Here are the top stories at 7:30 a.m.:
More Vermonters have turned to food stamps to help them make ends meet, and at the same time, the price for that food has risen faster than it has in 30 years. A state panel says a mural painted on the side of a barn to promote the village of Bellows Falls is illegal because it violates the state billboard ban. So lawmakers from the region tucked an exception to the ban into a transportation bill that’s still pending in Montpelier. But, the proposed exemption for Bellows Falls isn’t sitting well in the agencies that enforce Vermont’s sign laws.