Coming up on News 7 at Noon-
A man loses his feet in a train accident early this morning -
And more layoffs are hitting a company in Southwest Virginia -
News 7 at noon is next.
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A Roanoke man's feet were amputated when he was hit by a train this morning.
It happened in Salem, after 8:30.
Police say 41-year-old Keith Lynwood Gearheart was walking on the railroad tracks and apparently did not hear the train coming or hear its warning whistle.
His feet were severed when he was struck from behind.
Police say it appeared that the man had been drinking.
He was conscious as they wheeled him to the ambulance.
He's being treated at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
A New River Valley company is cutting jobs.
Haleos Inc. in Blacksburg cut 22 of its 200 employees yesterday.
The fiber optic firm blames changes in production, specifically automated machines replacing the need for hand built lines.
Because of the market shift, Haleos is now looking to hire experienced engineers.
The five-year old company is located in the Blacksburg Industrial Park.
Norfolk Southern says income is up thanks to a rising demand for coal.
NS reports second quarter income rose eight percent as high natural gas costs increased demand for coal.
It was a decline in coal exports that NS cited as a partial reason for last year's slew of layoffs.
The company says its one hundred seven million dollar income was padded by the sale of oil and gas assets... that's compared to last years income of 99 million.
All good things must come to an end.
That was the message, as this year's Old Belt Tobacco Market got underway this morning in Danville.
More than eighty percent of tobacco farmers stayed away from the auction system this year.
Instead, many are now selling their crops directly to the tobacco companies through a contract system.
[SOT :53:51; 1:04:20]
[IN Q=We see the contracting a thing thats coming]
((BOBBY WILKERSON/TOBACCO FARMER: WE SEE THE CONTRACTING A THING THATS COMING AND I THINK THIS WAREHOUSE IS SOMETHING THATS GOING TO BE PHASED OUT, THE AUCTION SYSTEM IS GOING TO BE PHASED OUT.))
((DAN ROBERTSON/HOLLAND'S WAREHOUSE: NOT UNLESS THERE IS A CHANGE I CAN'T STAY. I WON'T BREAK EVEN THIS YEAR. BUT I LOVE MY FARMERS AND I LOVE THE TOBACCO. I THOUGHT WE WOULD DO BETTER THAN THIS. MORE OF MY CUSTOMERS WENT TO CONTRACTING THAN I THOUGHT WOULD COME.))
[SUPER=01-Bobby Wilkerson/Tobacco Farmer; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dan Roberston/Holland's Warehouse; :08]
[OUT Q=I thought would come]
Tobacco companies say the contracting system will save farmers money on warehouse fees.
Many farmers are optimistic it will also guarantee them a fair price.
Two of the teenagers injured in a church van accident earlier this month are recovering from their injuries. As Teresa Hamilton tells us, their families are grateful for the thoughts and prayers of the community.
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[SUPER=03-Randolph Co., NC/July 1; :10]
[SUPER=01-Mirela Dizdarevic/Accident Survivor; :20]
[SUPER=01-Joe Wheeler/Ben's Father; :57]
[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS 7, Roanoke.]
[in q= If you ]
(( IF YOU NEED ANYTHING, CALL ME.))
[OUT Q= anything, call me.]
Mirela Dizdarevic says she's overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and concern she continues to receive.
The 19- year old was asleep when the Virginia Heights church van blew a tire and flipped near Greensboro... leaving Mirela with a broken back.
[in q= I know]
((I KNOW THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT CARE ABOUT ME AND THAT HELPS ME.))
[OUT Q= that helps me.]
Mirela says one of the hardest parts has been dealing with the death of Jessika Lewis, who was also thrown from the van.
At times like that, she leans on her parents and focuses on the future.
Mirela, who moved here with her family from Bosnia four years ago, will attend Roanoke College.
((I'M GOING TO MAJOR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE, I'M GOING TO BE A LAWYER AND JUST HAVE FUN WITH LIFE.))
[OUT Q= fun with life.]
Ben Wheeler and his family are also looking forward to moving on.
[in q= He's a pretty]
((HE'S A PRETTY GOOD BASEBALL PLAYER, AND, OF COURSE, I'M HIS FATHER AND GOING TO BRAG ON HIM AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY.))
[OUT Q= every opportunity.]
The 16- year old suffered head trauma, a broken heel and deep cuts on his back.
[IN Q= We're not ]
((JOE WHEELER/BEN'S FATHER: WE'RE NOT GOING TO WORRY A WHOLE LOT ABOUT HIS JUNIOR YEAR, THERE'S SO MUCH OUT THERE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN, SO WE'LL GET HIM HEALED, HEALED UP, COME HIS SENIOR YEAR, LOOK OUT.))
[out q=senior year, look out.]
Ben has months of rehab ahead but is expected to leave Roanoke Memorial on Friday-- His father calls it a miracle.
[in q= I don't know]
((I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT IT IN WORDS, THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND PRAYERS, IT'S JUST BEEN OVERWHELMING, OVERWHELMING.))
[OUT Q= overwhelming, overwhelming.]
Support that continues to pour in, even come from complete strangers. Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Roanoke.))
A year ago today, a Concorde jet crashed outside Paris.
As the world remembers the deaths of more than 100 people, the supersonic jet is only months away from resuming passenger service.
Kimberly Dozier reports.
[OUT Q=Dozier, CBS News, London.]
(( It was a quiet remembrance for those who died near here one year
ago -- whose lives ended, in the first-ever crash of a supersonic
Concorde - a plane so luxurious, people thought it invincible.
One woman says, she can't get it out of her mind.
(nat sot in french)
The plane exploded just moments after leaving the runway - investigators
say a scrap of metal tore into a tire, triggering a catastrophic chain
All one hundred and nine passengers and crew died - another four people
were killed at a small hotel near the airport, where the plane's
wreckage hit the ground.
Engineers have laboured since then, to add new insulation, even lining
fuel tanks with bullet-proof kevlar, to keep it from happening again.
British Airways tested a newly refurbished Concorde at supersonic speeds
only last week - officials hope to resume passenger flights in September.
But the graceful beauty of the world's fastest passenger plane back in
the sky, is little comfort to those still grieving - some who say...it
should never fly again.
KD, CBS News, London))
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Still to come on the newscast, we'll meet a top notch baseball pitcher. SHE's one of the best in the Little Leagues,
and while Mt. Etna in Italy is still puting on a fireworks display, authorities in Sicily say the danger is apparently over.
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Two U-S scholars convicted of spying in China COULD get out of jail soon.
That's according to Secretary of State Colin Powell, who believes the cases will be resolved within 24 hours.
Another U-S scholar was deported from China after being convicted of spying.
Chinese- born business professor Li (show-min) Shaomin is on his way back to the U-S.
During a stopover in Tokyo, Li said he was happy to be going home.
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[SOT 10:37:08 ]
[IN Q=I'm looking forward]
((LI SHAOMIN/U.S. BUSINESS PROFESSOR: I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING REUNITED WITH MY FAMILY. FIRST OF ALL I'D LIKE
TO THANK OUR GOVERNMENT FOR ITS GREAT HELP AND SUPPORT AND SECONDLY I'D
LIKE TO THANK ALL THE FRIENDS AND ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HELPED ME AND
SUPPORTED ME THROUGH THIS ORDEAL. ))
[SUPER=01-Li Shaomin/U.S. Business Professor;]
[OUT Q=through this ordeal.]
The spying trials are adding to the strains on U-S-Chinese relations.
Meanwhile, Colin Powell is planning to arrive for a visit to Beijing on Saturday.
The risk of war appears to be growing in Macedonia--
Rioters took to the streets of Macedonia's capital last night.
There are also reports of a break-in at the German embassy.
The rioting started after an angry protest of nearly three- thousand people in front of the parliament building.
The protesters were furious after the the worst fighting in months between government forces and ethnic Albanian insurgents.
They're accusing NATO of helping the ethnic Albanian rebels.
A senior diplomat says U-S and European envoys are working to head off an all-out civil war.
There's finally good news for those who live in the shadow of Italy's Mount Etna--
Officials say the situation is now under control.
Geologists add that the mountain appears to be stable, and poses no immediate threat.
Like new punctures in the side of a pressure cooker, two new fractures on the side of Mount Etna are acting as relief valves for some of the volcano's energy.
For more than a week, this has been the biggest sound and light show in Europe.
Local officials estimate losses from the volcano at just over three- million U-S dollars.
Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson may be leading the majors in strike-outs.
But in the world of little league baseball, an eight-year-old in California is striking out the opposition at an amazing rate.
Hattie Kauffman has the story.
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[SUPER=03-Simi Valley, CA; :00]
[OUT Q=Kauffman, CBS News, Simi Valley, CA.]
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Still to come -
One candidate for Attorney General is trying to save face -
And while you never thought you would have to warn someone not to pet a shark, some tourists in Australia are using the mighty seas as a petting zoo. Don't go away - News 7 at Noon will be right back.
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Attorney General candidate Jerry Kilgore hopes the election this year is decided by more than just a whisker. But he's not taking any chances, he's shaved off his mustache to help people distinguish him from his brother.
The identical twins from Gate City have puzzled Richmonders for years: Terry as a delegate and Jerry as a member of George Allen's cabinet.
They even joked in June they could double Jerry's effectiveness on the campaign trail for attorney general.
But now, Jerry's mustache is gone, for the first time since law school.
[IN Q=You know I heard there was]
((JERRY KILGORE/R-CANDIDATE FOR ATTORNEY GEN.: YOU KNOW I HEARD THERE WAS A DELEGATE OUT IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA THAT WAS TRYING TO IMPERSONATE ME ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. SO I WANTED TO DRAW THE DISTINCTION.))
[OUT Q=wanted to draw the distinction.]
It's NOT a first for Virginia politics.
A mustache- wearing Doug Wilder won the office of governor in November of 1989.
And a clean-shaven Wilder was sworn into office in January.
It was a show in the sky for Chicago residents--
A morning rainstorm brought lightning, which struck the very top of the Sears Tower.
It's one of the tallest buildings in the world.
There were no reports of any injuries.
[WXPRO/FULL] ROANOKE STATS
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was up 50 points. NASDAQ has gained three.
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Coming up on News 7 -
Crews are racing at the Martinsville Speedway
Trying to make sure they stay on track for September. We'll have details after the break.
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The Martinsville Speedway has tunnel vision.
The track has gone underground to improve its efficiency.
Steve Mason has more.
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[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=01-Clay Campbell/Martinsville Speedway President; :23]
[SUPER=01-Bobby Law/Hanson Pipe & Products; :52]
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[OUT Q=...news 7 sports"]
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Salem is hanging on to its second place standing in the Southern Division and a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
The Avalanche beat Frederick last night to take three out of four games from the Keys.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Avalanche vs. Keys;]
Part of the ticket sales from last night's game will help John Powers, the taxi driver paralyzed when he was shot during a robbery April first.
To the action, Salem's Aaron Cook, nearly knocks out Frederick outfielder Ray Cabrera.
Cabrera takes the base, but later is replaced with a pinch runner.
The Avalanche defense steps up.
Octavio Martinez lines one to first.
Garrett Atkins makes the throw to second for the out.
Cook covers first to complete the doubleplay.
In the bottom of the second, Dan Phillips pulling D-H duties last night.
He smacks the first pitch he faces over the left field wall.
Salem is now a game above 500 with the two- to- one win.
[TAPE#=sp-94 tc 51:27]
Salem begins its eight day road trip today as it heads to Myrtle Beach.
The Pelicans are a close third in the Southern Division, threatening the Avalanche's play-off hopes.
One player Salem manager Dave Collins would like to see get hot, is outfielder Greg Catalanotte.
The slugger had a good season in Asheville last year, batting 269 with 20 home runs and 75 RBI.
He says he didn't live up to his own expectations in the first half of this season, and the SECOND half started with a sore shoulder that kept him out of 10 games.
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[IN Q=you just]
[SUPER=01-Greg Catalanotte/Bats 239, 11 Home Runs;]
[OUT Q=makes you tough]
The switch-hitter is batting 239 with 11 homeruns this season.
Manager Dave Collins says he's the type of player who can carry a team, because he has the power to knock it out of the park.
But Collins says Greg needs to work on consistency.
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[IN Q=he's the kind]
[SUPER=01-Dave Collins/Avalanche Manager;]
[OUT Q=with that]
Lynchburg lost to Wilmington last night 7-to-3. The Hillcats host Potomac tonight.
And before we leave you this afternoon---
Shark petting may not seem like a typical tourist activity, but authorities in Australia may have to put a ban on it.
They're considering a ban on tourists going near dead whales in the sea after
this incident was caught on amateur video--
Tourists are seen climbing onto a whale carcass, while patting the snouts of great white sharks.
Hundreds of tourists have flocked to see the sharks feasting on the dead southern right whale.
Australian authorities say they don't condone the sight- seers' actions, adding that great white sharks are extremely dangerous.
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