Thu 21-MAY-2015 11 P.M. News Script


Good evening I'm Shelby Cashman. And I'm Keith McGilvery. We have new pictures tonight from a plane crash Morristown. Rose Spillman was at the accident scene for us today and is live in studio with details on why other pilots are concerned for their safety. Shelby -- pilots who regularly fly in and out of the Morrisville-Stowe airport say they were not surprised to learn that a fellow pilot's plane flipped upside down in a failed landing. They say the landscape around the runway is a concern for any pilot trying to land.


Police say THIS plane was being flown by a pilot with 50 years experience. Thursday afternoon---68 year old Leonard Wing crashed this single engine aircraft--at the Morrisville-Stowe Airport. He was not hurt. And Don Post--another seasoned pilot--says the crash was not a surprise. He says the runway area at the airport has become a concern in recent years. (00:31:37) ((Don Post/Stowe Soaring Owner "the runway was all redone last year which is wonderful, but part of that process, and we're not really sure why it was done, but they added drainage to the side of the runway. So there's two big ditches on the south end of the runway. 00:31:58)) Post-who runs a gliding business out of the airport-- did not see Thursday's crash happen. But he says those two ditches could have played a role. (00:32:16 ) ((Don Post/Stowe Soaring Owner "With a ditch close to the runway then as the plane goes off the runway when the gear goes into the ditch it's either gonna nose into the ground or the plane could just flip right over and around, and that seems like something that shouldn't be at an airport 00:32:33)) The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation. But-- Police say Wing told them crosswinds caused him to lose control. After using emergency braking, the plane flipped upside down. Glider Pilot Bill Henchey, who flies in and out of the airport regularly, says that's a common issue when landing. (00:25;17) (( Bill Henchey/Commercial Glider Pilot "For the most part I think this is a pretty nice day to go flying. There is if you look at the run of the flags, there is a crosswind and it produces more of a challenge. Bigger airports they have an alternate runway Here we have one."))


We made multiple attempts to reach out to the airport and state department of aviation and did not hear back for comment.

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State police continued their search for a missing 24-year-old woman this morning. Denise Hart was last seen leaving a friend's home in Sudbury in January. Investigators found Hart's car engulfed in flames shortly after she went missing. Air and ground searches continued today for the missing mom in Rutland and southern Addison counties. Authorities did not find Hart but would not say if they found any clues tied to her disappearance.


A single car crash led to traffic trouble in Winooski tonight. Authorities say this SUV crashed into the guard rail on the bridge crossing the Winooski River heading toward the Winooski traffic circle. The span was shut down for about two hours as investigators made sure the bridge was structurally sound. Right now no word yet on what caused the crash.


Uber is a car service that operates like a taxi in Burlington. Now--a driver is accused of sexually assaulting--his passenger. Logan Crawford reports.


Former Uber driver Omar Nassir pleaded not guilty in court Thursday -- to charges he sexually assaulted a passenger in February - while giving her a ride home from downtown Burlington. Police say the alleged victim was incapacitated at the time. (TC 00:56:43:19 Tile 7193) ((Sgt. Michael Warren/CUSI "Under the current statute if someone is not able to provide consent, and somebody forces sex upon them or participates in sexual intercourse and they're either too incapacitated or there's some sort of condition where they can't provide consent, then that would be considered to be sexual assault." 00:57:06:02)) Nassir is also a licensed a cab driver, but police say he was working solely for Uber at the time. WCAX interviewed him back in 2013 -- when immigrants in Vermont were speaking out against violence in Kenya. ((Omar Nassir/Burlington Resident 00:22:40:25" In the Muslim religion they teach you to give a life not to take someone's life peacefull and happiness with their family not like to hurt anybody or something like that." 00:22:54:17)) Judge Michael Kupersmith was initially concerned about the charges -- and dismissed the sex assault -- due to lack of evidence. He later changed his mind. Prosecutors pointed out that Nassir admitted to having sex with the alleged victim -- while she was extremely intoxicated. So now he's facing lewd and lascivious -- and sex assault charges. His arrest has shaken some users of the popular car sharing app. (TC 00:50:24:18 Tile 7190) ((Chelsea Rossi/Williston "It's awful. You get into someone's car you don't know and hope they take care of you. It's really scary actually." 00:50:30:02)) GFX: We reached out to Uber for comment, and were issued the following statement from the company: "This was a horrific incident and upon learning of it in February, we immediately removed the driver from the Uber platform. We have been in touch with the rider to support her during this difficult time, and have been working closely with the authorities throughout their investigation." Investigators from the Chittenden Unit of Special Investigations say people need to be extra vigilant about their safety when getting into a vehicle with somebody they do not know -- but they also say Nassir's alleged crime is a rare occurrence in the Queen City. (TC 01:02:07:08 Tile 7193) ((Sgt. Michael Warren/CUSI "Lots of taxis in service operating every day in Burlington, whether it's an Uber taxi service or one of the local companies, and this is not the norm for the type of behavior that we see in dealing with them on a daily basis." 01:02:24:02)) And this Uber user agrees. (TC 00:55:49:05 Tile 7192) ((Liv Nycklemo/Peru, NY "I wouldn't judge the rest of the drivers by the actions of one person." 00:55:53:12)) Nassir was released with conditions of not contacting the victim or working for Uber or any taxi service while the investigation is on-going. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger released a statement about what happened -- saying he is going to ramp up taxi enforcement efforts in the city. Logan Crawford, channel 3 news, Burlington.


A move in New York State to make sex between a school employee and a student against the law. North Country Senator Betty Little sponsored a bill that would apply to sexual relationships -- even if a student has reached New York's legal age of consent -- which is 17. Supporters say that school employees have power over students - even if students are of age. Vermont and 19 other states have similar laws already.

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Dan is here. A pretty nice day today.


President Barack Obama threw his support behind Burlington lawyer Eric Miller--to be Vermont next U-S Attorney. Miller is an expert litigator in civil and white collar criminal cases. He would replace Tris Coffin who resigned last year after five years on the job. Senator Patrick Leahy recommended Miller for the post back in February. The nomination must now be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.


It's a move that caught the attention of numerous security agencies and folks around the world. The man behind the gyrocopter that landed on the national mall was in court today. Craig Boswell has our update.

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(PKG) The postal worker who landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the U-S Capitol...pled not guilty at a hearing Thursday. (SOT: Douglas Hughes/Gyrocopter Pilot) "LET ME BE CLEAR, I'LL NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS AGAIN, BUT I WOULD DO IT EXACTLY THE WAY I DID IT." (gfx) Douglas Hughes faces two felony charges - for operating as an airman without a certificate and violating aircraft registration requirements. He also faces four misdemeanors - for violating national defense airspace and operating a vehicle falsely labeled as a postal carrier. If convicted, he faces up to nine and a half years in prison. (/gfx) (SOT: Douglas Hughes/Gyrocopter Pilot) "I ACCEPTED THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT I WAS DOING BECAUSE I BELIEVED IT'S CRITICAL THAT WE RETURN OUR DEMOCRACY TO THE PEOPLE." (STANDUP: Craig Boswell/CBS News/Washington, D.C.) Hughes' made his April 15th flight carrying letters for Congress about influence of big money in politics - but he may have drawn more attention to security gaps in the nation's capital. The flight from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania took Hughes through highly restricted airspace - past the White House and Washington Monument before landing on the Capitol lawn. (nats) The flight prompted Congressional hearings .. (SOT: Rep. Jason Chaffetz/(R) Utah/April 29, 2015) "YOU'VE GOT A DUDE IN A GYROCOPTER A HUDNRED FEET IN THE AIR CROSSING 30+ MILES OF RESTRICTED AIRSPACE." Hughes could be ordered to give up his gyrocopter if he's convicted on one of the felony charges. Craig Boswell, CBS News, Washington.


A Champlain College housing project--is officially underway. Contractors are taking down the old Eagles Club building at the corner of Maple and St. Paul Streets. Champlain bought the property seven year ago -- with the goal of building a large housing project. It's expected to house about 300 students.

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Still ahead-- Meet a man who's helping countless people-by donating blood. And find out which Vermonters--are among the healthiest in the nation. Plus a big gig for Grace Potter. Find out which rock legend the songstress is teaming up with. And these aren't your ordinary projects. See how students in Randolph put an entire school year's worth of work--on display.


As the weather heats up -- the Red Cross says blood donations -- drop. Tonight we meet a Colchester man -- who's always ready to give -- and hopes you will too.


76-Year-old Dick Paquette-- is in the egg business at Shadow Cross Farms 6 days a week. ((Dick Paquette, Shadow Cross Farm :29 "I think what I love the most is the people, just the customers, being on the road and meeting different people, I enjoy that.)) While the family business that first opened its doors in 1940 keeps him pretty busy -- The Colchester dad still finds time to donate blood and platelets regularly -- something he's done for more than 50 years. ((Dick Paquette, Shadow Cross Farm 02:17 "One of my youngest sisters was running on the back porch with a canning jar and fell and cut the artery in her hand and was bleeding very badly and so my parents took her to the hospital and she had to have three pints of blood transfusion.)) It's a childhood memory that's led Paquette to pick up accolades for more than 60 gallons of donations at the Red Cross donor center in Burlington. ((Dick Paquette, Shadow Cross Farm 02:41 "I can remember the trauma my mom went through trying to find somebody with the same blood type to donate.)) But the Red Cross says come summer 20-percent fewer people across our region are rolling up their sleeves like Paquette to donate as outdoor activities, and vacations compete for peoples' time. ((Mario Lopez, Red Cross, 03:32 "Typically in the summer we see a dip in the number of appointments that are being booked, the number of people that are presenting out on the community blood drives that occur at your churches, your VFW's, places like that and even at the donor center here in Burlington.)) The team here at the donor center on North Prospect Street says collections in Northern New England still manage to bring in about 30-thousand units a year -- roughly 3-times what folks in our region need -- but that whatever doesn't go to our neighbors is shared with patients across the country. ((Mario Lopez, Red Cross, 01:51 Trauma, people generally need red blood cells, the need their irion, they need their clotting factors, someone who is undergoing treatment for cancer really needs platletts and plasma, burn victims need plasma.)) While Paquette doesn't get to meet the folks who benefit from his generosity -- he says he'll routinely gets postcards letting him know where the Red Cross put his donations to work -- and wants others to know that stepping up to help is not as hard as it may sound. ((Dick Paquette, Shadow Cross Farm 04:21 "It is very easy to do especially whole blood, it only takes less than an hour through the whole process, you feel good after.))


We're hoping you'll share your stories about blood and platelet donations on our Facebook page. For more information on where and when you can donate. Just go to our website -- WCAX - dot - com.


Vermont is the healthiest state in the nation for senior citizens. That's according to a report by the United Health Foundation. It looked at behaviors, community & environment, policy, clinical care, and outcomes. Vermont's strengths include low intensive care unit use and ready availability of home-delivered meals. New Hampshire was ranked second healthiest for seniors.


Randolph students were showing off their hard work tonight. Seniors at Randolph Union High School are one step closer to graduation with the finale of their year long individual projects. Each student had to choose a topic to research throughout the year. Students explored everything from the art of glass blowing to lessons in flying planes.


(00:44:30) ((Alexis Ashley/Senior Student "At first I thought it was a terrible idea, but once I picked something I love, which is what you have to do, this is one of the best experiences I've ever had I'm my life." 00:45:39)) Teachers say the projects are an opportunity for students to demonstrate all the skills they've learned in high school through a more hands on approach.


Another major milestone for Vermont rocker Grace Potter. ((opening for the stones baby -- whoooo! :07)) That's right -- Potter will be opening for the Rolling Stones in Minneapolis and Dallas on June 3rd and 6th. As you can tell -- Grace is pumped -- and on her facebook page she says it's another dream checked off her bucket list.

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Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows: 35/45 Winds: Light Friday: Partly sunny. Chance of a passing shower. Highs 55/62 Winds: W 5-10 mph Friday Night: Partly cloudy. Cold. Chance of a mountain rain or snow shower. Lows: 25/35 Winds: NW 10-15 mph Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs: 55/62 Winds: NW 10-15 mph Extended: Sunday through Thursday. Saturday Night: Lows 43/50 Sunday: Partly sunny. Highs 65/72 Lows 50s Monday: Partly sunny. Chance of showers, late. Highs 65/72 Lows 50s Tuesday: Showers likely. Highs 70s lows 55/65 Wednesday: Partly sunny. Chance of showers/Tstorms. Highs 75/85 Lows 55/65 Thursday: Partly sunny. Chance of showers/Tstorms. Highs 75/85

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A Vermont war veteran was laid to rest today. But not before receiving a long overdue honor. Jennifer Costa reports.


A casket draped with an American flag. A father of six laid to rest. ((Nancy Gianna/Metruk's daughter 00:13:06 "Just like my dad, there are so many unspoken heros.")) Heros who served their country. John Metruk was 84. ((NATS taps 00:19:21)) For decades -- the former rifleman and runner wore his Marine Corps cap with pride. Yet seldom spoke of being shot. ((Susan Cogley/Metruk's daughter 00:01:10 "We'd sneak in an we'd look at it and we were like wow this is a bullet. We'd never actually seen one.")) A bullet -- once lodged an eighth of an inch from their father's spine. Fired from an enemy machine gun -- during the Korean War. Despite being wounded in battle -- Metruk never received his Purple Heart. ((NATS firing 00:18:58)) His family set out to change that -- appealing to Senator Patrick Leahy and the military for help. ((Susan Cogley/Metruk's daughter 00:02:41 "I think it was a journey that actually brought everyone closer to understanding that part of our dad.")) A dad -- they describe -- as a father figure to the neighborhood -- humble to his core -- and a military man at heart. Thursday -- Metruk finally received his Purple Heart. ((NATS 00:17:09 "the president of the United States of America has awarded the Purple Heart" 00:17:18 "to Pfc. John Metruck, United States Marine Corps for wounds received in action.)) ((John Metruk/Metruk's son (EMOTIONAL) 00:03:10 "it's just a great honor to have this here because it will really mean a lot to him.")) An honor long overdue -- for a veteran -- who put his life on the line -- to help his country. ((00:22:41 "please accept this flag as a symbol of your loved ones dedicated and faithful service to country and corps.")) Metruk's family says -- this Memorial Day -- remember our veterans -- and the stories they have to tell. Especially those -- whose numbers are dwindling. ((John Metruk/Metruk's son 00:11:23 "just like our dad, they're hidden treasures you got to break in and you got to really get to talk to these guys, they're not going to last much longer.")) Jennifer Costa... ((DOVE release 00:26:01 "John we let you go")) Channel 3 News Essex.


So far this season, the Red Sox just haven't been able to get everyone going in the right direction at the same time. Early on, the team was hitting, but the pitching staff was the worst in the American League. The tables have turned of late. Boston pitchers have allowed an average of less than two runs a game over the past week, but the offense has gone silent, scoring two runs or less in ten of the Sox last fifteen games. That included last night, when Boston left 12 on base in a 2-1 loss to the Rangers. The series finale tonight at Fenway...and when it rains it one...Xander Bogaerts mishandles what would have been an inning ending double play... two runs score...2-0 Texas... --- then in the fourth, Mitch Moreland takes Clay Buchholz deep... but Buchholz pitched well enough to win... three runs on five hits in seven and a third... --- but once again, the Sox can't get the big hit when they need it going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and Texas makes some big plays on defense... including getting Dustin Pedroia at the plate on a comebacker to the pitcher. Rangers win 3-1... taking two of three in the series. The Angels arrive in Boston tomorrow night.


There is even more legal trouble for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. In a New Bedford, Massachusetts courtroom today, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to witness intimidation. He is accused of trying to silence a witness in a double murder case by shooting the man in the face. Authorities say Hernandez shot friend Alexander Bradley in 2013 in Florida. Bradley lost an eye in the shooting and is suing Hernandez over it. The shooting allegedly happened a night after Bradley made a remark about the 2012 double slaying in Boston. Hernandez is accused of fatally shooting two men in a car on a Boston street over a spilled drink in a bar. Hernandez was convicted last month in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd and was sentenced to life in prison.

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The group leading the bid to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston is shaking up its management. Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca is taking over the bid committee, replacing construction magnate John Fish. The bid committee is facing political pressure to produce an updated plan for building and running the Games. The move comes amid signals from the US Olympic Committee that Boston must build more public support in order to keep alive its bid to bring the Summer Games back to the United States for the first time since 1996.


The Middlebury women's lacrosse team will play in the NCAA National Semifinals Saturday in Philadelphia. The sixth ranked Panthers are joined by the top three teams in the nation in the Final Four. Middlebury takes on second ranked Cortland State in the semis...then would meet either third ranked Franklin and Marshall or NESCAC rival and top ranked Trinity in the national title game. All three are familiar opponents for the Panthers. Middlebury played both Cortland and Franklin & Marshall last season, while the Panthers and Bantams have meet 35 times. Middlebury leads the overall series, but Trinity has won the last nine meetings. None of those meetings will have any direct impact on the results this weekend, but the Panthers feel the experience garnered by playing top teams over the years could play a big role in their bid for a national title.


((TRT: 38 ... OC: FOR SURE)) ((Foote/"It's really interesting that we play both Franklin and Marshall and Cortland last season, we didn't get either of them on our schedule this season. We did have some great out of season opponents, plus our NESCAC opponents are so strong, so I think that's all a big confidence booster for us so we have played really well in some big games."))) ((Ritter/"It really helps us. Being in the NESCAC, especially when it comes to post season is really helpful. Every game we've had this season is going to be a battle, it's going to be a good game. Every team brings it, so having that mentality and attitude really helps us and it's going to help us this weekend for sure.")))

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Last Update: Thu 21-MAY-2015
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