(Brent ad-lib toss to Rachel)
[DOUBLE BOXES=Brent Weather Center/Rachel Microwave;]
[TAKE ROANOKE VO]
[Take FS VDOT Phone Number]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Rachel Microwave /Marya in Studio;]
[TAPE#=02-52 TC 47:30]
The Roanoke City School Board got a detailed look at irregularities in one of its departments.
An audit found discrepancies in the way construction bids are received and awarded.
As a result, two employees were placed on administrative leave with pay and face possible criminal charges.
According to the audit, contracts totaling nearly 400- thousand dollars were awarded to one company after competing bids were, in some cases, falsified.
Last night, the auditors and Superintendent Wayne Harris briefed the board on the problem.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=From the outset]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Harris/Roanoke City School Superintendent;]
((FROM THE OUTSET I'VE BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF THE BECAUSE WE NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE LOOK WITH FRESH EYES ON WHAT WE'RE DOING TO ASSURE WE'RE EFFICIENT THAT WE'RE EFFECTIVE, THAT WE ARE OPERATING USING THE HIGHEST ETHICAL STANDARDS. ))
[OUT Q=highest ethical standards.]
The auditors and superintendent Harris also talked with the board about ways to prevent similar situations in the future.
Roanoke police are following up on leads after a shooting.
Officers say 39-year old Ronnie Jones was driving his car last night in the 500 block of Patton Avenue when a bullet came through the window.
He was hit in the shoulder and was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Police say Jones may know who the shooter was, but no one has been arrested yet.
A ship carrying a dozen Scud missiles has been intercepted in the Arabian Sea.
The Spanish military stopped the ship yesterday.
U-S intelligence has been tracking the ship since it left North Korea several weeks ago.
Officials say the ship was headed for Yemen.
Al-Qaida operatives have been known to operate in that country.
The White House says it's prepared to use "overwhelming force" -- including nuclear weapons -- in response to any chemical or biological attack against the U-S.
The threat is in a six-page document being sent to Capitol Hill today.
It outlines U-S strategy for combatting weapons of mass destruction.
The trial of former D-Day director of Richard Burrow continues in Lynchburg.
Yesterday, a former office manager told a federal jury that Burrow forced her to record millions of dollars in pledges without the proper documentation.
Prosecutors claim Burrow used those pledges to secure bank loans to keep the cash-strapped memorial afloat before its June 6th dedication.
Much of that money never materialized and the foundation has since sought bankruptcy protection from its creditors.
Burrow's attorney says his client honestly believed the pledges would be made and that he acted in good faith.
In business news, The stock market bounced back yesterday.
Stocks got a bit of a boost as investors welcomed President Bush's choice of investment banker William Donaldson to head the
Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ed Crane has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Ed Crane/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=I'm EC, CBS Marketwatch, NY.]
((GOOD MORNING...WALL STREET WARMS TO THE IDEA OF HAVING ONE OF IT'S OWN
---HEADING THE S-E-C
THE MARKETS OPENED HIGHER AND STAYED THAT WAY...RALLYING PART AFTER WORD
THAT A WALLSTREET VETERAN IS THE PRESIDENT'S CHOICE TO HEAD THE
AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION.
THE DOW HELD ON FOR A TRIPLE DIGIT GAIN...JUST THE SECOND WINNING
AND ATTRACTIVE BUYS IN TECH STOCKS LIKE INTEL, ORACLE SENT THE NASDAQ UP
WILLIAM DONALDSON, FOUNDER OF THE INVESTMENT FIRM DONALDSON, LUFKIN AND
JENRETTE IS A LONG TIME BUSH FAMILY FRIEND, A FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW
YORK STOCK EXCHANGE AND THE PRESIDENTS NEW CHOICE TO HEAD THE S-E-C. WALL
STREET APPEARS PLEASED BUT SOME ARE WONDERING IF DONALDSON IS TOO CLOSE
THE STREET TO BE A VIGILANT WATCHDOG
THE FED OPEN MARKET COMMITEE MET TUESDAY AND AS EXPECTED TOOK NO ACTION
INTEREST RATES, AFTER A BIG CUT A FEW WEEKS BACK. THE COMMITTEE ISSUED A
STATEMENT INDICATING THE ECONOMY WHICH HAS BEEN STRUGGLING FOR TWO YEARS
--QUOTE" PULLING ITSELF OUT OF THE CURRENT SOFT SPOT"...
AMONG STOCKS TO WATCH, SEATTLE BASED APPAREL MAKER CUTTER AND BUCK FELL 9
PERCENT AFTER RES-STATING IT'S EARNINGS, THE COMPANY'S PRIMARY INSURANCE
COMPANY WANTS TO RE-SCIND COVERAGE...
NOKIA FELL ABOUT 5 PERCENT AFTER AN EARNINGS WARNING THAT 4TH QUARTER
EARNINGS WILL BE SOFTER THAN EXPECTED.
THE BIG GROCERY CHAIN KROGER DROPPED, THEN RALLIED AFTER ANNOUNCING
EARNINGS FOR 2003 PROBABLY WON'T BE MUCH BETTER THAN THEY HAVE BEEN THIS
COCA COLA JUMPED 3 PERCENT ON AN ANALYST UPGRADE.
AND THAT PROPOSED 19 BILLION DOLLAR MERGER BETWEEN DIRECT TV OWNER HUGHES
ELECTRONICS AND DISH NETWORK OWNER ECHO STAR IS HISTORY. REGULATORS
TO APPROVE THE DEAL, SO ECHO STAR WILL PAY HUGHES A 600 MILLION DOLLAR
GET MORE BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL NEWS AT CBS DOT MARKETWATCH DOT COM.
I'M ED CRANE CBS MARKETWATCH, NEW YORK.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
U-N inspectors continue their search today in Iraq after several surprise missions yesterday.
The chief inspector expects to complete a review of Iraq's weapons declaration this week.
The U-N is conducting its own analysis of the 12-thousand page of document.
So far, inspectors say much of the material appears recycled.
Local Christmas tree growers are still weathering last week's storm.
Billy Cornette and his wife sell Christmas trees on this lot at the Brookside Shopping Center in Roanoke.
They also open their Carroll County farm to families who want to cut their own trees on the weekend.
Last week's snow though-- kept a lot of people at home.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This weekend]
((BILLY CORNETTE/CHRISTMAS TREE GROWER; THIS WEEKEND, WE HAD A SMALLER WEEKEND, MUCH SMALLER THAN LAST YEAR BUT THAT'S ALL PART OF FARMING AND I TRY TO BE REAL POSITIVE ABOUT IT BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IF PEOPLE CAN'T GET TO THE FARM THEY'LL COME SEE BETTY HERE AT THE LOT. SO HER BUSINESS MAY INCREASE WHILE MINE DECREASES SO IT WORKS OUT IN THE END.))
[SUPER=01-Billy Cornette/Christmas Tree Grower;]
[OUT Q=OUT IN THE END. ]
Christmas tree growers in Virginia and North Carolina have also faced other challenges this year.
They've not only had to weather the ongoing drought-- but several days of freezing temperatures back in May that killed or damaged many trees.
The New River Valley is the place to go for one of the hottest selling toys this year.
Mini-racers are much like the zip-zaps cars that are flying off of shelves at Radio Shack. The electronics chain says it can't keep up with demand.
In the New River Valley mall, two people set up a kiosk with plenty of the remote controlled computerized cars.
The cars had been popular in Japan for several years before recently coming to the U-S.
The manager says sales are high -- last month the kiosk sold over 18-thousand dollars' worth.
But perhaps you'd like a gif that's a little more "presidential."
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The presidency]
((NATS: DOLL "The presidency is more than an honour, it is more than an office." ))
[OUT Q=more than an office.]
The talking President Bush doll is sold online for 29-99.
The doll repeats excerpts from the President's historic speech given after the September 11th attacks... along with some of his better-known gaffes.
(Marya tosses to bump)
The Department of Transportation has suspended work on the Route 58 expansion for lack of money.
[TAKE ROUTE 58 "On Hold" FS]
The 680 mile long project from the Cumberland Gap to Norfolk is being built in segments.
[SUPER=03-Patrick Co./File Tape;]
A review of V-DOT finances shows a "272- million dollar" shortfall between what the state had planned to spend improving Route 58, and how much is needed.
State officials say managers of separate sections made spending commitments without talking to each other.
And no one had overall authority over spending.
That will change.
Transportation secretary Whitt Clement says he's appointed someone to oversee the entire project.
U.S. Senator George Allen says the way to deal with Saddam Hussein is with patience and power.
Allen discussed the dispute with Iraq at a meeting of business leaders organized by Congressman Bob Goodlatte.
He said they both have seen evidence contradicting Iraq's claim that it does not have chemical or biological weapons.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Before it was]
((SEN. GEORGE ALLEN/(R) VIRGINIA: BEFORE IT WAS BELLIGERENCE AND DEFIANCE. NOW IT IS A CONCILIATORY DECEPTION TACTIC. THE BOTTOM LINE THOUGH IS THAT THEY'RE STILL IN VIOLATION.))
[OUT Q=still in violation.]
Allen says an attack on Iraq must remain an option at this point. But he says the Bush Administration is taking the right approach by working with the United Nations.