Up next on News 7--
President Bush wants a Constitutional amendent to put a stop to gay couples saying "I do."
And the worst earthquake in decades shakes up Northern Morocco.
Officials estimate as many as 300 people have died.
We're seeing a few rain showers and even some snow showers towards Hot Springs. What can we expect for the rest of the afternoon. I'll let you know in your forecast.
Stay with us News 7 at noon, starts right now.
Wedding scenes like this may come to an end in San Francisco and elsewhere in the U-S, as President Bush announces his objection to gay marriage.
The President says he's backing a constitutional amendment that would ban same- sex marriage.
He says it's needed in order to ''prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever.''
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Noon]
Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
President Bush is calling on Congress to promptly pass and send to the states an amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
He says judges and activists in three states have sought to
overturn two centuries of U-S law, as well as the clearly expressed
will of the American people.
Teri Okita joins us now from Washington with the latest on the President's announcement.
[SUPER=01-Teri Okita/CBS News;]
[ENG#=3 for the backup.]
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-San Francisco, CA;]
[OUT Q=back to you.]
TRACK: FOR WEEKS NOW, PRESIDENT BUSH HASN'T LIKED WHAT HE'S SEEN.
THREE-THOUSAND GAY WEDDINGS IN SAN FRANCISCO - AND A MASSACHUSETTS HIGH
COURT RULING IN FAVOR OF SAME-SEX UNIONS. BEFORE MORE COUPLES SAY I DO
-- MISTER BUSH IS VOWING TO SUPPORT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING
SOT:PRESIDENT BUSH "Unless action is taken, we can expect more arbitrary
court decisions, more defiance by local officials, all of which adds to
TRACK: MR. BUSH HAS STRONGLY BELIEVED THAT MARRIAGE IS A SACRED
INSTITUTION BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN AND HE WANTS TO END GROWING
CONFUSION OVER THE CONTROVERSY.
BUSH SOT - "A few judges and local authorities are presuming to change
the most fundamental institution of civilization."
TRACK: WHILE THE PRESIDENT WONT ENDORSE SPECIFIC WORDING, HE WILL
OUTLINE PRINCIPLES HE BELIEVES SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE AMENDMENT.
TRACK: THE MOVE IS NO SURPRISE TO GAY RIGHTS ADVOCATES WHO EXPECTED
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO STEP IN QUICKLY ESPECIALLY SINCE THE
MASSACHUSETTS RULING COULD MAKE WAY FOR GAY MARRIAGES AS EARLY AS MAY.
Two Arabic T-V stations are airing separate audiotapes that are said to contain the voice of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant
One taunts President Bush and threatens more terrorist attacks on the U-S.
The other tape criticizes France's decision to ban Islamic head scarves in public schools.
The speaker on the tape also denies President Bush's claim that nearly two-thirds of al-Qaida's known leaders have been either captured or killed.
The tape says the terror network is ``still in the holy war battleground.''
In Morocco, the death toll continues to climb in the aftermath of the country's worst earthquake in 40 years.
[SUPER=03-Al Hoceima, Morocco;]
Local authorites say as many as 300 people have been killed in the six- point- five magnitude earthquake that shook northern Morocco today.
Many of the victims are women, children, and the elderly.
The quake hit early today, toppling homes.
Officials are worried about the fate of three villages, where thousands of people live in mud structures that wouldn't likely be able to withstand an earthquake.
((KIM TOSS TO LEO))
LEO in WX-CENTER
(LEO TOSS to KIM)
Good help is hard to find...
Especially when you're talking about school bus drivers.
Across the country, here in the Commonwealth and in counties throughout the region- there's a bus driver shortage.
School administrators have adjusted route times so that every driver can make as many runs as possible.
Bus drivers usually deal with low-pay, too many children and not enough discipline.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's the way...]
((JACKIE MARKHAM, SCHOOL BUS DRIVER: IT'S THE WAY YOU START WITH THEM. IF YOU LET THEM KNOW, THEY WON'T MISBEHAVE- THEY WON'T. MINE DON'T.))
[SUPER=01-Jackie Markham/School Bus Driver]
[OUT Q=.. mine don't.]
Coming up tonight on News 7 at six, we'll take a closer look at the shortage and see what one county is doing to close the gap.
Four teenagers face robbery charges in Blacksburg.
Police say the first incident happened on Hunt Club Road around 10:30 Friday night.
A man says he was knocked to the ground from behind, beaten and had his wallet taken.
While officers were investigating that robbery, another one happened on Patrick Henry Drive.
A man says he was jumped from behind, and his jacket stolen, but he was able to direct police to the suspects using his cell phone.
19 year old Sidney Terry is charged with 2-counts of robbery.
Three teenage boys also face robbery charges.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, one Mayor in our region has some good news and some bad news for his city's residents.
Plus an adventurer's effort to sail solo around the world ends unexpectedly in the most remote place on the earth.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #1]
An attempt at a solo around-the-world voyage is thrown off course for a Japanese yachtsman.
[SUPER=03-Cape Town, South Africa;]
A rescue team brought the stranded 66- year- old man to shore this morning.
Masa-yoshi Kikuchi had been marooned for several days in the Southern Indian Ocean.
He abandoned his yacht after the vessel rolled in high waves and gale-force winds on the South Africa- to- Australia leg of his solo trip.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Well, you have to]
((CRAIG LAMBINON/RESCUER: WELL, YOU HAVE TO TAKE OFF YOUR HAT OFF TO THIS GENTLEMAN. HE'S ALREADY SAILED POSSIBLY TWO THIRDS OF THE WORLD ON HIS OWN. HE'S COME AROUND THE INAUGURAL CAPE HORN, WHICH IS NOTORIOUS FOR IT'S WORST WEATHER, AND HE'S GOT THIS FAR, PERHAPS HE'S GOT INTENTIONS TO CONTINUE ON HIS WAY BY YACHT, WHO KNOWS. ))
[OUT Q=who knows.]
Kikuchi was discovered near Perth in Western Australia.
It's described as the most remote place on Earth.
Meanwhile, rescuers were called to Niagara Falls last night.
[SUPER=03-Niagara Falls, Canada;]
An unidentified woman was rescued from the freezing waters near the edge of the falls.
A witness says he noticed the woman by the water's edge, about 120 feet of Horseshoe Falls, which is on the Canadian side, before she went in.
It's not clear whether the woman fell or jumped into the water.
She clung on to the icy bank for nearly an hour until firefighters were able to pull her out.
The Mayor of Lynchburg say's the city's crime rate is at an all-time low and existing companies continue to make major investments there.
But the city's also preparing to deal with a budget shortfall city leaders call "unprecedented".
Steve Smallshaw reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Lynchburg's budget]
[SUPER=01-Carl Hutcherson/Lynchburg Mayor; :17]
[SUPER=01-Bert Dodson/Lynchburg Vice Mayor; :47]
[SUPER=01-Art Lipscomb/Lynchburg Firefighters Association; 1:12]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( Lynchburg's budget glass may not be half empty, but it is short at least five million dollars.
As Mayor Carl Hutcherson delivered the annual State of the City message, he made clear that funding and tax problems at the state level were having a trickle-down effect on the local economy.
((CARL HUTCHERSON/LYNCHBURG MAYOR: TAX RESTRUCTURING IN VIRGINIA IS AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME. IF WE ARE TO SAVE OUR CITIES, THE MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MUST STEP UP WITH COURAGE AND DETERMINATION TO WORK SERIOUSLY ON RESTRUCTURING A TAX SYSTEM THAT CONTINUES TO PLACE OUR CITIES AT RISK.))
[OUT Q=city in mind.]
The decision-making process starts March 9th, when city manager Kimball Payne delivers the budget to council.
Members made it clear that whatever bucks there are, they stop in council chambers.
((BERT DODSON/LYNCHBURG VICE MAYOR: WE AS A GROUP WILL DO OUR UTMOST TO DELIVER THE SERVICES TO OUR CITIZENS IN THE BEST POSSIBLE MANNER. AT THE END OF THE PROCESS, WHEN THE BUDGET IS ADOPTED, ANY CREDIT OR BLAME SHOULD BE DIRECTED AT OUR COUNCIL MEMBERS AND NOT AT OUR CITY MANAGER.))
[OUT Q=our city manager.]
Also present were about 60 Lynchburg firefighters, acting as a silent reminder that their pay concerns, like their police counterparts, need to be reckoned with.
((ART LIPSCOMB/L'BURG FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION: WE JUST WANTED TO SHOW OUR CONCERN FOR THE DIRECTION OF THE CITY AND MAKE SURE COUNCIL KNEW THAT WE WERE THERE AND WE'RE TRYING TO SUPPORT THEM AND HOPEFULLY THEY'LL LOOK OUT FOR US AS WELL.))
[OUT Q=us as well.]
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg. ))
It passed by only 20 votes and that is partly why opponents are still fighting a proposed off track betting parlor in Vinton.
Colonial Downs wants to build the 15-thousand square foot facility behind the Lancerlot Sports Complex just off the main roadway in Vinton.
The state's racing commission visited the site yesterday afternoon and then held a public hearing at the Vinton War Memorial.
There, commissioners heard an earful from both sides.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 3:58:18; 3:57:44]
[IN Q=I think it will]
((REV. JUAM BARR/MIDLAND BAPTIST CHURCH: I THINK IT WILL BRING TRAFFIC PROBLEMS, IT WILL BE CRIME PROBLEMS, ALCOHOL PROBLEMS, DOWN FAMILY VALUES, BRING MORALES DOWN, I'M JUST OPPOSED FOR THOSE REASONS.))
((DEBRA BROGAN/VINTON RESIDENT: I BELIEVE COLONIAL DOWNS WILL HELP WITH ALL THE PROBLEMS AS FAR AS THE ROADS, THE STOP LIGHTS, AND ALL THAT. THEY HAVE PROMISED TO DO A LOT FOR OUR COMMUNITY.))
[SUPER=01-Rev. Juam Barr/Midland Baptist Church; :00]
[SUPER=01-Debra Brogan/Vinton Resident; :10]
[OUT Q=for our community]
Since voters already approved a referendum on the issue, the racing commission's job is to decide whether the proposed site is appropriate.
Commissioners are expected to vote on the project at its March 3rd meeting.
If approved, Colonial Downs hopes to have the facility up and running by late summer.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast,
revelers in New Orleans refuse to let a little or even a LOT of rain dampen their Mardi Gras.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
State lawmakers recognized the sacrifices made by members of the state's National Guard.
Delegate Kirk Cox has introduced a resolution commending the 75-hundred soldiers and 12-hundred airmen in the state's National Guard.
Cox says they have served with courage in Iraq, as well as helping out Virginians during times of natural disaster.
Major General Claude Williams says there are many ways Virginians can show their appreciation.
[IN Q=IF SOMEONE KNOWS OF A GUARD PERSON]
((MAJ. GEN. CLAUDE WILLIAMS/ADJUTANT GENERAL VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD: IF SOMEONE KNOWS OF A GUARD PERSON IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD THAT HAS LEFT THEN TAKE THE TIME TO WALK DOWN THE STREET AND SEE IF THE PLUMBING IS OKAY OR IT THE GUTTERS NEED CLEANING OUT. BECAUSE THINGS HAPPEN WHEN THESE SOLDIERS ARE AWAY AND SOMETIMES IT TAKES A TEAM EFFORT, KIND OF A COMMUNITY EFFORT, TO FIX THOSE THINGS.))
[SUPER=01-Maj. Gen. Claude Williams/Virginia National Guard]
[OUT Q= a community effort, to fix those things.]
14-hundred National Guard soldiers are currently deployed away from home.
Bring on the beads, balloons, and boisterous behavior--
It's Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, the biggest day of Mardi Gras.
Parades and people are lining the streets of the French Quarter.
Reporter Jennifer Donelan is one of them.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA;]
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Donelan/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Donelan, CBS News, New Orleans.]
(LOCATOR: NEW ORLEANS, LA)
DESPITE A DAMP FORECASTMARDI GRAS MAJESTY ROLLED ON
THE ARRIVAL OF FAT TUESDAY WAS MARKED BY FLAMBOYANT FLOATS, EXTRAGAVANT
RIDERS AND CROWDSHAPPY CROWDS. RAIN MONDAY HAD FORCED SEVERAL AREA
PARADES TO CANCEL
TODAY IS DIFFERENT. ITS MARDI GRAS
Ive been partying all night and I am going to party all day til it
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Nat Sot clarinet
Standup Jennifer Donelan
As you roll down Bourbon Streetas far as the eye can seeGarbage.
Theyve got their work cut out for them.
Nat Sot street cleaning
THE WEEKLONG PARTY HAS LEFT ITS MARK. ONE DAY REMAINSAND ITS A
DOOZY. AS QUICKLY THEY COULDCREWS SCRAPED UP THE BEADSWASHED DOWN THE
PAVEMENTAND SWEPT WHATEVER THEY COULD OUT OF THE WAY.
SOT, Susan McManus, Visitor
Build it and they will come
DESPITE THE RAINHUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS HAVE DESCENDED UPON THE CRESCENT
CITY AND MANY ARE IN COSTUMES LIKE NONE YOUVE EVER SEEN.
Sot - Gwen Post, Visitor
Mardi Gras is one of the most wonderful times of the yearsanyone who
want to be for 24 hours and nobody cares who you are.
IF WHERE YOU ARE MATTERS MOST
Sot Paul Post, Visitor
Reporter You are definitely in New Orleans. Man- You are definitely
in New Orleans. Every place is this is Tuesday.
UNTIL 12 MIDNIGHT HERE IT'S MARDI GRAS. JENNIFER DONELAN CBS NEWS NEW
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was DOWN 26 points. The NASDAQ has dropped two.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Up next in sports, Hampton-Sydney is crowned champion in the ODAC after a tough game over Virginia Wesleyan.
And the Lynchburg Hillcats already have a big hit before their season has begun.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The Old Dominion Athletic Conference crowned its men's basketball champion last night, with Hampden-Sydney prevailing over Virginia Wesleyan in what was a Tale of Two Halves.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Salem/Marlins vs. Tigers; :00]
[SUPER=01-Brandon Randall/18 Points for Hampden-Sydney; :27]
[SUPER=33-Hampden-Sydney/75/Va. Wesleyan/69; 1:00]
[SUPER=01-Bubba Smith/Hampden-Sydney Head Coach; 1:12]
[OUT Q=....GET THE WIN."]
(( With a crowd of nearly 2000 fans on hand at Salem Civic Center and an automatic berth in next month's Division Three tournament on the line - the Tigers came out much flatter than a veteran team should.
Behind the play of all-tounament team selections David Doino (DUH-WAN-OH) and Brandon Adair the Virginia Wesleyan Marlins jumped out to a 36 to 28 halftime lead on the Tigers.
The Marlins stayed on the attack early in teh second half as they pushed their lead to an even dozen.
But that was it, but the 7 and a half 30 miniute mark - the Tigers had roared from behind and shot themselves into the lead.
Randall dropped in 18 points and and earned all-tournament honors, while running mate Jeff Monroe scored a team high 19.
The Tigers outscore the Marlins by 14 points in the second half to beat Virginia Wesleyan 75-to-69 and capture the ODAC tournament title.))
There are two big games in the ACC tonight that will affect the bottom, NOT the top of the conference standings.
UVa, Maryland and Clemson are trying to avoid the play-in game in the ACC tournament.
Only one will escape it.
[go to pinnacle 12994]
The Cavaliers can take a major step toward staying out of that as they host North Carolina.
A win over the Tarheels would give the Cavaliers five wins in the conference.
Catch the Heels and Hoos at 8 tonight right here on WDBJ-7.
Clemson also takes on Maryland tonight.
The Lynchburg Hillcats are sprucing up their look from head to toe for the upcoming season.
Team officials unveiled the Hillcats' new home, away, and batting practice uniforms yesterday.
The colors are still green, gold and white.. but they've changed the lettering style to more closely match their parent club - the Pittsburgh Pirates.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=You'd be surprised]
((MATT PROVENCE/HILLCATS BROADCASTER: YOU'D BE SURPRISED, I MEAN ANYBODY WHO USED TO PLAY SPORTS AT ANY LEVEL, THE UNIFORM IS A REAL BIG PART OF THEIR PRIDE, YOU KNOW YOU HAVE A SENSE OF PRIDE AND A SOURCE OF PRIDE WHEN YOU PUT ON THE UNIFORM AND I THINK THAT A NEW UNIFORM WITH A NEW LOOK WILL HELP. BUT ESPECIALLY I THINK THE ROAD ONE, BECAUSE A LOT OF GUYS IN THE PAST HAVE COMPLAINED THAT WE WERE A LITTLE BIT TOO TRADITIONAL, AND SO WE TRIED TO INTEGRATE THE PIRATES A LITTLE BIT AND MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE THEY'RE PART OF THE FAMILY AND I THINK THE PLAYERS KIND OF LIKE THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Matt Provence/Hillcats Broadcaster]
[OUT Q=kind of like that.]
Meanwhile, construction crews are putting the final touches on the five million dollars worth of improvements to historic City Stadium.
They are on schedule to be finished before Opening Day on April 9th.
[GRAPHIC=nextel series logo]
The Nextel Cup series is off this weekend - and that apparently is giving folks a chance to work on their wardrobes before heading to Las Vegas.
The Hendrick Motorsports Museum was turned into a fashion runway as
Nextel Cup driver Jimmie Johnson and his model fiancee Chandra Janway joined forces with LEVIS signature clothes to give some NASCAR folks a make- over yesterday.
Among those getting the treatment - Giles native Marty Smith - who is the chief writer for NASCAR dot COM.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Marty Smith/Giles High School and Radford U. Grad; :00]
[OUT Q=...I AM COOL."]
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]