[TAPE#=98-50; TC 40:41]
It was no surprise, but Javier Cruz was a no- show today at a hearing in Roanoke federal court.
The cocaine trafficker-turned-government-informant faces sentencing, but his lawyer hasn't heard from him since June.
And Federal authorities now believe Cruz and his family have in fact returned to Colombia.
[IN Q=We did make considerable efforts]
((JOE MOTT/ASST. U.S. ATTORNEY: WE DID MAKE CONSIDERABLE EFFORTS TO LOCATE HIM IN FLORIDA. AND HAVE DETERMINED TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY THAT HE IS IN COLOMBIA. WE HAVE SOUGHT TO VERIFY THAT INFORMATION AND IT DOES APPEAR THAT HE IS IN COLOMBIA.))
((BILL CLEAVELAND/CRUZ'S ATTORNEY: I THINK THE WHOLE SITUATION REALLY IS UNFORTUNATE. I THINK HE MISSED AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE REWARDED FOR TREMENDOUS COOPERATION AND IT WAS A FOOLISH, FOOLISH THING FOR HIM TO DO, NOT TO BE BACK HERE AND LOOK JUDGE TURK IN THE EYES AS HE HAS IN THE LAST SIX YEARS AND REASSURE THE JUDGE THAT HE WOULD DO EVERYTHING THAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO.))
[SUPER=01-Joe Mott/Assistant U.S. Attorney; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bill Cleaveland/Cruz's Attorney; :16]
[OUT Q=that he said he would.]
Cruz is due to be sentenced in absentia on Friday.
A Montgomery county man convicted of burglary is BACK behind bars after being released from prison a week ago.
Authorities say 33-year old Mark Todd Showalter broke into a woman's house Saturday morning in Plum Creek and tried to rape her.
Investigators say the incident is similar to a second attack several hours later in which a woman was forcibly raped.
However, no charges have been filed in connection with the second incident.
For the 17th straight day, Dallas, Texas is expected to see triple- digit temperatures.
The deadly heat wave has killed 129 people so far, 86 of those were in Texas.
In other parts of Lone Star State, much- needed rain may arrive too late for many farmers.
They've already lost BILLIONS of dollars in crops because of drought conditions.
[WIPE WIPE WIPE WIPE]
[GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe]
[wipe wipe wipe]
Severe weather of a different nature tore through the midwest yesterday.
High winds blew over nine semis, and forced the closing of an interstate highway in southeastern Wisconsin.
The National Weather Service says winds reached 61 miles an hour.
No injuries were reported.
Farther south, severe storms ripped through this Ohio town, uprooting trees and blowing the roof off the police station.
Big Brothers - Big Sisters of Lynchburg will NOT exclude homosexuals from participating in their programs.
But that decision may cause the organization to lose members, if Jerry Falwell has anything to say about it.
The policy was put into effect in April.
Director Mike Daly says they simply wanted to let people know that ANYONE- gay or straight- can apply to be a mentor.
[IN Q=We would just]
((MIKE DALY/BIG BROTHERS DIRECTOR: WE WOULD JUST EMPHASIZE THAT THIS IS A NON- DISCRIMINATION POLICY, THIS DOES IN NO WAY SHOW ENDORSEMENT OR APPROVAL OF THE HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE.))
((REV. JERRY FALWELL/LIBERTY U. CHANCELLOR: UNFORTUNATELY IT LOOKS AS THOUGH BIG BROTHERS- BIG SISTERS IS NOT GOING TO REVERSE A BAD DECISION, AND WE THEREFORE CAN NO LONGER BE A PART OF IT.))
[SUPER=01-Mike Daly/Big Brothers Director; :00]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Jerry Falwell/Liberty University Chancellor; :08]
[OUT Q=be a part of it.]
Falwell says the 24 Liberty University students who volunteer with Big Brothers will be asked to drop out of the program.
Liberty also plans to start its own Christian version of the Big Brothers program.
A house took over part of a busy Roanoke highway this morning.
Workers had to stop traffic on Route 220 for a few minutes, to move a house.
The building used to be in the Pinkerton Court neighborhood.
It's new home is just a few blocks away.
The first American in space has died.
Alan Shepard died yesterday at a California hospital.
The former Navy test pilot made a 15- minute sub- orbital flight in 1961 aboard the "Freedom Seven" spacecraft.
Ten years later, Shepard returned to space and landed on the moon as commander of Apollo 14.
Shepard was 74 years old.
One of America's favorite T-V fathers has died.
Actor Robert Young died yesterday of respiratory failure at his home near Los Angeles.
Young is probably best known for his roles as Jim Anderson in "Father Knows Best" and as a doctor in "Marcus Welby, M-D".
He also appeared in several films, including "Northwest Passage" and "Strange Interlude".
Robert Young was 91.
Virginia's new standard of learning tests are in place.
And Governor Jim Gilmore wants to make sure Virginia's rural schools make the grade.
The Governor told school board members from around the state yesterday he'd be setting up three "best practice" resource centers to help train teachers.
[IN Q=As we know]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: AS WE KNOW, OUR SCHOOLS WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR STUDENTS' PERFORMANCE IN THE YEAR 2006. AT THAT POINT IN TIME, ALL SCHOOLS IN VIRGINIA WILL BE EXPECTED TO HAVE AT LEAST 70 PERCENT OF THEIR STUDENTS PASSING THE SOL TESTS. THAT'S WHY WE'RE EXTENDING A HELPING HAND TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES NOW.))
((SEN. EMILY COURIC/D-CHARLOTTESVILLE: I'M DELIGHTED THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS DECIDED TO FOLLOW THE LEAD OF THE COMMISSION ON THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION WITH REGARD TO LENDING A HAND FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Emily Couric/(D) Charlottesville; :26]
[OUT Q=of Education.]
The first "best practice" centers will be in Marion, Farmville, and Harrisonburg.
After their Carnival cruise ship caught fire Monday, some former passengers are still waiting to re-claim their luggage.
Carnival Cruise Lines gave each customer 100 dollars to shop for clothes and medicine.
Many of those on board the "Ecstasy" were forced to leave with just the clothes on their backs.
Meantime, federal investigators are considering what role language barriers among crew members might have played in their response to the fire.
An arbitrator is hearing arguments from General Motors today that the strikes at two plants are ILLEGAL.
The company says the United Auto Workers are violating their contract by striking over national issues.
But striking U-A-W workers say they're picketing over LOCAL matters.
If G-M wins its grievance, it'll likely seek an order sending workers back to the plants.
The company might ALSO seek damages from the union, since it's lost more than one-point-two BILLION dollars during t
Plans to widen Interstate 81 from Wythe County to Natural Bridge are right on track.
V-DOT held its second meeting this week to give residents an opportunity to view the plans and voice their opinion.
The idea is to make the road safer and less congested for traffic through the year two- thousand twenty.
V-DOT's resident engineer says depending on the area some places need one additional lane while others are in need of more.
[IN Q=It varies]
((DAN BRUGH/VDOT RESIDENT ENGINEER:IT VARIES ACCORDING TO THE TRAFFIC IN AN AREA, THROUGHOUT PULASKI COUNTY AND HALF OF MONTGOMERY, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT ADDING ONE ADDITIONAL LANE IN EACH DIRECTION FROM CHRISTIANSBURG BACK INTO ROANOKE AND INTO BOTETOURT THE NEED IS THERE FOR MORE THAN ONE LANE IN EACH DIRECTION. ))
[SUPER=01-Dan Brugh/VDOT Resident Engineer; :00]
[OUT Q=each direction.]
Another meeting is scheduled today in Roanoke from four until 7-pm.
A comment session is also scheduled for Thursday in Natural Bridge.
[TAPE#=NET-G; from 598-24 on 5-19-98 17:10]
A local magician has a few tricks up his sleeve for people in the business.
Lynchburg magician Kevin Spencer is outraged by television shows that feature magicians revealing their secrets.
That's why Spencer is suing Fox T-V and fellow magician Lennie Montano for ten million dollars.
The battle started when Montano-- better known as the "Masked Magician"-- appeared on a show broadcast by Fox.
Spencer says the show, which exposes how illusions work, goes against the ethics of all magicians.
Spencer is not alone in his frustration -- this is the third lawsuit to be filed against Fox by a magician.
[TAPE#=98-45 TC 1:01:46]
Teenagers are always looking for something to do for fun.
In Danville, young adults spending their time cruising Riverside Drive is a common sight.
But a young Southside Christian group wants another alternative.
They're soliciting the help of Jammin' Java, a Maryland- based ministry that runs non-profit coffee houses.
[IN Q=Jammin' Java is run]
((BECKY POWELL/FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: JAMMIN JAVA IS RUN BY CHRISTIANS BUT ITS NOT A BEAT YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH A BIBLE SORT OF ATMOSPHERE.))
[OUT Q=sort of atmosphere.]
[IN Q=The biggest thing is]
((JOEL WHITE/COLLEGE PARK BAPTIST CHURCH: THE BIGGEST THING IS TO BE ABLE TO GO DOWN AND SIT SOMEWHERE AND JUST BE ABLE TO TALK AND LISTEN TO GOOD MUSIC.))
[OUT Q=to good music.]
Supporters say Jammin' Java will offer live music and late- night fellowship.
There's no timeline for bringing Jammin' Java to Danville.
The young Christians spear-heading the project say they're still looking for a place to put it.
They must also raise local donations for monthly operational costs.
Do the Chicago Bulls have a new head coach?
A New Orleans television station is reporting that Iowa State coach Tim Floyd will resign from his collegiate post today to accept the Bulls top job.
Floyd reportedly met with his college players this morning to tell them of his decision.
W-W-L TV says Floyd could join the Bulls within days.
The head post became available after Phil Jackson resigned earlier this summer. Jackson coached the Bulls to six N-B-A titles.
[TAPE#=98-43 TC 1:23:07]
In case you hadn't noticed... It's time for Christmas.
Or at least that was the case at Salem Memorial Stadium last night...
where it was "Christmas in July".
The evening was complete with caroling, a Christmas tree and some of Santa's helpers.
The Avalanche used the promotion opportunity to help the U-S Marines effort to collect toys for children.
[IN Q=THEIR TOYS FOR]
((TRACY BESKID/COMMUNITY RELATIONS DIRECTOR; THEIR TOYS FOR TOTS PROGRAM RUNS THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE YEAR, WHICH IS SOMETHING I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT AND A LOT OF PEOPLE PROBABLY DIDN'T EITHER. SO IT'S GREAT THEY WERE VERY ENTHUSIASTIC AND READY TO HELP US OUT WITH THE PROMOTION AS WELL. WE THOUGHT IT WAS A NATURAL TIE IN.))
[SUPER=01-Tracy Beskid/Community Relations Director;]
[OUT Q=NATURAL TIE IN.]
Another looking to beat the heat was Avalanche mascot Mugsy.
When outdoor temperatures rise, the interior of Mugsy's costume climbs above 120 degrees.
Mugsy beats the heat, not with air conditioning, but by drinking lots of water and eating potassium rich foods.
Still, the Mascot loses about seven pounds a day.