UP Next on News 7--
Authorities say four people have been killed in an apartment fire near UNC-Greensboro campus.
And Workers at a Pulaski plant end their strike and are back at work.
Dry weather continues for now...but a cold fronts heading our way...I'll have your forecast....
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 Headline Banner]
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Noon]
Fire officials have confirmed four people are dead in an apartment building fire near the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The fire occurred early this morning at the Campus Walk Apartments, a 12-unit complex.
Early reports indicated at least six people were injured, including one woman who broke her collarbone after jumping from a second-story balcony.
No word yet on how the fire started.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Noon]
Workers at the Magnox plant have ended their strike and are back on the job in Pulaski.
Officials say employees voted to accept a new contract Wednesday evening, ending a nearly two-week strike.
49-union workers and the company had been at odds over contract terms...including increases in medical premiums and vacation cuts.
Magnox says the new contract has both parties paying more for health insurance and the loss of a week of vacation.
The Pulaski plant produces materials for video and audio tapes as well as security products.
Magnox officials say a return to work was necessary in order to focus on the company's long term survival.
Backers of a statewide program to help inmates find work after prison are asking leaders in Richmond not to cut their funding.
[VO-NAT - :17]
The State Department of Criminal Justice Services has recommended cutting the Virginia Cares program from its budget.
Total Action Against Poverty is a member of Virginia Cares, and its president says losing the 1-point-2 million dollars in state funding would cut the safety net of the community.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT - 23:39:36]
[IN Q=We're talking about the...]
((TED EDLICH/TAP PRESIDENT; WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF AN ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT HAS BEEN WORKING FOR 25 YEARS, AND SUCCESSFULLY TO HELP EX-OFFENDERS MAKE IT IN SOCIETY AND ALSO TO PROTECT OURSELVES BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO ARE EARNING A LIVING, GOING TO A JOB, PAYING CHILD SUPPORT, THEY DON'T BOTHER ME, AND THEY DON'T BOTHER YOU.))
[SUPER=01-Ted Edlich/TAP President;]
[OUT Q=and they don't bother you.]
[VO-NAT - :13+]
Virginia Cares offers pre-release and post-incarceration services to help prison inmates find and keep jobs.
Virginia Cares helped nearly 25-hundred post-release participants last year, three-quarters of whom have not gone back to prison.
More legal trouble for a Martinsville cable news operator.
Charles Roark is facing a libel suit from the city prosecutor.
Commonwealth's attorney Joan Ziglar is asking for three million dollars in damages in the lawsuit filed in Roanoke Circuit Court.
Ziglar says a letter Roark published in his tabloid "The Buzz" contained false and defamatory statements.
The letter was from a convict who accused Ziglar of putting him away on trumped up charges.
Roark is also awaiting trial on grand larceny charges in Roanoke.
The fragile security of Afghanistan's interim government is on even more shaky ground, following the beating death of a top official in Kabul.
Elizabeth Palmer reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Rasal Shanwary/Pilgrim from Jalalabad; :41]
[SUPER=01-Elizabeth Palmer/CBS News; :47]
[SUPER=03-Kabul, Afghanistan; 1:03]
[SUPER=03-Kandahar, Afghanistan; :21]
[OUT Q=Palmer, CBS News, Kandahar.]
ON CAM OPEN
Afghanistans new Government is facing its first crisis this morning
after the transport Minister, Dr Abdul Rahman was dragged from his plane
at Kabul airport & killed by an angry mob.
( SOUNDBITE (Dari) EYE WITNESS MIRZA)
"Four people went inside the plane dragged him out and killed him on
the spot", an eyewitness said, "We sent him to paradise" (laughs)
The Afghans at the airport, together with hundreds of others, praying in
Mosques today, had been waiting for several days for a plane to take
them to the annual Haj or pilgrimage in the Islamic holi city of Mecca.
Already angered by the wait - the minister's decision to use the only
available plane for a trip to India was the last straw.
(3. SOUNDBITE (Pashto) RASAL SHANWARY, PILGRIM FROM JALALABAD)
"These are poor people", said this pilgrim, "they have spent so much
And it's not only a problem in the capital. (on camera) HERE IN KANDAHAR
- THE STREETS ARE FULL OF WOULD BE PILGRIMS WHO PAID THE LOCAL
GOVERNMENT 1,500 DOLLARS FOR THE TRIP TO MECCA...THEN FOUND OUT THERE
WOULD BE NO PLANE. THE TENSE ATMOSPHERE SHOWS HOW TENUOUS THE
GOVERNMENT'S GRIP ON SECURITY IS....(Kabul Soccer) a fact underlined
today in Kabul when soccer fans rioted before a game between
international peacekeepers and a local team.
Elizabeth Palmer, CBS News, Kabul
A battle today in Afghanistan-- but it wasn't related to the war on terror.
Dozens of people were injured in a riot that broke out at what
was billed as a goodwill soccer match between peacekeeping troops
and local soccer stars.
Several thousand people had gathered outside the Kabul stadium
before the match, shoving their way through the gates.
Men used shawls to scale the stadium walls, and some of them fell.
The match continued, despite the overflow crowd fighting with
Most of the injured were Afghans.
None was seriously hurt.
The peacekeepers ended up winning, 3-to-1.
A retired Air Force sergeant has pleaded innocent to charges of attempted espionage.
Brian (REE-gun) Regan pleaded innocent of allegedly offering to spy for Iraq, China, and Libya.
Officials say he tried to sell U-S military secrets to Saddam Hussein for 13- million dollars.
If convicted, Regan could face the death penalty.
Norfolk Delegate Jerrauld Jones says he has a way to fix the state budget, and improve the health of Virginians at the same time.
Yesterday, he proposed a major increase in the state tax on cigarettes.
By raising the tax from two- and- a- half cents to 50 cents, Jones says the state would prevent 20- thousand smoking related deaths, and increase state revenues by more than 300- million dollars a year.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I say to you]
((DEL. JERRAULD JONES/D- NORFOLK: I SAY TO YOU THAT VIRGINIA HAS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY NOW, DURING THE STATE BUDGET SHORTFALL, TO TAP A LONG NEGLECTED SOURCE OF REVENUE AND SIMULTANEOUSLY PROVIDE A MAJOR PUBLIC HEALTH BENEFIT.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Jerrauld Jones/(D) Norfolk;]
[OUT Q=a major public health benefit.]
Jones received a smattering of applause after his speech. It's unlikely that lawmakers will consider raising the tax on tobacco products any time soon.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, we will see what federal authorities are doing to keep illegal imigrants and potential terrorists out of America,
Also we'll tell you why drug enforcement agents are accusing an elderly couple of a little illegal horse play.
[music up full]
Since September 11th, The U.S. Customs Service has been
shuttling people all over the country to protect the northern border.
And the Bush administration is promising more help is on the way. But as
Chris Lawrence discovered, theres still a real threat of terrorists
crossing the border from Canada.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-US-Canada Border; :00]
[SUPER=01-Chris Lawrence/CBS News;]
[SUPER=01-Gene Davis/Retired Border Patrol Chief;]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS Vancouver]
((Customs agents arrested a terrorist on the northern border two years
ago. And what should have been a wake-up call for the government didn't
set off enough alarms until after September 11th.
Q&A: SOT: FONT (screen right): GENE DAVIS/RETIRED BORDER PATORL CHIEF
Q. Your gut feeling: have we seen the last terrorist cross over from
Canada? No, I dont think so.
Congress new spending bill could mean a thousand new inspectors and
agents. But it could take a year to hire and train them. And its a
catch-22. The government cant tighten the border too much because it
has to let goods and workers get through on time.
(S/U CHRIS LAWRENCE/CBS NEWS)
Most illegal immigrants never get anywhere near customs. They enter
through rural areas where one minute youre in Canada. A few feet later,
the United States.
Even Border Patrol agents admit they cant protect all of it.
Basically all that separates Canada and the U.S. is a ditch.
Illegal immigrants jump out of a car and cut through fields into the
And if nobodys there, theyre home-free.
Retired agent Gene Davis says too often, nobodys there. At night,
cameras are the only thing watching parts of the border, because there
arent enough agents to go around.
(NAT IN OFFICE)
The system helps, but so far a lot of the cameras are not yet on line.
Right behind me we have over 100 miles of waterway. Theres no presence
on that waterway with the exception of the Coast Guard, who has very
(SOT GENE DAVIS/RETIRED BORDER PATROL CHIEF)
I think theres as big a threat of terrorists coming in from Canada
today as theres ever been.
At 4,000 miles, theres a lot of opportunity ..and uncertainty at the
worlds longest unprotected border. Chris Lawrence CBS News Vancouver.))
[GRAPHIC=Drug Bust Pot]
Authorities in Oregon say an elderly couple tried to smuggle in two-and-a-half million dollars worth of marijuana from Canada by using a horse and some hay as a decoy.
Police seized 700 POUNDS of marijuana from the back of a horse trailer last night.
The drugs were hidden beneath some hay in the trailer.
Erna and Bernon Bigham were arrested near a local racetrack, as they allegedly tried to pass the drugs on to two other suspects.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 6:47:34 ]
[IN Q=And they started]
((JOHN BLACKMAN/SHERIFF'S OFFICE: THEN THEY STARTED CARRYING THE BAGS OUT. STUFFIN' THEM IN THE BACK OF THIS. WHEN THEY WENT TO LEAVE THEN THE OFFICERS MOVED IN AND
[SUPER=01-John Blackman/Sheriff's Office;]
[OUT Q=and stopped them.]
Authorities say this is one of Portland's biggest drug busts in 15 years.
Hundreds of people in Great Britain are lining the streets outside Windsor Castle to say a final farewell to Princess Margaret, who died last Saturday following a stroke.
Princess Margaret's flower- covered coffin arrived at the castle last night.
The 71- year- old broke with royal tradition by ordering that her body be cremated.
The last senior royal to be cremated was Princess Louise in 1939.
Meanwhile, the 101-year-old Queen Mother by helicopter to attend the service for her daughter.
A Grayson County man is accused of scamming more than 100 e-Bay customers out of 75-thousand dollars.
Federal prosecutors say Michael Paul Jackson of (freez) Fries listed computers for sale on E-Bay.
He received payments from buyers in the U-S and Canada, but never sent the computers.
Jackson's charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud.
He also faces three counts of bank fraud...
Prosecutors say he falsely stated on loan applications that he was employed at Virginia Western Community College.
Jackson has been in federal custody since his arrest in November, and is being evaluated to see if he's competent enough to stand trial.
He could face as many as 130 years in prison and a fine of nearly five million dollars.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, we'll see what Roanoke's professional basketball team is trying to court new fans,
Also we'll see a couple that is going to new heights to start their marriage off on the right foot.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
When it was announced last year that Roanoke would get its own professional basketball team, it was hoped it would dazzle thousands of fans at the Civic Center.
That has not been the case, as attendence has fallen way below expectations.
But as Justin McLeod tells us, the team plans to change that.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=NAT SOUND OF THE GAME]
[SUPER=01-Joan Radcliff/Dazzle Fan; :14 (QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Donna Daniels/Team President; :24]
[SUPER=01-Sam Hollingsworth/Dazzle Fan; 1:06]
[SUPER=01-James Mitchell/Dazzle Fan; 1:26]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Roanoke]
((((NAT SOUND OF GAME))
It's been nearly four months since professional basketball arrived in Roanoke.
And even now the Dazzle home games have failed to attract the big crowds.
[IN Q=I think its really]
((JOAN RADCLIFF/DAZZLE FAN: I THINK ITS REALLY SAD THAT NOT MORE PEOPLE DON'T COME TO SEE THE GAMES.))
[OUT Q=come to see the games]
The largest crowd so far for a Dazzle home game was just under three thousand fans.
On average, the games attract roughly 1400 people.
[IN Q=We knew it was going]
((DONNA DANIELS/DAZZLE PRESIDENT: WE KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE A SLOW BUILD SO WE REALLY ARE WHERE WE THOUGHT WE WOULD BE.))
[OUT Q=we would be]
Where they are is by no means where they could be....when you consider the Civic Center can accomodate more than seven thousand fans.
[IN Q=Team officials realize]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: TEAM OFFICIALS REALIZE THEY NEED TO MAKE THEIR PRESCENCE KNOWN. SO THEY'VE INCREASED ADVERTISING ON BILLBOARDS, RADIO, AND EVEN TELEVISION. THEY'VE ALSO LAUNCHED SEVERAL NEW PROGRAMS, ALL DESIGNED TO ATTRACT YOUNG FANS TO MUSIC LOVERS.))
[OUT Q=to music lovers]
((NAT SOUND OF GAME))
The Dazzle will soon hold concerts after some of the home games.
The team also recently launched a new program that allows area little league teams to play on the professional court before each home game.
The players and their families then stay to watch the Dazzle play.
[IN Q=It brings the kids out]
((SAM HOLLINGSWORTH/DAZZLE FAN: IT BRINGS THE KIDS OUT AND IF YOU CAN GET THE KIDS INVOLVED IN BASKETBALL IT'S A, IT'S A GOOD THING.))
[OUT Q=it's a good thing]
But not all of it is good.
Some fans complain that ticket prices are too high.
Team officials are taking those concerns seriously.
So much so, they plan to conduct fan survey's over the next several weeks.
[IN Q=I talk to my friends]
((JAMES MITCHELL/DAZZLE FAN: I TALK WITH MY FRIENDS. THE MAIN OBJECTION THEY HAVE IS THEY'RE LOSING.))
[OUT Q=is they're losing]
A problem that has to be fixed here on the court rather than the front office.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Roanoke.))
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
Some couples are giving a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Love is in the air."
Dressed in wedding gowns and tuxedos, five couples from the U-S tied the knot in mid- air, as they flew over the Atlantic yesterday.
The Iceland Air Honeymoon Express hosted the promotional flight, which took off from Baltimore.
There was a semi- traditional reception at the airport, with champagne and heart-shaped wedding cakes, so that friends and family could share in the big day.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW has dropped 57 points. The NASDAQ has lost 38.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
In sports, NASCAR has made more changes to the rules before Sunday's Daytona 500,
And one of Racing's best known team owners is hospitialized suddenly this morning.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
NASCAR team owner Robert Yates was hospitalized in Daytona Beach, Florida after waking up with chest pains.
Yates drove himself to the hospital. A team spokesman says the 58 year old owner is alert, in good spirits and wanted to be updated on the events at the race track.
One thing that Yates will be glad to hear...NASCAR has changed the rules again, just two days before the Daytona 500.
It will allow the Ford and Dodge cars to trim another quarter inch off their rear spoilers.
That should help them gain a little speed.
Chevrolet and Pontiac dominated yesterday's running of the Twin 125 qualifying races.
[SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL; :00]
Fans began arriving at the track early yesterday morning to settle in for what many consider the best day in racing.
But even though the competitors were willing to put on a show, Dale Earnhardt, Junior and Jeff Gordon put pole sitter Jimmie Johnson in their rear view mirror early, and then drove away.
Gordon won the first qualifier, with Junior second.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Jeff Gordon/First Twin 125 Winner;:03]
[SUPER=01-Dale Earnhardt, Jr./Finished 2nd in First Race;:15]
[OUT Q=...WE'VE RUN HERE."]
[vo nat con't]
[super=04-Second Twin 125/TNT; ]
In the second twin qualifier, Jimmy Spencer needed to race his way into the 500.
But he was caught up in an 8- car mishap that was triggered when Mike Skinner's ignition system failed.
Spencer came back, but had a flat, and wrecked again.
Michael Waltrip, the winner of last year's Daytona 500, would stay out front 43 of the 50 laps.
He earned the fourth starting spot in Sunday's race.
Waltrip likes his chances of defending his title.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Michael Waltrip/Second Twin 125 Winner; :00]
[OUT Q=...PROMISE YOU THAT."]
Ricky Rudd was the top finishing Ford. He was fourth in the opener.
Sterling Marlin finished sixth as the top Dodge driver.
Here's how the cars will line up for Sunday's race.
[GO TO QUALIFYING]
[WIPE TO MOTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
[SUPER=0107-1. Jimmie Johnson/185.831/2. Kevin Harvick/185.770/3. Jeff Gordon//4. Michael Waltrip//5. Dale Earnhardt, J
[SUPER=0107-6. Tony Stewart//7. Ken Schrader//8. Jerry Nadeau//9. Ricky Rudd//10. Bobby Labonte//;]
[SUPER=0107-11. Terry Labonte//12. Robby Gordon//13. Sterling Marlin//14. Dave Marcis//15. Kurt Busch//;]
[SUPER=0107-16. John Andretti//17. Mike Wallace//18. Kenny Wallace//19. Ward Burton//20. Mike Skinner//;]
[SUPER=0107-21. Dale Jarrett//22. Todd Bodine//23. Ryan Newman//24. Stacy Compton//25. Joe Nemechek//;]
[SUPER=0107-26. Casey Atwood//27. Brett Bodine//28. Jeremy Mayfield//29. Bill Elliott//30. Jeff Green//;]
[SUPER=0107-31. Robert Pressley//32. Bobby Hamilton//33. Jeff Burton//34. Kyle Petty//35. Geoffrey Bodine//;]
[SUPER=0107-36. Shawna Robinson//37. Rusty Wallace/Prov/38. Johnny Benson/Prov/39. Mark Martin/Prov/40. Matt Kenseth/Pr
[SUPER=0107-41. Elliott Sadler/Prov/42. Dave Blaney/Prov/43. Ricky Craven/Prov//;]
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
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