A panel of Vermont lawmakers is giving its blessing to a plan for a privately-owned rest area and visitors' center off Interstate-89 in Randolph.

Developer Sam Sammis detailed his proposal for the visitor's center and Vermont products showcase Tuesday to the legislature's Joint Transportation Oversight Committee.

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says the state closed the northbound rest area in Randolph several years ago and the southbound rest is likely to be closed within the next couple of years.

Campaign finance reports by Vermont candidates were due Wednesday. While the incumbent Governor is easily outpacing his challenger, the current Attorney General is falling behind his primary challenger.

Incumbent Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin has raised nearly $840,000 so far his campaign, with about $769,000 cash in the bank.  His challenger, Republican state Senator Randy Brock reported about $585,000 in contributions so far, including $300,000 from himself, with about $234,000 cash on hand. Middlebury College Professor Emeritus of Political Science Eric Davis.


Vermont general fund state revenues for July came in at a more than 6 percent better clip this year than in July of 2011, but fell slightly short of the forecast.

The general fund took in more than $92 million for the month, which lagged behind the forecast issued by two economists working for the state by a bit less than 1 percent.

Governor Peter Shumlin plans over four days to visit 22 Vermont communities impacted by Tropical Storm Irene to mark the anniversary of the storm.

Shumlin on Tuesday announced events that will be held to celebrate Vermont's recovery from the flooding on Aug. 28, 2011, and to acknowledge that more work needs to be done.

A free statewide event will be held on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, with music, storm videos, artwork and photography.

Vermont Democratic and Republican leaders are in a war of words over the impending visit to the state of New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte for a party fundraiser.

The Vermont Republican Party announced Ayotte's visit, set for midday Wednesday at the Woodstock Inn, calling her "a dynamic senator with a great message."

Democrats responded by circulating a letter calling Ayotte "extreme anti-choice," saying she's against same-sex marriage, legalized abortions and funding for Planned Parenthood.

The two Democrats vying for their party's nomination for Vermont attorney general are voicing disagreement over whether a tax on soft drinks is a good idea.

Attorney General William Sorrell has supported such a tax, saying obesity is starting to vie with tobacco among preventable threats to Vermonters' health.

Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan says he opposes a soda tax, arguing that it would fall disproportionately on working-class Vermonters.

Cool things have been happening all Summer at the Weston Playhouse and they continue with the World Premiere (opening later this month) of the new musical, Pregnancy Pact. Inspired by the real-life story of a group of teenage girls who decided to become single mothers together, it is an entertaining and hard-hitting pop-rock musical about the realities of love, responsibility, and growing up in America.

About two dozen witnesses could be called in the Vermont trial of a Virginia man charged with helping a woman flee the United States with her daughter rather than share custody of the girl with her former lesbian partner.

Attorneys in the case of Kenneth Miller, of Stuarts Draft, Va., listed some of the possible witnesses Tuesday during jury selection. Opening statements are expected Wednesday. The trial is expected to take six days.

Mountain Talk/Pat O'Neill

Vermont police say six protesters have been arrested at the site of the Lowell mountain wind-power project.

The activists say at least 45 individuals on Monday prevented construction workers and equipment from reaching the construction area along the top of the mountain.

The protesters believe the project is destroying a pristine ridgeline and has little environmental benefit.

The Vermont Department of Education says 73 percent of Vermont schools have not met increased targets under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The 2012 results were released Monday.

Officials say the increase was caused by a rise in standards, which go up every three years with the goal of 100 percent of students being proficient in math, reading and science by 2014. The final target increase was in 2011.