Old Man Winter is expected to leave his calling card later today, as the region prepares for the first snowfall of the season.
A live update, straight ahead.
And a Henry County teenager is behind bars in North Carolina for allegedly attempting to burn down her family's home, and kill them in the process.
Snow's starting to fly in southwestern Virginia as it continues its northeasterly push. I'll have what you can expect in snowfall totals coming up.
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
"Let It Snow," is not just a Christmas song on your radio....it's also our weather forecast as central and Southwest Virginia prepare for the season's first blast of winter weather.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Leo in Weather Center;]
Let's go straight to Leo in the Weather Center. Leo, what can we expect from this storm?
((TOSS TO Leo))
[SS=NONE]LEO IN WX-CENTER
(LEO TOSS BACK to Kim)
[DOUBLE BOXES=Richard/Leo PATIO CAMERA;]
Richard Lesko joins us now.
Well Leo, transportation officials are preparing for the worst case scenario with today's winter weather.
VDOT has its snowplows and chemical spreaders on standby.
While they may be busy in just a few hours, for now all they can do now is hurry up and wait.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/VDOT Spokesperson;]
[SUPER=01-Amanda DeHaven/Airport Spokesperson;]
[OUT Q=for the next twelve hours.]
[SOT - 1:16:41]
[INQ=Certainly we're ready...]
((LAURA BULLOCK/VDOT SPOKESPERSON; CERTAINLY WE'RE READY IN ALL OF OUR 12 COUNTIES, ALL THE EQUIPMENT IS READY AND ALL OUR PEOPLE HAVE DRIVEN THEIR ROUTES TO FAMILIARIZE THEMSELVES WITH WHERE THEY ARE GOING TO BE DOING SNOW REMOVAL THIS YEAR, IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL AT VDOT WHEN IT SNOWS, WE WANT TO GET OUT THERE AND TAKE CARE OF THOSE ROADWAYS AND GET THEM AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE FOR OUR CITIZENS.))
[OUTQ=as possible for our citizens.]
And when precipitation starts fallilng, VDOT will send out its crews to clear more than 9-thousand miles of roadways with salt, sand, and chemicals.
VDOT has sent a number of its employees home early today, and will bring them back in to work the 12 hour overnight shift to clear the roads.
Meanwhile, employees at the Roanoke Regional Airport are also getting ready for whatever may come.
[SOT - 1:24:50]
[INQ=We have our snow plan...]
((AMANDA DEHAVEN/AIRPORT SPOKESPERSON; WE HAVE OUR SNOWPLAN IN ACTION, AND AS SOON AS SNOW STARTS FALLING, WE GO INTO A 12 HOUR SCHEDULE, CREWS WORK FOR 12 HOURS AND THEN NEXT CREW COMES ON FOR THE NEXT TWELVE HOURS. ))
[OUTQ=the next twelve hours (2x)]))
Now VDOT officials say, as usual, don't drive if you don't have to, and make sure to park your cars out of the way of snowplows.
[DOUBLE BOXES= /Microwave;]
And so far the airport has seen few delays, but that could change as the weather hits here, and major hubs to our south start to see the worst of the winter weather.
While people are waiting for the white stuff to fall, they're not waiting to get prepared.
Winter storm supplies are the hot sellers at the Home Depot in Roanoke.
The manager says snow shovels are what almost everyone is looking for, and that they're also quickly selling out of ice melting crystals.
R-J Davis says he has properties to maintain, and needs to be ready for mother nature.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 00:06:42 // 00:07:01 ]
[IN Q=we have]
((R. J. DAVIS/CUSTOMER; WE HAVE TO GET THE WALKS CLEAR FOR THE PEOPLE SO NOBODY SLIPS HURTS THEMSELVES. // YEAH WE'RE READY.))
[SUPER=01-R. J. Davis/Customer;]
[OUT Q=WE'RE READY.]
Other items people are buying include sand and spreaders.
Store officials say the anticipated winter weather is earlier in the season then they would have prepared for, but that they have a rush order of more supplies on the way.
A 15-year-old girl charged with setting her family's house on fire and leaving them for dead is in a North Carolina jail.
Deputies found Jessica Hess last night, at a gas station in Eden, North Carolina.
She was in her grandparents' stolen van.
She's charged with attempted capital murder, arson and grand larceny.
Investigators say she set fire to her grandparents' house as they slept early Tuesday morning, tying their bedroom door shut with a sheet.
Her father was also inside, but all three got out safely.
A passing motorist saw the flames and two Henry County deputies woke them up and rescued them.
Henry County authorities say they will try to have Jessica extradited to Virginia to face charges.
Five children in an Amish family were killed when a fire broke out at their home in Western Pennsylvania late last night.
The missing children range in age from two to 14.
Their parents managed to escape the blaze with four other children.
Authorities say the flames and heavy smoke made it impossible for crews to enter the home and search for the children.
They were forced to fight the fire from a distance.
By morning, all that was left of the two- story home was a wall and a chimney.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
At least three construction workers have been injured in the collapse of a five story building in San Antonio, Texas.
[SUPER=03-San Antonio, TX;]
Rescue workers are searching through the rubble for anyone else who may be trapped.
The front of the building fell, leaving a mound of brick on the ground.
The framework of girders is all that is still standing.
Police say the building dates back to the 18 hundreds, and had been gutted.
Construction crews were trying to preserve the front for historical value.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, actress and author Marilu Henner will join us live to discuss some ways to eat healthy and actually enjoy this holiday season.
Also President Bush says he does not believe Iraq will voluntarily disarm itself.
[music up full]
From Thanksgiving turkey and dressing to Christmas Egg Nog, the holiday season is celebrated with calorie-laden food and drinks.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Henner Satellite;]
Actress and bestselling author Marilu Henner has written a guide for entertaining during the holidays, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The name of her new book is, "Healthy Holidays."
She joins us now via satellite to talk about it.
Good Afternoon, Marilu.
It's a pleasure to talk to you...
[SUPER=01-Marilu Henner/Actress and Author;]
(We're expecting some cold weather and snow around here later today, so a lot of folks will probably be staying inside
baking-- What are some health conscious recipes for the holiday season?)
(In your book, you also stress the importance of drinking lots of water...)
(Your book not only focuses on food, but on having a health- conscious attitude in general. How should we go about doi
(A lot of people travel during the holiday season and can't necessarily get to the gym as often as they normally do. A
re there exercises they can do while they travel?)
Thanks again for all the advice-- and hope you have a wonderful holiday season.
White House officials say Iraq doesn't deserve a break, and indications that weapons inspections are going well means nothing with Iraq's history of defiance.
President Bush, meanwhile, says Saddam Hussein isn't behaving like he's ready to disarm.
Aleen Sirgany reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Outside Baghdad, Iraq;]
[SUPER=01-Paul Wolfowitz/U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense;]
[SUPER=01-Aleen Sirgany/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Sirgany, CBS News, Washington.]
MAKING A 40 MILE JOURNEY INTO THE DESERT OUTSIDE BAGHDAD, UN INSPECTORS
RETURNED TO A FORMER FACTORY THOUGHT TO ONCE BE THE PRODUCTION SITE OF
DEADLY CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS...BEFORE IT WAS DESTROYED
BY INSPECTION TEAMS DURING THE 1990.S
THEYRE BACK TO ENSURE IRAQ HASNT SET UP SHOP HERE ONCE AGAIN. IN WHAT
NOW APPEARS TO BE ROUTINE PROTOCOL SINCE RESUMING INSPECTIONS, THE UN
TEAM WOULDNT SAY WHAT IF ANYTHING IT FOUND.
A SECOND TEAM SEARCHED A NUCLEAR COMPLEX JUST OUTSIDE BAGHDAD.
WHILE INSPECTORS CONTINUE THEIR WORK, SO DO MEMBERS OF THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION, ALSO IN THE MIDDLE EAST, PREPARING FOR A POSSIBLE ATTACK.
(SOT)PAUL WOLFOWITZ/U.S DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY
"We reached agreement on the next steps in military planning and
U.S DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY PAUL WOLFOWITZ, IN TURKEY, SAID WHILE NO
FORMAL AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED TO STATION TROOPS IN THAT COUNTRY, THE
PENTAGON IS LOOKING AT INVESTING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO
UPDATE TURKISH MILITARY BASES.
THERE SEEMS TO BE CONFLICTING INFORMATION COMING OUT OF TURKEY ON
WHETHER OR NOT THAT COUNTRY WOULD INDEED OPEN ITS BASES...IF THE UN.
APPROVED USE OF FORCE.A DAY AFTER IT SAID IT WOULD.. TURKEY NOW SEEMS TO
BE BACKING AWAY. THE WHITE HOUSE HAS INVITED MEMBERS OF THE TURKISH
GOVERNMENT TO WASHINGTON FOR TALKS. AS, CBSNEWS, WASH.
Virginia Tech says its recent tuition increases are meant to protect the quality of the school's instruction.
University President Charles Steger met with students last night to explain why the school is increasing tuition by 400-dollars.
Steger says even though the increase will NOT be a quick fix to the university's budget problems, it WILL protect the quality of education by saving nearly 400-faculty jobs.
State budget cuts forced Tech to reduce its budget by eleven percent-- that's more than 42-million dollars.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next, the U-S Supreme Court will look at the laws restricitng protests at abortion clinics.
Also we will catch the world's best view for last night's solar eclipse.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Those for and against abortion rights are gathered outside the U-S Supreme Court today.
The justices are hearing arguments in a case that could determine how far free- speech rights go when protests turn violent.
The court is considering whether a federal racketeering law can be used against those protesters.
It's hearing appeals from anti-abortion leaders who've
been ordered to pay damages to abortion clinics after being sued for allegedly using violence.
But abortion rights supporters say those who resort to violence should be punished as criminals.
Thousands of star- gazers enjoyed a brief, but spectacular show on the other side of the world this morning.
Melissa McDermott has highlights from the total solar eclipse.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Kruger, South Africa; :00]
[SUPER=03-Ceduna, Australia; :34]
[SUPER=01-Melissa McDermott/CBS News; :52]
[OUT Q=McDermott, CBS News.]
(Locator: Kruger, South Africa)
At around 8 am, South Africa time, the sky had warmed up to the morning
sun. And then, in one minutes time, everything went dark.
1:20:13 (Africa eclipse) - It is incredible, incredible. The eclipse
has arrived. It is dark.
Thousands joined together at Kruger National Park to view the rare total
eclipse, unobstructed. It was an added bonus to know the wild animals
nearby would notice the phenomenon as well.
01:15:05 (austrailia prep) The animals treat it as though its another
(Locator: Ceduna, Austrailia)
Just another sunset was an understatement for the estimated
30-thousand who watched the moon pass in front of the sun in Australia a
few hours later. The outback was readywith tents, food and of course
eye protection. They called it a solar-bration. The total eclipse
could only be viewed in certain parts of the worldand for just a few
short secondsbut no one seemed disappointed. The next chance to view
another total eclipse: in 28 years.
Melissa McDermott, CBS News.
Something not quite as rare is already lighting up the skies closer to home--
While we're still waiting for OUR share of winter weather, motorists in Tennessee are dealing with a mix of heavy rain, sleet and snow.
It was difficult for morning rush hour travelers, and schools in that area have closed.
Forecasters predict an inch of ice could accumulate on trees and powerlines in much of northern Tennessee.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW has dropped 29 points. The NASDAQ has lost 28.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next
a Roanoke native dukes it on the basketball court.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
Roanoke native J.J. Redick entered last night's Duke game against Ohio State the leading scorer for the Blue Devils, averaging 16-point-3 points a game.
[SUPER=03-Greensboro, NC/Buckeyes vs. Blue Devils; :00]
His third ranked Duke team would keep it close against the Buckeyes in the first half where J.J. missed all four of his three point baskets.
But he had better success in the second half.
Redick scored 20 points over the final 20 minutes in the second half for a second straight game.
He finished 5 of 12 from the field.
[SUPER=34-Ohio State/76/Duke/91;]Daniel Ewing scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half.
Duke goes to 4 and OH with the 91-76 win.
One of our Friday Football Extra teams dominated regional football awards. William Campbell placed 8 players on the first team Region B squad.
The generals quarterback Thomas Boyd was named region offensive player of the year. He combined for over 32 hundred yards of offense.
William Campbell defensive lineman Junior Owen is the region defensive player of the year.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Brad Bradley/William Campbell Head Football Coach; :00]
[SUPER=01-Thomas Boyd/2,300 Yards Passing, 1,000 Yards Rushing; :18]
[SUPER=01-Junior Owen/126 Tackles, 7.5 Sacks This Season; :22]
[OUT Q=...state championship"]
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]