[TAPE#=04-06 TC 17:31]
[GRAPHIC=News 7 Mornin']
There were some scary moments last night at the Hotel Roanoke.
Firefighters responded just after nine o'clock to reports of an explosion on the fifth floor.
It actually turned out to be a sprinkler pipe bursting.
As a result, the hotel was evacuated for nearly a hour.
The problem caused significant water damage to several rooms on the fifth floor and some damage to rooms on the floor down below.
Some guests had to be relocated to other rooms because of the damage.
A man is dead after crashing his car into a home in Roanoke.
Police say 40 year old Jonathan Wayne Roberts was travelling on Noble Avenue, when his car crossed Lane Street and hit the deck of this home.
He was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he later died.
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident and Roberts' subsequent death.
The State Department is warning Americans in Haiti to get out while they can.
That, as the island's political revolt turns more violent.
Haitian rebels and former soldiers seized this northern city and declared it an independent country.
As many as 50 people have died in the two- week long uprising.
Opposition leaders are demanding President Jean-Bertrand Aristede step down-- saying he's corrupt and has done nothing to end the nation's poverty.
While U-S officals are telling Americans to get out of the country, some Haitians are following suit.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT-- no super available]
[IN Q=Because of the buildup]
((BECAUSE OF THE BUILDUP OF VIOLENCE THAT I'VE SEEN ON THE STREETS. IVE SEEN DEAD BODIES AND THINGS LIKE THAT. I'VE DECIDED TO LEAVE.))
[OUT Q=decided to leave]
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has announced that a small U-S military team will enter Haiti to assess the situation.
The U-S and other countries have also agreed to present a peace plan.
After racking up several days of damaging testimony against Martha Stewart and her stockbroker, prosecutors plan to rest their case today.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
Stewart's accused of lying to the government about her sale of Imclone stock just before the price plummeted.
Yesterday, one of Stewart's longtime friends testified that the homemaking mogul told her about Imclone's C-E-O trying to sell his own shares.
The testimony contradicts what Stewart told investigators-- that she had no memory of being tipped off about the stock's plunge.
[TAPE#=04-08 TC 9:50]
MegaMillions is living up to its name.
The jackpot is now at least 222 million dollars.
Virginia is among eleven states that take part in Mega Millions.
Lottery officials estimate that 3.2 million tickets will be sold in Virginia today.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=They shouldn't spend]
((Penelope Kyle/Virginia Lottery Executive Director:They shouldn't spend their lunch money, they shouldn't
spend their rent money. Don't go out and overspend. This is an extremely
difficult game to win. If it were easy to win, it would never have
gotten to 222 million. So it's a hard game. Spend a dollar, have a
ticket, get in front of your television at eleven o'clock Friday night,
watch the drawing live from New York and have fun, but don't spend too
[SUPER=01-Penelope Kyle/Virginia Lottery Executive Director;]
[OUT Q=don't spend too much money.]
The odds of winning are 1 in 135 million.
You can see tonight's drawing right here on WDBJ.
The Virginia Senate will take a final vote today on a plan that jacks up state taxes.
The Senate approved legislation yesterday that would raise the cigarette tax, increase the sales tax and bump up the income tax on the wealthiest Virginians.
Anti-tax Republicans tried but failed to remove the tax increases.
They also tried to delay action on the bill by offering an amendment that would subject the tax hikes to a voter referendum.
[IN Q=I BELIEVE FOR A CHANGE OF]
((SENATOR KEN CUCCINELLI/R-FAIRFAX: I BELIEVE FOR A CHANGE OF THIS MAGNITUDE IT IS APPROPRIATE TO PUT IT TO THE VOTERS.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Ken Cuccinelli/(R) Fairfax; :00]
[OUT Q=TO PUT IT TO THE VOTERS.]
But the majority of Senators objected, saying they were elected to make these decisions.
[IN Q=IT IS OUR JOB, IT IS OUR ELECTION]
((SENATOR CHARLES HAWKINS/R-CHATHAM: IT IS OUR JOB IT IS OUR ELECTION TO STAND UP AND THIS IS WHAT WE BELIEVE IS RIGHT :25))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Charles Hawkins/(R) Chatham; :]
[OUT Q=THIS IS WHAT WE BELIEVE IS RIGHT.]
The tax bill raises three-point-seven billion dollars in additional revenue.
It looks like Cox cable customers won't have to pay more for ESPN.
Cox had been fighting back against the 20 percent annual fee increases that are typically required by the sports channel, and had
threatened to make E-S-P-N a premium network, like H-B-O.
But Disney and Cox announced a deal yesterday, though the terms have not been revealed.
In business news, a major employer in Radford is expanding-- bringing with it new jobs.
Kollmorgen will open a new customer support center in Radford.
The project will cost 2-point-8 million dollars.
Kollmorgen already employs more than 700 people. The project will add 71 new jobs.
In other business news, Many investors are putting their money in stock mutual funds.
And, Coca Cola's C-E-O has announced his retirement.
Alexis Christoforous has those stories and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in New York, I'm AC.]
((DESPITE AN UNFOLDING INDUSTRY SCANDAL.. INVESTORS AND POURING MONEY INTO
> STOCK MUTUAL FUNDS AT A STUNNING PACE. AN INVESTMENT RESEARCH FIRM SAYS
> INVESTORS FUNNELED A RECORD 60-BILLION DOLLARS INTO STOCK MUTUAL FUNDS
> LAST MONTH... BRINGING THE TOTAL AMOUNT INVESTED IN STOCK AND BOND MUTUAL
> FUNDS TO OVER 8-TRILLION DOLLARS. BUT INSTEAD OF POURING THEIR MONEY INTO
> NARROW SECTORS LIKE TECHNOLOGY BACK IN THE LATE 90s, THIS TIME AROUND,
> INVESTORS ARE FAVORING DIVERSIFIED FUNDS WITH A BLEND OF STOCKS AND BONDS.
> ON WALL STREET.. THE STOCK MARKEAT WIPED OUT AN EARLY RALLY AS IINVESTORS
> FEARED THAT PRICES MAY HAVE RISEN TOO FAR TOO FAST.
> THE DOW DIPPED 7 POINTS
> BUT THE NASDAQ WAS HIT HARD, OFF 30 POINTS
> ON THE STOCKS TO WATCH LIST.. HEWLETT PACKARD SAID PROFIT SOARED 30
> PERCENT AND REVENUE JUMPED 9 PERCENT AS IT SOLD MORE SERVERS AND PERSONAL
> COCA COLA IS GETTING A NEW BOSS.THE SOFT DRINK GIANT SAID CEO DOUGLAS DAFT
> WILL RETIRE BY YEAR'S END. THE 60 YEAR OLD DAFT HAS STRUGGLED FOR FOUR
> YEARS TO BOOST SALES AT COKE. A SUCCESSOR HAS NOT BEEN NAMED YET.
> JEFFREY SKILLING HAS BECOME THE HIGHEST RANKING FORMER ENRON EXECUTIVE YET
> TO FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES.
> 50 YEAR OLD SKILLING was indicted YESTERDAY IN HOUSON on fraud,
> conspiracy and insider-trading charges stemming from the accounting
> scandal that drove the energy company into bankruptcy. HE PLEADED NOT
> GUILTY TO ALL COUNTS..THE ENRON COLLAPSE WIPED OUT THE RETIRMENT SAVINGS
> OF NEARLY ALL ITS EMPLOYEES.
> TRACK ALL THE MARKET ACTION AT CBS.MW.COM IN NY I'M ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
[WOOD ROGERS SPONSOR BOARD 5185 ESSC]
A man wanted for questioning in a Tennessee murder case turned up in Roanoke.
Police moved in yesterday morning and made an arrest as the suspect was leaving his room at a local motel.
Roanoke Police received a tip from Tennessee authorities that 50- year- old Gerald David Thomas might be in the area.
Tuesday night, they found the car he was driving in the parking lot of the Ramada Inn on Franklin Road. After staking out the motel for 12 hours they took him into custody.
Carilion employees who work nearby were told to stay home until the incident was over.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We've had snow days.]
((TAMMY RIVERS: WE'VE HAD SNOW DAYS. WE'VE HAD FLOODS, BUT NO THIS IS THE FIRST ONE OF THESE. THE FIRST ONE OF POTENTIAL SHOTS FIRED. RIGHT THAT KIND OF SCARES YOU A LITTLE BIT.))
[SUPER=01-Tammy Rivers/Carilion Home Care]
[OUT Q=scares you a little bit.]
[SUPER=03-Loudon Co., TN/Tuesday]
Investigators wanted to talk with Thomas about the death of a Kingsport woman.
43- year- old Adwinna Pamela Hughes was found shot to death earlier this week in Loudon County, Tennessee.
Thomas is now in federal custody, facing firearms and drug charges.
A court hearing today could end the honeymoon AND the gay weddings in San Francisco.
[SUPER=03-San Francisco, CA;]
A judge who postponed the hearing early in the week will revisit a conservative group's request for an injunction halting same- sex marriages.
Since last week, the city has issued marriage licenses to more than 28- hundred gay couples.
Yesterday, city officials in San Francisco went on the offensive and sued the state of California, challenging its ban on same- sex marriages.
Four gay marriages were played out on the Virginia Tech campus to send a message.
The ceremonies yesterday were only symbolic and the couples weren't really romantically involved.
Several hundred people gathered on Tech's Drill Field for the event hosted by the University's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance.
Same-sex marriages are illegal in the Commonwealth, and for the moment, all other states.
Road construction workers from Southwest Virginia travelled to Richmond yesterday.
They say those in hard hats have fallen upon hard times.
Meghan Muldoon has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=NAT SOUND OF HORNS]
[SUPER=01-Frank Buck/W and L Construction and Paving; :17]
[SUPER=01-Dave George/Fort Chiswell Construction; :37]
[SUPER=01-Del. Scott Lingamfelter/(R) Woodbridge; :58]
[OUT Q=MM, NEWS 7, RICHMOND]
They brought their equipment, they set up orange cones and they wore their vests and hard hats.
But these highway construction workers are not in Richmond to build roads but, rather to build a case for more transportation money.
[SOT 12:55 ]
((FRANK BUCK/W & L CONSTRUCTION AND PAVING: WE'VE GOT A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT OF WORK WE COULD SURE USE SOME EXTRA FUNDS. IF THERE'S ANY WAY THEY CAN DO TAXES OR WHATEVER THEY GOT TO DO.))
The road workers say that while there are more drivers on Virginia's roads, there has been no significant funding increase for highway projects since 1986.
They say the state needs to raise more money.
((DAVE GEORGE/FORT CHISWELL CONSTRUCTION: IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH TAXES WHEN YOU SPREAD IT OUT OVER THE WHOLE STATE TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN'T EVEN FEEL IT. ))
But many House Republicans question whether V-DOT is using the state's transportation dollars wisely.
And they are not convinced that raising taxes is the best path to take.
((DELEGATE SCOTT LINGAMFELTER/R-WOODBRIDGE: SHOULD WE GO TO PARENTS WHO ARE TRYING TO BUY BOOKS AND BUY CLOTHES AND SAVE FOR COLLEGE TUITION AT THE VERY SAME TIME TAKE THEIR MONEY AWAY WHEN THEY ARE TRYING TO DO THOSE THINGS FOR ADDITIONAL STATE SPENDING. I THINK WE NEED TO SPEND WITHIN OUR MEANS.))
But the state's highway workers say that without better roads, Virginia is going nowhere.
Meghan Muldoon, News 7, Richmond.))
93-thousand Virginians will soon get a check in the mail, thanks to an anti-trust settlement with the record industry.
Two years ago, eight music distributors and retailers agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging the companies conspired to inflate the price of C-D's.
Later today, the attorney general's office will start mailing checks for 13-dollars and 86-cents to Virginians who filed claims.
The companies will also give nearly two million dollars worth of C-D's to Virginia libraries, schools, shelters and public radio stations.
(Kim tosses to bump)