Mon 30-NOV-2015 Noon News Script

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Good afternoon. I'm Roger Garrity. A new plan for housing the homeless in Vermont this winter. The Committee on Temporary Shelter has partnered with the state Human Serivces Agency to open a 40 bed Winter Warning Shelter in Burlington. It is designed to handle the overflow from COT's two other shelters. In the past the state has handed out hotel vouchers to homeless folks who couldn't get into the shelters during the winter months. A program that cost the state millions of dollars. COTS says this new shelter will accommodate the high demand on cold winter nights -- at a lower cost than the hotel voucher program.


((Rita Markley/COTS 00:03:36:09" Well we have had a huge increase because we recently opened our warming shelter. so we are serving 40 more people a night and the reason for that is because we are trying to relieve pressure and the expense of overflow motels and to serve folks who are struggling a complicated array of issues in a place, we have nurses and mental health folks on site so we have just opened that to meet a need that was really growing for the past 3 years." 00:04:08:13)) This is a so called low barrier shelter, meaning folks can stay even if they have been using alcohol or other substances. The shelter on South Winooski Avenue is open seven nights a week through March.


Vermont lawmakers are being invited to a special meeting to review the state's tough budget situation. House and Senate members are to convene Tuesday in the House chamber to hear from a consulting economist about revenue projections. They'll also hear from the Shumlin administration about what budget pressures to expect when they formally reconvene in January. Current estimates show lawmakers needing to close a $40 million budget gap for the remainder of the current fiscal year -- and a shortfall approaching 70 million for the next fiscal year.


Gov. Peter Shumlin is slated to outline a new Vermont program to use the drug naltrexone to combat opiate addiction. Right now so-called maintenance drugs like methadone are used to help ween addicts off heroin and other opiates. Tomorrow, the governor will announce the state will also begin using Vivitrol. It's a once-a-month injectable that helps patients overcome addiction by blocking the euphoric effects of those drugs. Experts say it can be effective in preventing a relapse into addiction.


A St. Albans man accused of stealing guns and gear from a police cruiser is due in court this afternoon. Police say they arrested 27-year old Logan Pratt with two handguns, two sets of handcuffs, a Vermont state police ID, a tactical armored vest, burglary tools and a large amount of cash. Police say he broke into the cruiser as well as Moore's Quality Used Cars in Swanton.


Police say driver going nearly 100 miles per hour -- was drunk -- and had two children in his car. Police stopped 35-year-old Travis Sartwell on Interstate 91 in North Lyndonville for going 99 miles per hour. Authorities say he was drinking WHILE driving -- and had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. Sartwell also had three passengers with thiim -- including a three year old and a five year old. The Montgomery man is now facing a number of charges, including reckless endangerment and child cruelty.


Federal wildlife officials are considering adding two rare Vermont turtles to the list of nationally endangered species. initial findings by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicate that both the wood and spotted turtles have been hurt enough to potentially justify their classification as federally endangered species. The spotted turtle is already listed as endangered at the state level in Vermont.


This past weekend was not only a big one for buying Christmas presents -- but also for getting Christmas trees. The New Hampshire Vermont Christmas Tree Association says there are between 400 and 500 farms across both states and that the industry brings in about 10 million dollars annually. Cut-your-own tree farms remain a big hit -- especially for families.


(04:43:07 6476) ((Gary Foote/Bakersfield Tree Farm Owner "When the kids come in and say, 'You got candy canes this year?' And that's when we was wondering whether they're coming for the candy cane or the tree. Basically we got a dancing snowman. We make it an experience. Rather, we don't just sell trees, we sell the experience, and that's why a lot of people come." 04:43:27)) Foote opened for the season the day after Thanksgiving, but says he had been getting requests for trees for a couple of weeks before the holiday.


Today: Partly cloudy Highs: 32 to 38 Wind: S 5 to 10 mph Tonight: Clear skies Lows: 13 to 23 Wind: Light Tuesday: Some AM sun Clouding up Showers move in Highs: 35 to 42 Wind: S 5 to 10 mph Extended: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy Rain showers Lows: 30s Highs: 40s Thursday: Mostly cloudy Rain/snow showers Lows: 25 to 35 Highs: 32 to 42 Friday: Partly sunny Slight chance for a few flurries Lows: 20s Highs: 35 to 45 Hyper-Extended: Saturday: Mostly sunny Lows: 20s Highs: 35 to 45 Sunday: Mostly sunny Lows: 20s Highs: 40s

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Last Update: Mon 30-NOV-2015
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