Thu 18-SEP-2014 11 P.M. News Script


Good evening and thanks for staying up late with us. I'm Jennifer Costa. And I'm Keith McGilvery. Big changes for child protection services in Vermont. Since the high profile deaths of two toddlers in DCF care -- changes have been happening in stages. Human Services Secretary Doug Racine was fired -- and DCF Commissioner Dave Yacovone stepped down. Now new leadership is outlining plans for the future. Shelby Cashman has more.

2} DCF11_PKG

Dezirae Sheldon--and Peighton Geraw. Names that have sparked changes to Vermont child's protection system. Both toddlers had been in custody of the Department for Children and Families - but returned to their mothers. And both toddlers later died--of blunt force trauma. (01:11:18:04) ((Ken Schatz "We have made some specific policy changes that were clearly required to address issues that arose as a result of these fatalities.")) (01:11:30:20) Department for Children and Families Commissioner Ken Schatz addressed the legislative committee on health oversight Thursday. Schatz was appointed by Governor Shumlin earlier this month--after former Commissioner Dave Yacavone--stepped down. Schatz laid out some concrete changes--to DCF policy -- since reviews of the toddler deaths started last spring. GFX: 1. In cases of serious physical injury--all DCF district staff must consult with central staff. - Serious physical injury includes head injury--broken bones--or anything indicative of ongoing abuse. 2. For children placed with parents in a residential treatment program--custody will not be returned to the parent until they are discharged from the facility. - Once full custody is returned--it will then be on a trail basis. In the Peighton Geraw case--the toddler lived with his mother--Nytosha LaForce at the Lund Residential Treatment Center in Burlington. Full custody was given back to Laforce--while she was still there. DCF then had no further contact with the family--until just days before his death. And Schatz also supports the creation of a proposed permanent legislative oversight committee -- for DCF. He says that permanent committee -- would help combat confidentiality issues. In the past -- the need to protect client privacy has kept DCF policies and decision making -- in the dark. (01:22:26:29) ((Ken Schatz "The legislature could give such a committee the ability to receive confidential information and keep it confidential , so that the committee could be aware of individual circumstances but not necessarily stigmatize the family by making those public."")) (01:22:44) These changes are in addition to the over two dozen staff members--ranging from social workers to substance abuse specialists that have been hired. Human Services Secretary Harry Chen--plans to present his recommendations to Governor Shumlin--on October 1st. Shelby Cashman -- channel 3 news -- Burlington.


Authorities say he admitted to killing a popular St. Johnsbury school teacher -- and now a judge says the confession can be used against him. Allen Prue -- and his wife, Patricia, face kidnapping, sexual assault -- and first-degree murder charges -- in the 20-12 death of Melissa Jenkins. Allen Prue's trial is set to begin on October 6th. His lawyer wanted statements he made to police during a 7-hour interview suppressed -- citing Miranda Rights violations. But today -- Judge Robert Bent denied that request. A trial date for Patricia Prue has not been set yet.


Police say a Jay, New York man's violent past has caught up with him. New York authorities arrested 27-year-old Daniel Horacek for allegedly forcing two female victims into multiple sex acts -- over several years -- prior to 2004. Horacek is charged with predatory sex assault -- rape -- and multiple counts of sexual abuse. He's being held at the Franklin Correctional Facility in Malone.


And a Keeseville man is also facing rape charges. New York State Police arrested 23-year-old Derrick Terry. He's accused of raping a 30-year-old woman at her home in Ausable Forks in June. Terry's being held at the Essex County jail.

6} POT11_MAP

Police want to know who was growing pot on state land. It happened in Windsor. Troopers say they've seized and destroyed eight marijuana plants that were growing on state-owned land. Authorities say two separate plots were cordoned off with chicken wire. Now authorities are investigating who the plants belong to.

7} 1ST_WX

Dan is here. Getting chilly out there tonight.


After decades in the business -- a journalism maverick -- is calling it quits. Alex Apple joins us now -- with more on why the founder of the Barton Chronicle is finally closing his notebook after 40 years. Alex? A revered publisher -- Chris Braithwaite has run the Barton Chronicle since he founded it in 1974. When he decided earlier this year he wanted to retire, he didn't want to sell to a large corporation -- as a result, he found a unique way to keep those who know the business best -- in charge.


"A New Paper in Orleans County" That's what the headline read 40 years ago when Chris Braithwaite published his first issue of the Barton Chronicle. (00:11:50:00 Chris Braithwaite/Barton Chronicle Founder)(("And that's a good feeling.")) A journalist -- turned carrot farmer -- turned journalist again, Braithwaite moved to Barton from Canada in 1970. (00:27:00:00 Chris Braithwaite/Barton Chronicle Founder)(("I got stuck here.")) And now over 2000 issues later, Braithwaite is ready to hand over the reins of his company. (1:05 Chris Braithwaite)(("40 years for me, personally, felt like enough.")) He plans to sell the Orleans county community paper to its employees early next year. (03:44 Chris Braithwaite)(("It was sort of a Catch 22. I wanted the employees to buy the paper, but they worked for the Chronicle for so many years, and they didn't have any money (laughs).")) But through a credit plan -- the employees will slowly buy shares of the business. Tracy Davis Pierce -- a 28 year veteran at the paper -- will become the new publisher. (12:29 Tracy Davis Pierce/New Publisher)(("It is sort of like a family of people I've worked with and been with for a long time.")) And few know the Barton community better -- Davis-Pierce -- the daughter of a nurse and electrician -- has spent her whole life in Orleans County. (16:38 Tracy Davis Pierce)(("People approach me often to say how much they love the paper. I'm proud to work here for that reason.")) But in this tiny basement office -- without the Braithwaite's at the helm -- a void. (14:48 Tracy Davis Pierce)(("It's gonna be awkward maybe at times that he's not here. He's always been here.")) Braithwaite is humble about his 40 years of story telling -- He's in the New England Newspaper and Press Association Hall of Fame while his paper was consistently honored as one of the best community papers in the state. (07:35 40 Chris Braithwaite)(("40 years is just a long time, and it really did feel like it was time to step away."))


Finished with his career in journalism, Braithwaite is now campaigning for state representative. Something he says will allow him to still work closely with his community. Jennifer?


The Sears in Rutland is getting ready to shut its doors. It's one of the anchor tenants of the Diamond Run Mall. But the company announced today it will begin a liquidation sale on September 26th -- and will close in early December. Sears says it is closing stores around the country to reduce on-going expenses -- adjust its asset base -- and accelerate the transformation of its business model. The store and auto center have 65 employees. They'll be offered jobs at other Sears or KMart stores.

12} 2WAYA

First the House -- now the Senate sounds off on President Obama's plan to combat ISIS. And find out what brought the secretary of the Navy to Burlington's waterfront today. Plus -- Deadly decisions on Vermont's roads. (TC - 00:10:13:00) ((Lt. Garry Scott/VT State Police Within the last five years we've started to really look at what is the scope of our drug driving problem especially in Vermont.)) Julie Kelley rides along with a state trooper trained to track down drugged drivers -- when the Channel 3 News continues.


The Obama administration can move forward with it's plan to use Syrian rebels to help combat ISIS fighters. Craig Boswell reports.

14} ISIS11_PKG

The President now has Congressional approval to arm and train Syrian rebels to help fight ISIS militants. (SOT: President Obama) "THE STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN CONGRESS FOR THIS NEW TRAINING EFFORT SHOWS THE WORLD AMERICANS ARE UNITED IN CONFRONTING THE THREAT FROM ISIL WHICH HAS SLAUGHTERED SO MANY INNOCENT CIVILIANS." The Senate ok'd the plan following House action Wednesday. But Democratic Senator Joe Manchin was a no vote. (SOT: Sen. Joe Manchin/(D) West Virginia) "WE'RE ENTRENCHING OURSELVES INTO ANOTHER WAR." "IF 13 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE HASN'T TAUGHT US ANYTHING THEN WE'RE PRETTY SLOW LEARNERS." Arming and training the moderate Syrian rebels is part of President Obama's pledge to keep US troops out of a ground war. (SOT: Sec. Chuck Hagel/Department of Defense) "THE BEST COUNTERWEIGHT TO ISIL ARE LOCAL FORCES AND LOCAL CITIZENS, THE PEOPLE." (STANDUP: Craig Boswell/CBS News/Capitol Hill) This authorization expires in December and will have to be approved again when Congress returns after midterm elections. (SOT: Sen. Dick Durbin/(D) Illinois) "BEYOND THIS, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE UP THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE. IT'S LONG OVERDUE." (SOT: Sen. John Cornyn/(R) Texas) "I THINK WE SHOULD BE HAVING THIS DEBATE RIGHT NOW, NOT IN DECEMBER." The Obama administration says training Syrian rebels to take on ISIS will take up to a year. Craig Boswell CBS News Capitol Hill.

15} NAVY12_VO

A special moment on the waterfront today. The unveiling of the U-S-S Vermont. The Secretary of the Navy -- joined Governor Shumlin -- and Burlington's Mayor -- for the announcement. The navy has commissioned the construction of the nuclear-powered -- fast-attack submarine.


(00:13:05) ((Sec. Ray Mabus/US Navy "I'm here to once again honor the sailors and marines who have come from this great state, to honor your support of our Navy and our Marine Corp and your naval history. So today I'm announcing the name of our next fast attack submarine the next USS Vermont.")) (00:13:25) The USS Vermont is part of a 17 billion dollar investment in 10 new Virginia class submarines. Construction has not started yet.

17} WX


Tonight high pressure will work in providing us with clear skies, light winds and low humidity; Temps will tumble, reaching 25/35 by Friday morning. We'll get a widespread frost, with a hard freeze away from Lake Champlain. It's a good idea to take measures to protect any tender vegetation. A *FROST ADVISORY* is in effect for the Champlain Valley and southern Vermont from 1 AM to 8 AM Friday. A *FREEZE WARNING* is in effect for those same times for most of northern NY, away from Lake Champlain, and for North-Central and Northeast Vermont. After a cold start, sunny skies will boost our temps back into the upper 50s on Friday afternoon. Temps will warm into the 60s on Saturday. A warm front will move through the area with some clouds and maybe a spotty shower. Sunday will be even milder, but a cold front will catch up to us with afternoon showers. Fall officially begins at 10:29 PM on Monday. It looks like we'll have a lot of clouds around, with some cool temperatures. A few showers are possible too, mainly in the mountains. We'll keep things cool on Tuesday, then temps may turn milder later next week.

19} WX_OUT


Vermont transportation officials say this year -- drugged drivers have caused more fatal accidents than drunk drivers. Out of 31 deadly crashes -- State Police say 5 involved drivers suspected of using drugs. Marijuana was cited in most of those cases. 2 fatal crashes involved people driving under the influence of alcohol. The rest included factors such as speeding. Julie Kelley hit the road with a trooper -- specially trained -- to detect high drivers.


(TC:00:01:49:00) ((Julie Kelley/Reporting Stand up - when a trooper hits the road in vermont today, more of the focus is on detecting people who are under the influence of drugs. The state police has about a dozen officers trained as drug recognition experts.)) Trooper Jerry Partin is a nationally trained DRE. (TC - 00:39:12:00) ((Trooper Jerry Partin/VT State Police The training kind of opens your eyes, so prior to becoming a DRE there's a lot of things I missed out the on the road.)) Anytime a stop is made in Vermont, where drugs are suspected, a DRE is called in. Gfx- So far this year, there have been 128 drug recognition expert evaluations. State Police say, of those, 121 people ended up being charged. (TC - 00:10:13:00) ((Lt. Garry Scott/VT State Police Within the last five years we've started to really look at what is the scope of our drug driving problem especially in Vermont.)) Since 2005, when the DRE program started in Vermont, they have tracked the type of drugs that have been found during evaluations. GFX- The biggest amount is depressants at 40 percent. Marijuana was found 24-percent of the time and narcotics like Heroin and OxyContin were found in 21 percent of people evaluated. The rest are other substances. (TC - 00:23:39:00) ((Julie Kelley/Reporting So this is the room where they would test people that they think they are on drugs and have been driving. I'm going to put on these goggles which will simulate having had drugs in my system.)) Trooper Partin takes me through the paces. (TC-00:24:46:00) ((Trooper Partin: Take nine steps again back this way, walking heel to toe, counting out loud the whole time. While you watch your feet with your hands on your side.)) They have 8 clues they look for when doing a drug recognition expert evaluation. (TC - 00:25:03:00) ((Julie Kelley/Reporting Two, three, four, I'm all over the place.)) (TC-00:25:48:00) ((Trooper Jerry Partin/VT State Police We're seeing all the clues that we see with impaired drivers. Missing heel to toe. Even because you're trying to steady yourself, you're missing some of the instructions.)) And they're testing out a new tool across the state right now. (TC-00:02:15:00) ((Sergeant Todd Ambroz/VT State Police We can actually use this device and we do a cheek swab and it tests for 28 different types of drugs)) Sergeant Todd Ambroz (ambrose) says, the best part of this equipment is that it tests for drugs that are active. (TC-00:02:24:00) ((Sergeant Todd Ambroz/VT State Police 00:02:24:00 not drugs that you used in the past, nothing like marijuana that's metabolized and you used it the days ago. We're talking about drugs that are active in your system right then and there.)) This year's fatalities due to marijuana raise questions and concerns for folks in public safety about what will happen if it is legalized in Vermont. (TC-00:13:00:00) ((Lt. Garry Scott/VT State Police If we legalize marijuana we have to make sure that our driving laws are the same as our alcohol driving laws. Which right now they're not, they're different.)) (TC-00:48:15:00) ((Keith Flynn/VT Public Safety Commissioner We need to develop good databases, not only in Vermont but nationally so that we can have a base to refer back to and come up with solid, scientific data to support the imposition of a per se limit.)) A limit similar to point-08 for alcohol. (TC-00:04:01:00) ((Julie Kelley/Reporting It remains to be seen whether Vermont will end up making marijuana legal ... But whether it does or doesn't .... The reality for troopers and leaders in public safety is that they have to find better ways to detect people who are using drugs and driving. Julie Kelley, Channel 3 News, South Burlington.))


He's one of the most famous and popular athletes in the country...and today Dale Earnhardt, Jr was in Vermont. Junior getting a large cheer from the crowd on hand at the Essex High School Gym for this very special meet and greet session sponsored by the Vermont National Guard ... Earnhardt Jr. is in the region to compete in this weekend's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon... And as we know, there's always time for a short pit stop ... Close to 200 students and local fans getting a once in a lifetime opportunity which included a question and answer segment followed by an autograph and picture session with the sprint car driver. He did not speak to the media, but from his favorite track to his thoughts on the importance of college, Earnhardt Jr. was very candid with his audience, speaking from his heart on all that he's learned both on and off the track. It's that type of genuine approach that has helped make #88, number one for so many racing fans.


(((TRT: 32 OC: AT THE SAME TIME..."It was awesome, I got to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr. To see him up there, it was awesome... It was pretty cool... I thought he would come out and seem like he was a big deal but he was really good at relating to us and fits in like any adult here. It was great that he could chill, relate and inspire us at the same time...))


Speaking of NASCAR icons... Hall of fame broadcaster and Waterbury native Ken Squier getting the surprise of a lifetime tonight at the Hilton in downtown Burlington ... A ballroom full of family members, racing commentators and legends like Mike Joy, Daryl Waltrip and Bobbie Allison, notable politicians and colleagues from his local and national journalist days were on hand for the debut of documentary about Squier that will air next month on Vermont Public Television... The Film chronicles Squier's illustrious career, from his early days at WDEV radio to his historic call of the 1979 Daytona 500, all the way up to his work as co-owner of Thunder Road. It was without question an emotional night for the Vermonter who has traveled all over the world, coming home with one amazing story after another.


(((TRT: 16 OC: TO THEM AS WELL... For me its been such a rich life because there were so many facets to it. So many places with so many people that have held such meaning, and I hope they did to them as well.)))


Week four of the Vermont high school football season kicks off tomorrow night. Look for all the highlights at 11pm on the Friday Football Frenzy. For U-32, it's the game after The Win. The Raiders snapped Woodstock's 33-game win streak last Friday night. Controlling the Wasps and posting a convincing 24-7 victory in Woodstock. That upset has left a log jam in the Division Three rankings, with seven teams, including both U-32 and Woodstock, sitting at 2-1 after three games. It was a memorable moment for the Raiders, but there are still five weeks left in the regular season and the players know there's a lot of football left to be played, starting tomorrow night at home against Winooski.


((TRT: 32 ... OC: MORE THAN ANYTHING)) ((Matt Greene/ We just have to forget about it. We have to have a short memory and pretend it's opening night. The first game of the season, playing Winooski. We just have to focus on them and play Raider football.)) ((Colby Brochu/ Winooski has more kids this year and they've played pretty well so far. For us, it's just taking it one step at a time. Set ourselves up to stop them the best way that we can. Fix all of the little mistakes and get into the details more than anything.))


That's matchup one of eight games on the schedule...including the first even night game at Spaulding... the Tide hosting Mt. Abe. Look for all the highlights tomorrow night at 11pm on the Friday Football Frenzy ...

Top of Script

Last Update: Thu 18-SEP-2014
© copyright 1996-2012 WCAX-TV