A Roanoke man is formally charged with murder.
Investigators think the case may be linked to yesterday's deadly apartment fire.
Meanwhile search dogs have been brought in to search for a possible seventh fire victim.
Sunny, hot weather continues into mid-week. We are looking for a few stray showers to wander through. I'll have all that, plus an update on Dale Earnhart.
News 7 at noon is next.
A man charged with a murder that occurred a few hours before the Church Avenue apartment house fire was arraigned this morning.
Willie Caldwell is accused of killing Kevin Lee Jones early yesterday morning, after an argument the day before.
Caldwell lived in the building in the 500 block of Church Avenue that caught fire, leaving at least six people dead.
At the hearing in Roanoke General District Court, Caldwell started to talk about the fire, but the judge advised him not to.
[SOT time code; 02:09:47]
[IN Q=That's what I was ]
((WILLIE CALDWELL/MURDER SUSPECT; OK, THAT'S WHAT I WAS GOING TO TELL YOU, EVERYBODY THAT I WOULD HAVE FOR A WITNESS GOT BURNED UP IN THAT HOUSE, AND I HAVE...
JUDGE; WAIT A MINUTE MR. CALDWELL...))
[SUPER=01-Willie Caldwell/Murder Suspect]
[OUT Q=Mr. Caldwell]
Judge Jacqueline Talevi set a date in June for a preliminary hearing on the murder and firearms charges Caldwell faces.
Rescue workers are still looking for bodies in the pile of rubble that remains after yesterday's Church Avenue apartment fire.
[Double Boxes=Melanie and Eric/Microwave]
Eric Earnhart is there--Eric, they found five bodies yesterday.
Is anyone still unaccounted for?
( ad lib)
(Rollcue: done everything they can)
[IN Q=We dig down]
[SUPER=01-Winston Simmons/Roanoke Fire Deputy Chief; :10]
[OUT Q=analysis back]
( ad lib)
[Double Boxes=Melanie and Eric/Microwave][Virginia-Apparel]
A Rocky Mount clothing factory is closing.
Management at the Virginia Apparel Corporation says it cannot compete with cheaper Mexican labor.
[SUPER=03-Rocky Mount/File Tape;]
150 people will lose their jobs when the company closes its doors in July.
The jeans maker recently lost two of its largest customers and says that was the final blow.
Plant President Tom Mason says the U-S can no longer survive in the textile industry.
He lived dangerously- working out of the Roanoke Valley as a drug informant for the U-S government--but Javier Cruz couldn't stand the thought of serving prison time for money laundering and other charges.
Cruz has fled to Colombia.
The drug trafficker was set to be sentenced in July.
He's been free on bond for the past six years in exchange for helping the government nab other cocaine dealers.
Cruz apparently called his probation officer from Colombia and said he did not want to spend ten years in prison.
Cruz's attorney says he never tried to run before.
[IN Q=The surprising thing]
((BILL CLEAVELAND/CRUZ'S ATTORNEY: THE SURPRISING THING IS WHEN HE WAS WORKING UNDERCOVER, HE COULD HAVE RUN THEN. BECAUSE HE HAD A LARGE HEART AND HE COMMITTED HIS WORD AND WAS LOYAL TO HIS WORD THEN, HE SAID HE'D BE THERE AND HE WAS.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Cleaveland/Cruz's Attorney;]
[OUT Q=and he was]
Cleaveland thinks he can convince Cruz to return to Roanoke in time for his sentencing.
Federal officials have requested a warrant for his arrest.
But since Colombia does NOT have an extradition agreement with the U-S, it is under NO obligation to turn Cruz
over to the government.[INDONESIA]
After three decades in office Indonesia' President Suharto announced today he'll step down, but only after calling new elections.
That's not soon enough for anti-government protestors who continued their demonstrations today outside Parliament.
Barry Petersen reports.
[SUPER=03-Jakarta, Indonesia/This Morning;:00]
[SUPER=01-Barry Petersen/Reporting; 1:06]
[OUT Q=cbs news, Jakarta.]
What should teachers stress when they lecture kids on sex education?
The debate continues in Virginia--with conservatives insisting that moral values are just as important as the scientific facts.
[IN Q=I think]
((ROBIN DEJARNETTE/FAMILY FOUNDATION: I THINK THERE WILL BE A STRONG PROMOTION OF ABSTINENCE-ONLY EDUCATION BROUGHT UP IN SOME OF THE BOARD MEETINGS. I DON'T THINK YOU'LL SEE A BIG EXODUS THOUGH OF PEOPLE ABANDONING FLE ALTOGETHER.))
[SUPER=01-Robin DeJarnette/Family Foundation;]
The Family Foundation is backing new federal grant money that would use "abstinence-ONLY" instead of "abstinence-BASED" concepts.
Richmond's public health director is rejecting the federal money.
She says the strings attached are "moralistic," like teaching that out of wedlock births are "likely to have harmful consequences for society."
[IN Q=How am I]
((DR. ANTRONETTE YANCEY/RICHMOND PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR: HOW AM I GOING TO SAY THAT WHEN NEARLY 70-PERCENT OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT I WOULD BE DIRECTING THAT TO WERE IN FACT THEMSELVES BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK? I MEAN, WHAT THAT DOES IS IT STIGMATIZES THEM, IT MARGINALIZES THEM.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Antronette Yancey/Richmond Public Health Director;]
[OUT Q=marginalizes them.]
The state is reviewing proposals to use 828-thousand dollars of the federal money for pilot abstinence-only programs around the state.[Tease1]
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead on News 7 at Noon, strange happenings in
your neighborhood? Mysterious giant footprints in the backyard? Don't look any farther than the big screen- the King of the monsters is back.
That's coming up, but first, a check of the hot forecast with Patrick in the weather center.
[music up full]
There may be new hope for victims of spinal cord injuries.
A study done in Switzerland found that brain-damaged rats grew new nerve fibers after being given injections of a specially engineered antibody.
The experimental treatment could someday benefit people suffering from paralysis because nerve fibers in adults do not regenerate on their own.
A Roanoke postal worker who threatened to shoot his boss at the Melrose Avenue post office has been fined 50-dollars and placed on probation for two years.
The charge against Chuck Smith was reduced to "intimidating a postal employee..." allowing the judge not to impose any jail time.
The 20-year veteran of the postal service says repetitive routine coupled with what he considers rigid management structure create tension in the workplace.
((I DON'T THINK THE VIOLENCE IN THE POST OFFICE PROBABLY IS MUCH MORE THAN FORD MOTOR COMPANY, REALLY. Keith Humphry/NEWS 7: So why do we hear more about it? WELL WE'VE GOT A FLAG OVER EVERY BUILDING. IT'S A PLACE PEOPLE SEE EVERYDAY.))
[SUPER=01-Chuck Smith/Former USPS Letter Carrier]
[OUT Q=see every day.]
While he's on probation, Smith will have to participate in an "anger management" program.[E-VA-Prisons]
[GRAPHIC=Virginia State Seal]
It's not expected to stay that way, but right now there is plenty of room at Virginia's prisons.
[SUPER=03-Sussex Co./November 1997;]
State corrections officials announced yesterday there will be a surplus of beds this fall after a recent prison building boom.
So state officials are negotiating with other states to import prison inmates to fill about 36-hundred excess beds.
Housing out-of-state prisoners will bring in extra revenue over the next couple of years.
Virginia's own prison population is expected to catch up with capacity by the year 2001.
Medical examiners report the 19-year-old Roanoke County woman who fell from the top of a waterfall died from the head injuries she received.
Lindsey Bayne of Roanoke County was hiking with friends at Twin Falls in Floyd County early Sunday evening.
Witnesses say when she stopped to pick a flower, she slipped and fell 300 feet into a creek.
Rescue workers say people have died in the past after slipping on slick mossy rocks- as they stop to peer over the waterfall.
But this is the first in the last ten years -- rescue workers say the fatalities dropped off after the Nature Conservancy posted no-trespassing signs.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead on News 7, abused children gain a voice
in the courtroom. We'll tell you about a group of volunteers who are speaking up for the kids. That's coming up, when News 7 at Noon continues.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Recent stories of young children being allowed to stay in abusive homes raises the question--who looks out for kids in the legal system?
In the Roanoke Valley there is one such group--CASA---
an organization dedicated to protecting the interests of abused children.
Court Appointed Special Advocates are the virtual eyes and ears of the court.
CASAs gather information on a child's home environment and then make custody recommendations for the judge.
[IN Q=They have the]
((JUDGE PHILIP TROMPETER/JUV. COURT JUDGE: THEY HAVE THE TIME AND ABILITY TO DEVOTE THEIR FULL ATTENTION TO THE CHILD AND GIVE CUES TO ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN OUR SYSTEM WHO NEED TO BE MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT THE CHILD.))
[OUT Q=about the child.]
[IN Q=not necessarily to look]
((TOM CONN/CASA VOLUNTEER:NOT NECESSARILY TO LOOK INTO WHAT'S BEST FOR THE PARENTS OR THE FAMILY, BUT WHAT'S BEST FOR THE CHILD. NOW THAT MAY ALSO BE WHAT'S BEST FOR THE PARENTS, BUT SOMETIMES IT'S NOT.))
[SUPER=01-Tom Conn/CASA Volunteer;:15]
[OUT Q=sometimes it's not]
CASA exists to protect children not only from abuse, but from an oftentimes overwhelming court system.
Judge Trompeter calls it the "most supreme volunteer effort anyone could make".
The Postal Service is hoping tiny radio
transmitters will help them track down bottlenecks in the mail system.
Virginia is one of three states that have tested the transmitters in the mail.
Postal officials say the transmitters can pinpoint areas where letters and packages are slow to move out, and then Postal employees are assigned to find ways to clear up the problems.
The radios are less than one-quarter inch thick and small enough to fit in a business-size envelope.
After they're mailed, sensors in local and regional post offices track them.
[SUPER=330-Variable/Clouds/62-65/Partly Sunny/& Warm/87-90;]
[SUPER=331-Variable/Clouds/63-66/Partly Sunny/Very Warm/88-92;]
[SUPER=332-Partly/Cloudy/56-60/Partly Cloudy/Showers Possible/83-86;]
[SUPER=334-Partly/Cloudy/56-60/Partly Cloudy/Showers Likely/82-85;]
We'll find out later today whether interest rates will be going up.
Analysts expect Federal Reserve policy-makers to continue their hands-off policy because of all the economic trouble in Asia.
But most economists expect an increase to come sooner or later.
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was UP 49 points.[tease3]
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead in sports, the Lady Knights and
Lady Lancers dueled it out in a Northwest regional match-up. We'll have highlights, when News 7 at Noon returns.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
In regional high school softball action, Cave Spring and Amherst hooked up in a rematch of last year's Northwest regional quarterfinal.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Lancers vs. Knights; :00]
The visiting Lady Lancers scored a trio of runs in the top of the first. Cassey Campbell connects on this pitch that plates Shannon Jackson.
Then--Angie O'Brien cruises home from third on a bases loaded passed ball. 2-nothing Amherst.
The lady Lancers Kim Wood then puts some wood on the [SUPER=34-Amherst/3/Cave Spring/2;]ball and Wendy Hunt crosses t
Cave Spring bats were also firing in the bottom of the first. Dawn Williams makes contact and Nicki Fuller makes good on the fielders choice and you can put it on the board. 3-1 Cave trailed and Amherst wins it 3-2.
The Cave Spring soccer team played host to E.C. Glass in their Northwest region opener at Cave Spring Junior high.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Northwest Region Quarterfinals; :00]
Right to the action---the Knights on the move. Watch this sequence. The Glass netminder makes the initial stop but Wa
lly Kern is there to disrupt the play. But the goal is called back--evidently the goalie had control.
Kern would not make the same mistake twice as he [SUPER=34-E.C. Glass/2/Cave Spring/1;]dribbles through traffic and
scores from in close to put Cave Spring on top 1-nothing in the first half.
But Glass comes on in the second half to beat the Knights 2-1 and advance to the Regional semifinals.
[GRAPHIC=NEWS 7 SPORTS]
The Patrick Henry gym came alive last night in the name of charity as a group of area doctors and resident physicians hit the hardwood.
Virginia Tech's Bobby Hussey ended up leading the victorious residents team.
His counterpart was his good friend Terry Holland, the man who won 418 games in his coaching career at Davidson and UVa. Both got a charge out of raising some money for the Ronald McDonald house and helping out the players.
[IN Q="These guys...]
[SUPER=01-Terry Holland/UVa Athletic Director; :00]
[super=01-Bobby Hussey/Va. Tech Head Coach; :09]
[OUT Q=...BIG DECISION."]
Holland and Hussey both had successful stints at Davidson but before last night their head to head competition was very limited.
[IN Q="We had...]
[OUT Q=...with me now."]
The Winston Cup's official schedule resumes tommorrow night with the annual pole night qualifying at Charlotte for the Coca Cola 600.
Dale Earnhardt plans to be there, despite having a cracked rib, a sore shoulder and some cartilage problems.
Yesterday he talked about his health.
[SUPER=01-Dale Earnhardt/Will Race In Coke 600; :00]
[OUT Q=...BE COMFORTABLE."]
Memorial weekend means box office dollars to the movie industry.
And one of the most likely summer blockbusters opens tomorrow.
[OUT Q=(nats of movie clips)]
[SUPER=03-New York, NY; ]
After trashing the Big Apple in his new film, the oversized lizard was invited back for the movie's premiere.
The stars also showed up for a huge premiere party at Madison Square Garden.
The film by the makers of "Independence Day" uses computer wizardry to bring the monster to life, unlike the 19-54 original where
an actor in a rubber suit smashes a model of Tokyo.