Relief is on its way for those who are tired of waiting in long lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Yesterday, Governor Mark Warner announced several initiatives to help ease crowding at DMV customer service centers.
As Justin McLeod reports, the news comes more than a month after the state closed 12 DMV offices across the state.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Nancy Horn/Roanoke Co. Commissioner of the Revenue; :40]
[SUPER=01-Kim Hodges/Laid-Off Worker; 1:25]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF PEOPLE WAITING IN LINE AT 1:40))
Long lines and delays have been the norm here recently at the DMV.
Thursday afternoon, Governor Warner came to Roanoke to say enough is enough.
[IN Q=My hope is]
((GOVERNOR WARNER: MY HOPE IS THESE THREE CHANGES IN THEY ARE GOING TO IMPLEMENTING AS SOON AS THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR WILL BRING ABOUT SOME RELIEF SO WE CAN GET YOU OUT MUCH QUICKER.))
[OUT Q=out much quicker]
To accomplish it, the Governor is offering three service reforms.
The major one calls for the state to establish license agents.
It would involve the DMV training Treasurers and Commissioners of Revenue.
These local officials would then provide such services as issuing new drivers licenses and renewing registrations.
[IN Q=With some funding]
((NANCY HORN/ROANOKE CO. COMMISSIONER OF THE REVENUE: WITH SOME FUNDING WE'RE WILLING TO DO THAT BECAUSE I AM ALREADY SHORT STAFFED AND I WOULD HAVE TO HAVE FUNDING TO HIRE AN EMPLOYEE TO DO THAT.))
[OUT Q=to do that]
You also have two other new choices.
The DMV plans to establish mobile driver licensing teams to travel and provide services to areas affected by office closings.
The state will also create self service areas at customer service centers.
These areas will be equipped with computers and kiosks to allow customers to do simple transactions.
[IN Q=That would be great]
((BOBBY GARDNER/DMV CUSTOMER: THAT WOULD BE GREAT IF THEY COULD DO THAT HERE. YOU CAN COME HERE TO THE DMV AND TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS THAT WAY.))
[OUT Q=that way]
It won't be business as usual however for DMV workers recently laid off by closings in Rocky Mount and Bedford.
The Governor met with those workers and explained why those cuts needed to be made.
[IN Q=It's good for the customer]
((KIM HODGES/DMV WORKER: IT'S GOOD FOR THE CUSTOMER AND I AM HAPPY FOR THE CUSTOMER BUT AS FAR AS WE HAVING OUR JOB THE DMV IN ROCKY MOUNT OPENING I DON'T SEE THAT HAPPENING.))
[OUT Q=see that happening]
[IN Q=One of the questions]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: ONE OE THE QUESTIONS EMPLOYEES ASKED THE GOVERNOR DEALS WITH THE ROCKY MOUNT OFFICE. THE STATE WILL CONTINUE TO PAY THE LEASE ON THAT BUILDING FOR ANOTHER FOUR YEARS. ASKED WHETHER THAT WAS A WASTE OF MONEY, GOVERNOR WARNER TOLD US THE OFFICE WILL NOT SIT EMPTY ALL FOUR YEARS. JUSTIN MCLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
President Bush says Senator Trent Lott's comments on segregationist politics were "offensive and wrong" -- but he's not calling for the Senate Republican leader to step down.
Black lawmakers are demanding that Lott resign or be censured, citing a pattern of racist comments.
Lott made the remarks at an event marking Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday.
At the event, he said the nation should have followed Mississippi's lead in voting for Thurmond in 19-48. Thurmond was running on a segregation platform.
President Bush told an audience in Philadelphia the remarks were wrong.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT :36 - :55]
[IN Q=Recent coments.]
((BUSH: RECENT COMMENTS BY SENATOR LOTT DO NOT REFLECT THE SPIRIT OF OUR COUNTRY. Again cheers and applause.. SOT H
E HAS APOLOGIZED AND RIGHTLY SO// EVERY DAY OUR NATION WAS SEGREGATED WAS A DAY THAT AMERICA WAS UNFAITHFUL TO OUR FOUNDING IDEALS. ))
[OUT Q=founding ideals.]
Lott has apologized for the comments.
The defense has begun in the trial of former D-Day director Richard Burrow.
Yesterday, a retired banker with a reputation for fundraising said Burrow did nothing wrong in the way he raised money for the Bedford war memorial.
Burrow is charged with mail, bank and wire fraud for his efforts to secure state grants and bank loans to help build the memorial.
But former Roanoke banker Warner Dalhouse testified yesterday it's common practice for a non-profit to use bank loans to match state grants.
Dalhouse also says it's routine for those agencies to list undocumented pledges as collateral for those bank loans.
Former foundation chairman Bob Slaughter praised Burrow's efforts in getting the memorial built.
Slaughter says he would hire Burrow again.
In business news, A mixed effort yesterday as cautious investors bought high-tech shares, but sold blue chips.
Ed Crane has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Ed Crane/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=I'm Ed Crane, CBS Marketwatch, New York.]
((GOOD MORNING, GEO POLITICAL JITTERS DRAGGED THE MARKETS LOWER THURSDAY
DESPITE SOME UPBEAT NEWS ON HOW CONSUMERS ARE STILL BASICALLY CARRYING THE
THE DOW FELL 51 POINTS IN A THIN BUT CHOPPY SESSION.
THE NASDAQ HELD ON FOR A MODEST GAIN OF ABOUT 3 POINTS
CONTRIBUTING TO THE BEARISH SENTIMENT, GROWING FEARS OF MILITARY ACTION WITH
IRAQ AND A WEAKER DOLLAR DROVE THE PRICE OF GOLD TO 333 DOLLARS, A SIX
MONTH HIGH. OPEC MINISTERS MET THURSDAY AND THOUGH THEY SAID THEY'D BE
TEMPORARILY LOOSENING THEIR PRODUCTION QUOTAS, TO STOP CARTEL MEMBERS FROM
CHEATING ,OIL PRICES SHOT BACK UP BEYOND 28 DOLLARS A BARREL.
NOW THE GOOD NEWS. CONSUMER SPENDING PICKED UP LAST MONTH..RISING 4 TENTHS
OF ONE PERCENT. BUT MOST CONSUMERS WEREN'T BUYING CLOTHES AT THE MALL OR
SHOPPING FOR CARS..THE BIGGEST GAINS WERE IN CATALOGUE AND ON LINE SALES AND
AT FURNITURE AND HOME IMPROVEMENT STORES. A LOT OF FOLKS RE-FINANCING AND
AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A MONTH, MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES ARE FALLING..THE
30 YEAR FIXED RATE IS NOW 6 POINT ZERO 4 PERCENT.
HOT STOCK OF THE DAY CIENA,
THE TELECOM EQUIPMENT MAKER UP 20 PERCENT TO SIX DOLLARS AND CHANGE AFTER
NOTING IT COULD SEE A TEN PERCENT JUMP IN EQUIPMENT SALES THIS QUARTER. THAT
HELPED TWO OF IT'S COMPETITORS, LUCENT AND J-D-S UNIPHASE ALSO ON THE MOVE
OTHER STOCKS TO WATCH, HERSEY FOODS UP ON WORD IT'S RAISING IT'S CANDY
PRICES, AND SPRINT, UP ABOUT 7 PERCENT ONE DAY AFTER ANNOUNCING IT WAS
HANGING UP ON 21 HUNDRED EMPLOYEES.
UNITED PARENT UAL STILL TRADING BELOW TWO BUCKS BUT ROSE 26 PERCENT AHEAD
OF A BIG MEETING TODAY IN WHICH THE BANKRUPT CARRIER'S CREDITOR OVERSIGHT
BOARD WILL BE SELECTED. THE MARKETS WILL ALSO BE WATCHING THE LATEST NUMBERS
ON WHOLESALE INFLATION AND CONSUMER SENTIMENT DUE OUT LATER THIS MORNING.
AND AS EXPECTED FORMER GOLDMAN SACHS EXEC STEPHEN FRIEDMAN, IS THE
PRESIDENTS NEW CHOICE AS TOP ECONOMIC ADVISOR.
GET MORE BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL NEWS ROUND THE CLOCK AT CBS DOT
I'M ED CRANE IN NY.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
The White House says Iraq's weapons declaration is full of holes.
Officials say the 12-thousand page document fails to explain what happened to missing chemical and biological agents when inspectors were expelled from Iraq four years ago.
The U-S gave its assessment of the declaration to the United Nations yesterday.
Britain, France and China are expected to provide their analysis today.
The man who killed three tourists in Yosemite National Park will be executed.
Cary Stayner is sentenced to die by lethal injection for the 19-99 murders of a woman and two teenagers who were visiting the park.
A California judge sentenced him yesterday.
The former motel handyman is already serving a federal life term for beheading a Yosemite nature guide.
The sheriff's department in Henry County has arrested a suspect in a shooting death in Fieldale about six weeks ago.
40-year old Arthur McKinney of Martinsville was charged with first- degree murder and robbery.
He's accused of killing 25-year old Charles Antwan Saunders.
It happened around three on a Sunday morning, October 27th at Saunders' home on Clyde Prillaman Drive. Saunders had been shot in the head.
Southside officials say they've found the beginning of a new future with a hi-tech company.
Axiom Technologies has announced it will move its headquarters to the city of Martinsville.
It means a 5-million dollar investment and 250-new jobs.
Most importantly, officials say it provides 21st Century opportunities for the local workforce.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=this is]
((GENE TEAGUE/MARTINSVILLE MAYOR; THIS IS ENTIRELY NEW TYPE OF BUSINESS FOR THIS AREA THAT PROVIDES DIVERSIFICATION FROM OUR TRADITIONAL INDUSTRIES AND PRODUCTS WE ARE CONVINCED OTHER COMPANIES THAT NEED QUALITY EMPLOYEES LOW COST OF LIVING AND A GREAT QUALITY OF LIFE WILL FOLLOW.))
[SUPER=01-Gene Teague/Martinsville Mayor;]
[OUT Q=WILL FOLOW]
The company makes ceramic parts and high-end electrical components for defense and homeland security.
Axiom will be located at the former Coca-Cola bottling plant. Officials say renovations and job advertisements will be begin immediately.
The average pay will be 14-dollars an hour.
(Marya tosses to bump)
Suspended Bassett High School principal and church deacon Terry Moore and his wife have been re-indicted by a federal grand jury.
The couple was charged in June with two counts of defrauding the Saint Paul Pentecostal Holiness Church.
Yesterday, the government added four counts of mail fraud, and Myra Moore was named as a "principal" in one of the counts.
The case is set for trial next month in Danville.
[Desk 3-SHOT=MJO/BWA and Steve]
(toss to Steve for weekend preview)
Cardinal Bernard (BUR'-nurd) Law has resigned as Boston archbishop.
The Vatican says Pope John Paul had accepted the resignation after the two men met this morning.
Law had been under intense criticism over his handling of the priest sex abuse scandal.
The pope has named Richard Lennon , an auxiliary bishop in Boston, to run the diocese temporarily.