Wed 20-JUL-2016 Noon News Script


Vermonters are playing a role at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. National Committeeman Jay Shepard took to the stage last night and offered a prayer. Shepard is one of the Green Mountain State's 16 delegates at the convention. They've spent a lot time speaking with representatives of other states -- and they're also meeting GOP party leaders. This morning, VT delegates joined those from NH for a breakfast with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani -- just hours after offering up their votes for a nominee.


(("Vermont votes. 1 vote for John Kasich, 2 votes for Rand Paul, and 13 votes for Donald J. Trump!")) Today marks day 3 of the convention. Newly picked vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is expected to speak today. Other speakers include Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

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A circus company is now facing criminal charges for a tent collapse that killed a Vermont man and his 6-year-old daughter. The circus tent toppled when a storm blew through the Lancaster, New Hampshire fairgrounds last August with about 100 people inside. 41-year-old Robert Young of Concord, Vermont and has daughter Annabelle were killed. After a lengthy investigation, the state fire marshal recommended criminal charges and a grand jury in Coos County returned an indictment with one felony and seven misdemeanors against Walker International Events, of Sarasota, Florida. The felony accuses Walker of failing to obtain a permit before setting up the tent. The misdemeanors deal with fire and building code and reckless conduct allegations.


Renewable energy advocates are criticizing a proposal by state regulators for new caps on net metering. Net metering is when solar and wind producers feed excess power back into the electric grid -- and get credits on their bills. The practice has boomed in recent years with the growth of small solar arrays around the state. New rules proposed by the state Public Service Board would limit the size of projects that can qualify for net metering -- and reduce the amount of power utilities are expected to take from them. Renewable energy groups say those rules will keep the state from reaching its goal of getting 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. Supporters say the board is trying to strike a balance between supporting renewables -- without shifting higher costs on to a utility's other customers.


The Public Service Board held hearings this week as part of the license renewal process for Comcast. One issue raised is the cable giant's commitment to public access channels. Comcast is currently requireed to pay 5-point-5 million dollars a year to fund 22 of the state's 26 public access stations -- including ORCA Media in Montpelier. The stations produce and broadcast public meetings and other shows As part of the re-licensing, the public access providers are pushing Comcast to keep up with the technology that other channels offer.


((00:07:09 Rob Chapman/ ORCA Media "We talk about parity. With the other channels that are on the cable line up, most channels are now avalable in HD where we are not. Most Channels are available on the interactive program guide whereas our content is not -- so that concept of parity with the other broadcast stations.)) ((00:01:06 Jim Porter/Vt. Dept. of Public Service "Revenues are growing at this point. I think the concern that as cable continues to decline and you have a more of an IP base, or delivery system, that the revenue base for cable may not be there)) Public Access organizations say they are looking at alternative revenue streams and fundraising. Porter says in the future some Federal tax on broadband to fund public access could be a possibility.


A Lebanon police officers will receive a special commendation from the city for saving a child's life. City officials say in May Officer Peter Begin was off duty at his son's basketball game in Hampton when a player on the court collapsed. Begin and another person performed CPR and helped with the use of a portable defibrillator that restarted the boy's heart. Officer Begin will be presented a Meritorious Police Service Bar for Lifesaving at tonight's city council meeting.


A special "thank you" for the men and women of the Burlington Fire Department. They received a handmade card .. thanking them for saving a leopard gecko named Melvina. The note came from a little girl named Riley who lived in an apartment above the Henry Street Deli that was damaged in a fire earlier this month. The firefighters say simple gestures like this mean the world to them.


((Joshua Kirtlink, Burlington Fire Dept. Firefighter 20:26 "we absolutely love these when the kids and parents come in and reach out to usespecially with handmade cards, it's why we do it, really puts a smile on our face, it makes our day bright, we look forward to it.)) ((Andrew Pitrowiski, Burlington Fire Dept. Sr. Firefighter 28:53 "when I was giving her a tour I asked her if she wanted to be a firefighter someday and she described to me that she would like to be a firefighter princess, so I hope she can be a firefighter princess.)) The Henry Street Deli and the living area above were both badly damaged in the fire and are currently uninhabitable. First responders were also able to rescue Riley's favorite stuffed animal named Bob.


Today: Mostly sunny Highs: 75 to 82 Wind: W 5 to 10 mph Tonight: Clear skies Patchy fog Lows: 50 to 60 Wind: S 5 to 10 mph Thursday: Partly cloudy Highs: 82 to 88 Wind: SSW 5 to 15 mph Extended: Friday: Mix of sun & clouds Showers, t-storms, some possibly strong Lows: 62 to 72 Highs: 80s Saturday: Partly cloudy Chance for a few, isolated t-storms Lows: 60s Highs: 80s Sunday: Partly cloudy Chance for showers, t-storms late Lows: 60s Highs: 80s Hyper-Extended: Monday: Mix of sun & clouds Showers, t-storms, some possibly strong Lows: 60s Highs: 80s Tuesday: Partly sunny 58 to 68 Highs: 75 to 85

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Last Update: Wed 20-JUL-2016
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