Up next on News 7--
Authorities in Pittsylvania County are looking for a suspect in a carjacking and abduction of a small child from a grocery store parking lot.
And, Yasser Arafat-- suffering from a mystery illness-- is being treated at a military hospital in Paris.
Isolated showers will continue with a few sunny breaks mixed in. I'll have your Friday Football Extra and weekend forecast.
And, Steve Pardon checks in live from downtown Roanoke's costume contest.
Stay with us. News 7 at noon, starts right now.
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Four days left, and the two men vying for the White House are adding more mileage to their itineraries.
Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
President Bush and John Kerry have their own "amazing race" going on, as the campaign remains too close to call.
Jennifer Donelan is in Washington with more on today's events.
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[SUPER=01-Jennifer Donelan/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Donelan, CBS news, Washington.][Absentee-Ballots]
The closeness of the presidential race is expected to encourage more Americans to go to the polls.
The State Board of Elections says more than 223 thousand Virginians requested mail- in absentee ballots before this week's deadline.
That's about 73 thousand more than the last presidential election.
The secretary of the state board says she expects more than 70 percent turnout for the election.
It was about 68 and a-half percent four years ago.
Pittsylvania authorities are investigating a carjacking and abduction of a small child last night.
It happened at 10-fifteen in the Market Square Food Lion Parking lot.
Authorities say a man knocked on the window of a black Lexus that was parked, showed a gun, and forced a passenger out.
He then took off, with a 9 month old child still in the back seat.
The child was recovered unharmed about 45 minutes later at an apartment complex in Ringgold.
The CAR was recovered this morning near Old Quarry Road.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers, or the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office.
Ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has arrived in France for medical treatment.
His trip marks the first time he's left his West Bank compound in nearly three years.
Doctors say they're still not sure what's causing his illness.
Scott Rapoport has the latest.
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((KIM TOSS TO LEO))
LEO in WX Center
(LEO TOSS TO KIM)
Hopefully the weather will be good for trick or treating this weekend.
The people who work in Downtown Roanoke decided not to take a chance. They're celebrating early with their annual costume contest.
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And they couldn't think of anyone scarier to host it than our own Steve Pardon.
Steve what are you seeing down there.
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With Halloween falling on Sunday, some communities have moved up trick-or-treating to Saturday.
At the same time, others have kept Sunday, and many more have not weighed in one way or another.
So, here is the list we have of communities that have informed us of their trick-or-treating day.
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Coming up after the break, a Craig County teacher is accused of taking indecent liberties with a minor.
Plus an Amtrak train derails in Connecticut, sending two people to the hospital.
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A Craig County Middle School junior varsity football coach and special education teacher is facing criminal charges.
State Police have charged Gregory Todd Baker with taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial or supervisory relationship.
Baker is free on a 5-thousand dollars bond.
His arraignment is scheduled for November 19th.
The Utah man accused of killing his wife faces arraignment today in Salt Lake City.
Mark Hacking will be arraigned on murder and obstruction-of-justice charges in the death of his wife, Lori.
Authorities say the woman's body was so decomposed when she was found in a landfill, that they can't tell exactly how she died.
Court documents indicate Hacking confessed to his brothers that he shot his wife while she was sleeping.
An Amtrak train left the tracks in Connecticut, injuring two passengers last night.
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The Acela Express was traveling from Washington to Boston.
It was backing up after leaving the station, when a rear passenger car partially slipped off the tracks.
The accident tore down an overhead wire.
Passengers were later taken by bus to their destination.
It's not clear why the train was backing up, but some reports indicate there may have been a switching problem.
More than four decades after it was first proposed, Roanoke does not have flood control system.
The impact was noticeable last month, when the Roanoke River caused significant flooding.
But as Justin McLeod reports, the project is closer than ever to becoming a reality.
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((((NAT SOUND OF WATER FALL ON ROANOKE RIVER))
The Roanoke River is much calmer these days but a month ago it came out of it's banks and flooded many homes and businesses.
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((BEV FITZPATRICK/ROANOKE VICE MAYOR: IT'S THE SAME HOUSES AND THAT ARE BEING FLOODED OVER AND OVER. IT'S THE SAME BUSINESSES AND THESE PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF THIS AND WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING.))
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A flood control project could be the answer.
The city wants to widen the river's banks for ten miles within city limits and put up flood walls in certain places.
The project would cost more than 64 million dollars and the city has already earmarked 18 million dollars.
The rest would come from the federal government.
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((REP. BOB GOODLATTE/(R) SIXTH DISTRICT: THIS IS A MATTER OF EACH YEAR THE GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATED FUNDS AND BECAUSE OF THE TIGHT BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DECIDED TO LEAVE THE FUNDS OUT OF THE PRESIDENT'S REQUEST.))
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Goodlatte is working to have those funds restored but says it could be several months before it happens.
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((REP. BOB GOODLATTE: WE HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO PUT THE PICTURES OF VICTORY STADIUM AND OTHER AREAS ALONG THE ROANOKE RIVER THAT WE SEVERELY IMPACTED BY THIS FLOODING IN FRONT OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ENERGY AND WATER SUBCOMMITTEE AND OTHER KEY PEOPLE IN THE CONGRESS TO LET THEM KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT THIS PROJECT RECEIVE FUNDING.))
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Roanoke is counting on it, city leaders hope construction on the flood control project can begin within two years.
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((BEV FITZPATRICK/ROANOKE VICE MAYOR: I THINK THE SCARIEST PART IS WE CAN DO THIS PROJECT AND WE WILL STILL WON'T HAVE THE GUARANTEE THAT WE WILL AVOID FLOODING.))
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((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THE FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT COULD HOWEVER REDUCE FLOOD DAMAGE BY AS MUCH AS FIFTY PERCENT. ONCE CONSTRUCTION GETS UNDERWAY, IT WILL BE BUILT IN TWO PHASES AND TAKE NEARLY FIVE YEARS TO COMPLETE. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
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It took two weeks to find out that talk show host Bill O'Reilly will not have to face his sexual harassment accuser in court.
Coming up after the break we'll find out about an out of court settlement that will keep the public from ever knowing what really happned.
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Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and his accuser won't face each other in court.
They've settled their sexual harrassment case in a deal that's being kept under wraps-- two weeks after the allegations exploded over the airwaves.
Kelly Cobiella reports.
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SCRIPT (NATS OREILLY OPEN) (NATS OREILLY) "I HAVE SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT TO TELL YOU...." (NARR 1) For the man who
has something to say on just about EVERYTHING... (SOT OREILLY-- ) "ALL I CAN SAY IS PLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING Y
OU HEAR AND READ." (NARR 2) One topic is now TABOO.. Bill O'Reilly, the king of the no-spin zone, is probably putting out a whole lot of MONEY to make one story go away. (OREILLY ) "THIS MATTER HAS CAUSED ME ENORMOUS PAIN BUT I HAD TO PROTECT MY FAMILY AND I DID." (03) (nats from 60 footage-- TYPING) The out-of-court settlement between the top-rated talk show host and former FOX NEWS producer Andrea Mackris.. came on the eve of a courtroom fight over audio tapes. (60 min nats 45) "WAY TO GO MACKRIS...YOU'RE STEAMIN ALONG HERE." mackris claimed she had steamy audio tapes of her boss.... (nats atty presser ) Benedict Morelli/Markis' Attorney "HE WOULD TALK SEXUALLY TO HER, TELL HER HE WANTED TO HAVE PHONE SEX WITH HER.."(48) O'Reilly's attorneys charged Mackris AND her attorney set him up, in an attempt to extort 60-million dollars. The terms of the settlement are sealed, but neither admitted wrongdoing, and.. Harvey Levin/Celebity Justice "IT'S SAFE TO SAY SHE'S PROBABLY AN INSTANT MILLIONAIRE, THOUGH IT'S UNLIKELY THAT SHE WILL GO BACK TO FO
X FOR A THIRD STINT." Although the scandal has HELPED O'Reilly's ratings... (SOT O'REILLY ) "THIS BRUTAL ORDEAL IS
NOW OFFICIALLY OVER, AND I WILL NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN." (over headlines) ((GFX - newspaper front page if available - covered protectively)) But other tongues WILL be wagging... for at least ONE MORE DAY. Kelly Cobiella, CBS News, New York.))
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On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was DOWN one point. The NASDAQ has dropped eight.
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Coming up next
Virginia Tech makes a big comeback in an A-C-C road game that could have easily lost.
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The 22nd ranked Virginia Tech Hokies were in Atlanta last night, taking on Georgia Tech in a pivotal ACC matchup at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
The Ramblin Wreck was looking rather polished, as former Hokie Michael Vick was in attendance to check things out at Grant Field.
Georgia Tech was the first to hit paydirt.
Reggie Ball connects with Calvin Johnson in the back of the endzone to make it 7-to-nothing, with 9:46 left before halftime.
The Jackets would get a turnover, and then another touchdown, as P.J. Daniels comes in off the left side.
Just like that it was 14-to-nothing.
But Tech would get back in the game thanks to a circus catch from sophomore David Clowney, who dives in the back of the endzone for the catch.
It was 17-to-7 at half-time.
Tech got a safety and then the big play it was looking for, as true freshman Eddie Royal gets wide open.
He takes it 80 yards to the endzone to make it a 20-to-18 game.
The Hokies then went for two, and Randall found Richard Johnson on his knees to tie the game at 20-all, with just over 5 minutes to go.
Tech would keep coming as Randall hits Josh Morgan on a 51 yard TD down the left side.
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Hokies, with just 3:10 to play.
The Hokies come back in the second half to win it 34 to 20.
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N-C-Double A action rolls on right here on Your Hometown Station.
Wake Forest and Duke battle it out tomorrow.
Kickoff is set for Noon.
The Cave Spring Knights wrapped up the River Ridge volleyball title last night with a dominating 3-games-to-none victory over Christiansburg.
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Knights' coaches Tamalyn and Mark Tanis celebrated senior night, even though Cave doesn't have a single senior on the roster.
So they just honored the senior fans in the stands.
The Knights would make it look easy, as Erica Wiegand serves it right into the gap in front of the back line for the easy Cave Spring point.
Later - the Knights would dominate the net, as Maggie Wagner and Stacy Craighead double team the Christiansburg return and stuff it back on the other side.
The Knights win 3-to-0.
The Knights are now 19-and-1 heading into the district tourney next week.
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