Sat 23-MAY-2015 6 P.M. News Script


Good evening, thanks for joining us, I'm Julie Kelley. We start with new developments in the search for a missing St. Johnsbury mother. In the last ninety minutes, State Police have confirmed that her body has been found. Logan Crawford is live with the latest. What did you find out? State Police investigators tell me that Kimberly Willis' body was found, in the woods, about a quarter mile from her car.


State Police say, 34-year-old Kimberly Willis of Saint Johnsbury told her two boys that she was going to visit a friend when she left her house Thursday. Two days later, police found her body. (TC 00:06:24:13 Tile 1145) ((Lt. Det. Thomas Hango/VSP "We did discover a body, female body that we believe is who we're looking for, Kimberly Willis." 00:06:32:13)) Investigators say, Willis left her Saint Johnsbury home on Federal Street -- leaving her 12 and 17 year old sons home alone. They say, she told them that she'd be back soon and was visiting a friend in Concord, Vermont. Her family reported her missing Friday -- and on Friday evening police found her car abandoned in Albany, Vermont. ((MAP)) Albany is about an hour Northwest of St. Johnsbury ... The opposite direction of where she said she was going. The St. Johnsbury Police Chief say, this is suspicious, but police are waiting for autopsy results to learn more about how she died. (TC Tile 1145) ((Chief Clem Houde/St. Johnsbury Police " there's a lot of evidence still to collect, to include for example autopsy, toxicology. Continue to do interviews with people who knew her, people that saw her recently." 00:07:47:26)) The New England Canine team and state police search teams discovered the mother's body near her car late Saturday morning. Chief Houde says, her two son's are being taken care of by the state. (TC 00:10:19:18 Tile 1145) ((Chief Clem Houde/St. Johnsbury Police "Department of Children and Family Services assisted yesterday in placing her sons in protective custody." 00:10:28:21))


The victim's body is on its way to Burlington for an autopsy. Police tell us that it will be a couple of days before they know how she died. As of right now, police don't have any suspects in custody. Julie.


We have new information this evening on a deadly crash we first told you about this morning. State Police say, 20-year-old Timothee Morgan of St. Albans died in the accident on Polly Hubbard Road They say, a Franklin County Deputy tried to pull him over for speeding, Morgan took off and the officer chased him for about thirty seconds before losing site of him. Soon after, state police say, the deputy spotted the crash and called for help. Morgan died at the scene.


St. Johnsbury Police say, two men are facing charges for an attack at a home in St. J. Police say, Gregory Gosselin and Derek Hackett forced their way into a house earlier this month. They say, they used pepper spray and a pellet gun. Gosselin was arrested earlier this month. Police caught up with Hackett yesterday. He'll be in court Tuesday.


A move by Vermont's Senior Senator to protect Americans from government spying did not get the traction it needed. ((On this vote, the yays are 57 and the nays are 42)) The U-S-A Freedom Act was authored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy -- who told us last week ... he believed he had enough votes to pass it in the Republican-dominated Senate. Last night, it came up three votes shy of the 60-votes needed to advance it.


One of the biggest parades in Vermont celebrates 30 years. The Essex Memorial Day Parade marched on today at the Five Corners of Essex Junction. It honors America's veterans and people who died defending our country. The parade's theme this year is "30 years of remembrance."


(TC 00:13:07:11 Tile 1126) ((Mary Tewarson/Essex Parade Committee "We've been doing the parade for 30 years and we're remembering the veterans, we're remembering people who've been involved for 30 years of doing the parade." 00:13:18:23)) The Essex Junction Lions Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars organize the Essex Memorial Day Parade every year. The parade took seven months to put together -- with 86 floats sailing down routes 2A and 15.


Tomorrow -- thousands of runners will be hitting the pavement for the 27th Vermont City Marathon. And that means road closings in downtown Burlington through the morning. Pearl Street... Church Street...South Willard Street...South Union Street...Main Street... Park Street ... the Beltline... Pine Street... and Battery Street are some of the ones affected. For a map of the road closings and times -- visit this story on our website. And we will be downtown tomorrow morning with live coverage of the race! Our show starts when the race starts -- at 8 a.m.!

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A sunny but cool day today! Tonight won't be as cold as last night, when some spots dropped into the 20s! For the start of the Vermont City Marathon, it will be partly sunny, with temperatures in the upper 40s to mid 50s. It will warm up quickly during the race.

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coming up ... good news for folks looking to camp in vt state parks plus what that summer tourism means to our economy... stay with us


Vermont State Parks are getting their first round of visitors this weekend. Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. There are 52 state parks... with a wide range of activities for day visitors.... including hiking, boating, and fishing. Day use fees are usually three dollars. You can book overnight stays online.


We talk a lot about Vermont winter's attracting visitors, but it turns out, the most tourists make their way here in the summer. And the state is hoping to attract them from even farther away than normal. Cat Viglienzoni explains why.


Summer is when the most visitors flock to the Green Mountains. ((SOT Steven Cook, Deputy Commissioner, Vt. Dept. of Tourism & Marketing 015436 It's a real critical time for our tourism-related businesses around the state 40)) Steve Cook with the state's tourism department says summer is also when there is the largest amount of overall tourism spending. ((SOT Cook 015449 While visitors don't spend as much when they're here as they do during the winter season, there's a large diversity of things that they can take advantage of 015500)) Part of that, he says, is because summer activities are accessible to a broader audience. And the state is working to make sure they have the younger demographics covered. They say the goal is to create repeat visitors. ((SOT Cook 015553 As travelers begin to age and not travel as much, it's really important to try and attract people at a young age so they continue to visit Vermont, bring their families, and perhaps eventually relocate to our state 11)) The other main goal is to draw visitors who would fly into Vermont -- because they tend to stay in the state longer. Cook says Vermont is strong in the drive markets -- but they need visitors to stick around for more than a couple days. ((SOT Cook 015733 Our average visitor stays about 2.5-3 days. We hope to increase that to five days over the coming years, if we can 43 and the best way to do that is to look to a distant visitor or an international visitor who tends to stay longer and spend more while they're here 53))


The state is also making a push to promote Vermont as an equal opportunity adventure state! Inclusive-Vermont-dot- com is a new website highlighting adaptive recreational opportunities. Look for a link to that on our website.


And for all you dog lovers who want to bring your pet along to dinner ... New York is considering a law to make that okay! New York is considering whether to join a growing number of states that allow dogs at open-air restaurants. Health groups oppose it. States including California, Florida and Maryland have opened restaurant patios to dogs within the last decade.


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After a frosty morning with some spots in the 20s, today has been a cool but otherwise pleasant day. Tonight won't be as cold, with lows in the upper 30s to mid 40s. Sunday will be partly sunny and much warmer, with highs in the 70s. A weak cold front in Canada may touch off an isolated shower or thunderstorm north. For the start of the Vermont City Marathon, temperatures will be in the upper 40s to mid 50s, then warm up quickly during the race. A warm front will then approach the region on Memorial Day, with mostly cloudy skies and scattered showers, especially during the afternoon. This front will usher in warmer and more humid weather starting on Tuesday. A few showers and thunderstorms are possible. Wednesday will be warm and humid, with scattered showers and thunderstorms. The chance will be reduced a bit on Thursday, but more showers and thunderstorms will be scattered about on Friday and Saturday. It's getting a bit dry out there again, so we could use some rain.

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A Vermont community has a lot to celebrate this evening after the Brookfield Floating Bridge officially re-opened today. It's a engineering feat that combines the best of technology with an effort to preserve history! Cat Viglienzoni takes us there.


The Brookfield Floating Bridge has come a long way since someone lashed a bunch of logs together across Sunset Lake nearly 100 years ago. ((SOT Jennifer Fitch, VTrans project manager 004519 It was originally built in 1820 and it's been rebuilt -- this is the 8th time 23)) VTrans project manager Jennifer Fitch hopes eighth time's a charm. The bridge been closed since 2008 -- cutting off the two sides of town. It's meant 20-minute detours for residents ... and quite a few confused tourists. ((SOT Perry Kacik, Brookfield Historical Society 5427 They'd come down to the edge of one of the bridges and they'd go, 'There's no road here!' 31)) Brookfield resident Perry Kacik says their floating bridge is a historic artifact... and a key part of the town's identity. ((SOT Kacik 5739 It demonstrates the ingenuity that arose from necessity in the old days 45 ((BUTTED IN COVER)) 5755 So in order to do this, somebody had to come up with the various ideas of how you could float a bridge and still have it useable 03)) ((CAT STANDUP 5303 Brookfield's floating bridge is one of only three in the country, but when it started to sink, VTrans engineers were faced with a challenge they had never seen before -- how to keep this bridge unique -- but also safe 16)) ((SOT Fitch 4737 What they wanted was something that looked like the last bridge, but something that would be durable and long-lasting. 44)) Construction on the 2-point-4 million dollar project began last summer. Fiber-reinforced pontoons, similar to the ones used at marine docks, are among the engineering tricks used to keep this bridge hovering just above the water. It's a foot higher than the last bridge -- but low enough to keep the spirit of the structure. It's still made of wood... but unlike previous bridges -- this one should last 100 years. ((SOT Fitch 5036 For me, this is a once-in-a-lifetime project 38 And I'll never have a project like this again 40)) NATS A bridge at the crossroads of modern technology -- and historic preservation.



The Middlebury women's lacrosse team entered the day just 2 wins away from sending out retiring head coach Missy Foote a 6 time NCAA Champion. The Panthers hosting Cortland in the NCAA national semifinals this afternoon in Philadelphia. --- It's all Middlebury in the early going. Katie Ritter gets her team on the board scoring her 40th goal of the season. --- then Laurel Pascal scores 2 goals 58 seconds apart and just like that the Panthers have a 3-0 lead. 4 goals on the day for Pascal. --- Mary O'Connell gets into the scoring call a little later, following up on her first shot. It's 4-0 Middlebury. --- Cortland answers back and scores three straight late in the first half to take a lead. Ashley Gentile scores as Cortland leads 8-6 lead heading into the break. --- The Red Dragons score 3 straight to start the second half as well. Gentile with another one of her 5 goals. 11-6 Cortland. --- Middlebury never really gets back on track. Alli Sciarretta with back to back goals making it a 4 goal game with under 7 minutes to go. Four goals for Sciarretta. --- But Cortland scores four out of the final 5 goals. Emma Hayes-Hurley puts it past Madeleine Kinker Middlebury falls in the National semifinals, 19-12. The Panthers season ends at 16-4 and Missy Foote's career is offcially over after 35 years, 422 wins and 5 NCAA titles.


The first of the high school spring sports championships were handed out today. Before the team tennis tournament begins next week, individuals were looking to take home titles this afternoon. We start with the the Boys at Burlington --- It's an all south burlington singles final between Trent Newman and Gabe Katz. Katz lost in the finals last year, his shot here is long. Newman wins the first set 6-3. --- Katz comes back with avengence in set two. First the ace, then Newman is going one way, so Katz goes the other way. Katz winning set 2, 6-1. --- Katz won the first game in set three, but that seemed to get Newman all fired up. Katz tracks it down in the corner, but Newman smashes it for the point. --- later in the set, the 2 with a good volley, but Newman with great placement on the forehand winner. He is your state champ, 6-3 1-6 6-2. --- The doubles final, Marsh Palin and Dylan Garcia from Essex taking on David Huber and Stephen Asch from CVU. Palin won the doubles state title last year with a different partner. No chemistry issues here as Palin with the beautiful placement. --- Palin and Garcia win set 1, 6-0. Huber and Asch do win a couple of games in the second set, off the high lob, the nice forehand smash. --- But there was no stopping Palin and Garcia. The ball is lofted up, so Garcia comes across to nail the point. --- Then check out another great placement from Palin. Keeping it in, but just barely. Marsh Palin and Dylan Garcia are your doubles state champs, 6-0 6-2. A different partner for Palin, but the same result.


(((Palin & Garcia/"We both knew that our games, we didn't have to do anything special. We didn't have to outplay ourselves to win. We just played the way we knew how we could play and really had fun together in our last tournament together. We've always had good team chemistry, our whole team and Essex has been really close together and so we've always been able to work together and be able to play together very well, so I think that was a plus.")))


The Girls individual championships were held in Montpelier this afternoon. For the third straight year, CVU's Kathy Joseph in the near court meeting St. Johnsbury's Ayame Yazawa for the title. Joseph is the defending champ and she was on her game this afternoon with forehand winners like that. --- Yazawa the state champ 2 years ago, giving Joseph all she can handle. Check out this winner in the second set. Yazawa losing the first set, 6-3 but had a 3-2 lead in set 2. --- Hoever, Joseph takes over from there, the backhand smash at the net into the corner. --- Match point for Joseph, Yazawa's return on the serve is long. Kathy Joseph wins her second straight State title, 6-3, 6-3. --- Two courts over, it's an all South Burlington doubles final. Defending Champs Jasmina Jusufagic (YUSA-FAJIC) & Anna Wulfson taking on Vaish Andra and Amanda Anderson. Wulfson's forehand smash is returned by Andra, Wulfson has to go way back for it, and her shot isn't returned. --- Wulfson and YUSA-FAJIC winning the first set 6-1, but there fellow rebels didn't go away quietly in set 2, Nice shot here by Andra for the point. --- But late in the set, check out the winner by YUSA-FAJIC. Splitting her two opponents. --- Good volley on match point, but Andra hits it into the net and Wulfson and YUSA-FAJIC win 6-1, 6-2. All repeat winners in Montpelier. While the doubles winners had to go through their own teammates, Joseph overcame a familiar opponent.


(((Kathy Joseph/"It feels great. I think I played pretty well. I'm just happy with how I played. I try to take every match that I don't underestimate my opponents or overestimate how I will play, so I always try to stay focused."))) (((Wulfson/Jusufagic/" It's been wonderful working with Jazz for these two years. I'm a senior so I won't be here next year, but it was fun to play these girls in the championships."))) ((("I think it adds to the fun and playing eachother it's just more upbeat and it's a lot more fun, that's all I can say about it.")))


Thunder Road Speedbowl is set to host the Memorial Day Classic tomorrow in Barre. The grandstands open at 10. The Late model stars will be competing with super late models of the Pro All Stars Series for the first time. Jason Corliss is the defending champ.


Of course tomorrow morning is the running of the Vermont City Marathon. It looks like we have new overall winners as last year's men's and women's top finishers aren't expected to be in the field. --- One man to keep an eye on is from Saxtons River. Josh Ferenc is looking to become the top Vermont male to finish first for the fourth straight year.

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Last Update: Sat 23-MAY-2015
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