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WDBJ 7 news at Noon for 08/24/00
They're answering the call of duty today--
Verizon employees have ended their strike and are back to work.
We'll have a live update.
And investigators are picking up the pieces, looking for clues to yesterday's fatal plane crash in the Persian Gulf.
The bad news is showers and thunderstorms are hitting our area today... the good news is Debby is losing strength. Your Virginia and Tropical forecasts are straight ahead.
Good afternoon..I'm Kimberly McBroom.
More than 30 thousand Verizon workers in six mid-Atlantic States are returning to work today.
Their battle for a contract put customers on hold and the company in a pinch.
Jennifer Miele joins us now with the latest.
Kim, the lines are no longer busy.
The second longest strike in Bell Atlantic history came to an end late last night.
[JEN ON CAMERA]
Union officials and the company have finally come to an agreement on mandatory overtime, stress in the workplace, and wording on vacation time.
(rollcue...and wording on vacation time.)
[IN Q=After 18 days on]
[SUPER=01-Guy Angel/Local Union Vice-President; :46]
[OUT Q=that we wanted.]
(( After 18 days on strike, Union members are being asked to return to work.
Their new agreement cuts the number of overtime hours that customer service employees can be forced to work from 15 hours per week to only 7- � hours effective immediately.
The settlement calls for customer service employees to receive 30 minutes of off-line time per shift.
That way workers can be off the phones to process customer orders and requests.
The compensation package provides general wage hikes of 12 percent over the three years.
Other economic gains include a corporate profit sharing plan with maximum payout of $1,000 a year, and a grant of 100 Verizon stock options to each full time employee.
Union leaders say the settlement secures the future for union members at Verizon.
[IN Q=We're very happy]
((WE'RE VERY HAPPY, WE FEEL THAT WE GOT A CONTRACT THAT BRINGS DIGNITY BACK TO OUR MEMBERSHIP. WE GOT SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN ALL THE AREAS THAT WE WANTED. ))
[OUT Q=that we wanted.]))
[JEN ON Camera]
Union leaders are headed to Washington today to an explanation meeting about the contract.
They expect the contract to be finalized in about three weeks.
Kim tonight at 5 and 6 we'll hear from Verizon, and see what they have to say about their employees going back to
For the second time in less than a year, the Egyptian people are in mourning after a plane crash.
There were no survivors aboard the Gulf Air jet that crashed yesterday.
Drew Levinson has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Ali Ahmadi/Gulf Air; :41]
[SUPER=01-Drew Levinson/Reporting; 1:03]
[OUT Q=Levinson, CBS News, New York.]
Narr: The shattered parts of the doomed Gulf Air Jet were clearly
visible as the sun rose over the Persian Gulf This morning. Recovery
crews picked up the pieces as they floated in the water and just below
The faces seen on these passports are just some of the 143 people on
board the Airbus A320 who were killed when the flight from Cairo plunged
into the sea. 36 on board were children.
The jet was trying to land in Bahrains capital of Manama.
U-S Navy divers, recovered the so-called black boxes those are the
flight data cockpit recorders. That will help aviation experts
determine what happened.
SOT ALI AHMADI/GULF AIR)
DO YOU THINK THAT THERE ARE TERRORIST ACTS BEHIND THIS?
I AM SORRY I HAVE NO COMMENTS ON THAT BUT THERE IS NO NEWS AT ALL ON
THAT. NOTHING AT ALL.
At the Bahrain airport grieving family members attended a meeting where
the names of the victims were announced. One woman whose brother was
killed said this is the worst day of my life. I lost a part of me.
The A-320, like this one was delivered to Gulf Air six years ago. Airbus
said it had made more than 13 thousand 800 flights.
The National Transportation Safety Administration from the United States
will help in the investigation.
Drew Levinson, CBS News, New York
A small fire damaged a Roanoke church.
Authorities say a pile of firewood and siding behind the recreation building at Rosalind Hills Baptist Church caught fire last night.
They don't know why.
The fire did about 500 dollars damage and is being investigated.
Authorities are looking into Tuesday morning's suspicious fire at the Harris Grocery in Henry County.
The fire heavily damaged the store.
Federal, state and local agencies are investigating.
The owner, Michael Marvin Harris pled guilty to dealing cocaine through his store. He was sentenced to seven years in prison six months ago.
A former Virginia Tech administrator has been sentenced to probation for defrauding the school of money.
Professor Craig Rogers was convicted yesterday on two charges of obtaining money by false pretenses.
Tech alleged he used public funds on several thousand dollars worth of personal expenses, including airline tickets.
Earlier this week, Rogers resigned from his job as a dean at the University of South Carolina.
An intelligence investigation is under way to determine how a Russian nuclear submarine sank.
But officials say such a probe is common in Russia, and doesn't imply prosecutors believe there was criminal involvement.
Meanwhile, grieving family members of the 118 sailors who died laid flowers on the waves above the sunken submarine.
A wreath from Russian President Vladimir
Putin is included among the flowers.
Many relatives also watched the laying of a foundation stone for a memorial to the Kursk.
The submarine sank August 12th.
An accused American spy won't be getting out of a Russian jail anytime soon.
A Moscow court has refused to grant bail for imprisoned businessman Edmund Pope.
Pope was arrested April third on charges of stealing military secrets.
He appeared in court today after his attorneys made a bid for his release.
He has bone cancer that's in remission, and his attorney argued Pope does NOT have access to adequate medical care in prison.
Meanwhile, Pope maintains his innocence.
No trial date has been set.
Students started school on time despite an explosion at Pulaski County High School last month.
15-hundred students went back yesterday.
The only thing missing was air conditioning in their windowless classrooms.
That's expected to be restored by Labor Day.
Until then, students will get out two hours early.
A natural gas explosion in the mechanical room knocked out power, gas and water last month.
School administrators estimate the speedy repairs cost 750-thousand dollars.
A Southwest Virginia school for gifted students receives a federal grant.
It's a start, but it's not enough to help a school that's overcrowded and underfunded.
Senator Chuck Robb delivered a 138-thousand dollar check to help the Governor's School get a new building.
Now, the school needs about 2-and-a-half million dollars more to reach its goal.
As governor in 1985, Robb started the Governor's school system.
It provides accelerated math and science classes to gifted students from six area school districts.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=At this point]
[15:14:07 - :21]
((PAT DUNCAN/GOVERNOR'S SCHOOL DIRECTOR: AT THIS POINT, IT CAN GO A VERY SMALL WAY TOWARD BUILDING THE BUILDING THAT WE NEED BUT IT'S THE BEGINNING AND THAT'S GOOD. IT'S THE LARGEST BEGINNING THAT WE'VE EVER HAD. ))
[SOT 15:23:57 - 15:24:04]
((SEN. CHUCK ROBB: ANY TIME THAT WE CAN SUPPORT EDUCATION AT ANY LEVEL, I BELIEVE THAT EDUCATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT.))
[SUPER=01-Pat Duncan/Governor's School Director; :00]
[SUPER=01-Sen. Chuck Robb/(D) Virginia; :14]
[OUT Q=function of government.]
The Governor's School hopes to combine with the New River Valley Magnet School for information Technology on the campus of the New River Community College.
Insects are taking their toll on 25-thousand acres of trees in Alleghany and Bath Counties.
Steve Bennett is dealing with the gypsy moth problem first hand.
In June, he noticed the insects devouring the leaves on his trees.
The moths aren't the problem... it's when the insects are in the caterpillar stage that they do the most damage.
Experts say folks should destroy the moths' egg masses.
Each one could contain up to a thousand caterpillars.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=In the residential]
((ROY KISER/EXTENSION AGENT: IN THE RESIDENTIAL AREAS THERE'S THE NUISANCE ASPECT, YOU CAN HAVE LITERALLY THOUSAND IF NOT MILLIONS OF CATERPILLARS CRAWLING ON HOUSES, GET IN CARS, GARAGES, THEY WILL THEN EAT YOUR SHRUBBERY.))
[SUPER=01-Roy Kiser/Extension Agent;]
[OUT Q=eat you shrubbery.]
Steve Bennett had portions of his property sprayed over the summer and will probably do so next year.
If you detect a problem... experts say contact your local extension office.
Using his wits to spear fish and form alliances paid off big for Richard Hatch.
The corporate trainer is a million dollars richer after proving himself the ultimate "Survivor" on this summer's tropical island game show...
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 13:37:16 ]
[IN Q=The Winner of the first]
((JEFF PROBST/"SURVIVOR" HOST: THE WINNER OF THE FIRST SURVIVOR COMPETITION IS RICH. RICHARD HATCH/"SURVIVOR" WINNER:
I BELIEVED I HAD A REALLY STRONG CHANCE BEFORE I GOT TO THE ISLAND. I UNDERSTAND QUITE A BIT ABOUT MYSELF. I UNDERSTAND QUITE A BIT ABOUT PEOPLE. PSYCHOLOGY. PERSONALITIES. AND I THOUGHT THAT WOULD PLAY EFFECTIVELY FOR ME, AND IT DID.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Hatch/"Survivor" Winner; :11]
[OUT Q=and it did.]
Hatch won't just take the money and run, though.
He'll host a radio talk show next week, and he's in a milk ad today.
Survivor fans in Roanoke gathered at Corned Beef and Company to root for their favorite castaway.
Viewers waited to hear the news and for some it came as quite a shock when the winner was announced.
Kate Weidaw has the story.
[IN Q=nat sound]
[OUT Q=News 7 Roanoke]
(([NAT SOUND FROM CBS FEED]
The show about 16 everyday people
[NAT SOUND CASTAWAYS TALKING]
put on an island
[SHOTS OF VIDS GOING OVER WATER]
captured the attention of folks across the valley.
((YOU CAN NOT WATCH IT ONCE YOU START WATCHING IT.))
((IT'S WORSE THEN A SOAP OPERA YOU CAN'T LEAVE IT.))
((EVERYONE ELSE WAS SO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON.))
As the final four castaways were narrowed down to two
[NAT SOUND OF PEOPLE IN BAR YELLING]
everyone thought they knew the answer to the summer's hottest questions... who will take home the big bucks?
((RUDY HE'S A GOOD VIRGINIA BOY HE'S GOING TO TAKE IT HOME.))
((RICHARD IS GOING TO WIN.))
Some memorable moments were made after the castaways 39 days of feasting on rats and collecting mud on their bodies.
((EATING THE GRUBS WAS PRETTY DISGUSTING.))
((THE BEST CONTEST WAS THE BEETLE LARVA WHEN THEY ATE THE BEETLE LARVA I LOST IT.))
((KATE WEIDAW/REPORTING: BUT ONE OF THE SHOWS MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS MAYBE THE WINNER. MOST FOLKS HAD BET ON RUDY WINNING AND WHEN THE WINNER WAS ANNOUNCED IT CAME AS QUITE A SHOCK. KATE WEIDAW NEWS 7 ROANOKE.))
Some UN- sportmanslike conduct toward the Olympic torch--
A 17- year- old boy tried to douse the Olympic flame during a torch relay today, just north of Sydney.
Authorities say he sprayed fire retardant at the torch, but failed to extinguish the flame.
Security arrested the teen and handed him over to local police.
State police say he was later released into his father's custody.
No charges were filed.
A similar incident happened last month, when a 19- year- old snatched away the Olympic torch as a prank.
And before we leave you today--
There's a competition this week in Minnesota that REALLY requires you to put your best foot forward.
[SUPER=03-Fergus Falls, MN;]
Skiers from 15 countries are taking part in the World BAREFOOT Waterskiing Championships.
Frank Zinn from Germany has been barefoot skiing since childhood.
He claims it's not nearly as hard on the feet or the backside as it looks-- even though boats reach speeds up to 70- miles- per hour.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 3:31:45 ]
[IN Q=One day we saw]
((FRANK ZINN/BAREFOOT SKI CHAMPION: ONE DAY WE SAW PEOPLE SKIING WITHOUT SKIS AND IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE. WE FOLLOWED HIM AND SAID, "HEY, HOW DOES IT WORK? ))
[SUPER=01-Frank Zinn/Barefoot Ski Champion;]
[OUT Q=does it work?]
Zinn will test his fancy footwork against 35 other skiers to determine who is the best in the world.
The contest runs through Sunday.