A fast moving blaze kills more than two dozen at an orphanage in the Philippines.
And another record execution is set for tonight in Jarratt.
News 7 at noon is next.
The Mideast peace process has come to another halt.
Israeli Cabinet ministers today suspended the planned west bank troop withdrawal following mob violence by Palestinians.
The Israelis accuse Yasser Arafat of inciting the violence by talking about statehood and political prisoners.
((BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: THEY MUST SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF TRUTH AND PEACE TO THEIR PEOPLE AND NOT THE LANGUAGE OF WAR AND CONFLICT AND INCITEMENT. ))
[SUPER=01-Benjamin Netanyahu/Israeli Prime Minister;]
[OUT Q=CONFLICT AND INCITEMENT.]
[SUPER=03-Gaza City, Gaza;]
This latest impasse comes just ten days before President Clinton was to arrive in the region to oversee the next phase of the peace accord.
But the Clinton administration says the presidential trip will go ahead despite the latest crisis.
The crew of the shuttle Endeavor will have to wait at least one more day before it can deliver the first U-S component of the international space station.
[SUPER=03-Kennedy Space Center, FL; ]
NASA had to scrub today's launch after a cockpit alarm went off.
Officials say it turned out to be temporary drop in hydraulic pressure, but by the time engineers figured that out, it was too late to launch.
(( RALPH ROE/NASA OFFICIAL AS WE TRIED TO PICK UP...MISSED OPPORTUNITY TO GO TODAY. ))
[OUT Q=TO GO TODAY. ]
The shuttle is carrying into orbit the second component of the space station.
A Russian built piece is already in space.
There's just a 40-percent chance for good weather for tomorrow's rescheduled blast-off.
[GRAPHIC=VA Death Penalty]
Virginia is prepared to carry out its thirteenth execution of 1998.
Kevin Cardwell is scheduled to be executed tonight.
In 19-91 he killed a teenage drug courier in suburban Richmond.
The U-S Supreme Court rejected Cardwell's appeal about an hour ago.
This year's total is the most sine 1909 when 17 people were executed.
Police officers in the Roanoke Valley are about to launch a new program designed to get the attention of habitual offenders... those motorists with REALLY bad driving records.
Each of the Valley's local chiefs of police, local sheriffs, prosecutors and STATE police met at the city courthouse this morning to announce the start of the program.
[IN Q=The grant will]
((THIS GRANT WILL ALLOW THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO TARGET THIS GROUP AS OPPOSED TO JUST A PART OF THEIR ROUTINE DUTIES.))
[SUPER=01-Donald Caldwell/Roanoke Commonwealth's Atty.]
[OUT Q=routine duties.]
The 30-thousand dollar grant will pay overtime to state and local police officers to focus exclusively on habitual offenders.
Former Governor George Allen appears ready to run for the U-S Senate.
[VO-NAT cut from 97-89]
Allen supporters tell the Washington Post that he'll make an announcement Saturday at a Republican gathering in Chantilly.
Allen is expected to say he's forming a committee to prepare for a campaign to challenge Chuck Robb in the 2000 election.
The Post reports that he's already told Governor Gilmore and Republican Congressman Tom Bliley of Richmond about his plan.
The man Allen hopes to join in the Senate Chamber was elected Chairman of the Armed Services Committee yesterday.
A former Marine and Secretary of the Navy, John Warner has been a member of the Committee for two decades.
He previously served as the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee from 1987 to 1993.
Senator Warner will be the first Virginian elected to head one of the four major United States Senate Committees in over forty years.
A federal agency has finished its investigation into a blaze that injured two Roanoke firefighters.
[VO-NAT Cut from 98-43]
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health sent a team to look into the accident that left firefighter Bobby Earley with severe back injuries after a wall collapsed.
Lieutenant Terry King was also injured, but didn't need medical treatment.
The agency says a separate safety officer should have been assigned to the scene, and adds all firefighters should receive more training about the dangers of structural collapse.
Earley is still recovering from his injuries, but should be back on duty soon.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Part of a well-known Bedford County road-side sight is missing.
That story is still ahead on News-7 at Noon.
The recent drought has more than firefighters on alert-- Virginia National Guard helicopters are on standby to battle fires.
[music up full]
[GRAPHIC=Smith Mt. Lake]
A-E-P wants to reduce the flow through the dam at Smith Mountain Lake.
Right now the lake is slowly draining because of the drought.
Just 250 cubic feet of water is entering the lake every second, but the utility's federal permit requires the release of 650 cubic feet of water per second.
That's to protect industries and people downstream.
The company wants an emergency variance to release 450 cubic feet per second.
Talks with federal and state officials and environmentalists are under way.
The drought has also forced a commwealth-wide state of emergency.
Today, Virginia Army National Guard Blackhawk crews are on standby.
That means they can be at a forest fire anywhere in Virginia in two hours.
Governor Jim Gilmore ordered the state of emergency last night due to extreme fire danger.
[IN Q=What we'll]
((MAJ. PAUL SMITH/VIRGINIA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: WHAT WE'LL BE USING TODAY IS A 650.. OR AS A PINPOINT BOMBARDMENT.))
[SUPER=01-Maj. Paul Smith/Virginia Army National Guard;]
[OUT Q=pinpoint bombardment.]
[SUPER=03-Sullivan Co., TN;]
Forest fires in Tennessee and Kentucky, but close to Virginia's borders, make extreme drought conditions dangerous throughout Virginia.
The search is on for a missing rhinoceros in Bedford County.
It was a sculpture of a baby rhino, next to its mother on Route 460 near Thaxton.
People from a nearby church noticed it was missing and called the cops.
It was anchored by some steel rods in cement, so it probably took a gang of thieves to make off with it.
Kroger says it wants to focus it's attention on it's retail stores, so it's selling it's Roanoke County distribution center.
The center will still serve more than a hundred Kroger stores, but workers will have a new boss.
New Jersey based CSI Retail Services will own the facility, and Iowa-based Ruan (roo-ANN) Transportation Services will manage the trucks.
Eric Earnhart tells us how workers are reacting to the news.
[IN Q=The distribution center.]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jimmy Campbell/Kroger Employee; :10]
[SUPER=01-Tim Thomas/Kroger Employee; :29]
[SUPER=01-Brian Calloway/Kroger Employee; :38]
[SUPER=01-Scott Perkins/Kroger Employee; :54]
[OUT Q=EE, News 7]
((The distribution center's future owners met with employees before the sale was announced publically...
Jimmy Campbell didn't attend, and is taking the sale in stride.
[IN Q=aint nothing]
((JIMMY CAMPBELL/KROGER EMPLOYEE; AIN'T NOTHING CAN DO ABOUT THAT... BUSINESS BUSINESS BUSINESS.
DO YOU THINK YOUR JOB'S IN JEOPARDY?
I DON'T KNOW ITS HARD TO SAY.))
[OUT Q=hard to say]
Hard to say because because employees don't know what KIND of jobs they'll have when the transition is complete.
[SOT 06:54:38 ]
[IN Q=they told us]
(( TIM THOMAS/KROGER EMPLOYEE; THEY TOLD US THEY WANT TO KEEP EVERYBODY BUT WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE GOING TO BE MAKING, OUR WAGES, OUR BENIFITS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT))
[OUT Q=anything like that]
[IN Q=right now they]
(( BRIAN CALLOWAY/KROGER EMPLOYEE; RIGHT NOW THEY AINT GOING TO TELL YOU TOO MUCH, I GUESS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK ALONG WITH THEM, LIKE HE SAID, BUSINESS IS BUSINESS, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO WORK ALONG WITH THEM AND KEEP OUR JOBS AND EVERYTHING.))
[OUT Q=and everything]
Most of the workers are members of the Teamsters union, and are hoping that helps them keep the salaries and benifits they have.
[IN Q=the teamsters]
(( SCOTT PERKINS/KROGER EMPLOYEE; THE TEAMSTERS ARE STRONG, AND THEY JUST HAVE TO STAY STRONG TO KEEP IT, THAT'S ALL I REALLY KNOW.))
[OUT Q=I really know]
Workers say the future owners and managers say they'll send information about salaries and benifits to the union in the next couple of weeks, then they'll have a union meeting we'll see how things work out.
In Roanoke County, Eric Earnhart, News 7))
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Help is coming to smog-ridden Mexico city-- in the form of Electric buses.
That's just one of the stories still ahead on News-7 at Noon.
And the next time you order a cheesy western or a bowl with at the Texas-Tavern, you may have to wash it down with something other than a six ounce Coke.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
[GRAPHIC=Coke-End of an Era]
After more than a hundred years, the six-ounce glass coke bottle is increasingly hard to find.
Joe Dashiell visits the Texas Tavern, where a six and a half ounce serving of "The Real Thing" will soon be a thing of the past.
[IN Q=Since 1930]
[SUPER=01-Matt Bullington/Texas Tavern; :30]
[SUPER=01-David Hankins/Grand Home Furnishings; :50]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Roanoke]
((Since 1930, the Texas Tavern has served thousands of customers ten at a time.
And the owners estimate they've popped the tops on more than three and half million bottles of Coca Cola.
[IN Q=It's big]
((IT'S BIG. IT'S BEEN HERE EVER SINCE I CAN REMEMBER.))
((IT'S LIKE A PART OF AMERICAN HISTORY. IT JUST IS. IT'S A PART OF BEING IN ROANOKE.))
[OUT Q=being in Roanoke.]
Soon the six and a half ounce bottle WILL be history here.
Once the current supply is exhausted, Coca Cola has told the Texas Tavern, they won't be available in this area ny more.
[IN Q=I think it has been a long time coming ]
((MATT BULLINGTON/TEXAS TAVERN: I THINK IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING, BUT WE DIDN'T WANT TO SEE THAT TIME COME. WE'D LIKE TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THAT PRODUCT TO OUR CUSTOMERS.))
[OUT Q=to our customers.]
The salespeople here at Grand Home Furnishings have been handing cokes to customers since 1953.
They went to the newer non-returnable eight ounce bottle a year ago.
Customers have noticed.
[IN Q=They definitely have noticed the difference]
((THEY DEFINITELY HAVE NOTICES A DIFFERENCE IN THE BOTTLE AND SEVERAL PEOPLE A DAY COMMENT ON THAT. REALLY? YESSIR.))
[OUT Q=Really? yessir.]
At the Texas Tavern, patrons and employees say a Cheesie Western and a Bowl With just wouldn't be the same with an eight- ounce bottle.
They'll continue to serve coke from the soda fountain, but for now, the restaurant isn't planning to stock the non- returnable replacements.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke))
Electric buses are being introduced to one of the most polluted cities in the world in a bid to cut down on the amount of smog and fumes.
[SUPER=03-Mexico City, Mexico;]
Billed as the public transport of the future, the buses' battery powered engine doesn't give off exhaust fumes - only steam vapour.
A smog-filled air hangs daily over Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities and home to some 18 million people.
The problem has become a severe risk to public health.
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was DOWN 85 points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead in sports, NASCAR's Darrell Waltrip makes an announcement.
And a stranger to the western half of the state is named the Commonwealth's top college football player.
We'll have the details coming up, when News 7 at Noon continues.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The top college football player in the state of Virginia was honored last night with
the Dudley Award at the Downtown Club in Richmond.
This is the ninth straight year the award has been given out, and all but one of those years the award has gone either a Virginia Tech or UVa player.
Last night, the trend was interrupted as University of Richmond star Marc Megna received the most votes from a statewide media panel.
He beat out Tech's Corey Moore and UVa's Anthony Poindexter.
[SUPER=01-Marc Megna/1998 Dudley Award Winner; :00]
[OUT Q=...tough competitors."]
Megna is considered a solid linebacking prospect by the NFL.
The only other non-UVa or Tech player to win was Emory & Henry's Cary Perkins in 19-92.
Anthony Poindexter was absent from last night's ceremony- instead he attended the A-C-C awards banquet and picked up an honor of his own.
[SUPER=03-Charlottesville/Last Month; :00]
The former Jefferson Forest star blew out his knee against N.C. State in October. Last night he was given the Brian Piccolo award that is given to the "most courageous player in the ACC."
He shares the award with Florida State's Corey Simon.
The ACC sports writers association also named Poindexter the league's top defender.
In addition, they selected Torry Holt the ACC's player of the year.
[SUPER=04-1998 Season; :00]
The explosive wide receiver from N.C. State received 54 of the 72 first place votes that were cast.
He is expected to be one of the top players picked in the NFL draft next spring.
On the recruiting front, one of the Martinsville Bulldogs top players from this past season is ready to commit to the Hokies.
Watch number 80- Joe Simington. He's a six- foot- four inch 200- pound defensive end, who also played tight end for the Bulldogs.
The recruiting period for colleges began Tuesday, and Simington is expected to sign with Virginia Tech today.
On to the track in Lakeland, Florida, where Floyd's Jeff Agnew was named the Hooters Pro Cup series rookie of the year AND the series points champion.
Agnew is the former late model stock car king at New River
He didn't win any of the 20 events on the schedule this year but he was consistently in the top 5 to lead the points race.
His crew chief- Roger Severa- is from Roanoke and many of his crew members are locals.
He earns $250 thousand for winning the title.
NASCAR will honor it's top drivers tomorrow night in New York City.
Jeff Gordon will leave the event with more than $7 million dollars in his pocket.
Yesterday, he talked about his record 13-win season.
[IN Q="It's just amazing...]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Gordon/1998 Winston Cup Champ; :00]
[OUT Q=...New York."]
[wipe wipe wipe]
[GRAPHIC=wipe wipe wipe]
In more NASCAR news, Darrell Waltrip will be riding the Winston Cup circuit for at least two more years.
He will drive a Ford next year for Travis Carter and he'll be teammates with Jimmy Spencer.
Waltrip's cars will be sponsored by K-Mart.