Severe storms toppled trees, produced hail in some places, and widespread power outtages.
A-E-P says more than 17-thousand Virginians are without power, including several thousand in Franklin and Henry Counties.
Justin McLeod has more on what residents say was a dark and stormy night.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Franklin Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Judy McGuire/Franklin Co. Resident; :12]
[SUPER=01-Jesse Bower/Franklin Co. Resident; : 42]
[SUPER=01-Jose Bower/Franklin Co. Resident; 1:09]
[SUPER=01-Winston McGuire/Franklin Co. Resident; 1:14]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Franklin Co.]
((((NAT SOUND OF THUNDER))
By nine o'clock Thursday night, four storms had made their way through Franklin County.
The first began just after two o'clock.
[IN Q=It was just real windy]
((JUDY McGUIRE/FRANKLIN COUNTY RESIDENT: IT WAS JUST REAL WINDY SORT OF SCARRED ME, A LITTLE BIT AND I JUST WENT TO THE BASEMENT, HAD A LOT OF WIN AND A LOT OF RAIN.))
[OUT Q=a lot of rain]
It was much the same in the New River Valley.
As the rain and wind moved through Blacksburg, a number of trees went down.
Some residents returned from work to find cars crushed and their homes damaged.
In Botetourt County, lightning struck this home on Ridge Road near Read Mountain, sparking a small fire but causing no major damage.
And in Franklin County near Smith Mountain Lake, down power lines could be seen all over the roads.
[IN Q=We drove passed]
((JESSE BOWER: WE DROVE PASSED A POWER LINE IT WAS LAYING IN THE ROAD AND EVERYTHING AND LIKE FOUR OF THEM WERE KNOCKED DOWN.))
[OUT Q=were knocked down]
As crews worked to restore power, many businesses decided to close early.
A-E-P says it could be days before power is completely restored throughout southwest Virginia.
Residents are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
[SOT 24:28; 20:08]
[IN Q=My husband works at Kroger]
((JOSE BOWER: MY HUSBAND WORKS AT KROGER SO HE BROUGHT A BUNCH OF ICE SO HOPEFULLY I WON'T LOSE MY FOOD IN MY REFRIGERATOR.))
((WINSTON McGUIRE: GOT A GENERATOR, GOT SOME LIGHTS, CAN HAVE TV IF WE WANT CAN MAKE COFFEE, MICROWAVE OR WHATEVER.))
[OUT Q=microwave or whatever]
For those not lucky enough to have a generator, it could mean days of dinner by candlelight.
Justin McLeod, News 7, Franklin County.))
The situation is much worse in parts of West Virginia where flooding is a problem.
McDowell County, at the southern tip of the state, is under a state of emergency.
The National Guard sent two
helicopters to the county yesterday afternoon to remove stranded
residents from their homes.
Shelters have been set up in at least three area churches.
Emergency officials confirm a man whose body was found yesterday afternoon was a victim of the floods.
County, state and federal inspectors will assess damage from Sunday's tornado in Bedford County.
Emergency management officials will be touring damaged areas of the Route 460 corridor today between 10 a-m and 2 p-m.
They're asking home and business owners who suffered losses to be available during those hours to provide information about property value and insurance coverage.
The assessments will be used to help determine if a federal disaster declaration is warranted.
Lady Bird Johnson is in a Texas hospital this morning after doctors say she apparently suffered a mild stroke.
The former first lady is reportedly resting comfortably.
A family friend says the 89- year- old was at home when she became ill.
Johnson previously suffered a minor stroke in 1993.
Lady Bird Johnson served as honorary chairman of the national Head Start program while in the White House with former President Lyndon Johnson from 1963 to 1969.
A former Boston priest who's accused of repeatedly raping a boy during the 1980s will be in court today in San Diego.
[SUPER=03-San Diego, CA;]
The Reverend Paul Shanley was arrested yesterday in California-- he now faces an extradition hearing.
The warrant lists assaults that allegedly took place from 1983 to 1990, the year Shanley was transferred to California.
Shanley has already been the focus of a civil suit, but these are the first criminal charges.
According to the civil suit, the arch-diocese received dozens of abuse allegations against Shanley, but did nothing.
The battle is won for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
On Monday, a federal appeals court granted them the right to put the Confederate flag logo on their special license plates.
And yesterday Governor Warner and Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said they are giving up the fight.
There will be no appeal.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=WE FELT THE CASE COULD]
((GOVERNOR MARK WARNER: WE FELT THE CASE COULD NOT BE FURTHER DEFENDED IN COURT AND THAT THE COMMONWEALTH'S RESOURCES WERE BEST SPENT ELSEWHERE RATHER THAN ON A CASE THAT LOOKED LIKE IT WOULD LOSE IF IT WAS FURTHER APPEALED.))
[OUT Q=IF IT WAS FURTHER APPEALED.]
After a two-year court battle, the Sons of Confederate Veterans aren't wasting any more time.
They showed up yesterday outside the Department of Motor Vehicles with 368 applications for the specialty tags.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=EVERY SINGLE JUDGE THAT'S]
((HENRY KIDD/SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS: EVERY SINGLE JUDGE THAT'S HEARD THIS CASE HAS TOLD THE STATE THAT THEY ARE USING VIEWPOINT DISCRIMINATION, VIOLATING OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS, FREEDOM OF SPEECH. AND SO I LOOK FORWARD TO THESE BEING ON OUR CARS. WITHOUT A LOT OF FURTHER DELAY, THEY SHOULD BE ON THE ROAD SOMETIME BY THE MIDDLE OF JULY.))
[SUPER=01-Henry Kidd/Sons of Confederate Veterans]
[OUT Q=BY THE MIDDLE OF JULY.]
The General Assembly approved the plate three years ago... but refused to allow the groups logo which features a Confederate flag.
Two courts have now ruled that unconstitutional.
In business news, The Labor Department is due to release the April employment
report later today.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=your local stocks]
((Investors will get a better picture of the job market today when the government releases the April employment report. The day's report is expected to show the economy added jobs for a second straight month. Just adding to proof of a rebound...the number of people filing weekly first time un claims feel to lowest level in 5 weeks. and factory orders climbed in the month of march. A court victory for ford and bridgestone's firestone unit. a fed appeals court overturned the class action status of product. Liability. claims against the company. the dec. means more than 3-million owners of ford explorers and as many as 15-million firestone tire owners, would have to file individual cases on their own instead of joining a consolidated lawsuit. and just call it a symbolic gesture, the hewlett-packard compaq merger will be completed later today and trade as a combined company under a new symbolon the nyse. hp will replace its current symbol hwp with hpq a combo of both companies symbols. trading of compaq stock will be suspended before the market opens monday. and it was a tale of two markets on ws, the dow made it 3 winning days in a row , while persistent earnings jitters put pressure on the nasdaq. the dow climbed 32 points, while the nasdaq composite gave back 32. sitting now at a 6 month low. track all the pre market action at cbs.marketwatch.com. at the nasdaq i'm ac in ny. ))
(tape tosses to stocks)
A wildfire in the Sacramento mountains of New Mexico continues to burn.
The blaze has scorched around 100- thousand acres and destroyed at least 20 structures.
The governor has declared a state of emergency.
Hundreds of residents have been urged to leave the area.
Meanwhile, the man who admitted to accidentally starting the fire has committed suicide.
Authorities say the man couldn't live with himself.
It has been 75 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Virginia's eugenics sterilization law.
Yesterday, Governor Warner marked the occasion by officially apologizing for the state's policy that forcibly sterilized thousands of Virginians.
Eugenics was a social engineering plan to prevent people from reproducing if they had traits considered less than desirable.
The practice began in 1927 and didn't end until 1979.
Yesterday, Governor Warner said that what happened in the past should be a lesson for the future.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=As we deal with whole]
((MARK WARNER: AS WE DEAL WITH WHOLE NEW HOST OF ISSUES THAT GO TO THE HEART OF BIOETHICS MY HOPE IS THAT WE WILL BEAR IN MIND THE KIND OF MISTAKES THAT NOT ONLY IN THE COMMONWEALTH BUT SO MANY STATES ACROSS NATION MADE IN THE PAST.))
[OUT Q=made in the past]
Virginia is the first of the 30 states that conducted the sterilizations to apologize.
Hundreds of people in the area gathered for a moment of prayer.
It was all part of the 52nd annual Day of Prayer celebrated throughout the nation yesterday. Roanoke has been celebrating the day for 10 years now.
Community, political, and religious leaders gathered to pray, and said the need for prayer is greater than ever following the events of September 11th.
The event was also held throughout the state including Lynchburg. Leaders from the city and the surrounding area prayed for police and emergency service personnel.
A local barber made the cut... his business is one of the oldest on his block.
Perry Cunningham celebrated his 45th year in business on Williamson Road yesterday.
Perry's Barber shop outlasted many of its neighbors like Sears Town and Arland's.
To celebrate, his friends and family threw him an anniversary bash.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I've met nothing but]
((PERRY CUNNINGHAM/LOCAL BARBER: I'VE MET NOTHING...I'D DO IT.))
[SUPER=01-Perry Cunningham/Local Barber]
[OUT Q=I'd do it.]
Perry's wife wants him to retire, but he says he's going to keep on cutting for as long as he can.
(Kimberly tosses to bump)
The Superintendent of State Police says he hopes to know in a matter of days, whether the feds will take over the probe of alleged eavesdropping in Richmond.
The State Police were called in to investigate following reports that Republican officials listened in on Democratic conference calls.
Colonel Gerald Massengill says federal prosecutors are now reviewing the case.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=A Summary of the investigation]
((COL. GERALD MASSENGILL/STATE POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: A SUMMARY OF THE INVESTIGATION IS BEING REVIEWED BY THE U.S. ATTORNEY AND I'M SURE HE'LL GIVE US AN ANSWER ONCE HE'S COMFORTABLE WITH THE CASE AND THE PROSECUTIVE ELEMENTS HE WOULD LOOK FOR FEDERAL INVOLVEMENT.))
[SUPER=01-Gerald Massengill/Virginia State Police Superintendent]
[OUT Q=for federal involvement.]
Massengill promises a thorough investigation, but says it is important to complete the probe as quickly as possible.
In business news this morning, K-mart has launched an investigation targeting former executives.
Here's Barton Eckert with a look at the morning's top business stories..
[SUPER=01-Barton Eckert/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in Washington.]
((GOOD MORNING THIS FRIDAY THE 3RD OF MAY.
HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS MORNING.
K-MART IS SHINING ITS BLUE LIGHT ON SOME FORMER EXECUTIVES.
AN ATTORNEY FOR THE BANKRUPT RETAILER SAYS THE COMPANY HAS RECEIVED AN ANONYMOUS LETTER EXPRESSING CONCERN ABOUT UNSPECIFIED ACCOUNTING MATTERS.
AS A RESULT, THE CHAIN HAS BEGUN AN INVESTIGATION AND SUSPENDED SEVERANCE PAYMENTS TO FORMER EXECUTIVES.
MEANWHILE, THE BULB MAY SOON BE BURNING OUT ON K-MART'S BLUE-LIGHT DOT COM.
THE COMPANY MIGHT CHANGE THE NAME TO KMART DOT COM.
FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS, K-MART WILL TRACK SHOPPERS TO SEE WHICH NAME THEY TYPE IN MOST.
HAWAII HAS PASSED A BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW THE ALOHA STATE TO BECOME THE FIRST TO REGULATE GASOLINE PRICES.
THE BILL WOULD CAP DEALER PROFIT MARGINS AT 16 CENTS PER GALLON ON REGULAR UNLEADED. IT WON'T GO INTO EFFECT THOUGH UNTIL JULY 2004.
ON WALL STREET TODAY LOOK FOR REACTION TO THE LATEST ON APRIL UNEMPLOYMENT AND HOURLY EARNINGS.
ON ASIAN MARKETS OVERNIGHT ..NO ACTION IN JAPAN.. IT'S A HOLIDAY THERE.
FORD HAS ANNOUNCED A NEW PROGRAM RUNNING THROUGH JULY FIRST THAT OFFERS REBATES AS HIGH AS THREE-THOUSAND DOLLARS AND LOAN RATES AS LOW AS 0.9%
G-M UNVEILED ITS NEW INCENTIVE PROGRAM ON TUESDAY.
BOTH FORD AND GM HAVE DROPPED THEIR ZERO-PERCENT- FINANCING THE ONLY ONE OF THE BIG THREE STILL OFFERING THAT OR A REBATE... IS CHRYSLER.
AND THAT'S YOUR FIRST BUSINESS CHECK ON THE MORNING'S TOP BUSINESS HAPPENINGS..
I'M BARTON ECKERT IN WASHINGTON.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
Two airlines are making it easier to get away to The Greenbrier resort.
Delta and U.S. Airways are providing regional non-stop jet service to Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg, West Virginia.
Officials at the resort say the three daily fights will not only help boost tourism but will ease travel for guests.
(///// SOT at :16 /////)
[IN Q=It would enable guests to arrive...]
((LYNN SWANN/THE GREENBRIER: IT WOULD ENABLE GUESTS TO ARRIVE TO THE GREENBRIER WITH JUST A QUICK, EASY, COMFORTABLE FLIGHT FROM A VARIETY OF LOCATIONS. THE DELTA FLIGHT ORIGINATES IN ATLANTA AND THE U.S. AIRWAYS FLIGHT, THE REGIONAL JET SERVICE IS OUT OF PITTSBURGH BUT WE ALSO HAVE PROP JET SERVICE OUT OF CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.))
[SUPER=01-Lynn Swann/The Greenbrier;]
[OUT Q=out of Charlotte North Carolina.]
Officials with Greenbrier County say they're excited about the air service because it provides connections to hundreds of cities around the globe.
Roanoke's Higher Education Center is feeling the pain of budget cuts.
The center will loose seven percent of its state funding next year... eight percent in 2004.
That means no raises for Higher Ed Center employees and bonuses only if enough money is left over at the end of the year.
Since five of the thirteen colleges with a presence there are state schools, some class offerings may be affected.
Tech's public administration master's degree program will not return to the center next semester.
Radford and Virginia Western say their participation in the Higher Ed Center will not be affected by state cutbacks.