Tue 28-OCT-2014 Noon News Script

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Good afternoon I'm Roger Garrity. A new five year plan for the Vermont economy--was presented today at the second annual economic development summit--at UVM. Vermont 2020--targets four key areas of focus--to build and grow the state's economy. The plan authors say the state must increase access to finance and capital--continuing education for the workforce--focus on startups and innovative businesses--and improving infrastructure.

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(00:04:51) ((Lisa Gosselin/Vt. Economy Commissioner "There are other areas we also want to focus on and that is preserving our working landscape, enhancing the Vermont brand, building a culture of innovation, and planning for resiliency, economic resiliency and natural resiliency.")) (00:05:06) Gosselin says the report qualifies the state for federal grants and funding--to help implement the ideas.

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Senator Bernie Sanders is calling on Fairpoint to return to the bargaining table. The regional phone company has been at a stand still with union members in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire for months over a new contract -- and has imposed benefit cuts. The union has offered 200 million dollars in concessions -- but Fairpoint wants 700-million dollars. The union has been on strike since October 17th. Now, the union is turning to local officials for support.

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((Senator Bernie Sanders/I-Vermont 00:17:45 "I'm getting sick and tired of seeing decent people who work year after year trying to raise their families, provide for their kids, get taken apart by hedge fund companies and billionaire companies who are incredibly greedy and could care less about the needs of ordinary people." 00:18:03)) Employees say they are ready to return to the bargaining table as soon as today if Fairpoint is willing to move forward with negotiations.

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Governor Shumlin was the target of the latest demonstraton by opponents of a natural gas pipeline. Over 60 members of Rising Tide were arrested last night for occupying the governor's office in Montpelier. The group has been fighting to stop construction of new pipelines to expand the use of natural gas in Vermont. They says Vermont should not be increasing reliance on fossil fueld -- and they have recently turned their focus toward the governor who supports the pipeline.

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((Martha Waterman protesters 00 17 0100 "I am willing to be arrested because today we are demanding that Gov. Shumlin withdraw his support for the Fracked gas pipeline.")) A spokesperson for the governor says security officials are still trying to figure out -- how so many people -- made it past the guards at the building's entrance. The governor wasn't at his office at the time -- but released a statement saying that while he shares the protesters concerns about climate change -- he believes the gas pipeline will help Vermonters transition away from dirtier fuel oil and help the economy.

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New poll results show Governor Shumlin still has a healthy edge over Republican Scott Milne -- but does not have support of a majority of Vermonters. The poll for CBS News and the New York Times has Shumlin at 47-percent -- and Milne at 35-percent. With 13 percent still undecided. That poll has very high margin of error of eight percent. But the numbers are nearly identical to other polls -- including one earlier this month from Channel 3 News.

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If you still need more information before voting -- we will be taking a close-up look at the governor's race in our Campaign Countdown. Kyle Midura profiles Scott Milne tonight at 6:00.

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There are also new poll results out in the northern New York congressional race. The Sienna College survey for WWNY-TV in Watertown -- shows Republican Elise Stefanik leading Democrat Aaron Woolf 50-percent to 32-percent. Democrats have held this seat for the past five years -- but incumbent Bill Owens is retiring -- and based on these and other poll resutls -- it looks like the GOP may recapture this seat.

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A bomb scare has forced the evacuation of the main student center at Plattsburgh State University. At about 10:00 this morning, authorities say a student heard a beeping sound from inside an outgoing mailbox inside the Angell College Center. Police decided the safe move was to evacuate the building -- until they can determine if a real danger exists. The Myers Fine Arts building next door was also evacuated and closed. Police plan to bring in a robot to retrieve and disable the device.

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A family in Fairfax will be evaluating damages this morning -- after fire tore through their home. Multiple departments responded to 116 King Road around 8 o'clock last. Fire officials say the flames started in the garage and quickly spread to the house. They say the garage is a total loss -- and half of the home was destroyed.

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((It appears to be an accidental fire. There was family in the house when the fire started. The family was able to self evacuate, went to the neighbors house across the road and called 911.)) The red cross is working with the displaced family. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Police in Rutland -- use surveillance video to catch a robbery suspect. Officers say Mac's convenience store on North Main Street was robbed -- by a man with a gun Sunday night. Monday -- investigators arrested 52-year-old Paul Marro of Rutland. They say they also found -- the clothes he wore the night of the robbery -- and the gun used during the crime.

14} FORECAST


Today: Showers moving out A few sunny breaks Highs: 57 to 64 Wind: S 10 to 20 mph Tonight: Showers Lows: 47 to 54 Wind: S 5 to 15 mph Wednesday: Mostly cloudy AM showers Highs: 55 to 62 Wind: WSW 5 to 15 mph Extended: Thursday: Partly sunny Lows: 32 to 42 Highs: 45 to 55 Friday: Halloween! Increasing clouds Showers late Lows: 28 to 38 Highs: 40s Saturday: Rain/snow showers Lows: 25 to 35 Highs: 30s Hyper-Extended: Sunday: Partly sunny Chance for snow showers especially mountains Lows: 20s Highs: 30s Monday; Partly cloudy Lows: 20s Highs: 40s


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Last Update: Tue 28-OCT-2014
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