Sun 14-DEC-2014 6 P.M. News Script

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Good evening and thanks for joining us, I'm Adam Sullivan. Two people are lucky to be alive after their car was hit by an Amtrak train. This is what's left of the car. State police say it got stuck on the tracks at an un-gated railroad crossing on North Windsor Street in South Royalton Saturday evening. That train was going nearly 60 miles an hour -- and had 71 passengers on board, as it plowed into the vehicle The collision tore the front of the car off and spun it before it came to a rest 20 feet down the track. Miraculously -- neither of the car's occupants were injured. The train continued onward after a slight delay.

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Utility crews continue to work around the clock to restore power to customers left in the dark from last week's nor'easter. At the height of the outages, officials say more than 100 thousand homes were without power. But, that number has been steadily decreasing. Officials say a slight warmup today compounded the problem of snow-filled trees falling onto power lines. Many of the repairs are also in hard to reach areas. As of late this afternoon, less than 4-thousand customers remain without power. The outages are in all corners of the region. Officials say some outages could stretch into next week.

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Police arrested a Plattsburgh man who they say robbed a convenience store. It happened around 5:15 last night at Bark's Shell Station. New York State Police posted surveilance photos on facebook -- and received a tip. They nabbed 21 year old Philip Taft and charged him with Robbery, Assault and Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Police say Taft is currently on parole for previously robbing Stewart's Shop in Peru.

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And in Woodbury -- state police say a man broke into the elementary school to look at porn on a library computer. 28-year-old Brian Thompson is now facing trespassing charges.

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Despite hundreds of public complaints, and a new investigation by the Public Service Board, state officials say they have no regrets about a new contract with Fairpoint to build the state's next generation 9-1-1 system. The 11 Million deal was signed last month, less than three weeks before problems on FairPoint's network knocked much of the current 911 system out of service for more than five hours. Enhanced 911 Director David Tucker says he remains confident in FairPoint's ability to build the new system and maintain it. The company worked on a similar system in Maine.

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As families are set to jet off for the holidays, New York's senior senator is calling for a federal investigations into why airfares are sky high. Democrat Chuck Schumer wants to know why airfares are so high despite what he described as "record" airline profits and "rapidly declining" fuel costs. The International Air Transport Association forecasts airline profits to grow this year by 26 percent to $25 billion in estimated profits next year. Meanwhile, oil prices have dropped by 40 percent.

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A 1 point 1 trillion dollar spending bill is headed to the President's desk for his signature. The bill-- which cleared the House on Thursday-- funds nearly the entire government through September 30th of next year and avoids the threat of another government shutdown. Supporters say it aims to boost manufacturing and funds key projects. However, the bill received a no vote from 40 Senators including New York's Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders has said the bill lacks need regulation for big banks and ignores the needs of the middle class.

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Thousands of dollars have awarded to research the behaviors of young adults in Northern New Hampshire. The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund distributes $3 million in grants annually. This year-- 128 thousand will be used examined the experiences and attitudes of Coos County youth and young adults. New Hampshire's north country traditionally has higher employments rates-- which officials say force the younger generations to move out of the area. The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire in Durham is conducting the research.

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Kids in Burlington decked the halls today with loads of frosting and candy. Eliza Larson got a taste of some of their artistic talent.

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Burlington has a few new architects in town... (TC 00:15:48:26 Title 7004) ((Emi Bedrosian/Gingerbread House Maker "It has four sides and I put a face on the top. And then I put little green M&Ms around it." 00:15:58:18)) That is... if they don't eat their materials first. (TC 00:17:59:16 Title 7006) ((Aziza Kasanga/Gingerbread House Maker "It has a pretzel pathway and there's lots of gumdrops." 00:18:06:24)) (TC 00:17:27:02 Title 7004) ((Emi Bedrosian/Gingerbread House Maker "They were yummy." 00:17:27:22)) Children and parents were at the in Burlington's north end Sunday morning... building houses made of graham crackers... Frosting... and their favorite Christmas candies. (TC 00:11:10:10 Title 713) ((Becca McHale/ONE Arts Center "candy canes, gum drops, M&M's, Christmas candy corn, candy cane hershey's kisses." 00:11:25:28)) ONE Arts Center Co-founder Becca McHale said the graham cracker house building not only brings kids and families out to enjoy a holiday activity together... But also allows people to let their creative side show. (TC 00:11:53:20 Title 713) ((Becca McHale/ONE Arts Center "It feels really good to be able to fill a place and create more of an arts presence in the old north end." 00:11:18:28)) ONE Arts Center works with artists from all over Vermont to promote and sell their work. But apart from show casing pieces in their shop in Burlington... McHale and her partner invite the community in to experience local artwork... and create some of their own. (TC 00:12:19:20 Title 713) ((Becca McHale/ONE Arts Center "One of the things we experience is that people are kind of scared to jump into an artistic activity and sometimes even children are - they think well my artwork isn't very good and we think that's really sad. We think that creative expression is an important part of personal growth and we want to be able to provide opportunities for everyone of all ages to explore that part of themselves." 00:12:47:10)) I sat down with a few of the graham cracker house artists and had them talk me through their creative process. (TC 00:16:16:08 Title 7004) ((Emi Bedrosian/Gingerbread House Maker "This is the face, and this is the way they go. And this is the way they walk.. walk... walk... " 00:16:28:29)) It was obvious these kids were pro's (TC 00:19:17:06 Title 7006) ((Aziza Kasanga/Gingerbread House Maker "This isn't the first time, but it's the first time I've made one with graham crackers." 00:19:20:15)) But the best part of the day... (TC 00:18:59:12 Title 7006) ((Aziza Kasanga/Gingerbread House Maker "Three licks. mmmm five?" 00:19:05:28)) Was getting a chance to sample their work in the end. Eliza Larson, Channel 3 News, Burlington.

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still ahead on tonight's news... Christmas on the farm at the Billings Farm and Museum... plus.. Making sure the Salvation Army has a place to do their holiday work... First.. Here's Dave with the weather... Plenty of clouds out there, but looking quiet through Monday.

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Billings Farm and Museum is continuing a holiday tradition. The Billings Farm & Museum is a year-long attraction in Woodstock, but this weekend was made special for the holidays. Visitors got the chance to make their own ornaments and take a tour of the historic farm house decorated in traditional Christmas style.

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(00:57:21 Tile 6941) (Megan Campbell/Coordinator of Interpretation and Education "So this home was built in 1890 by Frederick Billings who owned the property, he built this house for his farm manager. And so we decorate it this time of year for the holidays." 00:57:31.)) Horse drawn sleigh rides helped visitors continue the celebration today.

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For charitable organizations, like the Salvation Army, having a place for storage is a key component of the overall operation. This year, one group got a big boost, just in time for the holidays. Cat Viglienzoni.

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NATS toys being loaded in As Major Patti Murray with the Salvation Army loads bag after bag of toys in the car... MORE NATS ... she's grateful she even has a place to take them. Their Christmas Castle program collects toys for children in need during the holidays. But every year they rely on donated space to store those toys -- and this year... ((SOT Patti Murray, Salvation Army 2706 People just didn't seem to be able to give the space 11)) Toys were piling up... and time was ticking. ((CAT STANDUP, SOUTH BURLINGTON 3626 The day before Thanksgiving their prayers were answered as a volunteer came through in a big way, donating this entire two-story house to store all of their toys. 35)) ((SOT Patti Murray, Salvation Army 2726 It was like this big huge rock had just rolled off my shoulders. 31 Because I had been planning and saying okay, if nothing else, we're going to use our garage, which meant unpacking that whole garage, finding a place to store everything for it, and then setting it up 42)) Joe Handy donated this South Burlington property to them to use as their operations base for the holiday season... even paying the utilities. The two floors of the house will be full of toys as Christmas closes in. ((SOT Patti Murray, Salvation Army 2823 It's going to be about 30 thousand toys when all is said and done 27)) Toys going to more than 750 kids -- from the youngest infants up to teenagers. Some were bought for specific children from a giving tree... others are unmarked and can go to any child. NATS her commenting about one of the toys Parents will come to pick these up, along with a Christmas dinner. And thanks to a generous donor -- it won't be from Murray's garage. ((Cat Viglienzoni, Channel 3 News, South Burlington.))

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High pressure is trying to build into the region, but an inversion is keeping clouds trapped at lower levels. Tonight and Monday will be mostly cloudy. Monday's highs will range from the upper 20s to mid 30s. Most of Tuesday will be dry, then a weak storm system will bring late afternoon showers and snow showers. A cold front will move through the region on Wednesday, with showers and snow showers. some spots will reach the low 40s for highs. Thursday will be a bit colder, with scattered snow showers. A few flurries will linger on Friday. Next weekend will start off with a quiet day on Saturday. We're watching a possible storm system for Sunday (doesn't look major), with the chance for light rain mixed with snow.

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It wasn't kids getting their pictures taken with Santa today-- but instead-- man's best friend. Alex Apple was there.

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((Say cheese NAT)) It's a timeless tradition. Photos with santa. On Sunday humans were out of the picture...in their place -- dogs. ((Jingle Bella Ho ho ho)) This is Bella -- a seven month old rescue dog from South Carolina. (45:08 Donna Aviano/Milton)(("It's a fun time to come out here and meet santa with Bella.")) Bella was at a shelter and one day away from being euthanized when she found a home. (45:23 Donna Aviano)(("She was in a shelter and on the kill list at five months old.")) Donna Aviano adopted Bell and Sunday -- for her first Christmas -- brought her to see Santa at Play Dog Play -- a doggie daycare in Burlington. (48:57 Ryan Norton/Play Dog Play)(("It has turned into an opportunity for us to give back to the community and help a lot of different rescue organizations.")) Every photo raised money for Save our Strays and Pitbulls and More Animal Rescue -- - two companies that help dogs like Bella find a home. (45:51 Donna Aviano)(("She's great. She's so lovable everyone she meets she just wants to hug and kiss them.")) With extra kisses reserved for jolly Ole St. Nick. (41:08 Santa Claus/North Pole)(("Most of em ask for dog treats and a loving forever home.")) (Eli Ferree/Burlington 37:19)(("That was interesting because our dogs are pretty young, pretty rambunctious, so it was kind of like herding cats.")) Eli Ferree's pitbull puppy was a little too excited to sit with Santa. -- but after bribing him with treats -- Kohee settled down for his Kodak moment. It's Santa's 20th year posing with the puppies -- and he's taken a liking to the Green Mountains. (41:23 Santa)(("This weather is terrific. Makes me feel right at home.")) And he says he'll return Christmas day with a promise of an extra chew toy under the tree for Bella and her furry friends.. Alex Apple channel three news in Burlington.

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A great chance for the uvm men's and women's basketball teams to build some momentum this afternoon... The hoopcats hosting Wagner in a rare doubleheader at Patrick Gym. Starting with the men's game... Hector Harold missing the game with a foot injury but Brendan Kilpatrick returning from a head injury... --- Vermont needs both at full strength ASAP... First field goal on the day coming 10 minutes into the game. Brandon Hatton for 3 of his 10 points. --- Then the feed goes to Kilpatrick who buries three. Vermont within 1. --- Trae Bell Haynes with a team high 16 points including the first half lay-up as the Cats take 27-22 lead into the break. --- The Lead grows to 15 early in the second half, off the back door feed, Dre Wills slams it home. 11 for Wills. --- Wagner cuts the lead to 3 with under 7 to play, but with the shot clock winding down, Cam Ward banks home a clutch three. --- Vermont takes it from there beating Wagner 61-47 improving to 5-4 on the season.

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(((TRT:28 OC: WE'RE GOOD))) (((John Becker//"You can say this game was ugly and not pretty. We did a lot of things we have to clean up, but we did a lot of good things. Wagner's been a team that has been a really good program in the past. They can in hungry for a win and we found a way to win."))) (((Trae Bell-Haynes (16-21)/"Coming off of exams and having a week before our last game, things got kind of sloppy, but the good part about it was the defense was there for most of the game. We're concerned more about the defense than the offense, so as long as the offense is there, we're good.")))

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In the late game, the Vermont women off their first win looking to make it back to back against 0-7 Wagner --- Not looking good early... Kayla Burchill jumper at the first half buzzer. But Cats down 11... --- Fast forward, tied at 65, less than 20 sec to go, Jasmine Nwajei 3 of her game-high 39 ....Wagner up 3. --- Vermont answers back ... Six second left, Sydney Smith with a must-have 3, we're going to overtime at 68 all... Smith with 25... a career high for the sixth straight game... --- And then in OT... All Niki Taylor for the hoopcats... She comes alive with 10 of her 14 points in the extra session... 2 and the foul here... --- Vermont rallies past Wagner 82-75 in OT... They've won 2 in a row ...

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After a week off, the UVM women's hockey team looks to snap a 5-game winless streak tonight as they host Dartmouth at the Gut ... Puck drop set for 7 p.m., highlights at 11.

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As for the men, well they just continue to win... Last night in Canton, the #10th ranked men's hockey team downed St. Lawrence 2-0 to sweep the season series and pick up their sixth straight win... The IceCats getting goals from Kevin Irwin and Brady Shaw and another night of outstanding goaltending... After Brody Hoffman made 22 saves in Friday's 2-1 victory, Mike Santaguida followed that up with a 35 save shutout last night. With the win, the IceCats go into break at an unreal 13-3-1, it's their best start to a season since the 1987-88 campaign. UVM now has two weeks off before hosting the Catamount Cup on Dec. 28th and 29.

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After a big win at San Diego... The 10-3 Patriots back at Gillette today to host a Miami team... That beat them in the season opener.. --- First quarter, New England not wasting any time... The Pats block the kick and Kyle Arrington goes 62 yards to the house... Tight one at the break, 14-13 Patriots --- And then... The second half happened ... Opening drive of the third, Lagarette Blount powers his way in... Lead now 21-13 ... --- Still in the quarter ... After a Patrick Chung pick.. Vintage Tom Brady... A perfect 27-yard spiral to Rob Gronkowski for six... Part of 27 unanswered for Top-Seeded New England .. They go on to rout Miami, 41-13... Clinching the AFC East in the process.

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The Giants playing for pride with a 24-13 win over Washington... The Buffalo Bills, still in the hunt hosting Green Bay.. --- This helps their cause... In the first, Marcus Thigpen, 75 yards on the punt return... Bills down 10-7 at the break... --- Dan Carpenter boots 3 straight field goals for Buffalo to give them a 19-13 lead late in the fourth... --- The Packers with a chance to win it on the final drive... But the Bills defense today, on another planet... Mario Williams forces Aaron Rodgers to fumble into the endzone... It's a safety and a 21-13 win for Buffalo .. As they improve to 8-6 on the year.


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Last Update: Sun 14-DEC-2014
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