The path of Interstate 73 is apparently not set in stone.
Nearly three years ago, a state panel selected a route for the road, but now it appears a change may be under consideration.
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As it stands now, the highway would follow Interstate 581 then branch off Route 220, go through Southeast Roanoke and the Mount Pleasant area of Roanoke County before generally following U-S Route 220.
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But Roanoke County officials say they were notified Monday that VDOT is considering a change that would keep the Interstate along Route 220 all the way through the Clearbrook area.
Supervisors were briefed by county community development staff about the possibility yesterday afternoon.
Staff members say they've been asked by VDOT to provide information on how the change could affect the Clearbrook community.
Supervisors asked some questions, but the board has so far not taken a position on the proposal.
A V-DOT spokeswoman said there has been no change to the route of I-73, but she added V-DOT would have information to release later in the week.
Today the nation's highest court takes up a case that
could affect public school children across the country.
The father of a nine- year- old girl in California is going before the Supreme Court to present a historic constitutional challenge to the pledge of allegiance.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=What is it doing in there?]
((MICHAEL NEWDOW/PLAINTIFF: WHAT IS IT DOING IN THERE. IF PEOPLE WANT TO BELIEVE IN GOD THATS FINE, THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DO THAT. THEY DONT
HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE THE MACHINERY OF THE STATE SO THAT EVERYBODY ELSE HAS TO HAVE THAT SAME BELIEF. ))
[OUT Q=that same belief.]
Newdow is an atheist, and says the words "Under God" in the pledge are unconstitutional, violating the separation of church and state.
The Supreme Court is hearing the case on appeal from the ninth U-S Circuit Court.
That court ruled in Newdow's favor.
Meanwhile, supporters of the pledge plan to rally today outside the Supreme Court.
It's shaping to be a dramatic day on Capitol Hill.
The man criticizing the Bush and Clinton administrations for
ignoring warnings about al-Qaida will testify before the panel
probing the Nine-Eleven attacks.
The panel will also hear from more top administration officials,
including C-I-A director George Tenet.
During more than seven hours of testimony yesterday, the panel
questioned current and former cabinet members.
They say they took the terror threat seriously and did everything possible to disrupt the al-Qaida network.
House and Senate budget conferees will resume negotiations today.
Meanwhile, citizens are getting a chance this week to voice their opinions on the matter.
Lawmakers across the state are holding town hall meetings.
The House of Delegates voted to recess until Saturday so that members could talk to their constituents.
Delegate Phil Hamilton says the break has been helpful.
[IN Q=I'VE HAD A CHANCE TO GET BACK]
((DELEGATE PHIL HAMILTON/R-NEWPORT NEWS: I'VE HAD A CHANCE TO GET BACK TO WORK. I'VE HAD A CHANCE TO INTERACT WITH PEOPLE THIS GATHERING TODAY IS A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO GET EVEN MORE FEEDBACK FROM CITIZENS.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Phil Hamilton/(R) Newport News; :00]
[OUT Q=TO GET EVEN MORE FEEDBACK FROM CITIZENS.]
The two houses remain divided on sales and income tax increases.
Senator Tommy Norment says he doesn't think taking a week off will make any difference.
[IN Q=I'M NOT SURE THAT ITS CHANGED ANY]
((SENATOR TOMMY NORMENT/R-WILLIAMSBURG: I'M NOT SURE THAT ITS CHANGED ANY MINDS ALTER THE MINDS OF ANYBODY THAT'S INFORMED VERY FRANKLY I WELCOME THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET OUT IN FRONT OF THE CITIZENS I REPRESENT AND GIVE THEM SOME DETAILS ON IT. :26))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Tommy Norment/(R) Williamsburg; :]
[OUT Q=AND GIVE THEM SOME DETAILS ON IT.]
The budget conferees are scheduled to meet again today to try to break the impasse.
[TAPE#=04-07 TC 43:49]
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion.
June 6th is still months from now, but preparations are already underway.
Justin McLeod tells us how the D-Day Memorial in Bedford plans to commemorate that day.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Joe Banner/National D-Day Memorial Foundation; :40]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND AT MEMORIAL))
This time of year, there are few visitors to the D-Day Memorial.
But come early June, thousands will come here for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
[IN Q=We feel this will]
((JOE BANNER/NATIONAL D-DAY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION: WE FEEL THIS THIS WILL BE THE LAST MAJOR ANNIVERSARY WHERE WE EXPECT A LARGE NUMBER OF VETERANS IN ATTENDANCE.))
[OUT Q=VETERANS IN ATTENDANCE]
As a result, the D-Day Memorial is planning a week of events.
Freedom Week as its called will consist of a living history encampment, a 1940's dance, and displays of military vehicles.
On June 6th, there will be a ceremony that will include the United States Navy Band.
More than five thousand people are expected to attend and the event will cost nearly 75-thousand dollars.
[IN Q=We want to be able]
((JOE BANNER/NATIONAL D-DAY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION: WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO HONOR THEM IN A WAY THAT IS FITTING FOR ALL THEY'VE DONE FOR US. AND THROUGH AREVA'S SUPPORT AND AREVA'S ABLITITY TO UNDERWRITE THE ENTIRE WEEKEND WE'LL BE ABLE TO PRODUCE A MUCH MORE MEANINGFUL PROGRAM FOR THEM.))
[OUT Q=MEANINGFUL PROGRAM FOR THEM]
Since the Lynchburg based company Areva is paying for most of the event, the D-Day Memorial can worry about other matters.
The memorial is still 3 three million dollars in debt.
That is nearly half it was two years ago.
The D-Day Memorial Foundation plans to use the 60th anniversary to show the public it's becoming financially responsible.
It hopes people will give money so it can finally finish the memorial.
[IN Q=We have additions to the]
((JOE BANNER/NATIONAL D-DAY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION: WE HAVE ADDITIONS TO THE ENGLIGH GARDEN, OUR EISENHOWER STATUE. WE HAVE SOME OTHER ADDITIONS TO THE MEMORIAL AS WELL AS STATUES IN THE INVASION PLAZA. WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD ANTICPATING THE EDUCATION CENTER TO COMPLETED. WE HOPE TO BEGIN A CAMPAIGN FOR THAT IN A FEW YEARS.))
[OUT Q=IN A FEW YEARS]
[IN Q=The ceremony on June 6th]
((JUSTIN McLEOD: THE CEREMONY ON JUNE 6TH WILL START AT ELEVEN O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING AND TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE. THEY COST FIVE DOLLARS. D-DAY VETERANS WILL RECEIVE FREE SEATING BUT MUST CALL AHEAD TO THE D-DAY FOUNDATION. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
In business news, an announcement in Salem has some employees shopping for a new job.
Yesterday, the Home Shopping Network announced plans to move part of its Salem fulfillment center to Piney Flats, Tennessee.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=When we found the]
((JOY PERKINS: WHEN WE FOUND THE FACILITY IN TENNESSEE WE DIDN'T STOP LOOKING IN VIRGINIA. WE CONTINUED AND THE STATE OF VIRGINIA HELPED US, BUT THERE JUST WASN'T ANYTHING EXISTING - WE'D HAVE TO BUILD AND THERE WASN'T EVEN ANY LAND IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA.))
[SUPER=01-Joy Perkins/HSN Fulfillment Vice-President;]
[OUT Q=the immediate area]
The television and Internet retailer employs 450 people at it's Salem facility.
About half of those jobs will be transferred to the company's Roanoke County facility.
The other half will be lost.
Laid- off employees will be given severance.
Home Shopping Network plans to start moving in August.
Employees at Hubbell Lighting have agreed to a new four year contract.
The contract is retro-active to March 8th, the day the old contract ran out.
Employees have been working on good faith since then.
Details of the contract have not been made public, but workers had been holding out for salary increases and better benefits.
Hubbell employs 330 people at the Christiansburg facility.
In other business news, Gas prices hit an all time high this week.
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 STOCK MARKET MADE IT FOUR DOWN DAYS IN A ROW AS INVESTORS CONTINUE TO
> BE PREOCCUPIED WITH THE GEOPOLITICAL SITUATION.
> AFTER A YO-YO SESSION, THE DOW DIPED A POINT
> WHILE THE NASDAQ EDGED DOWN 8.
> Putnam Investments was slow to respond to allegations of mutual-fund
> trading abuses when they emerged at the Boston based firm four years ago.
> That's the finding of a report from Putnam's independent fund trustees.
> The report concluded that management failed to inform the funds' board
> about improper trading in a timely manner. Putnam was the first company
> formally accused last fall of wrongdoing in the state and federal
> investigations of illegal trading in the mutual fund industry.
> GET READY FOR STICKER SHOCK AT THE GAS PUMP. ACCORDING TO TRIPLE-A,
> GASOLINE PRICES HIT AN ALL TIME HIGH THIS WEEK. THE AVERAGE PRICE OF A
> GALLON OF REGULAR GAS AT THE NATIONS PUMPS WAS 1-74 A GALLON. AND EXPERTS
> SAY GASOLINE PRICES ARE EXPECTED TO GO EVEN HIGHER AS SUPPLY REMAINS TIGHT
> AS WE HEAD INTO THE THE PEAK SUMMER DRIVNG SEASON.
> TRACK YOUR STOCKS AT CBS.MW.COM IN NY I'M AC.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
[WOOD ROGERS SPONSOR BOARD 5185 ESSC]
Secretary of State Colin Powell is among the dignitaries from all over the world attending a memorial service today for victims of the Madrid train bombings.
It'll be Spain's first state funeral for people outside the royal family in the history of the country's new democracy.
Spanish authorities have revised the death toll from the March 11th terrorist bombings-- now saying that 190 people were killed.
While in Madrid, Powell will meet Spain's incoming prime minister who's vowed to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq.
It's a move some experts fear could discourage other women from reporting sexual assaults.
The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape will be forced
to testify about her sex life today.
The 19-year-old woman will testify in a closed door hearing that'll determine whether details of the woman's sex
life can be introduced at Bryant's trial.
Roanoke Mayor Ralph Smith says school superintendent Wayne Harris is being rewarded for "a job poorly done."
Yesterday, Smith criticized the school board for agreeing to pay Harris for six months after he steps down.
Harris announced his retirement on Monday. He will leave his post at the end of the school year, but remain on paid leave through December.
Smith says six months of severance is unwarranted.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The good part of it]
((THE GOOD PART OF IT IS, WE KNOW AT THE END OF JUNE WE CAN START THE REBUILDING PROCESS, REBUILDING THE CONFIDENCE IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM. WE NEED TO START TODAY SETTING THAT COURSE.))
[SUPER=01-Ralph Smith/Roanoke Mayor]
[OUT Q=start today setting that course.]
School board members praised Harris for rising test scores, declining dropout rates, improvements in teacher salaries and other accomplishments.
Harris gave up an early retirement benefit that would have paid him approximately 150 -thousand dollars over five years.
But Smith challenged board members to put what he calls "the buddy system" behind them, and insure maximum public input as they search for a new superintendent.
(Kim tosses to bump)
Musician Bobby Brown will be in court today, but not in Roanoke.
Authorities in DeKalb County Georgia yesterday morning admitted they'd made a mistake when they said the singer was due to appear at an emergency hearing in the Star City.
[SUPER=03-DeKalb Co., GA/Monday]
Brown was released from jail Monday, after serving most of a 60- day sentence for violating the terms of his probation on a drunken driving charge.
In a correction issued yesterday morning, the Dekalb County Sheriff's Office said Brown was released early so he could appear in Norfolk County Probate and Family Court in Masschusetts.
In business news, the Home Shopping Network has announced plans to transfer more than 200- jobs to Tennessee.
The television retailer plans to move the "hard- goods" unit of its Salem fulfillment center out of state.
Meanwhile, the jewelry unit will be transferred to the company's Roanoke County facility.
Employees say they have mixed feelings about the situation.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Relieved. You know, I]
((WAYNE WELLS: RELIEVED. YOU KNOW, I FEEL BAD FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS AS PART OF THE FACILITY THAT'S GOING TO TENNESSEE, BUT I'M RELIEVED THAT THE JEWELRY SECTION IS STAYING HERE IN THE VALLEY.))
[SUPER=01-Wayne Wells/Home Shopping Network Employee;]
[OUT Q=here in the valley]
The company plans to start moving merchandise in August.
Hard- goods employees will be offered jobs in Tennessee.
Those who can't relocate will be offered a severance package.
[GRAPHIC=George Honts 2151]
He's being remembered as a good friend, great judge and all-round wonderful guy.
Judge George Honts, the Third, died yesterday morning at the age of 64.
Honts succumbed to the massive brain hemorrhage he suffered Monday.
The judge announced his retirement in January after suffering what doctors first thought was an aneurysm.
He's remembered by his friends and colleagues as a fair man with an amazing work-ethic.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=He was slow...]
((JUDGE CLIFFORD WECKSTEIN/ROANOKE CIRCUIT COURT: HE WAS SLOW TO ANGER, QUICK WITH A QUIP, QUICK TO FORGIVE AND A PRINCE OF A MAN.))
[SUPER=01-Judge Clifford Weckstein/Roanoke Circuit Court]
[OUT Q=a prince of a man (reflective pause.)]
A viewing for Honts will be held this afternoon at Rader's Funeral Home from two to four and later that night seven to nine.
The funeral will be Thursday afternoon at two o'clock at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Fincastle.