A gas pipeline explosion in Kentucky is so big .. it's visible by satellite.
So far, no word on any injuries.
And the focus is back on Optical Cable, as two lawsuits against the company are dismissed.
A live update, straight ahead.
Try to get outside and enjoy this afternoon as temperatures have already climbed into the 60s in some locations....I'll tell you how long it will last in the forecast.....
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 Headline Banner]
Optical Cable breathes a sigh of relief today .. as two suits against the company are dropped.
But others are still looming.
The lawsuits against Optical Cable were filed by two major brokerage houses ... each demanding payback for loans taken out by the company's former C-E-O, Bob Kopstein.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kim & Jen/MB;]
Business Reporter Jennifer Miele joins us now to tell us why they were dropped.
[GRAPHIC=News7atNoon in Monitor]
Kim, all of Kopstein's shares in Optical Cable were restricted... that means every time he wished to sell any of his millions of shares, he had to get approval from company lawyers.
When these brokerage firms came after his shares ... they too had to get approval to sell them.
Originally the lawyers said no.
But they reached an agreement in early November .. one made public just now .. and in the meantime, they've sold off millions of shares.
UBS Paine Webber has withdrawn its lawsuit against the Roanoke maker of fiber optic cable ... but Bear Sterns has reserved the right to file the same claim again.
Optical Cable believes now only two firms still hold Kopstein's stock... AG Edwards and Scott & Stringfellow.
They've got an estimated 16.2 million of his shares.
Remember -- there are still at least a half dozen class action lawsuits pending against Optical Cable right now.
Many shareholders are angered that the value of company stock plunged over the last several months.
They plan to voice that discontent at the shareholder meeting next week.
One other note... net sales were down slightly this quarter from the previous three months.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kim & Jen/MB;]
We'll tell you about that Kim, tonight on News 7 at 6.
[GRAPHIC=Advance Auto Parts]
Another Roanoke company is putting nine million shares of its stock on the market.
Advance Auto Parts holds about two million of those shares in its treasury.
The rest is being offered by three major shareholders.
Advance Auto went public late last year. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange.
The bodies of soldiers killed in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan are now back in the U-S.
On the fifth day of fierce fighting in that operation, allied forces believe they have gotten the upper hand.
Teri Okita has the latest from Washington.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Bryan Hilferty/U. S. Forces Spokesman;]
[SUPER=01-Billy Brashears/Delta Company;]
[SUPER=01-Teri Okita/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Okita, CBS News, Washington.]
TRACK: U-S COMMANDERS IN THE FIELD IN AFGHANISTAN REPORT: ALLIED FORCES
HAVE GAINED THE MOMENTUM IN "OPERATION ANACONDA: KILLING SEVERAL HUNDRED
TALIBAN AND AL-QAEDA FIGHTERS.
(Super: Maj. Bryan Hilferty/U.S. Forces Spokesman)
SOT: Wed like for them to surrender, but if they come into the combat
zone, we are more than willing to fire on them and kill them or make
(NATSD: ..roger, copy. There are caves )
TRACK: INFANTRY FORCES HAVE MOVED DEEPER INTO THE MOUNTAINS (NAT
22:56:50) ENTERING AND CLEARING CAVE HIDE-OUTS WHERE THEYVE FOUND
STASHES OF WEAPONS AND DOCUMENTS. FOR MANY YOUNG SOLIDERS, THEIR FIRST
MISSION HAS INCLUDED SOME FIERCE FIREFIGHTS.
(Super: Billy Brash/Delta Company) (NO RANK PROVIDED)
SOT: The mortar was getting too close, real close. We had guys getting
rocks and dirt flying on them. So we had to move out of our positions
TRACK: WHILE THE GROUND ATTACK RAGES ON, AFGHAN OFFICIALS LAUNCHED A
DIFFERENT KIND OF OFFENSIVE HANDING OUT LEAFLETS OFFERING A
FOUR-THOUSAND DOLLAR REWARD FOR THE CAPTURE OF ANY AL-QAEDA FIGHTER.
(Super: Teri Okita/Reporting)
STANDUP: Afghan commanders have sent in fresh troops to fight the
Al-Qaeda, and they say about five-thousand allied soliders are gathering
for a final offensive to finish them off. Teri Okita, CBS News,
Violence continues spreading across the Middle East--
[SUPER=03-Gaza City, Gaza;]
Today's clashes have killed at least seven Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers.
Three of the dead were civilians.
Israel is pounding Gaza targets by land, sea and air in the
latest round of retaliation for Palestinian attacks.
Airstrikes did heavy damage to Yasser Arafat's home-- his family members weren't there at the time and he's confined to the West Bank.
Back in the U-S .. a gas pipeline explodes early this morning in Kentucky,
[SUPER=03-Mt. Sterling, KY;]
sending up a column of flames that could be seen as far as 10 miles away.
Authorities say there were no injuries or evacuations.
They say the explosion at the natural gas pipeline substation was so intense, it was detected by a FEMA Infra-red satellite.
Initial reports say the pipeline belongs to Tennessee Gas.
((TOSS TO LEO))
[SS=NONE]LEO IN WX-CENTER
[SS=NONE]LEO TOSS BACK
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Democrats make their choices, but an Independent will have to wait. Local election news is just ahead.
And Gary Condit faces the voters .. who send a clear message .. when News 7 at Noon returns.
[music up full]
Gary Condit says he'll never forget his 12 years in Congress.
But those years are coming to an end after the embattled Congressman lost California's Democratic primary.
Chris Lawrence reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's the day]
[SUPER=03-Modesto, CA; :00]
[SUPER=01-Rep. Gary Condit/(D) California; :12]
[SUPER=01-Chad Condit/Congressman's Son; :51 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Chris Lawrence/CBS News; 1:18]
[OUT Q=Lawrence, CBS News.]
Its the day after for California congressman Gary Condit. As of
Wednesday morning, Condit did not have anything to add to a brief
concession speech he gave last night, where he thanked voters in his
(SOT REP. GARY CONDIT/LOST PRIMARY ELECTION)
I appreciate their support and love. I will never forget that.
Condit was once so popular in this part of California, they called it
Condit country. But his career collapsed after he was linked with
Washington intern Chandra Levy. When Levy disappeared last spring, the
media speculated that Condit was reluctant to help police. Tuesday night
Condits tense relationship with reporters flared up again.
Im not gonna do this again. So yeah. What undid it for you? No, were
not gonna do this again. Excuse us.
Condits supporters and son also blamed the media for de-railing his
(SOT CHAD CONDIT/CONGRESSMANS SON)
What was the biggest hurdle, the biggest hoop to jump through? You
guys. Anything else? No, just you guys.
Condit never appeared at the community center where he had hoped to give
a victory speech. His supporters waited around for hours, then left one
by one. Condits former aide Dennis Cardoza beat him in the primary, but
Condit will hold his seat in Washington until January.
And Im gonna work hard for the remainder of time that I have there,
and make the valley a better place to be.
(S/U CHRIS LAWRENCE/CBS NEWS)
In local political news, a newcomer led the way .. as Roanoke Democrats picked their three candidates to run for City Council.
Here are the results of yesterday's primary:
[TAKE GRAPHIC PAGE 1]
Alfred (DOW) Dowe took the most votes, followed by incumbent Nelson Harris and another newcomer, Rupert Cutler.
[TAKE PAGE 2]
Angela Norman was fourth, followed by James Beatty and Zavier Fox.
Teresa Hamilton has reaction to the vote.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This year's ]
[SUPER=01-Alfred Dowe/(D) City Council Candidate; :30]
[SUPER=01-Rupert Cutler/(D) City Council Candidate; :54]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7, Roanoke.]
This year's Democratic primary was challenging-- with five candidates and incumbent Nelson Harris vying for three spots.
This particular primary also stood out for another reason.
For the first time in a municipal election, four of the FIVE new candidates vying for a spot on the ballot were Africa
n American--- including Planning Commission member Alfred Dowe-- who would end up snagging the most votes.
[IN Q= IT'S A WIDE]
((ALFRED DOWE: IT'S A WIDE OPEN RACE. WE THINK THERE ARE STRENGTHS THAT COME WITH PARTICULAR MEMBERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET, NAMELY NELSON HARRIS, RUPERT CUTLER AND MYSELF.))
[OUT Q= AND MYSELF.]
Which is exactly how the votes panned out.
Incumbent Nelson Harris will be on the ballot once again... along with preservationist and Kiwanis Club president Rupert Cutler.
[in q= I want to thank]
((RUPERT CUTLER: I WANT TO THANK ALL THE PEOPLE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO MY PRIMARY CAMPAIGN, I'M PLEASED TO BE ABLE TO COME THROUGH FOR THEM AND WORKING WITH NELSON HARRIS AND ALFRED DOWE WHO WON. THE THREE OF US HAVE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER IN T HE PRIMARY AND NOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. ))
[out q=general election.]
The candidates don't have long to campaign.
The election for Roanoke City Council is in May.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Roanoke.
The three Democrats chosen yesterday will face Republicans Jack Parrot, Mark Hurley and Steve Mabrey. Independent Jeff Artis did not get enough signatures to appear on the ballot this year.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
State lawmakers will try again. Still ahead, a budget breakdown in Richmond.
And organizers in Danville say they'll try again .. to get a major street named after Martin Luther Ling.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
State budget negotiations may resume this afternoon .. and there appears to be a lot of work ahead. The talks broke down around 2:15 this morning - with no real deal in sight.
This budget breakdown could force both sides to reappoint negotiators in order continue resolving differences in the House and Senate versions of the budget.
The organizer of efforts to rename a Danville street after Doctor Martin Luther King says he'll submit a new petition before Danville's City Council. Torrey Dixon says the case is not closed.
Supporters had proposed re-naming portions of Piney Forest Road, Central Boulevard and South Main Street after the slain civil rights leader.
But a committee decided changing the name would negatively impact businesses along the roadway.
No one spoke at a public hearing last night, and Danville City Council voted to keep the road just as it is.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=What we have]
((JOHN HAMLIN/DANVILLE MAYOR: WHAT WE HAVE DONE THROUGH THE MEMORIAL COMMISSION IS TO OPEN IT UP TO THE PUBLIC PROCESS. AND IT NOW REQUIRES THE PUBLIC TO STEP UP AND NOT COUNCIL TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT, I THINK WHAT WE'VE DONE IS PUT IT MORE OR LESS IN THE PUBLIC HANDS WHICH COUNCIL FELT LIKE THAT WAS THE PLACE IT SHOULD BE.))
[SUPER=01-John Hamlin/Danville Mayor]
[OUT Q=it should be.]
Mayor Hamlin says the group is welcome to come back with suggestions for renaming a different road after Doctor King.
Lexington residents can now look upward toward the Presbyterian Church .. and see a familiar landmark back in place.
[VO-NAT - :14]
Workers used two cranes yesterday to lift a new steeple to the top of the church, more than a year and a half after a massive fire destroyed the roof, sanctuary, and steeple.
Church leaders say the new spire fills a hole in the Lexington community.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT - 2:42:22]
[IN Q=You take a building...]
((FRANK PARSONS/CHURCH RECONSTRUCTION MANAGER; YOU TAKE A BUILDING LIKE THIS FOR GRANTED AND MANY PEOPLE IN LEXINGTON WHEN THEY COME DOWNTOWN THEY WOULDN'T LOOK AT THEIR WATCHES, THEY'D LOOK AT THAT CLOCK TO TELL WHAT TIME IT WAS. YOU GET USED TO A BUILDING, IT BECOMES PART OF YOUR LIFE AND WHEN IT GOES AWAY, THERE'S AN EMPTY SPOT. AND THIS HELPS RETURN THAT EMPTY SPOT TO A LOT OF PEOPLE'S HEARTS.))
[SUPER=01-Frank Parsons/Church Reconstruction Manager;]
[OUT Q=lot of peoples hearts.]
[VO-NAT - :08+]
Church leaders say there is a lot of interior work to be done, and the reconstruction should be completed by the end of November.
On Wall Street at Noon,
the Dow was UP 88 points .. Nasdaq DOWN 2 points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up in sports, star athletes and guns .. the Jayson Williams case is just the latest of many.
And later .. getting the Girl Scout Cookies to your door. It's a big project!
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
[TAPE#=SP-119 2344tc ]
There may be a" help wanted" sign on the office door of Liberty University's head coach --
The man who has led the Flames on the basketball court for the past four seasons, Mel Hankinson, has been fired.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Last Thursday; :00]
Hankinson coached his final game for the Flames last Thursday in the opening round of the Big South tournament.
The Flames finished this year a disappointing 5 and 25.
Despite appearing to have better than average talent most years, Hankinson's teams were able to win just 36 games, while losing 77 since he took over for Randy Dunton in 1998.
Potentially damaging evidence has surfaced in the Jayson Williams case. Williams is the former N-B-A star charged with the shooting death of a limo driver at his New Jersey mansion.
Sports Illustrated reports Williams tried to put the victim's fingerprints on the gun that shot him, then Williams and two others disposed of his bloody clothes.
As Kemberly Richardson reports, the shooting is just the latest entry in a long list of incidents involving professional athletes and guns.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Flemington, NJ/Monday; :00]
[SUPER=01-Beasley Reese/Former NFL Player; :30]
[SUPER=01-Garry Cobb/Former NFL Player; :53]
[SUPER=01-Kemberly Richardson/Reporting; 1:08]
[SUPER=01-Roxanne Jones/ESPN, The Magazine; 1:23]
[OUT Q=for CBS News]
Hampton, Georgia will play host to the Winston Cup circuit later this week at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. But one familiar race car will not be running.
[SUPER=03-Rockingham, NC/February 22; :00]
Now that K-Mart has pulled out as sponsors of the Travis Carter team, Carter has decided only the number 26 car with driver Joe Nemechek will be in Atlanta.
There are no plans for the 66 car, or for Todd Bodine to race this weekend .. because of a lack of sponsorship money.
And finally today--
Probably the last time you saw a Girl Scout was at your front door, either taking your order or delivering your cookies.
Steve Karlin gives us the inside scoop into the Girl Scout Cookie business.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Yep, getting her ready]
[SUPER=03-Des Moines, IA; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tom Rochford/Lint Van Lines; :17]
[SUPER=01-Kathy Mitchell-McCoy/Girl Scouts; :36]
[SUPER=01-Steve Karlin/Reporting; :52]
[SUPER=01-Pat Marshall/Cookie Manager; 1:14 (2ND TIME!!)]
[OUT Q=CBS News, Des Moines.]
"YEP, GETTING HER READY TO GO!"
If you think you ordered a lot of Girl Scout cookies this year... just
checkout the Lint Van Lines warehouse on the northeast side.
"LET'S THROW ON 7 SAMOAS."
This is the first stop for all of the cookies ordered by the Moingona
TOM ROCHFORD/LINT VAN LINES "THIS YEAR WE GOT IN 14 TRACTOR-TRAILER
LOADS FOR A TOTAL OF ALMOST 68-THOUSAND CASES."
All 68-thousand cases are stacked and sorted here...
"THIS IS THE NICE, EASY WAY TO DO A HUNDRED AND 59 CASES."
... after they arrive in Des Moines from the baker in Lousiville
KATHY MITCHELL-MCCOY/GIRL SCOUTS "WE HAVE 28 COUNTIES. THERE ARE 82
DIFFERENT PLACES WHERE THESE COOKIES ARE GOING TO BE DROPPED OFF OVER
THE NEXT 4 OR 5 DAYS."
From the warehouse your cookies travel to one of those 82 drop-off
like this one in Ankeny.
STEVE KARLIN/ANKENY "ALL OF THESE COOKIES ARE FOR ANKENY ALONE. THEY
TRUCKED IN TODAY AND THEY'LL BE IN THE HANDS OF THE GIRL SCOUT TROOPS BY
Once here your cookies are placed in the capable hands of someone like
PAT MARSHALL/COOKIE MANAGER "I'M THE COOKIE MANAGER FOR ANKENY...
Pat's a volunteer... and she's been making sure no cookies crumble for 15
PAT MARSHALL/COOKIE MANAGER "I'VE GOT A CREW COMING IN TO HELP ME SORT
IT ALL INTO THE TROOPS AND THEN AT 4:30 THE TROOPS STARTING TO COME IN
"I GET ALL OF MY LIFTING IN, ALL OF MY EXERCISE FOR THE DAY."
PAT MARSHALL/COOKIE MANAGER "I STAY HERE UNTIL THE LAST BOX GOES OUT
TONIGHT. THEY'RE DONE BY NO LATER THAN 10:00 O'CLOCK."
From there the troop leaders whittle the cases of cookies down to orders
individual Girl Scouts... and the final stop... your front door.
KATHY MITCHELL-MCCOY/GIRL SCOUTS "STARTING MARCH 9TH, ON SATURDAY, THE
GIRLS WILL START TO DELIVERTHOSE COOKIES THROUGH MARCH 24TH."
And don't worry.. if you didn't place an order with a Girl Scout you can
still get some cookies. Every weekend in March they'll be holding booth
sales in communities all over Central Iowa... where you can pick up a
box or 2.
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]