Afghan officials say they're 100- percent certain al-Qaida and the Taliban are behind this morning's deadly explosion.
But no one has come forward to claim responsibility.
18- were killed when the bomb destroyed a bridge outside of Kandahar.
The victims were apparently on a bus driving across the bridge.
Authorities believe Afghan soldiers stationed in the area were the intended targets.
President Bush is holding a pivotal meeting today at Camp David with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The meeting's being called a strategy session on Iraq.
The British government is preparing to call up six- thousand military reservists for possible duty in the Persian Gulf.
Meanwhile, the U-S now has close to 90- thousand troops in the gulf.
That number is expected to double within two weeks.
An accident in Montgomery County killed one woman and sent another woman to the hospital.
It happened just before 6 last night on Route 11.
State police say Julie Marie Tomlinson of McCoy was driving north when she hit a car head-on in the southbound lanes.
Tomlinson died at the scene.
Sherry Lily Kostric of Radford was driving the second vehicle.
She was taken to Montgomery Regional Hospital and later transferred to the trauma unit of Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Police say the cause of the accident is unknown.
He led police on a high-speed chase with his small child in the car.. now a Campbell County man is headed to prison.
24-year-old Jason Lee Mays was high on cocaine and wanted in two jurisdictions when a Lynchburg police officer tried to pull him over last July.
Mays took off and the ensuing chase reached speeds of up to 100 miles an hour before he lost control and flipped his car several times on the Lynchburg Expressway.
The whole time, Mays' 3-year-old son was in the car with him.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I didn't know]
((S. M. CLEARY/LYNCHBURG POLICE: I DIDN'T KNOW THE CHILD WAS IN THE CAR UNTIL I GOT TO THE CAR, SPEAKING TO JASON AND I LOOKED BACK AND SAW THE CHILD AND I WAS VERY SHOCKED AND VERY UPSET THAT HE WOULD HAVE DONE THAT TO HIS OWN CHILD.))
[SUPER=01-S. M. Cleary/Lynchburg Police Department]
[OUT Q=to his own child.]
Mays pleaded guilty yesterday to eluding police, driving under the influence and child abuse.
He'll be sentenced in March.
Officials in Lynchburg are discussing a number of options to make up snow days including attending school on Saturday or a holiday.
This is the sixth time this year students in Lynchburg have lost class time because of bad weather.
To make up the time, educators may hold school on Memorial Day and possibly a few Saturdays in February and March.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Another idea that]
((JAMES MCCORMICK/LYNCHBURG SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: ANOTHER IDEA THAT WAS SUGGESTED WAS SPRING BREAK. NOW SPRING BREAK IS LATE IN APRIL THIS YEAR. MIGHT A FIVE-DAY WEEKEND FOR SPRING BREAK TAKE THE PLACE OF SAY A TEN-DAY WEEK, YOU KNOW, WITH FIVE DAYS OFF? MIGHT WE JUST CLOSE FOR THREE DAYS RATHER THAN FIVE?))
[SUPER=01-James McCormick/Lynchburg School Superintendent]
[OUT Q=three days rather than five.]
State law requires school divisions to make up the first five snow days, but not days six through ten.
The Lynchburg school board will discuss the school calendar at next week's meeting.
In business news, a local union leader is confirming layoffs at Salem's General Electric plant.
Roy Rogers, President of the Local I-U-E C-W-A, says about 40-salaried employees are being laid off or offered early retirement.
The workers are NOT represented by the union.
Most of them are technical and some are management positions.
Rogers says the layoffs with happen within one to three months.
News 7 called the plant, but officials were gone for the day.
In other business news, President Bush is welcoming the newest member of his Cabinet.
The Senate has confirmed former C-S-X Corporation chief John Snow as the new Treasury secretary.
The president said Snow will help him strengthen economic growth and create more jobs.
In other news, stocks fell yesterday.
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.]
IT WAS AN UGLY DAY ON WALL STREET THURSDAY ..AND TRADERS SAY AOL-TIME
WARNER'S SUPRISINGLY BAD EARNINGS REPORT GETS A LOT OF THE BLAME:
2 WERE WILD AS THE DOW AND NASDAQ BOTH LOST 2 PERCENT OR BETTER.
THE DOW FELL 165 POINTS...BACK BELOW THE 8 THOUSAND LEVEL
AND THE NASDAQ DROPPED 35
AOL-TIME WARNER'S NET LOSS OF ALMOST 100 BILLION DOLLARS IS THE WORST IN U-S
HISTORY....IN A CONFERENCE CALL CHAIRMAN RICHARD PARSONS MADE IT CLEAR, THE
COMPANY IS NOT PLANNING TO SPIN THE MONEY LOSING AOL UNIT OFF...
SOME OTHER STOCKS TAKING A POUNDING,
DOW CHEMICAL IS LOWER AFTER DISAPPOINTING THE STREE WITH IT'S 4TH QUARTER
NUMBERS. AND PFIZER IS LOWER AFTER WORD THAT ONE OF IT'S CASH COWS, LIPITOR
IS BEING CHALLENGED BY A NEW CHOLESTEROL FIGHTING DRUG FROM EUROPE'S ASTRQA
DOW COMPONENT BOEING'S EARNINGS WERE A BIT BETTER THAN EXPECTED BUT THE
COMPANYS OUTLOOK IS MIXED GIVEN THE SKAHY STATE OF MOST AIRLINES THESE DAYS.
NOT INCLUDED IN THAT GROUPING, JET BLUE, WHICH MADE MONEY AGAIN LAST
QUARTER EARNING SLIGHTLY BETTER THAN EXPECTED 22 CENTS PER SHARE.
ONE OF THE NASDAQ'S BETTER PERFORMERS AFFYMETRIX UP 16 PERCENT AFTER SIGNING
A LONG TERM DEAL TO PROVIDE SWISS DRUG MAKER ROCHE HOLDINGS WITH IT'S DNA
FRESH EVIDENCE THAT THE ECONOMY HAS SLOWED TO A CRAWL, RISING AT AN ANNUAL
RATE OF JUST 7 TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT IN THE FOURTH QUARTER AS CONSUMER
SPENDING DESPITE CHRISTMAS AND CHANAKUH SLID TO A TEN YEAR LOW
AND MORTGAGE RATES CONTINUE TO BE THE BEST BARGAIN IN THE ECONOMY. THE ONE
YEAR ADJUSTABLE'S NOW AT A RECORD LOW 3 POINT 89 PERCENT, THE THIRTY YEAR
FIXED IS AVERAGING JUST UNDER SIX PERCENT.
GET MORE AT CBS DOT MARKETWATCH DOT COM...
I'M ED CRANE CBS MARKETWATCH, NY.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
Investigators have come up with a possible cause of Wednesday's fatal explosion at a North Carolina plant.
Authorities believe the blast could have been set off by an ignitable cloud of dust in a section where rubber is made.
The explosion at the Kinston plant killed three people and injured 37, several of which were severely burned.
Investigators say the still-smoldering building has been too
dangerous to enter.
Authorities in Nevada are not only accusing a man of abandoning his three- year- old stepson inside a Utah store.
Now, police say Lyle Montgomery is a possible suspect in the disappearance of the boy's mother.
They're treating the woman's disappearance as a homicide.
Montgomery is suspected of leaving Jonathan Jacob Corpuz inside a Salt Lake City store on Saturday.
He's charged with child abuse and was ordered into psychiatric care.
Police say the boy's mother disappeared two weeks ago.
A Lynchburg man faces a long prison term for shooting a convenience store clerk during a robbery last summer.
20-year-old Benjamin Barcliff walked into this 7-11 store on Wadsworth Street June 28th, flashed a handgun and demanded money.
When the clerk hesitated, Barcliff shot him.. the bullet passed through the man's chest and into his right arm.
Barcliff pleaded guilty to malicious wounding, robbery and firearms charges yesterday.
He faces up to life plus 33 years in prison when he's sentenced in March.
Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista is fielding its first football team next season.
[VO-NAT - :20]
An athletic complex that the school is building will most likely not be ready for spring football or when the season starts in September.
They could practice on the fields when they are ready, but the land is not zoned for athletic competition.
So now the school is trying to work with Buena Vista to use one of the existing fields in the city.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT - 41:37]
[IN Q=We have scheduled...]
((GARY BUER/SVU FOOTBALL COACH; WE HAVE SCHEDULED SPRING FOOTBALL TO BEGIN MARCH 24TH AND WE'RE STILL WROKING WITH THE CITY OF BUENA VISTA FOR A PRACTICE FACILITY. WE THINK WE'RE VERY CLOSE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT TO A HOME GAME FIELD.))
[SUPER=01-Gary Buer/Southern Virginia University Football Coach;]
[OUT Q=to a home game field.]
[VO-NAT - :07+]
Right now, Southern Virginia has 6 opponents on next season's schedule, and would like to add a few games.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
The Harrison Museum of African American Culture hopes to help bring Roanoke's former Gainsboro neighborhood back to life.
Yesterday, Executive Director (A-LEE-tha) Aletha Bolden announced the museum will move into the Dumas (DUE-miss) Center in downtown Roanoke in late 20-04.
The Dumas Center is being renovated to allow for the housing of a variety of arts, cultural and educational organizations.
In the early 1900's the Dumas Hotel was the heart of the Gainsboro neighborhood known for its vibrant African American cultural life.
Bolden says the effort to revitalize the area has been going on for decades.
(///// SOT at :28 /////)
[IN Q=It's been flickering back to life...]
((ALETHA BOLDEN/HARRISON MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: IT'S BEEN FLICKERING BACK TO LIFE. RIGHT NOW THERE'S THE DUMAS DRAMA GUILD AND IF WE AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS COME OVER THERE THERE WILL BE MORE ACTIVITY ON THAT AREA, HENRY STREET.))
[SUPER=01-Aletha Bolden/Harrison Museum Executive Director;]
[OUT Q=THAT AREA, HENRY STREET.]
Henry Street is now named First Street.
Bolden says the new facilities will triple the museum's current gallery space and increase its visibility.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kim Leo and Steve]
(toss to Steve)
Advance Auto is riding high after a courtroom victory in New York.
A seven-member jury found in favor of the Roanoke-based car parts dealer in an antitrust lawsuit.
The jury said the company did not receive improper discounts from manufacturers as alleged.
[DESK 2-SHOT Kim and Leo]
(toss to Leo for ski bump)