Tue 16-DEC-2014 11 P.M. News Script

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Good evening and thank you for joining us. I'm Keith McGilvery. And I'm Jennifer Costa. Tears and anger filled a Burlington courthouse today. The raw emotion came after a convicted arsonist responsible for a fire that killed four people learned he could be let out of prison in as few as six years. Shelby Cashman has our top story.

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(00:19:48) ((Bobbi-Jo Perrault "You want a comment? when he gets out in 5 years, hes dead.")) (00:19:51) That reaction--capped an emotional day in court. Bobbi-Jo Perrault lost her mother--and three young sons to a fire at their Milton apartment complex--set by Eric Williams in 1999. He initially pleaded guilty to four counts of involuntary manslaughter. (Clip 18) (00:01:08) ((Bobby Moulton/Father on Victim "You robbed me of my fatherhood, you are a cold blooded murderer. You deserve to spend the rest of your life in jail because nothing is ever going to bring my boy back.")) (00:01:17) Tuesday in court-- victims family members spoke at his new sentencing hearing. Judge Samuel Hoar cutting Williams's sentence shorter. Instead of the maximum sentence of forty to sixty years originally imposed -- Williams will serve 32 to sixty. But--the Judge noted that with time already served and with considerations by the corrections department -- its possible he could be out in six years or less. (00:00:21) ((Eric williams "I took the lives of three beautiful children and their grandmother.")) (00:00:25) Williams apologized to the victims family--and said he will spend the rest of his life trying to right his wrongs. (00:01:11) ((Eric Willaims "There is immediate and extended family of the victims who have also suffered tragically from my action. I do not have the words to express my sorrow to these people for the loss because of my selfish actions.")) (00:01:27) The state--did not buy Williams' remorse. (Clip 60) (00:00:41) (( Mary Morrisey "From the state's perspective at this point, to give him any consideration for his acceptance of responsibility would be unfair , it would be inconsistent with the record. He has not taken responsibility except when it behooved him to do so.")) (00:00:56) Diane Moulton--grandmother to one of the children-- Troy Perrault-Moulton--said Williams is a killer. But--this decision does bring some closure--after a long 15 years. (00:21:03) ((Diane Moulton "now the boys can rest in peace hopefully.")) (00:21:05) The victims--three year old Troy Perrault-Moulton--five year old Tyler Billado and eleven year old Ryan Francis--would have all been young adults today. Their family says--there is no justice.

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A Clinton County drug sweep nets nearly three dozen arrests.\ Police say it's the result of ongoing drug investigations -- by state and local authorities -- throughout the county. 34 -- suspected drug dealers were rounded up. The suspects range in age from 19 to 73. More than half live in Plattsburgh. Several of the suspects -- were arraigned over the last two days. All were charged with selling drugs -- like cocaine and illegal opiates -- some near school property.

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A former Colchester detective's indictment -- for allegedly stealing evidence -- leads to more charges being dismissed against drug suspects. Last month -- Cpl. Tyler Kinney -- was arrested after he allegedly stole a gun and drugs -- linked to these cases -- from the department's evidence room. Today -- Chittenden County State's Attorney -- T.J. Donovan -- dropped four charges -- against defendant -- Quan Hughes due to missing evidence. Hughes was charged with selling drugs near school property -- and trafficking heroin. Kinney has been released from drug rehab. This marks the 5th case prosecutors have dropped due to Kinney's arrest -- citing missing or compromised evidence.

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No jail time for two Milton teens -- who admitted to assaulting a teammate with a broom-stick -- if they can avoid future run-ins with the law. As part of a plea agreement, Colby Darling and Brian Lasell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor simple assault this afternoon -- for their role in the 2012 hazing incident. At the time of the attack -- both played for the Milton High School football team. The victim signed off on the plea agreement. Judge James Crucitti says that's the only reason he gave them a lenient sentence -- and why the pair were not charged with more serious crimes.

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(00:32:06:00) ((Judge James Crucitti - Vt. Superior Court it would have destroyed your life, you would have been on a registry, you would have been tagged the rest of your life as prettery horrible people and to me it's teh victims' decsiion on wanting this to go through, that isn't making me push to have that happen because there isn't much that would otherwise stop me.)) The pair's record will be wiped clean if they avoid re-offending for 18 months. Three other former players still face charges stemming from the incident.

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A Middlebury woman was tossed from a bus and pinned underneath it following a crash on Route 7 in East Middlebury. Police say a farm truck struck the driver's side of an Addison County Transit Resources truck just before six this morning. Investigators say Sarah Banerji was thrown from the bus when it was pushed off the side of the road.

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(TC 00:04:21:22 Title 4726) ((David Shaw/Assistant Chief, Middlebury Fire Department "We used airbags and we got a lot of snow and tunneled our way underneath the bus and extricated that young lady through the snow using airbags and other lifting devices to lift the vehicle off of her legs and get her up from underneath. Looks like she was ejected once the bus made contact with the snow bank and rolled. She was ejected and the bus landed on top of her. Remarkably she was able to be removed from underneath the bus." 00:04:46:08)) Investigators say four people were injured in the crash. All were taken to the hospital. Route 7 was closed to traffic for more than 5 hours.

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Dan is here. Getting a little messy out there tonight.

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Vermont continues to lead the way with Peace Corps volunteers. The organization says the Green Mountain state ranks first -- per capita -- for folks signing up to serve. The Peace Corps says Vermont has 7-point-8 volunteers per 100-thousand people. The statistics show New Hampshire ranks fifth. Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961 more than 15-hundred Vermonters have volunteered with the organization.

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Tonight is the first night of Chanukkah!! On the UVM green in Burlington, members of the jewish faith lit a large menorah to celebrate the holiday. Chabad of Vermont has been behind the project for more than 30 years. The gathering included traditional Chanukkah food and music. The festival of lights commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem during the second century B.C.

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(57:17 Rabbi Yitzchok Raskin/Chabad of Vermont)(("There was a very strong message, especially in those times, about religious freedom and that's really what the message of chanukah is -- from the word education.")) (46:39 Miles Schoenberg/UVM Senior)(("No matter what you're doing in life, it's always been something where you just stop and light the menorah with your family."))

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And Plattsburgh makes history with its first public Menorah lighting tonight. City officials gave the OK to allow any type of religious or holiday display in Trinity Park now through January 7th. This comes after a rabbi in Plattsburgh asked to light a 9 foot menorah on city property to celebrate the holiday. City officials say those interested in setting up their own display can contact City Hall.

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Is the path to parenthood becoming a little less expensive? ((Shawna Brulé, Exploring IVF 45:27 I have spent a long time in my life, hoping to start a family and up until now it hasn't really been an option.)) So why is a new Colchester clinic -- helping those hopeful parents -- running into legal hurdles. And -- a second surgery for Sophie Fellows -- the latest on the Vermont girl's battle with a brain tumor. Plus Santa is ditching his sleigh for a helicopter. We'll tell you why when the Channel 3 News continues.

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People struggling to start a family -- often turn to In Vitro Fertilization. Tonight a battle's brewing between two providers in our region competing in the business of making babies.

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Shawna Brulé and her partner Giles are eager to be parents. ((Shawna Brulé, Exploring IVF 45:27 I have spent a long time in my life, hoping to start a family and up until now it hasn't really been an option.)) The couple was unable to get pregnant on their own and says In Vitro fertilization treatments at UVM Medical Center were too expensive. ((Shawna Brulé, 47:38 "When you hear 10k and maybe you don't have a home yet and you're thinking I need that 10k toward a down payment for my home it makes it hard to justify to put that much into starting a family before you reach that step.)) About a dozen doctors, embryologists and medical professionals at the hospital agreed it was too expensive -- they left UVM Medical Center and opened their own practice to help folks with reproductive services -- Northeastern Reproductive Medicine started seeing patients in October. ((Dr. Christine Murray, Northeastern Reproductive Medicine 07:49 "At this clinic now there isn't a procedure available that we can't do here in this setting.)) Dr. Christine Murray helped get the clinic off the ground. She says it has access to better technology -- and that she is offering services that she couldn't at UVM -- including genetic testing -- in an environment that removes stigmas often associated with hospitals. ((Dr. Christine Murray, Northeastern Reproductive Medicine 06:36 "People who have infertility issues don't see themselves as sick or as patients, they don't want their care in the hospital.)) And the team says it's offering reproductive services for roughly 30-percent less than large hospitals where they say hospital* fees inflate costs. ((Dr. Jennifer Brown, 35:41 "What we want to avoid is extraneous costs and just streamline our patients and look at the research, understand what diagnostic tests they need, what therapies are most likely to be most successful and incorporate that into their plan and care.)) But the new business isn't sitting well with everyone -- UVM Medical Center is taking the startup to court -- and in a statement to Channel 3 says "The lawsuit concerns access by NRM personnel to the electronic medical records of persons who are not patients of NRM. We will continue our investigation into this matter and take appropriate action at the conclusion of that investigation." Murray says the lawsuit also alleges a breach of contract for her and her business partner -- who decided to leave UVM after more than a decade. She says they did not have a non-compete clause -- and that they were not inappropriately trying to recruit old patients. She says the accusations are not truthful and that her team is vigorously defending itself. In the meantime -- Brulé says she is thankful for the new option at lower cost. ((Shawna Brulé, 47:22 "Having them open up and here has opened up a very big door for us.)) Hoping sometime soon her family of two -- will have a baby on the way. ((Shawna Brulé, 48:47 "the best possible outcome for us would be to hopefully to get this family started to get pregnant to have a little person to care and love for.)) Brulé hopes to tap into a health savings account and take advantage of a financing plan to cover the 65-hundred dollars it could cost her to get pregnant.

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The departure of these doctors has caused issues for UVM. The hospital tells us it is looking to add additional staff and that it's been referring some patient to Dartmouth-Hitchcock for some reproductive services.

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We've have an update about a Colchester child -- battling a brain tumor -- in Boston. Last week we introduced you to Sophie Fellows. The 9-year-old underwent surgery last Friday. Today we learned the young violinist actually needed a second operation last night to remove the rest of a tumor at the base of her brain. Her family says she's doing well. Sophie has been an inspiration to those around her. Her fellow violin players traveled to Boston Children's Hospital last week -- so Sophie could finish the holiday concert -- she was unable to complete just days before. Sophie got sick on stage -- leading to the discovery of her tumor.

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Santa -- took a break from the North Pole today -- and stopped by the UVM Medical Center -- but he left his sleigh and reindeer behind. Instead -- Santa got a lift in a Customs and Border Protection helicopter. He came to visit sick kids at the Vermont Children's Hospital. And of course he brought along a few presents. This is the 8th year that Santa's gotten a hand with the visit -- from Customs and Border Protection.

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(( well we get to get presents from him and everything. And he's sort of kinda funny and cool. I thought he was gonna land in the snow.)) The team from Customs and Border Protection says it is in constant communication with Santa to make sure he gets across the border smoothly.

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Tonight: Cloudy skies. Rain showers developing, mixing with some snow and sleet. Low 30/37. Wind SE 5-10 mph. Wednesday: Cloudy skies. Rain showers likely, mixing with snow late. High 35/42. Wind light. Wednesday Night: Cloudy skies. Chance of rain or snow showers. Low 25/32. Wind NW 5-10 mph. Thursday: Cloudy skies. Chance of rain or snow showers. High 33/40. Wind NW 5-10 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. High 25/32. Low 13/20. Saturday: Partly sunny. High 25/32. Low 13/20. Sunday: Partly sunny. Chance of snow showers. High 25/35. Low 12/22. Monday: Partly sunny. High 25/35. Low 12/22. Tuesday: Partly sunny. High 25/35.

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Slaving away in a kitchen -- can be hard work. But one woman -- doesn't mind a bit -- she uses her odd job to carefully craft -- edible art.

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Emily McCracken is obsessed with chocolate. Tasting it -- teaching it -- and most importantly touching it. She's Vermont's chocolate sculptress. ((EM 00:18:45 "You got to make sure the pitchers are nice and dry. If there's even a drop of water in there, it's going to seize up my chocolate.")) McCracken spends her days -- buzzing around the factory at Lake Champlain Chocolates in Burlington -- joking about the sweet hazards of her job. ((EM 00:18:55 "we're going to dodge some hot caramel (laughs).")) The sculptor is like a ping-pong ball -- ricocheting between cold storage and massive chocolate vats -- collecting and cutting pieces -- in a quest to finish her next creation on time. ((EM 00:21:17 "I'm always on a time crunch with my sculptures.")) McCracken's loved three dimensional art for as long as she can remember. But after graduating art school -- a degree in 3D illustration and ceramics wasn't paying the bills. So...she traded clay for cocoa -- and took a job managing the chocolate company's retail store. That is ...until her bosses discovered her background. ((Emily McCracken/chocolate sculptress 00:01:15 "They figured I could translate clay into chocolate. So the company sent me to different chocolate making courses." 00:01:29 "ever since then it's just been my job to make art out of chocolate.")) You name it ... McCracken can sculpt it. ((PHOTOS)) She's a regular exhibitor at the South End Art Hop -- wowing fans with her famous chocobots -- steampunk creations -- and Roy Lichtenstein chocolate tributes. ((Emily McCracken/chocolate sculptress 00:04:38 "it just brings so much joy to people. I mean. Not only is it art but you can eat it.")) Her decadent designs have attracted a lot of attention. She's been commissioned to sculpt pieces for singer Grace Potter -- ice cream tycoons Ben and Jerry -- and talkshow host Dr. Oz. Mastercard even tapped her -- for its Priceless Picks campaign -- after coming across her chocolate sculptures online. ((Emily McCracken/chocolate sculptress 00:10:43 "It reminds me how cool my job is because I forget how awesome it is to work with chocolate. I do it everyday. it becomes your job.")) A job that becomes particularly hectic during the holidays. ((PHOTOS)) As requests for easter bunnies -- halloween bats -- Thanksgiving turkeys -- snowmen -- and Christmas trees -- soar. The sweet stuff is extremely temperamental -- and a successful sculpture is all about nailing the timing. The window between sculpting -- or shattering her piece -- is mere minutes. ((Emily McCracken/chocolate sculptress 00:24:05 "while this is cooling in here, I'll go in there and work on another part and then I have to remember that I have this coming in. So usually they see me running frantic going, oh my god I forgot there's a piece in the cold room.")) ((NATS popping out chocolate pieces)) Her sculptures can take days -- but the intricate work -- does have its perks. ((EM 00:34:36 "should we test our work?" JC: we should.")) ((JC 00:04:53 "do you ever get tired of chocolate?" EM: Oh man. I wish I did. I still love chocolate. I've worked for the company for 12 years and I still probably eat chocolate everyday.")) She says the finished products make all the stress worthwhile. ((EM WALKING WITH SCULPTURE 00:51:38 "behind you with chocolate sculpture.")) Most of McCracken's edible pieces last nearly two years without preservatives. This tree -- will live in the retail store on Pine Street -- throughout the holiday season. Then it'll head to the compost bin. ((Emily McCracken/chocolate sculptress 00:09:31 "that's the most painful day for me. I still after all these years have a really hard time with it, even though it's normal. It's part of the job. It's what happens, but it's just so sad after you put all that work in it.")) ((NATS of customers)) For now -- there are no shortage of admirers -- for this odd job -- and her delicious designs. ((Emily McCracken/chocolate sculptress 00:05:19 "I just feel very fortunate that my job is to make art out of chocolate. I mean I just couldn't ask for anything better."))

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The price of McCracken's pieces are based on an hourly rate plus the cost of chocolate. She says most commissioned sculptures end up getting eaten. But window displays tend to get tossed.

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The Bruins trying to snap a three game losing streak tonight at Nashville. The UVM IceCats represented on both sides of this matchup...defenseman Kevan Miller for Boston...forward Viktor Stalberg for the Predators. Stalberg has been out since late October due to injuries, but he did take part in today's morning skate with the team and could make his return soon. After a scoreless first period, Boston gets on the board four minutes into the second period as Milan Lucic beats Pekka Rinne...his sixth of the year...1-0 Boston ... --- later in the period ...Miller looking for more but he's denied by Rinne...Nashville gets a power play goal late in the second...the teams exchange early goals in the third and this one goes to overtime and then a shootout tied at two...

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where Nashville's Derek Roy scores the only goal in the shootout...as Rinne outduels fellow Finn Tuukka Rask and the Predators win 3-2... --- while at the Bell Center...Montreal's Alex Galchenyuk scores his first career hat trick as the Habs top Carolina 4-1 for their third straight win.

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The UVM men's hockey team is officially on it's holiday break. The players were sent home following Saturday's win over St. Lawrence and won't return until the day after Christmas as they prepare to host the Catamount Cup on Sunday and Monday, December 28th and 29th. The Cats have certainly earned a little time off after putting together one of the best first halves of a season in program history. The home and home sweep of the Saints this past week gave the Cats a six game win streak and an overall record of 13-3-1, the best mark 17 games into a season in a quarter century. The results show the Catamounts are having an outstanding season, but the numbers really back it up. Vermont has the third best offense and top ranked defense in Hockey East, and their special teams have been just that...with the second best power play and top penalty kill percentage in the conference. All this has been accomplished with just three players ranking in the top 25 in points scored in all of Hockey East. It's a balanced attack with a brick wall defense backing it up...a winning combination for coach Kevin Sneddon and his Cats.

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((TRT: 37 ... OC: MENTALLY TOUGH)) ((Sneddon/ I think we felt early on that we had some really good pieces to the puzzle. Our job as a staff was to continue to teach, but also understand that we had a really good group in that locker room. And now when you get into those situations when you are down a goal late, or up a goal, they just have confidence. That stems from all the work they've done off the ice, in practice, in the weight room, to be a tight family. I would say that they don't get rattled. We never really get rattled at all and I think that's a sign of a team that's very mentally tough.))

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The UVM women's hockey team has reached it's holiday break as well. The Cats return to action when they host a two game series with Colgate the first weekend in January at Gutterson. As great as season as it has been so far for the Vermont men, the frustrations have been just as great for the women. A season of high hopes and expectations has not followed the hoped for script. Sunday night's 6-2 loss to Dartmouth was Vermont's sixth in a row. Overall, the Cats are 8-10-1, but just 1-7 in Hockey East play. Vermont is in the middle of the pack in the conference when it comes to scoring offense, scoring defense and special teams, so they numbers say they should be turning more of their results into wins, but that just hasn't been the case, especially of late. With that in mind, maybe a little time away could be just what the doctor ordered for the Cats.

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((TRT: 26 ... OC: IN OUR OWN WAY)) ((Plumer/ We get a couple of weeks away from the frustrations and hopefully we can come back with a fresh set of legs and fresh minds. There's a lot of Hockey East games left. We certainly know how we can play, and we got on a run at the end of last season that put us in good position. So I think we have the opportunity to do that. We've proven that we can play at a high level, but we've got to stop getting in our own way.))


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Last Update: Tue 16-DEC-2014
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