Today, eight-and-a-half months of cleanup formally comes to an end at Ground Zero.
The ceremony begins at 10-29 this morning, marking the moment the second of the two World Trade Center towers fell to the ground on September 11th.
It'll be an emotional ceremony for thousands of victims' families who were never able to recover their loved ones' remains.
The service includes the carrying out of the last steel beam of the World Trade Center-- and of an empty stretcher.
Jim Acosta is in New York this morning, and joins us now with an update.
[SUPER=05-New York, NY;]
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[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
[SUPER=01-Angela LaManna/Grief Counselor;]
[SUPER=01-Michael Bellone/New York City Fire Department;]
[OUT Q=back to you.]
[SUPER=05-New York, NY;]
(NATS OF TAPS)
THE FINAL STEEL BEAM STANDING AT GROUND ZERO WAS CUT DOWN TUESDAY.
TODAY IT WILL BE TAKEN OUT.
COVERED WITH AN AMERICAN FLAG, THE GIRDER WAS THE LAST OF 2 AND A HALF
MILLION TONS OF RUBBLE THAT WAS ONCE THE TWIN TOWERS.
(NATS OF CLEANUP)
FOR EIGHT AND A HALF MONTHS SINCE THAT FATEFUL DAY CREWS HAVE GIVEN
THEIR BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS AROUND THE CLOCK TO FIND THE VICTIMS -- AND
CLEAR THE SPOT WHERE THE WORLD TRADE CENTER ONCE STOOD.
TODAY THAT WORK FORMALLY COMES TO AN END.
AT 10:29 A-M EASTERN BELLS WILL TOLL... MARKING THE MOMENT WHEN THE
SECOND TOWER COLLAPSED.
AS HUNDREDS OF VICTIM'S FAMILIES LOOK ON A STRETCHER, DRAPED WITH AN
AMERICAN FLAG, WILL BE CARRIED OUT.... SYMBOLIZING THE REMAINS OF THOSE
MEN AND WOMEN WHO WON'T BE RECOVERED.
(SOT-Angela LaManna/Grief Counselor)
"It's gonna be hard, especially hard for those who don't have closure,
but even those who do have closure".
IN THIS WEEK OF SAYING GOODBYE -- GRIEF COUNSELORS AND WORKERS BID A
FINAL FAREWELL AT A MASS TUESDAY AT SAINT PAUL'S CHURCH.
ONLY A FEW HUNDRED FEET FROM THE WORLD TRADE CENTER THE CHURCH WAS
SPARED ON SEPTEMBER 11TH.
SINCE THEN IT'S SERVED AS A SANCTUARY TO WORKERS.
"for the last 8 months this was our family"
Forced to cut more than a million dollars from its budget, the Henry County School Board has eliminated more than two dozen positions.
School Board members say it was a painful decision, one they hoped to avoid.
But last night, they voted to eliminate positions, reduce spending, and implement new fees.
Joe Dashiell has more details on how they did it.
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[IN Q=The Henry County Schools ]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-James Beckner/Assistant Superintendent; :16]
[SUPER=01-Kathryn Wickline/School Board Chairman; :58]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Henry County]
((The Henry County Schools were faced with a seven figure shortfall... one-point- six million dollars less than the school board requested... one million less than the schools received this year.
Administrators say they tried hard to minimize the pain.
[IN Q=It would not be accurate]
((JAMES BECKNER: IT WOULD NOT BE ACCURATE TO SAY NO DAMAGE OR NO HARM, NO SUFFERING, BUT MINIMAL DAMAGE, TRYING TO SPREAD IT AROUND AMONG VARIOUS CATEGORIES OR ACTIVITIES.))
[OUT Q=categories or activities.]
Officials found the most money by eliminating positions... 12 custodians, 9 teachers, 2 guidance counselors, 2 clerical positions, and the public information office.
In addition, they voted to move the Center for Community Learning and the Adult Program to save rent... reduce field trips and the use of substitute teachers, implement a driver's education fee, reduce the purchase of library supplies and instructional materials, and cut other expenses for technology, travel, capital outlay and postage.
[IN Q=This has been a very tough decision]
((KATHRYN WICKLINE/SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRMAN: THIS HAS BEEN A VERY TOUGH DECISION TO HAVE TO MAKE TODAY AND I FEEL IF WE COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO MOVE AHEAD WITH THE RECONFIGURATION OF SCHOOLS THIS YEAR, WE COULD HAVE BEEN WAY AHEAD OF THE GAME.))
[OUT Q=could have been way ahead of the game.]
Despite the budget cuts, school board members did approve a one percent salary increase for designated employees.
Board members say they felt that had to make an effort to offer more competitive salaries.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Henry County))
A young man- -not quite 18 at the time- -chased down another young man in Roanoke last Summer and shot him.
Yesterday, Jamar Anthony Gray was still not ready to admit that.
He did not contest the charges, though.
The prosecutor said evidence indicated the handgun was held sideways when Ryan Fischer was shot in the back of the neck.
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[IN Q=MANY OF OUR YOUTHFUL]
((BETTY JO ANTHONY/CHIEF ASSISTANT COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY; MANY OF OUR YOUTHFUL DEFENDANTS SEE THAT ON TV AND THINK IT'S THE COOL WAY TO SHOOT. SO THEY LIKE TO TURN THEIR WEAPONS SIDEWAYS.))
[SUPER=01-Betty Jo Anthony/Chief Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney]
[OUT Q=TURN THEIR WEAPONS SIDEWAYS.]
The prosecution says it was a drug deal gone bad.
Gray was sentenced to serve 23 years in prison for murder and use of a firearm in the commission of murder.
A former head coach to the Franklin County High School cheerleaders was acquitted of embezzlement.
[SUPER=03-Rocky Mount/Last Thursday]
Jacqueline Powers had been accused of stealing 22-hundred dollars from her squad.
At the end of a three day trial, a judge in Rocky Mount cleared her on all counts.
Powers coached the Eagles' cheerleaders from 1991 to 2000.
A financial audit in 1999 determined some of the squad's money for new uniforms was missing.
But yesterday the judge said prosecutors failed to prove that Powers was the one who took it.
In business news, Stock prices fell for the third straight day.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=your local stocks]
((WALL STREET WILL ATTEMPT TO SNAP ITS THREE DAY LOSING STREAK. WITH NO
ECONOMIC REPORT DUE OUT TODAY, INVESTORS WILL FOCUS AGAIN ON CORPORATE
PROFITS AND ACCOUNTING PROBLEMS.
THE DOW FELL BACK 58 AND 1/2 POINTS DRAGGED DOWN BY INTEL
WHILE THE NASDAQ SANK NEARLY 28 POINTS.
AT&T JOINS WORLDCOM AND QUEST IN THE DEBT-RATING DOGHOUSE AS MOODY'S
TO JUST ABOVE JUNK STATUS.
MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE cited weak sales and intense competition in
long-distance voice and data market. The downgrades did not affect debt
related to AT&T's cable unit, which it plans to sell to Comcast.
A COMPANY ONCE HEADED BY VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY IS UNDER THE
BY THE FEDS.
THE ENERGY GIANT HALLIBURTON SAYS REGULATORS ARE INVESTIGATING THE WAY
THE COMPANY BOOKED REVENUE IN 1998 , A TIME WHEN DICK CHENEY HEADED UP
FIRM....CHENEY'S OFFICE HAD NO COMMENT ON THE INVESTIGATION.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON DEFENSE COMPANIES LIKE LOCKHEED MARTIN, BOEING AND
GRUMMAN. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered Pentagon planners
draft strategies for potential cuts to five of the military's most
TRACK ALL THE PRE-MARKET ACTION AT CBS.MW.COM ... AT THE NASDAQ
I'M AC IN NY.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
16-year-old (Gay-lynn) Gaelen Wood was remembered in Pulaski...
Yesterday afternoon hundreds filled the First United Methodist Church for a memorial service.
Police say the 11th grader died from a cocaine overdose early Saturday morning. Her mother says she was depressed.
At yesterday's service, Gaelen's friends spoke and sang in her honor.
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[IN Q=my family]
((PAMLA WOOD/GAELEN'S AUNT; MY FAMILY IS DEVASTATED BY OUR LOSS THROUGH THE GRACE OF FAMILY FRIENDS AND EACH OTHER WE WILL MOVE FORWARD ALWAYS HURTING BUT NEVER FORGETTING OUT LOVE FOR GAELEN AS WELL AS HER LOVE FOR US ALL.))
[SUPER=01-Pamla Wood/Gaelen's Aunt;]
[OUT Q=LOVE FOR US ALL.]
Police are charging 31-year-old Edward Lee Carter with 2nd degree felony murder for Gaelen's death. They believe he sold her the drugs.
After months of negotiations -- Trigon and Carilion have reached an agreement.
That means 120 thousand Southwest Virginians will remain "in-network" at Carilion.
Trigon wanted a bigger discount on health care services than any of Carilion's other insurance partners.
But according to Carilion, all partners are now on a level playing field.
The new deal will last until September of 2007.
To create new jobs and hold on to existing ones...
That's the goal of an organization officially formed last night in the Alleghany Highlands.
Teresa Hamilton has more on the historic undertaking.
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[SUPER=03-Clifton Forge; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dusty Rhodes/Clifton Forge Mayor; :09]
[SUPER=01-Alan Williams/Iron Gate Mayor; :37]
[SUPER=01-Cletus Nicely/Alleghany Co. Board of Supervisors; :49]
[SUPER=01-Temple Kessinger/Covington Mayor; 1:08]
[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS 7, Clifton Forge.]
(( The men and women gathered in this room are here for a common goal-- to promote economic prosperity in the Alleghany Highlands.
[in q= this is the ]
((DUSTY RHODES/CLIFTON FORGE MAYOR: THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE'VE DONE IT IN THIS FASHION AND I THINK IT SPEAKS WELL NOT JUST OF THE GOVERNMENT BODIES BUT OF THE PEOPLE OF THE COMMUNITY TO DO THAT.))
[out q= to do that.]
The group is made up of elected leaders from Alleghany County-- as well as the towns of Iron Gate and Clifton Forge-- along with the city of Covington.
Together they signed an agreement to form the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation.... which, for now, will be funded with local money.
[in q= Not only]
((ALAN WILLLIAMS/IRON GATE MAYOR: NOT ONLY TO CREATE NEW JOBS BUT TO TRY TO SHOW THE EXISTING JOBS THAT WE'RE BEHIND THEM AND TRY TO WORK WITH THEM TO TRY TO KEEP THEM HERE.))
[out q= keep them here.]
((CLETUS NICELY/ALLEGHANY CO. BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: PERSONALLY I REPRESENT ALLEGHANY COUNTY BUT ON THE WHOLE YOU REPRESENT THE WHOLE HIGHLANDS AND WHAT'S GOOD FOR ONE IS GOOD FOR ALL.))
The corporation will take over the marketing responsibilities of the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Authority- which filed for bankruptcy last year.
But before officially getting down to work-- the four localities must first hold public hearings.
[in q= I can not ]
((TEMPLE KESSINGER/COVINGTON MAYOR: I CAN NOT SEE A GROUP WANTING TO COME IN IF YOU HAD A LOT OF STRUGGLES AND IN THE PAST THAT'S BEEN THE CASE BUT THIS IS NEW ERA IN THE ALLEGHANY HIGHLANDS, I FEEL THAT I THINK TONIGHT WE DEMONSTRATED IT.))
[out q= tonight we demonstrated it.]
Much of the ground work has already been laid... office space is already being leased here at Dabney Lancaster community college and the search for an executive director will begin soon.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Clifton Forge.))
State Troopers and the Roanoke County Police are "pulling" together to raise money for Special Olympics.
On June 29th, police, fire and EMS departments will compete in a Fire Truck Pull.... they'll battle to move a 40-thousand pound fire truck in the shortest amount of time.
After the Truck pull...a 5-K Police Pursuit will take place on a closed road course.
The five kilometer run is open to all runners.
Both events will be held at Green Hill Park in Roanoke County.
All proceeds benefit Special Olympics.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
Franklin County's library will make an old building its new home.
[VO-NAT video from 02-11 TC1:31:22]
[SUPER=03-Rocky Mount/File Tape;]
County supervisors voted last night to buy the old Peebles department store building in Rocky Mount.
They've set aside one and a half MILLION dollars.
The town of Rocky Mount has pledged up to 500-thousand.
That will allow renovation of about 70 percent of the Peebles building ... and they'll do the rest later.
The present library is overcrowded.
Supervisors and town council agree that the Peebles building appears to be the best option for the money available.
Last week's bust at the Black Angus Businessman's Club netted few arrests.
However, the return of the search warrant indicates police seized marijuana, syringes, smoking devices, drug paraphernalia and unknown pills, along with numerous containers of assorted alcoholic beverages.
Police were LOOKING for evidence of ABC violations, drug trafficking and nude dancing.
The club's owner denies the club sells drugs or alcohol and says the dancers are "independent contractors" and that it's up to each girl to decide what they want to do.
A 14-year-old boy is charged with setting the fire that burned millions of tires in Roanoke County.
Police say he confessed to setting it with a lighter.
It started on March 23rd -- along a road that borders the tire dump.
It spread to one-thousand acres of brush and more than 2-million tires.
Police say a brush fire set nearby three weeks LATER led them to the boy.
Someone spotted a group of kids running away from THAT fire ... and among them, investigators found their suspect.
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[SOT 18:29 - :37]
[IN Q=It's reassuring]
((ELMER HODGE/COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR: IT'S REASSURING TO ME. I HOPE IT'S REASSURING TO THE PUBLIC THAT WE AGGRESSIVELY PURSUED THE FIRE AND THAT WE WERE ABLE TO APPREHEND A PERSON.))
[OUT Q=apprehend a person.]
The tire fire has cost 3-MILLION in federal, state and local dollars.
The boy is charged with intentionally setting brush on fire -- a MISDEMEANOR, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of 25-hundred dollars.
Prosecutors say he COULD be held liable for the cost of fighting the fire, though they say it's unlikely that any money will be recovered.
A child playing with candles started the Memorial Day fire that destroyed an apartment duplex in northeast Roanoke.
Officials say the fire broke out in the living room of the Whitney Avenue apartment building.
That's where the seven-year old boy was playing.
Nobody was hurt in the blaze.
It did force five people to relocate and caused over 100 thousand dollars worth of damage.