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The Board of Finance and Burlington City Council approved funding for a contract Monday, so the Burlington Police Department can order 110 body cameras.

It will cost nearly $160,000, and will give every sworn member of the department a body camera, while still leaving five back-ups.

The approval gives Chief Brandon del Pozo permission to contract with Tazer International to get the cameras.
Body cameras have been tested as part of a pilot program since 2010.

In-home providers make up the largest piece of long-term care in the Empire State. To date, New York has invested $6 billion to help out the industry, nearly $2 billion for wages alone.

But advocates say the State's numbers don't match the need.

Donald Smith says Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson's testimony to the NY Assembly Committee, does not reflect reality.

"I believe the rates that we pay, the plans, are in fact accurate," Helgerson said. "We think at this moment the networks are adequate."

Smith is among 300 people who care for people with varying disabilities at Community Work and Independence Inc. in Glens Falls, New York.

"We are having a big problem hiring qualified personnel," Smith said.

He says turnover remains high. He sees a dozen new trainees every month.

"We've had several people who have been there ten years or more who have left, discouraged with the situation," Smith said.

The situation is that most home-care workers currently make less than fast food workers. They argue the state needs to offer more than minimum wage for jobs that require bathing, feeding, and helping others live.

"I would say that we are in crisis mode here, especially in rural areas," said Assemblyman Billy Jones, (D) NY District 115.

"I'm hearing a lot of concerning stories, especially Update," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, (D) NY District 123.

The state director says wages will eventually match fast-food workers in the coming years, but Smith and some lawmakers say that is far from enough.

"People who have this education aren't going to be able to pay off their loans, so they're going to have to go to other industries where they can be paid a living wage and be able to pay off their college loans and so forth," Smith said.

Helgerson said the state is set to launch a program soon to help train new employees, with the goal of focusing on areas currently seeing shortages. He says a lack of staff within his own department has hurt the state's ability to keep track of where New York caregivers need the help most.

Police arrested Olaf Hedding, 49, of Barre, for Burglary and Possession of Burglar's tools, and Violation of Conditions of release.

Authorities were called to The Pizza Joint on 383 Moscow Road to a report that the security system detected someone was in the building Saturday at 2 a.m. Officers found evidence that someone had broken in.

Police say Hedding was connected to two earlier burglaries at The Pizza Joint in late July 2016, as well as a home in Stowe in January of 2016, where DNA evidence was used to identify Hedding.

Vermont State Police arrested Josie Spears, 33, of Highgate, for Lewd and Lascivious Conduct with a Child.

On February 21, 2017, VSP and the Northwest Unit for Special Investigation were notified of and investigated a sex offense in Highgate.

An investigation found Spears had inappropriate conversations with a young boy, and sent him naked pictures through social media. The investigation is still on-going.

Spears was arrested at her sister's home Monday. She was taken to the St. Albans barracks. The Honorable Judge Rainville released Spears on $5,000 bond.

Spears is expected back in Franklin Superior Court Tuesday.

According to WMUR in New Hampshire, charges were dismissed against a man accused of killing his step-daughter in West Stewartstown in 2011.

In June of 2016, Wendell Noyes was charged with second degree murder in the death of his 11 year old step daughter Celina Cass.

WMUR is reporting a court ruled Noyes is not competent to stand trial, and he won't be considered competent within the next year.

Official say Noyes will be moved back to the New Hampshire Psychiatric Hospital indefinitely.

Lebanon police are warning residents about a phone scam.

Local businesses reported they had been contacted by someone claiming to be from "Liberty Utilities" over the last couple of weeks, and were told unless an immediate payment was made, power would be shut off.

One business owner was directed to buy "Green Dot" prepaid debit cards and provide PINs to make payments. Authorities say this is almost always a clear indicator of a scam.

An investigation found this to be a scam. Police warn if you get any calls claiming you are delinquent, to hang up and contact the utility through a verified number, which could be listed on your bill, or the company's official website.

If you receive a call like this, contact your local police department.

More information on scams can be found on the New Hampshire Attorney General's website.

Police say the search for 29 year old Krystal Bailey will be suspended until conditions improve. They say the Barre, Vermont woman may have gone into the water, after a crash. While water levels have dropped after rain and minor flooding across the state, visibility is low and water speeds are still high near Plainfield, making the search difficult.

"Certainly if this woman is in the water, we're looking at body recovery. You hope for the best, but there's nothing to tell us she's out of the water," said Vermont State Police Captain Robert Cushing. Knowing they may face an unfortunate outcome, emergency responders headed back onto the Winooski River to continue the search for Bailey. She, along with 29 year old Allie Duda were involved in a single vehicle crash on Brook Road in Plainfield, Saturday night.

Emergency officials say when they arrived on scene, the two women were seen walking away from the crash. Only after responders walked down to the water's edge, did they find just Duda. "

"Everybody is eager to help and it's just a matter of managing it and making sure we're using all the resources we can, and putting them to good use in the areas we need to clear. As Troop A Commander, Captain Cushing is helping coordinate those resources. Monday's search effort included State Police and their Dive Team, Colchester and Stowe Technical Rescue, as well as a handful of other local resources. Teams took to the river on boat, walked along the banks, and got an aerial view from a Border Patrol chopper.

Something working on their side, decreasing water levels. "The water levels were very, very high. Anyone that travels Route 2 today, you can see the water levels are down just by looking at the rivers. In different areas they're down about a foot to a foot and a half. Hopefully that helps us out," said the Captain. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to sustain the search efforts. The Captain says it will resume once conditions are more favorable.

Cushing doesn't know what may have driven the two woman towards the cold waters. He says police haven't learned much useful information from Duda. They do say she failed a field sobriety test. "Your day in court is better than losing your life. I don't know what the answer is there either. It's not worth losing your life over," he added.

Captain Cushing says the search will resume, and continue until Krystal Bailey is located. Anyone with information to who whereabouts is asked to contact their local law enforcement.

Duda meanwhile, was charged with driving under the influence. She's scheduled to appear in court March 16th.

Monday turned into not a half bad weather day. We had a solid mix of sun and clouds during the day with some light mountain rain/snow showers. Around 5pm I did get a report of light flurries from Norton, Vermont. High pressure will build in overnight helping to put an end to the rain/snow chance. Skies will stay partly to mostly cloudy with lows dropping into the upper 20s & low 30s.

There shouldn't be any issues for the Tuesday morning commute, the first half of the day will stay quiet. Southeast winds will crank up from breakfast to lunch and help drive up the heat. Highs will climb into the upper 40s & low 50s. Burlington's record high is 55°, I don't think we get there. There is a chance at widely scattered showers during the afternoon but most are dry while the sun is up.

Tuesday night, a batch of widespread rain and perhaps some thunder, move through. A wintry mix is possible in some midslope & higher terrain locations but most of us see just plain rain. Temperatures will drop into the upper 30s & low 40s around midnight then shoot up to near 50° by sunrise Wednesday. Wednesday continues warm and breezy with showers and isolated thunderstorms during the day. South winds will gust near 30mph at times helping to push highs near record levels.

Burlington's record of 59° (1954) should go down easily. Warmth will stretch from mountain top to valley floor, snow melt will continue. Coupled with around an inch or less of additional rain on Wednesday, river levels will have to be watched again for minor flooding. Luckily the snow pack is lower and there isn't nearly as much river ice. Wednesday night, temperatures will drop fast and we'll see a switch to snow showers. Overnight lows will fall into the upper 20s & low 30s. Be careful, standing water will freeze and there will most definitely be icy spots Thursday morning. Snow showers will continue off & on during the first half of Thursday, mainly in the mountains. We'll watch them taper off by Thursday afternoon. Valleys may be able to squeeze out a dusting while mountains get a few inches at the most. Meanwhile, valleys will be partly sunny with highs struggling back into the middle 30s. A reinforcing shot of cold air arrives Thursday night, lows will drop into the mid teens. Friday & Saturday will be partly to mostly sunny but highs will be stuck in the 20s, with overnight lows in the single digits & teens. Anyone have weather whiplash yet? If so, I understand.

Have a great week!

-Meteorologist Sean Parker

The village states on its website that it sought counsel and advice on an agreement regarding PFOA from attorneys involved in litigation in the Ohio Valley.

Mayor Borge says those attorneys were never given a copy of the agreement and those attorneys say they have never reviewed the agreement.

"I wanted to make clear that that was not me," Robert Bilott Attorney, Environmental Litigation, said.

Bilott says he does not want Hoosick Falls Village residents to be mislead.

Bilott, who recently won a $671 million settlement for residents impacted by PFOA contamination in Ohio, says he is not the attorney mentioned in this memo on the village website regarding the proposed settlement between Saint Gobain and Honeywell.

The village says it conferred with attorneys with experience in environmental and land use laws and tort litigation, and "included attorneys involved in litigation related to remedial sites in the Ohio Valley…"

"I had been asked to take a look at it but I was in trial. I specifically said that I could not do it and was not in a position to take a look at it," Bilott said.

Bilott says he's puzzled as to who the attorneys the village claims it sought counsel from.

"I checked with my co-counsel who are involved in the litigation I'm involved in in West Virginia and Ohio. They had confirmed that they had not been contacted."

Bilott says he's still waiting to find out who the mentioned attorneys are and said he did not receive a response.

Mayor Borge said the following in an email:

"Our special counsel spoke with Mr. Bilott and Mr. Altman last year, before an agreement was in draft, regarding the advantages of such an agreement and potential pitfalls. We appreciated their time and incorporated much of their input and advice into the considerations and language which ultimately became the agreement. But as both Mr. Bilott and Mr. Altman have correctly pointed out, neither were provided a copy of the agreement, nor were asked to approve it."

There is a meeting on this proposed agreement at the Armory Monday night at 6 p.m

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According to a media release, Christopher Camp, 25, was arraigned on Thursday on charges of Luring a Child and Disseminating Indecent Material to a Child.

Court documents day, Camp contacted a child under the age of 16 and shared lewd images on the messenger app Kik.

Officials say Camp pleaded not guilty to the charges at Washington County Superior Court. Documents say if convicted Camp could face up to seven years in prison and fines up to $12,000.

Court documents say the investigation was a joint effort between Chesterfield County Virginia Police Department, Vermont Attorney General's Office, Vermont State Police, South Burlington Police

Department, Bristol Police Department, and Vermont's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

According to officials, Camp was released on conditions, this includes conditions that limit his access to children and the internet.

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The historic season for UVM Men's Basketball keeps getting better. On Monday, the America East announced its year-end awards, and the Catamounts cleaned up.

According to a media release, for the first time ever, the American East is awarding all five major men's basketball awards to the UVM Men's Basketball program. The awards show was announced on Facebook live.

A media release says the award winners were announced by their own coaches and were voted on by the conference's head coaches. You can read about which awards the players won below.

Kevin Roberson Player of the Year
Trae Bell-Haynes, Jr., Guard, Vermont

Sixth Catamount to win the award joining Vermont legends Marqus Blakely, Taylor Coppenrath, T.J. Sorrentine, Kevin Roberson and Matt Johnson. First to earn the honor since Blakely in 2009. Vermont's floor general who led his team to a program-record 26 wins and a perfect 16-0 conference regular-season record. Averaged 11.3 points, 3.9 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Ranked in league's top 18 in scoring, assists, steals, free throw percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio. Also a first-team All-Conference choice. Rookie of the Year
Anthony Lamb, Fr. Forward, Vermont

Unanimous selection for the award. Seventh Catamount to win the award and first since 2012. Was a seven-team America East Rookie of the Week. 15th in the conference in scoring (11.9 ppg), 12th in rebounding (5.2 rpg), fifth in field goal percentage (.497) and second in blocks (1.1 bpg). Also a second-team All-Conference and All-Rookie choice. Defensive Player of the Year
Dre Wills, Sr., Guard, Vermont

Fifth time a Vermont player has been named Defensive Player of the Year joining Marqus Blakely (2008, 09, 10) and Brendan Bald (2011). Faced toughest defensive assignments most games and spearheaded Vermont's scoring defense, which is the best in the league and top 20 in the nation allowing just 63.2 ppg. One of just two players to rank in league's top 13 in both steals and blocks. Was also named an All-Defensive selection for the third-straight year. Sixth Man of the Year
Darren Payen, Sr., Forward, Vermont

Second Catamount to win the award in its four-year history joining teammate Cam Ward. Averaged 7.1 points, 2.4 rebounds while shooting 71 percent from the floor in just 11.9 minutes per game. Upped his averages to 8.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 77 percent shooting in 14.3 minutes per game during conference play. Coach of the Year
John Becker, Vermont - 6th Season

Second time in his six seasons he's been named Coach of the Year. Seventh man to be named Coach of the Year multiple times. Led Vermont to one of greatest seasons in school and conference history, setting program record with 26 wins and becoming just the third team go unbeaten in conference play and first to go 16-0. Has his team riding an 18-game win streak, the longest in the nation. His 136 wins are the most by any America East coach in his first six seasons.

A judge has set tentatively set a trial date for the woman accused of killing three of her relatives and a social worker for August 1.

This after defense attorney David Sleigh withdrew his motion at court in Barre Monday-- that sought to dismiss four murder charges against his client, Jody Herring.

In April 2016, Sleigh filed a motion that said Herring, 42, was incompetent to stand trial and wanted the case dismissed without prejudice.

Sleigh says, early on in the case, psychiatrists chosen by the defense found Herring to be incompetent to stand trial.

Then a psychiatrist chosen by the state disagreed.

"So we had our expert go back to visit Jody to update her findings and based on those findings, we felt compelled to file a motion to withdraw a motion to dismiss," he said to reporters after Monday's hearing.

Sleigh said he is, however, considering filing an insanity defense for Herring.

He declined to discuss her mental state on Monday.

"We're exploring the plausibility of an insanity defense," said Sleigh.

Incompetence, Judge John Pacht said, and both attorneys reiterated, is "fluid" whereas an insanity claim is more specific.

"A person can be competent and then become incompetent and then return to competence. Sanity is talking about a specific mental state at a specific time," explained Assistant Attorney General John Treadwell.

In court Monday, Judge Pacht said he was expecting related paperwork to be filed already.

"I thought you were going to confirm this as well with a written confirmation, 12.1 notice, that you might be proceeding with a defense-related mental disease or defect," said Judge Pacht to defense attorney David Sleigh.

"It was difficult for me to ascertain whether or not I could assert basically an insanity defense during a period of time when there was a question about Ms. Herring's competency," Sleigh responded.

A defendant, Sleigh says, must agree to an insanity defense.

Herring was present for the hearing, but did not address the court.

Herring is accused of killing Department for Children and Families social worker Lara Sobel, 48, of East Montpelier, on August 7, 2015. She is also accused of killing three relatives, Regina Herring, 43, Rhonda Herring, 48, and Julie Ann Falzarano, 73, who were found dead in a nearby Berlin home the day after Sobel was killed.

Police say Herring shot and killed Sobel outside a DCF office in Barre. Court records show Herring blamed Sobel for taking away her daughter.

Herring has pleaded not guilty to one-count of first-degree murder, and three counts of aggravated murder.

She is currently being held at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington.

Lights, camera action! It turns out Vermont has had its taste of Hollywood over the years.

You'd probably notice the small town featured in Beetlejuice starring Michael Keaton.

A majority of the film was shot in East Corinth.

Jim Carrey spent time in the Green Mountain State while filming Me, Myself and Irene. Multiple scenes were shot in Waterbury, Williston and Burlington.

Some other notable films include Funny Farm and What Lies Beneath.

"It's really free advertising people get to see the beauty of the state, the spectacularness backdrop it is," said Joan Goldstein, Vermont Department of Economic Development.

A Vermont Romance was the state's first feature film shot more than 100 years ago.

"It created a lot of excitement because people weren't yet used to seeing movies generally and especially so many people recognize the characters and the locations in Vermont," said Orly Yadin, Vermont International Film Foundation Executive Director. Some of Burlington's most notable buildings could be seen in the silent film, most of them are still standing today.

Yadin said, "Watching film shot 100 years ago or so tells us so much historically about life in this case in Vermont today it's not just what people wore and how people moved around, I mean you see the horses and buggies but it is also their moral attitudes." So why such a rich history of filming in Vermont?

Goldstein said, "Vermont is gorgeous and it is not congested so that is the other thing if you needed to get a beautiful water scene, mountain scene, four seasons Vermont is the place to go." And its easy. "The permitting process for film production in Vermont is very lenient unless you are doing something like shutting down a road or need emergency services for support there is no film permitting process needed here," said Steven Cook, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Deputy Commissioner.

There are currently no incentives offered to filmmakers who choose Vermont, but there are other ways being explored that would attract more action from Hollywood. Goldstein said, "There is one idea posed about creating a film institute where we would train electricians, hairdresser and the rest of it specifically for film production."

State officials believe filming has the potential to play an important role in the economy and welcome all of Hollywood's finest to come to the Green Mountain State.

"Look we are not LA or New York however there are some quintessential Vermont character and Vermont stories that it would be a shame to filmed anywhere else but Vermont," said Goldstein. Cook said, "It's a bit of a time-capsule of that time when it was produced but it continues to showcase the state, the people, the fun things, the quirky things that make Vermont what it is.

More and more people are adopting solar power in New York State.

Governor Cuomo says the number of installations has ballooned 800 percent over the last five years.

According to the NY-Sun program just in Western New York last year there were 2,093 installations compared to 353 systems installed in 2011.

So why is solar energy catching on?

Solar energy is more affordable and accessible in the United States than ever before.

Vice President of Invictus Electrical, Jon Hand says each year they've been seeing an increase of homeowners reaching out all over Western New York to get solar paneling.

He's not surprised.

Many homeowners shy away from solar paneling because of the cost. Back in 2010 solar paneling could cost nearly $20,000. Today you can get solar paneling for less than $5,000.

Tim Cain is a volunteer for ROCSPOT which helps educate people about solar paneling.

"I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cost had drop basically the second time I got an estimate by about 75 percent," said Cain.

He was shocked to find out how much the costs would be.

According to Hand, homeowners can receive a Federal Tax credit of 30%, a state tax credit of 25% and other incentives to help reduce the costs.

"I just didn't understand how big the rebates would be from the state and from the federal government. I mean it covers so much of the cost which was really an important thing for us," said Robyyn Upham, a local homeowner.

Robyyn Upham and her husband Christopher recently switched to solar energy to try to get their energy bills under control.

They weren't expecting the difference to be this drastic

"We're going to be able to produce enough that we won't buy any energy at all from RG&E during most of the summer, "said Christopher Upham.

"The system will pay for itself in about 7 years, which it kind of fun as a homeowner I don't think I've ever done anything as a homeowner that literally pays for itself and then makes money, " said Robyyn Upham.

Solar paneling can't go on every home, experts first have to inspect your roof to make sure it can sustain the panels and gets enough sun.

In 2014 Governor Cuomo made a 1 billion dollar commitment to increase the number of solar electric systems across the state. These funds are expected to decrease by 2019.

One of Vermont State Police's K-9 dogs is got some new protective gear.

According to a picture VSP posted to Facebook, Kimbra received a new bullet and stab protected vest thanks to a charitable donation.

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Officials say the vest came from the non-profit 'Vested Interest in K-9s Inc' The vest Kimbra is wearing was donated by James II and Caroline Claremont. The donors' name is embroidered on Kimbra's vest.

The non-profit is based in Massachusetts and helps to provide protective vests to K-9's across the country. Officials say the cost of a protective vest $1,050.00.

If you would like to donate to help a K-9 receive a protective vest, click here.

Players are pouring in for pickleball. The sport is taking off in the Green Mountain State and especially in Middlebury.

The sport started in Washington in the 1960's.

It's a combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton, where players use a special paddle and a wiffle-like ball.

Community members play daily at the Middlebury recreation center on Creek Road.

They say pickleball is a sport anyone can pick up.

"The court is small, you score a point every time you serve, the games are short, so there is a lot of stuff going on at once and it's fun," says Missy Foote, who plays regularly.

The Middlebury Parks and Rec Department says it hopes to double the number of pickleball courts at the Rec Park this spring. For more information click here.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia are reminding school districts to protect the rights of immigrant children who attend New York's public schools.

According to guidance provided by Schneiderman and Elia, law enforcement officers may not remove a student from school property or interrogate a student without the consent of a student's parent or person in parental relation. The only exception is when a crime has been committed on school property.

"Throughout our long history, New York State has been a refuge for people from other lands seeking a new and better life for themselves and their families," Elia said. "Home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, New York has always welcomed immigrants. Indeed, our greatness as a state derives, in large part, from the contributions of immigrants. Our immigrant students have a right to a free education and they must not fear retribution for themselves or family members simply because they attend school. As education and law enforcement leaders, it is imperative that we protect all students as well as the information we have about them to the fullest extent possible under the law."

The Education Department says the guidance also reminds districts that under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, parents must consent to disclose personal identifiable student information.

Read the full guidance here: http://bit.ly/2lNAwq5.

Our film critic, Julia Swift, gives her thoughts on the winners of the 89th Academy Awards.

She also discusses the end of the night's Best Picture blunder and Jimmy Kimmel's performance as Host.

Good morning!

After some weird and wild February weather over the weekend, the last few days of the month are relatively much quieter.

Monday, a weak disturbance passes to the north, providing just a handful of brief, light rain or snow showers over the North Country. Otherwise, expect a mix of sun and clouds today with a breezy south wind 10-20 mph, shifting to out of the west this afternoon. Upper 30s to low 40s along the border, to mid and upper 40s south. Tonight, partly cloudy with a low near 30°.

Tuesday, a partly sunny day early with increasing clouds after lunchtime. Temps reach the upper 40s to near 50 as a warm front advances. Scattered showers, rain for most but a wintry mix over higher terrain, increase during the evening.

On Wednesday, the first day of March, Ma Nature is cranking up the heat again. Temps race towards the upper 50s, even nearing 60°. The record high temp for Burlington is 59° set in 1954. It won't be as sunny as Saturday was, however, with plenty of rain to go around. 0.5" up to 1" of rain falls Wednesday, before a cold front swings through Thursday changing rain to snow. A couple inches of mountain snow is possible Thursday with temps tumbling out of the 30s throughout the day.

Then, ready or not, the cold returns. Highs hit the 20s Friday and Saturday with overnight lows falling to the single digits and teens.

Have a great day!

-Skytracker Meteorologist Amanda Lindquist

When Kurt Busch won the Daytona 500, the victory marked a win for Fairfax, Vermont's Rick Pigeon. Pigeon is the gas man for Busch's #41 car.

After the win, Pigeon sharing a photo with us of his signature on the winning car.

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