For police hunting the serial sniper, it's not back to square one-- but close to it.
Authorities in the Washington area say a person they considered a witness made up his account of the sniper, the weapon, and the getaway car from Monday's fatal shooting in Falls Church.
Now the man could face charges.
Despite the setback in their investigation, authorities remain confident that the sniper will be caught.
Manuel Gallegus is in Rockville, Maryland this morning and joins us now with the latest on the investigation.
[LIVE= Newspath /FULL]
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Tom Manger/Fairfax Co. Police Chief;]
[SUPER=01-Charles Moose/Montgomery Co., MD Police Chief;]
[OUT Q=back to you.]
POLICE HAD LITTLE BEFORE, NOW IT SEEMS THEY HAVE EVEN LESS.
at :06(SOT-CHIEF TOM MANGER/FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA POLICE)
"information that we received from one witness describing a
cream-colored van has been determined not to be credible".
BUT IT'S NOT JUST THE VAN DESCRIPTION THAT'S TAINTED.
THE SAME WITNESS TOLD POLICE HE SAW THE SHOOTER AT THE VIRGINIA HOME
DEPOT ON MONDAY NIGHT.
HE ALSO SAID HE SAW THE GUN.... AN AK-74 RIFLE.
WHY THE WITNESS WOULD MISLEAD POLICE IS UNKNOWN.... BUT AUTHORITIES SAY
HE COULD FACE CHARGES.
at: 29(SOT-CHIEF CHARLES MOOSE/MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD POLICE)
reporter question: "you're confirming that someone did mislead you, is
that what you are basically saying?"
moose answer: "yes ma'am"
THE APPARENT FALSE STATEMENTS ALSO MEANS ONE OF THE STRONGEST LEADS IS
INVESTIGATORS WERE SEARCHING MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS FOR A PARTIAL LICENSE
PLATE NUMBER ON THE CREME COLORED VAN.
THAT SEARCH IS NOW MEANINGLESS.
HOWEVER, POLICE SAY THEY ARE STILL LOOKING FOR A WHITE OR LIGHT COLORED
ASTROVAN OR A FORD ECONOLINE... AND THAT WHITE BOX TRUCK.
DESPITE THE SETBACK AUTHORITIES REMAIN CONFIDENT.
:58 (SOT-CHIEF TOM MANGER/FAIRFAX COUNTY POLICE)
"I would say that we continue to be confident that this case will be
The State's budget crisis has gone from bad to worse.
And now students at community colleges will have to pay the price.
Justin McLeod has more on the announcement to raise tuition by nearly thirty percent.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Brandy Dooley/College Student; :15 (QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Eric Walker/College Student; :37]
[SUPER=01-Jack Lewis/New River Community College; :59]
[SUPER=01-Donna Russell/College Student; 1:23]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND IN ACCOUNTING CLASS))
Here in this accounting class at Virginia Western Community College, students will soon be crunching numbers in and out of the classroom.
They just found out tuition is going up.
[IN Q=Every penny counts]
((BRANDY DOOLEY/COLLEGE STUDENT: EVERY PENNY COUNTS. IT'S REALLY HARD. RIGHT NOW, I AM REALLY STRAPPED FOR CASH.))
[OUT Q=strapped for cash]
And it's about to get worse.
Thursday afternoon, the State Board for Community Colleges approved a tuition increase of almost 31 percent.
That's an increase of just over 12 dollars per credit hour which for a full time student will mean a hike of nearly 370 dollars a year.
[IN Q=I don't think it's fair]
((ERIC WALKER/COLLEGE STUDENT: I DON'T THINK IT'S FAIR. ONE WAY OR ANOTHER IT FALLS BACK ON THE STUDENT. I'M COMING TO SCHOOL TO INCREASE MY INCOME AND INSTEAD I'M SPENDING MORE AS AN EXPENSE.))
[OUT Q=as an expense]
College administrators admit it was a tough choice.
After all, they want to keep tuition as low as possible in order to make community colleges accessible to as many students as possible.
[SOT 20:35:16; TAPE 2]
[IN Q=Just this past year]
((JACK LEWIS/NEW RIVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE: JUST THIS PAST YEAR THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM GREW BY ABOUT 6700 FULL TIME EQUIVALENT STUDENTS SO THE DEMAND FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES IS TRULY GREAT RIGHT NOW.))
[OUT Q=great right now]
And for that reason, college officials say the alternative may have been much worse.
With the latest round of budget cuts, they argue students would have seen the elimination of core services, fewer course offerings, and bigger class sizes.
[IN Q=Actually I do see their point]
((DONNA RUSSELL/COLLEGE STUDENT: ACTUALLY I DO SEE THEIR POINT BECAUSE I THINK A LARGER CLASS CAN BE A DISSERVICE TO STUDENTS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE CLASS I AM IN IS NOT A VERY LARGE CLASS AND WE GET A LOT INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION.))
[OUT Q=individualized attention]
[IN Q=The tuition increase]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THE TUITION INCREASE WILL GO INTO EFFECT FOR THE SPRING SEMESTER. HOWEVER, MEMBERS OF THE STATE BOARD OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES SAY ONCE STATE REVENUES FINALLY REBOUND, THEY PLAN TO REVISIT THIS TUITION HIKE. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
Today's the last day for state agencies to tell employees if they are losing their jobs.
18-hundred state workers are being laid-off due to government cutbacks announced this week by Governor Mark Warner.
Finance Secretary John Bennett told the Senate Finance Committee yesterday that 40-percent of the 18-hundred lay-offs will be in Central Virginia.
At least 138 state workers in Southwest Virginia are losing their jobs.
[IN Q=IT'S HARD]
((SENATOR CHARLES HAWKINS: IT'S HARD, UH, VIRGINIA IS LIKE ANY BUSINESS, UNFORTUNATELY, OUR GREATEST EXPENSE ARE IN OUR PEOPLE AND ITS ALWAYS BEEN OUR GREATEST STRENGTH. AND THE STATE OF VIRGINIA HAS GREAT PEOPLE WORKING FOR IT BUT THAT'S WHERE MOST OF THE MONEY IS SPENT.))
[OUT Q=MOST OF THE MONEY IS SPENT.]
The layoffs are the deepest cuts ever to the state government work force which numbers about 100-thousand.
Local arts and cultural organizations say the Governor's budget cuts could have been a lot worse.
Tuesday night, the Governor announced state and local museums and the arts would lose 15-percent of their allotted funds.
But local executive directors, who've spent the past couple years dealing with cuts in state funding, say the news was better than anticipated.
(///// SOT at :16 /////)
[IN Q=If the money stays as it is...]
((JIM SEARS/CENTER IN THE SQUARE: IF THE MONEY STAYS AS IT IS I DON'T SEE THAT WE'LL CLOSE ANOTHER DAY. WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN OUR STAFFING LEVELS THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW.))
((KENT CHRISMAN/HISTORY MUSEUM: WE'LL PROBABLY HAVE TO REDUCE OUR MARKETING AND PROGRAMMING BUDGETS BUT WE HOPE TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE A COMPLETE SLATE OF PROGRAMMING AND WE CONTINUE TO REMAIN OPEN.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Sears/Center in the Square; :00]
[SUPER=01-Kent Chrisman/History Museum; :08]
[OUT Q=continue to remain open.]
Many local cultural agencies are still working out the numbers and have yet to decide if they'll need to make changes in staff or operations.
In business news,
Wall Street seemingly has a new attitude as the Dow soared for the fourth straight day.
Jean Lee has details in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Jean Lee/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=your local stocks]
The market may continue its winning ways, after better-than expected results
from some hi-tech titans.
The dow posted a gain of nearly 3-percent,
while the Nasdaq nasdaq soared 3.2 percent.
After the close, we had earnings reports come in from Microsoft and Sun
Microsystems. The SOFTWARE giant earned 50 cents in its latest quarter,
blowing away street estimates. revenue also topped expecations at 7.8
Sun Microsystems lost 2 cents a share, but that was less severe than Wall
St. hadexpected. Revenue came in a bit under the 2.9 billion dollars
analysts had targeted. The networking company also announced it's cutting
11% of its workforce.
And another networking firm, Nortel, also came in with a loss that was
shallow, compared to analysts' estimates. The company also reaffirmed its
plans, to turn a profit sometime in 2003.
And it's another chapter in the Enron saga. A former top Enron energy
trader has agreed to plead guilty, to charges that he and other unnamed
conspirators, manipulated California's energy markets, in a scheme to drive
up prices. Officials say Timothy Belden, who headed up Enron's West Coast
trading operations in Portland, Oregon, will plead guilty t one charge of
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
For all the day's market action head over to our website,
At the nasdaq, I'm jl in NY.
(tape tosses to stocks)
Virginia and North Carolina authorities will get a closer look at the van and belongings of Garrison Bowman.
Yesterday, a Canadian judge ruled that Bowman's things be turned over to U-S investigators working the Short Family murder case.
[SUPER=03-Yellowknife, Canada/Last Week]
Bowman's been in custody since he was arrested two weeks ago for failing to appear in court on an impaired driving charge.
Last week, immigration officials agreed to deport him to the U.S.
In court yesterday Bowman said he wants to get to the bottom of suspicions against him, and emerge with a clean slate.
He said he doesn't mind police examining his Ford van which is now impounded in Inuvik (in-You-vik).
Bowman admitted a seized sleeping bag has blood on it, but says it is his own.
Captain Kimmy Nester with the Henry County Sheriff's Office stressed that Bowman is NOT a target of the investigation and
police continue to track other leads as well.
A 39-year old Campbell County man has been indicted for defrauding B-B-and-T.
Reveley Wilson Swan, Junior allegedly cashed in his mother's annuity and took the money.
The indictment charges also say Swan stole blank checks from his wife and mother and forged them.
The bank reported a loss of more 63-thousand dollars.
In another federal indictment, 39-year old Joanne Lee Barker was charged with passing counterfeit checks at various branches of B-B-and-T.
The murder trial of a Franklin County man continues this morning in Pittsylvania County.
48-year-old William Fitzgerald faces charges of felony murder and driving under the influence.
Last November his vehicle struck Ellen Schenker head-on while both were driving on Route 6-70.
She was killed and her son Tommy was injured.
The Commonwealth's Attorney says Fitzgerald was under the influence of a prescription drug and alcohol.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I BELIEVE]
((MIKE BOWEN/VIRGINIA STATE POLICE; I BELIEVE THERE WAS TWO EMPTIES AND THERE WERE FOUR FULL ONES THAT WERE BEHIND THE SEAT IN THE FOOD LION BAG.))
[SUPER=01-Mike Bowen/Virginia State Police;]
[OUT Q=FOOD LION BAG.]
The accident happened hours after Fitzgerald got out of jail for a previous D-U-I conviction-
His blood alcohol level tested BELOW the legal limit an hour after the crash.
The defense says Fitzgerald was improperly medicated with the drug Librium while in the state's custody.
Fitzgerald has two D-U-I convictions on his record.
The case is being held in Pittsylvania County because of pre-trial publicity.
The family of a bicyclist killed in a local race is awarded five-million dollars... after suing the town for negligence.
Gary Wayne Taylor was in the Blacksburg 2000 Triathlon... when his bicycle ran into a car at an intersection along the course.
The town's attorney said Taylor ran a stop sign, but, a jury ruled in favor of his family, who said the town should've had someone there directing traffic.
Officials say they haven't decided whether they will appeal.
The town has not held a race since Taylor's death.
In the meantime, the driver who's car Taylor hit has also sued the town.
A hearing on that has not been set.
The U-S is apparently ready to compromise on a new United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
Diplomats say the U-S is discussing a draft resolution that does not have a specific military threat against Saddam Hussein.
If Saddam DOES however obstruct weapons inspections, the proposal says the U-S would have to consult with the security council before taking action.
In business news this morning,
Colin Powell is wearing a new hat in the business world.. and the losses continue to mount for airlines.
Here's Mike Markewinski with a look at the morning's top business stories..
[IN Q=the financial]
[SUPER=01-Mike Markewinski/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in Washington.]
(( (TAKE PKG)
THE FINANCIAL FLIGHT FOR DELTA CONTINUES TO HIT TURBULENCES.
THE AIRLINE IS GETTING READY TO LAY 8-THOUSAND JOBS.
DELTA'S C-E-O HOPES MANY OF JOB CUTS WILL COME THROUGH VOLUNTARY
LEAVE AND EARLY RETIREMENT.
SINCE THE SEPTEMBER ATTACKS, DELTA HAS SLASHED 13-THOUSAND JOBS.
EARLIER THIS WEEK, THE AIRLINE POSTED THIRD-QUARTER LOSSES OF
DELTA ISN'T THE ONLY AIRLINE LOSING MONEY.
FOUR MAJOR CARRIERS... INCLUDING NORTHWEST AND CONTINENTAL...
LOST A COMBINED TOTAL OF 39 MILLION DOLLARS FROM JULY THROUGH
AMERICAN WAS THE BIGGEST LOSER OF ALL MAJOR AIRLINES... CHALKING
UP LOSSES OF 924-MILLION DOLLARS.
ANALYSTS SAY THE NEAR FUTURE ISN'T LOOKING GOOD.
THEY SAY A POTENTIAL WAR WITH IRAQ COULD HURT ANY CHANCES OF
MAKING A PROFIT THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.
THINGS ARE MOVING UP ON WALL STREET.
THE DOW REBOUNDING ON THURSDAY BACK INTO THE POSITIVE.
TODAY, WE GET THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX.
THAT'S THE REPORT SHOWING US WHAT THINGS COST.
IF YOU COULD PICK YOUR BOSS, WHO WOULD IT BE?
A NATIONAL BOSS DAY POLL BY CHALLENGER, GRAY AND CHRISTMAS SHOWS
MOST PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO WORK FOR COLIN POWELL.
HE GOT ABOUT 37- PERCENT OF THE TOTAL VOTES IN THE SURVEY OF
ABOUT 500 PEOPLE.
AMONG THE FIVE OPTIONS SURVEY-TAKERS WERE GIVEN, BILL GATES CAME
IN SECOND, PRESIDENT BUSH THIRD, AND OPRAH WINFREY FOURTH.
EMBATTLED HOMEMAKING MAGNATE MARTHA STEWART CAME IN LAST, WITH
JUST 2-PERCENT OF THE VOTES. AND THAT'S A LOOK AT FRIDAY'S
I'M MIKE MARKEWINSKI, REPORTING.
(tape tosses to stocks)
Students in Virginia's community College System will have to pay the price for the states' budget cuts.
Yesterday in Roanoke, the State Board for Community Colleges voted to increase tuition by about 31 percent.
The state's community colleges were already facing lay-offs, larger classes, and fewer course offerings because of an earlier round of budget cuts.
Yesterday, as the board met in Roanoke to consider the situtation, community college presidents lined up in support of the tuition increase.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It is the alternative]
((JACK LEWIS/NRCC PRESIDENT: IT IS THE ALTERNATIVE. IT'S A MUST THAT WE DO THIS. YOU SAW THE PRESIDENTS IN UNISON TODAY SPEAKING TO THIS.))
((ROBERT SANDEL/VWCC PRESIDENT: PRESIDENTS CAME TOGETHER IN AN AGONIZING WAY AND SO DID THE STATE BOARD. THE STATE BOARD TOOK QUITE A STEP FORWARD. THEY ADDRESSED A TOUGH ISSUE AND ADDRESSED IT HEAD ON.))
[SUPER=01-Jack Lewis/New River Community College; :00]
[SUPER=01-Robert Sandel/Virginia Western Community College; :10]
[OUT Q=and addressed it head-on.]
Yesterday's vote will increase tuition by twelve dollars and 25 cents for each credit hour. For a full-time student that will mean an increase of about 185 dollars a semester.
He successfully challenged Lynchburg's protest permit laws.. now a former college professor hopes to take on Virginia's death penalty statute.
Jack Payden-Travers was recently named director of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Payden-Travers calls himself an activist for social justice.. who's been involved in prison ministry for decades.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I love that]
((JACK PAYDEN-TRAVERS/NEW VADP PRESIDENT: I LOVE THAT BLESSING THAT COMES FROM BREAD FOR THE WORLD, THAT GOES 'LORD, THOSE WHO HAVE HUNGER, GIVE THEM FOOD, THOSE WHO HAVE FOOD, GIVE THEM A HUNGER FOR JUSTICE.' AND I THINK THAT'S BASICALLY THE WAY I SEE MY VOCATION.))
[SUPER=01-Jack Payden-Travers/New VADP President]
[OUT Q=see my vocation.]
V-A-D-P's current goal is to pass a November ballot initiative that would allow introduction of new D-N-A evidence at any time after a prisoner's conviction.
The doctor who's treating pain specialist Cecil Knox has also agreed to serve as a trustee of his legal defense fund.
Doctor William Fintel says the family asked him to help see that any money raised for Knox's defense is used the way it's intended.
He says Knox is doing well in the early stages of treatment for lymphoma.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=He is remarkably calm]
((DR. WILLIAM FINTEL/DR. KNOX'S PHYSICIAN; HE IS REMARKABLY CALM AND STRONG AND COMMITTED TO CLEARING HIS NAME AND GETTING BETTER FROM CANCER.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. William Fintel/Dr. Knox's Physician;]
[OUT Q=better from cancer.]
Knox was indicted in February for prescribing OxyContin without a legitimate medical purpose.
Doctor Fintel wants to avoid commenting on the case, but the charges worry this renowned oncologist because he relies on OxyContin to provide his patients relief.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=If you come]
((IF YOU COME IN AND SEE ME AND SAY YOU HURT, I'M GOING TO BELIEVE YOU, BY MY NATURE, BY THE PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELEATIONSHIP. IF I KNOW YOU'RE LYING, IT'S LIKE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. UNTIL I CAN PROVE YOU'RE LYING, I'M GOING TO PRESUME YOU'RE NOT. IT'S TOUGH.))
[OUT Q=It's tough.]
At the same time, Fintel bluntly says anyone who's casually prescribing pain killers should be locked up.
The forecast looks promising for the return of Space Shuttle Atlantis--
[SUPER=03-Johnson Space Center, TX;]
The shuttle is scheduled to land in Florida this morning at 11-44.
Atlantis spent 11 days in orbit-- and a week at the international space station.
The six astronauts were the first visitors for the current crew living at the space station.
While there, the Atlantis crew installed a 390- million- dollar girder.
Meanwhile, Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled for launch next month.
It'll deliver the next big piece of the space station, along with a new crew.
Here's something else that's "out of this world"--
[SUPER=03-Santa Rosa, CA;]
What many consider to be the perfect DIAMOND is now on display in Sonoma County, California where it was created.
It's about the size of a nickel-- but the 13- and- a- half carat diamond is worth two- million- dollars.
The gem's been named "The American Star".
It's caught the attention of the American Gem Society, which now wants to develop a new grading standard for diamonds.
The new standard would not only include color, clarity and cut, but visual brilliance and fire.