[11Spring-Fires]

[ANCHOR=Kim]

[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=02-21 TC-1:50:21]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Fire crews are breathing a sigh of relief, the spring fire season is almost over.
But the drought remains and that could lead to bigger problems in the future.
As Justin McLeod discovered, that has the Department of Forestry sounding the alarm.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Chris Thomsen/Dept. of Forestry; :30]
[SUPER=01-Justin McLeod/jmcleod@wdbj7.com; :54]
[RUNS=1:41]
[OUT Q=JM, News, Roanoke County]

((((NAT SOUND OF CHRIS WALKING UP HILL))
Putting out this spring's forest fires has been nothing but an uphill battle.
Just ask Chris Thomsen.
[SOT 17:18]
[IN Q=It just keeps]

((CHRIS THOMSEN/DEPT. OF FORESTRY: IT JUST KEEPS GETTING WORSE EVERY FIRE SEASON.))
[Runs= 03]
[OUT Q=every fire season]


And the numbers prove it.
Typically, five thousand acres burns in Virginia each year.
Just four months into 2002, we've already seen that number double and we still have eight months to go.
But there is some good news, the spring fire season is almost over.
[SOT 19:04]
[IN Q=Everything greens up.]

((CHRIS THOMSEN/DEPT. OF FORESTRY: EVERYTHING GREENS UP. THE LEAVES, THE GRASS, THE VEGETATION THAT WOULD NORMALY BURN IS GREEN AND IT DOESN'T BURN AND SO USUALLY BY EARLY MAY WE'RE OUT OF THE FIRE SEASON, OUT OF THE WOODS SORT OF SPEAK WHEN IT COMES TO FIRE DANGER.))
[Runs= 12]
[OUT Q=come to fire danger]


That's why the state wide fire ban which prohibits all outdoor burning before four o'clock will officially come to an end April 30th.
[SOT 22:25]
[IN Q=Now that the spring]

((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: NOW THAT THE SPRING FIRE SEASON IS COMING TO AN END, THE DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY CAN CONCENTRATE ON MORE PRESSING MATTERS MAINLY ITS MONEY PROBLEMS. SO FAR THIS YEAR THE AGENCY IS MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS OVER BUDGET AND THAT COULD REACH TWO MILLION BY THE END OF THIS FISCAL YEAR.))
[Runs= 15]
[OUT Q=this fiscal year]

((NAT SOUND OF FIRES))
As a result of the budget crunch, 50 open positions will not be filled.
To help alleviate the problem, the Department of Forestry has applied for a FEMA grant to pay for this year's fire season.
And as those fire fighting funds dry up, state officials also worry what will it happen if the forests continue to stay bone-dry.
[SOT 20:22]
[IN Q=What we're going to see]

((CHRIS THOMSEN/DEPT. OF FORESTRY: WHAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE THIS SUMMER AS THIS DROUGHT CONTINUES, IT WEAKENS TREES, IT KILLS TREES ESPECIALLY THE OAKS AND AGAIN THAT JUST ADDS MORE FUEL TO THE FOREST FOR NEXT FIRE SEASON.))
[Runs= 09]
[OUT Q=next fire season]


It a season that could see more fires, additional damage, and an even bigger price tag.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Roanoke.))


[11Carvins-Cove]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=02-22 TC-1:41]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Despite this weekend's rain, Roanoke's main water supply still has ways to go.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.;]


Carvin's Cove is currently 24-point two feet below the spillway.
Mandatory water restrictions will kick in once the cove hits 26 feet below the spillway.
City leaders believe that will most likely happen sometime in early May.
In the meantime, construction on the new Crystal Spring pumping station is ahead of schedule due to the nice weather.
Once completed in December, the station will supply roughly 20- percent of the city's total water.
(------------)


[11Bio-Med]


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


The first company to locate in Roanoke's new biomedical corridor will cut the ribbon on its new facility later today.
Excel Prosthetics and Orthotics will be located at the corner of Albemarle Avenue and Williamson Road.
The building is a former industrial site, and has been extensively renovated.
New modern architectural features include a neon light sculpture and gleaming metal ribbon.
Many of the other biomedical facilities will follow the same architectural pattern.

[Middle-East]


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


After a three-week offensive, Israel withdrew from the West Bank's largest city, Nablus, and most of Ramallah yesterday.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-West Bank;]


But troops still surround Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as well as Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, where Palestinian gunmen are holed up.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his country's war on terrorism isn't over -- it's just moving in a different direction.
Sharon tells Israel Radio there have been ``very notable accomplishments,'' and that the war on terror now ``will employ a different method.''
(------------)


[Robert-Blake]


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


Investigators have reportedly traced the gun used to kill Robert Blake's wife back to the actor.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Boston, MA;]


The star of T-V's "Baretta" is expected to be arraigned today on murder charges.
The "New York Daily News" says the serial number on the 38- caliber handgun was filed off-- but investigators were able to restore the number and trace it to Blake.
Blake's attorney says he'll seek to ban cameras from the courtroom.
But a spokeswoman for the district attorney says prosecutors will oppose any attempt to restrict media coverage.
(------------)


[Church-Abuse]


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


All but one of America's Roman Catholic cardinals are headed to the Vatican for a rare meeting with the pope.
They've been summoned to discuss the sexual abuse scandal that's rocked the church.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Boston, MA;]


In churches across America yesterday, cardinals had messages of encouragement and explanation read or played to their congregations.
Boston Cardinal Bernard Law said the scandal was a "wake-up call" for the church.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 3:06:16]
[IN Q=Some have likened]
[SUPER=07-Cardinal Bernard Law;]
[RUNS=:23]
[OUT Q=decisive changes.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Meanwhile, protestors lined the streets, demanding a change in the church.
(------------)



[11New-Building]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=02-03 TC-1:33:32]
[GRAPHIC=Building for the Future]

We're on the air here at our studios on Hershberger Road, but crews are still working to put all the pieces together...
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke;]


Engineers and operations staff are still working seven days a week, more than 12 hours a day, connecting cable and setting up equipment.
That work will probably continue for months.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 14:19 - :37]
[IN Q=The first thing]

((CARL GUFFEY/OPERATIONS & ENGINEERING DIRECTOR: THE FIRST THING WE DO IS GET THE LITERAL ON-AIR PRODUCT ... NOW WE'RE COMING BACK AND FILLING. IT'S LIKE YOU GO DOWN A ROW OF CORN AND PLANT TWO PIECES. AND NOW I'VE GOT TO PLANT THE OTHER 150 THAT GO WITH IT.))
[SUPER=01-Carl Guffey/Operations & Engineering Director;]
[RUNS=:18]
[OUT Q=that go with it.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


News-7 engineers hope to have the closed captioning and the time and temperature back up on your screens in the next few days.
We'll also be broadcasting a full-power digital signal on Digital Channel 18 -- a spectacular picture that will be ready for you when you're ready to receive it.
In the meantime, Your Hometown Station will continue to broadcast on Channel 7 for AT LEAST four years.
(------------)



[S-AVS]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-120 1:08:03]
[GRAPHIC=Avalanche/hillcats]


On the diamond, The Lynchburg Hillcats got out the broom and completed a three game sweep of the Avalanche yesterday.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Salem/Hillcats vs. Avalanche; :00]

To Salem Memorial Stadium we go, where some serious little leaguers were juiced up for a foul ball. A pair of doubles would bring in the Hillcats' first run.
Nate McLouth rips this shot down the third base line, and that gets one run in.
[SUPER=37-Lynchburg/2/Salem/1;]


The Hillcats would allow just one Avs' run all day.
Here the Lynchburg right fielder makes the nice throw home to prevent a run.
The Hillcats win it 2-1.
(------------)


[NO SCOREBOARDS]

(toss to weather)[Marketwatch]



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


In business news, Microsoft's Bill Gates is scheduled to appear in federal court later today.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[RUNS=1:31]
[OUT Q=your local stocks]




(tape tosses to stocks)

[STOCKS] [COMM]


[11Downtown-Roanoke]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jmi]
[TAPE#=02-20 TC-1:15:37]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Downtown Roanoke Incorporated is basking in a state-wide spotlight.
It's being recognized for its involvement in the redevelopment of the Historic Norfolk Southern Railway buildings.

Virginia Business Magazine awarded the agency with the "Most Significant Real Estate Transaction 2001 Award."
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/File Tape]


The old NS General Office Building is now the Roanoke Higher Education Center thanks to the help of Downtown Roanoke Inc.
Renovation of another building will yield nearly 90 upscale housing units called Eight Jefferson Place.
And the 1905 passenger station will be a visitor's center and museum honoring railroad photographer O. Winston Link.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Kim]
[GRAPHIC=NONE]


Downtown Roanoke Incorporated also has a new leader.
David Diaz will take over the chief position in early May.
He was formerly an assistant to Roanoke's city manager.

[11Mt-Vernon]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=02-23 TC-2:15]
[GRAPHIC=none]

Tourism is lagging at George Washington's historic home in Mount Vernon.
(------------)
[VO-NAT ]
[SUPER=03-Mount Vernon/1998; ]

Unlike other area landmarks-- tourism at Mount Vernon has not bounced back after September 11th. Officials say foot traffic at the historic home is down 20- to 30- percent compared to last year. Visits by school groups are also down 50- percent. The home's executive director suspects that months ago, when out of town school districts were making decisions about whether to travel to Washington, the feeling was the area was unsafe and not easily accessible. Mount Vernon does NOT receive federal money-- it relies on gate receipts for its budget.
(------------)



[11Navy-Reservists]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=02-17 TC-26:32]
[GRAPHIC=D-Day Memorial]


The D-Day memorial is building on its future, thanks to some navy reservists.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Bedford]


They are part of a Construction Battalion unit from Roanoke.
C-B's help build forts, air strips, and other projects for the military.
From time to time, they also do community service work.
This weekend, the reservists helped construct an army tent for the D-Day site.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 12:05]
[IN Q=As far as these guys]

((LT. MAX CARROLL/NAVY RESERVIST: AS FAR AS THESE GUYS GO THOUGH IT'S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO HONOR THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVED IN AND WHAT WE BELIEVE IN AND THATS WHY WE'RE WORKING FOR THE MILITARY.))
[SUPER=01-Lt. Max Carroll/Navy Reservist]
[RUNS=:15]
[OUT Q=for the military]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The tent will be used as a classroom that will house period costumes and other artifacts from D-Day.
The D-Day Memorial expects more than 6-thousand school children to visit the site in the month of May.
(------------)
(Kimberly tosses to bump)


[bump-chyron]

[comm #3]



[11SW-Flooding]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=tha]
[TAPE#=02-19 TC-7:46]
[GRAPHIC=none]

Help could be on the way for agencies and organizations in far southwest Virginia damaged by last month's flooding.

(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=04-Last Month; ]

Federal and state officials say private non-profit organizations that provide essential government services in the federally declared disaster area may be eligible for assistance. This could include nursing homes, volunteer fire departments, rescue squads, community centers and certain hospitals.

State and federal officials will hold an information session on Wednesday at the Russell County public library in Lebanon.
(------------)


[Med-Day]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=chr]
[TAPE#=NET]
[GRAPHIC=Mornin Health Check]


In medical news, There's a new experimental treatment for Parkinson's disease.
Melissa McDermott has that story and more in this morning's Health check.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Melissa McDermott/Reporting; :00]
[RUNS=1:20]
[OUT Q=CBS News, New York.]






[2-S-Race]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-113 1:20:20:38]
[GRAPHIC=Dale Earnhardt junior]


In sports, Dale Earnhardt Junior won his first race of the season taking the checkered flag in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Talledega, AL/WFXR; :00]

Tony Stewart wearing an appropriate shirt, letting everyone know what he's about.
On a serious note, all drivers keeping Jack Roush in their thoughts and prayers after he was involved in a plane crash on Friday.
This race got exciting late. With 25 laps to go a 24 car crash littered the superspeedway. Mike Wallace and Tony Stewart got together to start it. Elliott Sadler, who finished 40th, got the worst of hit, hitting the inside retaining wall.
Another caution later forced a 4 lap shootout. Junior wins after leading 133 of 188 laps and DEI teammate Michael Waltrip is second.
Dale celebrated with a few car tricks in the infield.
(------------)
[anchor=Kim]
[graphic=NASCAR]


Kurt Busch was third, Jeff Gordon fourth and Sterling Marlin fifth, a spot Kenny Wallace owned until a yellow line violation forced him to 21st.

[2-S-AVS]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-120 1:08:03]
[GRAPHIC=Avalanche/hillcats]


On the diamond, The Lynchburg Hillcats got out the broom and completed a three game sweep of the Avalanche yesterday.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Salem/Hillcats vs. Avalanche; :00]

To Salem Memorial Stadium we go, where some serious little leaguers were juiced up for a foul ball. A pair of doubles would bring in the Hillcats' first run.
Nate McLouth rips this shot down the third base line, and that gets one run in.
[SUPER=37-Lynchburg/2/Salem/1;]


The Hillcats would allow just one Avs' run all day.
Here the Lynchburg right fielder makes the nice throw home to prevent a run.
The Hillcats win it 2-1.
(------------)


(toss to weather)[NO SCOREBOARDS]