More details are coming out on what led Ohio police to a suspect in a string of highway shootings.
And, a former Lynchburg police officer facing a D-U-I charge avoids a trial.
Rain will continue to diminish as we head through the afternoon we could even see a couple of glimpses of sunshine in a few isolated locations. I'll have your forecast.
Stay with us News 7 at noon, starts right now.
His neighbors describe him a quiet man--
But the suspect in Ohio's highway sniper attacks has triggered a major manhunt.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at Noon]
Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
Police warn their suspect is on the run, and considered armed and dangerous.
Jennifer Miller has the latest on the search for the sniper.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Steve Martin/Franklin Co., OH Sheriff's Dept.;]
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Miller/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Miller, CBS News, Columbus, Ohio.]
OHIO POLICE BELIEVE THIS MAN...CHARLES MCCOY JR....COULD BE THE HIGHWAY
SNIPER ....WHO HAS TERRORIZED MOTORISTS SINCE LAST MAY - IN THE
INVESTIGATORS ARE NOT REVEALING WHAT LED THEM TO THE 28 YEAR OLD
SUSPECT, BUT REPORTS SAY MCCOY'S FATHER TURNED IN THE GUN USED IN THE
SOT: CHIEF STEVE MARTIN/FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF DEPT.
"THE KEY ISSUE RIGHT NOW IS TO LOCATE THIS GUY, WE BELIEVE HE BOUGHT
RIGHT NOW, MCCOY IS WANTED FOR SHOOTING UP THIS HOUSE IN NOVEMBER...JUST
ONE OF TWO DOZEN SHOOTINGS NEAR INTERSTATE 270... DIRECTED AT CARS,
TRUCKS SCHOOL BUSES AND BUILDINGS . LAST NOVEMBER A 62 YEAR WOMAN WAS
KILLED WHILE TRAVELING ON THE HIGHWAY.
(MILLER STANDUP BRIDGE)
POLICE SAY MCCOY WAS LAST SEEN DRIVING A 19-99 DARK GREEN GEO METRO.
THEY ARE TELLING THE PUBLIC NOT TO CONFRONT A SUSPECT THEY CONSIDER
ARMED AND DANGEROUS.
SOT: MARTIN AGAIN
"WE CAN'T TELL YOU WHERE HE IS RIGHT NOW, WE STILL THINK HE'S LOCAL, BUT
WE ARE NOT ABSOLUTELY SURE."
LAST NIGHT INVESTIGATORS, SEARCHED MCCOY'S HOME... CARRYING OUT SEVERAL
BOXES OF EVIDENCE. THEY ALSO PICKED THROUGH A GARAGE AT MCCOY'S
FATHER'S HOME. ONE NEIGHBOR DESCRIBED MCCOY AS WEIRD.
"I NEVER TALKED TO HIM, BUT HE ALWAYS SEEMED LIKE A VERY STRANGE GUY,
KEPT TO HIMSELF, NEVER SAW HIM SMILE."
AFTER MONTHS OF WORRY....RESIDENTS HERE ARE RELIEVED THAT POLICE FINALLY
HAVE A SUSPECT...NOW EVERYONE IS PRAYING..POLICE FIND THEIR MAN BEFORE
THE SHOOTER CAN STRIKE AGAIN.
JENNIFER MILLER, CBS NEWS, COLUMBUS OHIO
A Christiansburg man is now facing charges in connection with two hotel robberies.
A Radford grand jury has indicted 18 year old Marcus Allen Stewart with robbery and use of a firearm during a robbery earlier this month.
Police say he robbed the Super 8 motel on Tyler Avenue around 12:30 at night.
Two hours later a man matching the same description robbed the Best Western Red Lion Inn in Blacksburg.
Stewart is also facing numerous charges in that case including armed robbery and attempting to elude police.
He's being held at the Montgomery County Jail.
A former Lynchburg police officer was given a suspended jail sentence today for an alcohol-related wreck last spring.
Christopher Mastrapasqua (mass-truh-PASS-kwuh) was scheduled to stand trial today on a D-U-I charge.
But Mastrapasqua (mass-truh-PASS-kwuh) instead pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving after having consumed alcohol.. which carries the same penalty.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=He mounted his]
((RANDY KRANTZ/BEDFORD CO. PROSECUTOR: HE MOUNTED HIS LEGAL DEFENSE, HIS ATTORNEY DID THAT VIGOROUSLY, BUT ONCE THE COMMONWEALTH WAS ABLE TO GET IT TO A POINT THAT WE FOUND OUT WHAT WAS GOING TO BE THE FINAL ISSUE, HE ACCEPTED RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HE HAD DONE.))
[SUPER=01-Randy Krantz/Bedford Co. Prosecutor]
[OUT Q=what he had done.]
Mastraspasqua (mass-truh-PASS-kwuh) was injured while riding his motorcycle off-duty last May.
He was given a 60-day suspended jail sentence today, and he must also undergo alcohol counseling.
The judge also restricted his license for 6 months and fined him 625 dollars.
The F-B-I is investigating a drive-by shooting in Iraq that claimed the lives of four American missionaries.
The missionaries had no military protection or bodyguards, but they didn't think they needed to.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I think they felt]
((CAROL KEITH/VICTIM'S FRIEND:I THINK THEY FELT LIKE THEY WERE THERE FOR A PURPOSE AND THEY WERE JUST TRYING TO DO WHAT THEY FELT LIKE GOD WAS LEADING THEM TO DO. ))
[SUPER=01-Carol Keith/Victim's Friend;]
[OUT Q=leading them to do.]
They were in Iraq working on a water purification project when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle yesterday.
And today, a female Iraqi translator for U-S forces was also attacked and killed in Mosul.
The concern is that insurgents are going after easier targets after U-S troops and Iraqi police have beefed up their forces.
Aid agencies now have to decide whether continuing their work in Iraq without some sort of security is worth the risk.
The death count has risen to 21 in Northern Russia, the scene of an explosion at an apartment building.
At least two children are among the dead.
Officials say around 20 people are still missing.
They say it was an apparent natural gas explosion that destroyed part of the nine- story apartment building.
Police believe the blast happened after two homeless men removed the metal lids from gas pipe valves to try to sell them.
Authorities are still searching for the men, but do not suspect terrorism at this point.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, another deadline is running out for state lawmakers.
Plus singer Whitney Houston checks into drug rehab.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #1]
Fire investigators say a space heater may be to blame for a blaze that gutted a mobile home in Lynchburg last night.
Crews were called to the Lynchburg Trailer Park on Old Courthouse Turnpike around ten.
Passing motorists had reported seeing a trailer engulfed in flames.
It took crews about fifteen minutes to bring the fire under control.
No one was inside when the blaze broke out.
The home was a total loss.
[TAPE#=04-02 TC 1:27:21]
Roanoke County's school system is considering the use of random drug testing on all its students.
It is a topic that has concerned parents and students on both sides of the issue.
Justin McLeod has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-David Huddleston/Opposes Random Drug Testing; :12 (QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Sarah-Tyler Moore/Hidden Valley H. S. Senior; :30 (QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Larry Morgan/Opposes Random Drug Testing; :44 (QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Glorietta Bullock/Hidden Valley H. S. Senior; :56]
[SUPER=01-Linda Nader/Parent; 1:13]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF MEETING))
More than a hundred people came out to Hidden Valley High School for a public forum on random drug testing.
There were plenty of questions and concerns.
[IN Q=It seems to me]
((DAVID HUDDLESTON/OPPOSES RANDOM DRUG TESTING: IT SEEMS TO ME THAT'S IT'S A CLEAR INVASION OF YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.))
[OUT Q=CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS]
The U.S Supreme Court says differently.
In 2002, the high court ruled to allow random drug tests for all middle and high school students participating in extracurricular activities, not just athletes.
[IN Q=I am opposed to illegal]
((SARAH-TYLER MOORE/HIDDEN VALLEY SENIOR: I AM OPPOSED TO ILLEGAL DRUGS AND I WOULDN'T USE THEM BUT I DO NOT FEEL IT IS RIGHT FOR SOMEONE TO TEST ME FOR THAT.))
[OUT Q=ME FOR THAT]
Opponents also say the tests would be too costly and wonder whether they are accurate.
Some even question whether random drug tests deter teens from using illegal substances.
[IN Q=One study that I]
((LARRY MORGAN/OPPOSES RANDOM DRUG TESTING: ONE STUDY THAT I, SCIENTIFIC STUDY THAT I HAVE ACTUALLY SEEN SAYS IT DOESN'T WORK.))
[OUT Q=IT DOESN'T WORK]
But supporters also point to studies showing it does work.
They believe it will make students think twice about using drugs.
[IN Q=How are you going ]
((GLORIETTA BULLOCK/HIDDEN VALLEY SENIOR: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THEM OUT IN THE PUBLIC AND EXPECT THEM TO ACT RIGHT? SO I BELIEVE YOU SHOULD HAVE DRUG TESTING IF THEY ARE GOING TO REPRESENT THE SCHOOL.))
[OUT Q=represent the school]
But some are holding off and want more information before deciding.
They have questions about how the testing will be administered and which drugs will be tested for.
[IN Q=You got sports heroes]
((LINDA NADER/PARENT: YOU GOT SPORTS FIGURES THAT ARE BEING CHARGED WITH TAKING ANABOLIC STEROIDS. ARE OUR KIDS GOING TO BE TESTED FOR THAT?))
[OUT Q=TESTED FOR THAT?]
[IN Q=The school system]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THE SCHOOL SYSTEM SAYS SOME OF THOSE QUESTIONS CAN'T BE ANSWERED UNTIL IT DECIDES WHETHER TO IMPLEMENT RANDOM DRUG TESTING. THE SCHOOL BOARD POINTS OUT IT HASN'T EVEN DECIDED WHETHER IT WILL VOTE ON THIS ISSUE. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
Once again the deadline is fast approaching for state lawmakers.
Today is the second deadline for them to agree on a budget and adjourn, after extending the session on Saturday.
Speaker William Howell says the House of Delegates will consider a motion today to adjourn indefinitely.
Howell says House and Senate members need time to return home after a rancorous 60-day session that has already been extended for three days.
Meanwhile the state Senate delivered a counter-offer to the House's compromise budget last night.
The proposal contains about 300 million dollars in reductions, including slight cutbacks in its public education and higher education funding.
Earlier yesterday, House conferees offered a proposal they said would help break the log-jam.
Their offer includes 625 million dollars in additional spending but does NOT include an increase in the sales or income tax.
The House's chief budget negotiator says everything in the proposal is negotiable EXCEPT general tax increases.
After studying the compromise, Senate conferees said the numbers are too vague.
[IN Q=IN CERTAIN AREAS THEY DID MOVE]
((SENATOR JOHN CHICHESTER/R-FREDERICKSBURG: IN CERTAIN AREAS THEY DID MOVE TOWARD OUR POSITION. WHAT WE CAN'T IDENTIFY AND I'VE ASKED THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN OF APPROPRIATIONS TO HAVE THE STAFF ADVISE US WHERE THE MONEY HAS COME FROM.
DELEGATE KIRK COX/R-HOUSE BUDGET CONFEREE: WE'VE SEEN NOTHING FROM THEM I LOVE THE WAY THEY BREAK DOWN OUR PROPOSAL WHEN I'VE SEEN NOTHING FROM THEM.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Chichester/(R) Fredericksburg; :00]
[SUPER=01-Del. Kirk Cox/(R) Colonial Heights; :13]
[OUT Q=I'VE SEEN NOTHING FROM THEM.]
House negotiators do NOT expect to have an analysis or counter-offer ready until later today.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Up next on the newscast, Leo will let us know when we will see the sun again.
Plus we'll have the highlights from last night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Singer Whitney Houston is entering a drug rehab center.
Her publicist is offering few details, and just says that Houston "thanks everyone for their support and prayers."
The 40- year- old Houston has admitted in the past that she abused drugs and alcohol.
In 2002, she said she'd beaten the problem through prayer.
Both she and her husband, R- and- B singer Bobby Brown, have had brushes with the law.
In February, Brown was sentenced to 60 days in jail for violating probation.
What do Prince, Z-Z Top and Jackson Browne all have in common?
Besides making great music, they're all among this year's inductees into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.
Chris Lawrence has the sights and sounds from last night's ceremony.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
[SUPER=01-Chris Lawrence/CBS news;]
[OUT Q=Lawrence, CBS News, New York.]
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was UP 75 points. The NASDAQ was up seven.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up in sports, the NIT started yesterday as UVA prepares for its appearance tomorrow.
And Steve Mason takes a closer look at the ACC and what changes the expansion may bring to basketball.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The 40- team NIT opened last night.
The National Invitational Tournament featured Toledo and Marquette in its opening game.
[SUPER=03-Milwaukee, WI/ESPN; :00]
The tradition-rich Golden Eagles hosted this game on Al McGuire Court in Milwaukee, and the smallest man on the floor would be the big man on the night.
Marquette's Travis Deiner threw in a game high 21 points.
Deiner finished with 21 points, as the Golden Eagles easily beat the Toledo Rockets, 87-to-72.
UVa plays George Washington tomorrow night in Charlottesville.
The game is NOT being televised. Tickets are $8 bucks for adults and $5 for students and seating is general admission.
Less than two thousand tickets were sold yesterday.
The ACC basketball tournament as we have known it since Florida State joined the league in 19-91 ended Sunday, as Maryland upset Duke in Greensboro.
With the expansion almost upon us, Steve Mason talks with the commissioner and others about a league and a tournament on the move.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Greensboro, NC; :00]
[SUPER=01-John Swofford/ACC Commissioner; :14]
[SUPER=01-Pete Gillen/UVa Head Basketball Coach; :32]
[SUPER=01-Terry Holland/Coached UVa to 1976 ACC Tour. Title; :46]
[SUPER=01-Herb Sendek/N. C. State Head Coach; 1:07]
[OUT Q=.......News 7 sports"]
((The ACC will field 11 men's basketball teams next season in the first wave of expansion that will add Boston College in 2005. The days of playing everyone twice are over and each school will play each member once.
The concern is that rivalries from the loss of home and away series will suffer.
The league is once again traveling beyond tobacco road for the ACC basketball tournament with stops in Washington D.C., Florida and Georgia over the next several years Next year the tourney tips off at the MCI.))
((STEVE MASON:THE ACC MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT HEADS TO THE MCI CENTER NEXT YEAR AND THEN RETURNS TO THE GREENSBORO COLISEUM IN 2006. THE SITES FOR THE TOURNEY ARE BOOKED THROUGH THE YEAR 2010 STEVE MASON NEWS 7 SPORTS.))
[GRAPHIC=Men's final four]
You can catch much of the N-C-A-A tournament here on you hometown station.
[GO TO PINNACLE NCAA THUR. AFTERNOON]
Things get underway on WDBJ-7 Thursday afternoon with the newly crowned ACC tournament champion Maryland Terrapins taking on UTEP. Coverage will begin at 12:10 with the tip-off set for 12:40pm.
The second afternoon game on Thursday will pit the Liberty Flames and St. Joe's. That one is set to begin at 2:45.
[GO TO PINNACLE NCAA THUR. NIGHT]
And on Thursday night its more ACC related action from the men of Tobacco road- with the Duke Blue Devils and Alabama State at 7:10, and the North Carolina Tarheels and Air Force at 9:40pm.
And it's all right here on WDBJ-7.
[graphic=hold men's final four]
Friday's schedule will not be finalized until this afternoon.
But one of the teams in action on Friday was in deep trouble last night.
Murray State is scheduled to play Illinois, but last night two of team's top players were arrested.
Juniors Kelvin Brown and Adam Chiles are facing drug charges for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
They are free on bond, but right now there is no word on whether or not they will be allowed to play.
We have an update on our story about the state budget impasse.
The State Senate has decided it wants to extend tonight's midnight deadline to reach a budget compromise.
Members voted 31-to-5 minutes after convening at noon today to extend the session and rushed the resolution across the Capitol and into the House.
Senator Thomas Norment argued that there is still hope for a compromise and both sides should continue working.
The House has not taken action yet, but Speaker William Howell says if the governor sends down a new budget, it cannot contain sales and income tax increases.
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]