More charges against two-teens accused of stabbing a Wythe County woman and disposing of her body.
And, the final hours could be nearing for an American contractor held hostage in Saudi Arabia.
We'll tell you what authorities are doing to bring him home safely.
Another afternoon of high heat and humidity. Heat indeces approaching 100 degrees this afternoon.
There is some relief in sight, and it's not too far away.
The forecast details straight ahead.
Stay with us. News 7 at noon, starts right now.
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Two teens accused of killing a Wythe County woman are facing more charges today.
Good afternoon, I'm Susan Bahorich filling in for Kimberly McBroom.
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The charges were added this week against 14 year old Nakisha Waddell and 15 year old Anastasia Belcher.
The two are accused of stabbing 42 year old Vaughne Thomas to death in her Max Meadows home.
Waddell is the victim's daughter.
Thomas was found Memorial Day weekend, buried in her backyard.
Both teens are charged with murder and are now facing four more charges.
Wythe County investigators have added one count each of conspiracy to commit felony murder, conspiracy to commit felony robbery, solicitation of another person to commit murder and intimidation of a witness.
Waddell is also charged with unauthorized used of a motor vehicle.
The commonwealth's attorney has said he plans to try both teens as adults.
Time is ticking for an American Defense Contractor who was kidnapped by al Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia.
The kidnappers have given Saudi authorities until today to release Islamic prisoners - *or* Paul Johnson will be killed.
Teri Okita brings us up-to-date.
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[IN Q=As the hours pass... ]
[SUPER=03-Eagleswood Township, NJ]
[SUPER=01-Angel Roork/Johnson's Niece]
[SUPER=01-Teri Okita/CBS News]
As the hours pass, family and friends of 49-year-old Paul Johnson are doing all they can to bring him home safely. They've said many prayers and shed many tears in his New Jersey hometown.
((ANGEL ROORK/JOHNSON'S NIECE: YOUR LOVE, YOUR PRAYERS, AND YOUR SUPPORT ARE APPRECIATED.))
Al Qaeda militants released this videotape of Johnson and said he'd be killed by Friday if the Saudi government doesn t release all al Qaeda prisoners. No exact deadline was given.
More than 15-thousand Saudi security forces have searched Riyadh over the last few days by helicopter and going door-to-door. Authorities say more than 12-hundred homes have been searched. The FBI sent in a team of hostage rescuers to work with the Saudis, but so far, they have few leads and no contact with Johnson s kidnappers.
Alone in Saudi Arabia, Johnson s Thai wife pleads with the Saudi and U.S. governments to find her husband.
((THANOM JOHNSON/WIFE: IT REALLY HURT ME SO MUCH TO SEE HIM ON TV. WHAT CAN I DO FOR HIM? PLEASE! I WANT HIM TO COME BACK TO SEE ME. ))
((TERI OKITA/REPORTING: ARAB REACTION TO THE KIDNAPPING IS MIXED. SOME SAY THE KIDNAPPERS ARE HOLY WARRIORS AND HEROES. OTHERS WANT JOHNSON S RELEASE SAYING KILLING HIM WOULD VIOLATE ISLAMIC LAW. TERI OKITA, CBS NEWS, WASHINGTON.))
((SUSAN TOSS TO BRENT))
BRENT in WX-CENTER
(LEO TOSS TO KIM)
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country warned the United States on several occasions that Iraq's Saddam Hussein planned "terrorist attacks" on America.
The Kremlin leader said Russian intelligence services had many times received information Saddam's special forces were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States and on its military and civilian targets abroad.
Russia had diplomatic relations with Saddam's Iraq and opposed the U.S.-led military offensive that toppled him.
Most Iraqis say they would feel safer with occupiers out.
A new poll conducted by the Coalition Authority indicates most Iraqis have *lost* confidence in the U.S.-led occupation and would feel safer if foreign troops left their country.
The poll- conducted in May- found only 10-percent of Iraqis had confidence in U.S.-led forces, down from 28-percent in January.
U.S. officials say the results reflect the fact Iraqis dislike being occupied, but they expect numbers to improve after the formal transfer of power in less than two weeks.
Another V-M-I graduate has lost his life in Iraq.
VMI says Army Major "Paul R. Sy-verson, the Third," was killed Wednesday near Camp Anaconda in Iraq.
Syverson grew up in Illinois and was a 1993 graduate of VMI.
He was assigned to the Fifth Special Forces Group and was no stranger to dangerous situations.
VMI says he was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his role in stopping a prison revolt in Afghanistan in 2001.
He was scheduled to return home from Iraq shortly.
Kiwanis club members from around the globe visited the National D-Day memorial in Bedford today, and left a very special gift.
23 members from Kiwanis clubs in Austria, France, Germany, and Belgium met with local club members at the memorial to bring a World War II canteen containing sand from Omaha beach in Normandy.
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[IN Q=It's a very importent moment]
((SERGE ROUSSELLO/AVIGNON KIWANIS MEMBER:IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT MOMENT FOR US TO BRING THIS SAND TO OUR FRIENDS IN LYNCHBURG AND BEDFORD TO COMMEMORATE THE JUNE 6, 44.))
[SUPER=01-Serge Roussello/Avignon Kiwanis Member]
[OUT Q=and bedford to commemorate the june 6, 44.]
After the group is done "taking-in" the D-Day memorial they're heading to Roanoke to see the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the O' Winston Link Museum, and see the view from atop of Mill Mountain.
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Coming up next on the newscast, there could be problems with a juror in one of the nation's highest profile murder cases.
Plus we'll tell you why some V-Dot projects may get detoured.
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Rescue crews in Henry County yesterday found the body of a man presumed drowned in flash flooding.
Booker John Henry Hutson dissappeared Wednesday morning, after the car it's believed he was riding in, was washed away by a rain swollen stream on Meeks Road in southern Henry County.
The body was discovered 3 miles downstream near the route 87 bridge in North Carolina.
Police believe Hutson was with his ex-wife, 61 year old Louise Fuller, as they delivered newspapers.
Fuller was found dead at the scene.
Rescue Squad members from across Virginia have gathered in Roanoke to improve their skills.
Each year more than 300-emergency medical volunteers gather for the State Rescue College.
This year the event is being held at the Airport Clarion Hotel.
The first responders are taking part in more than 50-classes and field exercises that include training in terrorism awareness, hazardous materials, and swift water rescue.
Flat gas revenues and aging highways could put a roadblock in the way of V-DOT's construction program.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved a six-point-three billion dollar budget yesterday.
That is a significant reduction from last year.
The majority of the state's transportation dollars will be spent on maintenance costs.
V-DOT officials say that leaves no room for new road projects.
[IN Q=THE PROJECTS THAT ARE UNDERWAY]
((TAMARA NEALE/VIRGINIA DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION: THE PROJECTS THAT ARE UNDERWAY WE WILL COMPLETE THOSE BUT BASICALLY ONCE THOSE PROJECTS ARE COMPLETED THERE WILL BE FEW SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS LEFT IN THE PROGRAM.))
[SUPER=01-Tamara Neale/Virginia Dept. of Transportation]
[OUT Q=IMPROVEMENTS LEFT IN THE PROGRAM.]
V-DOT officials say the widening of Interstate 81 will NOT be affected by the decision.
That project will continue as planned.
New questions are being raised about the behavior of a juror in Scott Peterson's double murder trial.
The juror was caught on tape talking to a key witness in the case and has been accused of having inappropriate conversations with Peterson's lead attorney.
John Blackstone reports.
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[SUPER=01-Michael Cordoza/Attorney; :38]
[SUPER=01-Gloria Gomez/Reporter; 1:13]
[SUPER=01-John Blackstone/CBS News; 1:35]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS Redwood City, CA;]
((Each day at the Scott Peterson trial, cameras routinely record attorneys
and family members coming into court. But it was anything but routine on
Thursday when Brent Rocha, the brother of murder victim Laci Peterson
arrived at the courthouse.
As Rocha came through security a member of the jury, juror #5 followed
FREEZE GO TO GRAPHIC
We can't show anymore of this video because media are forbidden to show
pictures of jurors but the judge wants to see what happened next because
juror number 5 spoke to Rocha saying something that sounds like: "you're
gonna lose today".
145044 MICHAEL CORDOZA, ATTORNEY/COMMENTATOR
"not only does the court have to dispense justice but it has to give the
appearance of justice too."
Attorney Michael Cordoza says it's a breach the judge MUST address.
14:51:06 Q: how did the judge even know it existed.// A: I brought it to
the court's attention though the bailiff's because I am an officer of
the court - I know what happened and the court should know about this."
Its not the first time juror number five has seemed to act
inappropriately. Gloria Gomez of CBS affiliate KOVR reported earlier
this week that juror number five appeared to share a joke with Scott
Peterson's defense attorney.
150957 GLORIA GOMEZ, KOVR TV SACRAMENTO
"JUROR #5 STOPS, KIDS AROUND WITH MARK GERAGOS SAYS A FEW WORDS TO MARK
GERAGOS, MARK GERAGOS REACTION IS TO SMILE AND TURN AWAY."
The juror could be given a stern warning by the judge or even dismissed.
There are six alternates in the jury box but in a trial that is expected
to last five months the judge may be reluctant to lose a juror after
just three weeks.
COURT IS NOT IN SESSION FOR THE PETERSON TRIAL ON FRIDAYS SO THERE IS
NOT LIKELY TO BE ANY ACTION TAKEN AGAINST JUROR NUMBER 5 UNTIL MONDAY AT
JB CBS NEWS REDWOOD CITY CA))
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You may have noticed there've been a lot of school bus accidents this year.
Now that the school year is coming to an end, the question is, why.... and what's being done about it?
Justin McLeod has some answers.
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[SUPER=01-Richard Flora/Roanoke Co. Schools Transportation Dir.; :18]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF BUS DRIVER CLOSING DOOR ON 04-06 AT 20:54))
You could say it has been a tough year for bus drivers, thanks to a number of accidents in our area.
Take Roanoke County.
Typically, it has one or two a year but this school year Roanoke County had five including one last month which slightly injured five people.
[IN Q=I don't know]
((RICHARD FLORA/TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR FOR ROANOKE CO. SCHOOLS: I DON'T KNOW THAT THERE'S ANY SINGLE EVENT OR INCIDENT THAT YOU CAN POINT TO SAY WHAT CAUSED THESE.))
[OUT Q=what caused these]
You may hear much of the same from other school systems.
Montgomery County for example had three bus accidents this school year including this one that flipped over in April.
In Bedford County, there were two including this one which slightly injured nine students.
Statewide, preliminary numbers indicate there were 302 total bus crashes this school year, last year there were 458.
[IN Q=Considering the amount]
((RICHARD FLORA: CONSIDERING THE AMOUNT OF MILES THAT WE DRIVE AND THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS THAT WE HAVE THE BUSES ARE EXTREMELY SAFE.))
[OUT Q=ARE EXTREMELY SAFE]
Safe because school buses are built to handlle a high impact crash.
If that's the case, should we blame the bus driver?
Numbers provided by the state show that for this school year, the bus driver was at fault in 48 percent of the crashes.
[IN Q=We put them]
((RICHARD FLORA: WE PUT THEM ALL THROUGH RETRAINING. WHATEVER APPEARS TO HAVE CAUSED IT AND THEY HAVE TO GO BACK AND BE RETRAINED.))
[OUT Q=back and be retrained]
[IN Q= ]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: ROANOKE COUNTY NOW PLANS TO STUDY WHY THERE WERE MORE ACCIDENTS THIS SCHOOL YEAR AND THEN ADDRESS THE PROBLEM AT A SAFETY MEETING IN AUGUST. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
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Coming up after the break, Brent Watts will have the hot forecast,
But first celebrities and fans alike say goodbye to singer Ray Charles.
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Stevie Wonder, BB King and Willie Nelson are among the artists expected to take part in today's funeral for music legend Ray Charles.
Charles died last week of complication from liver cancer.
Jennifer Donelan reports.
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[IN Q=Within the walls...]
[SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA]
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Donelan/CBS News]
(( Within the walls of the first A.M.E. church in Los Angeles the scene is set for a celebration of a man whose talent cast a magical spell on american music and changed it forever.
((NATS: EVERYBODY GOT S BLUES. ))
blues, jazz, gospel, and country westernray charles, a 12-time grammy winner, mastered every one and he invented soul music... stevie wonder, b.b. king and willie nelson are among the performers who celebrate that legend today.
((JENNIFER DONELAN, CBS NEWS: RAY CHARLES LIVED THE AMERICAN DREAM. BORN POOR, BLIND AT AGE 7, AND ORPHANED AT 15..HE TOPPLED EVERY OBSTACLE. HIS FUNERAL BEFITTING OF THE KING HE BECAME. ))
Thursday, hundreds of fans paid tribute at a public viewing. they walked past the casket to the sounds of the man himself softly crooning in the background
Ray Charles died of acute liver disease at 73. as his fans, friends, and family remember the man
((FILE SOT RAY CHARLES: I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH I REALLY DO FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE HEART. ))
they say thank you ray charles... for the music.
jennifer donelan cbs news los angeles.))
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was UP 51 points. The NASDAQ has gained Nine.
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Up next in sports, the USA women's softball team gets ready for the olympics.
And a Patrick Henry graduate goes back to school--this time as a coach.
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[COMM BREAK #3]
The USA Softball national team practiced last night at the Moyer Sports Complex.
The two-time Olympic gold medalists are in Salem to play a group of area high school and college all-stars as part of their Aiming for Athens tour.
The team is using the tour to prepare for this summer's Olympics, where they will going for their third straight gold medal.
Unfortunately, the teams practice went long and attempts to get interviews with some of the players did not pan out.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[VO-NAT wipe to #eng!!!!]
The local girls who will play the Olympians posed for pictures yesterday afternoon.
The USA team is a whopping 37 and oh.
James River pitcher Angela Tin-cher hopes to get her shot to impress the US team.
But pitching from a distance of 43 feet will be an adjustment.
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[SUPER=01-Angela Tincher/James River Pitcher; :00]
[SUPER=01-Allyson Campbell/Virginia Tech Infielder; :13]
[OUT Q=very excited about it."]
The first pitch is tonight at 8 o'clock.
Former Virginia Tech basketball star Allan Bristow has a new job.
Bristow has been named general manager of the N-B-A's New Orleans Hornets, moving up after a season as assistant G-M to Bob Bass.
Bass is retiring this month.
Bristow has a history with the Hornets. He was their head coach for five years between 1990 and 1996 -- and vice president of basketball operation for another year.
Bristow will now handle day-to-day operations and oversee personnel decisions.
One of the ACC's top defensive lineman of the mid 90's has now returned to his roots.
Former Duke star defensive end and former Patrick henry standout Chris Combs has retired from the NFL and has been named the strength and conditioning coach for the Blue Devils.
After playing at Duke, Combs played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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