Wed 27-MAY-2015 Noon News Script


Good afternoon, I'm Roger Garrity. It is with great sadness we report the passing of our friend and colleague Marselis Parsons. He died this morning from cancer at the age of 70. Anson Tebbetts looks back on Marselis' career as one of Vermont's most respected and admired journalists.

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(final broadcast) ((Marselis Parsons/3 news "We have been a guest. I have been a guest in their homes for 25 years. It has been an honor....")) Marselis Parsons thanked his loyal following six years ago when he retired from Channel 3. The former News Director, reporter, and anchor told stories here for 43 years. (tape 399 1:35:18) ((Marselis Parsons/3 news "oh film. Oh my god")) Producing stories on film was part the process when Parsons began his career here at Channel 3 in 1967. (tape 92 16:06) ((Marselis Parsons/3 news "this is all that remains of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Burlington")) Before there were smart phones and social media--Parsons relied on a series sources to get the story first. (tape 399 38:20) ((Marselis Parsons/3 news "the first alarm came in at 11:37 last night and soon calls for outside help")) (tape 399 3:08:22) ((Marselis Parsons/3 news "there is just something you hear when you hear a dispatcher and you hear the tension in their voice.")) Parsons liked the rush of fighting a fire. Not only as a reporter but also as a volunteer firefighter in Burlington. (tape 399 5:11:02) ((Marselis Parsons/3 news "I really like the fire service. They are great people and there is a great deal of satisfaction in helping put out a fire.")) There was also satisfaction of telling stories. Parsons began his career in journalism during the tough times of the late 60's. (tape 92 1:57:27) ((Marselis Parsons/3 news "why did you come here? Because I was tired of rioting, violence and to raise a 17 year, two children. 4 year old child. Violence is not the thing for them")) Parsons first job was in the Upper Valley as a radio reporter at WTSL in Hanover--and his first TV job in Lebanon. He came to Channel 3 in August of 1967. He was known for his tough but fair interviews...his curiosity....and his sharp eye for powerful pictures....if if it was policy or politics Parsons was part of it. (tape 399 11:20:22) ((Marselis Parsons/"you do good work and you do good stories")) There were too many difficult stories to tell--some were too close to home. Like when his boss died suddenly. tape 92 7:35) ((Marselis Parsons/3 news "announces the death of Richard Gallagher.")) Parsons was suddenly put in the position of replacing a legend. Now the face of Channel 3. He was the leader of the newsroom--a position he held for 25 years. When it was time to slow down, he told stories he really wanted to tell with his "Postcards from Parsons" segments. (story from postcards) His closet friends called him "Div"..It remains a mystery where he got the nickname. He loved a good meal-- breast of chicken was a favorite-and he had no time for crab cakes .For breakfast: burnt toast. Parsons loved dogs. Corgies got special treatment. His family had several over the years. "Taffy" his last. Dogs were welcome on his many boats. When he wasn't behind the anchor desk--you could find Parsons on the lake sailing---it seemed fitting for this journalist--the winds were different everyday---and so was the news---a profession he loved. And his viewers loved him. Anson Tebbetts channel 3 news. -3-

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Marselis passed away this morning at the Vermont Respite House in Williston. He leaves behind his wife Julie, daughter Susan, son-in-law Willy and granddaughter Pippa. For people who want to share their rememberances of Marselis - you can visit our web site - or you can send an email directly to his family to Remember-dot-Marselis-

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Reaction to Marselis' death is pouring in from around our region -- from viewers, newsmakers and the dozens of people who had the honor to work here at WCAX with Marselis. Kristin Kelly sat beside him on the anchor desk from 2005 until his retirement in 2009. Before that, Kristin was a reporter working under Marselis. She recalls how he loved breaking a story and routinely went to bat for his reporters.


((KK at 17:05:06 he was a huge proponent of serious news and digging. and if it was a controversial story, he backed you up. if you had a politician coming after you or a company coming after you because they didn't like the story you did - I mean he really was a fierce defender. you never felt like you were going to be hung out there to blow in the wind. and it encouraged you to keep digging. 17:31:15))


Marselis wasn't just a legendary newsman -- he was also a Vermont celebrity. He was recognized everywhere he went. Newsmakers tuned in to hear what he had to say. He was such a presence on the Vermont stage that Burlington artist Dug Nap featured Marselis on a greeting card with the caption -- "Hello - nuthin' happened in Vermont again today - good night." Howard Coffin is a Vermont historian. He says Marselis was an institution.


((Howard Coffin at 6:28:14 there was a tremendous trustworthyness about Parsons. People relied on him. He was kind of like a small stage Walter Cronkite. // :54:01 He became something where I think a lot of Vermonters didn't feel their day was complete unless they turned on Ch3 and saw him on Ch3 and all was right with the world 7:11 FADES TO BLACK))


We will have much more on the life and legacy of Marselis Parsons coming up on our evening broadcasts -- including reaction from colleagues and competitors -- and some of the state's biggest newsmakers.


Today: Showers, t-storms, some strong Highs: 82 to 88 Wind: S 10 to 20 mph Tonight: Variable clouds Chance for showers Lows: 62 to 68 Wind: S 5 to 15 mph Thursday: Mostly cloudy Scattered showers Possible t-storm Highs: 73 to 80 Wind: S to W 10 to 20 mph Extended: Friday: Mostly sunny Lows: 48 to 58 Highs: 75 to 82 Saturday: AM sunshine Showers, t-storms later Lows: 55 to 65 Highs: 75 to 82 Sunday: Chance for AM shower Then clearing Lows: 50s Highs: 58 to 68 Hyper-Extended: Monday: Mostly sunny Lows: 35 to 45 Highs: 60s Tuesday: Partly cloudy Lows: 38 to 48 Highs: 65 to 75

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Last Update: Wed 27-MAY-2015
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