President Bush says the defeat of Saddam Hussein and his regime "is one victory in a war on terror."
Aboard the U-S-S Abraham Lincoln off the California coast yesterday, Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq over.
He says the focus now is on re- building the war- torn country.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The transition]
((THE TRANSITION FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY WILL TAKE TIME, BUT IT IS WORTH EVERY EFFORT.))
[OUT Q=every effort.]
Meanwhile, U-S military officials say a high level
figure from the former regime is under arrest.
The U-S Army's Fifth Corps says Misban (MIZ- bahn) Qadr (KAH-dur) Hadi (HAH-dee) , a member of
Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council and an upper- level Baath Party leader, was captured yesterday.
Some local National Guard troops will be heading home in a couple of months.
The First Battalion of the 246th Field Artillery shipped out for active duty in August.
The unit's scheduled to be released from federal service on July 31st.
The soldiers from Southside have been guarding Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
An E-M-S crew responding to one emergency in Roanoke was confronted with another.
The incident unfolded yesterday evening outside an apartment complex on Plantation Road.
A report of an injured child brought emergency medical personnel to the scene.
Once they arrived, a fight broke out between an adult male and a teenager, and police say the 14- year- old pulled a gun.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Then about that time]
((AMIE SHEAFF: THEN ABOUT THAT TIME THE EMT WAS STANDING THERE AND THEN HE KIND OF WAVED AROUND AND POINTED AT HER. AND SHE JUST KIND OF PUT HER HANDS UP AND SHE RAN BEHIND THE AMBULANCE AND IMMEDIATELY CALLED POLICE I GUESS. ))
[OUT Q=called police I guess.]
Police were planning to charge the adult with assault and the teen with brandishing a weapon.
The gun turned out to be an air pistol, but police say it looked like a more lethal firearm.
A Roanoke man accused of murder has been convicted of a lesser charge.
Yesterday, 37- year- old Darrell Jeffrey Carter pled no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old Timothy Smithers.
The prosecutor says Carter and Smithers got into a fight in southwest Roanoke one night.
At one point, Carter had Smithers in a bear hug. Smithers was able to free himself, but lost his balance, hitting his head.
The blow turned out to be fatal.
Carter will be sentenced in June.
A call center in the New River Valley is cutting jobs.
ICT Group says it's laying off 40-people at its Christiansburg location.
The company specializes in telemarketing, sales and consulting.
ICT operates its headquarters out of Newtown, Pennsylvania.
They have 49 contact centers around the world.
After ruffling a lot of feathers for comments about the President, the Dixie Chicks are letting their MUSIC do the talking.
They kicked off a 59- date tour in Greenville, South Carolina last night.
No boos were heard at their first U-S concert since March.
Outside the concert, more than a dozen protestors showed up carrying signs critizing the band.
The Dixie Chicks' popularity has taken a beating since lead singer Natalie Maines said she was "ashamed" of President Bush during a concert in London.
In business news, The April unemployment report will be released later today.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in New York.]
((INVESTORS ARE BRACING FOR WHAT'S EXPECTED TO BE A DISMAL APRIL UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT.
IN THE PREVIOUS SESSION A REPORT SHOWED THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK REMAINED NEAR A ONE YEAR HIGH... AND THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR IN THE U.S. HIT ITS LOWEST LEVEL IN 2 YEARS.
DESPITE THOSE REPORTS... STOCKS STAGED A LATE DAY COMEBACK THANKS TO A BOUNCE IN TECH STOCKS.
THE DOW CAME OFF A TRIPLE DIGIT DECLINE TO CLOSE 25 POINTS LOWER
THE NASDAQ MOVED UP 8.
PUT WALT DISNEY ON YOUR STOCKS TO WATCH LIST... AFTER THE CLOSING BELL THE ENTERTAINMENT GIANT SAID NET INCOME SLID 12 PERCENT AS FEARS OVER TERRORISM AND THE WAR WITH IRAQ HURT ATTENDANCE AT ITS THEME PARK BUSINESS... EVEN SO, DISNEY'S EARNINGS OF 11 CENTS A SHARE WERE STILL IN LINCE WITH WALL STREET ESTIMATES.
STARBUCKS HAD A GOOD APRIL... THE WORLD'S LARGEST COFFEE SHOP CHAIN SAID SALES AT STORES OPEN AT LEAST A YEAR ROSE 7 PERCENT IN APRIL FROM A YEAR EARLIER.
GOOD NEWS FOR HOMEBUYERS... MORTGAGE RATES FELL FOR A THIRD STRAIGHT WEEK... BRINGING LOANS CLOSE TO THEIR RRECORD LOWS. THE RATE ON THE BENCHMARK 30 YEAR LOW SITS AT 5.7 PERCENT.
DESPITE ALL THE INCENTIVES, ZERO PERCENT FINANCING AND STEEP DISCOUNTS, AUTO SALES FELL LAST MONTH. SALES AT FORD SLID 3 PERCENT, GM SUFFERED A NEARLY 9 PERCENT DROP AND DAIMLERCHRYSLER'S SALES SKIDDED 10 PERCENT. GM ALSO ANNOUNCED IT WILL EXTEND ITS FIVE YEAR ZERO PERCENT FINANCING OFFER AND REBATES THROUGH JUNE 2ND.
TRACK ALL THE MARKET ACTION AT CBS.MW.COM.
AT THE NASDAQ IM A.C. IN NEW YORK.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
A murder mystery is unfolding in a small town in northern Maine.
[SUPER=03-New Sweden, ME;]
A 78- year- old man is dead from drinking arsenic- laced coffee- served after a church service.
Investigators now say the case is a homicide after finding no evidence that the arsenic was put into the coffee accidentally.
Several other members of the New Sweden Church are in the hospital.
Two of them are in critical condition.
Virginia gets a flunking grade for air quality for the fourth year in a row.
According to the American Lung Association's new report, nearly all of the counties in the state have a smog problem.
The report finds that most Virginians continue to breathe unhealthy amounts of the toxic air pollutant ozone.
While automobile emissions and smokestacks are a source of pollution, experts say most of the state's smog comes from our neighbors.
[IN Q=MOSTLY ITS OZONE THAT COMES]
((DR. KEVIN COOPER/AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF VIRGINIA: MOSTLY ITS OZONE THAT COMES FROM MORE INDUSTRIAL AREAS WHICH ARE FURTHER WEST AND THE PREVAILING WINDS BLOW IT OUR WAY. WE HAPPEN TO BE DOWN-WIND FROM SOME BIG SOURCES, POWER PLANTS AND INDUSTRIES FROM THE MIDWEST AND THE WIND BLOWS THE STUFF OUR WAY.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Kevin Cooper/American Lung Association of Virginia;]
[OUT Q=BLOWS THE STUFF OUR WAY.]
On the upside, experts say air quality is steadily improving.
The state's cleanest air is in Southwest Virginia.
Rockbridge County and Wythe County get the highest grades in the report.
[WIPE TO WDBJ WEBPAGE FS]
To find out the results for your county, you can log on to our web site at wdbj7.com.
[GRAPHIC=DMV Price Hike]
You will be paying more next time you go to the DMV.
Customers are now being charged an additional five dollars for driver's licenses.
Total cost varies on whether you're renewing or replacing, getting just a photo I-D or a commercial license.
A hike of 15-dollars is also being imposed on people who are reinstating their license after a suspension.
That cost is now 45-dollars.
A Roanoke College student knows the difficulty active duty can create.
She's getting ready to graduate one year late, thanks to service with the army.
But as she told Richard Lesko, she's a better person for it.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Sirena LaBrake/U. S. Army Reservist; :23]
[SUPER=04-October 2001; :30]
[OUT Q=RL, N7, Salem.]
(( For the most part, Sirena LaBrake looks like your average college student.
However, she signed up for the army reserve about three years ago. Since then, she served almost a year of active duty following September 11th, and was called up again in January with the military police at Fort Eustis.
Now a year late, she is finally graduating from Roanoke College.
[SOT - 3:31:13]
[INQ=Alot of people...]
((SIRENA LABRAKE/U.S. ARMY RESERVIST; ALOT OF THE PEOPLE ON THIS CAMPUS DON'T REALLY KNOW, A LOT OF THE PROFESSORS AND TEACHERS KNOW, BUT ALOT OF THE STUDENTS DON'T KNOW THAT THIS IS LIKE WHAT I DO.))
[OUTQ=this is what I do.]
Since January, Sirena has making the four-hour drive from Tidewater to Salem once a week to take the last class she needs to graduate.
She says it has been difficult, but should set her apart when she finally gets the chance to start looking for a job.
[SOT - 3:33:15]
[INQ=Most students haven't gone...]
((SIRENA LABRAKE/U.S. ARMY RESERVIST; MOST STUDENTS HAVEN'T GONE THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE AND WHEN I GET OUT I'M GOING TO BE A STEP AHEAD OF SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE APPLYING FOR A JOB LIKE MAYBE LATER ON FOR A FEDERAL JOB, I'LL HAVE A STEP AHEAD OF THEM BECAUSE I'LL HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE.))
[OUTQ=have more experience.]
While other students worry about where their journeys will take them, for now Sirena's mission is clear, serving the country at Fort Eustis.
Richard Lesko, News 7, Salem.))
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
As we mentioned earlier, The Southwest Virginia Festival with Franklin Graham kicks off tonight.
But, there was plenty of activity in Salem last night as the thousands of people who make up the choir gathered for practice.
Justin McLeod has more on their final dress rehearsal.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Christina Haun/Choir Member; :21] (QUICK)
[SUPER=01-Ted Cornell/Music Director; :59]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Salem]
((((NAT SOUND OF SINGING))
The Roanoke Valley has never seen or heard anything like this before.
((NAT SOUND OF SINGING GOING INTO BITE))
[IN Q=It's hard to explain]
((YVONNE GUM/CHOIR MEMBER: IT'S HARD TO EXPLAIN, IT'S BREATH TAKING.))
[OUT Q=it's breath taking]
It's a breath taking moment made up of thousands of singers from more than five hundred different area churches.
Together, they make up the choir for this weekend's Southwest Virginia Festival.
[IN Q=It's really great]
((CHRISTINA HAUN/CHOIR MEMBER: IT'S REALLY GREAT BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN PLANNING IT FOR YEARS AND IT'S FINALLY COMING TOGETHER AND I'M REALLY EXCITED.))
[OUT Q=I'm really excited]
It is an excitement that began more than a month ago for these choir members.
Hundreds gathered at several area churches for three separate practices.
Thursday night was the first time they all came together.
[IN Q=Choirs like this one]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: CHOIRS LIKE THIS ONE ARE NOTHING NEW TO THE FRANKLIN GRAHAM CRUSADES. AT EACH STOP THERE IS USUALLY A CHOIR MADE UP OF LOCAL PEOPLE. WHAT MAKES THIS ONE UNIQUE IS THE SIZE OF IT.))
[OUT Q=size of it]
((QUICK NAT SOUND OF SINGING))
Typically the choir is made up of about 15-hundred singers.
This one is well over 25-hundred, some joining in at the last minute.
[IN Q=That tells us]
((TED CORNELL/MUSIC DIRECTOR: THAT TELL US THAT ROANOKE IS EAGER FOR THIS AND THEY'RE HUNGRY FOR THIS AND THAT MAKES US EVEN MUCH MORE EXCITED ABOUT IT.))
[OUT Q=excited about it]
Ted Cornell should know.
He's been the music director for the Graham crusades for nearly 35 years.
Choir members say it's truly a blessing to have him and the cooperation of everyone.
[IN Q=It's overwhelming]
((ANNABEL COBB/CHOIR MEMBER: IT'S OVERWHELMING CAUSE IT JUST HAS AN AWESOME EFFECT.))
[OUT Q=awesome effect]
((QUICK NAT SOUND OF SINGING))
You can hear it for yourself when the choir performs Friday night and Sunday afternoon.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Salem.))
The family of a man shot and killed by Danville police last year is suing the city over his death.
67-year-old Rennie Hunt died last May after a standoff with police inside his North Main Street apartment.
Police shot Hunt when he allegedly brandished a screwdriver after holding his girlfriend hostage for several hours.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court, is seeking 7 and half million dollars in punitive and compensatory damages.
It also wants a court-ordered reform of how Danville police deal with mentally ill persons.
A Henry County couple has been found guilty of embezzling nearly 100-thousand dollars from their church in Bassett.
A federal jury convicted Terry and Myra Moore on six counts involving mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.
Prosecutors argued Terry Moore abused his position as financial secretary for St. Paul Pentecostal Holiness Church over a six-year period.
Moore used church money to pay off credit cards, phone bills and buy material for his printing business.
The couple will be sentenced in August.
The look of downtown Blacksburg is soon about to change.
Officials broke ground yesterday for the Kent Square Development Project.
The center will include more than 100-thousand square feet of retail and office space, including a four-level parking garage.
It will be located on Main Street, where the old Alexander Black House once stood.
Officials say they had hoped to begin construction soon after they moved the house across the street, but got behind because of the weather.
The project is expected to be completed by this time next Spring.
(toss to Steve for weekend preview)