[Headlines]

[ANCHOR=Kimberly]

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


The diplomatic standoff continues between the U-S and China.
The Chinese are demanding an apology for the mid- air collision between a Navy spy plane and Japanese fighter jet---

but President Bush isn't offering one.
(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


And the Hill City is having to tighten its belt-- which means there could be fewer police officers and firefighters on the streets.
[ANCHOR=Shannon]
(ad lib weather)
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(ad lib live tease)

[2-shot]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Wake up with us-- on News 7 Mornin.

[2-China-Plane]


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


Relations between the U-S and China are already strained, but could get worse if the Chinese don't return the Navy crew members who remain in China.
That's the message from President Bush-- who rejects China's demand for an apology for the mid- air collision between an American spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Hainan, China;]


China's been holding the plane and its 24 crew members since last weekend's incident.
Yesterday, an American general was allowed to met with the crew for the first time.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 4:59:17]
[IN Q=The general]

((THE GENERAL TELLS ME THEY ARE IN GOOD HEALTH AND THEY SUFFERED NO INJURIES AND HAVE NOT BEEN MISTREATED.))
[RUNS=:08]
[OUT Q=BEEN MISTREATED.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Meanwhile, U-S spy satellites have detected increased activity around the plane, which indicates the Chinese HAVE retrieved classified information.
(------------)



[CO-Bodies]


[ANCHOR=]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]


In Colorado, five bodies were discovered inside a home in a small community near Denver.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Castle Rock, CO;]


Police responded to two disturbance calls from the home last night.
At least one caller reported hearing screams for help.
Authorities found the five bodies inside the residence, and are investigating their deaths as homicides.
There is also a rumor that it was a murder- suicide, but authorities are NOT confirming that.
No word on a suspect, but police have questioned a pair of elderly family members.
Autopsies on the victims are planned for today or tomorrow.
(------------)


[11L'burg-Budget]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=01-18 TC07:40]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Spending cuts in Lynchburg could mean fewer police officers and firefighters keeping the city safe.
That was the concern of residents who spoke out at a public hearing last night on the city's next budget.
Steve Smallshaw reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=Only a handful]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jesse Bobbitt/Taxpayer; :18]
[SUPER=01-Lenn Lennard/Fraternal Order of Police; :33]
[SUPER=01-Jason Campbell/Lynchburg Firefighters Association; :53]
[SUPER=01-Carl Hutcherson/Lynchburg Mayor; 1:10]
[SUPER=@ssm2; 1:20]
[RUNS=1:26]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]

(( Only a handful of residents turned out to discuss Lynchburg's 114- million dollar spending proposal.
Real estate rates are going up, on the average of eight and a half percent.. one resident saw the value of his vacant lot more than double in two years.
[SOT 00:54:33]

((JESSE BOBBITT/TAXPAYER: THAT JUST DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. I JUST WISH YOU WOULD COME THERE AND LOOK AT THE LOT AND IF YOU THINK IT'S WORTH 20- THOUSAND DOLLARS, I'LL TAKE IT RIGHT NOW.))
[RUNS= 07]
[OUT Q=it right now.]


Even with more real estate revenue coming in, every city department has been asked to cut four percent from its budget.
For the police department, that means two fewer officers.
[SOT 00:59:24]

((LENN LENNARD/FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: THE POLICE OFFICERS THAT I SPEAK TO FEEL THAT THEY ARE NOT APPRECIATED BY THIS CITY.. THEY ARE OVERWORKED AND THEY ARE UNDERPAID.))
[RUNS= 09]
[OUT Q=they are underpaid.]


Firefighters are under the gun too.
With a budget that's 95 percent personnel, cutting four percent has meant trimming four positions.. placing equipment or even an entire fire station out of service.
[SOT 1:10:14]

((JASON CAMPBELL/LYNCHBURG FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION: ONCE YOU CLOSE A FIRE STATION THAT MEANS THAT UNITS FROM THE OTHER FIRE STATIONS WILL HAVE TO COVER THE TERRITORY THAT WAS COVERED BY THAT STATION WHICH WILL RESULT IN DELAYED RESPONSE TIMES, WHICH WILL THEN RESULT IN THE END RESULT IN GREATER PROPERTY AND CASUALTY LOSSES TO THE CITIZENS.))
[RUNS= 16]
[OUT Q=to the citizens.]
[SOT 1:14:07]

((CARL HUTCHERSON/LYNCHBURG MAYOR: IT'S NOT SOMETHING WE NECESSARILY WANT TO DO AND HOPEFULLY WON'T HAVE TO DO, BUT IT HAS TO BE ONE COMPONENT OF HOW YOU GO ABOUT DOING YOUR BUDGETARY WORK.))
[RUNS= 09]
[OUT Q=your budgetary work.]


Three more budget work sessions are scheduled before council adopts its final spending plan in late May.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg.))

[11Redistricting]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=01-08 TC50:05]
[GRAPHIC=VA Redistricting]


A House of Delegates map lumps seven southside and southwest Virginia Democrats into THREE districts.
A state Senate map takes Madison Marye's seat OUT of western Virginia entirely-- and puts it in Fairfax.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond;]


Welcome to the redistricting session that begins tomorrow.
The maps are finally out.
Bath County's Creigh Deeds is lumped in with Blacksburg's Jim Shuler.
Deeds calls the political payback "a failure of leadership" on the part of the Republican leaders from the western half of Virginia.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 14:26:51]
[IN Q=If you do the numbers]

((DEL. CREIGH DEEDS/D-BATH CO.: IF YOU DO THE NUMBERS...IT'S NOT -- UM -- IT'S VERY INTERESTING. ))
[SUPER=@Deeds;]
[RUNS=:24]
[OUT Q=It's not --um-- it's very interesting.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Dick Cranwell and Vic Thomas are mapped together in the Roanoke area.
Madison Marye's senate district is completely gone.
Harrisonburg Republican Kevin Miller drew those lines.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT tape two 14:37:16]
[IN Q=I hope everone understands]

((KEVIN MILLER/R-HARRISONBURG: I HOPE EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT THERE'S JUST NOT THE PEOPLE. AND WE STARTED BACK HERE AND YOU START GATHERING 177 THOUSAND PEOPLE.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Kevin Miller/(R) Harrisonburg; ]
[RUNS=:13]
[OUT Q=start gathering 177 thousand people.]
(-------------)
[TALENT=Shannon]
[SS=HOLD]


The biggest political score may be a district along Southside, that lumps Democrats Tom Jackson, Barnie Day, and Ward Armstrong together.
Carving Armstrong out of Martinsville creates a new district with NO incumbent.

[Marketwatch]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=chr]
[TAPE#=NET]
[GRAPHIC=Business News]


In business news, profit warnings led to a sell-off on Wall Street yesterday.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00 ]
[RUNS=1:49]
[OUT Q=your local stocks.]

(((on cam) STOCKS CRUMBLED UNDER THE WEIGHT OF MORE PROFIT WARNINGS, SLAPPING THE NASDAQ WITH A 6 PERCENT LOSS.. THE DOW PLUNGED 3 PERCENT. TENUOUS RELATIONS BETWEEN THE U-S AND CHINA IS NOT HELPING MARKET SENTIMENT EITHER...

(graphic)

THE DOW SLID 292 POINTS TO 9485

(graphic)

THE NASDAQ TUMBLED 110 POINTS TO A 52 WEEK LOW.

(on cam)

SOME ANALYSTS SAY THIS MARKET CORRECTION MAY BE OVERDONE, BUT THEY SAY THE PROBLEM IS THAT NOBODY HAS A REASON TO GET BACK INTO THE MARKET.
IT IS CONFESSION TIME ON WALL STREET.. WHEN COMPANIES WARN THAT EARNINGS WILL DISAPPOINT.. AMONG THE BIGGEST LOSERS: ARIBA/BROADVISION.. AND A PSINET, THE WEB HOSTING COMPANY SAYS IT MAY FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY AND IT EXPECTS TO BE DELISTED FROM THE NASDAQ.
SOME MARKETWATCHERS SAY STOCKS WON'T MOUNT A SUSTAINED RALLY FOR THE NEXT THREE TO SIX MONTHS, UNTIL COMPANIES STOP SOUNDING PROIFT WARNINGS AND EARNINGS BEGIN GROWING AGAIN.
THERE WERE FEW PLACES TO HIDE.. MONEY FLOWED INTO U-S TREASURIES.. GOLD STOCKS ALSO SHINED.. BONDS AND GOLD ARE SEEN A SAFE HAVENS IN VOLATILE TIMES.

(graphic)

AND THE ELECTRONICS RETAILER BEST BUY RALLIED AFTER PROFIT BEAT THE STREET.

(graphic)

AMONG THE STOCKS TO WATCH: PFIZER COULD BE A MOVER.. THE DRUGMAKER SAYS A NEW STUDY FOUND THAT ITS cholesterol- lowering drug Lipitor helps protect against serious complications FOLLOWING A HEART ATTACK.

(graphic)

GENERAL MOTORS, FORD AND DAIMLERCHRYSLER SAID U-S AUTO SALES FELL LESS THAN EXPECTED IN MARCH.. HELPED BY PRICE BREAKS AND CONSUMERS WHO KEEP SPENDING EVEN AS THE ECONOMY SLOWS...

(graphic)

TO TRACK YOUR PORTFOLIO JUST HEAD TO CBS.MW.COM

(on cam)

I'M ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS IN NEW YORK.))

(tape tosses to stocks)

[STOCKS] [COMM]

[2-Night-VMI]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=01-15]
[GRAPHIC=VMI Prayer]

Prayer is a tradition at Virginia Military Institute.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Lexington/Yesterday;]

Six days a week-- a student chaplain reads a prayer before the cadets sit down for dinner at six o'clock. But two cadets are challenging that tradition and have gained the support of the A-C-L-U.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 23:24:45]
[IN Q=If I chose]

((NEIL MELLEN/VMI CADET: IF I CHOOSE NOT TO PRAY IN THIS MANNER... WITH PEOPLE CURSING AT ME FOR NOT PARTICIPATING... THAT's WHAT I FIND OFFENSIVE.))
[SUPER=01-Neil Mellen/VMI Cadet; :00]
[runs=13]
[out q= find offensive.]
(---------)

[vo-nat] Last night-- we talked with nearly a dozen cadets. Everyone we spoke with said they didn't have a problem with evening prayer.
(///sot////)
[sot 00:40:10 00:39:27]
[in q= I don't]

((CHRIS JOHNSON/VMI CADET: I DON'T REALLY HAVE NO FEELINGS ABOUT IT, I DON'T NEED IT, I DON'T. SO, IF THEY WANT PRAYER THEY CAN PRAY IT'S UP TO THEM.)) ((PHILIP METZ/VMI CADET: MY OPINION IS THAT YOU KNOW IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT'S FORCED UPON SOMEONE. IT'S OPTIONAL. ))
[SUPER=01-Chris Johnson/VMI Cadet; :00 QUICK!!]
[SUPER=01-Philip Metz/VMI Cadet; :07]
[RUNS=12]
[OUT Q=it's up to them.]
(---------)

[vo-nat] The military school is letting the State Attorney General's office handle the issue. Mark Early says he intends to vigorously defend the Institute and the tradition.
(------------)


[11Hickson]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=01-05 TC1:39:45]
[GRAPHIC=LEgal Scales]


A Bedford County woman will spend a year behind bars for the death of a young girl she was babysitting.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


13- month- old Frances Vermillion died in February 1998 while in the care of Sonya Hickson.
[SUPER=03-Bedford]


A judge ruled Hickson killed Vermillion in a fit of anger by banging her head against a blunt object.
For five years after she leaves jail, Hickson must also visit the little girl's grave on the anniversary of her death.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 10:30:55]
[IN Q=I think it's]

((RANDY KRANTZ/PROSECUTOR: I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE FAMILY TO KNOW THAT FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, AT LEAST ONE TIME FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, SHE'S GOT TO GO AND NO ONE ELSE IS GOING TO BE THERE BUT HER AND FRAN, AND SHE'S GOT TO CONFRONT HERSELF AND WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN THAT HOUSE THAT MORNING.))
[SUPER=01-Randy Krantz/Prosecutor]
[RUNS=16]
[OUT Q=that morning.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Hickson has consistently denied she did anything wrong.
Her lawyer may appeal the sentence.
(------------)



[5-Vistar]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jsu]
[TAPE#=501-02 5:33]
[GRAPHIC=Mornin' Health Check]

In medical news this morning, there's a new facility that specializes only in eye surgery.
It's called the Roanoke Valley Center for Sight. But opening the center wasn't easy. When Vistar first tried to build, Carilion Health System fought it -- saying it would take away too much business.
After a three year legal battle, Vistar won the Certificate of Need Approval from the Health department
last February and the center has been open for business ever since.
Health Check Reporter Joy Sutton has the story.

(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=Iva Via is having glaucoma ]
[SUPER=03-Salem; :00]
[SUPER=03-Richmond/February 1999; :30]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Frank Cotter/Roanoke Valley Center for Sight; :36]
[SUPER=@Joy2;]
[RUNS=1:12]
[OUT Q=News 7 Mornin']

((
Iva Via is having glaucoma surgery. This is third time she's had eye surgery. But the first time she's come to Roanoke Valley Center for Sight.
Doctor Frank Cotter says the patients were the main reason why an independent eye surgery center was needed in the Roanoke Valley.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT5:28]
[IN Q=When you build a place with]

((WHEN YOU BUILD A PLACE WITH JUST EYE SURGERY IN MIND. YOU'RE GOING TO DO EYE SURGERY BETTER)) [RUNS05]
[OUT Q=eye surgery better]


But the struggle to get to this point has been an uphill battle.
When Carilion Health System fought against the opening of this facility --- Vistar Eye Center did everything possible

to prove why it was needed.
That included taking a trip to Richmond with patients -- to appeal to state lawmakers.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT9:43]
[IN Q=I don't think it's perview]

((I DON' T THINK IT'S PURVIEW, RATHER IT BE A HOSPITAL OR ORGANIZATION TO TELL SOMEBODY OR GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN'T BUILD THE BEST EYE SURGERY CENTER IN AMERICA)) [RUNS10]
[OUT Q=in America]


So, far the center performs 60 surgical cases per week.
And as far --as the battle with Carillion --Cotter says its time to look beyond that now.
He says he considers Carilion a partner in eye care.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT8:37]
[IN Q=I think if nothing else this]

((I THINK IF NOTHING ELSE THIS STRUGGLE HAS PROVED THAT IN PROVIDING COMPETITION THE PRICES ARE LOWER AND PATIENTS ARE SEEING GREATER SERVICES.AND I THINK THEY'RE WINNING IN THE LONG RUN)) [RUNS16]
[OUT Q=in the long run]

JS..News 7 Mornin'.))

(-------------)
[ANCHOR=KIM]
[SS=HOLD]

The Roanoke Valley Center for Sight is an outpatient facility offering cataract and glaucoma surgery and wells as plastic surgery and other procedures.
[bump-chyron] [Streaming-Video]
[comm #3]


[2-HEADLINES]
[2-shot=KMC/SYO]
[SUPER=#4049; Morning Headlines]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Here's a look at today's top stories.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


After a year-and-a-half- long labor dispute, a new contract is now in writing between Rubatex and its union employees.
The company signed on yesterday...workers will finish signing over the next couple of days.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]


A Blacksburg man is struck and killed on Interstate 81.
State police say the man reportedly FELL into traffic after getting out of his pickup truck when it broke down on the highway..
(----------------)
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 04:40:53]
[IN Q=I'm Drew Levinson]

(())
[RUNS=10]
[OUT Q=that story is coming up.]



(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


And that's what's making news on this Wednesday April 4-th.
[ANCHOR=Shannon]


News 7 Mornin' will be right back.


[China-Plane]


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


Chinese officials want an apology from the U-S.
President Bush says there's nothing to apologize for.
He adds that further delay in China's return of American servicemen and women could damage relations between the two countries.
Drew Levinson has an update.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Hainan, China; :20]
[SUPER=01-Sandy Blocher/Crew Member's Mother; 1:01]
[SUPER=01-Drew Levinson/Reporting; 1:24]
[RUNS=1:39]
[OUT Q=Levinson, CBS News, Washington.]

((

STILL BEARING THE SCARS FROM LAST WEEKEND'S MIDAIR COLLISION WITH A CHINESE JET, AN AMERICAN SPY PLANE NOW SITS ON A TARMAC SOMEWHERE ON THE ISLAND OF HAINAN. AND THAT'S WHERE IT MIGHT STAY UNLESS THE U-S MEETS CHINA'S LATEST DEMANDS.
TODAY, CHINESE PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN FORMALLY DEMANDED AN APOLOGY FROM THE UNITED STATES FOR THE CRASH. CHINA HAS BEEN HOLDING THE PLANE'S 24-CREW MEMBERS ... EVER SINCE THEY LANDED ON CHINESE SOIL.
BUT SO FAR, PRESIDENT BUSH IS STANDING FIRM.

(SOT: BUSH)

"It is time for our servicemen and women to return home. It is time for the Chinese government to return our plane."
ON TUESDAY, AN AMERICAN GENERAL WAS ALLOWED TO MEET WITH THE CREW FOR THE FIRST TIME.

(SOT: BUSH)

"The General tells me they are in good health and they suffered no injuries and have not been mistreated."
THE FAMILIES OF THE SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN SAY THEY'RE RELIEVED THEIR LOVED ONES ARE OK -- BUT THERE ARE STILL LINGERING FEARS.

(SOT: SANDY BLOCHER/Mother )

"When they use certain terms like prisoners. Some have called them spies. Those are scary terms for a parent to hear."
MEANWHILE, U.S. SPY SATELITES HAVE DETECTED INCREASED ACTIVITY AROUND THE PLANE -- MOST LIKELY CHINESE OFFICIALS RETRIEVING WHATEVER CLASSIFIED INFORMATION THEY FIND INSIDE.

(STANDUP)

SUGGESTION: TALK ABOUT CHINA'S OTHER DEMAND TO STOP SURVEILLANCE FLIGHTS OFF CHINA'S COAST.
DREW LEVINSON, CBS NEWS, WASHINGTON

))[11Rubatex]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jmi]
[TAPE#=01-14 TC17:41]
[GRAPHIC=Rubatex Agreement]


It's been a long wait for everyone. Rubatex and its union sign a new contract.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Bedford/File Tape]


After a YEAR and a half of debate over forced overtime and benefits, Bedford's Steel Workers have signed a new contract.
The company signed on the dotted line yesterday.
The International Steelworker's union in Pittsburgh will finish with signatures over the next day or so.
Rubatex's parent company R-B-X is in the process of filing for bankruptcy.
New financing and a new labor agreement are expected to take pressure off the struggling Bedford facility.
(------------)



[11NS-Payments]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=01-13]
[GRAPHIC=Norfolk Southern]


The rumble of trains may mean money in the pockets of some local residents.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Troutville;]


Norfolk Southern is paying some towns for a possible increase in train traffic.
It's offering 10-thousand dollars for each house within 73-feet of its Shenandoah line.
The line runs from Front Royal to Roanoke.
If the railroad doesn't settle with local governments, it can pay the 63 affected homeowners.
The tracks are 30 feet from the home of Troutville residents Lowell and Alta (AL-tuh) Cole.
They say they'd use the money to repair cracks in their walls caused by the trains.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 11:57:38 - :44]
[IN Q=We think that]

((ALTA COLE/HOMEOWNER: WE FEEL LIKE THAT WE SHOULD BE COMPENSATED BECAUSE WE'RE THE MOST AFFECTED BY THE VIBRATIONS.))

[SUPER=01-Alta Cole/Troutville Homeowner;]
[RUNS=:06]
[OUT Q=by the vibrations]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The payments are part of the 1997 merger deal between Norfolk Southern and Conrail.
Like other communities, Troutville will decide whether the money should go to the town or directly to the residents after a public hearing later this month.
(------------)



[11Circus-Protest]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=01-04 TC1:14:18]
[GRAPHIC=None]


An animal rights group protested the Ringling Brothers Circus in downtown Roanoke yesterday. Meanwhile, a Roanoke radio station got in on the spectacle.
(---------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Tarina (tuh-REE-nuh) Keene removed most of her clothes and climbed into a cage near the City Market Building.
While she was protesting the treatment of animals in the Ringling Brothers Circus.... Radio station WROV was serving up hot dogs across the street.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 06:11:03]
[IN Q=We've got a big crowd here today]

((WE'VE GOT A BIG CROWD HERE TODAY. WE PROBABLY LIKE THE EXTRA PUBLICITY THAT BROUGHT THIS OUT HERE, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE THINKING ABOUT AN ISSUE THAT THEY NORMALLY DON'T THINK ABOUT.))
[SUPER=01-Tarina Keene/PETA Activist]
[RUNS=:08]
[OUT Q=normally don't think about.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


No one was arrested during the protest, but police did ask the demonstrators to move because they were blocking the sidewalk.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[GRAPHIC=None]


In a news release, Feld Entertainment said the circus is committed to the highest standards of animal care. A spokesman described the PETA protest as an attempt to push an ideology that most Americans do not accept.

[Night-VMI]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=01-15 TC09:35]
[GRAPHIC=VMI Prayer]

Prayer is a topic that has historically generated debate. In our area-- the focus is now on Virginia Military Institute. Teresa Hamilton has more from Lexington.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=It's just]
[SUPER=03-Lexington/Yesterday; :00]
[SUPER=01-Neil Mellen/VMI Cadet; :40]
[SUPER=@Teresa1; :57 quick!!]
[SUPER=01-Parker Reeves/VMI Cadet; 1:08 QUICK!!]
[SUPER=01-Philip Metz/VMI Cadet; 1:13 QUICK!!!]
[SUPER=01-Tony Conway/VMI Cadet; 1:18 QUICK!!! ]
[RUNS=1:38]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7, Lexington.]

(( It's just before six o'clock in the evening at Virginia Military Institute... as cadets march in formation to supper. Once inside-- a student chaplain gains the crowd's attention and reads the prayer of the day.
(///sot////)
[sot 00:31:25]
[in q=Please]

((PLEASE BOW YOUR HEADS. OH, GOD, WE ASK YOUR BLESSING ON THE CORPS. STRENGTHEN OUR COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE, ESTABLISH OUR HEARTS IN HONOR, CONFIRM UPON US HONORABLE CONDUCT.)) [RUNS09]
[OUT Q= HONORABLE CONDUCT.]

It's a tradition now challenged by two V-M-I cadets who question the constitutionality of imposing religious traditions of the majority on the entire corps.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 23:24:45]
[IN Q=If I chose]

((NEIL MELLON/VMI CADET: IF I CHOOSE NOT TO PRAY IN THIS MANNER... WITH PEOPLE CURSING AT ME FOR NOT PARTICIPATING... THAT's WHAT I FIND OFFENSIVE.)) [RUNS13]
[OUT Q=I find offensive.]

The pair has also gained the support of the A-C-L-U. [take su]
(///sot///)
[sot]
[in q= Prayer is]

((PRAYER IS OFFERED SIX DAYS A WEEK-- BUT ONLY DURING ONE MEAL WHICH IS SUPPER.)) [runs10]
[OUT Q= being supper.]

That's where we approached some cadets to get their opinion on the issue.
(////sot////)
[sot]
[in q=I just]

((I JUST THINK IT'S RIDICULOUS IT'S SOMETHING ELSE THE ACLU IS STICKING THEIR NOSE INTO.)) (( MY OPINION IS THAT YOU KNOW IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT'S FORCED UPON SOMEONE IT'S OPTIONAL YOU DON'T HAVE TO PRAY.)) ((I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY IT'S SUCH A BIG PROBLEM PERSONALLY I'M NOT THAT RELIGIOUS BUT I STAND MOSTLY OUT OF RESPECT ANYWAY.)) [RUNS26] The military school is letting the State Attorney General's office handle the issue. Mark Earley says he intends to vigorously defend the Institute and the tradition. Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Lexington.))

[1181-Accidents]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=rca]
[TAPE#=01-]
[GRAPHIC=I-81 Accidents]


A Blacksburg man is killed after being hit by a truck on Interstate-81.
State Police say 40-year-old Gillet Garner Ford, Junior got out of his pickup because it broke down.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co./Yesterday;]


He then reportedly, leaned back, falling into traffic.
A southbound tractor-trailer struck him, though the driver did try to stop.
The accident backed cars up for miles...one was unable to react in time, causing a second crash just miles away.
A U-P-S driver slammed into a truck in front of him.
Significant front damage gave crews a hard time with the rescue, but the driver was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
(------------)


[Hingis]


[ANCHOR=Shannon]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


A Florida jury has convicted the man accused of stalking tennis star Martina Hingis.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Miami, FL;]


The jury deliberated for two-and-a-half- hours before finding (doo-BROWV-koh) (RAY-cheh-vich) Dubavko Rajcevic guilty on all four charges against him.
Jurors found 46- year- old RAY-cheh-vich guilty on one count of stalking and three counts of trespassing at the 2000 Ericsson Open near Miami.
He faces up to four years in prison.
RAY-cheh-vich says he fell in love with Hingis after seeing her on T-V.
Hingis testified that she told him in person and by phone to stay away from her.
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[Local-Recap]
[SUPER=#4059;Local Recap]
[2-Shot=Kmc/Syo]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Now here's another look at today's top local stories:
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[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]

Two Virginia Military Institute cadets are challenging the school's tradition of prayer before evening dinner. The two cadets have gained the support of the A-C-L-U. The military school is letting the State Attorney General's office handle the issue. Mark Early says he intends to vigorously defend the Institute and the tradition.
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[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Shannon]


A Bedford County woman will spend a year behind bars for the death of a little girl she was babysitting.
13- month- old Frances Vermillion died in February, 1998 while in the care of Sonya Hickson.
A judge ruled Hickson killed Vermillion in a fit of anger by banging her head against a blunt object.
For five years after she leaves jail, Hickson must also visit the little girl's grave on the anniversary of her death.

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[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]

After a YEAR and a half of debate over forced overtime and benefits, Rubatex and its union have signed a new contract.

The International Steelworker's union in Pittsburgh will finish with signatures over the next day or so.
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[ANCHOR=Shannon]
(Shannon mic hot)
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(Shannon ad lib weather)
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[2-SHOT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Now here's Keith Humphry with a preview of News 7 at Six.
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[SOT]
[IN Q=There have been]
[RUNS=18]
[OUT Q=tonight on News 7 at 6.]
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[Desk=Kimberly/Shannon and Steve]
(toss)
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(live ad lib, tease tomorrow)

(ad lib bye) [Desk=Kimberly/Shannon and Steve]