Thu 23-OCT-2014 Noon News Script


Good afternoon - Im Roger Garrity. Two lawsuits against a Vermont state trooper claim he conducted illegal searches. New Yorkers Aaron Hightower and his nephew Rahmell -- say Trooper Lewis Hatch strip-searched them on the side of the road in two separate stops. One of the stops resulted in traffic citations. In another suit -- Gregory Zullo of Rutland -- says Hatch stopped him because snow obscured his registration sticker -- and then had his car towed stranding him eight miles from home. The suit says Zullo was never cited.


Lawmakers are working on a new law to improve communication in an investigation of child cruelty. A committee of state representatives and senators is meeting at this hour to address issues surrounding recent child deaths. Lawmakers are suggesting changing reporting and oversight standards -- especially in cases involving parents who abuse drugs and alcohol. It's incredibly rare for lawmakers to start this work in between legislative sessions. They officially return to work in January.


Biologists and conservationists are marking the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act -- and Vermont's experience protecting the state's most vulnerable species. A number of species that had once all-but disappeared from Vermont are making a comeback. Eagles, peregrine falcons and loons are among the recent success stories for wildlife protectors. But other species remain challenged, such as the spotted turtle and the Canada lynx. Today's event is at the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington -- sponsored by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and a number of other groups.


The city of Burlington says Uber is operating in the city illegally. Uber is an on-demand ride service. Instead of hailing a random taxi, customers use their smartphones to directly schedule a pick-up. The service started operating in Burlington two weeks ago. But the city considers Uber and its drivers to be in violation of its "vehicle for hire" ordinance. The city wrote a letter to Uber saying its drivers are at risk of fines or impoundment of their vehicles.


((Mayor Miro Weinberger/ D-Burlington 10:12:41 "If they are operating right now, without getting licenses and without their drivers getting licenses, they are not operating consistently with the law and that's a problem." 10:12:50)) ((Charlie Herrick/Green Cab Owner 00:06:43 "I believe that the letter is an excellent first step and now it is on the people who enforce the ordinance to do their job." 00:06:54)) Mayor Weinberger says he's willing to work with Uber to modify the city's ordinance to bring the company into compliance. He says that would include requirements for background checks, vehicle inspections and permit fees. Uber has faced similar complaints in other communities around the country -- and has largely balked at complying with taxi regulations.


Theives stole a cash register in an early morning burglary in Shaftsbury. Troopers say someone broke into a side entrance at Endless Spring Hydroponics on Route 7-A. They took the cash register -- which had a few hundred dollars in it. A pick up truck was scene leaving the scene and heading north on 7-A. Troopers don't know if the vehicle is connected to the crime.

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An unusual sight on Church Street last night. A half dozen large trucks were driving on the pedestrian mall. They rolled onto the top block at about 9:00 last night -- loaded with fixtures and goods for the new Gap store on the top block. Gap is moving its stores out of the Burlington Town Center mall -- and into a vacant storefront last home to Ann Taylor. Gap plans a two-story store -- occupying 14-thousand square feet. The store is expected to open soon.


Vermont is tied for third when it comes to energy efficiency efforts. The State Energy Efficiency Scorecard looked at six criteria when making its list -- utility policies and programs... transportation initiatives... building energy codes ... heat and power development... government-led initiatives, and appliance standards. Vermont shares third place with Rhode Island and Oregon. New York is 7th. New Hampshire comes in at 22nd. That scorecard is generated by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.


Today: Periods of rain, heavy at times Breezy Highs: 45 to 52 Wind: NNE 10 to 20 mph Tonight: Periods of rain Lows: 38 to 45 Wind: N 10 to 15 mph Friday: Showers, tapering off late Highs: 47 to 54 Wind: N 10 to 15 mph Extended: Saturday: Some AM sun Increasing clouds Chance for showers late Lows: 32 to 42 Highs: 50s Sunday: Showers Mountain flurries Blustery Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 42 to 52 Monday: Partly sunny Lows: 30s Highs: 50s Hyper-Extended: Tuesday: Partly cloudy Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 55 to 65 Wednesday: Mostly cloudy Showers Lows: 40s Highs: 55 to 65

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Last Update: Thu 23-OCT-2014
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