A Providence children's hospital is wrapping up the expansion of its pediatric psych program. Hasbro Children's Hospital recently added additional beds to treat more children, ages six to 18, for a variety of physical and psychiatric issues. A daytime care program was also added for children and teens who are a lower risk.
Police are searching for a missing man in Freetown. Joaquim "Jack" Prata hasn't been seen since Sunday. A note found in Prata's truck asked his family not to look for him. Police have searched the area around his office, but have been unsuccessful so far. He is described as 55-years-old, white, about six-foot-two, 180-pounds with brown hair. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call police.
The newspaper at Brown University is apologizing for running two offensive columns. The "Brown Daily Herald" published an editor's note yesterday, to say sorry for the racist columns written by student Dzhali Maier. The writer has not commented on the incidents, and the publication said they'll make changes to its editorial process. The stories have since been removed from the website.
A suspended Providence cop is now facing new charges after being accused of threatening a doctor. Officer Scott Logan was arrested yesterday after a doctor allegedly received threatening text messages from him. Information about the text messages hasn't been released, but Logan is charged with cyber-harassment and disorderly conduct. In a separate case last week, Logan allegedly made threatening comments about his superiors to a coworker.
A total of four Johnson and Wales University students are accused of sexual assault. Police say Mohammed Aljohani and Tareq Alharbi were charged with sexual assault yesterday, and two other students were arraigned on Tuesday. The group invited two 18-year-old girls back to a Pawtucket apartment last week and allegedly drugged and raped them. The victims' names haven't been released.
A teachers union at the University o fRhode Island is calling for body cameras on campus police officers. The URI Chapter of the American Association of University Professors said yesterday that every officer on campus should be equipped with body cameras. The cameras would cost less than 500-dollars per officer, but it would protect police and people from inaccurate reports of incidents involving deadly force.
Family members of former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy aren't happy about the release of his recent memoir. "A Common Struggle" went on sale earlier this week, and his mother and brother are denying Kennedy's portrayal of family secrecy, substance abuse and mental illness. Yesterday, Kennedy said he loves his family but it's important to talk about mental illness openly. His mother said she received a copy of the book but hasn't read it.
An audit is revealing that the former director of Rhode Island's Department of Children, Youth and Families received suspicious payments from a vendor. DCYF official requested the report after spotting questionable activity with the Center for South East Asians. The audit found that ex-Director Janice DeFrances received thousands of dollars from the nonprofit for simultaneously acting as their consultant. DeFrances has denied the accusations.
Six people are behind bars stemming from an officer-involved car chase from Scituate to Providence. Police say a 17-year-old girl is accused of breaking into a home. She allegedly jumped into an SUV with five passengers and side-swiped three cars and rear-ended a pickup truck. The three-town chase ended on Smith Street after the female driver crashed the car. Police found six-pounds of pot and a gun inside the SUV. All six people face a slew of charges, including reckless driving, possession and obstruction of a police officer. The name of the driver hasn't been released.
A couple of students from Johnson and Wales University are accused of raping two women in Pawtucket. Mohammed Alsaqer and Yazeed Alasiri were in court yesterday on charges of sexual assault. Police responded to a Providence hospital late last week after an 18-year-old woman reported the incident. She told officers that she met Alsaqer at a club and went back to his house. She was raped by the suspect and then woke up in his apartment to another man on top of her. She also said a friend had been raped by Alasiri. Additional suspects may be charged, but an investigation is ongoing.
The Rhode Island Blood Center is laying off employees. The "Providence Journal" reports the move comes in response to an emerging tick-borne disease called babesiosis and the high cost of collecting blood. Nearly 40 people were recently laid off, bringing the number of people on staff to 360. Rhode Island is one of nine states with a high reported rate of babesiosis.
The principal at Cumberland High School is being named "2016 National Principal of the Year." The National Association of Secondary School Principals announced the award to Alan Tenreiro yesterday during a surprise assembly at the high school. Tenreiro is being honored for the school's increases in academic achievement, graduation rates and college admissions. He also won a six-thousand-dollar grant to go towards learning improvements on campus.
Rhode Island lawmakers are unveiling plans to build an affordable housing complex in West Elmwood. During a ceremony yesterday morning U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and others revealed architectural renderings for the Sankofa development. The 13-million-dollar complex will be near Elmwood and Dexter Street and provide 50 rental homes in eleven buildings. The energy efficient apartments will offer one, two, three, and four-bedrooms and an agricultural center and community facility will be onsite. Construction is expected to be completed next summer.
A Providence person is accused of keeping a pet alligator in their home. The four-foot long alligator was recently taken by Pure Paradise Pets and is now living in a 300-gallon pond. Alligators aren't illegal in the state, but people are required to have a permit to purchase one. The homeowner is charged with possessing an exotic animal without a permit. The suspect is expected to be in court next month.
More information is coming to light about an incident at a University of Rhode Island fraternity house. Barrett Lyons and Michael LeBlanc, both URI football players, were arrested at the Chi Phi house early Sunday morning. The pair is charged with assault stemming from an incident that left six fraternity brothers injured. LeBlanc has been kicked off the team, and Lyons is suspended during the investigation. The fraternity hasn't commented on the arrests, and no additional information has been released.
A former Rhode Island congressman is hoping to change the way people view mental illness and addiction. Patrick Kennedy is releasing a memoir today called "A Common Struggle" in which he talks about his family's struggle; which may stir up some controversy. His brother released a statement yesterday saying many of the details in the book are untrue, and it's an inaccurate portrayal of his family. Kennedy hopes one day mental illness will be treated with more urgency, similar to how heart disease and cancer are handled.
A Providence man is accused of driving drunk and crashing into a firetruck. Jeremy Ramirez was arrested Saturday after he lost control of his car on Route 95 and slammed into a Pawtucket firetruck and concrete barrier. Ramirez was briefly hospitalized before being charged with a DUI, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license. He is expected to be in court today.
Union police representatives in Providence are putting their foot down after a coffee shop employee wrote a controversial slogan on an officer's cup. An officer stopped into the Dunkin' Donuts on Atwells Avenue on Friday, and noticed "hashtag-black lives matter" written on his cup. The union says the #Blacklivesmatter organizations across the country are only increasing tensions between police and communities. To counter the slogan, the union suggested saying "all lives matter" instead.
Many sex offenders are going to have to find a new place to live in Rhode Island after lawmakers recently passed a law tripling the distance that they can live near a school. Currently level three sex offenders have to live at least 300 feet away from a private or public school, but last week lawmakers raised the distance to one-thousand feet. Convicted offenders have 30 days to find a new place. Opponents of the new law worry that this will cause sex offenders to move frequently, or resort to living on the streets; which isn't safer for anyone.
Police are trying to locate a man they believe is responsible for the robbery of a bank in Richmond last week. Police say Richard Love held up the Citizen's Bank branch inside a Stop and Shop supermarket on September 24th. Police say they determined that Love is the suspect by viewing surveillance video of the robbery. Anyone with information about Love's whereabouts is urged to contact Richmond Police.
A developer has landed 375-thousand-dollars in tax credits to help rehabilitate a historic Pawtucket mill. The state Division of Taxation has approved historic preservation tax credits for the Standard Paper Box Mill on Kenyon Avenue. The current owners are planning to convert the former mill into a mix of commercial space and live-work units. The total project is expected to cost one and a half-million-dollars.
The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is negotiating with three firms who will develop the state's tourism and branding campaign. One of those selected for the campaign is Milton Glazer, the man behind the I Love New York campaign in the 1970s. The others are New York based Havas PR and Epic Decade of Rhode Island. The agencies will share a contract of more than four-million-dollars to create a compelling message attracting people to live and work in Rhode Island.
Former Governor Lincoln Chafee says he had counted on the head of the Economic Development Corporation to spot problems with the 38 Studios deal. The deal was executed under his predecessor Donald Carcieri, but Chafee pledged to closely monitor it. However, Curt Schilling's video game company did not appear on the development panel's agenda until early 2012, when the company was about to collapse. Chafee says he counted on the executive director of the development panel to alert him to any issues, and hearing none he assumed all was well.
Governor Gina Raimondo is outlining plans to make major changes at the state Department of Transportation. Raimondo says the overhaul began earlier this year as she began forcing out ineffective or dishonest managers. She says the DOT had become dysfunctional, and best practices will be used going forward. Also, 40 new maintenance workers are being hired by the agency to have the state begin handling routine tasks that are currently done by contractors.
A state agency working to modernize medical records in Rhode Island is receiving a big boost from the federal government. The Rhode Island Quality Institute has landed a four-year, eight-million-dollar grant to help expand the use of electronic medical records. The money will help the group reach out to the state's 15-hundred primary-care physicians to help them integrate electronic records. This is the third grant the agency has received in the last month.
A Glocester man is admitting that he manufactured methamphetamine inside a vehicle. Federal prosecutors say Kevin Lewis was found by police with a batch of meth cooking in the trunk of his car on July 28th. Police had stopped Lewis because of a warrant for his arrest on an unrelated matter when the meth discovery was made. Lewis will be sentenced at an unspecified later date.
A Pawtucket businessman who was involved in a fiery truck crash earlier this month in Connecticut is dead from injuries suffered in the crash. John Martins owned Sterry Street Towing and several other businesses, including the Checker Club restaurant. He was driving a heavy-duty wrecker on Interstate 95 in North Stonington when it suffered a tire blowout, crashing down an embankment and bursting into flames. Witnesses were able to pull Martins from the burning truck, but his injuries were severe and he failed to recover.
More details continue to emerge from the thousands of pages of depositions and other information on the failed 38 Studios deal. Two analysts reportedly told the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation on a conference call before the deal was finalized that they wouldn't do it. However, the analysts were only hired to study the video game industry, and did not include any recommendations about the loan in their report. The state was left on the hook for more than 70-million-dollars in loan guarantees when 38 Studios folded in 2012.
Around 200 jobs are being cut at Rhode Island Hospital. The Providence facility announced yesterday that the affected workers are in the process of being notified that their positions are being eliminated. However, officials say they expect most of those who are losing their jobs will land other positions within the Lifespan health system. Rising costs are being blamed by the hospital for the need to trim payroll.
Rhode Island's Commerce Corporation is ready to choose a vendor to craft the state's tourism and branding campaign. More than 50 companies from across the country have submitted applications for the contract. The panel will gather tomorrow and begin the process of selecting vendors. The tourism campaign is expected to focus on promoting Rhode Island as a great place to live and work.
The legal bill for Cranston police in dealing with a pair of misconduct lawsuits is continuing to grow. Officials say the bill for attorneys defending the city has grown to over one-million-dollars. The lawsuits were filed by city officers who had been accused of misconduct while Marco Palumbo was chief of police. Among the costs are the money police officers were paid while on administrative leave.
The former state House Finance Committee chair is rejecting allegations that he helped bring 38 Studios to Rhode Island. Steven Costantino was identified in depositions released last week as the lawmaker who recommended an increase in the business loan program. The the 70-million-dollar loan guarantee given to the company became a loss when 38 Studios folded in 2012.
Brown University is receiving a huge donation from the family of philanthropist Alan Hassenfeld. The 12-million-dollar gift is designed to help establish a center at Brown to research childhood autism, asthma and obesity. The money is designed to forge a collaboration between Brown, Hasbro Children's Hospital and Women and Infant's Hospital.
The Providence City Council is planning to get more involved in monitoring city finances. The discussion about the budget is on the council's Finance Committee meeting agenda for tonight. The council is looking to be more involved after learning that the city budget finished the 2015 fiscal year with a deficit of over five-million-dollars. City officials are expected to explain steps that will be taken to make sure the current fiscal year does not end with another huge deficit.
A Providence woman is injured after apparently falling asleep at the wheel and crashing her car on Interstate 95 in Attleboro. Massachusetts State Police say the unidentified 23-year-old woman was driving a 2015 Subaru when she struck the beginning of a section of guard rail. The woman's car was heavily damaged, and she was taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. Police say the woman's injuries were lessened because she struck an attenuator that is designed to absorb the impact of a crash.
Three members of a Pennsylvania motorcycle club are expected in court this morning after being arrested in West Greenwich on weapons charges. State Police say they made a motor vehicle stop on Interstate 95 Saturday and discovered weapons in the vehicle, including a nine-millimeter handgun. Driver Thomas Severns of Philadelphia is being held without bail on weapons offenses. Two other men in the vehicle were also charged with weapons offenses and were held after failing to post bail.
An audit is being conducted to determine the cost of problems identified in the Cranston Police Department. Cranston City Council President John Lanni Jr. says he believes the legal bill and other costs related to the scandal will soar over one-million dollars. The auditor will take into account any financial settlements paid by the city in determining the final cost. The audit will stretch back several years, and will span the term of former city police Chief Marco Palumbo.
Two people are injured following a porch collapse in Woonsocket. Officials say the porch of a triple-decker building on Ninth Avenue collapsed yesterday morning. A man and a boy who were on the third-floor porch at the time of the collapse were hurt. Both victims were conscious and alert when they were taken to a hospital for treatment. The victims have not been identified by police.
A man who was shot and killed over the weekend in Providence is being identified as a 48-year-old city resident. Police say Robert Denson was found dead from apparent gunshot wounds on a sidewalk along Hillcrest Avenue on Saturday morning. His body was found by an area resident. Denson becomes the 13th homicide victim of the year in Providence.
An investigation is underway in Providence after a two-story house caught fire. The flames broke out yesterday near Roger Williams and Narragansett avenues. Everyone was able to get out safely. Fire officials believe the cause is electrical.
A longtime men's clothing store in North Kingstown is closing its doors for good. Wilson's of Wickford is shutting down after 71 years in business. The family that owns the store says despite their effort, they can't afford to stay in business. The store will close on October 2nd.
A Providence public safety commissioner wants the firefighters' union to pay up. Commissioner Steven Pare is calling on the union to reimburse the city for overtime wages. WPRI-News says firefighters had to work extra hours when several union officials called out to picket an event last week hosted by the mayor. Pare estimated the cost of overtime to be about 31-hundred dollars.
A Providence priest with ties to the Vatican is sharing his memories of the Pope, who's visiting the U-S this week. Monsignor Carlo Montecalvo tells WPRI-TV he celebrated a Mass with the Holy Father last year. He says Pope Francis is a very humble man who hopes to bring people to a simpler place. The monsignor also says he also celebrated with John Paul the Second, when he was in Rome for his 25th anniversary as a priest.
One person is dead following a boating crash that occurred near the Watch Hill Lighthouse. The Coast Guard says a 60-foot Viking Yacht ran over a 25-foot boat, causing the smaller vessel to capsize. Rescuers were able to pull the male victim from the boat, but he did not survive. Westerly Police and state Department of Environmental Management law enforcement officers are investigating.
A licensed Rhode Island social worker is accused of possessing and transferring child pornography. Police say they began investigating James Norman of Warwick after receiving a tip regarding a person using e-mail to send child porn. Police arrested Norman as they executed a search warrant at his home on Monday. He is currently being held on a 50-thousand-dollar bond. If he makes bail, Norman must not have any contact with children under the age of 16 and cannot use the Internet.
Two people are dead following a shooting in Newport. Police say an unidentified 35-year-old man shot and killed his friend at William and King streets early yesterday morning. Police say the man immediately turned the gun on himself and took his own life. The men were co-workers and longtime friends, and apparently got into a loud argument on the street before the shooting.
Rhode Island's pension fund took it on the chin in August. General Treasurer Seth Magaziner says the state pension fund lost 250-million-dollars in August. He says Chinese markets led a global downturn of the stock market, and the losses would have been worse if the state wasn't diversified. The balance is still well over seven-billion-dollars, despite the loss of more than three-percent of its total value in August.
Raymond Tempest Jr. will remain free on bail after having his murder conviction thrown out over the summer. The Rhode Island Supreme Court is allowing Tempest to remain on home confinement with electronic monitoring. The bail will be in place as the state's highest court reviews the decision to overturn Tempest's murder conviction. He had served 23 years of an 85-year prison sentence when his conviction was vacated in July on the strength of DNA evidence that appears to exonerate him for the killing of Doreen Picard in Woonsocket.
State Senator Frank Lombardo is performing some of the work renovating the largest hearing room at the Rhode Island State House. Lawmakers are forbidden by law from bidding on state contracts, but Lombardo's status as a subcontractor apparently is acceptable under the rules. Lombardo's part of the renovations involves the moving of air conditioners into the sub basement of the State House. Lombardo frequently handles sheet metal work for the contractor that landed the air conditioning contract.
Two North Carolina men are admitting they imported illegal weapons into Providence. Prosecutors say Kinmonte Brown and Dennis Wells trafficked more than a dozen handguns from North Carolina into Providence between last November and January of this year. Both men have pleaded guilty to federal charges that include conspiracy and selling firearms without a license. They will be sentenced in December.
Central Falls Mayor James Diossa is heading to Washington, DC to attend the White House welcoming ceremony for Pope Francis. Diossa was invited by President Obama to attend tomorrow morning's ceremony. Diossa says that as the first Latino mayor of Central Falls, he's honored to help welcome the first Latino pope to the U.S. for the first time. Pope Francis has appearances scheduled in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia during his five-day visit to the U.S.
A Cranston man will spend two years in federal prison for operating a methamphetamine lab. Nicholas Selser admits that he manufactured meth inside an apartment at the D'Evan Manor housing complex. The lab was discovered when federal, state and local law enforcement conducted a raid on the apartment in February. Selser admits that he used the one-pot method of making meth, which is simple but extremely dangerous, as it can lead to an explosion or fire.
A Texas developer is abandoning plans for a 60-million-dollar student housing complex on former Interstate 195 land in Providence. Dallas-based Friendship and Clifford did not provide the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission with a reason for its decision. The Pawtucket Red Sox abandoned their plans to place a minor league baseball stadium on the former highway land this past weekend.
A Middletown man is riding his bicycle across the country in an effort to help homeless veterans. Rick Hart left his Middletown home on Saturday with a plan of heading south before turning to the west and heading to California. Hart says the message of his ride is that the men and women who served the country now need help. Hart recently resigned from a full time sales job to embark on the cross-country journey.
Bristol state Representative Raymond Gallison is continuing his effort to place drones under more state regulation. Gallison says drones are becoming more affordable and accessible, and laws need to be put in place to protect the privacy of state residents. He's again filing legislation that would prohibit drone use within five miles of TF Green Airport and any military installation in the state.
The distribution of racist fliers in East Greenwich earlier this year is causing residents to act. Over 200 people came out yesterday for a rally and walk on Main Street showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The fliers were thrown into people's driveways in June, and organizers say it took some time to craft the appropriate response. The walk was designed to raise awareness and make it clear that the town will not stand by and let racist actions take place without a response.
A Cranston police officer is injured after his cruiser was involved in a crash with a pickup truck. Police say the unidentified officer was responding to a call when the crash occurred on Park Avenue in the city's Edgewood section. The officer was taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. The driver of the pickup truck was not hurt.
The Pawtucket Red Sox are ending their quest to place a new baseball stadium on former Interstate 195 land in downtown Providence. The team announced the decision over the weekend, and say there are currently no other locations in Providence being considered. The PawSox plays in Pawtucket's McCoy Stadium, and the possibility now exists that the team could be moved out of state. However, team officials say they are still looking at other sites in Rhode Island.
A Providence man is facing charges in connection with the stabbing of his son with a steak knife. Police responded to a home on Power Street early yesterday morning and found John Cronin Sr. in the driveway with a head injury. His adult son told police that Cronin stabbed him during an argument in the kitchen, and he pushed his father's head into a cabinet in self defense. Cronin was treated at the hospital, then was arrested and held on charges.
Ten dogs are now in shelters after being removed from a Warwick home that officials say was in horrible condition. Officials say the house was filled with animal waste and shredded mattresses, although the dogs overall are not in bad health. The owner of the home apparently lives in a different building on the property, and is not facing any charges at this time. However, the case remains under investigation.
A Providence man is accused of sex trafficking a 17-year-old Texas girl. Dujuan Harris was arrested in June after the teen's father helped locate the girl at a house in Providence. Harris is accused of luring the girl to Rhode Island, then putting her to work as a prostitute. Harris is now indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of sex trafficking of a child and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal activity.
Cranston is set to pay city police Major Todd Patalano 300-thousand-dollars to settle a wide ranging lawsuit he had filed. Patalano claimed in the suit that the Cranston mayor, police chief and some officers waged a vendetta against him. In exchange for the settlement, Patalano agrees to drop the claims against the mayor and other individuals named in his lawsuit. A countersuit against him is also dropped as part of the settlement deal.
Rhode Island's unemployment rate is continuing to decline. State labor officials say the seasonally adjusted jobless rate was five-point-six percent in August, down from five-point-eight percent in July. Despite the drop, Governor Gina Raimondo says the state's number is still higher than the national unemployment rate. She says state government remains focused on growing the economy and continuing Rhode Island's comeback.
The New England Patriots are pledging to donate 50-thousand-dollars to the Sojournor House in Providence. The donation is designed to help the facility to provide more transitional housing to people trying to escape from domestic violence. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is also promising an additional 50-thousand-dollars if the facility raises that amount in their fundraising campaign. Sojournor House is the only Rhode Island facility to receive funds from the team.
A Massachusetts man is facing a reckless driving charge after crashing his car on Interstate 195 in East Providence. State Police say Stephen Conti was racing another vehicle in his Nissan 350Z in the highway's eastbound lanes when he crashed into a light pole and an embankment. Conti and a passenger were able to avoid serious injury while escaping from the car as it burst into flames. Conti is free on one-thousand-dollars bail.
An East Providence teenager is receiving a 15-year prison sentence for the sex trafficking of two teenage girls. Jmaire Wray admits that he and co-defendant Reginald Chaney offered up the two girls for sex online and arranged meetings with men. The 16-year-old Wray will be incarcerated as a juvenile at the Rhode Island Training School until he's 19 years old, when he will move to adult prison for the rest of his term.
The Rhode Island Board of Elections is issuing a final warning to Executive Director Robert Kando. The board has informed Kando that he will be fired from his 143-thousand-dollar-a-year job in January unless his performance improves. The panel initially voted in executive session in June to terminate Kando in 90 days if his work didn't show improvement. The 90 days passed this week, and the panel has voted to give him another three months to right the ship.
Rhode Island's poverty rate is holding steady. The U.S. Census Bureau says Rhode Island's poverty rate was just over 14 percent in 2014, which is unchanged from 2013 levels. That places Rhode Island's rate at 27th in the nation with a total of 145-thousand people living in families earning below the poverty line. Nationally, the poverty rate in 2014 was 15-and-a-half-percent, which is a slight decrease from 2013 numbers.
More mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus have been detected in Rhode Island. State officials say that mosquitoes trapped September 8th in Tiverton have tested positive for West Nile. Officials say this second positive test is not a surprise, as neighboring states have been reporting positive tests as well. People are encouraged to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and pants, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
A Providence businessman is admitting that he sold unapproved cancer treatment and prevention products. James Feijo also pleaded guilty to tax evasion during a recent appearance in Providence federal court. The cancer products were sold through various web sites, a call center and through promotional materials and publications. Feijo remains free on bond, and will be sentenced in January.
Providence firefighters are working to make sure that threats to burn down Mayor Jorge Elorza's home are not carried out. The firefighters union has hired security to watch Elorza's Silver Lane home after the threats were made. They were posted on Facebook pages supporting the firemen in their battle with the mayor over schedule changes designed to save the city money. The security is costing the union 500-dollars a day, and will remain in place until police finish their investigation into the threats.
Most of the court filings in the 38 Studios case are expected to be released to the public next week. The trove of documents have been under seal as the case worked its way through the courts. Among the thousands of pages of documents will be transcripts from 67 depositions taken in the failed state investment. Rhode Island lost more than 70-million-dollars of taxpayer money when former Major Leaguer Curt Schilling's video game company went bankrupt in 2012.
Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien says reinvestment in McCoy Stadium is the only viable option for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Grebien says there is overwhelming opposition to a waterfront stadium for the PawSox in Providence. He says further delay could cause the team to look out of state for a new home. Grebien has written to Governor Gina Raimondo to request a meeting of all stakeholders on keeping the team in Pawtucket.
Three boats are badly damaged following a fire at a marina in Portsmouth. The fire broke out yesterday at the Hinkley Company Marina, with one boat engulfed in flames when crews arrived on the scene. The fire had spread to a pair of other boats, and two of the three damaged vessels eventually sank. A sailboat that did not sink suffered severe damage in the fire, which remains under investigation.
Former Rhode Island state Senate Majority Leader John Hawkins is dead after suffering a stroke. Hawkins is credited with helping to create the state lottery during his decade in the Senate that ended in 1976. In 1993, then Governor Bruce Sundlin appointed Hawkins to head the Rhode Island Lottery, a position he held for two stormy years. Hawkins lost his wife in 2003 and had no children.