Wed 22-MAR-2017 6 P.M. News Script

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Nearly 200-thousand Vermonters' personal information -- could be compromised. Good evening, I'm Kristin Kelly. And I'm Jennifer Costa -- in for Darren tonight. We are learning more about the scope of that data breach at a web service - contracted by the State of Vermont. Cat Viglienzoni is in the the newsroom with what we learned late this afternoon. Kristin and Jennifer -- We spoke with the state's Labor Commissioner and she said they're just now getting a sense of how massive this breach is. She said just within the last couple of hours -- they learned 182-THOUSAND Vermonters could have had information like names, social security numbers, and addresses stolen. The state announced yesterday there'd been a breach at America's Joblink Alliance. It's a service used by anyone applying for a state job. Vermont is one of 10 states that use Joblink. Last night's announcement said the breach had been fixed -- but urged anyone who has used Joblink to monitor their bank statements and credit reports for possible problems. Now - state officials tell us -- the breach impacts more than just people who applied for state jobs. It also affects almost everyone who has been on unemployment in the last 14-years. Labor Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle (Curly) told us late this afternoon they are very concerned -- and are taking this seriously.

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((SOT Lindsay Kurrle, Vt. Labor Commissioner 000052 the state could not have done anything to prevent this from happening. We use a vendor for our JobLink. And that vendor was the one who was under the cyberattack. 105)) State officials knew about the breach on March 15 -- a week before they announced it to the public. Kurrle said the reason for the delay is that JobLink was working with the FBI -- and wasn't allowed to release information about it that could harm an investigation. The Commissioner says there will be a call center set up by JobLink to field questions from people who are concerned about their information. They're waiting for details on that. Jennifer?

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Political strategy -- pushes one smoking bill forward and delays another. Our Political reporter Kyle Midura is here with what happened today with a push to loosen pot laws -- and restrict tobacco use. J + K, when every vote matters, timing is critical for passing controversial legislation. Today marijuana reform proponents hit the gas, while those looking to alter tobacco laws pumped the brakes.

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Vermonters would gain the right to use tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol all on the same birthday... if two proposals under consideration in Montpelier become law. With little warning Wednesay -- a committee of House lawmakers voted in favor of a bill to legalize growing and possessing pot for those 21 and older. (00:36:51:00) ((Rep. Chip Conquest - D what we proposed is really the right policy for Vermont right now)) The measure had appeared stalled -- missing a key deadline last week. We're told the delay stems from leaders wanting to be sure they had the votes before taking it to the full floor. The proposal would not legalize sale or tax pot, a big difference from the bill that passed the Senate last year before stalling in the house. (00:38:31:00) ((Rep. Tom Burditt - R-Rutland I like this bill, this is minimal government intervention)) Sen. Dick Sears spearheaded last year's legalization push. He says it's early yet to talk compromise, but could see an agreement that created a path toward a regulated legal market, given that's where Maine and Massachusetts are headed. (00:54:22:00) ((Sen. Dick Sears - D-Bennington County it's no secret that we in the Senate prefer a regulated system)) (nats - Senate) The Senate delayed a vote of its own Thursday afternoon on raising the legal age for using tobacco to 21 -- in line with the proposed age for pot and the current standard for alcohol. Based on our count, one vote could make the difference... and that's why proponents decided to hold-off for a day with one definite 'yes' missing. Sears says he's among many Democrats who may vote 'no' on this one. (00:56:05:00) ((Sen. Dick Sears - D-Bennington County I want to listen to the debate, but I'm a little bit skeptical))

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Proponents of raising the smoking age argue doing so will prevent addiction and save healthcare costs down the line. Opponents tell us they're concerned about everything from becoming a nanny state -- to the financial impact of losing tobacco tax dollars. - Kristin

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Governor Scott has made his choice for the Supreme Court. Sources tell Channel 3 News Superior Court Judge Karen Carroll will be named tomorrow to replace retiring Justice John Dooley. Carroll has been on the bench for 17 years. She also worked as a state and federal prosecutor. She is Governor Phil Scott's first appointment to the supreme court. And she will be the third woman on the high court, making a female majority.

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Four people are dead in London -- and 20 others injured -- in what police call a terror incident. Among the dead -- the attacker -- and two pedestrians. Tina Kraus is there.

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(PKG) (nats) (TRACK 1) TERROR STRUCK THE HEART OF LONDON WHEN A VEHICLE RAMMED INTO A CROWD OF PEDESTRIANS ON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE. (SOT - mos) we just heard a bang and then we just saw three people in the road (TRACK #2) POLICE SAY THE VEHICLE THEN CRASHED INTO THE GATES OF PARLIAMENT. PEOPLE WERE SEEN RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES. (sot - Teresa May/UK Prime Minister) This attacker, who was armed with a knife, then ran toward Parliament where he was confronted by the police officers who keep us and our democratic institutions safe. Tragically, one officer was killed. The terrorist was also shot dead. (TRACK 3) INVESTIGATORS SAY A FULL SCALE TERROR INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY. (sot Mark Rowley/Metropolitan Police, Acting Deputy Commissioner) "We currently believe there is only one attacker I'm sure the public will understand us taking every precaution in locking down and searching the area as thoroughly and exhaustively as possible (TRACK 4) THE HOUSE OF COMMONS - WHICH WAS IN SESSION AT THE TIME WAS IMMEDIATELY SUSPENDED AND LAWMAKERS WERE ASKED TO STAY INSIDE. (sot - Teresa May/UK Prime Minister) "The location of the attack was no accident. The terrorist chose to strike at the heart of our capital city." (TRACK 5) RIDERS ON THE LONDON EYE - A LARGE FERRIS WHEEL OVERLOOKING THE CAPITOL - ALSO HAD TO STAY PUT. POLICE SAY EXTRA OFFICERS HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED AROUND LONDON. TINA KRAUS CBS NEWS, LONDON.

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An update now to a murder case in New Hampshire. A dad accused of killing his young daughter. Roger Dana has been indicted on first and second degree murder charges -- for the death of 2-year-old Madison -- last fall. The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office -- told us -- Dana is also charged with sexual contact. Police say they were called to the family's home in Berlin on November 27th -- and found the girl dead from blunt force injuries. If convicted -- he could be behind bars for life.

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In New York -- a Granville man is accused of trying to murder his girlfriend. Police say the attack happened Tuesday morning outside the woman's home. They say 42-year-old Jonathan Vilbrin jumped the woman -- choked her -- and stabbed her so hard that the knife broke. She suffered multiple injuries to her hand. He now faces an attempted murder charge.

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Scary moments on the road for a driver in Charlotte. Ice flew off a truck along Route 7 - and smashed through her windshield. Police say a commercial vehicle was heading south when the ice came off the top. The driver of the car, 35-year-old Celeste Brasseur from Charlotte -- suffered significant cuts to the face from glass. State police are now trying to track down that truck... which has a red cab and a white trailer with red lettering.

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The cold front that went through the area did bring about a half of a foot of snow to some of our ski areas. Here in the Champlain Valley a trace to an inch was more like it, and we did see a lot of ice as the temperatures fell so quickly! Temps today held fairly steady in the teens, and wind chills have been below zero! We are looking for some milder temperatures in the days ahead.

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We are learning new information tonight about the Derby Elementary School staffer accused of assaulting a student. The school district now says Kimberly Swett VOLUNTARILY resigned. Swett was a special educator in Derby since 2008. The alleged assault, reported to police earlier this week, happened in a school classroom -- and involved a child under 10. State police are conducting an investigation -- and Swett is due in court next month.

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State Police say fewer African-American drivers are being stopped -- compared to white drivers. The data from last year says search rates for black drivers was cut in half over the last year -- down to 2-point-6 percent. Searches of white drivers remained at point-9 percent. Another one of the findings was that this year -- the data collected from stops was more accurate. State police say they'll keep analyzing data -- with the goal of improving fair and impartial policing.

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Should the state create a safe and legal spot for addicts to get high on illegal drugs? The prospect has sparked a mix of reactions and concern from the public. Tyler Dumont is here with why supporters believe this could be a good way to fight the opiate crisis. The idea is being addressed by a committee, with members from the state's attorneys office, police department and health providers. They told us they realize the controversy this brings -- but say they want to look at any option that could prevent more drug deaths.

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((TILE 0563 04:23:06--04:28:07 George: "Not knowing, or not understanding, does not mean that we don't talk about it.")) Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George is leading a conversation on implementing "safe injection sites" in Vermont. A spot where addicts who illegally obtained drugs -- could get high -- and not face criminal consequences. ((TILE 0563 02:11:24--02:20:05 George: "As part of the law enforcement community, I have an obligation to examine all potential solutions that could reduce overdoses and deaths.")) At a news conference, members of a newly formed commission that will review the idea discussed the possibilities. Including onsite access to narcan, medical help -- and possibly even treatment. ((TILE 0567 17:17:14--17:27:27 CHIEF del Pozo: "Real treatment without delay, as a companion to something like a safe injection site, I know that this is something the task force will have to contend with.")) A potentially better option -- than shooting up in private. ((TILE 0571 27:41:07--27:50:29 Tom Dalton/Howard Center: "There's nobody there to give them narcan. There's nobody there to call 911. So, we definitely believe that there would be people interested in having a safer place.")) Vermont opioid-related deaths are at an all time high -- nearly doubling over the past year. (GFX: 66 in 2015, and 105 in 2016 Source: VT Dept of Health) ((TILE 0563 03:49:29--03:55:29 George: "Consistently see good research out there that demonstrates that safe injection sites do work.")) But, that research is from other countries. While the idea has been weighed in two other states, there's no precedent of other operating safe injection sites in the U.S. The sites would also break federal law -- which prohibit a premises from knowingly allowing the use of a controlled substance. ((TILE 0563 08:18:14--08:20:20 George: "I think it's a risk I'm willing to take.")) George isn't yet taking a position on injection sites. But she's asking the public to keep an open mind about the committees discussion. ((TILE 0563 08:33:16--08:37:21 George: "The legislature would have to be involved. This is not something that I can implement on my own.")) So far, there have been a mix of reactions from the community. ((TILE 0590 41:42:00--41:48:28 Annemarie Gallucci/Burlington: "We're justifying very poor choice, very bad behavior -- but yet, something has got to change.")) ((TILE 0602 45:45:27--45:53:01 Nicole Handel/Burlington: "I want to see where it leads. I want like a trial period sort of thing, just to see what the effects are."))

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Questions were raised today about the state's responsibility for any actions of those who get high after they leave the safe injection site. The committee said it was one of many issues -- that they are continuing to address. A bill in the legislature -- that would legalize safer drug consumption programs like this -- has stalled, but remains up for consideration.

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Burlington police need your help finding a robber who targeted gas stations. They say between 5:15 and 5:30 this morning a white man stole multiple items from the Jolley on Shelburne Road... and then the Cumberland Farms on Pine Street. They say at the second robbery, he also threatened the store clerk. He fled in a white car -- and was wearing a green jacket with a fur collar and a camo hat. He's about 5'6" to 5'10" with facial hair. If you know who he is -- contact police.

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Five people have been arrested after a drug bust in the North Country. Plattsburgh Police -- State police and the DEA raided two locations in Plattsburgh after a lengthy investigation into the sale of heroin and crack cocaine. Police seized -- 125 bags of heroin -- 115 bags of crack cocaine and about $9,000 in cash.

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There was also a big drug bust in Ticonderoga. Police say over the weekend -- they busted several people at a house on Lord Howe Street. We're told it was part of a long-term investigation into the sale of narcotics. Investigators say they found cocaine... heroin... marijuana... and prescription pills ... as well as weapons and cash. Eight people are now facing criminal charges.

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Waterbury has snagged a popular summer auto event. The Vermont Antique & Classic Car Show has been held at Nichol's Field in Stowe for nearly 60 years -- but when the land was sold last spring -- the Vermont Automobile Enthusiasts went looking for a new spot. They found one at Farr's Field on Route 2 in Waterbury... and announced today that they're inking a five-year contract with the owners to hold the car show there instead. That won't take effect this year though. The show moves to Waterbury -- in August 20-18.

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By now you've probably heard that Vail Resorts is purchasing Stowe Mountain Resort. The transaction is already affecting season pass pricing at other local resorts. Nick Borelli explains how.

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((Nats: Skiing)) Skiing is a popular sport in Vermont-- but many folks consider it overpriced. (00:34:28-34:36) ((John Danna, Burlington: After I graduated it became impossible for me to come more than once or twice a year because lift tickets became outrageous at all the mountains)) Expensive tickets. And expensive passes. Vail Resorts acquisition of Stowe Mountain Resort is already changing up the local market. ((Nats? You tube of vail?)) The purchase of Stowe is expected to be finalized later this spring-- at which time Stowe is likely to be included on Vail Resorts epic pass. The pass costs 859 dollars and includes access to 15 resorts-- many of them in the west. (29:08-29:10 BUTTED TO 29:17-27) ((Win Smith, President Sugarbush: We thought we really needed to respond. BUTTED We decided to unbundle our family pass and have an adult pass at 799 and a child pass at 349. Same for families, cheaper if you don't have children.)) That means an adult pass to Sugarbush will be 350 dollars cheaper next season versus this season. That new price also undercuts the epic pass by about 60 bucks-- an effort to stay competitive. (33:57--34:11) ((John: It's great)) Another big competitor to Stowe is Killington. ((Nats: slopeside from Killington)) While Killington hasn't announced their season pass price for next winter-- they tell us they are closely monitoring how other ski areas are reacting to the purchase of Stowe by Vail. ((Nats: From MRG)) Places with a more local vibe-- like Mad River Glen-- aren't planning to change a thing. Their passes this year if bought early were under 800 dollars. (08:51-09:01) ((Eric Friedman, MRG: The second that we start adapting to what other people do. That's the nail in the coffin for us. We have to be proud of who we are, what we're about)) There still lies lots of uncertainty with how the ski industry may change with Vail resorts coming into the picture. But locals we spoke with remain optimistic. (37:35-37:44) ((Andrew Saunders: I believe it's gonna be a lot more crowded in this area of Vermont. More people coming to Stowe. But it's going to be really good for the economy.)) (35:30-40) ((John Danna: If it brings more business to the state of Vermont. If people from Colorado see an opportunity to come out here and use the pass they already have. It brings more dollars into the state)) Regardless of the details. More competition usually works in favor to the consumer. NB. Ch 3 News. Warren.

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Sugarbush will also offer discounted season pass rates to skiers in their 20s and 30s. In addition they've joined the mountain collective, which offers premium season pass holders half off lift tickets at 15 other resorts.

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Current temperatures are in the teens, which is about 20-30 degrees colder than it was at this time yesterday. RPM: We are looking for our temperatures to be moderating, still cooler than normal tomorrow, but by Friday they will be back closer to normal. Along with those milder temperatures, we're likely to be getting some rain and snow showers moving in . Surface: there is a frontal system which will be kind of waffling back in the northeast, sometimes right over our area, and other times sinking far enough south to let us see some breaks in the clouds.

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Inside The Forecast: Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows: 0/10 Wind: NW 5-15 mph Thursday: Mostly sunny. Not as cold. Highs: 25/32 Wind: NW 5-15 mph Thursday Night: Increasing clouds. Locally colder, sheltered valleys. Lows: 12/22 Wind: Bec S 5-10 mph Friday: Cloudy. Snow and rain showers. Breezy. Highs: 35/42 Wind: S 10-20 mph Extended Forecast: Friday night: Rain/snow showers sag south. Lows: 28/38 Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Chance few R/S showers. Highs: 35/45 Lows: 15/25 Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Scat'd R/S showers. Highs: 35/45 Lows: 25/35 Monday: Cloudy. R/S showers. Highs: 38/48 Lows: 25/35 Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Chance R/S showers. Highs: 40s Lows: 25/35 Wednesday: Cloudy. R/S showers. Highs: 35/45

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Top honors for a toymaker in Middlebury -- he's been named Vermont's Small Business Person of the Year. Michael Rainville -- of Maple Landmark -- is being recognized for employment growth, financial success, expansion, and community development. He calls the award a "privilege". Maple Landmark makes eco-friendly wooden toys and games -- like jigsaw puzzles and trains. The company started in his parents' basement in 1979... but now occupies a 28-thousand square foot facility.

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A new report out today that Donald Trump's former campaign manager had a secret contract with a Russian billionaire --- with ties to Vladimir Putin. The associated press is reporting Paul Manafort made millions of dollars working for the billionaire from 2006 until 2009. Manafort confirmed to the a-p that he did work for the Russian oligarch -- but insisted that his work did not involve representing Russia's political interests. The report comes as the FBI continues its investigation into possible connections between the president's campaign associates and Russia.

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The President's Supreme Court pick faced more questions from lawmakers today. It's day three of Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing as Senators tried to pin down what kind of Justice he will be. Republicans helped the judge affirm his legal credentials while Democrats expressed frustration he was not more forthcoming on controversial issues like abortion -- while challenging his opinions on education and gay rights.

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(("What vision do you share with President Trump?" "I have admiration for every member of this committee, for the president of the United States, for the vice president of the United States. But respectfully, none of you speaks for me. I speak for me. I am a judge. I am independent. I make up my own mind.")) Thursday the Senate Judiciary committee will hear from several witnesses who willl testify about Gorsuch. A committee vote is scheduled for the first week of April followed by one on the full Senate.

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Vermont has pulled the plug on environmental protection plans for a Vernon swamp. A couple years ago the state had planned to reclassify the Black Gum Swamp as a Class 1 wetland - which would offer the highest level of protection. But the agency of natural resources withdrew plans after hearing concerns from the town officials. They hope the to resubmit the proposal once the those concerns are addressed. Black Gum trees are rare in our region -- they usually grow 300 or 400 miles to the south.

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New York state is looking to redevelop a nearly 300-acre theme park. Our Rose Gomez -- found out -- the old Frontier Town could be a new frontier for economic activity in the North Country.

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For years, the wild west themed amusement park Frontier Town brought in hundreds of thousands of tourists to North Hudson. Since it closed down in the 1990s--the park has sat nearly untouched. ((Sarah "Sally" Vinskus/North Hudson Town Clerk 1203 1203 04:18:58 "I think it's about time something was done with that really good real estate that's been sitting idle for so long ever since Frontier Town went belly up." 04:19:12)) The theme park could soon have a new life. The owners of Paradox Brewery -- a company based in Schroon Lake -- are looking to expand their operation and set up another brewery and tasting room at the site of the former Frontier Town motel and restaurant. ((Devon Hamilton/Paradox Brewery Head Brewer 1185 04:09:54 "We're bursting at the seams here. Our operation here is not big enough to sustain the amount of beer we need to get out to market. There's four of us working down there right now, and Tommy will tell you we're constantly on top of each other." 04:10:09)) And In January, Governor Cuomo announced his hope to redevelop the nearly 300 acre theme park through a 32 million dollar public and private partnership to bring in attractions such as camping, trails, and an event venue. ((Sarah "Sally" Vinskus/North Hudson Town Clerk 1203 04:20:21 "when people begin to show up for these various things, it will encourage other businesses to come in. We need that. We need the tourism." 04:20:35)) The Paradox Brewers say the new development would be great news for their new brewery--and for the surrounding area. ((Devon Hamilton/Paradox Brewery Head Brewer 1185 04:15:20 "A certain trickle down effect with something like this for lack of a better term for something that happens like this. I think it's over 30 campsites that the state is planning in their portion of the project. In the middle of the summer when that's booked out, there's gonna be a lot of people there." 04:15:36)) Empire State Development is now looking for input from developers--to see what ideas they might have on the building, design, and management of the new space. The project will still need to be passed in the state budget to move forward. Rose Gomez, Channel 3 News, North Hudson.

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Starting Line Sports ...the UVM men's basketball team is less than a week removed from one of the most successful seasons in program history. And while Catamount Country is still celebrating the team's record setting campaign, invariably there is also a look to the future. And specifically what the future holds for head coach John Becker. Becker has compiled quite the resume in his six seasons as head coach. Six straight years with at least twenty wins, two trips to the NCAA tournament, two trips to the CBI semifinals, and two America East regular season titles. And it was all capped by this amazing run...a program record 29 wins ...the first team in America East history to go 16-0 in the regular season, and a 21 game win streak that was the longest in the country before the Cats fell by ten to Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. And of Vermont's six losses, four came to teams that made the Tournament and three of those teams, Purdue, Butler and South Carolina, are in the Sweet 16. That success leads to speculation that Becker could be a candidate for any number of job openings that come up at the end of a college basketball season. Today, Becker met with the media at his annual end of season press conference. He acknowledged that there has been contact, but nothing that he would describe as serious and that it is his desire to stay at UVM. He also then used the moment as an opportunity to present his vision for where he wants to see the Vermont program go, and specifically in regards to the proposed new arena as part of an overall renovation of the UVM athletic facilities.

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((TRT: 1:29 ... OC: CONTINUE TO GROW)) ((Becker/ I have a lot of equity in this thing. I've put a lot into this and when we're going toe-to-toe with the best teams in the country, that's what I want to do. I don't want it to be, 'good try'. I want things to keep moving forward and I want them to move forward quickly. Because it's what's right for our kids, it's what's right for our program and it's what's right for this opportunity. I just hope we can continue to increase our resources here, and that people start writing checks to raise money for our programs or to build this arena and that we don't wait around anymore. We capitalize on this momentum, because we can compete with the best teams in the country, but we've got to continue to invest as an institution and donors have got to step forward and start writing checks so we can capitalize on this momentum. I've put too much into this to not see it continue to grow and to continue to help it grow. I'll do whatever I can to help do that. This is where I want to be, this is where my family wants to be, but I want it to continue to grow.))

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Last month, UVM officials said they had already begun working on fundraising nearly half of the $80 million dollar projected cost. If funding is in place, construction is scheduled to begin in early 2019.

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Patients in Central Vermont with joint problems are now getting state-of the art diagnosis. and doctors say it saves time and sometimes unnecessary surgery. Alexei Rubenstein reports.

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Kathleen Sicely has been coming to Central Vermont Medical Center's new Orthopedic Center for knee pain. ((01:48 Kathleen Sicely/CVMC Patient " I'm here for my knee and I have to have a cortisone shot.)) ((03:15 Kathleen Sicely/CVMC Patient "Arthritis in the bone -- against bone -- I go with the pain.)) One of the features of the new center is a unique diagnostic tool that can be used on knees and shoulders. Up until recently MRI -- Magnetic Resonance Imaging -- was the gold standard to diagnose joint pain like Sicely's. But a new high-tech camera called the VisionScope is giving doctors a better look inside -- and it can all be done in a doctors office in a half hour or so. ((NATS - demonstrating)) Using a fellow staff member, Dr. Christopher Meriam shows how a needle with a camera at its tip would be inserted into the knee. He says the procedure has a number of advantages. (( 08:40 Dr. Christopher Meriam/Central Vermont Medical Center "You can do it real -time with a patient sitting there, so they can actually watch and see what your doing. they're awake, they're sitting up -- it's done with a local anesthetic and its nice for a patient to be able to see the problem in their knee, so you can make a decision about future further treatment at that time with the patient.)) MRIs can be expensive, and in some cases where the patient has had previous surgeries -- Meriam says they can also be inconclusive. Up till now arthroscopic surgery was the best method to see inside. That also uses a camera, but it requires larger incisions, and is done with a full anesthestic at the hospital. ((11:34 Dr. Christopher Meriam/Central Vermont Medical Center "you don't have to subject somebody to a formal surgery. The disadvantage is if you go in there and see something you can't treat it with this procedure - -it's strictly a diagnostic tool.)) Other disadvantages are the camera can't be used to probe around the tissue, and the entire joint is harder to see. The VisionScope is useful for patients who can't have an MRI because they have Claustrophobia, or implantable devices like a pacemaker. CVMC and others in the UVM network are so far the only providers in Vermont using the machine. ((13:42 Dr. Christopher Meriam/Central Vermont Medical Center "It's an excellent tool and it has improved how we do our job. For years I used to think it would be great if we had a way to look into the knee and see it. )) And now he can... Alexei Rubenstein -- Channel 3 News -- Berlin

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March so far, our average temperature is nearly 4 degrees colder than normal. Yesterday it was a few degrees above normal, but before that, we had 11 days in a row that were colder than normal. It's been almost a year since we've had a streak like that. Mountains: There were 52 mph gusts in the mountains today, giving us wind chills in the minus twenties.

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Seven schools have joined forces to create a 23-hundred square foot work of art. That's bigger than some houses! Taylor Young takes us to Brandon where the walls of an art center have become the canvas.

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It's something we've been told since infancy -- don't draw on walls But for 900 Rutland Northeast district students -- that's exactly what they're doing. ((Kylee Niering/6th grade: "I've done a tree, some mountains, and an ice cream cone.")) ((Jen Hogan/Barstow Memorial School: "This gives them the opportunity to go for it.")) Jen Hogan is and art teacher at Barstow Memorial School and is encouraging her students to go wild. ((Jen Hogan/Barstow Memorial School: "doing, creating, being constructive is really what it's about.")) It's all part of an art event called TH!NK -- 7 school are sending their kids to the Compass Music and Art Center in Brandon to cover the walls in black inked creations. ((Kylee Niering/6th grade: "We've never had a field trip like this.")) Friends -Kylee Niering and Martha Cotter showed up with a plan. ((Kylee Niering/6th grade: "we were kind of talking about how we would just be okay with adding on to everything.")) ((Jen Hogan/Barstow Memorial School: "They are thinking not only individually but more so as a community, kind of building off of what's already happening.")) Edna Sutton is the manager of the art center and jumped at the idea of turning one of her showcase rooms, usually filled with professional pieces into a giant canvas. ((Edna Sutton/Manager of Compass Center: "It's really about experiencing the arts.")) ((Kylee Niering/6th grade: "It's definitely not something that everyone gets to do so it's very different and fun to try out.")) The center is holding a reception April 7th to show off the finished product. Taylor Young Channel 3 News Brandon.

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In Starting Line Sports...UVM men's basketball coach John Becker discussed his future and his hopes for the UVM program as a whole going forward. You can watch his entire press conference on the sports page at WCAX.com. Assuming Becker is back on the sidelines next fall, his team will have a familiar look to it, with four-fifths of the starting rotation back, led by reigning America East play of the year Trae Bell-Haynes and reigning conference rookie of the year Anthony Lamb. Third team all-conference selections Payton Henson and Ernie Duncan return as well ...but the Cats will have to replace three key graduating seniors in Darren Payen, Dre Wills, and captain Kurt Steidl, whose absence was felt in the second half of the NCAA loss to Purdue when he went down with a knee injury. The drive that this team showed was motivated by last year's loss to Stony Brook in the America East championship game, now the Cats will have to find a different type of motivation.

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((TRT: 59 ... OC: GOOD START ON THE YEAR)) ((Bell-Haynes/ Now that we all have a taste of the NCAA Tournament and the freshman have never lost (in America East play), we'll use that. We're going to set our goals, we want, next year, to do better than we did this season. We went 19-0 in conference play, can we do that again next season? We're losing Kurt (Steidl), Dre (Wills) and DP (Darren Payen), but we have a lot of the team back. We have a couple of really good freshman coming in, so we'll use this success as a motivator. We got a taste of the NCAA Tournament and we're going to want to go back there again.)) ((Becker/ They were winners, but now they're champions. And the monkey is off the back of those older guys, they've done it now. We've got some holes, but that's my job to fill those holes and find out what this team will look like next year. We should have tremendous leadership next year. We should have a lot of 'know how'. And certainly with the emergence of Anthony, we have a good start on the year. ))

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The top ranked Norwich men's hockey team takes a program record 23 game winning streak into the NCAA Division 3 frozen four this weekend. The Cadets are looking for a fourth national title. Scott Fleishman is in Northfield where he witnessed the team start the trek towards its destination. ((Scott Fleishman: "the Cadets practiced here at Kreitzberg Arena for the final time this season and after this morning's workouts, the Cadets loaded up the bus, to head out to Utica, New York. They were greeted by about 2 dozen Cadets fans wishing them well on their way to this weekend's frozen four in Utica. The Cadets, after missing the NCAA Tournament last season, have been on a mission. They have only one loss all year. They captured the New England Hockey Conference Championship and have looked quite impressive in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, leading up to Friday night's game against Adrian in the National Semifinals.")) ((Tyler Piacentini: "practice has been great. We've been pretty excited obviously. The tempo has been up. Guys have been ready and are ready to go to Utica.")) ((Austin Surowiec: "the mindset right now is we're just going to keep doing what we're doing. Try to keep things simple and just try to keep the ball rolling. We've been playing well, obviously we've just got to keep it going on Friday and look forward to playing that Saturday game.")) ((Mike McShane: "the guys are really confident. They're light. They're loose. They feel good about how they've been playing lately and really looking forward to this trip.")) ((Scott Fleishman: "with a win on Friday Norwich will either face St. Norbert or Trinity in the National Title game on Saturday. Our own Jack Fitzsimmons will be covering the Cadets this weekend as they look for their first national title since 2010. At Krietzberg Arena, Scott Fleishman, channel 3 sports."))

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We wanted to leave you tonight with video of an adorable -- and cheeky -- girl who met the Pope! That's 3-year-old Estella Westrick from Atlanta at the Vatican today. As the Pope went to kiss her cheek -- the toddler swiped his skullcap! Luckily, Pope Francis had a great sense of humor about it... you can see him -- and the girl's family -- getting a good laugh over it all.


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