A House of Delegates committee has approved an anti-abortion license plate, but the tag may never make it on the road.
The specialty plate would read "Choose Life."
But the American Civil Liberties Union is calling the measure unconstitutional and threatening to sue if it becomes law.
Supporters say the plate's message serves a worthy purpose.
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[IN Q=WE LIVE IN A CULTURE]
((DEL. DICK BLACK/R-STERLING: WE LIVE IN A CULTURE OF DEATH WHERE WE ENCOURAGE EXPECTANT MOTHERS TO GO TO ABORTIONISTS. THERE HAS BEEN ALMOST NO ENCOURAGEMENT GIVEN TO EXPECTANT MOTHERS TO GO AHEAD, HAVE THE CHILD.))
((KENT WILLIS/ACLU; WHEN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSES A BILL AUTHORIZING A LICENSE PLATE WITH A VIEWPOINT ON IT THEN WHAT ITS DOING IS SHOWING A PREFERENCE FOR ONE PARTICULAR VIEWPOINT AND ITS NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Dick Black/(R) Sterling; :00]
[SUPER=01-Kent Willis/ACLU; :16]
[OUT Q=ALLOWED TO DO THAT.]
Also, in the General Assembly yesterday, the House defeated two attempts to loosen the mandatory helmet law for bikers.
One measure would have lifted the requirement for those over the age of 21.
The other would have allowed cyclists to ride without a helmet only on Virginia's byways.
The victims of last week's deadly house fire were remembered by family and friends, during a gathering at a Botetourt County church.
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co./Last Week]
The service was held last night as investigators continue to search for the cause of the blaze which took the lives of Mycol Street, his young son and daughter.
At this time, officials say they believe the fire originated on the first floor of the log house.
But investigators say material has been sent to the lab for testing in hopes of finding the cause and place where the fire started.
Bassett Furniture is closing one of its production plants, but it will means more jobs for our area.
[SUPER=03-Henry Co./File Tape;]
The company says it will hire about 50 employees at its Henry County facility to make up for closing a plant in Georgia.
Hiring will begin over the next several months. Applications can be picked up at the Superior Lines plant in Bassett.
With the Georgia location closing, 300 people are losing their jobs.
Officials say the decision was a cost- saving move made to maintain quality while providing a return for shareholders.
Yesterday, a member of city council offered a proposal to honor Dr. Martin Luther King in the city of Roanoke that he hopes will win widespread support.
The city is moving forward with plans to renovate the First Street Bridge, the link between Henry Street and downtown Roanoke.
City council member Alfred Dowe proposed renaming the bridge in honor of the civil rights leader.
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[IN Q=Obviously there's a lot of different oppportunities]
((ALFRED DOWE/ROANOKE CITY COUNCIL: OBVIOUSLY THERE'S A LOT OF DIFFERENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR US TO HONOR DR. KING AND THIS WILL PROBABLY JUST BE THE FIRST ONE. SO I DON'T THINK THERE WILL BE ANY PROBLEM GAINING CONSENSUS, BUT FOR THE MOST PART IT'S THE COMMUNITY'S CALL. SO WE'LL HAVE TO SEE HOW THEY BUY INTO IT. ))
[OUT Q=see how they buy into it.]
Built in the 1890s, the iron truss bridge is one of the oldest in the city.
Used by pedestrians, the bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic for over two years.
Officials are still debating whether to allow cars, or renovate the bridge for pedestrians only, but a majority of the council members say they could support the proposal to honor Dr. King.
Other plans for a King Memorial are also on the drawing board. One proposal includes a plaza, statue and fountain in the Henry Street area, and more details on that are expected soon.
The recent shuttle tragedy has not discuraged some of Roanoke's up and coming astronauts and rocket scientists.
At Lucy Addison Aerospace Magnet School, the disaster is instead presenting a learning experience.
100 middle school students there study aerospace science.
They try their hand at space flight on the school's shuttle simulator.
Teacher Michael Scott says half his students say they'd still like to go to space, just as many as BEFORE the disaster.
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[IN Q=I think]
((MICHAEL SCOTT/AEROSPACE SCIENCE TEACHER; I THINK IT'LL HAVE A BIG IMPACT BECAUSE THE INTEREST OF THE STUDENTS IS VERY HIGH RIGHT NOW. ANYTHING THAT WE CAN DO ABOUT MONITORING THE SPACE SHUTTLE WE HAVE IN OUR SIMULATOR, THEY'LL BE FAR MORE INTERESTED IN LOOKING AT NUMBERS THAT WE COULD GENERATE IN OUR SIMULATION AND HOW THEY'RE RELEVANT TO WHAT THEY'RE DOING IN MISSION CONTROL HERE.))
[SUPER=01-Michael Scott/Aerospace Science Teacher; ]
[OUT Q=mission control here.]
His students will monitor the shuttle investigation closely in class.
A local food bank has escaped a federal investigation without having charges filed against it.
The F-B-I has wrapped up its investigation into the Southwest Virginia Second Harvest Food Bank.
And, according to the U-S Attorney's office no one associated with the organization will be prosecuted.
The food bank distributes food in 26- southwest Virginia counties on an annual budget of about a million and a half dollars.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Anytime there's a ]
((JIM PEARMAN/FOOD BANK BOARD OF DIRECTORS; ANYTIME THERE'S A QUESTION ABOUT HOW WE DO THINGS WE WANT TO ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS AND BE VERY OPEN, THAT'S THE APPROACH WE'VE TAKEN AND WE'VE BEEN VERY SATISFIED AFTER WE'VE LOOKED AT THINGS THAT WE'RE DOING THINGS THE RIGHT WAY.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Pearman/Food Bank Board of Directors; ]
[OUT Q=the right way. ]
Jim (Peer-man) Pearman is president of the food bank's board of directors.
He says federal officials were never specific about the probe-- and a press release from the U-S attorney's office did not specify the allegations.
The Appalachian Regional Commission has helped build industrial parks in Alleghany and Pulaski Counties and improve water quality in far Southwest Virginia.
But now it's in need of some help itself.
The Commission losses half its funding in the federal budget released yesterday by the Bush administration.
The spending plan earmarks just 33-million dollars.
If approved by Congress, the proposed budget could endanger local plans to attract new businesses and create jobs in economically strapped counties from Mississippi to New York.
When a tornado tore the steeple off Bedford Presbyterian Church last April, it turned out to be more of a blessing than a crisis of faith.
A crew of timber framers, mill workers, roofers, painters and crane operators completed the job today of replacing the damaged steeple.
In the process, the story emerged of how the original steeple itself had been infested with wood-boring insects and the bell yoke hadn't worked right since day one.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=After that]
((DAVID CROCCO/TIMBER FRAMER; AFTER THAT, THE GREEN WOOD THE BELL YOKE HAD BEEN MADE OF SHRANK WITHIN THE CONSTRICTION BANDS AND MANAGED TO SPLIT.))
[SUPER=01-David Crocco/Timber Framer]
[OUT Q=managed to split.]
So Crocco (CROCK-oh) fashioned a new yoke out of live oak with adjustable bands to hold the bell in place. As the wood dries with age, someone will have to climb into the belfry and tighten the yoke every so often.
So it seems the 1844 steeple- -AND its treasured church bell- -NEEDED some repairs.