[TAPE#=04-13 TC 28:36]
[GRAPHIC=News 7 Mornin']
Some employees in the Bedford County school system are not happy about a proposed raise.
Last night, the school board held a public hearing on next year's 85.9 million dollar proposed budget.
Part of that budget calls for a new pay scale that would give teachers a four to seven percent raise.
Some would do even better. Salaries for some principals and assistant principals would climb as much as 11 percent.
Raises for employees in the central office would be capped at ten percent.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Most of our county]
((LAURA RODES/BEDFORD CO. RESIDENT: MOST OF OUR COUNTY WORKERS AS YOU GO AROUND WOULD BE LUCKY TO GET A THREE PERCENT INCREASE THIS YEAR. I BELIEVE IT IS WONDERFUL THING THAT WE HAVE ACCREDITATION BUT I DON'T BELIEVE WE NEED TO GO OVERBOARD. 10-PERCENT IS TOO HIGH.))
[SUPER=01-Laura Rodes/Bedford Co. Resident;]
[OUT Q=is too high]
Bus drivers also have concerns about the new pay scale.
Under the plan, bus drivers would now be paid by the hour and no longer by the day.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We're salaried paid right]
((AUSTIN HULL/BEDFORD CO. BUS DRIVER: WE'RE SALARIED PAID RIGHT NOW, CONTRACTED. THEY'RE TALKING CHANGING TO A MATRIX SYSTEM THAT NOBODY SEEMS TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT. WE CAN'T GET ANY STRAIGHT ANSWERS, IT'S A LOT OF CONFUSION.))
[SUPER=01-Austin Hull/Bedford Co. Bus Driver;]
[OUT Q=a lot of confusion]
Bus drivers fear they will end up losing money as a result of the new pay scale.
Several got up and requested that the school board explain the proposed new policy in writing.
As for the proposed raises for administrators, the school system defends it saying no one in the central office has received a substantial raise in several years.
There's no dispute over a pay increase in Botetourt County.
The county administrator and budget committee say deputies will see a two-and-a quarter percent raise.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Near and dear...]
((SHERIFF RONNIE SPRINKLE, BOTETOURT CO.: NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART, I GUESS, IS BEING ABLE TO PAY MY PEOPLE FOR A RAISE EACH YEAR. I THINK THEY DEFINITELY DESERVE IT. THERE AREN'T TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO TO TO WORK WITH A BULLET PROOF VEST ON, SO THAT'S WHY I THINK WE NEED TO COMPENSATE THEM FOR THE WORK THEY DO.))
[SUPER=01-Ronnie Sprinkle/Botetourt Co. Sheriff]
[OUT Q=... work they do.]
Currently there are 89-employees at the Sheriff's office, 69 of them are sworn officers.
Deputies in Botetourt start off at just under 24-thousand dollars.
Six firefighters were injured while battling a blaze in Blackstone.
The fire apparently started behind Mitchell's Restaurant about 4:30 and spread.
It burned out of control until about 8 last night.
Officials say six firefighters were injured when the front of one of the buildings blew out.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=You could see]
((YOU COULD SEE THE ROOF BLOW OFF THE BUILDING, COMEBACK DOWN AND THE FIRE BLEW OVER TOP OF US.
AND I GOT HIT BY SOME FLYING GLASS.
I REMEMBER JUST SCREAMING WE'VE LOST FIREMEN.))
[OUT Q=we've lost firemen]
150 Fire firefighters from ten counties southwest of Richmond responded to the fire.
The worst terrorist attack in the history of Spain has left at least 198 people dead.
More than 14- hundred others were wounded in yesterday's bomb attacks on train stations during morning rush hour in Madrid.
Meanwhile, thousands of people have taken to the streets, holding
rallies to express outrage over the attacks.
The gatherings have been largely spontaneous so far, but many cities and towns are scheduling demonstrations.
In other gatherings, crowds have chanted slogans against the armed
separatist group ETA (EH'-tuh), which was initially blamed for the
John Kerry insists he won't apologize for recent remarks against his Republican Party critics.
Kerry said they were the "most crooked" and "lying" group he's ever seen.
President Bush's campaign chief wants an apology, but Kerry says Republicans should instead focus on real issues.
Kerry insists that he hasn't said anything that's "incorrect."
Meanwhile, the second wave of President Bush's multi- million-dollar ad campaign hits the airwaves today in 18 battleground states.
The ads go on the offensive, with high-taxes, soft-on-terrorism charges against the Democratic candidate.
A nursing assistant at Carriage Hill Retirement Center in Bedford is charged with assaulting a 91-year-old female resident.
[TAKE FULL SCREEN PINNACLE]
31-year-old Cristy L. Wood was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with hitting the woman on the back with a cane.
Police say the cane left a 14 inch long mark on the the resident's back. She also suffered a bruised ear.
Wood is currently being held at Bedford Adult Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.
In business news, Stocks lost more ground 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.]
((STOCKS EXTENDED THEIR LOSING STREAK AFTER THAT DEADLY TERRORIST BOMBING IN
> SPAIN MADE NERVOUS INVESTORS EVEN MORE JITTERY. THE SELLING GAINED
> MOMENTUM LATE IN THE DAY
> ON NEWS THAT FRANCE WILL RAISE ITS TERROR ALERT FOLLOWING THE ATTACK IN
> THE DOW TUMBLED 168 POINTS
> WHILE THE NASDAQ GAVE UP 20
> NOT EVEN UPBEAT WORDS FROM FED CHIEF ALAN GREENSPAN WERE ENOUGH TO LIFT
> THE MARKETS. Greenspan TOLD A HOUSE PANEL y that jobs are on the way. HE
> SAID job growth will be here ``before long,'' as the economy contiues to
> recovery.. but he DIDNT specify a timetable.
> ORACLE MAY BE A BRIGHT SPOT FOR THE RECENTLY BATTERED TECH SECTOR. AFTER
> THE CLOSING BELL the world's second largest software maker posted an 11
> percent rise in quarterly profits thanks to strong sales of its database
> Bank of America may pay more than $250 million to settle allegations that
> executives allowed mutual fund trading by favored clients that hurt the
> returns of other investors. The penalties would be at least the third
> highest since New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer unveiled
> theinvestigation of the mutual fund industry six months ago. A definitive
> deal is expected next week.
> 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]
Both sides are still talking, but state budget conferees admit little progress has been made.
The House and Senate remain at an impasse over the need for an increase in the state income and sales taxes.
The Senate is pressing for a multi-billion dollar tax hike to pay for education, transportation and public safety.
House conferees say they will not sign off on any general tax increases.
[IN Q=THE FOLKS IN THE SENATE]
((GOVERNOR MARK WARNER: THE FOLKS IN THE SENATE FEEL VERY STRONGLY HOUSE FEELS STRONGLY BUT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE SOME MOVEMENT.))
[OUT Q=HAVE TO HAVE SOME MOVEMENT.]
Both sides concede there is little hope that a budget agreement can be reached by Saturday.
[IN Q=IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT]
((DELEGATE KIRK COX/R-HOUSE BUDGET CONFEREE: IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT IF THEY'RE NOT WILLING TO AT LEAST PUT A PROPOSAL I CONTEND THEY HAVE PUT OUT ALMOST NOTHING ON THE TABLE. SENATOR JOHN CHICHESTER/R-SENATE BUDGET CONFEREE: WE'RE NOT GOING TO ACCEPT THEIR BUDGET ANY MORE THAN THEY ARE GOING TO ACCEPT OURS. ))
[SUPER=01-Del. Kirk Cox/(R) House Budget Conferee; :00]
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Chichester/(R) Senate Budget Conferee; :08 QUICK!!!]
[OUT Q=they are going to accept ours.]
If conferees fail to meet the deadline, legislators have the option of extending the current session or adjourning and returning for a special session.
The California Supreme Court has ordered officials in San Francisco to immediately stop performing same- sex weddings.
[SUPER=03-San Francisco, CA;]
The court says it will hear a case in May or June on the legality of
So far, more than 37- hundred same-sex couples have been married at City Hall, many of them from other states.
Meanwhile in Massachusetts, a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage but legalize civil unions has passed two preliminary votes in the state legislature.
After hours of scuffles and protests, South Korea's parliament has voted to impeach its president.
[SUPER=03-Seoul, South Korea;]
The impeachment vote of President Roh (Noh) Moo-hyun (moo- hyuhn) took place amid rowdy scenes.
A shoving match was sparked earlier when the Roh (Noh) supporters tried to stop the Assembly speaker from taking the podium, the only place he can call a vote.
Roh (Noh) is accused of being incompetent and violating election laws.
His presidential powers will be suspended while the matter is
referred to the Constitutional Court for final approval to oust the leader.
[TAPE#=03-51 TC 1:39:46]
A Pulaski County Dam is on a state watch list because of possible problems.
Hogan dam is one of 30 the state is keeping an eye on.
The nearly 90 year old structure is about 60 feet high and made of concrete.
Officials say there is no immediate threat, but computer models show that 30 inches of rain in less than 24-hours could force the dam to break.
The town is asking Senator George Allen and Congressman Rick Boucher to apply for federal funding.
Fixing the spillway could cost 500-thousand dollars.
(Kim tosses to bump)
In business news, Stocks plummeted yesterday.
Investors were spooked by new fear of terrorism after al-Qaida claimed responsibility for bombings in Madrid.
Rachel Lee has the closing numbers in today's business brief.
(///// SOT /////)
[OUT Q=I'm Rachel Lee.]
((STOCKS TUMBLED TO A NEGATIVE CLOSE ON THURSDAY.
THE DOW LOST 168 POINTS...
AND THE NASDAQ CLOSED DOWN 20.
U-S RETAIL SALES JUMPED SIX-TENTHS OF A PERCENT IN FEBRUARY COMPARED WITH 2003.
THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT SAYS THATS UP FROM A REVISED INCREASE OF TWO-TENTHS OF A PERCENT IN JANUARY.
THE DEPARTMENT SAYS AUTOMOBILE RECEIPTS ACCOUNTED FOR A FOURTH OF THE TOTAL RETAIL SALES FOR THE MONTH.
REMOVING THE AUTO SALES FROM THE EQUATION, FEBRUARY SALES REMAINED UNCHANGED YEAR-TO-YEAR, AFTER A ONE-PERCENT INCREASE IN JANUARY.
NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR POSTED EARNINGS OF 48-CENTS A SHARE FOR ITS FISCAL THIRD QUARTER. THAT'S UP FROM A *LOSS* OF 20-CENTS A SHARE ONE YEAR AGO.
THE COMPANY BEAT ANALYSTS EXPECTATIONS BY THREE-CENTS.
THE MAKER OF MICROCHIPS SAYS STRONG SALES IN THE WIRELESS INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTED TO THE EARNINGS TURN AROUND.
TARGET MIGHT SOON BE LOOKING FOR A BUYER.
THE DISCOUNT RETAILER IS CONSIDERING THE SALE OF ITS
MARSHALL FIELDS AND MERVYN'S DEPARTMENT STORES.
DESPITE LAST MONTH'S GAINS IN SAME-STORE SALES, TARGET SAYS THE TWO UNITS HAVE NEGATIVELY IMPACTED RECENT PROFITS.
WITH THE BUSINESS BRIEF... I'M RACHEL LEE.))
[TAPE TOSS TO STOCKS]
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