Coming up on News 7--
Virginia Tech's President speaks out about the allegations against three football players, including quarterback Marcus Vick.
And, John Kerry is all but ready to choose a running mate after a Super Tuesday sweep.
Some believe he may pick John Edwards.
Punxsutawney phil said the winter will continue but the thermometer is saying something totally different will this mild weather continue. I'll have your forecast.
Stay with us News 7 at noon, starts right now.
Virginia Tech's President says if criminal charges against three Hokie football players are proved true, they WILL suffer the consequences.
Virginia Tech's president is speaking out about the arrest of three hokie football players.
Star quarterback Marcus Vick, running back Mike Imoh (ee-moh) and wide receiver Brenden Hill are all facing misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly giving teenage girls alcohol and taking pictures of them as they stripped.
[TAKE STEGER BOARD]
President Charles Steger says quote, "I am deeply disturbed by the recent news of three university football players charged with crimes. These are serious charges and if proved true, the students should suffer consequences."
Steger goes on to defend the University's decision not to take disciplinary action against the students until the cases have been tried in court.
Under school policy, it's up to the athletic director as to whether the athletes are suspended from the team.
The president is asking the community not to decide whether the students are guilty until after the courts have spoken.
We'll have more details on this developing story tonight at 5:00 and six.
John Edwards is back home in North Carolina, where he'll officially end his campaign for President later this afternoon.
Now he might be campaigning for ANOTHER job.
Jennifer Donelan reports from Raleigh.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Edwards/(D) Presidential Candidate;]
[SUPER=01-Sen. John Kerry/(D) Presidential Candidate;]
[SUPER=01-Jennifer Donelan/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Donelan, CBS News, Raleigh,NC.]
HE'S OUT OF ONE RACE...BUT IS HE IN ANOTHER ....FOR VICE PRESIDENT ?
JOHN EDWARDS HASN'T PUT THE OFFICIAL STAMP ON HIS PULL OUT FROM THE
PRESIDENTIAL RACE...HE'LL DO THAT THIS AFTERNOON.
SOT: SEN. JOHN EDWARDS
"I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO CONGRATULATE MY FRIEND JOHN KERRY..."
EDWARD'S CONCESSION SPEECH LAST NIGHT SOUNDED AT TIMES LIKE AN AUDITION
AS THE NORTH CAROLINA SENATOR HEAPED PRAISE ON JOHN KERRY. AND A SHORT
TIME LATER, THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR RETURNED THE FAVOR.
SOT: SEN JOHN EDWARDS
"THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT JOHN EDWARDS BRINGS A COMPELLING VOICE TO OUR
ALL THIS CAME ABOUT FOLLOWING SENATOR KERRY'S STRING OF SUPER TUESDAY
VICTORIES.. PRESIDENT BUSH EVEN CALLED KERRY ...TELLING HIM HE IS
LOOKING FORWARD TO A SPIRITED CAMPAIGN.
(SOT: SENATOR JOHN KERRY.)
JOHN EDWARDS IS ALREADY BACK IN HIS HOME STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA...WHERE
HE WILL END A CAMPAIGN THAT LASTED LONGER ....AND FOUND MORE SUCCESS
...THAN MANY EXPECTED.
"WE HAVE BEEN THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD AND I AM PROUD OF WHAT WE
SENATOR EDWARDS HAS ALWAYS DISMISSED ANY TALK OF RUNNING FOR VICE
PRESIDENT...BUT IN POLITICS......THINGS CAN CHANGE....SOMETIMES
JENNIFER DONELAN, CBS NEWS, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Israelis say they're taking aim at militants before the militants can take aim at THEM.
An Israeli missile strike today killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The air strike demolished a car traveling on a road
used by Palestinians near an Israeli settlement.
Hamas officials say two of the dead were Hamas militants.
The Israeli army says its forces targeted those who had planned previous attacks, and were planning more.
Another Israeli missile strike killed three Palestinian militants last Saturday.
Virginia's Attorney General says he's all for letting the voters have the final say on proposed tax hikes.
At a press conference in Roanoke this morning, Jerry Kilgore said he is joining former Governors' George Allen and Doug Wilder's call for a referendum on proposed tax increases.
[IN Q=Let's pass a budget...]
((JERRY KILGORE/VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL; LET'S PASS A BUDGET THAT LIVES WITHIN OUR MEANS, WE'D BE ABLE TO ADOPT A 54-55 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS, AND LET'S THROW THE LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY TO THE VOTERS.))
[OUT Q=in history to the voters.]
Kilgore said the state can cut and grow its way out of current fiscal problems, and warns about dire consequences should the General Assembly not agree on a budget.
A spokesperson for Governor Mark Warner has said that the call for a referendum is "divisive", and difficult decisions should be made by elected leaders instead of being passed on to the electorate.
The General Assembly has until March 13th to finalize a budget.
((KIM TOSS TO LEO))
LEO in WX-CENTER
(LEO TOSS to KIM)
A New Jersey woman faces charges for allegedly setting a house on fire, kidnapping an infant, and making it appear that the child died in the blaze.
But the investigation doesn't end there.
Reporter Walt Hunter has the latest.
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[SUPER=03-Tinla, PA; :00]
[SUPER=01-Luz Cuevas/Girl's Mother; :45]
[SUPER=01-Walt Hunter/Reporting; 1:01]
[OUT Q=Hunter, for CBS News, in Philadelphia.][Tease1]
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next on the newscast, the jury in the Martha Stewart case begins deliberations.
Also developers wanting to build an upscale shopping center run into opposition from the neighborhood.
After the break we'll see if it was enough to stop the project.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #1]
A House Committee has approved legislation that would help keep methadone clinics away from children.
Senator William Wampler's bill would require the state to notify localities when it receives an application to open a clinic in their area.
The legislation also prohibits the clinics from operating within a half-mile of a school or day-care center.
Opponents of the bill say the school-proximity restriction would effectively ban methadone clinics in many urban areas.
[IN Q=I JUST THINK THAT WHEN YOU PUT]
((DEL. ADAM EBBIN: I JUST THINK THAT WHEN YOU PUT A RESTRICTION THAT SOMETHING CAN'T BE CLOSE TO SOMETHING ELSE YOU'RE TAKING AWAY LOCAL ZONING AUTHORITY. IN AREAS WITH A LOT OF SCHOOLS ITS NOT AN EASY LOCATION TO FIND OTHERWISE.))
[SUPER=01-Del. Adam Ebbin/(D) Arlington]
[OUT Q=AN EASY LOCATION TO FIND OTHERWISE.]
The measure now heads to the House floor for a vote.
[TAPE#=04-05 TC 38:48]
Developers of a proposed upscale shopping center in Roanoke County will be allowed to continue the project.
That in spite of opposition from its neighbors.
Justin McLeod has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Nancy Hartley/Opposes Project; :11]
[SUPER=01-Mary Ann Gwyn/Opposes Project; :37]
[SUPER=01-Mary Ellen Goodlatte/Kahn Developments Attorney; :53]
[SUPER=01-Beth Doughty/Favors Project; 1:16]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7, Roanoke County]
((((NAT SOUND OF HANDS SHOWN))
In a packed room, more than a hundred came out to oppose a planned shopping center in Southwest Roanoke County.
[IN Q=A shopping center]
((NANCY HARTLEY/OPPOSES PROJECT: A SHOPPING CENTER....WILL BE A NUISANCE.))
[OUT Q=WILL BE A NUISANCE]
That nuisance opponents say would be the result of the Keagy Village Project.
A South Carolina company wants to build a retail office complex at the corner of Route 419 and Keagy Road.
Kahn Development says it would be made up of small speciality stores.
But many nearby residents oppose it believing a shopping ceter is unsuitable for a residential neighborhood.
[IN Q=Keagy Road is not 419]
((MARY ANN GWYN/OPPOSES PROJECT: KEAGY ROAD IS NOT 419.....IT'S A RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD.))
[OUT Q=it's a residential neighborhood]
Many have concerns over increased traffic.
As a result, the developer has agreed to make several road improvements.
[IN Q=We're going to add a turning]
((MARY ELLEN GOODLATTE/KAHN DEVELOPMENTS ATTORNEY: WE'RE GOING TO ADD A TURNING LANE....TO FIVE LANES.))
[OUT Q=TO FIVE LANES]
Nearby residents also have concerns about pollution, increased noise levels, and a decrease in property values.
Although the majority who spoke oppose the project, a few spoke in favor of it.
[IN Q=This property is certainly]
((BETH DOUGHTY/FAVORS PROJECT: THIS PROPERTY IS CERTAINLY....A LONG MAJOR CORRIDOR.))
[OUT Q=ALONG A MAJOR CORRIDOR]
[IN Q=After several hours]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: AFTER SEVERAL HOURS OF DEBATE, THE PLANNING AND ZONNING COMMISSION VOTED FIVE TO 0 TO APPROVE THE REZONING. IT NOW GOES TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WHICH HAS THE FINAL SAY. A VOTE COULD COME AT ITS MARCH 23 RD MEETING. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7, ROANOKE COUNTY.))))
Also last night, the planning commission took up another controversial project.
A developer is already clearing a hillside at Route 419 and 220, even though the property has not been rezoned.
The commission put off a decision on the Slate Hill project for 30 days, so it can gather more information about traffic and other issues.
Deliberations are expected to get under way later today in the trial of domestic guru Martha Stewart, and the judge is asking jurors to "keep an open mind".
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
Yesterday, her attorney told jurors that that Stewart is "too smart" to have risked her reputation by lying about selling her share of Imclone stock.
Aside from charges of lying to investigators, Stewart is also charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Last week, the judge dismissed the securities fraud count against her.
If convicted, Stewart could face up to 20 years in prison, although federal guidelines could mean a sentence of just a year or so.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up next, McDonald's decides to downsize.
Also Britians say a bottled water controversy leads them to believe a soft drink manufacturer is all wet.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
McDonalds says it plans to downsize its SUPER- SIZED menu.
The fast food chain is expected to phase out the extra- large portions of fries and drinks by the end of the year at its more than 13- thousand restaurants.
The downsizing comes amidst growing pressure on fast-food companies to provide healthier food options.
The change is part of McDonald's "Eat Smart, Be Active" initiative launched last year in an attempt to revive a U-S sales.
In addition to salads, McDonald's will provide more fruit, vegetable and yogurt options with its Happy Meals.
The Coca- Cola company is not only selling its world- famous soda in Britain-- now it's also peddling bottled water there.
But the Brits are finding it hard to swallow.
Tom Fenton explains.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-London, England; :00]
[SUPER=01-Tom Fenton/CBS News; :29]
[OUT Q=Fenton, CBS News, London.]
((The recipe for Coca-Cola may be one of the world's best kept secrets. But the recipe for the company's attempt to tap
into Britain's bottled water market has just been revealed, and the British are aghast. SOT MOS/MAN: "It's a load of
old baloney." It turns out that Dasani, which is labelled as "Pure, Still Water", does not come from a bubbling brook or a mountain stream. It's tap water from the city water supply processed and bottled in the London suburb of Sidcup.
(On Camera) Dasani goes through three filters and a "state-of-the art" process known as reverse osmosis to produce alm
ost totally pure water, and then various minerals are put back in to give it some taste....but critics say it's still just tap water from Sidcup ...the only difference is this costs at least a dollar a bottle. And to make a point, British television asked people on the street to taste Dasani and plain old tap water to see if they could tell the differen
ce. SOT/MOS WOMAN: "It tastes more or less the same." The company insists that there is no attempt to fool the public
. But with what British critics calculate is a 3000 percent mark-up on the price charged for city water, Coca-Cola may have again tapped into a fortune. Tom Fenton, CBS News, London ))
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was DOWN 25 points. The NASDAQ has dropped 15.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Up next in the newscast, UVA pulls an upset over Wake Forest.
And as the state championships near, there is a change in the head coach position at Lord Botertourt.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The Virginia men's basketball team continued its late season surge last night.
The Cavaliers upset 11th ranked Wake Forest 84-to-82 for their third win over a ranked opponent in their last four victories.
It was seniors' night, but Virginia got a huge lift from Derrick Byars.
He played just 21 minutes, but the sophomore scored 15 points on 6 of 7 shooting.
But Wake came back and tied up the score at 81, with just a minute 41 seconds left in the game.
It was Virginia's Devin Smith, and NOT Todd Billet who would win it this time.
[SUPER=33-Wake Forest #11/82/Virginia/84;]
Smith helps Virginia wins its 16th game of the year - the third straight by 2 points.
Curtis Blair is still one of the best players in the history of Roanoke high school hoops, and now he is climbing the ladder in both the business world andofficiating circles.
Mike Stevens has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=FIRST AUDIO]
[SUPER=01-Curtis Blair/NCAA and NBDL Referee; :26]
[SUPER=03-Richmond/1991-92 Season; 1:44]
[OUT Q=...THOSE DAYS ARE OVER.]
(((( He is a Wachovia Banker by day and an aspiring basketball official at night. At the age of 33 - Curtis Blair is working arenas in the Big South, Colonial Conference and the NDBL as he tries to reach his goal of becoming an ACC referee.
((CURTIS - 529:))
Officiating may not be hard for the former Patriot, but returning to some of his former haunts including the Roanoke Civic Center can be a little weird.
On his return trips to the Star City he often is forced to observe fellow PH graduate Curtis Staples a member of the Roanoke Dazzle.
People forget that Curtis scored over 16 hundred points in his college career at the University of Richmond and that he was a second round pick of the Houston Rockets.
In fact, there are nights as an official where he's still the best player on the court.))
[GRAPHIC=HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS]
We're a week away from crowning state champions, but one area high school team is already making a coaching change.
[SUPER=04-2003-2004 Season; :00]
Lord Botetourt Head Boys' basketball coach Mark Wayne resigned yesterday after three seasons in charge of the Cavaliers.
Wayne met with his players yesterday afternoon and informed them of his decision to step down.
The Botetourt job was Wayne's first head coaching experience.
He had been a trainer and assistant in Northern Virginia.
SUPER=X4031; Fax/Copyright Noon/Weekends
[SUPER=X4030; e-Mail/Copyright Noon/Weekends]