Fri 27-MAR-2015 6 P.M. News Script

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Good evening I'm Jennifer Costa in for Darren tonight. And I'm Kristin Kelly. A change to the state's hands-free driving law could have a big impact on your commute. It's only a matter of time before lawmakers approve the tweak. Statehouse reporter Kyle Midura is here to explain. Kyle? Kristin and Jennifer, currently drivers are allowed to pickup and use their electronic devices when on the road, but stopped -- like at a red light. But, as we first reported lawmakers are ready to scrap that exception, and today the change passed a crucial legislative milestone.

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(Nat 00:43:20:00) ((Lt. Gov. Phil Scott - R-Vermont please listen to the second reading of the bill)) As Senators wrapped up the week's work Friday - they gave one of the final required greenlights to a measure with dozens of changes to vehical regulations. (nat 00:43:24:00) (( an act realting to miscellaneous corrections to laws governing motor vehicles, motorboats, and other vehicles)) Tucked into the measure is a change to the state's hands-free driving law, erasing an exemption allowing drivers to pick up a phone or music player when stopped. (01:07:41:00) ((Sen. Dick Sears - D-Bennington it's going to pass)) Bennington Senator Dick Sears represents one of the only voices of opposition to the move. He's okay with being able to call or text when the vehicle is not moving; Sears argues that soon-to-be-banned activity is not dangerous. (01:08:19:00) ((Sen. Dick Sears - D-Bennington County that was my biggest concern about it, I think sometimes we go a little too far here)) (nats girl crash - AAA video) A recent triple-A (AAA) study of teen drivers in Iowa found cell phones may be behind more accidents than reflected in traffic data. (nats boy crash - oh sh** - curse not audible) The study found that loud conversations proved to be more common distractions with groups in a car, but cell phones are the biggest distraction when the driver is alone. Vermonters received more than 750 tickets and warnings from October through December of last year for hands-free violations. Motorists are split on the new issue -- though not everyone even knew of the loophole. (01:09:18:00) (( - Christina McSweeney - St. Albans Resident - KM: Did you know that you could use your device at a stop light? CM: No idea)) (01:08:56:00) ((Christina McSweeney - St. Albans Resident I don't see a problem with people using their cellphones at the stoplights)) (01:13:12:00) ((Casey Osborne - UVM Student I definitely think you shouldn't be doing your makeup or anything either, so yeah, just cover all your bases when you're driving, you should be driving)) Other say they don't always follow the current law, even if they support it. (1:12:23:00) ((Alexander Miller - UVM Student I definitely am a person who takes the call, I'm not going to lie about that one))

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Spokespeople for the Vermont State Police did not disclose an agency position on the bill -- referring questions to the Governor's office. The governor was not a big fan of the proposal last year when it passed, but he signed it into law. As for this change, his spokesperson says the Governor doesn't have an issue with the change "in principle," but he also reserved final judgement saying ... as with "all bills he will wait to see the details." - Jennifer -3-

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It's a marathon debate. At this hour -- lawmakers in the House are still discussing the passage of state tax and spending plans. The total spending plan is $5-point-5 billion dollars, but more than half of that is federal money. The budget relies on 35 million in new taxes. And deep cuts to state services. It still has to be reviewed, and debated in the Senate. And a lot could change before it heads to the Governor for his signature.

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The House budget plan relies on 25 million dollars in so-called "one-time money." Special Correspondent Nancy Remsen takes a look at the practice of relying on temporary sources of cash - to cover ongoing expenses.

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Colchester House member Maureen Dakin was one of the Blue Dog Democrats who allied with Gov. Howard Dean to challenge the money policies of the liberal Democratic House 15 years ago. Then she took a break from politics. (00:04.46:23) ((Rep. Maureen Dakin, D-Colchesters "I decided to come back to be part of the conversation, to let my moderate, some people will say conservative Democratic credentials be heard.")) 13 This week she dug into the $5.6 billion budget plan up for debate in the House and pressed budget writers to explain how they closed the $113 million gap between projected revenues and spending. (00:06.33:15) ((Rep. Maureen Dakin, D-Colchesters "So specifically I wanted to know about the use of one-time money which is 25 million dollars in this budget. )) 8 ( GFX) One time money is legislative shorthand for money that doesn't come from an ongoing source such as a tax. It could, for example, be a grant for a specific purpose or money paid in a court settlement. Lawmakers also characterize some of their spending decisions as one-times to signal they intend to tap temporarily a source that usually has another purpose. (00:00.40:15) ((House Republican Leader Don Turner "You know one time money is like using your savings account. Once you spend it, it is gone.")) 5 Turner says the Legislature relies too heavily on one-time money to avoid having to make spending cuts to bring the budget back in line with available revenues. (00:00.56:22) ((House Republican Leader Don Turner "We have to reduce spending in order to fix this problem. And we are very reluctant here to do that.")) 6 Since the recession, Vermont governors and lawmakers have relied heavily on one-time money to help fill the gap between revenues and spending. (GFX) In the final two years of the Douglas administration when tax revenues dipped because of the downturn, the federal government provided millions of short-term funding to help the state avoid draconian budget cuts and to stimulate the ailing economy. (00:19.45:06) ((Gov. Peter Shumlin "Let's not make devil out of one times because there are times when you really need them. For example, the one-time spending in my administration that went up the most was when Irene hit. And we got a lot of one-time federal money that we desperately needed to rebuild our roads and bridges to put Vermont back together again.")) 16 (GFX) The numbers show how much Vermont relies on one-time money. Governor Shumlin says he set out to wean state government from its dependency on this kind of funding. His first year, his budget included $65 million in one-time funding. In January he presented a budget that relied on $11 million from one-time sources. (GFX) Then revenues faltered and the House Appropriations Committee found itself with $18 million less with which to build its spending plan. House budget writers came up with a package that requires $25 million in one-times. (00:12.57:08) ((House Appropriations Chairwoman Mitzi Johnson "Because we have an additional amount of one-time money in this budget than the governor's recommend we need some more aggressive strategies to deal with that next year.")) 8 The committee made clear that some funding should be viewed as transitional. The panel proposes a two-year path to closing the Windsor prison and provides short-term incentives to promote reforms at the judiciary and the Vermont Veterans Home. The lead Republican on the committee said this budget breaks with the tradition that helped create the dependency on one times. 00:14.15:14) ((House Appropriations Vice Chair Peter Fagan "We have gotten too used to looking at budgets in one year chunks. We have often said well we solved it this year, we will worry about next year when we get back here.")) 9 (00:18.50:07) ((Gov. Peter Shumlin "Overall I think the House did a great job on the budget. Obviously there are some things I would like to change. I want that one-time money to be as low as I can.")) 9 Maureen Dakin decided she could support the House budget with its $25 million in one-time revenues because of the committee's commitment to shrinking the number in the future. (00:06.56:04) ((Rep. Maureen Dakin, D-Colchesters "That makes sense because we are moving strategically to not being dependent on one-time money which just isn't sustainable.")) 9 Nancy Remsen, Channel Three News, Montpelier.

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A big concern for budget writers - is that economists are already predicting budget shortfalls for the next two years after this -- each about 45-million dollars.

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New numbers show -- Vermont's unemployment rate dipped below 4-percent -- the lowest it's been in eight years. The Vermont Department of Labor says the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percent in February -- to 3.9 percent. That's the first time it's been below 4 percent since May 2007 -- before the Great Recession. National average unemployment in February was 5 and a half percent.

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The warm up this week was good news for sugarmakers - who've been waiting for the sap to run. And many are boiling this evening. Sharon is at Georgia Mountain Maples sugarhouse in Milton tonight. Hi Sharon.

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And now to a developing story. Police are on the scene of a bank robbery in Vergennes. Investigators say just before 4:30 this afternoon, a man walked into the Vermont Federal Credit Union on Panton Road and demanded cash. He fled in a gray, four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota. He's described as a white man, about 5-feet-6-inches tall, with a medium build. If you recognize him, call Vergennes police.

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A suspect in the 20-10 murder of a Sheffield woman -- was back in court today -- sentenced in an unrelated crime. Prosecutors say Keith Baird will spend 12 to 17 years behind bars for 30 felony counts of violating an abuse prevention order. He will get credit for time served. Baird is also one of three suspects arrested in connection with the kidnapping and killing of 78-year-old Pat O'Hagan. Yesterday -- his co-defendant -- Richard Fletcher -- cut a deal with prosecutors -- agreeing to testify against Baird -- and the third suspect -- Michael Norrie -- in exchange for a 15 year prison sentence. Dates have not been set for Baird and Norrie's first degree murder trials.

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A Hardwick woman -- charged in August death of her disabled son -- is now accused of driving drunk. State police say just before midnight Thursday Melissa Robitille was stopped on Memorial Drive in St. Johnsbury -- with a blood alcohol content of point-113. She's charged with DUI. The 39-year-old and her boyfriend, Walter Richters both pleaded not guilty to second degree murder in the death of Robitille's 13-year-old son. Richters allegedly told police he poured vodka in the boy's I-V to quiet him. Robitille was free on bail -- after a judge said the evidence against her didn't support a second-degree murder charge.

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Vermont lawmakers are looking to beef up animal cruelty laws. Part of the bill deals with dog fighting. Senators acknowledge it isn't as big of an issue in Vermont yet -- but they say the bill would put measures in place to fight it before it gets here. Last October, a Bennington man was charged with running a dog fighting ring from his home - and that's what prompted Bennington County Senator Dick Sears to work on this bill.

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((SOT Senator Dick Sears/D-Bennington County 010459 Tremendous expense to the community to deal with it, and of course the vets. And the tragedy of it is how the dogs were treated 06)) ((SOT Senator Tim Ashe 010408 We're bankrupting humane societies, we're bankrupting local humane shelters, and then we're asking a lot out of the people who out of their own goodness and own personal funds have been taking in animals 19)) Another part of the bill calls for those convicted of animal cruelty to relinquish property and equipment involved in the crime -- to help pay for the care of the animals.

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Vermont is inspecting ski lifts -- after 7 people were injured in a lift malfunction in Maine. State officials say there are three "Borvig" lift models in Vermont -- the same one at Sugarloaf and caused the lift to roll backwards. The three lifts in Vermont are at Mount Snow, Stratton, and Suicide Six. Mount Snow and Stratton passed safety inspections -- but Suicide Six failed. Officials say that ski area is now closed for the season, but a new braking system will be added before it reopens.

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If you haven't checked out The Weekend on Channel 3 ... We want to share some of the stories you'll see starting tomorrow morning. They're tackling a topic that can be overwhelming for new moms.

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Experts say -- up to half of all babies -- have trouble breastfeeding in the first couple days after they're born. A small Vermont hospital is making big strides to help change that. Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital -- in St. Johnsbury -- is the only Vermont hospital designated -- Baby Friendly -- by a program through the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

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(TC - 00:32:23:00) ((Anne O'Connor/Physician "It's only been in the last generation that we've actually encouraged women to breast feed and by codifying it in such a way that you have a baby friendly hospital, you're actually making it so everybody is committed.")) Join Julie tomorrow morning as she finds out what policies are in place to encourage breastfeeding.

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Plus, developing news overnight and Nick's weekend forecast. The Weekend goes from six to eight Saturday morning and from eight to nine Sunday morning right after You Can Quote Me.

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A former state lawmaker pitches pot production plans. Former Chittenden County State Senator Hinda Miller spent 11 years in the legislature. Miller -- representing the Vermont Cannabis Collaborative -- says marijuajna legalization is inevitable in the Green Mountains, and the state should do everything to properly prepare. She says if Vermont innovates as it has in so many other industries -- it will become an East Coast Center for excellence.

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(00:24:15:00) ((Hinda Miller - Vermont Cannabis Collaborative with any product - or any part of the production - we do it well, we've done it before, it's in our lineage, and it's research, science and technology based, and Colorado cannot say that)) Miller suggested the creation of multiple study committees this summer -- with business, education, health and legal expertise -- to explore the challenges and opportunity of marijuana legalization. She says that while the economic opportunity will be greater if the state moves quickly -- the key is to move intelligently.

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Law enforcement from around the state -- gathered at Burlington Police Department -- to learn how to avoid personal bias on the job. Eliza Larson has more.

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A train-the-trainer course - teaching Vermont's police officers new methods of dealing with bias while out policing. (TC 00:07:20:03 Title 5180)((Deputy Chief Brad Vail/Hartford Police Dept. "They're giving us techniques where we draw upon our own experiences and we draw upon things that are relevant to Vermont and how to incorporate that into the training." 00:07:30:15)) (TC 00:01:24:17 Title 5179)((Anna Laszlo/Fair and Impartial Policing: "all of us as human beings have implicit biases that are often unconscious. We don't even know if they are operating in our system. And that those implicit biases can impact our perceptions and our behaviors." 00:01:38:03)) Put on by the organization Fair and Impartial Policing -- the three-day course uses data to teach officers how to address -- and avoid -- personal biases about things like race, gender or age while on patrol. (TC 00:04:32:19 Title 5179)((Anna Laszlo/Fair and Impartial Policing: "the consequences for policing can deadly on both ends. Dangerous to an innocent citizen and clearly cost the life of a police officer." 00:04:41:01)) UVM economics professor -- Stephanie Seguino (Say-GWEE-no) studied race disparities in Vermont policing. Her report found that Vermont state police search hispanic drivers at more than 5 times the rate of white drivers. And she says when looking at arrests of blacks and whites in Burlington -- for every 1-thousand drivers - 243 blacks are arrested compared to about 67 whites. (TC 00:33:35:28 Title 5198)((Robert Appel/Attorney: "state public accomodations act prohibits discrimination based on membership in categories protected by law: race, color, religion, national origin, age, mental or physical handicap." 00:33:46:24)) Robert Appel is a civil rights attorney and former director of Vermont's Human Rights Commission. He says the police workshop is a step in the right direction. (TC 00:26:56:03 Title 5198)((Robert Appel/Attorney: "I think there's a committment by some leaders to improve the picture. I think most Vermonters want to think it doesn't happen here. But it happens here." 00:27:09:15)) It is something these officers say they don't want to happen. And that this training will help them teach colleagues to face bias head on. ((Deputy Chief Brad Vail/Hartford Police Dept. "i'm looking forward to getting it out not only to my own agency but to all the surrounding agencies. And hopefully the state of Vermont will be proactive and be leading the charge in that." )) Eliza Larson. Channel 3 News. Burlington.

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Dan is back. A nice weekend on the way?

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Tonight: Mostly cloudy. A few snow showers. Low 13/20. Wind N 5-10 mph. Saturday: Partly sunny and chilly. High 23/30. Wind N 10-15 mph. Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. Low 8/15. Wind N 5-10 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 33/40. Wind light. Monday: Cloudy skies. Rain and snow showers likely. High 38/45. Low 30/37. Tuesday: Partly sunny. High 30s. Low 15/25. Wednesday: Partly sunny. High 30s. Low 20s. Thursday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers. High 40s. Low 25/35. Friday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers. High 40s.

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Last night we introduced you to a team of St. Johnsbury students preparing for a town History 3D competition. Today they met several teams -- at Vermont Technical College -- all trying to put their projects on the map. Judy Simpson explains.

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It was a competition that grew out of a classroom project,,creating historic town centers online with SketchUP, a way to draw on the computer in 3D. ((Mike Hathorn/ Hartford High School 00:01:34:00 I have been doing 3D modeling and town history through buildings with my students for 5 years and I have always had a vision of what it would look like from a state level .")) Hathorn's class project caught the eye of Google and he was asked to develop a high tech student competition, so Hathorn worked with the Vermont Agency of Education and Preservation Trust of Vermont as well as others to launch 3D Vermont. ((Mike again 00:02:13:27 "Today we have 18 different schools with 20 something teams total with a lot of really cool models and histories about he buldings really fun to see the end result. 00:02:24:04)) High School and Middle School teams picked a local landmark and used computer software to design it digitally, and then printed it out 3D. ((JS SU 00:12:30:20 "This project was not just about using the latest technology with the 3D printer, but it was also about learning the history of the buildings and each community.")) Meg Campbell from Preservation Trust of Vermont was one of the judges. ((Meg Campbell/Preservation Trust of Vermont00:05:40:23 "I think this project really brings together the classroom work that kids traditionally do with the future and the past it just ties it all together in one nice beautiful package.")) Which team is her favorite? ((Meg again 00:06:30:,,laugh,, they are all my favorite)) Team Newport from North County Career Center made a total of 3 buildings. (( Tanner Gobeil/North Country Career Center 00:07:19:00" We decided to do the Haskell Library as our first choice its a larger building so we decided as a group we split up each wall individual and afterwards put it together like a puzzle." 00:07:33:15)) The judges were impressed. (( Jay Ramsey/ Agency of Education 00:1104:00 "For High School comments North Country you had great models and great details. Not fair the size of your buildings, you had a bigger printer.")) When all was said and done, Windsor High School came in first place, and for middle schools it was Essex Middle School first with St Johnsbury coming in second. Putting their communities, on the map. JS Channel three news, Randolph.

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The winning schools will receive Google Nexis tablets and Chromebooks.

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Winter made a comeback -- causing a series of crashes in Buels Gore. State police snapped this photo on Route 17. They say heavy snow caused one car to roll over on a hill. And then about 45 minutes later, a trailer carrying a snowmobile jackknifed across both lanes -- and slid backwards, blocking the road. Neither of the drivers were hurt. But Route 17 was shutdown for several hours.

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Police say they arrested 7 people in Ferrisburgh this morning for trespassing. And the suspects may be tied to a string of burglaries and vandalism in the region. Police say they were investigating break-ins at seven camps on Sleepy Hollow Lane -- where they found the four men -- and three juveniles -- in one of the camps. Three of the adults -- shown here -- along with Brian MacKenzie are in jail pending their arraignment -- the juveniles were cited and released to their parents. Inside the camp -- police found firearms and pellet guns -- and investigators believe they're linked to vandalism to storefronts and car windows in Addison and Chittenden counties.

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A big donation for Bennington College. The Frankenthaler Foundation is giving the school a 5 million dollar gift. Helen Frankenthaler was a 19-49 graduate of the college -- and went on to become one of the country's most celebrated abstract painters. The college plans to name its visual arts center in her honor -- at a ceremony next month. That's news around the region.

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Starting Line Sports ...the legacy of the Mount Anthony wrestling program is well established. Earlier this month, the program claimed it's 27th straight state title. This weekend 12 Patriots are in Virginia Beach for the high school national championships. With all MAU has accomplished as a program, it has yet to produce a national champ. Last year, heavyweight Jesse Webb came as close as you can get, finishing as the runner up. As a junior last year, Troy Gassaway finished sixth last season at 120 pounds. After winning the Vermont state title at 126 pounds this winter, Gassaway was looking for the national title at 126, and he did make history today. Earlier this afternoon, Gassaway picked up a win in the second round at the nationals, and it was the 236th victory of his career, and that's a new Vermont state record for most individual wins, passing the mark Webb set last season. Unfortuately, late this afternoon, Gassaway lost 4-3 in the round of 16 to Gresh Jones of Montana.

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Others who won matches on the opening day of competition include Jack Luciano at 285, Dylan LaFountain at 138, Tyler Mattison at 195, Tyler Raetz at and Calvin Call at 113. The high school nationals run through Sunday in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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A San Francisco Hospital has made medical history. Doctors say a dozen patients took part in a six-way kidney swap at California Pacific Medical Center. Carter Evans has the story.

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(PKG) (NATS Donor recipient hugs montage) (TRACK ) STRANGERS JUST DAYS AGO, THIS GROUP NOW IS MORE LIKE FAMILY...AS SIX TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS MET THE PEOPLE WHO SAVED THEIR LIVES. (NATS meeting ) You're my Barry Bonds, I'm not worthy! (TRACK) THE TRANSPLANT CHAIN WAS STARTED BY ZULLY BROUSSARD. -HER KIDNEY SAVED THE FATHER OF THIS FIVE YEAR OLD. (NATSOT- CARTER TO THE ZULLY IN GROUP) Zully, that man behind you has a piece of you. Zully (crying) I know (TRACK) BROUSSARD LOST A SON AND HER HUSBAND TO CANCER. IT WAS THAT FEELING OF LOSS, THAT COMPELLED HER TO GIVE. (SOT CARTER )The difference between you and everyone else in the chain is that you didn't have a loved one who was getting a kidney. (SOT Zully Broussard/ Kidney Donor) But they did! (TRACK) ZULLY'S GIFT SET OFF A MEDICAL CHAIN REACTION. (graphic in) HER KIDNEY WENT TO A 26 YEAR OLD FACTORY WORKER. HIS SISTER-IN-LAW DONATED TO A 52 YEAR OLD DENTAL ASSISTANT?AND SO ON. THE RESULT WAS 12 SURGERIES? AND SIX NEW KIDNEYS. (end graphic) (TRACK) AS NORMA RODRIGUEZ STRUGGLED WITH KIDNEY DISEASE... HER 28-YEAR-OLD SON, KEITH, HOPED HE COULD SAVE HER LIFE. (CARTER TO KEITH RODRIGUEZ) What did it feel like when you found out it you weren't a match? // (KEITH) There's nothing I can do from here. (TRACK) BUT THERE WAS ANOTHER OPTION? A KIDNEY SWAP, BETWEEN DONORS WHO WEREN'T A MATCH FOR THEIR LOVED ONE? BUT WERE COMPATIBLE WITH SOME ONE ELSE'S. (TRACK) MARK KIM GOT HIS NEW KIDNEY FROM FORMER MARINE LIZ TORRES. (sot MARK KIM/Recipient) I have received a gift I can never repay. right and I'm grateful. (TRACK) THE KIDNEY SWAP WAS FAST TRACKED .. BEFORE ANYONE OR ANYTHING BROKE THE CHAIN. (SOT Dr. Bill Bry/Surgical Director, California Pacific Medical Center) if one of the patients developed a cold that could have thrown the whole thing off (SOT Zully Broussard/ Kidney Donor) We all have something to give and we make a choice as to what that may be (TRACK) THE CHOICE ZULLY BROUSSARD MADE SAVED OSWALDO PADILLA'S LIFE. (SOT Oswaldo Padilla) She?s part of my family now (TRACK) Padilla will now get to see his daughter grow up. Thanks to the kindness of strangers. Carter Evans, CBS News, San Francisco.

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According to the National Kidney Foundation -- more than 100-thousand people -- in the U-S -- are waiting for new kidneys. 12 transplant hopefuls die everyday. That's healthwatch.

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Dan is back, and we're all wondering where the warm weather is.

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Wheeli. It's a new way for UVM students to get where they need to go. Creators say it's carpooling in the digital age. Logan Crawford has more.

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For a college kid--getting a ride at times is key. Amanda Leslie uses the new carpooling website for college students "Wheeli." (TC 01:03) ((Amanda Leslie/UVM Student "I've been involved for about a month or 6 weeks now I'd say." 01:06)) She's been sharing rides with fellow students since Wheeli came to UVM in January. You just log on to the site -- create a profile -- and once you find other students going your way -- you're off. (TC 00:12:22:29 Tile 0539) ((Kelsey Stoll/UVM Student "In the cold months a lot of people have trouble motivating themselves to walk downtown to different cafes and restaurants, so definitely gives a lot more opportunities for students around here." 00:12:33:10)) You might be asking --- isn't this like the popular ride sharing service Uber? The founder and CEO of Wheeli says -- it's much different. (TC 00:01:06:23 Tile 0485) ((Jean-Pierre Adechi/Wheeli Founder "They're not really a ride sharing service, because you're not sharing a ride with your taxi driver right. The idea with Wheeli is that it's a community of student drivers and student passengers that are looking for rides going places." 00:01:16:27)) (TC 00:24:30:14 Tile 0514) ((Logan Crawford/Burlington "The Wheeli app is expected to launch this September. Soon students at UVM will be able to use their phones to request a ride going downtown or somewhere even further." 00:24:44:01)) (TC 00:01:53:29 Tile 0485) ((Jean-Pierre Adechi/Wheeli "Essentially drop a couple bucks for gas to your driver. So it could be for shorter distances to go downtown or go to class. Or it could be for longer distance, to get to Stowe, to get to Boston or New York City." 00:02:04:10)) Adechi says Wheeli fills a need for college students. GFX: According to UVM -- out of 13-thousand undergrad and grad students -- only 17-hundred applied this year to park their cars on campus. (TC 00:17:12:14 Tile 0548) ((Elliot Diana/UVM Student "Not a lot of people have cars and it's good not to use as much gas. Everyone gets in the same car and goes." 00:17:17:05)) Wheeli creators say it not only helps students get around -- but it's also environmentally friendly. (TC 00:03:02:26 Tile 0485) ((Jean-Pierre Adechi/Wheeli "We reach out to university but we also reach out to student entrepreneurs, student ecological and sustainability groups, and essentially work with them on the ground to get the word out and get students involved behind it." 00:03:13:26)) Adechi says there are a number of safety factors he's taken into account. GFX: To use Wheeli you need a college email address -- so it's only for college students. There needs to be at least 2 passengers. Drivers and passengers all have their own profile -- so users a can screen and rate fellow Wheeli-ers. Wheeli rides can also be gender specific -- for those who want to ride with someone the same gender. The makers of Wheeli hope in Vermont it will be a big thing students use to hit the slopes. (TC 00:15:32:05 Tile 0547) ((Kristi Benoy/UVM Student "It's definitely something I'd be interested in using to go skiing, maybe a ride from the airport which would be really nice too." 00:15:38:09)) Similar to Uber -- passengers pay for rides with a debit or credit card so there's no cash involved. (TC ) ((Amanda Leslie "I think my favorite part of Wheeli as a driver is that wheel handles all the financials so before someone can even get in my car they've signed up and agreed upon a price they're gonna pay for it.")) Nearly 200 UVM students are already hitching rides with Wheeli. Logan Crawford, channel 3 news, Burlington. -3-

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The Wheeli website has been up and running since last fall -- but the mobile app isn't ready yet. For more on Wheeli -- check it out on our website wcax.com.

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Vermont's senior Senator may once again be teaming up with the Dark Knight -- at least according to its star Ben Affleck. ((SOT Ben Affleck 1:36-1:47 "And to Senator Leahy -- I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my costar in Batman. His role is marginally smaller than mine - I understand you're quite good.")) Affleck let that spoiler slip -- Thursday -- during a Senate hearing on foreign aid and international diplomacy. Senator Leahy has made cameos in four previous Batman films -- including 2008's "The Dark Knight." When we asked about a potential cameo in next year's "Batman vs Superman" -- the senator told us QUOTE "I know that others have speculated about this, and so far I have not. But I would never contradict Ben Affleck, or Batman."

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As we said yesterday, former UVM men's hockey captain Mike Paliotta has signed a two year contract with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, the team that drafted him in the third round back in 2011. Today, Paliotta met with the Chicago media for the first time and looked back at his time in Vermont. (TRT: 25...Was there.) (Paliotta:"It's crazy that was four years ago, it really went by really quickly. I had a great time playing at Vermont, a great career there. But at the same time, I'm excited to get started here. You certainly look forward to a day like this and now that it's actually here it's obviously surreal. Our D coach Kevin Patrick really, when he came in he helped me out so much as far as just getting pucks down to the net and just kind of keeping things simple. But at the end of the day I was creating offense for our team. I'm obviously happy the way things progressed while I was there.")

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Staying on the ice, Cadet sophomore William Pelletier and senior Captain Alec Thieda have been named All-Americans by the American Hockey Coaches Association. ---- Pelletier was named to the First Team after scoring 17 goals and picking up 27 assists ...Pelletier ranked 2nd in the country in points per game, averaging 1.83 a game this season.. ---- Thieda was named to the 2nd team...the senior defenseman notching 3 goals and 17 assists. Thieda lead a Cadet defense that ranked 1st in all of Division 3, allowing just 1.33 goals per game... --- The two became the 43rd and 44th All-American selections in Norwich history

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how about a little taste of spring...the Red Sox in Kissimmee, Florida to take on the Atlanta Braves... --- Clay Buchholz on the mound...making his next to last start before getting the ball on opening day... and he would struggle ...bottom two, bases full of Braves and onetime Red Sox Pedro Ciriaco lines one over the head of Daniel Nava and to the wall in left...all three runs score on a bases clearing double... Braves up 3-0... --- top of the fourth... Mookie Betts, hitting .487 this spring... sends a line drive to left...clears the wall for a two run home run to pull Boston within a run... --- but in the sixth, Kelly Johnson answers with a solo shot to right...Buchholz goes five plus innings, giving up 12 hits and four runs... the skies would open in the top of the seventh, so this one is called due to rain as the Braves win 4-2.

47} KENT_WV_SW16_VO


In his classic song, You Don't Mess Around With Jim, Jim Croce warned, among other things, that you don't tug on Superman's cape. In the NCAA Tournament, unbeaten Kentucky is Superman. This week, head of last night's Sweet 16 matchup, West Virginia freshman guard Dexter Miles tugged on that cape, saying Kentucky didn't play hard and that the team, 36-0 at the time, would be 36-1 after last night. To borrow from yet another superhero, Kentucky responded by saying, don't make us angry, you wouldn't like us when we're angry. The Wildcats put the hammer down on West Virginia from the opening tip and never let up, crushing the Mountaineers 78-39. Kentucky opened the game on an 18-2 run, led 44-18 at the half and didn't let West Virginia reach twenty points until nearly midway thru the second half. And Miles, in 19 minutes, he was held scoreless, had no assists and one rebound.

48} ND_WSU_SW16_W_VO


Next up for Kentucky, Notre Dame. The Irish shot their way past Wichita State 81-70 to reach the Elite Eight for the first time since 1979. Notre Dame shot 55 percent from the field and over 47 percent from three point range, hitting 9 of 19 from behind the arc. The ACC tournament champs will face Kentucky tomorrow with a trip to the Final Four on the line, just don't expect them to say anything nice things about the Wildcats in the media leading up to that matchup.

49} WISC_NC_SW16_W_VO


The best of the four games last night came out of the West Region in Los Angeles, as top seed Wisconsin rallied in the second half to knock off North Carolina 79-72. Sam Dekker had a game high 23 points and ten rebound, which national player of the year candidate Frank Kaminsky added 19 and eight boards to pace the Badgers, who trailed by seven with eleven minutes to go, but eventually wore down the Tarheels to pick up the victory.

50} ARI_XAV_SW16_W_VO


In the nightcap in L-A, Arizona, the second seed in the West, pulled away in the second half to down Xavier 68-60. Guard T-J McConnel led the Wildcats with 17 points, seven boards and fifth assists. That victory sets up an anticipated rematch with Wisconsin in the Elite Eight tomorrow. Last year, also in the West regional final, Wisconsin beat Arizona in overtime to advance to the Final Four.

51} SWEET_16_FRIDAY


The Sweet 16 concludes tonight with four more games. Right here on Channel Three, it's the South Region semifinals.. starting with second seed Gonzaga facing the highest remaining seed in the tournament, number eleven UCLA. Then, at around 9:45pm, top seed Duke takes on number five Utah. Also this evening, it's the East region semifinals. The East the only region to lose both its top two seeds on the opening weekend. Up first, Louisville takes on North Carolina State, then it's Michigan State and Oklahoma in the nightcap.

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53} 4THWX_FORECAST



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