Fire destroyed at least two apartments this morning in Lynchburg, and left one resident with severe burns.
And hundreds of furniture workers in Galax can expect pink slips early next year.
The story, straight ahead.
Cold air's moving into the region setting us up for a potential winter weather event during tomorrow and tomorrow night. I'll have more in the forecast.
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
A fire at a Lynchburg apartment complex this morning destroyed at least two apartments and left one person with serious burns.
The blaze at the Walden Pond apartments was reported just after eight.
A police officer helped pull a man from the burning home.. he was flown to U-V-A medical center.
The officer.. 40-year-old Charles Ragland and a firefighter.. 40-year-old Neil Fletcher also suffered burns.
They're being treated at Lynchburg General Hospital.
Authorities say the fire started in an upper floor and gutted at least two apartments and damaged several others.
The cause is under investigation.
245 employees of Vaughan Furniture Company stand to lose their jobs in February when a Galax plant is converted into a distribution center.
The company informed employees at the T. G. Vaughan plant this morning.
Officials blame the weak economy and increased competition from imported furniture.
Creation of the distribution center will generate 55 new positions, and the company says it will give preference to employees who are slated to lose their jobs.
The company operates two other plants in Galax, one in Stuart and one in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Those operations will not be affected by today's announcement.
U-N inspectors in Iraq gained admission to one of Saddam Hussein's palaces today.
It was at least a SYMBOLIC victory.
But there's no word on what the inspectors saw there.
Aleen Sirgany has the latest from Washington.
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[SUPER=01-Kofi Annan/U. N. Secretary General;]
[SUPER=01-Paul Wolfowitz/Deputy Defense Secretary;]
[SUPER=01-Aleen Sirgany/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Sirgany, CBS News, Washington.]
ARMED WITH A U.N RESOLUTION ALLOWING THEM TO SEARCH ANYWHERE AT ANYTIME,
WEAPONS INSPECTORS TODAY TESTED ITS' WEIGHT... TARGETING ONE OF SADDAM
HUSSEINS PALACES .
(NAT..cars driving up)
SIX WHITE UN CARS DROVE UP TO THE BAGHDAD MANSION...(FROM DIFFERENT
DIRECTIONS) A GUARD, REPORTEDLY SAID HE HAD TO WAIT FOR ORDERS TO
ALLOW THEM IN. BUT WHEN A U-N WORKER PROTESTEDTHE GATES OPENED.
AFTER AN HOUR AND 45 MINUTE SEARCH.... THE INSPECTION TEAM LEFT WITHOUT
SAYING WHAT, IF ANYTHING, THEY FOUND...BUT CAMERAS WERE ALLOWED IN AFTER
THE INSPECTORS...FOR A RARE GLIMPSE INSIDE THE PALACE THAT HAS BEEN
REBUILT AFTER BEING DAMAGED DURING THE GULF WAR.
SOT: Kofi Annan/U.N. Secretary-General.
" ... a good indication that iraq is coopertaing but as said this is
only the beginning."
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION MAINTAINS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
ARE "SOMEWHERE" IN IRAQ.
IN TURKEY TODAY, DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY PAUL WOLFOWITZ POINTED OUT NO
ONE WANTS TO GO TO WAR AND ITS SADDAM WHO NEEDS TO ENSURE THAT DOESNT
HAPPEN BY DISARMING.
(SOT)PAUL WOLFOWITZ/DEPUPTY DEFENSE SECRETARY
our focus w/iraq is to try to bring out peaceful resolution.
SADDAM HAS UNTIL SUNDAY TO DECLARE ANY WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
IRAQI OFFICIALS SAY THERE ARE NO WEAPONS TO DECLARE...AND THEY'LL
ANNOUNCE THAT ONE DAY BEFORE THAT DEADLINE. AS, CBSNEWS,WASH.
Israeli officials say their intelligence experts had advance warning that terror groups were operating in Kenya, but no specifics.
Meanwhile, a statement on an Islamic web site says al-Qaida was responsible for last week's terror attacks in Kenya.
One involved a suicide bombing at a hotel frequented by Israelis.
And in the other, missiles narrowly missed an Israeli jetliner.
The statement also warned that the U-S and Israel would remain "vulnerable around the world," and cautioned Muslims of the danger of cooperating with a possible U-S attack on Iraq.
An oil tanker leak that happened last month is still causing problems in the waters off the coast of Spain.
These underwater pictures were taken on a French mini- submarine that inspected the sunken tanker "Prestige".
The fuel leak has devastated beaches in northern Spain.
The "Prestige" snapped in two on November 19th, sending most of its 77- thousand tons of oil to the ocean floor.
Environmental organizations say as much as 20- thousand tons of fuel may have spilled so far.
The latest slick is estimated to be double the size of the first.
The future's looking brighter for the thousands of kids in the central Virginia area who play recreational soccer.
City officials and the group Lynchburg United Soccer broke ground on a new ten-field soccer complex this morning.
The complex will serve as a central location for soccer teams throughout the central Virginia area.
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[IN Q=It's always exciting]
((MARK RINCKEL/LUS COMMISSIONER: IT'S ALWAYS EXCITING COMING TO A CENTRAL LOCATION AND SEEING JUST HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN PLAYING. IT WILL OFFER A SITE FOR TOURNAMENTS WHICH WE REALLY DON'T OFFER TOURNAMENTS NOW, SO WE CAN OFFER TOURNAMENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.))
[SUPER=01-Mark Rinckel/LUS Commissioner]
[OUT Q=throughout the year.]
The cost of the project will exceed two million dollars.
L-U-S hopes to fund it through grants, corporate sponsorships and private donations.
They hope to have the first fields ready for play by next fall.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Still to come on the newscast, Governor Warner promises public schools will not suffer as the state balances the budget.
Also, we will tell you why British police are investigating themselves following another royal mess.
[music up full]
Governor Mark Warner is expected to tell state agency heads later today that he will protect state funding for public schools from budget cuts.
According to advance copies of the speech, Warner said he will not reduce the four-point-six billion dollars in annual funding now budgeted for the state's one-point-two million public school students.
He also said he would refuse to sign any state budget approved by the legislature that includes cuts to core educational programs.
For more than a year, a group of citizens in Salem has worked to develop a plan for the city's future.
However, last night, several citizens urged them to make it a thing of the past.
Teresa Hamilton has more.
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[IN Q=The citizens ]
[SUPER=01-Ann Thompson/Salem Resident; :13]
[SUPER=01-Bill Modica/Salem Resident; 1:02]
[OUT Q=News 7, Salem. ]
(( The citizens sitting on this review committee want to guide the city of Salem into the future--
Here at the Salem Civic Center-- the group showcased its many ideas before turning the floor over for citizen comment.
[IN Q= We don't ]
(( WE DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS YOU'RE TRYING TO DO... OR IF WE DO, WE DON'T LIKE IT. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE. ))
[out q= MAKE SENSE. ]
Anne Thompson's sentiment was shared by most who spoke...
Residents urged the committee to re-think its position on nearly everything from land use to economic development.
[in q=We're just going to ]
((WE'RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO FACE THE FACT THAT WE ARE LANDLOCKED... THERE IS NO MORE SPACE... AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO STOP TRYING TO BRING IN INDUSTRY...BECAUSE WE CAN'T... WE JUST HAVE NO PLACE TO PUT THEM. ))
[out q= to put them. ]
Most residents urged the committee to focus on promoting tourism and the area's many historical attributes.
Preserving the Elizabeth Campus was also a top priority.
[in q= i realie]
((I REALIZE.... GATHERING MORE INFORMATION.. TO GET MORE INPUT. ))
[out q= more input. ]
At this point-- the committee's plan is only a draft.
The group says it will make changes based on citizens comment-- before presenting its final recommendations to the planning commission and city council... which will both hold public hearings.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Salem .))
You might call them the "Teflon Servants"--
The trial of a SECOND royal butler charged with stealing items from the late Princess Diana has fallen apart.
50- year- old Harold Brown was accused of stealing valuables worth more than 800- thousand dollars from Diana's estate.
The trial was scheduled to begin today.
But the prosecutor told the court there was NO realistic prospect of a conviction against Brown, after the failure of last month's trial of fellow butler Paul Burrell.
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard plans to conduct an internal review of the police investigation of both the Burrell and Brown cases.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, the Food Network's Gale Gand will show us how to whip up some sweet treats for the holiday.
But first, authorities come to the rescue of an endangered and very lost wolf cub.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Talk about getting lost in the woods--
An endangered gray wolf apparently wandered away from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
[SUPER=03-Near Morgan, UT;]
and ended up across the state line in Utah.
Wildlife officials say the wolf may be part of a pack of wolves from Yellowstone.
The gray wolfe hasn't been seen in Utah for many years.
After its capture in a trap designed to snare coyotes, the animal was coaxed into a dog kennel and then turned over to a state wildlife officer.
If authorities determine for sure that the wolf is from Yellowstone, it'll be returned to its home turf.
[ANCHOR=Kimberly on MAIN SET]
You might have the ravenous appetite of a wolf after this segment--
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Gale SATELLITE]
Pastry Chef Gale Gand from the Food Network show "Sweet Dreams" joins us today to tempt your sweet tooth.
She's offering some holiday baking advice.
Good Afternoon, Gale.
[SUPER=01-Gale Gand/Pastry Chef and Food TV Host;]
(Most of us scramble to get everything we need for a holiday dessert right before we make it....Are there any items tha
t we should always have on hand?)
(What are some holiday goodies that the entire family can make together?)
(For those cooks who are ambitious and want to make their own gingerbread house-- how do you keep it together?)
(What about simple desserts like pecan pie or pumpkin pie...Is there anything you can do to dress them up?)
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Gale SATELLITE]
The A-A-R-P has set its sights on raising the cigarette tax in Virginia.
With health care in general- -long-term care, in particular- -coming under the state budget axe, the Association of Retired Persons is focusing on the tobacco tax as a means of raising revenue.
At news conferences around the state today, A-A-R-P released the findings of a survey that the association says supports the increase.
Virginia's 2-and-a half cent tax on a pack of cigarettes in the lowest in the nation.
The A-A-R-P says a majority of Virginians polled favor increasing the tax by 60-cents.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up in sports,
we will tell you why UVa and Virginia Tech must wait for all the pins to fall into place before they can go bowling.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
While the Virginia Tech coaches and players are focused on Saturday's date with number one ranked Miami, the fans who make up the "Hokie-Nation" are anxious to make their post-season bowl plans.
As Mike Stevens tells us, making plans to head west may be a bit pre-mature.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Evan Paoletti/Insight Bowl Representative; :20]
[SUPER=03-Charlotte, NC; 1:33]
[SUPER=01-Justin Hamilton/Big East Player of the Week; 2:17]
[OUT Q=...Mike Stevens News 7 Sports."]
(( This past Saturday as the on-the-field celebration was dying down - the Hokies were told that they were all but a shoe-in to play their 10th straight bowl game in Phoenix, Arizona in the Insight bowl. In fact - the itinerary for the cross-country trip already was being mapped out.
The Insight was and still is so interested in Tech - that it isn't even particularly concerned that the distance from Blacksburg and the game's day after Christmas date would limit the number of Tech fans attending the game.
But as Lee Corso would say - "not so fast my friend." Because West Virginia could still end up knocking West Virginia out of Gator Bowl - Neither Tech nor UVa will likely know its bowl destination until next weekend.
Also, the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte says the Hokies are their number one priority. If Tech makes the short trip to the Queen City - then they not only fill Ericsson Stadium - but the Hokies would then also send UVa to Seattle, Washington.
If Tech ends up out West - then Tire bowl will likely pit West Virginia against UVa.
Lost in all of this speculation is the fact that the Hokies still one little game left this Saturday against number one ranked Miami.
Justin Hamilton, who blocked the UVa punt that keyed Saturday night's win over the Cavs was named Big East special teams player of the week today.
He says he and his teammates will be ready for the Canes.))
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]