A crowd of journalists and spectators gather outside a Colorado courthouse, awaiting the arrival of N-B-A star Kobe Bryant.
And the Roanoke City superintendent says whether or not local schools are making the grade in the wake of some recent controversies.
So far so good. Despite some patchy fog this morning, most areas seeing at least some sunshine. Afternoon showers and thunderstorms still a possibility. Your full forecast is coming up.
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
Roanoke School Superintendent Wayne Harris says he accepts responsibility for mistakes in the reporting of discipline and violence.
But today, has also said he continues to find no evidence of intentional errors.
Harris made the remarks in a state of the schools address that also included good news about accreditation.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kimberly/Joe BAM;]
Joe Dashiell has just returned from the speech and is here with more on the superintendent's plans.
Kimberly, Harris addressed the recent controversies directly.
On the school safety front, he acknowledged the problem, accepted responsibility for reporting errors, and offered new initiatives to address concerns.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This morning]
[SUPER=01-Wayne Harris/Roanoke School Superintendent;]
[OUT Q=that schools are unsafe.]
Speaking to school principals and adminsitrators at the annual leadership conference, Harris announced new counseling programs, a hot line for parents and students to report any problems, and 350- thousand dollars worth of security improvements on buses and in the schools.
[LIVE= Joe /FULL]
Harris also had good news to report... the full accreditation of five additional schools including Breckenridge, Fairview, Monterey, Virginia Heights and Roanoke Academy.
[DOUBLE BOXES= /Microwave;]
That's in addition, Kimberly to the eleven schools that won full accreditation last year.
(QUESTION: Joe, what has been the reaction to the Superintendent's comments?)
A brief hearing today in Eagle, Colorado has attracted camera crews from all over the world.
N-B-A star Kobe Bryant will appear later this afternoon to hear the rape charges against him.
Jennifer Miller reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Guss Guarino/Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association;]
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Miller/CBS News;]
[SUPER=01-Karen Steinhauser/Former Prosecutor;]
[OUT Q=Miller, CBS News, Eagle, CO;]
WHEN KOBE BRYANT ENTERS THIS COURT HOUSE EXPERTS SAY THE BASKETBALL
PLAYER -- CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT -- FACES AN UPHILL BATTLE.
SOT, GUSS GUARINO/CO. CRIMINAL DEFENSE BAR ASSN
Its very difficult to walk into a courtroom and try to defend yourself
against these accusations, theyre incredibly powerful, people have a
TODAYS SHORT HEARING ADVISES BRYANT OF THE CHARGE AGAINST HIM AND
POSSIBLE PENALTIES. IF CONVICTED HE COULD GET UP TO LIFE IN PRISON.
DEFENSE ATTORNEYS WARN IF THE CASE GOES TO TRIAL JURORS MAY RESENT
BRYANTS STARDOM. AND PROSECUTORS COULD USE PUBLIC APPEARANCES AGAINST
SOT, GUSS GUARINO/ CO. CRIMINAL DEFENSE BAR ASSN
And they would use his words against him, without a doubt, every
prosecutor does that.
(MILLER STANDUP BRIDGE)
AND STATE LAW PREVENTS THE DEFENSE FROM USING THE VICTIMS SEXUAL PAST
AGAINST HER. LIMITING WHAT IS SAID IN COURT.
SOT, KAREN STEINHAUSER, FORMER CO. PROSECUTOR
Not whether the victim has slept with any other people before, not
whether the victim has a reputation for being promiscuous.
HER FRIENDS HAVE TALKED ABOUT WHAT ALLEGEDLY HAPPENED THE NIGHT SHE SAYS
BRYANT SEXUALLY ASSAULTED HER. BUT THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES LEAKING
DETAILS. THE DEFENSE IS ACCUSING LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PROSECUTORS OF
VIOLATING A PRE-TRIAL GAG ORDER BY TELLING REPORTERS THINGS LIKE, THE
VICTIM SUFFERED PHYSICAL TRAUMA, AND THAT INVESTIGATORS HAVE "DYNAMITE
MILLER STANDUP CLOSE:
BRYANTS ATTORNEYS WILL LIKELY TRY TO KEEP SOME OF THAT EVIDENCE OUT OF
COURT THEY EVEN TRIED TO KEEP BRYANT FROM APPEARING TODAY. THE ENTIRE
HEARING IS EXPECTED TO TAKE LESS THAN 5 MINUTES.
JENNIFER MILLER CBS NEWS, EAGLE COLORADO.))
U-S officials are reporting more arrests in Iraq--
A military spokeswoman says soldiers detained 18 suspected former loyalists of Saddam Hussein's regime.
And Iraqi police have arrested the brother of one of Saddam's top bodyguards.
The man was wanted for allegedly planning guerrilla attacks on U-S soldiers.
Meanwhile, a truck explosion in Baghdad has killed at least one Iraqi and caused damage to several nearby shops.
Witnesses say the truck was carrying chemicals.
U-S troops sealed off the area as the truck burned, sending clouds of black smoke into the sky.
Israel has freed the first group of the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners designated for release.
But Palestinian officials don't appear to be impressed.
[SUPER=03-Erez Checkpoint, Gaza;]
Waving flags and cheering, the former prisoners are headed home to their anxious families.
Israel is calling the release a "goodwill gesture", but Palestians are calling it a sham.
Originally viewed as a means of boosting confidence in the U-S -backed peace plan, the mass release has instead fueled distrust between the two sides.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The release of]
((NABIL ABU-RDEINEH/YASSER ARAFAT'S SENIOR ADVISOR: THE RELEASE OF THE FEW NUMBERS OF PRISONERS WHOM THE ISRAELIS ARE GOING TO RELEASE ARE NOT ENOUGH. BECAUSE THIS IS NOT THE UNDERSTANDING AND THIS IS NOT THE AGREEMENT. ))
[SUPER=01-Nabil Abu-Rdeineh/Yasser Arafat's Senior Advisor;]
[OUT Q=not the agreement.]
[SUPER=03-Tel Aviv, Israel;]
Meanwhile, a car bombing in Tel Aviv heightened tensions today.
Officials say one person was killed and two others were injured.
The state has given the green light to a proposed power plant in Pittsylvania County.
[SUPER=03-Dry Fork/File Tape]
The State Corporation Commission has approved the White Oak Energy Center.
It is a 680-megawatt gas- fired power plant scheduled to be built in Dry Fork.
Two of the three judges were concerned that no air quality study had been done on the plant, but pointed out that state law does not require it.
There's no indication when the plant will actually be constructed.
Florida Power and Light announced in February it was putting the project on hold.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next, the Episcopal Church hopes it can reconcile with members upset over the selection of a gay minister.
Also would you drive differently if you knew you were being observed? We'll have the latest statistics after the break.
[music up full]
Triple- A says drivers don't always watch what they are doing while they're behind the wheel-- even if they KNOW they're being watched.
That's according to a new study on distracted drivers that was just released today in Washington.
The study shows that cell phones were NOT the major distraction.
In fact, they were only used by 30- percent of the drivers in the study.
But 97- percent of the drivers would reach over for something.
91- percent messed with radios.
Researchers at U-N-C used miniature cameras in cars to track 70 drivers from North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Lawmakers, police and community leaders are taking on Virginia's gang problem.
Attorney General Jerry Kilgore's anti-gang task force met for the first time yesterday.
The panel got a lesson in gang vocabulary, appearance and behavior.
The task force is looking at how to better identify gang activity, educate school children and stimulate community involvement.
The meeting focused on the gang problems in Richmond, Northern Virginia and Tidewater.
However members of the panel say no community is immune.
[IN Q=WE HAVE A GANG PROBLEM IN]
((ATTORNEY GENERAL JERRY KILGORE: WE HAVE A GANG PROBLEM IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. THE REALITY IS THAT WHERE THERE ARE DRUGS AND ILLEGAL GUNS, THERE ARE GANGS. THE BREAKDOWN OF THE FAMILY IS INEVITABLE WHEN GANGS ARE ALLOWED TO FLOURISH.))
[OUT Q=GANGS ALLOWED TO FLOURISH.]
The task force is expected to make recommendations for fighting gang activity.
Those proposals will then be offered as legislation in the 2004 General Assembly session.
A yearly event in Henry County drew thousands last night. .
Each August, the sheriff's office hosts a picnic for police and the community to get to know each other.
As Teresa Hamilton reports-- this year took on special significance after the murder of a local child.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The line began ]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Kimmy Nester/Henry Co. Sheriff's Department; :14]
[SUPER=01-Lashawn Turner/Mother; :29]
[SUPER=01-R. D. Minter/Henry Co. Sheriff's Department; :51]
[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS7, Henry Co.]
(( The line began forming early to take part in this year's National Night out celebration in Henry County.
This is the fourth year for the event-- which draws thousands every year.
[in q=We try to ]
(( KIMMY NESTER/HENRY CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE: WE TRY TO CENTER IT AROUND A LOT OF FAMILY ACTIVITY, EVERYTHING IS FREE, ONLY WORRY WE HAVE, CONCERN IS THE WEATHER. ))
[out q= is the weather. ]
Besides free food, rides and games, this year's celebration also included fingerprinting of children.
[in q=Very protective ]
((LASHAWN TURNER/MOTHER: VERY PROTECTIVE, CAREFUL WHERE SHE GOES, I TOLD HER DON'T LET GO OF ANYBODY'S HAND. YOU DON'T KNOW WHO COULD TAKE HER JUST ANYBODY COULD TAKE HERE. ))
[out q= could take her. ]
Sheriff's deputies say requests for fingerprinting have gone up significantly since Michael and Mary Short were murdered and their daughter Jennifer was abducted from the family home.
[in q= The request ]
(( R. D. MINTER/HENRY CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE: THE REQUEST FOR FINGER PRINTING CHILDREN HAS PROBABLY TRIPLED IN HENRY COUNTY, WE'VE GONE TO SCHOOLS, BOY SCOUTS, GIRL SCOUTS, FUN DAYS, WE'VE DONE A LOT OF FINGER PRINTING IN THE LAST YEAR.))
[out q= in the last year.]
A year that's left many in the community on edge, but at least here parents could relax. At this event, there was no shortage of food, fun or law enforcement.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS7, Henry County.))
Leaders of the Anglican Church are trying to prevent a division among the ranks--
That in the wake of yesterday's confirmation of the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.
Anglicans in many parts of the world are angry about the election of the Reverend Gene Robinson.
Cynthia Bowers reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Rev. Gene Robinson/Bishop-Elect; :00]
[SUPER=03-Minneapolis, MN; :10]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Frank Griswold/Presiding Bishop; :45]
[SUPER=01-Rev. David Anderson/American Anglican Council; 1:00]
[SUPER=01-Geralyn Wolf/Rhode Island Bishop; 1:15]
[SUPER=01-Cynthia Bowers/CBS News; 1:26]
[OUT Q=Bowers, CBS News, Minneapolis.]
(SOT: Gene Robinson/Bishop Elect)
I love this Episcopal Church and the last 36 hours has only made me love
36 HOURS THAT TESTED THE FAITH OF A MAN WHO ALREADY KNEW HE HAD A FIGHT
ON HIS HANDS FOR HIS HOMOSEXUALITY.
BUT HE DID NOT EXPECT SUNDAY'S BLINDSIDING BY ALLEGATIONS OF IMPROPERLY
TOUCHING A VERMONT MAN AT A CHURCH GATHERING A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO...OR
HAVING TIES TO A WEBSITE WITH A LINK TO PORNOGRAPHY
ONE DAY AND MUCH ANGUISH LATER A CHURCH INVESTIGATION TOTALLY CLEARED
ROBINSON WHO SAYS HE GOT THROUGH IT BY TURNING TO A HIGHER POWER
(SOT: Gene Robinson/Bishop Elect)
I prayed for the person who made the allegations against me and I prayed
for those whom may have been harmed by this pornographic website no
matter how they got it
(SOT Rev. Frank Griswold/Presiding Bishop)
62 of the 107 bishops have given their consent
THE VOTE WAS CLOSE, AND AS ANTICIPATED, A GROUP OF CONSERVATIVE BISHOPS
WALKED OUT SAYING THEY CANNOT ABIDE BY THIS DECISION
(SOT: Rev. David Anderson/American Anglican Council)
We've rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic once again for the last
time and we've struck the iceberg and I think we're gonna see the ship
of state start to fragment and come apart
EVEN FOR SUPPORTERS OF ROBINSON THE VICTORY WAS BITTERSWEET
(SOT: Geralyn Wolf/Bishop, Diocese of Rhode Island)
I can't rejoice when some members of my household are in such pain but I
can thanks when other members of my community are so included
BOWERS ON CAM CLOSE
AND THE UPSET ISN'T LIMITED TO THIS COUNTRY. THE CONFIRMATION IS HAVING
RIPPLE EFFECTS AROUND THE WORLD WITH ANGLICANS AS FAR AWAY AS AUSTRALIA
AND MALAYSIA SAYING THIS WILL HURT THE CHURCH EVEN IF IT DOESN'T SPLIT
CYNTHIA BOWERS, CBS NEWS, MINNEAPOLIS.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
The National Weather Service decides if Roanoke County was hit by a tornado yesterday. We'll have its decision next.
Plus, we'll see a woman wants to surf across the ocean.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
The National Weather Service has confirmed that it was a tornado that touched down in Roanoke County.
The agency says the twister dipped into the Hollins area of the county around one o-clock yesterday morning.
It created a path of damage about a half mile long and 15 to 35 yards wide.
Meanwhile, a French athlete could USE some wind in her sails--
Ra-phaela Le Gouvello is setting out to windsurf across the Pacific Ocean.
Yesterday, she left Peru, and expects to reach Tahiti in 80 days, traveling a distance of just over four thousand miles.
The 43- year- old windsurfer says she believes she's chosen a good route with favorable winds.
Le Gouvello says she hopes it attracts people attention to the notion that the world is huge, but still manageable.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was UP 17 points. The NASDAQ dropped 20.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
coming up in sports...
We'll catch up with last year's Division One High School Football State Champions, as they train for the upcoming season.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
A former Hokie trying to make it in the N-F-L has been forced to the sidelines.
[SUPER=03-Berea, OH; :00]
Andre Davis's injured knee has not allowed him to get back on the practice field at the Cleveland Browns' training camp.
Andre has fluid on one of his knees.
And even though the MRI exam he had was negative - he has not practiced in over a week.
He says it's times like these when it's good to be surrounded by friends and former teammates.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=IT'S MORE A COMFORT...]
[SUPER=01-Andre Davis/Sidelined with Knee Injury; :00]
[OUT Q=...that you can talk to."]
The Generals of William Campbell, the reigning division- one state champs, are in the Friday Football Extra preseason spotlight this afternoon.
Steve Mason has a look from Naruna.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Brad Bradley/30-7 in Four Seasons at William Campbell; :25]
[SUPER=03-Harrisonburg/2002 Group A Div. One State Championship; :36]
[SUPER=01-Cedric Peerman/2,448 Rushing & Receiving Yards; :59]
[OUT Q=....News 7 sports"]
((Brad Bradley enters his fourth year with a stout 30 and 7 record, a state championship, a regional title and two district champion. He must replace 12 starters but the Generals are confident that this year can be as successful as last year.
Bradley does return UVa bound Cedric Peerman. The senior running back scored seven of his 50 touchdowns last season in William Campbell's 70 to nothing state championship win over Appalachia. The five foot 10, 190 pound Peerman is aware that producing another two thousand yard season will be challenging considering his name will be at the top of every team's scouting report.
Peerman and the Generals play five double A and five single A schools this season and understand they will get everybody's best shot Friday night.
The Generals open the season August 29th against Laurel Park. Steve Mason, News 7 sports.))
The opening of practice for what is the most anticipated football season in years at UVa is set for this afternoon.
[SUPER=03-Charlottesville/Spring Practice; :00]
Third year head coach Al Groh is, not surprisingly, calling the practices training camp.
He has opened the first six days of the camp up to the public and media, but with some restrictions.
Fans must stay in a designated area, and media members will also be restricted to a media bleachers area.
Today, Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Cavs practice at 2:20pm.
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]