The U-S Supreme Court takes on the issue of recounts in Florida.
We'll have the latest on the drawn out presidential election.
Plus, we'll take you to Belgium for a look at art on ice.
Temperatures are falling this weekend along with a little of the white stuff. Forecast details are ahead.
News 7 at noon is next.
Members of the U-S Supreme Court could rule on whether Florida broke the law by extending the deadline for hand recounts of presidential ballots.
At the start of a historic 90 minutes of arguments before the
high court, several justices asked lawyers for George W. Bush and
Florida's secretary of state why the high court should even become involved in a struggle over a STATEwide election.
One justice reminded the Bush camp that the Supreme Court is a FEDERAL court.
And at least four other justices questioned the high court's involvement.
Lawyers for Al Gore are hoping the high court will agree with
them -- that the issue should be left to the Florida courts.
Florida's Supreme Court gave the Gore team a victory by allowing
hand recounts to continue, even after a state deadline.
Drew Levinson is standing by live in Washington with the latest.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=701-Bob Crawford/Florida Election Official]
((DREW INTRO: ..what we know about proceedings so far)
WITH HUNDREDS OF DEMONSTRATORS AND SPECTATORS ON HAND HOPING TO WITNESS
A PIECE OF HISTORY...THE NATION'S HIGHEST COURT IS FINALLY GETTING A
CHANCE TO PROVIDE SOME DIRECTION TO THIS ELECTION CHAOS.
MOS SOT: THIS IS HISTORY
THE SINGLE QUESTION BEFORE THE NINE JUSTICES TODAY: DID FLORIDA'S
SUPREME COURT INTERPRET ELECTION LAW OR... AS THE BUSH CAMP
CONTENDS...MAKE UP IT'S OWN LAW... WHEN IT EXTENDED THE HANDCOUNT
IF THE COURT AGREES WITH GOV. BUSH THAT THE FLORIDA COURT WAS WRONG,
THEN THE ORIGINAL CERTIFICATION DATE OF OF NOVEMBER 14TH HOLDS. ON THAT
DAY BUSH WON BY 930 VOTES.
IF THE JUSTICES DISAGREE AND FIND THAT THE COURT RULED CORRECTLY, THEN
THE NOVEMBER 26TH DATE HOLDS AND BUSH WON BY 537 VOTES. (END GRAPHIC)
SO BARRING ANY UNFORSEEN RULING... THE DECISION WILL NOT DETERMINE THE
WINNER. IT MAY HOWEVER PROVIDE A ROADMAP OF SORTS FOR THE VARIOUS COURT
PROCEEDING STILL PLAYING OUT IN FLORIDA.
SOT: BOB CRAWFORD/FLORIDA ELECTION OFFICIAL
"THEY CAN TAKE A WIDE SWIPE AT THIS AND ANSWER A LOT OF THE QUESTIONS WE
DON'T SEEM TO HAVE ANSWERS FOR BACK IN FLORIDA."
(STANDUP... DON'T KNOW HOW LONG DECISION WILL TAKE...))
A 16 year old Carroll County girl charged with murdering her grandfather could spend life in prison.
A jury deliberated for six hours yesterday before convicting Robin Lee Martin of first degree murder-
The teen shot John Mesics in the face with a shotgun as he slept in his bed in July of 1999. Martin was living at her grandparents home at the time.
During the trial, Martin's grandmother and family sat far away from her. They did not comment as they left the trial.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 8:49 - :54]
[IN Q=They're pleased]
((GREG GOAD/COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: THEY'RE PLEASED WITH THE VERDICT. BUT OF COURSE THEY'RE STILL UPSET AS WELL BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION BEING FAMILY.))
[SUPER=01-Greg Goad/Carroll Co. Commonwealth's Atty.;]
[OUT Q=being family.]
Prosecutor Greg Goad said Martin planned the shooting during several hours on the phone with friends.
Martin's attorney argued that the shooting resulted from a combination of factors. Those included her mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure and verbal abuse from Mesics.
Martin testified that she only meant to scare her grandfather with the shotgun.
She could face a penalty of life in prison. She'll be sentenced in February.
The man accused of killing a Radford teenager won't go on trial until next year.
But his lawyers have already asked to move the trial out of Pulaski county.
Lawyers filed a request for a change of venue, contending that "hostile" and "inflammatory" media accounts prejudiced the community.
Jeffrey Allen Thomas is accused of the capital murder of Radford teen Tara Rose Munsey.
He's being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail, awaiting trial in February.
No jail time for a former Miss Virginia contestant convicted of embezzlement.
24 year old Samantha Miller was found guilty yesterday of embezzling money from an employee fund at the C-C-I Construction in Powhatan.
Her defense attorney claimed it was Miller's personal account.
She faced up to 20 years in prison but the jury fined her 15-hundred dollars.
Last Spring, Miller dropped out of the Miss Virginia pageant when she learned about the charges.
As Bedford Central Library celebrated its 100-th birthday inside, a protest was held outside.
The President of Bedford's chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference held the protest last night claiming the library discriminates against hiring minorities.
But the library's director says that's false.
Kate Weidaw has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Jack Mills/Bedford SCLC President;:21 QUICK!!]
[SUPER=01-Tom Hehman/Bedford Public Library Dir.;:36]
[OUT Q=kw news 7.]
(([NAT SOUND ORCHESTRA PLAYING]
As the orchestra played inside the Bedford Central Library celebrating its 100-th birthday, folks attending the event were greeted outside with this, signs claiming the library discriminates against minorities.
((JACK MILLS/PRES. SCLC: I'M SAYING THERE ARE NO MINORITY EMPLOYEES IN THE BEDFORD LIBRARY SYSTEM.))
((TOM HEHMAN/DIR. BEDFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM: HIS FACTS ARE WRONG.))
Tom Hehman has been the Director of the Bedford Public Library System since 1993.
((TOM HEHMAN: WE'VE HIRED DOZENS OF PEOPLE IN THAT TIME AND SEVERAL OF THEM HAVE BEEN BLACK, AND I KNOW PRIOR TO MY ARRIVAL IN 1993 WE'VE HAD OTHER STAFF MEMBERS ON BOARD WHO WERE BLACK.))
Jack Mills says his research shows otherwise.
((JACK MILLS: TELL THEM TO GIVE YOU NAMES AND CHECK IT OUT.))
((KATE WEIDAW/REPORTING:ACCORDING TO HEHMAN THE LIBRARY CURRENTLY EMPLOYEES ONE MINORITY.
HEHMAN ALSO SAYS IF THE SCLC BELIEVES THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM WHY HASN'T ANYONE FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION. KATE WEIDAW NEWS 7.))
The trial for three American teen-agers charged with murder in Germany is now underway.
The trio is accused of killing two women by throwing heavy stones from a bridge onto a highway.
Prosecutors say some of the stones weighed more than 18-pounds.
A 20-year old woman and 41-year old mother of two were killed when the stones crashed through their windshields.
The teens were 14, 17 and 18 at the time of the February attack.
If convicted, they face up to ten years in prison.
Just hours before the inauguration of Mexico's president-elect, a volcano that towers over the capital city erupted, causing an earthquake.
The eruption shot out a plume of gas and ashes.
The earthquake followed shortly after 8 this morning.
There's no word of injuries or damage.
Authorities are trying to figure out where the quake was centered.
Mexico City is often affected by quakes that are centered
hundreds of miles away.
For the third night in a row, fire broke out at the Coffee Pot in Roanoke.
Last night's blaze began around 10-30.
Fire officials say it began on one of the night spot's outside walls.
It only took a matter of minutes for the flames to be extinguished.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=it looks]
((Battalion Chief AUDIE FERRIS: IT LOOKS LIKE THE FIRE STARTED ON THE OUTSIDE WALL THERE AND CLIMBED UP IT AND GOT INTO THE CEILING UP UNDERNEATH THE SHINGLES AND WENT TO THE PEAK.))
[SUPER=01-Audie Ferris/Battalion Chief]
[OUT Q=to the peak]
Investigators have not ruled out arson as the cause of the blaze.
The damage to the building should not keep it from reopening today.
Roanoke City Council may be closer to making a decision about the future of Victory Stadium.
Joe Dashiell has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=City Council remains divided]
[SUPER=01-Ralph Smith/Roanoke Mayor; :10]
[SUPER=01-Rev. Nelson Harris/Roanoke City Council; :43]
[OUT Q=JD News 7 Roanoke]
((City Council remains divided over the future of Victory Stadium.
Mayor Ralph Smith believes it can be renovated for much less than consultants have estimated.
[IN Q=I understand the people's frustration]
((I UNDERSTAND THE PEOPLE'S FRUSTRATION WITH THE STADIUM ISSUE GOING ON AND ON AND ON, STILL NO EXCUSE TO MAKE A BAD DECISION.))
[OUT Q=make a bad decision.]
But other members of council, perhaps a majority are leaning toward construction of a new and smaller stadium.
In a letter placing the issue on Monday's agenda, Vice Mayor Bill Carder and member Nelson Harris are encouraging council to move forward.
They want council to call for a recommendation from the city manager, initiate a process to gather public input, and set aside 300- thousand dollars to help with financing.
[IN Q=Whatever the council decides]
((WHATEVER THE COUNCIL DECIDES, THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME FOLKS IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT AREN'T GOING TO LIKE THE DECISION, WHETHER IT'S PRESERVING WHAT WE'VE GOT OR BUILDING SOMETHING NEW, BUT I THINK THE WORST DECISION WE CAN MAKE IS TO CONTINUE TO NOT MAKE A DECISION.))
[OUT Q=not make a decision.]
A number of factors have delayed action on Victory Stadium, site considerations, the proposal to build the biotech center nearby, even the arrival of a new city manager... but it now appears council is moving closer to a decision on this city landmark.
Joe Dashiell News 7 Roanoke))
The car tax is halfway eliminated, but the Gilmore administration admitted two weeks ago that lagging state revenues could force a freeze in the car tax phase-out.
But now, the Governor himself is suggesting he might try to tap into the state's "rainy day fund" to keep the car tax cut on schedule.
[IN Q=Rainy day fund]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: RAINY DAY FUND IS ON THE TABLE, BECAUSE IT IS PART OF THE OVERALL BUDGET PROCESS THAT WE HAVE HERE. BUT I HAVEN'T MADE ANY DECISION ABOUT THAT. WE JUST HAVE TO SEE WHAT THE ECONOMY LOOKS LIKE. THE RAINY DAY FUND IS THERE TO SMOOTH OUT GOOD AND NOT SO GOOD ECONOMIC TIMES. LET'S SEE WHETHER OR NOT THAT IS THE RIGHT ECONOMIC APPROACH. WE DON'T KNOW YET.))
((DEL. MITCH VAN YAHRES/(D) CHARLOTTESVILLE: THIS IS ABSOLUTELY IRRESPONSIBLE FISCALLY AS I SEE IT. BECAUSE AS I SAY, THE RAINY DAY FUND IS FOR USE WHEN WE HAD TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES. THIS IS NOT TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES. THIS IS JUST SOMETHING THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS PROMISED. BUT HE CAN'T KEEP HIS PROMISE. BUT I DON'T THINK HE SHOULD USE THE RAINY DAY FUND TO BAIL HIMSELF OUT.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Mitch Van Yahres/(D) Charlottesville; :20 ]
[OUT Q=bail himself out.]
The rainy day fund was created by former governor Doug Wilder, in 1991, after a recession forced him and the legislature to close a one BILLION dollar hole in the budget.
A national study shows a quarter of U-S teenagers have come into contact with a gun or knife in the past year. Now two Botetourt County students are doing
something to try and prevent violence in their schools. They've pursued out of town training.
Allison DuVal and Brandy Parks are teaching 142 of their classmates at Lord Botetourt High School to spot the signs of violence -- such as students who let their grades drop or stop interacting socially.
This is part of a national program called Stop the Violence.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We need to know]
((WE NEED TO KNOW ... PROBLEMS IN LIFE.))
[SUPER=01-Loren Johnson/Asst. Football Coach;]
[OUT Q=problems in life]
The two teenagers hope to take their video of warning signs into every high school classroom but first, they need permission from teachers.
People in the Roanoke Valley are rushing to defend a Salvation Army worker who thought he could not ring his bell at Valley View Mall.
Don Brizendine's bosses told him to raise money without the trademark Salvation Army bell because they thought it violated mall rules.
But after News7 featured Brizendine in a Thanksgiving story, so many people called the mall insisting Brizendine be able to ring his bell -- that mall managers cleared up the misunderstanding.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The lady who runs]
((DON BRIZENDINE/BELL RINGER: THE LADY WHO RUNS THE MALL CAME OUT HERE AND SAID THEY'D HAD SOME CALLS, INQUIRIES ABOUT WHY I COULDN'T RING THE BELL. SHE TOLD ME I COULD RING IT ANYTIME I WANTED TO, AND IF THEY DIDN'T LIKE IT THEY COULD CALL HER.))
[SUPER=01-Don Brizendine/Bell Ringer;]
[OUT Q=could call her]
(///// SOT /////)
((nat sot bell ringing))
Valley View managers say bell ringing IS allowed because this mall is two stories high and the sound disperses.
Lynchburg's River Ridge Mall still forbids it because that mall has only one level.
London's Princess Anne is using her birthday to focus attention on a number of charities.
The princess had help celebrating her 50th birthday in London today.
Her parents, Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Duke of Edinburgh were both
present at a gala party in Anne's honor.
The princess has earned a reputation as the hardest working
member of the royal family.
She is best known for her 30 year commitment to the charity
"SAVE THE CHILDREN".
(///// SOT AT :20/////)
[SOT AT :20]
((I've been a very lucky lady. I mean patently the accident at birth isn't
always quite so fortuitous. Parents, very fortunate. Residences, pretty fortunate. But, to be able to be involved with so many organizations, with so many people that the whole of this country can be so proud of has been a real privilege.))
[OUT Q=a real privelege.]
Her charities also honored the Princess by presenting her with a
present of two Scottish landscape paintings.