Thu 26-MAR-2015 11 P.M. News Script

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Good evening and thank you for joining us I'm Shelby Cashman. A first step towards justice--for the family of Pat O'Hagan--five years after her murder. One of the suspects is now turning on the other two--accepting a plea deal. Jennifer Costa reports.

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Richard Fletcher -- shackled in a suit and tie -- entered a St. Johnsbury courtroom. The 28-year-old's presence is a game changer in the Pat O'Hagan murder case. ((Daniel Sedon/Fletcher's Lawyer 00:25:34 "We are resolving this case today. There's going to be a complete admission to Mr. Fletcher's role in this matter, complete acceptance of responsibility.")) Fletcher -- along with Keith Baird and Michael Norrie -- are accused of robbing, kidnapping and killing the 78-year-old grandmother for pills and cash in 20-10. All three suspects knew O'Hagan and she knew them. She had watched them grow up in Sheffield. ((Lisa Warren/Caledonia County State's Attorney 00:21:51 "Mr. Fletcher was not the shooter. It's not been the state's contention that he ever was the shooter that ultimately killed Mrs. O'Hagan.")) All three men were charged with first degree murder, kidnap and burglary. But Fletcher was the first to cut a deal with prosecutors -- in exchange for a shorter sentence. The state says his cooperation is vital to its case. ((Lisa Warren/Caledonia County State's Attorney 00:28:36 "There isn't a lot of physical evidence in this case and so this defendant's testimony is very important.")) ((Judge 00:42:55/44:26 "how do you plead?" RF: guilty your honor.")) Thursday Fletcher pleaded guilty to kidnapping and burglary. Under the deal -- the state dropped the murder charge -- and Fletcher has agreed to testify against his cousin ((Norrie)) and half-brother ((Baird)). O'Hagan's children call this plea deal a necessary evil. ((Mark O'Hagan/victim's son 00:03:50 "We've known what happened and this is the first time anyone is specifically being held somewhat responsible for it.")) He'll serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars. The family wanted stiffer punishment -- but say the deal is the first positive step toward closing their mother's Vermont nightmare. ((Shawn O'Hagan/victim's son 00:04:47 "That's the one reason we're here today is we're optimistic that it is going to help to bring the other two to justice.")) ((Jennifer Costa "Fletcher has yet to be sentenced but will not fight the recommended 15 years. He's already prison -- serving time for time for an unrelated crime. JC CH 3 News BTV))

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Police say a pellet gun vandal is on the loose. Late Wednesday night--police say store front and vehicle windows were damaged in Vergennes--Addison and Ferrisburgh. They say similar incidents occurred in South Burlington and Moriah New York--but they do not know if those incidents are directly related. If you have any information--call police.

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An update to a Burlington retail theft we told you about last night. Police say 20 year old Mercedes Clogston and a 17 year old female turned themselves in for stealing merchandise from Whim Boutique on the Church Street Marketplace--this morning. They used a baby carriage to conceal the merchandise while the store employee was distracted. Both women were issued citations for retail theft.

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Since November-- five officers across Vermont have been arrested for crimes relating to domestic assault or driving under the influence -- and another is under investigation. Today--two were in court. Alex Apple--was there.

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Three police officers from across the Green Mountains have found themselves on the wrong side of the law this week. Two more were arraigned Thursday -- bringing the number of cops in trouble with the law in the last five months -- to six. ((NAT Harvey attorney: 00:31 Enter pleas of not guilty in counts 1 & 2)) Burlington police officer Nathan Harvey pleaded not guilty to two counts of domestic assault. He allegedly knocked a family member unconscious after an argument over an iPod months after using a chokehold on the same relative. Another cop was arraigned Thursday -- accused of violating the conditions of his release. ((7:13 Judge: So you're entering a not guilty plea to the two counts of violations of conditions of release, is that correct? MARK MCCOMAS: Yes, your honor.)) Vermont State Police say former Woodstock police officer Mark McComas contacted a family member he allegedly assaulted earlier this month. ((08:37 NAT JUDGE This case will be tracked with your other case and your attorney will receive a notification. 08:43)) On Sunday -- South Burlington officer Jeffrey Martell -- crashed his car in Colchester. He's charged with DUI. ((SUNDAY 3-22-15 Sgt. Francis Gonyaw: "Officers conducted further investigation upon their arrival, determined that Mr. Martel had been drinking alcohol")) South Burlington put the 18 year veteran on administrative leave. And in Rutland -- Officer Justin Barrell -- who was hired as a probationary officer just four months -- was allegedly caught driving drunk. Also this month -- authorities began investigating State Trooper Eric Rademacher for DUI. ((MARCH 5 Col. Tom L'Esperance: "Regardless of whether a criminal case does develop or not we will hold the trooper accountable.")) These all come on the heels of a high profile case in Colchester. Back in November a 12 year veteran of the P-D, Tyler Kinney -- allegedly stole drugs and guns from the evidence locker. He was sent to rehab. ((nats: McCormas: I've reviewed the proposal by the attorney general and I'm in agreement with that)) Law enforcement experts we spoke with say such a high number of officer-involved cases is rare in Vermont. And isn't representative of most officers. The lawyers for both former Woodstock officer Mark McComas and Burlington officer Nathan Harvey -- who were in court today -- say they will fight the charges -- and hope to prove their clients' innocence. Alex Apple -- channel 3 news -- Burlington.

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She allegedly sold drugs near a Capital City elementary school--and was in court today to answer to 2 felony charges. 52 year old Karyn Mayhew of Montpelier was arrested earlier this month. Police say she was dealing heroin out of her home -- 1-hundred feet away from Union Elementary School. Court papers show she may have been selling to kids. Mayhew was arraigned in Washington Superior Court. And was released on conditions.

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A St. Johnsbury man is apologizing--for punching a coach during a soccer game. Donald Hjelm was accused of punching Todd Smith in the face -- during a game involving third- and fourth-graders last September -- at the St. Johnsbury School. Hjelm wrote to Smith saying his behavior was out of character that day. He had to the write the apology as part of a diversion program that allowed him to escape criminal charges.

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Some school budget revotes to tell you about tonight. The North Hero Town School District budget was voted down--again--99 to 91. The district was seeking approval for about a 1.7 million dollar budget. The opposite occurred for the Waterbury-Duxbury district. The voters approved a nearly 11.6 million dollar budget by a vote of 462 to 246.

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The Vermont state general fund budget has been approved. Today--the House gave a 4.75 billion dollar preliminary approval by a 96 to 56 vote. Lawmakers are trying to close a 113-million dollar budget gap. The house plan calls for 53-million dollars in cuts -- 24-million in so-called one-time money -- and about 35-million in new taxes. The measure will be taken up for final House approval tomorrow before going to the Senate.

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Burlington Airport is gearing up to begin the removal of 94 homes in the surrounding neighborhood. Rose Spillman joins us now with more. Rose? Shelby--Over one hundred people showed up at the Chamberlain School in South Burlington--for an update on the upcoming plans. In the past 10 years the airport has purchased homes that experienced the most noise within the 65 decibel sound areas around the airport. Now plans have been set to begin demolition and restoration of those properties. At tonight's meeting, airport officials went over the process and what neighbors can expect to see.

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(00:18:06 8050) ((Gene Richards/Director of Aviation "There's three phases in the housing removal program, and they will start around April 15th. The Northface going first, centerface second, and then the third. So tonight we're just talking with the neighbors. 00:18:20)) Once deconstruction begins, contractors are expected to be at work Monday through Saturday , and two way traffic will be maintained on all roads. Airport officials say the process should take 6 months, with all sites cleared and restored by November. Another public outreach is scheduled next Thursday, April 2nd. Shelby?

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Dan is here. A pretty dreary afternoon out there.

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Montpelier officials say the ice on the Winooski river is between 12 and 18 inches thick, which could be a concern as the river melts. The river levels are expected to rise by up to 3 feet tomorrow afternoon. Officials say the rapid rising could lead to ice build up.

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(00:01:15 8001) ((Chief Robert Gowans/Montpelier Fire Dept. "SO if the river comes up, and it comes up rapidly, it could break up that ice. And ice then could form dams in which the water backs behind flooding. Very similar to what happened to Montpelier in 1992." 00:01:27)) Officials say that ice is much thicker than it has been in previous years. In order to prevent this possible ice build up, the city has been discharging warmer water from a treatment plant which weakens the ice and increases water flow through the river. The city has an excavator waiting by the river that will help break up the ice. There will be an operator on call through the weekend if the equipment is needed.

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The fans have spoken. Looks like Super Troopers Two is a go. We told you how Broken Lizard -- the company behind the 2001 cult classic that spoofs Vermont state troopers -- was crowd funding for a sequel. Well, the group has already surpassed it's $2-million dollar goal -- raising more than $2-and-a-half million -- with a month left in the campaign. And don't forget--you can get prizes for your donations of any amount. For 25 thousand dollars--the troopers will be the groosmen--at your wedding!

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(BRIAN WEBB TEASE) And two americans arrested for conspiring to help ISIS. Plus -- Investigators say they now know the cause of a deadly plane crash in the French Alps. Also another prostitution scandal involving US goverment law enforcement agents overseas.

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Two Illinois men including a member of the state's National Guard are accused of conspiring to help ISIS. The FBI says 22-year-old Hasan Edmonds and his cousin, 29-year-old Jonas, were wanna-be terrorists, who planned to support islamic state militants in the middle east, and attack a national guard base in Joliet, illinois. Hasan is a member of the illinois national guard. If convicted they face a maximum penalty of 15 years jail and 250 thousand dollars in fines.

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Disturbing new details about the investigation into the deadly plane crash in the French Alps. French prosecutors say the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 95-25 deliberately flew the jet into a mountainside as passengers screamed in terror. Authorities say the cockpit voice recorder reveals that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit after he stepped out. Lubitz then manually set the plane on a descent as the captain pounded on the armored door. Investigators don't believe Lubitz was a terrorist . They are focusing on his personal and professional life to try to figure out what might have motivated him.

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At least a dozen people are injured after a building collapsed in New York City. Brian Webb reports.

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Flames and thick black smoke engulfed two brownstone buildings after an explosion and partial collapse Thursday afternoon in downtown Manhattan. The explosion happened in a five-story building that housed a sushi restaurant on the first floor and apartments on the other floors. Patrick Nersesian was five blocks away walking his dog when the explosion tore through the building just after 3:15pm. :24-:31 SOT: Patrick Nersesian / Witness ?I just heard this incredible, like sonic explosion. You could feel it. It was reverberating.? Peter Menchini has lived in the building since August. :34-:40 Peter Menchini / Resident of Building SOT: I was up at school and I walked past the TV and I saw my building engulfed in flames. :40-:48 Brian Webb / New York City The city?s building department says a private construction crew was working on a gas line in the basement when the explosion happened. :48-:54 SOT: Bill de Blasio / Mayor of New York: ?Preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion. That investigation is ongoing.? Consolidated Edison has turned off gas service to the area. Brian Webb for CBS News, New York.

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U-S law enforcement agents embroiled in another prostitution scandal. A new report says D-E-A agents attended "sex parties" with prostitutes from 2005 until 2008 and those parties were financed by drug cartels in Columbia. The inspector general's report says although some of the agents participating denied it, the information in the case file suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds. Seven agents were briefly suspended from their jobs. Some lawmakers say they should be fired.

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One Vermont community has found a unique way to preserve its history. Julie Kelley reports.

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(TC - 01:24:18:00) ((Kallie Hunton/St. Johnsbury Academy Student Brantview was built by Lambert Packard.)) St. Johnsbury Academy student Kallie Hunton knows a lot more about this dorm than she did a few months ago. (TC - 01:24:36:00) ((Kallie Hunton/St. Johnsbury Academy Student The tower style is chateau-esque, but the detailing on it and the roof is Queen Anne style.)) Architect Lambert Packard designed this home for William and Rebecca Fairbanks. The family known for their scale company -- also built and donated many of the architecturally significant buildings in St. Jay. (TC - 01:46:16:00) ((Julie Kelley/Reporting The town history in 3d competition happens Friday at Vermont Technical College. The team from the Academy will be competing with about twenty other teams from across the state.)) (TC - 01:38:23:00) ((Denise Scavitto/Teacher So this is Brantview and it looks really good and I'm very excited!)) We were with Denise as she got a look at the 3D model they'll be using at the competition. (TC - 01:38:43:00) ((Denise Scavitto/Teacher To print this it took 14 hours, 48 minutes and 50 seconds.)) It has taken many printings to get it right ... Just ask Skyler Gilbert ... Who did the design work. (TC - 01:11:48:00) ((Skyler Gilbert/Senior So the whole time I'm perfecting things.)) This is his process in fast forward using the program Sketchup. While he worked on that ... His teammates researched the history of the house. (TC - 01:29:57:00) ((NATS - Ooh ... )) In fact, Denise says, they're still hoping to find the blueprints hidden in a secret compartment ... Something the architect was known for doing. (TC - 1:44:39:00) ((Denise Scavitto/Teacher You got it?)) They'll need two of these the day of the competition. (TC - 01:40:52:00) ((Denise Scavitto/Teacher Their plan is to have a big map of Vermont on the floor and we place our building on the map.)) Students building a history of Vermont one 3D model at a time. Julie Kelley, Channel 3 News St. Johnsbury.

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Just days after his UVM career came to an end in boston, former icecats captain mike paliotta is off to chicago.. Paliotta signed a two year contract with the Blackhawks thursday. Chicago selected Paliotta in the third round of the 2011 NHL draft. Paliotta led the Cats in scoring this season with 36 points, nine goals and 27 assists. He was the sixth highest scoring defenseman in the NCAA, was a second team all-Hockey East selection and was named the league's best defensive defenseman. Paliotta's agent says Mike is expected to join the Blackhawks as early as this weekend.

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Plattsburgh forward Kayla Meneghin was named the U-S College Hockey Online national rookie of the year. Meneghin was the top scorer on the highest scoring offense in the nation with 23 goals and 26 assists. Meneghin beat out a trio of other rookies, including Middlebury's Jessica Young. Meneghin was also named the ECAC West rookie of the year and was a second team All-American selection by the American Hockey Coaches Association.

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17-year-old Nina O'Brien, who attends Bruke Mountain Academy, won the giant Slalom at the U-S Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf Thursday. She's the second teenager to win at nationals. Wednesday, Warren's Drew Duffy won the men's super-G.

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Mt. Anthony's Troy Gassaway has a chance to make history this weekend. The senior is looking to become the first Patriot ever to win a national title. The Championships begin tomorrow in Virginia Beach. Gassaway was sixth at the tournament a year ago at 120 pounds. He won a state title 126 pounds this season, but will go down to 120 for nationals. Heavyweight Jesse Webb came the closest to winning a national title last season finishing as a runner up. 11 other Mt. Anthony wrestlers will be competing this weekend as well.

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The UVM men's basketball team was scheduled to be back in Burlington a little after Midnight Friday. The Cats season coming to an end Wednesday night in Louisiana in the CBI semifinals. While Vermont was disappointed after coming up short in the America East Tournament, the Cats didn't just give up because they didn't make the NCAA Tournament. The team took a week to get refocused and proceed to rattle of 2 straight wins in the CBI. A road victory at Hofstra and a home win against Radford giving UVM a 20-win season and plenty with which to build.

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(((Ethan O'Day/"I'm really proud of our guys. We came into this tournament with a lot of energy and we've been playing really hard every game. I think it gives us a lot of momentum with this young team going into next year. A lot of them want to get better and win that America East Championship next year.")))

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I'm sure more NCAA Tournament brackets were busted Thursday night, just adding to the many folks who had sour tastes in their mouths after the first two rounds. However, one young Vermonter's bracket entered Thursday night very sweet indeed. ((("There it is, ESPN fantasy sports right there."))) (((11.57 million brackets in ESPN's Tournament challenge,))) ((("I probably make at least 10 a year."))) (((Only 14 have the correct sweet 16.))) ((("Oh my goodness, I did it. I'm one of those people."))) (((South Burlington senior Spencer Lieberman, a kid who loves hoops.))) ((("I don't even like basketball."))) (((And Studied all the match-ups))) ((("The first game I watched was at the start of the tournament."))) (((Not so much.))) ((("That's all I'll ever do is guess. Oh I like this team. I've heard of that team before."))) (((but he has his methods to this madness.))) (((Spencer Lieberman/"Kentucky, they're unbeatable. I actually visited NC State this fall, oh I liked them so I picked them over Villanova. UCLA over SMU? I didn't even know SMU was a college. Michigan State over Virginia right there. I used to be from Michigan so I thought I'll pick them. They happen to be good too."))) (((A perfect sweet 16.))) ((("It's just so surreal. It's just insane. You just never know."))) (((Earning Spencer Lieberman.))) ((("My phone has been blowing up. My principal is tweeting at me."))) (((15 minutes of fame.))) ((("I tweeted about it and it was my most favorited tweet of all time.")))

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Hi, it's Shelby. Tonight on The Thirty -- over half of Vermont farms will change hands in the next twenty years. We'll talk about that massive transition -- tax burdens -- and why farmers need to communicate with family. Meet a Vermonter who turned her life around - and is now ready to run the Boston Marathon... And Sharon is live from Georgia Mountain Maples in Milton where the sap is flowing! So join us tonight at 5:30 for The Thirty...


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Last Update: Thu 26-MAR-2015
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