Fri 21-NOV-2014 Noon News Script

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A new report says Vermont's social welfare system didn't adequately protect two toddlers who were murdered after being in state custody. The Vermont Citizens Advisory Board was asked to review the child protection system following the February death of 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon, and the April death of 15-month-old Peighton Geraw. Both children had been taken into state custody over concerns of mistreatment -- but were later returned to their homes. The report released this morning concludes that the Department for Children and Families, police, the courts and community-based services share in the blame for the toddlers' deaths The report found that existing policies and procedures were not followed. But it also concludes that those policies and procedures are not adequate to protect very young children from abuse.

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The report comes on the heals of charges in another child death. A Burlington mom has been arrested for the death of her 4-week-old infant. Saunder Gilruth was found un-responsive at a home on Isham Street in July -- and died about a week later. Investigators announced that the child's mother -- Rosemary Gile -- will be charged with involuntary manslaughter. She's due in court next month.

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A Burlington man was sent to prison for 18 years for the murder of his secret lover. 28-year-old Daniel Whalon pleaded guilty last spring to killing 54-year-old Ralph Bell back in 20-11. Investigators say Whalon stabbed Bell to death on a railroad bridge between Burlington and Winooski. He was sentenced to 25-years to life with 18 years to serve in prison.

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A Vermont jury has awarded a northern New York family six-point-75 million dollars in a lawsuit against Botox maker Allergan. The family charged that treatment of their seven-year-old's cerebral palsy with Botox caused him to develop epilepsy. Four years ago Allegan pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge and paid a 600-million dollar civil penalty admitting that it had improperly promoted Botox for off-label uses including juvenile cerebral palsy.

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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is continuing his long fight against high-priced prescription drugs -- now aiming his anger at generic drug-makers. Sanders has introduced a new bill to cushion the impact on taxpayers when drugmakers raise prices at a rate greater than inflation. When brand-name drug manufacturers do that, they are required to to pay a rebate to Medicaid. Sanders says the same law should apply for generic drugs.

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((Sen. Bernie Sanders/I-Vermont: "The doctor diagnoses the illness. The doctor writes out a prescription. And one out of four people are unable to afford to fill that prescription. What happens to those people, the illness continues, maybe they end up in the hospital. A totally absurd situation.")) Sanders says the U-S has the highest prescription drug prices in the world. He blames the lack of a national health care system that would be able to negotiate lower prices with pharmaceutical companies.

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Illegal manure management will cost a Franklin County farm tens of thousands of dollars. The Vermont Attorney General says this video -- shot by a concerned citizen -- shows the illegal discharges by the Leach Farms -- in Enosburg Falls. The A-G says the owners of the dairy farm admitted to the water pollution violations -- and agreed to pay 40-thousand dollars in fines.

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((Bill Sorrell/D-Vt. Attorney General 06:13:04 "this case is really a graphic example of not following appropriate agricultural processes and since this farmer admitted that he had been doing this for a really long time that this farm alone was no small source of phosphorous in Lake Champlain.")) Sorrell says he hopes this settlement serves as a wake-up call to farmers across the state.

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Vermont's unemployment rate held steady last month. After four straight months of increases, the jobless rate for October was unchanged at four-point-four percent. The national unemployment rate continues to fall -- now at five-point-eight percent.

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The Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf has started handing out Thanksgiving turkeys to needy families -- even as it is seeking more donations. The organization is getting a boost from Chip and Mary Hart. The couple says it will match the donation of up to 500 turkeys. Director Rob Meehan says the gift from the Hart Family is one of the largest the non-profit has ever received.

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(00:01:02:00 Rob Meehan/Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf director)(("It was a real surprise to us. We got this call out of the blue. They saw that we're really trying to reach all these families this Thanksgiving. They wanted to step up and really help us out.")) So far the food shelf has received more than 400 birds -- but hopes to hand out three thousand for the holiday.

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A sign of the holidays in Burlington. The Church Street Christmas tree was cut down this morning from a South Burlington neighborhood. Marketplace officials say they had their eye on the tree for the past few years but were letting it mature. The Blue Spruce is more than 30 feet tall and was transported with a police escort through the busy downtown.

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(00:15:31:22) ((Betsy Beecher/Donated Tree" I didn't necessarily want to get rid of it but it's such a great cause that why not? gb-are you sad to see it go then? b-a little bit. a little bit)) Gina Bullard will have more on this story tonight at 6.

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The Vermont ski season is getting off to an early start. By tomorrow -- most of the state's largest resorts will be open for the season. Killington, Jay Peak and Okemo are already open -- Mr. Snow opens today -- and Stowe, Sugarbush, Smugglers' Notch and Bromley all plan to be open tomorrow. The resorts say the recent stretch of cold weather and enhanced snow-making capabilities have helped them build up their bases earlier than usual.

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Today: Snow showers ending Gradual clearing Cold & blustery Highs: 23 to 30 Wind: NW 10 to 20 mph Tonight: Mostly clear Cold Lows: 8 to 18 Wind: NW to SW 5 to 10 mph Saturday: Increasing clouds Chance for a few rain/snow showers late Breezy, warmer Highs: 32 to 38 Wind: S 15 to 25 mph Extended: Sunday: Mostly cloudy A few rain/snow showers, mainly early Lows: 25 to 35 Highs: 40s Monday: Mostly cloudy Rain showers Breezy & warmer Lows: 35 to 42 Highs: 50s Tuesday: Partly sunny Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 40s Hyper-Extended: Wednesday: Partly sunny Chance for rain/snow showers Lows: 25 to 35 Highs: 30s Thursday: Thanksgiving! Partly sunny Chance for rain/snow showers Lows: 20s Highs: 30s


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Last Update: Fri 21-NOV-2014
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