Fri 16-MAR-2018 Early A.M. News Script

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CREWS WITH THE Vermont Department of Forests is asking for your help after a TREE-KILLING insect POPS up in the State. You're watching Channel 3, I'm Alexandra Montgomery Emerald ash borer larvae -- also known as EAB -- infects ash trees and can kill them within THREE to FIVE years. The beatle, which is native to Asia -- has already decimated ash tree populations in MORE 30 states across the U-S. Back in February -- it was found in the town of Orange. But experts say there is a way to prevent them from spreading even further.


((Judy Rosovsky/State Entomologist: "its best not to move wood products. if you don't know if you are in an infested or universes area. once you know, then there are rules that apply to moving and not moving.")) Ash trees make up FIVE percent of Vermont forests. If they are attacked -- state TREE EXPERTS are concerned about the risks and dangers involved with dying trees.


Vermont is set to get a cash windfall soon -- thanks to a settlement with tobacco companies. Vermont leaders say THE 28 million dollars coming to the state can go towards combating the opiate crisis. The money is part of a Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement from 1998. THAT SETTLED THE STATES ARGUMENT THAT THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY USED DECEPTIVE MARKETING OF CIGARETTES THAT CAUSED HARM TO PEOPLE'S HEALTH.


MEANWHILE, Lawmakers have until the end of today to make a decision on e-cigarette taxes. The Vermont House is considering grouping e-cigs with other tobacco products taxed at 92 percent. THEY'RE LOOKING to raise more than 300-thousand dollars.


((ANDY2163 3:18:07 Andrew McLean "There's been a change of opinions, or actuially, a fairly significant change of opinions, relative to e-cigarettes lately. The American Cancer Society significantly changed it's opinion." 3:30:09)) ((ANDY2163 8:20:01 Rep. George Till "The producers of these have had the opportunity to register with the FDA as smoking cessation devices and not one has attempted to do that." 8:33:19)) E-cigarette makers say the devices shouldn't be taxed at the same rate because some people use them to quit smoking. Supporters of the idea -- say they are not approved AS A MEANS TO HELP PEOPLE QUIT.


We now have an update on a child abuse case from nearly four years ago. The family of a murdered Vermont toddler is pleading for justice before the Vermont Supreme Court. Dezirae Sheldon was killed BY HER stepfather -- Dennis Duby in 2014. DEZIRAE'S FAMILY says D-C-F independent contractor Nicholas Ruggiero should have warned POLICE SHE WAS BEING ABUSED BEFORE SHE DIED. Lawyers say he complied with the law at the time. The Supreme Court heard arguments may not rule on THIS for months.


Still more snow showers in the mountains today, another dusting -3". Blustery today into Saturday morning. Some clearing late in the day and into the overnight. One last burst of snow shower activity Saturday morning as a trough swings through north to south, then we'll clear out, but turn colder during the afternoon, heading for a cold Saturday night/Sunday morning. More sunshine on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday with a slow warm-up. Spring begins on Tuesday. Watching a possible coastal storm for Wednesday into Thursday that could bring more snow.

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Last Update: Fri 16-MAR-2018
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