It's been two decades since Tazewell County has seen this many jobs coming to the area.
Governor Warner Warner announces the arrival of a new manufacturing plant.
And, four European nations reject a truce offered from a man claiming to be Osama bin Laden.
The rain has finally ended across the region leading to nice sunny and warm weather. I'll have your forecast.
Stay with us News 7 at noon, starts right now.
The military showdown continues in Iraq, but it's not clear if U-S officials will ask for more troops.
21-thousand U-S soldiers already there will be staying longer than they planned.
Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
There's still no word on the fate of America's hostage being held in Iraq.
But as Lisa Barron tells us, there is one piece of GOOD news related to some of the other foreign captives.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Gen. Richard Myers/U. S. Military Command;]
[SUPER=01-Lisa Barron/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Barron, CBS News, Baghdad.]
ONE MOMENT OF RELIEF...IN THE ONGOING HOSTAGE TAKING DRAMA IN IRAQ AS
THREE JAPANESE HOSTAGES ARE RELEASED TODAY.
...HANDED OVER BY THEIR CAPTORS TO A GROUP OF MUSLIM CLERICS IN BAGHDAD.
BIT FOREIGNERS IN IRAQ ARE STILL AT GREAT RISK AS THE FIRST KNOWN
EXECUTION OF A HOSTAGE, AN ITALIAN SECURITY GUARD, WAS ANNOUNCED ON ARAB
STATION AL JAZEERA. HIS CAPTORS THREATENED TO KILL ANOTHER THREE
ITALIANS UNLESS THEIR GOVERNMENT WITHDRAWS ITS TROOPS.
BUT THE ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER HAS REJECTED THE ULTIMATUM . SAYING ITALY
IS COMMITTED TO STAYING IN IRAQ.
US MILITARY COMMAND MEANWHILE HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT A REQUEST FOR
AAMERICAN REINFORCEMENTS HERE WILL NOT GO UNANSWERED. --
(SOT GENERAL RICHARD MYERS)
. that capability will, as in the past, be provided to our commanders in
BUT THE REINFORCEMENT WILL COME FROM THE RANKS OF US
TROOPS ALREADY ON THE GROUND HERE, 21,000 SOLDERIS DUE
TO LEAVE IRAQ HAVE BEEN TOLD THEYLL BE STAYING ON FOR
AT LEAST THREE MORE MONTHS. .
AND IT'S CLEAR WHY.
THE MARINES ARE STILL FACING GUERRILLA ATTACKS IN FALLUJAH DESPITE A
FIVE DAY CEASEFIRE...AND THEY SAY THE ARE READY TO RETURN TO FULL
MEANWHILE, US FORCES HAVE TIGHTENED THEIR GRIP ON THE HOLY CITY OF
NAJAF, WHERE RADICAL SHIITE CLERIC MOQTADA AL SADR IS HOLED UP.AS
NEGOTIATIONS THROUGH INTERMEDIARIES CONTINUE.
AS THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE CONTINUES TO GROW, EVEN DIPLOMATS FROM
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES ARE VULNERABLE.
THE FIRST SECRETARY AT THE IRANIAN EMBASSY WAS SHOT DEAD AS HE WAS
DRIVING TO WORK .
-THE CAR HAD DIPLOMATIC PLATES BUT IN BAGHDAD THESE DAYS, THERE'S NO
IMMUNITY.FROM DEATH. LB CBS NEWS BAGHDAD
Meanwhile, an olive branch of sorts is purportedly coming from Osama bin Laden.
On a new audiotape, a man claiming to be bin Laden offers a truce to European countries involved in the war on terrorism.
The truce would begin when their troops pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Teri Okita reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Romano Prodi/European Commission President;]
[SUPER=01-Teri Okita/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Okita, CBS News, Washington.]
TRACK: ITS BEEN SEVEN MONTHS SINCE THE PUBLIC LAST HEARD FROM OSAMA
BIN LADEN, AND IF THIS AUDIOTAPE IS AUTHENTIC, AS AT LEAST ONE EUROPEAN
SECURITY SOURCE SAYS IT IS, THE TERRORIST MASTERMIND OFFERS AN
UNPRECEDENTED DEAL. THE VOICE ON THE TAPE SAYS:
(NATSD UP OF AUDIOTAPE)
TAPE: I offer a truce to Europe, with a commitment to stop operations
against any state which vows to stop attacking Muslims or interfere in
their affairs. The announcement of the truce starts with the withdrawal
of the last soldier from our land.
TRACK: AMERICAS ALLIES QUICKLY DENOUNCED THE OFFER SAYING THERES NO
(Super: Romano Prodi/European Commission President)
SOT: How can you react to this statement? There is no possibility to
deal under a terrorist threat. This is completely impossible.
TRACK: THE SEVEN-MINUTE TAPE SAYS THE 9-11 ATTACKS WERE IN RETALIATION
FOR AMERICAS COLLABORATION WITH JEWS AND ITS PRESENCE IN THE GULF AND
THE MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS WERE PAYBACK FOR EUROPES PART IN THE IRAQ AND
AFGHANISTAN CONFLICTS. THE TRUCE DIDNT EXTEND TO THE U-S OR ISRAEL
AND VOWED FURTHER RETALIATION ON THE TWO COUNTRIES FOR THE RECENT DEATH
OF A HAMAS LEADER.
(Super: Teri Okita/Reporting)
STANDUP: Analysts say this is a strategic attempt to try and drive a
wedge between U-S and European allies. They say its no accident the
tape was made public when tensions are high over the violence in Iraq.
Teri Okita, CBS News, Washington.
An accident on Route 460 in Bedford County is causing a traffic tie-up.
VDOT says the wreck is in the eastbound lane near the community of Irving.
But authorities have to close Route 460 in both directions for about 45 minutes to move the vehicles.
The accident happened about an hour ago.
No word yet on injuries, but Lifeguard 10 was dispatched.
160 new jobs are coming to Tazewell County.
Governor Mark Warner announced today that Blue Ridge Wood Products will open a manufacturing plant in the former Woodtech building in Bluefield, VIRGINIA.
It's all part of a three-point-six million dollar investment.
Blue Ridge Wood Products is a locally owned, start-up company that will manufacture laminate veneer lumber and hardwood plywood.
This is Tazewell County's third largest economic development announcement, in terms of new jobs, in more than 20 years.
Investigators say the woman killed in Sunday's mobile home fire in the Cana (Kay-na) section of Carroll County died of smoke inhalation.
25-year old Angel Marie Towe died when a fire broke out in her home around around 8:30 Sunday morning.
A 17-year-old was able to escape the flames and call the fire department
Police still don't know what started the fire.
Downtown Lynchburg has seen its fourth suspicious fire in the last three weeks.
Crews were called to this home at 607 Wood Street around 9:30 last night.
Fire and smoke were coming from a first floor window and one side of the building.
It took firefighters about a half hour to bring the blaze under control.
The building still had electricity running into it, but the owner says it's been empty for at least six months.
Three other suspicious fires have been reported in the same neighborhood since March 21st.
Members from the Fort Lewis Fire Department got a bird's eye view this morning.
They took a helicopter ride around the Fort Mason area, looking for potential forest fire hazards.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We saw some]
((CRAIG ROBERTSON/ROANOKE CO. FIRE AND RESCUE DEPT.: WE SAW SOME HOUSES THAT NEED SOME WORK. SO WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS GET OUT AND ASSIST THE HOMEOWNDER IN SAYING THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO HELP PROTECT YOURSELF.))
[SUPER=01-Craig Robertson/Roanoke Co. Fire & Rescue Department;]
[OUT Q=protect yourself.]
Being in the helicopter allows the firefighters to see things they may not notice from the ground.
They say watching out for potential fire hazards is an every day job, and they hope home owners will take extra precautions, as well.
Flash flooding has devastated a South Pacific island paradise--
Heavy rains in Fiji have left 11 people missing--and eight dead.
Many who did survive the flooding were left stranded on rooftops.
About 400 residents have been evacuated from their homes.
Some low- lying areas are under as much as 20- feet of water.
Meanwhile, rescue crews are finding it difficult to reach the flooded villages because landslides have cut the highway in several places.
((KIM TOSS TO LEO))
LEO in WX-CENTER
(LEO TOSS to KIM)
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Up next on the newscast residents in one county in our area will get a temporary reprieve on getting their auto decals.
Plus a Wisconsin college student will be in court today to answer charges she faked her own abduction.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #1]
Lynchburg police are investigating two shootings from last night
The first one happened on 12th Street around 8:30.
Police say the victim stopped to get gas when he was approached by a black male demanding money.
When the victim said he didn't have any, the suspect then shot him in the chest and fled the scene.
The victim drove himself to another gas station for help.
He was taken to the hospital.
There's no word on his condition.
The second shooting happened after midnight in the 22-hundred block Otey Street.
Police say a 31 year old woman was shot when a bullet came through her house.
She was taken to Lynchburg General then airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Her condition is also unknown.
Her attorney says a University of Wisconsin student accused of faking her own kidnapping wants to make a plea deal.
[SUPER=03-Madison, WI/File Tape;]
Audrey Seiler is charged with two misdemeanor counts of obstructing officers.
She faces up to nine months in jail, and a 10- thousand- dollar fine on each charge.
Her attorney says he'll meet with prosecutors -- but declined to
say what kind of deal Seiler wants to make to avoid trial.
Seiler's disappearance last month triggered a massive search.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Audrey's not doing too well]
((RANDY HOPPER/SEILER'S ATTORNEY:AUDREY'S NOT DOING TOO WELL, SHE'S OBVIOUSLY EXPERIENCING A LOT OF EMOTIONAL TRAUMA RELATED TO THIS WHOLE INCIDENT. SHE'S ALSO HAVING PHYSICAL PAIN SHE'S DEALING WITH FROM BEING OUT IN THE ELEMENTS FOR FOUR OR FIVE DAYS. ))
[SUPER=01-Randy Hopper/Seiler's Attorney; :08**]
[OUT Q=four or five days.]
Officials believe Seiler faked her kidnapping to get attention from her boyfriend.
Computer problems mean residents of Pittsylvania County are getting some extra time to pay off county taxes.
The Pittsylvania County treasurers office was not able to open on time today to issue county decals, or collect property taxes.
Now residents will have until May 3rd to buy decals and pay taxes.
In a press release this morning, the county said the Circuit Court issued an order that people with expired decals will not be ticketed until the third.
The treasurer's office is also extending its office hours today and tomorrow, and will be open until 7 o'clock.
Some Roanoke City teachers are disagreeing with administrators on just how many students in City schools falsely accuse teachers of assault.
Justin McLeod has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Anita Price/Roanoke Education Association; :07]
[SUPER=01-Paul Britt/Roanoke City Public Schools; :46]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF TEACHING))
Teachers will tell you the kids of today act quite differently from when you and I were in school.
[IN Q=Children certainly]
((ANITA PRICE/ROANOKE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: CHILDREN CERTAINLY WILL TEST THE PARAMETERS AND THEY WILL CERTAINLY PUSH AS MANY BUTTONS AS THEY'RE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH.))
[OUT Q=GET AWAY WITH]
That sometimes leads to a student accusing a teacher of assault.
In Roanoke, administrators say there are eight to ten cases like this every year.
[IN Q=When you look at]
((PAUL BRITT/ROANOKE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: WHEN YOU LOOK AT EIGHT TO TEN TO ME THAT'S A VERY SMALL NUMBER.))
[OUT Q=SMALL NUMBER]
The numbers indicate last year eight students made an accusation against a school employee.
In four of those cases, a staff member received a reprimand.
So far this academic year, there have been 7 accusations, two of which resulted in reprimands.
Some educators wonder if any of these cases involved students making false accusations.
[IN Q=We have not been]
((PAUL BRITT/ROANOKE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO ASERTAIN ANY THAT SOMEONE DELIBERATELY MADE SOMETHING UP, HAVE NOT FOUND ANY.))
[OUT Q=HAVE NOT FOUND ANY]
But what about the Ron Mayfield case?
He's the teacher who committed suicide after falsely being accused of hitting a student.
Adminstrators declined to comment on that case but educators say false allegations against teachers happen more often than the school system lets on.
[IN Q=In the three years]
((ANITA PRICE/ROANOKE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: IN THE THREE YEARS THAT I HAVE BEEN PRESIDENT OF THE ORGANIZATION I WOULD SAY AT LEAST TWO OR THREE TIMES A YEAR THERE ARE SITUATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION PERSONALLY.))
[OUT Q=my attention personally]
[IN Q=ALthough administrators]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: ALTHOUGH ADMINISTRATORS SAY THERE ISN'T A MAJOR PROBLEM WITH FALSE ALLEGATIONS, THE SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS INSTITUTED A NEW POLICY. STUDENTS WHO MAKE FALSE ALLEGATIONS MAY NOW FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Up next on the newscast,
we'll tell you why May Flowers are getting an early jump on the growing season.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
April is in full bloom in New York--
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
The April showers this week brought out the flowers, as Manhattan kicked off the 24th Annual New York International Orchid Show.
Nearly 75-thousand orchids are on display in Rockefeller Center, and they're already drawing a crowd.
This year's exhibit features an endangered Peruvian orchid to help raise awareness of the need to preserve the fragile flowers.
There are also orchid books, prints and jewelry for sale.
The plants were flown in from across the U-S, South America, Asia and Europe.
The show runs through Sunday.
On Wall Street at Noon, both the DOW and the NASDAQ have lost 17 points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Up next in sports, New York Yankees Kevin Brown celebrates a career victory.
And we will tell you why some people spent the night sleeping outside the Salem Civic Center.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I got here at...]
[OUT Q=Jeff Gordon autograph.]
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
It was a chilly night in the Hill City, but it wasn't raining.
That made it near perfect for some Carolina League baseball, as the Hillcats hosted Wilmington in a double-header.
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/Blue Rocks vs. Hillcats;]
However, blankets were in vogue last night at City Stadium.
Jeremy Harts was struggling with the weather and his control.
Harts walked in three straight runs in the 6th inning, making it 4-nothing Blue Rocks.
Then Wilmington's J- D Alleva makes the score 5-nothing.
The Hillcats got on the board when Victor Mercedes hit one, and brought in Brad Eldred,
but Wilmington won it 5 to 1.
The Blue Rocks also won Game 2, 1 to nothing.
In the big leagues, the Yankees' Kevin Brown made history by picking up career victory number 200 against the Devil Rays.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY/YES;]
Brown accomplished the feat just three days after teammate Mike Mussina did the very same thing.
Brown is the 101st pitcher to reach the mark.
He did it by allowing just one run on five hits, and striking out four D- Rays.
[SUPER=35-Tampa Bay/1/N. Y. Yankees/5/;]
Jason Giambi and Jorge (Hor- hay) Posada each homered for the Bronx Bombers, who won it 5 to 1.
[GRAPHIC=advance autoparts 500]
The Advance Auto Parts 500 weekend gets started on Friday, and two drivers who figure to be in the mix during the closing laps of Sunday's race are Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.
Steve Mason has more on the duo, which is also in the top ten in Nextel Cup Series points.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Martinsville/2003 Season; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jimmie Johnson/Finished 2nd & 9th at Martinsville in 2003; :21]
[SUPER=01-Matt Kenseth/22nd & 13th at Martinsville in 2003; :57]
[OUT Q=....news 7 sports"][Nascar-Fans]
Some NASCAR fans camped out at the Salem Civic Center last night.
About 30 people spent the night waiting in line for tonight's autograph showm which features nine Nextel Cup drivers-- including Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Petty.
The doors open at three, and drivers will start signing at five.
But some fans were in line much earlier than that.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=5:00 yesterday...]
[OUT Q=autograph hopefully.]
Tickets are 20 dollars for adults and ten dollars for children.
The proceeds go to benefit Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang which benefits sick and disabled children.
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]