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Closed Massachusetts power plant sold to St. Louis company


A decommissioned coal-fired power plant that was long known as one of Massachusetts's worst polluters has been sold to a company with experience redeveloping polluted sites.

Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset has been sold to St. Louis-based Commercial Development Co. Inc., which redevelops "underutilized, distressed or environmentally challenged properties."

The announcement came less than a week after current owner Dynegy Inc. said it had selected a buyer.

Commercial Development says it will transform the plant for "post-coal utilization."

Brayton Point was commissioned in 1963.

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Former Providence police chief dies


ABC-6 News reports that former Providence Police Chief Urbano Prignano Jr. has died.

They say family members announced his death this morning on social media.

Prignano Jr. was police chief for the late Providence Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci for many years.

He was forced out amid scandal in 2001.

Prignano Jr. is survived by his three daughters.

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RI National Guard promotes woman to brigadier general


The Rhode Island National Guard has promoted a woman to the rank of brigadier general for the first time in its history.

Col. Kimberly Baumann will be responsible for establishing policy and monitoring more than 1,000 people assigned to the Rhode Island Air National Guard.  Baumann is a graduate of Norwich University in Vermont and was previously deployed in support of numerous overseas operations.

The Guard says Baumann will be chief adviser to Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Christopher Callahan on all matters pertaining to Air National Guard policies and operations.

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State board approves tax credits for greenhouse project


The Rhode Island Commerce Corp. has approved about $2.2 million in tax credits to encourage a New York City company to build a greenhouse in Providence.

The board voted 6-1 to approve the tax credits for the $12.2 million project. Brooklyn-based Gotham Greens Holdings LLC plans to build a 95,000-square foot  greenhouse to grow vegetables at a vacant lot that once housed a General Electric lightbulb factory.

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Walmart temporarily closes due to air irritant


A Rhode Island Walmart has reopened after 15 people were evaluated and one hospitalized from an unknown air irritant.

The North Kingstown Fire Department responded to the store around 1:45 p.m. after several employees and customers reported bouts of coughing.

Fire officials evacuated the building, and one person was transported to the hospital for difficulties breathing.

Fire Chief Scott Kettelle says air tests came back negative for carbon monoxide and other gases. He believes the issue is related to the store's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

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Sheriffs Academy Graduates New Class


There was a graduation ceremony last night for 21 members of the Sheriff's Division Training Academy at Johnston High School.   Following six weeks of training, the graduates will fill existing and future vacancies.  Sheriffs provide courtroom and cell block security within each of the state's court buildings, as well as transporting suspects, extradition and civil service. 

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Virgin Pulse Makes Move To Providence


The new global headquarters for the health-tech company Virgin Pulse is in Rhode Island.  A workforce of 100 is settling into the Providence Journal building in downtown Providence.  Lured by state tax credits, the company is relocating from Framingham, Massachusetts, and it's expected to generate nearly 300 additional jobs over the next five years.   Owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, Virgin Pulse designs software and programs for companies to promote employee wellness.

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Fundraising License Plate For Gaspee Days Committee


Rhode Island is offering a special fundraising license plate to benefit the Gaspee Days Committee.  Governor Gina Raimondo held a ceremonial signing of the bill creating the plate yesterday.  Gaspee Days commemorates the burning of the British ship HMS Gaspee in Narragansett Bay in one of the earliest events of the Revolutionary War.  Once a design is approved by the State Police, a minimum of 900 pre-paid sets of plates is required before the DMV will begin distribution. 

 

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Survey: Providence Ranked High For Retirees


Providence is ranked as the fifth-best city among 50 metropolitan areas in the country for retirees.  A survey from Bankrate.com considered cost of living, crime rate, health care, senior population, taxes, public transportation, weather and well-being. On the plus side, Providence gets a "great" rating for health care, "good" for well-being and "average" for cost of living.  The negatives include high taxes and a "poor" rating for public transportation.

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No Charges Against Former Providence School Official


A former assistant principal at Central High School in Providence is not going to face criminal charges. Thomas Bacon resigned last month after his altercation with a student surfaced in a video recording.  The 15-year-old boy was accused of assaulting two school employees. Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare says the police investigation of the incident is closed.

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Report: Hunger in Rhode Island on the rise


A new report on hunger in Rhode Island says it's on the rise, and the problem-plagued launch of a new state computer system is hindering enrollment in the food stamp program.

The report released Monday by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank cites a U.S. Census Bureau survey for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It says 6.1 percent of households in the state reported "very low food security," or hunger, from 2014 to 2016. That's up from 4.6 percent from 2011 to 2013.

The report says access to food stamps has been blocked and delayed by last year's launch of the new eligibility system, known as RI Bridges.

The report says food stamp enrollment dropped by more than 12 percent, from 169,373 people in July 2016 to 148,179 in July 2017.

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October house sales rise, but pending sales suffer drop off


Diminishing inventory is being blamed for a nearly 20 percent decline in pending house sales in Rhode Island last month.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors report released Monday says sales rose by 9 percent in October, but pending sales have fallen by 18 percent compared to last year. The association says "diminishing inventory" is the reason for the decline, and the group says it predicts a further slowdown in sales.

The association says the supply of homes for sale dropped by almost 9 percent from October 2016 to October 2017.

There were 1,038 single-family house sales in Rhode Island in October, up from 956 in October 2016. There were 54 distressed sales, down from 99 in October 2016.

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Gas prices up 2 cents per gallon for Thanksgiving travel


The price of gasoline in Rhode Island is up two cents this week.

AAA Northeast said Monday in its weekly survey that self-serve, regular unleaded is averaging $2.60 per gallon. That price is six cents above the national average of $2.54.

AAA projects that nearly 51 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over 2016.

AAA says the 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005.

The average price of gasoline in Rhode Island is 42 cents higher than it was at this time last year. At that time, gas was averaging $2.18 per gallon.

AAA found self-serve, regular gasoline selling for as low as $2.39 per gallon and as high as $2.70 in Rhode Island.

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State Treasurer Mailing Unclaimed $10M


More than ten-million-dollars is being mailed to 35-thousand Rhode Islanders.  General Treasurer Seth Magaziner says the money is unclaimed property that is owed by companies, banks, insurance companies and utility companies.  Magaziner says using a new program called "Your Money," the state will use databases to match unclaimed funds with a person's address.  Magaziner says the average check is about 250-dollars.

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Large Firefighter Graduating Class Expected To Trim Overtime Costs


Providence is filling a big shortage as it graduates 83 new firefighters from the training academy.  Yesterday's graduates are the department's most diverse recruiting class and fills most of the 100 positions vacated by retiring firefighters since the mayor imposed a shift change two years ago.  City Councilman John Igliozzi has criticized Mayor Elorza's plan as overtime costs have risen more than six-million-dollars over those two years.  The mayor says going forward there will be a savings of more than five-million-dollars.  

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E. Greenwich Town Council Re-Appoints Corrigan Town Manager


Gayle Corrigan is the East Greenwich town manager again after a three-to-two town council vote last night.  A judge had declared Corrigan's initial appointment null and void as were some of her decisions because the town council violated the state's open meetings act when she was hired.  The lone Democrat on the council, Mark Schwager, says Corrigan should step aside because she's become a lightning rod for disruption.  Schwager doesn't think she can be effective in her position.

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Big Blue Bug will be transformed for holidays


It's become a holiday tradition in Rhode Island: the annual lighting of the Big Blue Bug.

The 25th annual lighting of Nibbles Woodaway is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. at Big Blue Bug Solutions in Providence.

This year's lighting will honor the 40th anniversary production of "A Christmas Carol" at Trinity Repertory Company.

Trinity resident actor Joe Wilson Jr., as Ebenezer Scrooge, will flip the switch to turn on 7,500 lights and Nibbles's red nose.

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E. Greenwich Special Town Council meeting set for tonight


The East Greenwich Town Council will hold a special meeting tonight to determine the fate of embattled Town Leader Gayle Corrigan.

Two weeks ago, a judge determined that the appointment of Corrigan as Town Manager was “null and void” because the Town Council made the decision behind closed doors.

Corrigan’s appointment has faced scrutiny from many residents in the town.

In fact, the last council meeting was abruptly cancelled because so many residents attended. It was over capacity.

To handle a bigger crowd, tonight’s meeting will be held at East Greenwich High School at 7 p.m.

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RI secretary of state recognizes civic leaders


Rhode Island's secretary of state has recognized three people and two institutions with an award for outstanding public service and civic engagement.  Nellie Gorbea says she chose Democratic state Sen. Erin Lynch Prata, Aram Garabedian, Shanna Wells, the Providence Student Union and the Rhode Island Foundation to receive the 2017 National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award.

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ACLU brings back hotline for food stamp processing delays


The American Civil Liberties Union is bringing back its hotline for people having trouble getting their food stamp applications processed quickly. The ACLU of Rhode Island says it's re-staffing the hotline because of the continuing large backlog of applications that are causing undue hardship to poor residents. A federal judge appointed an attorney this month to ensure that Rhode Island residents receive food stamps on time.

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Virgin Pulse sets up shop in Providence


An employee well-being company owned by British billionaire Richard Branson is moving its global headquarters from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. Virgin Pulse has already set up workstations in the former Journal building in Providence. The company is expected to formally announce the move at the Rhode Island Convention Center today.

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Grid operator discusses region's constrained gas pipelines


The independent corporation overseeing the operation of New England's power system says natural gas pipelines feeding the region are so constrained that electricity prices are driven higher during cold winters.

ISO New England President Gordon van Welie says regional pipelines were built for gas distribution companies' heating demands, not for power generation. He says they're at, or near capacity, in winter and generators have to use more expensive fuels, including oil and liquefied natural gas.

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PawSox Identify Possible Alternative Stadium Location


The Pawtucket Red Sox are reportedly looking at a potential stadium site just over the Massachusetts border in Attleboro.  PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino says it's in an old industrial park off I-95.  He says it's one of the alternative sites that has been identified if the team's efforts to build a new ballpark in downtown Pawtucket are unsuccessful. 

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Lawsuit accuses utilities of jacking up natural gas prices


A class-action lawsuit accuses two utilities of conspiring to drive up energy costs in New England.

An attorney says the lawsuit filed in Boston federal court accuses Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. of using their market power to "unlawfully jack up" consumer electric bills. The suit contends customers in New England were overcharged $3.6 billion.

The two companies are being investigated by the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel and the state's public utilities authority on charges of market manipulation.

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Grant Money Receipients Announced


The Rhode Island Foundation has announced more than $470,000 in grants to fund animal welfare services in the state.

Stand Up for Animals and the Sea Research Foundation were among the animal care organizations that wre grant recipients.

The foundation's Program for Animal Welfare is funded with help from 11 private family funds and the Chariho Westerly Animal Rescue League Animal Welfare Fund.

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Committee Chair Calls Training School Assessment Troubling


The chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee says she's concerned by the situation at the Rhode Island Training School.  State Representative Patricia Serpa says it's troubling that children are at serious risk due to the inadequacies of a state agency.  In the aftermath of recent serious incidents, Department of Children, Youth and Families Director Trista Piccola says issues including security, personnel and youth services will be addressed.  Serpa says the committee will give DCYF the opportunity to put solutions into practice. 

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State Budget Deficit Is Looming


It's estimated Rhode Island will finish the 2017-2018 fiscal year next June with a more than a 60-million-dollar budget deficit.  The projected deficit from the state budget office is based on actual spending from July through September and updated forecasts for revenue and social services.  The primary reason cited is overspending by state agencies far above what was budgeted by the General Assembly earlier this year. 

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RI Unemployment Rate Is Unchanged


Rhode Island's October unemployment rate is four-point-two percent, unchanged from September.  The Department of Labor and Training says the current jobless rate compares to five-point-one percent in October of 2016.  Nationally the unemployment rate for last month is four-point-one percent.

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Republican Flanders Joins U.S. Senate Race


Robert Flanders is officially in the race for the U.S. Senate.  A former justice on the Rhode Island Supreme Court, Flanders launched his campaign for the Republican nomination on Thursday.   Coventry State Representative Robert Nardolillo is also seeking the party's nomination.  The GOP is hoping to unseat incumbent Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in next year's election.

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Four More Benny's Closing Today


Four more Benny's stores are closing today.  Once the stores in Cranston, Fall River, Plymouth and Dennisport close, there will be only five stores remaining.  The chain, which is closing by the end of the year, is urging anyone with gift cards to use them as soon as possible. 

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High Carbon-Monoxide Levels Linked To Microwavable Dinner


Authorities are blaming high carbon-monoxide levels at a Barrington prep school on a microwavable dish.  Authorities at first thought there was a carbon-monoxide leak in one of the dormitories at Saint Andrews School around 5:25 p.m. yesterday.  Investigators learned that a student was making a beef dinner called a hotpot that his parents sent him.  The dinner was confiscated and four students were checked out at the scene.

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Boil Water Order Expected To Be Lifted Later Today


The Westerly Water Department is hoping to lift a boil water order later today.  The latest round of testing was sent to a lab yesterday and the results are expected soon.  The affected well that had E. coli present has been taken out of service.

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Councilwoman Calling For Review Of Police Pursuit Policies


A Providence councilwoman wants police to review their pursuit policies after last week's chase and deadly shooting on Interstate 95.  Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune says the public is asking questions that have gone unanswered.  LaFortune's request for a review is now headed to a committee for consideration.

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Gov. Raimondo To Visit Newport today


Gov. Gina Raimondo will join AIPC to host a “Resiliency Round Table” in partnership with the URI Coastal Resources Center, the R.I. Infrastructure Bank and the Community College of Rhode Island. The event will be held in the auditorium at CCRI’s Newport campus this afternoon from 1-3 . The purpose of the round table is to help better prepare for intense coastal storms, sea level rise and other climate change impacts, and to elicit information from the communities that will be incorporated into a new Statewide Climate Resiliency Strategy that the governor has asked state agencies to complete by next summer.

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Lobster Regulators Seek Input


Federal fishing regulators are soliciting public comments about possible changes to lobster fishing in southern New England. The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking the feedback about changes that could include restricting the number of lobster traps or permits an individual or a business would be allowed to own. The agency is taking comments through Dec. 15.

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Raw Milk Warning Issued


The Rhode Island Department of Health is advising consumers that a company that sells raw milk, Udder Milk, has been ordered to cease and desist its sales after a woman became infected from drinking it.

Health officials announced Wednesday that the New York-based company has been illegally selling raw milk in several states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

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Missing Woonsocket Man Found


Woonsocket police say a missing man has been located.  Stewart Sutton was reported missing shortly before noon yesterday.  Police did not say where the 84-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease was located. 

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Christmas Tree Prices Expected To Be Higher


Searching for the right Christmas tree this year could prove to be a bit pricey.  The National Christmas Tree Association says fewer trees are available this year, leading to higher prices.  John Leyden, owner of Big John Leyden's Tree Farm in West Greenwich, says labor costs are going up, adding to the price.  He says when the recession hit in 2007, he had to make a decision on what and how many trees to plant back then.  

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Westerly Water Customers Under Boil Water Order


A boil water order is in effect for customers of the Westerly Water Department.  Water in one of the town's wells tested positive for E. coli bacteria.  Customers are advised to not drink the water before boiling it to kill any contaminants.  The Westerly Water Department also sells water to customers in Pawcatuck, Connecticut.

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Who invented Game of Life? Court aims to find out


Testimony is set to begin in federal court in Los Angeles Thursday in a lawsuit over one of the most popular board games of all time: The Game of Life.

The widow of a toy inventor says her husband, Bill Markham, has been denied his legacy of creating the game, after another man, Reuben Klamer, took full credit for it.

Lorraine Markham also says she was cut out of more than $2 million in royalties by Klamer and Rhode Island-based toy company Hasbro.

Both Hasbro and Klamer argue that Markham was merely hired to create a prototype.

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New Signs At Westerly Hospital


There's a new look at Westerly Hospital.  Signs have been installed noting the hospital's affiliation with Yale-New Haven Health Group.  The affiliation took effect in September of 2016.

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Officials Seek Answers From Care New England


Governor Gina Raimondo and the mayors of Pawtucket and Central Falls are seeking answers from Care New England.  They want the hospital group to identify which out-patient services will be maintained on the Memorial Hospital campus after the financially-troubled hospital closes.  Memorial's Intensive Care Unit was shut down on Monday.

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Renumbering Of Exits To Start On I-295


RIDOT will begin the renumbering of exits on Interstate 295 the last week of the month.  I-295 will be the first highway in the state to have the federally mandated change to mile marker exit numbers replacing sequential numbers.  The change will start in Diamond Hill and head south.

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Crowd Forces Cancellation Of Town Meeting


East Greenwich residents are not happy over the prospect of the reappointment of Town Manager Gayle Corrigan.  The town council was met with boos by an overcapacity crowd at last night's meeting and it was canceled.  The controversy is about Corrigan's appointment in July that was declared null and void by a judge because the town violated the open-meetings act.  The meeting will be rescheduled for sometime in the next week at the high school, where there's room to accommodate a crowd. 

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Flounder fishing shut down in RI for rest of year


The federal government is shutting down fishing of a popular species of flatfish in Rhode Island for the rest of the year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says boats fishing under a federal permit for summer flounder may no longer bring the fish to shore in Rhode Island. The shutdown went into effect early Tuesday morning and will last until the end of the year.

The agency says the state has also closed down commercial summer flounder fishing. It says the shutdown is taking place because Rhode Island fishermen have reached their annual quota.

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Zoo: Oldest Masai giraffe in North America dies at 26


Roger Williams Park zoo says the oldest Masai giraffe in captivity in North America has died.

They say the 26-year-old giraffe was named  Amber and died Tuesday morning.

Amber had lost her sight due to cataracts over the past year. She had recently become unable to maneuver properly in her exhibit, leading to the zoo staff's decision to euthanize her.

The giraffe was born in Cleveland in 1991. She went to the Roger Williams zoo in 1992.

Zoo spokeswoman Diane Nahabedian says the median life expectancy for a giraffe in captivity is about 17 years.

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Warwick School Committee approves new contract with teachers


The Warwick School Committee has approved a new contract with the city's teachers' union.

The committee on Tuesday actually approved two contracts, one for the last two years when teachers worked without a contract, a new one for the next three years.

Details of the contracts have not been disclosed.

The union now has 10 days to ratify the deals. Union President Darlene Netcoh says a ratification vote has not been scheduled.

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Disgraced former RI House Speaker Gordon Fox finds new job


Former Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox, who served two years at a prison in Pennsylvania for accepting bribes and filing a false tax return, is working at Dean Warehouse Services in Warwick following his release into a halfway house in Pawtucket.

Company owner Brad Dean says that Fox is doing some picking and packing, adding that he's a good worker.

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Westerly residents approve sewer improvement bonds


Voters in Westerly headed to the polls for a special referendum Monday to decide on spending $1.66 million on sewer improvements for the town.

They overwhelmingly favored the bonds on a 429-82 vote, according to the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

Since it was approved, residents should expect an increase in their taxes.

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RI gas prices up 1 cent per gallon


The price of gasoline in Rhode Island is up one cent this week.

AAA Northeast said Monday in its weekly survey that self-serve, regular unleaded is averaging $2.58 per gallon. That price is two cents above the national average of $2.56.

The average price of gasoline in Rhode Island is 37 cents higher than it was at this time last year. At that time, gas was averaging $2.21 per gallon.

AAA found self-serve, regular gasoline selling for as low as $2.39 per gallon and as high as $2.70.

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Hospital's ICU shut down ahead of impending closure


The intensive care unit at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket has been shut down.

Care New England says the move Monday was "in the best interest of patient care" and was coordinated with the Department of Health. The unit wasn't able to care for as many critically ill patients as it usually treats due to the limited availability of physicians.

The Providence-based nonprofit health system announced plans to close the facility last month.

A union that represents nurses and other Memorial employees blasted Monday's decision, calling it an attempt by Care New England to "sidestep" state approval processes required for the closure.

A health department spokesman says Care New England submitted a closure plan to the state last week. The move to close the ICU was allowed.

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CVS Pharmacy battles prescription database issues


A connectivity problem downed CVS Pharmacy prescription services nationwide for most of day on Monday.

The Woonsocket based company said some pharmacies experienced service interruptions on Monday which prevented pharmacists from filling out certain prescriptions.

A spokesman from CVS said the issue primarily affected insurance claims processing.

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Roger Williams Medical Center recovers stolen patient information


ABC-6 News reports that Roger Williams Medical Center has recovered medical records and documents stolen from dozens of patients back in September.

A spokesperson for Chartercare, the hospital’s parent company, says that on September 13th 2017, somebody broke into the hospital’s registration area and stole the medical records of over 60 patients.

As of Friday, the spokesperson says that Roger Williams Medical Center, with the help of Providence Police, has recovered the stolen information, and there is no indication that any of it has been misused.

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RI opens new home for veterans


Rhode Island officially opened its new home for veterans on Veterans Day.

Gov. Gina Raimondo hosted the state's Veterans Day ceremony and a traditional ribbon cutting Saturday afternoon at the home in Bristol.

The veterans had previously lived at a home dating back to 1955.

The new, state-of-the-art, 208-bed home was built at the same site in Bristol to provide nursing and residential care for veterans.

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Man Who Stole State Police Cruiser, Two Others Arrested


The suspect who stole a state police cruiser is in custody.  Donald Morgan was arrested around 7 p.m. Friday after authorities tracked him to Vermont Avenue in Cumberland.  There was a struggle inside a car before Morgan was dragged from the vehicle and taken away.  Two people, Daniel Medeiros and Rachael Read, were also charged with harboring a criminal.

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State reminds people about emergency registry after storm


State health officials are encouraging people with special health care needs to enroll in an emergency registry.

The state Department of Health says it wants to remind people about the Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry following the recent storm that cut power to nearly 1.5 million homes and businesses in New England at its peak, and in advance of winter weather events yet to come.

The state established the registry to help emergency officials in planning and caring for residents with disabilities, chronic conditions and other special health care needs during storms and other disasters.

Residents can enroll by calling 401-222-5960 or by filling out a form online .

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Portsmouth Crash Kills 2


Police say a Boston man drove his car into oncoming traffic on route 114  in Portsmouth, causing a crash that left two people dead and two others injured.

20-year-old Houston Smith was headed south near the Raytheon  on Friday when he crossed the double yellow line and hit a car carrying three people that was traveling in the opposite direction.

Ninety-year-old Portsmouth resident Dina Occhi and 59-year-old Theodore White, of Little Compton, were killed in the second car. The 58-year-old driver of that car, Mary Ann White, of Little Compton, was taken to a hospital, along with Smith.

Smith was arraigned Sunday on charges that include driving under the influence with death resulting. He was released on personal recognizance.

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RI home prices hit highest quarterly numbers in a decade


Home prices in Rhode Island have hit their highest quarterly median price in a decade, rising to $265,000 from July through September.

The Rhode Island Association of Realtors says the median price of a single-family home in the state has risen 8 percent from the same time last year. It says all but four towns saw an increase in the median sales price.

The group says that there was a drop in the number of sales from 2016, which saw record sales. Joseph Luca, president of the group, says there's a shortage of inventory, which is holding sales back.

The median price of condos in the quarter also rose 15 percent, to $224,000, while the median price of multifamily homes grew 17 percent, to $220,000.

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New center opens to help combat opioid epidemic


A new treatment center has opened in Rhode Island to help combat the opioid epidemic.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo called the epidemic the most urgent public health crisis during an appearance at Butler Hospital in Providence Thursday.

The hospital chain Care New England is offering medication-assisted treatment for opiate addiction 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through the new program. Patients are being seen at Butler and an outpatient facility in North Kingstown, Continuum Behavioral Health at Meadows Edge.

It was launched using about $250,000 in federal funds Rhode Island received to combat substance abuse.

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Roadway deaths up 50 percent in RI


Statistics show deadly crashes are on the rise across Rhode Island.

WPRI-TV reports that the state Department of Transportation says 61 people died on Rhode Island roads between January and September of this year. That's a 50 percent increase from 2016, when 41 people died over the same time span.

Of those who died in 2017, a majority were occupants of motor vehicles.

Transportation officials say they are hoping to decrease the chance of fatalities through an annual media campaign.

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RI $27.3 million over budget on social services spending


State budget officials say Rhode Island is about $27.3 million over budget on social services spending this year.

The state is expected to be $29.3 million over budget by the time the fiscal year ends June 30.

The state Senate Fiscal Adviser says part of the spending increase is due to Congress ending the federal Children's Health Insurance Program, which assists pregnant women and children.

The state has also seen an increase in Medicaid enrollment this fall to 303,000 people - about 5,600 more cases than officials projected in May.

Documents show higher enrollment has pushed the state's total estimated spending on social services this year to $2.5 billion, with the state's share at $997 million.

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DEM Stocking Trout For Veterans Day Weekend


In honor of veterans, the Department of Environmental Management is stocking ponds statewide with trout ahead of Veterans Day weekend.  A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required and can be purchased at any city or town clerks office or from an authorized agent.  Information is available online at dem.ri.gov. 

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Authorities Look For Person Who Stole State Police Cruiser


Authorities continue their search for the person who stole a state police cruiser.  A trooper was transporting 35-year-old Donald Morgan of Providence to court yesterday when they came upon an accident on Route 146 and the trooper left the vehicle to check on the crash.  Morgan, while in handcuffs, was able to get behind the wheel and drive away.  The cruiser was found about an hour later on Vineyard Street, but a search for Morgan came up empty. 

 

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Scituate Town Hall Being Vacated Because Of Mold, Asbestos


The Scituate Town Hall is being vacated today because of mold and asbestos.  It's going to cost more than 330-thousand-dollars to make the building safe.  Employees will work out of the building and zoning office behind Town Hall and the highway garage.  If everything goes to plan, the mold should be removed by November 25th.

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More security measure to come at URI


ABC-6 News reports that tighter security should be expected at parts of the University of Rhode Island officials announced on Wednesday.

URI is adding new security to the Ryan Center for the upcoming basketball season.

Those measures will include metal detecting wands at every entrance.

This type of security is standard at most college arenas.

The venue will also continue to implement its bag search policy.

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House Halts PawSox Stadium Issue Until '18


Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has told the chairman of the Pawtucket Red Sox that he is not planning to call lawmakers back this year for a vote on the team's proposed new stadium. A spokesman for the Democrat said Wednesday that Mattiello and Larry Lucchino met last week. Mattiello says the House has no plans of returning this year to consider the proposal.

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Gov. Signs Vets Bills


Gov. Gina Raimondo has ceremoniously signed six bills to support the state's veterans. She’s told veterans she's redoubling the state's efforts to help them. Among the changes, veterans will be given a preference when state contracts are awarded. The state gives a similar benefit to women-owned and minority-owned businesses.

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Nine Benny's Remain


There are nine Benny's locations remaining.  The chain's Coventry store closed yesterday and there's a 50-percent off sale starting today at the remaining locations.  All of the chain's stores will close by the end of the year as the owners are retiring. 

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Judge Voids Town Manager's Appointment, Reinstates Fired Firefighter


A Superior Court judge is invalidating the appointment of East Greenwich Town Manager Gayle Corrigan and reinstating a fired firefighter.  Judge Susan McGuirl ruled yesterday that town council was in violation of the state's open meetings law when it appointed Corrigan to the post in June.  The action was the result of a trial lawsuit filed by the East Greenwich Firefighters Union.   

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Residents Displaced By Fire At Olney Tower Apartments


As many as 30 people are displaced by a fire in Providence.  The fire happened around 8 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Olney Tower Apartments.  The sprinkler system was activated and the fifth floor and those below were flooded.  All five floors were evacuated.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Driver Injured After Pickup Crashes Into House


The driver of a pickup truck is being treated for non-life threatening injuries after the vehicle crashed into a house in West Warwick.  The accident happened around 5 p.m. yesterday on Washington Street.  Police are investigating what caused the crash.  The house has been declared safe by building officials, but some residents are being assisted by the Red Cross.

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Bridge Work Ahead Of Schedule


The first phase of the long-term deck repairs on the Pell Bridge was completed weeks ahead of schedule, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced Wednesday.
Starting tomorrow morning, traffic will be restored to all four lanes after the work had limited traffic to one lane in each direction. The first phase of the project included partially demolishing and replacing the deck on the stretch of the bridge closest to Newport.

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Sale Of Newport Daily News Official


A New York-based media company announced it has completed the purchase of the family-owned business that operates The Newport Daily News. GateHouse Media Inc. announced the purchase of The Daily News Tuesday. Several other publications such as Newport Life Magazine and The Independent were included in the sale.

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RI Deputy Sheriff Is On Administrative Leave


A Rhode Island deputy sheriff is on administrative leave after his personal gun accidentally discharged.  Authorities say it happened early Saturday night in his hotel room in Rockland, Massachusetts.  The bullet hit a wall, no one was hurt, and the off-duty deputy sheriff immediately notified local police.  Investigators found no evidence of wrongdoing and no signs of impairment.

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Public Comment Period Open On Truck Tolls


A comment period on plans for truck tolls in Rhode Island is now open, and a public meeting is planned at Chariho Middle School later this month.  The first two of 14 planned tolls are planned on I-95 in Exeter and at the Richmond-Hopkinton line.  The Department of Transportation expects them to be operational next February or March.

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