Fri 17-OCT-2014 Noon News Script


Good afternoon, I'm Roger Garrity. A second strike is underway in South Burlington. About two miles from where the city's teachers are striking, unionized employees for Fairpoint Communications are walking the picket line. Overall about 17-hundred of Fairpoint's 25-houndred employees in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are on strike. It's the culmination of months of failed contract negotiations. With no deal in place, Fairpoint unilaterally imposed a series of benefit cuts in August. And this week the company froze pensions. That was the final straw for the unions which are also filing an unfair labor practice complain against the company.


(TC 00:07:52:04 Tile 4606) ((Mike O'Day/Communications Workers of America "We don't know how long this is going to last. The intent of an unfair labor practice charge is to bring the company back to their senses and negotiate with us. We've been willing to negotiate since day 1." 00:08:01:21)) Strikers say all of their counter-proposals for pension and retirement plans were rejected by FairPoint. The company issued a statement this morning saying it's disappointed in the strike -- but saying the work stoppage will not result in any service interruptions. Fairpoint has maintained it must reduce labor costs to remain competitive -- calling these issues key to the future of the company.


The South Burlington teachers strike continues for a fourth day -- after a marathon negotiation session overnight produced no deal. Shelby Cashman was there in the early morning hours when the talks were halted.


Salaries---and health care benefits. The two reasons why South Burlington students still are not in school. ((NATS of picketing)) After three days of striking--the South Burlington teachers--and school board met at Frederick Tuttle Middle School Thursday--to try and hammer out a contract--ten months in the making. After more than 11 hours of negotiations, that lasted into the early morning hours, a resolution was no where in sight. (00:11:51) ((Eric Stone "We are dissapointed to report that the board walked out of negotiations without notice.")) (00:11:56) Just before two this morning ... The school board addressed the media. At that point, the board said--nothing was going to get accomplished--after so many hours of back and forth. (00:06:39) ((Martin Lalonde "At this point we feel there is really very little progress to be made in resolving this dispute this morning.")) (00:06:46) And the sticking points--remain. The teachers want bigger salary increases--and lower contributions to health care--than the board is willing to give--after already agreeing to let them keep their same benefits. (00:08:19) ((Martin Lalonde "The board believes that the associations proposal did not represent sufficient movement toward a resolution acceptable to the community, particular given that we had conceded their main point of being able to keep their current health care.")) (00:08:33) The teachers say--they have made concessions. Back when negotiations began in December--an independent fact finder was brought in to take a look at both sides--and make suggestions. And the teachers say--the boards proposal--almost ignores those findings. (00:13:51) ((Eric Stone "what we've done tonight in the best effort that we could to reach a settlement was we even moved outside that framework towards the boards side and yet we still meet with the proposal that shows very little respect for the fact finders recommendations.")) (00:14:08) (00:16:26) ((Shelby Cashman: "Negotiations will resume at 3pm today. SC Channel 3 News S Burlington")) (00:16:33)


While this is technically the fourth day of the teachers stike -- it is not impacting education -- because today was already a scheduled day off in South Burlington schools. Students who play sports and participate in other extracurriculars are being allowed to resume those activities today.


A car crash turned deadly in Williston yesterday afternoon. Police say 69-year-old Michael Walker died after hitting a tree on Williston Road at the top of French Hill. Authorities don't believe the Williston man was wearing a seatbelt.


Police in Thetford tell us that they are investigating a fire involving three of their police cruisers. They say, it started early this morning. There is no word yet on what caused the fire. The fire comes just three day after Thetford hired a new police chief. Richard King is expected to take the helm next month.


A trio of alleged drug-dealers have been arrested in Rutland. Samantha Walker and Tammy Zokaitis of Rutland -- and Chelsea Robinson of New York city were arrested Wednesday. Rutland police say they found 49 grams of crack cocaine on Robinson following a traffic stop. The woman are suspected of working together and are charged with conspiring to distribute the drugs.


Getting from Vermont to Montreal is now a little faster -- thanks to the opening of a new section of highway. A large section of Autoroute 35 -- connecting Saint-Jean-sur-Richeli eu to Saint-Sébastien is now finished. A ribbon cutting is being held today to dedicate the new stretch of four-lane highway. It allows travelers to bypass a large portion of Route 133 and the small towns it passes thru. Eventually the highway will connect all the way down to Interstate 89. That section is supposed to be done in 2017. But the whole project is running way behind schedule and way over budget.


Today: Mix of sun & clouds Highs: 62 to 68 Wind: SSW 5 to 15 mph Tonight: Variable clouds Lows: 48 to 55 Wind: S 5 to 10 mph Saturday: Some AM sun Showers developing Highs: 58 to 65 Wind: SW 10 to 15 mph Extended: Sunday: Partly sunny Chance for mtn. snow/rain showers early Blustery, colder Lows: 30s Highs: 40s Monday: Partly cloudy Lows: 20s Highs: 45 to 55 Tuesday: Mostly cloudy Chance for showers Lows: 30s Highs: 48 to 58 Hyper-Extended: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy Chance for showers Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 48 to 58 Thursday: Mostly cloudy Chance for showers Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 50s

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Last Update: Fri 17-OCT-2014
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