Today on News 7 at 5, federal postal authorities believe they may have a mail thief.
Plus A-E-P crews spend most of the day trying to restore electricity to 15 hundred customers without power.
Another cold night's ahead of us but then a slight warming trend moves in by mid week. I'll have your forecast
Also today, police in Danville say a woman's death this weekend was murder.
More than three years after the murder of his wife, actor Robert Blake goes on trial.
Plus some local police officers get to play Santa Claus.
News 7 at 5 is next.
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The U-S post office in Roanoke suspects one of its employees of stealing mail.
Officials say a citizen tipped them off Thursday that someone had dumped more than 400-pieces of undelivered mail into a city dumpster.
Officials say the next day, they tracked the mail to an employee at the main post office, and searched his home.
That is where they found several THOUSAND pieces of mail -- ranging from letters to magazines.
Officials say the employee has been fired.
They are not releasing his name, but they say he was hired as a temporary employee in July.
Coming up on News 7 at Six, we'll hear what postal officials plan to do with the undelivered mail, and what charges could be placed against the employee.
Last night temperatures dropped to a record low, hovering in the single-digits.
The cold weather brought windy condition and power outages to nearly 11-thousand Virgina AEP customers
[ROANOKE DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon/Shannon Microwave;]
Susan Bahorich has been following the story and is standing by at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Susan, during the height of the outage, how many people were without power in our area?
According to AEP officials, 15-hundred people were without service in Roanoke.
Crews worked throughout the day to get everyone back online, but it was easier said than done.
Jeff Metz and his family live in Roanoke County.
They're just some of the 15-hundred people who were affected by the outage.
For them it started last night just after 11 o'clock.
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[IN Q=We had to rely...]
((JEFF METZ/ROANOKE CO. RESIDENT: WE HAD TO RELY ON NECESSITIES OUTSIDE OF THE HOME. YOU CAN'T USE YOUR PHONE. I HAVE A BUSINESS IN THE HOME, SO I CAN'T DO WORK 'CAUSE I CAN'T USE THE COMPUTER. IT'S A NECESSITY WE TAKE FOR GRANTED AND DEFINITELY NEEDED IT TODAY.))
[SUPER=01-Jeff Metz/Roanoke Co. Resident]
[OUT Q=.. need it today.]
After more than 12-hours without power - the Metz' service was restored at about 1:30 this afternoon.
something ad-lib about people w/o power.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Shannon/Susan Microwave;]
Shannon- coming up tonight on News 7 at six, we'll take a closer look at how today's chilly temperatures affected other people in our area- including some parents and students in Craig County.
The mercury also dropped in the N-R-V this morning.
There's two and a half inches of snow on the ground in Giles County at Mountain Lake.
It snowed last week and the resort got another dusting last night.
The trees are covered in icicles and the lake itself is even starting to freeze.
There's no snow in Blacksburg, but the town did TIE a record today.
At 6:30 this morning it was zero degrees outside.
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[SOT: 4:16:33:00 to :39; 4:20:42:00 to :51]
[IN Q=As cold as it]
[SUPER=01-Sarah Rogers/Dublin Resident;]
((SARAH ROGERS: AS COLD AS IT IS IT JUST NEEDS TO SNOW AND GET IT OVER WITH. THEN IT WOULDN'T BE SO BAD IF THERE WAS SNOW ON THE GROUND.
AUTUMN CLAPP: I LOVE CHRISTMAS, ESPECIALLY WITH SNOW.. EVEN THROUGH IT'S THIS COLD? WHERE I'M FROM WE USED TO HAVE COLDER CHRISTMAS AT TIMES. I REMEMBER ONE YEAR IT WAS MINUS 25 OR SOMETHING.))
[OUT Q=or something.]
Those who did go outside today, weren't out there for long.
Police in Danville say a woman was murdered yesterday in her home.
Officers were checking on the well being of 82 year old Mamie Lee Jackson when they found her dead in her Grace Street bedroom.
An autopsy today revealed she'd been strangled.
The Danville Police Department says it is pursuing all leads.
[TAKE CRIMESTOPPERS APRISA FULL]
Anyone with information is urged to Danville Crimestoppers at 434-793-0000.
Opening arguments are underway in the murder trial of actor Robert Blake.
He is accused in the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley.
Bakley was found shot to death more than three years ago.
Teri Okita has more.
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[SUPER=01-Gerald Schwartzbach/Defense Attorney;]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS LOS ANGELES]
((((: ITS A HOLLYWOOD WHO-DUNIT FILLED WITH CRIME AND PASSION. ACTOR
ROBERT BLAKE THE STAR OF THE 70S SHOW BARETTA SAYS HE DIDNT KILL
HIS WIFE, BONNY LEE BAKLEY. NOW, AFTER MORE THAN THREE YEARS, HES
FINALLY GETTING HIS DAY IN COURT.
TRACK: BACK IN EARLY 2001, BLAKE SAYS, AFTER THE COUPLE DINED TOGETHER,
HE WENT BACK IN THE RESTAURANT TO RETRIEVE HIS GUN THAT HE FORGOT. WHEN
HE CAME OUT, HE FOUND BAKLEY SHOT IN THE HEAD INSIDE HER CAR.
TRACK: BUT PROSECUTORS SAY NO ONE IN THE RESTAURANT EVER SAW HIM
THEY SAY, BEFORE THE MURDER, OTHER PATRONS AND RESTAURANT WORKERS
FOUND BLAKE TO BE NERVOUS, PREOCCUPIED, WOUND UP EVEN GETTING SICK IN
AFTER THE SHOOTING, PATRONS AND PASSERBYS SAY HIS EMOTIONS DIDNT
(Super: Shellie Samuels/Prosecutor)
SOT: And they thought he looked fake, forced, stilted, one of them
noticed flat effect big drama.
(Super: Teri Okita/Reporting)
STANDUP BRIDGE: Prosecutors say the motive was pure hatred and that
Blake didnt want Bakley to have contact with their young daughter,
TRACK: BUT DEFENSE ATTORNEYS SAY BAKLEY HAD PLENTY OF ENEMIES PLUS
THERES NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE LINKING BLAKE TO THE KILLING OR WITNESSES
TO THE MURDER.
SOT: Gerald Schwartzbach/Defense Attorney.
There's no evidence ...direct or circumstantial that he shot ms Bakley.
TRACK: THE CASE HAS HAD MANY DELAYS, INCLUDING RECENTLY WHEN THE
DEFENSE LAWYERS COMPUTER CONTAINING VITAL INFORMATION WAS STOLEN.
TWO TEENAGERS LATER CONFESSED TO THE BURGLARY WHICH POLICE NOW SAY
APPEARS TO BE COINCIDENTAL.
TRACK: PROSECUTORS ARE NOT SEEKING THE DEATH PENALTY, BUT BLAKE COULD
GET LIFE IN PRISON, WITHOUT PAROLE. TERI OKITA, CBS NEWS, LOS ANGELES.))
Coming up next on the the newscast, authorities in Amherst County say a lucky break helped them solve an armed robbery.
And the woman accused of cutting a baby out of its mother's body makes her first appearance in court.
Prosecutors want to hold a Kansas woman accused of killing a pregnant woman and stealing her fetus without bond.
Lisa Montgomery was scheduled to appear in court today.
Meantime, the 1-month premature baby is said to be in "remarkably good condition."
Kelly Cobiella reports.
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[IN Q=She has allegedly confessed...]
[SUPER=01-Kelly Cobiella/CBS News;:19]
[SUPER=01-Darrell Schultz/Family Friend;1:18]
((SHE HAS ALLEGEDLY CONFESSED TO STRANGLING BOBBIE JO STINETT, NOW LISA MONTGOMERY WILL HEAR THE CHARGES AGAINST HER FROM A JUDGE: KIDNAPPING RESULTING IN DEATH.
THE TWO WOMEN KNEW EACH OTHER BECAUSE BOTH WERE DOG BREEDERS. THEY HAD BEEN AT DOG SHOWS TOGETHER AND COMMUNICATED THROUGH THE INTERNET.
COBIELLA ON-CAMERA BRIDGE: THE BABY GIRL SURVIVED THE ORDEAL. OFFICIALS SAY MONTGOMERY THEN TRIED TO PASS THE CHILD OFF AS HER OWN TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
SOT: NANCY: SOT: NANCY
"LISA IS IN THE SPOTLIGHT NOW JUST LIKE SHE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE."
NANCY, ANOTHER DOG BREEDER, HAS ASKED TO HAVE HER IDENTITY CONCEALED.
SHE SAYS SHE KNEW THE VICTIM.... AND THE ACCUSED. AND SAYS LISA MONTGOMERY HAD BRAGGED OF BEING PREGNANT WITH TWINS IN AN INTERNET CHAT ROOM.
SOT: NANCY: SHE TOLD US SHE HAS MISCARRIED ONE OF THE TWINS BUT WAS STILL CARRYING ONE OF THE TWINS. THEN WITHIN THE LA
ST COUPLE OF WEEKS HER IM MESSAGE SAID BABY ANY DAY, MAYBE TODAY."
AUTHORITIES SAY AFTER STEALING THE BABY MONTGOMERY LEFT MISSOURI....LATER RETURNING TO HER HOME TOWN OF MALVERN, KANSAS. HOURS BEFORE HER ARREST, SHE VISITED A LOCAL CAFE AND SHOWED OFF THE NEWBORN, CALLING HER ABIGAIL.
SOT: DARRELL SCHULTZ/FAMILY FRIEND
" I'M SURE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT HELD THE BABY THAT DAY AND STUFF FEELS TERRIBLE THIS HAPPENED."
THE CHILD, NAMED VICTORIA JO, IS IN THE NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT OF THIS TOPEKA HOSPITAL. DOCTORS SAY SHE'S IN GOOD CONDITION AND WILL EVENTUALLY BE RELEASED TO HER FATHER.))
Dozens of people are being questioned about a deadly bombing in Iraq.
Authorities in Najaf (NAH'-jahf) say they've detained 50 people for questioning in connection with yesterday's car-bomb blast.
Today, the city held funerals for some of the 54 people killed.
Meantime, a suicide blast in the nearby city of Karbala (KAHR'-bah-lah) yesterday killed 13 people and wounded 33.
The attacks are being blamed on Sunni Muslim extremists seeking to derail upcoming legislative elections.
President Bush is outlining an ambitious agenda for his second term.
In his second news conference since winning re-election the President promised to send Congress legislation reforming social security.
But when pressed about it, he shied away from specifics beyond what he's already proposed: that younger workers be allowed to set aside a portion of their payroll taxes into private accounts.
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[IN Q=You know, you can't use the money...]
((PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T USE THE MONEY TO GO TO THE LOTTERY OR TAKE IT
TO THE TRACK. THERE WOULD BE -- IT'S LIKE SOME OF THE GUIDELINES WITH SOME OF THE THRIFT SAVINGS PLANS.))
[OUT Q=some of the thrift savings plans.]
Mr. Bush also promised to cut the federal deficit by half in five years and vowed that the drive for democracy in Iraq will go forward.
He said he doesn't expect the process to be "trouble-free" but that he's confidant the country's elections will take place as planned at the end of January.
A lucky break helped Amherst County authorities nab five people believed to be involved in the armed robbery of a convenience store last night.
Around nine, three masked men walked into the Apple Market on Route 29 and demanded money.
They assaulted a store clerk and left in a car driven by a fourth suspect.
Police stopped the car a few minutes later after a deputy noticed its trunk was open.
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[IN Q=They stopped the]
((INVEST. DUVAL DOSS/AMHERST CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE: THEY STOPPED THE VEHICLE BECAUSE THE TRUNK WAS LOOSE, JUST TO ADVISE THEM THAT THE TRUNK WAS LOOSE. AND ONCE THE VEHICLE WAS STOPPED, OBSERVATION BY THE OFFICER LED HIM TO GET THEM OUT OF THE CAR AND PLACE THEM UNDER ARREST.))
[SUPER=01-Invest. Duval Doss/Amherst Co. Sheriff's Dept.]
[OUT Q=place them under arrest.]
Doss says the deputy spotted a sawed-off shotgun in the car.
Police also arrested one of the store clerks who they believe helped plan the robbery.
Coming up after the break, Leo will let us know how low the mercury will drop tonight.
Plus on Healthcheck, we'll tell you why some people are electing to stay awake through their cosmetic surgery.
Plastic surgery is more popular than ever but it can still be dangerous. Going under anesthesia carries the risk of several side effects.... even death. But now plastic surgeons are able to nip and tuck while the patient is awake. Doctor David Marks tells us more.
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[SUPER=01-Dr. Zachary Gerut/Plastic Surgeon;]
[SUPER=01-Dr. David Marks/CBS News;]
[SUPER=01-Gene Kane/Facelift Patient;]
[OUT Q=MARKS CBS NEWS]
(( FIFTY-THREE-YEAR OLD DEBBIE FRIEDMAN WENT FOR A FACELIFT -- BUT IT WASN'T SURGERY AS USUAL. SHE WASN'T PUT UNDER GEN
ERAL ANESTHESIA (SOT-no font too fast Debbie Friedman/Facelift Patient) "I'll be awake the whole time" INSTEAD, HER DOC
TOR NUMBED UP HER FACE WITH INJECTIONS OF LOCAL ANESTHETIC -- THE SAME STUFF YOU GET WHEN YOU GO TO THE DENTIST. (SOT-D
r. Zachary Gerut/Plastic Surgeon) the local anesthetic is injected very very slowly and painlessly with a special aparatus. THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF DERMATOLOGIC SURGERY NOW ADVISES PATIENTS TO OPT FOR LOCAL ANESTHESIA WHENEVER POSSIBLE. (STANDUP: Dr. David Marks/CBS NEWS) EXPERTS SAY LOCAL ANESTHESIA IS SAFER... AND THERE'S LESS BRUISING. PATIENTS REMAIN
WIDE AWAKE ... AND DON'T FEEL A THING. AND THERE'S ANOTHER BENEFIT TO AVOIDING GENERAL ANESTHESIA... (SOT-Dr. Zachary G
erut/Plastic Surgeon) "the recovery time is infinitely faster. I had my patients telling me two or three days after surgery, they look fine and they are back at work." THIS IS HOW DEBBIE LOOKED ONLY A DAY AFTER SURGERY. AND 4 DAYS LATER, THERE'S STILL NOT MUCH SWELLING OR BRUISING. GENE KANE HAD A SIMILAR PROCEDURE. THIS IS WHAT SHE LOOKED LIKE JUST A WEE
K EARLIER. THE DIFFERENCE IS DRAMATIC. (SOT-Gene Kane/Facelift Patient) "everyone is like, ooh, you look great. what di
d you have done? did you change your hair? your make-up?" DOCTOR GERUT SAYS MANY OF HIS PATIENTS LIKE THE IDEA OF STAYI
NG AWAKE DURING SURGERY. (SOT- Dr. Gerut) they feel much safer with the option of not having undergone general anesthes
ia or deep anesthesia of any kind. PATIENTS WHO HAVE THIS TYPE OF FACELIFT ARE USUALLY GIVEN A MILD SEDATIVE JUST TO RELAX THEM. BUT FACELIFT SURGERY STILL COSTS UP TO 15-THOUSAND DOLLARS -- NO MATTER WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED. DOCTOR DAVID MARKS, CBS NEWS. ))
[TWO SHOT TOSS]
[SIT DOWN FOR 2 SHOT TOSS]
Coming up a little later, the Hokies look back at last night's disappointing loss to the Tarheels.
But the news was better for the football team as it landed a number one prospect.
Good afternoon everybody and welcome to the Monday ticker.
The top high school football player in the state of Virginia is headed to Virginia Tech.
[SUPER=03-Richmond/This Season; :00]
Victor "Macho" Harris made his much-anticipated decision today picking the Hokies over UVa, Michigan, and Southern California.
The 6-0, 180-pound Highland Springs star rushed for 2346 yards this season, averaged 10 and a half yards per carry and he scored a total of 31 touchdowns.
For his career, Harris had over 5300 yards rushing and 65 touchdowns.
He says it was simply time to pick a school and move on.
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[SUPER=01-Victor "Macho" Harris/Verbally Commits to Va. Tech; :05]
[OUT Q=...RECRUITS AND MOVE ON."]
Macho Harris' commitment now gives the Hokies verbal commitments from 3 of the state's top prospects including another tailback - Elan Lewis from Phoebus and Landstown's Deveon Simmons a linebacker.
Harris has an even more eventful day on tap for tomorrow as he undergoes surgery.
More on that for you tonight on News 7 at Six.
Virginia Tech lost its ACC hoops opener yesterday to North Carolina, but the Hokies gained a measure of confidence in hanging with the 5th ranked Heels for most of the first half.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Tarheels vs. Hokies; :00]
Zabian Dowdell came to play, scoring a career high 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting, including 5 treys. He was the only Hokie in double figures.
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[SUPER=01-Zabian Dowdell/Scored 21 Points vs. UNC; :00]
[OUT Q=just build on that."]
Tech's lack of a dominant inside presence, has put more pressure on Dowdell and the rest of the Hokies on the perimeter.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Carlos Dixon/Va. Tech Senior; ;00]
[OUT Q=did a pretty good job."]
The Hokies return to action this Wednesday night at home against Western Michigan in a seven o'clock tip-off.
Through no fault of their own, the Virginia Cavaliers slipped a spot in the new Associated Press Top 25 college basketball polls that are out tonight.
The Cavs are number 25 this week.
Virginia hasn't played since December 8th, and returns to action this Thursday night at home against Loyola Marymount.
More sports at the top of the hour.
Take care everybody and stay warm. Shannon will be right back.
[GO TO BREAK]
On wall Street today, a decrease in crude oil prices boosted blue chips, but the broader market ended the day mixed.
Marcella Palmer reports.
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[SUPER=01-Marcella Palmer/CBS Marketwatch;]
[OUT Q=News 7 at 5.]
If you see Santa running around Roanoke in a BLUE suit, it's not because it's been so cold.
He's a cop.
The Roanoke Police Academy's Blue Santa handed out gifts at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital today.
The toys, gifts and donations for Blue Santa's bag come from his "elves" with the Roanoke and Roanoke County police recruits.
Wachovia Bank helped out with a contribution today.