12:00-01

NOON-HEADLINES

TALENT=Melanie
SS=None
(----------------)
VO-NAT


In Alabama, a plane slams into a house, after narrowly missing a building in downtown Birmingham.
(----------------)


And an accident between a school bus and a tractor trailer in Botetourt County sends a few people to the hospital.
(/////////////)
TALENT=Beth
SS=None


Cloudy skies this afternoon with rain moving in. I'll have more in the forecast in a few minutes.
(//////////////)
ANCHOR=Melanie
ss=none


Don't go away, News 7 at Noon is next.

Plane-crash


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=Noon
WRITER=mel
TAPE#net
GRAPHIC=plane crash


In Birmingham, Alabama three people are dead after a twin-engine plane crashed into a house this morning.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Birmingham, AL;


The plane just missed clipping a downtown office building, before slamming into the house.
All of the dead were in the plane.
The owner of the home says nine people inside the house got out safely before it burned.
(----------------)

WIPE/WIPE/WIPE/

PHILLY-COLLAPSE


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=MEL
TAPE#net
GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Philadelphia, PA;


An elderly woman was killed today in Philadelphia when a row house collapsed.
Officials say the three-story home came down about an hour before dawn this morning.
They say the 70- year- old woman was on the second floor when it happened.
Two other adults and three children managed to escape without serious injury.
There is no word yet on what caused the collapse.
(----------------)




Bus-Wreck


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=12
WRITER=JoeD
TAPE#96-97
GRAPHIC=accident


A collision between a Botetourt County school bus and a tractor trailer sent students to the hospital this morning.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Botetourt Co.;


Four students on their way to Lord Botetourt High School suffered minor injuries in the wreck.
Two of them were carried to the hospital for treatment.
The accident happened at the intersection of Read Mountain Road and Cloverdale Road.
The truck driver said he was unable to stop for a red light. State Police have charged him with reckless driving.
(----------------)


Lansdowne-Murder


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=Noon
WRITER=lbe
TAPE#96-102
GRAPHIC=legal scales


A Roanoke teenager charged with capital murder will be held without bond at the Coyner Springs Detention Center.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Roanoke/Wednesday;


17- year- old Stephan (STEFF-fahn) Dwayne (dee-WAYNE) Jones was arraigned this morning for allegedly shooting and killing another 17- year- old, Antwan Gray.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT 02:06:52
IN Q=Well I'm

((MELVIN HILL/PROSECUTOR: WELL I'M NOT IN A POSITION THERE TO DISCUSS THE FACTS OF THE CASE. ONLY THING WE CAN REVEAL IN THERE IS THE NATURE OF THE CHARGES WHICH ARE CAPITAL MURDER, ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, AND USE OF A FIREARM IN COMMISSION OF THOSE OFFENSES. ))
SUPER=01-Melvin Hill/Prosecutor;
RUNS=:10
OUT Q=those offenses.
(----------------)
VO-NAT


Gray was killed Wednesday night in the 24-hundred block of Centre Avenue adjacent to the Lansdowne Apartment Complex in Roanoke.
(-------------)
ANCHOR=Melanie
SS=hold


At this point there's been no decision on whether Jones will be charged as an adult.
A preliminary hearing has been set for January third.
Jones IS scheduled to be tried as an adult on a previous, unrelated drug charge.

Floyd-Fatal


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=Dal
TAPE# none
GRAPHIC=Fatal Accident


A single car accident killed a Floyd County man early yesterday morning.
Police say 37- year- old Terry Amos Peters of Check was driving down route 2-21 just north of route 3-42 in Floyd County, when he lost control of his pick-up truck.
Peters apparently ran off the right side of the road, over-corrected then crossed both lanes and struck an embankment.
Peters was thrown from the truck and police say he died at the scene.

Tanker-Ax


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=morn
WRITER=mel
TAPE#net
GRAPHIC=none


The search has resumed in New Orleans for possible victims of Saturday's freighter collision.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA/Saturday;


Officials say there are no indications that anyone was killed when the ship plowed into the Riverwalk shopping mall after losing power.
The freighter's captain is being credited with saving lives.
Officials say by sounding the ship's horn he gave holiday shoppers enough time to get out of the way.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT
IN Q=

((-TED DAVISSON/FREIGHTER PILOT:I WAS JUST DOING MY JOB. CAPT. JOE CLAYTON, RIVERBOAT PILOTS ASSOCIATION:"THAT'S QUITE A BALANCING ACT FOUR THREE OR FOUR MINUTES WHILE AT THE SAME TIME YOU REALIZE THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HIT. ))
SUPER=01-Ted Davisson/Freighter Pilot; Quick!!!!
SUPER=01-Joe Clayton/Riverboat Pilots Assoc.;
RUNS=:12
OUT Q=you're going to hit.
(----------------)
VO-NAT


116 people were injured in the collision, three of them remain hospitalized.
(----------------)



House-Ax


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=Dal
TAPE# 96-104
GRAPHIC=accident


New Orleans is not the only city with unique accidents.
Yesterday a wrong turn on a morning drive in Roanoke ended in disaster.
The Plummer family heard a loud bang and
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Roanoke;

that's when they noticed an uninvited guest in their garage.
Police say 84- year- old Mabel Johnson Overstreet was traveling west on Harvest Lane when she failed to make a sharp left turn on to Garstland Drive.
Overstreet ran through a fence, off a three foot wall and into the Plummers' garage.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT 10:20:02
IN Q=I OPENED THE

((FRANCIS PLUMMER: I OPENED THE DOOR AND SAID THEY WENT THROUGH THE FENCE. I SAID THE GARAGE IS ON FIRE AND THE CAR IS IN THE GARAGE AND I JUST TOOK OFF RUNNING TO MY NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE SAYING CALL 9-1-1.))
SUPER=07-Francis Plummer;
RUNS=:17
OUT Q=call 911
(----------------)
VO-NAT


The smoke in the garage was actually caused by spinning tires.
Surprisingly no one was injured in the accident.
(----------------)



mid-East


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=mel
TAPE#net
GRAPHIC=mideast peace talks


In the Middle East, the Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to resume talking about possible ways to advance the stalled peace talks after days of growing tension and imminent violence.
Jesse Schulman has the story.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT
IN Q=
SUPER=03-Jerusalem; :00
SUPER=01-Benjamin Netanyahu/Israeli Prime Minister; :13
SUPER=01-Akiva Eldar/CBS News Consultant; :47
SUPER=04-Last Week; :56
SUPER=01-Jesse Schulman/Reporting; 1:11
RUNS=1:30
OUT Q=

((
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on the phone last night to PLO chief Yasser Arafat.
That conversation seems to have eased the tension slightly.
But the private call came after tough talk in public.
NETANYAHU: (SUPER "ISRAELI TV, SUNDAY") THERE ARE SOME ELEMENTS IN THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY THAT ARE PLANNING DETERIORATION INTO VIOLENCE AND A RESUMPTION OF VIOLENCE.
The risk is another outbreak of street warfare like in September, when some seventy-five died. A replay could be far bloodier.
Last week's killing of a Jewish settler mother and her twelve year old son started the political pot simmering.
Netanyahu's response, to increase funding to West Bank settlements, brought it to a boil. His support for the Jewish settlers comes partly from his own heart, partly from simple political realities. AKIVA ELDAR, CBS NEWS CONSULTANT: THEY ELECTED HIM PRIME MINISTER, HE OWES IT TO THEM, ALMOST A HUNDRED PERCENT OF THEM VOTED NETANYAHU.
But pleasing the settlers has infuriated the Palestinians. Over the weekend Yasser Arafat called last week's funding decision a time bomb.
The Palestinians say Netanyahu can have settlements or peace, but not both.
Netanyahu got much the same message yesterday from eight senior US ex-diplomats, including three former Secretaries of State. In a letter they warned him that expanding settlements risks damaging the peace process. A Netanyahu spokesman has shrugged it off, saying that the writers of the letter are all known to be unfriendly to Israel.

JS, CBSN, Tel Aviv.))

MERGER


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=MEL
TAPE#net
GRAPHIC=none


A mega- merger makes history for the Aerospace Industry.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Seattle, WA;


The leaders of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas have announced a 13-point-3 billion dollar deal that would unite the two "jet" giants.
If the deal goes through Boeing will be the sole American manufacturer of commercial jets.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT
IN Q=I Believe that the..
SUPER=01-Philip Condit/CEO, Boeing Co.;
RUNS=:12
OUT Q=Opportunity for the future.
(----------------)
VO-NAT


Executives say the company will take aim at the market for military planes as well. Industry analysts say sales of the merged companies would double that of nearest competitor, Europe's Airbus.
(----------------)




tease#1

HARD MUSIC UNDER
ANCHOR=Melanie


When the newscast continues.
Believe it or not, Bill Clinton has not won the Presidential election just yet.
(--------------)
VO-NAT


And,
Police are turning to a furry friend to teach kids about holiday safety.
But first let's check in with Beth.
(---------------)
Talent=Beth

Wx-Tease
Already far southwest Virginia is seeing some rain. The rest of us will get it later tonight. And tomorrow is looking kind of raining, especially in the morning. Right outside the WDBJ studio the temperature is.... music up full comm1

Allen


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=Dal
TAPE# 96-94
GRAPHIC=Dudley, Allen


Tomorrow voters go to the polls to determine the balance of power in the Virginia senate.
Republicans are hoping Allen Dudley will claim the state senate seat vacated by Virgil Goode, who heads to Congress.
SS=Reynolds, Roscoe


But if voters pick Roscoe Reynolds, the chamber will have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, with Democratic Lieutenant Governor Don Beyer holding the tie- breaking vote.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Floyd/Saturday;


Allen Dudley toured the district Saturday with Governor George Allen.
In addition to pressing the flesh the governor urged voters to get out and cast their ballots.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT 13:11:55
IN Q=make sure you

((GOVERNOR GEORGE ALLEN: MAKE SURE YOU FIND OUT THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN THE ELECTION AND GET THEM OUT TO VOTE. THE ELECTION IS GOING TO BE DETERMINED BY THE FOLKS WHO TURN OUT. THIS TYPE OF ELECTION IS A TEST OF THE STRENGTH OF THE LOCAL PARTIES DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN.))
SUPER=@Allen;
RUNS=:16
OUT Q=democrat or republican
(----------------)
VO-NAT


It's been a year since Republicans fell short in their bid to control the Virginia Senate.
(----------------)



ELECTORAL-COLLEGE


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=MEL
TAPE#net
GRAPHIC=election 96


And while voters may have cast their presidential ballots last month.
The real election takes place today.
Members of the electoral college will gather in each state capital to cast their ballots.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Washington DC;


The 19-96 presidential election is not truly over until those results come in.
But President Clinton is anticipating an Electoral College win of 379 to 159 over Bob Dole.
(----------------)
ANCHOR=Melanie
SS=hold


But Dole still gets Virginia's 13 electoral college votes.
Dole took 47 percent of the vote to Mr. Clinton's 45 percent.
Ross Perot received seven percent.

Philip-Morris


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=lba
TAPE#none
GRAPHIC=tobacco


A published report says pollsters for Philip Morris sought out teen-agers at popular hangouts in the early 1970s.
The goal was to learn about youth smoking habits.
The weekend report in a Richmond newspaper cited internal company documents.
It said pollsters wanted to talk to youngsters away from their parents to get (quote) "true answers."
Philip Morris has denied ever targeting its products to children.
An attorney for the company dismissed the leaked documents as old information intended to force settlements in anti-tobacco lawsuits.

Danville-Police


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=THa
TAPE# 96-93
GRAPHIC=None


The newest addition to the Danville Police Department is yellow and hairy and could be mistaken for a muppet.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Danville/Thursday;


The Danville P-D recently rolled out the welcome mat for "Hairy"-- the talking robot.
"Hairy" is a member of the department's public relations team.
On Thursday, he spoke with students at Gibson Middle School about holiday safety.
(/////SOT/////)

14:57:39
SOT
IN Q=It's very

(("HAIRY"/DANVILLE POLICE DEPT.:IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT THEY REALIZE THAT DURING THIS TIME OF SEASON WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL OUT IN PUBLIC AND WHEN WE'RE TRAVELING BE SURE THAT EVERYONE WEARS HIS SEAT BELT AND OBEYS THE TRAFFIC LAWS AND IS JUST VERY OBSERVANT WHEN THEY'RE OUT IN PUBLIC DURING THIS TIME OF YEAR. ))
SUPER=01-"Hairy"/Danville Police Department; :00
RUNS=:19
OUT Q=time of year.
(----------------)
VO-NAT


"Hairy" has made about four public appearances but many more are scheduled over the coming months.
(----------------)



Tease#2

SOFT MUSIC UNDER
ANCHOR=Melanie


Up next,
The post office is bracing for a big rush of holiday deliveries.
(-----------------)
VO-NAT


And,
All the bikes are in, and the delivery phase of the BIKES OR BUST drive will now get underway.
(-----------------)


Mail


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=lba
TAPE#none
GRAPHIC=christmas


If you're planning to mail your Christmas cards today, you are not alone.
Today is expected to be the busiest mail day of the year.
The total volume for the holiday season is expected to reach almost 19- billion items.
Local post offices have extended their hours to accommodate the long lines.

Bikes


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=eea
TAPE#96-91
GRAPHIC=none


Watch your step on Christmas morning, a lot of kids will be out riding new bikes.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.


The 19-96 bikes or bust campaign wrapped up this morning.
This year's goal was to collect a thousand bikes for under-privileged kids.
Organizers don't have an exact count yet, but say they'll have at at least 12-hundred bikes, and possibly more.
J-93 disk jockey Slam Duncan publicized the event by spending four days in a trailer suspended over the Tanglewood Mall parking lot.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT 10:31:24
IN Q=all I want to do

((SLAM DUNCAN/J-93.5 DISC JOCKEY; ALL I WANT TO DO IS ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH MY FAMILY NOW THAT WE'VE GOT THIS UNDER OUR BELT AND KNOW THAT THERE'LL BE A LOT OF OTHER FAMILIES ABLE TO ENJOY THEIR HOLIDAY SEASON BECAUSE OF ALL THE FOLKS WHO CAME OUT AND BROUGHT US BIKES.)) 10:28:03 ((SSGT. STEVE GARDNER/TOYS FOR TOTS; FORTUNATELY ENOUGH PEOPLE IN THE ROANOKE VALLEY HEARD ABOUT IT AND JUST SAID THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO SUPPORT THIS YEAR AND BECAUSE OF THAT IT WAS GREAT))
SUPER=01-Slam Duncan/J-93 Disc Jockey;
SUPER=01-Steve Gardner/Toys For Tots;
RUNS=:20
OUT Q=it was great
(----------------)
VO-NAT


Volunteers will load the bikes on trucks and take them to the salvation army, where they will be matched up with kids who need them.
(----------------)


WEATHER
SUPER=300-38/85/Calm/30.22f/75/1971/6/1951;
SUPER=301-40/85/Calm/30.23f/78/1971/8/1951;

Forecasts
SUPER=X5000;
SUPER=330-Cloudy/Periods of Rain/38-42/Cloudy/With Rain/45-49;
SUPER=331-Cloudy/Periods of Rain/38-42/Cloudy/With Rain/45-49
SUPER=332-Periods/Of Rain/38-42/Rain/Likely/50-55;
SUPER=333-Cloudy/Rain Likely/38-42/Cloudy/Rainy/45-49;
SUPER=334-Rain/Developing/38-42/Rain/Likely/50-55;
SUPER=X5001;


Common-Sense


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=lbe
TAPE#Common Sense
GRAPHIC=Common Sense


While debit cards bring added convenience for bank customers, there are tradeoffs.
Len Besthoff explores the downside in this week's edition of Common Sense.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT
IN Q=
SUPER=01-Dave Cissel/Financial Solutions; :13
SUPER=@Len1; :48
RUNS=1:00
OUT Q=newsdesk

((
(/////SOT/////)
SOT COMMON SENSE TAPE TWO 11:54:11
IN Q=So you're

((So you're thinking about getting a debit card. Or you have one already. As Dave Cissel with Financial Solutions explains, it's not the same thing as a credit card and there are some important things you need to watch out for. ))
RUNS=:11
OUT Q=watch out for.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT COMMON SENSE TAPE ONE 11:00:32...COVER PART WITH DUDE AT ATM
IN Q=A debit

((DAVE CISSEL/FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS: THE DEBIT CARD'S A LOT LIKE A CREDIT CARD IN THAT YOU'VE GOT A CARD THAT LOOKS LIKE A CREDIT CARD AND USE IT TO PAY FOR A PURCHASE. IT'S DIFFERENT THOUGH BECAUSE INSTEAD OF GETTING A BILL AT THE END OF THE MONTH WHAT YOU GET IS THE MONEY SUBTRACTED FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. SO IF SOMEBODY WERE TO STEAL YOUR NUMBER THEY COULD MAKE A COUNTERFEIT CARD AND THAT MEANS THEY COULD USE IT TO DEPLETE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. THEY'RE LIMITED PROTECTIONS WITH A DEBIT CARD AND I REALLY WOULDN'T RECOMMEND THAT PEOPLE USE THEM UNTIL MORE SAFEGUARDS ARE IN PLACE.))
RUNS=:36
OUT Q=in place.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT COMMON SENSE TAPE TWO 11:57:14
IN Q=Another

((Another thing to remember about a debit card is if you have a purchase that is disputed, you do not have leverage, because that money has already been taken out of your account. That's this week's edition of Common Sense, let's send it back to the newsdesk. ))
RUNS=:14
OUT Q=newsdesk.))


Stocks


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=lba
TAPE# none
GRAPHIC=stocks


Stocks are modestly higher despite lower bond prices.
Analysts say stocks are being helped by the big merger announcement between Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.
That news helped propel the Dow to an early, 50-point gain.
At Noon, the Dow was UP 32 points.
tease#3

SPORTS MUSIC UNDER
ANCHOR=Melanie


Still to come on the newscast,
Highlights, and LOWlights of the Redskins loss to the Cardinals.
The Skins are now out of the playoffs.
(----------------)
VO-NAT


and,
We'll find out how much some were willing to pay for Clark Gable's academy award.
Stay with us.
(---------------)

MUSIC UP FULL comm4

Panthers


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=Roy
TAPE#net(edit of FB96-3)
GRAPHIC=Panthers Logo


The Carolina Panthers extended their winning streak and moved one step closer to a home game in the playoffs.
(----------------)
VO-NAT ENG#
SUPER=03-Charlotte, NC/FOX Sports; :


The Ravens scored the first touchdown of the game when Vinny Testaverde rolls out and hits Michael Jackson on the 23 yard T-D and the Ravens led 7 to 3.
But the Panthers came back. In the second quarter Anthony Johnson gives Carolina a 10 to 7 lead.
Kerry Collins threw SUPER=30-Carolina/27/Baltimore/16/; the 6 yard

touchdown pass to Mark Carrier and Carolina extends their winning streak to a record six games with the 27 to 16 win.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT
IN Q="We didn't

((KERRY COLLINS/PANTHER QUARTERBACK: )) ((DOM CAPERS/PANTHER HEAD COACH: ))
SUPER=01-Kerry Collins/Panther Quarterback; :00
SUPER=01-Dom Capers/Panther Head Coach; :07
RUNS=:15
OUT Q=.......next weekend."
(-------------)


Skins


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=Roy
TAPE#net (edit of RS96-1)
GRAPHIC=Skins/Cards


The Washington Redskins dropped out of the playoff picture yesterday.
(----------------)
VO-NAT ENG#
SUPER=03-Phoenix, AZ/FOX Sports; :


The Cardinals took control early in the first quarter Kent Graham hits Larry Centers on the six yard touchdown pass, 7 to nothing Arizona.
Scott Turner recovers a fumbled ball for a score and a 14 to 10 Cardinal lead.
Washington took the lead in the third quarter when Terry Allen dashes in to make it 23 to 14 Redskins.
But the winning points came off SUPER=30-Arizona/27/Washington/26/; the

foot of Kevin Butler who nails this 28 yard field goal and the Cardinals beat the Redskins 27 to 26.
(-------------)



VMI


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=twe
TAPE#net (edit of BB97-1)
GRAPHIC=VMI HOOPS


The eleventh ranked North Carolina Tarheels beat V-M-I on the Keydets' home turf.
(----------------)
VO-NAT #eng
SUPER=03-Lexington/Tarheels vs. Keydets;


V-M-I kept things close early on. Martinsville native, Maurice Spencer splits the defense for 2 of his 11 points on the day, and the Keydets trailed by just 2.
But Carolina's Shammond Williams finds (Surge Zwi-ker) Serge Zwikker underneath for the hoop and the hack. V-M-I tried to hang in.
Brian (TOG) Taueg picks up the loose ball and goes the distance for the easy layin.
But the Tarheels were too much. SUPER=33-UNC/105/VMI/61/;Ed Cota finds

Vince Carter for the dunk and U-N-C beats V-M-I 105 to 61.
(/////SOT/////)
SOT
IN Q="We Played..

((DEAN SMITH/UNC HEAD COACH: )) ((BART BELLAIRS/VMI HEAD COACH: ))
SUPER=01-Dean Smith/UNC Head Coach; :00
SUPER=01-Bart Bellairs/VMI Head Coach; :18
RUNS=:26
OUT Q=......ROUGH DAY."
(-------------)


Hollywood-Auction


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=mel
TAPE#net
GRAPHIC=none


Clark Gable's best-actor Oscar for "It Happened One Night" was auctioned off last night in Hollywood for a whopping 607-thousand dollars.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA;

4;30:19
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had sued to stop the auction, but was unsuccessful.
It claimed Gable signed a contract before his death giving it first right to buy the statuette for ten dollars if it was ever sold.
But Christies Auction house claims the signature on the agreement is a fake.
Also on the auction block, the sleigh "Rosebud" from the film classic Citizen Kane.
IT went for 233-thousand dollars.
(----------------)



Platypus


ANCHOR=Melanie
NEWSCAST=noon
WRITER=lba
TAPE#net
GRAPHIC=none


Good news for some animals lovers.
(----------------)
VO-NAT
SUPER=03-Melbourne, Australia;


The platypus population is improving in its native Australia.
As recently as a decade ago it was feared that urban sprawl was a threat to platypuses. (-------------) Now researchers say there's been an resurgence in the Platypus population.