President Clinton prepares to deliver his state of the union address as the
Whitewater prosecutor decides whether to give Monica Lewinsky immunity in
exchange for her testimony.
And winter weather has forced more school closings and delays the complete
update coming up.
Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are up for the viewing
area, with as much as 6 inches of snow forecast around the region. I'll have a
complete update on the situation momentarily.
News 7 at noon is next.
A white blanket is beginning to cover the ground as the latest round of
winter weather hits our area.
Winter storm warnings are in effect for the New River Valley and higher
elevations, where anywhere from four to eight inches of snow are possible.
In Roanoke and Lynchburg, between two and four inches of the white stuff
could fall before changing over to rain this afternoon.
Forecasters warn road conditions will be slow to improve, even as
temperatures warm above the freezing mark.
Winter storm warnings and weather advisories are in place, as snow continues
to fall across the viewing area.
CK/STORMWATCH/FULL SCREEN=WX ADVISORIES
As we look at our WeatherAlert computer imagery, the counties shaded in dark
blue are under a winter storm warning, light blue indicating a winter weather
advisory. Snow in the advisory area will likely reach 2 to four inches, while
the warning area is anticipating 3 to 6 inches.
CK/WX-PRO/FULL SCREEN=WX-TYPE DOPPLER RADAR
Let's take a look at our color coded radar. Shaded in white: snowfall,
pink: icy mix, and of course green: rain. The heaviest precipitation continues
to work it's way along the coast as the low deepens and forces more moisture in
The low is currently situated south of Savannah, GA., but is pushing
northeast, taking it out over the Atlantic, and up the coast. We expect to see
snow and mixed precipitation continue well into the afternoon. That will give
us the forecasted snow depths.
Our forecast for the rest of today, bearing in mind the storm warnings and
advisories, as follows: Snow and ice likely, anywhere from 2 to 6 inches
depending on your geographic location, with mid thirties for our top number
We'll have your complete five day out look coming up just bit later on here
on News 7 at Noon.
Almost 15 percent of the workforce at General Electric's Salem plant is out
This comes after a three-week production shutdown -- all because the plant
is having trouble finding a market for its high-tech drive systems.
Workers say they knew this was coming.
Those who have been with G-E for a while say they have watched production
IN Q=GE's a good company
((JUDY SCHEDER/LAID-OFF EMPLOYEE: GE'S A GOOD COMPANY TO WORK FOR. BUT WITH
GE'S HISTORY OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, YOU NEED TO STAY PREPARED. ))
SUPER=01-Judy Scheder/Laid-off Worker;
OUT Q=STAY PREPARED
Last year, G-E laid off 450-people.
Most were either re-hired or found other jobs.
Yesterday, G-E laid off 170-hourly workers...
And 75-salaried positions, such as engineers.
In a prepared statement, the company said, "We simply don't have sufficient
workload at this time to maintain current employment levels in our factory."
IN Q=I'm about as
((REGINALD BERRY/LAID-OFF WORKER: I'M ABOUT AS UPSET AS ANYBODY ELSE. I KNOW A
LOT OF PEOPLE HERE GOT FAMILIES. THEY GOT KIDS IN SCHOOL, SMALL CHILDREN ...
BUYING HOMES ... PEOPLE HERE WITH INFANT BABIES, AND THEY HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF
THEM. AND IT'S HARD TO DO THAT IF YOU'RE NOT SURE WHERE YOU'RE GOING TO BE
WORKING OR IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE WORKING OR HOW LONG YOU'RE GOING TO BE
SUPER=01-Reginald Berry/Laid-off Worker;
OUT Q= going to be working. (2nd time)
Workers told News-7 a lot of work has been outsourced to other countries.
G-E said most of the employees laid off yesterday should be re-hired by this
summer...assuming production picks up again.
Most of the union members employed at the Danville Goodyear plant have voted
in favor of a 12-hour work shift.
More than three-quarters of the roughly 900 union-members who voted favored
longer shifts in exchange of two Sundays off each month.
Yesterday, they chose to reduce three proposals down to two.
They'll make their final decision tomorrow.
The company has not determined when it will go to the new seven-day work
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright heads to Europe tomorrow to confer
with European ministers as military planners seek to put enough firepower in
the Persian Gulf to mount a possible major air attack against Iraq.
So far, the U-N has failed to convince Saddam Hussein to give weapon
inspectors access to all sites.
Yesterday, state department spokesman James Rubin warned that time is
running out for Iraq.
GRAPHIC=WIPE WIPE WIPE
Japan's embattled finance minister is resigning in the wake of a bribery
Hiroshi Mitsuzuka says he will step down tomorrow.
He made his decision after prosecutors carried out two days of raids on
Finance Ministry offices and major banks.
Prosecutors say banks bribed ministry officials to find out when
regulators were going to make inspections.
Members of the royal family visited Britain's Queen Mother at a London
hospital today where she's recovering from hip-replacement surgery.
Grand-daughter Princess Anne was the first to arrive.
Doctors caring for the 97- year- old mother of Queen Elizabeth say the next
few days are crucial to her recovery.
She's expected to be in the hospital for up to three weeks.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come,
Our region may pay a heavy price for eliminating the car tax.
In China they're preparing to go from the Ox to the Tiger.
We'll take you to the New Year preparations when News 7 at Noon returns.
music up full
The car tax is moving closer to elimination.
But the details of how the money is collected are fueling an angry battle.
SOT rox 12:11:47
IN Q=This bill
((THIS BILL HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PLUNGE OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS INTO FISCAL
CHAOS, TO WIDEN THE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS OF THIS STATE,
AND TO DIVIDE US REGIONALLY LIKE NO OTHER ISSUE EVER HAS, AT THE VERY TIME THAT
OUR CONSCIENCE DEMANDS THAT WE WORK TOGETHER LIKE WE NEVER HAVE BEFORE.))
OUT Q=never have before.
Debate kicked off yesterday between rural Democrats and suburban Republicans
over who benefits.
SOT rox 12:20:15
IN Q=This centerpiece
((DEL. VINCE CALLAHAN/R-FAIRFAX: THIS CENTERPIECE WAS ADOPTED OVERWHELMINGLY
BY DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, AND INDEPENDENTS FROM EVERY CORNER OF THIS
COMMONWEALTH. IT IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TAX RELIEF BILL IN THE HISTORY OF THE
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA.))
SUPER=01-Del. Vince Callahan/(R) Fairfax;
OUT Q=of Virginia.
Another regional disappointment: the House Appropriations Committee found
out only yesterday afternoon the fine print on the cuts the Governor mentioned
The ballooning cost of the car tax bill would be covered by about four
million more dollars in cuts to Southwest and Southside Virginia museums and
cultural centers than Gilmore mentioned Friday.
Among the cuts to George Allen's generous budget: 100- thousand dollars
from the Bedford D-Day Memorial, 50- thousand from Opera Roanoke, and 900-
thousand from the Science Museum of Western Virginia.
Virginia's new Secretary of Education is in good condition today after
collapsing outside his Richmond office yesterday.
57- year -old Wil Bryant is at the Medical College of Virginia hospital.
A spokesman for Governor Jim Gilmore says Bryant had an ear infection -- but
the reason for his collapse is NOT yet known.
A state legislator is also in the hospital today--
Louisa Democrat Earl Dickinson was presiding over the Appropriations meeting
when he suddenly had trouble speaking.
Dickinson was wheeled out of the meeting on a stretcher and was also
admitted to M-C-V hospital.
The powerful committee chairman's staff says only that he's under
Feedback is making its mark on Lieutenant Governor John Hager's first major
Hager says about ten-thousand Virginia teen drivers have already been
ticketed for moving violations.
((WELL WE'VE SAID...IMPROVE THEIR SKILLS.))
OUT Q=improve their skills.
A third offense would mean a young driver would lose his license for a year
or until reaching age 18.
The plan Hager introduced two weeks ago would have put ALL teen drivers on a
"provisional license" with several more conditions before they could get a
An administrative judge has upheld the removal of former Salem V-A Hospital
Director John Presley.
Presley was fired last year after a V-A investigation found repeated
incidents of sexual harassment.
Presley appealed the decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
Judge Elizabeth Bogle rejected his appeal, saying there was evidence of
harassment and conduct unbecoming a hospital executive.
Presley had no comment on the outcome of the appeal.
Testimony is underway in a federal cocaine conspiracy case linked to Javier
Cruz's undercover work.
J-R Castellanos was picked up in Miami the very day the U-S Attorney in
SUPER=04-February 25, 1997
Roanoke finally unveiled details of the investigation that lasted seven years.
In addition to drug trafficking itself, Castellanos is alleged to have
"made arrangements" to launder more than one million dollars in currency from
the Cali Cartel.
PAMELA Cruz, the informant's ex-wife pleaded guilty to her role in the drug
Of the 28 people indicted with Cruz a year ago, many remain at large...
only two are left for trial.
The prosecutor says now that he may be able to put on his case against
Castellanos and local realtor Earl Frith without calling Cruz to testify.
A former brother-in-law of Joe Abbott took the stand in the crime family
trial in federal court yesterday.
Robert Khatib told the jury that Abbott's brother Abed Jamil Abdeljalil
launched a smear campaign against him.
Khatib says AbdelJalil often visited Khatib's Brown Derby Restaurant and
talked about drug dealing, arson and stolen goods.
Khatib admitted yesterday that he set a fire in Hagerstown in 19-78, though
he'd given the Grand Jury the impression that he had not served time for it.
A fire at a Greenbrier County grocery store that claimed one life was an
That's the determination of fire investigators.
Crawford's Galaxy Food Center in Fairlea was destroyed by the blaze.
Investigators say an electrical problem in the coolers in the back of the
store started the fire.
Volunteer firefighter Greg Carter died after entering the building to search
SOFT MUSIC UNDER
For us it's snow, but in Australia, another weather phenomenon is plaguing
And students at Virginia Tech are getting the opportunity to enter the world
of molecules in a unique manner.
MUSIC UP FULL
COMM BREAK #2
CAVE exploration is now part of some science Virginia Tech curriculum.
But the location is anything but cold and damp.
At Virginia Tech-- CAVE stands for Cave Automatic Virtual Environment.
It's a three- D tool designed to help professors and students with a variety
of studies and experiments.
Users feel as if they're walking inside a molecule or down a hallway.
Plans are also in place to market the CAVE to businesses wanting to develop
((SCOTT MACRAE:ACTUALLY VIRGINIA TECH IS THE ONLY CAVE, HAS THE ONLY CAVE, ON
THE EAST COAST, SO WE'RE LOOKING NOT ONLY IN THE BLACKSBURG AREA BUT EVEN UP
INTO THE WASHINGTON DC, PHILADELPHIA, OVER INTO THE TIDEWATER COMMUNITIES. ))
OUT Q=tidewater communities.
Congressman Rick Boucher was on hand for the unveiling.
Virginia Tech and federal money helped make the project possible.
In Australia, more than 600 tourists and residents fled to higher ground
today to escape the worst flooding in half a century.
Defense force troops were called in after a state of emergency was declared
in the northern outback town of Katherine.
The town was inundated after the swollen Katherine River burst its banks
in at least two spots in the wake of a tropical cyclone.
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was UP 76 points.
TAPE#=net (edit of BB98-1)
Radford University's men's basketball team grabbed a win over Charleston
The women are tied for first in the Bog South after putting down the lady
SUPER=03-Radford/Buccaneers vs. Highlanders; :00
The lady Highlanders Jennifer Grant muscles her way in for the hoop as
Radford took and early lead.
Former Christiansburg star Rebecca McNeil registered the double-double;
18 points and 13 boards and becomes just the 8th lady Highlander in school
history to have scored a thousand points and recorded 500 rebounds. R-U wins it
TAPE#net (edit of BB98-2)
The Lady Flames continued their winning ways last night beating Coastal
Sarah Wilkerson finds Flori Willie with the bounce pass, Willie knocks it in
off the glass.
Elena Kisseleva led all scorers last night with 19. She gets the bucket
here and draws the foul.
The Flames dominated on the boards Mari Kong drives through traffic for the
Liberty easily handled the Chants winning this one 71-to-43.
IN Q=we came out.
((SARAH WILKERSON//WE CAME OUT WITH THE MINDSET "WELL YOU KNOW WE MIGHT GO
UNDEFEATED AT CHRISTMAS, WE MIGHT BE UNDEFEATED, WELL I DON'T KNOW, WE GOT A
PRETTY HARD CONFERENCE, WE MIGHT STILL BE UNDEFEATED." WE NEVER CAME OUT WITH
THE MINDSET THAT WE WOULD JUST AUTOMATICALLY COME IN AND TAKE THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
THERE'S ALWAYS SOMEONE THAT CAN JUST KNOCK YOU OFF.))
SUPER=01-Sarah Wilkerson/15 points;
OUT Q=knock you off
GRAPHIC=Roanoke valley sports club
Former Cave Spring standouts and N-F-L rookies Tiki and Ronde Barber will
come home next month to speak at the Roanoke valley Sports club.
SUPER=03-Raljon, MD/Giants vs. Redskins; :00
Tiki; who had over a thousand yards of total offense, helped lead the New
York Giants back to the top of the N-F-C East this past season before losing in
the first round of the playoffs.
Ronde spent most of his first N-F-L season on Tampa Bay's inactive list but
saw action in a few games.
SS=Hold Roanoke Valley sports club
The barbers will speak to the sports club on either the 16th or 24th of
February at the Salem Civic center.
It seems racing just keeps growing. Yesterday Daytona officials announced
the purse for the February 15th Daytona 500 will exceed seven million dollars.
SUPER=03-Daytona Beach, FL/Last February; :00
The winner will get one million dollars and the second place finisher in the
500 will take home 500 thousand dollars.
Each of the top 11 finishers is guaranteed of winning at least 100 thousand.
That's a far cry from the first 500 in 19-59, when Lee Petty won the race and
That year Petty won less than 46- thousand dollars for the whole year.
It's the Chinese Lunar New Year throughout China this week.
(nats of firecrackers)
The Year of the Ox will give way to the Year of the Tiger tomorrow.
The holiday was ushered in with dancing and colorful festivities amid
elaborate decorations at Tiananemen Square.
Birds were released for good luck and the fireworks filled the sky.
The tiger is associated with wealth and traditionally young boys were given
tiger costumes to wear to absorb the tiger's bravery.