of Firestone's parent company.
He says there's nothing wrong with Firestone tires...
(------------)


[Firestone]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Firestone Recall]


Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
More finger pointing today in the Firestone tire recall.
But this time the president of parent company Bridgestone is blaming the tire USERS, not the tires for the company's troubles.
Barry Petersen has the story from Tokyo.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=04-File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=03-Tokyo, Japan; :10]
[SUPER=01-Barry Petersen/Reporting; :26]
[RUNS=:51]
[OUT Q=Petersen, CBS News, Tokyo.]

((
(File -- Firestone/replacing trisect)

As firestone struggles to meet the demand for new tires...the president of its Japanese parent company - Bridgestone - was unrepentant today about any problems with his product.

(Super: Tokyo, Japan)
(SOT: JAPANESE/barry narrates)

Our analysis of the failed tires, said Yoichiro Kaizaki in his first public reaction to the recall, showed failures caused by road damage...improper maintenance...or low tire pressure.

(Inspecting blown out tires/etc)

Bridgestone insists that complaints from consumers, a usual trigger for problems that can lead to recalls, were no higher for the model tires involved than normal industry standards.
(Wrecked car)

What prompted Firestones action, he said, were the growing number of lawsuits triggered by accidents..and publicity surrounding possible defects.
Bottom line...said the Bridgestone president...in our view the tire is not defective...its the way people are using, or misusing it thats caused the problem. Bp, cbs news, tokyo ))

[M'Ville-Visit]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Several state lawmakers will be making a road trip to Martinsville this weekend.
The House of Delegates Appropriations Committee wants to see how the area is coping with recent textile job losses.

The committee will hold a meeting at Patrick Henry Community College and visit several other businesses Sunday and Monday.
The committee will focus on workforce development west of the "Golden Crescent'' of Virginia.






[Botetourt-Body]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=tte]
[TAPE#=None]
[GRAPHIC=None]

The state medical examiner says a man found floating in the James River this weekend drowned, with no foul play suspected. He has identified the body but will not release the man's name until notifying the family. Several fisherman discovered the body of a white male about 20 feet from the bank near Arcadia Saturday. The sheriff says people living in the area helped identify the body because no missing person's report had been filed.



[Bateman]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=jmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Virginia congressman Herb Bateman died today.
The man who represented the Tidewater area in the House of Representatives for 18 years collapsed during a visit to Loudon County.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Newport News/January;]


The 72-year-old Republican announced earlier this year that he would leave Congress at the end of his current term, because of his health problems.
He'd suffered from prostate cancer, and heart trouble.
(------------)
[Anchor=Kimberly]
[SS=None]


Bateman's seat will go to either Republican Jo Ann Davis or Democrat Lawrence Davies. [Barnabei-DNA]


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

Derek Barnabei is scheduled to die Thursday for the 19-93 rape and murder of a Lynchburg teenager. A top aide to Governor Gilmore says genetic evidence that could stop the execution may have been compromised.
(------------)
[VO-NAT@00-36 TC 17:38]
[SUPER=03-Norfolk/File Tape]

Friday, Gilmore ordered D-N-A testing of Sarah Wisnosky's fingernail clippings. Counsel for the governor says that evidence was NOT tampered with, but a separate evidence container may have been opened slightly.
(------------)
[anchor=Kimberly]
[ss=none]

It contained a vaginal swab from the victim. Both pieces of evidence disappeared from a storage area in Norfolk, but were later found.




[Vandals-Update]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kwe]
[TAPE#=00-24;TC 1:25:37]
[GRAPHIC=None]

Roanoke Police are still investigating the vandalism of more than two dozens cars early Friday morning.
(------------)
[VO-NAT 00-32 40:36]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Friday]

Many residents in Southwest and Southeast Roanoke woke up to find their car windows smashed in and their valuables inside gone.
So far officials have not released any information regarding who might be responsible.
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[Olympics]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Olympic Rings]


It seems the Olympics sometimes prompts very UN-sportsmanlike conduct.
But an old Olympic competitor has apparently developed a conscience.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Sydney, Australia;]


80 YEARS after he stole a flag from the 1920 Olympic games, 103- year- old Harry Priest returned it to the International Olympic Commitee.
The former high diver had stolen the flag after winning a bronze medal.
Now, Priest says he doesn't need it anymore...
[SUPER=03-Kiama, Australia;]


Meanwhile, a spectator tried to steal the Olympic torch last night.
It was the latest in a series of attempts to capture the torch, as it makes its way to Sydney for opening ceremonies on Friday.
(------------)


[Space-walk]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Space Shuttle]


An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut spent more than six hours floating in space, and NASA says the space walk couldn't have gone more smoothly.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Edward Lu and Yuri Malenchenko managed to finish the spacewalk about 16 minutes ahead of schedule.
But it was grueling...
They had to climb hand-over-hand through difficult obstacles to lay cable and install a boom for a navigational compass.
The mission took crewmembers more than 100 feet from the space shuttle Atlantis' cargo bay.
It's also a record-- the longest tethered space walk in NASA's history.
(------------)


[OPEC]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=gas Prices]


The OPEC agreement is now official--
Members ratified yesterday's vote to pump more oil.
But higher production may not necessarily mean lower costs for consumers.
Richard Roth reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-London, England; :00]
[SUPER=01-Peter Ginoux/Solomon Smith Barney; :33]
[SUPER=04-File Tape; :41]
[SUPER=01-Richard Roth/Reporting; :57]
[RUNS=1:06]
[OUT Q=Roth, CBS News, London.]

(( Super: London, UK/Today)
(london commodity market)

NARR: OIL PRICES WERE FALLING ON MARKETS IN ASIA AND EUROPE TODAY, BUT IT WASN'T REALLY MUCH TO SHOUT ABOUT: AN EARLY DROP OF LESS THAN TWO DOLLARS A BARREL, WHICH COULD ADD UP TO A SAVINGS OF ALMOST FIVE CENTS A GALLON AT THE PUMP. BUT A PRICE DROP LIKE THAT'S NOT CERTAIN AND IT WON'T BE SOON.

(open meeting)

OPEC'S DECISION, MADE FORMAL TODAY, IS TO BOOST OIL PRODUCTION BY 800-THOUSAND BARRELS A DAY, STARTING IN OCTOBER. ANALYSTS SAY IT MAY BE ENOUGH TO SLOW THE RISE IN PRICES, BUT IT WON'T MEAN A BIG ROLL-BACK.

SOT: peter ginoux, Oil Analyst Solomon Smith Barney


03 40 further opec crude on the market should help build u-s crude inventories, not going to immediately help the heating oil problem though. 03 48

(refinery, oil production file)

NARR: IN THE U-S, EXPERTS SAY HOMEOWNERS HOPING FOR RELIEF FROM THE SOARING PRICE OF HEATING OIL, SHOULD BE HOPING FOR A WARM WINTER.

(euro demonstrations - UK blockade, liverpool taxi drivers??)

NARR: IN EUROPE, WHERE HIGH PRICES ARE FUELING ANGRY PROTESTS, CONSUMERS NOW ARE CALLING FOR A CUT TAXES ON OIL PRODUCTS.
ROTH O/C CLOSE: MOST GOVERNMENTS ARE SAYING OPEC'S TAKEN A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. BUT NO-ONE'S CALLING IT A GIANT STEP. RICHARD ROTH CBS NEWS LONDON )

[Parkway-Ax]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mce]
[TAPE#=00-23; TC 1:57:15]
[GRAPHIC=Accident]


An motorcycle accident on the Blue Ridge Parkway sent five people to the hospital.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co.]

It happened around four yesterday in Bedford County. Investigators say they aren't sure why the three bikes crashed. One man taken by helicopter to a Charlottesville hospital. Four other people were taken by ambulance to a local hospital. The extent of their injuries isn't known.
(------------)


[Union-Anniversary]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kwe]
[TAPE#=00-30;TC1:24:10]
[GRAPHIC=Rubatex]


The contract dispute between Rubatex and its union began one year ago.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Bedford]


Yesterday, the Local 240 held a picnic at Liberty Lake Park to thank the community and retirees of the company for standing behind them over the past year.
Even though Rubatex workers are back on the job, they say their new contract is not what the union wanted.
But the Union's President says the whole experience has brought everyone closer together.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 2:07:04]
[IN Q=it's something]

((RICHARD WALKER/UNION PRES.: IT'S SOMETHING WE DON'T WANT TO GO THROUGH AGAIN BUT WE FACED IT AND WE DID THE BEST WE COULD AND WE BELIEVE WE OVERCAME OUR OBSTACLES.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Walker/Local 240 President]
[RUNS=11]
[OUT Q=our obstacles.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

John Boyd, the Democratic candidate running in the 5-th district was also on hand in support of the workers.
(------------)






[Youth-Rally]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kwe]
[TAPE#=00-36;TC 20:25]
[GRAPHIC=None]

L.A. Laker A-C Green spent some time on a basketball court this weekend in Lynchburg. But it wasn't to play ball. Green talked to hundreds of young people about Christianity. Kate Weidaw caught up him with yesterday.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=It's Sunday]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg;:00]
[SUPER=01-A. C. Green/L. A. Lakers;:26]
[SUPER=01-Shannon Taber/Lynchburg Christian Academy;:50]
[SUPER=01-Barry Rice/Thomas Road Baptist Church;1:07]
[SUPER=01-Ronnie Lee Durrette/Amherst High School;1:18]
[SUPER=@Kate2;1:24]
[RUNS=1:32]
[OUT Q=kw news7 Lynchburg]


((It's Sunday morning, so why are 900 young people at Heritage High School in Lynchburg?
[NAT SOUND DUNK CONTEST]
[RUNS= 5]


Well they are here to see basketball but not the local stars, it's A-C Green who's attracting a crowd. But he's not here to perform the skills that have made him a star instead he's sending a message to young people.

[SOT 5:23:51]
[INQ=]

((AC GREEN: JUST MAKE GOOD DECISIONS IS COMES IN SO MANY AREAS OF LIFE BUT IT IS REALLY TRYING TO HELP THEM THINK ABOUT THINGS BEFORE THEY DO THEM.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 5]


Things like having sex before you're married and other pure pressures that come with being an adolescent. Green says he became a Christian when he was 17 and has abstained from having sex his entire life. The basketball star hopes others will follow in his footsteps, but teenagers say that can be hard to do.

[SOT 2:22:34]
[INQ=]

((SHANNON TABER/11TH LYNCHBURG CHRISTIAN ACADEMY: SOMETIMES IT'S REALLY HARD TO BE A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE EVERYONE IS PRESSURING YOU TO DO DIFFERENT THINGS LIKE DRINK AND SMOKE AND DO DRUGS.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 10]


Ministers at the Thomas Road Baptist Church put this youth rally together and hope the young people leave with more then just the prizes like bikes and basketballs.

[SOT 2:24:24]
[INQ=]

((BARRY RICE/MIDDLE SCHOOL PASTOR THOMAS ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH: WE'RE HOPING THE KIDS TAKE AWAY FROM THIS THAT THEY CAN LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS AND THERE IS A GOD THAT LIVES AND WANTS TO KNOW THEM PERSONALLY.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 7]


And it seems the kids are listening.

[SOT 5:48:29]
[INQ=]

((RONNIE LEE DURRETTE: I'VE BEEN TRYING TO BE A CHRISTIAN FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS AND I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET RIGHT, THAT'S WHY I CAME.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 5]


And the rally will be back in March to encourage more young people to do the right thing. Kate Weidaw News 7 Lynchburg.))