The Thanksgiving weekend exodus has begun.
Virginia transportation officials tell us what roads to stay clear of.
And some Republicans are moving closer to a NO vote on impeaching the president.
News 7 at noon is next.
Some 34 million Americans are leaving home this weekend.
They'll be taking to the roads, rails and skies to visit friends and relatives.
Many airports around the nation are expecting record numbers of passengers today.
Traffic is already heavy and is expected to be slow moving on some parts of Virginia's interstates-- especially in construction areas.
[Double Boxes=Melanie and Laura/Carport]
We're joined now by Laura Bullock of V-Dot.
Laura, what can drivers expect on the highways today?
[Live=Laura Bullock Full/Carport]
[Double Boxes=Melanie and Laura/Carport]
Are some construction areas being opened up for the weekend?
Of course, all those drivers have to return sometime. Is traffic on Sunday expected to be worse than today?
What's your best advice for travelers?
The former dictator of Chile is a step closer to standing trial on charges of murder, torture and genocide.
Britain's highest court today ruled that General Augusto Pinochet (pee-noh-CHET') has no immunity from arrest.
So Pinochet will remain under police guard in London, while Spain seeks to extradite him.
(( JEREMY CORBYN/LABOR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: IT'S A BRILLIANT DAY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE OF CHILE WHO SUFFERED SO MUCH FOR SO LONG. AND AT LAST A BIT OF JUSTICE HAS BEEN DONE. THIS IS A GREAT DAY. ))
[SUPER=01-Jeremy Corbyn/Labor Member of Parliament;]
[OUT Q=is a great day.]
A Chilean government report says about three-thousand people were murdered or disappeared during Pinochet's rule between 1973 and 1990.
He will now have to appear in court next week.
His best hope is that Britain's Home Secretary will block the Spanish extradition proceedings.
The House Judiciary Committe will have to wait a couple more days before it gets the answers to a long list of questions about the Monica Lewinsky case.
The panel is waiting for 81 answers.
The White House says the panel can expect them on Friday.
Meantime, it seems a number of Republicans aren't ready to get rid of President Clinton.
The Washington Post reports a G-0-P survey finds at least 20 of the 228 House Republicans may not vote for impeachment
Impeachment would require 218 votes.
Meantime, the Vice President is off the hook after Attorney General Reno decided against an independent counsel to investigate his 19-96 fundraising activities.
But now Republicans are closely watching Reno's next move.
She must decide within two weeks whether independent counsels are needed to conduct fund-raising investigations of President Clinton and his former chief of staff Harold Ickes (IH'-keez).
Republicans on Capitol Hill are criticizing Reno's latest decision.
((SEN. ORRIN HATCH/R-UT: WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE IS THE PUBLIC'S
CONFIDENCE IN THE RULE OF LAW THAT'S FURTHER ERODED...AND IT'S DOUBTFUL
WHETHER THERE WILL BE FULL ACCOUNTING OF RECKLESS CAMPAIGNING BY CLINTON AND OTHER OFFICIALS. ))
[SUPER=01-Sen. Orrin Hatch/(R) Utah;]
[OUT Q=AND OTHER OFFICIALS.]
Hatch says if she doesn't order independent counsels in the next two instances, he'll do everything in his power to take the matter out of her hands.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead on News-7 at Noon-- The U-N Security Council stands behind its weapons inpectors-- sort of.
And more acres continue to burn in Augusta County.
Patrick is there any help from Mother Nature in sight?
[music up full]
More weapons inspectors will be heading to Iraq, as U-N teams look to carry out searches that have proved confrontational in the past.
Meantime, the inspectors have gained support from the U-N Security Council in the dispute over Iraqi documents.
But the council dodged the issue of whether the latest problem constitutes a violation of Iraq's promise to cooperate.
Mark Phillips reports.
[SUPER=01-Mark Phillips/Reporting; :00]
[SUPER=03-Baghdad, Iraq/This Morning; :13]
[SUPER=01-Khalid ad-Deuleimi/Newspaper Editor; :49]
[OUT Q=CBSN, Baghdad.]
(Phillips O/C open)
The Iraqis, who are more used to being condemned by the UN, responded to the Security council's inaction by calling it positive and encouraging.
It certainly isn't likely to make the Iraqis change their minds and
release the contested documents.
(Super: Baghdad, Iraq/This Morning)
(UN inspectors head out for work)
Meanwhile, UN inspectors headed out again today. Since they've returned they've been largely going to sites where they've installed monitoring equipment to see if it's still operating. The next flash point may come when they launch spot inspections on sensitive sites. But it appears they intend to test Iraq's promise of cooperation incrementally.
(street scenes/newspapers/file of Sadam Hussein)
The Iraqi stance is being vindicated in the local press where the view
is that the US and the UN are really out to prolong, not resolve, the
weapons issue. Anyway, they feel, the west has moved on to another
priority, getting rid of Sadam, which has only increased his and his
supporters' resolve to resist.
Khalid ad-Deuleimi -- Newspaper Editor:'It's pride (m) Pride? (KD) yes pride for us it is an insult for us for
the Americans or British to say, well we are going to install a regime
The documents issue is being described as a 'problem, not a growing
crisis. One of several problems to be resolved -- or not -- over the
next few weeks during which Iraq's real intentions will become evident.
MP, CBSN, Baghdad.))
A forest fire continues to rage in Augusta County.
The fire has already charred 700 acres near the small town of Deerfield.
A small army of firefighters are trying to contain the blaze.
[IN Q=we've tried to ]
((STEVE PARSONS/U.S. FOREST SERVICE; WE'VE TRIED SEVERAL TIMES TO CONTROL THE FIRE AND THAT WAS UNSUCCESSFUL.. WINDS, WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE DRYNESS OF THE AREA HAVE ALL CONTRIBUTED TO THESE UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORTS.))
((GARLAND NEWCOMB/HUNTER; WE'VE ACTUALLY CAMPED RIGHT HERE WHERE THE FIRE IS GOING NOW, SI IT'S UNREAL... I UNDERSTAND IT BURNED HUNDREDS OF ACRES))
[SUPER=01-Steve Parsons/U. S. Forest Service;]
[SUPER=01-Garland Newcomb/Hunter; :11]
[OUT Q=hundreds of acres]
The firefight is now a 24-hour operation.
There's even a meteorologist on hand-- developing weather forecasts to help crews come up with a strategy to stop the flames.
Historians are certain half a million dollars in the Confederate Treasury was shipped to Danville at the end of the war.
What's LESS-than- certain is: whatever happened to it after that.
There's a new theory that some of the Confederate Treasury funds were diverted to a WEST-bound train headed for Bedford County.
[IN Q=Now the whole]
((NOW THE WHOLE IDEA OF PUTTING THIS STUFF AWAY FROM DANVILLE, AWAY FROM RICHMOND WAS WE WANT IT IN A SAFE PLACE, SO THE YANKEES WON'T GET IT. BUT WE'LL GET IT, WHEN THE TIDE TURNS WE'LL COME BACK AND RETRIEVE IT, EXCEPT THEY LOST THE WAR.))
[OUT Q=lost the war.]
Viemeister's (VEE-mice-stir's) revised "History of a Mystery" outlines an elaborate scenario in which the Paymaster of the Confederacy could have stashed away some of the money.
He theorizes that 20 years later the same Confederate officer fashioned a set of complex codes published in the "Beale Papers."
[TAKE FULL SCREEN TREASURE TRAILS]
It's part of a complicated cover story designed to account for the missing Confederate gold... tonight on "Treasure Trails," a NEWS 7 exclusive report.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
The hours to tomorrow's big parades are ticking away.
But did you every wonder what it takes to drive one of those giant floats?
We'll go to float driving school next on News-7 at noon.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Thanksgiving parades offer good floats, good music and good dancing.
But one thing they need is good driving.
Drew Levinson explains.
[SUPER=03-Detroit, MI; :19]
[SUPER=01-Ralph Skinner/Driving Instructor; :39]
[SUPER=01-Drew Levinson/Reporting; 1:21]
[OUT Q=CBS News, Detroit]
HAVE YOU EVER REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT GOES INTO MAKING A
THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE?
OBVIOUSLY THE BANDS TUNE UP, THE BALOON HANDLERS HUDDLE - THERE'S
EVEN A COLLEGE FOR CLOWNS.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE GIANT FLOATS-HOW DO PEOPLE LEARN TO NAVIGATE
NATSOUND KEEP IT COMING, KEEP IT COMING."
WELCOME TO ONE OF AMERICA'S STRANGEST DRIVING SCHOOLS- CALL IT FLOAT DRIVING 101. IN A SECLUDED BACK LOT NEAR DOWNTOWN DETROIT-DRIVERS ARE GETTING READY FOR ONE THIS COUNTRY'S LARGEST THANKSGIVING DAY PARADES. IT'S THE PLACE TO LEARN THE INS AND OUTS OF PILOTING THESE COLORFUL
(SOT RALPH SKINNER/DRIVING INSTRUCTOR)
"There's a camera on the front of the vehicle, inside there's a
monitor on the dashboard, so you'll be looking at that..the driver looks
at the monitor."
(SOT FROM INSIDE )
"I'll be giving you hand signals directions, forward, stop, right
SOME OF THESE FLOATS ARE AS BIG AS A BUS - BUT MADE OF CHICKEN WIRE AND PAPER MACHSE.
(STANDUP DREW LEVINSON/CBS NEWS)
"You would think trying to drive one of these floating
monstrosities at only four miles an hour would be easy but it's not, in fact it's very difficult."
"Some people just don't realize you've got telephone poles on
"You have curbs, parked cars, people.barricades."
TO QUOTE A CLICHI' -DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME-AS A MATTER OF FACT
DON'T TRY IT BEFORE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AND MILLIONS MORE ON TV BEFORE PASSING THIS HIGHLY REQUIRED COURSE WITH FLYING OR, UH, FLOATING COLORS.
DREW LEVINSON, CBS NEWS, DETROIT.))
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was DOWN 26 points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead in sports, in-state rivals U-V-A and Tech continue to prepare for their 80th meeting.
Plus, turkey day will be brighter for hundreds of needy people, thanks to the folks at the Roundhouse.
That's coming up, when News 7 at Noon continues.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
[TAPE#=SP-24 tc 1:23:19]
Its Tee- minus three days until the Hokies and Cavs meet on the gridiron for the 80th time.
And as Mike Stevens reports, a noisy crowd could be dangerous for a vocally- challenged Al Clark.
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=10-Al Clark/Virginia Tech Quarterback/Saturday; :16]
[SUPER=01-Keion Carpenter/5 Interceptions This Season; :48]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Virginia Tech Head Coach; 1:06]
[OUT Q=...News 7 Sports]
[TAPE#=SP-15 15239tc ]
For the ninth straight year, the game marks the end of the regular season for both squads.
But that could be in jeopardy next year, as both fans and the teams continue to lodge complaints about playing during a holiday weekend.
Television coverage could be the deciding factor.
[IN Q="we want...]
[SUPER=01-Jim Weaver/Virginia Tech Athletic Director;:00]
[OUT Q=...a disservice."]
[TAPE#=SP-12 tc 1:57:27]
[GRAPHIC=New York Giants]
Former Heritage standout and New York defensive tackle Keith Hamilton is in trouble with the law.
[SUPER=03-Raljon, MD/November 26, 1997;]
Hamilton is facing charges of possession of marijuana and driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
Police say the 27-year-old lineman was driving more than 70 miles per hour in a 45 zone early Monday morning.
Hamilton is scheduled to appear in a New Jersey court December 15.
Giants officials say any disciplinary action is in the hands of the commissioner, and since this is Hamilton's first drug offense, he won't be suspended if he's found guilty.
[TAPE#=SP-27 tc 32:00]
Another step back in the labor negotiations between NBA players and owners- and this time it's wiped out some Christmas cheer.
It has to do with a "back-up tax" the two sides agreed on last week.
NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik says the central part of the deal is no longer on the table- which means no progress has been made since last Friday.
Yesterday, the league announced the lockout had wiped out the two games scheduled for Christmas Day.
[TAPE#=SP-14 tc 1:59:28]
The holiday spirit was alive and well at the Roanoke Civic Center on Saturday.
Fans donated turkeys and canned food as they entered the RoundHouse.
In return, the Express handed out free tickets for an upcoming game.
The 650 pounds of food collected is on its way to the Roanoke Rescue Mission.
The Express return home tomorrow night for a game with the Huntington Blizzard.
A little unwanted monkey business in the streets of Taipei, Taiwan.
The Fire Department had to evacuate part of the town when an organgutan escaped from the local zoo.
Officials feared A-Yung might become violent as he headed into a residential area.
But for the most part he only knocked down some motorcyles and rattled a few gates.
But his few moments of freedom ended when zoo keepers shot him with a tranquilizer gun and took him home.