He was scheduled to be executed last night, but James Edward Reid is still alive.
Reid is the convicted killer of Annie Lester, an 87-year-old Christiansburg woman.
A federal appeals court issued a stay of his execution on Wednesday.
Last night, just two hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection, the U-S Supreme Court upheld the stay.
Reid is arguing that lethal injection constitutes a form of cruel and unusual punishment.
[IN Q=IT APPEARS TO BE AN ILLUSION]
((STEVEN BENJAMIN/CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: IT APPEARS TO BE AN ILLUSION NOW THAT LETHAL INJECTION IS A VERY PEACEFUL NICE PROCESS WHEN IN FACT ITS BEGINNING TO APPEAR THAT ITS ANYTHING BUT. WHAT WE'RE FINDING IS THAT IT'S AN HORRIFYING PROCESS INVOLVING SOMEONE BEING ABSOLUTELY PARALYZED AND SLOWLY FEELING THE TREMENDOUS PAIN OF SUFFOCATION AND DEATH WHILE BEING UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE.))
[SUPER=01-Steven Benjamin/Criminal Defense Attorney]
[OUT Q=BEING UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE.]
The U-S Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case similar to Reid's in June.
Reid's future will likely hinge on that outcome.
Roanoke's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative is taking what's old and making it new again.
Those on tap for a facelift are the Gainsboro and Gilmer Avenue neighborhoods in Northwest Roanoke.
Last night, residents gathered for an informational meeting at Lucy Addison Magnet School.
They heard how the city has already spent more than six million dollars making improvements between Jamison and Bullitt Avenue in southeast Roanoke.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's an improving]
((CARL COOPER/ROANOKE NEIGHBORHOOD ADVOCATES: IT'S AN IMPROVING COMMUNITY AND IT'S A COMMUNITY WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS IN ROANOKE AND THE CITY ADMINISTRATION AND COUNCIL IS BEGINNING TO TAKE BACK IT'S FORMER GLORY DAYS.))
[SUPER=01-Carl Cooper/Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates;]
[OUT Q=former glory days]
To accomplish that, residents can apply for no interest loans to help fix up their homes.
The city also plans to buy vacant lots and fill them with new houses.
Other improvements include easing traffic, increasing green space, and providing grants to area businesses.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It really does a lot]
((EVELYN BETHEL/GAINSBORO AREA RESIDENT: IT REALLY DOES A LOT FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND IT IMPROVES THE OVERALL APPEARANCE OF THE CITY FROM HOTEL ROANOKE UP TO ST. ANDREWS CATHOLIC CHURCH.))
[SUPER=01-Evelyn Bethel/Gainsboro Area Resident;]
[OUT Q=St. Andrews Catholic Church]
The city plans to spend nearly 20 million dollars in the Gainsboro - Gilmer Avenue areas.
Construction is set to begin this summer and the entire project will take nearly three years to complete.
Authorities have made an arrest in the murder of a Roanoke woman.
[VO-NAT - :31.5]
23-year old Neesha Edwards was shot to death while sitting in a car outside of her apartment on Bennett Drive around four o-clock yesterday morning.
According to police, two hours before she was killed Edwards obtained a warrant against 26 year old Carl Lamonte Richardson, saying he had threatened to kill her. He was arrested a few hours after the shooting, and is being held on a murder charge at the Roanoke City Jail without bond.
Neesha Edwards was a student at the BarPalma Beauty Careers Academy, and school officials say she will be missed.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT - 12:55:07]
[IN Q=Well liked by...]
((WALT HODGES/BARPALMA BEAUTY CAREERS DIRECTOR; WELL LIKED BY THE STUDENTS AND SEEMED TO HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS HERE. OBVIOUSLY FROM THE REACTION OF EVERYONE THIS MORNING SHE WAS VERY WELL LIKED, AND SEEMED TO BE A VERY POSITIVE STUDENT WHILE SHE WAS HERE.))
[SUPER=01-Walt Hodges/BarPalma Beauty Careers Director;]
[OUT Q=while she was here.]
[VO-NAT - :11+]
An acquaintance of Edwards, 22 year old Shawn Webb was wounded in the shooting.
He is in fair condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
If Virginia's rail system gets a face- lift, it could mean significantly fewer tractor trailers on Interstate- 81.
A state study says major improvements to Virginia's rail system could take 500- thousands trucks a year off the highway.
The State Department of Rail and Public Transportation commissioned the study.
It suggests that 492- million dollars in improvements could reduce tractor-trailer traffic on the interstate by five percent by the year two thousand- 20.
Officials say I- 81 typically handles more than twice the truck volume it was designed to handle.
Revelers will be able to ring in the New Year at an outdoor event in Downtown Roanoke.
Event Zone is promoting "Midnight on the Market", a gathering to be held the night of December 31st in the parking lot behind Billy's Ritz.
Organizers describe the event as a "party" whereas the former First Night celebration was more of a "festival".
(///// SOTat :15 /////)
[IN Q=It's gonna be very casual...]
((KATIE LUCAS/"MIDNIGHT ON THE MARKET": IT'S GONNA BE VERY CASUAL, VERY INEXPENSIVE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO THROW ON THEIR BALLGOWN AND SPEND ALOT OF MONEY, PEOPLE THAT WANT TO THROW ON THEIR JEANS AND HAVE A GOOD TIME AND NOT STRESS OUT.))
[SUPER=01-Katie Lucas/"Midnight on the Market";]
[OUT Q=and not stress out.]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/December 31, 2000;]
Organizers of First Night canceled the celebration in 2001 citing leadership changes, problems finding volunteers and money issues.
The event typically drew about 10-thousand people.
Lucas says she hopes "Midnight on the Market" will draw at least half that many.
(toss to weather)
A Roanoke man will spend the next 76 years in prison after shooting a Florida tourist back in March.
27- year- old Derrick Wakie (Wah'-KEY) Smith pled guilty to shooting Ryan Taboada several times during a robbery attempt and then stealing the man's vehicle while his little girl was still inside.
The mother of one of Smith's children testified on his behalf.
Kiana (Key- ana) Howard says Smith should pay for his crimes, but doesn't want her little boy to grow up without a dad.
Ryan Taboada was not at the sentencing, but is said to be recovering from his wounds in Florida.
A week- long trip to the Middle East ended with some tense moments for Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte.
The plane carrying Goodlatte out of Baghdad yesterday took evasive action after equipment detected a possible missile launch.
It turned out to be a false alarm, and the Roanoke Republican says he was encouraged by what he witnessed in Iraq.
Goodlatte travelled with five other members of Congress to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.
In a conference call with reporters yesterday afternoon, he said he believes coalition forces are making steady progress with the security challenge there.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=One of the strongest]
((ONE OF THE STRONGEST INDICATIONS OF THAT IS THE FACT THAT THE ATTACKS THAT ARE STILL GOING ON , ALTHOUGH THEY REACHED A PEAK DURING RAMADAN AND THEY'RE NOW BELOW ABOUT HALF OF THE ATTACKS THAT WERE OCCURING EACH DAY DURING RAMADAN.))
[OUT Q=each day during Ramadan.]
Goodlatte said he also enjoyed the chance to visit with many Virginians who are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq... including Doug Richards of Roanoke, an airman stationed in Baghdad.
Senator George Allen is helping a local University reach a new goal.
Virginia Tech is trying to be one of the top 30 schools in the nation for research.
Senator Allen says he's pushed Congress to come up with an estimated 13-million dollars in recent weeks just for Tech.
The money will be used for dozens of projects at the University that will focus on new technologies, homeland security, medical research and agriculture.
Allen says the money will mean more jobs for the New River Valley.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=From the capabilities]
((SEN. GEORGE ALLEN/(R) VIRGINIA: FROM THE CAPABILITIES SPAWN SMALL BUSINESSES THAT COMMERCIALIZE SOME OF THESE APPLICATIONS. THEY END UP WANTING TO BE NEAR THE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY. WHERE YOU HAVE THE PROFESSORS, WHERE YOU HAVE THE STUDENTS. WHERE YOU HAVE THE LABORATORIES AND OF COURSE THIS CORPORATE RESEARCH IS A GREAT EXAMPLE.))
[OUT Q=great example.]
Tech leaders say for every million dollars invested in research, 60-new high paying jobs are created.