Spanish officials say at least 60 people have been killed in a series of rush- hour bombings at several train stations in Madrid.
Dozens of others are injured.
Authorities say the blasts have turned the city into a virtual war zone.
Witnesses say two bombs went off on board a commuter train, as it pulled into the station in downtown Madrid.
Blasts hit two other stops on the commuter line.
So far, there's no claim of responsibility, but police have been on high alert, fearing violence from separatists just three days before the general elections are scheduled to be held.
The gloves have come off in the Presidential race.
President Bush's re-election campaign is demanding an apology from John Kerry, following inflammatory comments the Democratic candidate made during a campaign stop in Chicago.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We're going to keep]
((SEN. JOHN KERRY/D- PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: WE'RE GOING TO KEEP POUNDING I TELL YOU. WE'RE JUST BEGINNING TO FIGHT. THESE GUYS ARE THE MOST CROOKED YOU KNOW, LYING GROUP THAT I HAVE
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Kerry/(D) Presidential Candidate;]
[RUNS=:09] (estimated bite runs time)
[OUT Q=have ever seen.]
Later, a Kerry spokesman said the remarks were about Republicans in general.
Later today, Kerry will meet with former rival John
Edwards, who's being touted as a potential running mate.
As for President Bush, he's heading to a groundbreaking ceremony for a 9-11 memorial and a re-election fund-raiser.
Some family of 9-11 victims plan to protest, because they're upset with re-election ads that use images of Ground Zero.
Lawmakers have rejected an effort to give public officials who steal from the taxpayers longer jail terms.
The legislation was inspired by the case of former Henry County official, Sid Clower.
The bill would require one year of jail time for every 50-thousand dollars stolen from the public.
Clower spent fourteen months behind bars for embezzling 850-thousand dollars.
But under this legislation, he would have been received a sentence of 17 years in jail.
Opponents of the measure argued that penalty is too harsh.
But Henry County Delegate Ward Armstrong says it is justified.
[IN Q=IT ALWAYS WRONG TO STEAL]
((DELEGATE WARD ARMSTRONG/D-MARTINSVILLE: IT'S ALWAYS WRONG TO STEAL BUT I THINK ITS MORE WRONG TO VIOLATE THE PUBLIC TRUST AND STEAL FROM ALL OF THE TAXPAYERS.))
[OUT Q=STEAL FROM ALL OF THE TAXPAYERS.]
Clower recently pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and filing false income tax returns.
The state budget will NOT be resolved by Saturday's scheduled adjournment of the General Assembly.
That's according to the the House's top budget bargainer, Delegate Vincent Callahan.
Last night, house budget negotiators flatly rejected the Senate's plans for boosting the sales and income taxes.
Meanwhile, Senate negotiators dismissed the House's tax strategy as impossibly low and based on untested data.
Closer to home, local cultural organizations are getting creative to make up for what's shaping up to be another year without state funding.
The Art Museum is implementing new ideas like Art Venture for kids, including a twice monthly reading program, to increase interest.
The Executive Director says she has to be creative rather than count on lawmakers for money.
(///// SOT at :14 /////)
[SOT 8:36:57 - 8:37:13]
[IN Q=What's happening in art museums...]
((GEORGANNE BINGHAM/ART MUSEUM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: WHAT'S HAPPENING IN ART MUSEUMS IS THAT PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING TO REALIZE THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO LOOK AT ART AND THAT ART MUSEUMS AREN'T NECESSARILY STUFFY, QUIET PLACES THAT PEOPLE GO TO LOOK AT ART. THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO APPRECIATE ART.))
[SUPER=01-Georganne Bingham/Art Museum Executive Director;]
[OUT Q=There are other ways to appreciate art.]
The Art Museum is also celebrating a gift of Pierre Daura's (DOOR-ahz) work.
The painter, who studied under Picasso's father, married a Virginian and taught at Lynchburg College and Randolph-Macon Woman's College.
Many of the 30-featured pieces are landscapes of Rockbridge Baths.
You know the saying, you break it you pay for it.
But is that always the case if you damage public property?
Justin McLeod did some digging and has an answer.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/Virginia Department of Transportation; :38]
[SUPER=01-Chris Thomsen/Virginia Department of Forestry; 1:06]
[SUPER=01-Dana Long/Roanoke Billings & Collections Manager; 1:38]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF TRAFFIC DRIVING BY))
When you drive along Interstate 81, you often see damaged guardrails.
You may have wondered who pays for its repair.
[IN Q=If someone hits]
((LAURA BULLOCK/VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: IF SOMEONE HITS A GUARDRAIL THEN ULTIMATELY THEY ARE GOING TO GET THE BILL.))
[OUT Q=to get the bill]
And V-Dot has quite a success rate for reimbursement.
Last year for example, there were 24 accidents involving guardrails on I-81 in Botetourt County.
The state billed for all of them and 16 have been paid.
Two were simply written off and another six have been sent to the Attorney General's office for collection.
Nearly 21-thousand dollars.
More than 18-thousand dollars.
[IN Q=If it's damaged]
((LAURA BULLOCK/VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: IF IT'S DAMAGED IT ISN'T FAIR TO ASK THE TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR IT AGAIN.))
[OUT Q=TO PAY FOR IT AGAIN]
The Department of Forestry feels the same way about forest fires.
State law requires them to recover the cost of putting out the fire.
In 2003, there were 49 forest fires in the Salem region.
24 were found to have a responsible party and so far 22 have paid.
26,000 thousand dollars.
[IN Q=Number one cause]
((CHRIS THOMSEN/DEPT. OF FORESTRY: NUMBER ONE CAUSE IS DEBRIS BURNING AND IT'S PRETTY EASY TO FIND WHO WAS BURNING TRASH OR YARD DEBRIS IN THEIR BACKYARD AND ONCE WE DO THAT WE GO AFTER COSTS OF THAT PERSON.))
[OUT Q=costs of that person]
((QUICK NAT SOUND OF ADDING MACHINES))
It is much of the same at the local level.
The City of Roanoke for example seeks reimbursement everytime a motorist damages a street sign, a fire hydrant, or a curb.
Last year, there were six such incidents.
Three have been paid, two are active, and one is delinquent.
More than 55-thousand dollars.
A little over 52-thousand dollars.
[IN Q=We bill and collect]
((DANA LONG/ROANOKE'S BILLINGS AND COLLECTIONS MANAGER: WE BILL AND COLLECT FOR 100-PERCENT OF THE COST, WHICH WOULD INCLUDE MATERIALS, LABOR, AND PARTS EVERYTHING IT WOULD TAKE TO REPAIR AND REPLACE THAT ITEM.))
[OUT Q=REPLACE THAT ITEM]
[IN Q=Some other things]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: SOME OTHER THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR, ROANOKE COUNTY RECOVERS COSTS FROM ARSON FIRES AND SEES ABOUT A 45-PERCENT SUCCESS RATE. THE COUNTY EVEN SEEKS REIMBURSEMENT FROM PEOPLE WHO BUY DRUGS OR CAUSE DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
The small town of Altavista is normally pretty quiet at night.. but tonight it may look more like a ghost town.
A large number of residents are expected to head to Richmond to cheer on the Colonels boys and girls basketball teams.
Each is playing in a semi-final game in hopes of nabbing a Single A hoops title.
Officials say the teams' success has generated a lot of excitement both in school and around town.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Kids have put]
((CLAY STANLEY/ALTAVISTA HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: KIDS HAVE PUT SIGNS ALL OVER THE BUILDING SAYING GOOD LUCK TO OUR TEAMS, YOU KNOW WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS, THE SCHOOL HAS BEEN RECEIVING LETTERS FROM THE COMMUNITY THANKING THEM FOR THE GOOD WILL THAT THEIR SUCCESS HAS CREATED, AND IT'S JUST BEEN.. IT'S A LOT OF FUN.))
[SUPER=01-Clay Stanley/Altavista High School Principal]
[OUT Q=a lot of fun.]
Stanley says they've already filled one charter bus for fans to make the trip today.
In business news, Worries about the future led to a selloff yesterday.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in New York, I'm AC.]
((THE BULL RUN SEEMS TO HAVE STALLED ON WALL STREET.. WORRIES ABOUT FUTURE
> PROFITS SENT STOCKS TUMBLING AND WIPED OUT THE DOW AND NASDAQ'S GAINS FOR
> THE YEAR.
> THE DOW TUMBLED 160 POINTS
> WHILE THE NASDAQ FORFEITED 31.
> FOUR LEADING INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE JOINING FORCES TO COMBAT OR
> UNSOLICITED EMAIL OR SPAM. THEY'VE UNVEILED THEIR FIRST LEGAL ACTION UNDER
> THE NEW FEDERAL ANTI-SPAM LAW.
> AMERICA ONLINE, EARTHLINK, MICROSOFT AND YAHOO JOINTLY FILED SIX LAWSUITS
> AGAINST HUNDREDS OF SPAMMERS IN FOUR STATES. THE DEFENDANTS ARE BEING
> CHARGED WITH SENDING MILLIONS OF BULK SPAM EMAIL TO CUSTOMERS WHILE
> CONCEALING THE ORIGINS OF THEIR EMAIL.
> Bank of America was fined a record $10 million by the Securities and
> Exchange Commission because it lied to the regulator during a probe into
> trading by the bank and a former employee.
> Separately, Bank of America is expected to reach a settlement with New
> York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer over improper mutual-fund trading as
> soon as next week
> IF YOU THOUGHT YOU MISSED THE LOW-MORTGAGE RATE TRAIN.. HERE'S YOUR SECOND
> CHANCE. MORTGAGE RATES ARE NEARING LAST SUMMER'S ALL-TIME LOWS . THE
> AVERAGE RATE FOR A 30 YEAR MORTGAGE IS 5.13PERCENT THIS WEEK WHILE THE
> AVERAGE FOR A 15 YEAR, WHICH IS POPULAR WITH REFINANCERS IS 4.41PERCENT.
> 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]
Life in prison isn't enough--
Those are the words of some family members of sniper victims, following Lee Malvo's sentencing yesterday.
Like his accomplice, John Muhammad, they want the teenage sniper to pay with his life for the shooting spree that killed 10 people.
But because the jury had recommended life without parole in November, the judge had no other option.
Those seeking the death penalty may still get their way.
Prosecutors are now deciding whether the pair will face charges in other jurisdictions.
Today lawmakers in Massachusetts will debate again on a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Weeks ago, a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at a compromise over the term "marriage" could not gain the votes necessary to pass.
Advocates on both sides of the issue say what happens in Massachusetts, the first state where a court ruled gay marriages legal, could be a bellwether for the rest of the country.
The proposed amendment would ban gay marriage, but legalize civil unions.
Virginia lawmakers are saying "I don't" to gay marriage.
The Senate approved legislation yesterday affirming that state's ban on homosexual marriage.
Backers of the measure say it serves as a preemptive strike.
They say the bill is necessary to keep civil unions in other states from being recognized here.
[IN Q=THERE ARE THOSE THAT FEEL LIKE]
((SENATOR ROSCOE REYNOLDS/D-MARTINSVILLE: THERE ARE THOSE THAT FEEL LIKE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES IS A THREAT TO THE MARRIAGE INSTITUTION IN VIRGINIA. THIS BILL IS ATTEMPTING TO ADDRESS THAT CONCERN.))
[OUT Q=ATTEMPTING TO ADDRESS THAT CONCERN.]
Opponents of the bill say the state should not legislate who a person should marry.
They believe the measure could hurt the economy.
[IN Q=YOU'RE GOING TO FIND EMPLOYERS]
((SENATOR RICHARD SASLAW/D-SPRINGFIELD: YOU'RE GOING TO FIND EMPLOYERS IN YEARS TO COME ARE GOING TO BE PRETTY RELUCTANT TO COME HERE AND SUBJECT THEIR EMPLOYEES TO THIS KIND OF NONSENSE.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Richard Saslaw/(D) Springfield;]
[OUT Q=EMPLOYEES TO THIS KIND OF NONSENSE.]
The measure has already passed in the House.
It now goes to Governor Warner who has not taken an official position on the bill.
Roanoke City Manager Darlene Burcham has come under fire in the star city, but a national magazine has named her one of its top 25 "Doers, Dreamers and Drivers."
Burcham joins New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Los Angeles Police chief William Bratton and Virginia Governor Mark Warner on the list created by Government Technology Magazine.
The magazine says Burcham "played a key role in making Roanoke one of the nation's most tech-savvy cities."
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
One of Franklin County's oldest manufacturing plants may soon be in business again.
The Lane Furniture building closed in 2001, and it's been empty ever since.
Now the county is working with the building's current owners to figure out what the building could be used for.
Officials say they already have initial funding from the state for the project.
Do you have an idea? A meeting is set for next Thursday to get ideas from the public.
In business news, Stocks tumbled for the third straight session
Rachel Lee has more in today's business brief.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=I'm Rachel Lee.]
((MAJOR AVERAGES PLUNGED INTO THE RED ON WEDNESDAY.
THE DOW LOST 160 POINTS...
AND THE NASDAQ CLOSED DOWN 31.
KRISPY KREME REPORTS EARNINGS OF 26-CENTS PER SHARE FOR ITS FOURTH QUARTER--UP 45-PERCENT FROM A YEAR AGO.
THE COMPANY SAYS 35 NEWLY OPENED STORES, INCLUDING ITS FIRST IN MEXICO, CONTRIBUTED TO THE PROFITS.
KRISPY KREME'S SAME-STORE DOMESTIC SALES JUMPED MORE THAN TEN PERCENT FOR THE QUARTER.
BANK OF AMERICA HAS AGREED TO PAY A 10-MILLION DOLLAR FINE FOR REPEATEDLY FAILING TO MEET SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION DOCUMENT DEADLINES.
IT'S ONE OF THE LARGER FINES EVER LEVIED AGAINST A COMPANY FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE REQUESTED PAPERWORK.
THE S-E-C WANTED THE DOCUMENTS FOR ITS INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED IMPROPER TRADING PRACTICES.
BANK OF AMERICA HAS YET TO ADMIT OR DENY ANY WRONGDOING.
THE VIACOM AND ECHOSTAR CONTRACT DISPUTE MIGHT BE OVER SOON, ACCORDING TO REUTERS REPORT THAT QUOTES A SOURCE AT C-B-S.
VIACOM...THE PARENT COMPANY OF C-B-S...AND ECHOSTAR--THE PARENT OF DISH TV-- ARE AT ODDS OVER THE FEES DISH MUST PAY FOR VIACOM'S PROGRAMMING.
THE DISAGREEMENT HAS LEFT NINE-MILLION ECHOSTAR SUBSCRIBERS WITHOUT SOME CABLE CHANNELS.
WITH THE BUSINESS BRIEF... I'M RACHEL LEE.))
[TAPE TOSS TO STOCKS]
[WOOD ROGERS SPONSOR BOARD 5185 ESSC]
Another officer will help Botetourt County take a "bite" out of its animal control problem.
That's the word from Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle, who has asked for another officer in his current budget.
Right now, the department has two officers in its animal control division, but these officers have to cover nearly 550-square miles, which makes their job tough.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=AVERAGES ANYWHERE...]
((DAVID HORTON, BOTETOURT ANIMAL CONTROL: AVERAGES ANYWHERE FROM 10-12 CALLS A DAY, THAT'S ON ONE SHIFT, AT NIGHT, IT AVERAGES A LITTLE SLOWER HERE AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. SUMMERTIME PICKS UP 'CAUSE PEOPLE ARE OUT..))
[SUPER=01-David Horton/Botetourt Co. Animal Control]
[OUT Q= .. PEOPLE ARE OUT..]
The county administrator and the budget committee *are* recommending Sprinkle's budget for approval.
A final budget decision is expected at the end of April.
(Kim tosses to bump)
Incumbent Linda Wyatt won't be on the ballot in the May Roanoke City Council election, but she is now among the candidates who hope to win a seat on the city school board.
[TAKE PINNACLE FULL]
Ten people have applied for two seats on the board. City Council will make the appointments.
The list includes Dennis Binns, Chris Craft, Robert Craig, David Dabay, Roddy Hiduskey, Glenda Lee, incumbent Alvin Nash, the Reverend Samuel Robinson, Linda Wright, and Linda Wyatt.
Ruth Willson says she is looking forward to pursuing other interests, and will not seek reappointment after two t
erms on the board.