[News-Heads]

[ANCHOR=KIM]

It's a merger worth talking about--

Sprint and Nextel announce they're joining forces.
(---------------)
[ENG#=1]
[VO-NAT]


And, as insurgent violence continues, Iraq prepares for Election Day.
Dozens of political parties have registered to take part.
(------------)


[WX-Head]
[ANCHOR=LEO]
[SS=None]

Beautiful sunshine has returned to the area but the temperatures are still on the chilly side. I'll have your forecast.
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Stay with us. News 7 at noon, starts right now.
[Noon-open]
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 Headline Banner]
[SUPER=@Kimberly1;]
[SUPER=@Leo1;]


[Video-Open]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=2]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Barring any hang-ups, Sprint and Nextel have agreed to join forces, creating the nation's third- largest wireless phone service provider.
(------------)



[Phone-Merger]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=News 7]



[ENG#=3]



Good Afternoon, I'm Kimberly McBroom.
The widely rumored, 35- billion -dollar deal announced today will create a company known as Sprint Nextel.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=04-File Tape;]
The combined company will serve more than 35- million subscribers--- trailing only industry leaders Cingular Wireles

s and Verizon Wireless.
The deal gives Sprint access to Nextel's large base of business customers, while Nextel gets an opportunity to expand.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=We expect to be able to ]

((GARY FORSEE/SPRINT COMMUNICATIONS C.E.O.: WE EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO ACCELERATE THE NETWORK EXPANSION IN CAPACITY IMPROVEMENTS WHICH WOULD IMPROVE CUSTOMER LOYALTY, AND WE'LL MAKE INVESTMENTS ALONG THE WAY TO MAKE SURE WE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE TWO NETWORKS TO BE SURE OUR CUSTOMERS ARE GETTING THE BEST. ))
[SUPER=01-Gary Forsee/Sprint Communications, Inc. C. E. O.;]
[RUNS=:12]
[OUT Q=our customers are getting the best]
(----------)
[VO-NAT]


The companies say Forsee will become the President and C-E-O of the new combined company. Nextel's current President and C-E-O, Timothy Donahue, will be the new company's executive chairman.
(------------)



[Iraq]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=]
[ENG#=]


Iraq is preparing for two major tests of its ability to govern itself.
First, a war crimes trial for one of Saddam Hussein's former henchmen, and then a national election .
Cami McCormick has more from Baghdad.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Baghdad, Iraq;]
[SUPER=01-Iyad Allawi/Interim Iraqi Prime Minister;]
[SUPER=01-Cami McCormick/CBS News;]
[SUPER=04-File Tape;]
[RUNS=]
[OUT Q=McCormick, CBS News, Baghdad. ]

((Today's deadline to register as a political party in Iraq's January election begins a new era of politics. More than 70 parties and organizations have signed on.
And there will be hundreds of candidates for the National Assembly.

(allawi vo)

Among them, current interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who announced his candidacy today.

(allawi nat sot....then translated )

"we are capable of standing up to all the difficulties and challenges and achieve a prosperous future."
But Allawi has already been put to the test by the increasingly deadly insurgency. And if violence disrupts the voting, he could find himself out of office. Many ordinary Iraqis may cast their ballots for those they as see as most likely to restore stability.

(bridge; CAMI McCORMICK REPORTS)

While Iraqis prepare for the upcoming elections and their future, they are also looking to the past. One of Saddam Hussein's most feared deptuties ...Chemical Ali is among former Iraqi leaders who will soon face war crimes charges
Ali Hassan is accused of gassing 5,000 Kurds in Northern Iraq in the 1980s. Iraq's Defense Minister says that case will go to court as early as next week, but certainly before the elections.

(file tape of Ali Hassan )


Some Iraqis view these trials as a rush to judgement by interim leaders who have so far failed at stamping out the current unrest, but seem determined to put Iraq's brutal past behind it.
And it could be months or years before Saddam Hussein faces the same court ...and Iraq is able add another chapter ..to his legacy. CM CBS News Baghdad
))

[Cradle-2-Cradle]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=12]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=04-56 :10]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=1]

It's down to the wire for an architectural design competition in Roanoke.
Today, entries for the Cradle to Cradle competition are arriving from around the world.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]

The proposals were piling up this morning in the Roanoke office of SmithLewis Architecture.
Organizers of the C- 2- C competition expect to have more than 600 by today's five pm deadline.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:42:09]
[IN Q=It's a little]

((GREGG LEWIS/ROANOKE ARCHITECT: IT'S A LITTLE LIKE THROWING A PARTY AND NOT BEING SURE IF ANYBODY IS GOING TO SHOW UP, I THINK BUT THEY'RE SHOWING UP. IT'S EXCITING.))
[SUPER=01-Gregg Lewis/Roanoke Architect;]
[RUNS=:10]
[OUT Q=It's exciting.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

The C- 2- C competition calls for home designs that are efficient and environmentally friendly, that would fit into Roanoke neighborhoods.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[GRAPHIC=None]

Judges will choose the winning designs in January, and organizers hope to build some of the homes here next summer.

[PKGBotetourt-Boundary]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=sba]
[TAPE#=04-47 TC41:46]
[GRAPHIC=None]



[ENG#=2]



The town of Fincastle is moving forward with its expansion plans.
While town council is in favor of the plan, some citizens remain sketpical.
Susan Bahorich has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Fincastle; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bob Gengo/Fincastle Mayor; :34]
[SUPER=01-Ann Harris/Botetourt Co. Resident; :51]
[SUPER=01-Linnie Gregory/Botetourt Co. Resident; :56]
[SUPER=@SUSAN1; 1:10]
[RUNS=1:18]
[OUT Q=SB, News7.]


((With a girl scout troop and about two-dozen citizens looking on, the Fincastle town council decided to embrace change.
[NATS@9:27:49.04] ((THE VOTE IS 5 IN FAVOR, NONE OPPOSED. THE MOTION CARRIES.)) [RUNS:05]
The public hearing lasted 20-minutes and six-people spoke.
[nats-from meeting] [runs:03]
The motion asks the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors to change the town's boundaries. Fincastle woudl grow from about 140 to more than 16-hundred acres.
Mayor Bob Gengo says the council's vote is about smart growth.

[SOT@9:30:22.00]
[INQ=The reason is because..]

((BOB GENGO, FINCASTLE MAYOR: WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT ENCROACHING DEVELOPMENT. CONCERNED ABOUT RURAL HERITAGE AND WISH TO PRESERVE THE HISTORIC NATURE OF OUR TOWN.)) [RUNS:15]
[OUTQ=... nature of our town.]


But opponents say just the opposite will happen and the vote was pushed through without thinking about the consequences.

[SOT@9:34:27.17]
[INQ=I see no benefit..]

((ANN HARRIS, BOTETOURT CO. RESIDENT: I SEE NO BENEFIT. I THINK THE TOWN OF FINCASTLE IS SOUND. THEY DON'T NEED US.))
[RUNS:05]
[OUTQ= .. they don't need us.]



[SOT@9:33:37.22]
[INQ=We can only...]

((LINNIE GREGORY, BOTETOURT CO. RESIDENT: WE CAN ONLY ANTICIPATE WHAT MAY HAPPEN- THAT'S INCREASED TAXES, LOSS OF RIGHTS TO HAVE LIVESTOCK AND SO FORTH AND SO ON- OUR WATER RIGHTS. THEY MAY REQUIRE US TO HOOK UP WATER- WE DON'T KNOW...))
[RUNS:14]
[OUTQ=.. we don't know.]


The resolution will now go before the board of supervisors. Opponents say - if it's passed by the board they'll fight the decision in circuit court.
SB, News 7.))
[Tease1] [HARD MUSIC UNDER]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[WRITER=tbr]
[ENG#=Aprisa]


Still to come on the newscast, authorities in Greece are dealing with a hostage situation aboard a bus.
(--------------)
[VO-NAT ]


Plus a fight on a school bus involving students AND a mother is captured on tape. Now the adult is getting a lesson in the law.
(---------------)

[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #1]


[Greece-Bus]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=None]


[MINI-OPEN]

[ENG#=1]



Officials say three more people have been released from a hijacked bus in Athens, Greece.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Athens, Greece;]


Authorities are also lowering the number of passengers they believe were originally on the bus, when two men hijacked it this morning.
Police say they've threatened to blow up the bus if they aren't taken to an airport.
The bus driver, a ticket inspector and a passenger escaped soon after they were taken hostage.
Ten others have since been freed.
The country's premier delayed a trip to a European Union conference to deal with the situation.
(------------)



[Bus-Beating]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=None]



[ENG#=2]



In Florida, a fight aboard a school bus is caught on videotape.
But the surprising part of the story is that one of the people involved was a student's MOTHER.
Mark Strassmann reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Cassandra Ross/Victim; :35]
[SUPER=01-Paula Ross/Victim's Mother; :48]
[SUPER=01-Mark Strassmann/CBS News; 1:00]
[RUNS=1;11]
[OUT Q=Strassmann, CBS News, Atlanta.]


(( On a Florida school bus, some racial name-calling suddenly got even uglier.

Three girls started fighting, two of them beating up a student named Cassandra Ross.

The bus driver never jumped in to break it up.

Then it REALLY got out of hand. The MOTHER of one of the girls came aboard, and JOINED the brawl. For nearly two minutes, she punched Cassandra Ross...choked her, and hit her time and again.

This is what the girl's neck looked like.

And as the mother walked off the bus, she threatened to KILL the girl.

(SOT) (Cassandra Ross - Victim) (01:15:27)



"I WAS SCARED. I DON'T KNOW. IT ALL HAPPENED REAL QUICK."

(NARR)



(photo with graphic)



Rita Gooden, the mother in the fight, was originally arrested for attempted MURDER.

But she'll be sentenced for simple battery, a misdemeanor, outraging the VICTIM's mother.
(graphic ends)



(SOT) (Paula Ross - Victim's Mother) (WKMG) (01:12:32)



"SHE CHOKED MY DAUGHTER UNTIL HER NECK WAS BLEEDING AND I'M OUTRAGED THAT SHE'S BEING CHARGED WITH SIMPLE ASSAULT."

(SOT) (mother) (b-roll w/more beating video)(01:12:42)



"THERE WAS NOTHING SIMPLE ABOUT IT. SHE TRIED TO KILL MY CHILD AND THAT'S WHAT SHE SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH."

(NARR)



Gooden, the mother in the fight, could face a year in jail and a thousand-dollar fine.

Other parents have to wonder what their kids may be facing, every time they get on a school bus.

Mark Strassmann CBS News Atlanta.
))

[Gas-Explosion]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=Explosion]



[ENG#=3]



A surveillance camera captured a fire at a gas station last night that left a Houston, Texas woman with burns to her hands and one of her legs.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Houston, TX;]


Theressa Lopez was filling up her gas tank when the blaze started.
Lopez says she jumped back in the car after the fire erupted, in order to drive the car away from the gas pumps.


She says the gas tank overflowed, because the gas gauge was not working properly.
(------------)



[11Victory-Stadium]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=04-53 TC13:56]
[GRAPHIC=Victory Stadium]



[ENG#=4]



The city of Roanoke says Victory Stadium will be repaired before the next football season.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/November]


You may remember several sections were roped off in November after steps crumbled.
At last night's school board meeting, chairwoman Kathy Stockburger said she was reassured by Mayor Harris that necessary repairs will be made so Patrick Henry and William Fleming can play their games at Victory Stadium next fall.
(------------)


[Tease2] [SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[WRITER=tbr]
[ENG#=Aprisa]


It'll be sunny but cold, will the brisk weather continue? Meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner has the forecast coming up.
(-----------------)
[VO-NAT ]


And we'll tell you why the Christmas spirit could get an American mission kicked out of Cuba.
(-----------------)

[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]


[Cuba-Christmas]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=Christmas]



[ENG#=1]



You could call it the Cuban version of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."
Cuba's government is warning the U-S mission in Havana to take down its holiday decorations, or face the consequences.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Havana, Cuba;]


The decorations include a Santa Claus, candy canes, white lights and a lighted sign with the number 75.
It's that last one that appears to be irking Fidel Castro's government.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=As part of our]

((JAMES CASON/TOP U.S. DIPLOMAT IN CUBA:AS PART OF OUR HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS WE ALSO DISPLAYED A 75 SYMBOL AS A REMINDER OF THOSE ARRESTED FOR THINKING AND SPEAKING INDEPENDENTLY. THE CASTRO REGIME IS NOW THREATENING THIS DIPLOMATIC MISSION WITH RETALIATION." ))
[SUPER=01-James Cason/American Diplomat;]
[RUNS=:15]
[OUT Q=with retaliation.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


75 refers to the number of Cuban dissidents jailed last year.
Cason says officials will NOT remove the display, even though it could cause them to be expelled from Cuba.
(------------)



[PKGScrooge]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=None]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=04-49 TC 1:36]
[GRAPHIC=None]
[ENG#=2]


No one wants to be Scrooge for Christmas, but a lot of people want to see him.
That's why they are glad a local church has revived its annual production of the Charles Dicken's classic.
Justin McLeod has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jay Owens/Cast Member; :09]
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Meyer/Cast Member; :27]
[SUPER=01-Todd Meyer/Cast Member; 1:01]
[SUPER=01-Peter Givens/Cast Member; 1:20]
[SUPER=@justin1; 1:26]
[RUNS=1:36]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]


((((NAT SOUND OF SHOW))
It's the one show that everyone in the Roanoke Valley seems to love.
[SOT 11:34]
[IN Q=We have full]

((JAY OWENS/CAST MEMBER: WE HAVE FULL HOUSES EVERY TIME WE PERFORM SO I GUESS IT'S THAT POPULAR, THE PEOPLE WHO'VE SEEN IT COME BACK.)) [Runs06]
[OUT Q=seen it come back]

((NAT SOUND OF THE SHOW))
Scrooge is based on the holiday classic "A Christmas Carol."
New Century Community Church puts on the show every year for more than eight thousand people in the Roanoke Valley.


[SOT 15:58]
[IN Q=we would really]

((JENNIFER MEYER/CAST MEMBER: WE WOULD REALLY LIKE THEM TO JUST UNDERSTAND THAT CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT TO GIVING AND IT'S ABOUT JESUS.)) [Runs06]
[OUT Q=ABOUT JESUS]


But last year the message was silent.
The group took the year off because it was busy building a new church.
[SOT 9:16]
[IN Q=It feels really]

((JAY OWENS/CAST MEMBER: IT FEELS REALLY GOOD TO BE BACK. WE MISSED NOT BEING HERE LAST YEAR. CHRISTMAS WAS JUST NOT THE SAME WITHOUT SCROOGE.)) [Runs05]
[OUT Q=WITHOUT SCROOGE]


So the church was determined to bring it back. ((QUICK NAT SOUND OF THE SHOW))
Rehearsals began in August and cast members had to relearn everything.
It helps when you have a crew that totals more than 70.
[SOT 18:21]

((TODD MEYER/CAST MEMBER: THAT COMES FROM A LOT OF TALENTED PEOPLE OF WHICH I AM NOT BUT THEY MAKE PEOPLE LIKE ME LOOK GOOD. [LAUGHS].)) [Runs07]
[OUT Q=LOOK GOOD (laughs)]

((NAT SOUND OF SHOW))
You'll have four chances to see the show and church members say as long as there's interest, Scrooge is here to stay.
[SOT 12:17]
[IN Q=It's a wonderful]

((PETER GIVENS/CAST MEMBER: IT'S A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. IT'S UNLIKE ANYTHING LIKE I'VE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE AND IT'S JUST A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY.)) [Runs06]
[OUT Q=A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY]
[SOT ]
[IN Q= ]

((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: YOU'LL HAVE YOUR OPPORTUNITY THURSDAY AND FRIDAY AT 7 AT THE ROANOKE CIVIC CENTER AUDITORIUM. SATURDAY PERFORMANCES ARE AT TWO AND SEVEN O'CLOCK AND ALL SHOWS ARE FREE. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
[Weather] [NOON WEATHER] [12/15/04] [TWO SHOT]

[WxBUG/FULL] 3 MAPS
[MUSIC UNDER] [COMMERCIAL]
[CK/WXPRO]WEATHER MAPS [WXPRO/FULL] FORECASTS EXTENDED FORECAST


[Stocks]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly 2-Shot]
[NEWSCAST=noon]
[WRITER=kor]
[TAPE# none]
[GRAPHIC=None]


On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was DOWN 19 points. The NASDAQ has dropped four.

[super=460-y/19/y/4;]

[Tease3] [SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[WRITER=tbr]
[ENG#=Aprisa]


Bad news for the Red Sox this week as one star pitcher leaves, and another says he won't be ready for opening day. But there is a silver lining.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT ]


Coming up in Sports, a World Series starter -- and winner -- comes out of retirement to play for 18 MILLION dollars.


(---------------)

[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]


[S-District]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=dgr]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=MLB]


Baseball executives are meeting today to decide whether to approve a stadium financing bill passed yesterday by the Washington D-C Council. The plan requires half the construction costs to be paid with private money.

[S-MLB]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=SP-174]
[GRAPHIC=REDSOX]



[ENG#=1]



The Red Sox are dealing with a few losses today, after losing two star pitchers. Pedro Martinez is leaving for the Mets, and Curt Schilling will miss opening day because his ankle isn't healing very well. Moments after that - David Wells - the newest Red Sox player stepped to the microphone.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=BITE]
[SUPER=01-David Wells/Newest Boston Red Sox Pitcher;]
[RUNS=:18]
[OUT Q=...so we can win."]
(------------)


[S-Bowl]


[ANCHOR=kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=SP-187]
[GRAPHIC=NCAA]



[ENG#=2]


The college gridiron bowl season started last night in New Orleans -- the same place the Hokies will play January 3rd.

(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA/ESPN;]

Last night it was Southern Miss and North Texas in the fourth annual New Orleans Bowl. North Texas was representing the Sun Belt. It wasn't M.K. Turk and Randolph Childress, but quarterback Dustin Almond stepped up nicely.
[SUPER=36-Southern Miss/31/North Texas/10;]

The Golden Eagles extend their streak of consecutive winning seasons to 11 with the 31-to-10 win.
(-------------)



[S-Beamer]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=sma]
[TAPE#=SP-183 1:35:18]
[GRAPHIC=Sugar Bowl]



[ENG#=3]


The Hokies will be waiting on pins and needles for another three weeks before they're able to find out if they can beat Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke;]


Yesterday, around 300 Roanoke Valley sports club members celebrated Tech head coach Frank Beamer, the Hokies 2004 season and their BCS bid at the Hotel Roanoke.
Santa Claus made an appearance, and handed out beads in what was a festive luncheon.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Virginia Tech Head Football Coach;]
[RUNS=:10]
[OUT Q=first year in the ACC"]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


This is the Hokies 12th straight bowl appearance, a feat only five college football programs can boast.
The fact that its Tech's third Sugar Bowl, and that the game is January third, have made this time of year even more special for the Hokies.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[RUNS=:22]
[OUT Q=.....worked out very well in every regard"]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The 2004 ACC champions will celebrate with their families and their fans, but soon it is back to work preparing for a strong 12 and OH Auburn team.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[RUNS=:25]
[OUT Q=......very, very good"]
(-----------------------------)



[S-Dukes]


[ANCHOR=Kim]
[NEWSCAST=Noon]
[WRITER=mst]
[TAPE#=SP-181 15350TC]
[GRAPHIC=JMU]



[ENG#=4]


The J-M-U Dukes play for the national championship in Division One, Double- A Friday night against Montana in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Dukes' amazing run has been a welcome site for some hungry JMU fans.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=I THINK THE JMU...]
[SUPER=01-Mickey Matthews/JMU Head Coach;]
[RUNS=:30]
[OUT Q=...THEY'RE ENJOYING IT."]
(-------------)

[VO NAT CON'T] The Players are enjoying the ride, as well. But when you're a college athlete, the trophy isn't the only thing you're interested in obtaining.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=You know...]
[RUNS=:13]
[OUT Q=...kids are kids."]
(------------)
[talent=Kim]
[graphic=jmu]

The game kicks-off Friday night at 8.
[Quickcast]
[WXPRO/FULL] QUICKCAST [REPRS@CL] SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends [SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]