An early morning shooting accident in Giles County sends one man to the hospital.
And, a local family has a lot to be thankful for this Christmas as their father and husband comes home from Afghanistan.
Cloudy skies keeping temperatures into the 20's and 30's this afternoon. The complete holiday weekend forecast, plus gather the kids, we'll track where Santa is now, and where he's headed coming up.
Stay with us. News 7 at noon, starts right now.
[SUPER=#4054; News 7 Headline Banner]
Good Afternoon, I'm Susan Bahorich.
Kimberly McBroom has the day off....
An accidential shooting has seriously injured one man in Giles County.
Officials say the 31-year old man was buying a .50 caliber muzzle loading pistol at S-A Robinson Apartments, on route 460, when the gun discharged hitting him in the hand and the head.
The man was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial by Lifeguard 10.
His name and condition have not been released.
A high-level investigation into how a suicide bomber was able penetrate the U-S army base near Mosul, will be headed by the same brigadier general who investigated abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison.
And troops at that base got a surprise visit today from Donald Rumsfeld.
Drew Levinson has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Secretary of Defense... ]
[SUPER=03-Mosul, Iraq; :00]
[SUPER=01-Donald Rumsfeld/U. S. Secretary of Defense; :35]
[SUPER=01-Drew Levinson/CBS News; 1:09]
[OUT Q=DL, CBS NEWS, WASHINGTON.]
( SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DONALD RUMSFELD PAID A CHRISTMAS EVE VISIT
TO THOSE WHO WON'T MAKE IT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. AFTER A 13-HOUR
JOURNEY, HE LANDED IN MOSUL... VISITING TROOPS ATTACKED EARLIER THIS
WEEK BY A SUICIDE BOMBER.
TRACK: LIKE MANY HOLIDAY VISITS, THIS ONE INCLUDED PHOTOS...
(nat photo: )
(nat what's in there? I'll have it.)
TRACK: AND GIFTS...THIS, A PURPLE HEART TO ONE OF THOSE WOUNDED EARLIER
THIS WEEK IN THE MESS HALL ATTACK.
(nat: take care...america's oldest award...sure is)
TRACK: HE SAID DESPITE THE CONTINUING VIOLENCE, THE COUNTRY CAN BE
(SOT: Donald Rumsfeld/Secretary of Defense: There is no doubt in my mind
this is achievable.
TRACK: THE SECRETARY'S TOUR INCLUDED A STOP IN TIKRIT, SADDAM HUSSEIN'S
HOMETOWN. RUMSFELD ADDRESSED HUNDREDS OF SOLDIERS AT ONE ON SADDAM'S
(SOT: Donald Rumsfeld/Secretary of Defense: What you're doing is
important. I think the American people get that.)
TRACK: HE ALSO VISITED FALLUJAH AND BAGHDAD, WHERE HE MET WITH
TRACK: THE TRIP COMES AFTER SEVERAL TOUGH WEEKS FOR RUMSFELD, WHO HAS
BEEN UNDER FIRE FOR HIS HANDLING OF THE WAR...AND PERCEIVED
INSENSITIVITY TO THE TROOPS.
STAND-UP: MANY DEMOCRATS HAVE CALLED FOR RUMSFELD S RESIGNATION.. AND
SEVERAL HIGH PROFILE REPUBLICANS HAVE CRITICIZED HIS PERFORMANCE
PUBLICLY.. BUT PRESIDENT BUSH CONTINUES TO STAND BY HIS DEFENSE
SECRETARY. DREW LEVINSON, CBS NEWS, NEW YORK.))
A soldier, home on leave from Afghanistan, planned a special surprise for his children as he returned to Bedford County.
Corporal Kevin Shelton and his wife decided it would be best not to tell the children their dad was coming home- just in case Shelton's leave was canceled.
It worked out for the best as Shelton surprised his two oldest at Thaxton Elementary.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=She comes walking in the]
((KEVIN SHELTON:SHE COMES WALKING IN THE OFFICE AND HER MOUTH JUST DROPPED AND SHE STARTS SCREAMING DADDY. CODY LOOKED LIKE HE COULDN'T BREATHE, HE WAS GASPING FOR AIR AND HE COME RUNNING UP TO ME. IT WAS REALLY NICE.))
[SUPER=01-Kevin Shelton/Army National Guard]
[OUT Q=it was really nice.]
Shelton's wife caught the surprise on the family camcorder.
Shelton says it's nice to be home and he has missed the little things like pancakes, Wal-Mart, and of course spending time with his family.
We'll have more on the Sheldon reunion tonight on News7 at 5 and 6.
Christmas will be a low-key affair for Iraq's nearly 650-thousand Christians...
After suffering numerous attacks around the country, Christians throughout Iraq have called off celebrations this year.
Churches have announced the traditional Midnight mass- the centerpiece of Christmas festivities in Iraq- will be canceled and replaced by brief early morning prayers.
Churches have also called off receptions for parishioners.
Only the most devout are expected to show up on Christmas morning, scared that insurgents who have bombed churches, mosques and Muslim religious festivals, will strike again.
A bomb in Thailand has killed two men and wounded five other people outside a bank.
[SUPER=03-Sungai Kolok, Thailand]
The bomb shattered windows up to the third floor of the bank building.
Police said they believed the bomber was killed by the blast at around 9 o'clock this morning.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, but police have blamed suspected Islamic militants for previous attacks.
It was the third serious bombing the town has suffered since violence erupted in the region in January.
((KIM TOSS TO BRENT))
BRENT in WX Center
(BRENT TOSS TO KIM)
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, a man with a gun sends customers of a casino scrambling.
Plus the committee searching for a site for a regional jail makes it recomendations to the Board of Supervisors. But not every is happy about it.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #1]
An early morning shooting in a California casino sends people scrambling.
Shots were fired early this morning inside the Hustler Casino in Gardena, California following a police pursuit.
After the shots rang out, customers raced into the street.
It's not clear who fired the shots.
The suspect ran into the casino after fleeing from his car.
The club is owned by pornography mogul Larry Flynt.
There's no word on injuries.
A young Russian soldier's death has turned him into a symbol of bravery...and for many - a lot more.
Beth Knobel has the story from Moscow.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=For thousands of Russians...]
[SUPER=01-Beth Knobel/CBS News]
[OUT Q=BK, CBS NEWS, MOSCOW.]
For thousands of Russians, this is the face of faith--not a saint, but a simple army conscript killed for refusing to renounce his religion.
Private Yevgeny Rodionov was an ordinary teenager who dreamt of being a chef. When he turned 18 in 1995 he was drafted, and sent to Chechnya--where Russia was waging a vicious war against muslim rebels.
Rodioniov was captured by Chechen fighters, who told the devout young man to give up Christianity and convert to Islam. When Yevgeny refused, he was executed. It was his 19th birthday.
As the story of Rodionov's choice spread, people began to regard him as a kind of saint.
"Many soldiers now carry icons with his picture," says his mother, "I've been told even President Putin has one."
All kinds of believers, especially those in the military, now come to Rodionov's simple grave outside Moscow to pray to the saintly soldier and to ask for miracles.
BETH KNOBEL ON CAMERA, (Moscow)
Though his fame is spreading, one organization hasn't been impressed--the Russian orthodox church. After studying his case, the Church refused to canonize Rodionov--dividing the clergy.
"He refused to take off his cross and died for his faith," says Father Dmitri, the church's military liaison. "Similar cases have led to canonization."
Saint or not, Yevgeny Rodionov remains a hero to many here--particular to Russia's beleaguered soldiers, who feel they now have a symbol of sacrifice...and of courage. BK, CBS News, Moscow.))
One of the Virginia soldiers killed in the attack on Mosul had expressed concerns about identifying insurgents.
20-year old David Ruhren (RUIN), was from northern Stafford County.
He was a 2002 graduate of Gar-Field High School in Prince William County and a member of the Marine Junior ROTC program.
(///// SOT at :08 /////)
[SOT :50 - 1:07]
[IN Q=David was one who represented...]
((LESTER JAMES/DAVID REHREN'S ROTC INSTRUCTOR: DAVID WAS ONE WHO REPRESENTED THAT WHO REALIZED IT IS AN OBLIGATION FOR ALL AMERICANS MALE OR FEMALE AND HE DIDN'T WANT TO JUST SIT BACK AND SAY OKAY I'LL LET THE NEXT GUY DO IT. YOU KNOW HE DECIDED THAT HE WANTED TO SERVE HIS COUNTRY AND HE WANTED TO STEP FORWARD AND HE PAID THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE.))
[SUPER=01-Lester James/David Ruhren's ROTC Instructor;]
[OUT Q=paid the ultimate sacrifice.]
Ruhren was a member of the Virginia Army National Guard's 229th Engineer Company, based in Fredericksburg.
The unit was attached to the Richmond-based 276th Engineer Battalion, whose members were eating lunch when the blast occurred.
When he was home for Thanksgiving, Ruhren told reporters he was concerned about insurgents, saying, "They're not wearing a uniform. You can't tell one from the other until they're pointing a weapon at you. It's crazy."
The nation's retailers are on edge this Christmas Eve.
They're hoping a big surge in last-minute Christmas spending will help them meet holiday projections.
Christmas Eve isn't traditionally a big day for sales -- but retailers are doing their best to change that.
Stores are offering big discounts to lure shoppers in.
Last year, a late spike in spending gave struggling retailers a better-than-expected holiday season.
But, in 2002, a last-minute boost wasn't enough.
Wall Street analysts already say this year's holiday sales won't be stellar.
[TAPE#=04-50 TC 39:42]
The citizen's committee searching for a site for Roanoke County's new regional jail has made its suggestion.
But members are more frustrated than pleased.
Members agreed to base their votes on certain criteria.
But some feel others on the citizen's committee voted with their hearts, rather than following the rules.
After several hours of *fierce* debate, members voted to submit two recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.
No one walked away happy.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:08:55; 1:09:43]
[IN Q=I would have hoped]
((DON DAVIS/CITIZEN'S COMITTEE MEMBER: I WOULD HAVE HOPED THAT WE WOULD ALL BE TOGETHER AND BE ON THE SAME WAY LENGTH BUT I THINK WE'RE SENDING THE BAD SIGNAL TO THE CITIZEN'S AND EVERYBODY ELSE.))
((PAM BERBERICH/CITIZEN'S COMMITTEE MEMBER: I DON'T THINK WE WERE GIVING MUCH TIME AND I AM HOPING THE BOARD WILL BE ABLE TO COME UP WITH A GOOD DECISION ON THEIR OWN.))
[SUPER=01-Don Davis/Citizen's Committee Member; :]
[SUPER=01-Pam Berberich/Citizen's Committee Member; :09]
[OUT Q=on their own]
The first recommendation was the committee's top choice.
That's the "Center for Research Technology site" followed by the Higginbotham Farm. Both are in the Dixie Caverns area.
The second recommendation factors in the criteria members agreed on, and *that* ranked the Higgenbotham Farm and Horne Properties at the top.
The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to choose a property January 11th.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, we'll tell you why one parent has decided to auction his children's presents on E-bay.
Plus we'll see what the city of Lynchburg is doing to help keep people with mental challenges safe at home.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
A new sign in Lynchburg is aimed at bringing loved ones home.
City law enforcement officers this week displayed a new "Project Lifesaver Community" sign.
It's the first of its kind in the country and part of an effort to let people know Lynchburg participates in the program that's saving lives.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Since the inception of Lynchburg]
((DON SLOAN/LYNCHBURG SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: SINCE THE INCEPTION OF LYNCHBURG PROJECT LIFESAVER IN JANUARY OF 2002 WE'VE HAD 43 SUCCESSFUL SEARCH AND RESCUES TO RETURN CITIZENS OF LYNCHBURG WITH DOWNS SYNDROME, ALZHEIMERS AND OTHER TYPES OF MENTAL DISORDERS TO THEIR CARE GIVER OR CARE FACILITY.))
[SUPER=01-Don Sloan/Lynchburg Sheriff's Department;]
[OUT Q=care giver or care facility]
Sloan says people with mental disorders like Autism and Downs Syndrome can cover four miles in one hour.
Half of those not found within 24-hours die.
The new signs will also alert *visitors* with loved ones in Project Lifesaver to contact the sheriff's office.
That way they're accounted for- should they wander away while staying in Lynchburg.
[TAKE PHONE # FS]
For more information on Project Lifesaver contact the Lynchburg Sheriff's Office at 434-847-1301.
A father of three children in the Houston area has gone from playing Santa Claus to playing the Grinch.
The man decided his children were being naughty instead of nice -- and is teaching them a lesson by auctioning their presents on eBay.
The man- who asked not to be identified- decided to sell off three wireless video game systems as well as several games because his boys were fighting with each other and using vulgar language.
His posting on the eBay Web site says -- `Bad children get no Nintendo D-S. Santa will skip our house this year.'
He also says he's taking down the Christmas tree and says if the kids don't shape up- other toys maybe on the auction block.
[WEATHERBug/FULL] Cameras around the region
[CK/WEATHERBug] Santa Tracking Animation
Santa's Future Stops
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
The Cavaliers won't just be playing for hardware in the Micron P-C Bowl. Coming up in Sports we'll meet a little boy who the team holds in high regard.
And Micheal Vick breaks another record -- only this one is off the field and in the bank.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
A baseball legend with ties to our area has passed away.
Johnny Oates managed the Texas Rangers to their first three postseason appearances.
Oates became the first Virgina Tech baseball player to have his number retired.
Beginning in 1966 he batted .410 as a catcher for the Hokies.
Those stats earned Oates a place in both the Tech and Salem Roanoke baseball hall of fames.
Oates also managed the Orioles. He resigned from the Texas Rangers when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
He died this morning in a Virginia hospital. He was 58 years old.[S-Vick]
A new 10-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons will leave Micheal Vick without a worry for many Christmases to come.
The deal is worth 100-million dollars and guarantees Vick an NFL record 37-million dollars in bonuses.
That surpasses the 98-million dollar deal signed by Peyton Manning in March.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Michael Vick/Signs 10 Year Contract with Atlanta;]
[OUT Q=never really find a home."]
Camp is over for the Hokies and they've gone home for the holidays.
The players and coaches say they feel good about entering the Sugar Bowl, after proving to the rest of the ACC that they were a worthy addition.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=YOU ALWAYS WANT TO PROVE...]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/ACC Coach of the Year;]
[OUT Q=..RESUME FOR THE ACC."]
Several U-V-A Cavaliers are playing for someone special in the Micron P-C Bowl.
Wali Lundy in particular has struck a friendship with 6 year old Lucas Bolen in Buena Vista.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Buena Vista; :00]
[SUPER=01-Lisa Bolen/Lucas's Mom; :20]
[OUT Q=Thank you..."]
At first glance, Lucas looks like a typical 6 year old boy. But at 19 months old, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and recently doctors detected a cyst, 3 centimeters in diameter on his brain, causing headaches and seizures.
During one of his many trips to Charlottesville for doctor's visits, Lucas had some surprise visitors in the form of several Cavaliers, including his favorite Wahoo, running back Walli Lundy. Lundy presented Lucas with an authentic game used jersey with his name on it.
Lundy's first contact with the youngster came last season, when he learned of Bolen's story through Gerry Capone, the UVA Associate AD for football operations, and others in the football office.
Lucas attended the UVA-Maryland game this season in Charlottesville, and has received several notes and phone calls from Lundy, a mini-helmet with Lundy's signature, and a football signed by the entire Cavalier team.
And Lucas couldn't be more appreciative.
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]