Wed 26-APR-2017 6 P.M. News Script

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Division over the high school nickname --- is still simmering in South Burlington. Good evening everyone, I'm Darren Perron. And I'm Jennifer Costa. That is evident at two separate events -- billed as opportunities to promote healing in the community. The events follow lockdowns, early dismissals... and a kill list that paralyzed city schools -- and rattled the community last week. That's on top of the bitter battle over the Rebel nickname -- and two school budget defeats. Tonight, groups on either side of those issues -- holding separate events.

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We have reporters at both events. We start with Alexandra Montgomery at the South Burlington Police station -- where residents are thanking officers for their work on the school threat investigation. Alexandra? (ADLIB WHAT'S GOING ON... PAN OVER TO CROWD) Stacey Savage says police officers don't always get the thanks they deserve, so she wanted to show they them are appreciated. Tonight, appreciation means food - and lots of it! They'll be eating chicken and prime rib and some dessert. Savage says she hopes tonight can help the community move forward, after the Rebel name debate.

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"(51:58ish) Trying to find the positives, so whether we're rebels - and i hope that we are- but if not, we still need to heal the community.: Savage did tell me she had members of the quote on quote 'other side' of the rebel name reach out to her in support of tonight's event. She says all are welcome to come and thank police officers. Back to you. Alexandra -- does Savage know that this other event is going on about the same time? Do they have plans to attend? Savage says she is aware of the other event, but that the Rebel Alliance is not involved in that vigil. She says they wanted to do something for police officers and says she feels Black Live Matter rallys are more anti-police. Jen, Darren?

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Thanks, Alexandra. Priscilla Liguori is at that other rally. What are people saying there, Priscilla? The candlelight vigil here at South Burlington City Hall is just beginning. As you can see, these people behind me are holding signs of unity. Now it's a relatively small gathering. Organizers say the goal is to stand against hate that has flooded the community since the rebel name change. They say they want to show support to the district for changing the school's nickname. This event is run by Black Lives Matter Vermont, the NAACP, and community member Vicki Garrison.The Champlain Area NAACP President says there's been hostility in this community for years, and that today is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with people of color.

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((Mary Brown-Guillory, Champlain Area NAACP 7:44:46 "Years ago we asked the South Burlington school district to consider the name change but we know that change has to originate from within. We are asking individuals to look within themselves. Is this about you or is this about the future of Vermont? 7:45:03)) (Pan scene) Organizers didn't link the vigil to recent threats. They told us they wanted to use the gathering as a chance for the community to heal. Organizers also say they don't know when the divide in the community will go away, but do say it's connected to larger issues with race the entire country is facing. Darren and Kristin?

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Thank you Priscilla. Alexandra and Priscilla will continue gathering reaction from both rallies... we'll update you -- with what we hear -- tonight at 11.

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Incredibly disturbing -- sex assault allegations -- coming from inside an Upper Valley assisted living facility. Police say an employee there sexually abused an elderly woman -- with dementia. Tyler Dumont was in court -- where the caregiver is now facing serious charges. Tyler? He was arraigned today on two felonies -- including sexual assault and sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult. It comes after police say he targeted a helpless victim -- and admitted to having sex with her.

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Resident assistant Michael Paton walked into a courtroom in handcuffs. The 22-year old is accused of sexually assaulting an 83-year-old woman who suffers from dementia. ((TILE 9530 24:21:23--24:31:01 DAVID CAHILL/STATE'S ATTORNEY: "This is everyone's worst nightmare when they send a loved relative to an assisted living facility because they just can't live on their own anymore.")) The elderly victim lives in the memory care unit inside Valley Terrace -- an assisted living facility in Hartford. Another worker told police while looking for Paton, she caught him inside the woman's room - the victim's pants were down, and Paton zipping his pants up. ((TILE 9528 19:28:02--19:34:26 Judge Theresa DiMauro: "Seems the state would have little difficulty proving either of these charges.")) ((GFX)) In a statement to police, Paton says he helped the victim use the bathroom and then return to her bed -- where he sexually assaulted her. Writing quote: "I asked her to push her pant down and asked her to lay on the bed and then I had sex with (her). Heard someone knock and pulled my pants up and realized what I just did." When police asked Paton why he did it, he said his "mind went blank" -- and didn't realize what he had just done until he was caught. But police say Paton knew the victim had a medical history of dementia -- and couldn't consent on her own. The facility declined an on-camera interview. Court documents say they washed and cleaned the victim -- BEFORE she saw a sexual assault nurse examiner. But -- in a statement to WCAX -- the facility says: ((GFX)) "Upon receiving allegations of inappropriate conduct, we immediately contacted the law enforcement and State authorities" ... "At this time, we want to reassure the community that we are doing everything in our power to address this situation and to guarantee the health, safety, and welfare of every resident under our care." ((TILE 9530 24:31:04--24:40:12 DAVID CAHILL/STATE'S ATTORNEY: "We trust caregivers to ensure that our loved ones will be treated with respect and dignity, and if the allegations are true that did not happen in this case."))

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The judge said Paton was a danger to the community -- and held him without bail. A defense attorney says he's receiving mental health counseling -- and has been fired from his assisted living job. Paton entered a plea of not guilty. He faces three years -- to life -- behind bars.

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A manhunt in New York tonight -- after a store owner is shot during a robbery. Police say the 63-year-old man was shot multiple times with a handgun yesterday afternoon -- when robbers targeted his store in Hague... which is a town on Lake George. Thankfully -- the man's wounds are not life threatening. Now -- police are looking for two suspects. They say one is a white man -- about 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds. The other -- a white woman -- about 5-foot-4 and 200 pounds. Police are not sure where they went.

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Several cars stolen -- and then dumped -- in Franklin County Police need your help finding out who's responsible. They say, it's been going on for a couple days now. Yesterday -- they found a car abandoned near the Access Road in St. Albans Town -- still running. It had been swiped from a local garage. Then this morning -- they found a damaged car off the road in Georgia -- also stolen from St. Albans. And hours later -- police found two golf carts in a ditch -- also stolen.

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New at 6 -- A Craftsbury farmer woke up to an unpleasant surprise - acres of his land vandalized. Taylor Young got to see the damage today. Taylor -- what happened? Jennifer -- tire tracks ripped up the field of a hay farm and it's not the first time this particular farm has been hit.

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On a piece of Craftsbury land boarding the towns of Wolcott and Hydepark, lies a hay farm with a rich family history. ((Everett Demeritt/Craftsbury: "Well I may have been made on this farm.")) Everett Demeritt is the 3rd generation to roam these hay fields... ((Everett Demeritt/Craftsbury: "I bulldozed every bit of this farm... every bit of it.")) ((nats tractor)) He considers the 160 acre farm more than just a family business. ((Everett Demeritt/Craftsbury: "It's heritage when you've been here 109 years.")) The 80 year old hung his farming boots up last year. ((Everett Demeritt/Craftsbury: "I've picked all the stones I'm gonna pick and I probably sawed all of the lumber I'm gonna saw.")) He looks over his land proudly knowing his three children will take good care of it. ((Charles Demeritt/Craftsbury: "It's on our shoulders now.")) But some things are just out of any man's control. ((Everett Demeritt/Craftsbury: "You're looking at what some idiot left when they went around and around the field here about a week ago with some kind of a vehicle and just tore the ground up.")) He says the tracks caused about 500 dollars worth of damage. ((Everett Demeritt/Craftsbury: "It ain't anywhere near as serious a financial disaster, as it is an emotional disaster.")) This is the third time Everett has found tracks like these on his fields -- this incident causing the most damage. ((Everett Demeritt/Craftsbury: "They just wanted to raise hell and did but they had no idea or no recollection and didn't even care how much damage they were doing to someone else.")) Charles calls the vandalism unfortunate but say's it's nothing the tractors can't fix. ((sot from Charsl: I'm not too mad about it because when I was a teenager, I used to do foolish things myself)) ((Everett Demeritt/Craftsbury: "The grass will grow back... it won't grow in those ruts this summer. But it will next year grow back."))

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We spoke with State Police who say incidents like this one are common in the sprintime. They say they don't have any leads but believe this was an isolated incident.

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A unanimous vote from the Vermont senate -- in favor of a budget plan. The 5-point-8 billion dollar spending plan -- includes about 15 million more dollars -- than the House plan. Senators propose a slightly higher property tax to make up for that. It'll take most of the last six days of the session to hash out the differences between those plans.

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For the first time in Vermont's history -- the state's highest court has a female majority. Political Reporter Kyle Midura has more on Justice Karen Carroll. Darren and Jennifer, Gov. Phil Scott says he tapped Carroll because of her qualifications and character not her gender... but said the significance of the new balance cannot be ignored. ((raise your right hand and repeat after me)) After being sworn-in this morning -- the fifth seat on the State Supreme Court now belongs to her. She spent 16 years as a superior court judge, and time as a prosecutor with the state and federal government. Carroll says she aimed to be fair and principled in all of her roles -- that responsibility only grows greater on the state's highest court.

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(00:23:45:00) ((Justice Carroll: "I take the responsibility very seriously. As a superior court judge i felt the weight of every decision that i made, i will continue to do so knowing that the issues i will help to resolve in the court will have an even broader impact on Vermonters.")) Carroll says she never expected to reach the pinnacle of her profession. And, she almost didn't. In late-September - then Gov. Peter Shumlin argued he had the right to pick the replacement for retiring Justice John Dooley -- though Dooley wouldn't leave the bench until after Shumlin left office. But in Early-January, the Supreme Court agreed with Republican lawmakers that the choice belonged to current Governor Phil Scott.

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A Vernon man is in the hospital -- after what police are calling an accidental shooting. The sheriff's office believes it happened at the boat landing near the hydroelectric dam. They say 20-year-old Shawn Gailey was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds to his right hand and leg. Authorities didn't say how it happened -- other than that it was an accident. They're now asking anyone with information to call them,

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Ride sharing companies like Uber could be coming to the North Country. Previously -- they weren't allowed anywhere but the Big Apple -- but that's changing thanks to the new state budget. It allows ride-sharing companies to expand across the state. College students we spoke with in Plattsburgh said they welcome more options -- which they hope will be cheaper than cabs.

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((Jacob Foppes/Plattsburgh student 1982 03:02:36 "I have a car, but when I came here at first, I didn't have a car, so it would be nice to have Uber to say go to the train station with 7 bags of luggage instead of walking or paying $20 for a cab." 03:02:49)) We did reach out to multiple taxi companies in Plattsburgh to see what they thought about the competition. Several said that they were NOT concerned about whether it would affect their business.

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Speaking of Uber -- passengers are getting graded. Riders already use a five-star system to rate drivers, and drivers can do the same for their passengers. The difference is that as of today -- you can now see your rating prominently displayed under your name. The ridesharing company says it's to encourage mutual respect.

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New at 6 -- We told you about a bobcat that got hit by a car in New Hampshire. Today -- it was released back into the wild. The Brattleboro Reformer got video of the release this morning. The bobcat had been in rehab after it was hit by a car on Route 9 in Chesterfield two weeks ago. The wild cat was in a carrier -- that they took into a field. At first -- the kitty was reluctant to leave -- but then -- she bolted off!

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((SOT Deb Gode, Winchester Wildlife Rehabilitation Center 632 She's a dangerous animal. But she definitely would not have survived if she had not been brought in to rehab. The first three days she was just laying on her side, she had a terrible concussion in her head as well as her hip. But as you can see, she's doing great now! 50)) The rehab center says other bobcats they've had in the past -- that have been hit by cars -- haven't been so lucky -- one couldn't go back to the wild -- and another one had to be euthanized.

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Don't bit off more than you can chew! That's a lesson this fish never got. Check out this picture of a northern pike -- sent to us on Facebook by Roxie Young-Jones. She found the dead fish while out fishing with her Husband in Eden on Monday. It must have been pretty hungry to take on a meal that size...clearly its eyes were bigger than its stomach.

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Highs: Our temps did hit 70 here in Burlington, Temp graph: And through the week, they will soar, and then come back down again for the weekend. RPM: temperatures will warm up especially in western parts of our region, while clouds in the east will keep temperatures down. There will be a narrow band of showers moving through late Thursday night and early Friday. Surface: Southerly winds will drive up temperatures on the backside of the high pressure system tomorrow and here's the cold front that will bring more showers. Temperatures won't be that much cooler on Friday. Inside The Forecast: Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows: 45/52 Wind: Light Thursday: Partly sunny. Warmer, west. Highs: 68/78 Wind: S 10-15+ mph Thursday night: Increasing clouds. Showers, late. Mild. Lows: 53/60 Wind: S 5-15 mph Friday: Few AM showers. Then partly sunny. Highs: 68/75 Wind: WSW 10-15 mph Extended Forecast: Friday night: Increasing clouds. Chance showers, late. Lows: 45/52 Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Chance showers. Highs: 65/75 Lows: 35/45 Sunday: Partly sunny. Highs: 58/65 Lows: 42/52 Monday: Partly sunny. Showers, late. Breezy. Highs: 65/75 Lows: 48/58 Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Chance showers. Highs: 58/68 Lows: 38/48 Wednesday: Partly sunny. Chance showers. Highs: 50s

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Big tax cuts for corporations -- under the President's new tax plan. The corporate tax rate is going down from 35 percent -- to 15 percent. That would mean an estimated four-trillion dollars in lost revenue. Individual tax rates are also going down... especially for middle class families. The estate tax is also going away. The White House says despite the lost revenue -- they aren't going to add to the deficit.

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The president also signed an executive order calling for the review of dozens of of national monuments and parks. The move could upend protections of federal lands. Trump says it will end an "egregious abuse of federal power" and give oversight and regulation back to the states. But critics say the loss of federal protection could open up new areas to oil and gas drilling.

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America's latest fighter jet that will soon call Vermont home is already on a mission. The F-35 has been deployed to Estonia - NATO's eastern most border. Fredrik Pleitgen (plyt-gen) reports.

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AMERICA'S NEWEST WEAPON - THE F35 - IN THE SKIES OVER EASTERN EUROPE - RIGHT WHERE CONFRONTATIONS WITH RUSSIA FREQUENTLY HAPPEN: CNN WAS GIVEN EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO THE U.S. STEALTH COMBAT JET'S FIRST EVER FORWARD DEPLOYMENT- TRAINING WITH ALLIED AIR FORCES… ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCE FOR THE CREWS - A PILOT TELLS ME. Maj. Bryan Blackburn / U.S. Air Force: "We're continuing to forward deploy and bolster our NATO allies. It's all about inter cooperation and just bolstering the NATO Alliance." WE RODE ALONG ON A TANKER PLANE REFUELING THE F35 AS THEY TRANSITED TO ESTONIA… A COUNTRY RIGHT ON THE BORDER WITH RUSSIA AND WORRIED ABOUT MOSCOW'S AGGRESSIVE POSTURE IN RECENT YEARS. Fred Pleitgen / Amari ,Estonia:"With the deployment of the F35 the U.S. is sending a very clear message to both Russia and its NATO partners: That America is willing to commit it's newest and most advanced planes to keep its partners safe." RUSSIA'S AIR FORCE IS INCREASINGLY FLYING PLANES - LIKE THE NUCLEAR CAPABLE TU-95 BOMBER - AROUND THIS AREA. …NATO JETS OFTEN SCRAMBLING TO INTERCEPT THEM. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS ONLY RECENTLY STOPPED CALLING THE NATO ALLIANCE OBSOLETE. NOW THE F35 DEPLOYMENT: ANOTHER WELCOME SIGN OF AMERICAN COMMITMENT - ESTONIA'S DEFENSE MINISTER TELLS ME: Margus Tsahkna/ Defense Minister Estonia: "This is important to send this message that this is the border of NATO. This is the Eastern border of our values that we are ready to protect." AS PART OF THIS DEPLOYMENT THE F35 CREWS GET TO KNOW THIS CONTESTED AIR SPACE AND PRACTICE COOPERATION WITH OTHER NATO AIR FORCES. AS TENSIONS WITH MOSCOW SHOW NO SIGN OF EASING - THIS PLANE COULD BECOME A STAPLE OF NATO'S EASTERN FRINGE. FRED PLEITGEN CNN AT THE AMARI AIR BASE IN ESTONIA

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A daring rescue of a woman stuck on a construction crane in Toronto. Investigators say the woman climbed onto the crane sometime over night -- and lowered herself on the hook. A firefighter eventually placed a harness on the woman and got her to the ground safely The woman is facing a charge of mischief.

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If you eat at Chipotle -- check your information -- your data may have been stolen. The company is reporting 'unauthorized activity' and is suggesting that customers who have used credit cards at their stores between March 24 and April 18 keep an eye on their accounts. The issue surfaced just as the company was experiencing better than expected sales -- following a year when contamination problems plagued the restaurant.

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More refugees are coming to Rutland. Officials say up to seven more Syrian families are expected to arrive. The city is already home to two families that arrived days before President Trump took office. Originally the plan was to have up to 100 families resettle -- but that was thrown into question following protests in Rutland and the president's executive order. All of the new families are two-parent households with an average of three children.

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A TED Talk -- from the Pope? (("If you don't, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.")) Pope Francis' video message called for the powerful to act humbly. It was played for the audience at the Vancouver conference. The surprise Ted Talk comes on the heels of the Pope's new coinless laundromat for the homeless in Rome.. part of his initiative to help the poor. This is the first time the Pope has addressed an international conference.

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In honor of Earth Day this Saturday -- NASA has released spectacular ultra H-D views of the planet. The images were captured by cameras aboard the International Space Station -- orbiting the Earth at 250 miles away. The images were taken during ISS's Expedition 47, launched on March and concluded on September 2016. Pretty cool.

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While most are excited about warmer temperatures... some arwen't looking forward to the sneezing and runny noses that come along with it. Taylor Young met a man who dreaded Spring time for 40 years -- but that changed after he started a nontraditional allergy treatment.

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For 40 years -- the end of winter to Tom Estill meant puffy eyes and a severely stuffed up nose. ((Tom Estill/Rutland: "Felt like a sledgehammer hit me in the spring time.")) He would spend about $50 each year on over-the counter mediations - that he says would only temporarily heal his symptoms. ((Kerry Finch/Physician Assistant: "they're not changing the allergies themselves, they are just making us feel better.")) Kerry Finch is a Otolaryngology specialist in Rutland - and met Finch in 2013. She introduced him to a treament - he says would change his life ((nats opening fridge)) - Allergy Drop Therapy ((Kerry Finch/Physician Assistant: "It changes how our immune system reacts to these allergens over-time.")) It's an alternative to shot therapy -- instead of weekly vistis to the doctor for allergy shots. ((nats opening drop case)) Patients dose themselves in their own home. ((Tom Estill/Rutland: "I said wow! Maybe this is something I want to do.")) Doctors start off by testing patients for allergies. When those allergies are determined -- they recieve a serum specificlly made for them. This office says it's the only one in Vermont to use this method of treatment. ((Kerry Finch/Physician Assistant: "we start off with very dilute concentrations and work our way up.")) In Tom's drops lies his worst enemies -- burch and oak tree pollen. ((Tom Estill/Rutland: "Ihave been taking the drops mow for 4 years, every single day and I have no missed a single dose.")) The therapy takes about 5 years of daily drops to work. Last Spring - Tom saw a light at the end of a 40 year long tunnel. ((Tom Estill/Rutland: "I couldn't believe it… I just kept waiting. When are these symptoms going to occur. Nothing happened!")) ((Kerry Finch/Physician Assistant: "We have our first batch of patients who started back in 2011, who are now stifling out of treatment.")) Finch says Estil may be completely off the drops within a year Taylor Young Channel 3 News Rutland

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WCAX has been reporting on a simmering trade dispute between the U-S and Canada. President Trump is complaining about a Canadian import tax imposed on milk used to make cheese. And now he's imposed a temporary tariff on softwood lumber imports from Canada. Here to talk to us about the dispute -- is St. Michael's College business professor Robert Letovsky. ((The U-S and Canada are age old partners. Quebec is Vermont's largest trading partner. How does America win by picking a fight with Canada?)) ((what does this dispute mean for consumers on both sides of the border?)) ((do you think it will continue to escalate? What's the end game here?))

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A special guest will be performing at Grace Potter's annual Vermont festival. The lineup was just announced this morning for the Grand Point North Festival in Burlington. Phish's frontman Trey Anastasio will be performing on Sunday with his band. Grace Potter is performing on both nights. The festival is on September 16 and 17.

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A local kid is a HOOP shoot national champ. He accomplished that goal over the weekend in Chicago. He just arrived back in Burlington and Scott Fleishman was there to meet him. You may remember Colchester's Jacobi Lafferty from a story I did on him in 2015. When we spoke with him, Jacobi had just finished fourth in the Elks Hoop Shoot national finals. Just 2 years later, the 11 year old wins it all and he did it in pretty impressive fashion. Jacobi, his best friend Tyler and the Lafferty family touched down in Burlington a couple of hours ago. Jacobi showed off his trophy and boy did he earn it. After missing his very first shot, Jacobi went on to hit 44 straight free throws to claim the crown. After the first 2 rounds, Jacobi was tied with 2 other players. They went to a shootout and Jacobi outlasted them both that includes last year's champion.

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((Jacobi Lafferty: "At first I got a little nervous, then I told myself to calm down. Then, I knew that if I had missed another shot I probably wouldn't have won. I was really proud of myself, because I had been working really hard at this all year. So, as soon as I hit it I felt like I could just jump up and down I was super happy.")) Not only does Jacobi get a medal, a plaque and a huge trophy for winning. He gets his name in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Elks Organization will pay for the trip.

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The Boston Celtics host the Chicago Bulls in Game five of their NBA first round playoff series tonight, an 8:30pm start at TD Garden. The road team has won all four games, with Boston bouncing back to take two in Chicago after the number one seed in the East lost the first two games of the series at home. All-Star Isaiah Thomas has led the Celtics back from the brink, averaging a nearly 29 points a game and tonight Thomas knows what the team needs to do to finally take control of this series. ((TRT: 14 ... OC: WE'LL BE READY)) ((Thomas/ "We just have to play the same way we've been playing. Bring energy from the jump, defend, space the floor and attack. I think if we do that, it puts us in the best position to win. We know it's a big game for us, so we'll be ready." ))

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This series turned when Rajon Rondo suffered a fractured thumb in Chicago's Game two win in Boston and he hasn't played since. Today, the cast, which Rondo was wearing due to a separate wrist injury, was off, but the splint on his injured thumb remained as the Chicago Bulls arrived at TD Garden for a shootaround today. Rondo said his thumb feels about the same as it did last week, still while saying he would not play tonight, Rondo would not rule out returning for Game Six, which would be Friday in Chicago.

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((TRT: 17 ... OC: reporter: 'haven't gotten to that point?' ... Rondo: 'No')) ((Rondo/ "The situation is to support my team and me being on the court, just trying to keep my conditioning up for anything that can happen. When the doctors say I can play without further injuring my thumb, I'll probably take a real consideration of playing again." --- Reporter: "But you haven't gotten to that point yet?" --- Rondo: "No" ))

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The Boston Bruins have removed the interim tag from Bruce Cassidy and named him the B's new head coach. Cassidy replaced Claude Julien in February and helped the team return to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Bruins went 18-8-1 after he took over to finish the regular season before losing to the Ottawa Senators in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

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Weather permitting, the Red Sox and Yankees will open what is now a two game series tonight at Fenway. Rick Porcello and Luis Severino are the scheduled starters. Last night's game was rained out. The NCAA champion Norwich men's hockey team will be throwing out the first pitch of the series finale tomorrow.

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college softball today...Middlebury... 11-2-1 over their last 14 games...playing two with Plattsburgh... game one highlights courtesy of NSN... --- a back and forth matchup...bottom five ...Panthers trailing 2-1...Allison Quigley rips a double to right center...Ali Della Volpe scores to tie things at two... Quigley would later score on a Plattsburgh error to make it 3-2 Middlebury... --- but Plattsburgh answers in the top of the sixth...loading the bases on a pair of walks and an error... all with two outs, then Dominique Zummo makes Middlebury pay ...sending one down the line in left... that turns into a three run, bases clearing double...all three runs unearned... but they still count ... --- that puts the Cardinals back up 5-3 ...Middlebury gets one back in the bottom of the sixth, the Plattsburgh wins the opener 5-4...at last check in game two, it was tied at four in the 3rd.

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The Castleton football team will be night owls this fall. The Spartans released their 2017 schedule today, and three of their five home games will be played under the lights. The first night games at Spartan Stadium since 2012. Games with Fitchburg State, Saturday September 2nd, Norwich, September 9th and Dean, October 21st will all be played at 6pm. The Norwich game will be a non league game, with the Cadets moving on from the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference for the newly established New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference this coming season, but the Maple Sap Bucket will still be up for grabs after Norwich won it last fall in Northfield. Castleton finished 4-3 in the ECFC in 2016, the third straight year in which the Spartans posted a winning conference record.

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