Sun 27-JUL-2014 11 P.M. News Script


A tentative agreement has been reached between the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs on how to repair the systemic problems within the veterans' health program -- that left many without access to care. Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Jeff Miller have reached an agreement that still needs to be voted on by the House and Senate -- as well as negotiators. Miller and Sanders released a joint statement saying they've "made significant progress" over the weekend toward agreement on legislation to reform the V-A Department. The scandal around egregious delays and falsified appointment schedules resulted in the resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki back in May. Miller and Sanders say The plan set to be announced Monday is expected to authorize billions in emergency spending to lease 27 new clinics, additional staffing and easier access to care outside of the V-A Department.


Two New York residents are dead after what police are calling a murder-suicide. The bodies of Pamela Williamson and Larry Williamson were found inside of a home in Ellenburg Saturday night. State police were called to the scene after a relative requested a welfare check. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday -- the incident is still under investigation.


A fire in South Burlington lastnight tore through a condo garage -- residents were evacuated before the building was destroyed. This was the scene just after midnight at 69 Joy Drive as firefighters worked to put out the fire. Firefighters told us someone from the condo spotted the blaze. Multiple departments responded and were able to put out the fire. But the garage and everything inside -- are a total loss. No one was hurt -- police say the cause is still under investigation.


After an unsuccessful search for a police chief earlier this year, the town of Hartford is now reviewing a handful of applications. The town has received 28 applications -- although it had hoped for at least 50. But that isn't stopping the hiring process from moving forward. After a successful reorganization of the police department with the hiring of a Public Service Director to handle administrative duties -- as well as fire department duties -- the select board now has the money to fill the position. The salary for the position is about 95-thousand dollars, plus benefits.


A thief got away with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry last night after robbing a local art gallery. Hardwick Police say someone broke into the Miller's Thumb Gallery in Greensboro late Saturday night. Miller's Thumb says they got away with about 100-thousand dollars worth of jewelry. All of the stolen jewels belonged to a local artist -- Marion Stegner -- who has been displaying her work at the gallery for years. Police are asking anyone with information to contact them immediately.


Family and friends will gather to remember a couple that was killed in a hit and run accident in Ray Brook, New York last week. The funeral service for Kimberly and James Barney will be held Thursday at the Potsdam United Methodist Church. Their 11-year-old daughter was also injured in the crash. They leave behind 5 children.


Police say the driver of the car -- 20-year-old Trevor Sisto of Fort Covington was high -- and had been driving recklessly through the Lake Placid area. Police were in pursuit when they say the pickup Sisto was driving crossed the centerline on Route 86 in Ray Brook Thursday and collided with a small car. Sisto hasn't been charged for the two deaths but will be in court on Tuesday.


Burlington Police believe drugs and alcohol may have been the cause of an accident earlier this afternoon that left one man injured. It happened at the intersection of North Ave and North Street. An SUV hit a motorcycle that was stopped at a red light from behind. When police arrived, they found the motorcycle driver -- John Poro on the ground. He was taken to Fletcher Allen Healthcare. The driver of the SUV -- Nathanial Cummings, was uninjured. Police are still investigating the accident.

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Despite projected costs, Vermont Gas estimates its gas pipeline will still save residents more than 150 million dollars. The gas company announced earlier this month that its newest natural gas pipeline would cost 40 percent more than expected. Residents of Chittenden, Addison and Rutland counties opposed to the pipeline questioned if its benefits are as large as the gas company says. But Vermont Gas says the millions of dollars in savings will come from decreased gas prices and more efficient technology.


(14:17:21)((Steve Wark "Adjusting for even the new budget, there is still 152 million dollars of savings overall. 14:18:48 I think it's fair that some of the landowners are not pleased that this might be an impact on their property but what I'd like to point out is that we've moved the route many times to accomodate landowners.)) The Public Service Board is deciding if the change in costs means the project's certificate of public good needs to be updated.

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Still ahead on tonight's news... Hundreds will soon be making their way to Middlebury for a conference geared toward writers. And we get a detailed breakdown of what's to come for Vermont's economy.

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Agencies across state government will spend this week searching for savings. Governor Shumlin called for across the board cuts to budgets -- after economists downgraded the state's revenue forecast. Kyle Midura looks into the projections for the state's economy.


The state of Vermont essentially met its revenue projections for fiscal year 2014. That's thanks to better than expected performance in the corporate and estate taxes, and despite declines in more stable streams like income and sales. (( 44:28 - :31 - Kavet we have some good things and some things that aren't doing so well )) Economists say the counting on a repeat performance in '15 -- which began in July -- would not be a formula for success. The good trends aren't as likely to be repeated as the bad. In January Jeff Carr and state economist Tom Kavet predicted a 4.8 percent growth rate in Vermont revenues -- but reduced that prediction to 3 percent late-last week. Governor Peter Shumlin asked agency heads to put off filling vacant positions, and cut their budgets by four percent -- filling the 31-million dollar budget gap. He says that should avert layoffs or tax hikes. Vermont economists say part of the downgrade is the perplexing dip in the national Gross Domestic Product. ((42:20 - :26 Jeff Carr when you have an outlier like that part of the challenge of doing forecasts is that sometimes you have to say 'it's not believable')) They say it could be an error -- given other indicators of economic strength -- and aren't weighing it as heavily as their national peers. The state retains the country's second-lowest unemployment rate, but Carr and Kavet argue that stat hides weaknesses in the state's economy -- which does continue to recover, but slowly. The unemployment rate is buoyed by people retiring or giving up the job search. ((49:03 - :09 Kavet so shrinking labor force will make the unemployment rate look good, but you're not really getting in through job creation)) Where jobs are being created, low pay is adding little to the tax base. (GFX graph page 7) Red bars in this graph show the number of jobs created by county from the lowest levels recorded between 2009 and '14, while those in green show job numbers since peak figures between 2006 and seven. Chittenden and Orleans counties lead the recovery, while much of the state stagnates. (GFX Graph page 6) Since last year, Orleans County has the highest unemployment rate but also the highest job creation rate since the economy bottomed out. ((47:49 - :53 - Kavet for the state as a whole, we're not quite back up to the peak levels of employment)) (nats -skiing) The ski and snowboard industry rode winter storm systems to strong visitation and profits this year, but forecasters say weather won't always help the East and stymie the West as it did last season. Lottery sales dropped, and big tobacco paid less than anticipated - as newly-popular e-cigarettes weren't taxed as heavily as old-fashioned smokes. (nats) Low gas prices benefitted consumers -- who also logged less mileage -- but hurt state revenues now that revenues are tied to the rate at the pump. (GFX: graph page 8) Construction jobs grew, but not enough to build back up to the number of jobs held in June 2007. Since that time, jobs in professional and business services, the federal government, health care and hospitality are all net positive. Home values in Vermont fell last fiscal year, as the state struggles with a lack of first-time buyers. Young adults continue to leave Vermont. Those that stay -- often saddled with significant student debt -- largely can't afford to buy. ((51:05 - :10 - Carr That's one of the things that's been holding back some of the sales and holding bak some of the construction numbers )) ((52:20 - :25 - Kavet Residential's the one that really needs to come back before we get the kind of growth in hte economy that we would like)) Economists say convincing young adults to settle in Vermont will be crucial to keeping the Green Mountain State out of the red. KM, Ch.3 BTV


The Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers' Conference is only a few weeks away -- and everyone is invited. The conference brings out hundreds of writers and students. The 10 day event features workshops, lectures and classes. It kicks off August 13th in Ripton. For more information, visit our website at WCAX-DOT-COM.


The state is asking for your help with tracking down turkeys. Starting this Friday -- the Fish & Wildlife department is asking people to record on its website the number and size of any turkey families they see. The department says the data gives them a better sense of the size of the turkey population in the state. This spring -- hunters bagged about 51-hundred turkeys -- down by more than a thousand compared to 20-13.


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Today was pretty active in spots, as thunderstorms developed during the afternoon and early evening, with some producing strong winds and hail. Any thunderstorms will continue to weaken this evening, with just scattered showers overnight. However, a potent low pressure will begin to affect us early Monday morning with rain. This rain will continue on Monday, along with embedded thunderstorms. Depending on the track of the low, there is the possibility for strong thunderstorms in eastern portions of Vermont and into New Hampshire. This system will move out of the region Monday night. Tuesday is looking much quieter, and almost fall-like! There may be a morning shower east of the Champlain Valley, otherwise it will be partly sunny with highs only in the upper 60s to mid 70s. Expect a chilly one Tuesday night, with lows in the 40s. Overall, the latter half of the week is looking good, though a few showers are possible on Thursday. Next weekend will be a little iffy, with an isolated shower possible on Saturday, and a few thunderstorms by Sunday.


Right now -- triathletes from around the world are testing their endurance in Lake Placid -- for the annual Ironman race. Cat Viglienzoni caught up with athletes training there this week.


Athletes arrived early this week in Lake Placid to hit the roads and check out the course for this year's Ironman Lake Placid. Bill Peterson is from Edwardsville, Illinois. It's his 15th time here. ((SOT Bill Peterson, 15th Lake Placid Ironman: 002707 Peterson: Every year is a challenge because every year Mother Nature throws something different -- you never know what the unexpected is going to be 14 So there's always the challenge of the unexpected, even though we think we know everything 18 Cat: So for riders who it is their first time, what's your advice? Peterson: 22 Take the first loop nice and slow, enjoy the sights, and the second loop, let 'er go. 26)) ((IRONMAN YOUTUBE VIDEO)) The mountainous scenery around them will hopefully be enough to distract from a long -- and likely painful -- race. About 28-hundred competitiors are expected to compete on the grueling course, which takes triathletes on a 2-point-4-mile swim in Mirror Lake, a 112-mile bike ride through the mountains, and then finishing with a marathon. ((SOT 002748 Cat: So if you train in Illinois, where you said it's flat and cornfields, how do the mountains go for you? 52 Peterson: We have overpasses. That's our mountain, basically. 56.)) ((BUTTED))((SOT 002800 We kind-of look forward to having wind because then we'll have some resistance, but it's hard to train for the hills because we don't have hills like this. So when we hit the hills we just spin it and go on as best we can.11)) His training partner Russ Darbon is doing his first Ironman in Lake Placid. He says he'll probably be nervous on race morning. ((SOT Russ Darbon, First Lake Placid Ironman 002820 We took a drive around the bike course and it looks tough but it sure is beautiful. There's plenty of scenery to take your mind off of things, so I'm just going to get out there, have fun, and enjoy it 29)) Cat V.. ch3 news ... wilmington, ny



The Legion baseball state tournament is winding down. Teams are trying to punch their tickets to this week's championship games. They were supposed to be played tomorrow, but due to the pending forecast, the games will be played Tuesday. Lets start with the late game tonight, the Colchester Cannons taking on undefeated Addison County... --- Bottom 1... Colchester in a must-win situation, and they're playing like it... Brandon Arel with the RBI single to left, the Laker standout makes it's a 4-1 game... --- Top 2... Addison gets their o going... Bases loaded for Mt. Abe's Sawyer Kamman, he unloads them with the three-run double to right center... Now 4-4... --- Later in the inning, Vergennes product Wade Steele gives his team back the lead with this base knock... --- Bottom 3, a chance for Colchester to tie it up but watch Commodore Devin Hayes ... Fields and fires from his knees to end the inning... Great play! The Cannons eventually tie it before umpires suspend the game due to darkness in the 7th... It will resume Tuesday at 10 a.m.


In the first game of the day, An elimination game between Essex post 91 and Lakes Region. --- Lakes Region adds to it's 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, MSJ's Jonah Farrow with the deep drive to center. It falls in for an RBI double. Lakes Region takes a 4-0 lead. --- But the Post 91 pitching shuts the door from there. Jake Benson of Essex with one of his 10 strikeouts during his 6 scoreless innings of work. --- Essex then starts to chip away at the deficit. They score three in the top of the sixth and two more in the seventh, Eli Baez of Essex with the infield RBI single. 5-4 Post 91 after 7. --- They put it away in the ninth, Joey Robertson with an RBI single through the left side. Essex Post 91 comes back to beat Lakes Region, 9-4 advancing to tuesday's championship game.


Both the Lake Monsters and Vermont Mountaineers are on the road today. The Monsters fall at Hudson Valley, 9-4. In Newport, Rhode Island the Mountaineers lost to Ocean State, 3-2 10 innings. Sanford won tonight, so Vermont's lead over the Mainers for first place in the Northern division is down to a game and a half. Vermont and Sanford play a huge doubleheader in Maine tomorrow.


Yankees and Blue Jays playing the rubber match of their three game series --- Yanks down a run in the eighth but Carlos Beltran ties this one up with an RBI single, Brett Gardner scores and we're tied at four. --- But Toronto not done as Dioner Navarro puts his team back up. An RBI single. And the Blue Jays go on to win 5-4.


Red Sox at the Trop against the Rays. Allen Webster making his first start of the season for Boston. --- Not a bad first outing, two runs on three in five and a third innings of work including this strike him out, throw him out double play in the first. --- David Ortiz puts the Red Sox on the board in the third. A three run shot to right Those runs would be enough as Boston holds on for a 3-2 victory.


It was quite the successful weekend for Jericho Olympian Lea Davison. Davison won her second straight Catamount Cup on Saturday pulling away from the competition during the final 2 laps of the 6 lap race. Davison had hip surgery back in January. She felt ready to go, but was still unsure of herself, since none of her rehab involved getting back on the bike. If Saturday proved anything, she has nothing to worry about and should get right back on track pushing for another olympic bid two years from now.


(((Lea Davison/"The Olympics are always in the back of my mind. There's a lot of racing between now and then. But really, with time off with surgery, I call it my motivation build. You get really motivated to be off the bike will be even better going into Rio and to increase my chances for making the team.")))


A voyageur takes us for a ride, a fantastic finish to the catamount cup and a golf shot in Lake Placid has one man soaring like an eagle. (((Friday night, Vermont Voyaguer and CVU grad Lawrence Dee breaks in fakes and scores his fourth goal of the game.))) (((Saturday at the Catamount Cup, the men's finish coming down to three racers. It's quebec Citie's Antoine Caron that's just able to nudge his way past the finish line for the victory.))) (((Tuesday during a golf tournament at Craig Wood Country Club in Lake Placid this is golf pro Jeff Estes his approach shot takes a bounce and falls into the cup for an eagle. The tournament was in honor of a super senior but this super golf shot takes the number one spot in our top 3 on 3.)))

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Last Update: Sun 27-JUL-2014
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