The earth is moving again in the Seattle, Washington area..
Two aftershocks hit the region just one day after a powerful earthquake.
The latest, coming up.
And the Danville Sheriff's department is under scrutiny in a state police investigation.
Temperatures are inching their way up into the fifties today and we're in store for lots of sunshine. Things continue to heat up even more tomorrow... stay tuned we'll explain.
News 7 at noon is straight ahead.
The day after a powerful earthquake rocks the Pacific Northwest, the ground remains unsteady.
Authorities reported two aftershocks earlier today.
Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
Today's aftershocks occurred about five hours apart.
The first registered a three-point-four magnitude, while the second measured two-point-seven.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Washington says damage from yesterday's powerful quake was minimized thanks to precautions taken by local officials and residents.
But the six-point-eight magnitude quake still caused damage that'll cost at least a BILLION dollars to repair.
Nearly 300 people were injured in the quake.
Chris Lawrence joins us now with an update from Seattle.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Waverly Person/National Earthquake Center;]
[OUT Q=coming apart.]
THERE'S OVER A BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGE, ONE PERSON DIED AND SOME 250
INJURED.... BUT MOST PEOPLE HERE REALIZE.... IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE...
"I LOOKED OUT AND THIS WHOLE CORNICE HAD COLLAPSED INTO RUBBLE HERE,
JUST ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, AN ACT OF GOD THAT NOBODY WAS UNDERNEATH IT."
WHILE DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS ARE STILL UNDERWAY... OFFICIALS ARE RELIEVED
THAT MANY STRUCTURES BUILT TO WITHSTAND EARTHQUAKES... HELD THEIR OWN.
THE EPICENTER OF THE QUAKE WAS 33 MILES BELOW THE SURFACE AND EXPERTS
SAY THE EARTH'S CRUST ABSORBED MUCH OF THE SHOCK.
SOT: WAVERLY PERSON/CHIEF, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, NATL. EARTHQUAKE CTR.
"IT LESSENED THE DAMAGE AND THEREFORE NOT AS MANY BUILDINGS COME DOWN
AND CERTAINLY LESSENED THE INJURIES."
(NATZ OF QUAKE HITTING)
WEDNESDAY'S 6.8 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE ROCKED SEATTLE AND SURROUNDING
A WAY FEW HERE HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. THE 45 SECOND JOLT SENT PEOPLE
RACING TO THE STREETS AND BRICKS TUMBLING TO GROUND. IT WAS A DAY THAT
PEOPLE HERE WILL REMEMBER FOREVER.
"IT FELT LIKE THE WHOLE BUILDING WAS ROCKING, THE FLOORS WERE SHAKING,
THE STAIRWELL WAS COMING APART."
[DOUBLE BOXES= /Microwave;]
State Police have launched an investigation of the Danville Sheriff's Department.
Officials won't say what the focus of that investigation is.
But Danville's Police Chief did tell us allegations were made on February 14th.
He won't say whether one or more people made those allegations or if they were made against more than one person of the Sheriff's Department.
Chief Neal Morris would only say the allegations were serious enough to ask for the help of the State Police.
[IN Q=Sheriff Dooley, the Commonwealth]
((NEAL MORRIS/DANVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: SHERIFF DOOLEY, THE COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY BILL FULLER AND I MET ON THESE ALLEGATIONS. AND WE FELT THAT IT WOULD BE BEST THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE TO CONDUCT THE INVESTIGATION INTO THIS MATTER. AND THEY WERE CALL AND THEY ARE AT THIS TIME CONDUCTING THIS INVESTIGATION. ))
[SUPER=01-Neal Morris/Danville Police Department;]
[OUT Q=conducting this investigation]
No word on how long the investigation will take.
We'll have more on this story tonight on News 7 at Six.
A Floyd County woman says Jeffrey Thomas confessed to killing Tara Munsey the morning after she disappeared.
Barbara Helton told jurors in the capital murder trial that Thomas showed up unexpectedly at her home on January 26th.
He told her: "He didn't mean to do it."
She later turned him in to authorities after he stayed at her house for several days.
On cross examination, defense attorney Brian Scheid hammered at the accuracy of Helton's memory, and at inconsistencies between her testimony and statements to investigators.
The execution of Thomas Wayne Akers is still on for tonight.
This morning the chief federal judge in Roanoke denied Wayne Akers' request for a stay of execution.
[SUPER=03-Rocky Mount/January 1999]
Akers pled guilty to killing Wesley Smith of Roanoke.
Akers said he would not only kill again, but he threatened to escape from prison, come back and kill the judge and the prosecutor if he wasn't executed.
Attorney Robert Lee says Akers was and is incompetent to make life and death decisions himself, and so Akers is pursuing the appeal in spite of his client's wishes.
Judge Sam Wilson ruled that Akers' court-appointed lawyer does not have "standing" to block the execution.
Lee is still expected to take the case to the U-S Supreme Court.[Earley]
Attorney General Mark Earley will host a summit with law enforcement officials from eight states today.
They're meeting to discuss Oxycontin, which has recently become the illegal drug of choice in the region.
The synthetic morphine is blamed for dozens of overdose deaths in Virginia.
The law officials will meet with the makers of Oxycontin to try to come up with ways to keep it out of the wrong hands.
Authorities say a Bland county doctor has written illegal prescriptions of OxyContin for more than 20 people.
Doctor Freeman Lowell Clark was indicted last Fall for distributing OxyContin to one person.
Since then, Prosecutor Randy (Ram-sayer) Ramseyer says, investigators have found more than 100 OxyContin prescriptions... part of a 307-count indictment handed up yesterday against Doctor Clark.
A Palestinian militant is the prime suspect in today's bombing of a taxi- van in northern Israel.
[SUPER=03-Umm el-Fahem, Israel;]
The blast killed one person and injured nine others-- three of them seriously.
Police say they had received a tip about the van.
They pursued it for about 35- miles to a security checkpoint, where the explosion happened.
There are no immediate claims of responsibility.
The explosion comes just one day after police safely detonated a bomb in Tel Aviv that was left in a plastic bag.
A California man involved in the trans- Atlantic Internet adoption battle is now behind bars.
Richard Allen was arrested on charges that he molested two teenagers while they were babysitting at his home.
Authorities say the allegations date back to 19-99.
He's being held on 100-thousand dollars bail.
Authorities are quick to point out that these charges have nothing to do with Allen's current custody battle for a set of twin baby girls.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 10:05:38 ]
[IN Q=As far as we're]
((CHIP PATTERSON/SAN BERNARDINO SHERIFF'S DEPT.: AS FAR AS WE'RE CONCERNED, THIS CASE IS TOTALLY SEPARATE AND HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ADOPTION OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. IT WAS INVESTIGATED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, BASED ON THE INFORMATION THAT WAS GIVEN TO US BY THE VICTIMS.))
[SUPER=01-Chip Patterson/San Bernardino Sheriff's Dept.]
[OUT Q=by the victims.]
Allen and his wife adopted the girls through an Internet adoption service last year.
They say the children were taken from
them and given to a couple from Britain who had paid more money.
The girls are now in the custody of British authorities.
There's insufficient evidence in a Pulaski couple's one-point-seven-MILLION- dollar lawsuit.
That's according to the town attorney.
William and Geneva Summers' home was mistakenly raided by Pulaski Police last May.
Authorities were looking for drugs based on an informant's bad tip.
Last week the couple and their attorney filed suit naming the town, its police force and seven individuals.
But the town's attorney says there's no evidence.
He claims the couple was not injured, they declined medical attention and that the search warrant was legal.
Hundreds of corporate and division office employees of Richmond based Circuit City will be laid off.
The company blames lower sales- about 300 people will lose their jobs.
Earlier, the company cut back on new store openings and remodeling projects for the coming year.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think]
((KEN MEYER/LAID OFF WORKER; I THINK PEOPLE KNEW SOMETHING WAS COMING, BUT THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHERE OR WHEN AS THEY NEVER DO. AND TODAY BEING A TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY IT KIND OF TOOK THEM BY SURPRISE.))
[SUPER=01-Ken Meyer/Laid Off Worker]
[OUT Q=took them by surprise.]
The electronics retailer said it had a fairly good Christmas season... but sales numbers have been lower since then.
Layoffs are announced closer to home.
R-R Donnelley printing company is laying off 28 workers in its Premedia Technologies department on Creekside Lane.
That number represents about a quarter of the total workforce in that department.
Donnelley says the reduction is necessary as it tries to move its graphic work closer to customers in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
The company still employs 650 people at its Lynchburg printing department.
Affected employees are being offered work at other Donnelley facilities.
A bankruptcy judge has approved the re-organization plan for R. J. Reynolds -Patrick County Memorial Hospital.
And some local doctors hope the good news --will mean the obstetrics unit will eventually re-open.
The OB-GYN department closed earlier this month as part of the re-organization.
Doctor Ralph Kramer says he and other obstetricians now have to transfer their patients to other doctors at nearby hospitals once their patients reach 36 weeks.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=They've been visually upset]
((DR. RALPH KRAMER: PATRICK CO. FAMILY PRACTICE AND OBSTETRICS: THEY'VE BEEN VISIBLY UPSET ESPECIALLY PEOPLE WHO HAVE DELIVERED A COUPLE OF BABIES HERE BEFORE. AND NEVER HAD ANY INTENTION ON GOING ANYWHERE ELSE))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Ralph Kramer/Patrick Co. Family Practice]
[OUT Q=anywhere else]
Sheila Diggs is in her 6th month and switching to a doctor in Martinsville.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I know people closer to delivery]
((SHEILA DIGGS/PREGNANT MOM: I KNOW PEOPLE CLOSER TO DELIVERY WHERE PROBABLY MORE UPSET THAN I WAS. I HAVE 3 MONTHS TO GET TO USE TO SOMEBODY ELSE THAT WON'T BE TOO BAD))
[SUPER=01-Sheila Diggs/Pregnant Mom]
[OUT Q=won't be too bad]
Other Patrick County residents say they hope the re-organization plan makes a difference.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We love our hospital]
((WALTER SPENCE: WE LOVE OUR HOSPITAL DON'T GET ME WRONG. WE JUST THINK THEY NEED TO MAKE CHANGE AND PUT THEMSELVES IN ORDER ))
[OUT Q=put themselves in order]
The re-organization plan also include cuts in ambulance service as well as scaling down the critical care unit.
Will Clifton Forge remain a city or revert to town status?
Residents will vote on the matter next week.
Six years ago-- city leaders in South Boston opted to revert to a town.
[SUPER=03-Clifton Forge; ]
But Mark Perdue, with the group "Citizens for Clifton Forge", says it's unfair to compare the two areas.
[in q= South Boston]
((MARK PERDUE/GROUP SPOKESMAN: SOUTH BOSTON REVERTED BECAUSE OUTSIDE OF THE CITY LIMITS WAS A MAJOR INDUSTRIAL BASE AND SO THEY REVERTED TO ANNEX THAT MANUFACTURING BASE. ))
[SUPER=01-Mark Perdue/Group Spokesman; ]
[OUT Q= manufacturing base.]
Perdue says in the process very few people in South Boston lost their jobs.
But in Clifton Forge-- 43 people would lose their jobs if re-version is approved.
Opponents say the city would also lose its "General District Court" and "Voter Registrar office" as well as its Social Services department.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Whenever those ]
((MARK PERDUE/GROUP SPOKESMAN: WHENEVER THOSE JOBS ARE LOST IT AFFECTS THE WHOLE TOWN IN FACT YOU CAN LOOK AROUND AT THE TOWN AND SEE WE'RE VERY RELIANT UPON THOSE JOBS.))
[OUT Q=those jobs.]
Those who support reversion argue the city can't cope financially because it's losing population and jobs.
Clifton Forge's mayor says reverting to a town would also result in lower property taxes.
Drivers who ignore the warning lights on school buses will get a personalized warning from Roanoke Police.
It's illegal to pass a school bus when its red lights are flashing...
Bus drivers are now recording violators license plate numbers, and police will be sending warning letters.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think the biggest issue]
((RANDY SCOTT/ROANOKE POLICE DEPARTMENT: I THINK THE BIGGEST ISSUE FOR MOST DRIVERS IS THEY'RE IN TOO BIG OF A HURRY. THEY DON'T WANT TO TAKE THE 30 SECONDS IT'S GOING TO TAKE TO LET THE CHILDREN GET ON OR OFF THE BUS SAFELY. I'VE HAD REPORTS THAT THEY COME TO A STOP, SEE THERE ARE NO CHILDREN RIGHT IN THE WAY, THEN STEP ON THE GAS AND GO BY.))
[SUPER=01-Randy Scott/Roanoke Police Department]
[OUT Q=step on the gas and go by.]
One report will bring a warning, but Sargeant Randy Scott says repeat offenders may receive a warrant instead.
In Business news this afternoon,
U-S Airways warns that its first-quarter loss will be even worse than Wall Street expected.
The Virginia based carrier was expected to post a loss of a dollar-12 a share.
The company is citing weakness in business travel, as well as intense competition from rivals. But US-Airways says in a statement that it will report well BELOW that.