[TAPE#=03-05 TC 1:37:55]
It's been more than eight months since the Bedford County school board made the controversial decision to renovate rather than build a new Jefferson Forest High School.
Now, the school board has voted on a budget to pay for the renovations.
At a special meeting last night, the board voted to approve a 24 point six million dollar budget to pay for renovations to the high school.
They agreed to move forward with a plan called concept "D"
That would include adding among other things, a math and science wing, a band and choral facility, and relocating the cafeteria to accommodate more people.
Last night's vote was 6 to 2 with the opposition coming from the two members who represent the Forest district.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 7:25; 8:23]
[IN Q=We've got a school]
((JIM FIELDS/SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER: WE'VE GOT A SCHOOL THAT WE ARE GOING TO SPEND 25 MILLION DOLLARS TO RENOVATE AND ESSENTIALLY END UP WITH A BUILDING THAT IS INADEQUATE WHEN IT OPENS AND THAT'S REALLY MY OPPOSITION TO THE PROJECT, WE'RE GOING TO SPEND A LOT OF TAX PAYER MONEY FOR VERY LITTLE.))
((JIM BLEVINS/SUPERINTENDENT: I BELIEVE WE'RE ONE STEP CLOSER I BELIEVE ONE STEP THAN WE CURRENTLY HAVE BEEN SO WE'RE CERTAINLY GOING FORWARD. WE WILL BE SENDING OUR NUMBERS OVER TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS SO OUR PROJECT CAN NOW START.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Fields/School Board Member; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jim Blevins/Bedford Co. Superintendent; :13]
[OUT Q=can now start]
Before the project can officially start, the Board of Supervisors must approve the funding, and they could do it at its next meeting in May.
But that could be an uphill battle.
School Board member Jim Fields says he plans to advocate that the Board of Supervisors vote down the funding for renovating Jefferson Forest.
If however the project moves forward, construction would probably begin next spring and it would take about three years to complete.
Showers are in the forecast and that could provide some relief for forestry workers who are battling several area brush fires.
[TAKE MAP FULL]
About 30 acres have burned on Read Mountain near the Botetourt-Roanoke County line.
The fire is under control at this time. A skeleton crew has been fighting the fire all night and a full crew will return this morning.
Foresters say a fire on Poor Mountain in Montgomery County is only about 20 percent contained.
They fought it with a helicopter, but later had to stop because of mechanical problems.
Crews had to hike miles on foot.
Their work was slow-going because of the steep incline and rocky terrain.
Foresters say no homes or other structures are in danger.
A downed power line ignited the fire Wednesday evening.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[VO-NAT :18 + ]
About 65 acres are burning out of control on Draper Mountain in Pulaski County, and forestry officials say that number could increase to one hundred acres today.
High winds caused the flames to jump fire lines throughout the day... only 20 percent of the blaze is contained right now.
Crews are fighting the blaze from the air and the ground and more have been called in from surrounding departments in the mid-atlantic.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[VO-NAT - :24+]
A prescribed burn went out of control in Rockbridge County.
Hundreds of acres of the wildlife management area near Goshen have burned, and officials say the fire could burn up to eleven-hundred acres before it can be contained.
The fire is on Department of Game and Inland Fisheries land, and no private lands or homes are threatened.
From a combat force to a police force--
That's the way it is now for U-S troops in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the hunt for weapons of mass destruction is still coming up empty.
For the latest on the war, here's Drew Levinson.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=201-David Mansfield/U. S. Marine Corps;]
[SUPER=201-Drew Levinson/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Levinson, CBS News, Kuwait.]
U-S TROOPS IN IRAQ HAVE QUICKLY GONE FROM G-I JOE TO JOE FRIDAY.
THIS IS THE CITY, BAGHDAD.... AND THIS MORNING SOLDIERS TURNED POLICE
OFFICERS NABBED LOOTERS ONCE AGAIN.
WHEN IRAQIS RAIDED THIS FOOD WAREHOUSE TROOPS MOVED IN QUICKLY USING
M-16'S TO CUT-OFF THE EXIT.
THE THIEVES WERE FORCED TO GIVE THE GOODS BACK.... SAYING THEY WERE ONLY
TRYING TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES.
ELSEWHERE, MARINES USED MORE CUNNING THAN FORCE TO FOIL A BANK ROBBERY.
THE BANK HAD ALREADY BEEN ROBBED AND BURNED ONCE BEFORE.... BUT THERE
WAS STILL A VAULT FULL OF MONEY LEFT AND ALL THE AMERICANS HAD TO DO WAS
SIT AND WAIT.
(SOT-Staff Sgt. David Mansfield/USMC)
"I stood right here like this and the guys came in and when they in, the
first one went right for that hole and as soon as he came around, I just
came up and got him. It was pretty intense. They were just wide eyed
they didn't expect anyone to be in here."
ART EXPERTS ARE URGING U-S TROOPS TO GUARD IRAQ'S CULTURAL CENTERS.
SEVERAL MUSEUMS HAVE BEEN CLEANED OUT BY LOOTERS.
NOW THE F-B-I IS HEADED TO BAGHDAD IN AN ATTEMPT TO RETURN THE HISTORY.
AGENTS WILL SEARCH FOR STOLEN ARTIFACTS... THOUSANDS OF PRICELESS
PIECES CAN BE FOUND ON THE FLOOR SMASHED TO BITS.
ANOTHER SEARCH IS FOR WEAPONS.
AND MANY AREN'T HARD TO FIND....THEY WERE HIDDEN IN SCHOOLS AND
RESIDENTIAL AREAS BY THE FORMER REGIME.
BUT THE SEARCH FOR WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION HAS COME UP EMPTY.... AND
U-S OFFICIALS ADMIT IT WILL PROBABLY STAY THAT WAY UNTIL THE IRAQI'S
POINT THEM IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
STANDUP:(Drew Levinson/CBS NEWS/Kuwait City, Kuwait)
IRAQI CIVILIANS WILL SOON BE ABLE TO SEE THE LIGHT.
ENGINEERS SAY THEY HOPE TO HAVE BAGHDAD BIGGEST POWER PLANT UP AND
RUNNING TODAY OR TOMORROW.
ELECTRICITY COULD BE RESTORED TO MOST OF THE COUNTRY WITHIN 10 DAYS.
DREW LEVINSON, CBS NEWS, KUWAIT.
A Botetourt County Marine is among the first members of Operation Iraqi Freedom to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Sergeant Michael Lalush was buried yesteraday with standard military honors.
His parents did not want television cameras at the funeral.
Lalush was killed in a helicopter accident in Iraq on March 30th.
He was 23.
Another Marine and an Air Force major killed in Iraq were also buried in ceremonies at Arlington.
Lalush is the seventh person from the war to be buried there.
In business news, There will be no action on Wall Street today.
Ed Crane has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Ed Crane/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=CBS Marketwatch dot com, New York.]
((THE FINANCIAL MARKETS ARE CLOSED TODAY IN OBSERVANCE OF GOOD FRIDAY , BUT WALL STREET WRAPPED UP AN ABBREVIATED TRADING WEEK IN A HIGH NOTE...
THE DOW THROTTLED UP 80POINTS
WHILE THE NASDAQ PICKED UP 30
THE MOST ACTIVE STOCK ON THE N-Y-S-E
ESS=airline angst amr/dal/cac
AMR, THE PARENT COMPANY OF AMERICAN AIRLINES TRADED BACK ABOVE THE 5 DOLLAR MARK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS, AFTER THE AIRLINES FLIGHT ATTENDANTS IN A FAIRLY CLOSE VOTE SAID YES TO A PACKAGE OF LABOR CONCESSIONS, LAST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE THAT WILL KEEP AMERICAN FROM FOLLOWING UNITED PARENT U-A-L INTO BANKRUPTCY.
DELTA MOVED HIGHER AFTER REPORTING A NEAR HALF BILLION DOLLAR LOSS, WHICH WASN'T AS BAD AS WALL STREET ANALYSTS HAD BEEN EXPECTING.
CONTINENTAL AND OTHER CARRIERS GETTING
A BOOST AS WELL,
WITH OPTIONS CONTRACTS EXPIRING ,
A LOT OF MONEY WENT LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME, AND A LOT OF THE MONEY HEADED FOR HIGHER MOVING TECH AND FINANCIAL STOCKS. AMONG THE GAINERS IBM, AMERICAN EXPRESS AND JP MORGAN CHASE.
AMONG TODAYS CLOSELY WATCHED EARNINGS REPORTS, SEARS WEIGHS IN WITH A BETTER THAN EXPECTED FIRST QUARTER PROFIT, THE RETAILER SAYS IT'S ON TRACK TO MEET IT'S FULL YEAR EARNINGS TARGETS...
ESS=back to the future:stor/aqnt/ubet
AND REMEMBER THOSE DAYS OF RUNAWAY INTERNET STOCKS? SEVERAL NET NAMES ARE HITTING 52 WEEK HIGHS, INCLUDING STORAGE NETWORKS, ON LINE ADVERTISER AQUA-NATIVE AND THE ON LINE GAMBLING SERVICE U-BET.
GOOD NES FROM TOYLAND, A NEW AGREEMENT WITH INVESTORS COULD SEAL A REOGINIZATION PLAN FOR F-A-O-IN. THE PARENT OF TOY RETAILERS F-A-O- SCHWARZ AND ZANY BRAINY..
GET MORE NEWS ROUND THE CLOCK AT CBS DOT MARKETWATCH.COM...))
(tape tosses to stocks)
[STOCKS---ONE PAGE ONLY]
More troubles for former state Republican Party executive director Ed Matricardi.
A Virginia State Bar panel has suspended Matricardi's law license.
The Bar's Web site says the Disciplinary Board suspended his license on April third,
Matricardi resigned amid allegations that that he eavesdropped
on a conference call among Democratic state legislators.
Under last month's plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend
three years of probation and a 10- thousand- dollar fine.
A convicted killer from Halifax County man has received the death penalty.
James Bryant Hudson admitted to killing Walter Stanley Cole, his brother Thomas Cole and Patsy Cole.
Prosecutors say Hudson had long disagreed with his victims over a private access road.
Commonwealth's Attorney John Greenbacker says the judge cited Hudson's lack of remorse in sentencing him to death.
Hudson's execution is scheduled for October.
It's Good Friday for millions of Christians around the world.
Pope John Paul used Holy Thursday to issue a stern reminder to Catholics.
He says they may not receive communion in a non- Catholic church, and that divorced Catholics who re- marry are barred from communion all together.
Thursday also marked the start of four days of hectic activities for the Pope, which culminate on Easter Sunday, when he delivers his twice- yearly blessing and message.
By Easter Sunday, some airline pilots could be carrying guns aboard.
More than 40 pilots will finish the very first training program tomorrow at a federal facility in Georgia.
Officials say the training is tough.
Most pilots taking part had at least one cut, bump or bruise from one-on-one fighting.
Those who make it through the traning will be sworn in as federal flight deck officers.
Roanoke officials say a new summer music festival could become a signature event for the city.
Yesterday, organizers of Fiddlefest revealed more of their plans to make that happen.
A six- day event, Fiddlefest will feature concerts, competition, workshops and other activities celebrating traditional string band music.
Organizers say Roanoke has the history. Now they hope to build a national reputation as a destination event for fans of bluegrass music.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We have the facilities]
((MIKE CONNER/FIDDLEFEST CO-CHAIR; 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.]
Beginning on Monday, July 21st, Fiddlefest will include concerts at Elmwood Park, activities on the City Market including the world's largest square dance, and a day-long bluegrass jamboree in Victory Stadium.
The centerpiece of the event is an invitational fiddle and banjo competition at Hollins University. The contest will award a 10- thousand dollar top prize and the title, Master of Traditional String Music, to the winners.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
A senior tradition at Galax High School took on special meaning yesterday.
Senior Brandon Billings will not be a part of the 74-member class that will graduate this June.
He was murdered last October, just hours after his 18th birthday.
Yesterday, Brandon's parents spoke to his classmates during senior picture day and gave them each a token to remember him by.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=WE FIXED THE CARDS]
((SHERRY BILLINGS/BRANDON'S MOTHER: 1621 WE FIXED THE CARDS AND PUT BRANDON'S PICTURES IN THEM AND IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WE WANTED TO GIVE THE KIDS FOR REMEMORY OF HIM 1630))
[SUPER=01-Sherry Billings/Brandon's Mother;]
[OUT Q=REMEMORY OF HIM]
Authorities say they still have no suspects into Brandon's murder.
His family, however, is hoping to change that.
They've created a website where people can go to learn more about Brandon and the investigation.
[WIPE TO WDBJ WEBPAGE FS]
You can find a link to Brandon's website on our homepage at WDBJ7-dot-com.
In business news, Wall Street is closed today in observance of Good Friday.
Meanwhile, Delta Airlines posted a loss for the first quarter.
The company also announced that it's laying off pilots.
Stan Case has more in today's business brief.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Stan Case/Reporting; :]
[OUT Q=I'm Stan Case]
((STOCKS MOVED HIGHER THURSDAY ON LIGHT VOLUME AHEAD OF THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND.
THE DOW CLOSED 80 POINTS HIGHER.
THE NASDAQ WAS UP 30.
DELTA AIRLINES POSTED AN ALARMINGLY LARGE 466-MILLION DOLLAR LOSS FOR THE QUARTER THAT WAS NARROWER THAN ANALYSTS HAD PREDICTED.
THE COMPANY ALSO SAID IT WILL FURLOUGH 200 MORE PILOTS AND REDUCE CAPACITY TO COPE WITH WEAK DEMAND.
THE AIRLINE LOST THREE-DOLLAR-81-CENTS A SHARE, COMPARED WITH THREE-DOLLARS-AND-A QUARTER LAST YEAR.
EVEN SO, DELTA IS HOLDING TWO-AND-A-HALF BILLION IN CASH AND SHORT-TERM INVESTMENTS.
SHARES WERE UP 12 PERCENT ON THE DAY.
PEPSICO PROFITS WERE UP 13 PERCENT IN THE FIRST QUATER AND BEAT ANALYSTS' CONSENSUS BY 2 CENTS.
THE COMPANY EARNED 45 CENTS A SHARE, UP FROM LAST YEAR'S 38 CENTS.
IN PART, THE GAIN WAS DUE TO THE SALE OF THE PASTA BUSINESS PEPSI GOT IN ITS MERGER WITH QUAKER.
REDUCTIONS IN COSTS AS A RESULT OF THAT MERGER ALSO PLAYED A ROLE.
OFFICE DEPOT SAW EARNINGS DECLINE ON FLAT SALES.
THE OFFICE PRODUCTS RETAILER EARNED 25 CENTS A SHARE, IN ITS QUARTER ENDED MARCH 29.
THAT WAS DOWN FROM 32 CENTS A SHARE A YEAR AGO.
THE COMPANY'S SALES ROSE JUST ONE PERCENT IN THE QUARTER.
WITH THE BIZ BRIEF, I'M STAN CASE.))
[TAPE TOSS TO STOCKS]