[War-Update]

[ANCHOR=Kimberly]

[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=News 7 Mornin']


Families of those who were killed in the September 11th attacks can begin filing claims for federal aid today.
The aid program is aimed at compensating victims' relatives for financial losses, along with pain and suffering.
The average award is more than one-point-six million dollars.
The awards are based on the victim's income and the number of family members left behind.
[SS=Enduring Freedom]


Meanwhile, experts say a more thorough translation of the Osama bin laden videotape released by the government last week has yielded more details.
A government translator says bin laden names some of the terrorist hijackers.
Jennifer Jones has the latest.
[LIVE=NEWSPATH/FULL]
[SUPER=141-Jennifer Jones/CBS News;]
[SUPER=145-Washington, DC;]


((ROLLCUE:...))
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=144-Department of Defense;]
[SUPER=143-Kabul, Afghanistan;]
[RUNS=:00]
[OUT Q=back to you.]



[LIVE=NEWSPATH/FULL]
[SUPER=145-Washington, DC;]

(( AFTER A MORE THOROUGH REVIEW OF THE NOW INFAMOUS OSAMA BIN LADEN VIDEOTAPE, INDEPENDENT TRANSLATORS SAY THE ADMITTED TERROR MASTERMIND NOT ONLY MENTIONS THE LEAD 9-11 HIJACKER , MOHAMMED ATTA .... BUT HE ALSO NAMES SOME OF THE OTHER HIJACKERS WHO BOARDED THE PLANES. AND ACCORDING TO TRANSLATORS ... HE CALLS ON ALLAH TO QUOTE ACCEPT THEIR ACTION.
THE PENTAGON SAYS IT'S NOT SURPRISED THAT A MORE IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THE TAPE IS REVEALING FACTS LOST IN THE GOVERNMENT'S ORIGINAL TRANSLATION.

(NAT)


MEANWHILE, THE PENTAGON IS CONSIDERING WHETHER TO SEND HUNDREDS OF ARMY AND MARINE SOLDIERS INTO THE CAVES OF TORA BORA ... WHERE BIN LADEN AND HIS AL-QAIDA FIGHTERS MAY STILL BE HIDING. SOME ARE CONCERNED THE MOVE COULD RAISE THE RISK OF CASUALTIES.
U.S. SPECIAL FORCES ARE ALSO OPERATING ON THE PAKISTANI BORDER TO HELP CAPTURE FLEEING AL-QAIDA FIGHTERS.
PRESIDENT BUSH SAYS -- SO FAR -- THE CAMPAIGN IS WORKING.

(SOT: PRESIDENT BUSH)

"Over the past 100 days we and the British allies and the others in the coalition have destroyed at least 11 terrorist camps inside afghanistan, terrorist factories that produce thousands of trained operatives.

(NAT)


A BRITISH-LED PEACEKEEPING FORCE BEGAN MOVING INTO THE AFGHAN CAPITAL OF KABUL TODAY, TO ASSIST THE NEW INTERIM GOVERNMENT ABOUT TO TAKE POWER. THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL HAS AUTHORIZED THE TROOPS TO TAKE MILITARY ACTION IF NECESSARY.
AND BACK HERE AT HOME, FAMILIES WHO LOST LOVED ONES IN THE SEPTEMBER 11TH ATTACKS CAN BEGIN APPLYING FOR A FEDERAL RELIEF FUND TODAY. THE AVERAGE PAYOUT COULD BE MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS, BUT FAMILIES MUST AGREE NOT TO SUE ANYONE FOR DAMAGES. ))


[11Henry-School]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=01-58]
[GRAPHIC=Henry School Consol.]


It's been nearly a week since the Henry County school board voted on a controversial consolidation plan.
Beginning next fall, three middle schools are scheduled to close, and the number of high schools will be reduced from four to two.
As Justin McLeod discovered, some Henry County students are already thinking about next year.....in other school districts.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 4:02:19]
[IN Q=Nat sound of Latoya playing drums]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00]
[SUPER=@justin1; :38]
[SUPER=01-Jerry Webb/Pittsylvania Co. Superintendent; 1:05]
[SUPER=01-Ebony Walker/Laurel Park Student; 1:18]
[RUNS=1;36]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Henry County.]

((((NAT SOUND OF LATOYA PLAYING DRUMS))
This is probably Latoya Wilson's last year as a member of the Laurel Park marching band.
In fact, it may be her last year in any Henry County school.
[SOT 3:56:59]
[IN Q=If they decide]

((LATOYA WILSON/STUDENT: IF THEY DECIDE THAT THEY ARE CLOSING LAUREL PARK THEN I JUST FIGURE I GO TO MARTINSVILLE.)) [Runs04]
[OUT Q=I go to Martinsville]


And she's not alone.
Martinsville has already received numerous transfer requests but reportedly can only take up to 100 new students next year.
Some have also contacted the Pittsylvania County school system but how many transfers it can take next year is yet to be determined.
[SOT 3:56:06]
[IN Q=The Pittsyvlania County School District]

((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THE PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT WANTS PARENTS TO REALIZE A FEW THINGS BEFORE DECIDING TO SEND THEIR KIDS HERE. ONE THEY'RE NOT GUARANTEED A SLOT, OR EVEN A SLOT AT THE NEAREST SCHOOL. AND SECONDLY, THEY'LL HAVE TO PAY TUITION.)) [Runs12]
[OUT Q=to pay tution]


It will cost a Henry County resident more than 13-hundred dollars to send their child to Pittsylvania County schools.

In Martinsville, tuition is free.
Even so, administrators warn transferring to a new school system can be costly.
[SOT 3:47:43]
[IN Q=You're leaving friends]

((JERRY WEBB/PITTSYLVANIA CO. SUPERINTENDENT: YOU'RE LEAVING FRIENDS, YOU'RE LEAVING ACTIVITIES, YOU'RE LEAVING OTHER TYPES OF ASSOCIATIONS THAT YOU'VE FORMED OVER THE YEARS AND I THINK THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE FOUND AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL PARTICULARLY IS TOUGH FOR A YOUNG PERSON.)) [Runs12]
[OUT Q=for a young person]


It's also tough when it comes to sports.
Students who transfer to a new school system cannot play sports for a year.
[SOT 4:00:37]
[IN Q=I feel like if I]

((EBONY WALKER/STUDENT: IF I FEEL LIKE IF I CAN'T CHEER AND MARCH AT LAUREL PARK THEN IT DOESN'T REALLY MEAN TO ME ANYMORE.)) [Runs05]
[OUT Q=to me anymore] It will mean a lot to the Henry County school district.


They could lose up to three thousand dollars from the state for every student who transfers to another school system.

Justin McLeod, News 7, Henry County.))

[11Train-Collision]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=rle]
[TAPE#=01-53 TC1:03:06]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A prominent Fincastle man has died after his car was hit by a train.
(------------)
[VO-NAT - :29]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.;]

State Police responded to the accident shortly after 9:30 yesterday morning at the Second Avenue crossing. Witnesses say 78 year old George P. Moore Junior met an oncoming van on the single-lane gravel road, and backed up to make way. He then backed up onto the railroad tracks, and into the path of an oncoming train. Moore was taken to Carillion Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he died about an hour later of internal injuries. State Police say the train did blow its whistle, and was travelling under the forty-mile-an-hour speed limit.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Kim]
[GRAPHIC=None]

Moore was a former Trustee of Ferrum College, and had served as director of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation. Funeral services are set for tomorrow.

[11Brownlee]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=khu]
[TAPE#=01-48 TC1:59:02]
[GRAPHIC=None]

The U-S Attorney's Office in Roanoke makes about twice as much money as it spends. That's typically the case.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]

THIS year the new federal prosecutor wanted to talk about it. John Brownlee just took office. But his predecessor was responsible for taking in almost 9-million dollars in the last fiscal year. That's money collected in fines, forfeitures, restitution and civil enforcement. Though the funds go to Washington, the government shares some of the loot with local law enforcement.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 21:13:55]
[IN Q=Aproximately $729,000]

((SHARON BURNHAM/ASSISTANT U. S. ATTORNEY; APPROXIMATELY $729,000 WERE SHARED BACK WITH STATE AND LOCAL AND THE PERCENTAGE WOULD VARY FROM CASE TO CASE.))
[SUPER=01-Sharon Burnham/Assistant U. S. Attorney]
[RUNS=11]
[OUT Q=from case to case.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Sometimes the physical assets- -homes and cars, for example- -are seized and turned over to the local sheriff or police departments.
(------------)



[11Railroad-Retirement]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=None]


He hasn't inked it yet, but President Bush says he will sign the Railroad Retirement Bill.
The bill increases benefits for surviving spouses of railroad retirees by about 300 dollars a month.
It also cuts payroll taxes for rail companies and allows workers with 30 years of service to retire at age 60, instead of 62.
The House and Senate gave their approval earlier this month, but the White House says because of world events, the President has not yet been able to sign the bill.

[1st-Business]


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


In business news this morning, President Bush heads off a possible strike by United Airlines mechanics.
But they could still walk the picket lines next year. Here's Barton Eckert with a look at the morning's top business stories..
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Barton Eckert/Reporting; :00]
[RUNS=1:19]
[OUT Q=in Washington.]

(( GOOD MORNING THIS FRIDAY THE 21ST OF DECEMBER.
HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS MORNING.
-------------------------


PRESIDENT BUSH HAS SIGNED AN EMERGENCY ORDER IMPOSING A 60 DAY COOLING OFF PERIOD ON UNITED AIRLINES MECHANICS.
THEY COULD NOW STRIKE AS EARLY AS THE END OF FEBRUARY... AND BOTH UNITED AND THE MACHINISTS UNION HAVE STOPPED TALKING.
-------------------------


...JETBLUE AIRWAYS WANTS CAMERAS IN CABINS TO TRY AND MAKE THE SKIES SAFER.
THE AIRLINE ALREADY PUT IN BULLETPROOF COCKPIT DOORS. .. AND NOW, ASKS THE F-A-A TO APPROVE THE CAMERAS ...SO PILOTS CAN MONITOR POSSIBLE TROUBLE WITHOUT LEAVING THE COCKPIT.
--------------------------


MICROSOFT'S NEWEST VERSION OF WINDOWS CONTAINS SERIOUS FLAWS THAT CAN LET HACKERS IN.. HACKERS CAN SEIZE CONTROL OF ALL WINDOWS X-P OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARE WITHOUT REQUIRING A COMPUTER USER TO DO ANYTHING EXCEPT CONNECT TO THE INTERNET.
THE COMPANY HAS RELEASED A FREE FIX.
--------------------------


ON WALL STREET TODAY,.,LOOK FOR REACTION TO THE LATEST GDP DATA..
PERSONAL INCOME AND SPENDING.. AND THE MICHIGAN CONSUMER SENTIMENT SURVEY.
ON ASIAN MARKETS OVERNIGHT .. STOCKS WERE WEAK IN TOKYO BECAUSE OF A TECH SELLOFF.
--------------------------


DESPITE THE RISING UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, FEWER AMERICANS WERE PAST DUE ON THEIR CREDIT CARD BILLS IN THE THIRD QUARTER.
THE AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION SAYS THE PERCENTAGE OF CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS 30 OR MORE DAYS PAST DUE DIPPED BECAUSE OF LOWER GAS PRICES, MONEY FROM INCOME TAX REBATES AND MORTGAGE REFINANCING.
--------------------------


AND THAT'S YOUR FIRST BUSINESS CHECK ON THE MORNING'S TOP BUSINESS HAPPENINGS..
I'M BARTON ECKERT IN WASHINGTON.))


(tape tosses to stocks)

[STOCKS] [COMM]

[11Holiday-Shopping]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jmi]
[TAPE#=01-59 TC23:09]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas shopping]


National statistics show September Eleventh is having a lingering effect on the economy...even this Christmas.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.]


But, you might not know it if you were shopping at Tanglewood Mall yesterday.
The parking lot was full of cars and the stores crowded with shoppers... many of who say this Christmas will have a healing effect after the attack on America.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=It makes]

((TERESA NICELY: IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER TO SPEND MONEY. AND GIVE TO PEOPLE. THAT'S WHAT THE WHOLE THING IS ALL ABOUT, CHRISTMAS IS GIVING TO OTHER PEOPLE AND IT MAKES YOU FEEL HAPPY.))
[SUPER=01-Teresa Nicely/Holiday Shopper]
[RUNS=12]
[OUT Q=feel happy.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


America's Research Group says stores can expect a boom in sales following Christmas with one of the most discounted shopping periods in the last twenty years.
(------------)



[11Cave-Spring]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=tsa]
[TAPE#=01-52 TC34:01]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Students at one local school have spent the last week working hard to give back to their community . Their efforts paid off yesterday.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.]


The Student Council at Cave Spring High School gathered more than seven thousand cans of food as part of its annual holiday food drive.
Yesterday, the food was delivered to the Roanoke Salvation Army.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 17:05:08]
[IN Q=I think it's great]

((BETSY JAMES/SCA TREASURER: I THINK IT'S GREAT FOR OUR STUDENTS TO SHOW THE ACTUAL POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES THEY BRING TO THE COMMUNITY.)) ((MARTHA COBBLE/CAVE SPRING PRINCIPAL: OUR THEME THIS YEAR HAS BEEN TO GO ABOVE AND BEYOND IN EVERYTHING THAT WE DO AND THIS IS JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW OUR KIDS HAVE GONE ABOVE AND BEYOND TO HELP NEEDY PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.))
[SUPER=01-Betsy James/SCA Treasurer; :00]
[SUPER=01-Martha Cobble/Cave Spring Principal; :13]
[RUNS=:23]
[OUT Q=in our community]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


A free breakfast was offered to the class with the most cans and the best dressed donation box.
(------------)



[11Gun-Locks]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=tsa]
[TAPE#=01-55]
[GRAPHIC=None]


Shoppers at Valley View Mall were given a special stocking stuffer yesterday.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


Project HomeSafe along with local and state law enforcement handed out free gun locks at the mall yesterday.
Parents were also encouraged to take a gun safety pledge with their children.
More than one thousand gun locks were available.
The project's stop in Roanoke is part of a fourteen day state tour.
(------------)



[11Mville-Parade]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=01-60 TC1:04:23]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas]


The third time's a charm for one area holiday parade.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 4:05:45]

((NAT MUSIC))
[SUPER=03-Martinsville]
[RUNS=04]
[OUT Q=NAT SOUND OF MARCHING BAND PLAYING]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The City of Martinsville finally held its annual Christmas parade in downtown last night.
Rainy weather forced organizers to postpone the event twice.
This year's parade took on a racing theme to honor the area's long involvement in the sport.
This was also the last year you'll see the Laurel Park and Fieldale Collinsville High school marching bands.
Both schools are scheduled to close next year.
(------------)
(Kimberly tosses to bump)


[bump-chyron]

[comm #3]




[11Warner]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=01-52 TC1:11:15]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A former Danville delegate is among "the chosen ones" to head up Mark Warner's cabinet.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond;]


The Governor-elect selected Whitt Clement as his Secretary of Transportation.
Clement served in the General Assembly for 14 years before retiring to run for State Attorney General earlier this year.
He was a senior member of the House Transportation Committee.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 14:43:21 - :40]
[IN Q=He will help]

((MARK WARNER/GOVERNOR-ELECT: HE WILL HELP BRIDGE THE GAPS BETWEEN RURAL, SUBURBAN AND URBAN VA IN TRANSPORTATION. NOW, THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT WHITT COULD DO IN THE ADMINISTRATION BUT I NEED HIM IN THIS PARTICULAR POST BECAUSE HE BRINGS THE RIGHT SKILLS AT THE RIGHT TIME. ))
[SUPER=@MarkWarner;]
[RUNS=:19]
[OUT Q=at the right time.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Warner also named John William Marshall his Secretary of Public Safety.
Marshall was a trooper who served with the State Police for 14 years.
Until this year, he was director of the United States Marshall Service... a post he received from President Clinton.
(------------)



[5-Cold-Treatments]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jsu]
[TAPE#=501-013 57:58]
[GRAPHIC=Mornin' Health Check]


In this morning's Health Check,
We're heading into cold season -- so that means some of you will be coming down with the sniffles.
There are more than 200 viruses that cause colds.
While there is no cure --there are over-the counter medications and home remedies that can help.
Health Check Reporter Joy Sutton tells us some of the best ways to relieve cold symptoms.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=With so many options for]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dr. Kevin Kelleher/Cave Spring Family Practice; :14]
[SUPER=@Joy2;]
[RUNS=1:43]
[OUT Q=I'm JS for News 7 Mornin'.]

((
With so many options for treating a cold --how do you know which one to choose?
Doctor Kevin Kelleher says most medicines are virtually the same. They are either decongestants, antihistamines or a combination of the both.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT15:04:39]
[IN Q=Decongestants open you up]

((DECONGESTANTS OPEN YOU UP --SO WHEN YOU'VE GOT PLUGGED UP FACIAL PRESSURE THAT'S WHEN YOU USE A DECONGESTANT --ANTIHISTAMINES DRY YOU UP AND WHEN YOU GET DRIPPY'S THAT'S WHEN YOU USE AN ANTIHISTAMINE)) [RUNS16]
[OUT Q=to use an antihistamine]


But Kelleher says decongestants have side effects--such as increasing the heart rate, raising blood pressure, and they can keep you awake.
He says Vicks vapo rub is a good alternative --it's a decongestant that doesn't have all the side effects.
He also recommends zinc --BUT it has to be taken at the first sign of a cold.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT15:09:01]
[IN Q=It does have good studies to support]

((IT DOES HAVE GOOD STUDIES TO SUPPORT NOW THAT ZINC MAY DECREASE THE DURATION OF A COLD)) [RUNS03]
[OUT Q=duration of a cold]


But if over-the-counter options aren't for you --Kelleher recommends drinking plenty of fluids, and a taking a hot shower --and he says the recipe for the Ol' Time Nasal Wash really seems to work. .
It includes salt, baking soda, white Karo (Kay-ro) syrup, and water. It is sprayed into the nose as needed.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT15:10:28]
[IN Q=You have a little salt that]

((YOU HAVE A LITTLE SALT THAT SHRINKS THE TISSUE --YOU REHYDRATE THE MUCUS MEMBRANES)) [RUNS06]
[OUT Q=the mucus membranes]


But Kelleher says you should see a doctor if:
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:13:23]

[IN Qif you're running] ((IF YOU'RE RUNNING A HIGH FEVER OVER 1O1 YOU SHOULD SEE THEM --IF YOU HAVE SIGNIFICANT FACIAL PRESSURE --THIRD THING IS YOUR PHLEGM START A YUCK COLOR A CREAMY GREEN -COLOR OR BLOOD CERTAINLY)) [RUNS21]
[OUT Q=or blood certainly]))
[ANCHOR=Kim]
[SS=HOLD]


There are two ways to avoid catching a cold. Viruses can stay on object for up to 4 hours. So you should wash your hands often and keep them away from your face.

(Kimberly tosses to bump)


[bump-chyron] [Streaming-Video]
[comm #8]





[Prison-Riot]


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


As many as 400 inmates are involved in a prison riot in California--
Five of them have been critically injured.
The prison in the Mojave Desert remains locked down.
No guards or staff members were hurt in the fighting, which took place in a recreation yard and lasted about 15 minutes.
Hundreds of guards used pepper spray, tear gas and wooden bullets on the prisoners, and fired several warning shots.

[11Colleges]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=rca]
[TAPE#=01-49 TC1:37:39]
[GRAPHIC=VA Budget]

Virginia Tech is crunching the numbers on Governor Gilmore's final budget proposal trying to figure out how it will affect the university.
(------------)
[VO-NAT :17]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg;]

Spokesman Larry Hincker says to meet the cuts there may have to be reductions in Tech's faculty and education quality.
He says proposed cuts for Tech translate into 5-million dollars for the current year and as much as 20-million for the first year of the new budget.
(/////SOT////)
[SOT 1:12:01 ]
[IN Q=BUDGET REDUCTIONS]

((LARRY HINCKER/TECH SPOKESMAN; BUDGET REDUCTIONS OF THIS MAGNITUDE SIMPLY CANNOT BE PICKED UP WITH TUITION INCREASES ONE WE WOULDN'T WANT TO DO IT TO OUR STUDENTS, TWO, THE KINDS THE SIZE OF THE INCREASE THAT WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OFFSET REDUCTIONS OF THIS SIZE WOULD BASICALLY PRICE US OUT OF THE MARKET. ))
[SUPER=01-Larry Hincker/Tech Spokesman;]
[RUNS=:15]
[OUT Q=OUT OF THE MARKET]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

Hincker says the University is hoping the budget situation will change for the better....once the General Assembly and Governor-elect Mark Warner get involved. Hincker says if changes to meet cuts become necessary, decisions would be announced within 2 to 4 months.
(------------)



[Congress]


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


Lawmakers have gone home for the holidays.
Before adjourning for the year, Congress passed a 20- billion dollar package to finance the war in Afghanistan and September 11th recovery efforts.
The Senate voted to set up bioterrorism programs, but a final version of that bill won't hammered out until next year.
Meanwhile the economic stimulus package that passed in the House, failed in the Senate amid partisan bickering.

[2-11Railroad-Retirement]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=dse]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=None]


President Bush says he will sign the Railroad Retirement Bill.
The bill increases benefits for surviving spouses of railroad retirees by about 300 dollars a month.
It also cuts payroll taxes for rail companies and allows workers with 30 years of service to retire at age 60 instead of 62.
The House and Senate gave their approval earlier this month, but the White House says because of world events the President has not yet been able to sign the bill.