Sydney, Australia leads the way as the rest of the world prepares to ring in the new year.
The holiday is marked by tighter security-- and violence in one area.
The latest, coming up.
And Virginia's un- employment rate hits its lowest level in a year and a half.
Looks like we'll end 2002 on a warm note and ring in the new year...with rain. The details coming up.
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
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Fireworks, confetti, and tightened security are part of the New Year's Eve party plans around the world.
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Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
2003 has already arrived Down Under.
In downtown Sydney, Australia, the streets were closed to traffic.
Police were given powers to search cars, bags and anyone they think is acting suspiciously.
But the extra precautions didn't cast a shadow on the fireworks display at Sydney Harbor.
The celebration attracted around 700- thousand people, a smaller crowd than expected.
Meanwhile, a holiday visit to the Big Apple also means dealing with a big serving of police security.
Scott Rapoport is hanging out in Times Square with some early revelers.
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[SUPER=01-Ray Kelly/New York Police Commissioner;]
[SUPER=01-Mike Bloomberg/New York Mayor;]
[SUPER=01-Scott Rapoport/CBS News;]
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Electronic eyes...patrols from the skies...more men in blue than you've
seen in your lives...
That's the security plan for tonight's new year's eve celebration in
times square. then of course...there's the security you won't see.
SOT: RAY KELLY, POLICE COMMISSIONER, NYPD
"THIS WILL INCLUDE SEVERAL HUNDRED UNDERCOVER OFFICERS INCLUDING MEMBERS
OF DETECTIVE DIV., NARCOTICS DIV., COUNTER-TERRORISM AND OUR
Of the estimated 500-thousand racous revelers expected tonight...every
one in the viewing areas will have to pass thru a metal detector.
backpacks have been banned. manhole covers sealed. police snipers will
be stationed on rooftops.
New years eve...in a post 9-11 world.
SOT: MIKE BLOOMBERG, MAYOR, NYC
"better to be safe than sorry. were going to atke the appropriate
This, as counter terrorism investigators will be scanning the times
square area for 5 foreign born men who may have entered the u.s.
illegally. The feds want to question the men about possible links to
but for all the precautions and concerns here...
On the other side of the world...in Sydney Australia...where it is
already New Year...the celebration came and went without incident--in a
glittering display of color and light.
STANDUP TO COME: ( more on Time Square)
A New Year's Eve celebration has turned deadly in the Philippines.
Authorities say at least four people were killed and 26 others injured after a bomb went off next to a fireworks stand in the southern part of the country.
Police say the explosion was triggered either by a mortar shell or a grenade.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility.
The state's unemployment rate has hit an 18 month low.
The rate fell to three-point-six percent in November.
That is a point- two percent drop from October.
The numbers declined through the fall as school systems reached their yearly peaks, merchants added workers for the holidays, builders finished projects ahead of winter and crops were harvested.
All of Virginia's eight metropolitan areas saw unemployment decrease except Roanoke, where the rate was unchanged at 3-point-2 percent.
Among localities, the rate ranged from 1-point-4 percent in Harrisonburg to 13-point-6 percent in Patrick County.
Family members say they have no idea why a pregnant California woman disappeared Christmas Eve, but they want her back.
Police have no solid leads in the disappearance of 27- year- old Laci Peterson.
Sandra Hughes reports.
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[SUPER=03-Modesto, CA; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dennis Rocha/Victim's Father; :13]
[SUPER=01-Sharon Rocha/Victim's Mother; :30]
[SUPER=01-Brent Rocha/Victim's Brother; 1:16]
[SUPER=01-Sandra Hughes/CBS News; 1:48]
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ON HORSEBACK, BY BOAT AND IN THE AIR, IT'S A SEARCH FOR A MISSING WOMAN
MADE MORE URGENT BY THE FACT THAT SHE'S EIGHT AND HALF MONTHS PREGNANT.
LACI PETERSON DISAPPEARED THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS. OVER THE
WEEKEND, AN ANONYMOUS DONOR -BOOSTED THE REWARD TO HALF A MILLION
SOT: Dennis Rocha/victim's father
take the money and bring my daughter back safe. Take the money and get
away free. Get out of here. Go with the money take the reward and go"
PETERSON WAS LAST SEEN BY HER HUSBAND SCOTT WHO SAID SHE WAS GOING TO
WALK THEIR DOG WHILE HE HEADED OFF TO GO FISHING ALONE. A NEIGHBOR
FOUND THE DOG WANDERING AROUND WITH THE LEASH STILL ON.
SOT: SHARON GRANTSKI/VICTIM'S MOTHER whoever has her, please please
pleaselet her go. bring her back
SEEN HERE ON THE RIGHT IN HOME VIDEO, THE 27 YEAR OLD WAS DESCRIBED
BY FRIENDS AND FAMILY AS THE LIFE OF THE PARTY, AND VERY HAPPY IN HER
SOT: Brent Rocha/Brother (WAIT)
no motive, no family history, they were doing awesome, looking very
forward to having their baby"
POLICE WON'T CALL HER HUSBAND A SUSPECT, BUT THEY HAVE IMPOUNDED THE
FAMILY CARS AND SEARCHED HIS BOAT AND THE MARINA WHERE HE WENT FISHING.
SOT: SGT RON CLOWARD/MODESTO P.D.
IT'S JUST LIKE ALLTHE OTHER POSSIBILITIES THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT: SEX
OFFENDERS, PAROLEES, YOU KNOW, SCOTT, ALLTHOSE THINGS -- WE HAVE TO
( O.C./WEB PAGE. )
PETERSON'S FRIENDS AND FAMILY HAVE SATURATED THE COMMUNITY AND THE
INTERNET WITH PICTURES AND PLEAS FOR HELP -- GALVANIZING HUNDREDS OF
VOLUNTEER SEARCHERS. BUT AFTER SIX DAYS -- POLICE SAY THEY DON'T HAVE
ONE CONCRETE CLUE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO LACI PETERSON. CBS NEWS LA..
A new analysis of state hunting records shows that over the last four decades, more than 700 hunters who were shot were NOT wearing blaze orange material.
During the same period 242 people wearing orange were shot.
State law has required hunters to wear blaze orange during firearm deer season since 1987.
The season continues through Saturday in most of Virginia.
The study also shows almost one-third of accidental shootings are by hunters 18 or younger.
The investigators looking into the murders of Jennifer Short and her parents took some time off for the holidays, but they hope the New Year leads them closer to the killer.
It's been four months since Jennifer was abducted and Michael and Mary Short were found shot to death in their Oak Level home.
Investigators in Henry County and Rockingham County took a break from the case for the holidays, but Sheriff Frank Cassell says at least two or three people from each department will stay on it in 2003.
He says North Carolina carpenter Gary Bowman is still a "person of interest" in the case... and that drug smuggler Michael Fulcher provided investigators with some leads to check out.
Fulcher told investigators he spoke with Bowman in jail, when Bowman was held as a material witness in the case.
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Coming up next on the newscast, a judge decides if a local town acted properly when it fired one of its police officers.
Plus we'll will take a look back at some of the famous and infamous people who passed away in 2002.
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The Town of Vinton has been cleared for firing its top two police officers three years ago.
Lieutenant Bill Brown claimed his right to due process was violated when he was confronted with a choice to resign or be fired in November, 1999.
But Federal Judge James Turk points out in a recent opinion "Brown was a sophisticated employee" who knew the grievance procedures.
When confronted with a letter outlining the case against him, Lieutenant Brown read only one sentence before he resigned. The judge said: "...the plaintiff chose not to stand and fight...."
A grand jury determined Brown had kept criminal evidence- -including guns and drugs- -in his office rather than the evidence room.
Judge Turk dismissed Brown's complaint against the Town. He had already thrown out the claim filed by CHIEF of Police Ricky Foutz.
As we look forward to the the year two thousand and three, it is a time to look back and remember those who are no longer with us.
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Up next on the newscast, we will tell you about a champion liar,
and after that Joe Dashiell will tell us why some of the country's best fiddlers will be coming to our region.
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This summer, the Roanoke Valley will take advantage of the bluegrass boom and the region's rich musical traditions.
Planning is now under way for a major festival that organizers hope will bring leading musicians and world- class competition to the area.
Joe Dashiell has more on FiddleFest.
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[IN Q=Every summer fans of bluegrass]
[SUPER=01-Mike Conner/FiddleFest Co-Chair; :28]
[SUPER=01-Ken Rattenbury/Fret Mill Music; 1:13]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Roanoke.]
((Every summer fans of bluegrass and old-time music flock to Galax for the old fiddlers convention... and to many other communities that host festivals and competitions.
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Organizers of FiddleFest are trying to make their own mark... with a week-long series of workshops, roundtable discussions, professional concerts, and an invitational competition.
THERE ARE SO MANY NEW FANS OF THIS MUSIC. AND EVEN A LOT OF THE OLD FANS THAT DON'T REALIZE THE HISTORY OF THE MUSIC AND THAT'S WHAT A LOT OF THIS FESTIVAL IS GOING TO BE BASED ON, THE HISTORY OF THE MUSIC. 38:19 AND PARTICULARLY ROANOKE'S PART IN THE HISTORY OF THAT MUSIC.
[OUT Q=history of that music.]
That history includes Don Reno, Red Smiley and the Tennessee Cutups...
Fiddlefest will include a tribute to the bluegrass pioneers who were featured on WDBJ's Top of the Morning Show.
With a projected budget of 275- thousand dollars, organizers are now lining up sponsors... Fret Mill Music has signed on as one of the first.
[IN Q=We came here 23 years ago]
((KEN RATTENBURY/FRET MILL MUSIC: WE CAME HERE 23 YEARS AGO, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT PLAY THIS TYPE OF MUSIC IN THE AREA AND FOR YEARS WE'VE ALL GONE, WHY ISN'T THERE A MAJOR FESTIVAL LOCATED IN THIS AREA.))
((RALPH SMITH/ROANOKE MAYOR: I THINK IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE THE ULTIMATE FESTIVAL FOR THE CITY AND SOMETHING THE CITY REALLY BECOMES KNOWN NATIONALLY FOR. ))
[OUT Q=known nationally for.]
To make that happen, organizers also hope to recruit between 500 and one thousand volunteers by the time FiddleFest begins July 21st.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke))
A Florida woman says that when she moved to Iron Mountain, Michigan, her sheep gave her steel wool.
If you believe that, the Burlington Liars Club in Wisconsin has more stories for you.
The lie about the steel wool- bearing sheep was the winning fib at the 72nd World Champion Liar Contest.
Several hundred entries came from 23 states and abroad.
Among the other honored liars was a man who said his brother is so smart, he can do crossword puzzles without looking at the clues.
Another says his father's horse is so smart, it can put on its own shoes.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW has dropped 32 points. The NASDQ is down four points.
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Tech and Air Force go head to head in the Dialmond walnut bowl tonight, but there will not be many Tech fans in the stands. We'll explain after this break.
Also we will have a litle history on the last time the two teams met.
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Tonight's Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl matches 9 and 4 Virginia Tech against 8 and 4 Air Force.
But Tech's players won't see a lot of maroon and orange in the stands.
As of this weekend, Tech had sold barely five thousand tickets to the bowl game. That's a far cry from the approximately 25-thousand fans who traveled to Louisiana and Florida for better known bowl games in recent years.
Of course its is a lot farther to the West Coast, and a lot more expensive to travel there.
San Francisco Bowl tickets were only 40-to-65 dollars, but airfare and room and board for four nights cost about 13-hundred per person in a package deal available in the New River Valley.
Tech and Air Force have played only one other time in the two schools histories, the 1984 Independence Bowl.
Hokie defensive end Bruce Smith was anointed consensus All-American just before the game, but the NC- Double A intended to prohibit Tech's best lineman to date from playing in the game.
Mike Stevens takes us back to that time with the future hall of famer.
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[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/1984 Season; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bruce Smith/46 Career Sacks at Va. Tech; :20]
[SUPER=03-Shreveport, LA/December 1984; :39]
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[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
(( He had just been named college football's most outstanding lineman - the winner of the Outland trophy. Yet the NCAA said it had evidence that Bruce's dad had been given some firewood by a Tech booster four years earlier when the Hokies' recruited him.
Petty or not - Bruce spent the three days leading up to the game in courtrooms in Shreveport, Louisiana and back here in Virginia.
Then Tech president Bill Lavery believed the issue to be important enough that he was the spokesman for the University while the courtroom wrangling took place.
Bruce was free to play - but the damage already had been done for the team. The distractions and lost time on the practice field were too much to overcome as Air Force defeated Tech on December 15th, 1984 - 23-to-7.))
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
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