Saint Michael's students share their fears of threats and hate incidents post-election.
They marched on campus calling on the school administration to act.
Students say St. Michael's College is known for its sense of community and inclusivity, but they also say the college is not immune to the hate and insensitivity felt across college campus post-election.
Well over 100 students marched across campus to make sure the administration was well aware of their fears and concerns.
"I think it surprised us a bit because of our heritage and what we pride ourselves on doing but sure it's happening here to and I think we simply have to acknowledge that," said St. Michael's College President, John Neuhauser.
He says incidents on campus, after a donald Trump victory, have been unpredictable.
"Defacing of posters, writing on walls, leaving sings, shouting and yelling things anonymously," says Neuhauser.
Students are not just being targeted on campus.
"There are people who are being harassed online by people who don't even go here and i think it's just really sad," says freshman Natalie Simmons.
Students are asking the administration to do more to protect students including enacting a bias response team and placing cameras on floors of residence halls.
"The fact that the administration isn't doing anything to protect these people, just really upsets me," said Simmons.
Friday's march even drew in the community's support.
"Anytime people are targeted i feel like it's the responsibility of those of us who feel all people are welcome to come out and speak out and let people know that," says Zoe Hart of Shelburne.
The college wants students to know they take threats and hate crimes seriously and act immediately.
"We can't always be very public about the actions we take because we have to protect the privacy of other students as well," says Neuhauser.
The President says any changes going forward should start with open dialogue with and among students who feel targeted.
"We have to find a way to restore that, it's broken in the country, but I think colleges should be able to lead this discussion, and I hope we can," says Neuhauser.
St. Michael's students are*also asking the administration to have faculty undergo bias, awareness training.
Friday night will stay cold and windy. Layer up, wind chills will be around 5-10° by daybreak Saturday. A few flurries will be around but it likely won't be enough to get in your way.
Spotty light snow showers will continue in the mountains on Saturday while most of us are quiet. Over the last several days, mountains have received several inches of fresh powder, this is great news for ski country! However, the bigger weather story there will be how cold is it. It'll easily be the coldest air of the season, yes even colder than Friday. Saturday will start in the single digits and teens everywhere with wind chills between 0° & 10°. Highs Saturday afternoon will be lucky to get into the mid 20s, mountains will stay in the single digits & teens. Meanwhile skies will be partly to mostly cloudy but we should be able to squeeze out a few rays of sunshine!
The first half of Sunday continues dry with lows in the single digits and teens & highs in the 20s. For those keeping score at home, before Friday, the last time Burlington didn't hit 30° was April 4th. Technically, Burlington hit 33° at 12:34am Friday morning making it the high for the day. However, while after 3am we spent the rest of the day in the 20s. If you're skiing or riding over the weekend, layer up! It'll be pretty windy in the mountains too. West/northwest winds will kick at 15-30mph, combine that with mountain highs in the single digits and low teens, the wind chill will be harsh. There are few things worse than sitting in the wind on a chair lift.
There is starting to be more run-to-run consistency in our models regarding Sunday night/Monday. Expect a period snow to spread across the area overnight into Monday morning. This will very likely lead to a slow commute to start next week. Snow will likely continue through the end of the day before perhaps mixing with freezing rain and sleet by the evening. This is less than great news for evening drivers. All told, an early estimate on snow is for 3-6" over northern Vermont & New York. Jackpot totals of 6-8" will be in central Vermont & New Hampshire, including the Upper Valley. We'll be adjusting those numbers as the storm gets closer and track becomes better established. We'll stay rather unsettled with a continued chance at snow Tuesday and especially Wednesday. Highs will be in the low 30s with lows in the teens. Signs also keep pointing at an even colder batch of air to arrive by next Thursday. Highs by then will be lucky to get into the 20s with lows around 10° or colder! Welcome winter :-)
A local company shining with an "Amber Glow" in the national spot light. For generations maple syrup has been one of Vermont's claims to fame. The same can now be said for Sugarers in Cambridge.
Nestled in the foothills of Mount Mansfield, Eric and Laura Sorkin have been running a muck. "Runamok really, to us anyway, harkens to that wild nature, the whimsical sense of it and a little bit of the non-conformist nature," stated Eric.The New York natives moved to Vermont in 2000. For nine years they've tapped 81 thousand trees on 13 hundred acres. "It depends what Mother Nature provides, but in a given year we might produce about 2, 2 and a half million gallons of sap," Eric said.
That sap gets boiled down into about 45 thousand gallons of maple syrup. Amber gold for an increasing food-centric nation. "We're turning into a foodie nation and I think a lot of people really like to know where their food comes from, want to know it's natural, maple syrup just falls into that beautifully," said Laura.
Thanks to a trip to the New York Fancy Food Show in June, Runamok is a name millions more now know. "We met up with tons of folks from the press and one of them happened to be Oprah's people. They passed by, they really liked our packaging. They tried it, they loved it, they brought it back to Oprah, she loved it," recalled Laura. Eric and Laura's Runamok products have been added to Oprah Winfrey's 2016 "Favorite Things List". "A lot of other people on the list were big corporations, and they treated us exactly the same as they did for those big groups. We're very grateful to them for the opportunity. We couldn't be happier," said Laura.
And it's no surprise, the Sorkin's say business has boomed since making the national list. "We did about a year's worth of spending in four weeks. But we're now doing at least 20 times the business we were just over a month ago," stated Eric.
While they've been producing syrup for nine years, the Runamok business is only a year old. It's a chance to experiment and showcase maple syrups' other applications and flavors. "Trial and error, basically take something and throw it into some warm maple syrup and see how it tastes," rejoiced Laura. The two say for every successful variety they've released, there's a hundred or so attempts to hit the right flavor and ingredient combination.
One of Mother Nature's greatest gifts, a year's worth of work boiled down to 2 dozen days of sap collection. A true labor of love for Eric, Laura, and their crew. "Being able to find an application that connects us to the land is just incredibly important to both of us. It's great. Doing what we love is just an amazing experience," the two agreed.
Based on it's production, Runamok Maple is one of the biggest producers in the country. But it's still a family owned and operated business.
New York State Police from the Ray Brook barracks are warning residents of a phone scam.
Police say calls from the phone number (518) 897-2000 shows up as being from State Police on the caller ID but it's not them.
According to police, these calls are asking folks for personal information or trying to get money.
Police say if you get a call from the fake number you should contact police at (518) 873-2750.
Officials say State Police would never call the public and ask for donations.
New York State Officials offer following tips on how you can tell if the caller is trying to scam you.
Do not provide an address or phone number
Demand immediate payment or payment in cash
Seem vague as to how contributions will be spent
Refuse to provide financial information about a charitable organization
Appear angry or impatient when asked reasonable questions about the organization they represent or the programs for which contributions will be used.
The Senate late Friday cleared a bill to fund the government through the end of April, narrowly averting a shutdown.
The 63-36 vote came just before a midnight deadline when the government could have run out of money.
Final passage came after a procedural vote to advance the measure was narrowly adopted. Needing 60 votes, it cleared 61-38. The vote took nearly an hour and was tense and uncertain to the end as senators weighed political and parochial interests in deciding which way to vote. Party leaders and whips, trying to save the must-pass bill, worked their members furiously. President Barack Obama signed the measure into law early Saturday.
The late night action came after a day of back-channel negotiations aimed at alleviating concerns from coal-state Democrats who wanted a longer extension of expiring health benefits for retired coal miners. Democrats failed to secure enough votes to that extension.
The battle centered on how long the government should extend health benefits for retired coal miners, as the Democrats called for an extension lasting one year, rather than the four months in the current proposal. And it amounted to the most intense partisan squabble on Capitol Hill since the general election, where Democrats struggled to win over white, working-class voters.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who faces reelection in 2018 and is under consideration for a job in Donald Trump's administration, took to the Senate floor Friday evening and demanded that his colleagues block the funding bill, which is needed to keep the government open past midnight.
"We've been working and fighting and really clawing for this," Manchin said. "But we've got some friends on the other side who believed it wasn't an emergency." Still, Democrats privately and publicly conceded they were unlikely to win over the 41 votes needed to shut the government down.
"I don't think we are going to get to the 41," Manchin said at a news conference Friday evening.
What Democrats got from the exercise is unclear. Democrats contended they had elevated the issue, and hoped that their aggressive push would pressure top Republicans to cut a deal on a permanent solution early next year. But they did not get the legislative fix they had been demanding.
During a caucus meeting Thursday, Senate Democratic leaders and coal-state Democrats agreed to use a threat of a shutdown to bring attention to the issue and push for a longer extension in January, a senior Democratic aide said.
"Our intention was never, never, ever to shut this place down," Manchin told CNN.
Added Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia: "We're not going to shut down the government on this issue."
The late-evening developments come as Senate Republicans and Democrats engaged in behind the scenes negotiations to try to head off a shutdown at midnight.
"I'm hopeful we'll wrap it up this evening but I don't have anything to announce yet," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second ranking Senate Republican, told reporters.
In a sign of possible progress that a disruption to government services could be averted, Cornyn said discussions were underway between GOP leaders and Manchin of West Virginia, the lead Democrat pressing for changes to the health insurance program.
"We're working through third parties. Third party negotiators," Cornyn said. "I haven't talked to him directly but there are conversations taking place between leadership on the Democratic side and this side."
Republicans argued McConnell, who represents miner interests in his home state of Kentucky, has already committed to work to extend the health insurance for a full year, which is the central demand of Manchin and the Democrats backing his effort. Republicans note that McConnell initially pushed to get a one year extension into the funding bill and has spoken on the floor about his desire to extend it that long.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, one of the leaders of the effort, told CNN that the GOP would squarely to be blame if there were a shutdown. Asked if he had the support to block a bill, Brown said: "I don't have any idea what we have. I know that the support has been stronger than I expected from Democrats and from some Republicans that will vote with us."
At issue is whether to extend the miners' insurance program -- which serves retired miners and their spouses -- for one year or for just for the four month length of the GOP-authored spending bill, which is known as a continuing resolution or CR.
One person who is trying to build support for the measure is Manchin who was holed up in his office Friday talking to Democrats and some Republicans urging them to block the CR. Manchin, a moderate, had been scheduled to meet with Trump in New York Friday about a possible job in his administration but it was postponed until Monday so he could deal with the miners' issue.
Democrats are worried Manchin might leave the Senate to work for Trump, which could lead to a Republican pick up of his Senate seat.
Manchin is leading a pack of coal Senate Democrats -- including Brown, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, each of whom is up for re-election in two years --- to bolster the insurance benefits. Manchin has the support of at least one Republican, his fellow West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, while GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is weighing whether to join the Democrats as well.
But even Manchin wouldn't predict that he has the 41 votes needed to scuttle the spending bill and force a change to help the miners.
"We have a strong commitment from our caucus, I can tell you that. Very strong," is as far as Manchin would go when asked specifically late Thursday if he had 41 votes.
One key Democrat has joined Manchin's battle. Incoming Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York vowed Thursday, "We are going to win this fight."
There could be political dividends for Democrats making a full-throated fight for the miners, even at the risk of a potentially risky shutdown. Trump won big in coal country and Democrats would love to claw back some of those working class voters.
As he opened the chamber for what's been expected to be the final legislative day of the year, McConnell implored Democrats to accept the miners provision as it is and not recklessly shutdown the government over it.
"It's been my intention that the miner benefits not expire at the end of April next year," said McConnell. I'm going to work with my colleagues to prevent that. But this is a good time to take 'yes' for an answer. We should pass the CR without delay."
McConnell noted that the bill passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support Thursday, a sign House Democrats were okay with the four month extension.
There is a new warning about the dangers of indoor tanning, especially for anyone younger than 18.
For the first time, CDC researchers have calculated the effects of the FDA's recommended ban on indoor tanning for anyone under 18 years of age.
They say this one simple age restriction would cut indoor tanning use by 29 percent, preventing the loss of 7,000 lives to melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
Dr. Ramsay Farah, a dermatologist at SUNY Upstate Medical University and Farah Dermatology and Cosmetics, says, "We're a very data driven society. We have data measuring all sorts of metrics so people tend to believe numbers. The numbers are very compelling and they corroborate what in past years many studies have shown, there's an overwhelming scientific consensus that tanning salon use is bad for everybody but in particular for the younger generation."
The CDC research says an under 18 ban on indoor tanning would prevent 62,000 melanoma cases and save over $300 million in cancer treatment costs.
Dr. Farah says, "There will be a fight from an industry that generates about $5 billion a year, and I think their strategy will be to cast doubt on the numbers, that's been the tobacco industry playbook and I think that will be the playbook to cast doubt but every time we have more statistics that what we're saying is true I would hope people are less susceptible to that kind of strategy."
To the argument 'I only do it once in a while,' Dr. Farah says if you use indoor tanning 10 times in your life, you've doubled your risk for skin cancer.
CDC researchers even went so far as to show a total ban on indoor tanning would prevent more than 200,000 melanoma cases.
Two men that are accused of leading police on a wild chase through central Vermont, are now accused of stealing drugs from the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
According to police, Jeremy Sadler, 25, of Barre City, and Kyle Larrabee, 23, of Washington led Vermont State Police on an active car chase on Thursday afternoon, after a tip that the two men were in the area with active warrants. Officials say Sadler was wanted on an active arrest warrant for being a Fugitive from Justice and Violation of Parole and Larrabee was wanted on an active warrant for Escape Custody Furlough, with $10,000 bail.
Police say near the Dunkin Donuts near Exit 12 the two men were asked by police to get out the car but instead, the two men took off.
According to a media release, the two men led police on a chase down I-89. During the chase, the pair hit two police cruisers and were finally arrested after they hit a blockade of plow trucks on Route 100 B.
On Friday, State Police sent out another media release saying the pair along with Sadler's girlfriend Sonya Lowe, 25, of Barre City had allegedly helped them to steal drugs.
Police say Lowe, an Orange County Sheriff's Department dispatcher allowed Sadler and Larrabee access to restricted areas of the department.
According to police, Sadler and Larrabee stole prescription drugs and other evidence.
Officials say Larrabee was charged with one count of felony trespassing and possession of stolen properties. Sadler was charged with three counts of burglary and possession of stolen property. They are still in police custody since the arrest after the police chase.
Police say Lowe has been charged with aiding the commission of a felony, possession of stolen property and accessory to burglary. She is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.
The number of deaths from overdoses of illicit opioids rose sharply again in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.
"The epidemic of deaths involving opioids continues to worsen," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said. "Prescription opioid misuse and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl are intertwined and deeply troubling problems."
Overdose deaths (9,580) from synthetic opioids, most of them fentanyl related, skyrocketed by 73%. Deaths that involved prescription opioids (17,536) rose just 4%.
And deaths attributed to heroin (12,990) went up 23% in 2015.
"The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic continues to devastate communities and families across the country -- in large part because too many people still do not get effective substance use disorder treatment," Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli said.
A total of 33,091 Americans died from opioid overdose last year. Some of the deaths involved a combination of drugs, officials noted.
A bill called the 21st Century Cures Act, which proposes $1 billion for expanded access to drug treatment, was sent to President Barack Obama this week. The White House tweeted that the President would sign it next week.
"We are now one step closer to ending cancer as we know it, unlocking cures for diseases like Alzheimer's, and helping people seeking treatment for opioid addiction finally get the help they need," President Obama said.
In October, CNN published its findings on drug deaths, also finding a sharp rise in fatal overdoses.
Drugs are the leading cause of accidental death in this country. Fatal overdoses surpassed shooting deaths and fatal traffic accidents years ago.
The sharp uptick in deaths seems to coincide with Americans' increasing use of drugs like illicit fentanyl.
The pain reliever is more than 100 times as strong as morphine and 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. The CDC report said: "Recent research indicates the fentanyl involved in these (2015 overdose) deaths is illicitly manufactured, not from medications containing fentanyl."
Prescription fentanyl is often given to cancer patients.
The CDC announcement comes two days after the Drug Enforcement Administration released its National Drug Assessment, which said a record 167 kilograms of illicit fentanyl were seized by US law enforcement agencies last year.
Police are investigating the untimely death of a man in South Burlington.
Officers responded to an area off Dorset Street near the Anchorage Inn and Barnes & Noble just before 8 a.m. Friday. Investigators say the body was found by a passerby in a grassy area on the north side of the inn's parking lot.
Police say the man's name is being withheld pending positive identification, and notification of his family.
Police say the death is not considered suspicious. The investigation is ongoing.
We need your help! The Feed a Family Food Drive is Friday December 9. Stop by Healthy Living Market and Cafe anytime until 7:30pm to drop off non-perishable food items or monetary donations. All proceeds benefit the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf.
The Food Shelf serves over 12,000 people each year. For more information about the food shelf, click here.
For more information about Healthy Living Market and Cafe, click here.
Critical foods needed:
Healthy cereals (wheat based)
Canned tuna or other proteins
Pasta and pasta sauce
Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, feminine products)
Other foods that are good donations to food drives:
Canned meat-beef, pork, chicken, etc.
Low-sodium canned soups and chili
Boxed meals-Macaroni & Cheese, Hamburger Helper, etc.
Rice any type
Portable ready-to-eat snack foods?kid-friendly
Shelf stable milk (non-dairy)
Nurse Kelly Cota is getting a lot of questions from Enosburg parents after cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, popped up last month.
"I think it's very important to have good communication around what potentially is out there," Cota said.
Cota sent out information about the illness just before Thanksgiving to families, after the Vermont Health Department reported 140 suspected cases in Grand Isle and Franklin Counties. Doctors are certain 84 of them are whooping cough, officials are still waiting for some results to come back.
Health leaders say about 40 percent of these cases were teenagers. There were only a handful of people sick with it in 2014 and 2015.
Pertussis causes serious coughing fits.
"In those instances, a person can sometimes have a [wheezing or whooping] kind of sound, after their fit of coughing because they're trying to catch their breath," said Vermont's Deputy State Epidemiologist Laura Ann Nicolai.
Nicolai says someone can be contagious for up to 3 weeks, if it goes untreated.
"It is spread through droplets, respiratory droplets, when they're talking, coughing, singing," said Nicolai.
Whooping cough can be deadly for infants, so Nicolai says everyone should be up to date on their vaccines to protect the little ones.
"That's going to provide a circle of protection, and kind of like a cocoon around those young infants," said Nicolai.
Nurse Cota tries to make sure her students know how to stay healthy, by washing their hands and coughing into their arms.
"Our job is to have them here in school and ready to learn and being healthy is part of that," said Cota.
And if you do get sick -- go to the doctor and then stay home.
"Do not try to be a superhero and soldier on and go to school or go to work, because you're not going to be as effective, if you feel bad and you're risking spreading your illness to your coworkers and your classmates," said Nicolai.
Health officials say anyone from a baby to an adult can get a vaccine. It's also recommended for women who are pregnant to have a dose, during every pregnancy.
As the City of Burlington looks to help the refugee crisis, will the police department follow suit and welcome refugees to the force?
Right now there are no refugees employed by the Burlington Police Department, but Chief Brandon del Pozo welcomes the idea.
"We would love to have people who speak different languages, come from different religions and come from different cultures it's just going to help up police better when we deal with diverse populations," said del Pozo.
Del Pozo took the reins of Burlington's police force in 2015 after 18 years with the largest police force in the country, the NYPD.
"You know on one side cops from Lebanon and Egypt on the other side I had cops who were 7th generation and then we had South Asian Muslims who barely got into the United States and they were joining the police force and it made for a better police force," said del Pozo.
According to the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, around 300 refugees have resettled in Vermont in each of the last three years.
Del Pozo says while the refugee population isn't getting smaller, a more diverse police force is a must.
"When we police those neighborhoods it helps us in terms of legitimacy, in terms of our ability to communicate, in terms of getting people to understand where we are coming from and comply with the police work we need done. We can speak the language and understand the culture and make bridges and connections with them," explained del Pozo.
The department is currently revamping its recruitment process, one area of concern is the state's police academy exam.
"About half of the white applicants who take the exam fail it but 90% of the applicants of color fail the exam and we want to get to the heart of it, why is it an exam that excludes so many people from the start," said del Pozo.
Del Pozo encourages everyone, including new Americans to apply.
"The faster we can get over that hump and start getting everyone from Somalia-Americans to Nepalese to Tibetans in our police force the better we are going to be," said del Pozo.
The department currently employs 100 sworn officers, but recently received a federal grant that allows for a force of 105 officers.
Good morning folks, it's going to be a COLD day! Cold arctic air is funneling down south because of a strong northwest flow, wind gust could reach up to 25mph. Kicking off our weekend we are still dealing with mostly cloudy skies, and a few snow showers. If you are heading out today to help us feed a family at Healthy Living in South Burlington make sure to bundle on up, wind chill will make the temperature feel like the middle teens! Remember not to leave your pets outside, they are vulnerable to the extreme cold.
Friday night we are partly to mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers, another dusting to an inch or two possible. Areas across the Northeast Kingdom, central Vermont, and northern New York (south of route 11), would be areas seeing that additional 1-2" of snow. The Champlain Valley will see festive flurries with little to no accumulation, highest totals are expected across the highest peaks of the Adirondack and Green Mountains. Also Friday night we are talking cold overnight lows in the single digits to the mid teens, and with a persistent northwest flow a "feel like" temperature flirting near 0° isn't out of the question.
This weekend a ridge of high pressure will over take the region, leading to an end of the snow showers. The area of high pressure will allow for some clearing, giving way to a mix of sun and clouds. While the sun will be out at time it will still be very chilly! On Saturday daytime highs struggle to hit the low and mid 20s, almost 10-15 degrees below average. Partial clear skies on Saturday night will allow us to cool down once again to the low teens and low single digits, make sure all pets are inside! Sunday we are a few degrees warmer, yet still cold! Expect partly sunny skies and a high in the mid to upper 20s.
As for this coming Monday, models are slowly coming into line together. Timing has our next system impacting early Monday, just in time for the ride to work and school. What we still need to iron out is if the storm will stay all snow or be a mix of snow and rain.
The Golden Dome is officially in the holiday spirit.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin held his final tree lighting ceremony Thursday night.
Peggy and Joe Willis, both of Sharon, donated the tree in honor of two family members.
Peggy's daughter April passed away in 2014, and April's father passed away from cancer this summer. The tree was lit up in their memory.
Governor Shumlin said this time of year is an opportunity for Vermonters to feel united and rejoice in the holiday season
"That in Vermont we care about each other, we take care of each other. and we welcome everyone, regardless of their religion, regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of what their beliefs are. We're all inclusive, and that really matters," said Shumlin.
The tree stands more than 40 feet tall, and weighs over 3,200 lbs.