Thu 23-JUL-2015 Noon News Script

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Good afternoon, I'm Roger Garrity. The Vermont's Veterans Cemetery will be expanding -- and operating year-round -- thanks to a federal grant. Governor Peter Shumlin announced the five-point-seven million dollar funding this morning at the cemetery in Randolph Center. The grant will pay for the addition of 1,640 burial plots -- construction of a main entrance for the cemetery -- a new roadway system -- landscaping and a memorial walkway. They'll also build a public information center and a maintenance facility. Right now, the cemetery is open from May to December. But will now be open year-round.

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Castleton State College -- is now Castleton University. Today -- the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees approved the name change. The Rutland County school has been charting its own course in recent years -- including adding five graduate programs. The school also operates an off-campus Polling Institute -- and has partnered with businesses and organizations in Rutland. Castleton officials say the new name will reflect the changes and help attract more out-of-state and foreign students.

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The latest polls from the presidential campaign show Bernie Sanders would do as well as Hillary Clinton in head-to-head matchups with Republicans. QUINNipiac University asked voters in Colorado, Virgnia and Iowa who they would choose in matchups between Clinton and top Republicans or Sanders and top Republicans. In each case, the Republican candidates come out on top -- but there is little difference in the margins whether matched against Clinton or Sanders. As for the latest national poll for the Democratic nomination -- Clinton continues to have a healthy lead over Sanders. The Public Policy Polling survey puts Clinton at 57% and Sanders at 22%. Three others are tied at 5%.

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On the campaign trail today, Republican hopeful Jeb Bush is visiting New Hampshire's North Country. Bush will be in Gorham for a town hall meeting. His trip is themed "Taking on Mt. Washington" -- a reference to New Hampshire's tallest peak --and Bush's attempt to promote himself as a Washington D-C outsider.

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Attorney General Bill Sorrell wants Vermonters to have access to call-blocking technology. Sorrell and other state attorneys general are urging the five major phone carriers to give their customers a way to block intrusive calls. Sorrell says in the last year -- Vermonters complained to his office about more than 32-hundred pre-recorded and telemarketing calls. Federal law allows for call-blocking services.

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A new law is pitting some parents against child care providers. Act 166 -- or Vermont's universal pre-K law -- went into effect July 1st. It is supposed to provide parents -- of 3 to 5 year olds -- with 10 hours of FREE pre-kindergarten classes -- 35 weeks of the year. Children enrolled in full day child care would receive reduced tuition -- over the academic year. Kids must be enrolled in a pre-qualified program -- run by a public school district or a privately operated center. The idea is to give more children access to high quality early childhood education. But now some parents say -- their child care centers -- are raising tuition -- so high it negates the 3-thousand dollar subsidy.

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((Tara Sharkey/Shelburne parent 00:54:13 "we noticed that the pre-K rate went up a lot, like over $250 per month. And that was alarming to us.")) ((00:04:57 COSTA "Should parents who have children, who are of that preschool age, see a skyrocketing cost of their daycare?" JILL REMICK :19 "No. It certainly is not the intent that this makes childcare harder for parents to access. It should actually be, in a lot of cases reducing that.":13 The idea is to keep it affordable and also to ensure that families who may not have been able to access it before can do so.")) The Vermont Agency of Education has received a few complaints on the issue. And says lawyers at DCF are now reviewing the interpretation of the law. Coming up tonight at 6 -- in our special report -- Preschool Dollars -- Jennifer Costa takes a look at the law -- and explains why the practice is NOT illegal.

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Vermont researchers are studying why poor young mothers smoke -- and how to help them kick the habit. UVM will use a three-and-a-half million dollar federal grant to focus on female smokers with kids 11 or younger. They will study various quitting methods -- including offering financial incentives. Researchers say almost 85 percent of American children from low-income families are chronically exposed to secondhand smoke -- usually by their mothers. Studies show disadvantaged women begin smoking at an earlier age -- are heavier smokers -- and more likely fail at quitting.

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A Vermont non-profit is brightening up hospital rooms across the state. The Susan Sebastian Foundation has a simple goal - to bring art to bare hospital rooms in Vermont to improve the spirits of patients. Wednesday the organization unveiled 20-thousand dollars worth of artwork destined for patient rooms at the Central Vermont Medical Center.

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((15:59 Harald Aksdal, I have been in a hospital several times, I have looked at walls and it is nice to not watch tv and get lost in a piece of artwork, just allow your mind to forget about your situation and get lost in a painting.)) The organization hopes to have art in all of Vermont;s hospital by the end of the year. The artwork in Berlin will be on display for the public in the Central Vermont Medical Center Lobby for the next month.

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A renovated fishing access in South Hero is now open to the public. State officials says the John Guilmette (WIL-met) Fishing Access Area is now fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. It features a new boat ramp and dock -- and improved parking. They also made changes to meet the state's new shoreline protection standards.

12} FORECAST


Today: Mix of sun & clouds A few, scattered showers Highs: 70 to 77 Wind: NW 10 to 15 mph Tonight: Variable clouds Chance for a few showers Lows: 50 to 57 Wind: Light Friday: Partly sunny Scattered showers T-storm possible Highs: 68 to 75 Wind: N 5 to 15 mph Extended: Saturday: Partly cloudy Lows: 50s Highs: 70s Sunday: Mostly cloudy Showers, t-storms Lows: 55 to 65 Highs: 70s Monday: Partly sunny Chance for a few showers Lows: 55 to 65 Highs: 78 to 85 Hyper-Extended: Tuesday: Partly cloudy Lows: 55 to 65 Highs: 80s Wednesday: Partly cloudy Lows: 60s Highs: 80s


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Last Update: Thu 23-JUL-2015
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