Mon 05-DEC-2016 Noon News Script


Good afternoon, I'm Roger Garrity. Nothing like starting a Monday with a snow storm. Steady snowfall thru the morning hours snarled traffic on the busy commuter routes around Chittenden County -- especially anywhere there is a hill. This was Route Seven thru Sunny Hollow in Colchester at about 9:00 this morning. A Vtrans truck arrived to salt the hill, to allow backed up traffic to make it up the slippery slope. Scenes like this played out in several other spots around the county.


The slippery roads also slowed school busses on their routes. Residents in Milton were alerted to delays -- and all busses did not arrive as school until mid-morning. But most schools ARE in session today. There were only a handful of closings and delays reported all across our region this morning.


The interstates were also icy this morning. This is a crash that happened on I-91 northbound just north of the Bradford exit. The good news is that we have not heard of any serious injuries from today's road problems. We'll check with Gary in a few minutes to see what the rest of the day has in store.


The phone company is being bought. Illinois-based Consolidated Communications announced today it is merging with Fairpoint. It's a one-point-five billion dollar deal that will see Fairpoint's operations in 17 states come under the Consolidated name. The merger is part of a trend in the industry as communications companies look to expand their fiber networks and grow their broadband customer base. Just last month, Fairpoint announced 150 layoffs across northern New England due to declining revenues. No word yet on how the merger will effect Vermont employees.


A protest -- not snow -- briefly put the brakes on traffic in downtown Montpelier just moments ago. Demonstrators are celebrating a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers not to allow a pipeline to run through the Lakota Sioux tribal land in North Dakota. But, they say their work is not done. Those here in Vermont say they want state finances pulled out of TD-Bank -- which has invested heavily in the controversial pipeline project.


((Beverly Little Thunder/Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Member and Vermonter "I wanted to remember all of those who are at Standing Rock right now. It's so fitting that we are standing in the snow, and it's so fitting that we stand here with snow flakes falling on the pipe because that is the way our people pray at Standing Rock")) Police kept watch over the protest today. A few demonstrators did make it into the bank -- but the event did not have any violence. Leaders shared a ceremonial peace pipe after issueing calls for the bank to defund Western pipeline and one under construction here in Vermont.


A New Hampshire man is due in court this afternoon for the murder of his child. 2 year-old Madison Dana suffered a fatal head injury at the family's home in Berlin last week. An autopsy showed the little girl died from blunt impact injuries -- and the investigation led police to her father -- 43-year-old Roger Dana. They say he beat the little girl multiple times.


An autopsy shows a prison inmate died from a bacterial infection due to intravenous drug use. 38 year old David Bissonnette was transported from Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton to the hospital in Burlington last month -- where he later died. Police said at the time it was from a medical condition. It is unclear whether Bissonnette was already suffering from an infection before going to prison.


Police say they've nabbed a mail bandit in southern Vermont. Police arrested 56-year-old Julia McKeen of Bellows Falls on larceny charges. Police say they received a complaint last week of a vehicle stopping at several mailboxes in the Andover area. They tracked down McKeen and found her in possession of mail and packages belonging to several people in Andover, Chester and Rockingham.


The New York State Supreme Court will hear arguments today after environmentalists sued the state for cutting down trees in the Adirondacks. A group called Protect the Adirondacks filed the lawsuit in 20-13 after the Department of Environmental Conservation began building snowmobile trails. Environmentalists say the trails are larger than necessary and will destroy more than 31-thousand trees. The DEC argues the number is much lower.


An offer that sounds too good to be true. A giant -- Vermont-grown Christmas tree -- that costs only 5-dollars. But it's true. You can cut down a tree from the Green Mountain National Forest by paying only a 5-dollar removal permit. Trees must be shorter than 20-feet -- and must be taken at least 25-feet from the road. You can buy a permit at Forest Service officers in Rutland, Middlebury, Manchester Center and Rochester.


Thousands of people are complaining about plans to build a luxury hotel near the summit of Mount Washington. Owners of the Cog Railway that runs up the mountain want to build the hotel. The board is meeting with the railway owners for a preliminary consultation Thursday. Meanwhile a New Hampshire hiker started an online petition to oppose the hotel. It now has more than 35-hundred signatures.


Today: Snow winding down Another trace - 2" Highs: 30 to 37 Wind: S to NW 5 to 15 mph Tonight: Snow showers ending Mostly cloudy Lows: 23 to 30 Wind: NNW 5 to 10 mph Tuesday: A few sunny breaks Highs: 33 to 40 Wind: Light & variable Extended: Wednesday: Snow/rain showers Lows: 25 to 35 Highs: 35 to 42 Thursday: Snow showers Lows: 20s Highs: 30s Friday: Mostly cloudy Snow showers Colder, blustery Lows: 15 to 25 Highs: 20s Hyper-Extended: Saturday: Mostly cloudy Lows: 10 to 20 Highs: 20s Sunday: Mostly cloudy Chance for snow showers Lows: 10 to 20 Highs: 25 to 35

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Last Update: Mon 05-DEC-2016
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