Another school shooting-- this time it was a murder-suicide in Pennsylvania.
An eighth grader shot and killed his principal before turning the gun on himself.
And a surprise sentence for the man convicted of killing a Pittsylvania County Sheriff's deputy.
A sunny start to the day but now clouds are slowly on the increase as a storm system approaches from the west. I'll have your rainy forecast.
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
The man who shot and killed a Pittsylvania County deputy last year has avoided the death penalty.
It was a surprising reversal of fortune for convicted cop killer Roy Inge Junior this morning.
[VO-NAT from 03-07]
Inge was found guilty in February for the murder of sheriff's deputy Frankie Betterton last May.
Betterton was shot to death in his patrol car after he stopped Inge on Route 58 west of Danville.
The jury that convicted Inge of capitol murder also recommended he receive the death penalty for his crime.
But today Circuit Court Judge William Alexander reduced that sentence to life in prison without parole.
Stunned Betterton family members broke down in tears in the courtroom after hearing the judge's decision.
Prosecutor David Grimes would only say that they judge acted within his discretion.
We'll have more on this story tonight on News 7 at 5 & 6.
A Roanoke man is wanted for questioning in a number of purse snatchings.
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Police are searching for 36- year- old Mark Anthony Johnson of Northwest Roanoke.
He's described as 6- foot, 2- inches tall, weighing 185 pounds.
Elderly victims say their wallets were stolen from their purses while they were on their arm or in shopping carts.
The snatchings took place at the Kroger Stores on Rutgers Street and Towers Shopping Center, along with the Big Lots on Hershberger Road.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Line at 540-344-8500.
A murder- suicide happened this morning in a crowded cafeteria of a Pennsylvania middle school.
[SUPER=03-Red Lion, PA;]
Police say a 14- year- old boy shot and killed the principal before killing himself.
They say the heavily- armed eighth- grader fired at least two shots with a handgun.
School officials and police say they don't yet know of a motive for the shooting, saying that they're not aware of any recent conflict or suspensions.
Authorities say the principal, who's identified as Eugene Segro, had been at the school for more than a decade.
The school is in Red Lion, about 30 miles southeast of Harrisburg.
With the war in Iraq coming to a close, President Bush is re- focusing his attention on the economy, job creation, and his tax cut plan.
During his visit to Canton, Ohio, the President declared the debate over whether to cut taxes ``is over'', and the only question is how much to cut.
Bush wants a package of at least half a trillion dollars in cuts over the next decade.
He says the package will get the nation's economy back on its feet.
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[IN Q=For the sake of]
[OUT Q=jobs growth package soon.]
At the Canton ball bearing plant, Bush told workers if lawmakers agree that tax cuts produce jobs, some of them need to explain why they only favor a small tax relief package.'
Ohio's George Voinovich is one of four Senate Republicans who've kept the tax-cut package far below the level Bush wants.
It's an ambitious plan for Iraq.
In just over a week, the country could have the basic outline of how a new government would look, and work.
Stacy Case has more on that, and the latest on the search for an American pilot who's been missing since the first Gulf War.
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[SUPER=201-Jay Garner/Iraqi Reconstruction Effort;]
[SUPER=201-Cindy Laquidara/Speicher Family Attorney;]
[SUPER=201-Stacy Case/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Case, CBS News, Washington.]
LOCATOR: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
TRACK: THERE'S NOW A TIME LINE FOR IRAQIS. IN HIS FIRST TOWN HALL
STYLE MEETING, THE MAN OVERSEEING THE RECONSTRUCTION OF IRAQ, TOLD
CITIZENS THEY'LL START TO SEE A NEW GOVERNMENT TAKE SHAPE BY THE END OF
SUPER: RET. GENERAL JAY GARNER/IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION EFFORT
`you choose the type of government, you choose your legislation, you
choose all of that, and
all we ask, all our guidance is it must be a form of democracy."
TRACK: RETIRED GENERAL JAY GARNER TOURED A LOOTED MUSEUM AND ATE AN
AMERICAN STYLE LUNCH-- A BAR B QUE OUTSIDE ONE OF SADDAM'S FORMER
PALACES. GARNER SAYS HE'S PICKED A COORDINATOR FOR ALL THE
SOT: GARNER AGAIN
but that coordinator is not going to run it,the Iraqis will run the
TRACK: GARNER CLAIMS IRAN IS INFLUENCING RECENT DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST
THE U-S AND IS BACKING A SHIITE CLERIC IN KUT--- HOPING TO FILL THE
POWER VACUUM WITH AN ISLAMIC GOVERNMENT LIKE IRAN'S. IRAN DENIES THIS,
BUT U-S MARINES ARE KEEPING HEAVY PATROLS ON THE BORDER IRAQ IRAN BORDER.
TRACK: AFTER A THREE WEEK BLACK-OUT, THE RESTORATION OF MORE
ELECTRICITY IN BAGHDAD HELPED BRIGHTEN THE MOOD..
TRACK: AND THERE IS A GLIMMER OF HOPE ...IN THE SEARCH FOR AN AMERICAN
PILOT, MISSING SINCE THE FIRST GULF WAR. INVESTIGATORS FOUND WHAT THEY
BELIEVE ARE MICHAEL SCOTT SPEICHER'S INITIALS ETCHED IN A PRISON WALL IN
SUPER: Cindy Laquidara/SPEICHER FAMILY ATTORNEY
10:03:18 there's no evidence that he's dead...none...this is another
STAND UP: STACY CASE/REPORTING
(TO COME: ( POSS: only former iraqi gov officials hold key to speicher's
Just south of Fort Worth, Texas it was a scary night for residents.
A tornado ripped through the area.
Its high winds overturned dozens of mobile homes and knocked down power lines.
Several residents were injured, and more than 100 were left homeless.
Along with the twister, a band of thunderstorms brought heavy rain and large hail.
The Red Cross and the Salvation Army have brought in emergency supplies for the displaced residents.
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Schools in southwest Virginia are on the road to fewer restrictions for field trips. We'll have the details after the break.
Plus It hasn't been smooth sailing for all aboard a cruise ship in Hawaii - as threatening notes causes it to drop anchor early.
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It hasn't been a picture- perfect vacation for passengers aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Hawaii.
The F-B-I is searching the vessel after a couple of threatening notes were found in a restroom.
The ``Legend of the Seas'' was diverted to Honolulu when the handwritten notes were discovered late Tuesday.
As anti- terrorism teams sweep the ship for possible bombs or other devices, the 25-hundred passengers are restricted to one area of the boat that's considered safe.
Meanwhile, cruise line officials say they don't believe the threats are credible.
[TAPE#=03-20 TC 2:25:11]
Roanoke City students won't be among those to visit the nation's capitol, but other school field trips are back on again.
The superintendent recently canceled all travel outside of the Roanoke Valley because of safety concerns.
Justin McLeod has more.
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[SUPER=01-Scott Meadows/Roanoke City Schools Spokesperson; :25]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF SCHOOL))
Schools can now take field trips anywhere in the U.S. except New York and Washington D.C. because those two areas are still in a high alert status.
That's because travel outside the U.S. is also still restricted.
The changes come as the war with Iraq is winding down and the fact the government has lowered the security threat level from High to Elevated status.
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[IN Q=Trips have been]
((SCOTT MEADOWS/ROANOKE CITY SCHOOL SPOKESPERSON: TRIPS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED TO WHERE STUDENTS WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO GO BECAUSE IT WASN'T SCHOOL SPONSORED, WHETHER OR NOT THEY WILL BE COUNTED AS EXCUSED OR UNEXCUSED. THEY ARE TRIPS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE NOW BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LIFT THE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS.))
[OUT Q=travel restrictions]
Not every school system is following Roanoke City's lead.
Roanoke County is still restricting all travel out of state but may allow travel within the state.
Salem schools will continue to restrict travel to Virginia and North Carolina until at least the fall.
Pulaski County has no restrictions on travel. They do however have criteria in place depending on the alert level.
Danville schools continues to have a policy that restricts trips to the immediate area.
[IN Q= ]
((JUSTIN McLEOD: AS FOR THOSE TRIPS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN CANCELED, SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS IN ROANOKE CONTINUE TO WORK WITH TRAVEL COMPANIES URGING THEM TO RETURN MONEY TO SCHOOLS OR GROUPS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE PATRICK HENRY HIGH SCHOOL BAND BOOSTERS IS CURRENTLY TRYING TO RECOVER 23-THOUSAND DOLLARS THAT WAS PAID FOR A FOUR DAY TRIP TO ORLANDO FLORIDA. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
Roanoke County's School Board has lightened some of its restrictions on field trips.
School Superintendent Linda Weber will consider requests within the contiguous United States on a case by case basis.
Leaders in Covington say they need a little help to bring new life to its downtown area.
Now they are counting on a new grant to help the community attract new business.
Richard Lesko reports.
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[SUPER=01-Jeremiah Walker/Olde Town Covington Inc.; :16]
[OUT Q=Lesko, News 7, Covington]
(( Since July of last year, economic development leaders have been trying to land a major Community Development Block Grant that they say would help revitalize the downtown region, and would help do some spring cleaning on some buildings.
[SOT - 12:11:24]
[INQ=The grant will...]
((JEREMIAH WALKER/OLDE TOWN COVINGTON INC.; THE GRANT WILL HELP US KEEP COVINGTON WHERE IT IS, AND HOPEFULLY KEEP IMPROVING, ADDING NEW BUSINESSES TO DOWNTOWN.))
[OUTQ=adding new businesses.]
The process has been two fold. Last year, city leaders applied for a planning grant that paved the way for the city to pursue more money.
The state awarded them 20-thousand dollars to develop a long range plan for the city, and to hire consultants to make a case for a larger grant.
If the city gets its way this time around, the grant would put more than a million dollars into the downtown area.
That money would go towards upgrading second story apartments, refacing store fronts, making repairs to the train depots, and refurbishing a historic bridge that badly needs repairs.
It is all an effort to keep the downtown businesses that they have and attract new ones to help stimulate the city's economy.
[SOT - 12:07:03]
[INQ=I think we can do...]
((JEREMIAH WALKER/OLDE TOWN COVINGTON INC.; I THINK WE CAN DO THAT WITH THIS GRANT. IT WON'T SOLVE ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS, BUT IT WILL DEFINATELY BE A BIG BOOST TO THE DOWNTOWN ECONOMY.))
[OUTQ=boost to the downtown economy.]
The city is competing with 5 others around the state for the grant, and civic leaders expect to find out sometime in June if the state shares their vision for the city.
Richard Lesko, News 7, Covington.))
The director of the movie Gods and Generals will help preserve three Civil War Battlefields.
Ronald Maxwell raised half a million dollars on behalf of the nearly three thousand re-enactors who donated their time and skills to make the film.
The money will preserve parts of the New Market and McDowell battlefields in Virginia and the Wyse Fork battfield in North Carolina.
Mill Mountain Zoo is about to say goodbye to two of its star attractions.
In just over a week, snow leopards Niko and Maya will be honored with a party for their second birthday.
Soon thereafter they'll be headed to other zoos, one in Toledo, and one in South Dakota, as part of a breeding program for endangered species.
The male and female cats are the survivors of three cubs born to Boris and Natasha on May 4, 2001.
The elder duo will stay on at the zoo and are expected to breed again next year.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next, we'll tell you why motorists in one city had a beef with a traffic jam.
Also we will see how some adventurous cooks are trying to wrap up a world record.
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[COMM BREAK #2]
Nobody was waving a red flag, but that didn't stop a young bull from making a getaway in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The runaway bull caused major traffic problems early yesterday when it wandered onto an interstate.
Officers used their patrol cars to maneuver the bull off the highway and into a remote area.
That's when the chase continued on horseback.
It took a while, but they eventually lassoed and re-captured the young bull.
His owner told authorities that some kids cut the barbed wire fence on his property.
Police still cited him for having loose livestock.
Some Nebraska chefs were all "wrapped up" trying to break an unofficial record.
Employees at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln set out to create the longest sandwich in the world.
The chefs worked all day to put together a 300- foot- long tortilla wrap sandwich.
The sandwich was carefully constructed in 10- foot sections, and weighed in at more than 300 pounds.
It took about five hours to make.
But more than 12- hundred hungry students made it disappear a lot faster than that.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was DOWN 104 points. The NASDAQ has lost 14.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up... U-V-A's Matt Schaub is getting plenty of Heisman attention this spring...
and racer Mario Andretti unexpectedly takes flight... but not in a plane.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
Spring football is over at UVa, but the campaign to bring some Heisman attention to quarterback Matt Schaub is just beginning.
Steve Mason has more on the UVa senior.
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[SUPER=01-Matt Schaub/28 Touchdown Passes Last Season; :19]
[SUPER=04-2003 Season; :34]
[SUPER=01-Al Groh/UVa Third Year Head Football Coach; :46]
[OUT Q=....News 7 sports"]
((Matt Schaub's plate has never been more full. He is now the Cavaliers top leader, one of the nations top returning quarterbacks and he must play his senior season with a first year UVa offensive coordinator. His calm demeanor is perhaps most evident in his support for Ron Prince.
Schaub set or tied at least 10 UVa single season football records last fall while throwing for 2,976 yards. He produced a 4 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio and was sixth in the nation in passing efficiency.
((AL GROH/UVA THIRD YEAR HEAD COACH:))
UVa has already started its promotion of Schaub for the coveted trophy, but the hype hasn't gone to his head.
Schaub opens his senior campaign August 30th at home against Duke. Steve Mason News 7 sports.))
When Rick Mast was forced to retire from racing due to acute carbon monoxide poisoning - he vowed to help other drivers.
[SUPER=03-Concord, NC; :00]
By bringing the problem to NASCAR's attention - the sports research and development center in Concord, North Carolina has
developed a catalyst system that can reduce or eliminate the deadly gas.
Tony Stewart - who has had all kinds of problems with carbon monoxide tested the new device at Martinsville two weeks ago, and the results are promising.
The device sits on the floor in the car next to the driver, and sends clean air to the driver's helmet.
It works on the same premise as the catalytic converter on your personal car.
Mast's input has been critical in the development of the device.
We have saved the most amazing for last.
Practice for the Indy 500 yesterday at the Brickyard.
[SUPER=03-Indianapolis, IN; :00]
63 year old Mario Andretti - retired since 1994 - got back behind the wheel yesterday to shake down a car during testing.
Instead he hit debris between turns one and two while running at more than 200 miles an hour.
He was airborne for over 100 yards, flipped twice, and eventually landed just fine.
He walked away without a scratch, but he asked reporters NOT to tell his wife about the wreck.
He plans to come back to the track and test again.
FINAL LOOK AT THE WEATHER
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