Florida authorities believe there may be a connection between the suspect in a teenager's rape and kidnapping there AND the murders of four girls from Virginia.
Details, straight ahead.
And some fresh faces assume their seats today on Lynchburg City Council.
Hazy, hot, and humid conditions usher in the first week of july....and we also have a chance for afternoon thunderstorms...I'll have your forecast...
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Noon]
Authorities in Florida believe a man who died last week may be tied to four Virginia murders...
[SUPER=03- Sarasota, FL/Thursday;]
Richard Evonitz fatally shot himself in Florida Thursday, as police tried to arrest him for the kidnapping and rape of a 15 year old South Carolina girl.
Now authorities in Virginia want to know if he was involved with the murders of sisters Kristin and Kati Lisk, Alicia Showalter Reynolds and Sofia Silva.
The Lisk sisters were kidnapped from their Spotsylvania home and murdered in 1997.
Last week, investigators searching Evonitz's apartment in South Carolina reportedly found handwritten notes with detailed directions to the Lisk home.
The note also described two girls that matched their descriptions, next to the words, "very cute."
Police say they also found a note where Evonitz had scribbled "29 North" and "Germanna Road."
Authorities believe that may tie him to the "29 Stalker" case and the murder of Reynolds.
She vanished from there in 1995.
Her body was later found in the vicinity.
Sixteen year old Sofia Silva was kidnapped from her Fredericksburg home, and was murdered in 1996.
Investigators in Florida have sent D-N-A samples to the F-B-I for comparison to evidence from those cases.
Lynchburg authorities have released the name of the teenager who drowned in the James River last night.
13-year-old Joshua Howard Johnson of Lynchburg was swimming and fishing with friends when he apparently got into water over his head.
Police say Johnson was not a strong swimmer and he went under while his two friends made it to the riverbank.
Divers located Johnson's body after a short search around 7 p-m.
19- people are dead 32 others injured after a tour bus overturned early this morning in Hungary.
The bus was carrying Polish pilgrims.
Two children were among those killed when the bus hit a stone barrier and went off the road about 100 miles outside Budapest.
They were headed to a shrine in Bosnia, where many Catholics believe the Virgin Mary appeared 21 years ago.
Both the group's leader, a priest, and the bus driver survived with serious injuries.
There's new evidence that the nation's airports still have a ways to go in terms of security--
U-S-A Today reports that screeners at 32 of the country's largest airports failed to detect one in four fake weapons last month.
The Transportation Security Administration conducted the undercover tests.
Screeners in Cincinnati, Jacksonville, and Las Vegas reportedly failed to detect the fake weapons in at least HALF the tests.
Los Angeles International had a 41- percent failure rate.
We're just days away from the Fouth of July -- and fire officials say this year, using fireworks *safely* is more important than ever..
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q= 12:11:04]
((nats of fireworks))
That's because dry conditions mean the danger of causing a fire is higher than normal.
Roanoke County's fire and rescue department held a demonstration this morning..
In Virginia, the only legal fireworks are those that spray sparks.
Anything that explodes or shoots into the air is illegal -- that includes bottle rockets and roman candles.
But experts say even legal fireworks can be dangerous.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Cpt. Gary Huffman/Roanoke Co. Fire and Rescue]
((CPT. GARY HUFFMAN/ROANOKE CO. FIRE AND RESCUE "OUR NUMBER ONE SAFETY MESSAGE IS FOR EVERYONE TO LEAVE IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS - GO TO ONE OF THE PROFESSIONAL SHOWS IN TOWN"))
[OUT Q="shows in town]
Last year, fireworks caused 11-thousand injuries across the country, and more than 25-hundred fires.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, a long time leader in the House of Representatives says he is ready to call it quits.
Also we will tell you why a firefighter says he is sorry for one of the huge fires burning in Arizona.
[music up full]
Firefighters have managed to contain nearly half of Arizona's devastating wildfire.
At the same time, a firefighter is charged with setting the blaze.
Vince Gonzales reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Show Low, AZ; :00]
[SUPER=01-Paul Charlton/FBI; :24]
[SUPER=01-Vince Gonzales/CBS News; 1:10]
[OUT Q=Gonzales, CBS News, Los Angeles.]
As his fellow firefighters continued to battle the nation's biggest
blaze, Leonard Gregg was being brought before an Arizona judge in
(NATS) walk shot
Gregg, a Bureau of Indian Affairs contract firefighter and native
American, is accused of setting one of two large wildfires-- that merged
to form what officials call a "monster fire." Investigators say the
motive was money.
(SOT/Paul Charlton, FBI/11:24:26) THIS INDIVIDUAL STARTED THE FIRE TO
EARN MONEY AS A FIREFIGHTER.
Gregg is now the second person assigned to wildfire prevention this
summer who's been accused of starting one. In Colorado, Terry Barton was
fired by the Forest Service after being charged with setting the massive
Hayman fire burning near Denver.
On the Apache reservation-- and in nearby communities threatened by the
fire-- there was shock...
(SOT) native american- tba
(SOT) Show Low resident- tba
The fire has destroyed more than 400 homes and scorched close to half a
millon acres-- much of it prime timber the Apaches intended to sell this
(SOT/Jim Paxon/113959) THOSE THREE TIMBER SALES ARE NOW BLACK TIMBER.
Losses for the tribe already top 273 million dollars and hundreds could
lose their jobs.
Gregg told a judge today he was sorry for what he did. If convicted of
setting the fire, he could face 10 years in prison and a half a million
dollar fine. Who will pay for the hundreds of millions of dollars of
lost property is still an open question. Vince Gonzales, CBS News, Los
The only black Republican in Congress says he wants to go back home--
Oklahoma Congressman J-C Watts announced at a news conference this morning that he'll be leaving at the end of the year.
Watts is the fourth- ranking G-O-P leader in the House.
He was elected in 19-94.
In the past, Watts has complained about not getting enough of a say among G-O-P leaders.
His departure, meanwhile, could give Democrats a chance to pick up a seat as they try to gain control of the House this fall.
It's business as usual for President Bush today, as heads to Cleveland, Ohio for a speech.
This follows his medical exam over the weekend.
Bill Plante has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Washington, DC; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bill Plante/CBS News; :36]
[OUT Q=resume his duties.]
WHEN THE PRESIDENT AND HIS FAMILY RETURNED TO THE WHITE HOUSE - HE URGED
OTHERS TO FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE AND HAVE A REGULAR EXAM.
13:37:22 "They say it will help reduce the incidence of colon and cancer
and as unpleasant as it may sound, it is necessary and worth it for
people to take precautionary measures."
AS FOR HIMSELF, THE PRESIDENT SAID HE WAS DOING JUST FINE.
13:37:38 "I feel great I got up this morning and went for a nice run and
went to church. Thanks for asking"
MR. BUSH VOLUNTARILY TURNED OVER THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENCY TO VICE
PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY WHILE HE WAS UNDER ANESTHESIA FOR THE PROCEDURE.
HE SAID THAT HE TOOK THAT STEP BECAUSE THE NATION IS AT WAR. THE EXAM
TOOK ONLY TWENTY MINUTES, BUT CHENEY WAS ACTING PRESIDENT FOR TWO HOURS
AND FIFTEEN MINUTES, UNTIL THE PRESIDENT DECIDED TO RESUME HIS DUTIES.
TODAY MR. BUSH HEADS TO CLEVELAND - ONE OF MANY VISITS HE'LL MAKE THIS
SUMMER TO STATES WHICH WILL PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE ELECTIONS -
BOTH THIS YEAR AND 2004.
Mill Mountain Zoo is planning a blast to celebrate both its birthday and Independence Day-
The zoo officially turns 50 years old this Thursday July 4th.
Special activities will take place throughout the day such as a cake cutting, live music, and a proclamation from the Mayor.
Zoo officials say it will be a day to celebrate the past as well as look to the future.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We want to expand]
((LAURIE SPANGLER/MILL MOUNTAIN ZOO: WE WANT TO EXPAND TO A FEW MORE ACRES AND ADD SOME NEW AND INTERESTING ANIMALS PARTICULARLY FROM THE NORTHERN ASIAN REGIONS OF THE WORLD AND EXPAND OUR EDUCATION EFFORTS AND ADD SOME NEW FUN PROGRAMS.))
[SUPER=01-Laurie Spangler/Mill Mountain Zoo]
[OUT Q=new fun programs]
The City of Roanoke operated the zoo when it first opened back in 1952.
A non-profit organization took it over more than twenty years later after the city decided to close it due to repeated monetary loss.
Today, the zoo is open year round, has nearly two hundred animals, and attracts more than fifty thousand visitors each year.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next,
will a high flying millionaire accomplish his goal? Or will something come along to burst his bubble?
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
American millionaire Steve Fossett could be floating his way into history--
Fossett is closer to completing his quest to become the first person to fly solo around the world in a balloon.
He's now 32-thousand feet above the Indian Ocean, and flying at about 200 miles per hour.
Weather and equipment permitting, Fossett is expected to complete the trip as early as tomorrow, after two weeks in the air.
But still, he's CAUTIOUSLY optimistic about reaching his goal--
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=At this point]
((STEVE FOSSETT/BALLOONIST: AT THIS POINT, I SEE OPPORTUNITY. THERE'S A VERY GOOD OPPORTUNITY THAT
I'LL COMPLETE THIS, BUT - BEFORE I START FEELING CONFIDENT - I THINK I'LL WANT
TO BE TURNING THE CORNER AND CROSSING THE FINISH LINE."
[OUT Q=the finish line.]
This is Fossett's sixth attempt to fly a balloon around the world.
There's been a slight shift in power on Lynchburg city council.
The seven-member panel met this morning to reorganize after the May elections.
Carl Hutcherson was an unanimous choice to serve another two years as Lynchburg's mayor.
And two-term city councilman Bert Dodson won the vice-mayor's post by a 4- to- 3 vote over Ed Barksdale.
Dodson says he wanted to be vice- mayor so he could help promote the city.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=But it's a]
((BERT DODSON/LYNCHBURG VICE-MAYOR: BUT IT'S A LOW-KEY POSITION, THE FACT THAT NO MORE RESPONSIBILITY, NO MORE POWER THAN A COUNCIL MEMBER. BUT IT'S A LEADERSHIP POSITION AND TO REPRESENT THE CITY. AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING OUTSIDE THE CITY TO REPRESENT THE CITY, AND ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO MOVE TO LYNCHBURG AND TO OPEN THEIR COMPANIES.))
[SUPER=01-Bert Dodson/Lynchburg Vice-Mayor]
[OUT Q=to open their companies.]
Today was also the first official council meeting for Joan Foster.
Foster is the first woman elected to city council in eight years.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was UP SIX points. The NASDAQ has lost 28.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next in sports- it was a matter of sudden death on the green for the U-S Senior Open... we'll see who can handle the pressure....
And on the Nascar circuit- the Busch series came crashing into Maryland... we'll show you who avoided the wrecks to win.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The Salem Avalanche ended a three game losing streak yesterday with a win over Winston-Salem...
The fans showed a little patriotism at the park with Independence Day just around the corner.
The Avs provided the offensive fireworks.
In the bottom of the fourth- Brad Hawpe cranks this two run home run over the wall in right.
Salem led it 2-nothing.
It was 2-1 Avalanche- when Jeff Winchester catches this Warthog in the rundown to keep the home team out front.
(HOR-hay) Jorge Piedra then adds some insurance.
Piedra smacks a solo homer off the top of the right field wall,
and Salem goes on to beat Winston-Salem 4 to 1.
The same two teams hit the field again today at 1 o'clock.
The 5th Annual Twins Camp wrapped up, and now Tiki and Ronde Barber are getting ready to head to their own N-F-L training camps.
Tiki will be heading to the Giants camp in Albany, New York on July 26-th....
[SUPER=03-Harrisonburg/2000 Season; :00]
And he may have some backfield company from the region from former Friday Football Extra player of the week- Delvin Joyce.
The Fieldale-Collinsville product, who starred at J-M-U, is trying to earn a roster spot as a five- foot- seven- inch kick returner.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Tiki Barber/Giants Tailback; :05]
[OUT Q=...down on finally."]
Winston Cup drivers had the weekend off-- but the Busch Series took the track for the G-N-C Live Well 2-50.
Greg Biffle took home the win- and made a little history in the process...
[SUPER=03-Milwaukee, WI/FX; :00]
It was a hot one for the drivers in Milwaukee yesterday- but Biffle successfully stifled the rest of the field after starting from the pole.
Midway thru the race- Shane (MEAL) Hmiel and Kerry Earnhardt got together, bringing out the caution flag.
Earnhardt backs into the wall on his way to a 27-th place finish.
A little later, Hank Parker Junior and Brian Vickers collided on the front stretch.
Vickers got the worst of that one.
Biffle dominated the day, leading 168 of 250 laps.
He cruises to victory lane for the 7-th win of his career.
He also becomes the first repeat winner at the Milwaukee Mile.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Greg Biffle/2nd Win this Season; :00]
[OUT Q=track position was everything."]
Stacy Compton had engine trouble and finished 33rd.
On the second day of the U-S Senior Open- Don Pooley was trying to repeat his record 63 from the previous day...
[SUPER=03-Owings Mills, MD/NBC Sports; :00]
Pooley went to a playoff with Tom Watson to decide the final outcome.
After three extra holes, Pooley runs home the birdie putt, forcing Watson to match him.
He does just that-- forcing a fifth sudden- death hole with this putt that's right in the heart.
But that's when disaster struck for Watson.
At the next hole, his drive found the rough so he had a tough lie on the approach.
He finds the deep rough by the green and it's no good.
Pooley was safely on the green and nails the ten foot birdie for the win in the U.S. Senior Open.
AND at the P-G-A's Saint Jude Classic in Memphis- Notah Begay was looking for the green right here.
Instead- he doesn't find the rough, but the lap of a fan.
Begay finished third, but had time to laugh about his errant shot.
Len Mattiace won the event by two strokes, finishing at 18-under par.
World Cup Soccer action came to a close yesterday as Brazil captured its 5-th title.
[SUPER=03-Yokohama, Japan/ESPN; :00]
The match saw the re-emergence of Brazilian superstar Renaldo, who was plagued by injuries in the 19-98 tournament.
Renaldo scored both goals in the final- giving him eight for the tournament, and 12 in his career, tying him with Pele.
Brazil was playing in its 3-rd straight World Cup championship.
With the 2-nothing win, Brazil completed a perfect tournament at seven- and- oh.
NASCAR driver Kyle Petty has made it home from his trek across America.
He ended his Charity Ride yesterday in Trinity, North Carolina. But before he made it home, his motorcycle tour made a quick stop at the Roanoke Civic Center.
And as Justin McLeod tells us- this year's event has a special meaning for the Petty family.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Jim Russell/Charity Rider; :39]
[SUPER=01-Pattie Petty/Kyle Petty's Wife; 1:06]
[SUPER=01-Kyle Petty/NASCAR Driver; 1:25]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Roanoke]
((((NAT SOUND OF MOTORCYCLES DRIVING BY))
It is a trip like no other.
Several hundred riders, thousands of miles, and plenty of momentum all make up the annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America.
And this year, it made a stop in Roanoke.
[IN Q=When they said]
((KYLE PETTY/NASCAR DRIVER: WHEN THEY SAID WE ARE GOING BY THE CIVIC CENTER I'M THINKING WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO AT THE CIVIC CENTER AND THEN YOU PULL AROUND THE CORNER AND SEE ALL THESE PEOPLE.))
[OUT Q=all these people]
More than a thousand people to be exact.
They all came out Sunday morning to see Mayor Smith proclaim this "Kyle Petty Charity Ride Day" in the city of Roanoke.
It is a ride that started seven years ago with a just handful of riders, now it totals more than 250.
[IN Q=On a ride like this]
((JIM RUSSELL/RIDER: ON A RIDE LIKE THIS YOU MEET A LOT OF PEOPLE, A LOT OF FRIENDS AND YOU BECOME WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST FAMILY I'VE EVER KNOW, THE PETTY'S AND YOU JUST WANT TO HELP THE CHILDREN AND HELP THEM OUT.))
[OUT Q=help them out]
Help that totals more than two and half million dollars.
The money raised from this ride has helped various charities and children's hospitals.
[SOT 6:13 TAPE 2; 16:30]
[IN Q=This year's event]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THIS YEAR'S EVENT HAS SPECIAL MEANING FOR THE PETTY FAMILY. MONEY RAISED FROM THIS RACE WILL HELP BUILD A CAMP IN MEMORY OF THEIR SON ADAM WHO WAS TRAGICALLY KILLED IN A RACING ACCIDENT.))
((PATTIE PETTY/KYLE PETTY'S WIFE: I DON'T THINK ANYBODY CAN UNLESS YOU'VE LOST A CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO MAKE SOMETHING GOOD OUT OF THE SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T MAKE A WHOLE LOT OF SENSE.))
[OUT Q=whole lot of sense]
The camp is scheduled to open in the summer of 2004 in North Carolina.
The Victory Junction Gang Camp will work to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
[IN Q=It allows kids to come]
((KYLE PETTY: IT ALLOWS KIDS TO COME AND KINDA HANG OUT WITH KIDS OTHER KIDS THAT HAVE THE DISEASE, THE SAME PROBLEMS AND THEY HAVE THE SAME ISSUES, SO IT IS A SPECIAL CAMP FOR SPECIAL KIDS.))
[OUT Q=special kids]
A special camp made possible thanks to a ride in victory lane.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Roanoke.))
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]