Thu 21-JUL-2016 Noon News Script


Good afternoon, I'm Roger Garrity. A plan is in the works to merge Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges into a single school. The state colleges board of trustees announced today it has given conceptual approval to the idea -- to unify the colleges under one administration, while maintaining two distinct campuses in the northern Vermont towns. State colleges Chancellor Jeb Spaulding proposed the idea in the face of shrinking enrollments and rising costs. Spaulding says unification would protect the long term viability and vitality of both campuses. He will now develop a detailed plan -- for the board to vote on in September. The goal is to complete the merger next July -- with Johnson president Elaine Collins at the helm.


The future of the Moran Plant could be decided by the end of the year. That's the new deadline the Mayor has set for developers to come up with concrete plans for the derelect power plant. Cat Viglienzoni joins us from the waterfront -- where the Mayor just wrapped up a press conference. Cat -- what else did we learn? Roger, the mayor told us they've been in talks with the New Moran group since this spring about whether their vision for this space will work. As first reported by Channel 3 News on Tuesday, the City and the New Moran, Incorporated have agreed to dissolve the Memorandum of Understanding that has been in place since August 20-14. The mayor cited issues with the project's timeline -- and scope. He also cited concerns about whether there was an experienced development team in place or long term tenants. The Mayor said the city still supports the group's vision -- but they also want to be able to consider other options this fall. Among those options -- are analyzing the costs and challenges of demolishing the old coal fired power plant -- and exploring whether someone else could redevelop that space. But he says he's sticking to his word that this is the final shot for the plant.


((Mayor Miro Weinberger/D-Burlingto n: "If we can't get it done now, it's a start ... Resolution to the waterfront." TRT :23)) The original plan called for the plant to become a mixed-use facility -- including art and performance space. Now we're told the New Moran group will focus on a smaller-scale project. But the mayor says that they are not going to back to square one and any other ideas will also include a performance venue and some retail and mixed space. The mayor says they'll be taking submissions until November 11. He says he plans to make a decision in late 2016 or early 2017.


Security concerns are leading the Vermont Public Service Board to hold its next hearing on the Vermont Gas pipeline behind closed doors. Protesters opposed to the 41-mile Addison pipeline have disrupted previous PSB hearings. So when the board meets in August, the public will not be admitted. The hearing is for legal arguments on whether regulators should allow the company to build its pipeline through a public park in Hinesburg. Vermont Gas says the pipeline might not finish this year if it can't get rights to build thru the Park.


One of the two Hinesburg officers being sued for excessive force is on paid administrative leave. A sergeant in the department tells channel 3 Officer Cameron Coltharp is not on duty -- but the other Officer Jeremy Hulshof -- is still on the job. Lori Ann Carron filed a federal lawsuit against the officers after this incident in May -- captured on police body-cam video. A criminal investigation into the incident is still on-going.


Police in Essex want your help in finding a man who eluded officers during a car chase. Police say 32-year old Jason Douglas has an active warrant for his arrest. They spotted him in a white Nissan Altima with New York plates near Densmore Drive in Essex Junction. But -- in their attempt to arrest him, Douglas sped off. The pursuit was later called off as speeds reached more than 80 miles per hour. Anyone with information is asked to call police.


A group of young people are learning about Lake Champlain by traveling on it -- in boats they made themselves. It's part of the Champlain Maritime Museum's Discovery Camp. The ten campers spent the first few weeks building their boats. Then they set out on a ten-day, 70-mile journey from the southern tip of the lake in Whitehall, New York -- to Burlington.


((tc 07:10:23 Title 9903 Leah Soule/Camp Leader: "The most challenging part has been kind of the mental keeping going while kayaking part." 07:18:09)) ((TC 12:40:19 Title 9005 Holden Clark/Camper: "it's great to be out in the wilderness and get away from technology for a little while." 12:45:01)) They'll be arriving in Burlington Saturday morning. And in the end -- the campers get to keep their kayaks.


An update now to the story of a kid from Texas who got help from a Vermont State Police dog and his human companion. It was this viral video of K-9 Maximus chasing a hose that started it all. A boy named Tristan loved the video and his Mom says it helped hm thru treatments for life-threatening seizures. The story of Tristan and Maximus gained a lot of attention on social media and spawned a fundraising campaign for Tristan to get his own service dog. Now Maximus and Trooper Nick Arlington tells us that Tristan's dog Mushu has been purchased. Mushu is being trained and will be delivered to Tristan in the coming months.


If you thought you saw a tornado pass through ((KOH--AHHS)) Coos County in northern New Hampshire during storms earlier this week, you were right. The National Weather Service surveyors say tree damage in Pittsburg on Monday was consistent with a tornado. They reported that the tornado traveled nearly two miles and had wind speeds of 75 miles per hour. No injuries have been reported.


Today: Mostly sunny Highs: 83 to 90 Wind: S 5 to 15 mph Tonight: Partly cloudy Chance for showers, t-storms towards morning Muggy Lows: 60 to 70 Wind: S 5 to 15 mph Friday: Mix of sun & clouds Showers, t-storms, some strong Highs: 82 to 88 Wind: SW 10 to 15 mph Extended: Saturday: Partly sunny Chance for a few showers, t-storms Lows: 60s Highs: 78 to 85 Sunday: Mostly sunny Lows: 55 to 62 Highs: 75 to 82 Monday: Mix of sun & clouds Showers, t-storms Lows: 50s Highs: 80s Hyper-Extended: Tuesday: Partly sunny Chance for a few showers Lows: 58 to 65 Highs: 75 to 82 Wednesday: Partly cloudy Lows: 55 to 65 Highs: 78 to 85

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Last Update: Thu 21-JUL-2016
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