Mexico and Honduras brace for the powerful winds of Hurricane Mitch.
And a reward is offered for information about a missing Virginia Tech student.
News 7 at noon is next.
It's perhaps the worst hurricane to hit Central America in a decade.
The region is already experiencing the pounding rain and strong waves associated with Hurricane Mitch.
In Mexico, officials have issued a hurricane warning for the Yucatan Peninsula-- and the tourist town of Cancun is boarding up.
The storm is now some 90 miles from Honduras.
The top winds of Mitch are down slightly.
But at 165 miles an hour, it's still a very dangerous storm capable of catostrophic damage.
NASA Forecasters say Hurricane Mitch is far enough away that it won't be a factor in Thursday's historic shuttle launch.
They now say there's a 70 percent chance for favorable weather.
As the countdown continues John Glenn and his crewmates today will go over flight plans and equipment and have brief medical exams.
The mission is seen as a personal achievement for the Ohio Senator, but is viewed with some skepticism by the experts.
Lee Cowan reports from the Kennedy Space Center.
[SUPER=03-Kennedy Space Center, FL; :00]
[SUPER=01-John Glenn/Astronaut; :29]
[SUPER=04-NASA Video; :42]
[SUPER=01-Bill Harwood/CBS News Consultant; 1:02]
[SUPER=01-Lee Cowan/Reporting; 1:32]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS, AT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER.]
"We're right on schedule."
DISCOVERY'S COUNTDOWN CLOCK IS FINALLY TICKING IT'S WAY DOWN
FOR JOHN GLENN THAT CLOCK HAS BEEN TICKING FOR 36 YEARS.
(( NAT GLENN LAUNCH, 1962 ))
EVER SINCE HIS HISTORIC LAUNCH IN 1962, BECOMING THE FIRST
AMERICAN TO EVER ORBIT THE EARTH, GLENN HAS WANTED TO RETURN.
(( NAT NASA PITCH 4:57:39 ))
NOW AT AGE 77 - HE'S GETTING HIS WISH.
(( SUPER: SEN. JOHN GLENN//SHUTTLE ASTRONAUT )) (( SOT ))
ONCE AGAIN, HE'LL BE A PIONEER - ONE OF THE FIRST IN SPACE IS
NOW THE OLDEST TO GO INTO SPACE, AND THAT'S THE POINT.
(SUPER: NASA VIDEO)
(( NAT NASA 5:08:52 ))
DURING HIS 9 DAY MISSION, HE WILL BE PERFORMING A BATTERY OF
TESTS TO STUDY THE EFFECTS OF AGING.
EVERYTHING FROM BONE LOSS TO SLEEP DISTURBANCE. IT WAS HIS
IDEA - HIS TICKET BACK TO SPACE.
A TICKET MANY BEGRUDGE NASA FOR GIVING OUT TOO FAST FOR WHAT
SOME SAY IS A RELATIVELY SMALL RETURN.
(( BILL HARWOOD//CBS NEWS CONSULTANT ))
"I'd say it's a small step for gerontology and a giant leap for NASA
(( SUPER: JUNE 1, SEN. JOHN GLENN//SHUTTLE ASTRONAUT ))
"You don't send people into space just because they might like to go.
It's Not a place you go for joyrides. "
(( NAT WATER SPLASH))
AND HE SHOULD KNOW. TRAINING ISN'T EXACTELY FOR THE FAINT OF
HEART - AND HARDLY FOR SOMEONE THE SAME AGE AS THE POPE.
A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH IS HARD TO COME BY FROM NASA - GLENN GOT
IT AND WILL SOON BE ON HIS WAY.
(( LEE COWAN//CBS NEWS ))
"Something harder to come by is a clean bill of health from Mother
Nature. Forecasters say there's about a 40 percent chance weather could
delay Thursday's launch. But waiting is something John Glenn is getting
pretty used to. Lee Cowan, CBS News, Kennedy Space Center."))
Family members of a missing Virginia Tech student are now offering a reward for information leading to his whereabouts.
Robert Kovack was last seen in Blacksburg last month preparing to leave for a college football game in West Virginia.
[SUPER=03-Fayette Co., WV/September 30;]
His car was located a few days later near the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County, West Virginia.
Police as well as friends and family repeatedly searched the area looking for anything that might explain his disappearance.
West Virginia State police say the family is NOT releasing the amount of the money being offered for information.
The American Civil Liberties Union wants to get involved in the case of Derek Poindexter.
Virginia A-C-L-U director Kent Willis says, if the family consents, his organization will try to determine if Poindexter died because of police brutality.
Meanwhile, two Roanoke City police officers are on administrative leave after the death of a man in police custody over the weekend.
Officials say the leave is department policy.
Derek Poindexter was arrested Friday night for possession of crack cocaine.
An officer thought Poindexter was hiding more crack in his mouth, so he sprayed Poindexter with pepper spray.
Poindexter then collapsed and died.
[GRAPHIC=Salem City Seal]
The City of Salem improved it's financial picture last night.
City council voted four to one to sell a section of the Elizabeth Campus to a developer who will build an assisted living center.
The sale will bring the city more than 400 thousand dollars.
But council also earned the wrath of the site's neighbors who fear this is just the beginning.
[SOT 17:05:23-tape 2]
[IN Q=we do not]
((CYNTHIA MUNLEY/NEIGHBOR; WE DO NOT WANT AN INDUSTRIAL PARK BETWEEN LYNCHBURG TURNPIKE AND THE BALL FIELD AND CIVIC CENTER. WE DO NOT WANT A CHUNK OF FOUR POINT EIGHT ACRES CUT OUT OF THE ELIZABETH CAMPUS FOR AN ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY. WE DO NOT EVEN WANT BRICK BUILDINGS THERE. WE DO NOT WANT TO LOOK AT A PARKING LOT THERE AND WE DO NOT WANT THE TRAFFIC THAT A FACILITY WOULD GENERATE.))
[OUT Q=would generate]
Council members say development is a necessity, because the city needs money and has little land.
Suggested uses for the rest of the Elizabeth Campus include a water tower, a light, high tech industry, or office space.
Local homebuilders say Roanoke County's proposed comprehensive plan could have serious consequences for the county's future.
[IN Q=The average citizen]
((STEVE STRAUSS/ROANOKE REGIONAL HOMEBUILDERS: THE AVERAGE CITIZEN SHOULD BE CONCERNED BECAUSE THIS IS GUIDING AND DIRECTING WHERE WE WILL GO AS A COUNTY FOR THE NEXT TEN TO FIFTEEN YEARS.))
[SUPER=01-Steve Strauss/Roanoke Regional Homebuilders]
[OUT Q=next ten to fifteen years.]
The Roanoke Regional Homebuilders Association is unhappy with the proposed comprehensive plan, a document that will guide development in the County.
The builders say the plan does not do enough to promote economic development.
But county officials say the plan is the product of four years of hard work.
[IN Q=I feel it provides]
((TIM GUBALA/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR: I FEEL IT PROVIDES THE ADEQUATE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT BASE FOR ROANOKE COUNTY TO DEVELOP MORE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL SITES IN THE FUTURE.))
[SUPER=01-Tim Gubala/Economic Development Director;]
[OUT Q=in the future.]
The supervisors will consider the new comprehensive plan at a public hearing tonight.
The woman who has been running the Roanoke Rescue Mission for fifty years is recovering from a serious heart attack.
Lois Bettis Johnson was at the mission on Thursday night when she collapsed in the hall.
A graduate of the recovery program gave her CPR and called the rescue squad.
She was taken to Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital.
Her daughter, Joy Sylvester Johnson, says she made an almost miraculous recovery.
By Sunday, she was saying she was ready to come home.
But she's due to be transferred to Roanoke Memorial Hospital tomorrow for more tests.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Still no arrests in the murder of a New-York doctor who performed abortions.
More on that a few minutes.
And Yugoslav forces are rushing to meet the NATO deadline to be out of Kosovo.
That story is next when News-7 at Noon continues.
[music up full]
With Serb forces facing a 2 o'clock deadline, the White House says the news from Kosovo is very positive.
The adminstration says more than 90 percent of Serb units have now either withdrawn entirely from the embattled province or returned to their barracks.
NATO is threatening airstrikes if Serb attacks continue on ethnic Albanians.
But NATO fighter planes are still in place at the Aviano Air Base in Italy as NATO determines if the pull-out is permanent.
Still no arrest in connection with the murder of the New York abortion doctor killed by a sniper's bullet.
Barnett Slepian was buried yesterday near Buffalo.
Separate rewards are being offered in the U-S and Canada for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his assailant.
The attack serves as a grisly reminder of the January attack at an Alabama clinic that killed a police officer and seriously injured a nurse.
((EMILY LYONS/CLINIC BOMBING SURVIVOR
"I SAID LONG AGO WHEN I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL STILL THAT I
WAS GOING TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING TO
SOMEBODY ELSE. BECAUSE NOBODY IN THIS COUNTRY CAN IMAGINE WHAT THIS
YEAR HAS BEEN LIKE -- PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY FOR MYSELF AND MY FAMILY. ))
[SUPER=01-Emily Lyons/Clinic Bombing Survivor;]
[OUT Q=and my family.]
Lyons's eyes were badly damaged in the attack.
Police believe the bomber was Eric Rudolph, one of the F-B-I's most Wanted.
Slepian's murder is sparking debate about abortion and fear among abortion providors.
Both sides condemn his killing, but Operation Rescue director Flip Benham says people also should NOT be surprised by it.
Benham was arrested for trespassing during an anti-abortion rally in Lynchburg last year.
He and his supporters say that as long as the legal system prosecutes people for speaking out.. radical vigilantes are willing to step in.
[IN Q=If that encourages]
((REV. RICHARD KNODEL/BENHAM SUPPORTER: IF THAT ENCOURAGES THE CRAZIES THEN IT'S JUST PART OF THE PROBLEM. BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE CAN POSSIBLY STOP PREACHING WHAT IS TRUE AGAINST THE DARKNESS OF OUR LAND, BECAUSE THAT WILL ONLY ENCOURAGE MORE OF THIS KIND OF THING.))
[SUPER=01-Rev. Richard Knodel/Benham Supporter; :00]
[OUT Q=kind of thing.]
Meanwhile, local Planned Parenthood offices have warned their doctors and stepped up security in light of Slepian's murder.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
And you thought your Halloween costume was scary--
Look what Abingdon's Barder Theater has cooked up for its production of Frankenstein-- Coming up on News-7 at Noon.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Picasso paintings worth millions of dollar go on the auction block tonight in Paris.
They belonged to Dora Maar, his model and girlfriend from 1936-1945.
She died last year.
During their time together Pablo Picasso painted Maar over and again.
One of Picasso most famous paintings of Dora Maar is "La Femme Qui Pleure" (The Crying Woman) which auctioneers say might fetch three and a half million dollars.
If you're thinking about sticking some bolts to your neck and trick or treating as the more conventional Frankenstein, you may want to rethink your costume after you see this story.
Rob Pratt of affiliate W-J-H-L introduces us to the Barder Theater's interpretation of Frankenstein.
[IN Q=It's a new]
[SUPER=01-Robb Pratt/Reporting; :20]
[SUPER=01-Dean Gates/Creature Creator; 1:20]
[OUT Q=of his own]
That was Robb Pratt of W-J-H-L reporting.
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was DOWN 20-points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead in sports, Monday Night Football saw
the Pittsburgh Steelers swipe the ball from Kansas City and swoop into first place in the A-F-C Central. We'll have the highlights coming up, when News 7 at Noon continues.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart re-emerged as slash last night, leading Pittsburgh over the Kansas City Chiefs 20 to 13.
[SUPER=03-Kansas City, MO/ABC;]
Kordell Stewart hands off to Hines Ward, who throws it back to Kordell. The Steelers with not one- but two slashes on the team.
Now watch this. Darren Perry picks off Elvis Grbac's pass. He makes the nice return, but at the end
[super=30-Pittsburgh/20/Kansas City/13 ;]
Andre Rieson strips the ball and Grbac recovers.
But the Steelers get the win 20 to 13.
Ligament damage to the left knee has all but ended the college career of All-American Cavalier Anthony Poindexter.
The defensive star will probably undergo surgery this week.
Steve Mason reports.
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Anthony Poindexter/Out for Season; :13]
[SUPER=01-George Welsh/UVa Coach; 1:05]
[super=01-Wale Elegbe/Poindexter's Likely Replacement; 1:42]
[SUPER=01-Adrian Burnim/UVa Safety; 1:50]
[OUT Q=...NEWS 7 SPORTS."]
[GRAPHIC=AP TOP 10]
The new high school football polls are out, and local teams are again in the spotlight.
Amherst County jumps from the eighth spot to number six in Group Three-A without even playing this week. The Lancers host GW Danville this Friday.
Salem remains number one in the Group Two-A poll for another week.
The Spartans are joined by the Martinsville Bulldogs in second place. The Heritage Pioneers are 7th.
Powell Valley stays on top in Group-A while Grayson County comes in at number nine.
The girl's basketball polls were also released yesterday.
P-H, Glade Spring, Shawsville and Northwood continue to hold spots in the Group A poll. The Shawnees are all the way up to number four this week.
The Group Two-A poll is filled with four area teams. Northside, Salem and Bassett are all chasing unbeaten Byrd at(------------)