A kidnapped Philadelphia girl is back home and safe this morning after the seven- year- old made an amazing escape.
Now police are looking for two suspects.
Melissa McDermott has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Philadelphia, PA; :00]
[SUPER=01-Michael Chitwood/Philadelphia Police Department; :23]
[SUPER=01-Sabina Gillis/Erica's Mother; :45]
[SUPER=01-Melissa McDermott/Reporting; 1:17]
[OUT Q=McDermott, CBS News.]
WITH A FRIENDLY WAVE AND A BRIGHT SMILE YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW THAT ERICA PRATT JUST WENT THROUGH A HORRIFYING ORDEAL.
THE 7-YEAR-OLD WAS KIDNAPPED MONDAY NIGHT.
ON TUESDAY SHE WAS BEING HELD IN THE BASEMENT OF THIS HOUSE WITH HER ARMS AND LEGS TAPED.
BUT IT SEEMS THE 7-YEAR-OLD WAS DETERMINED TO FREE HERSELF.... AND STARTED CHEWING THROUGH THE TAPE.
(SOT- Lt. Michael Chitwood/Philadelphia Police Dept.)
"She breaks free, she has to force her way through the basement door which is locked. When she gets to the front door it's locked. So she smashes the window, pushes the screen out and screams to a couple of kids riding by on their bike."
THE CHILDREN PULLED HER OUT OF THE WINDOW AND FOUND A POLICE OFFICER.
ERICA WAS IMMEDIATELY TAKEN TO A NEARBY HOSPITAL AND TREATED FOR MINOR INJURIES.
(SOT- Serena Gillis/Erica's Mother)
"she's safe that's all we're worrying about.... she's home, home"
IT WAS INCREDIBLE NEWS FOR ERICA'S MOTHER.... WHO JUST HOURS BEFORE WAS PLEADING FOR HER DAUGHTER'S RETURN.
(SOT- serena again)
"I just want to see her"
WITNESSES SAY ERICA WAS PLAYING IN FRONT OF HER GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE MONDAY NIGHT WHEN TWO MEN DROVE UP AND DRAGGED HER INTO THEIR CAR.
AUTHORITIES SAY 20 MINUTES LATER ERICA'S GRANDMOTHER RECEIVED A CALL FROM A MAN WHO THREATENED TO KILL THE GIRL UNLESS HE RECEIVED 150-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
POLICE ARE NOW SEARCHING FOR THESE TWO SUSPECTS.... AND BELIEVE THEY KNEW ERICA'S FAMILY.
ERICA'S MOM SAYS SHE DOESN'T REALLY KNOW WHY HER LITTLE GIRL WAS KIDNAPPED.... ALL THAT MATTERS NOW IS THAT ERICA IS BACK.
"I'm so happy, I'm very happy that my daughter is home"
MELISSA MCDERMOTT, CBS NEWS.
Today in Washington, the Senate is expected to pass a 28- billion- dollar anti- terrorism bill.
Yesterday, the measure sailed through the House.
Half the money goes to anti- terror efforts.
The rest is set aside for New York City's re- building efforts, federal aviation safety programs, local emergency agencies, as well as other projects.
The grandfather of a Nelson County girl who died in the woods two years ago is found guilty of embezzling from her memorial fund.. but says it was just bad record-keeping that did him in.
The death of 8-year-old Jackie Holden prompted an outpouring of financial support from the community.. but prosecutors say Holden's family spent some of that money on themselves and not the charitable foundation.
Steve Smallshaw reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It started]
[SUPER=04-April 2000; :00]
[SUPER=01-Sam Eggleston/Defense Attorney; :28]
[SUPER=01-James Holden/Grandfather; :55]
[SUPER=01-Phillip Payne/Prosecutor; 1:15]
[OUT Q=News7, Nelson County.]
(( It started as an effort to create something good out of a tragedy.
Two months after Jackie Holden got lost and died in the woods near her Nelson County home, her family created the Jackie Foundation--its goal to educate other children on what to do if they ever got lost.
Financial support poured in.. but James Holden found himself paying for many of the foundation's expenses out of his own pocket.. he would reimburse himself later but apparently failed to keep accurate records of those transactions.
((SAM EGGLESTON/DEFENSE ATTORNEY: THE APPEARANCE ON THE FACE OF THAT, WHEN HE PULLS MONEY OUT, CALLS IT A REIMBURSEMENT BUT HE CAN'T MATCH IT UP SPECIFICALLY FOR AN ITEM THAT HE SPENT, IT CREATES THE APPEARANCE.))
[OUT Q=creates the appearance.]
Holden admits he made mistakes but says there was NEVER any criminal intent to take money that didn't belong to him.
He and his wife have gone bankrupt themselves trying to keep the foundation afloat.. and he hopes the judge takes that into account in sentencing.
((JAMES HOLDEN/GRANDFATHER: BUT I HOPE THAT HE UNDERSTANDS IF I DID THINGS WRONG THERE WAS NEVER ANY INTENT TO DO THAT AND THAT WE HAVE ALWAYS SAID THAT WE DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE MONEY THAT DID NOT BELONG TO US AND THAT PEOPLE DID NOT WANT TO GIVE US AND WE STILL MAINTAIN THAT.))
[OUT Q=still maintaint that.]
But prosecutor Phillip Payne says he won't ask that Holden go to jail.
((PHILLIP PAYNE/PROSECUTOR: GIVEN HIS AGE AND HIS POOR HEALTH AND THE LOSS THAT FAMILY HAS ALREADY SUFFERED, I DON'T NEED TO BE THAT ONEROUS.))
[OUT Q=that onerous.]
Meanwhile, the Holdens say, the foundation's work will continue.
((EVEN IF WE HAVE TO STAND ON THE STREET CORNER AND I HAVE TO DO THE FLYERS ON TOILET PAPER, BECAUSE WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.))
[OUT Q=important thing.]
Holden will be sentenced in September.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Nelson County.))
New charges against a Campbell County man who led police on a high-speed chase with his young son in the car.
Authorities say 24-year-old Jason Lee Mays was under the influence of cocaine and was wanted in two jurisdictions when he ran from police.
Mays eventually wrecked his car on the 501 Expressway. Neither he nor his 3-year-old son was seriously injured.
Mays is now charged with driving under the influence of drugs, driving on a revoked license, failing to stop for police and child endangerment.
Four central Virginia men are in custody, charged with helping import hundreds of thousands of dollars in drugs over the last six years.
Yesterday, the regional drug task force announced the results of an 18-month investigation into local drug trafficking.
Authorities say two Arizona men were supplying large amounts of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines, which the local suspects would redistribute to street level dealers around Lynchburg.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We would classify]
((ROBERT MAXEY/CAMPBELL CO. SHERIFF: WE WOULD CLASSIFY THESE LOCAL PEOPLE AS MAJOR DEALERS, SO IT WILL DEFINITELY HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE LOCAL SUPPLY.))
[SUPER=01-Robert Maxey/Campbell Co. Sheriff;]
[OUT Q=the local supply.]
46-year-old Michael Edward Cheek, 47-year-old Bradley Creger, 46-year-old Gary Wayne Gaddy and 42-year- old Wayne Wood all face federal drug conspiracy charges.
Two Arizona men also have been indicted.
A former counselor at a crisis center for teens admits he raped and molested girls in his care.
Jimmy Lee Jones WAS a relief counselor at the Sanctuary Crisis Intervention Center in Botetourt County.
Yesterday, he pled guilty to charges of rape, sodomy, carnal knowledge and giving alcohol to minors.
Prosecutors say four girls in his care were victimized.
Jones faces up to life in prison when he's sentenced October 31st.
In business news, Trigon and Anthem shareholders have approved a merger of the two health insurance companies.
The voting is the last in a series of approvals Indianapolis-based Anthem needed for the acquisition.
Trigon is Virginia's largest managed health care company.
The earnings reports continue on Wall Street. One "after the bell" report released yesterday may set the tone for today's trading.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=your local stocks]
(tape tosses to stocks)
This could be it for Ohio Congressman James Traficant--
The House votes tonight whether to make the 61- year- old Democrat only the SECOND member of Congress to be expelled since the Civil War.
Traficant will get at least 30 minutes to defend himself .
The House Ethics Committee recommended his expulsion because of his conviction for bribery, racketeering and tax evasion. Prosecutors are asking for a seven-year prison term.
Governor Warner has set the date for special elections to fill Madison Marye's senate seat and Vance Wilkins' house seat.
Their successors will be chosen on November fifth.
Candidates must file by August 23rd.
The state's new fiscal year began on July 1st, only 23 days ago, and it's already in the red.
The state ended fiscal year 2002 on June 30th with a 236-point-eight million dollar shortfall.
Governor Mark Warner says the shortfall is causing a ripple effect, forcing 2003 to start off with a deficit.
Warner says the state will have to make up that money somewhere along the line.
[IN Q=There will have to be at least some cuts]
[OUT Q=once reforecast has been set in place.]
Warner says it's premature to think about raising taxes to cover the shortfall.
The governor says the slumping economy and it's stalled recovery are to blame for the state's budgetary woes.
In the meantime, he's ordered state agencies to stop all discretionary spending and instituted a hiring freeze.
A judge threw out a lawsuit that challenged referendums to raise sales taxes to pay for transportation projects.
The plaintiffs say the referendums are unconstitutional and
wanted a Richmond judge to order them stricken from the November ballot in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
But the judge agreed with the state that a challenge should come AFTER the election if the referendums are approved.
An attorney for the plaintiffs said he'll ask the Virginia Supreme Court for an expedited appeal.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
Testimony from a former inmate helped prosecutors build their case against the man accused of killing a Pittsylvania County sheriff's deputy.
Roy Inge Junior was arrested in May for allegedly shooting and killing Deputy Frankie Betterton during a traffic stop on Route 58 just outside Danville.
Yesterday-- a former inmate at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail testified that while the two were incarcerated together, Inge confessed to killing the deputy.
Marty Hicks says Inge told him he shot Betterton while seated inside the officers patrol car.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=He got in ]
((MARTY HICKS/FORMER INMATE; HE GOT IN AND APPARENTLY GAVE HIS LICENSE TO THE OFFICER AND THEN SAID HE REACHED INTO HIS RIGHT WAIST BAND AND PULLED OUT A POINT 380 OR 380 AND POINTED IT AND WENT BAM.))
[SUPER=01-Marty Hicks/Former Inmate;]
[OUT Q=and went bam.]
Hicks told the court he asked Inge what he was thinking-- and that Inge said he already KNEW he was going to shoot Betterton-- it was just a matter of when and how.
A grand jury will now hear the evidence.
The case against murder and robbery suspect Mark Neamo will move forward despite the fact he was arrested without a warrant.
The armed robbery suspect was in court two weeks ago, as his attorneys argued that Neamo was improperly apprehended in Nebraska.
He and Christopher Krug (kroog) are accused of the robbery at a Hershberger Road convenience store in February. Though police in Roanoke were in the process of swearing out warrants against the pair, police in Fremont, Nebraska actually made the arrests before the warrants were issued.
Judge Clifford Weckstein has ruled their arrest does not violate the Constitution. Because of that, any statements Neamo made or physical evidence seized from him MAY be used against him.
The report card for Roanoke City Schools continues to improve.
Superintendent Wayne Harris revealed last night that five more city schools, including both high schools, have measured up to the state's standards of learning.
Joe Dashiell has more on the superintendent's State of the Schools Address.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Roanoke City Schools]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Harris/Roanoke City School Superintendent; :34]
[SUPER=01-William Skeen/Roanoke City School Board; 1:00]
[SUPER=01-Melinda Payne/Roanoke City School Board; 1:11]
[OUT Q=Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke]
((Roanoke City schools continue to show steady improvement on the Standards of Learning.
While the city is still waiting for official notification from the state, Superintendent Wayne Harris says the number of schools achieving full accreditation should rise from six to eleven.
Last year, Crystal Spring, Fishburn Park, Grandin Court, Raleigh Court and Wasena Elementary schools and James Madison Middle School made the list.
Joining them this year are: Highland Park and Morningside Elementary Schools, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, and William Fleming and Patrick Henry High Schools.
[IN Q=Four other schools]
((WAYNE HARRIS/SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: FOUR OTHER SCHOOLS, GRANDIN COURT, MONTEREY AND VIRGINIA HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, AND WILLIAM RUFFNER MIDDLE SCHOOL ARE WITHIN A WHISPER OF FULL ACCREDITATION. I CONGRATULATE THE PRINCIPALS, THE TEACHERS AND ALL OF THESE SCHOOLS FOR STAYING THE COURSE TO THEIR GOAL.))
[OUT Q=staying the course to their goal.]
Members of the school board say they are pleased with the progress.
[IN Q=I think today, according]
((WILLIAM SKEEN: I THINK TODAY, ACCORDING TO THE STANDARDS OF LEARNING, THE MEASUREMENTS THAT WE SEE, THAT YES WE'RE MEETING THE EXPECTATIONS, WE'VE RISEN TO THE MANDATE, AND THE EXPECTATIONS AND THE PERFORMANCE LEVELS THAT OUR STUDENTS CAN ACHIEVE.))
((MELINDA PAYNE: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS VERY NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART HAPPENS TO BE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE STUDENTS, AND FORM WHAT I UNDERSTAND, FROM WHAT DR. HARRIS HAS SAID, THAT GAP IS CLOSING, AND THAT IS INDEED ENCOURAGING.))
[OUT Q=is indeed encouraging.]
With 27 schools that must meet the state accreditation requirements, Harris and school board members say there is work to be done.
But they say they believe Roanoke schools are on schedule to reach full accreditation by the state's deadline of 2007.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke))
In business news, Burger King is reportedly up for sale.
Here's Barton Eckert with a look at the morning's top business stories..
[SUPER=01-Barton Eckert/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in Washington.]
(( GOOD MORNING THIS WEDNESDAY THE 24TH OF JULY.
HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS MORNING.
TWO AND 1-3 BILLION DOLLARS CAN BUY A LOT OF BURGERS...
BUT THAT IS THE REPORTED PRICE FOR THE BURGER KING FAST FOOD
THERE'S A DEAL TO SELL THE COMPANY TO THE TEXAS PACIFIC GROUP ...
LONDON-BASED DIAGEO, THE WORLD'S LARGEST LIQUOR COMPANY, HAS
WANTED TO SELL BURGER KING FOR A WHILE, TO CONCENTRATE ON ITS LIQUOR
BRANDS LIKE SMIRNOFF VODKA, JOHNNIE WALKER AND GUINNESS.
THE ROCKY ROAD.. AND WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT ICE CREAM!
NO NEW ECON NEWS TODAY FOR WALL STREET TO CHEW ON... WITH THE
FREEFALL OF PAST DAYS ONE ANALYST SAYS IT'S BEEN PRETTY MUCH A CASE
OF "SELL NOW, ASK QUESTIONS LATER".
THE BEAT GOES ON... THE LABOR DEPARTMENT IS ASKING WHETHER
WORLDCOM MISHANDLED RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLANS FOR THOUSANDS OF WORKERS
AND A SENATE INVESTIGATION FINDS J.P. MORGAN AND CITIGROUP GAVE
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN LOANS TO ENRON EVEN THOUGH THEY
KNEW THE COMPANY WAS USING DECEPTIVE ACCOUNTING.
IN EXCHANGE FOR HELPING ENRON , THE COMPANIES RECEIVED LARGE FEES
INVESTIGATORS SAY THE LOANS TOTALED OVER EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS.
IT'S AN UNLIKELY COUPLE THAT COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR MICROSOFT.
PALM AND I-B-M ARE TEAMING UP TO DESIGN MOBILE APPLICATIONS FOR
THE I-B-M TITLES, WILL HIT STORES IN THE FALL AND ONLY WORK ON
SPECIFIC PALM HAND-HELD DEVICES.
AND THAT'S YOUR FIRST BUSINESS CHECK ON THE MORNING'S TOP
I'M BARTON ECKERT IN WASHINGTON.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
Police say the man who was murdered in Roanoke's Loudon Park was shot twice.
The autopsy showed that the victim died of gunshots to the head and chest.
Police aren't sure of the man's identity yet.
They're waiting for fingerprint records from Michigan.
He made a daring escape from a police cruiser ...
But a Roanoke man didn't stay a fugitive for long.
Richard Chad Atkinson had just been handcuffed and placed in the back seat of this police car on Wise Avenue.
Somehow he managed to kick out a window and escape.
He lost one sandal in the process ... leaving it in a pool of shattered glass.
Witnesses say he ran away wearing one shoe, handcuffs and a pair of shorts, while the arresting officer searched for another suspect.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:18:37 - :53]
[IN Q=I told him]
((THELMA WEST/WITNESS: I TOLD HIM THE GUY WAS BEATING ON THE WINDOW AND HE SAID IT WOULD BE ALL RIGHT AND WHEN HE WENT IN THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR, NEXT THING I KNOW THE WINDOW WENT CA-BOOM AND THE GUY WENT HEAD-FIRST OUT THE WINDOW AND UP THE HILL AND HE WAS GONE. ))
[OUT Q=he was gone.]
Police caught up with him about an hour and a half later, when Atkinson returned to the house where they first arrested him.
He's in jail, charged with felony escape, destruction of property and stealing tools.
Another man in the house was also charged.
Roanoke County is taking steps to clean up another large tire dump.
Yesterday, the board of supervisors authorized legal action against Whitlow Auto Crushers and Sales, a company located on Ridgelea (RIDGE-lee) Road at the foot of Bent Mountain.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This is probably the largest]
((PAUL MAHONEY/ROANOKE CO. ATTORNEY: THIS IS PROBABLY THE LARGEST REMAINING TIRE PILE IN ROANOKE COUNTY. THERE ARE A VARIETY OF ESTIMATES AS TO WHAT ITS SIZE IS, WHETHER IT'S 18- THOUSAND, 20- THOUSAND, 50- THOUSAND. THE POINT IS, THERE'S A VERY LARGE PILE, THERE'S A LOT OF TIRES THERE.))
[SUPER=01-Paul Mahoney/Roanoke Co. Attorney;]
[OUT Q=a lot of tires there.]
Our efforts to contact representatives of the company were unsuccessful.
Roanoke's main water source has reached a historic low.
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co./Carvins Cove;]
Carvin's Cove is 29-point-three feet below spillway... or 30 percent full.
City leaders say they're working on long-term solutions, but in the meantime, they've got a quick fix.
Crystal Spring will be back in service, using temporary filter equipment, as early as next week.
A new well in Southeast Roanoke should be complete by mid-August.
Those two additions will bring the city an extra 4 to 5 million gallons a day.
That's almost half the demand on Carvins Cove.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 05:17 - :34]
((DARLENE BURCHAM/CITY MANAGER: THE CITY'S ADOPTED CONSERVATION PLAN DOES GIVE US THE AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE TIGHTER CONSERVATION MEASURES. BUT BECAUSE OF THE LEVEL OF CONSERVATION AND COOPERATION BY OUR CITIZENS, WE HAVE NO PLANS AT THIS TIME TO IMPLEMENT ADDITIONAL MEASURES.))
[OUT Q=additional measures.]
City officials anticipate the reservoir will drop more than 30 feet below the spillway sometime next week.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE WIPE]