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Good morning!

Following a cold front passage late Memorial Day, high pressure arrives to the Northeast and remains throughout most of this week. That area of high pressure will help pull drier air in to the region from the northwest, which means a less muggy, sticky feeling for us! It will still be warm, however, with high temperatures ranging from the mid 70s to low 80s. Breezy southwest winds at 5-15 mph becoming northwest by the afternoon.

Also, with high pressure comes quiet, clear nights and sunshine-filled days! Late Tuesday, a few more clouds may form over the mountains with an isolated sprinkle possible, though most stay dry. Lows tonight dip to the upper 40s and low 50s.

Late Thursday into Friday, a low pressure system inches closer with increasing clouds and the potential for showers and thunderstorms returning. Thursday afternoon, a warm front will clip northern New York, bringing the chance for afternoon rain. Vermont and New Hampshire will likely stay dry, but more widespread showers for all are in the forecast for Friday.

As of now, Saturday and most of Sunday look dry with a weak ridge building in, but rain return late Sunday into Monday.

Have a great day!

-Skytracker Meteorologist Amanda Lindquist

A Vermont inn keeper is looking for fundraising help to build a guest loft for military personnel.

Mary Skelton owns The Hobble Inn, located in Stowe.

"My parents were 99 and 102 [years-old] when they died, and they were both in wheelchairs, and my husband, of course, was in a wheelchair at the end of his life, so I've taken care of a lot of hobblers," Skelton said.

After operating the inn for nearly three years, Skelton has decided to embark on a new project to honor her family and friends who have served, and continue to serve in the armed forces.

"I was thinking about my husband, and my father, and my father-in-law, and my son, and just feeling that I hadn't really done anything patriotic to honor them and all of the other service people that have been serving our country's interest for decades and centuries, and this just seemed like something I could do," Skelton said.

The loft would be free up to a week for Veterans, Reservists and Active Servicemen and Women who are looking for a place to get away. The space is above the inn's garage, and will be turned into a one-bedroom apartment for military personnel and a guest or spouse to enjoy.

Skelton needs at least $120,000 to complete the project, and says she's relying on the community's support.

"To make this work and be able to loan it out at no charge for Veterans, I do need the help of the public, my friends, my family, and anyone else that thinks this is a great idea," Skelton said.

Up until midnight on Memorial Day, Skelton said she would match any gift of $100 or more, up to $5,000 to benefit The Loft project, but says she will likely keep that going if the contributions keep coming in.

Community members touched by the project have helped.

"Mary is a unique individual in the fact that she's put her home kind of on the line for this. There's not a lot of people that can afford to do that. This is all out of pocket, and that's huge," John Nichols, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran said.

"A lot of Veterans just need a change of pace once in a while, and whether it be a couple of days or a week, I think it'd be really good for them," Amy Connelley, a Blue Star Mother said.

"Obviously, she knows Veterans, she's got experience with them, and it should go a long, long, long way, even it it helps just one," David Eckert, Chapter Commander of Combat Veterans Motorcycles Association, Vermont Chapter 26.

Skelton hopes to have renovations complete by Spring 2017.

"I'm really looking forward to being able to welcome guests," Skelton said.

To donate to the cause, click here: https://www.crowdrise.com/the-loft-at-hobble-inn/fundraiser/theloftathobbleinn

UVM College of Medicine may have unlocked the secret to avoiding the flu.

A study led by the college discovered a protein known as MCJ. It can be altered to boost the immune system's response to the flu. MCJ is the part of the cell that produces energy and enables metabolism.

The college says the removal of MCJ, or the " mitochondrial brake" strengthens virus fighting cells and can improve flu vaccines' effect on patients.

"When you eliminate MJC, then you increase the metabolism of your immune cells, but actually we found out that it also increases the overall metabolism of the whole body too," says Professor of Medicine and Immunobiologist for UVM College of Medicine.

New Hampshire's Attorney General says two arrests have been made in connection to a deadly shooting in Littleton, Friday night.

Littleton police responded to an emergency call at 124 West Main Street, Apartment 5, at approximately 10:30 that night.

They found 22 year-old Robert Pierog suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His death has been ruled a homicide.

On Monday, the Attorney General announced 21 year-old Damion Yeargle, of Littleton, was charged with one count of First Degree Murder. Prosecutors say he shot Pierog several times.

They also arrested 18 year-old Quade Kadle of Jefferson, NH with one count of being an Accomplice to First Degree Murder.

Yeargle and Kadle will be arraigned on the charges Tuesday.

A Cambridge, New York man is dead after crashing his motorcycle Monday afternoon.

Vermont State Police says 36 year-old Philip Couch III lost control on White Creek Road in Shaftsbury and hit a tree.

Couch was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say it was clear and sunny at the time, they are still investigating.

The weather for Memorial Day improved significantly, clouds and morning showers made it out of the area quickly. Sunshine for the majority of the day as allowed for a few isolated showers and thunderstorms to develop. A weak cold front is sitting across western New York and will push through the region late afternoon and early evening, with a few showers possible. Tonight, expect partly cloudy skies with a low near 60°. Tuesday an area of high pressure will move in over northern New England, giving us fair weather into Thursday. Tuesday through Thursday expect mostly sunny afternoons with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s. Overnight lows will generally fall back to the 50s. Along with the more seasonable temperatures this week in the mid 70s to low 80s we are expecting lower dewpoint levels. That means lower humidity making it feel less sticky. The next shot at more weather will come in by the end of the work week and next weekend.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, isolated shower, low 60°. Wind: SW 5-8 mph.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, few afternoon clouds, high 79°. Wind: NW 10-15 mph.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, low 54°.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, high 77°.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, high 81°.

Friday: Increasing clouds, isolated showers, high 76°.

-SkyTracker Meteorologist Torrance Gaucher

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (D - Presidential Candidate) always makes an appearance at the Vergennes Memorial Day Parade.

On Monday, he was on the other side of the country, walking in a parade in Oakland, CA.

"Everybody wanted to know. Bernie is not here," said the announcer at the Vergennes parade Monday, adding that she received several emails asking if the presidential candidate would be participating.

Still, he was on parade-goers' minds.

"(ALI RYERSBACH/STARKSBORO) I just like everything that he believes in. He's been doing it for a long time and I trust him," said Ali Ryersbach, of Starksboro, Vt.

"We're missing Bernie this year," said Tom Giroux, of Hinesburg. "It's always one of my favorite things to come down and listen to Bernie's speech afterwards. I just enjoy a lot of the things that he says. He's done a lot for the state of Vermont."

Vermont statewide candidates, on the democratic side, were quick to align themselves with Sanders.

"Not only am I a supporter of Bernie Sanders, but what I'm trying to do in Vermont is what Bernie Sanders is trying to do nationally, with that $15 minimum wage," said Peter Galbraith (D - candidate for Governor).

"Bernie Sanders is changing democratic politics forever. What he's doing across the country is nothing short of revolutionary," said Matt Dunne (D - candidate for Governor).

"Bernie has been doing a great job getting the message out and reminding people that we have work to do on income inequality," said Shap Smith (D - candidate for Lt. Governor).

The parade was a chance for candidates on both sides of the aisle to walk down the middle of Main Street in Vergennes and greet potential voters.

"I see too many Vermonters struggling in an economy that is stacked against them. More and more I see people having a hard time just making ends meet," said Sue Minter (D - candidate for Governor).

GOP gubernatorial candidates Phil Scott and Bruce Lisman were in campaign mode at the parade, too.

Local22/Local44 News was unable to connect with them Monday for interviews.

Fellow Republican Scott Milne, who ran for Governor 2 years ago, is back on the campaign trail.

He's now running for U.S. Senate against Sen. Patrick Leahy.

"Washington is broken. one of the biggest reasons is career politicians," said Milne. There's a lot of great things that can be said about my opponent but clearly after 42 years, he's a career politician."

The deadline for candidates to file in state races was May 26.

Vermont's state primary is August 9.

A bar in Burlington that was the center of attention during a December 2015 homicide investigation has closed.

Zen Lounge owner Robert Rapatski told Local 22 & Local 44 that the closure was a financial decision.

The closure comes as the Vermont Liquor Control Board is scheduled on Wednesday to announce its decision on an April 13 disciplinary hearing. The bar was cited earlier this year after investigators say it violated its liquor licenses.

"I have forwarded the information on to our Legal Counsel to get their take on how the Board should proceed moving forward," said Department of Liquor Control Director Bill Goggins, who was reached by email Monday.

The administrative charges stem from various incidents on December 18, 2015, including the bar's alleged failure to protect patrons after a customer disclosed he had firearm. Documents say a man threatened to shoot members of the Zen Lounge staff, who were trying to remove him from the bar. The charges also maintain the man was showing signs of intoxication while on the premises, which could be a violation of state liquor regulations.

Two other charges centered on a 20-year-old man who was not required by the Zen Lounge to give proper proof of age, and later consumed alcoholic beverages on the premises, according to charging documents. They maintain that the man also suffered serious bodily injury from a fall down the stairs due to the conduct of an employee.

The Zen Lounge was also scrutinized following a homicide on December 27, 2015. Police say Obafemi Adedapo was arguing with Chavis Murphy inside the Zen Lounge and the dispute spilled outside. Adedapo, 28, of New York City, was shot several times near Lower Church Street and King Street, police said.

Murphy, 24, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder, which carries a possible life sentence.

In a statement to Local 22 & Local 44 on Monday, Rapatski thanked the City of Burlington, the Vermont Department of Liquor Control and his supporters. He said he has no immediate plans for another venue.

"I will continue to DJ, do sound & support community events as I have for the last 20 years," said Rapatski.

NASA navigator Dr. Michael Moreau grew up on a small dairy farm in Swanton, VT and is now the lead navigator for NASA's OSIRIS REx mission.

The mission is to collect samples from an asteroid that may reveal the origins of life in space.

"There's also another objective. That is a hazardous asteroid. There's something like a 1 in 1,000 chance that it could impact the earth in the next 200 years." said Moreau via Skype from the Lockheed Martin launch prep facility in Denver, CO.

Moreau's job as lead navigator is to leading a team of engineers tracking the spacecraft through deep space and, using cameras mounted on the craft, use the thrusters to help pilot it to its destination.

Watch the interview to learn more about his journey from Swanton to space.

Follow this link to learn more about the OSIRIS REx mission.

Miss Vermont and Miss Vermont Outstanding Teen join us in studio after being crowned over the weekend.

Brittney Hibbs talks with Meg Schultz, the creator and organizer of Betty's Beer Fest. Betty's Beer Fest is a beer festival dedicated to proving that beer is gender neutral.

In addition to craft beer tasting featuring breweries with women all over their rank, Betty's will also showcast industry professional in a variety of craft beer- related jobs. There will be educational sessions, a Q & A panel and new for 2016, is the Betty's Scholarship Program that will help one woman through UVM's Craft Beer Business Program.

For more information and ticket sales go to www.bettysbeerfest.com

Craig Whipple, Director of Vermont State Parks, tells us it's going to be a great summer!

Be on the lookout for 'Random Acts of Camping' over the next couple of months. Vt. State Parks employees will randomly grant two nights of free camping to families out enjoying a State Park. You can find out what State Park they will be at, by visiting the Vt. State Parks Facebook page.

Also, Whipple tells us about the safety protocol in the event of severe weather. Campground staff will ensure all campers are aware of inclement weather, but it is up to the State Parks patrons to make decisions regarding their safety. In the event of a strong to severe storm, it is important to seek shelter in a sturdy building; the bathrooms and offices are great spots.

To find out more, visit http://www.vtstateparks.com/.

Good morning!

Memorial Day kicks off with morning showers and overcast skies, but look for a mix of sun and clouds by midday. Temperatures take off again, with highs just slightly cooler than yesterday, near 80 degrees. South wind 5-15 mph. This afternoon, there is a slight chance for an isolated shower or thunderstorm. While widespread severe weather is not expected, one or two strong to severe storms is not out of the question. If your holiday plans take you outdoors, be sure to keep an eye to the sky, and stay weather aware.

By Tuesday, high pressure returns to the North Country with mainly dry and mostly sunny weather expected through Thursday. High temperatures range from the mid 70s to low 80s. On Friday, the chance for a few showers or an isolated thunderstorms returns, with somewhat unsettled weather expected through the weekend.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

-Skytracker Meteorologist Amanda Lindquist

Until recently, remodeling a kitchen centered around new cabinets, countertops and dramatic islands, but one of the hot trends in home decorating focuses on the long-neglected area between your cabinets and countertops.

The sweet sound of freshly cut tile is music to the ears of Sandy Schwarz who decided the time was right to update her kitchen after 26 years.

"It was a little bit outdated and I'd seen some beautiful backsplash and countertops out there and I just wanted a new look and I thought it'd be real exciting to do that," said Sandy Schwarz, a homeowner.

She found a countertop she loved and paired it with a backsplash she loved designing - a unique combination of tile, glass and stone.

"There's a lot more creativity when it comes to a backsplash these days," said Angie Hicks, Angie's List Founder. "You're seeing people not only install them between the counter and the cabinet, but also above the top of the cabinets. Additionally, think about how you want it installed. It could be done vertically, horizontally, even diagonally to give it a different look."

"People are being more creative and then they're seeing what others are doing - not only just their friends, but now they're seeing what they're doing across the country and across the world," said Geoff Horen, a kitchen remodeler.

Geoff Horen says he didn't used to do many backsplashes during a remodel. Now, it's rare when he doesn't do one. And it doesn't have to be elaborate to be eye-catching.

"Most of the time I tell people: if you're thinking in the range of 18-hundred to two thousand, you're going to get a nice backsplash, and then what you come up with is your own creativity," he said.

Kitchens are often the heart of a home, where each day begins and everyone gathers.
Angie says a new backsplash should reflect your personality with little regard for resale value. Horen agrees.

"I always use the five-year rule. If you're going to be there five years or more, then in my mind, you do what's going to make you happy and resale becomes less of an issue," said Horen.

"I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. No, I love it," said Schwarz.

Experts say mosaic patterns with a mix of glass and stone have become really popular these days. The glass tiles can come in about any color, but they're expensive at nearly $20 per square foot.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles also continue to be popular and are less expensive at $4 - $5 per square foot.

Alcohol and speed contributed to a double fatal crash in West Charleston Village, Vt., Sunday afternoon, police say.

Vermont State Police say Esperanza Robles, 29, of Derby Line, and Ryan Coulter, 26, of Newport, died when the car they were riding in struck a tree at the intersection of VT 105 and Fontaine Road in West Charleston Village.

The driver, Joshua Cole, 30, of Derby, and another passenger sustained injuries.

Police say all three passengers were ejected from the vehicle. Investigators say no one in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt.

Alcohol and speed were contributing factors in the accident, police say.

The case is under investigation.

A group of North Country men who enlisted together 50 years ago were honored Sunday in Plattsburgh for their service.

The North Country Platoon signed up for the Marines in 1966 and fought in Vietnam.

Leaders of the Veterans Service Agency remember when Vietnam War vets were treated poorly upon returning home. Now, they're making an extra effort to show their appreciation.

"Many have shied away from events like these, simply because of the way they were treated by society when they came home. This hopefully is going to present a little bit of closure for them, and allow them to breathe a little bit and be proud of what they did for their nation," Steve Bowman, the Director of the Clinton County Veterans Service Agency, said.

The veterans were given medals as well as bricks, that will be a part of a new memorial wall.

Sunday was a busy afternoon in the weather department, with another hot day, to severe weather. Storm reports came in from Franklin County in Vermont of trees, and power poles down.... and small hail in Sheldon. Tree damage was also reported in Essex County, New York.

Across the region tonight and into the early hours of Monday expect rain to continue with a few rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightning. Overnight temperatures will fall into the 60s, and dewpoints will fall as well (high dewpoints make it feel humid).

Memorial Day: Clouds and showers to start out ahead of a cold front, front approaches early afternoon popping up a few more isolated showers. Then clearing into the mid afternoon, high 81°. Wind: S 5-10 mph.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, low 60°.

Tuesday-Thursday: High pressure returns, mostly sunny with highs near 80°.

Friday: Next chance for rain and thunderstorms high mid 70s.

-SkyTracker Meteorologist Torrance Gaucher

A man who admits to protesting on a state commissioner's yard has been cited.

Henry Harris, 37, of Plainfield, faces an Unlawful Trespass charge.

Police say, Wednesday morning, Harris and his group "People's Department of Environmental Justice" protested on the property of Vermont Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia in Randolph.

Harris is accused of leaving an oil derrick on Recchia's property, and acting out mock construction activities with other protestors.

When Local22/Local44 News spoke with Harris, he admitted to protesting at Recchia's home with his advocacy group.

The group is against the Vermont Gas Pipeline project.

Harris is due in Orange County Superior Court July 13 for Unlawful Trespass.

He was also issued a Vermont Civil Violation Complaint for littering with a fine of $500.

As 8,000 runners laced up for Sunday's Vermont City Marathon and Relay, the day's excessive heat forced officials to issue a black flag warning, discontinuing the race around 12:00 pm.

Nicole Ravlin of RunVermont say the decision to discontinue the race was historic.

"We've never had to discontinue a race. We've never had to cancel a race," Ravlin said.

Ravlin says wet bulb globe tests temperatures were taken from three different locations on the race course.

"If those are 82 or higher for three consecutive readings over the course of 45 minutes, it's deemed unsafe to carry on with the race," Ravlin said.

Vermont City Marathon Medical Coordinator Denisa Alosa says extra preparations were made for the hot temperatures.

"We put some extra cold tubs where we might put somebody, we've got extra ice, extra water in the tent. We put on a few more personnel," Alosa said.

Matt Pelletier, the winner of this year's marathon, finished before the black flag was issued, but says the extreme heat made this race the hardest he's run yet.

'"It'll be memorable, unless I can forget it, which I'm gonna try to do because this was horrible. If I keep remembering this race I'll never run the marathon again," Pelletier said.

Other participants like Patrick Standen agree the weather was a big factor in how he finished the race.

"We've had a relatively mild, cold spring, and so we aren't acclimated to training in that kind of condition," Standen said.

Some runners agree the decision to discontinue the race was the right call.

"The heat, really, a lot of people aren't prepared for that, so I think that they did that in the best interest of all of us. I'm not upset for a second," Vermont City Marathon participant Carol Blattspieler said.

Marathon participant Diane Adams says those who have trained for the race deserve the right to cross the finish line.

"I say finish the race, they don't have to go full kill, but finish the race!" Adams said.

Though some did continue to run, Mother Nature had other plans in store. Around 2:00 pm, officials made the call to evacuate Waterfront Park due to an thunderstorm warning.

Vermont City Marathon officials say despite physically finishing the race Sunday or not, all participants will receive a medal.

RunVermont will be issuing a statement at some point this week regarding final times, how to pick up medals and more.

Burlington Police say a transgender male has died after sustaining serious injuries from an assault last week at a homeless encampment.

Amos Beede, 38, died Sunday because of his injuries. Beebe, a transgender person who identified as male, was assaulted early in the morning on May 23rd near the Barge Canal area on Pine Street.

The victim sustained multiple blunt force injuries to his face and head. Authorities say this caused bleeding in the brain as well as numerous broken ribs.

In a press release, BPD says their investigation suggests the perpetrators' motivations were "independent" of the victim's transgender identity. The department says it "has not ruled out the victim's transgender status as a possible additional motive" and is working to determine what role it may have played as the investigation continues.

The investigation is still ongoing. At this time, police say they will continue to view this homicide as a "possible bias incident."

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