Speaking on a webcast, Norfolk Southern's C-F-O re- affirms that more layoffs are ahead.
We'll have an update.
And we'll meet a Salem woman, whose company receives a 12-thousand dollar heating bill.
Our rain showers started late last night and they continue through today... and tonight. We'll take a look at how long the wet weather will last coming up next.
News 7 at noon is straight ahead.
A Palestinian plows through a crowded bus stop today, killing eight Israelis.
But Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat denies it was an attack.
Making international headlines--
Israel says it was a deadly attack.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat calls it a "road accident".
A Palestinian drove a bus into a crowded bus stop today, killing eight Israelis.
David Hawkins reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Tel Aviv, Israel; :00]
[SUPER=01-David Hawkins/Reporting; :39]
[OUT Q=Hawkins, CBS News, Tel Aviv.]
THE PALESTINIAN BUS DRIVER PLOWED INTO THE CROWDED BUS STOP DURING THE
MORNING RUSH-HOUR. MOST OF THE PEOPLE KILLED WERE ISRAELI SOLDIERS.
NEARLY 20 WERE INJURED.
THE BUS DRIVER THEN LED POLICE ON A HIGH-SPEED CHASE. HE WAS STOPPED
ONLY AFTER POLICE FIRED AT THE BUS... CAUSING IT TO CRASH INTO A TRUCK.
THE DRIVER WAS A 35-YEAR-OLD FATHER OF FIVE... FROM GAZA... AND HAS
WORKED FOR THE ISRAELI NATIONAL BUS COMPANY FOR FIVE YEARS. ISRAELI
OFFICIALS SAY HE WAS NOT CONSIDERED A SECURITY RISK.
THE MILITANT PALESTINIAN GROUP HAMAS CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE
ATTACK... BUT THE BUS DRIVER'S RELATIVES SAID HE HAS NO TIES TO THE
The weather has delayed repair work on Route 11 over the Natural Bridge.
VDOT was planning to close the highway for two days so workers could fix a concrete wall.
Rain has pushed that closing back to this Friday.
And if they can't get the work done then, it will have to wait until next week.
Clifton Forge residents vote next month on whether to remain a city or become a town.
Local leaders hope the city's 43- hundred residents vote FOR reversion.
Residents learned more about the issue at last night's informational meeting.
Teresa Hamilton reports.
[SUPER=03-Clifton Forge; :05]
[SUPER=01-Dusty Rhodes/Clifton Forge Mayor; :31]
[SUPER=01-Doody Morris/City Status Supporter; 1:04]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7, Clifton Forge.]
((YOU MUST CONSIDER YOUR KIDS, YOUR GRAND KIDS.))
[OUT Q= YOUR GRANDKIDS.]
Mayor Dusty Rhodes say the only way Clifton Forge can remain a city is to raise taxes ever more.
But Rhodes told the crowd in his opinion it would still never work.
He says the city's losing population and jobs.
Rhodes say the only solution is to revert to a town and become part of Alleghany County.
(( YOUR TAXES WILL DECREASE, YOU WOULD NOT PAY THE 18 DOLLAR FEE FOR GARBAGE COLLECTION YOU WOULD STILL VOTE FOR FIVE MEMBERS OF CLIFTON FORGE TOWN COUNCIL, YOU WOULD ALSO VOTE FOR MEMBERS OF BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, THE TOWN NAME WOULD REMAIN ON THE MAP, OUR POST OFFICE WILL STILL BE HERE AND WE'LL HAVE THE SAME ZIP CODE. ))
[OUT Q=same zip code.]
City officials say Clifton Forge would also keep its police and fire department as well library and public works.
But some in the crowd indicated it sounded too good to be true.. pointing out that some people, such as constitutional officers, would lose their jobs.
((DOODY MORRIS: I STILL SAY WE CAN STILL STAY A CITY AND WE NEED TO DEVELOP ECONOMICALLY AND WORK TOGETHER AS NEIGHBORS AND NOT FORCE OUR PROBLEMS ONTO OUR NEIGHBORS AND I HOPE ALLEGHANY COUNTY KNOWS WE LOVE THEM BUT WE NEED TO KEEP OUR BOUNDARIES.))
Another information meeting will be held Saturday at the Clifton Forge Fire Department.
Residents will vote on the issue March 6th.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Clifton Forge.))[Blacksburg-Rescue]
Some of Blacksburg's volunteer rescue squad members are upset that town council voted NOT to confirm their choice for captain.
Town council voted unanimously against supporting the rescue squad's election of Noel Gardner.
Council members questioned his ability to lead after a female squad member made an unpublicized accusation.
No criminal charges have been brought against him.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Mr. Gardner]
[sot 14:39- :49]
((MAYOR ROGER HEDGEPETH: MR. GARDNER IS AWARE OF THE REASONS FOR THE DECISION AND SINCE THIS IS A PERSONNEL MATTER, THOSE REASONS WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL.))
((JERRY OLINGER/SQUAD MEMBER: I THINK HE WAS GIVEN A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE BY THE RESCUE SQUAD BY OVER 75% OF THE MEMBERS THAT WERE PRESENT. I THINK NOEL WOULD DO A GOOD JOB AS RESCUE SQUAD CAPTAIN AND I THINK THE TOWN DIDN'T GIVE HIM GOOD DUE PROCESS OF LAW.))
[SUPER=01-Roger Hedgepeth/Blacksburg Mayor;]
[SUPER=01-Jerry Olinger/Rescue Squad Member;]
[OUT Q=process of the law.]
The town instructed the squad to elect a new captain by March 13th.
A Salem company is concerned that customers of a local gas company are paying more than their share.
Guilia (Julia) Gustafson (GOO-stav-son) says Lincra (Lyn-crah) USA received a nearly 12-thousand dollar gas bill for the month of January.
That's up fro a 400-dollar bill in December.
This morning Roanoke Gas sent an employee out to check the problem.
He found that the bill was the result of a misread meter.
But Gustafson's concern is that she wouldn't have noticed the error if the bill hadn't been so large.
She wonders if she and others aren't paying more than they need to be.
We'll have more on this story coming up tonight on News 7 at 6.
Norfolk Southern's Chief financial officer reaffirmed today that big changes are underway for the company and its employees.
A new restructuring plan may consider consolidation, partnerships, and the sale of several facilities.
Jennifer Miele joins us now with details on the plan.
Kim, its called N-S 21.
Its been described as a team of Norfolk Southern employees who will examine the customer service of the railroad.
(///// SOT /////)
((NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S CFO:))
To get the railroad back on track last year, NS reduced its dividends.
Norfolk Southern now plans to cut its workforce by one to two thousand people, dispose of 12 thousand cars, and sell off some three to four thousand miles of track.
The NS 21 team will also examine the closure of at least 10 Norfolk Southern facilities.
Kim, no word yet on where and when these changes will happen.
But the CFO's speech reaffirms that there ARE changes in store.
[NOTE ANCHOR TAG!!!]
The U-S Navy says two civilians were seated at the controls of the American submarine that sank a Japanese fishing boat last week.
Navy officials say those civilians COULD have distracted the submarine's crew.
David Martin has the latest from the Pentagon.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Tom Kile/Submarine Force Pacific; :00]
[SUPER=03-Honolulu, HI; :22]
[SUPER=01-David Martin/Reporting; :38]
[OUT Q=could be operating.]
((Captain Tom Kile, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Submarine Force Pacific)
"If there were civilians on watch or standing at any of these stations
on the ship they were under the direct control of a qualified military
submarine person so that that person, that military person, could take
control of any action that was initiated by the civilian person or
another non qualified person." :22
The two civilians were part of a group of businessmen aboard the
Greenville that day for an orientation cruise. A Pacific Fleet
spokesman says the two (FILE TAPE) were seated at separate watch
stations, like the ones seen here and were closely supervised, something
that's not uncommon for VIP visitors.
TRACK/VO/Sub into port/Surfacing
Navy officers say it is unlikely that a civilian at the helm could have
caused this accident. But it does give the impression the sub was out
for a joy ride. (FILE TAPE) And even some Navy officers are questioning
why the sub conducted an emergency surfacing operation so close to land
where small boats could be operating.
That was David Martin reporting.
The U-S pardon attorney says the Clinton administration did NOT reveal that financier Marc Rich was a fugitive when the pardon process began.
Attorney Roger Adams is a key witness before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
It's holding hearings today on the pardon.
Senator Arlen Specter is chairman of the committee.
Specter points out that the Presidential pardon is one of the few things in government with no checks and balances.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 10:15:01 ]
[IN Q=EVERYBODY AGREES.]
((SEN. ARLEN SPECTER/R- PA: EVERYBODY AGREES THAT BEFORE THE PRESIDENT EXERCISES THE PARDON POWER HE
OR SHE OUGHT TO HAVE ALL THE FACTS. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS
REGULATIONS BUT PRESIDENT CLINTON IGNORED THEM."))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Arlen Specter/(R) Pennsylvania;]
[OUT Q=IGNORED THEM.]
Specter also suggests that Rich's pardon may NOT be valid.
He questions whether all documentation was signed before Clinton left office.
House and Senate leaders will name budget negotiators in Richmond today.
Those are the lawmakers who try to reach a compromise between two budgets -- one that they hope the Governor will then sign.
But what happens if what those around Capitol Square call "the train wreck" actually happens this year?
If NO compromise can be reached, it means NO pay raises for teachers, NO new state troopers, and very little money for museums and cultural agencies.
[IN Q=I'm hoping]
[sot 15:37:29 ]
((DEL. MORGAN GRIFFITH/R-SALEM: I'M HOPING THAT WE CAN INCREASE THE ... CULTURAL MUSEUMS... NOT BEING ABLE TO WORK SOMETHING OUT WOULD HAVE FAR GREATER IMPACT THAN WORKING SOMETHING OUT THAT PEOPLE MIGHT THINK WELL THAT'S NOT AS GOOD AS WE SHOULD HAVE DONE.))
[OUT Q=should have done.]
If lawmakers avert the "train wreck," the Governor could still veto any budget that did NOT hit the 70-percent car tax phase-out.
That would leave him with the previous budget -- which was based on higher revenues than the state is collecting.
[IN Q=It's gonna ]
((DEL. DICK CRANWELL/D-VINTON: IT'S GONNA BE EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. BECAUSE WITHOUT ANY OF THE BOND REVENUES, THIS GOVERNOR'S GOING TO HAVE TO CUT A BILLION DOLLARS OUT OF THE BUDGET.))
[OUT Q=of the budget.]
A third option could be that the Governor would essentially create his own new budget without legislative approval.
Lawmakers say that would draw a series of lawsuits.
Duke Energy is looking to build a gas fired power plant in Wythe County.
The company has an option to buy 715-acres of land in the Southeast part of the county.
The company presented preliminary plans for the plant yesterday to local officials and residents.
Some said they're worried about noise and pollution.
Duke Energy assured them it wants to study the area and environmental impact before moving ahead.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 16:58:08 - :28]
[IN Q=As far as drawbacks,]
((CHARLES CLAUNCH/DUKE ENERGY: AS FAR AS DRAWBACKS, WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT AIR IMPLICATIONS, WATER IMPLICATIONS AND AESTHETICS OF THAT LOCATION AND A FACILITY OF THAT SIZE AND WE'LL SHARE THEN WITH THE COMMUNITY IN APRIL.))
[SUPER=01-Charles Claunch/Duke Energy;]
[OUT Q=mid to late April.]
The plant could employ up to 400 people during 18 months of construction.
20 to 25 would work there when it's up and running.
The Roanoke Bar Association endorsed its own candidate to be the new Circuit judge in the Valley.
Charlie Dorsey, a 46-year old general litigator originally from the Glenvar area has practiced law in Roanoke since 1979.
City lawyers elected him on the third ballot. It came down to Dorsey and Salem lawyer Jim Swanson who won the County Bar's recommendation last week.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I've substituted]
((I'VE SUBSTITUTED FOR YEARS, AND I'VE ENJOYED LEAVING ASIDE THE ADVOCACY SITUATION OF A LAWYER AND TRYING TO BE MORE BALANCED IN TERMS OF HEARING BOTH SIDES AND DEALING WITH BOTH SIDES.))
[SUPER=01-Charlie Dorsey/Judicial Hopeful]
[OUT Q=terms of hearing both sides and dealing with both sides.]
Delegate Morgan Griffith indicated Swanson's second place showing yesterday in Roanoke could help him. The local legislative delegation will make a decision Friday.
Dutch authorities have arrested a suspect they believe created the "Anna Kournikova" computer virus.
It appeared as an e-mail attachment promising a picture of the popular tennis star.
Instead, the computer bug stopped- up e-mail systems from the U-S to Australia, but did no permanent damage.
Dutch police are not releasing the suspect's name.
A Valentines day gift from a group of Roanoke Valley churchwomen will provide comfort and warmth.
Today, members of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints presented 162 blankets to the Roanoke City and Roanoke County police departments.
Sewn by members of eight area congregations, the blankets will be carried in patrol cars to comfort victims of accidents, crimes and other emergency situations.
Hollywood is focusing on Southside.
Four movie companies are interested in shooting projects in the Dan River Region.
This comes nearly six months after Oprah Winfrey's production company filmed "Amy and Isabelle" in Danville.
Producers of that movie believed the area's farms, river, and historic mills made for ideal shooting locations.
City Leaders hope the attention from Hollywood will turn Danville into a must see tourist attraction.
[IN Q=Its great exposure]
((MARGARET McMANN/DANVILLE'S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: ITS GREAT EXPOSURE NOT ONLY TO PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE STATE OR THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES TO WHAT DANVILLE IS BUT ITS ALSO A GREAT BOOST TO OUR ECONOMY.))
[SUPER=01-Margaret McMann/Danville Chamber of Commerce]
[OUT Q=boost to our economy]
McMann says two of the four projects could be shot within the next couple of months.
One is a major motion picture, the other three are TV movie specials.
At THIS competition-- four- legged contestants were strutting their stuff in the Big Apple.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
The 125th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show wrapped up last night.
Taking the coveted Best in Show award at America's most prestigious dog show, the (BEE-shon) (free-ZAY) Bichon Frise.
The little white dog named "Special Times Just Right" defeated 25-hundred other dogs to claim the top prize.
He became the first the first Bichon Frise to win at Westminster.
The three-year-old is now heading to retirement.
It's said that his favorite hobby is chewing up his handler's credit cards...
And finally on this Valentine's Day--
This romantic holiday is a popular one for weddings.
But you won't likely forget THESE brides and grooms.
Two elephant couples tied the trunk--uh-tied the KNOT in a Valentine's Day ceremony in Thailand.
The unusual ceremony wasn't just for entertainment, it was also aimed at reminding residents that elephants are an important part of their culture.
No word on whether the wedding guests threw rice...or peanuts...