Coming up next on News 7, an accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant releases radiation. We'll have the details.
and a strong earthquake kills several people in Mexico.
The rain is gone for a while-- but the chill is on tonight. A crisp october forecast is coming up.
On Health Check, scientists say another hole could open up in the O-Zone and that could mean a sharp rise in skin cancers,
and researchers say several popular medications are causing male sterility.
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Radiation is leaking from a Japanese nuclear power plant.
Three uranium plant workers were hurt when they accidentally triggered a nuclear reaction today.
The full scope of the accident is not, yet known.
What is known is the nuclear reaction that caused the leak is still going on.
Lee Cowan reports from Washington.
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[SUPER=01-Lee Cowan/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS Washington]
LOCATOR: TOKAIMURA, JAPAN
More than 300-thousand people who live within a 6 mile radius
the plant have been ordered to stay indoors after a worker's error
sent radiation leaking into the atmosphere - an atomic reaction
fear is now out of control, self sustaining -- producing
levels 15 thousand times the level considered safe for human
At least three workers were rushed to a nearby hospital wrapped
plastic -two near death from severe radiation sickness.
More than two dozen others followed -- all treated for
exposure. An evacuation order remains in effect for neighborhoods
around the site.
The accident -- called 'unprecedented' by Japanese standards
is so bad the government is considering asking for help from the
The White House says it's more than willing.
"We will do whatever --- as possible."
The accident is being compared to Three Mile Island --
worst nuclear disaster near Harrisburg Pennsylvania in 1979.
But it could also be compared to Chernobyl -- the world's most
devastating -- that spewed radiation over much of Europe, and
more than 30 people.
COWAN ON CAM:
But the most startling similarity comes in the level of
preparedness - just as was the case in Chernobyl, Japanese
say they are not equipped for an accident of this size and may have
wait for the reaction to burn itself out.
Lee Cowan, CBS News, Washington.
At least seven people are dead after an earthquake today shook parts of Mexico.
[SUPER=03-Mexico City; ]
The quake, measuring seven point five on the Richter scale, also caused an unknown number of injuries in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca (wah-HAH'-kah).
Buildings in Mexico City swayed for several minutes and debris covered streets and cars.
The quake is believed to be the most powerful to strike Mexico since 1985 when a pair of huge earthquakes killed up to 10-thousand people, mainly in the capital.
Two separate accidents along Interstate 81 southbound this afternoon caused delays for motorists.
The accidents were only three miles apart and happened around the same time.
At the Roanoke exit 143 there was a six car accident -- that all started when a vehicle had trouble merging with traffic and stopped, causing a chain reaction.
Two people were taken to hospital from that accident.
The other wreck occured at exit 140 near Salem when a car traveling I-81 northbound was knocked across the median by a tractor trailer, into the southbound lanes, where it was hit by another tractor trailer.
One person was transported from that accident.
The sun is shining on North Carolina today -- but the clean-up continues from Hurricane Floyd and floods and the last slap by mother nature-- tornados.
Jennifer Jones reports from Charlotte.
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[SUPER=03-Albemarle, NC; ]
[SUPER=03-Granville Co., NC; ]
[SUPER=03-Seven Springs, NC; ]
[SUPER=01-Jewell Kilpatrick/Seven Springs Mayor; ]
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Jones/Reporting; ]
(locator: Albemarle, NC)
IT'S SEEMS RESIDENTS IN NORTH CAROLINA JUST CAN'T SEEM TO GET A
FROM THE WEATHER.
AFTER RECORD FLOODS AND SOAKING RAINFALL IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE
STATE, MOTHER NATURE DEALT YET ANOTHER BLOW. THIS TIME-- TORNADOES
CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA.. SPAWNED BY A SERIES OF SEVERE STORMS.
CARS LIKE THIS ONE.. WERE TOSSED AROUND LIKE TOYS.
(SOT) NO SUPER "We saw a car come flying in the air over our car
it landed on its back and the trees at McDonald's."
THE TORNADOES ALSO KNOCKED DOWN TREES, RIPPED OFF ROOFS AND DAMAGED
DOZENS OF HOMES AND BUSINESSES.
MEANWHILE, CLEAR SKIES OVER THE EASTERN PART OF THE STATE ARE
RESIDENTS DRY OUT FROM THE WEEKS OF FLOODING CAUSED BY HURRICANE
AND RECENT RAINFALL.
(locator: Granville Co., NC)
IT WAS A CLOSE CALL FOR THE DRIVER OF THIS CAR IN GRANVILLE COUNTY.
IT WAS ALMOST SWEPT AWAY WHEN THE DRIVER TRIED TO MAKE IT THROUGH
(Locator: Seven Springs, NC)
WHILE FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES HAVE BEEN QUICK IN HELPING SEVERAL
TOWNS DEAL WITH THE DEVASTATING FLOODS, NOT EVERYONE IS PLEASED
(SOT) Mayor Jewell Kilpatrick/Seven Springs, NC "You sit and
TV.. a telethon where they are getting money in Greenville,
but nothing for Seven Springs. You're forgotten.. mmm. We're just
WITH SEPTEMBER BEING ONE OF THE WETTEST MONTHS EVER FOR NORTH
CAROLINA, MANY ARE HOPING OCTOBER WILL BRING DRIER WEATHER.
JENNIFER JONES, CBS NEWS, CHARLOTTE.))
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Up next on the newscast, a local school teacher pleads guilty to smoking marijuana with some of her students,
and one of the area's largest employers says it can do just as good a job without its striking workers.
Rubatex says a union strategy of walking but not talking isn't paying off.
The United Steelworkers local 240 has been on strike for three weeks.
Now, Rubatex says, whenever this strike ends ... it's not likely everyone will be called back.
Rubatex has been using replacement workers in Bedford.
The company says it's been able to maintain production levels with about 200 people.
They're doing the work that used to be done by more than 400 union workers.
Rubatex negotiator Jim Laurin wouldn't say how many union members might lose their jobs.
But he said the pre-strike workforce was bloated.
Talks at Rubatex broke down over mandatory overtime and company contributions to a health plan.
Rubatex said it has made its final offer.
The union says it won't return to the bargaining table unless the company draws up another proposal.
A former substitute teacher in Pulaski County faces a maximum of one- hundred years in prison for smoking marijuana with two students.
34- year old Andrea Wells pleaded guilty today to two felony charges but has NOT yet been formally sentenced.
The incident happened while Wells was working as a substitute at the county's alternative school.
Prosecutors say the 34- year old left school grounds, during lunch, with two teenage students and went to one of the student's homes where all three shared a marijuana cigarette.
Wells attorney is hoping the judge will opt for the minimum-- of four years in prison.
Help is on the way for some frustrated customers of a private Henry County sewage treatment plant.
Henry County officials have declared a state of emergency for the Fair Acres treatment plant and the Blackberry Creek area.
That means the county is taking over control and clean-up of the plant immediately.
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((TIM HALL/HENRY CO. PUBLIC INFO OFFICER: THE FACILITY IS IN A STATE OF DISREPAIR, SIGNIFICANT DISREPAIR... OUR PEOPLE WILL GO IN AND MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE PHYSICAL PLANT AS QUICK AS WE CAN MAKE THEM.))
[SUPER=01-Tim Hall/Henry Co. Spokesperson;]
[OUT Q=as quick as we can make them.]
Officials say it will take a month and at least seven-thousand dollars to clean up the plant and get it running again.
The Department of Environmental Quality started an investigation after it found dangerous levels of contamination in Blackberry Creek earlier this month.
For years, residents have complained of sewage backing up into their homes.
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[IN Q=I guess, in the meantime,]
((PAM RHODES/HENRY CO. RESIDENT: I GUESS IN THE MEANTIME, WHILE THEY'RE TRYING TO GET THINGS FIXED, HOPEFULLY WE WON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH SEWAGE IN THE YARDS OR COMING THROUGH THE HOMES AND NO MORE PROBLEMS LIKE THAT ANYWAY. ))
[SUPER=01-Pam Rhodes/Henry Co. Resident;]
[OUT Q=no more problems like that anyway.]
Officials from the D-E-Q and state police say they are investigating the owner of the plant, Richard Anthony...
He COULD face criminal charges.
Many Roanoke school children are heading to the theater this week...
But the field trip is receiving mixed reviews from some parents.
Third- graders from nineteen Roanoke elementary schools are visiting Mill Mountain Theatre for Gathering Stones, a joint production with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre.
Inspired by native American traditions, the production focuses on good stewardship of the earth... but parent Anne Blackwell objects to what she considers religious content.
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[IN Q=My concern is that shamanism]
((MY CONCERN IS THAT SHAMANISM IS A RELIGION AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO UPHOLD THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.))
[SUPER=01-Anne Blackwell/Roanoke Parent;]
[OUT Q=separation of church and state.]
Mill Mountain Artistic Director Jere Lee Hodgin says the production has received rave reviews from students and teachers, and few complaints.
[IN Q=Yeah, I'm a little surprised]
((YEAH, I'M A LITTLE SURPRISED BECAUSE I THINK IT'S JUST ANOTHER WAY, THE PIECE ITSELF IS AN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION, AND ANOTHER WAY THAT WE CAN LOOK AT THAT ALL IMPORTANT THING OF HOW WE ARE ALL INTER-RELATED.))
[SUPER=01-Jere Lee Hodgin/Mill Mountain Theatre]
[OUT Q=all inter-related.]
Public performances of Gathering Stones continue through the weekend on Mill Mountain Theater's main stage.
Coming up next on the Newscast, Patrick Evans will learn how the other half lives.
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Some of Smith Mountain Lake's loveliest homes will be yours for the taking this weekend.
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Well, the taking of TOURS, and Patrick Evans has the scoop from one of the houses on the Smith Mountain Lake home tour.
Patrick, this is all to benefit some local charities, right?
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Today in Sports, a Denver Bronco finds his job is getting expensive. Denise Allen will have more.
and on Health check, researchers say a second hole could open in the
Ozone and that could mean more cases of skin cancer.
Some popular medications for heart disease, high blood pressure and migraine headaches have a side effect. They make men sterile.
Infertility researchers have found that calcium channel blockers such as Procardia, Procardia X-L and Cardizem cause male fertility problems.
In fact Procardia causes infertility in 95 percent of the men who take it.
Researchers found the drug damages the walls surrounding sperm cells, making them inactive.
Fortunately many of the men taking these drugs are older and have already had their families.
Researchers say the drugs are so effective at causing infertility, they may actually lead to the development of a male contraceptive.
If you're taking one of these drugs and are concerned about fertility problems, speak with your doctor.
Researchers say the effect is reversible.
Scientists are raising new concerns about air pollution and the damaging effect it's having on the earth's important ozone layer.
Even a small change in the ozone can lead to huge increases in skin cancer.
Lee Cowan has details.
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[SUPER=01-Lee Cowan/CBS News; :30]
[OUT Q=CBS News Washington]
At the nether regions of the globe, a familiar visitor has returned. It
comes here every year and sits while NASA monitor's its progress.
It's the hole in the ozone-and it's getting bigger every day - expected
to peak like it always does, sometime next week.
GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER
"This is a very, very large ozone hole. It's up to 9.8 million square
miles, so it's greater than the size of North America."
Still, that's smaller than it was last year, but just barely.
Scientists agree the ozone hole is expected to close, but the layer
won't be restored until sometime around the year 2070. But by then,
scientists admit, they could have a whole different problem on their
"We could end up closing this hole, and actually opening up some very
The reason: global warming - caused by decades of pollution from
factory emissions and car exhaust. As greenhouse gasses warm the earth,
it cools the air in the upper atmosphere -- a condition that is
doubling the rate at which the ozone layer is being destroyed,
especially over the North Pole.
"So when we're seeing things recover in the Southern Hemisphere, things
might actually be not improving, or getting worse in the Northern
There is little scientists can do to predict just how big this second
major ozone hole could be - but it's effect can be defined pretty well.
A one percent increase in ultra violet rays can cause a significant rise
in skin cancers. The ozone layer is the only natural barrier that
separates us from that. Lee Cowan, CBS News, Washington.
Good Afternoon and welcome to the two minute ticker.
Saturday, seventh ranked Virginia Tech and 24th rated Virginia will play for the 81st time. This rivalry's popularity has grown from state to nationwide interest, but Steve Mason says deciding who wins and who loses has stayed the same, it all comes down to heart.
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[SUPER=03-Charlottesville/September 18th, 1999; :00]
[SUPER=01-Chris Cyrus/Va. Tech Defensive End ; :33]
[SUPER=01-Noel LaMontagne/UVa Offensive Guard; :48]
[SUPER=01-Ike Charlton/Va. Tech Cornerback; 1:00]
[SUPER=01-Thomas Jones/UVa Running Back; 1:11]
[OUT Q=...News 7 Sports"]
((Just because George Welsh is in his 18th season at UVa doesn't mean he can't start over, he did just that against Wake Forest, leading his team onto David A Harrison Field for the first time under a newly constructed Scott Stadium.
The Demon Deacons were the first opponent to play in the ever changing arena, one of only a shrinking number of teams across the country that come before the seventh ranked Hokies in any category these days. But no matter how big this game gets, the conclusion still comes down to heart.
Two hits are costing Denver Linebacker Bill Romanowki big.
The NFL has fined Romanowski 10-thousand dollars for a hit on Tamp Bay QB Trent Dilfer.
The league is also fining Romanowski five-thousand dollars for a hit on Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez in the September 19th game.
Romanowski wasn't penalized on either hit and is appealing the KC fine
and my do the same with the Tampa fine.
There's one top 25 college football team playing
Unbeaten Maryland is at ninth-ranked Georgia Tech.
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And on Your Hometown Station this weekend number 21 Alabama travels to third ranked Florida, kick off is at three.
The action continues on Sunday with the NFL, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh at one and the Jets and Broncos at four.
A trio of Sumatran (Soo-mah-tran) tiger cubs made their debut yesterday at the United States' National Zoo in Washington.
Mike, Eric and Chrissie were born at the zoo on June 24th.
The 27 pound cubs chased one another through the bamboo as their mother watched one.
Zookeepers hope they will play an important part in preserving the tiger.
They will live at the zoo until they're about 18 months old. Then they will be sent to other zoos.
Mike was named after the zoo director, while Eric and Chrissie were named by school children in a contest.
The zoo says fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers are alive today.