Mon 20-MAY-2013 Noon News Script
Good afternoon, I'm Roger Garrity. A guilty plea today to one of the men linked to the death of a young man at the St. Albans pool. 22-year-old Chris Davis was found in the pool in April of last year -- about a month after he had been reported missing by his family. The medical examiner was never able to determine when or how he died. So even though police eventually arrested five people in connection with the case -- no one has been charged with a homicide. Today one of the suspects pleaded guilty to assault and robbery charges. Police say 24-year-old Travis Bugbee and another man lured Davis to the swimming pool -- where they beat and robbed him. The other man implicated in the beating and robbery -- Brian Ross is expected to plead guilty in June. If that happens, both men will be sentenced in July.
Two women arrested for trying to burn down a house in Morrisville are now facing attempted murder charges. Police say 35-year-old Leola Bell and 40-year-old Tina Cole set the fire at a home on George Street last Tuesday morning. The fire wen out on its own and no one was hurt. Police say Bell and Cole also made a false report of another fire at the same time -- attempting to delay firefighters from getting to the George Street home. They were initially arrested on arson charges -- but the prosecutor upped the charges to attempted murder. Two other women -- 57-year-old Cynthia Baileu and 49-year-old Gwen Hislop -- have also been charged as accessories. Police say the women were targeting the victim because they believed he was about to report them for allegedly defrauding the federal government.
The Queen City Police Foundation today honored two recipients of the Antonio Pomerleau Medal of Honor Award. Annie Ramniceanu of Spectrum Youth and Family Services has helped young people dealing with homelessness and addiction for 16 years. Retired Judge Ben Joseph joined Ramniceanu to create the Rapid Referral Program in 2008. Since then, over 170 teens have successfully completed the program -- keeping them out of jail.
((27:28 "I thought is was going to be a big help but how big it helped, I mean 18 percent recidivism rate in a 3-year retrospective study means something really happened, it was really something worthwhile." 27:39)) ((31:34 "I think that youth and young adults who come to our program feel respected, they feel heard and they feel like they're having there needs met. it's very, very gratifying."31:44)) Burlington police today also unveiled new equipment and Ipads they are using in the field. The upgrades to the department were made possible through donations and fundraising.
The national 'click it or ticket' campaign begins today -- and local law enforcement agencies around our region say they will be out in force. To kick off the two week effort, numerous Vermont and New York law enforcement agencies gathered at the Fair Haven welcome center -- urging people to buckle up. Last year during the annual campaign, Vermont police made contact with over 30-thousand motorists. Officials say they will be aggressively ticketing this year -- but are asking for voluntary compliance.
((Tom Fields / Vt. Governor's Highway Safety Program: "We would like to use this as an opportunity -- this next two weeks, not only to educate the public, but to change behaviors. This is not about writing tickets necessarily, as it is about changing behaviors and saving lives.")) Out of 77 fatal traffic accidents in Vermont last year -- Fields says half of those were a result of people not buckling up. Law enforcement officials say wearing a seat belt increases survival rates in an accident by 50%, and buckling up is the single easiest way to save your life.
Nearly ten years of lobbying will pay off today for supporters of an end-of-life rights bill. Governor Peter Shumlin will sign the legislation this afteroon making Vermont the fourth state in the country to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The law is set to take effect immediately -- making certain terminally-ill patients eligible to get prescriptions for lethal medication. Several Vermont hospitals say it will take them at least several weeks to create internal procedures to put the practice in place.
One of the high profile bills that did NOT win approval in the legislature this year was campaign finance reform. The bill was meant to create greater transparency thru new disclosure rules -- but amendments were added that one of the bill's sponsors says ultimately killed it. Representive Kurt Wright of Burlington, says an add-on that created caps for super PAC donations would have landed the state in court.
(("when you have the attorney general calling it a "risky court case" -- and he has to defend it in court and Cheryl Hanna from the Vermont Law School saying that, and the language from the second circuit court of appeals saying it's a very high hurdle for a state to pass to put these limits on -- we're talking about millions of dollars of court costs to the taxpayers of vermont".")) Wright says he thinks -- next session -- a version of the bill could pass, without what he calls the "poison pill" of super-PAC limits.
Gasoline prices are on the rise across the country -- but Vermonters are currently enjoying lower than average prices. Approaching the holiday weekend -- gas prices are up 11 cents over the past two weeks. Gas Buddy says the average price of a gallon of regular is 3-67. Here in Vermont, the statewide average is 3-52 a gallon, while the average price in the burlington area is 3-59.
Today: Some sunny breaks Highs: 68 to 75 Wind: SSW to NW 10 to 15 mph Tonight: Mostly cloudy Chance for showers Lows: 53 to 60 Wind: Light Tuesday: Showers, possible t-storms Highs: 72 to 78 Wind: Variable 5 to 10 mph Extended: Wednesday: Showers, possible t-storms Lows: 50s Highs: 70s Thursday: Showers, t-storms Lows: 55 to 65 Highs: 70s Friday: AM clouds Then clearing Turning cooler Lows: 45 to 55 Highs: 60s Hyper-Extended: Saturday: Partly cloudy Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 60s Sunday: Partly cloudy Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 60s
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Last Update: Mon 20-MAY-2013
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