Up next on News 7--
Governor Gilmore announces how much, if any money will come out of the state's pocketbook for his car tax cut plan.
And a man's body is found in Halifax County.
An autopsy is under way.
Beautiful sunny skies today but clouds and snow are on the way. The forecast is rapidly changing and we'll talk more about it next.
News 7 at noon is coming up.
Governor Gilmore may use "found money" to pay for the next stage of his plan to eliminate the car tax.
Good afternoon...I'm Kimberly McBroom.
Governor Jim Gilmore wants to take 40- percent of Virginia's national tobacco settlement in a lump sum payment up front.
That's the budget trick that boosts state revenues high enough to keep the car tax phase-out on track for the next two years.
Gilmore is announcing the revenue windfall idea today, to drum up support for the budget he'll unveil Wednesday.
[IN Q=I would]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: I WOULD REMIND EVERYONE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY...THE QUESTION IS WAS IT POSSIBLE TO DO IT.))
((DEL. VIOLA BASKERVILLE: WELL HE HAD MADE THAT HIS NUMBER ONE AGENDA. HE SAID HE PUT EDUCATION FIRST AND THEN THE CAR TAX, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE THE CAR TAX WENT FIRST AND THEN EDUCATION. BUT NO I WAS NOT SURPRISED AT ANYTHING HE SAID.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Viola Baskerville/(D) Richmond; :19]
[OUT Q=anything he said.]
Gilmore is also including new money for Medicaid, foster care, and mental health spending.
The bill for the new spending and "no car tax" plan will also be partly paid with three to six percent budget cuts to state agencies... on top of the two to three percent cost savings they've been asked to find in the last fiscal year.
An autopsy is being performed on a man found dead in Halifax County this weekend.
Residents discovered the body of 43- year old William Jackson Womack in the Clover area of the county, Sunday morning.
Authorities say there were no apparent signs of injury to Womack's body but they're treating his death as suspicious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Halifax County Sheriff's office.
A former Northside High School student charged with selling drugs was in court this morning.
Nineteen year old Russell Scott Bailes plead no contest to counts of distribution of marijuana and LSD.
Bailes is one of several students caught selling the drugs to an undercover officer at the school.
A plea agreement was arranged in today's case .
Bailes will return to Circuit Court February twenty-sixth for sentencing.
He faces a maximum 50 years in prison.
The Virginia company that claims to have developed a safer cigarette is challenging the national tobacco
[VO-NAT 00-32 1:09:04]
Star Scientific of Chester has filed a lawsuit in federal court in an effort to escape its financial requirements under the 206 billion dollar deal.
Star claims it has been involuntarily subjected to the national deal and that smaller companies are NOT in a position to follow the lead of the big cigarette companies.
A spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley said state lawyers would review the suit over the holidays and prepare a ``vigorous response.''
The U-S Department of Agriculture has increased the tobacco quota by about one percent.
That's good news for some tobacco growers.
[SUPER=03-Pittsylvania Co./July 1999;]
Now farmers nationwide will be able to grow almost 549- million pounds of tobacco next year.
The increase follows three years of steep cuts.
But, in Virginia, the increase probably won't offset what actually will be a smaller crop...
Many farmers exercised their right this year to sell three percent more tobacco than the quota allowed.
It's the beginning of the official end of the topsy- turvy Presidential election.
Your looking at a live picture of members of the Electoral College that are gathering in Richmond today.
They're expected to honor their pledges and deliver their votes to the winner of their states.
The votes won't officially be tallied until a joint session of Congress next month.
[GRAPHIC=George W. Bush]
As the electors do their duty today, President- Elect George W- Bush is meeting with some
movers and shakers in Washington
His agenda included a meeting with the Fed chairman and more interviews with prospective Cabinet members.
Lee Cowan has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-George W. Bush/(R) President-Elect;]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Tom Daschle/(D) Minority Leader;]
[OUT Q=Cowan, CBS News, Austin.]
(LOCATOR: WASHINGTON, DC)
From the hill country of Austin Texas -- to the ONLY hill in the
nation's Capital, President Elect George W Bush began his quest for
(SOT/GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT ELECT)
"I talked with a good man right here."
His first meeeting: Alan Greenspan -- the Federal Reserve Chairman
who had voiced criticism of Bush's $1.3 trillion dollar tax cut plan --
one of the centerpieces of Bush's conservative agenda.
It is the same plan Bush is trying to sell to Congressional leaders
today -- a plan some high ranking Republicans have suggested cutting
into pieces -- to make it easier to swallow.
Mr. Bush has used the warning signs of a slowing economy as
justification for his tax cut package -- but has hinted it is EDUCATION
that remains his first priority -- an issue where he'll likely find a
(SOT/SEN. TOM DASCHLE, D-MINORITY LEADER)
After campaigning on a message of bi-partisan cooperation -- the
images of Mr. Bush reaching out to Democrats may go a long way to prove
his point -- all of it on the eve of his face to face meeting with Al
(COWAN ON CAM:)
"Mr. Bush will also be interviewing several more prosective Cabient
members today -- hoping to round out his national security team before
taking some time down for the Christmas Holiday. The next announcement
will likely come Wednesday, when t he Governor returns to Austin. Lee
COwan, CBS News, Washington."
Last June, Council named city hall in his honor.
Today, Roanoke completed the tribute to its longtime mayor, the late Reverend Noel C. Taylor.
Taylor's widow B. J. and their daughters helped unveil two portraits in the lobby of the Municipal Building.
A large crowd of Taylor's admirers, including members of High Street Baptist Church were on hand for the ceremony.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think he would be very honored.]
[SUPER=01-B. J. Taylor/Noel Taylor's Widow;]
[OUT Q=thank you for your kindness.]
The large portrait and a smaller close-up of Taylor were both painted by Anne Bell, a former Roanoke resident, who now lives in Florida.
After the Coast Guard rescued dozens of its crew members, a cruise ship is at the bottom of the ocean floor.
No passengers were on board "The Sea Breeze" when the ship first got into trouble over the weekend.
It was headed from Boston to South Carolina at the time.
Officials still aren't sure exactly what went wrong.
The coast guard first heard a distress call from the ship around 11 yesterday morning.
It began taking on water after being pounded by 30- foot- high waves and 50- mile-an-hour wind gusts.
One crew member was taken to the hospital.
All others on board received medical check-ups and were released.
A Henry County murder suspect is behind bars after turning himself in to authorities.
[VO-NAT @ 00-48 TC 45:33; 00-39 1:32:19]
Sampson Carlos Dodson was arrested and charged with first degree murder in the death of 38-year-old Daniel Rose.
[SUPER=03-Henry Co./Last Week]
Rose was shot to death in the King's Village area of Henry County Tuesday night.
A preliminary investigation lead police to believe the shooting was drug related.
Dodson is being held, without bond, in the Henry County Jail.
A lack of business may force a Roanoke movie theater to close shop.
The Cinema Grill near Cross Roads Mall says it's having trouble attracting movie goers since the Valley View Grand opened nearby.
Kate Weidaw reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Debbie Steel/Cinema Grill Owner;:17]
[SUPER=01-Joshua Sayers/Cinema Patron;:57]
[OUT Q=kw news 7 Roanoke.]
((Row after row of empty seats are what owners at the Cinema Grill see every day.
((DEBBIE STEEL/CINEMA GRILL OWNER: THE PEOPLE IN ROANOKE HAVE JUST SEEMED TO STOP COMING FOR SOME REASON.))
The reason could be this theater, the Valley View Grand that has 16 theaters and is only short drive from the Cinema Grill.
((DEBBIE STEEL: THE VOLUME OF PEOPLE SINCE THE VALLEY VIEW 16 OPENED HAS REALLY GONE DOWN REALLY BAD.))
But that wasn't the case before it opened in May.
((DEBBIE STEEL: FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT USED TO BE SOLD OUT AND ITS BEEN A WHILE SINCE WE DID THAT.))
And the Cinema Grill isn't the only theater that's losing business since the new theater moved to town.. Valley View Cinema inside the mall closed its doors earlier this year after 15 years in business.
But Steel thought they found a niche in the movie theater business in Roanoke by serving restaurant style food and alcohol. Terry Sayers and his family say they enjoy eating dinner while watching a flick.
((JOSHUA SAYERS: YOU GET A LOT OF FOOD HERE AND BASICALLY THERE YOU ONLY GET POPCORN AND CANDY.))
And with ticket prices costing no more than 3-50 the Sayers say it can be a cheap family outing. But Steel says she wonders if tickets aren't selling because they show movies that have already been out for a while.
((DEBBIE STEEL: WE NEED PEOPLE TO CALL US AND LET US KNOW WE NEED TO KNOW IF PEOPLE WOULD LIKE US TO STAY OPEN WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GO TO FIRST RUN MOVIES.))
Steel says she'll decide if she's going to shut off the lights for good by the end of the year. Kate Weidaw News 7 Roanoke.))
General Motors has rolled out some new vehicles for the Chinese auto market...just as the country is about to enter the World Trade Organization.
Although G-M is working in partnership with various Chinese car manufacturers, it still faces an uphill battle.
It's just a preview of the fierce competition that China's upcoming entry into the W-T-O will bring.
Last year, the Chinese bought a half- million cars.
G-M expects this figure to double in five years, with the potential to eventually grow into the world's largest car market.
What Women Want doesn't appear to include The Grinch.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=An next]
[SUPER=04-"What Women Want"; HOT CHANGE]
[OUT Q=nat sound]
Mel Gibson has stolen the top weekend box office spot from the Grinch.
``What Women Want'' debuted at number one .
The movie is a comedy about a chauvinistic ad executive who can suddenly read women's minds.
It's the best-ever opening weekend for a Gibson movie.
[TAKE FS SUPER]
[SUPER=77-What Women Want/Dude, Where's My Car?/The Grinch Stole Christmas/The Emperor's New Groove/Vertical Limit;]
Dude, Where's My Car finished in second. Dr. Seuss'--How The Grinch Stole Christmas slipped to number three. The Emperor's New Groove and Vertical Limit round out the top five.
Madonna and her fiance Guy Ritchie have arrived in Scotland, just days before their holiday wedding at a castle.
Elizabeth Palmer has more on the fairytale nuptials between the pop star and the movie director.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-London, England; :36]
[SUPER=01-Elizabeth Palmer/Reporting; :53]
[OUT Q=Palmer, CBS News, London. ]