A helicopter becomes the latest weapon for firefighters battling a brush fire in Montgomery County.
We'll have a live update, straight ahead.
And a Halifax county man is sentenced for killing his neighbors last year.
Clouds are beginning to move in and cooler weather's not that far away. I'll have your hometown forecast.
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 Headline Banner]
Forestry officials have their hands full this afternoon with three seperate brush fires across the area.
We have one school announcement to pass along to you this afternoon.
[TAKE SCHOOLTOUCH FS]
Amherst County High School will be closing today at 1:15 due to a power outage.
The High School is the only school closing early.
Foresters are using a helicopter to fight a brush fire in Montgomery County.
It's consumed nearly 50 acres since last night.
[DOUBLE BOXES= Kimberly /Marya Via Microwave;]
Marya Jones is in Elliston where crews are gathering to fight the fire.
[LIVE= Marya /FULL]
((ROLLCUE:...only by the air))
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=nats of helicopter]
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Charlie Yopp/Virginia Department of Forestry; :22]
[OUT Q=on top of the ground]
((marya ad libs about other fires))
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly /Marya via Microwave;]
Lynchburg officials have arrested a Liberty University student in connection with a string of arson fires on campus.
18-year-old Christopher L. Lee, a freshman from New Jersey, was arrested Tuesday.
Authorities believe Lee is responsible for setting six small fires over a three-day period last week, including one that caused significant damage inside the school library.
So far he faces a single count of arson. Other charges are pending.
Police have "not" determined a motive.
[GRAPHIC=Legal Scales - Death Penalty]
A Halifax County man will be put to death for killing his neighbors.
This morning James Bryant Hudson was sentenced to death for killing three people last year.
Hudson admitted to killing Walter Stanley Cole, his brother Thomas Cole, and Pasty Cole.
Commonwealth's Attorney John Greenbacker says the judge cited Hudson's lack of remorse in his decision.
Prosecutors say the murders stemmed from years of controversy over a private access road.
Hudson's execution date is scheduled for October.
[GRAPHIC=Billy Ray Manns]
A Martinsville man accused of murder- for- hire has been aquitted.
His first trial was ruled a mis-trial.
[VO-NAT - :18]
Billy Ray Manns had been charged with shooting Lisa Nicole Muhammad in September of 2000.
Prosecutors say Manns was hired to do the shooting by Muhammad's husband, Maverick.
Family members and prosecutors said the NOT guilty verdict was a travesty, while defense attorneys said the state had not proven its case.
[SOT - 16:17/09:27]
((JOAN ZIGLAR/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY; BILLY MANNS CAN COME OUT RIGHT NOW AND TELL YOU HE KILLED LISA AND THERE'S NOT A THING ANYONE IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA CAN DO.))
((STEVE MAHAR-MILANI/DEFENSE ATTORNEY; IT WAS A HUNG JURY LAST TIME AND THAT TELLS YOU IT COULD HAVE GONE EITHER WAY, I TELL ALL MY CLIENTS GOING INTO A JURY TRIAL, WIN LOSE OR DRAW YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME PERSON YOU WERE WHEN YOU STARTED.))
[SUPER=01-Joan Ziglar/Commonwealth's Attorney; :00]
[SUPER=01-Steve Mahar-Milani/Defense Attorney; :07]
[OUTQ=you were when you started.]
[VO-NAT - :06+]
Prosecutors declined to comment on whether they will seek charges against Maverick Muhammad.
California investigators are checking D-N-A samples in the case of missing woman Laci Peterson.
John Blackstone has details.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-San Francisco, CA; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tracy Shelton/Local Resident; :10]
[SUPER=01-Dr. John Tonkyn/California State Crime Lab; :45- quick]
[SUPER=01-Kim Grise/Modesto Resident; :55]
[SUPER=01-John Blackstone/CBS News; 1:21]
[OUT Q=Blackstone, CBS News, San Francisco.]
Along San Francisco Bay where the bodies of woman and a baby washed up
with the tide, Tracy Shelton brought flowers to lay among the rocks.
SUPER: TRACY SHELTON, LOCAL RESIDENT
"I'VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE (SOBS) BUT I'M VERY COMPELLED NOW."
Shelton is convinced the bodies are the remains of pregnant Laci
Peterson and the baby she was carrying when she vanished on Christmas
SOT TRACY SHELTON
"I KNOW ITS HER. AND I'M JUST GLAD SHE'S COME BACK TO US, TO HELP US
FIND WHAT'S HAPPENED TO HER. SHE'S THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS."
Technicians at the California State Crime Lab are focusing on Peterson
as they extract DNA from the bodies. But even with high priority, an
answer is still probably days away.
SUPER: DR. JOHN TONKYN, CA STATE CRIME LAB
"A RUSH CASE WOULD TYPICALLY TAKE ABOUT A WEEK.// IT DOESN'T HAPPEN IN
Nowhere are the answers more anticipated than in Modesto, California
where Peterson lived.
SOT WOMAN (NO SUPER AVAILABLE)
"I'M HOPING THAT WHAT THEY FOUND IS HER SO THAT WAY THE FAMILY HAS
CLOSURE AND WE ALL HAVE CLOSURE."
Scott Peterson, Laci's husband hasn't been seen in Modesto in weeks.
His attorney refuses to say where he is. Investigators have never named
Peterson as a suspect but when he admitted having an affair many in
Modesto made their own decision.
SUPER: KIM GRISE, MODESTO RESIDENT
"IF HE COMES OUT INNOCENT I THINK WE'LL ALL FEEL BADLY AND GO OUT AND
APOLOGIZE TO HIM BUT RIGHT NOW HE MAKES PEOPLE NERVOUS."
If the bodies found in San Francisco Bay are identified as Laci Peterson
and her unborn baby it will be the first real clue in solving a
mysterious and heartbreaking disappearance.
JB CBS News SAN FRANCISCO
[TOSS TO WX]
((KIM TOSS TO LEO))
[SS=NONE]LEO in WX-CENTER
(LEO TOSS to KIM)
Turning now to the latest on the war--
Saddam's half- brother and key advisor is now in American custody.
The question is, does he know where the former Iraqi leader is?
Aleen Sirgany reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=204-File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=201-Vincent Brooks/U. S. Army Brigadier General; :14]
[SUPER=201-Tommy Franks/War Commander; :56]
[SUPER=201-Aleen Sirgany/CBS News; 1:18]
[OUT Q=Sirgany, CBS News, Washington.]
IN WHAT COULD LEAD TO A WELL OF INFORMATION, U.S SPECIAL FORCES HAVE
CAPTURED SADDAM HUSSEINS HALF BROTHER. BARZAN IBHRAHIM HASAN, A TOP
ADVISER TO SADDAM, WAS TRACKED DOWN IN BAGHDAD.
(SOT) U.S. ARMY BRIGADIER GENERALVINCENT BROOKS 9:33:26
The capture demonstrates the coalition's commitment to relentlessly
pursuing the scattered members of a fractured regime. Effort related to
other regime leaders are ongoing."
INCLUDING THE ONGOING SEARCH FOR SADDAM HIMSELF. THIS VIDEO, RELEASED
BY AL JAZEERA, IS SAID TO BE OF HIS LAST HIDING PLACE, SOMEWHERE IN
AND THERE'S NEW PICTURES OF A TRAIN REPORTEDLY RESERVED FOR SADDAMS
PERSONAL USE.LOOTERS HAVE SMASHED IT UP. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION
STILL MAINTAINS IT DOESNT KNOW IF SADDAM IS DEAD OR ALIVE.
U.S FORCES CONTINUE TO CLEAN UP WHAT SADDAM LEFT BEHIND. AL-SAMOUD
MISSILES WERE DRIVEN THOUGH THE STREETS OF BAGHDAD today. probably on
THEIR WAY TO THE AL-RASHID MILITARY COMPLEX to be DESTROYED.
(SOT: U.S. ARMY GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS/WAR COMMANDER
The Iraqi people have been abused by a regime that no longer stands -
for decades. So now we have put ourselves in a position to help the
AND ONCE AGAIN, IN A PAINFUL REMINDER OF THE COST OF WAR,
TWO MORE SOLDIERS WERE LAID TO REST AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.
EVEN AS THE COUNTRY MOURNS THEIR LOSS, IT ANTICIPATES THE RETURN OF THE
RESCUED POWS. THE SEVEN SOLDIERS, NOW IN GERMANY, ARE EXPECTED TO COME
HOME THIS WEEKEND. ALEEN SIRGANY, CBSNEWS, WASHINGTON.
Meanwhile, a train believed to be reserved for Saddam Hussein's personal use is found in the Iraqi capital.
The train, which has several carriages, contains a luxurious marble bathroom and wooden interiors.
Like many other monuments or buildings in Baghdad, looters had smashed some of the interior.
Ironically, there is not much of rail network in Iraq, so it's not known how extensively the train was used.
We've heard a lot about the suffering of the Iraqi PEOPLE.
But animals are also feeling the effects of war.
A veterinarian at the zoo in Baghdad is appealing for help to feed the animals, which haven't eaten any food since the war began in Iraq.
The tiger and lions that survived all the bombing and looting have not had anything to eat for three weeks.
When officals visited the zoo today, the animals appeared to be in relatively good health, but seemed lethargic and thin.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up -the death toll related to SARS continues to rise, we'll have an update after the break
but first - seven rescued american POW's are halfway home. that story is just ahead.
[music up full]
The seven recently rescued American prisoners of war are heading for the home stretch.
Richard Roth is in Landstuhl, Germany, where the soldiers are undergoing treatment.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=203-Landstuhl, Germany; :00]
[SUPER=201-Richard Roth/CBS News; 1:18]
[OUT Q=Roth, CBS News, Landstuhl, Germany.]
((ARRIVING IN GERMANY OVERNIGHT ON A MILITARY TRANSPORT FROM
KUWAIT, SIX OF THE FORMER POW'S WALKED OFF WITH SMILES AND WAVES: TWO
APACHE HELICOPTER PILOTS AND FOUR MEMBERS OF THE ARMY MAINTENANCE UNIT
AMBUSHED AFTER A WRONG TURN IN THE WAR'S OPENING DAYS. ARMY SPECIALIST
SHOSHANA JOHNSON, SHOT IN THE FOOT DURING THAT AMBUSH, WAS CARRIED ON A
BUT OFFICIALS HERE SAY ALL APPEAR TO BE IN GOOD HEALTH.
AND THERE'S NO QUESTION ALL HAVE STORIES TO TELL.
(SOT: as you wish - something from the first video)
SOME HAD BEEN TAPED BY IRAQI T-V SOON AFTER THEIR CAPTURE - BUT FOR
ALMOST THREE WEEKS THEIR WHEREABOUTS WERE UNKNOWN.
THE RAID THAT FREED THEM - IT NOW TURNS OUT - WAS A RESCUE THAT ALMOST
DIDN'T HAPPEN. MARINES MOVING TOWARD A HOUSE THEY'D BEEN TOLD WAS THE
CAPTIVES' HIDEOUT COULDN'T FIND IT -- AND UNDER SNIPER FIRE, THEY
FEARED A TRAP.
THEN A MAN PEERED FROM A WINDOW AND QUIETLY CALLED OUT -- I'M AN
IT WAS CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER DAVID WILLIAMS, IN A BEARD AND DIRTY
PAJAMAS....TELLING HIS RESCUERS, DON'T HURT THE GUARDS. THE FINAL SET
OF CAPTORS HAD BEEN ORDINARY IRAQI POLICEMEN, WHO'D TREATED THE
PRISONERS WITH KINDNESS.
roth on camera close: medical treatment and counselling are part of the
care they're getting here: a re-entry process that's aimed not just at
helping them adjust to what happened, but also prerparing them to cope
with the family reunions -- and public attention - that lie ahead.
CBS News, Landstuhl Germany.
India has confirmed its first case of SARS in a man who recently visited Hong Kong and Singapore.
[SUPER=03-Hong Kong, China;]
Health officials throughout Asia are struggling to improve detection of the deadly disease among travelers.
Now all departing airline travelers must have their body temperature checked.
With the added fears, church leaders say people are using religion to help them cope.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=People are perhaps]
((REV. HUGH PHILLIPS/ST. JOHN'S CATHEDRAL:PEOPLE ARE PERHAPS TAKING LIFE A LITTLE BIT MORE SERIOUSLY IN TERMS OF FAMILY AND HEALTH, AND LESS IN THE PURSUIT OF MONEY. ))
[SUPER=01-Rev. Hugh Phillips/St. John's Cathedral;]
[OUT Q=pursuit of money.]
Meanwhile, the Asian death count from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome continues to grow.
Four more deaths bring the total number of SARS deaths in Hong Kong to 65.
And today, 29 new cases were reported there.
Best-selling diet doctor Robert Atkins has died in a New York hospital as a result of a head injury he suffered in
a fall. He was 72.
Atkins promoted a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. Nutritionists had rejected it for years, but it was recently
validated in some research.[Fiddlefest]
Organizers of Roanoke's Fiddlefest have announced an all-star line-up, and a growing list of sponsors for the July event.
A bluegrass band helped to kick off a news conference at Center in the Square.
The six -day event will begin on Monday, July 21st and feature concerts with more than two dozen leading bluegrass acts.
The centerpiece is an invitational competition for fiddle and banjo players, that will take place at Hollins University.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We have the facilities]
((WE HAVE THE FACILITIES. WE HAVE A VIBRANT DOWNTOWN, WHERE A LOT OF THIS IS GOING TO TAKE PLACE. BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS AT HOLLINS, NICE FACILITY AT VICTORY STADIUM. EVERYTHING IS ALREADY HERE, WE JUST HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN AND THIS IS WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO.))
[SUPER=01-Mike Conner/Fiddlefest Co-Chair;]
[OUT Q=what we're going to do.]
In addition to stage performances, the event will feature music workshops, panel discussions on bluegrass history, and the world's largest square dance on the city market. Tickets will go on sale soon.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up -
One group is questioning current affirmative action policies at Virginia Tech -
And a little later -
the stress of tax time is over - and these Accountants are jumping for joy.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
A conservative group is asking the U-S Department of Education to investigate affirmative action practices at Virginia Tech.
The Center for Equal Opportunity sent a letter yesterday to the Office for Civil Rights to complain about ongoing hiring, admissions and scholarship programs at Tech that consider race and other factors.
A spokesperson for the education department says the complaint has been received, but no decision has been made on whether to investigate.
Some Franklin County fourth graders are stars this week at the Booker T. Washington National Monument.
Students from Burnt Chimney Elementary are re-enacting history on the farm where the famous black educator was born a slave.
They got a 25-thousand-dollar grant from the state to make a video, CD-ROM and virtual tour of the park for its website.
The kids have spent weeks learning about Booker T. and the park.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=While I lived here]
[SOT 2:34:25 - 32]
((ADDISON NATS: WHILE I LIVED HERE AS A SLAVE, I HAD NO SCHOOLING BECAUSE AFRICAN AMERICAN SLAVES WERE NOT ALLOWED TO ATTEND SCHOOL AT THIS TIME.))
[SOT 2:49:11 - :16]
((TAYLOR MOORE/4TH GRADER: I THINK IT'S REALLY COOL THAT WE'RE ABLE TO DO THIS AND I'VE BEEN HAVING A GREAT TIME WITH IT.))
[SUPER=01-Addison Poindexter/Fourth Grader; :00]
[SUPER=01-Taylor Moore/Fourth Grader; :08 quick!]
[OUT Q=great time with it.]
Franklin County High School students are shooting and editing the video.
Teachers say the kids hardly notice they're learning history, oral and written communication skills AND preparing for the S-O-Ls.
The money from the grant will buy classroom computers, software and digital cameras.
The kids' work will be on the park's website next month.
[N-W TOSS NEXT]
Stocks showed very little movement early today - light trading ahead of the Good Friday holiday. At noon the dow was up 24 points, the Nasdaq gained 19 points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Virginia Tech prepares to play its annual maroon and white spring game....
And Micheal Jordan heads into retirement again... but his final game is far from a memorable one.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
Nascar has announced that next month's Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway will feature a new format and a bigger paycheck to the winner-- a cool one million dollars, which is up from 750 thousand big ones a year ago.
[SUPER=03-Charlotte, NC; :00]
That's the bulk of the 3.5 million dollar purse, and it translates to about 50 thousand dollars per lap.
As for the Winston Open, two drivers have advanced to the big race in the past.
But now there will be a 20 lap race which will send the top 14 drivers to a ten- lap shootout.
Only the winner will advance, and the No Bull Sprint has been eliminated.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[SUPER=03-Philadelphia, PA/ESPN; :00]
Michael Jordan played the final game of his career last night in Philadelphia, and it wasn't one to remember.
Number 23 scored just 15 points on the night in 28 minutes of action.
But the Sixers won the game 107 to 87 to take some momentum to the post season, which starts later this week.
The football Hokies will close out spring workouts this Saturday at two, with the annual Maroon and White game at Lane Stadium.
One player who has worked extremely hard to make a positive impression over the past three weeks is receiver Justin Hamilton.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=LAST YEAR...]
[SUPER=01-Justin Hamilton/Virginia Tech Receiver; :00]
[OUT Q=...THE BEST OF MY ABILITY."]
The spring game on Saturday is normally free, but this year there is a $5 charge.
All of the proceeds will benefit the Rayna DuBose fund.
Tax time is finally over - and some C-P-A's from California are jumping right into the celebration.
[SUPER=03-Lake Elsinore, CA]
The accountants were so glad to finish with the hundreds of tax returns that they jumped out of a plane.
Even an 84-year old numbers guru made her first big leap.
They all returned to the ground safely, which is how everyone hopes their tax returns get to the I-R-S.
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=130-/Charles Anderson, Jr./Roanoke]
[SUPER=131-/Joyce Lawson/Eagle Rock]
[SUPER=131-/Wyatt Crawford/Eagle Rock]
[SUPER=131-34th/Gary & Helen Klein/Roanoke]