It will soon cost more to purchase a pack of cigarettes in the city of Salem.
Last night-- city council voted unanimously to raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 15- cents to help fund a school renovation.
But before voting on the ordinance-- Mayor Sonny Tarpley insisted on clearing the air-- saying council's decision was not intended to hit the wallets of a particular group of people.
[inq= I would ]
((I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT WE HAVE DOUBLED OUR DECAL TAX FOR THIS YEAR, WE PLACED A CELL PHONE TAX IN THE BUDGET OF THREE DOLLARS WHICH IS CERTAINLY GOING TO AFFECT A LOT OF PEOPLE, WE TOOK A LODGING TAX FROM FIVE PERCENT TO SEVEN PERCENT.))
[SUPER=01-Sonny Tarpley/Salem Mayor;]
[out q= to seven percent.]
Mayor Tarpley says much of the money generated will go toward improvements to Andrew Lewis Middle School.
The 15- cent tax on each pack of cigarettes will go into effect December first.
City council also took up another UNrelated matter... agreeing to purchase a nearly three acre piece of property on West Main Street for 500- thousand dollars.
Council wouldn't release any details-- saying an announcement about the property is expected later today.
Town leaders in Gretna say they have about three weeks' supply of water left in their reservoir.. but help may be on the way.
Officials with the D-E-Q and the Army Corps of Engineers yesterday approved a dam and containment pond the town is building on an old dairy farm just outside the town limits.
Crews will build a pipeline from the pond and pump the water two miles to the reservoir to keep it from drying up.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This is serious.]
((FRED INGRAM/PITTSYLVANIA CO. SUPERVISOR; THIS IS SERIOUS, WE HAVE AN EMERGENCY. WE HAVE ABOUT MAYBE THREE WEEKS OF WATER LEFT AND SCHOOL STARTS IN TWO WEEKS AND IT'S IMPACTING ABOUT TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE IN THIS AREA WITH THE TOWN SITUATION THE WAY IT IS. WE HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM.))
[SUPER=01-Fred Ingram/Pittsylvania Co. Supervisor]
[OUT Q=have a serious problem.]
The pipeline should be operational within a week.
A dramatic drop in a Giles County well is prompting calls for conservation there.
Officials say the water level in a Public Service Authority well has dropped fifty feet over the last six days.
The PSA is asking all Giles County residents who are not on private water systems to voluntarily conserve water.
Officials are asking citizens of Glen Lynn, Rich Creek, Narrows, Pearisburg, Pembroke, and others who are billed by Giles County to refrain from watering lawns and washing vehicles.
The county is supplementing its supply with water from three other wells.
But conservation measures will remain in effect until the area receives significant rainfall.
Three more Virginia counties have been declared natural disaster areas because of the drought and excessive heat.
Bedford, Orange and Rockbridge Counties are the latest to join the federal list.
The designation by the U-S Agriculture Secretary means that farmers in those areas, and in 20 neighboring localities will be eligible for low- interest emergency loans to help cover their losses. Farmers have eight months to apply.
[GRAPHIC=George W. Bush]
President Bush plans to make a point at his economic forum today in Texas.
He's expected to announce that he will NOT release over five billion dollars approved last year to fight terrorism.
Congress wanted to spend some of that money on other things, including election reform and flood prevention.
Aides say Bush is determined to hold the line on non- essential spending.
Also at today's forum, he'll host guests ranging from C-E-Os to blue collar workers, asking for their advice about the economy.
Police believe another child has been abducted in California-- and again, they're using the Amber Alert system in hopes of finding the four- year- old girl.
[SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA;]
On Sunday, Jessica Cortez's father dropped her and her brother off at a Los Angeles park, across from where their mother works.
Two hours later, Jessica's mother realized the girl was gone.
Yesterday, police interviewed neighbors near the park.
Witnesses told authorities they saw Jessica with a man and his dog.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This is our]
[SUPER=01-Douglas Shur/Los Angeles Police Department; quick!]
[OUT Q=safe and sound.]
Authorities didn't think this case was an abduction until last night.
Jessica's five- year- old brother told investigators that his sister had fallen in a lake at the park.
Yesterday, divers spent all day searching-- but so far, have found nothing.
In Business news, It's a sweet deal in the making for Wythe County...
The Pepsi Bottling Group has purchased 15-acres of land ... for what officials hope will hold a new 65-million dollar plant.
Pepsi is considering a facility for the location but has not committed to the project.
It would create 2-hundred new jobs ... but it could possibly affect existing plants in Marion and West Virginia.
(///// SOT /////)
((WAYNE SUTHERLAND/WYTHEVILLE TOWN MANAGER; PEPSI HASN'T SHARED THEIR PLANS AND EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO AND AT SOME POINT I'M SURE THEY WILL MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF WHAT THEIR PLANS ARE BUT WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THOSE PLANS ARE.))
[SUPER=01-Wayne Sutherland/Wytheville Town Manager;]
[OUT Q=PLANS ARE]
The town is facilitating the project by offering to build access roads and water sources.
The deal has been in the making for about nine months.
Pepsi says they will want to build quickly if plans for the plant goes through.
The Federal Reserve will meet later today to determine whether the economy needs a boost in the form of an
interest rate cut.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=your local stocks]
((TO CUT OR NOT TO CUT -- THAT IS THE QUESTION FACING FED POLICYMAKERS WHEN
THEY SIT DOWN IN WASHINGTON TODAY TO DECIDE THE FATE OF U-S INTEREST RATES.
Nine of the primary dealers, the 22 banks and securities firms that trade
with the Fed, EXPECT THE CENTRAL BANK TO STAND PAT ON RATES. BUT THEY
BELIEVE THE FED WILL take the first step toward a cut by saying the risks of
a slowdown outweigh the threat of inflation.
IN ADDITION TO THE FED MEETING, THE OTHER MAIN EVENT OF THE DAY WILL BE HELD
IN WACO TEXAS .. THAT'S WHERE PRESIDENT BUSH WILL HOLD AN ECONOMIC FORUM.
ON WALL STREET, THE U-S AIRWAYS BANKRUPTCY FILING SENT AIRLINE STOCKS
LOWER.. BUT THE OVERALL MARKET WAS MIXED.
THE DOW GAVE BACK 56 POINTS
WHILE THE NASDAQ SQUEEZED OUT A HALF POINT GAIN.
CEO'S OF NEARLY 1-THOUSAND OF THE COUNTRY'S LARGEST COMPANYS HAVE JUST ONE
MORE DAY TO CERTIFY THEIR COMPANY'S FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.. IT'S AN EFFORT TO
RESTORE INVESTORS CONFIDENCE AND HOLD THE TOP BRASS ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY
CORPORATE MISBEHAVIOR .
AMONG THE STOCKS TO WATCH:
CHARLES SCHWAB will cut 375 jobs and take third-quarter charges of $36
AND KEEP YOUR EYE ON HERSHEY FOODS. THE PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL ASKED
A COURT TO REQUIRE THAT ANY BUYER OF HERSHEY FOODS OBTAIN COURT APPROVAL
FIRST. HE CLAIMS THE PROPOSED SALE BY THE HERSHEY TRUST IS NOT A TYPICAL
INVESTMENT DECISION AND WARNED THAT ANY SALE COULD LEAD TO SEVERE HARM TO
THE COMMUNITY OF HERSHEY PA.
TRACK ALL THE PRE-MARKET ACTION AT CBS.MW.COM ...
AT THE NASDAQ I'M AC IN NY.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
Thanks to the heroic rescue of nine Pennsylvania coal miners, the mining industry is finally getting some respect.
That was the message from the Assistant Secretary of Labor to a group of mining professionals in Roanoke yesterday.
Dave Lauriski (Lor-iss-kee) was in Somerset, Pennsylvania, last month to help oversee the rescue of nine men trapped for more than three days in a coal mine.
He says the rescue has brought new and positive attention to an industry that used to suffer from a bad reputation.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:07:47 - :56]
[IN Q=I would certainly]
((DAVE LAURISKI/ASST. U. S. LABOR SECRETARY: I WOULD CERTAINLY HOPE THIS COUNTRY WOULD RECOGNIZE THAT WHAT THEY DO IS IMPORTANT AND THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT THIS INDUSTRY MEANS TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.))
[SUPER=01-Dave Lauriski/Assistant U. S. Labor Secretary;]
[OUT Q=the United States.]
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is still investigating the accident and trying to identify other mines around the country that could pose similar hazards.
Lauriski was one of several speakers at the mine safety conference being held yesterday by Virginia Tech and the University of Utah.
Last night's Salem Avalanche game included a tribute to a Roanoke County firefighter-paramedic.
Billy (Crimes) Chrimes was helping crews fight fires out west when he was asked to put his paramedic skills to work.
A fire truck carrying five firefighters went down a mountainside in California-- and Chrimes didn't think twice about doing what he could to help.
The U-S Forest Service, the Virginia Department of Forestry and Roanoke County Fire and Rescue honored Chrimes last night for his dedication.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=There's a close]
((BILLY CHRIMES/ROANOKE CO. PARAMEDIC-FIREFIGHTER; THERE'S A CLOSE BOND WITH THE FIRE SERVICE AND EVEN IF YOU DON'T KNOW SOMEONE IT'S JUST LIKE A BROTHER OR A SISTER SO IT WAS TOUGH KNOWING THAT'S WHO WE WERE WORKING ON BUT IT ALSO KEPT YOU GOING THROUGH IT ALL AND MADE YOU WANT TO WORK THAT MUCH HARDER TO GET THE JOB DONE.))
[SUPER=01-Billy Chrimes/Roanoke Co. Paramedic-Firefighter;]
[OUT Q=job done.]
The truck that tumbled 12- hundred feet down the embankment was carrying five firefighters... only two survived.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
In Argentina, the murder of a kidnapped 17- year- old boy has sparked riots-- leaving five policemen injured and extensive property damage.
[SUPER=03-Buenos Aires, Argentina;]
Dozens of angry protestors set a police station ablaze last night.
They're suspicious of police involvement in the teen's death.
The body of Diego Peralta was found yesterday, a month after he was kidnapped.
Even before his body was discovered, local media say some police officers were being investigated for alleged links to criminals in the area.
Franklin County's Public Safety Director has resigned, after being charged in a weekend drunk driving accident.
Claude Webster was arrested Saturday when he ran his car through a fence.
No one was injured --
but a breath test showed his blood alcohol content at POINT -ONE- SIX -- twice the legal limit.
The county named Deputy Director and Fire Marshal Bennie Russell as Webster's temporary replacement.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 2:31:55 - 2:32:07]
((BONNIE JOHNSON/ASST. COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR: WE'VE APPRECIATED WORKING WITH CLAUDE. HE HAS GIVEN HIS HEART AND SOUL TO THE PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT AND TO IMPROVING PUBLIC SAFETY FOR THE PEOPLE AND THE COUNTY.))
[SUPER=01-Bonnie Johnson/Assistant County Administrator;]
[OUT Q=people and the county.]
In February, Webster was placed on administrative leave for more than a month after he threatened another patron at a Wendy's drive-thru with a gun.
He's been Franklin County's Public Safety Director for nearly nine years.
At one point, he served on Governor Gilmore's E-M-S Advisory Board.
Our attempts to reach Webster were unsuccessful.
While air travel may not be climbing, something else at the Roanoke Regional airport is.
A new air traffic control tower is reaching toward the sky and is about 3-quarters of its final height.
Airport Director Jackie Shuck says crews are almost to the point of building the cab, or control room.
The finished tower will be almost 200-feet tall.
(///// SOTat :16 /////)
[IN Q=It was some negotiation with the F-A-A...]
((JACKIE SHUCK/AIRPORT DIRECTOR: IT WAS SOME NEGOTIATION WITH THE F-A-A TO MAKE SURE THE TOWER WAS TALL ENOUGHT THAT WE COULD CONSTRUCT ON THE FEW ACRES WE HAVE TO THE FULL EXTENT THAT WE NEEDED TO SO THAT BUILDING COULD BE AS HIGH AS NECESSARY AND THE PEOPLE IN THE TOWER COULD STILL SEE OVER IT TOWARDS THE AIRFIELD.))
[SUPER=01-Jackie Shuck/Airport Director;]
[OUT Q=see over it towards the airfield.]
Construction is expected to be complete next March but Shuck says it'll most likely be another year before the tower's fully operational.
She hopes, at some point, the F-A-A will give her permission to open the tower to the public so everyone can enjoy the view.
New "rats" at Virginia Military Institute will really get to prove themselves, now.
While the physical demands have always been steep, the school has instituted what it calls "more focused training" that includes battalion runs on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Then there's the "crucible" exercise: a rigorous cross country run- -interspersed with parts of the obstacle course, a SWIM down the Maury River- -ending in a run up Hospital Hill back to barracks.
All this will take more time. So the Class of 2006 will arrive on Post this Saturday to get started.