While the North Carolina coastline seems to have a bulls eye on it, Virginia Beach also stands in the path of the potentially destructive Hurricane Isabel.
[VA Beach DOUBLE BOXES 16115=Kim/Meghan Starlink]
That's where we find Meghan Muldoon this morning, who joins us now with an update on how storm conditions are affecting Virginia Beach at this point.
((ROLLCUE:...Rolled From Truck))
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[SUPER=01-Nelson Family/Virginia Beach Residents;]
[SUPER=01-Dana Wagner/Michigan Visitor;]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Ryan/Hurricane Chaser;]
[SUPER=01-Pat Fallon/Virginia Beach Resident;]
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[VA Beach DOUBLE BOXES=Meghan Starlink/Kim Studio;]
(ad-lib toss to Kim)
Amtrak is cancelling trains on all routes south of Washington because of Hurricane Isabel.
That includes service to Lynchburg, Danville, and Clifton Forge.
If you have flight reservations, airlines suggest you check with them before heading to the airport.
Central Virginia residents should be prepared for the worst, but not panic.
That's the advice from emergency officials there who are preparing for the storm.
Lynchburg leaders say city employees are standing by ready to respond to anything that comes up over the next few days.
They urge citizens to prepare themselves and remember their neighbors.
Officials also remind residents to dial the city's information line.. 8-5-6 C-I-T-Y.. to report non-emergency situations.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
In Southside, emergency officials do not anticipate major damage. They're prepared to help hurricane victims in other parts of the state.
If there is any flooding along the Dan River, they don't expect it until Friday or Saturday.
The last hurricane to seriously damage Danville hit in September 1996.
Hurricane Fran caused long-term flooding and power outages.
Officials say Isabel shouldn't be anywhere near as strong as that storm.
[VO-NAT - :16+]
Power crews from A-E-P and Dominion are getting ready for massive outages, and backup arrived yesterday.
Line crews from 7 states are arriving to help repair downed lines and restore power.
Power officials say if you lose power call only once- that'll keep the lines open so others can call in.
In other news this morning, Police are trying to figure out why a man decided to take at least a dozen people hostage at a college in Tennessee.
Authorities shot and killed Harold Kilpatrick, Junior after storming the building late last night.
Police say that came after failed attempts to negotiate with him.
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[IN Q=We were waiting ]
((BOB WILLIAMSON/DYERSBURG POLICE CHIEF: WE WERE WAITING TO TALK HIM OUT, WE COULDN'T GET ANYWHERE WITH HIM, HE DIDN'T MAKE ANY DEMANDS, HE JUST SAID HE WAS ON A SUICIDE MISSION, HE FIRED SOME SHOTS INSIDE AND WHEN HE DID MY TEAM WENT IN.))
[SUPER=01-Bob Williamson/Dyersburg Police Chief;]
[OUT Q=my team went in.]
Two of the hostages were injured, but not seriously.
Officers say Kilpatrick left behind a note saying that he quote "wanted to kill some people and die today."
The 26-year-old was scheduled to be in court in Memphis on charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault.
President Bush says his administration has "no evidence" that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11th attacks.
In a recent poll, 70- percent of Americans said the former Iraqi dictator was probably personally involved with the terrorist attacks.
At the same time, a new audiotape said to contain the voice of Saddam is calling on the Iraqi people to drive U-S forces out of the country.
In business news, The New York Stock Exchange is looking for a new C-E-O.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=i'm AC.]
TODAY BEGINS A NEW ERA FOR THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE... NOW THAT DICK GRASSO HAS RESIGNED AS CHAIRMAN OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST STOCK MARKET.
GRASSO CAME UNDER INTENSE CRITICISM FOR HIS 140 MILLION DOLLAR PAYOUT PACKAGE... ESPECIALLY SINCE HE HAND PICKED SOME OF THE MEMBERS OF HIS COMPENSATION BOARD. HIS OUSTER ENDS A 36 YEAR CAREER WITH THE EXCHANGE- EIGHT AS CHAIRMAN AND CEO.
THE BOARD OF THE NYSE ASKED GRASSO TO RESIGN A DAY AFTER THE THREE BIGGEST U.S. PUBLIC PENSION FUNDS SAID THE SIZE OF HIS PAYCHECK UNDERMIND HIS CREDIBILITY AS A REGULATOR.
IN A STATEMENT GRASSO SAID HE RESIGNED WITH THE DEEPEST RELUCTANCE. BOARD MEMBER AND HIGH POWERED TECH ATTORNEY LARRY SONSINI HAS BEEN OFFERED THE JOB AS INTERIM CHAIRMAN. NAMES MENTIONED AS LONG TERM SUCCESSORS INCLUDE FORMER SEC CHIEF ARTHUR LEVITT AND FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY ROBERT RUBIN.
THE NEWS OF GRASSO'S RESIGNATION CAME AFTER THE CLOSING BELL AND FOLLOWING AN EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE EXCHANGE'S BOARD MEMBERS. AHEAD OF THAT NEWS THE DOW SLID 21 POINTS.. THE NASDAQ SLIPPED 4.
ON THE STOCKS TO WATCH LIST: AXA FINANCIAL WILL BUY THE LIFE INSURER AND MONEY MANAGER THE MONY GROUP FOR 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS... AND THREE FORMER MERILL LYNCH EXECUTIVES PLEADED GUILTY TO CHARGES THEY CONSPIRED TO DEFRAUD INVESTORS IN A TRANSACTION THAT ALLOWED ENRON TO REPORT A PHONE 12 MLN DOLLAR PROFIT. THE INDICTMENTS FOLLOW LAST WEEK'S GUILTY PLEA BY FORMER ENRON TREASURER BEN GLISAN.
TRACK ALL THE PREMARKET ACTION AT CBS.MW.COM.... IN NEW YORK I'M ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
North Carolina is already beginning to feel the wrath of Hurricane Isabel.
[SUPER=03-Kill Devil Hills, NC;]
Strong winds, heavy rain, and huge waves pummeled the Outer Banks overnight.
Residents who chose to ignore evacuation orders could be found at local stores, stocking up on supplies.
As the eye of the hurricane approaches, residents say their biggest concerns are about downed trees, power outages, and flooding.
And many are hoping THIS won't be a repeat of Hurricane Floyd, which killed 56 people and caused billions of dollars in damage in the area four years ago.
Virginia's Department of Emergency Management is ready to respond to situations in our state.
The operation center in Richmond is open 24 hours a day until the storm passes.
More than 100 people made up of 15 state agencies will track Isabel and then provide assistance to localities when needed.
Governor Mark Warner is encouraging all Virginians to be prepared since parts of central and southside Virginia could see flooding.
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[IN Q=If you see a flash flood]
((GOVERNOR MARK WARNER: IF YOU SEE A FLASH FLOOD IF THERE'S LARGE AMOUNTS OF WATER YOU SHOULD AVOID GOING THROUGH THAT. WHAT WE FOUND IS THAT 80-PERCENT OF CASUALITIES IN THE AFTERMATH OF A HURRICANE ARE OFTEN TIMES CAUSED BY FLOODING.))
[OUT Q=caused by flooding]
The governor also has 500 National Guard troops on standby ready to be deployed along with 500 state troopers.
The state police will work to keep the roads moving since many have decided to evacuate their homes.
[Take VA Emergency Info FS]
The state has set up a hotline to provide Virginians with useful information about the hurricane.
You can call 1-866-880-4280 from eight in the morning until six at night. There is also a website with similar information and that address is vaemergency dot com.
The Radford city police department is now itself under investigation.
Salem Commonwealth's attorney, Fred King, was appointed special prosecutor to "oversee matters involving personnel" in the Radford police department.
King says the probe follows a complaint filed late last month, be he would not comment on the nature of that complaint.
Yesterday, city council members met for a closed session meeting to discuss legal and personnel matters.
Officials would not say whether the meeting was related to the investigation.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
Tax revenues are down, spending is up and that means red ink for the federal government.
A month shy of the end of the budget year, the government's on
track for a record deficit.
As the 2003 fiscal year draws to a close, records indicate four hundred billion dollars worth of debt, which is more than twice as much as the same time last year.
The White House says the sluggish economy and the costs of
fighting terrorism and the war in Iraq are at fault.
Democrats blame Bush's tax cuts and economic policies.
In business news, The C-E-O of the New York Stock Exchange has resigned.
Dick Grasso stepped down yesterday druing an emergency meeting of the board's directors.
Grasso has been under fire since his 140 million dollar compensation package became public last month.
News 7 Mornin' will be right back, but first here's a look at your local stocks.
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Two well known businessmen hope to rev up business at a Pulaski County attraction.
The owners of the Shelor Motor Mile have formed a partnership with the New River Valley Speedway.
Teresa Hamilton reports-- the pair hope to breathe new life into the 126- acre site.
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[SUPER=03-Pulaski Co./August 9; :26]
[SUPER=01-David Hagan/Shelor Motor Mile; :33]
[OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS 7. ]
(( DAVID HAGAN/SHELOR MOTOR MILE: NO, AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED THE NAME WILL BE THE SAME, IT'S THE BEEN THE NEW RIVER VALLEY SPEEDWAY FOREVER AND WE HAVE NO INTEREST IN CHANGING THE NAME OF IT. ))
[out q=chaning the name of it. ]
David Hagan and his business partner Larry Shelor say the name may remain the same-- but the overall look of the New River Valley Speedway is slated to change.
The owners of the Shelor Motor Mile have formed a partnership and agreement with the track's managing partner and the three have big plans for the future.
[in q=I think ]
(( DAVID HAGAN/SHELOR MOTOR MILE: I THINK ONCE IT'S RENOVATED, THE NEW TRACK AND THE NEWS STANDS AND NEW FACILITY AND NEW STORAGE AND JUST THE BIG FACE LIFT, IT'S GOING TO COST MORE TO RENOVATE THAN WE'VE PAID.))
[out q= than we've paid.]
Hagan says they also have another big project in mind for the 10-thousand seat facility.
He says attendance over the years has fallen but hopes the face lift and the addition of a new drag strip will pave the way for a full house.
[in q=It's something ]
((DAVID HAGAN/SHELOR MOTOR MILE: IT'S SOMETHING THAT MOST RACERS IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE NASCAR CIRCUIT YOU CAN AFFORD TO DRAG RACE, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN HAVE A 200- THOUSAND DOLLAR CAR TO DRAG RACE, OR YOU CAN HAVE A 400 DOLLAR CAR TO DRAG RACE... IF YOU WANT TO. ))
[out q= 400 dollar car to drag race... if you want to. ]
)) Hagan says they still have to complete a site plan to submit to the Pulaski County planning commission for approval.