Straight ahead on News 7-
After stepping down as Speaker, Vance Wilkins announced this morning that he's ALSO giving up his seat in the House of Delegates.
And authorities in Henry County are still trying to determine why a seven- year- old girl was found dead yesterday.
The heat continues to climb across the region and this trend will continue...I'll have your forecast....
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
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Police officers in Danville will not face charges in the shooting death of a man in May
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A special prosecutor has found NO wrongdoing .. in the police shooting of a Danville man two months ago.
67 year old Rennie Hunt was shot to death after a standoff with police inside his North Main Street apartment May 11th.
Hunt reportedly had been holding a woman hostage when a police tactical team burst into his home.
Proseuctor Don Caldwell says Hunt attacked police with a cane and a screwdriver.
The officers fired 21 shots in return, four of which hit Hunt.
Don Caldwell says officers thought the screwdriver was a knife .. and they therefore had reason to fear for their lives.
The three officers involved in the shooting will return to active duty today.
Authorities in Henry County are looking into the death of a 7-year-old girl.
But they said this morning they do not consider the death suspicious.
Investigators say Jerry and Melissa Waller and their children stayed up late yesterday and didn't get to bed until early in the morning.
Around 2:20 yesterday afternoon, Melissa Waller discovered that her daughter, Aaliyah Renee, wasn't breathing and called for help.
Officials say the girl did have a history of asthma. The state medical examienr is doing an autopsy.
Former Speaker Vance Wilkins informed supporters and colleagues this morning that he is giving up his seat in the House of Delegates.
In a letter sent to supporters and members of the House leadership, Wilkins announced his intention to retire on August 15th.
The 65-year old lawmaker said the decision "has been very difficult."
He wrote "Even though serving the Commonwealth has been my focus and my life for over a quarter centruy, there is life for me after the General Assembly. There comes a time to move on, and now is that time."
Until recently, Wilkins was considered one of the most powerful politicians in the state.
He is credited with leading the Republican Party to its first modern day majority in the General Assembly.
Wilkins was elected the state's first Republican Speaker in 1999.
He was forced to resign that post last month in the wake of a sexual harassment controversy.
Wilkins has first elected to the 24th district seat, representing Amherst, in 1978.
The New River Foundry is securing a big deal for its future in Radford...
Intermet has announced a 100- MILLION- dollar axle castings contract that has been awarded to the location.
Production is scheduled to start sometime this quarter and will continue over the next four years.
The castings made will be used in Ford light pick- up trucks.
An Intermet spokesman says they've been increasing staff at the plant to prepare.
The Foundry currently employs 254 people.
It's the highest number since an explosion at the plant in March 2000, and layoffs over the past year due to an economic downturn.
Palestinian gunmen ambushed an Israeli bus in the West Bank today, killing seven people and injuring at least 14.
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They set off a roadside bomb near a bus, and then sprayed gunfire at passengers as they tried to flee.
Witnesses say the three gunmen were dressed like Israeli soldiers.
An Israeli report says the injured include a two-year-old and a pregnant woman.
It's the first deadly attack on Israeli civilians since June 20th.
The attack also comes just hours before international peace talks on the Mideast are set to begin in New York.
President Bush calls it a ''comprehensive plan'' for confronting
terrorism in the U-S.
The national security plan comes as Congress debates creating a
new Homeland Security Department.
Manuel Gallegus reports from the White House.
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[SUPER=01-Tom Ridge/Homeland Security Chief;]
[SUPER=01-Manuel Gallegus/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Gallegus, CBS News, Washington.]
PRESIDENT BUSH HAS HANDED LAWMAKERS HIS NEW BLUEPRINT FOR HOMELAND
SECURITY. HE SAYS THIS PLAN WILL REPLACE THE CURRENT PATCHWORK OF
-SOT- (as bush holds up the plan)
"This comprehensive plan lays out clear lines of authority and clear
responsibilities, (POSS cut here. ) responsibilities for federal
employees, governors, mayors, community and business leaders and the
AMONG THE NEW PROPOSALS.
ESTABLISH RED TEAMS OF INTELLIGENCE EXPERTS TEAMS THAT WOULD ACT LIKE
TERRORISTS -PLOTTING ATTACKS ON AMERICAN TARGETS-TO HELP AMERICANS
REALIZE WHERE THEY'RE VULNERABLE.
INCREASE INSPECTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING CONTAINERS.
BETTER REGULATION OF DRIVERS LICENSES.
AND BETTER COMMUNICATION BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.
HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF TOM RIDGE SAYS GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE WORKING
SOT;TOM RIDGE/HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF
The day-to-day collaboration, the sharing of information, at least since
October 8th and that's since I've been here, has been at the very
THE 100 PAGE PLAN ALSO CALLS FOR AN INVENTORY OF THE COUNTRY'S CRITICAL
INFRATRUCUTRE.-FROM HIGHWAYS TO ENERGY PLANTSTHE ADMINISTRATION
RECOGNIZES THAT ALL OF SOCIETY IS VULNERABLE WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
OF POTENTIAL TARGETS.
In the war on terror, the American people are showing tremendous strength
and great resolve. Our unity is a great weapon in this fight.
STAND-UP- (TO COME: TIMELINE..BUSH WANTS CONGRESS TO START VOTING ON
ITEMS BEFORE SUMMER BREAK)
A London- based editor with ties to Al-Qaida says Osama bin Laden is alive and well and in good health, despite being wounded during an American raid last December.
Richard Roth reports.
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[SUPER=01-Abdel Bari Atwan/Newspaper Editor; :28]
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NARR: THE REPORT, PUBLISHED IN LONDON TODAY, CLAIMS THAT BIN LADEN IS
ALIVE AND IN GOOD HEALTH, AFTER SUFFERING A SHOULDER WOUND FROM SHRAPNEL
LAST DECEMBER, DURING THE U-S BOMBING OF AL-QAEDA HIDEOUTS IN THE
TORA-BORA MOUNTAINS OF EASTERN AFGHANISTAN.
AND BIN LADEN IS INTENT ON ATTACKING A NEW TARGET, SAYS THE LONDON
BASED NEWSPAPER AL-QUDS AL-ARABI -- ACCORDING TO ITS EDITOR, ABDEL BARI
He had an operation a shrapnel from his left shoulder removed and now he
is absolutely perfect and in very good health.
NARR: ATWAN INTERVIEWED BIN LADEN IN 1996, AND IS KNOWN TO HAVE HAD GOOD
CONTACTS WITH AL-QAEDA IN THE PAST.
SOT ABDEL BARI ATWAN / Editor, "al-Quds al-Arabi":
it seems that osama bin laden decided to disappear until there is some
sort of action and after that will appear again on the videotape, that's
what I heard.
(bin laden FILE video)
NARR: THE CLAIMS ABOUT BIN LADEN, ACCORDING TO WASHINGTON OFFICIALS,
ARE PART OF A RECENT SERIES OF UNVERIFIED AND SOMETIMES CONTRADICTORY
REPORTS. A PENTAGON SPOKESWOMAN SAID U-S OFFICIALS HAD "NOTHING TO ADD"
TO THE LATEST ONE -- WHICH ASSERTS THAT BIN LADEN'S SILENCE IS THE CALM
BEFORE ANOTHER STORM.
RICHARD ROTH CBS NEWS LONDON
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Coming up next on the newscast, some of the nation's best softball players are in the Valley. We'll tell you why.
Plus N-B-A star Allen Iverson surrenders to police to face assault charges.
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Another story of a missing girl-- this time the search is in Southern California.
Authorities in Orange County say five-year-old Samantha Runyon was kidnapped last night while playing with a friend near her home.
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Police say Samantha didn't appear to know the man, and her parents told investigators they have no idea who would have taken her.
She was last seen wearing a white blouse and red-checkered pants.
Basketball star Allen Iverson turned himself in to police early this morning.
Several vehicles left Iverson's mansion around 5 A-M.
Shortly after, Iverson surrendered to authorities.
His attorney says he'll plead innocent to assault, as well as other charges.
Iverson allegedly forced himself into his cousin's home earlier this month, threatened two people, and demanded they tell him where his wife was.
Police say Iverson will remain in police custody until at least late this afternoon.
Thousands of softball players have come to the Roanoke Valley. They are competing in the N-S-A Girls Fast Pitch Class B World Series.
Teresa Hamilton has more on a team that did NOT have far to travel.
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[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS 7, Roanoke Co.]
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Fast pitch softball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country-- a game that relies on speed as well as skill and determination.
((I'VE PITCHED ALL MY LIFE AND PLAYED ALL MY LIFE.))
[out q= all my life.]
Jessica Miller of Amherst is a pitcher for the Virginia Extreme Force-- a team comprised of girls 14 and under from across the area.
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((JESSICA MILLER/AMHERST: YOU'RE SO SOFT SPOKEN BUT WHEN YOU'RE OUT THERE YOU MEAN BUSINESS DON'T YOU. YES, I DO.))
[OUT Q= YES, I DO.]
A feeling that runs deep among Jessica's teammates.
((jaimie phillips/roanoke co.:WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU'RE UP THERE AND THE BALLS COMING AT YOU? KILL THE BALL, I WANT TO SWING HARD AND JUST HIT IT IN THE OUTFIELD.))
[out q= in the outfield.]
[in q= It's sort of a ]
((mallory sandbridge/rockbridge co.: IT'S SORT OF A GUY SPORT AND THE GIRLS GET TO SHOW HOW GOOD THEY ARE AND SOMETIMES WE'RE BETTER THAN THE GUYS AND WE JUST GET DIRTY AND PLAY REALLY HARD.))
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In fact-- for some of the girls hitting the dirt might just be the best part.
((amy betterton/franklin co.: YOU GET TO STEAL AND SLIDE A LOT... AND GETTING DIRTY.))
[out q- and getting dirty.]
But don't let them fool you-- the girls also share a soft spot.
[in q= All of the ]
((ALL OF THE GIRLS ON THE TEAM WE'RE LIKE SISTERS.))
[out q= we're like sisters. ]
Something they'll take with them-- whether they win or lose.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Roanoke Co.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
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Coming up next on the newscast,
we'll see why zoo keepers in China have new hope for the survival of the panda.
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Ying Ying, a giant panda at a Chinese zoo has given birth to twins--
The twin pandas were born Friday at the Wolong Giant Panda Protection Research Center.
Zoo keepers will raise one of the pandas.
That's because pandas do not give birth to twins naturally, and choose only one offspring to nurture.
Since 19-99, more than 30 giant pandas have been born at the research center.
More than 20 have survived.
There are only around a thousand pandas still left in the wild.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan say the U-S economy is on its way to recovery--
But he says challenges include investors' reaction from the loss of confidence in corporate America.
Greenspan says the Fed now expects the economy this year to grow by as much as three and three-quarters percent.
That's substantially better than the Fed's forecast in February.
Blue-chip stocks remain lower as the broader market slowly works its way back from early losses. Tech stocks are
faring relatively better.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 103 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index has gained seven points.
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Coming up next in sports... the top ladies in the W-N-B-A were together on one court for an all-star showdown... we'll have the highlights...
And NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd says it is unlikely he will return to Robert Yates racing next year.
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Winston Cup driver Ricky Rudd says chances are slim to none that he'll return next season to the Number 28 Ford.
While the team tested yesterday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, car owner Robert Yates agreed chances were ``slim'' that Rudd would be back in the car next season.
Rudd had set Monday as his deadline to figure out what he's going to do next year.
He had said he was considering returning to the Number 28, leaving for another team, or retiring.
His decision is expected to start a domino-effect on NASCAR's free agent season, with Elliott Sadler already coveting Rudd's job.
But yesterday came and went without a firm decision, only indications from both Rudd and Yates that his days with the Havoline team are numbered.
The best ladies on the court played in the W-N-B-A all-star game last night at the M-C-I Center...
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The fourth annual game was a complete sellout, with local talent like former U-V-A great Dawn Staley of the Charlotte Sting.
Another former U-V-A star, Aaron Brooks, looked on as Staley took the pass and dropped in the lay-in.
Rookie Sue Bird would counter with a little magic of her own.
She fires the pass to Tina Thompson for the hoop, as she gets the roll.
Here's the move of the night - Charlotte Sting star Andrea Stinson with the spin, the glide, and the score.
But the West again beats the East - which has never won this all-star game, 81-to-76.
Lisa Leslie earns M-V-P honors.
In one other hoops note from the women's hardwood last night...
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Washington & Lee women's basketball coach Janet Hollack, who spent the past two seasons at W&L, has resigned to pursue other coaching possibilities at the division one and division two levels.
Hollack's teams won 20- games during her two years in Lexington.
She came to W&L after spending seven seasons in 1990's as an associate head coach at Brown University.
W&L has begun the search for her successor.
In Appalachian League play last night - Martinsville beat Bristol and Danville beat Pulaski.
Many of the players on these teams are in their first year of using a wooden bat - instead of an aluminum one.
Travis Wells recently talked to some Appalachian League and Carolina league players about the need to recycle their aluminum.
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[SUPER=01-Chris O'Riordan/Pulaski Rangers Infielder; :14]
[SUPER=01-Edmund Muth/Salem Avalanche Outfielder; :22]
[SUPER=01-Butch Wynegar/Texas Rangers Roving Hitting Instructor; :57 (QUICK)]
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((Nats :crack, ping..The most obvious difference between wooden and aluminum bats is the sound. But hitters are more concerned with the end results than acoustics.
Butch Wynegar played in the big leagues for 13 seasons and is now the roving hitting instructor for the Texas Rangers. He's seen many minor leaguers try and make the adjustment from aluminum to wood. Wynegar says the key is in finding the sweet spot, which decreases dramatically with the wooden bat, from about 7 inches to an inch.
Unlike aluminum, wood also magnifies a hitter's mistakes.
So mechanics, not material makes the difference. Travis Wells, News 7 Sports.))
Some schedule changes in the coming years for Virginia Tech and the rest of the Big East football members.
Beginning in 2005, each member will experience a change or two in its schedule rotation.
For the Hokies - it means that in odd years beginning in 2005 - Tech will host Boston College, Pittsburgh and Miami at Lane Stadium.
Beginning in 2006 and for the EVEN years after that - Tech will have home contests with Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia and newcomer Connecticut.
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
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