Fri 17-APR-2015 Noon News Script


The teacher believed responsible for spreading tuberculosis in Charlotte is headed back to school. Laura Hall, a spanish teacher at Charlotte Central, was diagnoses with T-B in January. She had the active form of the respiratory illness -- and is believed to have spread the bacterial ailment to others at the school. At last report, the state health department reported that 19 children and two adults had tested positive for TB -- but none of them have actually gotten sick with the disease. The school says Laura Hall has completed her treatment and has been cleared by the health department to return to work. They say she poses no further risk of infecting other people.


A school bus carrying kids from Charlotte Central School was involved in a minor accident this morning. The bus was stopped at a traffic light on Shelburne Road in Burlington when it was rear-ended by an SUV. The bus was carrying kids from Charlotte to the Flynn Theater. No one on the bus or in the SUV was injured.


For the second time, an embezzlement charge has been dropped against a former Vermont fire chief. Joseph Hayes was chief of the Bennington Rural Fire Department Chief when he was accused in 20-13 of mishandled proceeds from a department raffle. A judge dismissed the charge last year for lack of evidence. Prosecutors then refiled the charges, but have now withdrawn them.


There appears to be a plea deal in the works in the kidnapping and sex abuse of two Amish girls in northern New York. The 7-and-12 year old girls were taken from their family's roadside farm stand in Oswegatchie last year. They were released the next day. Police say the girls were abducted by Stephen Howells and his girlfriend Nicole Vaisey -- and were forced to make pornographic videos. They are set to stand trial in July -- but now a plea hearing for Howells has been set for May 8th.

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The Vermont House is expected to give final approval today to a historic change in the state's gun laws. After hours of impassioned debate yesterday, the House gave the bill preliminary approval -- on a vote of 79 to 60. The bill restricts access to guns for violent felons -- and the mentally ill. The House bill is slightly different than one approved by the Senate earlier this year.


A New Hampshire Senate committee is unanimously backing fourth graders' plan to name the bobcat the official state wildcat. But lawmakers also plan to re-examine the process for deciding state symbols. That's because of a firestorm that occurred earlier this year when a different group of fourth graders asked lawmakers to designate the red-tailed hawk as the state raptor. When the bill came to the House floor, members ridiculed the proposal -- and one said the red-tailed hawk would be a better mascot for Planned Parenthood because it rips its prey apart "limb by limb." To avoid incidents like that, Senators are now seeking to create a more formal policy for naming state symbols.


The country could soon be moving from "No Child Left Behind" to "Every Child Achieves." The U-S Senate Education Committee has given unanimous bipartisan support to the first major overhaul of national education policy in 14 years. The bill -- authored in part by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders -- maintains national achievement standards and testing requirements that originated in the No Child law -- but the Every Child Achieves Act would give states and local school districts greater flexibility addressing short-comings.


Vermont is putting nearly 1-point-6 million dollars -- towards clean energy initiatives in Windham County. Governor Peter Shumlin says the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund will use the money for a program to help convert up to 20 schools and municipal buildings in the county to wood pellet heating systems. The state is also putting $300-thousand dollars toward loans to low-income homeowners who want to install solar panels.


A key New Hampshire state agency has recommended approving a plan to expand the Mount Sunapee ski resort. The Department of Resources and Economic Development says the operators of the state-owned resort can develop the so-called West Bowl in exchange for donating about 400 acres of private land to the state. The resort has been trying to expand for nearly two decades -- but the plan has been strongly opposed by some area residents and environmental groups who say it will lead to sprawl housing development on adjoining private land that will scar the mountain.


A seasonal alert for motorists -- watch out for reptiles in the road. Rainy spring nights bring frogs and salamanders back out onto the Vermont landscape -- and thousands will be crossing roads and highways in search of breeding pools. The Fish and Wildlife Department says roadkill mortality has contributed to the decline of several of Vermont's reptile and amphibian species.

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Unfortunately, this is also the time when we have to start worrying about ticks again. We may have just escaped one of the coldest and snowiest winters in years -- but that still will not reduce the risk of Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses. Researchers say the heavy snow that blanketed many northeast states this winter actually acted as a cozy quilt for baby blacklegged ticks that are now searching for blood in the warmer weather. Experts say people should check themselves for ticks not only after hikes in the woods, but even after trips to urban parks and playgrounds.


Today: Gradual clearing Highs: 60 to 67 Wind: W 10 to 15 mph Tonight: Mostly clear Lows: 35 to 45 Wind: Light Saturday: Some AM sun Afternoon showers Breezy Highs: 55 to 62 Wind: SW to NW 10 to 20 mph Extended: Sunday: Mostly sunny Lows: 30s Highs: 52 to 62 Monday: Some AM sun Then rain & wind Lows: 30s Highs: 50s Tuesday: Periods of rain Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 50s Hyper-Extended: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy Scattered showers Lows: 30s Highs: 50s Thursday: Mostly cloudy Scattered showers Lows: 30s Highs: 50s

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Last Update: Fri 17-APR-2015
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