Thu 21-MAY-2015 Noon News Script

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Good afternoon, I'm Roger Garrity. A judge today dismissed a sexual assault charge against a former Uber driver. Police say 23-year-old Omar Nassir was working for the ride service in February when he picked up a woman police describe as "incapacitated" -- and sexually assaulted her. Nassir admitted having sex with the woman, but claimed it was consensual. Police arrested Nassir yesterday after a lengthy investigation. But this morning the judge said the evidence did not amount to probable cause to sustain a sexual assault charge. We're told prosecutors are preparing an amended charge.

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We reached out to Uber for comment. The company released this statement: "This was a horrific incident and upon learning of it in February, we immediately removed the driver from the Uber platform." The statement goes on to say -- "We have been in touch with the rider to support her during this difficult time, and have been working closely with the authorities throughout their investigation." We'll have an update tonight at 5:00.

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Police say a drop of blood led them to a burglar. It's been about a year since the Lefties Only Golf Shop in South Burlington was burglarized. Wednesday, police arrested 29-year-old Kevin Larose of St. Albans, in connection with the crime. Investigators say they found a drop of blood under a broken window inside the business. They sent it to the Vermont Forensic Laboratory, which found a DNA match to Larose. Larose was charged with burglary and held on bail.

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The New York Senate has approved a bill to outlaw sex between school employees and students. Under a bill sponsored by North Country Senator Betty Little it would be a crime for a school employee to engage in sexual activity with a student regardless if the student has reached New York's legal age of consent -- which is 17. Twenty other states -- including Vermont have similar laws. Supporters say its needed because school officials have power over students and can manipulate them into having sexual relationships.

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New York State is banning fowl competitions at all county fairs to keep the Avian Flu at bay. The Avian Flu has not reached the Northeast - but it's been detected in 20-states and is the largest outbreak in U-S history. More than 35 million birds have died or been euthanized. New York State announced a ban on competitions involving chickens, pigeons, turkeys, pheasants, guinea fowl, bantam poultry, geese, and ducks. New York has 45 county fairs -- and six youth shows through the end of October.

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Demolition began today in Burlington -- to make way for a Champlain College housing project. Contractors are taking down the old Eagles Club building at the corner of Maple and St. Paul Streets. Champlain bought the property seven year ago -- with the goal of building a large housing project. Neighborhood residents stopped to watch as the corner starts its transformation.

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(( "I would ditch school when i was 8-yrs-old to see a building like this come down, so why not now that I am retired. I just have more time to enjoy it.")) The project will cover this lot and the adjacent city parking lot at the corner of St. Paul and King. It's expected to house about 300 students.

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Starting this month -- townhouse owners in Burlington and South Burlington -- could get $600 dollars back from Vermont Gas. The company will offer the rebate to customers if they insulate their attics. The aim of the pilot program is to reduce customers gas demands by 10 to 20 percent.

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((Beth Parent/Vermont Gas 14:04 What we're doing is now getting into these condos, these townhome style condos that in the past have been a little bit challenging for association rules and what not. But what's important now is we're going to be able to get in there, offer some incentives to have us come in and show them how to really tighten up their energy use and put some more money in their pockets.)) Vermont Gas says last year customers participating in the company's efficiency programs saved more than 14 million dollars.

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A Colchester wire cable company brings home the big hardware at this year's Chamber of Commerce business expo. Champlain Cable has produced custom wires and cables since 19-55, supplying the military, industrial, and telecom industries. This year, the company brought home the prestigious Deane C. Davis Award -- which bears the name of a former Vermont Governor. Champlain Cable's C-E-O Dick Hall says receiving the award is an honor. He thanked the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine for their support.

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(00:12:47:00) ((Dick Hall - Champlain Cable President and CEO This woudn't be possible without their support and on behalf of the 250 - about 250 - employees of Champlain Cable, they're the ones who make this possible)) (00:13:55:00) ((Dick Hall - Champlain Cable President and CEO so on behalf of everybody I want to say thank you all very much, appreciate it)) More than three-thousand guests are expected at the Business Expo -- and 110 exhibitors are featuring their products... including representatives of those of us at Channel Three.

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One couple is giving Dartmouth College a 21-million dollar donation. Alumnus Bob King and his wife Dottie -- are making the massive donation. The couple created the King Scholar Leadership Program -- that brings students from developing nations to the Ivy League school. The money will help exceptional students from Latin America, Africa and Asia who want to eradicate poverty and foster opportunity in their home countries.

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A new report finds Vermont's seniors are the healthiest in the nation. The report was compiled by the United Health Foundation. It looked at behaviors, community & environment, policy, clinical care, and outcomes. Vermont's strengths include low intensive care unit use and ready availability of home-delivered meals. New Hampshire was ranked second healthiest for seniors in the country.

14} FORECAST


Today: Partly cloudy Highs: 63 to 70 Wind: SW 5 to 15 mph Tonight: Variable clouds Lows: 38 to 45 Wind: S 5 to 15 mph Friday: Mix of sun & clouds Turning breezy & cooler Chance for a few showers Highs: 55 to 62 Wind: SW to NW 10 to 20 mph Extended: Saturday: Partly cloudy Lows: 25 to 35 Highs: 55 to 65 Sunday: Partly sunny Slight chance for a few showers Lows: 40s Highs: 65 to 75 Monday: Memorial Day! Partly sunny Chance for showers Lows: 48 to 58 Highs: 65 to 75 Hyper-Extended: Tuesday: Mostly cloudy Chance for showers, t-storms Lows: 50s Highs: 70s Wednesday: Mostly cloudy Chance for showers, t-storms Lows: 55 to 62 Highs: 70s


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Last Update: Thu 21-MAY-2015
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