[Headlines]

[ANCHOR=Shannon]

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

Lynchburg's economic developer will step down today. He says he must resign over a conflict of interest.
(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Shannon]

Plus, the future of the Southern Virginia Mental Institute in Danville is uncertain. We'll show you why.
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(ad lib weather)
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(ad lib live tease)

[2-shot]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]


Stay with us.......News 7 Mornin' is next.


[11Cobb]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=00-52 TC1:02:33]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Lynchburg's economic development director is stepping down over an alleged conflict of interest.
Lee Cobb says he has no choice but to submit his resignation today and start looking for other work.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=04-File Tape]


The reason: Cobb says city council has ignored his warnings about councilman Stewart Hobbs' business relationship with the city.
Hobbs' company.. Virginia Aviation.. is the fixed base operator at the Lynchburg airport.
When he was awarded the contract in 1998, Hobbs was told he could not vote on anything that might appear to be a conflict of interest.
Lee Cobb says Virginia Aviation has not met the terms of the lease, but when he aired his concerns, city council did nothing.
Cobb told News7 last night quote-- "they don't believe me and they do believe Stewart Hobbs".
Hobbs says council investigated all these complaints but decided they were groundless.
We'll have more on this story for you later today on News7.
(------------)



[11Mental-Health]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=00-41 TC1:44:52]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Many southside residents want to know whether the state plans to close the Southern Virginia Mental Institute in Danville.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Danville]


Nearly three hundred people turned out for a public forum yesterday.
The state's Commissioner of Mental Health told the crowd how the state wants to privatize mental health care.
But he would not say for sure whether the plan involves closing the facility.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 2:14:27 TAPE 1]
[IN Q=There are very few]

((RICHARD KELLOGG/COMMISSIONER OF MENTAL HEALTH: THERE ARE VERY FEW INDIVIDUALS THAT CANNOT BE TREATED IN COMMUNITY SERVICES IF THE SERVICE STRUCTURE IS THERE.)) ((JACK BROWN/OPPOSES CLOSING THE HOSPITAL: IT WOULD BE A HARDSHIP ON THE FAMILIES TO GO VISIT THEM AND THE PEOPLE HERE THAT'S TRYING TO GET WELL WOULD FIND THEMSELVES IN A STRANGE PLACE.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Kellogg/Commissioner of Mental Health; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jack Brown/Opposes Closing; :07]
[RUNS=16]
[OUT Q=strange place.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Commissioner Kellogg has made a recommendation to the governor.
But until Governor Gilmore decides whether to adopt the plan, Kellogg won't reveal the details of the recommendation.
Whatever plan Gilmore chooses, he must first get the approval of the General Assembly which convenes next week.
(------------)



[11Train-Station]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=00-48 TC1:07:02]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Lynchburg officials say they'll be lobbying this year's General Assembly to keep financing a plan for expanded passenger rail service across the state.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg]


Meanwhile, the city is spending 3 and a half million dollars to renovate and repair its 85- year- old Kemper Street train station.
The building will eventually house a Greyhound bus terminal and a visitors center.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 13:39:23]
[IN Q=This is an]

((BOB WHITE/LYNCHBURG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PROJECT FOR THE REVITALIZATION OF THE CITY AS A WHOLE AND OF THE INNER CITY IN PARTICULAR, AND AS ALWAYS, IT FITS STRONGLY AND FITS WELL WITH THE CITY COUNCIL'S REVITALIZATION GOALS.))
[SUPER=01-Bob White/Lynchburg Economic Development; ]
[RUNS=17]
[OUT Q=revitalization goals.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Amtrak was the first to benefit from the facelift when it moved its ticket counter into new rooms downstairs.
Rail officials hope the new surroundings will help boost local ridership.
(------------)



[Ferry-Ax]


[ANCHOR=Shan]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin']
[WRITER=syo]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]

Commuters stuck off the New Jersey shore on a grounded ferry boat are once again on their way.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The New York City ferry, called ``The Finest,'' got stuck on a sandbar last night while a run to New Jersey. There were 257 people on board. Nobody was injured. The boat got stuck in four and a half feet of water about 600 yards from shore. Coast Guard inspectors determined there was no damage and decided to wait for high tide. When that rolled in shortly after midnight, the ferry once again got underway.
(------------)


[Bush]


[ANCHOR=Shan]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin']
[WRITER=syo]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=George W. Bush]

As Congress gets to work on confirmation hearings for one of George W. Bush's cabinet nominees, the President elect is hard at work. At the top of his agenda, naming a few more aides to key government posts. Gretchen Carlson reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC; :00]
[SUPER=01-Joe Allbaugh/FEMA Director Appointee; :19]
[SUPER=01-George W. Bush/President-Elect; :32 ]
[SUPER=01-Senator Daniel Inouye/(D) Hawaii; :47 very quick]
[SUPER=01-Don Evans/Sec. Of Commerce Designate; :55]
[SUPER=01-Gretchen Carlson/Reporting; 1:10]
[RUNS=1:30]
[OUT Q=News, Washington]

(((NAT - 11:05:20) Bush These good men and their families will be joining us in Washington D.C."

(TRACK 1)

The trusted triangle from the Bush Presidential campaign is once again intact. Karen Hughes, already tapped as a counselor to Bush in the White House, will now be joined by Karl Rove; senior White House adviser; and Joe Allbaugh, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(SOT - 11:05:48) Joe Allbaugh/FEMA Director appointee

I cant think of a better place to help our fellow countrymen when they are in need.

(TRACK 2)

Mr. Bush is also busy brushing up on the latest news about the economy; for the second day in a row, meeting with hi-tech leaders in Austin.

(SOT - 14:43:30) George W. Bush/President-Elect

"This is the leading edge of thought in the world, I mean these good folks are revolutionizing how businesses conduct business."

(TRACK 3)

On Capitol Hill, they're talking about the nation's business as well. Senate confirmation hearings are underway for Don Evans, Bush's nominee for Secretary of Commerce.

(NAT - 10:40:15) Senator Daniel Inouye -- D-Hawaii

Congratulations, youve got my vote.

(TRACK 4)

With several Democrats already voicing their support of Evans, confirmation could come soon.

(SOT - 10:52:02) Don Evans - Sec. Of Commerce Designate

I must say that when I worked as a roughneck on drilling rigs some 30 years ago, I never expected to be nominated.

(STAND-UP CLOSE) Gretchen Carlson Reporting

And another sign Republicans and Democrats are trying to stay on friendly terms. With the Senate divided 50-50, Senate leaders have tentatively agreed to give both parties an equal split on committees as well, something that seemed implausible just a few weeks ago. Gretchen Carlson, CBS News, Washington.))


[11Internet-Porn]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=none]


A Chilhowie funeral home director faces charges of sodomy and distributing child pornography.
48-year-old Barry Lee Newberry was the director of Newberry Funeral Home.
He was arrested Wednesday and charged with three counts forcible sodomy, bribery, and possessing and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
He's being held in the Smyth County jail without bond.

[11Thomas]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=500-20 1:25:40]
[GRAPHIC=Thomas]


His attorneys claim that media coverage ruined his chance for a fair trial in Pulaski County.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Pulaski;]


But that's where Jeffrey Allen Thomas is set to stand trial next month for the capital murder of Radford teen Tara Munsey.
Thomas' attorneys had asked for a change of venue.
Yesterday, the judge said he'd try to seat an impartial jury before he'd consider moving the trial.
Thomas is charged with Munsey's capital murder during what prosecutors call either a rape or attempted rape last January.
Forensic lab reports filed in Circuit Court indicate that his sperm was found on her thigh.
(------------)


[11United-Way]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=bre]
[TAPE#=00-49]
[GRAPHIC=United Way]


Roanoke's new United Way President didn't waste any time getting down to business on his first day on the job.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Frank Logan is already making plans to improve the agency and is enthusiastic about his new position.
He's has done volunteer work in New York City, Puerto Rico, and most recently Phoenix Arizona. And he has many goals for the Roanoke Valley.
(///// SOT /////)
[11:04:50.20 SOT]
[IN Q=I THINK THAT THIS]

((FRANK ROGAN/UNITED WAY PRESIDENT; I THINK THAT THIS IS A COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE REALLY DO CARE. IT'S A VERY GENEROUS COMMUNITY AND THE ONE THING THAT I'M REAL INTERESTED IN DOING IS TRYING TO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY TO SOLVE SOME OF THOSE SOCIAL PROBLEMS.))
[SUPER=01-Frank Rogan/United Way President]
[RUNS=11]
[OUT Q=THOSE SOCIAL PROBLEMS]
(-----------------)
[VO-NAT]


Logan says he's fit for this type of work and stays motivated by the hope it gives the less fortunate.
(///// SOT /////)
[11:07:17:01 SOT]
[IN Q=I MEET PEOPLE]

((FRANK ROGAN/UNITED WAY PRESIDENT; I MEET PEOPLE ALL THE TIME THAT TELL ME IF IT WEREN'T FOR THIS PROGRAM THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY WOULD BE.))
[RUNS=05]
[OUT Q=THEY WOULD BE]
(--------------)
[VO-NAT]


Logan's wife and two daughters will join him in Roanoke later this month.
(--------------)



[11Dentist]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jsu]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Carilion is one step closer to opening its new pediatric clinic in Roanoke.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


That's because Carilion has now hired a pediatric dentist, Doctor Gabriel Brown.
Yesterday, he took a tour of the facility where the new clinic will be housed inside Roanoke Community Hospital.
Brown is from Curacao(Kur-a-sow) in the Netherlands Antilles.
He says he's excited about the job because he loves children.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT7:29:36]
[IN Q=It's just totally different]

((IT'S JUST TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN WORKING WITH ADULTS SINCE THE MOMENT I DID IT I LOVED IT AND THEY KEEP ME HAPPY ALL THE TIME THE MAKE YOU LAUGH AND ITS A CHALLENGE ))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Gabriel Brown/Pediatric Dentist]
[RUNS=10]
[OUT Q=it's a challenge]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/July 19, 2000]


The clinic will focus on serving children who are uninsured and underinsured -- and will treat patients from birth to 18 years of age.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT7:33:52]
[IN Q=There is a huge need for children]

(( THERE IS HUGE NEED FOR CHILDREN IN THE AREA TO BE SEEN. MANY PEOPLE DON'T HAVE DENTAL CARE MANY OF THE CHILDREN ARE NOT BEING SEEN, THEY DON'T GO TO THE DENTIST TWICE A YEAR AS OTHER PEOPLE DO ))
[SUPER=01-Tom Adams/Carilion Dental Care]
[RUNS=10]
[OUT Q=as other people do]
(-----------------)
[VO-NAT]


Adams says about 40-thousand children in the area are in need of dental care.
The clinic is expected to open in March or sometime in the early spring.
(---------------)








[Health-Check]


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


In other medical news, a new study says a glass of wine a day can cut a woman's risk of stroke.

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

((Information:
ONCAM=MELISSA

((on cam)) ARE YOU CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH FOODS ARE GOOD FOR YOU AND WHICH AREN'T? IF YOU ANSWERED YES, YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

VT=VO

((vo)) A NEW STUDY FROM THE AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION FINDS CONFLICTING INFORMATION IS LEADING MANY PEOPLE TO EAT FAT HEAVY FOODS WHILE AVOIDING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.
AND NOT ONLY ARE PEOPLE EATING BAD, BUT THE SURVEY OF MORE THAN 18 HUNDRED ADULTS SAID MORE THAN 40 PERCENT ARE TIRED ABOUT HEARING WHAT THEY SHOULD AND SHOULDN'T EAT.

VT=VO

((vo)) GOOD NEWS TODAY FOR WOMEN WHO ENJOY WINE.
A NEW STUDY FROM THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION FINDS THAT A GLASS OR TWO OF ALCOHOL A DAY... ESPECIALLY WINE, CAN LOWER A WOMAN'S RISK OF STROKE BY AS MUCH AS 60 PERCENT.
PREVIOUS STUDIES HAVE SHOWN SIMILAR HEART HEALTHY BENEFITS FROM MODERATE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IN MEN AND OLDER ADULTS.
BUT THIS IS THE FIRST RESEARCH TO SHOW POSITIVE EFFECTS IN YOUNGER WOMEN.

ONCAM=MELISSA

((on cam))
AND THE HIGH COST OF HOME HEATING OIL IS PROMPTING MANY PEOPLE TO TURN DOWN THEIR THERMOSTATS TO SAVE MONEY.
BUT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING IS URGING SENIORS NOT TO GO TOO LOW.
THE REASON..THEY COULD DEVELOP HYPOTHERMIA..A CONDITION THAT SENDS THE BODY'S INTERNAL TEMPERATURE BELOW 96 DEGREES.
HYPOTHERMIA IF NOT TREATED QUICKLY, CAN HAVE DEVASTATING EFFECTS ON THE ELDERLY.
THE INSTITUTE SUGGESTS THAT PEOPLE 60 AND OVER SET THEIR THERMOSTATS NO LOWER THAN 68 DEGREES.
AND THAT'S A LOOK AT THE DAY IN HEALTH. I'M MELISSA MCDERMOTT, CBS NEWS, NEW YORK.))

(ad lib to weather)

[2-HEADLINES]
[2-shot=SYO]
[SUPER=#4049; Morning Headlines]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]


Here's a look at today's top stories.
[ANCHOR=Shannon]

Authorities in Bland County want to know if the remains of two people found last month are those of two men missing from West Virginia.
Both were black men in their mid-to-late 20s... about 5-feet, 6-inches tall. Police say they were murdered, but won't say how.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]

An intersection in southeast Roanoke is closed as crews work to repair a water-main break. There's no word how many homes are affected.

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

Police in Texas say a group of 7 escaped prisoners may have been sighted yesterday. The convicts were allegedly seen at a bank in San Marcos. The group, which is accused of killing a police officer on Christmas Eve, has been on the run for three weeks.
(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Shannon]


And that's what's making news on this Friday January 5-th .
News 7 Mornin' will be right back.

[11Water-Break]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=00-53]
[GRAPHIC=Water Main Break]


A water main break is causing problems in Southeast Roanoke.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


The break was discovered around seven last night near the intersection of Fifth and Elm.
Authorities say that intersection is closed this morning while crews work on the problem. No word yet on how many homes are affected or when the problem will be fixed.
(------------)



[Franklin-Murder]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=kor]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=Murder Invest.]




A 14-year-old boy from Albermarle County has been charged as an adult in the capital murder of a Rocky Mount man. The boy was arraigned yesterday for his alleged role in Saturday's murder and robbery of 61-year-old Ralph English. Authorities say English was strangled in his bed and was robbed of about six-thousand-dollars in cash. The victim's son, 22-year-old Charlie English and another suspect 18-year-old Christopher Dorman were arraigned on the same charges earlier this week.

[11Bland-Bodies]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=Murder Investigation]

There is new information on the skeletal remains of two people found in Bland County last month.
Investigators say they were murdered ... but won't say how.
Both were black men in their mid-to-late 20s... about 5-feet, 6-inches tall.
Two men searching for soda bottles discovered the remains, wrapped in plastic and a blanket.
State police are trying to determine if they belong to two men reported missing in West Virginia.

[Prison-Escape]


[ANCHOR=Shan]
[NEWSCAST=Monrin']
[WRITER=syo]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]

Police may have a new lead in the case of seven escaped prisoners believed to have killed a Texas police officer on Christmas Eve.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-San Marcos, TX;]

The group may have been sighted at a bank in San Marcos Texas yesterday. Police say the escapees broke out of a southern Texas prison 3 weeks ago. They are accused of shooting to death of officer after robbing a Irving sporting goods store the night before Christmas. They are believed to be using police scanners to stay one step ahead of authorities. The search for the escapees is said to be the biggest manhunt in Texas history.
(------------)


[Brush-Fire]


[ANCHOR=Shan]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin']
[WRITER=syo]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Wild Fire]

Firefighters in San Diego are getting the upper hand on a spectacular wildfire thanks to calmer winds.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Alpine, CA;]

The rare wintertime fire has scorched eleven-thousand acres of land and destroyed at least five homes. The fire's about 30-percent contained. Crews hope to have the flames completely surrounded by late tomorrow. Residents, especially those who've lost a home to fire in the past, hope that's not too late.
(///// SOT AT :17/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Nyla Johnson/Resident;]
[RUNS=:07]
[OUT Q=get outta there.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

The fire began Wednesday. Investigators think it was sparked by a cigarette tossed out of a car. The cost of fighting the blaze has climbed to about three (m) million dollars.
(------------)



[11B'Burg-Mascot]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=am]
[WRITER=kwe]
[TAPE#=00-]
[GRAPHIC=None]

Only one Native American high school mascot is left in this area, it's the Blacksburg Indian. But that could change if one American Indian group has its way. Last night the community gathered to talk about the possibility of retiring the mascot. Kate Weidaw has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg; :00]
[SUPER=01-Eric Miller/Coal. For Amer. Indian Concerns; :11]
[SUPER=01-Mike Smith/Against Change; :33]
[SUPER=01-Nandini Asstr/For Change; :49]
[SUPER=01-Zane Bigman/Against Change; 1:09]
[SUPER=@Kate2; 1:30]
[RUNS=1:44]
[OUT Q=kw news 7 Blacksburg]

((The Indian has been the symbol of Blacksburg High School for 50 years but members of the Unified Coalition for American Indian Concerns says it stereotypes their culture.

[SOT 6:49:56]
[INQ=]

((ERIC MILLER/UNIFIED COALITION FOR AMERICAN INDIAN CONCERNS: I ASSURE YOU THE MASCOT HAS TO CHANGE SOME HOW AND SOME WAY BECAUSE IT IS VERY OFFENSE.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 6]


But before anything is changed the community is giving its thoughts on the matter. Mike Smith, a 1972 graduate of Blacksburg High School says his entire family has been apart of the Blacksburg Indians and it's a tradition that shouldn't change.

[ SOT 6:42:59]
[INQ=]

((MIKE SMITH/AGAINST CHANGE: IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'RE PROUD OF AND IT'S NOT SOMETHING WE'RE MAKING FUN OF AND WE WANT TO SEE IT STAY AS THE BLACKSBURG INDIANS.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 9]


Others say the school should respect the concerns of Native Americans.

[SOT 6:45:08]
[INQ=]

((NANDINI ASSTR/FOR CHANGE: IT'S NOT RIGHT THE NATIVE AMERICANS HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT THEY DON'T FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT AND THAT'S ENOUGH FOR ME.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 8]


But not all Native Americans are against the change. Zane Bigman a native of the Navaho Reservation in Arizona and an Assistant Volleyball Coach at the school says the Indian symbol is positive.

[SOT 7:34:14]
[INQ=]

((ZANE BIGMAN: KEEPING THE INDIAN MASCOT HERE AT THIS SCHOOL OPENS, LET ME REPEAT THAT, OPENS A DOOR FOR INDIAN EDUCATION...INSTEAD OF TAKING IT AWAY LET'S EDUCATE ABOUT THE FEATHER.))
[OUTQ=]
[RUNS= 18]


The mascot change does come at a price of 99-thousand dollars, that would pay to change everything from uniforms to flags and signs. How the money would be raised is still a question. The high schools task force will make a recommendation to the school board later this month. Kate Weidaw News 7 Blacksburg.))

[11E-Toys]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=00-50 TC39:47]
[GRAPHIC=E-Toys]


The troubled Internet toy retailer E-Toys is cutting its workforce and will close its European operations.
700 of its one-thousand E-Toys and BabyCenter employees will be let go-- nearly 400 immediately-- the rest by the end of March, when the company may run out of operating cash.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blairs/File Tape]


Its warehouse operations in Pittsylvania County and Ontario California will remain open, but warehouses in Greensboro, North Carolina and Commerce, California will close in the next 30 to 60 days.
(------------)



[Energy-Bills]


[ANCHOR=Shan]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin']
[WRITER=syo]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Heating Prices]

High heating bills have many Americans worried about whether they can afford to make it through the winter. And, as Cynthia Bowers reports, the situation is expected to get worse before it gets better.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Jim Bernstein/Minnesota Dept. of Commerce; :56]
[SUPER=01-Mayor Wayne Tuggle/Graysville, AL; 1:15]
[SUPER=01-Bill Richardson/Energy Secretary; 1:33]
[SUPER=01-Cynthia Bowers/Reporting; 1:42]
[RUNS=1:53]
[OUT Q=Chicago]

((All across America the mailman has suddenly become the bearer of bad news... those long promised high heating bills are finally hitting home. And millions of americans like don mackin of surburban chicago are bracing for that cold reality.
"If this continues they way it is right now, I don't see people surviving." MACKIN HAS ALREADY LOWERED HIS THERMOSTAT. BECAUSE HIS BILL IS ABOUT TO GO THROUGH THE ROOF. A frigid December drove UP THE demand for natural gas, already in short supply, and the problem is not only widespread, its about to get worse.

(graphic) The major gas company in Colorado plans a rate hike that would

double last year's bill. Kansans are already paying twice what they did last year, and were told to expect another increase of 20%. The
situation is even worse in Minnesota utility bills have jumped 115% this

year, 58% in just the last month.

(SOT/Jim Bernstein (sp) Cmsr. MN Depart of Commerce ) People right now

are worried because they've seen prices go up - they're hitting historic highs.
Like this Minneapolis bill which soared to 600 dollars. The pinch is being felt even as far south as Graysville Alabama where the city owned utility has raised rates 90% since Novermber and cut off gas to delinquent customers.

(SOT/Wayne Tuggle Mayor of Graysville) Its just a situation we have to

face, nothing we can do about it, we have to work our way thru it.
Chicago' mayor says his 175 million dollar heating assistance fund is already running low, forcing him to seek federal help so the city can continue providing heat to needy families. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson promised an extra 20 million dollars in relief, but no immediate remedy.

(SOT/Bill Richardson Secy of Energy Verbatim:) We think with natural

gas, within a year the situation will be better, but because of the increased demand we're going to go through some tuff times (09)
Gas companies say they are just passing on their costs....but with rates shooting up so rapidly it's suddenly Americans patience that is suddenly in short supply. cynthia bowers cbs news chicago...))


[11Diamonstein]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jmi]
[TAPE#=00-44 TC1:18:25]
[GRAPHIC=Campaign 2001]


A Newport News native announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor.
He made a stop in Roanoke last night.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Democrat Alan Diamonstein (DiamonSTEEN) has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for 30 years.
He says he won't have to rely on campaign promises -- instead he will rely on his record in office.
Diamonstein says he's not pleased with the way the Gilmore administration is handling the car tax reduction.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=The car tax]

((ALAN DIAMONSTEIN: THE CAR TAX REPEAL IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, THE CITIZENS WANT IT, BUT WE'VE GOT TO DO IT IN A WAY WITHOUT TAKING THE TOBACCO TAX MONEY THAT SHOULD BE USED FOR HELP FOR THE FARMERS OR HEALTH ISSUES.))
[SUPER=01-Alan Diamonstein/(D) Candidate for Lt. Gov.]
[RUNS=15]
[OUT Q=or health issues.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Diamonstein kicked off his campaign in Newport News yesterday morning.
He visited Roanoke last night, then headed to Northern Virginia.
Diamonstein joins two other Democrats seeking the nomination -- (Gerald) Jerrauld Jones and Timothy Kaine.
(------------)



[11Allen-Warner]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=00-41 TC1:43:22]
[GRAPHIC=None]


The U-S Senate is split 50-50 for the first time ever. That has Trent Lott and Tom Daschle puzzling over power-sharing.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC/Wednesday;]


But it's NOT clear yet just how friendly the 50-50 Senate will be.
Virginia's two Republican Senators say power-sharing is NOT likely.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 37:22]
[IN Q=I think]

((SEN. GEORGE ALLEN/R-VIRGINIA: I THINK PEOPLE ARE MISSING THE WHOLE BALL...NEEDS 60 VOTES.... SIDE OF THE AISLE.))
[sot 39:28 ]

((SEN. JOHN WARNER/R-VIRGINIA: THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE DESPERATELY IN NEED OF BEING DONE.... MEDICAID SYSTEM.))
[SUPER=@Allen; :00]
[SUPER=@Warner; :22]
[RUNS=:45]
[OUT Q=Medicaid system.]
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[TALENT=Shannon]
[SS=George Allen]


Senator Allen says power-sharing may be more difficult in Washington than it turned out to be in Richmond a few years back.
That's because committee staffs on Capitol Hill are all partisans, hired by the committee chairmen.
[Local-Recap]
[SUPER=#4059;Local Recap]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]


Now here's another look at today's top local stories:
[ANCHOR=Shannon]

[Take FS Schoolwatch]
We do have some school annoucements to pass along.
(AD-LIB)
(XXXXXXX)
[ANCHOR=Shannon]

A 14-year-old boy from Albermarle County has been charged as an adult in the capital murder of a Rocky Mount man. The boy was arraigned yesterday for his alleged role in Saturday's murder and robbery of 61-year-old Ralph English.
Two other suspects were arraigned on the same charges earlier this week.
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[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]



Crews are working to fix a water main break at the intersection of Fifth and Elm in Southeast Roanoke.
Authorities say that intersection is closed this morning. No word yet on how many homes are affected or when the problem will be fixed.

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[ANCHOR=Steve]
(Steve mic hot)
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(Steve ad lib weather)
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[2-SHOT]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]


Now here's Roy Stanley with a preview of News 7 at Six.
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[SOT]
[IN Q=A new era]
[RUNS=11]
[OUT Q=on News 7 at 6.]
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[Double Boxes=Shannon and Steve]
(toss)
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(live ad lib, tease tomorrow)

(ad lib bye) [Double Boxes=Shannon and Steve]