[TAPE#=03-21 TC 18:30]
VDOT's been talking about it for years.
And this summer, you'll actually be able to see the results.
The agency is spending millions of dollars to make safety improvements to several highways including Interstate 81.
Justin McLeod has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=NAT SOUND OF CREWS INSTALLING GUARDRAILS]
[SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/Virginia Department of Transportation; :11]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF CREWS INSTALLING GUARDRAILS))
If you travel I-81 over the next few weeks, you'll probably run into a lot of work crews.
((QUICK NAT SOUND OF WORK))
They're working to prevent deadly accidents.
[IN Q=We have installed]
((LAURA BULLOCK/V-DOT SPOKESPERSON: WE HAVE INSTALLED GUARDRAILS, DOUBLESIDED GUARDRAIL TO HELP PREVENT CROSS OVER ACCIDENTS AND WE'VE SPENT ABOUT SIX AND HALF MILLION DOLLARS TO DO THIS.))
[OUT Q=to do this]
They're located in specific places where vehicles have been known to cross the median.
Workers have already installed these guardrails in Botetourt County near the Arcadia exit as well as a 10 mile stretch of roadway in Pulaski County.
V-Dot would like to see more of them, on 1-81 in Roanoke County and parts of 581.
[IN Q=However funding is]
((LAURA BULLOCK/V-DOT SPOKESPERSON: HOWEVER FUNDING IS A QUESTION AT THIS POINT AND TIME. WE DO THINK THAT IT IS A GOOD SAFETY ENHANCEMENT THOUGH AND WILL PROCEED WITH PURSUING THAT FUNDING.))
[OUT Q=that funding]
That maybe a good idea.
Just last week, there were two accidents in our area where vehicles crossed the median.
One resulted in a death and backed up traffic for miles.
It is problems like this that has prompted V-Dot to add another safety feature.
Crews have begun installing 39 permanent message boards like this one, just a little smaller in size.
[IN Q=If they know there is]
((LAURA BULLOCK: IF THEY KNOW THERE IS AN ACCIDENT AHEAD THEY ARE GOING TO BE A LOT MORE PATIENT THEN IF THEY DON'T KNOW WHY TRAFFIC IS TIED UP. ALSO IF WE CAN GIVE THEM INFORMATION IN PLENTY OF TIME THEY MAY WANT TO CHANGE THEIR PLANS.))
[OUT Q=change their plans]
[IN Q=These new message]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THESE NEW MESSAGE BOARDS WILL BE UP AND RUNNING BY THE END OF THE YEAR AND WILL BE LOCATED ON THE INTERSTATE OR ROADWAYS LEADING UP TO IT. IN THE FUTURE, V-DOT IS ALSO CONSIDERING PROVIDING REAL TIME TRAFFIC INFORMATION OVER THE RADIO. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
V-Dot crews have also put in more rumble strips, extended the off ramps and merging lanes on interstate 81.
Festival in the Park organizers have decided to move tomorrow's Celebration Night into the Roanoke Civic Center.
The concert featuring contemporary Christian singer Crystal Lewis was supposed to take place in Victory Stadium.
Civic Center doors will open at 5:30 and the show will start an hour later.
Only 10,500 people will be allowed inside.
Parking may also be limited because the James H. Drew Exposition is set up in the Civic Center parking lot.
It's the third biggest tax cut in U-S history, and President Bush says it'll fuel the nation's economic recovery.
But millions of Americans expecting to get money back WON'T.
Now that Bush has signed his 330- billion- dollar package into law, the tax cuts will take effect almost immediately.
By next month, millions of workers will see more money in their paychecks.
The package also trims dividend and capital gains taxes, and increases the child tax- credit.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=So today, I'm directing]
((SO TODAY I'M DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY TO ISSUE CHECKS UP TO
400 PER CHILD TO 25 MILLION ELIGIBLE FAMILIES AND THOSE CHECKS WILL BEGIN
ARRIVING IN JULY.))
[OUT Q=will begin arriving in July.]
But not everyone is getting a check, including many households making just over the minimum wage.
The "New York Times" reports most families earning between 10- thousand-500 dollars and just over 26- thousand-600 will NOT receive a refund.
[TAPE#=03-15 TC 3:18:06]
The state's wallet is feeling a little fatter...thanks to the federal government.
Virginia will receive an estimated 415 million dollars in federal aid as part of President Bush's recent tax cut and spending plan.
Governor Warner says the money represents much-needed revenue as the state deals with a budget shortfall and the additional costs of homeland security.
Warner says the federal money will allow the state to avoid further budget cuts this year.
[IN Q=WHILE I'M PLEASED]
[OUT Q=IS NOT GOING TO GO AWAY.]
The governor says a portion of the money is earmarked for Medicaid.
He says the rest of the money will likely go toward funding education, economic development and law enforcement.
Roanoke County school officials say a shared football stadium and lighted soccer fields are the best options for two south county high schools.
Critics say the plan represents a broken promise.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./File Tape]
Yesterday, the school construction committee approved a plan that calls for renovations to Bogle Field at Cave Spring Middle School.
With 25- hundred seats on each side, the stadium would serve both Cave Spring and Hidden Valley High Schools.
Soccer games would be played on lighted fields at each high school, and that's the part of the plan now generating complaints.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Lighting wasn't an issue]
((MICHELE MORGAN/HIDDEN VALLEY NEIGHBOR: LIGHTING WASN'T AN ISSUE, BECAUSE WE WERE TOLD THAT THERE WOULD BE NO LIGHTING ON THE FIELDS AT HIDDEN VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL. BOTTOM LINE, WE WERE TOLD THAT.))
((MIKE STOVALL/ROANOKE CO. SCHOOL BOARD: WE'RE ONCE AGAIN I'M SURE GOING TO HAVE SOME CITIZENS WHO ARE GOING TO DRAG US ACROSS THE COALS FOR THE FACT WE WANT TO PUT LIGHTS ON THE SOCCER FIELDS, BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE'RE DOING IT FOR KIDS. BOTTOM LINE.))
[SUPER=01-Michele Morgan/Hidden Valley Neighbor; :00]
[SUPER=01-Mike Stovall/Roanoke Co. School Board Member; :12]
[OUT Q=we're doing it for kids. bottom line.]
The school board must still approve the plan, but board members serve on the construction committee, and three out of five supported the proposal yesterday.
Today legendary entertainer Bob Hope celebrates his 100th birthday.
Hope's been making America laugh since the 1930s through radio, film, and television.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Bob, why are men...]
((BOB, WHY ARE MEN SO CRAZY ABOUT SWEATER GIRLS?
I DON'T KNOW, JUDY, BUT THAT'S ONE MYSTERY I'D LIKE TO UNRAVEL.))
[OUT Q=mystery I'd like to unravel..laughter..]
But many say Hope was at his best when he performed live.
His holiday road shows endeared him both to the American troops serving their country in trouble spots around the world, and to those waiting for them back home.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We are right]
((WE ARE RIGHT OF THE COAST OF BEIRUT. IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I'VE ENTERTAINED SERVICEMEN BUT WASHINGTON TOLD ME, "IF WE CAN BRING SHIPS
OUT OF MOTHBALLS, WHY NOT YOU?))
[OUT Q=out of mothballs, why not you?]
Hope will spend his birthday at home...but celebrations are going on in his honor in Los Angeles, in England where he was born, and in Cleveland where he grew up.
In business news, the closing of a furniture plant in North Carolina will mean more work in Roanoke and Martinsville.
Hooker Furniture announced yesterday it will shut down its plant in Kernersville, North Carolina this summer.
About 270 employees will lose their jobs.
The company will shift production to its remaining plants in Martinsville and Roanoke, as well as two locations in North Carolina.
Hooker blames the closings on the economic dowturn and a flood of lower-priced imported products.
In other business news, Wall Street has extended its rally.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in New York.]
((THE STOCK MARKET WILL TRY TO KEEP THE RECENT WINNING STREAK ALIVE WHEN THE
OPENING BELL SOUNDS LATER TODAY..
INVESTORS ARE STILL BETTING ON AN ECONOMIC REBOUND IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE
IN THE PREVIOUS SESSION THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE MADE IT FIVE UP
DAYS IN A ROW.. GAINING 11 POINTS
THE NASDAQ NOTCHED ITS FOURTH STRAIGHT GAIN, RISING 6 POINTS.
on the stocks to watch list:
Staples said after the bell that it would sell 12 million shares of common
stock in a public offering. The company has struggled with weak sales and a
rocky stock price for more than two years now.
the publisher scholastic is laying off 4 percent of its staff, or 400
workers as it streamlines its operations. THe company is betting on the
next installment of the Harry Potter books due out this summer will
AND SONY IS LAUNCHING A SOUPELD UP VERSION OF ITS POPULAR PLAYSTATION 2..
THE PSX WILL HAVE AN OPERATING SYSTEM AND A BUILT IN RECORDABLE DISK DRIVE
THAT WILL LET YOU DOWNLOAD GAMES AN VIDEO FROM THE INTERNET.. THE PSX WILL
HIT STORE SHELVES IN THE US EARLY NEXT YEAR...
AND THE PEOPLE WHO TELL US ABOUT THE BEST COMPANIES FOR WORKING MOMS ARE NOW
SALUTING THE BEST COMPANIES FOR WOMEN OF COLOR. WORKING MOTHER MAGAZINE SAYS
TOPPING THE LIST: AMERICAN EXPRESS, THE MORTGAGE COMPANY FANNIE MAE AND
IBM.. WORKING MOTHER SAYS THESE COMPANIES ARE COMMITTED TO DIVERSITY AND
OFFER THE BEST ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND COMPENSATION FOR MINORITY
TRACK ALL THE PREMARKET ACTION AT CBS.MW.COM AT THE NASDAQ
I'M AC IN NEW YORK.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
He's already suspected in six killings.
Now police are looking to see if Derrick Todd Lee is connected to other open murder cases in the south.
Lee was arrested in Atlanta, and is now back in Louisiana after waiving extradition.
Authorities say Lee is expected to be back in court today.
His D-N-A links him to the murders of at least five Louisiana women.
He's suspected in another death that happened more than a decade ago.
All he wanted was a six pack of soda.
Police say a gunman who stormed into a suburban San Diego post office and took two employees hostage surrendered yesterday, after getting the soft drinks.
The standoff lasted three and a half hours, but no shots were fired.
Investigators say the man was upset with the postal service over a traffic accident involving a postal vehicle.
They add he's never worked as a post office employee.
The search for TWO people seen falling from Pittsylvania County bridges over the last five days moved to the air yesterday.
Authorities searched 13 miles of the Staunton River by helicopter after a man was seen falling from the Staunton River Bridge in Hurt Tuesday night.
A boat search was not possible because of debris and dangerous river conditions.
The search lasted more than an hour and could resume today, weather permitting.
Meanwhile, the sheriff's department is still looking for a woman seen going over the railing on Stateline Bridge Road in Cascade over the weekend.
Investigators searched eight miles of the Dan River yesterday after suspending the search Sunday.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
The latest budget from the State Board of Education calls for more assistant principals and a lower minimum student to teacher ratio.
Yesterday, the board gave a tentative O-K to more than 300-million dollars worth of public school improvements.
The changes will be phased in over four years.
A final vote on the recommendations is scheduled for June 25th.
They'll then be forwarded to the Governor and the General Assembly.
The Virginia Tech flight school is being grounded for good.
The school's Airport says it will officially end its flight training program on Saturday.
The decision comes after the university announced two years ago it was getting out of the airport business.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=when virginia tech]
((STEVE MOURAS/DIRECTOR OF TRANSPORTATION: WHEN VIRGINIA TECH GOT OUT OF THE AIRPORT BUSINESS WE REALLY DIDN'T THINK THAT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT COMPLIMENTED THE UNIVERSITY'S GOAL AND FOCUS AT THAT TIME.))
[SUPER=01-Steve Mouras/Virginia Tech Director of Transportation;]
[OUT Q=at that time]
Virginia Tech now operates the airport through a partnership with Montgomery County, Blacksburg, and Christiansburg.
Its flight training program began during World War Two, when the R-O-T-C trained pilots for combat.
Eventually it opened to the public, where it has since averaged about 25 students per year.
In business news, The company that publishes the Harry Potter series is cutting its workforce.
Scholastic announced yesterday that it's laying off 400 workers.
The world's largest children's book publisher says the slowing economy is to blame.
In other news, Stan Case has a look at yesterday's closing numbers.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=I'm Stan Case]
AFTER STRUGGLING THROUGH THE DAY, STOCKS CLOSED HIGHER WEDNESDAY, ENDING TRADING ON THE BACK OF
TUESDAY'S STRONG RALLY.
THE DOW GAINED 11 POINTS ON THE DAY.
AND THE NASDAQ WAS UP 6.
THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT SAYS THE DEMAND FOR DURABLE GOODS FELL BY TWO-POINT-FOUR PERCENT IN APRIL.
THE DECLINE IN DEMAND FOR CARS AND DEFENSE AIRCRAFT IS BLAMED FOR THE BIGGEST DROP SINCE SEPTEMBER 2002.
ANALYSTS EXPECTED THE DECLINE TO BE ONLY ONE-PERCENT.
KRISPY KREME POSTED FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS OF 22-CENTS PER SHARE.
SYSTEMWIDE SALES, INCLUDING SALES IN COMPANY AND FRANCHISE STORES, CLIMBED 24 PERCENT.
KRISPY KREME PLANS TO OPEN 77 NEW STORES IN 2004 FISCAL YEAR.
A VIRGINIA JURY HAS ORDERED E-BAY TO PAY 35-MILLION FOR A PATENT VIOLATION.
IN HANDLING ONLINE CREDIT CARD BIDS, E-BAY USED TECHNOLOGY THAT IS COVERED BY PATENTS BELONGING TO A FORMER C-I-A ENGINEER.
THE ONLINE AUCTION HOUSE SAYS IT WILL ASK THE JUDGE TO SET ASIDE THE JUDGMENT.
ANALYSTS SAY THE FINE SHOULDN'T HURT E-BAY'S INCOME.
HOWEVER, AN INJUNCTION COULD FORCE THE COMPANY TO STOP USING THE TECHNOLOGY.
WITH THE BUSINESS BRIEF, I'M STAN CASE.))
[TAPE TOSS TO STOCKS]
Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills are expecting their first child.
And, Comedian Bob Hope turns 100 years old today.
Brooke Anderson has more in today's Hollywood Minute.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Glaslough, Ireland/June 10; :09]
[SUPER=04-Hope Enterprises, Inc.; 1:10]
[OUT Q=I'm Brooke Anderson]
((WITH THE HOLLYWOOD MINUTE...I'M BROOKE ANDERSON. FORMER BEATLE PAUL MCCARTNEY AND HIS WIFE HEATHER MILLS ARE SINGING A VERY HAPPY TUNE...YOU MIGHT EVEN CALL IT A LULLABY.... THEY ARE EXPECTING THEIR FIRST CHILD TOGETHER! THE COUPLE RELEASED A STATEMENT TUESDAY SAYING THEY ARE QUOTE "DELIGHTED WITH THIS HAPPY NEWS." ABOUT THREE MONTHS AGO, MILLS HAD REVEALED IN A TELEVISION INTERVIEW THAT HER CHANCES OF CONCEIVING WERE SLIM. SHE'S SUFFERED FROM CANCER AND HAD TWO ECTOPIC PREGNANCIES IN THE PAST. HER BABY IS EXPECTED TO ARRIVE SOMETIME LATER THIS YEAR, BUT NO OFFICIAL DUE DATE WAS ANNOUNCED.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------WELL--IT SEEMS THE SOON TO
BE MARRIED BEN AFFLECK IS FOLLOWING IN HIS FASHIONABLE FIANCE'S FOOTSTEPS. J. LO RECENTLY SIGNED ON TO SELL LOUIS VUITTON MERCHANDISE... AND NOW ACCORDING TO THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, AFFLECK HAS SIGNED A TWO MILLION DEAL WITH L'OREAL TO PROMOTE THEIR HAIR PRODUCTS. AFFLECK WILL BE HAWKING THINGS LIKE HAIR GEL, SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER FOR THE COMPANY, WHICH SAYS THAT... HE QUOTE "EMBODIES A NEW GENERATION OF MEN WHO... AREN'T AFRAID TO CARE FOR THEIR APPEARANCE."
AND TODAY LEGENDARY COMEDIAN BOB HOPE CELEBRATES A GOLDEN MOMENT IN HIS LIFE. HE TURNS A CENTURY OLD!!! ...AND IN HONOR OF HIS BIG DAY, AMERICA IS REMEMBERING HIM THROUGH SLEW OF TRIBUTES, TV SPECIALS...AND RE-AIRING OF HIS FILM CLASSICS.FOR MORE THAN 75 YEARS...HOPE --WHO HAS BEEN NAMED HOLLYWOOD'S "CITIZEN OF THE CENTURY."-- ENTERTAINED THE NATION THROUGH RADIO, THEATER, TELEVISION AND FILM. AND DESPITE HIS FRAIL HEALTH...IT SEEMS THE 100 YEAR OLD HASN'T LOST FUNNY BONE. RECENTLY HOPE REPORTEDLY TOLD HIS FAMILY "I'M SO OLD, THEY'VE CANCELED MY BLOOD TYPE." THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES...BOB HOPE !!! WITH THE HOLLYWOOD MINUTE...I'M BROOKE ANDERSON.))
(Tape tosses to bump)