Mon 13-APR-2015 11 P.M. News Script

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Good evening. I'm Keith McGilvery. And I'm Shelby Cashman. He's only been out of prison for a few days but today a convicted sex offender found himself back in court. Jennifer Costa looks at why Richard Laws is in trouble with the law again and why he's insisting on defending himself.

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49-year-old Richard Laws is still adjusting to life on the outside. The convicted sex offender has spent the last 23-years -- locked up for the brutal rape of a Waitsfield woman. But his first few days of freedom have not gone smoothly. ((JC 00:14:34 "do feel that public safety officials are trying to find a reason to get you back in prison? RL: Oh absolutely.")) Saturday he was arrested for driving with a suspended license. Monday -- he went before the judge. ((COURT nats)) Laws admits he was behind the wheel -- on Route 105 -- but claims it was an emergency. He tells Channel 3 -- he started driving -- only after his girlfriend became woozy from migraine medication -- and drove off the road. Laws says he informed Corrections of the situation -- but was stopped by state police -- in Sheldon -- minutes after hopping in the driver's seat. ((Richard Laws/convicted sex offender 00:22:52 "I felt that it was the lesser of two evils. Our safety was in jeopardy with her driving. It was wrong. And I went in there and tried to admit to was wrong.")) Laws knew his license was suspended for a 1991 DUI -- but thought it was a civil -- not criminal suspension. He says he wanted to plead guilty -- in exchange for a suspended sentence or a fine. But when prosecutors mentioned the possibility of jail time -- he entered an official plea of not guilty. ((Richard Laws/convicted sex offender 00:17:32 "If I can't live free out here, I'd rather be dead. I don't want to go back to prison.")) ((JC 30:43 "Would a DLS be a big deal for anyone else other than him? JH: no.")) Franklin County Prosecutor -- Jim Hughes -- says DLS cases are typically punishable by a fine -- but a judge can consider an offender's criminal record. Hughes is concerned about how quickly Laws reoffended. ((Jim Hughes/Franklin County State's Attorney 00:30:29 "He's had a very long time to make sure that he conforms his conduct to the laws of the state of Vermont and very shortly after he's released, he's violating the laws.")) Hughes did not want to make a deal -- without corrections weighing in on whether Laws needs to be reincarcerated, supervised or fined. ((Richard Laws/convicted sex offender 00:18:03 "is this the danger everyone anticipated out of me? I mean come on man.")) ((Richard Laws/convicted sex offender 00:14:44 "If I'm Jack the Ripper and I'm supposedly the most dangerous man around is me driving with a suspended license what's scaring you?")) Laws -- opted to represent himself -- saying he didn't want taxpayers shelling out cash for his public defender. But says he doesn't trust Corrections. And claims the DOC mislead the public about his unwillingness to participate in sex offender treatment. ((JC 00:26:20 Are you going to stay out of trouble? RL: Yeah I'm not going to harm anyone. I just want to live my life. I'm overwhelmed by this entire situation.")) For now -- Laws is free -- on the condition he doesn't drive. He's due back in court next month. JC Ch 3 News St. Albans.

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A trial date has been set for a man accused of kidnapping and raping a New Hampshire teen. 34 year old Nathaniel Kibby allegedly kidnapped the then 14 year old girl on her way home from school in Conway in October of 20-13. Prosecutors say he held her captive for nine months at his Gorham home--and imprisoned her in a storage unit in the backyard. Kibby faces more than 200 counts of using death threats--a stun gun--zip ties and a shock collar to control the teen while he sexually assaulted her. Jury selection is set to begin in March of 20-16.

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Dartmouth College is cutting ties with a fraternity accused of hazing. The Alpha Delta fraternity is accused of "branding" students last fall. This isn't the first time the frat has been in hot water. The organization has a history of hazing, underage drinking and hosting unregistered events. The frat inspired the 1978 movie "Animal House." A Dartmouth committee has voted to derecognize Alpha Delta -- the group has a week to file an appeal.

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An Oklahoma reserve deputy has been charged with second degree manslaughter. Robert Bates, says he thought he had pulled his stun gun while other officers struggled with suspect Eric Harris during an undercover sting earlier this month. But he apparently pulled his real gun and shot Harris, who later died. The 73-year-old Bates says it was an accident.

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Bad news for a slew of airlines across the country. The Airline Quality Ratings are out today. American, United, and Southwest all struggled. Consumer complaints jumped 22 percent, with budget carrier Frontier receiving the most. On-time arrivals for all carriers declined to 76-point-2 percent. Hawaiian airlines had the best on-time performance. The rate of lost or stolen bags jumped 13-percent.

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Dan is here. Spring has finally arrived.

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A Vermont State trooper accused of drunk driving on the job says he didn't do it. Eric Rademacher is charged with operating his police cruiser while intoxicated and pleased not guilty today. Using results of a breath test that showed Rademacher under the legal limit -- a chemist with the Vermont Forensic Lab estimated the trooper's B-A-C was about point-135 when he was on the job earlier and driving his cruiser. Rademacher's lawyer says the calculation can't be trusted.

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((56:45 David Sleight/Rademacher's Attorney: "His actual breath test done by the datamaster, which of course has a confidence interval that would affect the range of possible tests, was .044, I mean half the legal limit. 56:57 We're pretty steadfast in the idea that if this had happened to you or me, there wouldn't have even been a charge.")) Rademacher did admit to drinking six beers in the hours before going on duty. And he remains on administrative leave while state police conduct a separate internal review to see if he will lose his job or face some other punishment.

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Being a police officer--is undoubtedly a stressful job. Here in Vermont--there are programs that less than 2 percent of states around the country have--to help them cope.

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The police beat. There's conflict ...there's danger... and there's stress (00:39:37) ((Sonny Provetto "I wasn't eight years into the job and got into a situation where I thought I was going to have to take somebody's life.")) (00:39:43) Sonny Provetto wore a badge with the Burlington and State police for ten years -- and he says it's not an unusual situation for someone on the front lines of public safety. (00:39:43) ((Sonny Provetto/Social Worker "fortunately I didn't and was left with the after effects of such a stressful event. I felt ill. I didn't know what to do with it.")) (00:39:55) Provetto retired after a decade--a move he's seen often in law enforcement. Today -- he is a licensed social worker--and works police departments in Chittenden County--and State Police. He says 90 percent of police officers nationwide--will experience some kind of traumatic incident--such as an officer involved shooting-- during the course of their career. 6 to fourteen percent--suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. (00:42:52) ((Sonny Provetto "How do we deal with the trauma of what we see is something that you're still trying to figure out.")) (00:42:56) Provetto says police officers are twice as likely to die by suicide--than at the hands of someone else. And that's why he--is working to change the stigma--of asking for help with both on the job trauma--AND stressors at home. (00:49:53) ((Sonny Provetto "we recognized that having a 6 pack after work, after that shift is not the best thing to do.")) (00:49:59) Provetto focuses on officer wellness. From counseling and fitness programs--to more holistic approaches-- (00:48:37) ((Sonny "we've bought in yoga instructors, we've worked on mindfulness.")) (00:48:43) He also works with a team of licensed clinicians--like Lori Gurney. (00:07:05) ((Lori Gurney "I have members that come in with their spouses with their children we do all of that. It has to be a whole system for it to be effective.")) (00:07:13) Of the 327 sworn members of the Vermont State Police--Gurney sees about 50 regularly. Some come on their own--some are referred by command staff. But she says a Members Assistance Team--made up of 11 sworn members-- AS WELL AS dispatchers--clinician s and a clergyman--- GFX: made 1260 contacts with officers, troopers and other public safety professionals ACROSS VERMONT--through face to face meetings or follow up phone conversation--facilita ted 7 debriefs after TRAUMATIC EVENTS involving VSP--and made 22 visits to other police agencies after similar INCIDENTS --in 20-14. (00:12:06) ((Lori Gurney "these are the people that are really out there working with their peers and making sure that they're okay i'll go to the family's house they'll bring them places i'll do what they need.")) (00:12:14) GURNEY SAYS AT TIMES IT CAN BE CHALLENGING TO CONVINCE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SPENT DECADES IN UNIFROM THAT GETTING HELP IS OKAY -- but she says--the tide--is changing. The younger generation of police officers--have a new mentality about counseling. Instead of letting stress build up throughout a career-- (00:04:08) ((Lori Gurney " they are processing things as they come up and it's no big deal no big deal at all for them to be here")) (00:04:13)

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The clinicians who work with police here in Vermont told me that if an officer is struggling--say with addiction or a a divorce--all they need to do is speak up. Time off--or help is given--no questions asked--before they hit the breaking point.

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Still ahead -- A new name jumps into the race for the White House. And what do some of the top democrats in Vermont have to say about a potential Bernie Sanders bid? (00:38:33:00) ((Gov. Peter Shumlin - D-Vermont: I know he'll do what's right for Vermont and what's right for America :36 )) Spring weather is here! ((Hannah Mullins, Burlington 02:06 "Finally made it through the winter, it's just nice to finally be able to get out and do stuff around this town.)) We hit the town to find out what folks are up on the first 70 degree day. Plus -- mud is the muse for these works of art. We'll have the full story in just a bit.

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Add a third Republican to the official list of White House contenders. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is joining the marathon race for president. His news follows a video announcement from Hillary Clinton. Craig Boswell has more.

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(PKG) Florida Senator Marco Rubio says he is running for president because he's uniquely qualified to lead America into the future. (SOT: Sen. Marco Rubio/(R-FL) GOP Presidential Candidate) "GROUNDED BY THE LESSONS OF OUR HISTORY, BUT INSPIRED BY THE PROMISE OF OUR FUTURE, I ANNOUNCE MY CANDIDACY FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES." The 43-year-old son of Cuban immigrants kicked-off his campaign at Miami's Freedom Tower... the building where refugees fleeing communist Cuba were processed. (SOT: Sen. Marco Rubio/(R-FL) GOP Presidential Candidate) "I LIVE IN AN EXCEPTIONAL COUNTRY WHERE THE SON OF A BARTENDER AND A MAID CAN HAVE THE SAME DREAMS AND THE SAME FUTURE AS THOSE WHO COME FROM POWER AND PRIVILEGE." Rubio joins fellow Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul as the first Republicans to enter the race. (STANDUP: Craig Boswell/CBS News/The White House) One thing is uniting the GOP White House hopefuls - each says he's a better choice than Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton. (SOT: Sen. Marco Rubio/(R-FL) GOP Presidential Candidate) "JUST YESTERDAY, A LEADER FROM YESTERDAY, BEGAN A CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENT BY PROMISING TO TAKE US BACK TO YESTERDAY. YESTERDAY'S OVER." Clinton used an online video featuring every day Americans to announce her own 2016 plans. (nats) "I'M RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT" The former Secretary of State hit the campaign trail in a van. She was spotted at a Chipotle in Ohio Monday.. she'll hold her first event in Iowa Tuesday. Craig Boswell, CBS News, The White House.

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Meanwhile - Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders still hasn't decided if he'll make a run for the White House. Sanders has been publicly mulling a run, and had previously set a decision deadline for the end of March. Now he says the decision will come by the end of April. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch -- and Gov. Peter Shumlin -- both spoke favorably of Hillary Clinton today, while also noting that Sanders would have plenty to add to the debate.

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(00:35:33:00) ((Rep. Peter Welch -D-Vermont: If Bernie were to run, I'd hope he would run as a Democrat :37 because we don't want a third party situation :39 where we can really divide I think what has to be the progressive majority )) (00:38:25:00) ((Gov. Peter Shumlin - D-Vermont: I think that Bernie Sanders, the Bernie I know is perfectly capable of making his own decisions without advice from anybody, including me :33 I know he'll do what's right for Vermont and what's right for America :36 )) Gov. Shumlin says the winner will be the candidate who successfully convinces voters he or she can improve the economy for all Americans.

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19} FORECAST


A cold front will catch up to us tonight. Some showers will develop towards midnight-- there could even be an isolated rumble of thunder. Strong southerly winds at 15-25 mph will become westerly overnight. After an early shower to the southeast, skies will turn partly cloudy on Tuesday. It will be a bit cooler, but still pleasant with highs of 58/65. High pressure will work back on top of us for Wednesday and Thursday. We'll see a couple of really nice days with plenty of sunshine and highs in the 50s and 60s. The pattern will turn a little more unsettled on Friday and Saturday. A couple of frontal systems could trigger some shower activity. It looks like we'll dry out again on Sunday.

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Some folks have found a unique way to celebrate mud season. At the ArtisTree-- a community arts center-- creative minds are using the muddy mess during the spring as inspiration. The gallery exhibit -- South Pomfret-- called "MUD"-- features 42 artists. Most of them live in the community-- painting familiar scenes of the world around them. Kathleen Fiske-- of Woodstock- has two works on display.

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((Kathleen Fiske/Artist: "mud season really is a little of both. We are happy to see it come, but while it is here it is really messy. So I guess we are trying to make the best of a bad situation ")) The MUD exhibit is open-- Tuesdays through Saturdays-- until May 2nd. We are looking for YOUR pictures of the mud as well. You can email them, share them on Facebook, or use the hastag #muddies on Twitter.

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It's a day many of us have been waiting for. That's right -- we reached 70 degrees for the first time this year -- and folks wasted little time -- getting out and enjoying it.

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((Violin nats)) Violinist Matt Heckler -- is wasting no time -- setting up shop and sharing his tunes on Burlington's waterfront. (12:11 "It's gorgeous, you can hear the ice breaking up by the docks, you can see the mountains are still snow-capped, it's a pretty perfect day.) ((Violin nats)) The musician admits he prefers the cold -- but that when it comes to performing outside -- sunny bluebird days are best. ((12:04 "I think if I was doing this at 7 below I would be fighting off icicles.)) After an abnormally cold winter across our region -- temps soared above 70 Monday. ((Hannah Mullins, Burlington 02:19 "No, not at all, I can't even believe it, first summer back here, I definitely thought it would be summer by now.)) While some feared the day might never come -- the Channel 3 weather team says the 70 degree mark is pretty much in synch with recent history. The earliest we touched 70 in Burlington in the last 5 years was March 18th 2012 -- when the thermostat read 76 degrees -- the latest -- April 19th -- 2013 when we hit 74. ((April 2, 2010 79* April 11, 2011 73* March 18, 2012 76* April 19, 2013 74* April 14, 2014 81*)) ((Hannah Mullins, Burlington 02:06 "Finally made it through the winter, it's just nice to finally be able to get out and do stuff around this town.)) Including listening to music -- something even this winter lover hopes will have a simple impact on those ready to roll up their sleeves -- grab a creemee and enjoy Vermont's great outdoors. ((Violin nats)) ((12:48 "A smile to pass on to someone else at the very least.)) ((Violin nats))

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We had a little fun with the warm up here at Channel 3. A few weeks ago Dan Dowling challenged our entire team to predict when we might hit 70 for the first time!! Dan was just one degree off a few days back but it was Business Manager Peg Doolin -- who picked today on the calendar and took home this year's crown!

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((TRT: 2:48 ... OC: CHANNEL THREE SPORTS))

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Yankees, coming off that ten run victory over Boston last night ...on the road for the first time tonight in Baltimore... --- pick this one up top of the seventh...New York down 4-2...two outs, bases loaded for pinch hitter Stephen Drew and Drew, who homered last night, connects on this one ...deep to right center...it's a grand slam... Michael Pineda wasn't great...five runs in six and a third...but Drew's blast was just enough to give New York a 6-5 win.


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Last Update: Mon 13-APR-2015
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