An accident involving two tractor-trailers inside the tunnel in Bland County is causing delays on I- 77.
More information on that, coming up.
And, there's yet another apartment fire in Northwest Roanoke.
This one started in the kitchen of an apartment on 17th street.
The one day warm-up is on, but a passing cold front this evening will usher in cold air, gusty winds, and wind chills well below zero.
I have the full forecast details in just a bit.
Stay with us News 7 at noon, starts right now.
An accident shut down one of the tunnels inside Big Walker Mountain this morning.
[TAKE PINNACLE MAP]
State Police say a tractor-trailer stalled on I-77 inside the northbound tunnel in Bland County.
A second truck couldn't stop in time and ran into it.
No one was hurt.
One lane re-opened about three hours after the accident.
Both lanes are now open.
Authorities say it appears that the tunnel suffered no structural damage.
Two people died in an explosion this morning in Northern Virginia.
The video looks like a tornado ripped through the region-
But authorities say it was an explosion that destroyed one home, and damaged four others.
Officials have not yet released the identities of the victims-- but say their mobile home was blown apart shortly after six this morning.
While no cause has been determined yet for the FIRST explosion, authorities say that one sparked a fire that caused several other small propane tanks at nearby homes to explode.
State police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are investigating.
Fire damaged an apartment in Northwest Roanoke this morning.
It happened shortly after 9-thirty in the 100 block of 17th street.
Neasia (NEE-shuh) Small says she put a pot on the stove and went next door to talk.
A few minutes later she smelled smoke, and returned to find the kitchen of the apartment engulfed in flames.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=I got a grandbaby...]
((NEASIA SMALL/FIRE VICTIM; I GOT A GRAND BABY AND TWO KIDS, I'M JUST GLAD THEY WEREN'T HERE. NOBODY HOME BUT ME. I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE THINGS, AS LONG AS MY KIDS WEREN'T HERE, THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS.))
[SUPER=01-Neasia Small/Fire Victim;]
[OUT Q=weren't here. That's all that matters.]
The blaze was quickly extinguished by fire crews. Flames were contained to the kitchen, but the entire unit suffered smoke damage.
Nobody was injured in the incident.
A state survey finds that most Virginia fire departments cannot supply breathing gear and portable radios for all on-duty firefighters.
Also according to the survey, only a small percentage have fitness programs, even though cardiac arrest is the leading killer of firefighters.
The study finds that only 15 percent of fire departments in Virginia have such programs.
The state agency that conducted the study calls the findings ``troubling.''
Add perjury to the racketeering and fraud charges against Doctor Cecil Knox.
The 54-year old pain specialist was acquitted last Fall on 45 criminal charges.
Now he's been re-indicted.
It's essentially the same case involving seven of the Doctor's patients this time, rather than 30.
The perjury count stems from the doctor's trial testimony.
Knox told the jury he prescribed OxyContin for a pregnant patient, because Chris Ann Brown felt she'd have to abort the baby if she couldn't control her pain.
The government says that's a lie.
The case against Knox and his office manager is set for trial in April.
The chief circuit judge in the Roanoke Valley had a stroke yesterday.
Judge Robert Doherty was hearing a case in Salem when it happened.
His secretary says it was very mild stroke, that's he alert and talking today and may be released from the hospital today or tomorrow.
Pat Doherty has been on the circuit bench nine years.
Two U-S soldiers are dead and one is in critical, but stable condition after their camp was hit by mortar fire yesterday in Iraq.
The violence hasn't let up today.
Two Iraqi policemen and a civilian were killed in a drive- by shooting in Falluja.
And authorites say that earlier, un- identified attackers lobbed a grenade and opened fire with A-K-47 assault rifles at a checkpoint on a highway outside Ramadi.
It's becoming an annual event in the nation's capital--
The March for Life will take abortion opponents from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court building.
Today marks the 31st anniversary of the Roe versus Wade decision that legalized abortion.
President Bush plans to salute the anti- abortion demonstrators over the phone from New Mexico.
Meanwhile, the National Organization for Women also plans to rally outside the Supreme Court later today, holding a candlelight vigil in support of the court's decision.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Still to come on the newscast, the Iowa caucus pays bigger dividends for one Democratic candidate.
Plus we'll see how Howard Dean's fall from the top of polls is giving late night television something to talk about.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #1]
All of the Democratic hopefuls will attend tonight's presidential debate in New Hampshire.
It's their last chance to face off before Tuesday's primary.
Meanwhile, Senator John Kerry is still enjoying the benefits of his big victory in Iowa-- getting a big boost in the polls.
Randall Pinkston has the latest numbers.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Dante Scala/Political Scientist;]
[SUPER=01-Teresa Nguyen/New Hampshire Voter;]
[SUPER=01-Randall Pinkston/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Pinkston, CBS News, Bedford, NH.]
While Howard Dean is playing second banana to John Kerry in the latest polls-- he's the number one topic on late night talk shows.
Dean's campaign is said to be working hard to get him to tone down after a fiery speech that grabbed plenty of headlines and generated plenty of laughs.
Sharyn Alfonsi has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Howard Dean/(D) Presidential Candidate;]
[SUPER=04-Worldwide Pants, Inc.;]
[SUPER=01-Harvey Englande/Democratic Political Analyst;]
[SUPER=01-Sharyn Alfonsi/CBS News;]
[SUPER=01-Craig Crawford/CBS News Political Commentator;]
[OUT Q=Alfonsi, for CBS News.]
Not only are we going to New Hampshire, We're going to South Carolina
and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and Texas and New York..."
Track One: It's being dubbed the "I have a scream" speech.
"We're going to South Dakota and Michigan and Washington and then we are
going to Washington DC to take back the White House....Yeahhhhh"
Track Two: That primal scream now prime material for late-night talkers.
---. Courtesy: World Wide Pants.
"God forbid, I am the last person to criticize, but I think maybe
Howard Dean has a bit of a problem because earlier today during a debate
in New Hampshire, he bit off Joe Liebermans ear. Laughs"
Conan: Sir you are going to other states: South Carolinaaa! People
are saying, And Nevada! People are saying, and South Nevada
Track Three: Laughs aside, Deans image has taken a serious hit.
SOT: Harvey Englande/Democratic Political Analyst: It was one of the
worst melt-downs I have ever seen in Politics.
Track Four: Deans advisors are now trying to overhaul his candidacy,
softening the tone of his speeches...
bite of Dean: Somber speech nats
Track Five: and desperately TRYING to make him look more dignified
more for Wednesday nights debate in New Hampshire.
Alfonsi stand up: They have their work cut out for them. The "Dean
Scream" has now been made into dance mixes and while he may not land in
the White House he now has a permanent place on the web. He's now
featured on the AM I annoying or not web-site...the consensus by votes
...is that he is."
SOT: Craig Crawford/CBS News Political Commentator (or Columnist
Well he went to Vermont and hopefully he got back on his meds.
But at least some are hoping for a "re-shriek" tonight. If Howard
Dean had hoped to inspire with all that screaming..
Letterman: "Oh why can't he be president"
He did. In New York, Sharyn Alfonsi, for CBS News.
The relationship between a Salem neighborhood and some Roanoke College students is improving.
Last year at this time, residents wanted the college students to clean up their act and their homes.
Justin McLeod tells us what has made the difference.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Fred Lee/Salem Resident; :15]
[SUPER=01-McMillan Johnson/Roanoke College Dean of Students; :31]
[SUPER=04-Last January; :40]
[SUPER=01-Lt. David Rorer/Salem Police Department; :52 (QUICK)]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF FRED SAYING "THINGS ARE QUIET, WELL YOU CAN HEAR IT RIGHT NOW." AT 33:28))
It hasn't always been this way for Fred Lee who has lived here along Craig Avenue for more than 35 years.
The last few years he says have been more like party central.
[IN Q=They threw trash]
((FRED LEE/SALEM RESIDENT: THEY THREW TRASH IN THE STREETS, PARTYING AND THE NOISE, IT WAS JUST OUTRAGEOUS.))
[OUT Q=it was outrageous]
And he has the pictures to prove it.
They show trash in front yards, on sidewalks, even on the roof.
Who caused all this? Off campus students from nearby Roanoke College.
[IN Q=We see this from]
((McMILLAN JOHNSON/ROANOKE COLLEGE'S DEAN OF STUDENTS: WE SEE THIS FROM BOTH SIDES. WE'RE RESIDENTS OF THE CITY ALSO AND WE WANT THIS TO BE A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE AND WE WANT OUR STUDENTS TO BE GOOD CITIZEN'S AS WELL.))
[OUT Q=citizen's as well]
So Roanoke College agreed to form a task force made up of administrators, police, students, and nearby residents.
They met for five months and came up with several solutions. The results?
[IN Q=The call reduction]
((LT. DAVID RORER/SALEM POLICE DEPT.: THE CALL REDUCTION IS OVER 50-PERCENT AND THAT IS TRULY PHENOMINAL.))
[OUT Q=truly phenominal]
That is made possible thanks to changes Roanoke College implemented last fall.
It is now more difficult for students to live off-campus.
The college also penalizes students who live off campus and are repeat offenders.
Finally, the school is adding several new dorms to allow more students to live on campus.
Residents along Craig Avenue say the problems have all but disappeared.
[IN Q=I think it's probably]
((FRED LEE/SALEM RESIDENT: I THINK IT'S PROBABLY STILL SOME GOING ON BUT YOU KNOW I HAVEN'T HAD TO CALL THE LAW ONCE THIS YEAR.))
[OUT Q=ONCE THIS YEAR]
[IN Q=There's concern]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THERE'S CONCERN THESE PROBLEMS COULD RETURN BECAUSE YOU HAVE A NEW BATCH OF STUDENTS EACH YEAR. THAT IS WHY ROANOKE COLLEGE NOW SENDS HOME LETTERS TO ALL STUDENTS OUTLINING POLICIES FOR OFF CAMPUS HOUSING. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast,
Mel Gibson's movie about the last days of Christ continues to generate controversy, even before it is released.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
There's plenty of heated debate surrounding Mel Gibson's new movie, "The Passion of the Christ" which depicts the last hours of Jesus' life.
According to early reports, it had the support of the pope.
Now Vatican officials say he never endorsed the film.
CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann gets reaction from others who've
seen the film.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=04-"The Passion of the Christ"; :00]
[SUPER=07-Sarah Gallegos; :24]
[SUPER=01-Abraham Foxman/Anti-Defamation League National Director; :48]
[SUPER=01-Mark Strassman/CBS News; :56]
[OUT Q=CBS NEWS ORLANDO]
(( Christ's final agonizing hours of life -- and death --- is hardly
standard Holllywood drama.
Mel Gibson's movie is graphic, violent -- and so controversial, no
major studio would touch it.
(NAT SOT) (Anaheim screening)
So far ... only selected audiences -- mostly evangelicals -- like
this gathering in Anaheim, California -- have screened it.
And come away rapturous.
(SOT) (Sarah Gallegos)
"THERE HASN'T BEEN ANYTHING I'VE EVER SEEN THAT MOVED ME IN SUCH A
(NAT SOT) (Movie)
Gibson's actors speak only Aramaic and Latin.
More incomprehensible to critics is Gibson's approach. They say
And ultimately blames blood-thirsty Jewish mobs for pressuring
(SOT) (Abraham Foxman - Anti-Defamation League National Director)
(toward the end of interview) (could trim for time)
"AND WHEN THERE IS ANTI-SEMITISM RISING THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IT
CAN POSSIBLY AGAIN LEGITIMIZE IT AND FUEL IT. THE MAIL THAT WE'RE
GETTING IN THE A-D-L JUST ON THE DEBATE IS FULL OF ANTI-SEMITISM."
"BUT FEW OF THOSE CRITICS HAVE ACTUALLY SEEN THE MOVIE.
THEY SAY GIBSON WON'T LET THEM.
INSTEAD, HE PICKS MORE FRIENDLY AUDIENCES. AT THIS CHURCH IN
ORLANDO, FIVE-THOUSAND EVANGELICALS WATCHED A ROUGH CUT OF THE MOVIE."
Gibson is trying to market by word-of-mouth among the faithful.
Even Pope John Paul has seen it.
(Gibson video walking out of church)
Gibson -- a fundamentalist Catholic -- says his movie is literal
from Gospels, its goal to inspire, not to offend.
(SOT) (reax TBA)
Nationwide audiences will judge for themselves beginning February
25th -- Ash Wednesday.
Mark Strassmann CBS News, Orlando.))
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was UP 15 points. The NASDAQ has lost 11.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Up next on the newscast, the young surfer who lost an arm to a shark tries a new hobby.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
Number one ranked Duke beat Maryland on the road 68-60.
[SUPER=03-College Park, MD/ESPN; :00]
J.J. Redick was the man for the Blue Devils.
He brought in 26 points and was perfect from the free- throw line.
Duke is now 15 and 1 on the season.
Just up the road in Salem, Linda Long's Cave Spring Knights hit the court to battle the Salem Spartans.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Knights vs. Spartans; :00]
Cave Spring trailed late into the fourth quarter when Megan Horan passes to Laura Light who scores on the lay- up.
Then, Lauren Gerl goes in for two points of her own, putting Salem out front 51-36.
The Spartans' Rachel Southard seals the win with a 2 pointer.
Salem wins 58-42.
You may remember the story of Bethany Hamilton.
She's the 13- year- old surfing champion who lost her arm in a shark attack.
Now the teenager is embarking on a new physical challenge.
Rick Sallinger reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Steamboat Springs, CO; :10]
[SUPER=01-Bethany Hamilton/Shark Attack Victim; :25 QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Tom Hamilton/Bethany's Father; :28]
[SUPER=01-Cheri Hamilton/Bethany's Mother; 1:01]
[SUPER=01-Rick Sallinger/CBS News; 1:20]
[OUT Q=Sallinger, for CBS News, Denver.]
EVEN A SHARK ATTACK COULDN'T STOP BETHANY HAMILTON FROM PURSUING HER
JUST A FEW WEEKS AFTER HER ARM WAS BITTEN OFF SHE WAS BACK
COMPETING ON HER SURFBOARD. NOW SHE HAS FOUND NEW MOUNTAINS TO CONQUER.
(sound up snowboarding)
THE 13 YEAR OLD HAS TEMPORARILY TRADED IN HER SURFBOARD FOR A SNOW
BOARD... THE BEACHES OF HAWAII FOR THE SLOPES OF STEAMBOAT SPRINGS
(Bethany Hamilton-shark attack victim)
"it's cool doing this but i miss the water"
"I've just been encouraged by her never give up attitude and she's just
been an inspiration to everybody including our own family."
SINCE THE ATTACK BETHANY HAS RECEIVED NUMEROUS LETTERS TELLING HER
"they didn't have any hope in living or something and after they saw me
they were like more happy i guess."
IF SURFING WITH ONE ARM IS A CHALLENGE..FASTENING BOOTS INTO
SNOWBOARD BINDINGS CAN BE EVEN TOUGHER.
BUT HER DEEPLY RELIGIOUS FAMILY BELIEVES WHAT HAS HAPPEND HAS BEEN
FOR A PURPOSE.
"actually it seems like all different doors are opening now and we're
doing different things i think it's going to be bigger and better."
"for me i just look up to god and he gave me everything that i have and
i should be thankful i'm still alive.""
BETHANY STILL HOPES TO BECOME A CHAMPION SURFER..AFTER COLORADO
SHE'LL BE GETTING AN ARTIFICIAL ARM..HER ROAD TO RECOVERY APPEARS TO BE
A SMOOTH ONE.
FOR CBS NEWS
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]