Coming up on News 7-
It's not just snow, but now sleet is falling- We'll have the full forecast.
Also some people are stuck for HOURS on Route 220 tonight- as traffic backs up for miles.
It's not snow, but money troubling United Airlines. The government says no to a loan.
News 7 at Eleven is next.
Motorists are stranded for hours after a series of accidents leaves traffic along much of Route 220 at a standstill.
[SS=NEWS 7 @ 11]
When the snow started falling, motorists started scrambling- they left work and school for home.
But the influx of cars, trucks and tractor trailers on Route 220- didn't mix well with Mother Nature's first gift of the season.
[DOUBLE BOXES=JEan & Teresa /Patio;]
Teresa Hamilton is out in the snow tonight-- and joins us with an update on the traffic situation.
[LIVE= Teresa /FULL]
Jean, Route 220- is normally a busy road. But V-DOT says it was put to the test today-- when the snow started falling and folks started scrambling for home.
In fact-- tonight traffic is still backed up in the southbound lanes from 581 in Roanoke into Franklin County.
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[IN Q=Frustrating, frustrating]
[SUPER=01-Carol Lee/Motorist; ]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; ]
[SUPER=01-Buddy Smith/Motorist; ]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; ]
[OUT Q=nearly as well. ]
[IN Q= FRUSTRATING]
((CAROL LEE: FRUSTRATING, FRUSTRATING, ROAD IS NOT THAT BAD, IT'S JUST THE WAIT THAT'S THE WORST PART, BUT IT'S JUST LIFE AND IT HAPPENS YOU KNOW. ))
[OUT Q= HAPPENS YOU KNOW. ]
The first major snowfall of the season is one Carol Lee won't soon forget.
Carol was one of hundreds of motorists stuck in traffic in the southbound lanes along Route 220 between Roanoke and Franklin County.
[in q= How are you ]
((CAROL LEE: HOW ARE YOU PASSING THE TIME? LISTENING TO THE RADIO, TALK SHOWS ON THE RADIO, TALKING TO FRIENDS ON THE CELL PHONE, THANK GOD FOR CELL PHONES.))
[out q= for cell phones. ]
Carol was stuck in traffic for more than four hours... and at eight o'clock still had three miles to go before making it home.
Police say a series of accidents-- mostly involving tractor trailers was to blame for the backup.
[in q= No i didn't]
((BUDDY SMITH/MOTORIST: NO I DIDN'T ANTICIPATE THIS... I ALWAYS FEEL YOU GOT TO LOOK OUT FOR THE OTHER PEOPLE BUT I DIDN'T ANTICIPATE THE WHOLE ROAD BEING BLOCKED.))
[out q= being blocked.]
Nor did police and VDOT crews...
At one point-- accidents along Route 220 were blocking traffic in both the North and Southbound lanes between Roanoke and Franklin County.... making it impossible for authorities to help out. So motorists stepped in, helping each other.
[sot-- nat sound]
Route 220- in Henry County wasn't immune either. Snow was also causing problems there.
This tractor trailer driver was fortunate. His rig, however, didn't fare nearly as well. ))
[LIVE= Teresa /FULL Patio]
We're told traffic is moving in the Northbound lanes-- but again, it's still slow moving in the southbound lanes from 581- in Roanoke into Franklin County.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Jean & Teresa /Patio;]
Jean, it took one of our news crews four hours tonight to go just 20- miles from Roanoke to Boones Mill.
V-Dot crews are working feverishly to clear the main roads tonight, but so far they're not having much luck.
V-Dot officials say they're trying to clear primary roads first. Plows have not even started work on secondary roads.
They say it could be slow going tomorrow morning.
State Police in Wytheville say most of the roads in the New River Valley are covered with snow... and now sleet is falling on top of that.
The story's much the same in Central and Southside Virginia. Troopers say some of the worst roads in those areas are in Campbell and Halifax Counties.
The storm has left some Roanoke Valley residents without electricity tonight.
American Electric Power reports that 36- hundred customers in Roanoke County lost service around nine PM.
Crews have been working on the problem and hope to have power restored by midnight. Another outtage in the Abgindon area has affected about 2000 customers.
Many schools have already cancelled classes for tomorrow. No doubt there will be more to come.
Depending on who you talk to, that could be good or bad.
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[IN Q=What are]
((REPORTER: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU GET HOME? PRESTON BRYANT: STAY IN THE HOUSE AND SLEEP.))
[SUPER=01-Preston Bryant/Prices Fork Elementary Student; :02 QUICK!!!]
[OUT Q=and sleep]
Kids weren't the only ones who got a break today.
Afternoon and evening classes were also cancelled at both Radford University and New River Community College.
But classes at Virginia Tech went on as planned.
[IN Q=IT'S OKAY]
((IT'S OKAY BECAUSE I'M IN THE ENGINEERING PROGRAM AND I HAVE TO MUCH TO DO. IF I'M OUT OF THE SCHOOL I'D BE BEHIND, I DON'T WANT TO BE OUT OF SCHOOL.))
[SUPER=01-Zahra Pakdel/VT Student; ]
[OUT Q=OUT OF SCHOOL]
[TAKE WEBPAGE FS]
We'll keep updating school cancellations through the night.
You can also find an updated list anytime on our webpage at WDBJ7-dot-com.
It seems many folks are ready for the white stuff.
It was a busy day at the Towne Square Kroger where officials say sales have already beaten Thanksgiving numbers.
Customers are getting food staples in case they're stuck indoors because of the storm.
Most wanted to get in and out before the snow accumulated.
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[IN Q=i was ]
((DIANN CLARK/CUSTOMER; I WAS OUT EARLIER JUST LOOKING AROUND AND THE SNOW STARTED FALLING AND I SAID WELL I BETTER JUST GRAB A FEW THINGS, MOSTLY DESSERTS, SO ACTUALLY I'M DON'T HAVE A LOT OF PREPARATION MAYBE SOME BREAD BUT OTHER THAN THAT I DON'T NEED ANYTHING.))
[OUT Q=NEED ANYTHING.]
A rush order of winter weather supplies is on its way to Roanoke's Home Depot.
Today many customers were buying large shovels and bags of ice melter crystals.
This massive storm is not just affecting this region.
The system has brought an early taste of winter to Missouri and Arkansas, Tennessee and even New York.
As Mark Strassman reports, hardest hit may be the south- where the storm is bringing southern dis-comfort.
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[SUPER=01-Dr. Jim Hoke/Meteorologist; :49]
[SUPER=01-Ken Martin/Charlotte Street Maintenance; 1:33]
[SUPER=01-Mark Strassmann/CBS News; 1:52]
[OUT Q=Standard outcue.]
((Wintry misery -- snow sleet and freezing rain -- punished a third of America today.
From this "whiteout" in Missouri ... to blackouts in Arkansas ... and Tennessee, leaving THOUSANDS powerless ... this fast-moving system....that dumped up to 10 inches of flood
water on Houston yesterday ....by today had put out MILLIONS of people into the snow season's first significant blast.
"IT PAYS TO BE CAUTIOUS. IT'S A LITTLE BIT SLIPPERY. WATCH OUT FOR THE OTHER GUY."
Driving was treacherous. In stretches Kentucky and North Carolina there were dozens of fender benders and at least two deaths were blamed on slick roads.
In many communities, the icy danger is just beginning.
Dr. Jim Hoke - NOAA Meteorologist:
"SOME PLACE ARE GETTING HEAVY PRECIPITATION. SOME PLACE ARE GETTING ICE AND SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF ICE. OTHER PLACES WILL GET SNOW ON THE ORDER OF TWO TO FOUR TO SIX INCHES OR MORE."
In this fast-moving, "vigorous" storm, two air masses are colliding .. warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico ...
running into a wide swath of cold air that has been hovering over the eastern United States.
It's a perfect storm for early winter weather.
In the Carolinas, hardest hit was the I-85 corridor between Charlotte and Greensboro.
Temperatures dipped below freezing, and Southern dis-comfort came on ICE. Roads became rinks.
Every salt truck in Charlotte's city fleet is in service round the clock. By midnight ice that's an inch thick could cover roads and
Ken Martin, City of Charlotte: 'people don't drive well... here.
Flights across the southeast were delayed for hours or cancelled.
Another worry into the rainy night is heavy ice downing power lines-- potentially leaving thousands in the dark and cold.
With almost three weeks until Winter OFFICIALLY begins, it's already shaping up as a December to remember.))
A Henry County man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the shooting death of a Martinsville track and football star.
A jury found Curtis Robertson guilty of second degree murder after one hour of deliberation.
Prosecutors say Robertson gunned down 19-year-old Delvin Hairston on a Martinsville street back in May to settle an ongoing feud.
Robertson's lawyers said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and that someone else had fired the shots.
Hairston's family left unhappy with the jury's sentence.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We feel that]
((BARRY HAIRSTON/UNCLE: WE FEEL THAT HE SHOULD HAVE GOT MORE TIME. WE WERE PRETTY HAPPY WITH THE VERDICT BUT SHOULD HAVE GOT MORE TIME. THE WHOLE GROUP -- ALL 7 THAT WERE INVOLVED WITH THIS SHOULD GET SOMETHING AND WE THOUGHT CURTIS WAS THE RINGLEADER, HE SHOULD HAVE GOT THE MAXIMUM.))
[SUPER=01-Barry Hairston/Victim's Uncle;]
[OUT Q=got the maximum.]
Robertson will be formally sentenced by a judge on January 24th.
Another man charged in the shooting -- Christopher Wilson -- will be tried in January.
State Police investigators spent their holiday weekend busting up an internet auto-theft ring and chop-shop in Campbell County.
Last Tuesday, police caught two men stealing air-bags from Altavista Motors.
Those arrests led cops to a house and rented garage in Rustburg that housed some 300-thousand dollars in stolen vehicles and parts.
Four Rustburg men face grand larceny or conspiracy charges.
United Airlines brass are not flying so high tonight-
[vo-nat 15 plus pad]
after the airline loses a bid to avoid bankruptcy.
The government says United's request for one point eight billion dollars in loan guarantees isn't financially sound.
The airlines has said without the guarantee it would need Chapter Eleven bankruptcy protection.
Iraqi leaders say the U-S is bound and determined to attack their country.
The latest on the inspections next on News 7.
Plus an historic building in Texas comes crashing down.
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[IN Q=Hey folks]
[OUT Q=THE BIG 7."]
((Hey folks Mike Stevens back in the News 7 sports office as we sort out how the white stuff has already affected some area sporting events.
Ernest Wilford talk about dealing with disappointment and bouncing back with a breakout year.
Plus, Tony Stewart is in New York for the NASCAR banquet. His thoughts of celebrity hood tonight on the Big 7.))[Iraq
United Nations weapons inspectors visited more Iraqi sites today, including a former nuclear research site.
Once again, Iraq appeared to be cooperating.
Despite that, it is not changing the Bush administration's hard stance- as Aleen Sirgany reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Hussam Mohammed Amin/Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate; :59 quick!]
[SUPER=01-Paul Wolfowitz/U. S. Deputy Defense Secretary; 1:14]
[OUT Q=CBS News, Washington.]
((AS INSPECTORS WRAPPED UP TWO SEPARATE SEARCHES OF IRAQI SITES ONCE LINKED TO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, THEY FOUND OLD MUSTARD GAS CONTAINERS.
U-N TEAMS HAD DISCOVERED THE CHEMICALS IN THE 1990'S...BUT NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO DESTROY THEM. MEANWHILE, THE WHITE HOUSE INJECTED A DOSE OF SKEPTICISM SURROUNDING THE RENEWED U.N WEAPONS INSPECTIONS.
BUSH:This isn't about inspectors. The issue is whether Saddam Hussein will disarm."
CLASHING WITH IRAQ S POSITION IT HAS NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, PRESIDENT BUSH ONCE AGAIN WARNED - IT S NOT A MATTER OF "IF" THERE ARE WEAPONS BUT WHETHER U.N INSPECTORS CAN PROVE IRAQ TO BE LYING.
This is not a game that we're playing of hide and seek.
IRAQ CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN IT ISN'T PLAYING ANY GAMES AND WILL PROVE IT IN ITS REPORT TO THE UN. BAGHDAD SAYS IT WILL ARRIVE SATURDAY...ONE DAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.
A TOP IRAQI OFFICIAL CONFIRMS THE REPORT WILL DEAL WITH SOME NEW ACTIVITIES SINCE THE LAST TIME THE INSPECTORS WERE THERE....
FAST SOT: HUSSAM MOHAMMED AMIN/ IRAQI NATIONAL MONITORING DIRECTORATE.
"biological...chemical ...and missile"
BUT ADDED NONE OF THE ACTIVITIES ARE PROHIBITED.
REGARDLESS OF WHAT MIGHT BE IN THAT DECLARATION, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION POINTS OUT THE PRESIDENT IS NOT LIKELY TO BEAT THE WAR DRUM BASED ON IRAQ S REPORT ALONE.
PAUL WOLFOWITZ/U.S DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY
"He's gonna make it, I think, based not only on the pattern of information, but also close consultation, particularly with our allies."
IN A BLATANT ATTACK, IRAQ'S VICE PRESIDENT ACCUSED THE U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS OF BEING U-S AND ISRAELI SPIES. HE SAID THEY ARE IN IRAQ TO PROVIDE MORE PRECISE INFORMATION FOR A COMING ATTACK. ALEEN SIRGANY, CBS NEWS, WASHINGTON.))
It was built in 1880, but today the historic building came tumbling down onto a San Antonio Street.
[SUPER=03-San Antonio, TX]
The structure crashed down this morning, injuring two workers at the site.
Crews do believe everyone is safe.
The building opened in 1880 as a saddle shop.
It had been demolished, but the facade was being preserved for use with a new hotel that was going up behind it.
Investigators hope the end of one murder case in Campbell County will help them solve another killing in Nelson County.
Elizabeth Farinacci was sentenced today to 53 years in prison for killing her husband last February.
Prosecutors say she killed Frank Farinacci to cover up their involvement in the murder of Jeffrey Quick four years ago.
Farinacci continues to maintain her innocence.
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[IN Q=The witnesses]
((ELIZABETH FARINACCI/CONVICTED MURDERER: THE WITNESSES THAT MR. VENER HAD BROUGHT UP HAD PERJURED THEMSELVES, YET THEY WERE ALLOWED TO GO FREE. TO ME THAT'S A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE AND MR. VENER BOUGHT THIS CONVICTION.))
[SUPER=01-Elizabeth Farinacci/Convicted Murderer]
[OUT Q=bought this conviction.]
Farinacci says she'll appeal her conviction.
Nelson County has granted her immunity from prosecution if she'll help lead investigators to Jeff Quick's body.
Still ahead on News 7, Christmas comes to Rockefeller Center.
We'll show you.
Plus if you're tired of the snow, stay tuned. We'll take you to a world surfing championship.
Some Democratic lawmakers think that paying for a portrait of former Speaker Vance Wilkins with state funds is nothing to smile at.
The tradition of commissioning portraits of past speakers goes back to 1968.
Republican lawmakers are planning the same tribute for Wilkins, who was the first Republican speaker in more than a century.
He stepped down amid a sexual harassment controversy.
Some Democratic lawmakers say that the state can ill-afford the portrait's six-thousand dollar price tag during a budget crisis.
[IN Q=WE'RE GOING TO BE ASKED]
[SUPER=01-Del. Viola Baskerville/(D) Richmond; :00]
[SUPER=01-Del. Leo Wardrup/ (R) Virginia Beach; :09 QUICK!!!]
[OUT Q=BEHIND ME.]
Plans to commission a portrait of Bedford delegate Lacey Putney are also under discussion.
Putney is currently the acting Speaker and is the longest-serving delegate in Virginia's history.
On this cold, wintry night we decided to take you somewhere warm and sunny.
It is Honolulu, Hawaii.
With sand and surf, it is the perfect place for a surfing championship.
The Rip Curl Cup at Hawaii's Sunset Beach ended with a local claiming the world title: 24 year old Hawaiian Andy Irons.
The surfers competed in eight to 12 foot waves for the title, making the tough waves look easy.
Irons climbed onto a car roof to celebrate his title- after 32 year old Australian Luke Egan failed to beat him.
UVa hooks up with Michigan State tonight.
The snow plays havoc with the sports schedule, plus Ernest Wilford a year later.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY; :00]
But first tonight's Extra Point - Tony Stewart is New York this week on his first official junket as Winston Cup Champ.
Today, he spent some time with the Big Apple's policemen and women.
Now the scores.
[GO TO SCORES]
[go to scores]
[SUPER=0098-/Virginia/75/j/Michigan State/82///j/Minnesota/64//Georgia Tech/63///;]
[SUPER=0098-/Wisconsin/64//Wake Forest/70/2//j/N.C. State/74//Northwestern/49///;]
The Virginia Cavaliers were in East Lansing, Michigan last night battling Michigan State in the ACC-Big Ten challenge.
[SUPER=03-East Lansing, MI/ESPN; :00]
The Cavs would again have to play most of a half without Travis Watson. The Brookneal native picked up three fouls in the first half and was a non-factor.
With Watson out the Spartans went on a 17-to-nothing run in the first 20 minutes and turned a three point deficit into a 14 points lead with 4 minutes to play in the first half.
The Spartans led the game 36-to-25 at halftime.
UVa could not get the lead under double digits for a significant stretch as Michigan State wins it 82-to-75.
The Cavs are next home on the 17th against East Tennessee State.
The snow was an unwelcome sight for those high school football teams still alive in this weekend's state semifinals. That meant practicing indoors or not at all.
At Magna Vista High School today, Head Coach Joe Beckelheimer broke out the paint machine in an effort to get the field lined off for Saturday's contest with Heritage. Beckelheimer got a head start, but the snow eventually caught up with him.
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[SUPER=01-Joe Beckelheimer/Magna Vista Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=get these stripes on."]
The Dazzle's game for tonight has been postponed.
The game with the Greenville Groove has been rescheduled for March 4th.
Fans can exchange their tickets for any remaining home game.
Virginia Tech is a double digit underdog this Saturday against Number one ranked Miami.
But there no doubt the pressure is squarely on the Canes.
One Hokie in particular knows exactly what that "pressure" feels like.
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[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/December 1, 2001; :00]
[SUPER=01-Ernest Wilford/40 Catches for 807 Yards; :34]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/16th Season at Virginia Tech; :50]
[OUT Q=...WHAT WE GONNA DO IS WIN."]
(( The two point conversion pass from Grant Noel to Ernest Wilford that would have tied the game, but instead ended up on the turf in between Wilford's legs has had far reaching effects. The drop kept Miami unbeaten, and amazingly it inspired a big kid from Richmond to become a big-time receiver.
No disrespect to Antonio Freeman or Andre Davis, but Wilford is the first player in Frank Beamer's 16 season at Tech to catch 40 passes in a season.
He needs just 7 more catches to break the school's single season reception record.))
It looks like winter here because of the snow-
It looks like winter in New York because of the tree.
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((FOUR THREE TWO ONE.. CHEERS.))
[SUPER=03-New York, NY/Courtesy: NBC]
Tonight- the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree-
The tree comes from Bloomsbury, New Jersey.
Thousands turned out for the lighting-
One teenage girl said the ceremony is about bringing in the spirit of Christmas.