Firefighters extinguished an underground transformer fire in Roanoke, but the lights are still out this morning, and that is creating problems for downtown businesses.
The fire broke out just before nine o-clock last night at the corner of Jefferson Street and Franklin Road.
Firefighters responded to reports of an explosion and arrived to find flames shooting up in the air.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This one was fairly]
((AUDIE FERRIS/ROANOKE FIRE DEPARTMENT: THIS ONE WAS FAIRLY LARGE. IF YOU CAN SEE THE STREET LIGHT BEHIND ME UP THERE IT SHOT UP HIGHER THAN THAT STREET LIGHT AT ONE TIME AND WE DID HAVE ONE THAT BLEW WAS METHANE THAT COLLECTED DOWN THERE THAT KINDA BLEW UP MAYBE FIFTEEN TWENTY FEET.))
[SUPER=01-Audie Ferris/Roanoke City Fire Department]
[OUT Q=fiteen twenty feet]
Firefighters had to wait for A-E-P and the gas company to shut off the power and gas before they could put out the fire.
An A-E-P spokesperson says they are still trying to determine what caused the fire.
They do know is started in an electrical vault.
The Roanoke Times is one business that is trying to deal with the lack of power.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kim /Steve Microwave;]
Steve Pardon is in downtown Roanoke this morning with an update on the outage.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We Print three]
[SUPER=01-Chip Harris/Project Director]
[OUT Q=2 hour press run]
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kim /Microwave;]
[DESK 2-SHOT--Kim and Leo]
[GRAPHIC=Water Main Break]
The Montgomery County offices of the Clerk of Circuit Court will not be open today as a result of yesterday's water main break.
However, officials say they hope to re-open the County Courthouse and Jail for most regular business today.
The business was anything but regular yesterday afternoon, after a water main sprung a leak.
All that water forced county officials to close down offices, shut down courts, and cancel jail visitation.
The flooding caused substantial water damage -- but no apparent structural harm.
The greatest damage appears to be in the Clerk of Circuit Court's basement offices
There is no word on when the those offices will re-open.
Federal agents out of Washington are now helping in the investigation of a church fire in Dublin.
The Dublin United Methodist Church caught fire on Monday, for the second time this month.
Officials say they've now called in arson specialists out of D-C to help with the investigation, although they say it's still too early to say whether either fire was in fact, arson.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=IT'S STANDARD]
((RONNIE MCCLURE/DUBLIN FIRE CHIEF: IT'S STANDARD TO HAVE ATF INVESTIGATING CHURCH FIRES. COURSE THEY DO OTHER THINGS BUT MAINLY CHURCH FIRES. ))
[SUPER=01-Ronnie McClure/Dublin Fire Chief;]
[OUT Q=CHURCH FIRES. 2nd Ref.]
The area of the church that was destroyed dates back to the late 1800s.
But, while a piece of history is gone, members of the church say their faith is not.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=TOLD SOME FOLKS]
((REV. MIKE TRAVIS: TOLD SOME FOLKS IN THE PARKING LOT LAST NIGHT THE CHURCH DIDN'T BURN, THE CHURCH WAS GATHERED UP IN THE PARKING LOT. ))
[SUPER=01-Mike Travis/Dublin United Methodist Church;]
[OUT Q=PARKING LOT]
Travis says morning services will go on as usual this Sunday...inside the church picnic shelter.
[GRAPHIC=War in Iraq]
For the second time this week, U-S troops have fired on a crowd of anti- American demonstrators just west of Baghdad.
The gunfire comes less than 48 hours after a shooting that hospital officials say killed 13 Iraqis.
In other developments, sources say high- ranking Iraqi prisoners are all denying the existence of weapons of mass destruction.
But U-S officials believe they're lying to protect themselves.
The apparent denials are hampering search efforts in Iraq.
No chemical or biological weapons have turned up since the war began.
In business news, many people are enjoying their meals outdoors.
"Tavern On The Market" is once again the first downtown restaurant to get outside dining up and running for customers.
But they won't be unique for long.
In this, the second year of the outdoor dining program for the City of Roanoke, at least nine restaurants have applied.
Last year there were only two.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I THINK FOLKS]
((BOB BENGTSON/ROANOKE DIR. OF PUBLIC WORKS; I THINK FOLKS HAVE SEEN THAT INITIAL RISK TAKEN AND ARE SATISFIED THAT IT IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DONE AND CAN SUCCEED IN DOWNTOWN ROANOKE.))
[SUPER=01-Bob Bengtson/Roanoke Director of Public Works;]
[OUT Q=IN DOWNTOWN ROANOKE.]
Tavern On The Market owner Matthew Anderson says he expects his business to dramatically increase with outdoor dining.
City officials started the program to bring a sense of vibrancy to downtown. They expect it to grow each year.
The permit process for restaurants involves fees, seating plans along with compliance with the ABC laws and fire regulations.
In business news, Sales of SARS related protective gear is on the rise.
And Wall Street extends its rally.
Alexis Christoforous has those stories and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in New York.]
((WE'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT HOW THE DEADLY VIRUS SARS IS AFFECTING ECONOMIES IN
ASIA AND CANADA.. BUT THERE ARE SOME COMPANIES SEEING GOLD IN SARS INSPIRED
SALES.. PEOPLE IN THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES ARE RACING TO BUY biohazard suits,
face masks, air purifiers and rubber gloves. SALES OF THOSE ITEMS ARE
SOARING g as people look for ways to protect themselves from the deadly
ICN Pharmaceuticals saw its stock price rise 18 percent on a single day
this month when the World Health Organization's listed its anti-viral drug
ribavirin as a SARS treatment.
ON WALL STREET..
AFTER A YO-YO DAY OF TRADING, STOCKS ENDED WITH MODEST GAINS HELPED BY
STRONG EARNINGS FROM COMPANIES INCLUDING DUPONT AND A BIG JUMP IN CONSUMER
CONFIDENCE IN APRIL.
THE DOW ADDED 31 POINTS
WHILE THE NASDAQ CLIMBED 9
ON YOUR STOCKS TO WATCH LIST.. JDS UNIPHASE, ONCE THE PRIDE OF THE NASDAQ
RELEASED PROFITS AFTER THE CLOSING BELL...
THE WORLD'S LARGEST SUPPLIER OF FIBER OPTIC PARTS POSTED A quarterly loss
OF 10 CENTS A SHARE. JDS U BLAMES A SLOWING IN SPENDING IN THE
COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY. BUT SALES ROSE FROM THE PREVIOUS QUARTER FOR THE
FIRST TIME IN TWO YEARS.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON OIL STOCKS.. THE PRICE OF CRUDE OIL FELL TO A FIVE MONTH
LOW IN THE PREVIOUS SESSION AND NOW SITS AROUND 25 DOLLARS A BARREL.
TRACK ALL THE PREMARKET ACTION AT CBS.MW.COM AT THE NASDAQ I'M AC IN NEW
(tape tosses to stocks)
It's apparently a message to the new Palestinian government.
A suicide bombing in Tel Aviv has killed four people.
The attack came just hours after the Palestinian parliament approved its first Prime Minister.
Robert Berger reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Tel Aviv, Israel; :00]
[SUPER=01-Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi/Hamas Spokesman; :50]
[SUPER=01-Dore Gold/Israeli Spokesman; 1:09]
[SUPER=01-Robert Berger/CBS News; 1:16]
[OUT Q=Berger, CBS News, Jerusalem.]
ARR: The bomber targeted the trendy Tel Aviv beachfront near the US
embassy, turning a cafe into a wreck of broken glass and furniture.
Pools of blood covered the sidewalk. It was a mad rush as ambulances
evacuated the wounded. But it could have been much worse...a security
guard prevented the bomber from entering the restaurant, where the
casualty toll would have been much higher.
NARR: The bomber struck just hours after the Palestinian parliament
approved a new Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas, who vowed to crackdown on
militant groups. His appointment clears the way for the US to formally
present its peace plan known as the roadmap. But Islamic militant groups
like Hamas and Islamic Jihad warned Abbas that they will NOT lay down
SOT: (RANTISI) "I think as long as there is occupation, the resistance
will help Palestinians. Because we have no other option than to resist
NARR: Israel says it will judge the new Palestinian prime minister
according to his deeds, NOT his words.
SOT: (DORE GOLD) "This is the first test of the new Palestinian
government and so far it is an utter failure.
NARR: The roadmap offers the Palestinians an independent state within
three years, but Israel says it'll never happen, if terrorism continues.
ROBERT BERGER, CBS NEWS, JERUSALEM.
Today President Bush signs a bill creating a nationwide "Amber Alert" system for abducted children.
It'll provide grants to states and localities to help set up networks for quickly sending out information on kidnapped children and their captors by using radio, T-V and highway signs.
``Amber Alerts'' are named after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman,
who was abducted in Arlington, Texas, and later found murdered.
Authorities believe a six- year- old boy who turned up in Illinois might be a missing child from North Carolina.
[SUPER=03-Sampson Co., NC;]
It'll take anywhere from four to six weeks for D-N-A tests to prove that Eli Quick is actually Tristen "Buddy" Myers, who's been missing for more than two years.
In February, Ricky Quick brought a boy he said was his son to a Chicago- area hospital.
Suspicious doctors called authorities, who noticed a similarity to the missing boy.
Until D-N-A test results come back, the boy is being held by child services.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
[TAPE#=03-07 TC 1:53:41]
A murder and arson suspect facing the death penalty was in a Roanoke courtroom yesterday as his attorneys argued more than 50 pre-trial motions.
Askia Shabazz is charged with killing his girlfriend and her two young sons at their Hurt Park Apartment last May.
His lawyers want to know whether federal officials intend to try Shabazz. Witnesses have been called to appear before a federal grand jury in the case, but the state prosecutor says he doesn't know whether it'll end up in federal court.
The defense wanted to question city police investigators under oath, but the judge said he would not allow it.
A Lynchburg man faces up to three life terms in prison after pleading guilty to murder in Campbell County.
23-year-old Bryan Keith Jones was charged along with two others in the shooting death of 25-year-old Tony Stone last August.
Stone was shot to death inside his Lynch Station home during an apparent robbery in which the suspects stole money and crack cocaine.
Authorities say Jones provided the guns and acted as a lookout while a 16-year-old boy entered the home and shot Stone during a struggle.
Jones pled guilty yesterday to seven charges including first degree murder, burglary and robbery.
He could get three life terms plus 24 years when he's sentenced later this summer.
Downtown Roanoke is welcoming a well-known company to Kirk Avenue.
Davis H. Elliot Company will move its corporate office to this renovated space on Kirk Avenue.
The building had been vacant for 20-years.
The company, Building Specialists is working on keeping the character of the building by exposing brick walls and wood floors.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=my wife and]
((BILL ELLIOT/DAVIS H. ELLIOT COMPANY CHAIRMAN; MY WIFE AND I AND THE PEOPLE WHO WORK IN MY COMPANY ARE REALLY HAPPY TO SEE THE DOWTOWN BECOME WHAT IT'S BECOME AND TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK DOWN HERE AGAIN.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Elliot/Davis H. Elliot Company Chairman;]
[OUT Q=HERE AGAIN.]
City officials say this is an example of a revitalized downtown attracting businesses.
Elliot expects the new office to be open in June.
In other business news, Another round of better-than-expected earnings reports has allowed Wall Street to extend this week's rally.
Stan Case has more in today's business brief.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Stan Case/Reporting; :]
[OUT Q=I'm Stan Case]
((STOCKS MANAGED SOME SMALL GAINS ON TUESDAY.
A BIT OF STRONG EARNINGS NEWS AND A GOOD CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REPORT GAVE THE MARKETS SOME LATE STAMINA.
THE DOW GAINED 31 POINTS ON THE DAY.
THE NASDAQ WAS UP NINE TO ITS HIGHEST CLOSE OF THE YEAR.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE APPEARS TO HAVE SOARED WITH THE COMING OF THE WAR IN IRAQ.
THE CONFERENCE BOARD SAID ITS CLOSELY WATCHED INDEX POSTED ITS BIGGEST GAIN SINCE THE END OF THE FIRST GULF WAR IN 1991.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE JUMPED TO AN INDEX LEVEL OF 81 IN APRIL FROM A REVISED 61-POINT-FOUR IN MARCH.
DUPONT RETURNED TO THE PROFIT COLUMN FOR THE FIRST-QUARTER.
STRONGER SALES OFFSET SURGING ENERGY AND RAW MATERIAL COSTS, THE COMPANY SAID.
BUT IT WARNED THAT SECOND-QUARTER PROFITS WILL MISS WALL STREET FORECASTS.
THE SECOND-LARGEST U.S. CHEMICAL MAKER REPORTED NET INCOME OF 53 CENTS A SHARE, COMPARED WITH A NET LOSS OF TWO-AND-A HALF-DOLLARS A YEAR EARLIER.
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB SAID ITS FIRST-QUARTER PROFIT FELL BY ELEVEN PERCENT.
THE DRUGMAKER SAID INVENTORY ACCUMULATION BY WHOLESALERS AND COMPETITION FROM GENERIC MEDICINES HURT EARNINGS.
THE COMPANY SAID IT EARNED 39 CENTS PER SHARE, COMPARED WITH 44 CENTS PER SHARE, IN THE YEAR-AGO QUARTER.
WITH THE BIZ BRIEF, I'M STAN CASE.))
[TAPE TOSS TO STOCKS]
A half million dollars is on its way to the Roanoke City school system.
It's part of the 21st century Community Learning Center Grant.
Roanoke City schools in partnership with the Y-M-C-A will house one of the learning centers at Lucy Addison Aerospace Magnet School.
The program will begin next school year and will serve 300 students and 225 adults in its first year.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The after school program]
((SHARON RICHARDSON/PRINCIPAL: THE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM WILL OFFER A YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTER, A FAMILY LEARNING CENTER, AND A RESERACH AND MEDIA CENTER. THESE CENTERS WILL PROVIDE ASSISTANCE WITH HOMEWORK, TUTORING, ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES, AND ADULT EDUCATION.))
[OUT Q=and adult education]
The center will operate before and after school, and during school breaks and summer vacation.
Roanoke was one of 31 groups statewide to receive the grant.
Virginia now has the toughest anti-spam law in the country.
Yesterday, Governor Mark Warner joined Attorney General Jerry Kilgore and representatives from the internet industry in signing two bills that raise the penalty for sending junk e-mails in bulk.
Hackers and spammers could face a felony sentence of one to five years in prison and a fine.
They could also have their profits and property siezed.
(///// SOT at :19 /////)
[IN Q=That combination combined with...]
((GOV. MARK WARNER: THAT COMBINATION COMBINED WITH A FEW CONVICTIONS IS GOING TO DO MORE TO PUT AN END TO SPAM THAN ANYTHING THAT'S COME BEFORE.))
[OUT Q=than anything that's come before.]
Of the 26 states that have laws against spam, Virginia's is the toughest.
Half the internet traffic in the *world* passes through the Commonwealth. One reason is that AOL is headquartered in Northern Viriginia.
It's estimated spam accounts for 45 to 70-percent of all e-mail.