[HEADLINES]

[TALENT=Kimberly]

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[VO-NAT]


A plane was hijacked this morning as it flew out of Cuba.
Officials say at least 14 people were on board.
We'll have the latest.
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[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


And a manhunt is on for an inmate who escaped from the Bath County jail last night.
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[TALENT=Jacey]
[SS=None]


Rains continue today... although not as heavy as last night... and these showers are quickly clearing as they head to the north. The weather forecast is next.
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[SS=None]


All that coming up on News 7 at noon.

[Video-Open]


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


The Coast Guard is headed to the site where a hijacked Cuban plane is believed to have landed in international waters.
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[Cuban-Plane]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kor]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Hijacking]


Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
The Coast Guard is rushing to the spot where a hijacked plane is reported down in the Florida Straits between the U-S and Cuba.
Officials say the Russian-made float plane is believed to be carrying at least 14 people.
An authority with the local aviation department says the plane left Cuba at around 9-30 this morning.
It apparently disappeared from U-S radar shortly before 11.
Officials say there was also no voice contact from the aircraft.
The Coast Guard, meanwhile, is sending all available crews to the area.
Lee Cowan joins us now from CBS's Washington D-C bureau with an update on the situation.
[Live=Cowan Full/Microwave]
[SUPER=01-Lee Cowan/Reporting]
[SUPER=05-Washington, DC]
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[Live=Cowan Full/Newspath]
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[Tire-Recall]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


The road is still rocky for tires on S-U-V's....
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC;]


Today tiremaker Continental General and Ford will announce a recall of 16- inch tires on thousands of Lincoln Navigators.
Sources say pieces of tread fell off the tires, which were standard equipment on the S-U-V's.
Ford and Continental said last week they were investigating reports from Saudi Arabia about problems involving the tires.
But both companies say there are NO reports of deaths or serious injuries.
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[Inmate-Escape]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kor]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=Jail Break]


The search is on for an inmate who escaped from the Bath County jail last night.
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[VO-NAT]


Authorities say his name is Marvin Jackson. He's described as a 25 year old white male, five feet ..six inches tall with blue eyes and brownish blond hair. He weighs approximately 130 pounds. Jackson was wearing an orange shirt and possibly gray pants when he left the jail.
If you have any information call the Bath County Sheriff's Office at 540-839-2375.
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[Motel-Robberies]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mce]
[TAPE#=00-31 TC44:03]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A man has been arrested in connection with a Roanoke motel robbery earlier this month.
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[VO-NAT @ 00-28; TC 1:26:06]

Roanoke police issued a warrant for the arrest of 44-year-old Ronnie Lee Cooper after he was identified on this security videotape- allegedly robbing an Extended Stay America. Police think Cooper fled Virginia after information about the warrants was released.
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[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[SS=None]

Cooper was arrested Sunday in Atlantic County, New Jersey. He's charged there with being a fugitive from justice. Extradition procedures are under way.

[Bird]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#00-35 TC31:31]
[GRAPHIC=Murder Invest.]


Three people have been arrested by Myrtle Beach authorities and charged with the murder of a Roanoke man.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Myrtle Beach, SC/Last Tuesday;]


A housekeeper found the body of 50-year old John Milton Bird inside his Myrtle Beach hotel room last Tuesday.
He had been stabbed to death.
Authorities have charged Amanda Rankin, Jeremy Chad Shaw and Douglas Hooper with murder.
All three are from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Investigators say the three were in Bird's hotel room late Monday night.
Police say after the three left... they went back to their own motel, grabbed their belongings and left before signing out.
They three were arrested in Charlotte.
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[Airport]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mce]
[TAPE#=00-34]
[GRAPHIC=Regional Airport]

The Roanoke Regional Airport stacks up well compared to similar- sized airports. That's according to aviation analysts.
However there is one exception... higher than average airfares. Meredyth Censullo reports, researchers say the key to lowering ticket prices for flights into and out of the Star City is up to economic development.
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[IN Q=Passenger traffic...]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; :00]
[SUPER=01-Michael Boyd/The Boyd Group President; :18]
[SUPER=01-Jay Turner/Airport Commission; :46]
[SUPER=@Meredyth1;1:18]
[RUNS=1:33]
[OUT Q=mce, New7, Roanoke.]

(( Passenger traffic in and out of Roanoke has grown consistently for the past 38 months. But even more folks might pack their bags, if fares were lower. Researchers say some frequent flyers choose to drive to other airports to catch a cheaper flight.
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[SOT @ 21:39:45 - 21:40:01]
[IN Q=In terms of..]

((MICHAEL BOYD/THE BOYD GROUP: IN TERMS OF ACCESS, IT'S VERY GOOD. IN TERMS OF FARES, ITS NOT AS LOW FARE AS SOME FARES FROM GREENSBORO...BUT OVERALL, WHEN YOU LOOK AT OTHER COMMUNITIES OF THIS SIZE, IF YOU WANNA LIVE IN COMMUNITIES OF THIS SIZE AND GET THE BENEFITS OF THAT, THERE'S CERTAIN TRADEOFFS - THAT'S ONE OF THEM.)) [RUNS16]
[OUT Q=one of them.]



The study says local economic development could entice airlines to increase flights in and out of the airport. The more competition, the lower the airfare - which in turn can strengthen the local economy.

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[SOT @ 21:35:22 - 21:35:36]
[IN Q=The more opportunities...]

((JAY TURNER/AIRPORT COMMISSION: THE MORE OPPORTUNITIES AND THE MORE COMPETITIVE THE AIRFARES ARE, THE EASIER IT IS FOR THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PEOPLE TO ATTRACT NEW BUSINESS INTO ROANOKE BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY CAN GET IN AND OUT EASILY AND ALSO ENJOY THE QUALITY OF LIFE WE HAVE HERE.)) [RUNS14]
[OUT Q=have here.]


A strength of the airport is it's direct access to major hubs - such as Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and Atlanta. [map goes here] And the number of direct flights could be increasing within three to five years, with the possible addition of flights to Memphis, St. Louis, Raleigh and Cleveland. Along with an increase in departures, the study predicts more small jets might begin touching down in Roanoke in the future - which could help lessen the impact of the proposed merger between USAirways and United. Meredyth Censullo, News7, Roanoke.))

[Minor-Council]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=12]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=00-36]
[GRAPHIC=none]


On the day after a group of black Roanokers demanded an investigation of the Roanoke Police Department, Mayor Ralph Smith says he's confident the city manager and the chief of police will conduct a thorough review.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Saturday]


Over the weekend, the local chapter of the N-Double A C-P called for an investigation of the motorcycle accident that killed 31- year- old James Minor... Police had pursued Minor in the moments before the accident.
Last night, speakers demanded that city council investigate... but Smith says it's appropriate for the city administration to review the concerns.
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[SOT 27:43]
[IN Q=I am confident]
[SUPER=01-Ralph Smith/Roanoke Mayor]
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[OUT Q=in response to their complaints.]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[GRAPHIC=]


Vice Mayor Bill Carder also supports the city manager's review of the situation, but says quoting now... "we will find out the truth."

[Pakistan-Bombing]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Non]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Explosion]


A terrorist bomb killed 16 people in a Pakistani marketplace early this morning.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Islamabad, Pakistan;]


At least 80 others were injured.
It was the 40th bombing in Pakistan so far this year, and it was also the deadliest.
No one has accepted responsibility.
Pakistan's military ruler calls the bombing an act of terrorism.
In the past Pakistan has blamed India for such incidents-- but not this one.
Meanwhile, India denies any involvement.
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[Russian-Sub]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Russia's president has decided to go ahead with the recovery of 118 crewmen who died aboard a sunken nuclear submarine.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Moscow, Russia;]


A top Russian official says the navy will prepare for the un- precedented operation, despite the risks.
Authorities say Putin decided to raise the submarine after meeting with relatives of the sailors who died in the accident.
Raising the sub will also allow for a detailed investigation into the cause.
The recovery operation will start in early October and is expected to run through November.
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[Rail-Trail]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=tte]
[TAPE#=00-28 TC1:37:16]
[GRAPHIC=None]

A proposed biking, hiking and horseback riding trail along Craig Creek is being met with some resistance from residents.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Craig Co.;]

The trail would cover 26 miles of abandoned railroad track from Eagle Rock to New Castle. It would cost an estimated two to three million dollars, including picnic tables, portapotties and horse stalls.
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[SOT 9:48:07]
[IN Q=All amenities]

((BOB PRICE/TRAIL OPPONENT: ALL AMENITIES SHOULD BE ANCHORED SECURELY TO DISCOURAGE THEFT AND OR VANDALISM. NOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT WITH ALL OF OUR PROPERTY TOO -- TIE IT UP, LOCK IT UP?))
[SUPER=01-Bob Price/Trail Opponent;]
[RUNS=:11]
[OUT Q=lock it up]
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[VO-NAT]

About 40 residents say these narrow roads are too dangerous for cars, let alone hikers and bikers. Developers would block portions of the trail to car traffic -- and allow only property-owners to drive on other parts.
Planners say the trail would boost tourism. The public can comment at a meeting October 5th at Craig County High School.
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[Fitzpatrick]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=00-33 TC46:50]
[GRAPHIC=Bev Fitzpatrick]


A former Roanoke judge was remembered for his public service and his personal compassion yesterday. Beverly Fitzpatrick Senior served as a judge for more than 25 years. Even after he retired, he continued as a civic leader.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Mourners filled the sanctuary, chapel and fellowship hall of Second Presbyterian Church... where they honored his service to the court and the community.
[Super=04-File Tape]


Twenty years after Fitzpatrick's retirement from the bench, colleagues say his presence is still felt in the Roanoke City Courthouse.
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[SOT]
[IN Q=What did he do as a judge]

((WHAT DID HE DO AS A JUDGE? IT IS PRETTY SIMPLE. HE LISTENED PATIENTLY AND DECIDED WISELY. HE APPLIED HUMOR AND COMMON SENSE. THE WORD SOLOMONIC IS PROBABLY OVERUSED. HE WAS AS MUCH OF A SOLOMON AS A JUDGE AS ANY OF US WILL EVER KNOW.))


[SUPER=01-Clifford Weckstein/Circuit Court Judge]
[RUNS=:20]
[OUT Q=as any of us will ever know.]
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[VO-NAT]


Fitzpatrick's public life and professional accomplishments are well-known... chief judge of the General District Court, and a leader of the effort to renovate Jefferson High School.
He was also remembered as a man of strong faith, integrity, and compassion.
(----------------)



[Olympic-Hijack]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Sydney 2000]


A hijacking today near the Olympics--
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Sydney, Australia;]


Two escaped convicts hijacked a van carrying four members of South Korea's Olympic delegation.
Prison officials say a guard wrestled with two convicts long enough to allow the four victims to get free.
They were all treated for shock after the incident, including one victim who is pregnant.
Afterward, the convicts abandoned the stolen vehicle and fled on foot.
Authorities recovered the van, but the prison escapees are still at large.
(------------)


[Cat-Man]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=00-29 TC1:35:36]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A Blacksburg man says caring for homeless cats has cost him his own home.
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[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg;]


Dick Cupp, a 60-year-old artist, was evicted from his McDonald Street apartment.
Cupp feeds and cares for more than 30 stray cats.
They live outside his apartment complex.
Cupp was evicted for being late on his rent, but he says the company told him the cats were the problem.
He says he'll take them with him ... and try to find some new homes.
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[SOT 22:14 - :19]
[IN Q=They're therapy]

((DICK CUPP/CAT LOVER: THEY'RE THERAPY. EVERYBODY SAYS THAT I'M GOOD WITH CATS. ACTUALLY, THE CATS ARE GOOD WITH ME.))
[SUPER=01-Dick Cupp/Cat Lover;]
[RUNS=:05]
[OUT Q=good with me.]
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[VO-NAT]


Cupp says most cats were abandoned by college students.
Both the town of Blacksburg and Montgomery County have no place for homeless cats and no laws on how many people can have. You can contact Cupp if you're interested in adopting one of the homeless kitties. (------------)