Route 220 between Roanoke and Franklin County has been one of the biggest trouble spots for motorists.
Authorities say traffic is moving once again.
Yesterday, the back-up was especially bad in the Southbound lanes.
Police say tractor trailers that jack-knifed were mostly to blame for the back-up.
At times Route 220 looked more like a parking lot than a roadway with cars, trucks and tractor trailers stranded for hours.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q= Frustrating, 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.]
Carol Lee was struck in traffic in the southbound lanes for more than four hours..
Other motorists we spoke with were stranded for six or more hours.
The winter weather has forced many school systems to close today.
We'll continue to run them at the top of your screen.
[TAKE FS WINTER WEATHER WEB ADDRESS]
You will also find a complete list of weather related closings and delays on our web page at WDBJ 7 dot com.
Many residents across southwest Virginia have lost electricity because of the storm.
American Electric Power reports that one thousand customers in our viewing area are currently without power.
800 of those are in the Rich Creek area of Giles County.
About 120 homes in the Catawba area of Roanoke County are in the dark. The rest of the outages are scattered throughout the area.
We're not the ONLY ones seeing an early blast of winter weather.
The storm is spreading freezing rain and snow from here down to the Texas Panhandle.
Slick roads are blamed in at least six traffic deaths across the country, including two each in Kentucky and Missouri and one each in Tennessee and North Carolina.
By tonight, the fast- moving storm could bring around a half- foot of snow to parts of the northeast.
In other news--
Attorneys representing alleged victims of abusive priests say Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law is bluffing.
He's been given the go- ahead to file for bankruptcy on behalf of the archdiocese.
The Catholic church is trying to settle hundreds of lawsuits in the priest sex abuse scandal.
One way out is to file for bankruptcy.
While Cardinal Law still needs permission from the Vatican to make such a move, victims' attorneys don't think it will ever happen.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The archdiocese]
((MITCHELL GARABEDIAN/VICTIM'S ATTORNEY:THE ARCHDIOCESE WANTS THE PUBLIC TO BELIEVE THAT IF THEY FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY IT WOULD BE LIKE A MAGIC WAND AND ALL THINGS WOULD BE BETTER, WHEN IT'S JUST GOING TO GET WORSE. ))
[SUPER=01-Mitchell Garabedian/Victim's Attorney;]
[OUT Q=to get worse.]
It would get worse because bankruptcy would give a court control over the church's finances.
It would also be a FIRST--
No Roman Catholic archdiocese in the U-S has ever gone
In business news, The Dow and The Nasdaq closed lower yesterday.
And, 7-11 offers slurpees in many different soda and fruit flavors, but are you ready for sushi and fettucine alfredo?
Ed Crane has those stories and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Ed Crane/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=I'm EC., CBS Marketwatch, NY.]
THE DOW'S FALL WINNING STREAK IS IN JEOPARDY AFTER 4 STRAIGHT LOSING SESSIONS: THE DOW FALLING A MODEST FIVE POINTS COURTESY OF A LATE SESSION SELL OFF.
THE NASDAQ WAS IN THE RED ALL DAY LONG AND FINISHED OFF 18 POINTS OR ABOUT 1 PERCENT.
WE SAW A MINIATURE TECH WRECK COURTESY OF AN ANALYST DOWNGRADE OF THE CHIP AND CHIP EQUIPMENT SECTOR.
AMONG THE LOSERS INTEL,APPLIED MICRODEVICES, AND NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR. ALSO DIPPING, DOW POWERHOUSE I-B-M, SUN MICROSYSTEMS AND ORACLE.
AFTER THE CLOSE, IBM REPORTED IT HAS A 3 BILLION DOLLAR SHORTFALL BETWEEN WHAT IT NEEDS IN IT'S PENSION FUND AND WHATS THERE NOW. BIG BLUE SAYS IT CAN MAKE UP THE SHORT FALL WITHOUT ANY DRAG ON FUTURE EARNINGS.
DISNEY WAS A DRAG ON THE DOW BECAUSE OF WHAT SOME MIGHT CALL GOOFY ACCOUNTING. THE COMPANY SAYS IT OVERSTATED IT'S FISCAL 4TH QUARTER EARNINGS BY 74 MILLION DOLLARS, BECAUSE IT MIS-CALCULATED HOW MUCH IT'S NEW MOVIE TREASURE PLANET WOULD BRING IN. THE FILM'S WALKED THE PLANK AT THE BOX OFFICE. DISNEY ALSO SAYS THE S-E-C IS LOOKING INTO A RECENT 10-K FILING AMID CONCERNS, THE CHILDREN AND IN ONE CASE THE SPOUSE OF DISNEY BOARD MEMBERS WERE ON THE DISNEY PAYROLL.
THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS WORKER PRODUCTIVITY JUMPED 5 PERCENT IN THE THIRD QUARTER TO A NEAR 30 YEAR HIGH. ANALYSTS SAY MASS LAYOFFS IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES HAVE FORCED THOSE WHO DO HAVE JOBS TO WORK THAT MUCH HARDER. SO THE DOW'S 8 WEEK WINNING STREAK'S IN JEOPARDY...AFTER FALLING FOUR STRAIGHT SESSIONS.
AND ARE YOU READY FOR SUSHI AND A SLURPEE. NOT EXACTLY AN APPETIZING COMBINATION BUT POSSIBLE SOON AT A 7-11 NEAR YOU. THE CONVENIENCE STORE CHAIN IS TEST MARKETING FRESH SUSHI AND UPSCALE ENTREES LIKE FETTUCINE ALFREDO AT SELECTED STORES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA..A NATIONAL ROLL OUT COULD FOLLOW.
GET MORE AT CBS DOT MARKETWATCH.COM
I'M ED CRANE IN NEW YORK.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
In other news, He already has a place in the record books.
Today retiring South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond makes history AGAIN.
Thurmond turns 100 years old today.
He's already the oldest and longest-serving senator in
The World War Two veteran also holds the record for the longest filibuster ever in the U-S Senate.
He spoke against a civil rights bill on the Senate floor for
more than 24 hours.
Thurmond will be honored at celebrations in Washington D-C and South Carolina.
If all the snow isn't enough to put you in the holiday spirit, THIS probably will.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
Last night was the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at New York City's Rockefeller Center.
Thousands turned out for the ceremony, despite the bone- chilling temperatures.
Yesterday in Washington, D-C, President Bush helped light the White House Menorah.
Tonight Bush will take part in the lighting of the national Christmas tree.
(Kim toss to bump)
[TAPE#=02-55 TC 1:39:25]
(steve ad-lib toss to Myranda)
Kimt, he freshly fallen snow was really pretty to watch last night, but, not so pretty to drive-in.
And not so much has changed overnight.
As early morning commuters will soon find out if they haven't already.
(///// SOT /////)
[****MYRANDA'S MIC HOT****]
((Right now, there are reports of five to 12-inches of snow throughout the New River Valley, and even though most of the snowfall should begin winding down toward the end of the morning, State Police have reported numerous accidents overnight along Interstate-81 and 77.
However, most of them did NOT cause any major damage, mostly drivers sliding into guardrails and ditches.
In Montgomery County, officials tell us all of the primary roads have been scraped this morning, but, most of the secondary roads have NOT.
They say one that drivers should particularly cautious of is Jennelle Road, which connects to Ellet Road off of 460.))
Now, V-Dot is reporting moderate driving conditions for all of the major highways throughout the New River Valley.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Myranda Microwave/Kim Studio;]
And even though we don't want to sound like a broken record, the best advice given to folks heading out for work this morning is to allow yourself enough time and take it slow, Kim?
(Myranda toss to Leo)
In other news, 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.
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.
(///// SOT /////)
[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.
The government does not plan to call Bob Slaughter in its case against his old friend Richard Burrow.
Yesterday, Burrow and his lawyers were in federal court asking the judge to provide a transcript of Slaughter's testimony before the GRAND Jury.
[SUPER=03-Bedford/June 6, 2001]
They believe Slaughter testified that Burrow did nothing wrong when the two men raced to get the D-Day Memorial ready for the dedication ceremony last year.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We are absolutely]
((WE ARE ABSOLUTELY ENTITLED TO EVIDENCE THAT TENDS TO SHOW INNOCENCE AND ABSENCE OF GUILT. WE THINK THAT THIS IS A TRANSCRIPT THAT PROBABLY SHOWS THAT. WE HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET. WE ASK THE COURT TO GIVE IT.))
[SUPER=01-John Lichtenstein/Burrow's Attorney]
[OUT Q=to give it.]
The government objects, saying it's not like there's an accomplice who has claimed responsibility for the crime.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=They've talked to]
((THEY'VE TALKED TO MR. SLAUGHTER. MR. SLAUGHTER HAS SPOKEN ON TV. SLAUGHTER HAS SAID AND IT'S BEEN REPORTED MANY TIMES. THEY KNOW WHAT MR. SLAUGHTER HAS SAID AND DID NOT SAY AND WHAT HIS VIEWS ARE. SO IT'S NOT THAT ANYTHING'S BEING HIDDEN FROM THEM.))
[OUT Q=hidden from them.]
The judge will review Slaughter's Grand Jury testimony and decide whether the defense is entitled to it.