[Headlines]

[ANCHOR=Melanie]

(----------------)
[VO-NAT]


Firefighters battle forest fires in Buchannan, Botetourt and Roanoke County.
(----------------)
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


And fire heavily damages a sawmill in Bedford County.
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


Noticeably cooler temperatures today in the wake of a cold front...
We'll have one more day of sunny skies, before Spring-like showers move in-- just in time for the start of the season this weekend.
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(ad lib live tease)

[2-shot]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


[S-Sawmill-Fire]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=sta]
[TAPE#=99-8]
[GRAPHIC=Fire]


An explosion at a sawmill caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co.;]


The president of the Otter River Lumber Company said the chipper motor exploded and then flames burned through the roof yesterday afternoon.
No one was injured but many workers were shaken up.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15.44.09 - 15.44.25]
[IN Q=It was really]

((JIMMY MADDOX/PRESIDENT:IT WAS REALLY SCARY. WE'VE GOT TWO TANKS OVER THERE THAT'S GOT OVER PROBABLY 150 GALLONS OF HYDRAULIC OIL APIECE BUT THEY DIDN'T GO OFF. THAT'S WHAT WE KEPT HOPING. WE DIDN'T BURN A LOT. IF THAT WOULD HAVE WENT OFF YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN A LOT OF SMOKE.))
[SUPER=01-Jimmy Maddox/President;]
[RUNS=16]
[OUT Q=lot of smoke.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


The explosion happened around 2:30 yesterday afternoon.
The damage is estimated at 200 thousand dollars.
Maddox said he expects production to resume in a few days using backup equipment.
(------------)



[County-Fires]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=sta]
[TAPE#=99-11]
[GRAPHIC=Fire]


The forest fire season started with a vengeance as brush fires and a forest fire flared across several acres in Buchanan, Botetourt County and Roanoke County Yesterday.
Firefighters still don't know what caused most of them.
But, they say a downed power line and heavy winds are to blame for one of the largest fire near Salem.
Stacey Martin has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=A helicopter began making]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./Yesterday; :00]
[SUPER=01-Lisa Shaffer/Local Resident; :23]
[SUPER=01-Bill Perdue/Local Resident; :53]
[SUPER=@Stacey1; 1:02]
[RUNS=1:14]
[OUT Q=SM, News 7, Roanoke County.]
(((///// SOT /////)
[SOT 18.08.01 - 18.08.13]
[IN Q=]
((nat sot))

[RUNS12]
[OUT Q=]


A helicopter began making the rounds late in the afternoon--carrying its load through the smoke and dousing the flames with gallons of water.
The blaze spread across eight acres and was fanned throughout the night by heavy winds--leaving hot spots flashing in the forest and residents fearing for their safety.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 19.03.08 -19.03.20]
[IN Q=We're talking about]

((LISA SHAFFER: WE'RE TALKING ABOUT LEAVING..AND CAUSE I DON'T THINK I CAN SLEEP WHILE IT'S STILL LIKE THIS. I'LL BE TOO AFRAID OF IT COMING DOWN WHILE WE'RE ASLEEP AND CATCHING THE HOUSE ON FIRE.)) [RUNS12]
[OUT Q=house on fire.]


This was the largest of several brush fires throughout the area including this one which burned alongside Martins Creek Road and covered about one acre.
Another one next to it burned across five more acres.
Area residents said the forest fires were some of the worst they'd seen in years.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 18.35.51 - 18.36.01]
[IN Q=Our lights flickered]

((PERDUE:OUR LIGHTS FLICKERED AND OUR CABLE TV WENT OFF AND THE TELEPHONE WENT OFF AND WE WENT OUT ON THE DECK TO SEE AND WE SAW SMOKE BACK BEHIND THE HOUSE.)) [RUNS10]
[OUT Q=behind the house.]
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 18.55.59 - 18.56.10]
[IN Q=Crews plan to]

((STACEY MARTIN/REPORTING: CREWS PLAN TO SET UP A CONTROL LINE TO CONTAIN THE FIRE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS. BUT, THEY DON'T EXPECT IT TO BE COMPLETELY OUT UNTIL THE NEXT RAINFALL WHICH IS EXPECTED ON MONDAY. STACEY MARTIN, NEWS 7, ROANOKE COUNTY.)) [RUNS11]
[OUT Q=SM, News 7, Roanoke County.]))



[6-Pitts-Ax]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jmc]
[TAPE#=99-7 39:58]
[GRAPHIC=Accident]


A man was trapped in a car for almost an hour in Pittsylvania County after part of a tree fell on it.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Pittsylvania Co.]


He was on Route 360 just outside the Danville city limits yesterday afternoon, when a tree limb fell on the roof of his car and caused him to run into a ditch.
Rescue crews worked for about 45 minutes to get him out.
He was taken to the Danville hospital. Officials say his injuries didn't appear to be life threatening.
(------------)




[Bieber]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=equ]
[TAPE#=99-12]
[GRAPHIC=none]


NEWS 7 told you first about an embarrassing incident for some Virginia Democrats caught having a late night party in the General Assembly building.
At the time, we reported that the Capitol Police were refusing to release an incident report.
Minutes after our story ran last night, the Clerk of the state Senate called to provide some details.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Richmond]



Susan Clarke Schaar (SHAR) says the February 25th incident caused about 150 to 200 dollars in damage to the Senate Finance Committee meeting table.
The party included state Democratic party director Craig Bieber (BEE-ber) and three colleagues... one of whom was banging a gavel on the table so hard it left dent marks.
(------------)
[TALENT=Kimberly]
[SS=none]


Schaar (SHAR) says a part-time member of her staff was part of the party, and he has been dismissed from her employment.
A member of U-S Senator Chuck Robb's staff in Richmond is still facing personnel action, according to his Richmond spokesman.
Democratic Party Director Craig Bieber told NEWS 7 he would NOT talk at the request of the Capitol Police because it "is still under investigation."
We'll keep you updated as the story unfolds.

[6-81-Patrols]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=khu]
[TAPE#=98-78 1:45:40]
[GRAPHIC=Aerial Patrols]


For weeks we've been talking about the stepped-up enforcement of traffic laws on Interstate-81.
Keith Humphry takes a look at how police officers are getting help from a set of eyes above the interstate.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=At ground zero]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; 00]
[SUPER=01-Don Childs/State Police Pilot; :39]
[RUNS=1:40]
[OUT Q=job, aren't you? Right.]


((At ground zero on the Interstate, traffic seems to bear down on us. It seems there's an endless line of vehicles- -flying by at 70 or 80 miles an hour.
[NAT SOT FULL- chopper]


Now THAT'S flying.
Literally flying seven or eight hundred feet above the Interstate- -Pilot Don Childs could use half a dozen pairs of eyes to keep track of everything.
In addition to navigating his State Police helicopter - -monitoring FOUR radios...
[nat sot full]


Not the least of which is the radio control tower for Roanoke Regional....
His primary task these days is to keep an eye on the ground.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 14:24:45]
[IN Q=]

(()) [RUNS]
[OUT=]


Troopers in patrol cars remain the first line of defense in the fight against speed and wreckless driving on the Interstate.
But Childs can see things the radar gun can't.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 14:25:25]
[IN Q=As you can]

(()) [RUNS 20]
[OUT Q=break down lane]


It may come as a surprise to the average motorist that Childs is hovering overhead... but he knows his presence hardly goes completely un-noticed.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 14:26:15]
[IN Q=If we had]

(()) [RUNS 05]
[OUT Q=Really oh yeah.]



(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 14:37:25]
[IN Q=Most of the time]

(()) [runs 10]
[OUT Q=Aren't you? Right.]))








[Health-Check]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=chr]
[TAPE#=NET]
[GRAPHIC=Mornin Health Check]


In medical news,
Researchers may need to come up with a new strategey for treating Turburculosis.
and turning off the T-V could make your child healthier.
Mika Brzezinski has that story and more in this morning's Health check.
(/////SOT/////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=01-Mika Brzezinski/Reporting; :00 ]
[RUNS=1:16]
[OUT Q=CBS News, New York.]



(ad lib to weather)

[2-HEADLINES]
[2-shot=Mel/Kmc]
[SUPER=#4049; Morning Headlines]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


Here's a look at today's top stories.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


Firefighters have been battling brush and forest fires in
Buchanan, Botetourt County and Roanoke County Yesterday.
Fire investigators still don't know what sparked most of the blazes.
They say a downed power line and heavy winds are responsible for one of the largest fire near Salem.

(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kim]


Their car has been found...
But the three female tourists who disappeared more than a month ago are still missing--and feared dead.
their rental car was discovered yesterday--burned-out and abandoned-- alongside a highway near yosemite national park.
The F-B-I says the women were most likely the victims of a kidnapping or carjacking.
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


They're over three-quarters of the way there and by Saturday night those balloon adventurers hope to finish their 'round-the-world trek.
The two are over the Atlantic, hoping to wrap up the historic quest with a safe landing in northwest Africa.
(----------------)
[anchor=Kimberly]


And that's what's making news on this Friday March 19th .
[anchor=Melanie]


News 7 Mornin' will be right back.




[Kosovo]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=MORN]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Clinton]


President Clinton today will hold his first full White House news conference in nearly a year.
But first he'll sit down congressional leaders today, to discuss possible U-S military involvement in Kosovo.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Washington DC;]

[4:17:05]
Senate leaders are proposing that funds for such a move be restricted, they're concerned about risking the lives of American soldiers.
Meanwhile, hopes for a peace deal diminished this morning when talks broke down in Paris.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=MELANIE]
[SS=NONE]


International mediators today adjourned the talks between the Serbs and Albanians and say the talks will not resume unless the Serbs decide to accept the U-S backed plan.
Barring a sudden change by the Serbs, NATO will soon be facing a decision on making good on its threat of air strikes against Serbtargets.

[6-Early-murder]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=khu]
[TAPE#=98-83 1:28:15]
[GRAPHIC=Luther Early]


A Roanoke man has been charged with killing his live-in girlfriend.
(+++++++++++)

[TAKE PINNACLE]
28 year old Luther O'Neill Early called police around 5-30 yesterday morning to say Destrain Turner was dead.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke]


When police arrived at the apartment on Eastern Avenue Northeast, Early admitted he'd been arguing with Turner, but claimed he had taken a walk and returned to find her dead.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[graphic=none]


Later, police say, Early admitted he inflicted what was probably the fatal injury to the top of her head.

[6-Fugitive-Wanted]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=ssm]
[TAPE#=99-6 45:47]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A man who's wanted in New York City on numerous homicide and drug trafficking charges may be hiding out in the Lynchburg area.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg]


29- year- old Chaka (SHA-kuh) Herbert Raysor (RAY-zer).. also known as Herbert Jones.. is a black male about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 175 to 200 pounds.
Raysor is wanted for nine murders in Brooklyn, and has been indicted under the federal racketeering statute.
Lynchburg police believe Raysor has recently been or still is in the Hill City.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 16:07:19]
[IN Q=We feel we]

((MAJOR JACK LEWIS/LYNCHBURG POLICE: WE FEEL WE NEED TO MAKE PEOPLE AWARE, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO MAY HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH HIM OR KNOW HIM UNDER ANOTHER NAME, THAT MAY NOT BE AWARE OF WHY HE IS IN LYNCHBURG AT THIS POINT IN TIME.))
[SUPER=01-Major Jack Lewis/Lynchburg Police; :00]
[RUNS=15]
[OUT Q=point in time.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Lewis says Raysor is considered armed and extremely dangerous.
Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is urged to call Lynchburg police or Central Virginia Crimestoppers.


(------------)




[Missing-Tourists]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


A major development in the mysterious case of three tourists who vanished while visiting Yosemite National Park.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Near Sonora, CA;]

[4:04:03]
More than a month after they disappeared, the rental car used by a woman and two girls has been found along a mountain highway, 40 miles north of Yosemite. [4:02:15]
But Carol Sund, her daughter Julie and an Argentine exchange student with them, are still missing.
An attendant at a gas station near where the car was found says his boss remembers the three stopping in the day they vanished.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]

[4:03:00-11]
[IN Q=Just the fact...]
[SUPER=01-Gordon Rosenfield/Resident;]
[RUNS=:11]
[OUT Q=right up the road.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

[4:04:03]
The rental car, a 19-99 red Pontiac Grand Prix, had been set on fire and was identified by the license plates.
The F-B-I says it confirms the three were victims of a violent crime.
Authorities are conducting an all search for the women in the area around the cars.
(------------)



[Train-Wreck]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=Amtrak Crash]


A pivotal witness emerges in that deadly Amtrak collision with a tractor-trailer.
According to sources, a motorist claims the truck driver tried to go around the closed gates, as the train barreled down the tracks.
This backs what the train engineer told investigators.
Officials now want to question the truck driver again.
Geoff Morell reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]

[4:05:28]
[IN Q=]
[SUPER=03-Bourbonnais, IL; :00]
[SUPER=01-John Goglia/NTSB Member :30]



[SUPER=01-Geoff Morrell/Reporting; 1:23]
[RUNS=1:40]
[OUT Q=cbs news Bourbonnais, IL;]

((


SOMEBODY MAY HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN! WE KNOW THIS MORNING AT LEAST ONE WITNESS HAS COME FOWARD TO SAY HE SAW THE BOURBONNAIS AMTRAK ACCIDENT HAPPEN... A DISCOVERY THAT MAY GIVE INVESTIGATORS THE ANSWERS THEY NEED SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.
THAT REVELATION CAME AS THE PEOPLE OF BOURBONNAIS GATHERED FOR A MEMORIAL SERVICE THURSDAY NIGHT. MANY OF THOSE WHO CAME TO PRAY.. HAD HELPED IN THE RESCUE. THEY REMEMBERED 11 PEOPLE WHO COULDN'T BE SAVED.
MORE ON THE POSSIBLE BREAKTHROUGH IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THE DEADLY DERAILMEMT.

HERE'S GEOFF MORRELL.))[6-Via]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=jda]
[TAPE#=98-81 1:40:45]
[GRAPHIC=Dog Beating]


A Roanoke man who was accused of beating a rottweiler puppy and duct-taping its mouth has been sentenced to 12 months in jail.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


19- year- old James Anthony Via entered a plea of no contest yesterday in Roanoke General District Court.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/February 19; ]


He was arrested in February after two dogs disappeared from their owner's yard.
Sheeba was beaten severely, but is now recovering from her injuries.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 19:07]
[IN Q=She's getting back]

((SHE'S GETTING BACK TO BEING HERSELF AGAIN, PLAY WITH THE KIDS, PLAYING OUT IN THE YARD, PLAYING WITH MAX. IT'S JUST GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME? YEAH, IT TAKES A LITTLE TIME TO GET USED TO BRING BACK HOME AND EVERYTHING AFTER ALL SHE WENT THROUGH.))
[SUPER=01-Teresa Harmon/Dog Owner]
[RUNS=:13]
[OUT Q=after all she went through.]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[GRAPHIC=none]


Via was also sentenced to 90 days in jail for brandishing a gun. He faces additional charges, but attorneys say negotiations may produce a plea agreement.

[6-Construction-Shortage]


[ANCHOR=Melanie]
[NEWSCAST=morn]
[WRITER=tte]
[TAPE#=98-82 1:29:18]
[GRAPHIC=None]


A shortage of construction workers means skilled young people can name their wages.
But it also means we'll pay more for new homes.
Tina Tenret has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=You see few young people]
[SUPER=03-Franklin Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Bob Flynn/Royal Construction Co.; :17]
[SUPER=01-Bud McWhorter/Carpentry Teacher; :51]
[SUPER=@Tina2; 1:31]
[RUNS=1:44]
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret News7 Franklin County]


[BALLOON]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Morn]
[WRITER=mel]
[TAPE#=net]
[GRAPHIC=none]


They're closing in on aviation history.
(////SOT///)
[IN=SO THAT'S THE DECISION]
[RUNS=:04]
[OUT=YES, YES]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Over the Domican Republic;]


Brian Jones Bertrand Piccard are halfway across the Atlantic this morning, looking to complete the first nonstop balloon trip around the world.
If things go as planned they will land in northwest Africa tomorrow night.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT]
[IN Q=It's not like...]
[RUNS=:10]
[OUT Q=counting our chickens.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]

The British and Swiss balloonists left the Swiss Alps March 1st.
(------------)


[Local-Recap]
[SUPER=#4059;Local Recap]
[2-Shot=Mel/Kmc]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


Now here's another look at today's top local stories:
(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]

An explosion at a sawmill caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.
The president of the Otter River Lumber Company said the chipper motor exploded and then flames burned through the roof.
No one was injured but many workers were shaken up.
The explosion happened around 2:30 yesterday afternoon.
The damage is estimated at 200 thousand dollars.

(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]


28 year old Luther O'Neill Early is in jail charged with killing his live-in girlfriend.
Police say Early admitted he'd been arguing with girlfriend Destrain Turner, but claimed he had taken a walk and returned to find her dead.
He then called police around 5:30 yesterday morning.
Later, police say,Early admitted he inflicted what was probably the fatal injury to the top of her head.

(----------------)
[VO-NAT]
[ANCHOR=Melanie]


19 year old James Anthony Via has been sentenced to 12 months in jail for beating a Rottweiler puppy and duct taping his mouth shut.
Via entered a plea of no contest in Roanoke General District Court yesterday.
He was arrested in February after 2 dogs disappeared from their owners yard.
Via was also sentenced to 90 days in jail for brandishing a gun. He faces additional charges, but attorneys say negotiations may produce a plea agreement.
(-------------)
[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
(Kimberly mic hot)
(///////////////)
[2 shot=Mel/Kmc]
(Kimberly ad lib weather)
(-------------)
[Double Boxes=Melanie/Kimberly and Steve]
(toss)
[ANCHOR=Steve]
(live ad lib, tease tomorrow)
[Double Boxes=Melanie/Kimberly and Steve]
(ad lib bye)


[Promo]


[ANCHOR=Kimberly]
[NEWSCAST=Mornin]
[WRITER=kmc]
[TAPE#=??]
[GRAPHIC=Time Off]


A few weeks back, we profiled a cabin resort that caters to couples seeking a romantic getaway.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Augusta Co.;]


In THIS week's "Time Off" segment, we'll head to Cabin Creekwood in the Lyndhurst community of Augusta County.
This scenic mountain retreat offers hiking, swimming during the warmer months...and lots of privacy for couples or FAMILIES.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 11:44:46 ]
[IN Q=Most of our]

((DEBBIE HORST/CABIN CREEKWOOD HOST: MOST OF OUR WEEKEND STAYS ARE ANNIVERSARIES, OR JUST COUPLES GETTING AWAY. WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT COME FROM RICHMOND AND ROANOKE AND VIRGINIA BEACH, WHO JUST WANT TO GET OUT OF THE CITY AND COME TO SOMEPLACE QUIET-- JUST MAYBE TO KIND OF REFRESH AND RE- GROUP.))
[SUPER=01-Debbie Horst/Cabin Creekwood Host;]
[RUNS=:14]
[OUT Q=and re-group]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


But famlies remain Cabin Creekwood's BIGGEST draw.
Rates typically run between 60 and 85- dollars a night year round...and for a little extra, you can even bring your pet.
(------------)
[ANCHOR=KIMBERLY]

Cabin Creekwood is this week's feature on "Time Off", coming up tomorrow on News 7 Saturday Morning. [GRAPHIC=TIME OFF]