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YCQM: January 27, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: January 27, 2013

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. OUR NEWSMAKER THIS MORNING IS PHIL CONROY. HE IS NEW TO THE STATE HERE, ABOUT 18 MONTHS AND HE'S THE PRESIDENT OF VERMONT COLLEGE. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> AND JOINING US IS KEITH McGILVERY, WHO COVERS EDUCATION.

>> YOU ARE NEW TO VERMONT AND NEW TO THE SCHOOL AND THE SCHOOL IS NEW TO SOME FOLK AT HOME. TELL US ABOUT IT.

>> VERMONT TECH IS ONE OF THE FIVE VERMONT STATE COLLEGES. OUR MISSION IS THE APPLIED EDUCATION MISSION, SO STUDENTS THAT COME TO VERMONT TECH ARE LEARNING HOW TO DO SOMETHING. SO THEY ARE STUDYING ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY OR AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SYSTEMS OR NURSING AND ALLIED HEALTH OR BUSINESS MANAGEMENT. SO WE HAVE EVERYTHING FROM FARMS TO MEDICAL SUITES TO ORCHARDS TO ENGINEERING AND ADVANCED MANUFACTURING OFFERINGS AT VERMONT TECH. NOT ONLY AT OUR CAMPUSES IN RANDOLPH AND WILLISTON, BUT EIGHT OTHER SITES AROUND THE STATE, SO WE HAVE CAMPUSES THAT STRETCH FROM THE CANADIAN BORDER TO THE MASSACHUSETTS BORDER AND FROM NEW YORK TO NEW HAMPSHIRE, SO WE COVER THE ENTIRE STATE.

>> I'M SURE YOU'RE LISTENING CLOSELY WHEN GOVERNOR PETER SHUMLIN DELIVERED HIS BUDGET ADDRESS, MORE MONEY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, BUT HE ALSO TALKED ABOUT THIS IDEA OF NEEDING TO REVAMP THE STATE'S EDUCATION SYSTEM AND INSTEAD OF K-12, HE SAID THINK OF IT WAS K THROUGH JOB. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE STATE IS NOT DOING CURRENTLY TO MAKE SURE THAT KIDS WHO GRADUATE ARE FINDING JOBS?

>> I THINK HISTORICALLY THERE'S BEEN A SORT OF DIVIDE BETWEEN THE K-12 SECTOR AND THE HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR AND WHAT THE GOVERNOR IS TALKING ABOUT IS BRIDGING THAT DIVIDE SO WE START TO LOOK AT A STUDENT'S PROGRESSION THROUGH EDUCATION AS A JOURNEY AND A DESTINATION, THE JOURNEY BEING WHEREVER THEY ARE IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM AT THE TIME AND ENDING WITH THE JOB. WHETHER THEY'RE STUDYING LIBERAL ARTS OR STUDYING APPLIED SCIENCES AS THEY DO AT VERMONT TECH, THE OUTCOME FOR US IN OUR PARTICULAR CULTURE IS YOU NEED TO MAKE A LIVING AND GET A JOB, SO I THINK WHAT THE GOVERNOR IS SAYING IS THAT BY WORKING MORE CLOSELY TOGETHER IN THE K-12 AREA AND THE POST SECONDARY AREA, WE'LL HAVE MORE ABILITY TO HELP OUR STUDENTS REACH THAT GOAL. AND THAT HAS PROBABLY BEEN THE BIGGEST THING THAT SEPARATED US.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ROLE, THEN, OF VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE AS A PRESIDENT SORT OF INCORPORATING THE GOVERNOR'S VISION AND BRIDGING THAT DIVIDE?

>> WELL, OUR CURRICULUM IS LARGELY SCIENCE AND MATH BASED, SO WE'RE INTERESTED IN PROMOTING --

>> WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID WE NEED MORE GLOOF EXACTLY. WE'RE A STEM-BASED INSTITUTION AND WE HAVE TO HELP STUDENTS LEARN TO LOVE MATH AND SCIENCE. MY BACKGROUND IS ELEMENTARY EDUCATION AND I WAS TEACHING SIXTH GRADE AND I TAUGHT MATH AND I MAY HAVE IMPLIED TO SOME OF MY STUDENTS THAT MATHEMATICS WASN'T AS IMPORTANT AS OTHER SUBJECTS. TODAY, EVERYTHING WE DO HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH MATHEMATICS AS WELL AS READING, AS WELL AS THE OTHER LIBERAL ARTS AREAS, BUT MATH AND SCIENCE CAN BE TRACED TO VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING WE DO. IF YOU'RE A HOTELIER, A PERSON WHO RUNS A HOTEL, YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH RUMP IS GOING TO BE BROUGHT IN PER -- REVENUE IS GOING TO BE BROUGHT IN FER ROOM. IF YOU'RE A FARMER, YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH TO FEED YOUR COWS IN GOOD SCIENCE TO PRODUCE MORE MILK PER ANIMAL, SO SCIENCE AND MATH IS IN EVERYTHING WE DO AND WE HAVE TO HELP STUDENTS UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU DO WITH MATHEMATICS, NOT THAT IT'S JUST A SUBJECT YOU STUDY, IT'S SOMETHING WE APPLY.

>> HOW DO YOU LIGHT THAT FIRE IN STUDENTS WHO MAY BE A LITTLE BIT OLDER? WE SEE IT IN THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL, BUT YOU'RE GOING AFTER A YAUDENS THAT'S A LITTLE BIT OLD -- AUDIENCE THAT'S A LITTLE BIT OLDER. IS THAT A CHALLENGE?

>> I THINK IT'S A CHALLENGE, BUT ONCE YOU START TO USE IT ON THE STUDENT, THE LIGHT COMES ON. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT I USE THE CLASSROOM OR A FORMULA ON THE BLACKBOARD, I CAN TAKE THIS OUT AND USE IT IN THE ENGINEERING JOBS I HAVE AND AFTER THAT. SO MATH BECOMES A PART OF WHAT THEY DO, PART OF THEIR LIVES, PART OF EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH, AND THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO TRY TO GET ACROSS TO STUDENTS. IT'S REALLY ABOUT THE APPLICATION OF THE SUBJECT, NOT JUST THE LEARNING OF THE SUBJECT.

>> THE GOVERNOR HAS ALSO TALKED ABOUT THIS IDEA OF TRYING TO ENCOURAGE VERMONTERS TO STAY IN VERMONT OR COLLEGE-AGE KIDS WHO GRADUATE TO STAY IN VERMONT. DO YOU THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT AND HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

>> YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO TRY TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS HERE, BUT WE ALSO NEED TO ATTRACT MORE FOLKS TO VERMONT. I LIKE TO SAY TO THE GOVERNOR WHEN I GET THE CHANCE THAT THE GOVERNOR NEEDS MORE PEOPLE LIKE ME, PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIVED SOMEPLACE ELSE FOR A LARGE PART OF THEIR LIVES AND THEN CAME TO VERMONT. WE LIKE TO SAY WE GOT HERE AS SOON AS WE COULD, AND I THINK FOR A LOT OF OUR STUDENTS, WE HAVE TO HELP THEM HAVE THE EXPERIENCES THEY NEED SO THAT THEY CAN ENJOY THE LIFE HERE IN VERMONT. WE CAN PROVIDE THOSE EXPERIENCES. THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE JUST HERE IN VERMONT. WE CAN GIVE THEM STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCES OR EXCHANGE EXPERIENCES OUTSIDE THE STATE SO THAT THEY GET A SENSE OF WHAT THE REST OF THE WORLD IS LIKE, BUT FOR MANY OF OUR FOLKS, THE GOOD JOBS THAT THEY NEED ARE RIGHT HERE IN VERMONT AND WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO SHOW THEM HOW TO DO THAT.

>> DO YOU FIND -- I'M SURE YOU TALK TO THE STUDENTS WHENEVER YOU CAN. ARE THEY INTERESTED IN STAYING IN VERMONT, THE ONES WHO ARE FROM HERE? ARE THEY LOOKING TO GET OUT AFTER THEY'RE DONE WITH COLLEGE?

>> I THINK A LOT OF THEM WOULD LIKE TO STAY HERE IN VERMONT AND FOR US AT VERMONT TECH, WE HAVE A VERY HIGH PLACEMENT RATE, 90 TO 95% OF OUR STUDENTS ARE PLACED IN A JOB RELATED TO THEIR MAJOR WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF GRADUATION. THEY ARE VERY INTERESTED IN STAYING IN VERMONT. IF THEY GET ATTRACTED AWAY, IT'S USUALLY FOR A PERIOD OF TIME AND THEN THEY COME BACK TO RAISE THEIR FAMILY, SO IT'S SORT OF THE ADVENTURE. THEY GO OUT AND COME BACK, BUT MANY OF OUR STUDENTS ARE VERY LOYAL VERMONTERS. THEY LOVE TALKING ABOUT VERMONT, THEY LOVE TALKING ABOUT THE LIFESTYLE THAT THEY LIVE HERE, AND IT'S THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THEM OTHER EXPERIENCES THAT WILL, I THINK, KEEP THEM HERE IN THE STATE.

>> HOW WILL VERMONT TECH EVOLVE UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP OR HOW HAS IT EVOLVED ALREADY? I'M SURE THERE'S A POOL OF STUDENTS YOU'D PROBABLY LIKE TO GO AFTER. DO YOU SEE NEW PROGRAMS, NEW OFFERINGS DOWN THE ROAD? WHAT'S ON YOUR AGENDA?

>> WHAT I SEE US DOING AT VERMONT TECH IS REALLY SORT OF GROWING VERTICALLY AND LET ME EXPLAIN THAT. BY THAT I MEAN WE HAVE A SERIES OF SUBJECTS THAT WE HAVE EXPERTISE IN. WE HAVE ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCE, AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SYSTEMS, NURSING AND ALLIED HEALTH AND WE HAVE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT. WHAT WE'D LIKE TO DO IS OFFER MORE PROGRAMS IN THOSE AREAS. RATHER THAN GROWING HORIZONTALLY, OFFERING MORE SUBJECTS, BECOME BETTER EXPERTS IN THOSE AREAS, SO OUR EDUCATION PROGRAMS WILL GO FROM CERTIFICATE WHERE YOU GET A BODY OF KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU CAN THEN GO OUT AND USE AND APPLY IN WORK, TO ASSOCIATE DEGREE WHERE YOU HAVE MORE KNOWLEDGE AND MORE SKILLS, TO THE BACHELOR'S DEGREE, AND EVENTUALLY WE HOPE TO THE MASTER DEGREE LEVEL, THAT THEY WILL BE IN THOSE SUBJECTS THAT WE'RE ALREADY EXPERTS IN, SO A STUDENT WHO GOES OFF AND GETS EMPLOYMENT AS A TECHNICIAN WITH AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE MAY NEED TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL TO GET PROMOTED, AND THEY WILL COME BACK TO VERMONT TECH TO GET A BACHELOR'S DEGREE AND ENHANCE THEIR BUSINESS AND ENGINEERING SKILLS. THAT'S WHAT WE HOPE TO DO AT VERMONT TECH AND WHAT'S WE'RE CONCENTRATING ON IS BECOMING BETTER EXPERTS AT WHAT WE ALREADY DO RATHER THAN BROADEN OUR OFFERINGS. THERE ARE OTHER INSTITUTIONS IN THE STATE, UNIVERSITY, OTHER STATE COLLEGES THAT HAVE A SERIES OF EXPERTISE, SO WE'RE NOT LOOKING TO REPLICATE THAT. WE'RE LOOKING TO BECOME EXPERTS IN WHAT WE DO. WE WANT TO BE THE CENTER FOR APPLIED AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SYSTEMS WHERE PEOPLE COME TO LEARN CAREERS IN THAT FIELD. WE WANT TO BE THE ENGINEERING TECHNICIANS THAT HELP SUPPORT IBM, GE, AND SOME OF THE OTHER MAJOR EMPLOYERS HERE IN VERMONT. WE WANT TO BE THE NURSING EDUCATORS THAT PROVIDE THE NURSING STAFFS TO THE HOSPITALS THAT ARE DISTRIBUTE THE THROUGHOUT THE STATE. THAT'S WHERE OUR EXPERTISE IS AND THAT'S WHAT WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO AND GROW.

>> YOU MENTIONED THAT, YOU KNOW, SOME OF YOUR STUDENTS ARE RIGHT OUT OF COLLEGE AND OTHERS ARE RETURNING TO ADVANCE THEIR CAREERS. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL STUDENT LOOK LIKE AT VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE.

>> IT DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU STUDY. IF YOU'RE IN RANDOLPH, YOU'RE PROBABLY A TYPICAL 18 TO 22-YEAR-OLD STUDENT RIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL THAT HAS COME TO THE COLLEGE. IF YOU'RE HERE IN WILLISTON, YOU MAY AND TRADITIONAL STUDENT OF THAT AGE, BUT MORE THAN LIKELY YOU HAVE HAD SOME WORK EXPERIENCE HERE IN CHITTENDEN COUNTY AND YOU'VE COME BACK TO ADDITIONAL SKILLS. IF YOU'RE A NURSING STUDENT, IT'S REALLY ONE OF OUR TEN REGIONAL CAMPUSES AROUND THE STATE, YOU MAY BE A PERSON WHO HAS A FAMILY AND WANTS TO -- A CAREER CHANGE AND THEY WANT TO GO INTO NURSING, SO THEY START WITH AN LPN LICENSE, PRACTICAL NURSE CERTIFICATE AND THEY GO TO THE REGISTERED NURSE AND EVENTUALLY TO THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING, BUT THEY DO THAT IN THEIR HOME COMMUNITIES AND TEND TO BE OLDER. SO THE AVERAGE AGE AT VERMONT TECH OVERALL IS ABOUT 24 YEARS WHEN YOU COMBINE OUR STUDENTED TOGETHER, SO WE'RE WEIGHTED AT THE YOUNG END, BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF STUDENTS WHO CYCLE THROUGH OUR SYSTEM AS THEY NEED IT. I LIKE TO CALL IT JUST-IN-TIME EDUCATION. THEY GET A SERIES OF SKILLS, GO OUT AND USE THOSE SKILLS AND THEN COME BACK AND GET THE NEXT SET OF SKILLS WHEN THEY NEED THEM.

>> YOU SEEM PRETTY CLEAR ON SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNOR AND MONTPELIER AT LEAST RIGHT NOW, BUT TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE BIGGER HURDLES OR CHALLENGES YOU'RE FACING THIS YEAR OR MOVING FORWARD.

>> ONE OF THE CHALLENGES WE HAVE IN VERMONT IS THIS, TOO, THAT I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT. FIRST IS A FUNDING ISSUE. WE'RE 49th OUT OF 50th IN PER CAPITA SUPPORT OF PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE STATE, SO THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET MESSAGE AND HIS EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION IS VERY GOOD NEWS FOR US. IT'S AN INCREASE FOR THE FIRST TIME, A 2% INCREASE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR BASE AND THAT GOES A LONG WAY TO HELPING US.

>> IS THAT ENOUGH THOUGH? I'VE HEARD THAT MESSAGE TOURING COLLEGE CAMPUSES ALL ACROSS THE STATE. IS 3% GOING TO GET THE JOB DONE?

>> CANDIDLY, NO, IT'S NOT GOING TO GET THE JOB DONE, BUT IT'S A START. WE'VE BECOME VERY ENTREPRENEURIAL INSTITUTIONS. WE EDUCATE VERMONTERS AT VERMONT TECH, 87% OF OUR STUDENTS ARES FROM VERMONT. OUR JOB IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO PROVIDE THAT EDUCATION, SO FUNDING IS GOING TO BE A CHALLENGE FOR US. TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND APPLIED EDUCATION IS A VERY CHALLENGING AND EXPENSIVE TYPE OF EDUCATION. IN ORDER TO RUN A DAIRY FARM, AND IN THIS STATE, WE KNOW HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO RUN A DAIRY FARM, WE RUN A DAIRY FARM AT VERMONT TECH AND THAT'S A CHALLENGE FOR US, BUT WE'RE COMMITTED TO THAT TYPE OF EDUCATION ON AN ONGOING BASIS. SO THE INITIAL INVESTMENT THE GOVERNOR HAS MADE IS THE START. WE NEED TO TRY TO KEEP OUR EDUCATION AS AFFORDABLE AS POSSIBLE AND THE GOVERNOR'S MESSAGE NOT ONLY GIVES A 3% INCREASE TO THE BASE BUDGET, BUT IT ALSO ALLOWS FOR STUDENTS WHO WANT TO STAY IN VERMONT AND GET JOBS IN VERMONT TO HAVE SOME FORGIVENESS OF TUITION IN THEIR LAST SEMESTER AND LAST YEAR FROM THE ASSOCIATE AND BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN THEY STAY IN THE STATE FIVE YEARS AND BEYOND. THAT'S VERY INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE AND THAT'S EXACTLY THE TYPE OF PROGRAM WE NEED IN VERMONT TO KEEP OUR ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION AFFORDABLE AT THE PUBLIC COLLEGES AND KEEP VERMONTERS IN VERMONT FOR THE JOBS THAT WE HAVE HERE.

>> DO YOU KNOW YET WHAT THIS BUMP THAT THE GOVERNOR IS PROPOSING IN HIS BUDGET ADDRESS WILL MEAN AT VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE?

>> FOR US, THE 3% WILL GO TOWARD FINANCIAL AID. AGAIN, IT'S AN AFFORDABILITY ISSUE, HELPING STUDENTS STAY. OUR IN-STATE TUITION THIS YEAR IS JUST OVER $12,000. THAT'S EXPENSIVE TO A PUBLIC COLLEGE, ON ANY ABILITY TO HELP OUR STUDENTS COME TO THE COLLEGE AND STAY IN COLLEGE IS IMPORTANT. THE SECOND ISSUE, ASIDE FROM FINANCING, IS JUST GETTING MORE VERMONTERS TO GO TO COLLEGE. FOR EVERY 100 NINTH GRADERS THAT WE GRADUATE FROM OUR HIGH SCHOOLS, 88 OF THEM, VERY HIGH PERCENTAGE OF THEM WILL GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND ONLY 42 OF THEM WILL GO ON TO POST SECONDARY EDUCATION. ONLY 26 OF THEM WILL GET A CREDENTIAL. THAT IS ONE OF THE LOWEST GOING TO COLLEGE AND COMPLETION RATES IN THE COUNTRY. THEY DON'T GO. WE NEED MORE STUDENTS TO GO THERE AND PART OF THE ISSUE, I BELIEVE, IS AROUND JUST THE FUNDING ISSUE. THE HIGHER THE COST, THE FEWER PEOPLE CAN GET AK SET I BELIEVE, SO THE COMBINATION -- ACCESSIBLE, SO THE COMBINATION OF THE GOVERNOR'S AGENDA AND GETTING MORE STUDENTS TO GO TO COLLEGE WILL HELP US IN THE LONG RUN.

>> HIS ADDRESS ALSO CALLED FOR A NEW FOCUS ON OUR TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOLS ACROSS THE STATE.

>> YES.

>> DOES THAT COMPLEMENT WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO OR DOES THAT HANDICAP YOU IN SOME WAY?

>> IT ACTUALLY COMPLEMENTS IT. WHAT WE NEED IS A GOOD SYSTEM WHERE STUDENTS ARE GETTING THE SKILLS THEY NEED AND THEN THE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES CAN COME IN AND GIVE THEM MORE OF THE ADVANCED SKILLS THEY NEED. THE TECH CENTERS IN THE STATE DO A GREAT JOB OF STARTING THAT. THEY'RE STARTING TO BECOME SCHOOLS OF CHOICE WHERE MANY STUDENTS ARE GOING TO GET THAT APPLIED LEARNING THEY WANT AND THEN THEY WANT MORE OF IT TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND THAT'S WHERE VERMONT TECH COMES IN. WE ARE THE PROVIDERS, BY THE WAY, OF THE TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAM FOR THE TECH CENTERS HERE IN VERMONT, SO WE HAVE A VERY CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TECH CENTERS, AND WE COUNT ON THEM TO HELP US FILL THE PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE AND WE KNOW THAT THE STRONGER THE TECH CENTERS BECOME IN VERMONT, THE MORE PREPARED OUR STUDENTS WILL BE FOR THE JOBS IN THE SCIENCE FIELDS THAT WE HAVE HERE.

>> VERY QUICKLY, JUST A LITTLE BIT OF TIME LEFT, WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SORT OF THE EMERGING CAREERS THAT ARE REALLY PROMISING FOR STUDENTS?

>> THE EMERGING CAREERS FOR US I THINK ARE IN THE SCIENCE AND MATH AREAS, SO ENGINEERING AND ENGINEERING TECHNICIANS. IF YOU GO ACROSS THE STATE AND TALK TO OUR EMPLOYERS, YOU WILL HEAR ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THEM TELL YOU THAT THEY CAN'T FIND THE QUALIFIED WORKERS THAT THEY NEED, SO FOR US AT VERMONT TECH, IT'S KEEPING OUR ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY AND PERHAPS DOWN THE ROAD PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING AS PART OF OUR AGENDA, TO KEEP THOSE WORKERS GOING FORWARD. WE HAVE A WONDERFUL MANUFACTURING ECONOMY HERE IN VERMONT THAT NEEDS TO BE HELPED BY -- AND IT CAN ONLY GROW THROUGH AN EDUCATED WORKFORCE, SO THAT'S A GROWING AREA. NURSING AND ALLIED HEALTH IS IMPORTANT FOR US AS AN AGEING POPULATION. THE NEXT ROUND OF NURSES WILL BE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE PREPARED NURSES. WE'LL START TO OFFER BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN NURSING THIS FALL TO ADDRESS THAT NEED, SO THERE IS A LOT OF EXCITING THINGS GOING ON IN THE STEM AREA FOR FUTURE JOBS.

>> WELL, PHIL CONROY, THE PRESIDENT OF VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR GIVING US AN speech - Governor

>>> IN HIS BUDGET SPEECH, GOVERNOR SHUMLIN CALLED FOR A TAX ON PULL TICKETS TO RAISE REVENUE AND CREATE MORE REGULATION.

>> THAT LED TO QUESTIONS FROM THE CROWD AT THE BUDGET ADDRESS. MOST HAD NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE, SO WE SENT GINA BULLARD TO FIND OUT.

>> WHEN SCOTT KELLY GOES TO THE BAR, HE BUYS A BEER --

>> ARE YOU GETTING LUCKY TODAY?

>> AND SOME BREAK-OPEN OR PULL TAB TICKETS. THEY'RE INSTANT WIN TYPE TICKETS SOLD AT BARS AND BY SOME NONPROFITS. THIS DAY, KELLY BOUGHT TEN TICKETS AT ONE DOLLAR APIECE.

>> SOMETHING TO DO, YOU KNOW, I'M SITTING HERE BEING BORED AND NOBODY ELSE IS HERE, I PLAY A TICKET. JUST TO MAKE THE TIME PASS.

>> YOU COME IN AND SPEND A DOLLAR PER TICKET AND IF YOU GET TO WIN ANYWHERE FROM TWO DOLLARS UP TO $200.

>> THE PUB IN ESSEX JUNCTION SAYS IT SELLS UP TO 12,000 OF THE ONE-DOLLAR TICKETS A WEEK. THAT'S 624,000 TICKETS A YEAR. OWNERS SAY THE TICKETS KEEP PEOPLE EATING AND DRINKING FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME, SO THEY'RE GOOD FOR BUSINESS. PATRONS ALSO TIP THE BARTENDERS BETTER WHEN THEY WIN.

>> ARE THEY A POPULAR ITEM?

>> YES.

>> WHY?

>> IT'S THE ONLY FORM OF GAMBLING WE HAVE AROUND HERE.

>> AFTER WINNERS ARE PAID, THE REMAINING MONEY FROM TICKET SALES IS SUPPOSED TO GO TO CHARITY. THE PEARL STREET FUB SAYS IT DONATES THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO PLACES LIKE THE LUNG CENTER AND THE ESSEX FIRE DEPARTMENT. CURRENTLY THE TICKETS ARE LARGELY UNREGULATED IN VERMONT. NOW THE SHUMLIN ADMINISTRATION HAS EXPRESSED CONCERNS ABOUT POTENTIAL ABUSE. HE WANTS BETTER RECORDS AND MORE REGULATION. THE GOVERNOR ALSO WANTS A 10% SURCHARGE ON EACH TICKET. SHUMLIN SAYS THE TAX WILL RAISE $17 MILLION FOR THREE PROGRAMS, 6 MILLION GOING TO LIHE, 6 MILLION FOR A THERMAL EFFICIENCY PROGRAM AND 5 MILLION FOR THE CLEAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FUND TO HELP BUILD RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS. BUT BAR OWNERS WORRY THE SURCHARGE WILL HURT SALES.

>> I THINK IT WILL HURT THE CHARITIES. IT ALL GOES THERE.

>> THE PROPOSED PLAN CALLS FOR THE VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF LIQUOR CONTROL TO REGULATE THE PROCESS. UP TO 200 MILLION TICKETS RANGING IN PRICE ARE SOLD EACH YEAR IN VERMONT.

>> I THINK THEY COULD DO WITHOUT WITHOUT TAKING THE MONEY FROM PEOPLE FOR THE TICKETS.

>> IF THE PLAN GOES THROUGH, KELLY'S TEN TICKETS WOULD END UP COSTING $11 INSTEAD OF 10, BUT HE SAYS HE IS LIKELY TO KEEP PLAYING, HOPING HE PULLS A WINNER. GINA BULLARD, CHANNEL 3 NEWS, ESSEX JUNCTION.

>> THAT WHOLE CONCEPT WAS NEWS TO ME, CERTAINLY.

>>> WELL, THIS IS SOMETHING YOU DON'T EXPECT TO SEE ON YOUR WAY HOME FROM WORK. COMING FACE-TO-FACE WITH A RABID FOX.

>> BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO A SPRINGFIELD MAN. ADAM SULLIVAN REPORTS.

>> I BACKED IN THE DRIVEWAY AND HE WAS --

>> WHEN JOSHUA GILLMAN GOT HOME FROM WORK LAST WEEK, HE HAD AND YOU WELCOME VISITOR ON HIS FRONT PORCH.

>> SAW SOMETHING MOVING ON MY PORCH AND I SAW IT WAS IS A FOX. MY FIRST REACTION WAS TO YELL AT IT, LIKE GET OUT OF HERE.

>> AFTER MULTIPLE ATTEMPT TO SCARE THE ANIMAL FAILED, GILLMAN WENT TO HIS NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE AND RETURNED WITH AN ICE CHOPPER. HE WASN'T INTENDING TO KILL THE ANIMAL, BUT RATHER SHOO IT AWAY.

>> BY THE TIME I GOT TO THE CORNER OF THE HOUSE, HE WAS THERE. INSTEAD OF RUNNING AWAY, HE DECIDED HE WAS GOING TO ATTACK AND I BASICALLY JUMPED BACK AND SWUNG THE ICE CHOPPER AND LUCKILY, I STUNNED IT, BUT I ENDED UP KILLING IT ON MY PORCH.

>> IT'S CERTAINLY A PUBLIC HEALTH RISK, YOU KNOW. I THINK IF IT WASN'T A CONCERN, WE WOULDN'T BE SENDING IN THE HEADS OR THE CARCASSES FOR TESTING.

>> THE FOX DID TEST POSITIVE FOR RABIES. ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THERE HAVE BEEN HUNDREDS OF CASES OF RABIES REPORTED THROUGHOUT VERMONT DURING THE PAST TEN YEARS. BAIT DROP PROGRAMS IN NEW YORK, VERMONT, AND NEW HAMPSHIRE ARE AIMED AT ERADICATING THE VIRUS, BUT DESPITE THAT, VERMONT CASES IN 2012 WERE SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL, ACCORDING TO THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. IF CONTRACTED BY HUMANS THROUGH A BITE, IT CAN BE DEADLY.

>> THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS STILL TRYING TO ADDRESS THIS, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE IT IS A PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE, AND THAT WAS TARGETING RACCOONS AND THAT WAS UP ON THE CANADIAN BORDER.

>> HE HAS DEALT WITH SEVERAL RABIES CASES DURING HIS 15 YEARS AS A GAME WARDEN. HIS ADVICE, IF YOU SEE A SUSPICIOUS ANIMAL, CALL AUTHORITIES. BUT THE SIZE OF AN INFECTED ANIMAL LIKE THE CASE IN SPRINGFIELD ARE NOT ALWAYS CLEAR.

>> IT DIDN'T HAVE ANY SIGNS OF BEING SICK OR ILL. IT WASN'T FOAMING AT THE MOUTH, DIDN'T HAVE SORES ON IT. IT ACTUALLY LOOKED HEALTHY, BUT THE BEHAVIOR WAS VERY CLASSIC RABID ANIMAL BEHAVIOR.

>> GILLMAN SAYS HE'S TELLING HIS STORY ON PEOPLE ARE MORE AWARE AND TO OFFER A LITTLE ADVICE OF HIS OWN.

>> DON'T DO WHAT I DID. STAY AWAY.

>> AN ENCOUNTER WITH A RABID FOX THAT WAS A LITTLE TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT.

>> GILLMAN DID END UP GETTING A RABIES SHOT DESPITE NOT BEING BITTEN, JUST AS A PRECAUTION.

>> YIKES.

>> YIKES.

>>> IT CERTAINLY IS COLD OUTSIDE.

>> AND IN ONE NORTHEAST KINGDOM COMMUNITY, IT'S PRETTY FROSTY. MATT HENSON EXPLAINS.

>> IT IS SO BIG, IT IS BRINGING TRAFFIC TO A STOP ON ROUTE 2 IN DANVILLE.

>> WE GO BY AND SAW, WOW, THAT WAS A BIG SNOWMAN.

>> THAT'S THE HUGEST SNOWMAN I THINK I'VE EVER SEEN. REALLY COOL, ONCE IN A LIFETIME SNOWMAN.

>> WE THOUGHT PEOPLE WOULD STOP, BUT THERE'S DEFINITELY BEEN A LOT MORE THAN WE THOUGHT.

>> THIS 15-FOOT-TALL FROSTY WAS BUILT SUNDAY AFTERNOON BY FIVE FRIENDS WHO SAY THIS WERE JUST BORED.

>> AND THE SNOWMAN REMAIN DOWN THERE AND THERE'S PROBABLY HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE THAT STOPPED BY AND TOOK PICTURES OF IT AND THEY SAY YOU CAN MAKE A BIG ONE UP HERE.

>> THE FRIENDS SAY IT TOOK THREE HOURS TO BUILD THIS GIANT FROSTY.

>> WE TOOK A BUNCH OF ROUND BALES FOR THE COWS AND PILED THEM. I THINK THERE'S SEVEN OF THEM AND THEN WE JUST PUSHED SNOW WITH THE TRACTOR.

>> WE'RE PRETTY SURPRISED HOW BIG IT ACTUALLY WAS.

>> WHILE IT IS OBVIOUS FROSTY'S TWO ARMS ARE TRADITIONAL OVERSIZED TWIGS, MANY ARE WONDERING WHAT THE NOSE WAS.

>> GRINDING WHEELS, JUST SOMETHING WE HAD AT THE FARM.

>> AND WHAT ABOUT THE EYES AND THE MOUTH?

>> THE EYES ARE BEEF JERKY CANS AND THE MOUTH ARE BRILLO PADS.

>> WE ASKED HIM HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE TO BUILD A SNOWMAN THIS SIZE.

>> PROBABLY LOTS OF -- I DON'T KNOW.

>> FOR THE JACOBSSON FAMILY, THEY DON'T THINK THEY'RE UP TO THE TASK.

>> THAT'S TOO BIG TO BUILD. WE COULDN'T BUILD ONE THAT BIG AT HOME, COULD WE?

>> NO. YOU WOULD HAVE TO CLIMB THE REST.

>> WE WOULD HAVE TO CLIMB UP TOO HIGH.

>> YEAH.

>> AND WITH A MAJOR ARCTIC BLAST HEADED OUR WAY, THIS GIANT FROSTY WILL BE GREETING DRIVERS FORT FORESEEABLE FUTURE.

>> SO SWEET. AND AMBITIOUS.

>>> MOTHER NATURE IS PUTTING HER OWN BE SPECIAL TWIST ON SNOW THAT HAS PEOPLE TALKING.

>> MORE THAN A THOUSAND OF YOU CONNECTED WITH US ACROSS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ABOUT THIS. UNIQUE MOUNDS OF SNOW POPPING UP IN FIELDS ALL ACROSS THE STATE THIS WEEK. WE WERE PRETTY CURIOUS. I GOT TO CHECK IT OUT. 15 YEARS IN PLAINFIELD AND THIS SCENE IS A FIRST FOR MICHAEL BINGHAM.

>> NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE IN MY LIFE.

>> REG HULTS LIVED DOWN THE ROAD FOR 44 AND HAS NEVER SEEN THESE ROUND SNOWY MOUNDS EITHER.

>> NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE, NEVER.

>> THEY'RE CALLED SNOW ROLLERS AND IN THE LAST TWO DAYS, THEY HAVE BEEN SHOWING UP ALL OVER VERMONT. THE UNUSUAL SIGHT HAS MORE THAN A THOUSAND OF YOU CONNECTING WITH US ON FACEBOOK AND SHARING PICTURES LIKE THESE.

>> A BUNCH OF ROLLING UP CINNAMON BALLS AND SNOWMEN KIND OF, PRETTY NEAT.

>> THEY LOOK LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN HAD BEEN OUT THERE ROLLING THESE THINGS UP TO MAKE SNOWMEN.

>> WE FOUND THOUSANDS OF THESE SNOW ROLLERS HERE AT THE TOP OF MAPLE HILL ALONE AND IN ORDER TO GET TO THE SCIENCE BEHIND HOW THEY'RE MADE, WE CHECKED IN WITH GARY.

>> SNOW ROLLERS ARE THE COOLEST THINGS IN THE WORLD, AT LEAST ONE OF THEM, AND MOTHER NATURE DECIDES TO MAKE HER OWN SNOWBALLS.

>> AND HER RECIPE IS PRETTY SPECIFIC.

>> SHE DOES THAT WITH STRONG WINDS AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PACK OF SNOW THAT HAS GONE ABOVE THE FREEZING MARK AND THERE YOU GO. VERY STICKY SNOWBALL TYPE OF SNOW, SNOWMAN TYPE OF SNOW AND THE WIND GETS IT STARTED AND ROLLS IT RIGHT HERE.

>> I WAS IN THE HOUSE AND I COULD HEAR THE WIND AND HEAR THE WIND AND I LOOKED OUT AND THEY'RE ROLLING AND GETTING MORE AND MORE OF THEM.

>> AND IN ABOUT TEN MINUTES, HIS NEIGHBORHOOD WAS COVERED.

>> BACK OF MY PLACE, HUNDREDS. ACROSS THE ROAD, HUNDREDS. OTHER NEIGHBORS, MAYBE THOUSANDS.

>> A SIGHT THAT LEAVES HIM WELL SUITED FOR A SNOWBALL FIGHT FOR NOW. THE TROUBLE COMES WHEN IT'S TIME TO RELOAD.

>> WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO MAKE THEM ON YOUR OWN, DO YOU THINK?

>> A COUPLE YEARS, ESPECIALLY ME.

>> KEITH McGILVERY, CHANNEL 3 NEWS IN PLAINFIELD.

>> I TRIED TO BRING ONE BACK FOR SHARING AND GARY DIDN'T SURVIVE.

>> I'M NOT SURPRISED, BUT VERY INTERESTING.

>> WISHFUL THINKING.

>>> A WINTER FUN ACTIVITY FOR YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE, SLEDDING.

>> GINA BULLARD CAUGHT UP WITH ONE FAMILY THAT'S CREATED A BUSINESS OUT OF THE AGE-OLD HOBBY AND IT'S MADE IN VERMONT.

>> YOU MIGHT REMEMBER DOING IT AS A KID. THE THRILL OF SLIDING DOWN THE BIGGEST HILL IN TOWN ON A TOBOGGAN. GLEN NORTHLAND IS HOPING TO BRING BACK THIS GOOD OLD-FASHIONED ACTIVITY WITH HIS BUSINESS, NORTHLAND'S VERMONT TOBOGGAN. WITH THE HELP OF HIS DAD GARY, HIS SON ASIGH YEAH AND WIFE SHAWN MAKE THE WOODEN SLEDS.

>> THAT'S THREE GENERATIONS.

>> WHAT'S THAT LIKE?

>> IT'S SURREAL, FEELS GOOD.

>> NOW, WHAT IS THIS?

>> THIS USED TO BE A BEDROOM.

>> THE BUSINESS STARTED FIVE YEARS AGO.

>> ANOTHER ROOM I TOOK OVER HERE IN THE HOUSE.

>> AND SINCE THEN, THEY HAVE SOLD HUNDREDS OF TOBOGGANS. FROM BABY SIZE TO SIX-FOOTERS, THE TO BE BAG GANS ARE MADE OUT OF ASH AND OAK AND TAKE AROUND TWO DAYS TO CONSTRUCT.

>> SO WHAT IS IT ABOUT ASH AND OAK?

>> THE COLOR, I LIKE TO HAVE DIFFERENT COLOR IN MY SLEDS.

>> GLEN AND GARY FIRST CAME UP WITH THE IDEA AFTER THEY SAW A TOBOGGAN IN A STORE THAT DIDN'T EXACTLY MEET THEIR STANDARDS.

>> WE WALKED OUT OF A HARDWARE STORE AND WE SAW ONE THAT WAS ACTUALLY SMALLER THAN THAT ONE WITH A CUSHION ON IT FOR ALMOST 300 BUCKS AND IT WAS THINNER AND THEY WERE STAPLED TOGETHER.

>> NOW WE'RE IN THE GARAGE.

>> YEAH, THIS IS OUR WORK SPACE.

>> SO AFTER DOING RESEARCH FOR HUNDREDS OF HOURS AND LOTS OF TRIAL AND ERROR BUILDING, THEY CAME UP WITH THE PERFECT TOBOGGAN, ONE THAT GOES FAST, YET IS STURDY.

>> WE JUST SLIDE THEM IN THERE AND WE LET THEM COOK FOR A WHILE.

>> THEY SAY THE HARDEST PART IS BENDING THE NOSE. IT TOOK THEM SO LONG TO PERFECT THIS PROCESS, THEY DIDN'T WANT TO SHOW IT ON CAMERA.

>> THAT'S THE HARDEST PART OF IT. I MEAN, EVERYBODY COULD PUT THEM TOGETHER, BUT, YOU KNOW, FIGURING OUT HOW TO BEND THEM WITHOUT CRACKING THEM IS -- I THINK IS THE BIG DEAL.

>> NORTON'S TOBOGGANS COST BETWEEN 150 AND $180.

>> THEY'RE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN PLASTIC SLEDS, BUT THEY'RE GOING TO LAST, YOU KNOW, A LIFETIME, YOU KNOW.

>> AND SO WILL YOUR MEMORIES.

>> THE TOGETHERNESS, WHICH IS WHY I THOUGHT OF OUR SLOGAN, IT'S NOT JUST A SLED, IT'S A MEMORY-MAKER.

>> A NOSTALGIC ACTIVITY BEING KEPT ALIVE WITH TOBOGGANS THAT ARE MADE IN VERMONT. GINA BULLARD, CHANNEL 3 NEWS, BERRY.

>> OH, GINA.

>> OH, GINA. ALWAYS HAS FUN.

>> YEAH, SHE MADE IT BACK UNINJURED.

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