[7-Thomas]

[ANCHOR=Kimberly]

[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=00-49]
[GRAPHIC=Thomas Trial]

A jury is almost set to hear arguments in the capital murder trial of Jeffery Allen Thomas.
Attorneys have picked 27 of the 28 people who will be narrowed down to 12 jurors today.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Pulaski;]


Thomas is accused of shooting 16-year old Tara Munsey to death last year during what prosecutors call a rape or attempted rape.
His defense attorneys still contend the case was too heavily publicized for Thomas to receive a fair jury trial in Pulaski County.
The trial is expected to last at least two weeks and include testimony from more than 80 witnesses.
(------------)



[7-BioMed-Center]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=00-]
[GRAPHIC=none]

Plans are progressing for a proposed biomedical research and technology park in Roanoke...
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

The project was discussed in detail during a public hearing and comment period last night.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke;]

If the project is approved by Roanoke city council... the park would be located on a 110- acre site near downtown Roanoke. About a half dozen people spoke during the hearing. All voiced support-- but one business owner did say he hoped he and others would be justly compensated if they were to relocate.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 19:47:13]
[IN Q=When we ask]

((BRAD ALLEN/ROANOKE BUSINESS OWNER: WHEN WE ASK SOMEONE TO SACRIFICE LET'S MAKE SURE THAT ALL OF OUR FAIR AND JUST COMPENSATION MEASURES AWE HAVE IN PLACE ARE ADHERED TO.))
[SUPER=01-Brad Allen/Roanoke Business Owner;]
[RUNS=06]
[OUT Q=are adhered to.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Roanoke city council, planning commission and Redevelopment and Housing Authority were also at the public hearing. All three have to decide whether to go with the plan. But city council has the ultimate say on the project when it meets March 19th.
(------------)



[7-L'burg-Council]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=01-06 TC50:53]
[GRAPHIC=Lynchburg Seal]

Last night, Lynchburg's mayor said the state of the city is good, but there are many challenges ahead...
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg]


Carl Hutcherson delivered his first State of the City address as Lynchburg mayor.
In front of a packed audience inside city council chambers, Hutcherson said Lynchburg has a lot of things to be proud of.. including its diverse and dedicated workforce.
But with the city budget process looming, leaders say they'll have difficult decisions to make in the coming months.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 22:07:09]
[IN Q=As we continue]

((CARL HUTCHERSON/LYNCHBURG MAYOR: AS WE CONTINUE ON THIS YEAR'S BUDGET CYCLE, BOTH THE CITY AND THE LYNCHBURG SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL HAVE TO MAKE A NUMBER OF DIFFICULT DECISIONS AND SACRIFICES IN ORDER TO MEET OUR OBLIGATIONS. LYNCHBURG CITY COUNCIL IS COMMITTED TO CONTINUING THOSE CORE SERVICES THAT YOU AS CITIZENS HAVE COME TO RELY UPON.))
[SUPER=01-Carl Hutcherson/Lynchburg Mayor]
[RUNS=22]
[OUT Q=come to rely upon.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The city also presented Awards of Excellence to seven people for their contributions to Lynchburg.
They included former Region 2000 director Rodger Fauber, school board member Harry Smith and Liberty University chancellor Reverend Jerry Falwell.
(------------)



[45-South-Boston]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=01-01 TC1:16:45]
[GRAPHIC=None]

Residents of Clifton Forge will decide whether to remain a city or revert to a town.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-South Boston]


South Boston underwent that change not too long ago.
Six years ago, South Boston reverted from a city to a town.
Town officials say the move improved services and saved money.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 16:54:40]
[IN Q=The town had an enormous]

((TED DANIEL/TOWN MANAGER: THE TOWN HAD AN ENORMOUS TAX BURDEN ON IT. BUT BY BECOMING PART OF THE BIGGER COUNTY GROUP THEY WERE ABLE TO SPREAD THAT ACROSS.))
[SUPER=01-Ted Daniel/Town Manager]
[RUNS=11]
[OUT Q=spread that across]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Residents immediately saw their real estate taxes cut in half.
But some changes took longer.
For example, the city and county are now just talking about sharing library services and 9-1-1 operations.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=]
[SS=None]


Clifton Forge residents will vote next Tuesday on whether to revert to a town and become part of Alleghany County.

[45-Wolverine-Cuts]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=rca]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=Layoffs]

A Montgomery County company is laying off about a hundred workers...
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg]


Wolverine Gasket of Blacksburg announced the lay-offs yesterday.
The reduction is effective March 5th and is expected to last at least through the end of March.
Officials say a slumping auto industry is to blame and that since January,Wolverine's business of making car gaskets is down 40-percent.
(------------)



[45-Gilmore-Budget]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=500-6 TC1:56:40]
[GRAPHIC=None]

The battle over the state budget continues...
The Governor has ordered a state hiring freeze and a halt in "discretionary spending" by state agencies.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond;]


The action follows Governor Jim Gilmore's Saturday night executive order to make up to 15 percent cuts to the existing two year budget.
The General Assembly adjourned without a new budget compromise Saturday night.
That left the Governor with last year's budget -- based on higher revenues than the state has actually collected.
So the balanced budget act could require 419- million dollars in cuts.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 15:06:23]
[IN Q=All the actions that we are]

((ALL THE ACTIONS THAT WE ARE TAKING ARE BEING REQUIRED BY LAW AND BEING REQUIRED BY THOSE ACTS. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO. IT'S WHAT I THINK WE ... IMPACT ON THEM IS MINIMIZED.))
[SUPER=@Gilmore;]
[RUNS=:17]
[OUT Q=impact on them is minimized.]
(-------------)
[TALENT=Kimberly]
[SS=None]


The Governor has ordered lawmakers to return to Richmond in late March to try again for a budget compromise.
Gilmore blamed the Senate for the emergency spending freeze 15 times during yesterday's news conference.
Virginia Beach Republican Senator Ken Stolle (STAH-lee) is calling the budget emergency "ridiculous" and unnecessary melodrama.

[8-Thomas]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=00-49]
[GRAPHIC=Thomas Trial]


With jury selection nearing completion, testimony should begin today in the capital murder trial of Jeffrey Allen Thomas.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Pulaski;]


Thomas is accused of shooting 16-year old Tara Munsey to death last year during what prosecutors call a rape or attempted rape.
His defense attorneys still contend the case was too heavily publicized for Thomas to receive a fair jury trial in Pulaski County.
The trial is expected to last at least two weeks and include testimony from more than 80 witnesses.
(------------)



[8-Akers-Execution]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=00-49 TC1:37:07]
[GRAPHIC=Akers]


Condemned killer Thomas Akers wants his execution carried out on schedule Thursday.
But his attorneys are still trying to prevent it from happening.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Rocky Mount/January 1999;]


Akers is one of two men convicted of murdering 24-year old Wesley Smith in December, 1998.
Smith's body was found in a Franklin County field. He was beaten to death with a baseball bat.
One of the witnesses scheduled to attend Thursday's execution, is the victim's father, Wayne Smith.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 01:46:45]
[IN Q=It's nothing that I'm really]

((IT'S NOTHING REALLY THAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING, BUT IT'S MY WAY OF PUTTING CLOSURE IN THAT, AND KNOWING IN MY MIND THAT IT'S OVER WITH, WILL BE ONE LESS CHAPTER THAT I CAN TURN OFF AND I WON'T HAVE TO REHASH AND RELIVE. AND AT LEAST I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HIM WALKING THE STREETS AND DOING IT TO SOMEONE ELSE.))
[SUPER=01-Wayne Smith/Wesley Smith's Father]
[RUNS=:22]
[OUT Q=doing it to someone else.]
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=]
[GRAPHIC=HOLD]


Akers refused to file any appeals and he threatened to kill again if the state doesn't carry out the death sentence.
But his attorneys have asked the Virginia Supreme Court to stop the execution, arguing that Akers is mentally ill and has brain damage.

[8-Science-Museum]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=01-12 TC1:47:12]
[GRAPHIC=None]


The Science Museum of Western Virginia is tightening its belt.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke;]

Last year-- the museum received 725- thousand dollars in state funding. But the museum may not get any for the upcoming year. Yesterday-- the museum announced a series of cuts to deal with the projected shortfall. Starting March 18th, the museum will close on Sundays and Mondays. The museum will also lay off 19 part time employees. Full time employees at the museum will also take a 10- percent cut in pay.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 01:08:41]
[IN Q=We would]

((KEN SCHUTZ/SCIENCE MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: WE WOULD JUST HOPE THAT THE PUBLIC WOULD BEAR WITH US AND ENJOY WHAT IS HERE FRO THE 12 MONTH PERIOD AND VOTE AND LOBBY IN A WAY THAT WOULD HELP ASSURE THAT WE WOULD HAVE FUNDING RESTORED IF WE DO INDEED LOSE IT.))
[SUPER=01-Ken Schutz/Science Museum Exec. Director; ]
[RUNS=13]
[OUT Q=lose it.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

The museum will also suspend contributions to its employees retirement plan. (------------)