He was convicted of killing a Virginia Tech student, now he's in court for the murder a second time.
And the nation's unemployment rate hits the lowest level in decades.
News 7 at noon is next.
[GRAPHIC=Lilly New Trial]
A Montgomery County man convicted of murder and sentenced to die was in court today to put in motion a new trial ...and a second chance at avoiding a death sentence.
Benjamin Lee Lilly was sentenced to die in 1997 for the murder of Virginia Tech student Alexander DeFilippis (DI-Filippis), four years ago.
He was granted a new trial by the state Supreme Court after the U-S Supreme Court ruled that a taped confession by his brother should not have been used at trial.
Defense attorneys for Lilly asked the judge for a change of venue -- to move the case because of publicity. The judge did not rule on that motion.
He set Lilly's trial date for May 3.
[GRAPHIC=Campaign 2000 ]
Another Democrat wants Virgil Goode's Congressional seat.
Nelson County Democratic Chairman Allen Hale is the second Democrat to announce he'll run for the Fifth District seat.
Hale is a land surveyor and has a book business.
Earlier this week John Boyd said he would run for the seat.
Boyd is the president of the National Black Farmers Association
Another Republican has given up the bid for the White House.
[3:15 or 3:43]
Gary Bauer today announced he's quitting the race.
That leaves just George W. Bush, John McCain, Steve Forbes, and Alan Keyes vying for the G-O-P nomination.
Bauer has done well in debates and also had success raising money.
But he couldn't climb above one percent of the vote in the critical New Hampshire primary Tuesday.
Bauer is the sixth Republican to call it quits.
The unemployment rate just keeps dropping.
The government says the jobless rate hit four percent for January, a 30-year low.
President Clinton is hailing today's figures and claiming a share of the credit.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=Since 19-93 our economy.....]
[OUT Q=expansion in our history.]
President Clinton today also ordered a crackdown on rogue gundealers.
[OUT=used in crimes.]
He's giving new powers to federal agents to inspect dealers -- and to require better reporting of stolen weapons.
In Austria... protesters are denouncing the new far right wing government that was sworn in today.
The leader of a key party in the new coalition has praised some of the policies of former Austrian Adolf Hitler.
Mark Phillips reports
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Vienna, Austria; :00]
[SUPER=01-Mark Phillips/Reporting; :55]
[OUT Q=CBS News, Vienna]
Crews searching the Pacific for the wreckage of Alaska Airlines flight 2-61 have located pieces of the plane's tail section.
[SUPER=03-Off Point Magu, CA;]
It includes the horizontal stabilizer.
On the cockpit voice recorder recovered yesterday the pilots are heard struggling with
the horizontal stabilizer minutes before the jetliner plunged into the ocean.
The flight data recorder has also been recovered and is in Washington where investigators will begin examining it this morning.
Officials also say there is no truth behind reports the plane had similar problems on earlier flights.
(///// SOT /////)
((JOHN HAMMERSCHMIDT/ NTSB SPOKESPERSON; FOR THE TWO PREVIOUS FLIGHT LEGS OF THIS AIRCRAFT FLIGHT, EVERYTHING WAS REPORTED FINE.))
[OUT Q=WAS REPORTED FINE.]
The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, says investigators are looking into whether the emergency procedures followed by the plane's crew put the aircraft into its fatal dive.
The paper quotes unidentified
N-T-S-B officials as its sources.
A minister has been kicked out of the state for breaking into his ex-wife's Lynchburg home.
Reverend Gene McNutt pleaded guilty yesterday to disguising himself in black face and forcing his way into the woman's house in November.
He locked her inside for four hours and assaulted her before she convinced him to leave.
A judge suspended a five year jail sentence, provided McNutt has no contact with the woman and does not return to Virginia for ten years.
He's also been asked to surrender his credentials as a United Methodist minister.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Those calls from telemarketers won't be going away anytime soon.
That's one story still ahead on News 7 at Noon.
And winter in Alaska is usually harsh, but this one is especially bad-- that state is reeling from avalanches.
For more on our forecast, let's talk to Patrick.
[music up full]
It's a state of emergency in parts of Alaska because of avalanches.
Heavy snow and rising temperatures have triggered snowslides that have killed one person, cut power, and caused millions of dollars in damage.
Thousands of people have been stranded for four days after an avalanche closed a major highway.
And about a half dozen communities are without power.
Alaska's governor today declared the south-central part of the state a federal disaster area.
The avalanches are the worst to hit Alaska in decades.
Virginians who were hoping to be spared annoying calls from telemarketers are probably out of luck.
The General Assembly killed a bill that would have allowed Virginians to put their names on a statewide "do not call" list.
Telemarketers would have had to buy that list every 90 days.
[IN Q=We think]
((JEAN ANN FOX/VA. CITIZENS CONSUMER COUNCIL: WE THINK THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT MORE TELEMARKETING, SELLING FINANCIAL SERVICES TO CONSUMERS, AND THAT FOLKS THAT PAY THE MONTHLY PHONE BILLS SHOULD BE ABLE TO SAY NO I DON'T WANT TO GET THOSE CALLS.))
[SUPER=01-Jean Ann Fox/Va. Citizens Consumer Council; ]
[OUT Q=those calls.]
But lawmakers worried about their authority in stopping out of state calls.
And, they thought about the thousands of jobs the telemarketing industry provides in Virginia.
[IN Q=Most people]
((JAN SCHWEITZER/TELEMARKETER: MOST PEOPLE ARE VERY RECEPTIVE, AND...DIFFERENT PEOPLE, DIFFERENT ATTITUDES.))
[SUPER=01-Jan Schweitzer/Telemarketer; ]
[OUT Q=different attitudes.]
Federal law currently allows you to tell each individual telemarketing company to put you on their "do not call" list-- and requires THAT specific company NOT to call again.
[GRAPHIC=Va. Trash Imports]
A federal judge has trashed a Virginia garbage law.
[SUPER=04-Dept. of Environmental Quality]
Judge James Spencer says the state's ban on out of state trash is an UNconstitutional "knee-jerk" response.
So he struck it down, saying it violated the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.
The new laws would have capped landfill growth, banned garbage barges, and more tightly regulated trash trucks.
The Governor has asked Attorney General Mark Earley to appeal.
[GRAPHIC=Roanoke Co. Schools]
Planning for the new South Roanoke County High School is underway again after a short delay.
The School Board put the project on hold for nine days, while another firm reviewed the plan for possible savings.
Last night, the Board approved changes that could save up to 500- thousand dollars... though the architects believe the figure will be much lower.
The school is scheduled to open in 2002, and site excavation could begin sometime this summer.
A High profile Congresswoman traveled to Blacksburg-- to celebrate black history month with Virginia Tech students.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters spoke to hundreds of students of last night.
Her message -- stand-up against injustice.
[IN Q=No we have not]
((MAXINE WATERS: NO WE HAVE NOT REACHED A POINT IN TIME IN OUR HISTORY WHEN WE CAN REST. YES A LOT OF PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE BUT THERE IS STILL INEQUALITY))
[SUPER=01-Rep. Maxine Waters/(D) California]
[OUT Q=still inequality]
Some students say Waters' message was empowering.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We always feel]
((WE ALWAYS FEEL THAT THERE IS MORE THAT WE CAN DO. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER SPARK BEHIND US))
[SUPER=01-Janelle Harden/Tech Student]
[OUT Q=behind us]
Waters told the students they should never underestimate the power they have to make a difference.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Still confused about the Standards of Learning?
Roanoke City schools have a special program to help-- find out more when we return.
And pandas have been getting a lot of the bear spotlight lately.
Now they'll have to share it with this gal.
Details a little later.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Many parents and students have concerns about Virginia's standards of learning tests.
The Roanoke school system has a program to help ease some of those anxieties.
Lissy Runyon is here today to talk about a "parent university" that the city school system is offering next week.
How does this work, and what information and advice will you be offering parents?
[SUPER=01-Lissy Runyon/Roanoke City Schools;]
Is this just for the SOL tests, or could this be applied to other exams students have to take?
[SUPER=16-(540) 853-2816/Parent University]
Anyone who'd like to take part has to pre-register.
Today is the deadline to do that.
The number to call is 853-2816.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Melanie and Patrick]
(Toss to Patrick)
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was UP one point.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Still to come in sports, Virginia Tech, Roanoke College, and the U-V-A women add to the win column after hardwood victories,
and get set for some excitement for the remainder of the N-B-A season.
The Flamboyant One, Dennis Rodman, is back. Patrick has the details, next.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The bad boy is back.
The Dallas Mavericks have signed Dennis Rodman for the remainder of the season.
Team officials say Rodman should be ready to play Wednesday at Seattle, after spending the next few days getting into shape.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban is even bending the rules for the worm.
He'll be able to ride a stationary bike instead of practicing and he's also been given a later pre-game arrival time than the rest of his Dallas teammates.
Virginia Tech's men returned to the Cassell last night looking to pick up a "W" against A-10 rival St. Joe's.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/St. Joseph's vs. Va. Tech; :00]
Rolan Roberts was honored last night prior to the opening tip as Ricky Stokes presented him the game ball from last Saturday to commemorate Roberts becoming the 31st player in the school history to hit the 1000 point plateau.
The Hokies were hot early on as Brian Chase gets the steal on one end and then converts on the other with the three pointer. Chase had 15 points.
St. Joe's got the ball to drop from the outside, as well. They jack up an average of 25 three pointers a game and N'aim Crenshaw gets this triple to fall.
Tech would then work the inside as Dennis Mims drains the short jump shot for two of his game high 18 points.
The Tech defense also played well, as Roberts throws the hook pass down
[SUPER=33-St. Joseph's/62/Virginia Tech/68;]
court to Tony Dobbins. He drives the lane and knocks down the hoop.
The Hokies improve to 10-and-10 with the 68 to 62 win.
The Hokies found out yesterday that they will be paired with the defending national champs in one of the Big East conference's two basketball divisions next season.
[GO TO PINNACLE]
Tech is bracketed with Boston College, U-Conn, Miami, Providence, St. John's, and Villanova.
The Hokies will play each of these teams twice and then play four schools from the other Big East division during the regular season.
That means the Hokies will have a total of 16 conference games.
Syracuse, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Pitt, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Georgetown make up the second Big East division.
The top six from each division will advance to the Big East tournament.
Roanoke College played host to Bridgewater in an important ODAC tilt last night.
The Maroons get their rematch with unbeaten Hampden-Sydney tomorrow,
[SUPER=03-Salem/Bridgewater vs. Roanoke; :00]
But last night the concern was veteran head coach Bill Leatherman and his Eagles.
The Maroons got a lucky break early as this pass gets loose on the offensive end and eventually ends up in the hands of Brad Dunleavy who converts with some flash.
Bridgewater would answer with a more conventional two, Jermaine Reed turns the post pass into a short J.
The Eagles tried to get a little greedy on the break, and Dunleavy goes to the roof and swats down Matt Stevens lay-in attempt.
Roanoke would come back with a hoop from Cliff Jacobs on the wing.
The Maroons win 76-to-73 and improve 16 and 3 overall, 11 and 2 in the ODAC.
The University of Virginia women have been hot lately, and last night they took their fire to Hot-lanta to play Georgia Tech.
[SUPER=03-Atlanta, GA/FoxSS; :00]
Debbie Ryan's team came in having won 12 of their last 13 games.
But last night they had to fight for everything. Late in the game, trailing by two, Schuye Larue makes the great pass to a cutting Renee Robinson for the lay-in to tie it at 61.
But Georgia Tech comes back. With just 22 seconds to play, Danielle Donahew calmly scores inside to give Ga. Tech a 65-to-64 lead.
Robinson went for the win in the closing seconds but her three pointer bounced, Swetlana Volnaya got the rebound and drew the foul.
She then hit both free throws to lift the Cavs to a 66-to-65 win.
UVa is now 9-and-1 in the ACC, 17 and 5 overall.
We leave you today with some video guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
She's a brand new polar bear cub at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.
After a rocky start weighing a half pound at birth, this white ball of fur now weighs in at 22 pounds.
Tee-goo-ahk's low birth weight problem was compounded when her mother rejected her.
But as she can see she's getting lots of T-L-C from the zoo's staff.