N-R-A President and actor Charlton Heston rallies in Roanoke.
He takes aim against Al Gore.
We'll hear from him, up next.
And a hearing in Washington on WHY the U-S-S Cole was docked in such a dangerous port.
Nature continues to put on a grand show. Fall colors are bright and so is the sunshine. Forecast details in just a few minutes.
Stay tuned-- News 7 at noon is next.
[IN Q=This isn't the]
((CHARLTON HESTON: THIS ISN'T THE NRA, THIS IS FREEDOM BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE.))
[OUT Q=everything else.]
N-R-A leaders shoot holes in Al Gore's campaign promises.
National Rifle Association activist and actor Charlton Heston led a rally at the Hotel Roanoke this morning.
Heston says election 2000 will determine the future of gun control in America.
Jennifer Miele was at the rally.
Kim, Heston's spokespeople said he will endorse George W. Bush but will not take a stance on the Robb-Allen race.
However, Heston did exactly that today.
He encouraged N-R-A members to vote for George Allen because of Allen's anti-gun control stance.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Nat Sound]
[SUPER=01-Charlton Heston/NRA President]
[SUPER=01-Code Sizemore/Gun Control Supporter]
[OUT Q=aren't blowing smoke]
More than 200 members of the National Rifle Association gathered at Hotel Roanoke to hear Heston speak.
He fired away about Al Gore.
[IN Q=If Mr. Gore had]
((CHARLTON HESTON: IF MR. GORE HAD THE GUTS OF A GUPPY, HE WOULD SAY YOU KNOW, I MADE A MISTAKE AND I SHOULD HAVE SAID MY TRUE FEELINGS. WE WOULDN'T HAVE AGREED WITH THAT BUT AT LEAST WE COULD ACCEPT IT AS HIS OPINION.))
[OUT Q=as his opinion.]
Heston says legislators need to be tougher on criminals who use guns -- a sentiment that millions of moms agree with.
[IN Q=I don't]
((CODE SIZEMORE: I DON'T THINK WHILE MY CHILDREN ARE SMALL THERE WILL EVER BE A GUN IN THE HOUSE.))
[OUT Q=in the house.]
Code Sizemore lead 75 Roanokers to the Million Mom March in Washington.
Sizemore says more needs to be done about gun safety.
[IN Q=With right and]
((CORE SIZEMORE: WITH RIGHT AND PRIVILEGE COMES RESPONSIBILITY. THERE HAVE TO BE SOME SORT OF REGULATIONS TO MAKE IT SAFER SO THAT THERE AREN'T TRAGEDIES WHERE PEOPLE GET KILLED.))
[OUT Q=get killed.]
N-R-A members say Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri are states where anti-gun control candidates NEED to win. With nearly five million members nationwide, the N-R-A says they aren't blowing smoke.))
Special interest groups like the N-R-A are pouring money into the November elections.
Coming up on News 7 tonight at 5 and 6.
we'll here what candidates have to say about that money.
The Armed Services committee is holding a hearing in Washington about the attack on the U-S-S Cole.
One thing committee members want to know is why the U-S-S Cole was docked in the port of a nation, long suspected of harboring terrorists.
Lee Cowan has the latest on the investigation.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Sen. Pat Roberts/(R) Kansas;]
[SUPER=01-Anthony Zinni/Retired Navy General;]
[OUT Q=Cowan, CBS News, Washington. ]
Amid a flurry of fact and fiction surrounding the attack of the
USS Cole, Congress today opened its own probe to figure out what went
(SOT/SEN. PAT ROBERTS R-KS 10:03:16)
"I am concerned about the efforts to protect the ship prior to placing
it in a very vulnerable position in a harbor of a nation we know to be
the crossroads of terrorism."
There are allegations of the ship was docked to hastily..and that
intelligence reports ignored warnings that US ships could be a target.
Gen Anthony Zinni defended the decision to use Aden as a refueling
stop -- saying it was the best option.
(SOT/GEN. ANTHONY ZINNI, US CENTRAL COMMAND (RETIRED) 10:25:48)
"Aden never had a specific terrorist threat, all the other ports that
have been mentioned here that we should have considered as options, have
had specific terroists threats."
The hearing comes as the Pentagon launches it's own investigation
into the attack -- separate from the FBI probe already underway.
In Aden, FBI Director Louis Freeh says he is a long way from
identifiying suspects, but there have been some promising leads --
including the detention of a 12 year old boy who may have seen the
bombers when he was paid to guard the boat that carried the bomb.
Yemeni officials are also cooperating -- focusing in on an
apartment and a welding shop the bomb makers may have used, and have
seized a car and trailor belived to have brought the suicide boat into
(COWAN ON CAM:)
"The recovery operation continues this noon as well -- while the bodies
of two more sailors were recovered from the wreckage inside the Cole
yesterday -- there are still four bodies trapped. Lee Cowan, CBS News,
The funeral for a Pittsylvania County native who died aboard the U-S-S Cole will be held this weekend.
Timothy Lamont Saunders was one of 17 sailors killed in the bombing.
39 others were injured and 240 were left behind to save their crippled ship.
President Clinton and the U-S military paid tribute to them yesterday at Norfolk Naval Station, the home port of the U-S-S Cole.
More than one hundred family members of Timothy Lamont Saunders attended.
The wife, daughters, parents, and sister of Pittsylvania County's fallen hero even got a semi-private audience with the President.
His cousins talked to us about their memories of "Tim."
[SOT tape one 10:03:35]
[IN Q=He was a good]
((KELVIN CAPLE/SAUNDERS' COUSIN: HE WAS A GOOD PERSON. HE WAS A STRONG PERSON. DIDN'T EVER LET HIS EMOTIONS OUT... GOOD MAN. GOOD MAN.))
[SUPER=01-Kelvin Caple/Saunders' Cousin;]
[OUT Q=good man. DOUBLE OUT!]
Colonel Olin Saunders is thinking NOT just of his cousin, but of what his death means in a dangerous world.
[SOT TAPE TWO 10:59:47]
[IN Q=People who]
((COL. OLIN SAUNDERS/SAUNDERS' COUSIN: PEOPLE WHO CHOSE THIS METHOD... KNOW OUR WEAKNESSES... BUT WE'VE GOT TO DO BETTER AND I THINK WE WILL DO BETTER.))11
[sot TAPE ONE 10:05:29 ]
((JOYCE WATKINS/SAUNDERS' COUSIN: IT'S STILL LIKE AN OPEN BOOK TO US THAT WE HAVE NO BODY OR ANYTHING TO SEE. AND I THINK THAT IF WE HAD A BODY THAT WE COULD SEE IT WOULD BE A CLOSED CHAPTER.))
[SUPER=01-Col. Olin Saunders/Saunders' Cousin; :00]
[SUPER=01-Joyce Watkins/Saunders' Cousin; :12]
[OUT Q=closed chapter.]
Speaker after speaker at yesterday's memorial service vowed the last chapter in the bombing would be hunting down the terrorists and bringing them to justice.
The Saunders family expects Timothy Saunders' remains to be returned to the Danville area before tomorrow night's memorial service in Chatham.
A funeral has been scheduled for Saturday in Ringgold.
A meat-packing company is recalling about 47-thousand pounds of ground beef sold in Virginia and seven other states.
There is a chance the meat could be contaminated with a strain of E-coli bacteria .. but no illnesses have been reported.
The recalled ground beef is sold under the "Laura's Lean Beef" label.
[TAPE#=00-39 TC 42:24]
Virginia Tech is offering meningitis and flu shot vaccinations today for students.
Especially those who live in the dorms.
[SUPER=03-Virginia Tech/File Tape]
The University's health center is sponsoring an immunization program for students.
The cost - 75 dollars for the meningitis shot and 10 dollars for the flu shot.
The health center will also offer the first dose of the Hepatitis B Shot for 45 dollars.
The immunizations will take place in the Squires Student Center, in the Commonwealth Ballroom from 11 am to 7 pm.
Last school year four local college students contracted meningitis, 3 at Radford, and 1 at Virginia Tech.
A regulation allowing foster parents to spank, hit or shake children in a "non abusive" way has been delayed.
The State Board of Social Services voted yesterday that the issue warranted further review by an ad hoc committee.
The regulation, which permits punishment including hitting, pinching and binding of children that is QUOTE "not abusive," WOULD have gone into effect next month.
Now, it's delayed until July 2001, after the committee has made its recommendation.
Children's advocacy groups say they're pleased with the board's decision.
A deadline for peace...at least, a deadline to end the violence in the Middle East that's claimed more than 100 lives in recent weeks.
Israel has opened several border crossings in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as part of this week's cease-fire agreement made at the Egyptian summit.
But the Palestinian territories are still sealed off from Israel.
Fresh violence is threatening to undermine the agreement, though.
Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths are still exchanging fire, despite tomorrow's deadline for calm.
A suicide bomber killed HIMSELF, and injured 23 others, including three American women in Sri Lanka.
[SUPER=03-Colombo, Sri Lanka;]
The bomb went off about a mile from the home of Sri Lanka's president, just before her new Cabinet was to be sworn in.
Officials say the bomber triggered explosives wrapped on his body after a confrontation with police.
A hospital official says two of
the American women received minor injuries, but the third had a serious chest wound.
The Sri Lankan government is at war against a rebel group, which is often accused of bombings in the capital.
A Vinton women has been found not guity of felony child neglect in the case of a 2-year-old who died while in her care.
Prosecutors said Leni Whitmire was criminally negligent when she left the child alone May 30th.
But, the jury disagreed yesterday after deliberating for less than 30 minutes.
Meredyth Censullo has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-John Alexander/Roanoke Co. Prosecutor; :15]
[SUPER=03-Vinton/May 31; :28]
[SUPER=01-Tim Wilson/Haley's Father; :55]
[OUT Q=mce, News7.]
((Leni Whitmire left the Roanoke County courthouse in Salem a free woman.
After deliberating just a few minutes, a jury decided Whitmire was NOT criminally negligent in the drowning death of 2 year old Haley Wilson back in May.
[IN Q=It was a...]
((JOHN ALEXANDER/PROSECUTOR: IT WAS A RELATIVELY COMPLICATED CASE, IT WAS A DIFFICULT CASE, ITS A TRAGIC CASE...WE TRIED IT TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY AND THE JURY MADE THEIR DECISION AND I'M GONNA RESPECT THAT AND LEAVE IT ALONE AT THAT.))
[OUT Q=alone at that.]
John Alexander tried to prove Whitmire was negligent for not keeping a closer eye on the six children in her care that day.
To prove that point, prosecutors relied on Wilma Hurst - who testified when she dropped off her own child at Whitmire's house that morning two little boys were on the deck of the pool unsupervised.
Ironically... as Hurst left she says she told Whitmire she needed to fix the latch on the gate to the pool saying her worst fear was that a child would drown.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I don't think...]
((TIM WILSON/HALEY'S FATHER: I DON'T THINK A GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY VERDICT WOULD REALLY HAVE CHANGED ANYTHING...HALEY'S GONE AND THAT'S THAT.))
[OUT Q=that's that.]
Haley's father, Tim Wilson, says he's satisfied in knowing Whitmire will have to live the rest of her life knowing his little girl died in her care.
Haley's mother, Jessica Rederick cried throughout the day but was emotionless as she left the courthouse...
MEREDYTH CENSULLO/REPORTING: Both Rederick and Leni Whitmire refused to comment on the verdict as they left the courtroom. Meredyth Censullo News7.))
A judge says he doesn't believe attorney Rickey Young's claim of vindictive prosecution...
The Martinsville lawyer alleges he's the victim of selective enforcement- -that the feds went after him because he represents Roanoke police officer Fred Pledge.
But Judge James Jones says Young's allegations are "insufficient" to require a hearing on the matter.
Though Young is an experienced trial lawyer, he'll have to rely on HIS attorney in court. The judge has ruled Young will NOT be allowed to question witnesses or make his own closing argument to the jury.
Trial in the tax evasion case is set to begin Tuesday.
The Gretna man who sued Publisher's Clearinghouse may win some money from a legal settlement.
Leonard Turner filed a 12-million dollar claim in federal court, after dutifully sending in his sweepstakes entries for 12 years without ever winning what he says he was promised.
Publisher's Clearinghouse moved for a summary judgment.
Judge Sam Wilson denied that and sent the case to Illinois where Publisher's Clearinghouse has entered into a settlement with other disgruntled sweepstakes players.
Lynchburg residents will decide whether or not to raise the sales tax when they vote next month.
The increase would help raise about 100-million dollars over the next ten years- it would pay for school repairs and improvements.
Supporters and opponents disagree over whether that's the only way to come up with cash.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We want to]
((CARL HUTCHERSON/LYNCHBURG MAYOR: WE WANT TO ENSURE THAT LYNCHBURG AND CENTRAL VIRGINIA DOES ITS PART TO ENSURE THAT OUR SCHOOLS CONTINUE TO BE THE VERY BEST THAT WE CAN BE.))
((MARY ANN KERR/CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE TAXATION: IS IT NOT MORE REASONABLE TO BRING IN OUTSIDE AUDITS AND EXPLORE REASONABLE BELT- TIGHTENING BEFORE WE GO DOWN THIS PATH?))
[SUPER=201-Carl Hutcherson/Lynchburg Mayor; :00]
[SUPER=201-Mary Ann Kerr/Citizens for Resp. Taxation; :11]
[OUT Q=down this path.]
Residents will vote next month on whether to ask for a change in the city's charter that would allow the sales tax increase.
If it passes, another referendum on the increase itself would be held next year.
Total Action Against Poverty has accomplished a lot over the past thirty five years, but leaders of the local community action agency say their work is not finished.
Yesterday, Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley helped celebrate the anniversary, as TAP supporters gathered at the Hotel Roanoke.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Whether it's Head Start]
((MARK EARLEY/VA. ATTORNEY GENERAL: WHETHER IT'S HEAD START OR PROJECT DISCOVERY OR THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EFFORT OR REHABBING HOMES OR INDEPENDENT LIVING OPPORTUNITIES, IT'S A REAL COMMUNITY EFFORT AND IT HAS SPAWNED PROGRAMS THAT HAVE REALLY HAD A STATEWIDE INFLUENCE.))
[SUPER=01-Mark Earley/Va. Attorney General]
[OUT Q=had a statewide influence.]
Longtime Roanoke social services superintendent Corinne (core-INN) Gott was honored, along with Roanoke Valley businessman and community leader Gordon Willis.
The two received the annual Noel C. Taylor Humanitarian Award.
Attracting young athletes to the Roanoke Valley can help the economy.
The Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau says youth sporting events give local business a boost.
While kids play, parents pay for food, accommodations and entertainment.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The money that's]
((DAVE KJOLHEDE/CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU: THE MONEY THAT'S GENERATED SUPPORTS JOBS, GENERATES TAX REVENUE, HELPS KEEP TAXES DOWN FOR LOCAL PEOPLE. IF TAXES ARE COMING FROM THE VISITOR, YOU'LL HAVE LESS TAXES TO PAY AS A LOCAL RESIDENT.))
[SUPER=01-Dave Kjolhede/Convention and Visitors Bureau]
[OUT Q=a local resident.]
The bureau's new marketing campaign centers around a sports venue guide.
Event organizers across the country will receive the brochure filled with tournament site information.
The bureau says sporting events like the Commonwealth Games and the upcoming Big South Basketball tournament are part of an untapped niche for the Roanoke Valley.