The Associated Press

Vermont's predominant landline telephone and telecommunications company is making changes at the top.

FairPoint Vermont President Mike Smith will be stepping down in August. He will be succeeded by Beth Fastiggi, the company's vice president of government relations for Vermont.

The North Carolina-based FairPoint serves 17 states, including Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu says Smith, who joined FairPoint in January 2010 helped transform FairPoint into a leading communications provider in Vermont.

Vermont State Police say two cars carrying three family members plunged into a 15-foot-deep hole in a washed out road created by heavy rain and a dislodged culvert.

Police say the members of the Richardson family of Lowell suffered minor injuries in the accident early Saturday in Lowell. A 16-year-old in the second vehicle suffered an arm fracture.

Police say the culvert under Mines Road was washed away sometime late Friday or early Saturday. A nearly 30-foot stretch of road went with it. The washout was north of the Eden town line.

A Montpelier folk artist who built a T-shirt business around the term "eat more kale" says he's expecting to learn more about his legal fight to protect the term in his fight with the fast food giant Chick-fil-A.

Bo Muller-Moore says he expects his lawyer to deliver the news to him Monday about a ruling by the U.S. Trademark office in the case.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant chain has argued Muller-Moore's T-shirt infringes on its trademarked "eat mor chikin" slogan

The Vermont Agency of Transportation says it has budgeted about $324 million on transportation projects this construction season that's now getting underway.

Agency officials say the money will be spent on paving, bridge repair, highway safety, park-and-ride projects, bike and pedestrian facilities and other projects.

The Burlington Free Press reports that this year's spending is about 1 percent higher than last year.

Two Vermonters have been invited to testify in Washington on a newly introduced immigration reform bill.

Alyson Eastman of Orwell and Meghan Smith, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, will testify Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Patrick Leahy.

Eastman will talk about the role of foreign farm workers in Vermont agriculture. Smith will discuss the need for seasonal workers in the state's travel, ski and tourism industries.

Leahy invited them to testify.

A nonprofit group that works to protect the Connecticut River watershed says it's helping to fund five water improvement projects in Vermont and New Hampshire.

The $7,550 for the projects was raised through a "crowd-funding" website that links people, businesses and organizations to conservation projects that improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, erosion control, and access.

Vermont lawmakers are considering proposals by Gov. Peter Shumlin's administration to put time limits on participation in the state's Reach Up welfare-to-work program.

This past week, Department for Children and Families Commissioner Dave Yacovone brought to Senate budget writers a revised version of the time limits that would kick off households that fall out of compliance with the job-seeking requirements of the program after four months.

A 5-year-old girl was in serious condition Saturday after being raped and tortured by a man who held her in a locked room in India's capital for two days, officials said.

The girl went missing Monday and was found Wednesday by neighbors who heard her crying in a room in the same New Delhi building where she lives with her parents, said Delhi police official Deepak Mishra. The girl was found alone locked in a room and left for dead, he said.

The Labor Department says the state's unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in March, the eighth consecutive month without an increase.

Last month's rate was down three-tenths of a percentage point from April and far below the national rate for March of 7.6 percent.

Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan said Friday that Vermont's economy is moving from winter to spring employment. She says as the ski areas are winding down, the construction and hospitality sectors are gearing up and expected to be hiring.

A plan to reopen a ski areas in southern Vermont has been revived.

The Maple Valley Ski Area in Dummerston closed in 2001. A developer who was interested in bringing it back as a year-round recreational resort withdrew the proposal in 2011 after the town review board asked for more specifics and wanted residents' concerns to be addressed.

Now, the review board has scheduled a hearing on April 23 for an application by the developer, MVS Associates of Stamford, Conn.

Bob Yates Jr., the former Syracuse offensive lineman who played for the Patriots in their first six seasons, had died. He was 74.

The Patriots said Thursday that Yates died Tuesday at his home in Spring Branch, Texas.

Yates, from Montpelier, Vt., helped lead Syracuse to the 1959 national championship and played 68 games at tackle, guard and center for the Patriots from 1960-1965.

He later was a teacher and coach for 34 years at high schools and colleges in Massachusetts and Vermont.

Senator Bernie Sanders will be meeting with seniors in St. Johnsbury to talk about issues affecting them.

Sanders will be joined Friday by the heads of the Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging and Community of Vermont Elders.

The meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the St. Johnsbury House.

The Vermont Health Department is launching an online campaign to encourage conversations about childhood immunizations.

The web-centered campaign called "It's OK to Ask," offers resources to help parents make informed decisions about immunization.

The website has research-based medical information, video discussions among Vermont moms and a local pediatrician on a variety of topics.

It includes an interactive timeline tracing the history of vaccines back to the 1700s.

Vermont State Police say a New York man has been charged with starting a fire that destroyed a mobile home in Alburgh.

Police said Thursday that 21-year-old Nicholas Zagres of Plattsburgh, N.Y., has been charged with arson and grand larceny.

The fire was reported a week ago by the person living in the home.

When firefighters arrived, the mobile home was fully engulfed. No one was injured.

The damage is estimated to be more than $10,000.

The Moretown landfill has won a 90-day reprieve.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources last month ordered the Moretown landfill to close, citing odor problems and groundwater pollution. The landfill had until Monday to stop accepting trash.

But the Environmental Court has granted the landfill a 90-day extension.

The landfill is currently closed. The owners are appealing the agency's decision.

Vermont now has only one landfill left used for trash disposal, in Coventry.

Vermont State Police say the treasurer of the Richard Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization is facing an embezzlement charge.

Police say 35-year-old Shawna Steinhour has been cited to appear in court on May 20 following a one-month investigation.

Police on Thursday did not reveal how much she's accused of embezzling and did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Steinhour said she had no comment on the charge.

A woman driving her car has died in a crash in Essex that also involved a school bus and a police cruiser.

Police say a car driven by 54-year-old Rosemary Hollwedel of Essex rear-ended the bus on Wednesday night on U.S. Rt. 2A. The bus was carrying 12 members of the Essex High School Tennis Team, in addition to the coach and driver.

Hollwedel's car veered into oncoming traffic and collided with the cruiser. Police said the impact ejected Hollwedel from her car. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Vermont House committee is scheduled to hear testimony on a bill that would allow farmworkers in the country illegally to become drivers.

Last week, the Senate gave final approval for a bill to create driver privilege cards for people not eligible to get an enhanced driver's license under the federal REAL ID law.

The measure is expected to extend driving privileges to 1,200 to 1,500 immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Guatemala and mostly working on Vermont dairy farms who are in the United States without the legally required immigration papers.

Journalists can now bring cell phones and computers into federal buildings in Vermont.

The new rule allows them to carry the devices past security checkpoints but still bans them from being used in court during hearings and trials. Video and still cameras are still prohibited.

The Burlington Free Press had asked the federal courts in Vermont to allow the use of the news-gathering devices in court for breaking news reports. Smartphones, recorders, and notebook and tablet computers are allowed in state courtrooms in Vermont.

A big first for Danica Patrick, but an even bigger second for Jimmie Johnson.

Patrick made history out front at the Daytona 500, only to see five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson reclaim his spot at the top in the end.

Johnson won his second Daytona 500 with a late push on Sunday, grabbing the spotlight from Patrick as she faded on the final lap. Patrick became the first woman in history to lead laps in "The Great American Race" and was running third on the last lap, but slipped to eighth in the late push for position.

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