UP next on News 7--
A hot air balloon makes an emergency landing in Botetourt County.
Meanwhile, investigators release their final report on the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Try to stay cool as the hazy, hot, and humid weather continues. I'll have your forecast.
News 7 at Noon starts right now...
Some Botetourt County residents get a surprise from the skies this morning.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Noon]
Virginia State Police are investigating the emergency landing of a hot air balloon this morning.
Troutville rescue crews removed the balloon and basket from a hilltop in Botetourt County around 10:30.
The pilot says he and four passengers ditched the balloon in the trees after a nearby property owner denied a request by his crew to land.
(///// SOT at :14 /////)
[IN Q=He was very nasty to them...]
((COLIN GRAHAM/PILOT: HE WAS VERY NASTY TO THEM AND APPARENTLY TOLD THEM NO. I WAS STILL IN THE AIR AND THOUGHT I HAD ENOUGH FUEL TO CONTINUE FLYING AND FLEW FOR 25 MORE MINUTES AND GOT DOWN TO MY LEGAL RESERVES AND DECIDED IT WAS BEST TO PUT IT IN THE TREES BEFORE GOING ELSEWHERE.))
[OUT Q=trees before going elsewhere.]
Graham has been flying 7 of his 20-years.
He says it was the first time he'd experienced such problems.
No one was hurt.
Virginia State Police are investigating whether any aviation laws were broken.
The hot weather has some school systems adjusting their schedules.
Schools in Bland County will close today AND tomorrow at one.
In Henry County, elementary schools closed at Noon. The Middle Schools will close at 12:30 and the high school at one.
Also Druid Hills Elementary and Patrick Henry Elementary Schools in Martinsville will close TODAY and tomorrow at 12:30.
NASA released the final report on the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster this morning.
But some doubt the space agency will be able to fix the root cause, a management culture that failed to act.
Stacy Case reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-William Harwood/CBS News Space Consultant;]
[SUPER=01-Stacy Case/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Case, CBS News, Washington.]
SUPER: FEBRUARY 2003
TRACK: AS PIECES OF COLUMBIA RAINED DOWN ON TEXAS LAST FEBRUARY---- MID
LEVEL NASA ENGINEERS SPECULATED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY THAT THIS PIECE OF
FOAM MAY HAVE CAUSED THE SHUTTLE TO BURN UP ON RE ENTRY.
NAT: passing out report
TRACK: SEVEN MONTHS LATER, THAT IS THE FINAL FINDING....
BUT THE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIVE BOARD SAYS THERE'S MORE----
SUPER: /INVESTIGATIVE BOARD
TRACK: AT LEAST HALF OF THE 248 PAGE REPORT POINTS THE FINGER AT TOP
BRASS. INVESTIGATORS SAY THE BUREACRACY
DISCOURAGED MID-LEVEL ENGINEERS FROM VOICING THEIR SAFETY CONCERNS.
THE HIGHER-UPS INSISTED THE FOAM STRIKE WAS NOT SERIOUS.
NAT: foam strike test
TRACK: SUBSEQUENT TESTS AND THE LOSS OF 7 LIVES PROVED IT WAS.
SUPER: WILLIAM HARWOOD/CBS NEWS SPACE CONSULTANT
The board believes this management system is so seriously flawed it
needs major changes to prevent a recurrence of this failure and it
believes nasa will be resistant to making those changes.
TRACK: THE REPORT EVEN GOES AS FAR AS SAYING, ANOTHER ACCIDENT IS
INEVITABLE WITHOUT AN OVERHAUL OF THE NASA MINDSET AND CULTURE.
STAND UP: STACY CASE/REPORTING
TBA... cost of report, recommendations for nasa, congressional funding,
board recommends congress and white house enforce safety (more outside
New raids today in Iraq, and more American casualties in an attack on a convoy.
Kimberly Dozier is in Baghdad with the latest.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Kimberly Dozier/CBS News;]
[SUPER=01-Rep. Tom Davis/(R) Virginia;]
[SUPER=01-James Light/Holly Springs, MS;]
[OUT Q=Dozier, CBS News, Baghdad.]
THIS IS A BITTER HALF-WAY MARK FOR U.S. TROOPS ...139 DEAD
- THE SAME NUMBER WHO DIED BEFORE PRESIDENT BUSH DECLARED AN END TO
MAJOR COMBAT OPERATIONS HERE.
WITH GUERILLA ATTACKS AGAINST US TROOPS ON AVERAGE - coming every two
hours - CASUALTIES WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY RISE.
Font:AL-KHALIS, BAQUBA, IRAQ (Reuters)
U.S. troops keep hunting those responsible. Another raid south of
(UPSOT - raid)
...and more arrests.
But attacks keep coming, costing American blood.
According to visiting congressmen here, US troops will stay on the
receiving end, for quite some time.
(SOT Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. )
"We have a job to do. America does not cut and run."
18 July (Reuters)
The U.S. has turned parts of Iraq over to foreign forces - but Polish
troops, for instance, refused to take on the most dangerous areas.
The UN Security Council is balking at sending peacekeepers to Iraq to
share the risk, unless it gets a say in running the country, and its
members get a shot at investing in Iraq's oil industry.
The soldiers here are already resigned to a long haul.
(SOT Staff Sgt. James Light,
Holly Springs, Mississippi - )
"No matter how hot it gets, what the circumstances are, the officer in
charge has to be the guy to set the example
You have to remain focused and you have to be focused on your job 24/7.
Other guys see that and they'll feed that."
As long as you show your soldiers you care about them, then they're
gonna work hard for you.
K For as long as they have to do it?
"For as long as they have to do it."
(ON CAM CLOSE)
AND AT THIS RATE, IT LOOKS LIKE THEY'LL BE DOING THE JOB ON THEIR OWN -
WASHINGTON STILL BELIEVES IT HAS ENOUGH AMERICAN SOLDIERS HERE, AND
UNLESS THE SECURITY COUNCIL HAS A SERIOUS CHANGE OF HEART, THERE WON'T
BE ANY UN PEACEKEEPERS JOINING THEM. KIMBERLY DOZIER, CBS NEWS, BAGHDAD.
Roanoke Police say the death of a 19-year-old at a local hotel is NOT suspicious.
The teenager was from another state, staying at the Wyndham Hotel.
The young man had locked the room from the inside with a chain, so investigators have ruled out foul play.
They're still waiting on an autopsy to determine the cause of death and trying to locate his family.
A Halifax man has admitted to his role in two murders in Southside ten years ago.
29 year old Louis Jordan Powell, Junior pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder yesterday afternoon.
[SUPER=03-Halifax Co./December 1993; ]
Investigators say Powell admitted to a role in the deaths of Joseph Gibbons and John LaPrade.
The two men were shot to death inside a car at the Riverdale Amoco in Halifax County in December of 1993.
Two other suspects are awaiting trial on capital murder charges, Dexter Lamont Dixon of South Boston and Verlie Marion Word of Halifax.
[TAPE#=03-36 TC 4:07]
A controversial road plan that's placed a Bedford County supervisor under suspicion is now dead in its tracks.
Last night, Bedford County supervisor Kirby Richardson made a motion asking that the million dollar project plan be essentially killed.
The motion to remove the project from the county's secondary road plan was approved by the remaining supervisors.
The plan would have widened the intersection of routes 608 and 626 near Smith Mountain Lake.
Richardson approved the project last fall.
He also filled out one of the Highway Department's comment sheets in favor of the plan.
State Police found four dozen similar comment sheets with false addresses, and a special grand jury is now investigating whether Richardson had a hand in falsifying the forms.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next, an autistic child is apparently murdered during a church service.
And from the sports world, one of the best tennis players ever decides it's time to retire.
[music up full]
It's been a wild couple of days in the California recall campaign--
Republican candidate Bill Simon dropped out of the race, and a new Los Angeles Times poll shows actor Arnold Schwarzenegger trailing Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante (BOOSTA- montay).
[SUPER=03-Santa Clara, CA;]
Meanwhile, an anti- recall election rally was held last night in Santa Clara, California.
It was an effort by organized labor to get out the vote in favor of Democratic incumbent Governor Gray Davis.
A horrifying discovery of child abuse in Phoenix, Arizona.
Twin five- year- old boys were found in makeshift cages in their home.
They're now in state custody while their parents are in jail, facing child abuse charges.
The boys are said to be healthy, but they're unable to speak.
The mother told police the boys were confined for their own safety.
In Milwaukee, the death of an autistic boy during a church service has been ruled a homicide.
A small memorial marks the home of eight- year- old Terrance Cottrell, Junior, who suffocated during a prayer service.
Members say they were trying to drive out evil spirits they believe was causing the boy's autism.
Murder charges could be filed today against Ray Hemphill, who presided over the service during which Cottrell was held down while church members prayed.
The non-denominational church is based in an old strip mall in Milwaukee, and has about six families as members.
Lee County schools may capitalize from a bankruptcy case.
Officials yesterday announced the Lee County Community Foundation would be formed with proceeds from the sale of what's now known as the Lee Regional Medical Center.
A Florida company bought the hospital out of bankruptcy and scandal in 2001, paying close to 25-million dollars.
That was after an administrator admitted to embezzling almost two million dollars from the facility.
Attorneys say all creditors will be paid in full by Labor Day, and more than 1-and a half million will be set aside to improve the county's healthcare and education.
One of the best known names in men's tennis has walked off the courts for the last time.
Pete Sampras said goodbye to the sport last night.
Drew Levinson has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Flushing Meadows, NY/USTA-USA Network-CBS Sports; :00]
[SUPER=01-Pete Sampras/Retired Tennis Player; :10]
[SUPER=01-Drew Levinson/CBS News; :17]
[OUT Q=CBS News.]
MANDATORY COURTESY -- USTA/USA NETWORK/CBS SPORTS
On Center Court--where he thrilled Millions of tennis fans for so long--Pete Sampras said goodbye to the game he loved.
(SOT SAMPRAS TO CROWD)
(STANDUP: Drew Levinson )
IT WAS HERE AT THE US OPEN WHERE AN UNKNOWN 19-YEAR OLD WON HIS FIRST GRANDSLAM...AND IT WAS ON THIS SAME COURT LAST YEAR WHERE SAMPRAS WON THE LAST OF THIS RECORD 14 GRANDSLAM TITLES."
(SOT) "HE'S DONE IT, HIS 14TH GRANDSLAM TITLE
Never flashy--but always consistent Sampras won 64 singles matches. But the big ones really got his adrenelyn flowing.
Sampras won here at the U-S open five times and he was even better at Wimbledon, where he was king--winning there seven times.
GAME SET MATCH SAMPRAS
Six years in a row--he finished the season number one.
(SOT: PETE SAMPRAS)
"TO SAY I'M THE GREATEST EVER, I WON'T SAY THAT. AT TIMES I FELT LIKE WHEN I WAS PLAYING OUT THERE, I WAS PLAYING PRETTY CLOSE PERFECT TENNIS."
But at age 32 Sampras says he doesn't have the fire in the belly to continue playing perfect tennis.
Instead of concentrating on the sport he wants to devote more time to his wife and young son.
"I'LL MISS PLAYING. I'LL MISS COMPETING. I'LL MISS GOING OUT IN FINALS LIKE WIMBLEDON IN FRONT OF 20-THOUSAND PEOPLE...AND THAT RUSH AND THAT EXCITEMENT."
Pete Sampras gave 100 percent to the game and now he promises he's 100 percent retired.
GAME SET AND MATCH SAMPRAS
Game set match and now for Sampras, make that a career.
Drew Levinson, CBS News))
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next, we'll tell you why one man proves he is a champion square.
Also the nominations are in.. we'll see who is up for the most C-M-A awards.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Country singer Toby Keith has picked up a leading nine nominations for the Country Music Association Awards.
His nominations, which were announced this morning, include Entertainer of the year, best male vocalist, and best album.
Brooks and Dunn, Johnny Cash and Brad Paisley have four nominations each.
Keith and Brooks and Dunn will compete for entertainer of the year with Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw.
Martina McBride will try to repeat as best female vocalist. Her competition includes Dolly Parton, Terri Clark, Alison Krauss and Patty Loveless.
Radio station WAKG in Danville is nominated for small market station of the year.
Winners will be announced on November fifth in Nashville.
He was a toddler during the era when the Rubik's Cube was as popular as breakdancing and cabbage patch dolls.
[SUPER=03-San Francisco, CA;]
But this weekend, Dan Knights took home the grand prize at the 2003 World Rubik's Game Championship in Toronto.
The 24- year- old software engineer beat more than 80 other people in the international contest.
He also shaved almost three seconds off the world record, quite an accomplisment for a player who's hardly a VETERAN.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Well, I started]
((DAN KNIGHTS/2003 WORLD RUBIK'S CUBE CHAMPION: WELL, I STARTED CUBING IN 1999. I WAS ACTUALLY 2 OR 3 WHEN THE WHOLE CUBE CRAZE HAPPENED IN THE 80'S. SO MOST PEOPLE THINK I'VE ONLY BEEN CUBING A LONG TIME, BUT REALLY IT'S ONLY BEEN A FEW YEARS. ))
[SUPER=01-Dan Knights/2003 World Rubik's Cube Champion;]
[OUT Q=been a few years.]
Knights won 35- hundred dollars in prize money.
The cube has carried an international interest since it was invented in the 19-70s by Hungarian professor Erno Rubik.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was DOWN 71 points. The NASDAQ has dropped 22.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up in sports, some Hokies do not make the cut in the N-F-L.
And we'll show you a new line of dolls. Stores hope they will hip-hop off the shelves.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
NFL teams must get down to 65 players by four this afternoon.
Many teams went ahead and made their cuts yesterday.
Former UVa star Antoine Womack was cut by the Patriots, while the Jags got rid for former Hokie Dave Kadela, and the Browns released former Tech tight- end Bob Slowikowski.
[SUPER=03-Berea, OH; :00]
The Browns also finally got Andre Davis back on the practice field yesterday.
Andre has been hampered by a bad knee ever since a teammate fell on it in practice back on July 28th.
He took part in limited workouts yesterday, and will see increased playing time as the knee progresses.
Former Friday Football Extra player of the week - Jacob Lewis from Cave Spring has decided to put football on the shelf for the time being.
[SUPER=04-Friday Football Extra; :00]
Lewis, who would have been a redshirt sophomore quarterback at William & Mary this season, has left the Tribe program.
This past week he looked into enrolling at Division Three power Bridgewater, where he could have played immediately, and likely would have considering the Eagles' depth problems.
His family visited the Bridgewater campus last week.
But according the Eagles' coach Mike Clark, Lewis has decided not to play football at this time.
Lewis had the top passing game in the 2000 season with over 400 yards against Pulaski.
[GRAPHIC=Friday Football Extra]
Speaking of Friday Football extra, the high school football season kicks off this Friday.
One of the big games will be at Northside where the Vikings host Pulaski County.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
Jim Hickam and company cruised through the regular season at 10 and 0 last season, only to lose to Blacksburg in the opening round of the playoffs.
Just 7 starters are back from that team, and the playoff loss still stings.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Jim Hickam/30th Season as Vikings Head Coach; :00]
[OUT Q=where we need to go."]
Hickam is one of Friday Football Extra's longest- tenured coaches, and he's coming off hip replacement surgery back in May, but says he feels just fine.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=go ahead and get it done."]
It's not your mother's Barbie Doll-- or your own version either.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
"Flava" dolls have hit the stores, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
The new line of dolls features ethnic backgrounds-- 28 different ones in all-- and they're inspired by the hip hop movement.
They look and dress like real teenagers, with different height and weight, as well as different hair and eye colors.
The dolls also come with their own line of hip clothing, just like what the kids wear.
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]