After a tumultuous couple days, the sheriff of Campbell County makes a decision about his political future.
Details, straight ahead.
And 10 people die when a Connecticut nursing home catches fire early this morning.
Authorities believe a RESIDENT might have started the blaze.
Winter weather continues across the region, will it ever end. I'll have your forecast..
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
The threat of winter weather looms over the region again as steady snow and ice are heading our way.
Meanwhile the threat of winter weather in the area is forcing many school systems to shut their doors early.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Richard Microwave;]
Richard Lesko joins us with more.
Kim, Roanoke City schools have closed three hours early. But that wasn't the first announcement that parents received this morning.
At first school officials said they would close at noon, then came word that they would close two hours early, and then finally the confusion was cleared up.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Scott Meadows/Roanoke City Schools;]
[OUT Q=have some plans and options.]
[SOT - 27:59]
((SCOTT MEADOWS/ROANOKE CITY SCHOOLS; WE TRIED TO KEEP IT A TWO HOUR DELAY SO STUDENTS COULD HAVE LUNCHES, AND THE FOOD SERVICE WORKERS START THAT PROCESS EARLY IN THE MORNING, SO WE DIDN'T WANT TO INTERFERE WITH THAT ONCE IT HAD BEGUN, BUT TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE WEATHER WE DECIDED IT WOULD BE BEST IF WE CLOSED THREE HOURS EARLY.))
[OUTQ=three hours early.]
But the good news for school officials is that closing early means that kids will NOT have to make up yet another snow day. But any more days missed would mean additional lost vacation.
[SOT - 29:11]
[INQ=If we miss Thursday and Friday...]
((IF WE MISS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, THEN WE WILL HAVE TO CONSIDER OTHER WAYS OF MAKING UP THE TIME. AND RIGHT NOW THE SUPERINTENDENT DOES HAVE SOME PLANS AND OPTIONS.))
[OUTQ=does have some plans and options]))
Right now, Roanoke City schools have missed 10 days this school year and will have to make up 7 of those.
[DOUBLE BOXES= /Microwave;]
And Kimberly, right now spring break and two other spring holidays are on the hot seat, and if snow causes any more closings that would only mean school officials would have to find more days in the calendar.
Long-time Campbell County sheriff Robert Maxey says he will "not" seek re-election this year after all.. and he's reinstated one of his top deputies who had planned to run against him.
On Monday, Maxey fired Lieutenant Terry Gaddy after learning Gaddy planned to run for sheriff this fall.
Maxey changed his mind last night and decided not to seek a sixth term.. and told Gaddy he could have his job back.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I was less]
((ROBERT MAXEY/CAMPBELL CO. SHERIFF: I WAS LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED PERCENT COMMITTED TO BEGIN WITH... TO BEING RE-ELECTED.))
((TERRY GADDY/SHERIFF'S CANDIDATE: I WAS THINKING LAST NIGHT HOW HARD IT MUST HAVE BEEN FOR HIM. .. GO ON T-V WITH THESE COMMENTS.))
[SUPER=01-Robert Maxey/Campbell Co. Sheriff; :00]
[SUPER=01-Terry Gaddy/Sheriff's Candidate; :19]
[OUT Q=with these comments.]
Sheriffs in Virginia have a legal right to terminate employees for political reasons.
Gaddy says he'll seek the Republican Party nomination during its primary this spring.
Maxey says he does "not" plan to endorse any candidate in the fall election.
[TAPE#=02-55 TC 1:10:55]
Blacksburg Police are trying to figure out what caused an accident involving a police officer and two other vehicles.
It happened as Officer Michael P. Czernicki was on Prices Fork Road was responding to a fight call just before 11 o-clock last night.
As the officer drove through a red light at the intersection with Toms Creek Road and Stanger Street, his patrol car was hit by another vehicle.
The police car spun around and hit another car.
One of the other drivers was taken to the hospital, but her injuries were not believed to be serious.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We've got a]
((BRUCE BRADBERY/BLACKSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT; WE'VE GOT A CRASH TEAM ENROUTE AND THEY'LL MAKE SOME FURTHER DETERMINATIONS. IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE INVESTIGATED AND WE'LL TRY TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.))
[SUPER=01-Bruce Bradbery/Blacksburg Police Department]
[OUT Q=next couple of days.]
Lieutenant Bradbery said the police car's emergency equipment WAS activated when the officer drove through the intersection.
In national news,
An early morning fire has killed 10 people at a Connecticut nursing home.
Authorities say it appears the blaze was INTENTIONALLY set.
Elizabeth Sanchez has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Christopher Morano/State Attorney;]
[SUPER=01-Eddie Perez/Hartford Mayor;]
[SUPER=01-Elizabeth Sanchez/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Sanchez, CBS News.]
Ten people are dead, 23 others are injured in a fire that broke out at a
Connecticut Nursing home. Flames forced elderly residents out of their
beds early this morning. Some were confined to wheelchairs, others
were blind or mentally challenged. Firefighters and the homes workers
tried to save those inside.
SOT (fast): Nurse:
I couldnt see, there was too much smoke
Investigators are trying to figure out how the fire started. They know
its suspicious and one of the nursing homes residents is in custody
SOT: Christopher Morano - State Attorney
It is being treated as a criminal investigation so that all evidence is
preserved should it arise to that level.
As word of the fire spread, family members came rushing to the scene to
find loved ones. With single digit temperatures firefighters moved
residents out of the cold into a safe area of the facility.
Mayor Eddie Perez/Hartford
Keep in mind this has been the biggest tragedy weve suffered in a
number of years in the city and first response is to the victims and
While some families have still not been told if their relatives are
among the victims...one woman who arrived to find her father
alive...kissed the snow outside the charred building. Authorities say
that the building had no sprinkler system but it had met fire codes.
Elizabeth Sanchez CBS News.
It's a major victory for abortion protestors--
The Supreme Court has ruled that a federal racketeering law was improperly used to punish aggressive groups, who regularly block the doors of abortion clinics.
The court's eight to one ruling applies to protests of all sorts,
not just those at clinics.
The decision is a victory especially for Operation Rescue and others
who were ordered to pay damages to abortion clinics, and barred from
interfering with their businesses for ten years.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, the United States finds another U-N supporter for war against Iraq.
Plus another celebrity takes his government to task for supporting the war effort.
[music up full]
The U-S continues to lobby for military action against Iraq.
But the path to a possible war by way of the United Nations is proving to be a rough ride.
Aleen Sirgany reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Aleen Sirgany/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Sirgany, CBS News, Washington.]
AS THE UNITED NATIONS CONTINUES ITS DEBATE OVER WHAT TO DO WITH SADDAM
HUSSEIN, MEXICO HAS BECOME ONE OF THE FIRST UNDECIDED NATIONS ON THE
SECURITY COUNCIL TO MAKE A MOVE. ONCE AN OUTSPOKEN SUPPORTER FOR MORE
INSPECTIONS, MEXICO HAS NOW APPARENTLY SHIFTED ITS POSITION IN FAVOR OF
THE U.S.-BACKED RESOLUTION THAT COULD LEAD TO WAR.
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR CONTINUES TRYING TO SWAY VOTES AND
OPINIONS, EVEN WITHIN HIS LABOUR PARTY.
THE RESOLUTION STILL DOESN'T HAVE THE NINE NEEDED "YES" VOTES TO PASS.
AND NOW THERE'S A NEW PROPOSAL FOR THE SECURITY COUNSEL TO CONSIDER. A
CANADIAN PLAN WOULD GIVE IRAQ UNTIL THE END OF MARCH TO COMPLETE A LIST
OF DISARMAMENT TASKS. BUT THAT COMPROMISE IS ALREADY BEING SHOT DOWN BY
NATIONS LIKE GERMANY, WHO SAY EVEN TALKING ABOUT WAR IS PREMATURE. AND
FRANCE WARNS WAR WITH IRAQ WOULD BE SEEN AS ILLEGITIMATE AND WOULD SPLIT
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.
BUT WAR PREPS CONTINUE. IN TURKEY, THE FIRST SHIPMENT OF PROTECTIVE
EQUIPMENT PROMISED BY NATO HAS ARRIVED. AIR DEFENSE MISSILES WERE
UNLOADED AS A GIANT AWACS RECONNAISSANCE PLANE LANDED AT A TURKISH
AIRFIELD. THIS AS THE COUNTRY PREPARES FOR A VOTE THIS WEEK ON OPENING
ITS BASES TO U.S TROOPS.
THE GENERAL WHO WOULD BE IN CHARGE OF A U-S LEAD WAR AGAINST IRAQ
ARRIVED AT HIS PERSIAN GULF COMMAND CENTER WITH STRONG WARNING. TOMMY
FRANKS SAYS HE CANT GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF CIVILIANS WHO PLANT
THEMSELVES AS HUMAN SHIELDS. ALEEN SIRGANY, CBSNEWS, WASHINGTON.
Meanwhile, pop singer George Michael is lending his voice to the anti- war sentiment.
He's joined a host of other celebrities who are calling on British Prime Minister Tony Blair to avert a war.
The singer warned that any attack would lead to the break-up of the U-N and NATO.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think this is]
((GEORGE MICHAEL/SINGER:I THINK THIS IS POTENTIALLY THE BEGINNING OF A VERY LONG WAR WHICH WILL NOT BE CENTERED AROUND IRAQ, IT WILL BE A UNIVERSAL WAR WITH TERRORISM AND I THINK WE'RE JUST ABOUT TO BE ASKED TO GIVE UP OUR WAY OF LIFE. ))
[OUT Q=give up our way of life.]
This isn't the first time George Michael has made his political views public.
Last summer, he released an animated video that illustrated the singer's fears about the subservience of the British "bull dog" Prime Minister to President Bush.
Members of the band Great White are expected to testify today before a grand jury.
[SUPER=03-West Warwick, RI;]
Two band members have flown back to Rhode Island.
97- people died in a nightclub fire that was apparently sparked by the group's fireworks.
The grand jury will look into whether criminal charges will be filed.
The government says it hasn't ruled out charging both the band and the co- owners of the club, who prosecutors say haven't been cooperating with investigators.
The damages from the weekend flooding has topped two- million dollars in the city of Roanoke.
A spokesman says this weekend's flood damage is estimated at two- million dollars in the city... that includes damage to both public and private property.
The city has declared a local emergency to begin applying for state assistance.
In the meantime, the city is asking residents to continue reporting damage.
The number to call is 540- 853-2425.
As many people are finding out, rebuilding after a flood proves expensive.
Local insurance agents say it's important to remember that a general homeowner's policy does NOT cover flooding.
State Farm's Holt Woodbury says people also have some misconceptions about getting flood coverage.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=the fact]
((HOLT WOODBURY/STATE FARM INSURANCE AGENT; THE FACT THAT YOU KNOW IT'S TERRIBLY EXPENSIVE AND IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS IT'S NOT OR THAT THERE ARE CERTAIN AREAS THAT CAN'T GET IT AND THAT'S NOT TRUE.))
[SUPER=01-Holt Woodbury/State Farm Insurance Agent;]
[OUT Q=THAT'S NOT TRUE]
He says virtually anyone can get a flood policy, and that the average cost annually is 360-dollars for a homeowner and 220-dollars for a renter.
It can get expensive when you consider deductibles.
Woodbury says to keep premiums low and affordable it's not uncommon for a policy to have a 5-thousand dollar deductible.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, Leo will have a more detailed look at our forecast.
But first, after months in jail, actor Robert Blake has his die in court as he defends himself on charges he murdered his wife.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
After months in jail, actor and accused murderer Robert Blake will be seen in court today at a preliminary hearing.
Manuel Gallegus reports from the courthouse in Van Nuys, California.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Thomas Mesereau/Blake's Attorney;]
[SUPER=01-Manuel Gallegus/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Gallegus, CBS News, Van Nuys.]
ACTOR ROBERT BLAKE IS ACCUSED OF MURDERING HIS WIFE, THE MOTHER OF THEIR
DAUGHTER, BONNIE LEE BAKLEY.
THE PRELIMINARY HEARING TODAY IS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE IS ENOUGH
EVIDENCE TO HOLD BLAKE FOR A FULL MURDER TRIAL.
THE 69 YEAR OLD ACTOR IS CHARGED WITH MURDER, SOLICITING MURDER, AND
CONSPIRACY. HE SAYS HE IS INNOCENT.
-SOT-THOMAS MESEREAU, BLAKE'S ATTORNEY
Hes innocent Ive gotten to know him and appreciate what a good human
being he is. He needs my help, and Im here for him.
ITS BEEN NEARLY TWO YEARS SINCE BAKLEY WAS FOUND SHOT TO DEATH IN THE
COUPLES CAR OUTSIDE A STUDIO CITY RESTAURANT. BLAKE CLAIMS, AFTER A
NICE DINNER, HE ESCORTED BAKLEY TO THE CAR, BUT THEN WALKED BACK TO THE
RESTAURANT BECAUSE HE LEFT HIS GUN IN THE BOOTHBLAKE SAYS WHEN HE CAME
BACK, BAKLEY WAS DEAD.
L.A. POLICE DETECTIVES OFFER A DIFFERENT THEORY; THEY SAY BLAKE TRIED TO
HIRE TWO DIFFERENT STUNTMEN TO KILL BAKLEY ALLEGEDLY OFFERING
100-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE JOB. THEY SAY THAT WHEN THE STUNTMAN BACKED
OUT, BLAKE DID IT HIMSELF.
BLAKES BODYGUARD AND DRIVER, EARLE CALDWELL IS ALSO CHARGED WITH
BLAKES DEFENSE ATTORNEY SAYS HE PLANS TO CHALLENGE THE CREDABILITY OF
THE STUNTMEN AND OF DETECTIVES IN THE HEARING THAT COULD LAST TWO WEEKS.
MANUEL GALLEGUS, CBS NEWS VAN NUYS.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was DOWN 79 points. The NASDAQ has lost 14.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up... Maryland tries to climb back on top of the A-C-C.
and we'll see how V-M-I has managed to comeback from adversity in this year's basketball season.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The Maryland Terrapins are back on top in the ACC regular season race - by a half game in the win column.
Last night - Maryland closed out the home portion of its schedule at the Comcast Center by beating Clemson, 91 to 52.
[SUPER=03-College Park, MD/Fox Sports South; :00]
It was seniors' night for the Terps, as the fans and coaches said "so long" to five good players including Ryan Randle, Tahj Holden, Drew Nicholas and Steve Blake.
Blake also had his jersey number 25 retired last night in a pre-game ceremony.
Clemson was determined to ruin the evening as the Tigers were tough in the first half.
They took it to the break- down just 36-to-31.
But the final two minutes belonged exclusively to the Terps.
Blake hit with a barrage of three pointers in the second half.
And by the 10 minute mark, Clemson was down by 30.
Maryland gets the 91-to-52 win.
The Terps finish at NC State and at Virginia.
The VMI Keydets have managed to stay in the hunt despite some serious setbacks this season.
So far the teams has had to suffer through a lineup depleted by injuries and the resignation of its best player.
Steve Mason has more from Lexington.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Bart Bellairs/VMI Head Men's Basketball Coach; :33]
[SUPER=01-Radee Skipworth/VMI Junior Forward; 1:03]
[OUT Q=...News 7 sports"]
((STEVE MASON/NEXT WEDNESDAY, VMI WILL COMPETE IN THE SCHOOLS FINAL SOUTHERN CONFERENCE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT, WHICH TIPS OFF IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. THE KEYDETS ARE OFF TO THE BIG SOUTH, AND, WITH THE WAY THE SEASON HAS GONE, LEAVING BEHIND THE 2002-2003 SEASON COULD NOT HAVE COME AT A BETTER TIME.))
((When Jason Conley, arguably the best player in the conference, decided to transfer from VMI to Missouri in early January, the Keydets hovered around the 500 mark. Since then, VMI has been beaten and bloodied, winning just one game while closing in on 20 losses.
((BART BELLAIRS/VMI HEAD MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH:))
One major bright spot for the Keydets has been forward Radee Skipworth. In a 16 game span from the end of December up through February 20th, Skipworth has been VMI's leading scorer in 14 of those contests and averaged 20.5 points in that stretch and he is doing it without Conley.
((RADEE SKIPWORTH/VMI JUNIOR FORWARD:))
VMI wraps up the regular season this Saturday at Davidson. Steve Mason News 7 sports.))
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]