Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says the Portsmouth School Committee violated the state Open Meeting Act twice this year. Kilmartin says gatherings referred to as meet and greet events for superintendent candidates had a quorum of members. The legal opinion also says that business was discussed outside the view of the public. The attorney general will not be filing suit in the matter, but says Councilor Fredrick Faerber who filed the complaint can if he wishes.
A 45-year-old woman was killed in a two-car crash in Foster that authorities suspect was caused by bad weather.
Rhode Island State Police said the accident that killed Siobhan Ross-Humphries of Providence happened on Route 101 early Wednesday afternoon.
An initial investigation found Ross-Humphries was headed westbound near the Connecticut border when she lost control of her Honda Fit because of poor road conditions. Her car crossed into the eastbound lane and was hit by a Toyota Corolla driven by 77-year-old George Loiselle of Warwick.
Authorities said he was taken to Day Kimble Hospital in Connecticut. The hospital said Wednesday evening it had no record of a patient by that name.
Rhode Island and Connecticut State Police and the Foster Police Department are investigating.
Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo has announced the members of her inaugural committee and says she's planning an event that will celebrate Rhode Island's strengths.
Committee co-chairs are GTech Chairman Donald Sweitzer and Democratic fundraisers Johnnie Chace and Mark Weiner. The mayors of Central Falls, Pawtucket and North Providence are also on the committee along with several state lawmakers and community, business and labor leaders.
Raimondo, who has served the last four years as state treasurer, said Wednesday committee members will give her input on the best ways to champion Rhode Island and ensure an inauguration that's open and inclusive.
Raimondo will be sworn in on Jan. 6. She is replacing Lincoln Chafee, who didn't
The longtime executive director of the Providence Children's Museum is stepping down.
The museum says Janice O'Donnell will leave the museum on Friday.
O'Donnell was named executive director in 1985, and has been with the museum since 1979, two years after it opened in its original location in Pawtucket.
Under her leadership, the museum relocated to Providence's Jewelry District in 1997 and underwent a major building restoration and exhibit expansion in 2010.
O'Donnell says it has been a privilege to lead the museum, and says her next ventures will focus on kids' free choice learning and play.
The museum's board is launching a search for a replacement.
Rhode Island Hospital is taking precautionary measures to stop the spread of the water-borne bacterial disease legionella after two patients came down with it.
The hospital is investigating the source of the disease, and is using bottled water for drinking, instead of tap water, for hospitalized patients in potentially-affected areas. The hospital will also "superheat" and flush the water supply in those areas.
Legionella is a bacterial disease found in the natural environment, usually in warm water, and is a risk mainly to patients with compromised immune systems. It can cause a type of pneumonia commonly known as Legionnaires disease.
It is not transmitted person-to-person.
Rhode Island is receiving more than 300-thousand dollars from the federal government to help make state roads safer. The U.S. Department of Transportation grant is designed to support traffic and vehicle safety programs. Senator Jack Reed says the money will enhance safety conditions for drivers and pedestrians in the state. The money can be used for things that include the promotion of seat belt use, motorcycle safety or to educate young drivers.
It's the end of the road for a two-year, $40 million project that resurfaced 56 miles of roads in Providence. Mayor Angel Taveras marked the milestone Tuesday morning. Taveras called a news conference to mark the conclusion of what he says is a significant accomplishment of his administration.
The effort was supported by paving work by the state, Providence Water Supply Board and National Grid. The utility is replacing natural gas line replacement program and was particularly active on the city's northeast side.
Taveras said the work so far has used about $37 million, with about 5 miles remaining early next year. The city estimates that when it is over, about 16 percent of the 370 miles of city-maintained streets will have been repaved.
Five people who helped shut down Interstate 95 through Providence during a protest sparked by the events in Ferguson, Missouri, are scheduled to appear in court.
State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell says that the protesters had marched peacefully from Central High School to the Providence police station on Tuesday when a group of about 100 to 150 people broke off and decided to go on the highway.
He says they jumped a 5-foot fence and streamed onto I-95 South and North. He said a "mob mentality" took over.
Protests erupted across the country following Monday's announcement that a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson.
The incoming governor plans to hold a transition policy summit next month to talk about strategies for boosting Rhode Island's long struggling economy.
Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo says the summit will be held on Dec. 16 at her transition headquarters. The Democrat said Tuesday that more than 80 leaders from a variety of sectors will be invited to participate.
Raimondo's top issue during the campaign was the economy, and she pledged to be the "jobs governor." She outlined plans to oversee a resurgence of manufacturing in Rhode Island. She also wants to invest in areas where the state already has competitive advantages.
She says the summit will help her get ideas and feedback from those "on the front lines of policy, business, labor, social service and innovation."
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Traffic is moving again on Interstate 95 after protesters briefly shutdown part of it in response to a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. About 150 people were sitting on the highway across from the Providence police station Tuesday night
Protests have erupted throughout the country following Monday's announcement that a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a legal challenge to the enforcement of a North Kingstown ordinance prohibiting families from owning a vicious dog and living near a school or daycare facility. The law allows the town to seize a dog if officials determine it's vicious.
Mark Morse, a lawyer for the ACLU, says the town ordinance conflicts with state law that has established procedures and penalties.
Police told a North Kingstown family they could not own a vicious dog within a mile of a school or daycare center. The police ordered two dogs removed and were seized last month and placed in a town shelter.
If the ordinance is upheld next week, the dogs could be euthanized
A one-time homeless man has been acquitted of murder charges in the stabbing death of his cousin.
After deliberating for about 10 hours over three days, a Newport County jury found Joseph J. Perryman not guilty Tuesday in the death of Anthony Simmons after the two got into an argument in December 2012.
Minutes after leaving the court, the 43-year-old Perryman said he's "about to combust."
During his testimony, Perryman said Simmons pushed him and he pushed his cousin back, knocking him over a chair. He says Simmons had a knife in his hand and was stabbed as the two men fought.
Amy S. Kempe, spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, said authorities did not believe Perryman acted in self-defense according to the law, but respect the jury's decision.
The annual lighting of the Christmas tree in the Statehouse rotunda has been scheduled for next week.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Tuesday that Secretary of State Ralph Mollis will preside over the tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 3. The 15-foot Fraser fir was donated by a farm in South Kingstown.
The conifer generated controversy in past years when Chafee referred to it as a holiday tree in a nod to Rhode Island's religious diversity. One lawmaker called the Democrat a Grinch, though previous governors had used the same term. Last year, Chafee abandoned the moniker, saying it generated too much anger.
The Heroes' Tree will be lit the same evening in the State Room. It honors those who are in or have served in the military.
The American Civil Liberties Union is asking Gov. Lincoln Chafee to change state immigration policy before leaving office, following President Barack Obama's action to defer deportation for millions of people in the country illegally.
The ACLU says it's sending a letter asking Chafee to change immigration detainer policy.
A U.S. citizen held on an immigration detainer is suing the state in federal court. A judge found her constitutional rights were violated.
Chafee for a brief period this year directed the Department of Corrections to require a warrant for detainers. A month later the Democrat pulled back, requiring only that detainers be accompanied by a judicial deportation or removal order.
Chafee's spokeswoman says he'll review the letter.
Democratic Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo's office says she plans to review immigration policies when she takes office.
Rhode Island's unemployment rate of 7.4 percent remains the third highest rate in the country despite a drop in October.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says Georgia had the highest rate, 7.7 percent, and Mississippi had the second highest, 7.6 percent. The District of Columbia also had a 7.6 percent rate.
The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training reported last week that the state's rate had fallen two-tenths of 1 percentage point from September. But the new labor report also showed the state shed 2,600 jobs.
Rhode Island has suffered one of the highest jobless rates in the country for years.
The U.S. unemployment rate in October was 5.8 percent.
Tickets for the “Friday at the Fort” portion of the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival, scheduled for July 31, went on sale today.
The Friday event, which was initiated last year, will return this year to showcase emerging artists as part of the annual festival at Fort Adams State Park. The lineup will include Kneebody, a sophomore appearance of Snarky Puppy and other artists who are emerging and maintaining the tradition of jazz.
Tickets for the Friday at the Fort event cost $40 for general admission and $20 for students and can be purchased online at www.newportjazzfest.org or www.ticketmaster.com.
Tickets also can be purchased at the Gateway Visitors Center, 23 America’s Cup Ave. Reserved seating is not available on Friday and no service charges will apply if tickets are purchased at the Visitors Center.
Flex tickets, which can be used for general admission on any day at Fort Adams, giving attendees the option of which day they wish to attend, also will be on sale online and at the Visitors Center. Flex tickets cost $55 for adults, $20 for students and $15 for children. They are not valid for reserved seats or the Friday evening concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Regular tickets for Saturday, Aug. 1, and Sunday, Aug. 2, will cost $74.
The complete lineup for the Newport Jazz Festival will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www. newportfestivalfoundation.org.
Providence is marking the final phase of a citywide project under which more than 60 miles of roads are being repaved.
Mayor Angel Taveras plans to mark the last phase of the project at an event today on Warren Street. He is expected to be joined by members of the city council, the Department of Public Works and others.
Voters approved a $40 million road bond in 2012.
Residents consistently complain about the condition of streets in Providence and elsewhere in Rhode Island. Officials have said the project is addressing some 15 percent of the capital's roads.
The work began last year.
The fire marshal says a fire that drove a family of five from their home and destroyed it was caused by a malfunction in an extension cord on the home's back porch.
The family survived the early Monday morning fire and was taken to South County Hospital for evaluation, then released.
Their home, near the University of Rhode Island campus, burned to the ground.
Homeowners Kim and Michael Jones say they lost nearly everything they owned. Kim Jones says she was only able to recover a few photos.
She says the family's chickens, which were housed on the porch, somehow survived.
The family had lived there for more than 20 years.
The closest fire hydrant was 1,500 feet from the home, and tanker trucks had to be used.
Gasoline prices are continuing to drop in Rhode Island. Triple-A Southern New England says a gallon of self serve regular is selling for an average of two-dollars-95-cents. That's down three-cents over the last week and 20-cents lower than a month ago. However, the current price is still 14-cents higher than the national average of two-dollars-81-cents a gallon.
A Providence woman is out three-thousand-dollars after returning to her home from a casino trip and being robbed outside. La Yang says she won the money during a successful trip to Twin River Casino Sunday night. She parked behind her home on Waverly Street in Providence and says a man snatched her purse and ran off. Yang was left with minor injuries after falling during the incident, and the suspect was able to escape in a waiting car.
The name of Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed can be crossed off the list of possible candidates for U.S. defense secretary. A spokesman for Reed quickly ended any speculation yesterday, saying the senator loves his job and wants to continue doing it. Reed is a former Army officer and serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has led to his name being mentioned whenever the position opens. Current U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced he was stepping down yesterday.
Smithfield police are investigating allegations of a sexual assault on the Bryant University campus.
A campus-wide email sent to students says the alleged incident occurred Sunday morning.
The school's Department of Public Safety and Smithfield police were called to remove a male suspect from campus. The student has been suspended, pending a hearing, and will not be allowed to attend the university in the meantime.
School officials did not identify the suspect.
Another man was arrested at the school in late September after he allegedly broke into a student's dorm room and sexually assaulted her.
Three children were among the five people taken to a hospital after a fire destroyed their South Kingstown home.
The family managed to escape the Monday morning fire and were taken to South County Hospital for evaluation.
The home near the University of Rhode Island campus burned to the ground.
Deputy Fire Chief Rich Collinson says that a propane tank behind the home fueled the fire.
The closest fire hydrant was 1,500 feet from the home, and tanker trucks had to be used.
Fire officials said the fire does not appear to be suspicious.
(Providence, RI) -- A new study indicates that the use of seat belts is increasing in Rhode Island. The state Department of Transportation says the new report shows that 87-percent of state drivers are wearing seat belts. That's up 15 points since 2008, when only 72-percent of Rhode Islanders were buckling up. The highest percentage locally is in Providence County, where 91-percent are wearing seat belts.
Buses are back moving in the College Hill Tunnel after it was forced to close last week because of flooding. The bus tunnel was closed Thursday night after a water main break caused the flooding. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says inspections have been conducted and the tunnel is structurally sound. All affected bus routes have returned to a regular schedule.
Passenger numbers are down at TF Green Airport. The Rhode Island Airport Corporation says 20-thousand fewer passengers flew into and out of the Warwick airport in October compared to the same month last year. The drop is directly in passengers who fly the airport's two largest carriers, Southwest and United. The other three major carriers posted gains for the month, identified as JetBlue, Delta and U.S. Airways.
The state's health insurance exchange is off to a good start of this year's enrollment period. HealthSource RI says more than 18-hundred people renewed their insurance in the first six days, with over 300 new customers signing up as well. The state is offering 40 different plans for consumers to choose from, up from 28 last year. The program is currently facing a projected operating loss of more than 14-million-dollars in next year's budget.
BOSTON — Two people from Massachusetts are among the 32 new Rhodes scholars named this weekend, and 11 others have ties to universities in New England.
Noam Angrist of Brookline and Kate Nussenbaum of Newton are among the scholars who will attend the University of Oxford in England beginning in October 2015.
Angrist graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge in 2013 with majors in economics and mathematics. He did economic research for the World Bank, the White House and the Affordable Care Act while at MIT.
Nussenbaum is a senior at Brown University in Providence, majoring in cognitive neuroscience and science and society. Her academic work has focused on how social factors distort learning capacity.
The other new Rhodes scholars include students at Yale, Harvard and Dartmouth.
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza and members of his transition team are hosting public forums to get input from city residents.
The meetings are called "One Providence listening forums" and are planned through Dec. 1.
A forum will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Esek Hopkins Middle School and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex.
The final forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1, at the Nathan Bishop Middle School.
Elorza says he looks forward to hearing from Providence residents and incorporating their ideas into his administration.
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Rhode Island's health benefits exchange has opened a new walk-in center and holding a series of events to help individuals sign up for health coverage during the second open enrollment period.
The HealthSource RI center at 1923 Post Road in Warwick opened Sunday. There is an existing center at 70 Royal Little Drive in Providence where people can get help signing up for insurance.
HealthSource is also holding information sessions across the state to present health plan options, explain federal tax credit eligibility and assist with enrollment. Sessions are planned at the public libraries in Westerly and Cumberland on Monday. Others will follow.
Open enrollment runs through Feb. 15. Rhode Islanders must enroll and pay by Dec. 23 for coverage to take effect on Jan. 1.
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Rhode Island officials have launched a new website with winter driving tips, statistics and links to travel planning resources.
The state Department of Transportation created the site to help Rhode Islanders prepare for winter weather.
DOT Director Michael Lewis says it's a good time to remind everyone about safe driving practices and steps to take to prepare their vehicles, such as checking tires, fluids and brakes.
The site features links to traffic cameras, travel advisories and detour and construction maps.
More information can be found on the site, http://www.dot.ri.gov/about/winter .
WORCESTER, Massachusetts — A newly formed company says it's studying the feasibility of creating a commuter rail service between Worcester and Providence.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports Boston Surface Railroad Co. hopes to eventually introduce three trains a day between the cities, with a stop in Woonsocket.
General Manager Vincent Bono says an engineering study will determine what improvements would need to be made on the existing line for a 70-minute trip time. The study is expected to take six months.
The paper reports the project still has hurdles to overcome, including an agreement with Providence and Worcester Railroad. Railroad officials joined Bono Friday for a symbolic rail ride to Providence to launch the project.
The service is projected to cost about $3 million to set up and operate.
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Providence native son and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is getting his own beer.
Narragansett Beer President Mark Hellendrung said Saturday the company is launching a Lovecraft Honey Ale to celebrate the late writer's literary work. It's being launched on Jan. 19, the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe whom Lovecraft admired.
Narragansett has launched several other locally-inspired brews, including a Del's Shandy and an Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout.
Lovecraft lived for years on Angell Street near Brown University, and local landmarks were used in some of his works. There was a big convention of his fans in Providence last year. The capital also has an intersection named in honor of Lovecraft, and the historical society has held Lovecraft walking tours.
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Brown University is adding a vice provost for the arts as part of an effort to expand the school's focus in the area.
The school announced Friday Michael Steinberg has been appointed to the newly created position and will begin in January. He will remain in his current role as director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown through June 30. The vice provost for arts will serve as a member of the president's cabinet.
Brown says its arts initiative will expand and enhance existing programs and bring new creative and performing arts projects to campus.
A group of faculty and staff working last year with an independent consultant recommended expanding Brown's performing arts facilities, including building a new performance and production facility for music and dance.
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Eight indoor winter farmers' markets are now open throughout Rhode Island.
The Department of Environmental Management's agriculture division and its partners are helping sponsor the markets as part of a statewide campaign to promote buying locally-grown specialty crops.
The markets that are open Saturdays include the South Kingstown Indoor Winter Farmers' Market, the Coastal Growers' Winter Market in North Kingstown, the Mount Hope Market in Bristol, the Farm Fresh RI Wintertime Farmers' Market in Pawtucket, the Hope Valley Indoor Winter Farmers' Market in Wyoming and the Aquidneck Growers' Market in Middletown.
In East Greenwich, the St. Luke's "Arts And Farms" Indoor Winter Farmers' Market is open on Mondays. The Woonsocket Indoor Winter Farmers' Market is open on Tuesdays.
BOSTON — Gambling regulators have set new application deadlines for Massachusetts' third and final resort casino license.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced Friday that initial applications for the southeastern region, which is centered on Fall River and New Bedford, will be due Jan. 30. The second part of the application is due May 26.
The commission, which hopes to award the license by next fall, has pushed back the deadlines a number of times already and eased other application requirements to help drum up interest.
The southeast region is generally seen as the least lucrative of the state's three designated casino regions (east, west and southeast). Gambling companies have also been watching to see if the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe receives federal land-in trust approval as they seek to develop a resort on an industrial park in Taunton.
To date, the commission has received just one initial application in the southeastern region: KG Urban, which hopes to develop a casino at a former power plant on the New Bedford waterfront. Foxwoods has floated the idea of a casino for Fall River while other operators have suggested casinos elsewhere. None have formally filed applications with the state, which also require a $400,000 fee.
Massachusetts' casino law authorizes up to three regional resort casinos and one slots parlor. Already licensed are an $800 million MGM project in Springfield, a $1.6 billion Wynn casino in Everett and a $225 million Penn National Gaming slots parlor in Plainville
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — An animal rights group is criticizing a plan by some residents in Tiverton to hunt down a pack of coyotes blamed for attacking and killing several pets.
Defenders of Animals calls the plan inhumane, and it's criticizing the state Department of Environmental Management for signing off on it.
Dennis Tabella of the group says the best way of getting rid of coyotes is to make sure they have no food sources. That means properly disposing of trash, keeping dogs on leashes and not letting cats roam.
He says if that's not done, new coyotes will move in.
The state approved the plan as long as the professional hunter the residents hired doesn't hunt at night and only baits the coyotes on private property.
WESTERLY, Rhode Island — Scores of angry teachers have demanded that Westerly school officials do a better job informing them of threats such as one that's alleged to have been made against a Westerly High School teacher.
The Westerly Sun reports that teachers said at a recent School Committee meeting they learned of the allegations in media reports, not from school officials.
A physical threat policy approved by the School Committee in 2009 requires that any confirmed written or oral threat against the health, safety and well-being of any member of the school community will immediate prompt notification to police, students, faculty and staff.
A Superior Court judge continued a restraining order Wednesday for Maryjane Utley, head of the high school's science department. A student allegedly threatened to snap her neck.
Two special meetings of the Newport Zoning Board of Review have been scheduled to consider the Preservation Society’s application for a special use permit to construct a welcome center at The Breakers.
The back-to-back hearings are set for Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 1 and 2. They were originally set for late September, but were canceled after recusals by Zoning Board Chair Rebecca McSweeney and Vice Chair Lynn Ceglie presented quorum issues.
There is considerable public interest in the proceedings, with proponents and opponents disagreeing as to the merits and necessity of the much-debated project.
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A tunnel that buses use to travel up and down College Hill in Providence has been temporarily closed due to flooding.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says Friday it closed the 100-year-old tunnel because water was discovered late Thursday coming through the ceiling and walls.
Providence Water says there is a leak in a water main near Benefit and Waterman Streets, and it's working to fix it.
A RIPTA spokeswoman says they're working to get the water out of the tunnel, and that structural engineers will look for damage.
In the meantime, buses that normally use the tunnel are being re-routed around the East Side of the city.
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Rhode Island's unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in October, but the state shed 2,600 jobs.
The state Department of Labor and Training reported Thursday that the rate had fallen two-tenths of 1 percentage point from September.
The number of unemployed residents was down 1,400, to 40,900. The figure has declined for 15 straight months to the lowest unemployment level since April 2008. The number of unemployed dropped 11,200 over the year.
But the state lost 2,600 jobs from the revised September estimate. The number of nonfarm jobs in Rhode Island was 476,500.
The size of the labor force was also down 400, to 555,400. But that's up 3,400 from a year ago.
The U.S. unemployment rate is 5.8 percent.
NEWPORT, Rhode Island — A Newport police officer has been arrested and accused of making a fake 911 call.
The Newport Daily News reports that Sgt. Adam Conheeny was arrested Thursday for allegedly making false statements during a call he made on Halloween. Police released few details about the call, but said it resulted in the dispatch of emergency services.
Conheeny pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge in District Court and was released on $1,000 personal recognizance.
He has been with the department for 16 years.
Lt. William T. Fitzgerald Jr. says he has been suspended with pay while the court case is pending and once that's done, an internal affairs investigation will be launched.
(Providence, RI) -- New details are coming to light about an incident at Brown University last year where a young woman claims she was drugged and raped. The woman says she did not have much alcohol to drink but everything became foggy while at a Providence bar in November of last year. The woman later took a taxi to Brown, where she claims the sexual assault took place. A grand jury declined to file charges against the two Brown football players accused by the Providence College student.
(Cranston, RI) -- A Cranston police captain who is suing the city and its mayor is getting a promotion. Captain Todd Patalano has been provisionally appointed major, despite his accusations that former Chief Marco Palumbo engaged in a personal vendetta against him. His suit names Palumbo, Mayor Allan Fung and other officers. Patalano spent 18 months on paid administrative leave over accusations that he violated department rules, and was later cleared by a state police investigation.
(Providence, RI) -- State Police say they have found no evidence that volunteers with Buddy Cianci's campaign tampered with ballots. The investigation began when residents at the Fox Point Manor senior housing complex reported that campaign workers were helping residents with their ballots. Police determined that there were some discrepancies in the story, there were no violations of law. Cianci lost to Democrat Jorge Elorza on Election Day.
(Providence, RI) -- Rhode Island House Speaker Mattiello is expressing concerns about National Grid's proposed 23-percent electric rate hike. Mattiello says he sat down with National Grid officials a few months ago and told them that double digit increases would not be acceptable. The speaker says he will be meeting with officials from National Grid and the state Office of Energy Resources on Tuesday to further discuss the matter.
KINGSTON, Rhode Island — The Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island has received a $24 million grant to lead a five-year project to rebuild depleted fisheries in Ghana.
The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1z2k4S4 ) that the grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development is part of a federal effort to boost food resources in developing countries. Brian Crawford, interim director of the Coastal Resources Center, says Ghana is seen as a good fit for the program because of its stable government and growing economy.
The Coastal Resources Center is part of URI's Graduate School of Oceanography. It has worked on fisheries and coastal resilience projects in other parts of west Africa.
The grant is the largest in the university's history and represents nearly one-fourth of total grants of $100 million to URI each year.
Police are looking for a man who robbed a Providence bank and declared that the stolen money was for the church. The white man believed to be in his 50s entered the Citizen's Bank Tuesday and handed the teller a note demanding money. After politely thanking the teller, the man escaped with around three-thousand-dollars. Police have released a clear picture of the suspect,who was wearing sunglasses but otherwise made no effort to hide his face.
It is probably going to cost a little more for students to attend classes at Rhode Island's three public colleges. The Council on Postsecondary Education voted yesterday to approve a rate hike of just under three-percent at the University of Rhode Island. They also approved an eight-percent increase for Rhode Island College and Community College of Rhode Island. The Board of Education will vote on the proposal next week.
A reputed high ranking mobster is avoiding additional prison time in his sentence related to a Rhode Island gambling ring. Edward Lato pleaded no contest to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering. The conviction was related to an investigation into a large scale sports betting ring that led to 22 arrests. After Lato received a ten year suspended sentence yesterday, he began the trip back to a federal prison in South Carolina to continue his sentence for extorting Providence strip clubs.
National Grid is asking state regulators to approve a 23-percent electric generation rate increase. The company says natural gas prices are expected to remain high this winter, making the increase necessary. Under the proposed rate, the average residential customer will see their bill go from 88-dollars to 109-dollars a month. The price of electricity is largely linked to the cost of natural gas, which is the fuel used in most New England power plants.
The Rhode Island Planning Council will not be voting on the RhodeMap RI development plan today. The council yesterday agreed to delay the vote on the controversial plan that has been in the works for more than three years. Officials say the delay came at the request of House Speaker Nick Mattiello and was approved by Governor Lincoln Chafee. Mattiello says the delay was requested in order to give some lawmakers a chance to become more familiar with the plan.
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is pleased that the Senate failed to advance the Keystone XL Pipeline. Whitehouse says the pipeline would transport one of the dirtiest forms of oil from Canada through the U.S. He also says the bill would have set a dangerous precedent and undermine the administration's authority to ensure the project is in the national interest.
Public health officials say 188 people have died from drug overdoses in Rhode Island since the beginning of the year. The vast majority of the deaths involved an overdose of opioids, with many related to the painkiller Fentanyl. The victims were 136 men and 52 women, hailing from 31 different Rhode Island cities and towns. Most victims were between the ages of 30 and 50-years-old.
Providence City Council President Michael Solomon is paying a two-thousand-dollar fine to settle an ethics complaint. Solomon was accused of failing to disclose his financial dealings over a period of several years. The complaint was filed by Republican Councilman Michael Long as Solomon was battling for the Democratic nomination for mayor. Solomon lost the race to now Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza.
A Providence man is heading to prison for two years for the killing of his former girlfriend's puppy. Luis Laboy admits that he killed the puppy and threw it at the woman, and again throwing it at her car as she drove away. In addition to the prison time, Laboy must complete community service and cannot own a dog for at least 15 years.
The NCAA men's basketball tournament is coming to Providence in 2016. The NCAA says Providence will host second and third round games at the Dunkin Donuts Center in March of 2016. The city's bid was submitted by Providence College, the arena and the Greater Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. The final four in 2016 will be held in Houston.
A Chariro High School teacher already accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student is facing new charges. Paul LaFrance is now charged with third degree sexual assault, possession of child pornography and electronic dissemination of indecent material to a minor. The 52-year-old LaFrance was rearrested at his home yesterday and arraigned on the new charges in Kent County District Court.
Rhode Island state agencies are overspending their approved budgets this fiscal year by an estimated 66-million dollars. Medicaid is the largest culprit, with the program running an estimated 37-million dollars in the red. The Department of Children and Families is the agency running the largest deficit at 17-million dollars. The House Finance Committee has called a hearing for Thursday to begin addressing the problem.
Governor Elect Gina Raimondo will be faced with some big challenges after she takes office as the state’s 75th Governor. The state is faced with continued high unemployment, a projected budget deficit, and a pension overhaul that’s locked in litigation. Raimondo will be sworn in as Governor on January 6th.
It’s time for Rhode Island residents to start looking at the state’s health insurance marketplace. Health Source RI’s open enrollment period runs through February 15th. This year, plans being offered through the exchange are from Blue Cross & Blue Shield, United HealthCare and Neighborhood Health Plan of RI.
Newport Musicians will be performing their annual concert to benenfit the homeless on Thursday December 4th. The concert will take place at Channing Memorial Church in Newport. Tickets are $15 for adults, children are free. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Lucy’s Hearth and the McKinney Shelter. For tickets call 849-4250.
Three people have been arrested in connection with thefts from several stores on Aquidneck Island. Tiverton Police stopped a car on Route 24 last week that contained stolen items including over the counter medications, cosmetics and pregnancy and fertility tests. Maria Breggia and Guy Tortis of North Providence along Paul Costanzo of Providence face a variety of charges. The case is still under investigation.
Four public schools in Portsmouth are in need of immediate repairs that will cost almost $2 million dollars. According to the Daily News, a study has identified more than $17.5 million in work needed as long term projects for the continued functioning of the four buildings. Most of that work is not deemed critical. Topping the critical list are the bleachers at the high school used for the visiting team. They have been found to be structurally unsafe. The cost to replace them has been estimated at $31,000. The report is scheduled for discussion at tonight’s School Committee meeting. That meeting will be held at 6 in the Town Hall.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is reappointing Colonel Steven O'Donnell as superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. Raimondo says she's confident that O'Donnell continues to be the best person to lead the agency. O'Donnell has served as superintendent since 2011, overseeing State Police and various other public safety agencies. They include the fire marshal's office, county sheriffs and capitol police.
Melissa Mastrostefano ran for Jamestown School Committee and lost. She came in third in the race when there were only two seats open. However, Mastrostefano will be taking a seat on the committee because committee member Ryan Conlon has submitted his resignation. Conlon is leaving because he has accepted a job in Maryland. Matrostefano will take her seat at the next School Committee meeting next Thursday.
Portsmouth has to delay the swearing in of the Town Council and School Committee until after a recount vote for the results of the November 4th election. According to the Daily News, the original recount vote was focused on the race for town clerk, but Connie Harding, an independent candidate for Town Council has also asked for a recount. She finished in eighth place for the seven member council, losing by 46 votes. The date for the recount has not been set. Once it’s complete the results will be certified by the Board of Canvassers and a date for a swearing in ceremony will be set.
Portsmouth will be looking for a new Town Administrator. John Klimm, has decided not to renew his contract with the town. His current agreement expires at the end of January. Klimm has helped the town establish a Triple A bond rating, and may stay on a bit to help with the 2016 budget. He is leaving to explore other opportunities.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo's full transition team is in place. Raimondo has assembled a 13-member team to transition the state to her administration in January. The team includes labor and business leaders, a teacher, and even a Republican. Senator Minority Leader Dennis Algiere will bring the GOP perspective to the transition effort.
Graduates of Rhode Island colleges and universities on average are leaving school with a large amount of debt. A new report indicates the average debt for a Rhode Island college student graduating in 2013 was over 31-thousand-dollars. That places state students as having the third largest student debt load in the nation. New Hampshire is the only New England state above Rhode Island, as their graduates have average debt of 32-thousand-dollars.
The Newport City Council-elect met yesterday morning and voted to fill some of the city’s key positions. The council-elect unanimously voted Jeanne-Marie Napolitano as Mayor, Marco Camacho as Vice Chairman, and Joseph Nicholson Jr. as Interim City Manager.
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced that the project to install a permanent median barrier on the Newport Bridge will begin next month. The $5.9 million dollar project to improve safety on the bridge was approved by the agency’s board yesterday. The project should be complete by mid-April.
The Tiverton Board of Elections met yesterday and was able to certify the election results for Town Council. According to the Daily News, the race was so close that only 13 votes separated the seventh and eighth place finishers for Town Council. The deadline for recounts was yesterday at 4pm and none of the candidates had petitioned for one. The Tiverton Town Council will be sworn in a t ceremony on November 24th along with others elected to town posts.
A Newport man is jailed on charges accusing him of soliciting sex from a child on the Internet. Police say 24-year-old Edwin Cintron engaged in a sexually explicit chat with a 14-year-old West Greenwich child on Facebook. The parents of the child discovered the chat and alerted police, who assumed the child's identity and later allegedly received naked pictures through the account from Cintron. He's charged with indecent solicitation of a child and electronic dissemination of indecent material.
Providence Police have a new unit in place that is focused on keeping illegal guns off city streets. The Providence Gun Control Unit is working to help identify suspects in shootings, and those selling illegal guns in the city. Police say the biggest problem is that people who purchase guns legally end up selling them illegally and they end up being used to commit crimes. Police plan to lobby state lawmakers to toughen penalties for those who sell their guns illegally.
Three-term councilman Robert J. Sylvia is expected to take over the lead of Middletown Town Council. Sylvia was informally chosen as council president during a weekend meeting at town hall, with political newcomer Robert Kempenaar as vice president. The Daily News says nothing becomes official until the new seven-member council is inaugurated Monday, November 24th at 6 p.m. in the Gaudet Middle School cafeteria.
A new group, the Aquidneck Island Emergency Volunteer Alliance, was formed to go into action at a moment’s notice after blizzards, hurricanes, and other disasters. According to the Daily news, the nonprofit alliance is prepared to send 20 trained volunteers to help staff the regional emergency shelter in Middletown should a disaster strike. To attract more volunteers, the group is sponsoring a free Emergency Preparedness Expo on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Edward King House Senior Center on 35 King St.
The Pell Elementary School community is launching their open house tour series today beginning at 1 p.m. The open houses will take place on the second Wednesday of every month throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. The tours will be co-led by a Pell-Elementary School administrator and a Pell Elementary School parent and take place between 1 and 2 p.m. To RSVP contact Mark McKenna at 401-842-1900 or visit the school website at www.nspri.net
Representative Joseph McNamara has called a hearing of the House Committee of Health, Education and Welfare this afternoon at the State House to review the state’s health care preparations and prevention planning for Ebola. Officials from the Department of Health and leaders of United Nurses & Allied Professionals, and the Rhode Island State Nurses Association are also invited to the hearing. There have been no cases of Ebola in Rhode Island.
A Providence College student is reporting that she was sexually assaulted off campus this past weekend. The young woman says she was assaulted Saturday night by someone who is not a student at the school. The incident is being investigated by Providence Police. School officials are weighing whether the student body should be directly notified about the incident, which is required by federal law when there is an ongoing threat to a campus community.
Rhode Island’s highest court says the state doesn't have to pay damages to a man left paralyzed by a fall at Newport's Cliff Walk. The state Supreme Court is rejecting Simcha Berman's request for a new trial. A lower court ruled that the state has a very limited rule at Cliff Walk and no evidence of negligence by the state exists. The New York City man is a quadriplegic following the fall more than a decade ago, and was seeking 30-million dollars in damages.
The newly elected Portsmouth Town Council is scheduled to take oath of office on Monday, as long as the race for town clerk is decided by Friday. According to the Daily News, Democrat Jennifer M. West trails Republican Town Clerk Joanne M. Mower by 69 votes. West called for a recount, which the Board of elections will hold on Friday at its office in Providence. If the recount settles the race, the results of the Nov.4th election for town council, school committee and town clerk can be certified the same day.
Portsmouth schools are in line to receive more in state aid in the next fiscal year than originally thought. According to the Daily News, the school department has been losing abut $250,000 a year in state aid for the past five years but the loss for the fiscal year starting July 1st, 2015 will only be about $70,000 . Town Finance Director James Lathrop said that one of the factors that influenced the change was the revaluation of town property in Portsmouth and how the revised valuation compared with other towns around the state. The department also recalculated the number of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in town schools, which Lathrop said is a big factor in determining the amount of school aid a community receives.
The Jamestown Community Theatre will hold its production of “Peter Pan” over the course of two weekends starting Friday at Jamestown Community Theatre, 41 Conanicus Avenue. The Friday and Saturday performances will be held at 7 p.m., and the Sunday shows will be held at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $5 for seniors and students in advance; and $15 for adults and $8 for seniors and students at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Baker's Pharmacy, 53 Narragasnett Ave.; Cathryn Jamieson Salon, 16 Narragansett Ave.; the Ship's Store at Conanicut Marine, 20 Narragansett Ave.; and the Secret Garden, 12 Southwest Ave. For more information, contact Mary Wright, artistic director, at 401-741-9818 or email@example.com
The trial of a Newport man charged with murder is scheduled to begin today. Joseph Perryman is accused of stabbing 44 year old Anthony Simmons of Newport to death after the pair had been arguing in an apartment back in December of 2012.
Tomorrow is Veterans Day. WADK’s Talk Of The Town with Bruce Newbury will be live at Custom House Coffee, 769 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown from 9 until noon. There will be free Veteran Coffee Roasters brand coffee served to all Veterans, all day. Purchase a pound of Veteran Coffee Roasters brand coffee tomorrow and a portions of the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Purchase two pounds and Veteran Coffee Roasters will donate a pound to the all new military lounge at T.F. Green Airport.
Portsmouth will honor all veterans tomorrow at Portsmouth High School at 9am. There will be a focus on Vietnam-era vets with a guest speaker from the Naval War College.
The United Veterans Council of Newport and the VFW Conover-Leary Post 406 are sponsoring a ceremony at Newport City Hall tomorrow at 11am. Capt. David Welch, the commanding officer of the Surface Warfare Officers School Command will be the guest speaker.
The Jane Pickens Theater will host a free Veterans Day screening of Good Morning Vietnam in honor of Vietnam Veterans. The screening is at 1pm tomorrow and is sponsored in part by American Legion Post 18, VFW 5390 and The Jane Pickens Theater.
A Brown University student who became very intoxicated after drinking punch at a fraternity party tested positive for a date rape drug. School officials say the student tested positive for a common drug known as GBH after attending the party at Sears House. The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity that hosted the party has been suspended. Brown students were notified of the positive test over the weekend in an e-mail from administrators.
Arson is believed to be the cause of a fire that destroyed a house and a commercial building in Westerly. Officials say the fire started early yesterday in the vacant home on Canal Street and quickly spread to the building housing the Trash and Treasures store. The arson determination was made because the town-owned home was unoccupied and did not have electricity. The town purchased the home with federal grant money after it was heavily damaged by Pawcatuck River flooding in 2010.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is reminding Rhode Island residents to get their flu vaccine shot as soon as possible. Raimondo says she got her shot on Friday, and that her family gets one every year because it's the best defense against the flu. Last year, more than 600 state residents were hospitalized with the flu, with 32 flu related deaths. People can get flu vaccine shots from their doctor, pharmacies and at public or school clinics.
The Portsmouth Town Council voted last night to accept an offer from Wind Energy Group to replace the failed wind turbine at the high school with a new and improved model. According to the Daily News, the agreement calls for the new turbine to be operations within two years and for the town to purchase the electricity produced by the turbine. Wind Energy plans to have the turbine built on the same spot and operational by November of next year.
Health Source RI has announced that there will be 40 individual and group plans available through their health insurance marketplace. Last year only 28 plans were offered. There is a new carrier joining the marketplace next year as well, United Health Care is joining Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Neighborhood Health Plan in offering individual coverage. There are more options for next year and some plans will cost less although most will cost more.
What’s next for Newport Grand? The Daily News reports that Joe Paolino is going to meet with his partners today to see if it is feasible to do upgrades to Newport Grand and turn it into an entertainment center without the addition of table games. If they can make the numbers work, Paolino plans to sit with current Newport Grand owner Diane Hurley to see if a new deal could be made that would make economic sense for both sides.
State Police are closing their investigation into allegations of ballot tampering at Crossroads Rhode Island in Providence. The investigation began when two off duty police officers working for Buddy Cianci's campaign for mayor entered the facility to collect ballots from residents. It has been determined that the four ballots picked up by the officers were not tampered with, and there is no basis for criminal charges. The four ballots ended up being disqualified anyway because they all lacked a verification signature.
Governor Lincoln Chafee says he feels Rhode Island will be in good hands when the newly-elected Gina Raimondo replaces him. Chafee and Raimondo sat down yesterday in his State House office to discuss the transition of power. Chafee says he is comfortable with the decision not to seek reelection after a single term in office. Raimondo takes office January 6th, and says she is ready to get to work.
Current Newport School Committee Vice Chairwoman Jo Eva Gaines said she would like to lead the committee as chairwoman for the next two years, replacing Chairman Charles Shoemaker, who did not run for re-election. The Daily News says Gaines has served on the school committee since 2001. An official vote for chairman and vice chairman will take place on Inauguration Day.
Rhode Island Governor-elect Gina Raimondo says she will be naming a transition team in the next few days. Raimondo defeated Republican Allan Fung Tuesday to become the first woman elected as governor of the state. Raimondo is calling on Governor Lincoln Chafee to hold off on making any key appointments as his term winds down. She pledges to hire talented people for her administration, and says the team will seek new faces.
A 5 year old local boy is recovering from about one hundred dog bites and scratch wounds he suffered when he was attacked by a dog in the Park Holm apartment complex Tuesday. According to the daily news, police said the boy was playing in the grass outside an apartment in his neighborhood when a 9 month old pit bull attacked him. The dog is presently at the Potter Shelter quarantine pending a vicious dog hearing. The dog’s owner, Zita L. Saunders, 33, of Fall River, was charged with failing to properly restrain her dog and issued her summons to appear in Municipal Court on December 1st.
The prospective developer of a casino at Newport Grand and former providence mayor Joseph Paolino Jr said Wednesday he is still considering investing in the property even though voters rejected a proposal to add table games. A ballot question on permitting table games at the slots parlor was approved statewide Tuesday, but rejected in Newport. It needed majority approval of both statewide and local voters to pass. Paolino said moving forward with the project isn’t out of the question, but it’s more of a challenge now for Newport Grand to remain competitive with other area casinos.
Replacement of the failed wind turbine at Porstmouth High School moved a step closer during a meeting last night, when the School Committee gave its approval to a 25 year agreement to purchase its electricity from Wind Energy Development of North Kingstown. According to the Daily News, the committee’s unanimous vote clears the way for the Town Council to formally accept Wind Energy Developments offer to allow the town to pay off the remaining two million dollars of the bond voters approved in 2007 to build the turbine. The council will meet tonight at 7 to formally approve the agreement.
Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop was voted off the town council. Winthrop told the Daily News that there was no doubt that he was swept out by the anti-casino vote. Winthrop supported the addition of table games at Newport Grand.
Nationwide, Republicans now control the majority of seats in the House and the Senate. Locally Democrats had a sweep of offices throughout the state. Rhode Island has its first female Governor, says no to full casino gambling at Newport Grand and Mayor Harry Winthrop was voted off the Newport City Council. Get complete election results by visiting: http://www.ri.gov/election/results/2014/general_election/
Rhode Island has its first female governor. Democratic General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has defeated Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung to win the governor's office. In her victory speech, Raimondo pledged to rebuild the state's schools, roads and institutions while reducing unemployment. Fung called Raimondo and conceded the race before her speech, saying she ran a good campaign and pledging his support.
Buddy Cianci has come up short in his effort to become mayor of Providence for a third time. Democrat Jorge Elorza has defeated Cianci by more than three-thousand votes, driven by a strong showing in the city's East Side. Elorza says the eyes of the nation were on this race and the people of Providence have spoken. Elorza is a Roger Williams University school of law professor and a former housing court judge.
Rhode Island is saying no to full casino gambling at Newport Grand. Voters rejected a referendum yesterday, ending a fierce and emotional battle over the addition of table games. The rejection means the planned 40-million-dollar renovation of Newport Grand will not happen, and it will not be sold to an investment group. Voters did approve a referendum giving local voters a say on where casinos are located.
Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed is heading back to Washington for six more years. Reed collected more than 70 percent of the vote in rolling past Republican Mark Zaccaria in yesterday's election to win a fourth term in the Senate. In his victory speech, Reed pledged to continue his work in Washington on expanding education, protecting the environment and working towards immigration reform.
Coventry Fire District Chief Labbadia is suspended with pay as the district investigates job misconduct allegations against him. Labbadia is accused of taking a department vehicle and going to play golf and to attend a party on Federal Hill. Labbadia has been chief in Coventry since 2008, and he cannot enter the fire station while the suspension is in place. The chief denies the allegations.
The town of Middletown is formally requesting 25 acres from the Navy for a new west side park on Burma Road. According to the Daily News, the town council voted 7-0 during a meeting last night in town hall to pursue a public benefit conveyance to get the land, part of 225 acres being considered for disposal in the ongoing Base Realignment and Closure process. Town officials said just because the community is seeking the Burma Road land doesn’t mean it is guaranteed to happen, there are a number of hurdles to jump through to complete the process. Council members did not discuss a projected timeline for when the town might take over the land.
The city of Newport is pursuing an initiative to set up a skating rink in the parking lot of the Gateway Center at America’s Cup Avenue for the winter season. According to the Daily News, the city council began searching for an alternative location for skating after the Newport Yachting Center announced it’s property including the skating rink was sold in September. Interim City Manager Joseph Nicholson Jr. said electrical power, water, restroom facilities, seating and support for the rink’s infrastructure all were matters that have to be resolved before the plan is finalized. The Gateway Center property is owned by the city and any expenses and agreement for a new facility there would require a City Council vote.
Rhode Island voters are choosing a new governor today. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made a third appearance in the state to support Republican Allan Fung as part of his final push for votes yesterday. Democrat Gina Raimondo was also out reaching as many voters as possible on the final day before the vote. Fung and Raimondo are seeking to replace Governor Lincoln Chafee, who decided not to seek reelection.
The Pell Elementary School will be hosting a series of Open houses for the Newport community. The open houses will take place on the second Wednesday of every month throughout the 2014-2015 academic year beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 12th. The tours will take place between 1 and 2 p.m. and will be co-led by a Pell Elementary school administrator and a pell elementary school parent. If interested, rsvp by visiting the school website at www.nspri.net or calling 401-842-1900 ext. 20107.
The revocation of the liquor license will stand for the Three Dollar Bar on Federal Hill in Providence. The city Board of Licenses says bar staff did nothing to help a man who was being badly beaten behind the bar on July 23rd. That man later died, and no bar employee ever called police to report the incident. Daniel Lastarza is charged with murder for the killing of Jonathan Stack in a dispute over money.
The stormwater system repair and upgrade project will begin today in Newport. Today they will be working at the intersection of Garfield Street and Prescott Hall Road. The work is expected to begin at 7 each morning and end at 5. The construction is expected to continue through January.
Rhode Island Comic Con organizers are apologizing after having to turn away ticket holders after the venue went over capacity. About 1500 people were turned away on Saturday that had already purchased tickets. The fire marshal had to temporarily shut down Comic Con when the Convention Center hit its maximum capacity of 17,000 people.
Big money is being spent by independent groups trying to influence this year's elections in Rhode Island. Over four-million-dollars has been spent by independent groups this cycle, with over half targeting the governor's race. Another 800-thousand-dollars have been spent on ballot questions one and two, which would let Newport Grand add table games and become a full casino instead of just a slot parlor. Over 100-thousand-dollars has been spent by groups on the race for mayor of Providence.
Tomorrow is election day. The polls will be open from 7am – 8pm. We want to remind everyone that a photo ID will be required to vote. You can find your polling place by visiting https://vic.sos.ri.gov/vic/
First Lady Michelle Obama says Rhode Island voters need to elect Gina Raimondo as governor. The First Lady appeared before a packed house at Juanita Sanchez school in Providence for a voter turnout rally. Mrs. Obama also called on voters to elect Jorge Elorza as mayor of Providence. President Obama flew into TF Green Airport last night and overnighted in downtown Providence in advance of his scheduled speech at Rhode Island College today.
Throughout the month of November, the Newport Public Library will feature photographs of people who have served in the U.S. military. The public is invited to help honor those men and women by bringing a picture of anyone they know who served at any time. Anyone interested in submitting photos that will be copied and displayed in the Spring Street lobby is asked to include the name of the person pictured, where he or she is from, where he or she served and any other information that is applicable. Original photographs will be returned, you can get more information by contacting Annette Love at 847-8720, Ext. 101.
A Mississippi man is facing charges after he allegedly knocked on a rear door at Johnston High School. Police say Jonathan Mikovich drove to the back lot of the school and knocked on a door in the rear of the building during school hours yesterday. Police were immediately called, and Mikovich was found to have a firearm in his vehicle. He's charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds.
Johnston based FM Global has pledged a million dollars for construction of a new College of Engineering facility at URI. The donation is contingent upon voters approving Question 4 on Tuesday. Question 4 asks voters to approve a $125 million bond to finance the project.
Tiverton officials are selling a two room school house that was built in 1909. A public auction is set for the next few weeks on the lawn of the Tiverton Community Center. They hope to sell the building to avoid the cost of keeping it or tearing it down. The building is currently used as meeting space and a neighbor has already expressed interest in buying the property.
A proposed financial settlement is in place for Curt Schilling and other executives from his failed video game company's bankruptcy case. The trustee overseeing the case is agreeing to accept 300-thousand dollars from the insurance company that covered the four executives. The trustee is seeking to recoup losses for creditors of 38 Studios, including Rhode Island taxpayers who have lost over 100-million dollars.
President Obama will be spending tonight in Rhode Island. The President is scheduled to land at TF Green Airport today and will remain in the state until appearing tomorrow at Rhode Island College. The First Lady will also be in Rhode Island today, appearing at a campaign event for Democratic candidate for governor Gina Raimondo. There will be some road closures, changes and rerouting of bus routes in the city. We have a link on our website, WADK.com, to the complete list of RIPTA detours and relocations. http://www.ripta.com/ripta-to-detour-twenty-eight-routes-and-temporarily-relocate-bus-stops-a--b--c--d-in-providence-to-accommodate-presidential-visit
Plans for Newport’s Innovation Hub have been sent to two groups of developers and investors for preliminary review and comments. According to the Daily News, the 150 page package shows conceptual plans of office and mixed use space on 67 acres of land the city has for development. There is currently no timeline for the project, but the city wants to move as quickly as possible. “Requests for expressions of interest” will be sent out to developers and investors in the first quarter of next year.
Richmond Police are reminding residents to lock their cars and to secure their valuables when they leave their vehicles. The reminder comes after three cars were stolen over the past weekend in the Meadowbrook area off of Route 138. Thieves also took GPS units from other unlocked vehicles.
URI has announced that it will offer new courses focused on the business of health care. According to the Journal, The classes were developed in response to a survey of educational needs among health care professionals. The program includes six graduate business courses, including organizational behavior, supply chain management and operations, financial management, accounting and information technology. Registration is open for the first course which begins in January.
A plan to replace the failed wind turbine at Portsmouth High School was presented last night to the school committee, which made no commitment on its participation in the plan. The town council has asked the committee to agree to buy its electricity from Wind Energy Development when the new turbine is operating and producing power. According to the Daily News, there was no vote taken at the meeting last night. The committee will meet on Wednesday, November 5th at 5 p.m. in town hall to vote on the offer.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation kicked off a $2.8 million dollar construction project in Newport yesterday which focuses America’s cup avenue and Memorial Boulevard. The contract will allow construction crews to alter seven pedestrian crosswalks in the area, install accessible pedestrian signals, and enhance crosswalk visibility through signage and striping. Construction will continue through the fall and winter, and is scheduled to be completed by late spring.
After 30 years in the same location off West Main Road, the nonprofit women’s shelter Lucy’s Hearth received approval from the Middletown planning board to overhaul a building around the corner on Valley Road. According to the Daily News, the approval from the town was the first step in a large scale campaign to raise the $3.5 million dollars needed to buy the property and renovate the vacant structure at 19 Valley Road.
The Newport Public Services Department’s Clean City Program will hold two “Bye- Bye Bins and Barrels” recycling events. The first event will be held on Saturday, November 1st from 8 a.m. until noon in the east parking lot of Easton’s Beach, 175 Memorial Blvd. The second event will be held on Saturday November 22nd. The events will help residents recycle unwanted trash barrels and recycling bins. For more information visit www.cityofnewport.com/cleancity or call 401-845-5613
Former Newport City Council member and vice president of Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling Laurice Shaw wrote a letter to some city voters, making what she admitted were speculative claims about the future plans of casino developers. The letter was written to voters in the city’s Ward 1 where Newport Grand is located. According to the Daily News, Shaw said she wrote the letter herself and although Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling paid for the mailing, its board did not approve the content.
Last night at the Portsmouth Town Council meeting, the council unanimously accepted the proposal from North Kingstown Wind Energy Development to replace the failed wind turbine at Portsmouth High school with a new one within two years. According to the Daily News, the agreement with Wind Energy Development states the firm will pay the town two million dollars, which would allow the town to pay off the two million dollar balance it owes on the bond issue voters approved in 2007.
Middletown voters will face two local ballot questions on November 4th, both represent a potential for major change. On Question 8, voters will be asked if they support joining with Newport to form a unified high school. Voters in Newport will see the same question. On Question 9, voters will be asked if they support making Town Council elections nonpartisan. According to the Daily News, no decisions have been made yet about the potential location or cost of a unified high school, or structure for governance.
The town of Middletown has satisfied the state that it is addressing its sewer and storm water problems. The Daily News says according to an October 14th letter from the state department of environmental management’s office of compliance and inspection, the town has addressed its obligations, as spelled out in 2004, 2005, and 2008 notices of violation for sewer or storm water contamination in area waterways.
An investigation is underway after a Brown University student reported being drugged and raped at a fraternity house. The young woman says the incident occurred October 17th at the Sears House. She reports becoming extremely intoxicated after drinking a small amount of punch at a party. The woman also reports suffering memory loss for a significant period after passing out.
The state board of elections unanimously voted yesterday to give the two groups, Jobs for Newport and Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling, until Friday to disclose missing information about their contributors. According to the Providence Journal, the two groups fighting for and against the addition of table games at Newport Grand filed complaints against each other, which landed before the elections board Monday. The complaint against Citizens Concerned about Casino Gambling was directed at reports in which donors did not list their occupations and if they were affiliated with casino interests. The complaint against Jobs for Newport focused on the group not disclosing who the individual donors to the campaign have been and how much they’d been given.
President Obama is coming to Rhode Island this week. The president will be appearing Friday at Rhode Island College in Providence. He's expected to deliver remarks on the economy and the importance of pursuing policies that help women succeed during the brief visit. First Lady Michelle Obama will also be in Rhode Island this week, campaigning for Democratic candidate for governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday.
The Alliance for a Livable Newport will be holding its final Election Forum tomorrow night at the Newport Public Library. The Forum will start at 6 and there will be speakers on hand to discuss state and local ballot questions. There will also be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.
Some Jamestown students may have an option for high school next year. According to the Daily News, Jamestown has been in exploratory talks with Narragansett since March. The talks revolve around a “small” school option for students that may not be an ideal fit for a “big” school and who might elect to attend a charter or private school. The Jamestown school committee has not approved the concept, although they did approve exploratory talks. North Kingstown school official are looking to see if the proposed option for schools would violate their contract with Jamestown.
The Portsmouth Town Council meets tonight at 7pm at the Town Hall. The council will be considering a proposal that could lift the state demand for the town to install a sewage system. Also on the agenda tonight is the continuation as to whether or not to accept a proposal from Wind Energy Development to tear down the turbine at Portsmouth High School and replace it with a new direct drive turbine, and to purchase the electricity produced by the new turbine through Wind Energy Development . The Wind Energy Development proposal has stipulated that the town must approve the agreement by November 1st.
Rhode Island residents are getting their first look at the newest state park. An open house was held over the weekend at the former Rocky Point amusement park site in Warwick. The state has conducted extensive cleanup of the 80 acre property since it was purchased in 2010. The current goal is to clean up the property and highlighting its natural features, although state officials are open to adding attractions down the road.
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