[GRAPHIC=Innotech New Jobs]
600 jobs will be created when a local eye care plant expands this spring. This is the largest new plant investment in Roanoke Valley History.
[Double Boxes=Melanie and Tina /Microwave]
Tina Tenret has the details from the Innotech plant.
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(Rollcue:schools and community services )
[OUT Q=schools and community services]
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[Double Boxes=Melanie and Tina/Microwave]
[GRAPHIC=First Union Layoffs]
While Innotech is expanding, First Union is cutting back.
The bank says it will eliminate 58-hundred-50 positions. But it is still unclear how many of those will be in our area.
[VO-NAT 99-5 30:23]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./March 3]
As we told you two weeks ago, workers at First Union's call center in Roanoke got a memo from corporate headquarters in Charlotte, saying significant layoffs are on the way.
There have been some cuts already, but we do not have an exact number.
First Union employs about two thousand in Roanoke County.
There are more developments this morning in a story NEWS7 broke last night.
A late night party during the General Assembly session is having ongoing consequences for some Virginia Democrats-- including the Democratic Party's executive director.
Ellen Qualls is in our Richmond newsroom.
What's happened this morning.
Melanie, first, the police report we had to request under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act has finally been released to us.
Police Chief Lonnie Craig faxed it on his way to the Outer Banks this morning, so he'll have no further comment.
Second, we've heard back from Democratic party chairman Ken Plum.
[IN Q=Delegate Plum]
[SUPER=03-Richmond/File Tape; :00]
[OUT Q=alcohol-related problem.]
Delegate Plum, of northern Virginia, has put out a statement about the party's executive director Craig Bieber.
Plum says Bieber's conduct at the February 25th party in the General Assembly building meeting room causes him great concern.
A letter of reprimand has been placed in Mr. Bieber's personnel file.
His future employment has conditions: no future incidents like this party... and that he participate in a treatment program for an alcohol-related problem.
From the police incident report, we know only a few more details... like the officer spotted open liquor bottles, and the mock Senate Finance meeting that resulted in damage to the table actually occurred between three and four in the morning.
There may be more fallout from this incident today and we'll update tonight.
There appears to be some confusion over what a witness has told authorities about Monday's Amtrak crash in Illinois.
Authorities say language problems
with the Spanish-speaking man are leading to conflicting statements
about whether the gates were up or down at the crossing when the truck started across.
Eleven people were killed Monday night when the truck and train collided.
A federal source had reported that the witness saw the trucker weave through the gates trying to beat the train.
The Dow Jones Industrials have moved above ten- thousand this morning, and investors are watching closely to see if the Dow will manage its first- ever, five- digit close.
Joe Dashiell is also watching and he's downtown this afternoon with the latest.
[Live=Joe D. Full/Microwave]
Melanie... it came close yesterday, but the Dow closed just below the ten- thousand mark. It's back in record territory again today... but it's too early to say if that's likely to hold until the end of the trading day.
[IN Q=NAT SOUND OF BELL]
[SUPER=03-New York; :05]
[SUPER=01-Tyler Pugh/Wheat First Union; :21]
[OUT Q=doubt there's any question about that.]
(([OPENS ON NAT SOUND OF BELL]
The opening bell had barely sounded when the Dow broke ten- thousand... and it hovered about 30- 40 points above that mark, for most of the morning.
Roanoke broker Tyler Pugh says it's been a bit like watching a basketball game... but he isn't get caught up in all of the hoopla.
[IN Q=There has always been]
((TYLER PUGH/WHEAT FIRST UNION: THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A LOT OF ATTENTION PAID WHENEVER WE GET TO ANY OF THESE BIG ROUND NUMBERS. AND 10,000 OF COURSE ADDS ANOTHER DIGIT THAT WE'VE NEVER HAD BEFORE, SO THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT OF ATTENTION BEING PAID TO IT. BUT IT REALLY IS JUST A NUMBER. IT'LL BE EXCITING TO WATCH IT, I HOPE IT BREAKS IT, BUT IF IT DOESN'T, WE WILL AT SOME POINT, I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY QUESTION ABOUT THAT.))
[OUT Q=any question about that.]))
Ten- thousand is just a number... but it also shows how far the market has come Melanie.
The Dow is now about 800 points higher than where it began the year... gaining nearly nine percent so far in
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was up 13 points.
NATO is gearing up once again for possible air strikes against the Serbs after peace talks broke down today in Paris.
The United States and other
nations have begun evacuating diplomats from the Yugoslav capital of
Most U-S embassy staffers are fleeing to the safety of neighboring Hungary.
(///// SOT /////)
((We hope it will be possible to save
the situation and to avoid the scenario that every one is familiar
might be taken. And we shall see what happens." ))
[SUPER=01-Richard Miles/American Charge d'Affaires;]
[OUT Q=and we shall see what happens.]
International mediators say they'll only resume the talks when the Serbs are ready to sign the deal already accepted by the Albanians.
[SUPER=03-Washington DC/Last Night;]
Meantime, President Clinton today is briefing Congressional leaders on developments in Kosovo.
The President will likely comment on the Kosovo crisis at a news conference late this afternoon -- his first major one in nearly a year.
Some new but discouraging leads in the case of three tourists who vanished February 15th while visiting Yosemite National Park.
[SUPER=03-Near Sonora, CA;]
The rental car used by the woman and two girls has been found along a mountain highway, 40 miles north of Yosemite.
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 /////)
[IN Q=Just the fact...]
[OUT Q=right up the road.]
The car had been set on fire.
Authorities are conducting an all search in the area around the cars.
A horrific scene this morning in southern Russia.
More than 50 are dead and 100 injured after a bomb went off in a crowded market.
The explosion occurred in the regional capital of North Ossetia (uh-SEE'-shuh), which borders the breakaway region of Chechnya.
So far there's no claim of responsibility.
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 yesterday afternoon.
No one was injured but many workers were shaken up.
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[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.))
[OUT Q=lot of smoke.]
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.
The fires are out now..... but firefighters still do not know what caused most of the forest fires in Buchanan, Botetourt County and Roanoke County.
But they say a downed power line
and heavy winds are to blame for one of yesterday's largest fires near Salem.
Heavy winds helped fan the blaze which spread across eight acres.
2 more fires burned across 6 acres.
Some area residents feared for their safety.
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[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.))
[OUT Q=house on fire.]
Area residents said the forest fires were some of the worst they'd seen in years.
They're about to float into the record books.
[IN=SO THAT'S THE DECISION]
Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard are more than halfway across the Atlantic this afternoon, 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 /////)
[IN Q=It's not like...]
[OUT Q=counting our chickens.]
The British and Swiss balloonists left the Swiss Alps March 1st.
The coutdown has begun to the competition for Hollywood's highest honor, the Oscars.
[SUPER=03-Los Angeles, CA;]
Last night the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion was busting with activity preparing for the big event.
One of the nominees rehearsed
her number, whileTechnicians and producers worked to iron out a few kinks, so the ceremony will go off without a hitch Sunday night.
[GRAPHIC=Women's Final Four]
If you haven't gotten your tickets yet to see the lady Hokies in action, don't worry. More tickets are being made available for the N-C-A-A East regionals.
Greensboro Coliseum officials sold more than eleven-thousand tickets by yesterday morning. Now, because of the quick sellout, a curtain will be raised to the rafters, making room for a few thousand more fans.
[GRAPHIC=Men's Final Four]
The glass slipper keeps dancing its way through the men's tournament. Gonzaga's Cinderella story continued last night, as the tenth-seeded Bulldogs pulled out a last-second victory over Florida.
Gonzaga went up early. But Florida was tough in the second half.
Then, with time running out, and Florida up by one, Brent Wright travels, and turns it back over to Gonzaga.
Quentin Hall misses the jumper from the lane, but Casey Calvary is there for the put-back. Gonzaga by two.
And with just four seconds left on the clock, the Gators' Eddie Shannon misses the off-balance jumper. Gonzaga's miracle trip continues with the 73- 72 win.
Gonzaga advances to meet Connecticut in the Elite Eight.
The number one seed had it's hands full with fifth-seeded Iowa. The Hawkeyes got big plays from guys like Guy Rucker, who gets the slam down low to tie it up early.
But UConn's transition game was too tough. Richard Hamilton to Kevin Freeman for the alley-oop. Huskies by four.
Connecticut goes on
a 25- 15 run to end the game.
And Iowa coach Doctor Tom Davis sees his career with the Hawkeyes end, with a 78-68 loss to UConn.
[wipe wipe wipe]
Maryland's failure to advance past the Sweet Sixteen continues, as the Terps fall to St. John's in the South region.
Maryland was only in the game for about the first ten minutes, before the Red Storm went on a devastating twenty-nothing run to end the first half.
And it was just too big of a margin for the Terps to overcome. St. John's advances to Saturday's regional finals with the 76- 62 win.
In the south region's other game, Auburn became the first number-one seed to fall.
Scoonie Penn hits the long three to put Ohio State up by five at the end of the first half.
Auburn crawled back. Chris Pohlman gets the jumper to fall. It's all tied up at 61.
But the Buckeyes-- who finished dead last in the Big Ten last year-- get the 72-64 win and the ticket to Saturday's Elite Eight.
Salem hosts it's own March Madness this weekend.
Roy Stanley reports on the 19-99 Division Three final four festivities.
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[IN Q="First audio]
[SUPER=01-Carey Harveycutter/Salem Civic Center Manager; :34]
[SUPER=01-Jim Nelson/NCAA Basketball Committee; :46]
[SUPER=01-Glen Miller/Connecticut College Head Coach; 1:08]
[OUT Q=....news 7 sports."]
((The activities kicked off with the presentation of the Jostens trophy to the male and female player of the year.
Kristen Venne of Susquehanna University recieved the women's award.
And the men's award went to Michael Schantz of Hamilton College.))
((Ticket sales for the two day tournament are not as good as they were the second year the event was held in Salem.
But Civic Center officials and the N-C-Double-A are hoping Hampden-Sydney will attract the local fans.))
((CAREY HARVEYCUTTER/SALEM CIVIC CENTER MANAGER:))
((JIM NELSON/NCAA BASKETBALL COMMITTEE:))
((The Tigers will play Connecticut College in Friday night's Semi finals.
The Camels will take the floor with an undefeated 27 and 0 record.))
((GLEN MILLER/CONNECTICUT COLLEGE HEAD COACH:))
While Hampden Sydney carries the O-DAC banner this weekend, the man who has carried the O-DAC's torch for many years is stepping down.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Last Month; :00]
Hal Nunnally is retiring as head basketball coach at Randolph-Macon-- effective immediately.
Nunnally has coached the Yellow Jackets for twenty-four seasons, leading his teams to 431 wins and just 232 losses.
Nunnally says he'll be replaced by assistant coach Mike Rhodes.