The first presidential debate is just hours away.
But the candidates aren't the only ones gearing up for the event.
Plus, a D-N-A test clears a Virginia death row inmate of one crime but won't release him from prison.
Temperatures are steadily increasing and are still on their way up. Before the day is out we will be well into the eighties. The complete forecast is coming up.
News 7 at noon is next.
Voters intent on watching the election's first presidential debate tonight are getting a preview of the candidates' strategy.
Al Gore and George W. Bush are resting up before the first presidential debate of the election.
But their campaigns are already slinging allegations.
The Gore camp complains that Bush won't explain his plans in
Bush supporters are accusing Gore of being a master of unfair attacks.
Gore is signaling he'll avoid lapsing into attack-mode during tonight's debate.
Instead, a campaign spokesman says the Democrat will remain positive and focus on his own proposals and the future.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=This is probably...]
[SUPER=201-Joseph Lieberman/(D) Vice Pres. Candidate; :00]
[SUPER=201-Karl Rove/Bush Strategist; :12]
((JOSEPH LIEBERMAN/(D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:This is probably the best time, this and the three other debates coming, for the American people to look at al four major candidates, listen to our positions .
KARL ROVE/BUSH STRATEGIST:We're at a little bit of a disadvantage, because Al Gore clearly is an
accomplished debator who spends a lot of time on these, and has done a
lot of them.))
[OUT Q=A LOT OF THEM]
Analysts expect tonight's debate, and Thursday's vice presidential debate, to be crucial in determining who'll win the election.
Meantime, the candidates aren't the only ones looking forward to the events.
Thousands of protesters are preparing to shout their various causes from
designated areas outside the debate hall.
State police say a Clifton Forge woman has died after an accident in Alleghany County last night.
38-year-old Rebecca Susan Coleman ran off the road, hit an embankment and was thrown from her vehicle.
She died this morning at Alleghany Regional Hospital.
Police say Coleman was driving too fast, and did not have her seat belt on.
Virginia Gas previously received an offer from another company to share an existing easement for its new natural gas pipeline.
But, Virginia Gas says it wants to move ahead with a plan to BUILD a new pipeline through Roanoke and Montgomery counties.
In a letter to Duke Energy, Virginia Gas president Michael Edwards says co-locating a pipeline with an existing easement would create a number of major problems.
It would violate the company's agreement with Roanoke Gas.
A co-located line would not ensure additional capacity or increased reliability for the area.
It would also require a new compressor station in Montgomery County which would affect residents.
Virginia Gas's new pipeline already has federal approval, while a co-located line would have to go through the process again.
And Edwards also noted construction over an existing line could be dangerous.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./File Tape]
The proposed line would affect more than 350 families.
Edwards says that's 100 fewer land owners than would be affected by a co-located line.
Opponents say Edwards' arguments are not supportable.
They'll hold a meeting tonight at 7 at the Brambleton Center in Roanoke County.
Roanoke's City Manger is taking another look at the re-opening of Wiley Drive.
A portion of the road that runs through Smith Park has been closed for nearly two years while a new sewer line was being installed.
In June, city officials said they'd spend more than 200-thousand dollars on measures to slow traffic through the area.
But some Roanoke residents are urging city council to keep the road closed to cars, saying they will disrupt the park's natural beauty - and pose a threat to the people who use the park daily.
[SOT @ 3:56:00 - 3:56:06]
[IN Q=Opening the...]
((AMY BEARD/OPPOSED TO RE-OPENING WILEY DRIVE: OPENING THE ROAD WILL DESTROY THE TRANQUILITY OF THE PARK. IT WILL MAKE IT DANGEROUS FOR PEDESTRIANS, BIKERS, FISHERMEN...))
[OUT Q= fishermen.]
Several people spoke out at Monday's council meeting in favor of re-opening Wiley Drive, saying it's a convenient shortcut for commuters, and that the elderly and disabled need the road for access to Smith Park.
[SOT @ 3:50:28 - 3:50:39]
[IN Q= I think the idea...]
((JAMES ARMSTRONG/FOR RE-OPENING WILEY DRIVE: I THINK THE IDEA THAT THIS URBAN PARK IS AVAILABLE FOR DRIVERS TO ENJOY, AS WELL AS THE PEDESTRIANS AND RUNNERS IS AN ENORMOUS ADVANTAGE.))
City Council voted unanimously to refer the issue to the City Manager.
She'll examine both sides of the issue and report back to council.
The State Corporation Commission has received a recommendation concerning American Electric Power's proposed high voltage power line.
A hearing examiner says the new line is the only alternative because the company's current system is seriously overloaded.
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co./File Tape;]
Judge Howard Anderson, Junior, seen here touring the New River, says the least environmentally damaging route is the shorter of the two routes proposed by A-E-P.
That 57 mile route would run from Tazewell County to Jacksons Ferry in Wythe County.
An A-E-P spokesman says the company is cautiously optimistic.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We are]
((TODD BURNS/AEP SPOKESMAN: WE ARE ENCOURAGED WITH THE RECOMMENDATION BUT WE ALSO RECOGNIZE THIS ISN'T THE FINAL HURDLE FOR THE COMPANY TO GO THROUGH.))
[SUPER=01-Todd Burns/AEP Spokesman;]
[OUT Q=to go through.]
[SUPER=03-Wythe Co./File Tape;]
Judge Anderson's decision serves as a recommendation for the S-C-C which is expected to make a final decision later this year.
Three other federal agencies must also approve the project.
18 families would be affected by the proposed route.
Debbie and Dane Little's Wythe County "dream house" is one of them.
They moved here from California and built the house four years ago because of the scenery.
Last year, they found out their home was directly in the path of the 765-kilovolt line.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:16:15 - :31]
[IN Q=We'll have an]
((DEBBIE LITTLE: WE'LL HAVE A 180-FOOT TOWER... NOT A RISK I'D TAKE WITH MY CHILDREN.))
[SUPER=01-Debbie Little/Powerline Opponent]
[OUT Q=with my children.]
The family says a powerline running next to their home will reduce its value by about 80 percent.
They're hoping A-E-P will pay them the full value of their property so they can move.
But they say current eminent domain laws in the state are NOT on their side.
Despite a few outbreaks of gunfire a cease-fire declared in the middle east this morning is holding.
David Hawkins has the latest on the violence and impending peace talks.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-David Hawkins/Reporting; 1:00]
[OUT Q=CBS News Tel Aviv]
(( Israeli forces stopped firing... packed up and pulled back from the
borders of Palestinian-controlled areas after Palestinian officials
agreed to take steps to prevent violence from their side.
Leaders of the two sides are trying to bring to an end five days of
bloodshed... the worst the region has seen in four years.
At least 48 people have been killed... thousands injured... in clashes
between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces. Most of the
victims have been Palestinians or Arab citizens of Israel.
The fighting has cast a dark cloud over efforts to reach a final peace
agreement between Palestinians and Israelis. But President Clinton...
who's been the driving force behind the peace talks... says there may be
a silver lining.
SOT PRES. BILL CLINTON
WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS HERE, IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE A SPUR TO BOTH SIDES AS
A SOBER REMINDER TO WHAT THE ALTERNATIVE TO PEACE COULD BE.
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
are flying to Paris for meetings tomorrow with U.S. Secretary of State
Madeline Albright. The purpose, Albright says... to make sure the
cease-fire holds... and to get peace talks back on track. David hawkins,
CBS News, Tel Aviv ))
A D-N-A test has proved the innocence of a former death row inmate.
Earl Washington, Junior has been pardoned by Governor Gilmore, but Washington will stay behind bars for another crime.
Washington was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1982 Culpeper slaying of a 19-year-old woman.
The sentence was later commuted to life in prison.
Gilmore said D-N-A tests showed that evidence taken from the victim's body did not come from Washington.
He will continue to serve a 30-year sentence for beating a 73-year-old woman, burglarizing her home and shooting her brother in 1983.
The D-N-A tests from the 1982 case identified semen on a blanket found at the crime scene as that of a convicted rapist.
The Governor has ordered state police to reopen the investigation.
More than a week after the shootings at Roanoke's Backstreet Cafe, the bar has re-opened.
The manager of Backstreet Cafe, Alan Blankenship, wouldn't allow T-V cameras inside, saying he wants to keep the bar's first night open private.
But he says the bar's carpet has been replaced and the walls repainted.
Additional lighting and a metal detector have also been installed near the front door.
The Backstreet Cafe has been open in Roanoke for 22 years.
Blankenship says in that time, there were no problems at the gay bar prior to the September 22nd shooting.
[TAPE#=00-28; TC 1:59:04]
More charges have been brought up against the man accused in the Backstreet shootings.
Ronald Edward Gay is charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of Danny Lee Overstreet.
Yesterday a city grand jury returned a 13-count indictment against Gay.
It includes six counts of aggravated malicious wounding, six counts of "use of a firearm" and one count of discharging a firearm within an occupied building.
Gay could be sentenced to seven life terms plus 40-some years in prison if found guilty on all charges.
A Smith Mountain Lake water company owner won't charge customers a one thousand dollar connection fee, but he won't face disciplinary action either.
The State Corporation Commission pulled Robert Winney into court for what investigators thought was too high a connection fee.
But a hearing examiner has ruled there's no evidence Winney has hurt anyone.
Winney now says he will NOT charge the thousand dollars.
He still owes the state 24-thousand-dollars in fines for overcharging his customers last spring.
And he's due in Franklin County court later this month for allegedly failing to follow health department rules.
The man who killed rocker John Lennon could be granted parole tomorrow.
This morning, Mark David Chapman had his first parole hearing since he began serving 20-years-to-life for the crime.
Peg Rusconi reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Sarah Fenton/Lennon Fan;]
[SUPER=02-Mark Chapman/Convicted Killer;]
[SUPER=01-Robert Gangi/Correctional Assoc. of New York;]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS]
((JUST FOOTSTEPS FROM THE SPOT WHERE JOHN LENNON WAS GUNNED DOWN ALMOST
YEARS AGO... FANS STILL PAY HOMAGE TO THE MUSIC LEGEND. BUT WHILE THE
TRIBUTES ARE MOSTLY SILENT...OPPOSITION TO THE POSSIBLE PAROLE OF HIS
KILLER, MARK DAVID CHAPMAN, IS LOUD AND CLEAR.
SOT: Sarah Fenton/Lennon fan
"I hope that he's not released from jail, I hope he's never released
AFTER TWO DECADES IN PRISON, CHAPMAN GOT HIS FIRST CHANCE THIS MORNING
TO PERSUADE A PAROLE BOARD THAT HE'S BEEN REHABILITATED. IN A RECENT
INTERVIEW, CHAPMAN SAID IF LENNON WERE ALIVE TODAY, THE MUSICIAN WOULD
PROBABLY BE IN FAVOR OF HIS RELEASE.
SOT: VOICE OF CHAPMAN
"I THINK THE DEPRESSION IS OVER, THE MENTAL ILLNESS IS OVER, I OFTEN
SIT, TYPICALLY LATELY AND SAY GEE, I'M 45 YEARS OLD, A LIVING HUMAN
BEING, IN JAIL FOR MURDER, WHO KNOWS WHEN I'M GETTING OUT."
BY MOST ACCOUNTS CHAPMAN'S BEEN A MODEL INMATE. HE'S SEGREGATED FOR
HIS OWN PROTECTION FROM THE GENERAL PRISON POPULATION. EXPERTS SAY
POLITICAL FACTORS WILL WEIGH HEAVILY ON THE BOARD'S DECISION.
SOT: Robert Gangi/Executive Director-Correctional Association of NY
"There is no chance he will be released by the parole board because
there's no chance they would be willing to take the political heat that
would accompany releasing someone as notorious as Chapman into the
(rusconi standup...YOKO'S LETTER...WHEN CHAPMAN WILL BE TOLD.) ))
Despite being downgraded former Hurricane Keith is still threatening to do major damage.
[SUPER=03-Belize City, Belize;]
The tropical storm is packing 70-mile an hour winds and heavy rain.
flooding and mudslides have already been triggered throughout
Belize and parts of Mexico.
Belize is seeing the worst damage with roofs torn off hotels,
homes blown over, streets flooded, and power interrupted.
So far, four deaths are being blamed on the storm.
Forecasters expect the storm to continue weakening as it moves
over land during the next few days.
Interest rates are expected to stay where they are.
The Federal Reserve will meet today with Chairman Alan Greenspan expected to leave interest rates untouched.
The Fed has pushed up interest rates for more than a year in an effort
to put the brakes on a speeding economy.
But economists say those higher rates have slowed growth to a more sustainable pace, and that the Fed is expected to w(------------)
atch and wait for the remainder of the year.