[Headlines]

[ANCHOR=Kimberly]

(----------------)
[VO-NAT]


V-DOT hosted its final public hearing last night on Interstate 73.
Hundreds came out last night to look at maps-- but no decision is expected for a few months.
(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


And the Bush team starts making its transition to the White House.
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(ad lib live tease)

[2-shot]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Start your Friday with us-- News 7 Mornin is straight ahead.

[11I-73]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=kwe]
[TAPE#=00-50]
[GRAPHIC=Interstate 73]


The debate over Interstate 73 concluded in Roanoke with VDOT's fourth and final public hearing.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Hundreds came out last night to look at maps that outline where the proposed road may go, what property it may cut through, and the environmental impact it will have.
Folks have three options to choose from, one is to do nothing, the second is to make improvements to 220, the third- build I-73.
VDOT says feedback from the last three meetings has been varied.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:18]
[IN Q= people have]

((LAURA BULLOCK/VDOT SPOKESPERSON: PEOPLE HAVE OPINIONS FROM DO NOTHING TO BUILD A WHOLE OTHER ROAD AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN THERE REALLY IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY IN THIS STUDY IT WILL BE A CHALLENGE FOR THE DECISION MAKERS TO MAKE A SELECTION FOR I-73.))
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/VDOT Spokesperson]
[RUNS=13]
[OUT Q=for I-73.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


V-DOT will continue to take written comments through January 12-th.
After that, the feedback will be go to the Transportation Board. It's expected to make a decision sometime this Spring.
(------------)



[11Gun-Bills]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=00-41 TC1:12:33]
[GRAPHIC=Gun Laws]


A bill to keep guns out of the hands of stalkers and domestic abusers died in Richmond.
A General Assembly committee shot down the legislation yesterday.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond]


The bill would have banned gun possession for five years from anyone convicted of stalking, attempted or actual sexual battery, or domestic assault.
One woman testified she'd been raped at gunpoint, and subsequently stalked for three years.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=When I tried]
[sot tape TWO 14:58:31 ]

((JILL ATER/STALKING VICTIM: WHEN I TRIED TO END THE RELATIONSHIP, HE TOOK ME AT GUNPOINT TO A REMOTE AREA, WHERE HE SAID HE WOULD KILL ME.))
[SUPER=01-Jill Ater/Stalking Victim;]
[RUNS=:08]
[OUT Q=would kill me.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


But gun rights advocates say it's already illegal to own a firearm if you've been convicted of a felony.
And in Virginia's stalking and domestic assaults are considered misdemeanors.
And some say, victims should have the right to bear arms.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=I've had]
[sot tape TWO 15:27:07 ]

((PAUL MOOG/VA. CITIZENS DEFENSE LEAGUE: I'VE HAD SEVERAL WOMEN CONTACT ME AND SAY I WENT TO BUY A GUN. MY EX-HUSBAND AND I HAD BEEN IN A VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP FOR YEARS... AND NOW, MY GUN RIGHTS ARE GONE AND I CAN'T DEFEND MYSELF AGAINST HIM.))
[SUPER=01-Paul Moog/Va. Citizens Defense League;]
[RUNS=:21]
[OUT Q=against him.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The gun ban died on a 7 to 12 vote.
(------------)
[TALENT=Kim]
[SS=HOLD]


A bill to ban hunting on school property had better success.
The Militia and Police Committee reported it out unanimously.
Also yesterday- a bill to tighten up the law that bans guns from school property died in the same committee.

[Bush]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=George W. Bush]


Vice- President Elect Dick Cheney says the Bush Cabinet appointments are on their way.
But he says it'll be challenging to get them done before the holidays.
Lee Cowan has more on how George W- Bush is tackling his new job.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Austin, TX; :00]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC; :13]
[SUPER=01-Dick Cheney/(R) Vice President-Elect; 29]
[SUPER=01-Gov. Jeb Bush/(R) Florida; 1:03]
[SUPER=01-Lee Cowan/Reporting; 1:09]
[RUNS=1:27]
[OUT Q=Cowan, CBS News, Austin ]

((SUPER: AUSTIN, TX

(NARR:)


It was supposed to be a day of celebration -- but for President-Elect Bush, it was a day of hard work, and prayer.

NAT/SOT CHURCH



(NARR:)


The theme of a special Church Service was reconciliation.

NAT/SOT KEY HANDOVER



(NARR:)


As the Bush team finaly got the keys to their new transition office in Washington ..The theme there was caution. As they look forward to a meeting next week with al Gore.

(SOT DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT ELECT 2:45:05)

"I think the meeting is very important. Symbols are very important in this business, and this goes a long way to that."

(NARR/vo cheney on hill Wednesday:)


And so will Cheney sounding out Democrats about possible positions in a Bush administration -- something advisors considered awkward while the winner was still in doubt.

(SOT/DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT ELECT)

"Those constraints are now off, and we're able to begin to be much more aggressive in that regard."

(NARR:)


Indeed -- the Governor spent most of his time on the phone -- conferring with Congressional leaders of both parties -- even agreeing to meet with the Reverend Jesse Jackson to talk about election reform -- something his brother had already been quick to address in Florida.

(SOT/GOV. JEB BUSH, FLORIDA)

"We will ensure the fairness of our system, that our voting and counting systems are fully modernized."

(COWAN ON CAM:)

"But beyond personnel, there is the task of choosing his agenda carefully. With such a divided Congress, most agree the Governor can't afford to be tied down to divisive issues if he's going to make any progress at all. Lee Cowan, CBS News, Austin." ))

[Clinton]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Bill Clinton]


It's the dawn of a new Presidency and a goodbye trip for the current one...
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Andrews AFB, MD;]


President Clinton is back home in Washington.
He returned to Andrews Air Force base last night after a four- day trip to Ireland and Great Britain.
It was a farewell tour for Clinton as President.
While in Northern Ireland, he again affirmed the peace accord in which he had a major role in brokering.
The President also spent time with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and visited with Queen Elizabeth.
(------------)


[Train-Crash]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Train Accident]


A collision between an Amtrak train and a car left two people dead in Raleigh, North Carolina.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Raleigh, NC;]


Around 9-15 last night, the train was heading to Raleigh from Charlotte.
24 passengers were on board when it hit a car on the railroad tracks.
The train dragged the car about a quarter of a mile.
Police say the two people in the car were killed.
Meanwhile, two passengers on the train were treated for minor injuries.
Four other fatal accidents have occurred at the crossing in the past few years.
(------------)


[11L'Burg-Crash]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=00-42 TC1:51:53]
[GRAPHIC=Crash Invest.]


The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report in the investigation of a fiery Lynchburg plane crash.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/November 24]


Last month, this twin- engine King Air F-90 lost power and crashed shortly after takeoff.
Both men on board escaped.
The N-T-S-B appears to be centering its investigation around problems inside both of the engines.
(------------)



[11Halifax-Suspect]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=tte]
[TAPE#=00-46 TC47:57]
[GRAPHIC=Murder Invest.]

A 13-year-old boy from Pennsylvania may have solved a decade old double murder in Halifax County.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

The boy matched Raymond Pin to a picture he had seen on America's Most Wanted. Pin was working at a Chinese restaurant in Pennsylvania under an assumed name.
[SUPER=03-Halifax Co./1989;]

Sheriff's deputies had been searching for him for 11 years, saying he left clues that he stabbed Frank (Sid-nor) Sydnor and his step-daughter in 1989.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 13:26:43]
[IN Q=There was a laceration]

((THERE WAS A LACERATION TO THE HAND. ALSO MR. PIN'S AUTOMOBILE HAD BEEN TOWED FROM THE RESTAURANT AT THE TIME OF THE MURDER BECAUSE OF THE SOFT EARTH.))
[SUPER=01-John Greenbacker/Commonwealth's Atty.;]
[RUNS=:17]
[OUT Q=soft earth.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Investigators say Pin murdered Sydnor and his step-daughter over a game of cards. They plan to bring him back to Virginia as soon as possible.
(------------)



[6-Wetlands]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=None]
[GRAPHIC=none]


It could get tougher to drain or fill wetlands in Virginia.
The Department of Environmental Quality wants to overhaul the way the state regulates such things.
D-E-Q would -- for the first time -- protect isolated wetlands, such as: bogs and spring-fed ponds, and would limit the draining of low- lying, often wooded, areas ...considered non- tidal wetlands.
A state permit would be required to fill or drain such places and other wetlands would have to be created to compensate for the ones destroyed.

[Health-Check]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=chr]
[TAPE#=NET]
[GRAPHIC=Mornin Health Check]


In medical news,

Doctor Dave Hnida has that story and more in this morning's Health check.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Dave Hnida/Reporting; :00 ]
[RUNS=1:20]
[OUT Q=CBS News, New York.]



(ad lib to weather)


[11Road-Projects]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=Highway Improvements]


The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved nearly 70 million dollars for 52 projects statewide. That includes several in our area.
(XXXXXXX)

[TAKE MAP FULL]
The two largest projects will improve U-S 58 in Southside.
The board approved 14 million dollars for work in Danville, including repairs to the bridge over the Dan River.
The single biggest project is the Route 58 Stuart Bypass.
That will cost the state 15 million dollars.
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Kim]
[SS=HOLD]


Also approved-- More than three-million dollars to widen Hardy Road in Roanoke County and Vinton,
and a project to widen route 801 in Franklin County.

[11M'ville-announcement]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jmi]
[TAPE#=00-55 TC22:52]
[GRAPHIC=None]


An international power company wants to make electricity in Martinsville's Commerce Court Industrial Park.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Martinsville]


If it gains approval from two state agencies, Cinergy Corporation will build a 180 million dollar power plant.
The company promises to hire 10 full-time employees with starting salaries at 36 thousand dollars.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]

[tc:05:35:30]
[IN Q=Cinergy's investment will]

((MAYOR MARK CRABTREE: TODAY WE CAN SAFELY SAY CINERGY'S INVESTMENT WILL DRAMATICALLY REDUCE ANY PRESSURE THAT THE CITY MAY GET TO RAISE TAXES IN THE FUTURE.))
[SUPER=01-Mark Crabtree/Martinsville Mayor]
[RUNS=12]
[OUT Q=in the future]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The plant would be built on a 20-acre lot, and take about 2 years to get up and running.
It would run on natural gas and supply electricity to energy distributors.
If all goes as planned, the company would make up 20 percent of Martinsville's tax base.
(------------)



[2-Bush]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=George W. Bush]


After a long delay, George W- Bush is putting together his new Cabinet.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC;]


Yesterday, the Bush team finally got the keys to its new transition office in Washington.
Vice- President- Elect Dick Cheney says he's looking forward to next week's meeting with Al Gore.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 3:01:13]
[IN Q=I think the ]

((DICK CHENEY/R- VICE PRESIDENT- ELECT: I THINK THE MEETING IS VERY IMPORTANT. SYMBOLS ARE VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS BUSINESS AND THIS GOES A LONG WAY TO THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Dick Cheney/(R) Vice President-Elect;]
[RUNS=:07]
[OUT Q=great symbolic signifigance.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Plans include Cheney talking to DEMOCRATS are possible positions in the Bush administration.
Meanwhile, Bush spent most of the day on the phone, talking with Congressional leaders of both parties.

(------------)



[6-Xmas-Trees]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=00-47 TC25:26]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Most people only think about Christmas trees this time of year, but for many farmers it's a year around business.


Marya Jones takes a look at one tree farmer who's green thumb helps him cash in on the holiday spirit.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=Christmas tree farmer]
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bill Larsen/Tree Farmer; :25]
[SUPER=@Marya1; :54]
[SUPER=01-Kelly Reed/Customer; 1:21]
[RUNS=1:42]
[OUT Q=MJN7, Montgomery Co.]

(( Christmas tree farmer Bill Larsen talks about his trees the way a father talks about his children.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 49:07 - :11]

((BILL LARSEN/TREE FARMER: I PLANTED EVERY ONE OF THEM CRITTERS OUT THERE. AND SHAPED EVERY ONE MORE OR LESS.))
[RUNS= :04]


The 64-year-old former Radford history professor has been selling 13 varieties of trees on his Montgomery County farm since 1975.
About 2-thousand families visit Larsen's farm every year to choose and cut their tree.
He sells another thousand to wholesale buyers.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 49:35 - :47]

((BILL LARSEN: THERE IS A CERTAIN POIGNANCY ABOUT THEM LEAVING HERE OR CUTTING THEM OFF IN THEIR PRIME, YEAH, I FEEL THAT. BUT THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE SHAPED FOR.))
[RUNS= :12]


Larsen is one of about 15-hundred growers in Virginia who make their living off the trees.
It's big business in Southwest Virginia, where the terrain and climate are well-suited for growing pines, firs and spruce trees.
Experts estimate the state is the nation's 8th-largest Christmas tree producer.
(///// SOT /////)

[SU 1:01:50 - 1:02:07] ((MARYA JONES/NEWS-7: VIRGINIA FARMERS GROW MORE THAN 2 MILLION TREES EVERY YEAR AND VIRGINIANS BUY MORE THAN 3 MILLION. IT'S A CLASSIC CASE OF DEMAND OUTWEIGHING SUPPLY. BUT STILL NOT A GOOD REASON TO GET INTO GROWING THE TREES, EXPERTS SAY. THAT'S BECAUSE IT CAN TAKE 7 TO 10 YEARS FOR A FARMER TO GROW HIS FIRST CROP.))
[RUNS= :17]
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 52:13 - :16]

((THERE'S NO GETTING AROUND IT. YOU JUST HAVE TO GET OUT THERE AND DO IT BY HAND.))
[RUNS= :03]


Larsen says all the work pays off when he sees the same customers return year after year.
Kelly Reed is one of them.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 41:18 - :30]

((KELLY REED/CUSTOMER: IT'S A FAMILY TRADITION. WE'VE BEEN COMING HERE SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. EVER SINCE I WAS 5 YEARS OLD. AND EVERY YEAR WE COME OUT AND CUT OUR OWN TREE. MEANS MORE TO US THEN GOING TO A FARM THAT'S ALREADY CUT THEM DOWN. ))
[RUNS= :12]
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 55:59 - 56:11]

((BILL LARSEN/TREE FARMER: 11 MONTHS OF THE YEAR WHEN I'M A LONE RANGER, I'M TALKING TO MY TREES. THEN, ONE MONTH OF THE YEAR WHEN I SEE THE PUBLIC ENJOY THEM, IT IS REWARDING.))
[RUNS= :12]


Marya Jones, News-7, Montgomery County.))


[Southwest-Lawsuit]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Lawsuit]


Larger passengers will likely have to pay a bigger fare if they fly on Southwest Airlines--
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA;]


A judge ruled yesterday that the airline can charge a person for TWO seats because of her size.
A 300- pound woman sued Southwest Airlines after she was told she'd have to buy two seats.
An L-A judge dismissed the lawsuit, upholding the airline's demands.
In a statement, Southwest Airlines says they agree with the court's ruling, but will refund the cost of the extra ticket if there are empty seats on the flight.
(------------)


[11Radford-Lawsuit]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=khu]
[TAPE#=00-43 TC1:02:55]
[GRAPHIC=Lawsuit]


The city of Radford, its police department and a senior officer in the Radford P-D have been hit with a 2-million dollar lawsuit.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Radford/November 1999]


It's a sexual harassment claim against Gaither Blackburn, who was convicted of assaulting a fellow officer- -a woman- -at party the day after she was hired.
Blackburn remained on the force- -despite the conviction. In the complaint filed in federal court yesterday, Alicia Scanlon says the chief told her that she and Blackburn would have to work together and that she "should be mature" about it.
(------------)



[11D'ville-Fire]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jje]
[TAPE#=00-48 40:13]
[GRAPHIC=Fire Invest.]


Investigators may never know what caused a fire in a Danville restaurant.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Danville/Tuesday]


Early Tuesday morning, emergency crews found (Pee-nos) Pino's Pizza on Westover Drive engulfed in flames.
The roof collapsed before firefighters could control the blaze.
Investigators say the damage was too extensive to determine the exact cause of the fire-- but they do not suspect arson.
The Fire Chief says the restaurant may have been on fire for some time before anyone noticed.
(------------)


[2-HEADLINES]
[2-shot=KMC/SYO]
[SUPER=#4049; Morning Headlines]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Here's a look at today's top stories.
Nearly 70- million dollars is approved for dozens of road projects across the state. That includes several in our area.
(XXXXXXX)

[TAKE MAP FULL]
The two largest projects will improve U-S 58 in Southside.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


An electrifying economic development announcement in Southside--
Pending state approval, Cinergy Corporation plans to build a 180- million dollar power plant in Martinsville.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


And the size of the passenger may determine the size of the airfare for Southwest Airlines....
A judge ruled yesterday that the airline was allowed to charge a woman for TWO seats because of her size.
(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


And that's what's making news on this Friday, December 15th .
[ANCHOR=Steve]


News 7 Mornin' will be right back.


[Local-Recap]
[SUPER=#4059;Local Recap]
[2-Shot=Kmc/SPA]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Now here's another look at today's top local stories:
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report in the investigation of a Lynchburg plane crash.
Last month, this twin- engine King Air F-90 lost power and crashed shortly after takeoff.
Both men on board escaped.
The N-T-S-B appears to be centering its investigation around problems inside both of the engines.

(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kim]


Investigators may never know what caused Tuesday's fire at Pino's Pizza on Westover Drive in Danville.
Investigators say the damage was too extensive to determine the exact cause of the fire-- but they do not suspect arson.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Hundreds of people attended V-DOT's hearing in Roanoke last night on the future of Interstate 73.
They looked at maps that outline where the proposed road may go, what property it may cut through, and the environmental impact it will have. This was the last public hearing however V-DOT will continue to take written comments through January 12-th.
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(Steve mic hot)
(///////////////)
(Steve ad lib weather)
(-------------)

[2-SHOT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Now here's Keith Humphry with a preview of News 7 at Six.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=You don't]
[RUNS=20]
[OUT Q=at 6 tonight.]
(-------------)
[Desk=Kimberly and Steve]
(toss)
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(live ad lib, tease tomorrow)

(ad lib bye) [Desk=Kimberly and Steve]