Up next on News 7.
The SIGNS are clear.
Virginia wants drivers to take it slower on I-81.
A new speed limit is now in effect.
And two days after a car plows inside, a Lynchburg restaurant re-opens in time for lunch.
Continued rain today and tomorrow we have a good chance of seeing snow. The weekend winter weather details are coming up.
Don't go away-- News 7 at noon is straight ahead.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 Headline Banner]
It's life in the SLOWER lane for drivers on a stretch of Interstate-81.
A new lower speed limit is now in effect.
The signs are up .. the speed limit is down .. along a 15 mile stretch of the interestate.
V-DOT crews changed the signs this morning ... and state police are now enforcing the 60 mile an hour speed limit.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kim & Joe/Microwave;]
Joe Dashiell is near the interstate in Salem with more on the change.
((ROLLCUE:...five miles an hour can make a difference.))
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/VDOT Spokeswoman; :22]
[SUPER=01-Danny Williamson/Motorist; :45]
[OUT Q=just so many accidents]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly & Joe/Microwave;]
A woman from Penhook died in a single-car accident in Franklin County this morning.
State police say 34-year-old Lisa Fay Blankenship ran off a road in the Snow Creek area, overturned and struck a tree.
Blankenship was NOT wearing her seat belt.
[GRAPHIC=Bush, George W]
Hopefully, those inaugural ball gowns are WATERPROOF.
The rainy weather in Washington is causing headaches for inauguration planners.
They're considering moving tomorrow's Presidential swearing- in ceremony INDOORS.
Meanwhile, Teri Okita has a wrap-up of inaugural events so far.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Laura Bush/First Lady-to-Be;]
[SUPER=01-Dick Cheney/Vice President-Elect;]
[SUPER=01-Charles Ramsey/D.C. Police Chief;]
[OUT Q=Okita, CBS News, Washington.]
(LOCATOR: WASHINGTON, DC)
TRACK: WITH A QUICK INTRODUCTION BY HER HUSBAND, LAURA BUSH MADE HER
SOLO DEBUT IN WASHINGTON BY LAUNCHING HER LITERACY PLATFORM. ITS ONE OF
MANY CELEBRATIONS THIS INAUGURATION WEEK.
(Super: Laura Bush/First-Lady-To-Be)
SOT: Theres no magic like the magic of the written word.
TRACK: RICKY MARTIN KICKED OFF THE INAUGURAL CELEBRATIONS THURSDAY
NIGHT FOLLOWED BY ONE OF THE CITYS BIGGEST FIREWORKS DISPLAYS EVER.
THE BUSHES AND CHENEYS THEN MADE THE ROUNDS AT SEVERAL CANDLELIGHT
DINNERS THE VICE-PRESIDENT-ELECT JOKING WITH THE CROWD.
SOT: (Dick Cheney/Vice President elect) And you thought 3 electoral
votes from Wyoming didnt matter.
TRACK: AT THE U-S CAPITOL WHERE BUSH WILL BE SWORN-IN TOMORROW, MORNING
DOWNPOURS HAVE HAMPERED EFFORTS TO GET LAST-MINUTE WORK DONE.
TRACK: POLICE ANTICIPATE THE LARGEST INAUGURAL DEMONSTRATION SINCE THE
VIETNAM WAR AND PROTESTORS HAVE ALREADY BEGUN MAKING THEIR POINTS.
BUT FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL POLICE WILL BE STANDING BY ON SATURDAY.
(Super: Charles Ramsey/DC Police Chief)
SOT: Security is tighter, doubled the number of officers on the parade
route and other places.
TRACK: WHILE WASHINGTON WELCOMES THE BUSHES, ITS MOVING DAY FOR THE
CLINTONS SIGNS THAT THE TRANSITION OF POWER IS WELL UNDERWAY.
(Super: Teri Okita/Reporting)
One of the first big problems facing the new administration is the power crisis in California.
Two straight days of rolling blackouts have forced hundreds of thousands of people to deal with no power ... affecting homes, schools, and personal lives.
California's troubles followed deregulation there .. something Virginia's legislature has already set into motion.
That leads to concerns that blackouts and sky-high electric bills could reach the Old Dominion.
Today a General Assembly subcommittee will discuss deregulation in Virginia.
Last year the subcommittee left much responsibility to the power companies themselves.
American Electric Power has implemented a customer choice program so customers pick their own supplier.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The bill in Virginia]
[SUPER=01-Todd Burns/American Electric Power]
((TODD BURNS/AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER: THE BILL IN VIRGINIA HAS A LONGER TERM TO IMPLEMENT IT, AND WE'VE ALSO GOT A CONSUMER EDUCATION PROJECT THAT IS KEY TO IMPLEMENTING CUSTOMER CHOICE IN VIRGINIA.))
[OUT Q=choice in Virginia.]
But deregulation isn't the only reason behind the shortage of power in California.
First, the state doesn't have enough Power Plants because strict environmental regulations prohibit their construction.
Regulations also prohibit power distributors from buying electricity at today's prices.
And only so much of the cost is allowed to be passed on to consumers -- so power companies there aren't making any money.
Next, California's location limits where it can get power -- Mexico is to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the West.
Finally, it was quite a dry season for hydroelectric plants.
More on plans to deregulate electricity in Virginia tonight at five and six.
[GRAPHIC=Standards of Learning]
The state is giving high marks to the Franklin County school system.
Boones Mill Elementary and three other schools are being recognized today for achieving full accreditation under the Standards of Learning program.
Those schools did it about seven years before the deadline.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Our high school]
((LEONARD GEREAU/SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: OUR HIGH SCHOOL ONLY MISSED THE FULL ACCREDITATION BY ONE SUBJECT AREA. AND WE HAD TWO OTHER ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS THAT JUST MISSED FULL ACCREDITATION. SO WE'RE SO PROUD OF THE LEARNING COMMUNITIES WE'VE ESTABLISHED IN EVERY SCHOOL.))
[SUPER=01-Leonard Gereau/School Superintendent;]
[OUT Q=in every school.]
The other elementary schools that are receiving certificates are Burnt Chimney, Snow Creek and Ferrum.
Just two days after a car plowed into their restaurant, employees at the Golden Corral in Lynchburg are welcoming customers back today.
Nine people were hurt when an elderly man accidentally drove his car through a restaurant wall Wednesday.
Today, the only signs of damage are tire marks on the rug and black tarp on the walls.
The restaurant re- opened at 11 this morning.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Very glad]
((ERIC ESTERLINE/GOLDEN CORRAL GM: VERY GLAD TO BE BACK. I KNOW MY SERVERS SAID A COUPLE OF THEM HAVE THE NEW DRIVE-THROUGH SECTION TODAY, SO I WROTE THOSE NOTES DOWN, BUT THEY'RE EXCITED TO BE BACK. OBVIOUSLY A LITTLE NERVOUS BECAUSE IT WAS A LITTLE UNSETTLING WEDNESDAY BUT THEY'RE ALL GLAD TO BE BACK AND READY TO ROLL TODAY AGAIN.))
[SUPER=01-Eric Esterline/Golden Corral GM]
[OUT Q=roll today again.]
Esterline (ES-ter-lin) says they originally thought the restaurant would be closed until next week.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Princess Diana's former butler gets a grilling. Still ahead, the probe into thefts from her former palace.
And the "Internet Babies" are taken away from the couple who adopted them. The latest on that story when we return.
But first, let's get the soggy weather story from Jacey Birch.
[music up full]
Another chapter unfolds in the international Internet custody battle involving a set of identical twin babies.
Yesterday, officials took the American girls away from the British couple who had adopted them.
They're now in the care of social services.
Mark Phillips has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The fight over]
[SUPER=03-Mold, Wales; :00]
[SUPER=01-Judith Kilshaw/Adoptive Mother; :31]
[SUPER=01-Tony Blair/British Prime Minister; 1:10]
[SUPER=01-Mark Phillips/Reporting; 1:18]
[OUT Q=Mark Phillips, CBS news, Mold, Wales. ]
The fight over who would have what's come to be called The Internet
Twins had been between a British couple an American couple and their
American birth mother. Right now neither of them has the girls. They
were taken away by British child welfare services last night.
(twins being carried off)
In the most dramatic moment of what's become a media circus here local
social workers bundled the six month old babies out of the Welsh country
hotel where the Kilshaws -- the British couple which claims to have
adopted them -- were staying.
A doctor had examined the twins but their health doesn't seem to have
been the issue. The twins -- as they have seemed throughout this ordeal
-- were calm even dozing while the excitement swirled around them.
(Kilshaw's with court order)
The Kilshaws, when served with the court order, were not calm.
What can I feel what can I do? I'm fighting the whole of the British
Government the whole of the system and that's difficult really and I
haven't done anything wrong. /13
(Kilshaws and kids and photogs)
The increasingly odd behavior of the Kilshaws HAS become an issue in
this drama... the endless series of TV interviews they've given to
British and American networks.
The fact they had their house examined by ghostbusters because they
though it was haunted.
Everybody here has an opinion on the twins and the sordid business of
arranging adoptions on the internet.
(SOT Tony Blair -- British Prime Minister)
I think that everyone feels that it is absolutely deplorable that
children are treated in this way. And adoption should always be about
the interests of the child first./10
(On Cam tail)
. And the girls, whose welfare is supposed to be paramount here, are
now presumably in foster care with the fourth family in six months.
Mark Phillips, CBS News, Mold, Wales
In this case, perhaps the butler DIDN'T do it--
Princess Diana's former butler has been released after British police questioned him about some missing items.
Authorities had suspected 42- year- old Paul Burrell of theft.
British news reports say a model boat encrusted with jewels disappared from Kensington Palace.
The boat was a wedding present to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and it's worth more than 700- thousand dollars.
Some of the Princess' clothing is also missing.
Burrell was the chief fundraiser for the Diana memorial fund until the end of 19-98.
Norfolk Southern is eliminating more jobs in the Roanoke valley.
The railroad confirmed late yesterday afternoon it's furloughed 34 Roanoke-based conductors.
The layoffs took effect yesterday.
Norfolk Southern blames them on a slowing economy.
[**TAKE VO HERE**]
[SUPER=03-Bassett Furniture/File Tape;]
Sales are down at Bassett Furniture, but the company hopes things turn around by the end of the year.
Bassett sales dropped more than two and half percent last year.
Company President Robert Spilman calls the results "unacceptable" .. and he expects better numbers this year.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
It's a committee where bills go to die. Still ahead, Virginia's House Speaker .. and his "graveyard" committee.
And it's time for the beautiful people to appear in Utah. We'll tell you where they're going .. and why.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
There's word at this hour of a deal between President Clinton and the independent counsel -- a deal that would keep
Clinton from being prosecuted after he leaves office.
According to reports from Washington, Clinton has agreed to admit that he made misleading
statements. The agreement is expected to be announced today by the office of special counsel Robert Ray.
Amherst Republican Vance Wilkins is now one of the most powerful people in Virginia. Wilkins is in his second year as Speaker of the House.
But critics say he's using his power to make one House committee his own personal "kill zone" .. for bills he doesn't like.
Ellen Qualls has the story from Richmond.
[IN Q=Troopers, sheriffs]
[SUPER=01-Del. Jerrauld Jones/(D) Norfolk; :53 ]
[SUPER=@Ellen2; 1:15 ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Richmond.]
(( Troopers, sheriffs, police, and guns.
That's the business of the House of Delegates' Committee on Militia and Police.
But now it appears it's shooting down bills the powerful Speaker of the House doesn't like.
14 out of 23 members are Republicans.
Most get high ratings from the NRA.
So what do you think they'd do with a license plate for the Million Mom March?
Or a seatbelt bill, that would normally go to the Transportation Committee?
((SPEAKER VANCE WILKINS/R-AMHERST: WELL, NOW THERE MAY BE A COUPLE BILLS THAT I PUT ONE PLACE OR ANOTHER THAT DID NOT FIT IN THOSE EXACT CATEGORIES...PEROGATIVE OF THE SPEAKER TO PUT THE BILLS ANYWHERE HE WANTS TO PUT THEM.))
Patrons of bills that have gotten the Wilkins' treatment are starting to call the committee a graveyard.
((DEL. JERRAULD JONES/D-NORFOLK: THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY... SOME ATTACK HERE.))
Wilkins says he's mostly trying to even out the workload, to make the system more efficient.
And expect more changes next year.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
High-speed Internet access.
Henry County, Patrick County and Martinsville are joining forces in hopes of bringing it to their area ... and in hopes of bringing new jobs with it.
Yesterday, representatives from each community announced a partnership with Virginia Tech's Center for Wireless Tele-communications.
Virginia Tech will study whether a broadband wireless communication network can be implemented in the region.
Those Southside communities hope this high speed internet access will attract businesses to the area.
[IN Q=This is an opportunity]
((DAVID HOBACK/PATRICK CO. ADMINISTRATOR: THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE BUSINESSES TO BE ABLE TO OPERATE HERE.))
[SUPER=01-David Hoback/Patrick Co. Administrator]
[OUT Q=to operate here]
The study will identify those local businesses and industries that would benefit from this technology.
The study should be done by the summer.
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[SUPER=331-More Rain/Tonight/37-39/Cloudy & Colder/Winter Mix/35-39]
[SUPER=332-Continued Rain/Showers/36-38/Morning Rain/Afternoon Snow/33-37]
[SUPER=333-Rain Showers/Continue/33-35/Colder with/Snow Likley/30-34]
[SUPER=334-More Rain for/Friday Night/32-34/70% Chance/for Snow/28-32]
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was DOWN 88 points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
The Ravens and the Giants try to balance media attention and preparing for the Super Bowl. Still ahead, we'll check in with both teams...
and the Ferrum Panthers were hoping to get back on the winning track at home. We'll have highlights up next in sports.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The Ferrum Panthers hosted (chuh-WAHN) Chowan last night, riding a nasty four game losing streak.
[SUPER=03-Ferrum/Chowan vs. Ferrum; :00]
Head coach Ed Wills was intense for this non-conference battle between the Panthers and the Braves.
Former Fleming star R.J. Reynolds makes the steal, penetrates and kicks the rock out to Jerry Dillard out of Magna Vista.
Ferrum is looking good in the second half.
(chuh-WAHN) Chowan would answer back on the other end ,with a strong move on the block from Jeremy Sims, as this one stays tight.
Ferrum would crack the interior of the Braves' defense, just as easily.
Number 42 - Robert (ven-NAY)Veney glides to the hole for the bucket.
But Ferrum falls 86-to-67. Panthers are now 5-and-8.
[TAPE#=SP-82 tc 50:53]
[GRAPHIC=6430 Colonial Athletic Conference]
Old Dominion Univeristy stepped out of the Colonial Athletic Conference last night for a meeting with U-Conn on the Huskies' home court.
Wendy Larry's Monarchs had the tough task of facing this previously undefeated U-CONN team right after its loss to Notre Dame. The Huskies haven't dropped back to back games in eight seasons.
ODU hits the boards early.
Monique (COH-ker) Coker follows her own miss to get the two.
U-CONN works the ball around and the Monarchs leave Svetlana Abrosimova all alone underneath. She scores the easy bucket.
ODU stays with its inside game, going down low again to Coker, but the UCONN lead is 20.
Diana (taw-RAH-see) Taurasi sets up for a long two and the Huskies get back on the winning track with the 80 to 51 win.
With two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, the goal is to stay focused on the game.
It's easier said than done with all the distractions, but it's something the Ravens are committed to achieving.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Brian Billick/Ravens Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=...GAME WERE SUNDAY."]
[TAPE#=SP-90 tc 36:50]
[GRAPHIC=SUPER BOWL 35]
The Super Bowl teams will arrive in Tampa early next week--
But yesterday it was time for the Giants to face the New York press at the Meadowlands.
[SUPER=03-East Rutherford, NJ; :00]
Tiki Barber kind of turned the table on reporters.
When asked about his great season, in which he topped 2000 total yards - he says it all goes back to preparation.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The new]
[SUPER=01-Tiki Barber/Giants Running Back;]
[OUT Q=I finally got it]
Super Bowl Sunday is on the 28th, right here on Your Hometown Station with the kickoff set for six o'clock.
Be sure to join us all next week beginning Monday for a very up close look at Tiki and all of the local stars playing in this year's Super Bowl.
And before we leave you this afternoon--
It's a sea of celebrities in Salt Lake City.
[SUPER=03-Salt Lake City, UT;]
The stars came out to Utah for the opening of the annual Sundance Film Festival.
It's the leading showcase for independent
films in the U-S.
Festival icon Robert Redford will NOT be attending this year's event.
Festival- goers should understand, he's in Europe shooting a movie.
But there will still be plenty of celebrities to rub elbows with--
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]
Updating a story that broke during our newscast,
government sources are confirming
President Clinton has reached a deal with the independent counsel
to avoid indictment after leaving office. More details later today on News 7 at 5.
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
SUPER=#4071; Q99 Banner Tuesday and Thursday ONLY