It's decision day in Richmond.
Today, state lawmakers will vote on a nearly one billion dollar tax bill. The house is
set to vote on the controversial proposal that would increase the sales tax by a half-cent.
Last week, the bill had the backing of 17 Republican delegates who plan to join Democrats in passing the measure.
But the House majority leader says it is a fluid situation and there are still undecided members.
[IN Q=IF WHAT THEY'RE HEARING IS THAT THE]
((HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER MORGAN GRIFFITH/R-SALEM: IF WHAT THEY'RE HEARING IS THAT THE SENATE IS WILLING TO ACCEPT THIS BILL AND MAKE JUST A COUPLE OF LITTLE CHANGES THEN IT PROBABLY PASSES. IF WHAT THEY'RE HEARING IS THAT THE SENATE WANTS EVEN MORE TAX INCREASES, THEN THE BILL MAY FAIL. SENATOR JOHN WATKINS/R-CHESTERFIELD CO.: ITS VERY UNUSUAL TO BE ASKED IF WE WOULD VOTE FOR SOMETHING THAT THEY HAVEN'T EVEN VOTED ON SO I'M A LITTLE RELUCTANT TO SAY ABSOLUTELY.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Watkins/(R) Chesterfield Co.; :15]
[OUT Q=I'M A LITTLE RELUCTANT TO SAY ABSOLUTELY.]
The compromise measure is being offered as a way to break the month-long budget impasse.
At least one delegate says the budget is in "such a state of flux," he won't even guess at a possible vote outcome.
Roanoke Republican William Fralin says, at this point, he just wants a budget and that he's willing to raise the sales tax by half a cent to solve the impasse.
(///// SOT AT :10 /////)
[SOT 12:49:37 - 12:49:53]
[IN Q=Hopefully the Senate and Governor...]
((DELEGATE WILLIAM FRALIN/R-ROANOKE: HOPEFULLY THE SENATE AND GOVORNER WILL COME ALONG. THE GOVERNOR HAS SPOKEN TO THE PLAN SAYING HE'S IN GENERAL AGREEMENT WITH IT. HOPEFULLY THE SENATE WILL COME ALONG AND WE CAN GET A BUDGET THIS WEEK. THAT'S MY GOAL. THA'S WHY I'M HEADING TO RICHMOND AGAIN THIS WEEK.))
[OUT Q=why I'm heading to Richmond again this week.]
The House compromise bill would also raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes to 30 cents, but would eliminate the estate tax and marriage penalty.
The Senate has agreed to drop its push for an income tax hike if the House passes the plan.
Opponents of a new sewer line in Blacksburg won't need an injunction to slow down the project... the town's backing off until next month.
Two Blacksburg residents are suing the town over the "12 mile long" sewer line that would run along Toms Creek.
They asked a judge to prevent town council from awarding contracts until a May 13th court hearing on the validity of the bond issue which would pay for it.
Council planned to award those contracts Tuesday night, but the town manager now says they won't be awarded until after the hearing.
Gary Huff says town council could still move forward with the project afterward because the bids are good for 60 days.
Opponents hope the makeup of town council will change after the May elections and the new council will reverse course on the project.
Crews have stabilized a propane tank at a Salem hardware store.
Firefighters say the newly installed tank at the True Value Hardware store on Main Street tipped over last night.
They believe this week's rain weakened the foundation.
The tank was emptied and removed.
Officials say there was never any danger.
U-S troops have arrested a representative of an anti-American cleric today.
It happened as the aide attended a meeting today of tribal leaders at a Baghdad hotel.
Radical shiite cleric Muqtada (Mook- tada) Al- Sadr (AL- Sod-er) has also pulled his militiamen from parts of Najaf, Karbala, and Kufa.
That was a key U-S demand.
But military officials say the American mission remains the same--
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The mission of]
((LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ/TOP U.S. COMMANDER IN IRAQ:THE MISSION OF U-S FORCES IS TO KILL OR CAPTURE
MUQTADA AL-SADR. THATS OUR MISSION. ))
[SUPER=01-Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez/Top U. S. Commander in Iraq;]
[RUNS=:05] (estimated bite runs time)
[OUT Q=That's our mission.]
Sanchez is also making for more troops.
Meanwhile, coalition forces are also dealing with abductions.
Thomas Hamill is among at least seven U-S contractors confirmed missing.
Two American soldiers have also been classified as "whereabouts unknown."
And as Japan awaits word on the fate of three of its citizens held hostage, the search is on for several employees of a Russian company who are also missing.
The 9-11 commission hearings resume today, with F-B-I and Justice Department officials in the hot seat.
Attorney General John Ashcroft, former F-B-I Director Louis Freeh,and former Attorney General Janet Reno will be among those testifying.
The panel is examining failures in intelligence leading up to
the September 11th attacks.
President Bush will address that topic-- plus the ongoing violence in Iraq-- when he faces reporters tonight during a rare prime- time news conference.
Lawmakers in Kentucky are saying ``no'' to same-sex marriages and civil unions for gay couples.
The House approved an amendment to the Kentucky state constitution to ban gay marriages.
It'll head to the Senate, and if it's approved, it'll then go to the voters in November.
Kentucky law already prohibits same- sex marriages, but supporters of the proposed amendment say it needs to be written into the state constitution.
Meanwhile, opponents say the measure amounted to "gay bashing."
In business news, new jobs are on the way to Southside.
Shenandoah Furniture announced plans to expand its Henry County facility over the next two years.
The process will add 50 new jobs and the company will spend over one million dollars. Shenandoah Furniture says it will take on new clients it previously had to turn down because of a lack of space.
In other business news, Investors have shifted their focus to strong corporate earnings and that led to a rally on Wall Street yesterday.
Jean Lee has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Jean Lee/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in New York.]
((Tech stocks started the week off on a positive note. Hopes for a strong first quarter earnings season sparked a broad-based rally,
With the dow closing up 73 points,
And the nasdaq gaining 12.
After the bell, Novellus announced earnings that beat the street. The company, which makes the machines that generate computer chips, said better demand for next-generation tools, helped boost its numbers.
Chip stocks were active ahead of Intel's (INTC) earnings tomorrow. Last month, the world's biggest chipmaker said its sales numbers would likely come in at the lower end of expectations. The company also plans to introduce chips, that will allow video conferencing on mobile phones.
Goodyear shares could add to their gains from Monday, after the tire giant said it ended a worldwide accounting investigation. (GT)
Disney (DIS) lost out, after Banc of America said that Comcast (CMCSA) is considering abandoning its bid for the media giant. The firm ALSO upgraded the cable operator and raised its price target on the company.
And Microsoft (MSFT:) agreed to pay $440 million to intellectual property licensor InterTrust. The payment will settle all lawsuits and allows Microsoft, to license InterTrust's patent portfolio.
Track all your stocks at our website, it's cbs.mw.com
I'm jl cbs mw in ny.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
[WOOD ROGERS SPONSOR BOARD 5185 ESSC]
A Craig County family wants to know why a 22 year old would beat a man confined to a wheelchair.
On Sunday, 65-year-old Richard Sarver died from injuries he received in the attack last week.
According to police, 22-year-old William Riley Richardson attacked Sarver when he threatened to call police after Richardson beat a 17-year-old girl.
Family and friends say they want to know why the 22-year-old would ever go after a man in a wheelchair.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=IF I COULD HAVE...]
((RICHARD SARVER, JR., SON: IF I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE I WOULD HAVE DONE ANYTHING I COULD TO HAVE PROTECT MY FATHER AND SAM. AFTER THE FACT, I HAVE TO TELL MYSELF IT'S UP TO THE LAW TO HANDLE IT.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Sarver, Jr./Son]
[OUT Q=... HANDLE IT.]
Charges against Richardson have been upgraded from attempted murder to first degree murder.
He also faces several other charges including malicious wounding and attempted arson.
The lights are still out at one of the the biggest hotels on the Vegas Strip.
[SUPER=03-Las Vegas, NV;]
The Bellagio Hotel and Casino remains closed, because of a power line failure that blacked out the resort.
Management says thousands of feet of cable will have to be
replaced before the hotel can re- open this morning, at the
A Nevada Power spokesman calls the power outage an internal
problem at the Bellagio.
Thousands of guests have had to re- locate to other hotels.
Power officials and hotel engineers are investigating.
Plans to build a four-year college in Southside are moving along.
The General Assembly recently passed a resolution ordering the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to begin a study into the idea.
Developer Bill Adkins offered to donate a hundred acres of land to build the college, and the Harvest Foundation says it will donate 50-million dollars for the project, under an appropriate deadline.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=so we put]
((HARRY CERINO/THE HARVEST FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: SO WE PUT THE DATE OF 2006 THINKING THAT WAS FAIR FOR BOTH THE STATE AND THE FOUNDATION, OBVIOUSLY IF IT DOESN'T MOVE FORWARD WE'D MOVE ON AND LOOK AT OTHER LARGE SCALE PROJECTS FOR THE COMMUNITY.))
[SUPER=01-Harry Cerino/The Harvest Foundation Executive Director;]
[OUT Q=for the community]
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia plans to conduct the study in July, and present its findings to the General Assembly in January.
[TAPE#=04-05 TC 1:29:32]
A new book is about to hit bookstores across the country and it will be quite familiar to those of us in southwest Virginia.
As Justin McLeod shows us the author is someone who not only lays the down law but also writes about it.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Judge Martin Clark/Author; :11]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF TYPING BUT COVER WITH SHOT OF OUTSIDE THE COURTHOUSE))
When Judge Martin Clark is away from the courthouse, he's often in front of the computer writing his latest novel.
[IN Q=Some people like]
((JUDGE MARTIN CLARK/AUTHOR: SOME PEOPLE LIKE GOLF, SOME LIKE VARIOUS THINGS, I ENJOY WRITING.))
[OUT Q=enjoy writing]
A joy that produced "The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living."
It's a book that took Clark twenty years to write and dozens of rejection letters before the book actually got published.
In 1999, a publisher finally showed interest and Clark quickly made a pact with God, let the book happen and he'll donate the proceeds to his church.
[IN Q=That's not a deal]
((JUDGE MARTIN CLARK/AUTHOR: THAT'S NOT A DEAL YOU CUT THE MARGINS ON. I DON'T WANT LOCUSTS, BOILS, AND PUSTULES SO I HELD UP MY END OF THE BARGAIN, AND THE LORD HELD UP HIS.))
[OUT Q=held up his]
He did so in a big way.
The book ended up on several bestseller lists and The New York Times recently called it the funniest legal thriller ever written.
Now, three years later he's back with Plain Heathen Mischief. It's a story that begins in Roanoke and involves among other things a jewel heist and an insurance scam.
[IN Q=It has a minister]
((JUDGE MARTIN CLARK/AUTHOR: IT HAS A MINISTER WHO'S ACCUSED WITH HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH A YOUNG GIRL IN HIS CONGREGATION AND IT TRAVELS FROM ROANOKE, ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO LAS VEGAS, MISSOULA MONTANA, ULTIMATELY AT THE END OF A BIG DOSE OF REDEMPTION, I LIKE HAPPY ENDINGS.))
[OUT Q=I LIKE HAPPY ENDINGS]
[IN Q=Some of things]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: SOME OF THE THINGS MENTIONED IN THE BOOK ABOUT ROANOKE INCLUDE THE STAR, THE WEINER STAND, AND A CAMEO BY A LOCAL JUDGE. THE BOOK WILL BE RELEASED APRIL 27TH AND CLARK WILL THEN GO ON A NATIONAL BOOK TOUR WITH AT LEAST ONE STOP IN ROANOKE. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
[Tape tosses to bump]
In other business news, Stocks closed higher yesterday.
And, Dupont has announced its cutting jobs.
Stan Case has more in today's business brief.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Stan Case/Reporting; :]
[OUT Q=I'm Stan Case.]
((STOCKS RALLIED TO A POSITIVE CLOSE ON MONDAY.
THE DOW WAS UP 73-POINTS ON THE DAY...
THE NASDAQ GAINED 12.
THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY POSTED A 15-PERCENT DROP IN ITS FIRST QUARTER NET PROFIT.
THE PUBLISHER REPORTED A NET PROFIT OF 38-CENTS-PER SHARE...THAT'S DOWN FROM A PROFIT OF 45-CENTS PER SHARE A YEAR EARLIER.
THE COMPANY SAYS AN INCREASE IN OPERATING COSTS CAUSED THE DIP IN PROFITS.
WAL-MART EXPERIENCES HIGHER THAN EXPECTED SALES OF EASTER CLOTHING AND DECORATIONS.
THE WORLD'S LARGEST RETAILER HAD WARNED LAST WEEK IT EXPECTED APRIL SAME-STORE SALES TO REACH THE LOWER END OF ITS FOUR TO SIX PERCENT GROWTH FORECAST, DUE TO THE EARLY ARRIVAL OF EASTER.
BUT NOW WAL-MART SAYS SALES ARE WITHIN THE INITIAL FORECAST.
DUPONT IS CUTTING SIX-PERCENT OF ITS WORKFORCE.
THE CHEMICAL MAKER SAYS THE CUTS WILL COME MOSTLY FROM ITS OPERATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE.
AND MOST OF THE CUTS WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS YEAR.
DUPONT SAYS THE CUTS WILL SAVE IT 325-MILLION-DOLLARS ANNUALLY.
WITH THE BUSINESS BRIEF... I'M STAN CASE.))
[TAPE TOSS TO STOCKS]
[WOOD ROGERS SPONSOR BOARD 5185 ESSC]
Carroll County Authorities are investigating two weekend deaths.
A body was found on Saturday by three fisherman in the New River near the Low Water Bridge in Fries (Freeze).
Investigators say it's 25 year old James Wray Lawson of Woodlawn.
He was last seen several months ago by his parents.
Investigators say it appears the body had been in the water for some time.
His body was sent to Roanoke for an autopsy.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
A mobile home caught fire in Cana (Kay-na) around 8:30 Sunday morning.
The sheriff's department was called in when a body was discovered in the home.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=There was a]
((WARREN MANNING/CARROLL CO. SHERIFF:THERE WAS A JUVENILE AT HOME THAT ESCAPED THE FIRE. THERE WAS A LADY THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT AND SHE'S BASICALLY, SHE'S THE, THE OWNER. WE TOOK TO ROANOKE. ))
[SUPER=01-Warren Manning/Carroll Co. Sheriff;]
[OUT Q=to Roanoke.]
Investigators say the body appears to be 25 year old Angel Marie Towe.
Police don't know what started the fire.
Towe's body was sent to Roanoke for an autopsy.