Fri 30-JAN-2015 Noon News Script

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Teachers -- teaching teachers -- at a pre-school in Barton. The Orleans Central Early Childhood program is unique -- in that it also incorporates Head Start programming for ALL students -- not just kids from low-income families. All under the same roof. Right now -- 63 students are enrolled here. And the site has also been picked as a demonstration site -- one of five in the state -- where educators are getting specialized training in social and emotional development in kids.

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((Julie Lavine/Lead Preschool Teacher at OCSU: 50:17 Which we just think is key in these children being successful not only here at school but in life. )) As a demonstration site -- other early ed teachers are invited to check out how it's done in Barton. Darren Perron will have more on this unique approach to early education -- in our 30 school in 30 days segment -- coming up tonight at six.

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Students will soon be able to benefit from a new program that will immerse them in agriculture, food and leadership projects. Vermont Technical College and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps announced a new partnership this week. Students participating in the corps will live and work together on projects including forestry, dairy farming and animal reproduction. They'll also be able to earn transferable college credit.

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(02:31) ((Dan Smith/Vt. Tech President "it combines their crew based leadership program with our agriculture academic program to give young people an opportunity to develop themselves personally and develop an awareness about agriculture and dairy farming across the state of Vermont and put themselves on a pathway for a future in agriculture.")) (02:51) Students in the program will split time between both VTC campuses.

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Federal Prosecutors say a professional thief swindled a Vermont farm - out of cattle. 27 year old Jason Amidon of Pennsylvania denied the charges in federal court. Proscutors say Amidon used a fake 100-thousand-dollar check to buy 53 belted Galloway cattle from a seller in Lyndonville. And they say Amidon has a record of similar swindles - this is is fourth cattle fraud case. Both state police and the FBI are investigating.

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An animal shelter in the Northeast Kingdom is closing The Elizabeth Brown Humane Society first formed in 1988. It moved into new quarters three years ago -- as the number of animals in its care continued to grow. But the all-volunteer organization says the town of Victory has determined that a portion of its property is no longer exempt from property taxes. The organization says its small budget cannot afford the added cost. The shelter currently has 53 animals -- and organizers are not sure what they will do with them.

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A bipartisan group of senators wants to end travel restrictions on Americans going to Cuba. Current law generally bans travel to Cuba -- but with the president pushing to normalize relations with Cuba -- the group of lawmakers, including Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, believe a good place to start is to remove the travel restriction. They say the current law is not a sanction on Cuba, but a prohibition on American freedom.

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((2:50-3:06 Sen. Patrick Leahy/D-Vermont: "It makes no sense to have this prohibition. Senator Flake said it best when he said, it's one thing if another country tells me I can't go and visit them. It's something else if my country tells me I can't as an American.")) The bill faces obstacles in the House and Senate -- where a signifcant number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are resisting any change in Cuba relations as long as the Castro government and its policies remain in place.

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Travel to Canada is always open to Americans -- and could be financially rewarding. The Canadian dollar has been dropping in value relative to American currency. Yesterday it dropped to 79-cents on the dollar. That's the lowest it's been since 2009. The exchange rate is favorable for Americans visting Canada. But the flip-side is that Vermont might see fewer Canadian's coming to shop here.

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Snow has been piling up since last night around our region -- and there have been some troubles on the roads. An accident on Interstate 89 in Georgia this morning closed down the southbound lane. Police say a tractor-trailer jack-knifed -- and several other vehicles were caught up in the crash. Police say the snow and the wind are making driving conditions hazardous in places and they are asking drivers to slow down.

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The snow has led Burlington to activate its winter parking ban for tonight. Parking is prohibited between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. tomorrow across the city -- and from midnight to 7:00 in the downtown zone. Cars left on the street could be towed and assessed a 125-dollar parking ticket. Parking is available in city-owned parking garages.

12} FORECAST


Today: Periods of snow Turning blustery, bitter cold late Highs: 23 to 30, falling Wind: S to NW 10 to 20 mph Tonight: Snow showers Windy, bitter cold Lows: -5 to 5 Wind: NNW 10 to 20 mph Saturday: Increasing sunshine Cold & blustery Highs: 2 to 12 Wind: NNW 10 to 20 mph Extended: Sunday: Partly sunny Lows: 5 to -10 Highs: 5 to 15 Monday: Groundhog Day! Mostly cloudy Chance for snow, mainly south Lows: -5 to -20 Highs: 2 to 12 Tuesday: Partly cloudy Lows: -5 to -25 Highs: 5 to 15 Hyper-Extended: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy Chance for snow showers Lows: 0 to 10 Highs: 22 to 32 Thursday: Mostly cloudy Chance for snow showers Lows: 15 to 25 Highs: 20s


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Last Update: Fri 30-JAN-2015
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