[11XGR-Budget]

[ANCHOR=Kim]

[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mmu]
[TAPE#=04-05 TC54:54]
[GRAPHIC=VA Budget]
[ENG#=1]

State lawmakers will get back to work today. That after Governor Mark Warner moved the legislature into a special session.

(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond]


The move angered House Republicans.
They took particular offense at the governor's accusation that they would be vacationing if they adjourned.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT 01:45:21]
[IN Q=I resent]

((DELEGATE TERRIE SUIT/R-VIRGINIA BEACH: I RESENT THIS PRESS RELEASE THAT SAYS WE ARE VACATIONING LEGISLATORS BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS PUT THE COMMONWEALTH'S BUSINESS BEFORE MY PERSONAL BUSINESS. DELEGATE VINCE CALLAHAN/R-MCLEAN: IT SEEMS TO ME IF WE ARE GOING TO GET OFF ON A GOOD FOOT DURING A SPECIAL SESSION IT SHOULD BE CONCILIATORY AND NOT CHALLENGING US AND CHASTISING US AND EVERYTHING ELSE. DELEGATE LEO WARDRUP/R-VIRGINIA BEACH: I'M SITTING ON THE FLOOR OF THIS HOUSE WHILE THE GOVERNOR SAYS I'M ON VACATION NOT WANTING TO DO THE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS. I'M PERSONALLY DISGUSTED BY THIS. I'M SORRY GOVERNOR BUT THE GLOVES IS OFF.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Terrie Suit/(R) Virginia Beach; :00]
[SUPER=01-Del. Vince Callahan/(R) McLean; :09]
[SUPER=01-Del. Leo Wardrup/(R) Virginia Beach; :22]
[RUNS=:32]
[OUT Q=SORRY GOVERNOR BUT THE GLOVES IS OFF.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The session finally ended at about 7:15 last night.
Warner's special session starts at Noon and will be focused solely on the state budget.
(------------)



[11Bond-Rating]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=syo]
[TAPE#=04-02 TC1:30:11]
[GRAPHIC=HOLD]
[ENG#=2]


If Virginia's triple-A bond rating is dropped because of the budget impasse, it'll be hard to get back.
(------------)
[VO-NAT :07]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke;]

Paul Higgins of Legg Mason says the privilege benefits the state the way an excellent credit rating benefits a consumer.
(///// SOT at :07 /////)
[SOT 12:37:47 - 12:38:13]
[IN Q=Which allows you to enoy...]

((PAUL HIGGINS/FINANCIAL ADVISOR: WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO ENJOY LOWER INTEREST, BORROW MORE MONEY, DO MORE THINGS. THE RATING IS VERY CRITICAL BECAUSE IT AFFECTS AMOUNTS AND PROJECTS THAT'LL BE PUT TO WORK.))
[SUPER=01-Paul Higgins/Financial Advisor;]
[RUNS=:26]
[OUT Q=that'll be put to work.]
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Kim]
[GRAPHIC=HOLD]

Virginia is one of only eight states to boast the highest bond rating and has for decades. But it's been slowly eroding over the past few years because of a downturn in the economy and the technology boom, and the bust in the northern part of the state.

[AM-Confed-History]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=04-09 TC 26:29]
[GRAPHIC=none]
[ENG#=3]


We have black history month so why not a month to honor our confederate history?
That idea is being fiercely debated in Pittsylvania County.

(-------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Pittsylvania Co.]


Nearly a hundred people came out last night to debate the issue at the board of supervisors meeting.
The board heard an equal amount from those for and against a proclamation declaring April Confederate History and Heritage Month.
Opponents say a motion like this will only open old wounds.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:29:17]
[IN Q=It's racist]
[SUPER=01-William Pritchett/Pittsylvania Co. Supervisor;]
[RUNS=11]
[OUT Q=that is what the war was about.]
(-------------)
[VO-NAT]


But supporters say the proclamation has nothing to do with racism. Rather it seeks to honor the sacrifices made on the battlefield.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:27:31]
[IN Q=I think everyone]
[SUPER=01-Coy Harville/Pittsylvania Co. Supervisor;]
[RUNS=12]
[OUT Q=died in the Confederate War]
(-------------)
[VO-NAT]


During the nearly 90 minute debate, one woman suggested the county delay a vote so both sides could get together and discuss their differences.
One board member who liked that idea then introduced a substitute motion.
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Kim]
[SS=none]


By a 4 to 3 vote, the Supervisors agreed to appoint a committee to study how the county can honor all of its history, not just the Confederacy.


[Terrorism]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]
[ENG#=4]


Spain is burying its dead and hunting the Madrid train attackers, while the rest of Europe is stepping up its defenses against terrorism.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Madrid, Spain;]


The protests continue against last week's train attacks that left more than 200 dead.
The investigation is now focused on half- a- dozen Moroccan militants with connections to al-Qaida.
Countries across Europe are taking steps to counter other al-Qaida style attacks.
President Bush is encouraging them stay vigilant in the fight against terrorism.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=They kill]

((THEY KILL WHEREVER THEY CAN. AND IT'S ESSENTIAL THAT THE FREE WORLD REMAIN STRONG AND RESOLUTE AND DETERMINED.))
[RUNS=:08]
[OUT Q=resolute and determined.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Meanwhile, Secretary of State Colin Powell is in Pakistan and Afghanistan today to discuss anti- terror strategies and the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
(------------)



[CA-Murders]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Murder Invest.]
[ENG#=1]


A California man charged with murdering nine of his children faces arraignment today.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Fresno, CA;]


57 -year- old Marcus Wesson could face the death penalty if he's convicted.
He's in jail on nine million dollars' bail.
The coroner is still working to identify all the victims, who range in age from one to 24 years old.
While police haven't disclosed a motive, they say Wesson may have been involved in polygamy and incest, and the murders could have been part of a cult ritual.
(------------)


[11Narrows-Bobcat]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=myr]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=None]

A bobcat is now being tested for rabies after it attacked a woman inside her Narrows home. Police say the woman was in her basement yesterday afternoon when the animal jumped on her back and bit her. She was able to get away and call police. Officers used a shotgun to kill it. Officials believe the bobcat may have gotten in through an opening used by the family's pet cats.

[Marketwatch]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=chr]
[TAPE#=NET]
[GRAPHIC=Business News]
[ENG#=1]


In business news, The Federal Reserve will leave interest rates unchanged. That news led to a rally yesterday.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[RUNS=1:23]
[OUT Q=in New York, I'm AC.]

((THE STOCK MARKET WILL TRY TO KEEP THE POSITIVE MOMENTUM FLOWING.. STOCKS GOT A BOOST YESTERDAY AFTER THE FEDERAL RESERVE DID THE EXPECTED AND LEFT INTEREST RATES AT THEIR LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 1958. THE FED ALSO SIGNALED IT WAS IN NO HURRY TO RAISE RATES WITH JOB CREATION SLUGGISH AND INFLATION TAME.
THE DOW RALLIED 81 POINTS.
WHILE THE NASDAQ INCHED UP NEARLY 4 POINTS.
ON THE CALENDAR.. A REPORT ON INFLATION AT THE RETAIL LEVEL FOR FEBRUARY.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON SHARES OF GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER... THE TIRE MAKER ASKED FEDERAL REGULATORS FOR MORE TIME TO FILE ITS ANNUAL 10-K REPORT DUE TO AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION OF OVERSEAS ACCOUNTING PROBLEMS.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SAID THE FBI AND COLLEGE OFFICIALS ARE INVESTIGATING "THE UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS AND PUBLIC RELEASE" OF ITS FEBRUARY CONSUMER SENTIMENT REPORT. THE REPORT IS KNOWN TO MOVE THE STOCK AND BOND MARKETS. THE INDEX WAS PUBLISHED BY THE MARKET NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEWS SERVICE BEFORE BEING RELEASED TO SUBSCRIBERS ON FEB. 13.
APPLE COMPUTER SAYS SALES OF ITS G5 COMPUTERS WILL FALL IN THE FIRST QUARTER.. THAT DISAPPOINTED INVESTORS. THE COMPANY'S ITUNES ONLINE MUSIC STORE MAY ALSO MISS ITS SONG SALES TARGETS FOR ITS FIRST YEAR IN OPERATION.
FIND OUT MORE AT CBS.MW.COM IN NY I'M AC.))

(tape tosses to stocks)

[STOCKS] [WOOD ROGERS SPONSOR BOARD 5185 ESSC] [COMM]


[National-WX]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Winter Weather]
[ENG#=1]


You could call it winter's last laugh--
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Boston, MA;]


From the Midwest to New England, residents are dealing with a late season storm that's dumping snow and causing travel problems.
In the Midwest, up to 18 inches of snow set a new record.
As the storm moves Eastward, wet roads are making driving treacherous.
At least three deaths are being blamed on the late-winter storm.
Anywhere from nine inches to a foot of snow is expected to fall overnight between Ohio and New York.
(------------).


[Highway-Shootings]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]
[ENG#=2]


A police bulletin says the suspect in two dozen highway shootings in central Ohio has a history of mental illness, and is NOT taking medication.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Columbus, OH;]


Police are still searching for 28- year- old Charles McCoy, Junior and believe he's armed with a semi-automatic pistol.
McCoy's sister has gone on television to appeal to her brother to contact family members and come home.
While police haven't said what exactly led them to the suspect, McCoy's father is believed to have turned over one of his son's weapons to investigators.
(------------)


[11B'Burg-Budget]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=rde]
[TAPE#=03-51 TC1:49:05]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=3]


Real estate taxes won't be changing but Blacksburg residents can expect to see several other things increase.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg;]


Next year's nearly 40 million dollar budget is balanced, but officials say they needed to raise more money to do it.
Town leaders are proposing a two percent increase in the lodging tax for area hotels.
They're hoping that could raise more than 140-thousand dollars.
The town is also considering a five dollar increase to vehicle decals and a new tax on some cable providers.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT:9:23:00 ]
[IN Q=We did increase some]

((MARC VERNIEL/ASSISTANT TOWN MANAGER; WE DID INCREASE SOME OF THE REVENUE ITEMS. SOME OF THE FEES, SOME OF THE TAXES, BUT MAINTAINED THE REAL ESTATE TAX RATE WHERE IT HAS BEEN FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND MAINTAIN THE SERVICE LEVELS THAT THE CITIZENS EXPECT HERE IN BLACKSBURG.))
[SUPER=01-Marc Verniel/Assistant Town Manager]
[RUNS=:13]
[OUT Q=here in blacksburg]
(-------------)
[VO-NAT]


Council members are also considering several building and permit fee increases that could raise another 164-thousand dollars.
Council is expected to vote on the budget after a public hearing in April.
(------------)



[6-Nursing-Shortage]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=rde]
[TAPE#=04-10 TC18:06]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=4]


Virginia could soon have a plan to deal with a severe nursing shortage.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Radford/Last Week;]


It's estimated the state could fall short by more than 20-thousand nurses in the next 15 years if nothing is done now.
Yesterday, the State Council of Higher Education released a strategic plan to ensure there are enough nurses.
The council is calling for more nursing professors at local colleges like Radford, as well as more money to increase enrollment in nursing programs.
It's estimated the state will need to spend several million dollars to solve the problem.
(------------)



(Kim tosses to bump)

[BUMP] [COMM]

[Biz-Brief]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=kor]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Business News]
[ENG#=2]


In business news, Stocks rebounded yesterday. Stan Case has more in today's business brief.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Stan Case/Reporting; :]
[RUNS=1:15]
[OUT Q=I'm Stan Case.]


((U-S STOCKS TURNED HIGHER AT THE CLOSE ON TUESDAY AFTER SHAKING OFF A FEDERAL RESERVE REPORT THAT LEFT INTEREST RATE ALONE BUT ACKNOWLEDGED *WEAKNESS* IN THE LABOR MARKET.


THE DOW CLOSED 81 POINTS HIGHER...
AND THE NASDAQ WAS UP THREE.


U-S HOUSING STARTS TUMBLED FOUR-PERCENT IN FEBRUARY.
THAT'S ON TOP OF A SIX-POINT-THREE PERCENT DROP IN JANUARY.
THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT SAYS NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION CAME
NEW HOME STARTS ARE NOW AT THEIR LOWEST LEVEL SINCE LAST AUGUST.
BUILDING PERMITS FOR FUTURE CONSTRUCTION WERE ALSO OFF--BY ONE-AND-A-HALF PERCENT.


LEHMAN BROTHERS POSTED A 92-PERCENT JUMP IN FOURTH QUARTER PROFITS.
THE INVESTMENT BANK REPORTED NET INCOME OF TWO-DOLLARS-21-CENTS A SHARE...UP FROM A DOLLAR-15 A YEAR AGO.
ACTIVITY IN BOND TRADING AND STOCK SALES BOSTERED THE QUARTERLY RESULTS.


GENERAL MILLS POSTED EARNINGS OF 63-CENTS A SHARE FOR ITS FISCAL THIRD QUARTER.
THAT'S UNCHANGED FROM A YEAR EARLIER AND MISSED WALL STREET FORECASTS BY THREE CENTS.
THE COMPANY SAYS SALES WERE SLOWER THAN EXPECTED FOR ITS REFRIGERATED BAKED PRODUCTS.
IN ADDITION, MERGER COSTS CONTRIBUTED TO THE NUMBERS.
GENERAL MILLS WARNED THAT EARNINGS FOR THE 2004 FISCAL YEAR COULD BE DOWN 13-PERCENT FROM 2003.


WITH THE BUSINESS BRIEF... I'M STAN CASE.))

[TAPE TOSS TO STOCKS] [STOCKS] [WOOD ROGERS SPONSOR BOARD 5185 ESSC] [COMM]


[2-National-WX]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Winter Weather]
[ENG#=1]


Winter's not over yet--
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Boston, MA;]


From the Midwest to New England, residents are dealing with a late season storm that's dumping snow and causing travel problems.
In the Midwest, up to 18 inches of snow set a new record.
As the storm moves Eastward, wet roads are making driving treacherous.
At least three deaths are being blamed on the late-winter storm.
Anywhere from nine inches to a foot of snow is expected to fall overnight between Ohio and New York.
(------------).


[6-Motel-Robbery]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=rde]
[TAPE#=03-53 TC1:39:48]
[GRAPHIC=none]
[ENG#=3]


A Christiansburg man now faces charges in two motel robberies.
18 year old Marcus Allen Stewart was indicted by a Radford grand jury this week on two felonies.
He's accused of holding up the Super 8 motel on Tyler Avenue about 2-weeks ago.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg;]


Stewart is already being held at the Montgomery County jail in connection to a Blacksburg robbery from that same night.
He faces several charges, including armed robbery and attempting to elude police from a robbery at the Best Western Red Lion Inn. (------------)