Tue 24-MAR-2015 Noon News Script

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Good afternoon, I'm Roger Garrity. One of three men charged in the kidnapping and killing of Pat O'Hagan is set to change his plea. 27-year-old Richard Fletcher is scheduled to be in court on Thursday. Prosecutor Lisa Warren declined to answer questions about a possible plea deal. Right now, Fletcher and co-defendants Michael Norrie and Keith Baird are all charged with first degree murder and kidnapping in the 2010 death of O'Hagan. Police say the three men broke into O'Hagan's home in Sheffield with the intention of committing a burglary. But police say they ended up shooting O'Hagan in the head and burying her body ten miles away.

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A man who made national headlines headlines this month when he was arrested in a 15 year old murder case -- may also be linked to a cold case here in Vermont. Shelby Cashman reports.

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((NATSOT of Durst)) Manhattan real estate mogul Robert Durst was arrested earlier this month AND CHARGED IN the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman. He was tried and acquitted back in 20-03 for the murder of his Texas neighbor Morris Black. And his first wife Kathleen--disappeared in 19-82. Durst was never charged. But the HBO show The Jinx--which chronicles Durst's life--and mysterious circumstances surrounding each case--has shed new light on other crimes the millionaire may be linked to. ((29:13-15 Schulze: "Disappeared without a trace.")) Including the 19-71 disappearance of Middlebury College student Lynne Schulze. Durst owned the Middlebury health food store All Good Things--at the same time the 18 year old went missing. Channel Three interviewed the Schulze's sister seven years ago. ((29:02-13 Anne Schulze/Missing Student's Sister: "So she went back to her dorm room to get her pen and never showed up.")). Middlebury Police say the department has been aware of the possible connection between Durst and Schulze's disappearance--and have been working closely with several agencies--for years. Durst is currently being held without bail in Louisiana. SC Channel 3 News BTV

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An Eden couple are facing animal cruelty charges following a raid in February. Police rescued dozens of animals from the home of Carol Merchant and Russell Goodell. Police say many of the animals were malnourished -- covered in dirt and feces -- and in need of serious medical attention. Many of the animals--have since improved and have already been adopted. Merchant and Goodell are due in court in April.

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The Vermont Senate once again has delayed debate on a bill that sets some new restrictions on firearms ownership. The bill originally was on the calendar for floor debate last Thursday, and then reschedule for today. Now it's set for tomorrow. The bill includes new authority for state law enforcement officials to prosecute someone for being a felon in possession of a firearm. It also includes new provisions for reporting dangerously mentally ill people to the federal background check system.

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Vermonters concerned about the visual impact of solar arrays are expected to sound-off at a legislative hearing tonight. The solar industry has been booming in Vermont over the last few years -- with larger and larger solar farms popping up in communities around the state. Lawmakers have passed several bills in recent years to promote solar power, but some Vermonters feel the panels are a blight on the landscape -- and want greater scrutiny over the siting of the projects. Lawmakers are set to take testimony at a statehouse hearing -- tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

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The Senate this week is looking at whether Vermonters should be able to register to vote the same day they cast their ballots. Under current law, registration stops the Wednesday prior to en election.. Secretary of State Jim Condos wants same-day registration. He says the state should do everything in its power to allow people to participate in the electoral process.

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(00:35:39:00) ((Jim Condos - D-Vt. Secretary of State This is not about us, it's not about the town clerks, this is really about the voter and it's about allowing the voter to have access to what they have as a constitutional right and that's their ability to vote in an election - that's what this is about)) Condos says making the change could increase voter turnout by 10 or 12 percent.

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A log truck accident shutdown an interstate on-ramp in Montpelier this morning. The truck rolled over and dumped its load of logs while trying to get on I-89 southbound. The accident closed the ramp for a couple of hours while the logs were loaded onto another truck. No one was hurt in the crash. No word yet from state police about the cause of the accident or whether the driver will be issued any citations.

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Fewer hunters will get a shot at a moose this year. The Fish & Wildlife department wants to reduce the number of moose permits from 280 to 225. Archery moose permits would fall from 50 to 40. And in parts of the state -- hunters could only hunt bulls. But ALL hunters would be allowed to set their sights with a crossbow.

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(25:06 Mark Scott/Vt.Fish and Wildlife Dept.)(("We've got the moose population decreased throughout the state where we wanted it, so it's in balance with the land.")) (Cedric Alexander/Vt. Moose Project Leader 41:10)(("Back in 2007, 2008, there were five years where we had over 1000 permits issued.)) Right now, veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq get priority in the lottery -- but Vermont's lawmakers are also considering giving that preferential status to veterans of ANY kind.

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Today: Mostly sunny Not as cold Highs: 28 to 35 Wind: Light & variable Tonight: Clear & cold Lows: 5 to 18 Wind: Light Wednesday: AM sun Turning windy Showers late Highs: 38 to 45 Wind: Becoming S 15 to 25 mph Extended: Thursday: Periods of rain Lows: 30s Highs: 40s Friday: Mostly cloudy A few rain/snow showers Turning colder again Lows: 30s Highs: 30s Saturday: Partly sunny Lows: 12 to 22 Highs: 25 to 35 Hyper-Extended: Sunday: Partly cloudy Lows: 10 to 20 Highs: 30s Monday: Mostly cloudy Chance for rain/snow showers Lows: 15 to 25 Highs: 35 to 42


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Last Update: Tue 24-MAR-2015
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