A wintery mix continues to fall in the New River Valley this morning.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kim/ Rachel Microwave;]
New River Valley Bureau Chief Rachel DePompa has more on conditions there. Rachel???
Kimberly, we've seen it all this morning. snow, sleet, freezing rain. It's a very wet, cold mess out here.
This is what the roads are like right now.
((ROLLCUE:...This is what the roads are like now.))
[RUNS=:40 seconds.. plenty of pad]
There are no accidents to report right now.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Kim /Rachel Microwave;]
More than a thousand people are without power in Grayson County.
A-E-P also says there are about 50 outages in Franklin County.
Officials say technician crews are closely monitoring the storm, and workers are on stand-by.
They say ice alone won't necessarily cause power outages, but rather other conditions that may come with it, like high winds, that could tear down trees and power lines.
As you can see, we're running the list of school announcements at the top of your screen.
[TAKE FS WEB ADDRESS 4473 essc]
Also for a list of weather-related closings and delays, go any time to our home page at wdbj7-dot-com.
Bad weather continues to plague other areas of the nation.
In the western half of the country, another strong storm system has arrived.
Up to 18 inches of snow is predicted for some of the mountain ranges of California and the Sierra Nevadas.
And heavy rain predicted in the southern parts of the state are generating flooding concerns for those living near areas that were ravaged by wildfires last fall.
Democrats in seven states head to the polls today to choose a challenger to face President Bush in November.
Surveys of likely voters show the front- runner hanging on to his title in most of those places.
But in one state, the race is shaping up to be a fight to the finish.
Aleen Sirgany reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Columbia, SC; :]
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Edwards/(D) Presidential Candidate;]
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Kerry/(D) Presidential Candidate;]
[SUPER=01-Aleen Sirgany/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Sirgany, News 7.]
EDWARDS: here in south carolina were going to change america
SOUTH CAROLINAS NATIVE SON SAYS THE PRIMARY HERE IS A MUST WIN FOR HIM.
A SENATOR FROM THE STATE NEXT DOOR.. JOHN EDWARDS SAYS HE CAN BEAT
PRESIDENT BUSH IN THE SOUTH.
HES STEPPING-UP CRITICISM OF THE CANDIDATE THREATENING TO STEAL AWAY
VICTORY... EDWARDS ATTACKED JOHN KERRY FOR ACCEPTING LOBBYIST
CONTRIBUTIONS AND BEING INSIDE THE BELTWAY TOO LONG.
EDWARDS SOT I think if we want real change in Washington we want
someone who hasnt been there for 10-15 years to bring about that
(Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), Presidential Candidate)
THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR HAS BEEN CALLING EDWARDS EXPERIENCE INTO
QUESTION.. AND TOUTING HIMSELF AS THE BEST PERSON TO CHALLENGE THE
PRESIDENT IN EVERY REGION.
KERRY SOT: I believe I can win in the South because the South is, its
(Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Presidential Candidate)
SURVEYS OF LIKELY VOTERS GIVE KERRY A LOCK ON FIVE STATES TODAY..
INCLUDING MISSOURI.. THE STATE WITH THE MOST DELEGATES UP FOR GRABS.
IN OKLAHOMA THE POLLS ARE CLOSE SHOWING A THREE WAY CONTEST BETWEEN
KERRY, EDWARDS, AND WESLEY CLARK.
THE RETIRED GENERAL ALONG WITH KERRY AND HOWARD DEAN SPENT MONDAY
CAMPAIGNING IN NEW MEXICO AND ARIZONA. THE OUTCOME OF CONTESTS THERE MAY
OFFER CLUES AS TO HOW OTHER STATES WITH LARGE HISPANIC POPULATIONS MIGHT
STAND-UP CLOSE: AS IN ALL ELECTIONS- TURNOUT WILL BE A FACTOR TODAY.
HERE IN SOUTH CAROLINA THEYVE DROPPED A REQUIREMENT THAT VOTERS MUST
SIGN AN OATH BINDING THEM TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. SOME STRATEGISTS SAY
THAT WILL HELP KERRY.. OTHERS SAY IT GIVES EDWARDS AN EDGE. ALEEN
SIRGANY, NEWS 7.))
[GRAPHIC=HOLD Campaign 2004]
Virginia's Democratic primary is just over a week away and more candidates are planning to campaign in Southwest and Central Virginia.
Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman has scheduled a "Town Meeting" at Roanoke College Wednesday afternoon at 4-30.
Retired general Wesley Clark plans a two day blitz through the Commonwealth.
He'll be in Roanoke and Lynchburg on Friday.
North Carolina Senator John Edwards plans town-hall type appearances beginning Wednesday.
His plans include stops in Wytheville and Blacksburg.
[TAPE#=04-03 TC 12:24]
One Virginia lawmaker is giving the N-F-L an earful about the eyeful his family got during the Super Bowl half-time show.
Fairfax Senator Jay O'Brien was watching the Super Bowl with his five young children.
He says he and his wife were dismayed by the half-time performance that exposed Janet Jackson's right breast.
Calling it akin to a burlesque show, the Republican says the entertainment was not fit for family viewing.
The Republican says he wrote Commissioner Paul Tagliabue about his concerns.
[IN Q=EVEN BEFORE THE OPEN-BLOUSE]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Jay O'Brien/(R) Clifton]
[OUT Q=AND YOU KNEW IT.]
The incident also caught the attention of the Federal Communications Commission which is investigating the matter.
RBX Industries will close its Bedford plant in April.
RBX says the decision to close the Bedford plant is the result of overcapacity in the rubber industry and continued weakness in the general manufacturing economy.
The Bedford plant is one of three nationwide R-B-X is shutting down leaving a total of 64 people out of work.
At one time, the RBX plant was Bedford's largest employer.
RBX did not indicate whether the nine-month walkout that started in 1999 played any role in selecting the Bedford plant for closing.
[TAPE#=03-53 TC 1:14:23]
Roanoke officials say they haven't given up on bringing Airtran to western Virginia, but now they're hoping to court another low-cost airline.
Local businesses pledged to spend more than two million dollars with Airtran if the carrier would come to the Roanoke Regional Airport.
So far that campaign has been unsuccessful.
Now city officials say they're hoping to interest Atlantic Coast Airlines, which currently operates as United Express but is planning an independent low-fare airline.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We've not given up]
((RALPH SMITH/ROANOKE MAYOR; WE'VE NOT GIVEN UP ON AIRTRAN BUT THIS IS ANOTHER AIRLINE COMPANY THAT IS A POSSIBLE FIT FOR US. I SEE A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY, AND WE WANT TO JUMP THROUGH THAT WINDOW IF WE POSSIBLY CAN.))
[OUT Q=if we possibly can.]
Yesterday, Roanoke Council members asked the city manager to look for ways to interest Atlantic Coast Airlines, or other low-cost carriers.
In other business news, Cisco Systems is set to release its earnings report today.
Jean Lee has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Jean Lee/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in New York.]
(tape tosses to stocks)
[WOOD ROGERS SPONSOR BOARD 5185 ESSC]
We have some traffic information to pass along. A tanker truck has overturned on southbound Interstate 81 at milemarker 139. The tanker contians 9-thousand gallons of gasoline and it's currently leaking. Haz-Mat has been called and Crews are on way. Motorists are being asked to avoid the area.
Meanwhile, Snow and ice are never nice and if you're looking to ease the pain by buying rock salt, then you can forget it.
Both the Home Depot and Lowe's in Roanoke say they are completely sold out of rock salt.
The Lowe's on Route 220 in Roanoke County did however receive a shipment of ice melt Monday evening.
It is expected to sell quickly so the store has put a limit of ten bags per customer.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Lowe's is trying]
((RYAN BECKERDITE/LOWE'S MANAGER: LOWE'S IS TRYING TO BUY AS MUCH AS THEY CAN BUT RIGHT NOW WITH THE WAY WEATHER HAS BEEN THERE IS A NATIONWIDE SHORTAGE WITH ROCK SALT AND ICE MELT SO WE'RE FORTUNATE TO HAVE ANOTHER NINE POUNDS COME IN BUT RIGHT NOW THERE IS NOTHING COMING BEHIND THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Ryan Beckerdite/Lowe's Manager; :]
[OUT Q=coming behind that]
Most stores say it could be the end of the week before they get another shipment of rock salt or ice melt.
Three U-S Senate office buildings will be closed today for a mail check.
That, after police on Capitol Hill investigate a white powder they now believe is the deadly poison, Ricin.
The powder was found in Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office.
Two out of three tests indicate the substance is Ricin, but police are still waiting for a a more conclusive test.
16- people who were on the floor where the powder was found went through decontamination, then went home.
Senator Frist says that no one is sick, or is expected to get sick.
A major blow for pro-life advocates.
A federal judge struck down Virginia's ban on a type of late-term abortion yesterday, saying the law violated privacy rights and failed to make an exception for the health of the woman.
The judge also challenged the use of the term ``partial birth infanticide'' by the law's backers, saying it was an attempt to alarm the public.
Attorney General Jerry Kilgore says the decision was not unexpected. He plans to appeal the decision.
(Kim tosses to bump)
He won the election, then lost it in court.. and then lost a chance to serve on an interim basis on Bedford County's board of supervisors.
Now District Five candidate Steve Arrington says he'll be back.
Arrington actually beat incumbent Tony Ware last November, but a court overturned the election because 56 people voted in the wrong precinct.
The board appointed Ware to keep his seat until a special election in November.. a race Arrington intends on running.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I really don't]
((STEVE ARRINGTON/BEDFORD CO. SUPERVISOR CANDIDATE: I REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK TO THAT, ALL I DO KNOW IS THAT I'VE HAD SO MANY CALLS, SO VERY MANY CALLS, THAT I JUST HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO TAKE THEM ALL, AND THEY'VE BEEN COUNTYWIDE.))
[SUPER=01-Steve Arrington/Bedford Co. Supervisor Candidate]
[OUT Q=they've been countywide.]
Arrington's announcement was met with applause from a crowd of supporters at last night's board of supervisors meeting.
Will Virginia's smokers soon be paying more to light up?
Many lawmakers believe this is the year that the state's lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax gets a hike.
The governor's tax plan includes a tobacco tax increase.
So do a dozen other bills that raise the cigarette tax by as little as 22 cents and as much as a dollar a pack.
A new Mason-Dixon poll finds that a majority of Virginia voters support increasing the tobacco tax.
But some lawmakers say a hike may hurt Virginia's tobacco industry.
[IN Q=WE HAVE THE LARGEST CIGARETTE FACTORY]
((DEL. MORGAN GRIFFITH/R-SALEM: WE HAVE THE LARGEST CIGARETTE FACTORY IN THE WORLD LOCATED RIGHT HERE IN VIRGINIA SO YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO KILL THE GOOSE THAT LAYS THE GOLDEN EGG AND CHASE AWAY THOUSANDS OF JOBS FROM VIRGINIA. DELEGATE GARY REESE/R-OAK HILL: THIS IS NOT GOING TO PUT TOBACCO OUT OF BUSINESS, ADDICTED SMOKERS WILL GET IN LINE NO MATTER WHAT.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Gary Reese/(R) Fairfax Co.; :16]
[OUT Q=GET IN LINE NO MATTER WHAT.]
It's estimated that the tobacco industry employs six thousand Virginians.
(toss to bump)[Roanoke-Fire]
[TAPE#=04-06 TC 8:58]
Authorities are investigating an early morning house fire in Roanoke.
Firefighters were called to 418 Walnut Avenue Southeast just before 5 o-clock.
The blaze caused extensive damage to the second floor and the attic.
No one was home at the time. Authorities say two cats were rescued, but one later died.
The cause of the blaze has not been determined.