Wed 25-MAR-2015 11 P.M. News Script

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Good evening and thank you for joining us at 11 I'm Shelby Cashman. We being tonight with a developing story in Burlington -- A Queen City police officer has been charged with domestic assault. State Police say 45 year old Nathan Harvey was taken into custody--after allegations of an assault that occurred back in the Fall of 20-14 surfaced today. Detectives say Harvey allegedly assaulted a family member on two separate occasions at their Swanton home. Harvey was placed on administrative leave--and the Burlington Police Department says it will be conducting an internal investigation. He is due in court tomorrow.

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A Woodstock police officer is facing new charges. Mark McComas of Quechee was charged with aggravated domestic assault and domestic assault in February. Now police say he violated his conditions of release by contacting the victim--and the children of the victim last week. McComas is scheduled to be back in court tomorrow.

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Two convicted burglars were sentenced today. 20 year old Scott Taylor of Milton and 24 year old Kyle Tetreault of Vergennes pleaded guilty to possessing stolen firearms. Police say the pair went on a two month burglary spree in three counties last year--and stole the guns. They then traded some of the stolen firearms to an out-of-state drug dealer in exchange for heroin. They were each sentenced to more than three years in prison.

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Burlington police are trying to find a bank robber. The People's United branch on North Avenue was held up around 3 this afternoon. Police say the thief handed over a note -- and fled with cash. A bank employee saw the robber drive away alone -- going south -- on North Ave.

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((00:47:16:22 We had a report that a male came in by himself, handed over a note demanding money, no display of any weapons, cashiers went through there normal protocol, that individual fled, we believe he went a couple homes down, two or three streets and enter a green older model Toyota -- vehicle -- and left southbound)) The robber is described as 6 feet tall -- with an average build. He was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, baseball cap and dark sunglasses. If you know anything about the robbery, contact Burlington Police.

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Another robbery in Burlington this afternoon--this time involving a baby carriage. Police say just after two this afternoon--these two woman swiped items from Whim Boutique on the Church Street Marketplace--while the employee was distracted. You can see in this surveillance video--they use the carriage to conceal the clothes and get away. The store owner tells us the pair made off with around 800 dollars worth of merchandise. If you recognize them call Burlington Police.

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Another fraternity in the spotlight for hazing allegations. The Alpha Delta fraternity at Dartmouth College has a history of disciplinary violations, including hazing, underage drinking and hosting unregistered events. The frat inspired the 1978 movie "Animal House." The Frat is now accused of "branding" students last fall, while the fraternity was under suspension for policy violations in the winter and spring of 2014. Dartmouth is considering extending the current suspension -- or possible harsher punishment, including permanent removal of the fraternity, if the allegations are founded.

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We saw some rain and snow with a warm front earlier tonight. Now we'll have a bit of a lull into tomorrow morning, but it will remain mild. Then more wet weather returns tomorrow afternoon. This will be followed by a cooldown going into the weekend. I'll have the extended forecast in a bit.

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The surprises keep coming for a Waterbury woman that was reunited earlier this month with her mother after 43 years apart. Alex Apple checked in with the family on the two week anniversary of their reunion. He joins us now. Shelby -- Phinne Vannavong was born in Vietnam -- the daughter of a Vietnamese woman and an American serviceman. When her mother tried to board a military plane with her three-month old daughter to come to America, she was told Phinne was too small. It took decades for them to find one another again -- but since that emotional reunion, the family has learned more reunions could be in their future.

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This is a hand Phinne Vannavong waited 43 years to hold... An embrace she waited 43 years to feel. (10:28 Phinne Vannavong)(("Every morning I wake up and I see my mom there.")) After decades of searching for one another -- Phinne Vannavong and her mother were reunited ... ((3-12-15 NAT 01:08:20 I hope my mom recognizes me.)) ...43 years after they were separated in Vietnam. ((NAT 01:23:26 Door opens, hugging, crying 01:23:40)) That day -- Phinne's mom moved from North Carolina to live with her long-lost daughter in Waterbury. ((08:03 Ly Thi Sinh Judd/Phinne's Mom "I just sit down and cried, I didn't know what to say. I can't believe I found my daughter.")) ((Phinne Vannavong 01:05 I just hoped for my mom to be strong and healthy, happy with me forever, that's the only thing I wished.)) Ly Thi Sinh Judd had experienced failing health -- she suffered two strokes, walked with a cain, and took 9 pills per day -- but seeing the daughter she left as a 3-month-old child -- has given her a shot of youth. (08:29 Ly Thi Sinh Judd/Phinne's mom)(("I think she's still in Vietnam. I didn't know what happened to her.")) Rejuvenated by seeing her daughter -- Phinne's mom has ditched the cain. ((NAT 09:05 I don't have to walk no stick no more.)) ..And all the pills. ((26:52 NAT My mom say that's really good.)) Since the reunion ....more surprises. Phinne met her two younger sisters for the first time. ((03:49 Ly Thi Mau/Phinne's sister: "I had a part missing because I didn't know my mother's side of the family.)) ...And the man Phinne called uncle as a child in Vietnam -- she learned -- was actually her brother. ((02:33 Phinne Vannavong "That surprised me, it break my heart, you know, but he already passed away.")) But Phinne says for the first time in more than four decades -- her heart is whole -- even the simple task of making her mom dinner... ((26:46 NAT Vietnamese noodle they call fu)) ...is a joy -- a blessing she wouldn't trade for the world. ... ((05:15 Ly Thi Mau/Phinne's sister: "My mom said my wish for 2015 is to find my daughter. She's like I don't want to die without finding my daughter.")) Now -- ever since their reunion... ((01:25:29 March 12 PACKAGE Phinne Vannavong: You see my mom, she hold this picture with her)) ...the smiles haven't stopped. ((NAT in home)) You can bet even the brother -- that Phinne knew as uncle -- somewhere...is smiling.

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Both Phinne and her mother had changed their names after moving to America and remarrying. Combined -- the two had searched for one another for over 25 years. They're now planning a trip to Vietnam to visit relatives there that neither have seen in decades.

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Vermont Senators are ready to pass a gun bill. They gave preliminary approval today to a measure that mirrors the law in the other 49 states. The measure extends a portion of the federal ban on felons possessing firearms, and reports those found mentally unstable by a court to a national background check database. In its original form the bill proved quite controversial, but today the measure passed a preliminary vote in the Senate -- 20 to 8. That's because senators stripped out a provision calling for mandatory background checks for all firearm sales.

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((40:30 - :44 - Sen. John Rodgers D-Essex-Orleans Counties: "I think others who move to Vermont because they like the culture are welcome, and others who have stated that they want to change our culture here, may want to seek another place that has a culture they like.")) ((28:52 - 07 - Sen. Dick McCormack - D-Windsor: " we're not just talking about depriving someone of a delineated constitutional right, we're talking about someone who has been denied that right through due process, resulting in a finding by the court.")) The measure is expected to pass again on the Senate's final read tomorrow.

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The U.S. Army sergeant who had been held as a Taliban prisoner of war is facing serious charges here at home. Bowe Bergdahl was returned to the U.S. Last year in a controversial prisoner swap. He's been on desk duty since then and today he was charged with desertion. Craig Boswell reports.

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ARMY SERGEANT BOWE BERGDAHL SPENT FIVE YEARS AS A TALIBAN PRISONER OF WAR BUT NOW, HE FACES A POSSIBLE COURT MARTIAL AND A LIFETIME BEHIND BARS IN A U.S. MILITARY PRISON. BERGDAHL IS FACING TWO CHARGES - THE FIRST, DESERTION. HE'S ACCUSED OF QUITTING HIS DUTY STATION AT A PATROL BASE IN AFGHANISTAN IN 2009, WITH THE INTENT OF SHIRKING HAZARDOUS DUTY. THE SECOND, AND MORE SERIOUS CHARGE IS MISBEHAVIOR BEFORE THE ENEMY. HE'S ACCUSED OF WALKING OFF THE BASE AFTER HIS GUARD SHIFT, ENGANDERING HIS UNIT. (SOT) "carries a maximum potential penalty of a dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank of E-1, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and possible confinement for life." THE TALIBAN RELEASED THE 28 YEAR OLD LAST MAY, IN EXCHANGE FOR FIVE SENIOR TALIBAN OPERATIVES HELD AT GUANTANAMO. LAST YEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA EXPLAINED WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT TO BRING BERGDAHL, THE ONLY MISSING SOLDIER FROM THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN HOME (SOT) "because the united states of america does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind." BEGDAHL?S CASE WILL NEXT GO BEFORE THE EQUIVALENT OF A GRAND JURY WHICH WILL DECIDE WHETHER HE WILL FACE COURT MARTIAL. OFFICIALS SAY BERGDAHL COOPERATED WITH THE ARMY'S INVESTIGATION. CRAIG BOSWELL, CBS NEWS, WASHINGTON.

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Who's footing the bill for flatscreen tvs for Vermont inmates? ((Ed Adams/Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility Superintendent 00:06:09 "Coming to jail is punishment. We're not here to create in environment where we daily punish someone for their crime.")) Plus a big announcement for a popular Waterbury Brewery. Also taking the stress out of finding a dress ( 01:49:33 9406) ((Tania Latimor/Coordinator "At one point I had a mom and her daughter come in, and they lived on a farm, and the young lady had never had a dress on in her life." 01:49:40)) A Plattsburgh woman making sure teens are primed for prom. And fines for Vermont Gas -- We'll tell you why when we return.

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One Vermont prison -- is getting new flat screen Tv-s. But who's paying for them? Jennifer Costa takes a look.

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One-hundred-48 inmates are serving time at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility. The South Burlington prison houses mostly women convicted of crimes -- minor to murder. ((Ed Adams/Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility Superintendent 00:06:09 "Coming to jail is punishment. We're not here to create in environment where we daily punish someone for their crime.")) Superintendent -- Ed Adams -- says he's proud of the high quality of care -- Vermont Corrections provides -- to its inmate population -- including opportunities for rehabilitation and recreation. ((TV NATS 00:00:53 "I offered you a chance to be a cop and you blew it.")) Chittenden's latest project...adding televisions to individual cells. Channel 3 has learned -- the prison recently purchased 25 -- flat screen TVs. ((Andy Pallito/Vt. Corrections Cmsr. 00:39:01 "It's a good plan to kind of keep peace within the corrections system.")) The 24-inch Samsungs -- cost about 42-hundred dollars. Adams says the televisions along with the 327 dollar monthly cable bills -- are being paid through an inmate recreation fund. Not taxpayer dollars. Inmates pay into the fund every time they use their own money to buy snacks or specialty items through the prison -- or make a phone call. Corrections says -- statewide -- the fund generates 600 to 700-hundred thousand dollars a year. ((Edward Adams/Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility Superintendent 00:00:42 "Northern State, Northwest, Southern State, Windsor all have televisions inside inmates cells.")) ((Andy Pallito/Vt. Corrections Cmsr. 00: JC 00:38:36 "Watching TV a great way to have people doing idle time and being preoccupied and not getting into fights.")) ((TV NATS 00:00:22 "they tried to kill him like.")) At the Chittenden prison -- inmates now have access to 22 basic channels -- from 8am to 11pm. No shows are blocked. But R- rated movies are off limits. Adams says -- televisions -- like board games and gym time -- are core offerings -- and are not typically taken away as a disciplinary tool. ((Ed Adams/Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility Superintendent 00:04:39 "Removing a television from a cell to do some type of sanction process would be difficult to do.")) ((JC Television rules -- like channel offerings and watching time -- differ by facility. But the Department of Corrections says it does not install televisions in any of its segregation units. Jennifer Costa -- channel 3 news -- burlington))

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Vermont Gas has to pay up -- for not telling state regulators about spiraling cost increases for its Addison County pipeline project. Company officials were back before the Public Service Board today trying to explain a five month-delay in notifying the board about rising costs.. Since the project was first approved two years ago, the price has jumped by nearly 78 percent -- to 154 million dollars. Vermont Gas says it did NOT say anything because of uncertainties about permitting and construction costs.

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((00:35:22 Eileen Simollardes/ Vt. Gas "It was not done in any means to mislead or be cute or slick. It was the opinion at the time that that was the right course of action and as I sit here now I honestly cant think of anything in the years Iv'e been doing regulatory that I feel like I misjudged a situation like I did this one.)) ((01:18:16 Sandra Levine/Conservation Law Foundation "Overall these very significant cost increases show what a bad bet investing in fossil fuels is. There are cleaner alternatives available that cost less than a new pipeline)) The potential penalty for failing to report the cost increases to the Public Service Board could run as high as $100-thousand dollars. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.

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Good News for Vermont beer lovers. The Alchemist brewery says it has received its final ACT 250 permit approval -- which could pave the way for a new facility in Stowe. The craft brewery already has a facility in Waterbury where it makes Heady Topper. Demand for the beer was so high, the company closed its retail shop in 2013, because of too much traffic. The beer makers hopes to break ground on the new building -- in the spring.

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A warm front moved through earlier this evening with some rain and snow. Skies will remain mostly cloudy overnight, with lows only falling into the 30s. We could see a few rays of sun early on Thursday. Then we'll cloud right up and a second round of rain will move in by Thursday afternoon, along a cold front. The rain could be a little heavier so we'll be keeping our eyes open for any minor flooding or ice jams that may occur. As colder air works in late Thursday and Thursday night, the rain will mix with some snow, but become more scattered. A trailing trough will move through the region on Friday with a few more rain and snow showers. Highs will be mainly in the 30s. The weekend is looking pretty good, but chilly. Saturday will feature partly sunny skies with highs of 25/35. Sunday looks to be a mostly sunny day, with a few more clouds late. Highs work back to 35/45. A clipper system will move through on Monday with some rain and snow showers. This will be followed by another shot of cold, blustery weather on Tuesday.

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Prom season can be a stressful time for teen girls. But in Plattsburgh, an event is making sure they can get the perfect dress -- for free. Rose Spillman reports.

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Jennifer Deshane, a former student at Beekmantown high school, went to her first prom in 2012. She says the dress shopping experience was stressful at first. (01:45:34 9405) ((Jennifer Deshane/Prom Dress Recipient "All my friends were out getting 4 or 500 dollar prom dresses.." 01:45:38)) When she found out about a prom dress giveaway in Plattsburgh, she jumped at the opportunity to get a free dress. She says not spending big money on the dress allowed her to spend on other prom luxuries, such as a limo ride. (01:46:35 9405) ((Jennifer Deshane/Prom Dress Recipient "I got a lot of compliments on the dress, I know that, and it felt good to be able to keep in my mind that yea I got to not spend 500 dollars like everybody else was doing." 01:46:45)) Tania Latimore founded the event in Plattsburgh. She says she's seen many girls come in and leave with a dress they'd never otherwise get the chance to have. (01:49:33 9406) ((Tania Latimor/Coordinator "At one point I had a mom and her daughter come in, and they lived on a farm, and the young lady had never had a dress on in her life." 01:49:40)) All prom dresses are donated and given away during to any girls who attend. This year, Latimore says she's received nearly 300 dresses of all sizes, shapes, and styles. And a local hair stylist will be giving away gift cards for discounted hair appointments. (01:55:56 9407) ((Ann Marie Monosdori/Salon Artist "The way you look effects the way you feel, the way you present yourself, your level of self confidence...it feels wonderful when someone walks in feeling down and walks out feeling like a hundred bucks." 01:56:06)) Tania Latimore says the event is about boosting a girl's confidence. Young women who can't afford the expensive and lavish dresses at the stores are still able to take part in one of high school's most celebrated moments. (01:50:20 9406) ((Tania Latimore/Coordinator "As a teenager, it's really tough especially in today's world, and being able to go to prom and experience what everybody else is able to experience means a lot." 01:50:32)) (01:45:18) ((Jennifer Deshane/Dress Recipient "it worked perfect for prom. All the pictures came out amazing." 01:45:22)) For Deshane, a long yellow gown was the perfect fit. Rose Spillman, Channel 3 News, Plattsburgh.

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It's already been a historic postseason run for the UVM men's basketball team. That cats could take one step closer to a CBI Championship tonight with a win at Lousiana-Monroe. The Cats with just one day in between their quarterfinal game at Patrick Gym and tonight's semfinal match-up. --- All Warhawks at the start of this one, opening the game on a 20-6 run. Nick Coppola with the drive for two of his 7 points. --- But the Cats buckle down on defense and start making some shots, Brendan Hatton and Trae Bell Haynes knock down threes. -- Then Cam Ward takes it in for 2. UVM down by 4. --- Hector Harold has been under the weather the last few days, hitting back to back hoops to tie the game at 32. --- Dre Wills gives the Cats the lead with 2 and the foul. 11 for Wills. Vermont takes a 35-33 lead into the break. --- UVM stretches the lead to 7 to start the half, Kurt Steidel with 3 of his 11 points. --- But missed shots and turnovers by the Cats allows ULM to go on a 17-2 run. Justin Roberson with the steal. He takes it in for 2, cutting Vermont's lead to 2. --- Ethan O'Day trying to put a hault on things. 2 and the foul part of his team high 16 points. --- But the wheels were already off the wagon, Roberson with another steal. Capola then hits Tylor Ongwae for 2 and the foul. He had 22 points. --- Majok Deng also had 22 for the Warhawks including this and onw with about 3:40 to go. ULM beats UVM, 71-65. The Cats season comes to an end at 20-14.

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If you missed our special, from the Parking Lot, 10 years later, no problem. There is now an entire page on our website dedicated to the program that takes a look back at UVM's upset of Syracuse in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Go to WCAX-dot-com you'll see the From the parking lot banner on the right side of the homepage. Not only will you be able to watch the special, but I will be posting outtakes from the interviews I conducted with those involved.

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The end of the UVM men's hockey season also means seniors have to say goodbye that includes the Catamount Captain who leaves big skates to fill. (((Mike Paliotta took over the role of captain this season, but the UVM defenseman says he didn't lead the team alone.))) (((Mike Paliotta/"I was the only one to where a letter this season, but a lot of guys stepped up and helped me out being voices in the lockeroom."))) (((In 4 years, Paliotta saw an upward trend which he knows will continue into the future.))) ((("They should be confident. We've proved this year that we can be one of the best teams in the country at points and now it's just kind of stringing that all together."))) (((Alexx Privitera/"It's got to be a group effort. Everyone's got to play better. Everyone's got to have a bigger role. Everyone is moving up a class. I'm going to be a senior. Everybody gets older and it's exciting."))) (((Paliotta's next chapter will be exciting as well. His agent is currently negotiating with the team that drafted him, the chicago blackhawks. While that's up in the air, the legacy Mike Paliotta leaves behind, won't change.))) ((("Obviously there's a lot of little games out there that stick out. Playing at fenway as a freshman. Making it to NCAA's last year, playing in the Garden this year, but overall just continuing to help grow the program and keep it on the national scene is what I'll really take away from my four years."))) (((Cheering...1:14)))

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men's lacrosse this afternoon...Norwich hosting Curry...the Cadets come into this one riding a four game win streak... --- trailing 3-1 in the second, the Norwich offense gets to work. Michael Cashman makes It a 1 goal game. --- 30 seconds later, Jimmy Warden breaks in and ties the game at 3. Warden with 2 goals and 2 assists on the day. --- Later, Ian Kennedy from behind the net gives Norwich a 4-3 lead at the break. --- Curry goals were tough to come by in the second half thanks to Norwich goalie Ryan Fecteau, 1 of his 11 saves coming in the third quarter. --- Warden then leaves it for Josh Jenkins who fires this one to the back of the net. the Cadets go on to an 8-4 win improving to 5-1 on the season.

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And finally, congratulations to 19-year-old Drew Duffy of Warren. He pulled off an upset win in the men's super G at the U-S Alpine Championships today at Sugarloaf in Maine. Duffy beat out World Cup, World Championship and Olympic skiers to earn his first ever US Alpine championship.


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Last Update: Wed 25-MAR-2015
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