Up next on News-7...
Vermont Senator James Jeffords plans to announce he's switching from Republican to Independent, tipping the balance of power in the U-S Senate.
And... police search for the killer of a Northwest Roanoke man.
Strong storms from yesterday are replace with sunshine today...I'll have you hometown forecast
News 7 at noon is next.
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A Senator from Vermont is changing the balance of power in the U-S Senate.
Sources say Vermont's Republican Senator Jim Jeffords will announce tomorrow he's becoming an Independent.
But sources say Jeffords will align himself with the Democrats-- which would give Democrats control of the Senate for the first time in seven years.
Teri Okita has more.
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[IN Q=Vermont Senator]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Jim Jeffords/(R) Vermont;]
[SUPER=01-Howard Coffin/Former Jeffords Aide;]
[OUT Q=Okita, CBS News, Washington.]
Meanwhile, several sources say Senator Jeffords may postpone the effective date of his party switch until next month, so Republicans can push through the tax bill.
Democrats stalled for a second day yesterday, calling votes on dozens of amendments to the one-and-a-third-TRILLION-dollar plan.
The G-O-P is hoping to get the legislation passed by Memorial Day.
Roanoke Police are investigating a shooting that left one man dead last night.
Rashard (ruh-SHARD) Bannister, known as Ray Ray to family and friends, celebrated his 24th birthday two weeks ago.
He was shot and killed last night around 10:00 o'clock... near the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Forest Park Boulevard.
There's no word yet from investigators on what led to the shooting, or the status of their search for a suspect.
Officials with Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg say things are returning to normal following a hazardous materials spill last night.
Blacksburg police sealed off the entrance to the hospital around 8-30 after a truck carrying the hazardous waste pulled into the hospital.
The driver had gotten into an accident earlier in the day and was complaining about being nauseous.
Officials found a leak in the back of the truck, only a small amount spread onto the ground.
They say the spill was not a threat to patients inside the hospital.
All non-emergency traffic was re-routed and emergency vehicles were directed to use the back entrance.
The main entrance of the hospital has re-opened.
If teachers were given grades, you could say Rosemary O'Brien earned an "A-plus" this year.
The Bedford County fourth grade teacher was honored this morning as the county's Teacher of the Year.
Along with two thousand dollars worth of gifts, O'Brien got a rousing ovation from her students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Forest.
The honor caught her by surprise.
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[IN Q=When we have]
((ROSEMARY O'BRIEN/BEDFORD CO. TEACHER OF THE YEAR: WHEN WE HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT HERE WE COME TO THE TOWER AND WE RELEASED BALLOONS TO SHARE WITH EVERYONE THE IMPORTANT EVENT. AND I THOUGHT MAYBE OUR OUR S-O-L SCORES HAD COME BACK OR SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES. I WAS REALLY SURPRISED AND I WAS STANDING BEHIND A WALL TRYING TO KEEP AN EYE ON MY KIDS, SO I WAS REALLY SURPRISED.))
[SUPER=01-Rosemary O'Brien/Bedford Co. Teacher of the Year]
[OUT Q=was really surprised. (2nd TIME!!)]
Forest Middle School teacher Paul Webb also was surprised with an award as the county's MIDDLE school teacher of the year.
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Still to come on the newscast, there's evidence the subject of a nationwide manhunt is alive and well in Nevada,
and the investigation into the murder of Robert Blake's wife takes another turn as a tabloid releases tapes of the actor arguing with the victim.
[music up full]
In Los Angeles, taped conversations have surfaced in the still un- solved murder of actor Robert Blake's wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley.
Sandra Hughes has the latest.
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[SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA/File Tape]
[SUPER=01-Harland Braun/Blake's Attorney; :55]
[SUPER=01-Cary Goldstein/Bakley's Attorney; 1:10]
[SUPER=01-Sandra Hughes/Reporting; 1:25]
[OUT Q=Hughes, CBS News, Los Angeles.]
LOS ANGELES POLICE CONFIRM THEY'RE INVESTIGATING 2 HOURS WORTH OF TAPED
PHONE CONVERSATIONS IN WHICH AN ANGRY ROBERT BLAKE IS PRESSURING HIS
MURDERED WIFE TO ABORT THEIR CHILD.
(NY INSERTS COVER SHOT OF NAT'L ENQ) THE LAPD OBTAINED THE TAPES,
RECORDED BEFORE THE TWO GOT MARRIED, FROM A NATIONAL TABLOID NEWSPAPER:
SOT UP FULL FROM TAPES: You swore to me, you promised me, you promised
me, you promised. You said "don't worry, Robert. No matter what I will
have an abortion. You never have to worry about me getting pregnant.
I'll take the pills. I'll have an abortion. It's ok. Relax, enjoy
yourself. I care about you. And it was all a lie....... Then you want me
to just falling place and be your little bag carrier and call your
Bakley: No, forget it then. If you don't want me out here I won't....."
BLAKE'S ATTORNEY DOES NOT DENY HIS CLIENTS ANGER OVER THE PREGNANCY:
SOT: Harland Braun/Blake Atty:
"Robert's never denied that he had a difficult relationship with his
wife and that he would've never married her except for Rosie and she was
a pain basically in his life. But it doesn't mean he killed her and so
this is really a non-issue."
BAKLEY'S ATTORNEY CARY GOLDSTEIN REACTED TO THE TAPES EARLIER THIS
SOT: Cary Goldstein, Bakley's Attorney) (from Early Show Wed 5/23)
O.C. BAKLEY DID NOT TERMINATE THE PREGNANCY AND WAS LIVING WITH HER
CHILD IN BLAKE'S GUEST HOUSE...ALMOST 3 WEEKS AFTER SHE WAS FOUND SHOT
TO DEATH INSIDE BLAKE'S CAR ,POLICE SAY THEY HAVE NO SUSPECTS .. SH CBS
Authorities are chasing a new lead in the case of a missing Washington intern.
Authorities are following a tip that 24- year-old Chandra Levy-- seen here in this home video shot last December-- MAY have been in Reno, Nevada recently.
Levy was last seen several weeks ago, on April 30th.
But federal agents believe she was in the Reno area since her disappearance.
Meanwhile, detectives have been talking to neighbors of California Congressman Gary Condit, who Levy reportedly visited in Washington on several occasions.
All four democratic candidates in the state Attorney General's race squared off last night in Richmond.
Their first face to face event covered everything from violence in schools to Dale Earnhardt.
Richmond Bureau Chief Ellen Qualls has more.
[IN Q=What is the winning ticket?]
[SUPER=04-January 5; :13]
[SUPER=@Edwards; :22 ]
[SUPER=01-Sylvia Clute/(D) Richmond Attorney; :53 ]
[SUPER=01-Del. Don McEachin/(D) Henrico Co.; 1:26 ]
[SUPER=@Ellen1; 1:41 ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7.]
(( [sot tape TAPE ONE 19:16:40 ]
((DEL. WHITT CLEMENT/D-DANVILLE: WHAT IS THE WINNING TICKET? WHAT WILL GET US ACROSS THE FINISH LINE?))
[runs= 05 ]
In a state where Democrats have lost seven of the last nine statewide contests, which of these four candidates is the strongest link.
Which one can beat the Republican candidate: former public safety secretary under George Allen... Gate City prosecutor turned Richmond lawyer Jerry Kilgore?
((SEN. JOHN EDWARDS/D-ROANOKE: AS THE ONLY CANDIDATE FROM SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, ROANOKE BEING THE GATEWAY TO SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA, AND JERRY KILGORE ORIGINALLY BEING FROM SCOTT COUNTY, EVEN THOUGH HE PRACTICES LAW IN RICHMOND, I CAN TAKE ON JERRY KILGORE. I KNOW HIM QUITE WELL. HE WAS AN ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY IN ABINGDON YEARS AFTER I WAS THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA.))
The Democrats say Jerry Kilgore presided over a prison overbuilding embarrassment that played on people's fears and shortchanged the school building side of the state budget.
[sot tape 17:19:53]
((SYLVIA CLUTE/D-RICHMOND LAWYER: I HAVE POSITIONED MYSELF SINCE DAY ONE OF THIS CAMPAIGN TO TAKE JERRY KILGORE ON ON HIS TURF. TO SAY HE WAS WRONG WITH THREE STRIKES YOU'RE OUT, WHICH MADE NO DISTINCTION WITH WHAT THE CRIME WAS, EVEN THE WRITING OF A SMALL CHECK.))
[runs= 15 ]
Danville's Whitt Clement claims another turf advantage -- promising to return the rural vote that's gone so Republican in Virginia to the Democratic column.
[sot tape one 18:48:56]
((MY COUNTY IS WHERE PICKUP TRUCKS ARE THE PREFERRED MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AND DALE EARNHARDT FLAGS ARE COMMONPLACE. THOUGH UNLIKE RICHMOND, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAME ISSUES.))
[sot tape ONE 07:41:45]
((DEL. DON MCEACHIN/D-HENRICO CO.: I'VE HEARD THROUGHOUT THIS DEBATE HOW PEOPLE FROM SOUTHSIDE AND PEOPLE FROM SOUTHWEST, HOW IF CHUCK ROBB HAD ONLY DONE BETTER IN THOSE AREAS, HE'D BE A SENATOR TODAY. WELL YOU KNOW, IF CHUCK ROBB HAD CARRIED 95 PERCENT OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTE, HE'D BE A SENATOR TODAY AS WELL.))
[runs= 15 ]
[sot tape two standup ]
((THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR IS JUNE 12TH, AND IS OPEN TO ALL VIRGINIA VOTERS STATEWIDE. JERRY KILGORE AND JAY KATZEN ARE UNOPPOSED FOR THOSE NOMINATIONS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE AND WILL BE NOMINATED NEXT SATURDAY IN A CONVENTION HERE IN RICHMOND. ELLEN QUALLS, NEWS 7.))
[runs= 20 ] ))
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The events of the Special Olympics are just around the corner. Up next Denise Allen and Roanoke Police Chief Joe Gaskins will join us with a preview.
Then a little later in the newscast, we'll see a thill seeker who is taking his adventures to new heights.
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[COMM BREAK #2]
In just two weeks the Special Olympics Torch will be making its way through our area.
Law Enforcement officers will be carrying the flame to its destination in Richmond.
And leading the way will be Roanoke Police Chief Joe Gaskins.
He joins Denise Allen to tell us more.
[ANCHOR=Denise On Record Set]
[super=01-Joe Gaskins/Roanoke Police Chief;]
Thanks Kimberly, Chief Gaskins is the Area 10 Director for the Special Olympics of Virginia Torch Run.
And he's heading up several events to raise awareness and money for Special Olympics.
First of all Chief, why are you volunteering your time to Special Olympics?
Just as in the other Olympic Games, a ceremonial torch is carried to the cite of the games. When is it being run through our area?
[super=04-Torch Run 1998;]
Denise adlibs over :25 of v-o following the second question.
Area law enforment agencies have been working together to raise money for Special Olympics. I know you all raised more than 31-hundred dollars from the annual Cops and Lobsters event, where officers served lunch to patrons. Tell us about the golf tournament your department is sponsoring.
[WXPRO/FULL] ROANOKE STATS
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW has lost 92 points. NASDAQ has dropped 44.
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Still to come on News 7 -
The Express may be looking for a new coach. Find out why when we return.
Frasier's finally where everyone know's his name - on Hollywood's Walk of Fame! We'll have details after the break.
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[COMM BREAK #3]
[TAPE#=SP- tc ]
Rain didn't leave All High School District Tournament games high and dry yesterday afternoon.
Tunstall and Patrick County settled one of the Piedmont District semifinals last night.
[SUPER=03-Danville/Tunstall vs. Patrick Co.;]
The Trojans and Cougars lined up to play, even as a storm loomed on the horizon.
In the first, Tunstall's Jeremy Dodd hits a blooper to short.
Patrick County bobbles the ball and two runs score.
It's three nothing Trojans.
The storm arrived, delaying the game for an hour.
When play resumed, Kirk Reneger's two- run homer over the left field fence brought Patrick County within one.
In the bottom of the seventh, Nicki Bowers hit a grounder into left field to bring in the winning run for the Cougars.
Patrick County gets the four to three victory over Tunstall.
The Cougars will go on to play the winner of the Dan River-Magna Vista game. That game was rained out yesterday and will be played today.
[TAPE#=sp-92 tc 1:16:49]
One of the Salem Avalanche's top prospects may be out for good -
All the ligaments in pitcher Chin (Way-Sow) Hui Tsao's elbow are damaged.
It's a potentially career- ending injury.
Salem's front office says (Sow) Tsao is in Colorado and will most likely have the Tommy John surgery today to repair the elbow.
(Sow) Tsao left the Avalanche at the end of April.
A new buyer may not be the only thing the Roanoke Express is shopping for - now it may need to start looking for a new coach.
Perry Florio is under contract for another year with the Express, and he and his family love it in Roanoke.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Season; :00]
However, he also would like some serious security for his family.
So Florio is one of five candidates to become the new head coach of the Florida Everblades in Fort Myers.
After getting permission from Express ownership to look into this job, Florio has had two conversations with Everblades management.
However, Florio says his first choice is to remain in Roanoke.
Ironically, his former Express boss Scott Gordon is also a finalist for the job.
[TAPE#=sp-95 tc 20:41]
Mario Lemieux's assist last night gave him his first point of the N-H-L's Eastern Conference Final.
But it wasn't enough as the Devils beat the Pittsburgh Penquins last night to take the series four games to one.
[SUPER=03-East Rutherford, NJ/ESPN;]
The Devils didn't take long to draw blood.
57 seconds into the game, Jason Arnot finds the back of the net for his sixth goal of the playoffs and the one-nothing New Jersey lead.
Pittsburgh found an offensive combination in Ian Moran and Alexei (More-OH-zov) Morozov.
(More-OH-zov's) Morozov's goal at the 16:38 mark of the first ties it at one.
In the second period, Arnot gets his second goal of the game to break the tie. and the Devils beat the Penguins 4-to-2.
New Jersey will play the Colorado Avalanche for the Stanley Cup.
[TAPE#=sp-93 tc 25:28]
No rest for the weary. Both the 76ers and Bucks are coming off a grueling seven- game semifinal series.
Last night they opened the Eastern Conference Final.
Dikembe Mutombo helped Philadelphia build a 16 point, half time lead.
Allen Iverson scored 34, and the 76ers survived a strong third quarter by the Bucks to win 93-to-85.
Meanwhile the Associated Press says Philadelphia's head coach Larry Brown will be named the N-B-A Coach of the Year later today.
Kelsey Grammer now has added his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The actor, who plays Dr. Frasier Crane on "Frasier," was honored yesterday.
The unveiling took place in front of the Hollywood Entertainment Museum where the original Cheers bar set is displayed.
Grammer's star is just two stars away from Ted Danson's, who co-starred with him on "Cheers."
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[SOT 23:33:54 - :23:24:05]
[IN Q=I feel humbled]
((KELSEY GRAMMER: I FEEL HUMBLED BY IT. I AM DELIGHTED TO BE, AS A
STAR ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, TWO DOORS DOWN FROM MR. TED DANSON.))
[OUT Q=Ted Danson.]
Grammer introduced Frasier Crane to the world in 1984 on "Cheers."
He's won three Emmy awards for the role.
"Spiderman" has attacked one of Paris' tallest buildings.
French climber Alain Robert, who is known as "Spiderman" for his skyscraper-scaling stunts, climbed the 40-story building Tuesday.
He tried to climb the tower in 1999 but failed because of bad weather.
This time, it took him 90 minutes, using his bare hands and special climbing shoes.
Dozens of onlookers gathered for the climb.
Afterward, Robert was taken to the police station... but he was NOT charged.
His conquests include the Empire State Building and the Golden gate Bridge.
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