We'll only have to wait about a half hour for two Florida court rulings on absentee ballots.
And the state Supreme Court deliberates hand recounts in what will be a crucial decision for Al Gore.
And Rockbridge county authorities are on a manhunt for a suspect who escaped in a deputy's patrol car this morning.
Stick around-- there's a lot ahead on News 7 at noon.
A month and a day after Americans went to the polls, we're getting closer to finally learning who our next President will be. We'll have more on this story in just a few minutes.
Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
It's a landmark day in Florida.
Rulings are expected in about 30 minutes from two Florida judges regarding thousands of disputed absentee ballot applications.
Meanwhile, no timetable yet for the Florida Supreme court decision on Al Gore's request for a manual recount in some areas.
State lawmakers are also busy today--
They're about to meet in special session, preparing to name their own slate of electors.
That is, if the election battle isn't over by the beginning of next week.
Here with more on all of these developments is Drew Levinson in Tallahassee.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=701-Sen. Robert Torricelli/(D) New Jersey;]
[OUT Q=of the United States]
(LOCATOR: TALLAHASSEE, FL)
ITS JUDGEMENT DAY IN TALLAHASSEE.
THE FATE OF THE PRESIDENCY NOW RESTS WITH THE WISDOM OF THE COURTS.
SOT: SEN. ROBERT TORRICELLI/D-NJ
"THIS IS THE DEFINITIVE DAY."
SIMPLY PUT--VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE NEEDS A WIN.
HE HOPES ONE OF TWO CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES--NAMED LEWIS AND CLARK WILL
CHART A NEW COURSE AND TOSS OUT THOUSANDS OF ALLEGEDLY TAINTED ABSENTEE
IF THEY DONT HE MUST HAVE FLORIDA'S SUPREME ORDER THE MANUAL RECOUNT
OF 14-THOUSAND DISPUTED BALLOTS.
SOT: TORRICELLI AGAIN
"IF AL GORE CANNOT PERSUADE THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT, SO THAT THE
CERTIFICATION AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE ARE ON THE SAME SIDE OF THIS
LEDGER, THEN THIS BATTLE IS OVER."
AND IN AUSTIN, BUSH WAITS-WATCHING LIKE THE REST OF THE NATION TO FIND
OUT IF HE WILL BE THE 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Nationally know political analyst Larry Sabato gave his perspective on the election while in Roanoke last night.
Kate Weidaw reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Larry Sabato/UVA Political Analyst; :26 ]
[SUPER=01-John Edwards/(D) Attorney General Cand.; 1:22]
[OUT Q=kw news 7 Roanoke.]
((We know the candidates positions and we know the court cases are raging on in Florida. But what many want to know is, when is the election process going to end?
((LARRY SABATO: WE'RE HEADED INTO QUINTUPLE OVERTIME UNLESS THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT SHUTS IT DOWN.))
Larry Sabato says it's possible but not likely.
((LARRY SABATO: BY SHUTTING IT DOWN THEY WOULD HAVE TO SAY NO TO AL GORE ON VIRTUALLY EVERY COUNT MAKE IT CLEAR AN APPEAL WOULD BE POINTLESS AND UP HOLD THE BASIC CONCLUSIONS REACHED BY JUDGE SAULS.))
But whom ever the winner turns out to be, will this ongoing election process make the American people look at the President elect differently? Sabato says it depends on whether he wins fair or ugly. George Bush seems to be the topic in Washington.
((LARRY SABATO: THE JOKE AROUND CAPITAL HILL IS IS THAT HIS HONEYMOON WILL LAST BETWEEN THE SWEARING IN AND THE INAUGURAL LUNCH. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT, I THINK THE PEOPLE EXPECT MORE AND EXPECT BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS TO WORK WITH THE PRESIDENT.))
Closer to home the talk about upcoming elections centers on Roanoke Senator John Edward's bid for Attorney General.
((LARRY SABATO: HE NEEDS TO CRACK TIDEWATER AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA, IF HE CAN CRACK ONE OF THOSE TWO AREAS THEN HE CAN BEAT MCEACHIN AND GET THE NOMINATION.))
Edwards says no problem.
((JOHN EDWARDS: I HAVE STRONG SUPPORT IN THE SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, NORTHERN VIRGINIA, AND CENTRAL VIRGINIA SO I FEEL REAL GOOD.))
Sabato says Edwards may have to ride on the coat tails of Mark Warner to win. While Warner seems to be the uncontested Democratic nominee, there could be a fight among Republicans.
((LARRY SABATO: IF THIS WAS A PRIMARY IT WOULD BE AN EVEN RACE BUT THIS IS A CONVENTION AND THE CONVENTION PROBABLY FAVORS MARK EARLY.))
While it's to early to predict these races, Sabato says it will be fun to watch. Kate Weidaw News 7 Roanoke.))
Authorities in Rockbridge County are looking for a suspect that stole a deputy's patrol car this morning.
Their search is focused on the Rockbridge Baths section of the county.
Sheriff R-W Day says around 4 A-M, a deputy arrested David Owen Sensabaugh Junior who was wanted for four outstanding warrents in Buena Vista.
The deputy handcuffed the suspect behind his back, put him in the car with the seat belt on and locked the door.
Meantime other deputies arrived, while the deputy turned his attention to talk them, Sensabaugh managed to get out of the seatbelt, get his hands in front of him and put the car in drive.
He headed toward Lexington on Ross Road.
Deputies located the car a few hours later. A state police helicopter and dog teams are now looking for him in the woods.
[JOE LIVE BY PHONE]
The Federal Communications Commission may crack down on fax advertisers following a complaint from Bob Goodlatte.
The Sixth District Congressman complained to the F-C-C after getting unsolicited ads faxed to his office and home.
The F-C-C wants to fine 21-st Century Advertising a million dollars.
Governor Gilmore unveiled part of his budget concerning education.
Virginia schools may see 17 million dollars in new education initiatives.
Among them, an immediate second chance for students who fail an S-O-L test.
[IN Q=My budget]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: MY BUDGET WILL INCLUDE 1-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLARS...AFTER TAKING A REMEDIAL CLASS.))
[OUT Q=remedial class.]
The Governor's also adding money for 100 new teachers... which he says meets his goal of funding four thousand new teachers.
Some Democrats say he left the teacher money as a local option... and some school systems used it for other purposes.
There is NO new money from the Governor for teacher raises.
The Virginia Education Association has already found lawmakers of both parties to sponsor a bill in January- for a six percent teacher pay raise.
Scooters are one of the hottest toys this season, but now some are being recalled.
Nearly 100 thousand scooters are being recalled because of handlebar problems that can cause riders to lose control.
[TAKE KENT PINNACLE PAGE]
The recall includes 90-thousand Kent Kickin' Mini Scooters. The handles come out of the steering column.
Customers should call Kent International at 800-451-5368 to receive a free replacement handlebar.
[TAKE RACER X-2-O PAGE]
Seventy-five hundred Racer X-2-Oh scooters from Kash 'N Gold have also been pulled off the shelves. A handlebar joint on those scooters can break. Customers should take the Racer X-2-Oh back to the store for a refund.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has also released updated overall injury figures that say 30-thousand people have been hurt riding scooters.
Convicted spy Edmond Pope will remain in a Russian prison for at least another week.
That's according to the head of the Russian pardons commission which is recommending the American businessman's release.
He says President Vladimir Putin can't grant Pope a pardon until a trial court verdict goes into effect in seven days.
Putin usually follows the commission's recommendation.
On Wednesday, Pope was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Pope's family has been begging for his release, saying they fear his bone cancer has returned.
Scientists, engineers, and investigators are piecing together what happened to the Air France Concorde jet that crashed this summer.
Their findings will determine whether Concorde ever takes to the skies again.
Investigators DO know a piece of metal caused the plane's tire to burst, and began a deadly chain of events.
The focus of this inquiry is why the incident was so catastrophic.
The chief investigator expects it to take at least another six months.
113 people died when the Air France jet crashed in July.
The parent company of Rubatex has filed for bankruptcy.
Roanoke- based R-B-X Corporation filed for Chapter 11 protection Wednesday as it struggles to contain its long-term debt.
R-B-X officials say the company continues to perform "reasonably well", with the exception of its Bedford facility.
Workers there staged a nine-month strike before returning to the job last June.
They still are working without a contract.
Rubatex says it can continue paying salaries and benefits while it's financial problems are worked out.
Company officials expect the bankruptcy filing to have little or no impact on current operations.
A well known Blacksburg attorney accused of setting fires is on trial.
Yesterday, his attorney tried to remove the prosecutor in the case.
52-year old Joseph Painter is charged with setting a series of fires to stop construction on a subdivision behind his home.
He was indicted on charges of arson and manufacturing explosives in April.
The judge denied the defense motion that asked for the disqualification of special prosecutor Keith Blankenship.
Painter's attorney argued that Blankenship, a fellow Republican, might come down hard on Painter to avoid the appearance of favoritism.
Painter's trial is set to begin February 22nd.
A former Montgomery County teacher's aide charged with having a sexual relationship with a 14-year old student will serve four years behind bars.
46-year-old Wanda Fraser of Christiansburg lost her job at Auburn Middle School in February.
She was convicted of felonies in Montgomery County and Radford for her relationship with the boy.
It's a sad day for fans of singer John Lennon.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of his murder.
But fans are keeping his memory alive here and overseas.
Richard Roth has more from London.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-New York/December 8, 1980; :00]
[SUPER=04-CBS Archives--"Ed Sullivan Show"; :12]
[SUPER=04-BBC Material; :27]
[SUPER=01-Sid Bernstein/Author; :34]
[SUPER=04-E.M.I. Records Archive; :53]
[SUPER=01-Hunter Davis/Lennon Biographer;]
[OUT Q=Roth, CBS News, London.]
(NEW YORK DECEMBER 8, 1980 - BBC MATERIAL)
IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY THAT LENNON WAS SHOT AND KILLED IN NEW
YORK. THE BEATLES HAD DISBANDED TEN YEARS BEFORE HIS DEATH.
(CBS ARCHIVE - ED SULLIVAN SHOW)
EVEN SO, TIME HAS HARDLY ERODED THE GROUP'S POPULARITY, THE MUSIC'S GRIP
ON POPULAR CULTURE, OR LENNON'S OWN STATUS - AS AN ICON.
SOT SID BERNSTEIN/AUTHOR: "NOT JUST THE BEATLES": he had woven himself
and his music and his thinking into the fabric of our lives.
(LENNON ANNIVERSARY VIDEO - EMI RECORDS)
NAT SOT BREAK: give peace a chance
(EMI RECORDS ARCHIVE)
NARR: WITH THE BEATLES HE WROTE SOME HUNDRED AND FIFTY SONGS THAT MADE
HISTORY OR GAVE CULTURE AND CURRENT EVENTS A MELODY AND A BEAT. AND IF
HIS EXPERIMENTS WITH THE AVANT-GARDE NEAR THE END OF HIS LIFE PUT A
DISTANCE BETWEEN LENNON AND SOME OF HIS ADMIRERS, TIME HAS NARROWED THE
SOT HUNTER DAVIS / LENNON BIOGRAPHER: at the time he died in a way he
had moved away from our thinking, he moved away from us physically so
it's all the more remarkable now that 20 years later the further we get
from john and the beatles the bigger they become.
NARR: SO BIG NOW THAT A NEW COMPILATION OF BEATLES HITS CALLED "ONE"
HAS BECOME NUMBER ONE ON MOST RECORD CHARTS, AND IT'S HARDLY CONSIDERED
RICHARD ROTH CBS NEWS LONDON
After a month of living inside the international space station, the residents welcomed their first visitors this morning.
Astronauts from the space shuttle Endeavor floated through the hatch and into the space station.
They were greeted with handshakes and hugs from space station commander Bill Shepherd and his Russian crew.
The Endeavor crew did bear gifts...new supplies for the space station.
Members of the two crews will spend about a day together.
They'll likely enjoy a meal, and swap stories about their adventures in space.