[HEADLINES]

[TALENT=Kimberly]

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


Coming up on News 7--
New developments in the fatal crash of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.
Racing officials now suspect equipment failure.
(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


And we'll have a follow- up to yesterday's 20- vehicle collision on Interstate- 81.
(/////////////)
[TALENT=Jacey]
[SS=None]


The calm after the storm blankets our area with sunshine and warmth today and tomorrow... I'll have our weekend forecast coming up.
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[SS=None]


News 7 at noon is straight ahead.



[Video-Open]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


NASCAR officials say Dale Earnhardt's lap belt was broken.
An investigation of the fatal wreckage found that the belt "came apart".
(------------)


[Earnhardt]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kor]
[TAPE#=00-49]
[GRAPHIC=Earnhardt Crash Investigation]


There are new details this morning concerning what lead to the death of Dale Earnhardt. The focus has now shifted to an equipment malfunction. Mike Stevens now has details from this morning's announcement in Rockingham, North Carolina.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=@Mike1; :00]
[SUPER=03-Rockingham, NC; :14]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Steve Bohannon/Trauma Physician; :24]
[SUPER=01-Gary Nelson/NASCAR Competition Director; : 42]
[SUPER=01-Mike Helton/NASCAR President; :52]
[RUNS=1:25]
[OUT Q=now back to you.]




[Buffalo-Creek]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=jmc]
[TAPE#=00-53]
[GRAPHIC=81 Accident]


Traffic is moving again on Interstate 81 in Rockbridge County.
The southbound lanes re-opened this morning, after crews removed the wreckage from yesterday's fiery crash on the bridge over Buffalo Creek.
But crews are still on the scene today, working to repair damage and clean up diesel fuel that spilled.
Joe Dashiell has an update.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=The cars and trucks]
[SUPER=@Joe1; :00]
[SUPER=03-Rockbridge Co.; :10]
[SUPER=04-Yesterday; :30]
[RUNS=:51]

[OUT Q=open to traffic later this afternoon.][Munsey]



[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=00-54]
[GRAPHIC=Thomas Trial]


Jury selection in the Pulaski County capital murder trial of Jeffrey Allen Thomas continues today.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Pulaski;]


So far, attorneys have selected 15 prospective jurors from a pool of 28.
The group will be narrowed down to 12 on Monday.
Thomas is accused of murdering Radford teenager Tara Munsey during what was either a rape or attempted rape one year ago.
The judge hopes to complete jury selection today and begin hearing evidence in the case on Monday.
(------------)



[Nascar-Store]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=12]
[WRITER=jmi]
[TAPE#=01-09]
[GRAPHIC=none]


More bad news for NASCAR fans... all 11 NASCAR Thunder stores across the country are closing, including the one in Roanoke.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


The one at Valley View Mall has been open for more than two years.
The store manager says NASCAR Thunder's parent company was bought out by VIACOM.
VIACOM decided it didn't want to be in retail, so the stores will close within the next six weeks.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=We carried things that]

((SHERRY LOCKHART/STORE CO-MANAGER: WE CARRIED THINGS THAT OTHER LOCALLY OWNED SHOPS DID NOT CARRY BECAUSE WE'RE A NASCAR SANCTIONED SHOP. AND SO I FEEL LIKE IT'S GOING TO LEAVE A VOID IN THE AREA.))
[SUPER=01-Sherry Lockhart/Store Manager]
[RUNS=10]
[OUT Q=in the area.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Seven people will lose their jobs in Roanoke, 60 across the country.
About half of the store's inventory is already gone.
The store manager says they do NOT have ANY Dale Earnhart memorabilia.
(------------)



[Transkrit]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=jmi]
[TAPE#=00-55 TC1:21:18]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A glimmer of hope for one local company has faded.
Transkrit will close its doors.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Week]


The company is now in liquidation mode.
It's parent company filed for bankruptcy in December.
After attempts to sell Transkrit to two different potential buyers, no deal was reached.
Half of the company's employees, about 100 people, have been let go so far.
The state-of-the-art label making company will be completely closed within the next 60 days.
(------------)



[Bush]


[ANCHOR=Kimbelry]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=George W. Bush]


Both President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are taking a tough stance against Iraq.
The two are meeting for the first time face-to-face today at Camp David.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC/Last Night;]


Tony Blair and his wife arrived in Washington last night.
The 36- hour- visit will focus on what Blair calls the "special relationship" between the U-S and Britain.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=KIMBERLY]
[GRAPHIC=none]


But security issues will top their agenda, especially after last week's joint air strikes against Iraq.

Both leaders say they wanted to send a clear message to Saddam Hussein.[Blood-Supply]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=jsu]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Blood Supply]


The American Red Cross says all the snow yesterday has taken its toll on the blood supply.
It's now down below a 2-day supply.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=04-File Tape]


The Red Cross says the snow caused the cancellation of several blood drives throughout the region.
And now it's encouraging the community to donate to help replenish the supply -- so that it can continue to meet patients' needs.
(XXXXXXXXX)

[Take FS Board ] There are several blood drives going on today. You can donate at the Downtown Roanoke Center until 3 p-m. The Wytheville Community Center until 6pm. The Verona United Methodist Church until 6pm. [Take FS Board 2] The Lynchburg Tate Springs Medical Center until 6pm. And the Blacksburg New River Donor Center until 2pm.

(XXXXXXXXXXX)[Singapore-Crash]



[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Problems with the airport are considered the root of last October's fatal crash of a jumbo jet in Taiwan.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Taipei, Taiwan;]


That's the finding in a preliminary report crash investigators released today.
Authorities say a runway that was closed for construction was not properly marked.
[SUPER=04-File Tape;]


Nearly two dozen Americans were among the 83 people killed when the Singapore Airlines plane took off on the wrong runway.
It slammed into construction equipment and burst into flames.
The report also blames the pilots for ignoring a cockpit device that indicated the plane wasn't properly lined up on the runway.
(------------)


[Sub-Collision]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Meanwhile, the investigation continues into the collision between an American submarine and a Japanese fishing vessel.
U-S ambassador Thomas Foley has promised the Japanese people there will be NO cover-ups.
Nine Japanese are missing and presumed dead.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Honolulu, HI;]


Meanwhile, a hearing on the incident is postponed for a second time.
The hearing was originally set for Monday, but is now delayed until March 5th.
The attorney for the U-S-S Greeneville's captain requested the extra time to gather more evidence.
(------------)


[XGR]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=00-50 TC1:50:30]
[GRAPHIC=VA Budget]


The General Assembly is working on a budget compromise.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond;]


The Governor and House of Delegates want a 70-percent and then 100- percent phase-out of the car tax over the next two years.
Yesterday, the Senate passed its own budget, which increased its car tax phase-out from 50 to 55 percent in the first year, and decreased its teacher pay raises.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=It is a compromise budget]
[sot SENATE 04:07:15]

((SEN. JOHN CHICHESTER/R-STAFFORD: IT IS A COMPROMISE BUDGET. ONE THAT REASONABLE MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE WITH. THIS IS NOT A HALF-BAKED PROPOSAL.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Chichester/(R) Stafford Co.; ]
[RUNS=:09]
[OUT Q=this is not a half-baked proposal.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Senator Chichester says it is the fiscally prudent way to keep the "no car tax" promise, without cutting essential state services.
The House's chief negotiator says it's NOT enough.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=We've met with them on]
[sot CALLAHAN 14:55:54 ]

((DEL. VINCE CALLAHAN/R-FAIRFAX: WE'VE MET WITH THEM ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS AND THEY'RE THE ONES THAT WOULDN'T COMPROMISE. AND WHY DIDN'T THEY MAKE THIS PROPOSAL TO US SEVERAL DAYS AGO? WHY DID THEY WAIT 'TIL THE ELEVENTH HOUR LIKE THIS? I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEIR GAME IS, BUT I FIND IT TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Vince Callahan/(R) Fairfax;]
[RUNS=:15]
[OUT Q=I find it totally irresponsible.]
(-------------)
[TALENT=Kimberly]
[SS=HOLD]


The Senate negotiators say they were "astonished" Wednesday night when the House team told them it was "the House way or the highway" on the car tax.


[Science-Museum]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=slo]
[TAPE#=00-52 TC2:03:30]
[GRAPHIC=None]


The Science Museum of Western Virginia is paying close attention the budget negotiations.
The museum may undergo some changes due to a lack of funding.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


On the verge of national accreditation, the museum is dealing with a devastating loss of funding.
The cutback could affect everything from the days and times that the museum is open to salaries to actual jobs.


(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 00:08:36]
[IN Q=We've received funding]

((KEN SCHUTZ /EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; WE'VE RECEIVED FUNDING FOR THIRTY YEARS IN A ROW. HALF OF OUR FUNDS, HALF OF OUR OPERATING MONEY COMES FROM THE STATE. WE'RE ABOUT TO BE ACCREDITED, THAT WOULD MAKE US COMPETITIVE FOR NATIONAL GRANTS. WE'RE READY TO MOVE TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF EXCELLENCE.))
[SUPER=01-Ken Schutz /Executive Director]
[RUNS=14]
[OUT Q=next level of excellence]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The museum fears that the loss in revenue may also affect its presentation to the accreditation committee.
Last year, the museum received 725-thousand dollars from the state.
This year, it might not get any.
(------------)



[Fatal-Fire]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=00-48 TC1:48:15]
[GRAPHIC=Fatal Fire]


The fire that claimed the life of a Pittsylvania County couple may have been caused by a wood stove.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Java]


The fire broke out just before three yesterday morning at this home on Church Road in Java.
Firefighters arrived to find the home engulfed in flames.
Crews found 82 year old Roosevelt Lanier and his wife Obelia Lanier dead in a basement bedroom.
The couple had recently had trouble with their furnace and were using an old wood stove.
Authorities plan further investigation to determine whether the wood stove ignited the fire.
(------------)



[Redmond]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=khu]
[TAPE#=01-07 TC26:21]
[GRAPHIC=Legal Scales]


It's not the ORIGINAL charge he faced, but a former V-M-I cadet pleads guilty to giving false testimony.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


(Twon)Twan Redmond was charged last Fall with helping to set fire in the barracks three years ago.
But yesterday he pled guilty only to perjury. The government agreed to drop the arson charge.
Prosecutor Tony Giorno told the judge that Redmond and his "brother rat" Daniel Payne had agreed to stonewall the investigation. Redmond lied to the Grand Jury.
The fire was in response to news that six cadets were being "drummed out" of the Institute.
Redmond will be sentenced later.
(------------)



[Morning-After]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=00-51]
[GRAPHIC=none]


House representatives in Virginia want to keep the "parental consent" factor in the bill that would make it easier to acquire the so-called "morning- after" pill.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The bill would let pharmacists, physician's assistants, and nurse practitioners dispense emergency contraception, or the morning after pill, without a visit to a doctor.
Opponents say it's a bad idea for any woman, much less a teenager.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=Apparently, when it comes to sex]
[sot HOUSE 02:21:01]

((DEL. BOB MARSHALL/R-PRINCE WILLIAM CO.: APPARENTLY, WHEN IT COMES TO SEX, SOME PEOPLE ARE READY TO SWALLOW ANY FANTASY.))
[sot HOUSE 02:22:13]

((DEL. BOB MARSHALL/R-PRINCE WILLIAM CO.: YOU ARE GIVING THEM AN ILLUSION. YOU ARE GIVING THEM AN ILLUSION OF SAFETY. YOU ARE GIVING THEM AN ILLUSION OF POWER. YOU ARE GIVING THEM AN ILLUSION OF A FUTURE THAT THEY HAVE FREE FROM THESE CONSEQUENCES.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Bob Marshall/(R) Prince William Co.;]
[RUNS=:18]
[OUT Q=have free from these consequences.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond;]


But the bill's sponsor says it's the best way to help prevent abortions and unplanned pregnancies -- and doctors agree.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=The Virginia Obstetrical and Gynecological]
[sot HOUSE 02:15:50]

((DEL. VIOLA BASKERVILLE/D-RICHMOND: THE VIRGINIA OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL SOCIETY, WHICH REPRESENTS OVER 600 OB-GYN DOCTORS IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, WHO SUPPORT HOUSE BILL 2782.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Viola Baskerville/(D) Richmond; ]
[RUNS=:14]
[OUT Q=who support House Bill 2782.]
(-------------)
[TALENT=Kimberly]
[SS=none]


The Senate version would strip the parental consent requirement for teens out of the bill.
The Senators say Virginia could lose four million dollars a year in federal funds by keeping parental consent a part of the bill.

[540-Area-Code]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=01-12 TC00:08]
[GRAPHIC=540 Area Code]


A plan that will breakup the 5-4-0 Area Code is approved by the State Corporation Commission.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Far Southwest Virginia will get a new area code on September First. No word yet on what that number will be.
The Roanoke Valley and much of the New River Valley will keep the 5-4-0 Area Code for about five years, then get a new number.
The Shenandoah Valley will keep the 5-4-0 number.
(------------)



[Millenium-Dome]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


The wreckers have moved into London's Millennium Dome.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-London, England;]


As heavy equipment began destroying the Dome's exhibits, more than 17- thousand items went on public display.
An auction is set for next week for those looking to buy a piece of history.
[SUPER=04-File Tape;]


Items on sale include the heart, eye, and brains from the Body Zone and a six- foot tall hamster.
The auctioneer says it's not clear just how much each item is worth.
The battle is now on for who will take over the Millennium Dome. [SUPER=05-Rockbridge Co.;](------------)