Mon 29-SEP-2014 6 P.M. News Script

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DCF is in turmoil. Dezirae Sheldon and Peighton Geraw were killed this year in their own homes -- while under the supervision of the Vermont Department for Children and Families. The cases grabbed the attention of the state. Governor Shumlin took drastic action -- and fired Human Services Secretary Doug Racine. Then the commissioner of DCF -- Dave Yacovone -- quit shortly thereafter. Now there is new leadership at DCF -- Ken Schatz. He joins me now. ((You served as general counsel at the Agency of Human Services for the past 2 years -- why did you sign up for this?)) ((There is a lack of transparency at DCF because you are governed by privacy rules for individual cases. What are you going to do to lift that veil to make sure that there is sufficient oversight of DCF?)) ((how soon can people expect to see change? What will that change look like?)) ((why do you think you're the best person job?)) ((what are your priorities?)) ((Wednesday Acting Human Service Secretary Harry Chen is presenting the governor with a report on restructuring DCF. What are his recommendations?)) ((legislatures role in DCF))

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Tomorrow on the Thirty -- stopping domestic violence. Karen Tronsgard-Scott is with the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. We'll talk to her about stopping violence in the home BEFORE it starts -- and getting men involved to help raise boys who won't hit. That's tomorrow at 5-30 on The Thirty.

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Good Evening I'm Steve Bottari -- Darren is off tonight. and I'm Kristin Kelly. Domestic violence has been making national news -- with several NFL players facing charges. But domestic violence affects every level of society - in every state. Now -- there is a new effort here -- to combat it. Alex Apple joins us now with more on the launch of Stop the Violence VT. Alex. Kristin, nearly 40 percent of violent crime in Vermont last year was related to domestic violence. The purpose of Stop the Violence VT is to better equip law enforcement to handle those cases -- and to create an environment where victims feel comfortable speaking out.

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It was the cause of 60 percent of Vermont's homicides last year. One in five women experience it. Domestic violence -- it surged into the national conscience with recent cases involving NFL athletes. (4:43 BPD Chief Michael Schirling)(("Recent high profile events with the NFL are emblematic of the scope and depth of the ongoing challenge.")) On Monday -- both state and local police officers unveiled Stop The Violence VT -- a program designed to curve domestic violence. (Chief Trevor Whipple/South Burlington Police Department 1:03)(("The magnitude and the importance of the subject at hand is quite visible in just looking around the room.")) Over 50 officers and advocacy experts filled the South Burlington police department -- to hear the state's multi-step initiative to stop gender-based violence. (5:58 BPD Chief Michael Schirling)(("It would be easy to look at this number and question what can be done.")) The state is taking action in the form of two main steps. (GFX)The first -- increase public education with an emphasis on teaching young males. (12:03 Karen Tronsgard-Scott/VT Network against Domestic and Sexual Violence)(("Often young boys will watch this behavior in their homes and grow up to be offenders.")) (25:27 BPD Chief Michael Schirling)(("The most effective thing that achieves public safety is having an active, engaged community on any particular topic.")) (GFX)The second step -- enhanced training for law enforcement -- emphasizing victim support. (27:04 Michael Schirling)(("It's not about arresting your way out of the problem. It's about how do we prevent things from happening by changing the culture.")) So what's different than past efforts? Police will be trained how to interact with victims so that they feel more comfortable opening up about about an abusive relationship. Burlington Chief Michael Schirling said he was surprised at how much he learned at the new training. (15:23 BPD Chief Michael Schirling)(("When you look at depth of the issue through the lense they're able to deliver in a training this comprehensive, you see all kinds of opportunities to improve.")) Schirling say if the program works -- they'll see an initial increase in the number of reported cases -- as women feel more comfortable to speak out. (Jennifer Morrison Chief colchester 3:12)(("These crimes are complex, under reported, and often misunderstood.")) And when that initial increase hits -- already-taxed support organizations will get even busier. (20:00 Karen Tronsgard-Scott)(("we' re quite concerned about what an uptick in the number of people seeking services will look like. Our shelters are full every night of the week.")) But Chief Michael Schirling says domestic violence advocacy groups will receive priority -- for any extra resources that may become available.

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Over 30 police chiefs and sheriffs from around the state attended a Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women in June. Tomorrow on the 30, Karen Tronsgard-Scott will join Gina and Mike to discuss issues involving domestic violence.

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Prosecutors across Vermont say they need help juggling heavy caseloads. In Caledonia County, prosecutor Lisa Warren says she asked the state for a full-time temporary deputy for help through the upcoming trials of Patricia and Allen Prue,. They're the couple charged with killing a St. Johnsbury teacher back in 20-12. Warren says she was turned down for budget reasons. Her office is getting help from other counties -- but she says her and her staff -- have been forced to work 12-hour days and weekends to prepare for the trials. Statewide -- the head of the State's Attorneys and Sheriffs office in Montpelier says Vermont needs 17 more deputy prosecutors.

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Filling empty Burlington storefronts -- but at what cost. Shelby Cashman joins us now live from Church Street -- on the re-ignited debate about trying to keep business local. Shelby? Kristen and Steve behind me is Church Street's newest addition Athleta. It's a gap own store that is officially opening Tuesday and will be joined by its parent company within the next couple of months. This means that the marketplace is now at full capacity. Some say that is good news for the economy-no empty storefronts means business is booming. But the addition of numerous national store chains on the marketplace has left others wondering at what cost? Some say that local business-which should be the attraction- is being driven out.

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((Becky Cassidy/ Church Street marketplace commission "we're so excited to have the marketplace fully occupied it's wonderful for us and wonderful for all the retailers and restaurants here. The marketplace is obviously A destination for shopping and dining.")) ((SOT from Kara Alnasrawi/ owner Liebling " I do feel like the Taurus have all the stores already in their towns. They have the gap Banana Republic all those places. And I think when you travel and you come to a new area and you're discovering a new town your more drawn to more local businesses you need businesses things you might not see in your hometown")) So while the church street marketplace reports that over 14 thousand square feet of new retail space is coming with the addiction of Aretha and Gap- local business owners say that's because national stores can afford it--while local businesses may not be able to. I'll have more from local business owners--and the marketplace commission--coming up at 11. Kristin Steve?

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Sharon is here, and what a weekend! Indian summer! What a weekend, people out boating still, swimming in the lake, you'd think it was 4th of July weekend instead of the last weekend in September, but there is fall foliage around to remind you! Today has been another warm day, but clouds have been increasing and a weakening cold front dropping down out of Canada will bring more clouds again tomorrow. This front won't have a lot of moisture with is, just a few showers possible, mainly over northern New York. Our weather will be dry through the rest of the week, with temperatures still a few degrees above normal for early October.

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Electric rates are rising for customers in some parts of our region. National Grid announced its rates will be 37 percent higher than last winter. But Green Mountain Power says it is reducing rates by 2.4 percent. Green Mountain Power joins Vermont Gas in trumpeting stable prices. Both utilities say they have been eliminating corporate inefficiencies to cut costs.

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(dotty Schnure/GMP 1:01)(("We are obsessed really with finding ways to operate the company very efficiently. We're constantly looking for ways to be more efficient and pass those savings onto our customers.")) (7:07 Steve Wark/VT Gas)(("Natural gas prices in Vermont are set and approved by the public service board so they're regulated and they can't move up or down without permission of the board, so we have a rate design that adjusts those prices on a quarterly basis to account for changes in fuel.")) Nearly half of New England's electrical generation now comes from natural gas. But in Vermont its less -- with hydro and wind helping to meet demand.

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Right now in Plattsburgh you can park on both sides of the street. But -- that might not be the case soon -- and parking spots might not be so easy to find -- if an idea ... becomes an ordinance... in the Plattsburgh Common Council. Logan Crawford has the story.

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Ryan Taylor lives in downtown Plattsburgh. He says finding a good parking spot near his apartment can be tough. (TC 00:02:31:29 Tile 3690) ((Ryan Taylor/Plattsburgh "I tend to have to leave my apartment to move my car every 2 hours, seems to be a hassle. So I just end up parking in the farmer's lot over there." 00:02:39:24)) The Plattsburgh Common Council is considering to limit parking on city streets to 1 side. (TC 17:53:54:00) ((Paul O'Connell/Plattsburgh Common Council "I've had a lot of complaints, a lot of issues about roads being hard to get through. I know trucks can't get down the road, I know police, fire trucks, ambulances can't get through.")) The idea is also to have the streets clear for better cleaning and snow removal. But Taylor hopes that will not make finding parking spots -- even tougher. (TC 00:03:05:05 Tile 3690) ((Ryan Taylor/Plattsburgh "It would be a lot harder for me to park where I live. Like when I go grocery shopping it's hard for me, I got to walk like a few blocks to get to my house when I can't park right in front. So it might be a little bit of an issue." 00:03:16:26)) Some are in favor of the one side parking idea. (TC 00:04:55:11 Tile 3692) ((Adam Crosley/Plattsburgh Business Owner "Clean the streets? I think it needs to happen if it needs to happen." 00:05:00:11)) (TC 00:13:08:03 Tile 3701) ((Logan Crawford/Plattsburgh "People who live and work in the city are thinking of creative ways to handle parking if the city decides to implement its alternate side rules." 00:13:23:07)) (TC 00:05:08:22 Tile 3692) ((Adam Crosley/Plattsburgh Business Owner "If they took the big lot, and like they did over in Burlington and they were able to construct some sort of downtown parking, I think you can almost get rid of some of this city parking, some of the city street parking." 00:05:17:20)) No single side parking rules or regulations are in place yet -- or even officially proposed. For now it's just an idea. (TC 00:08:51:05 Tile 3695) ((Carolyn Tetreault/Plattsburgh Business Owner "Just try things out and if they don't work try something else." 00:08:55:24)) Whether alternate side parking in Plattsburgh gets a green light or has the brakes put on -- remains to be seen. Logan Crawford, channel 3 news, Plattsburgh. -3-

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Here are the next steps. Council members say they'll be researching costs -- and working with the city's police department on enforcing alternating side parking. Council member also say they're looking at similarly sized cities --- to see what they do.

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New York state wants to help children and teens with epilepsy -- by importing marijuana. Therapy derived from a strain of pot grown in Colorado - where the drug is legal - has shown great results in calming dangerous seizure disorders in young people. But importing even the seeds from the special strain of marijuana is illegal under federal law. So only patients in Colorado are benefitting from it. New York is launching its own medical marijuana program in 2016. But authorities are asking the US Justice Department to be able to treat young people before then.

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Get ready to put down those cell phones while driving. On Wednesday it will be illegal for drivers to use hand-held electronic devices -- like cell phones -- while their vehicles are moving. Police can pull over a driver if they see you using a device. Fines for a first offense will cost drivers more than 100 dollars, and can reach as high as 500 dollars for follow-up violations. For complete details on what you can and can't do under the new law -- go to wcax-dot-com -- and click on the infocenter.

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A jogger was hit by a car this weekend in Burlington -- and now police want to hear from witnesses. Police say 61-year-old Francis Metivier (me-tiv-e-air) was turning onto North Winooski Avenue from North Street Saturday night, when he hit that runner in the crosswalk. 21-year-old Amber Greenwood was taken to the hosptial -- with a fractured hip -- and head injuries.

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Also in Burlington, police say a drunk driver hit a cyclist -- and took off. Officers reportedly witnessed the crash on Main Street at about 3-30 Saturday morning. When they caught up to the fleeing truck, they cited 25-year-old Brenden Hoag of Bristol for D-U-I and leaving the scene of an accident. The 19-year-old bicyclist was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. And he was also ticketed, for wearing dark clothing and for faulty brakes.

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A Vermonter who served his country -- lost his own battle right here at home. It's a fight -- his family says -- too many service men and women struggle with everyday. And they want more help -- for soldiers dealing with invisible wounds. Melissa Howell joins us live with more. Melissa? Steve, Kristin -- Joshua Pallotta took his own life last week. He was just 25 years old. His family invited us to his funeral, where his parents spoke with us about the troubles their son -- and many other soldiers -- face when returning home.

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((00:18:04 "He was proud to wear the uniform around and he was happy." 00:18:08)) Gregory and Valerie Pallotta remembered their son, Joshua as they celebrated his life Monday morning. ((Valerie Pallotta/Mother 00:17:24 "every picture from when he was a little kid to when he was a 25 year old soldier, he still had that smirk on his face." 00:17:31)) Joshua was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 with the Vermont National Guard -- and returned home in June of 2010. But he would never be the same. ((Valerie Pallotta/Mother 00:15:34 "He had made statements that he wasn't happy and all of his friends tried to help him but it was too late, they couldn't do anything. Nobody could do anything. The help needed to happen way before." 00:15:44)) Joshua suffered from PTSD. His family says sought help in the months before his death. But - he took his life on September 23rd. ((Valerie Pallotta/Mother 00:13:08 "We want people to know that our son took his life because he was struggling with PTSD that he couldn't get out of, he couldn't see another way out and we just don't want this to happen to another veteran ever again." 00:13:20)) We asked the Vermont National Guard for the latest numbers on suicide - but officials could not provide us with any. Last year -- the Guard confirmed that over the previous decade seven soldiers and one airman with the Vermont National Guard died by suicide. Nationally, the National Guard reported 133 suicides in 2013 alone. ((Brigadier General Michael Heston/Vt. National Guard 00:25:24 "Will it go away? We hope to rid it from our system. Is it possible? I hope so, I just don't think we're going to be able to do it until we have everybody pushing in the right direction." 00:25:35)) This year the VA announced efforts to provide more peer support for veterans, as well as research programs to better technology that will help manage diseases like PTSD. They are also working to detect the signs of suicide and PTSD earlier -- and provide more counseling for veterans and families ((Brigadier General Michael Heston/Vt. National Guard 00:30:26 "We know this is an issue, the army knows this is an issue and we're going to continue to make this, bring out the awareness to all our soldiers so that this doesn't happen to anyone else." 00:30:35)) But for Joshua's parents, the help is coming too late. They say their fight to save veterans from the same fate as Joshua's is far from over. ((Gregory Pallotta/Joshua's Father 00:15:04 "There is help out there. In our case we don't think it was enough."00:15:08)) They hope their son's death with help shed light on the struggles service men and women face everyday -- and serve as a reminder that returning home doesn't mean the battle is over.

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If you or any service men or women you know are in need of help, you can visit our info-center for more information on where you can get help.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Afghanistan. He's with a bipartisan delegation of governors -- visiting soldiers from New York -- now deployed overseas. There are about 2-hundred-70 members of the New York National Guard, and some 9-hundred soldiers from Fort Drum's 10th Mountain Division -- now there. Cuomo says he is also receiving counterterrorism briefings. He says much progress has been made in Afghanistan, but Islamic State extremists are now spreading a new "virulent strain of terrorist activity and culture."

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Sharon is here, and this summer weather won't last forever. It's starting to feel like the endless summer, but it wont be. Today has been another warm day, but clouds have been increasing and a weakening cold front dropping down out of Canada will bring more clouds again tomorrow. This front won't have a lot of moisture with is, just a few showers possible, mainly over northern New York. Our weather will be dry through the rest of the week, with temperatures still a few degrees above normal for early October. Our next chance for some rain will be Friday night into Saturday with a cold front that will also bring our temperatures down into the 50s for daytime highs, and overnight lows in the 30s.

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Tonight: mostly cloudy. Lows: 52/58 Winds: Light Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of showers, NY Tuesday Night: Cloudy skies. Lows: 50/57 Winds: Light Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Highs: 63/70 Winds: Light Extended: Thursday through Monday. Wednesday Night: Lows 45/52 Thursday: Partly sunny. Highs 63/70 Lows 45/52 Friday: Increasing clouds late, showers likely Friday night. Highs 63/70 Lows 45/52 Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Showers likely. Highs 58/65 Lows 40s Sunday: Partly sunny. Highs 50s Lows 30s Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 50s

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There's a new police chief in town. Elizabeth Keatinge introduces us to Castleton's Chief Peter Mantello.

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****THIS RUNS 2:07********** Castleton Police Chief Peter Mantello unpacks boxes in his new office. He just started on the job September 8th and says he can't wait to get moved into the position that has been open for over three months. ((Chief Peter Mantello/Castleton Police Dept. 20:56:44:28 Very excited, very motivated. :46)) Chief Mantello served in the U-S Army and comes from the Woodstock Police Dept. Where he was a police officer for over 20 years. He arrives in Castleton on the heels of an alleged murder. Castleton man Stephen Pelletier was charged with allegedly killing his daughter's boyfriend back in May. Mantello says crimes like these can be especially upsetting in a town of just under 5000. ((Chief Peter Mantello/Castleton Police Dept. 20:57:35:28 Community is a little tighter, small department :40)) But he says violent crime is not a major issue in Castleton. He tells us one of the things he plans to focus on with his force of 4 full-time and 4 part-time officers is better relations between Castleton State students and the community. ((Chief Peter Mantello/Castleton Police Dept. 20:59:37:22 A younger population because you do have a college of additional 2000 students that are either living on or off campus. :46)) All those students coming into the community and having fun has resulted in increased reports of noise disturbances and disorderly conduct. Students agree that the relationship between them and the community could be better. ((Rachel Horn/Castleton Student 21:22:38:19 Students should have fun, but the town should be respected. 21:22;42:18)) ((Justin Derossier/Castleton student 21:23:27:10 Trying to connect us more with the community so that it's safe for us and for them. 21:23:30:11)) One of the ways Mantello hopes to help that issue, and others, is to be more transparent. He says he is developing a system of issuing press releases, so that the community can be informed quickly when crimes are reported. ((Chief Peter Mantello/Castleton 21:02:35:00 I think there's a misperception of any policing agency, sometimes with the community or with outside agency. :40)) With under 2 weeks at his new job, Mantello says he is up for whatever challenges will come his way. ((Chief Peter Mantello/Castleton Police Dept. 21:10:07:15 it can be very rewarding at times, other times it can be very discouraging, but you can't lose your motivation. :11)) ((Elizabeth Keatinge/Castleton 21:38:09:13 Well, as you could see, Chief Mantello is still just getting settled in his office, but he says he looks forward to continuing to introduce himself to the community and make plans for the future. EK Ch3 News Castleton. 21:38:21:26))

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Mantello is taking the reins after former Chief Bruce Sherwin retired in June after a 40 year career in law enforcement.

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The former office manager for a Newport car dealership -- is headed to prison for almost a year and a half -- following her guilty plea to forgery. Manon Cote (coat-ee) embezzled just under 400-thousand dollars from (day-la-BRAIRs) DeLaBruere's Auto Sales. She wrote checks to herself -- and used the company credit card -- for years. She cut a plea deal last year for that prison term, which starts in November. Cote also has to repay the money.

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A Maidstone man is headed to court next week -- ahead of his sentencing for wire fraud. Craig Sanborn -- faces up to 20 years in prison and a quarter-of-a-million dollar fine. The judge found him guilty of submitting more than 300-thousand dollars worth of false invoices. Sanborn was also convicted last year of two counts of negligent homicide and manslaughter in connection with a fatal explosion at a Colebrook, New Hampshire gun powder plant.

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State police are looking a woman who apparently used fake gold coins to pay at a convenience store in Cambridgeport. Troopers say that woman passed off the three fake 20-dollar coins to a clerk at D-and-R General Store Sunday. She's described as 20-years-old...thin... with straight brown hair and acne on her chin. They believe she drove off in a small, beat-up black car.

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Despite all of the talk that IBM is about to unload its microelectronics division -- the plant in Essex Junction is hiring. The company has a handful of open positions -- on the manufacturing and engineering side. Education requirements range from a high school diploma to college degrees. Some of the jobs are entry level. IBM is holding a job fair this Friday -- October 3rd -- from noon until 6pm. It's at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington. That's news around the region.

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Starting Line Sports ...Week Four of the NFL season hits the finish line tonight in Kansas City, when the New England Patriots visit the Chiefs. The Patriots have won two straight after their season opening loss to Miami, but the offense is still searching for consistency. New England ranks 27th in yards per game...Tom Brady is 30th in the league in yards per pass attempt and has completed just one pass of 21 yards or longer all season, and the running game is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. --- but the Pats are still 2-1...and a lot of that is coming from a revitalized defense ...New England is allowing one hundred yards per game less so far this season then they did a season ago, and the Pats are tied for the league lead with six interceptions. Both teams are allowing too many sacks, so this could be a defensive struggle tonight at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Middlebury College quarterback Matt Milano has been named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week. In his second career start, Milano led the Panthers to their first win of the season, throwing for 290 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-7 win at Colby on Saturday. Milano currently leads the NESCAC in passing yards per game and total completions. Middlebury returns to action this Saturday when the Panthers host Amherst...a 1:30pm kickoff at Alumni Stadium.

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coming up later... it's your Frenzy Flashback from Week five of the high school football season ...

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Health officials are trying to figure out if a respiratory virus that's affected hundreds of children across the country could also be causing paralysis in some cases. Brian Webb reports.

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FEDERAL HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE INVESTIGATING WHETHER THE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS -- ENTEROVIRUS 68 -- IS CAUSING MUSCLE WEAKNESS AND PARALYSIS IN A GROUP OF COLORADO CHILDREN. EXPERTS SAY THE TWO CONDITIONS MAY BE RELATED, OR IT MAY JUST BE COINCIDENCE. (SOT Dr. Claudia Hoyen/ Director of Pediatric Infection Control ) (SOT) 12:15:28 trying to figure out if these two things happened simultaneously because we were in the middle of a very big outbreak of enterovirus 68 or if there is actually a causal relationship. 16:40 THE VIRUS WAS DETECTED IN FOUR OUT OF EIGHT COLORADO CHILDREN WHO EXPERIENCED WEAKNESS AND PARALYSIS IN THEIR LIMBS. A NINTH CHILD'S CASE IS STILL UNCLEAR. ALL OF THE CHILDREN HAD FEVER AND BREATHING PROBLEMS TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE WEAKNESS APPEARED. IT'S NOT CLEAR IF THE PARALYSIS IS TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT. (SOT Dr. Claudia Hoyen/ Director of Pediatric Infection Control Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital) 17:29 in the past where there have been what we think post-infectious enterovirus paralysis, those children tend to do well and actually regain most of their function. 17:38 (VO) ENTEROVIRUS 68 HAS BEEN AROUND FOR DECADES, OFTEN AFFECTING CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA. THERE'S BEEN AN UNUSUALY LARGE OUTBREAK THIS YEAR. (MAP) 277 CONFIRMED CASES SO FAR IN 40 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. DOCTORS SAY PARENTS SHOULD BE VIGILANT ESPECIALLY IF THEIR CHILD EXPERIENCES MUSCLE WEAKNESS. BRIAN WEBB FOR CBS NEWS, NEW YORK.

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Doctors say parents should make sure children wash their hands, sneeze into sleeves and watch for the warning signs: weakness and wheezing. So far no deaths have been attributed to the virus but 15 are still under investigation. That's Healthwatch.

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It's almost that time of the year -- flu season -- and this week you can get the free flu shots in South Burlington. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont will be offering the vaccine Wednesday at its Information and Wellness Center in the Blue Mall. Shots are free to people 18 and older -- regardless of whether they have insurance. Visit the InfoCenter to register. The flu shot clinic is in place of biometric screenings normally offered that day. That's health watch.

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Going to war is a life changing experience. Gina Bullard found a veteran who used music to get through the experience --- and now makes Made in Vermont guitars.

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((nat playing music)) For many people -- music is way to feel connected to the world. ((nat)) And for Pete O'Connor -- hearing -- and making music does just that -- especially when it's on one of his custom made O'Connor Guitars. ((nat making)) (00:08:53:11) ((Pete O'Connor/O'Connor Guitars "for me a lot goes into it, i'm not making cookie cutter guitars, i'm not using computer software and computer guided machines to produce these guitars, i'm using old world hand building techniques ")) O'Connor builds electric and acoustic guitars in his Burlington home. He refers to his 8-base models like the base line of a jazz song. (00:10:49:13) ((Pete O'Connor/O'Connor Guitars " i try to change and embellish and modify - and that's like the trumpet solo in a jazz song")) He started O'Connor Guitars 9 years ago and has sold 14 custom pieces. After playing the instrument in middle school he always wanted a custom piece -- but couldn't afford it -- so he headed to guitar making school and tuned his skills. ((nat)) But before that O'Connor served in the military -- he was an infantry rifleman and became a sergeant in the US Marine Corps. (00:12:52:19) ((Pete O'Connor/O'Connor Guitars "i did 3 tours to iraq")) He says music was key to getting through the experience -- hearing the notes from a guitar often was the only way he could feel at peace. (00:14:20:12) ((Pete O'Connor/O'Connor Guitars "in my second tour i remember strapping a cheap acoustic guitar onto the side of an armored vehicle hoping it would get to where we were going in tact and playing that guitar every day")) O'Connor says the life and death experience has shaped who he is today -- and how he looks at the world. (00:11:50:26) ((Pete O'Connor/O'Connor Guitars "just being happy to be alive and grateful for life and to be alive it turned my focus in different places")) He appreciates nature -- and just being alive. And has an appreciation and attention to detail when he's making his Made in Vermont guitars. Gina Bullard Channel 3 News Burlington.

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O'Connor Guitars range in price from 2-hundred-25-dollars to 45-hundred. We'll have more information about the company on the info center at wcax-dot-com

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The leaves are falling, and soon it will be Halloween... and then of course Thanksgiving. Which is posing a bit of a problem for one Daycare owner. Judy Simpson explains.

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You expect to see busy children and lots of toys at a daycare center, but at Tots on the Go in Ferrisburgh, there is something more. ((NAT SOT GOBBLE)) Meet Jake, the Daycare turkey. (( Lisa Brace/DayCare and turkey owner Tile JOE_1824_01 00:10:08:03 "Like I said we went and visited him on Monday at the barn and then after that he started showing up at the playground the kids and I tried to bring him back to the barn and he just followed us back to the playground so then he struts around the fence."00:10:28:20)) It seems this turkey can't get enough of the children. He is obsessed. ((Lisa Brace/DayCare and turkey owner Tile JOE_1824_01 00:10:49:00 "He will hang out with us until we go inside for lunch." "then he goes to the daycare window and taps on the window with his beak he struts and gobbles, the sound he is making now is spitting he is just trying to get our attention."00:11:05:25 )) And its working. ((nat sot of kids yelling GOBBLE GOBBLE)) ((Tile JOE_1845_01 00:24:18:00 JS SU "While the children seem to have made a big impression on on the turkey Lisa has also noticed that the turkey has had an amazing effect on the children. "00:24:25:15)) ((Tile JOE_1825_01 00:12:27:13 Lisa Brace/ Daycare and turkey owner "last week the kids were really just mellow because their focus was on this crazy turkey , they all just want to interact with the turkey talk about the turkey and the little guy that cried for his Mom all day long didn't cry at all,, js,, well maybe you have found the secret,,I know,, a turkey! "00:12:45:29)) But there is trouble in this paradise, you see Jake was raised to be the Thanksgiving Day meal main attraction. It is something Lisa has explained to the children. (((Tile JOE_1825_01 00:09:28:02 Judy says "so this is very much farm to plate education" DefinItely that's how I grew up that is the way we raise our three kids." )) And yet, there is something endearing about Jake, who might just be strutting his stuff as a ploy. ((Lisa Brace/DayCare and turkey owner Tile JOE_1824_01 00:11:21:14 "I think he might be protesting its already bought him a day so its working so far. 00:12:00:07 ya, we haven't really made a final decision yet, js says,,Well there is always Christmas,, Right ."00:12:11:19)) Whatever his fate, you have to admire this turkey's pluck, becase soon, he may be out of luck. JS Channel three news Ferrisburgh.

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Lisa credits her son Eli for giving Jake a lot of attention and love since he was a little chick.

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The UVM men's hockey team was picked to finish eighth in the preseason Hockey East coaches poll. The popular statement here in the Northeast is that Hockey East is the toughest conference in all of college hockey. If the new national poll out today is any indication, the rest of the country just might agree. The debut preseason poll by U-S College Hockey Online is out today...and all seven of the teams picked ahead of Vermont in the Hockey East poll are in the preseason national top twenty, with Vermont sitting five spots outside in the 25th position. Last year's national runner-up, Minnesota, is the top choice, earning 36 out of a possible 50 first place votes. Hockey East preseason favorite Providence is third and Boston College fourth. Notre Dame, Northeastern, Lowell, UNH and B-U are all ranked between 12th and 20th. It all stacks up to look like a daunting task for Vermont, but that's doesn't mean the Cats don't have high expectations of themselves. After making it into the NCAA Tournament last season, the team feels they can take the next step...and with eleven of their first 13 games this season against Hockey East opponents, they know there's no time to waste.

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((TRT: 42 ... OC: THE WHOLE YEAR)) ((Brody Hoffman/ Certainly we've talked about taking the next step. It was great getting the experience of going to the NCAA Tournament, but we didn't go there to lose the first game. I think the next step is to go there and make noise. We obviously want to have a better regular season, try to get home ice in the playoffs. That's a big thing, especially in our conference. And our expections are probably a little bit higher than the polls.)) ((Mario Puskarich/ I think the biggest part of that next step is a good start. First two games of the year, that could affect your ranking at the end of the year. Coming out of the gates...getting all four points in a weekend...and really just rolling right out. You don't want a slow start because then you're playing catch up the whole year.))

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The American Canadian Tour wrapped up its season on Saturday at the Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh. Joey Polewarczyk, Jr capped a dominant run to the season points championship by winning the 200. Emily Packard finished 15th on Saturday...and wound up fourth in the season drivers standings. The 17-year-old East Montpelier native and many of the other ACT drivers in the field will be at Thunder Road this weekend for the Milk Bowl, then Packard will be packing up and heading to Virginia. She has been chose as one of 20 finalist to compete in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine that will take place late next month at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia. The Drive for Diversity is a program that helps with the development of minority and female drivers and crew members. The Combine will look at five components from the diver, including: their physical fitness, media skills, their resume, driver communication/knowledg e, and overall driving skills, through work both on and off the track.

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((TRT: 18 ... OC: REALLY EXCITED)) ((Emily Packard/ It's such a great experience to be able to go down there, not only to be able to do it for myself, but for the New England racers. To have somebody down there to be able to represent them. It really means a lot to me, means a lot to the team, to be chose for such a great thing. I'm really excited.))

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The four remained undefeated teams in Vermont high school football all picked up wins this past weekend. Middlebury and St. Johnsbury in Division One...and Rice and Burr and Burton in Division Two kept their records spotless. While the Tigers and Hilltoppers won't meet this regular season, the Knights and Bulldogs will look horns a week Friday under the lights in Manchester. But before we look ahead...let's look back...it's your Week Five Frenzy Flashback. ((TRT: 2:03 ... OC: ...Out on cheering))

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Tonight on the channel 3 news. -- No Vacancy on church street -- but is that good for everyone? Shelby Cashman has an update tonight at 11. Plus -- why did it take the secret service months -- to realize the someone fired shots at the White House -- that's next on the CBS Evening News. Good night.


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